When weather interferes with big plans to get some whole family exercise and entertainment, the default is often lying around watching movies and eating carbohydrate-rich snacks. And while everyone loves that, it can take a toll on the household mood and make it harder to get back out and get active. So to chase away the rainy day blues, we put together some fun alternates that all ages can enjoy.
- Bowling! Taking a trip to the lanes is a low-prep excursion with high entertainment value. It’s a classic tradition that let’s everyone join in. Kids love the two-tone shoes and the perfect roundness of the bowling balls. And the kinetic factor of the lane sweeper and the conveyor are always big hits with the kids. Some bowling alleys offer special family discounts on certain days, so it’s worth it to do a little research.
- Aquarium! Most big cities these days have an indoor aquarium when there kids can learn about marine life. The Travel Channel has a list of the best-rated aquariums in the country here:http://www.travelchannel.com/interests/family/photos/best-aquariums-in-the-us For a very unique and enchanting experience, these places are like indoor oceans: kids can get up close to some fascinating fauna and flora.
- Museum! One of the wonderful things about living in this era is that effort and intelligence that goes into learning museums for children. Parenting Magazine has a list of the most highly rated kids museums in the country: http://www.parents.com/fun/vacation/us-destinations/the-10-best-childrens-museums/
- Music Class! Not surprisingly, kids music classes are all over the place, and they can really get their sillies out by singing and dancing. Music Together is a national organization that teaches kids basic music fundamentals and some locations also throw regular live concerts. Classes are designed from in utero (that’s right, music class for pregnant ladies) all the way up to age 7. Check out their website to find a location near you: https://www.musictogether.com/
And if you’d rather not go out in the rain at all, here are three stay-at-home things to do that involve a lot of action:
- Puppet Show! String a bed sheet between two chairs and use stuffed animals as puppets. You can turn off the lights and use flashlights as spotlights. Hint: the more interesting you get with the story, the more fired up the kids get.
- Balloon Volleyball! Move those chairs a little father apart and, voila! Volleyball net. Do a quick check to make sure Great Aunt Betsy’s antique vase isn’t vulnerable and it’s game on! If you have a chalk or white board, let the older kids keep score.
- Sock Ice-skates! This is a total twofer where mom and dad get a clean kitchen floor and kids get to play like they are at the ice rink. Get some old socks (this is a great use for the ones without a mate) and a shallow, flat-bottomed bowl or container with soapy water. The kids can step into it and then slide around on the floor to their hearts’ content. When they are done, grab some used towels and let them slide the towels around with their feet, then you can go over any places they missed to dry off the floor.
It just takes a little creativity to get the blood flowing and humor everyone while the weather is less than inviting. Trying something new almost always pays off and another thing: on days like this, offering a few options and letting your children decide gives them a sense of control and they are more likely to engage with their own activity choices. Rainy days give the family a chance to work as a group, share, take turns and have healthy quality time.