When the hustle and bustle of the holidays are over, it’s easy to find yourself tired, feeling a tad let down, and OVER the cold weather. It’s not easy to jet off to Florida or Jamaica (at least not until spring break) – but the winter months don’t have to mean boredom, iPads and beaching on the couch watching endless hours of TV and movies (unless that’s what you want to do, and in that case, GO FOR IT!). Here are a few ideas of ways you can create some memories and make the most of those cold, long, winter days.
Try a new restaurant
If you and the kids like to try new places, head out to a restaurant you’ve visited. Before you discount this idea and tell me I’m CRAY for suggesting taking little ones to dinner (I’ve been there: cue the baby crying to nurse the moment the food comes, water spills, and multiple bathroom trips), here me out. Choose a kid-friendly place (cross your fingers for fast service and lots of noise) and come prepared with crayons and paper or a small toy. Family dinner is a fun way to possibly expand your kids palette beyond mac and cheese and chicken nuggets and enjoy each others company.
Embrace the snowy weather
Complaining about the cold and snow doesn’t do a darn thing. So if you’re walking in a winter wonderland, make the most of it! Playing outside in the winter benefits children, you just have to be smart about it. Go sledding! Build a snowman and a snow fort! Find a local ice skating rink! This winter break, we did all of those things and the kids loved it! It was my kids first time ice skating and we all had a blast and are looking forward to going again! Baby it’s cold outside, yes, but make the best of the fallen temperatures by bundling up and getting outdoors for a bit!
Crafts will keep my kids — especially my five-year-old daughter, busy for HOURS. Today we did a simple craft that also works on fine motor skills. All you need is pipe cleaners and cheerios. Twist one end of a pipe cleaner so the Cheerios don’t fall off, then put the cereal on it until it’s nearly full, then twist the other end so it’s closed. The good news is, they can snack on the Cheerios at the same time! I also purchased a Create Your Own Bath Bomb kit, a Make Your Own Keychain Kit, and a Sand Art Kit. We’ve had loads of fun with those! Check out your local Five Below store, Walmart or Amazon; the kits were between $5 and $10 each if you are looking for some boredom-busting winter activities.
Visit a children’s museum
If being exposed to some good ole’ winter germs doesn’t deter you, pack up the kids and head to a children’s museum. We live in a suburb North of Indianapolis, so we make it to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum in town a few times a year — it’s fantastic and you could spend the entire day there if you didn’t have children who needed to nap or have to deal with meltdowns. There are also several other children’s museums in our state. Check online to find the museum nearest your home and consider making the drive. Make sure you check to see what days they’re open – the Indianapolis museum is closed on Mondays and I DID drive there once only to find it closed. Let’s just say no one in the car was very happy. Don’t forget to check out Groupon or look for coupons online to save cash on admission!
Take a day trip
If there’s a town nearby you’ve been hoping to visit and the roads are clear, go for it! We took a quick trip to Cincinnati on New Year’s Eve day. I found half price tickets on Groupon to the Newport Aquarium so we decided to take the kids to check out the fish, seahorses and sharks. We went out for pizza and stayed the night in a hotel and swam in the pool, then rang in the New Year. This little trip was part of their Christmas present (focusing more on experiences versus so many material items). It was a perfect escape and made for a really affordable way to celebrate New Year’s Eve and create some memories! Did I mention the baby slept for 11 hours that night? Maybe we should go back to Cincinnati…
Being cooped up and unable to get fresh air and move your body isn’t good for anyone! Consider a dance party at home to get that blood pumping! Check out GoNoodle – my kids use this program at school and we signed up (for free) and do it here all of the time. It focuses on movement and mindfulness! We also visit indoor play places like our county’s sports complex where the kids can swing from ropes into a styrofoam “ball” pit, swing on uneven bars, jump on large mats, walk the balance beam and more!
As you yearn for spring, you can pass — and actually enjoy — the time by spending it with your children checking out new places and doing what you can to embrace the cold temperatures. Here’s to only a couple more months of winter. May your days be fun and your coffee and hot chocolate be warm!
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Tags: cold weather activities