Getting Out of the House: 5 Free Winter Outings

After being stuck in the house for the last ten days – thanks to tons of snow and then a nasty stomach bug – we needed to get out!  Everyone had cabin fever . . . especially the toddler.  Despite all the new toys from Christmas and the extra time with Daddy we had to look for somewhere to go.  Unfortunately, our budget is also rather tight right now so we needed to somewhere where the only cost was the gas to get there.   Here is our go to list of places and the fun things we do at each.

1. Pet StorePB070864

  • Scavenger Hunt – sometimes it is a list of specific items and other times a set of items starting with a certain letter, but no matter the parameters it always equals a good time.
  • I Spy – colors abound especially in the fish section
  • Looking at each tank / pen / cage like we are at a mini zoo or aquarium

2. Indoor Park (several of these types of places exist near us – the mall, several churches, the park district, restaurants, etc.)

3. LibraryP4250704

  • Storytime
  • Movers & Shakers (a music and dancing program for kids)
  • Play Cubes, Train Tables, and Puzzles in the Children’s Area
  • Author Studies – we find all the books we can by one author, cuddle up in a big chair and read them all
  • Judge a Book by It’s Cover – Pick a book to read from one of the displays just because we like the cover
  • Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo – Stand in front of a section of shelves and choose a book based on this rhyme
  • Big Books – many libraries have over-sized books for teachers to borrow; our library will let anyone browse through them and read them at the library.  Many are as tall as our toddler!

4. Playgrounds (Cold and snow don’t scare us!)

  • Swing, Slide, Climb – you know the normal stuff; as long as the equipment isn’t slippery we still play – snowy slides are awesome!
  • Search for Animal Tracks
  • Snowball Fights – there are things to hide behind at the park

5. Kids’ Clinics (Home Depot and other stores run free activities for children.)PA050518

  • Home Depot – Kids’ Clinic is the 1st Saturday of every month.  The kids get to build a project and take it home each time (I’m also sure Lowe’s has something comparable)
  • Meijer – sponsors a children’s scavenger hunt in store at least once a year
  • Sports Clinics – several area clubs offer free sports clinics for toddlers during their paid version for older children

Where does your family go to beat cabin fever?