New England winters sure know how to keep you on your toes. I wrote this post highlighting my top picks for getting out of the house in bad weather with kids to publish today, expecting a cold, snowy, February day. Instead, temps are projected to reach the mid 60’s with the sun shining and we will be spending the entire day outdoors! I couldn’t be happier for this little break in winter. But, it is New England and more then likely mother nature will take a turn for the worst at least one more time, bringing us freezing temps or another snow fall before the spring really arrives.
In that case, here are my top picks for getting out the house in bad weather with kids!
- The mall: Most malls open early for “walkers,” allowing you to enter the mall but not the stores. L and I will hit up the mall around 9, grab my coffee and cruise around for a while! Sometimes he will lounge in the stroller and others he’ll hop out to walk, err run, along with me. Thankfully it is never too busy so he can do his thing without causing too much destruction.
- Mall Play Areas: On that same note, most malls now have a free kids zone with climbing structures, tunnels, and benches or couches for mom or dad. L is too little for some of the things at our local mall but he loves to try and keep up with the big kids, climbing up the stairs while I help him go down the slide. During the weekend the one at our local mall tends to be packed and a little too crazy for us but during the week it is great!
- The Library or Bookstore: L and I have gone to the library quite a few times for story or music time, but we will also pop over just a good free way to get out of the house. We have quite a few different libraries within 10-15 minutes of us so it’s fun to explore all of them. Most libraries have a designated kids room with toys, books (obviously), and different features each month. It’s great when they have separate rooms for the kids because L can be on the louder side and I don’t worry he is disturbing everyone in the whole place!
- Visit a Pet Store: We love this one! Sometimes there will be dogs walking around the store which L loves! He kicks his legs and gets all excited to run over to say hi. His form of petting is pretty funny and he basically just hits the dog (gently)! They also do dog training’s where we can stand and watch for a while to keep entertained. The fish tanks are also a big hit with all the different colors, sizes, and bubbles floating around
- Indoor Playgrounds: Not free, but check Groupon for vouchers! We only just took L for the first time recently and he loved it! I thought for sure they wouldn’t have much to offer for him but he LOVED it! He took the best nap after we played for about 45 minutes because he never stopped running around! The one local to us also had exercise bikes for mom or dad to use while the kids played! How cool is that?! Once L is older I will definitely take advantage of that!
- McDonald’s Play Areas: I’ve had so many friends say this is where they spent winter/summer days that are too bad to be outside! It’s free, you can bring your own food or eat there, and the kids love them! L is still too young but I will definitely be keeping it in mind for later!
- Museums/Aquariums: Check with your local libraries, most offer discounted tickets if you purchase them through the library! Perfect way to spend a day indoors!
- Visit a Friend: Even though it’s still indoors it is a change of scenery and new toys to play with. L and I get together with our girlfriend every Friday and switch back and forth between our houses to play. L has a blast rummaging through the toy bin, chasing her dog, and playing with her son.
Hope you find these helpful! Let me know if you have any other ideas for getting out with kiddos when your all going a little bit nutty!