Winter can be challenging for parents when kids need to exercise and run around. Although snow is fun to play in, extreme cold or ice can drive families indoors. In addition, rainy weather in spring, or extreme heat in summer can also force parents to look for family-friendly indoor activities. Look to a local parenting paper for a list of activities for children.
Indoor ice rinks, open year-round, offer safe ice for figure skating and hockey. Although the ice is cold, you can skate in just a sweater, maybe adding gloves for a child who might fall. In summer, ice skating offers a break from the heat and in winter, there is no danger of thin ice. Most rinks, including the Ice Skating Center At Galleria Dallas, in Dallas, Texas, offer public skating hours, plus times for private lessons and hockey leagues.
Indoor Swimming Pool
If your community has an indoor swimming pool, you can often find midmorning and weekend family swim hours. In New York City, public high schools with swimming pools, like Stuyvesant High School, have weekend hours open to the public. For infants, parent and child swim classes get babies accustomed to the water; they can often swim independently by age 2. Check for regulations regarding swim diapers and swim caps.
Indoor Play Spaces
Indoor play spaces are like fitness centres for children. They are best for toddlers and older children who can navigate climbing structures and find their way back to their parents. Some play spaces, like Family Grounds Cafe in Chicago, Illinois, have slides, ball pits filled with colourful, light balls, and tunnels. Play spaces may prohibit parents from climbing with their children, or may have such small spaces that parents cannot follow their kids.
Libraries are invaluable resources for parents. You can spend time each week reading books, playing computer games and choosing books to take home. Many libraries with large children's rooms have free programs for kids. The Brooklyn Public Library offers free story times, craft projects and singalongs. The library also has Bedtime Stories, children's concerts and a list of things to do locally with young children.