Thursday, September 30, 2010

When you have cabin fever...

It's getting to be that time of year. The ability to walk around the block, spend an hour at the playground, or just explore the backyard is compromised by the fact that it's freezing/raining/sleeting and by the fact that once you get everyone properly dressed, your child will have to go the bathroom. Here are a few things to keep you busy and out of your house...most of them you've probably thought of add your own suggestions to the comments section!

  • Visit the library. I'm sure you've done this 100 times, but check out their list of classes or story times. Most have a special kids activity several times a week. If the town next door is nicer - check out their library!
  • Go to a museum. When you're at the library, check out their "free" passes. Most offer free passes or discounted admission to local museums. So you don't feel bad for going for 45 minutes. Also, Bank of America offers free admission to a number of museums the first weekend of every month. And the Children's Museum is free on Friday nights.
  • Check out your family network. Most towns (or typically, several towns combine resources) have space in an elementary school or town buildings that is outfitted for young kids and offers playgroups and activities. For instance, the North Suburban Family Network in Melrose has all kinds of free classes and even a drop-in play space.
  • Go to a pet store. Gerbils and fish are just as good as the zoo for a 2-year old. And if you tell them it's the zoo, you won't have to explain why you can't bring it home. Yes, it may only hold their attention for 20 minutes, but sometimes that's all you need for sanity's sake! (And, while you're there, pick up some Nature's Miracle. Seriously, it gets smells and stains out of everything. If it weren't for this stuff, I'd have to move out of my the smell of a spilled container of sour milk is not for amateurs!)
  • Go to Costco. Is it bad that I take my child to Costco so he can run? I usually find that hidden aisle that is virtually empty and let him go crazy. Just remember they need good shoes - I'm always imagining him breaking his teeth on the concrete floors...I'm really sounding like the mother of the year here.
  • Explore Jordans (or Ikea too). Yes, I feel bad about taking my energy-filled child to retail establishments, but if they put a candy store and a water fall in a furniture store, they're kind of asking for it. My child will happily open and close every drawer in the store. Seriously, we could be there for two days. Ikea is good too, but can be crowded on the weekends...I like to at least limit the number of people that see my child misbehaving.
  • The mall. Yes, you'll probably end up buying some toy you don't need and they'll break on the way home, but it's more space to run around...especially since nearly every mall as a play space these days.
Where do you go when you need to get out of the house on a rainy day?


  1. Costco & Ikea are our go-tos. She isn't running around yet, but so much to look at. We spent an hour at Costco on Tuesday looking at decorations for sale, picking out books, looking at the toys...I am going to do a post all about just Costco soon :). Love this post! Some more ideas are:
    - My Gyms (Newton, downtown and Medford have locations)
    - Kids Fun Zone (West Roxbury)
    - Indoor Playground (I think that is correct - in Watertown)
    - Hill House in Beacon Hill

  2. To add - on the Northshore, Mall Tots at Liberty Tree Mall is a great place for kids to run like crazy. And a lot of folks like Little Bears on Route 1.