So our winters here in Washington can be a little rough when it comes to the weather. Its not too cold... but that rain though!? It seems like the parks are wet almost all winter long and that can make it hard to let the kids get outside and stretch their legs. It certainly can be a challenge to keep them active and entertained during our winter months. So here are some ideas on how to help them explore a little while staying indoors.
1. Trampoline Parks
There isn't a better way to keep them warm and let them go wild and crazy than finding one of your local trampoline parks. They'll be happy and sweating in no time. With foam pits, plenty of padding, and room to roam your kids will love you forever for taking them to a trampoline park. Many of the parks also offer toddler hours where they keep the big kids out for the little guys.
Boom Shaka - Olympia
2. Children's Museum
Lets be honest, we all know that a stroll through a museum is the last thing we need to drag our kids to. I'm not talking about a cultural museum here. Our area has a variety of kid specific museums which are more like artistic little play stations filled with toys, things to climb, screen to interact with and get their creative juices flowing. See below for a few link to some you should definitely make time to visit.
3. Indoor Paintball
Maybe not a good idea for your toddlers to waddle out onto a paintball course, but your teens would love it. We happen to have a few indoor courses in Washington. With inflatables, obstacles, team games, and hours of adrenaline pumping fun, be sure to check out an indoor paintball course near you.
Located in Edmonds, whirlyball is a hybrid of bumper cars, lacrosse, and basketball... crazy right? It's tons of fun as well. Steering can be a challenge with so much going on, but that's what makes it so much fun. Whirlyball is a great idea for birthday party's as most of the places around here also have food, and group/party rates as well. This makes it a fantastic indoor way to have fun with the family.
5. Indoor Soccer
There's a few ways to go about this. There is obviously an endless list of indoor soccer leauges, and I'm not going even atempt to list them all here. Google is your friend when it comes to finding the nearest league. What you might not have realized is that some of these "leagues" cater to as young and 2 and 3 year olds. There's not a lot of actual soccer being played at that age, but they'll have plenty of room to run around and kick a ball in whatever direction they happen to be facing.
You'll have to ask, but many of the indoor soccer areas also have bubble soccer. If you can get a large group together it's pretty affordable to hop inside their giant beach balls and run into eachother while you attempt to play soccer at the same time. It's hugely fun! We've linked a few of the more popular areas that offer this below.
6. Ice Skating
So I know this main point of this list is to stay warm, but indoor ice skating can be a great way to fool around on the ice with a winter sport, but also guarantee you'll stay warm, well, warm-ish. Most of us have some childhood memory of falling down over and over on an ice rink and for some reason having a fun time despite all the sore bums. If you've never had that chance, make some time and find an open skate time near you and you'll see what I mean. All of our north and south sounds areas have a rink to visit.
If you're a hockey fan as well, you might want to check out the Silvertips (Everett's semi-pro hockey team) and the Comcast Arena which has lots of public skate time in their calendar.
*there was a recent arena sponsor change for 2018 and its now the Angel of the Winds Arena.
7. Reptile Zoo
What's a reptile zoo? Well, it's exactly what you think it is. Since these little creepy crawlers are small enough to be housed indoors you've got a perfect way to introduce the world of snakes, lizards, turtles, and alligators to your kids. Located on highway 2 just past Monroe you'll also get some gorgeous snowy mountain top views along the way.
8. Go Kart Racing
If the roads outside are in rough shape because of the weather, you'll be sure to find a dry clean race track at a number of places indoor. For some high speed, heart pumping, lap time tracking fun, just track down your local go kart racing facility and get your race on! Most tracks offer party rates, food options, digital lap times, and other activities to do while you're waiting.
9. Indoor Rock Climbing
Washington is full of outdoor sports and recreation there is no doubt! Some of those sports can be pursued year round. We have some pretty good climbing gyms and rock walls in our region. From REI's famous one in down town Seattle all the way up to the tallest indoor wall located in the Bellingham YMCA you're bound to find a spot to call your own. All of the climbing gyms have lessons and gear rentals for those who want to try it out, but they'll also have climbing routes that are set up for the most expert of climbers. There are more in our area not on our list, but these should be enough to get you started. I suggest getting to know the climbing community and reaching out some of the smaller climbing gyms in your neighborhood, you may find the perfect fit.
10. Family Fun Center
There's really 2 or 3 big ones in our area. All have arcade games, ticket counters, slides and play areas. You will also find bowling, laser tag, mini carnival rides and more. The name kind of explains it all... there's fun for the whole family here.
11. Aquatic Centers
There are no shortage of pools around here, and almost all of them are indoors due to our seemingly short summers. You'll find most of the local high school or community centers have a public swim schedule with life guards on duty. But if you know where to go there are also a few really impressive indoor mini-water parks with slides, surf machines, floating toys, and lazy rivers. Kids of all ages can enjoy a fun day in the pool! Here are links to a few of the larger facilities that offer some water fun that goes above and beyond just a pool.
Kids of all ages, shapes, and sizes can enjoy an open indoor gym with padding everywhere and open foam pits. Like a little kid wonderland many of the gyms have open hours during the day where your kids can burn through some of their youthful energy. If you want to take the sport a little more seriously there are classes for all ages where your kids work on flexibility, coordination, or even specific gymnastic events. There are so many options when it comes to choosing the facility that best suits you we're not even going to attempt to compile the list. Google will be your friend for this search.
13. Art Centers
Sick of cleaning up the arts and crafts projects in your kitchen? Well, turns out you might not have to. It might not be a secret that Seattle has a rich and healthy ecosystem of art culture. Almost every art museum, club, or even preschool has some sort of offering for our creative kids. Consider art classes, year long memberships, or attend a specific event in your area to keep those creative juices flowing. While the list in this category could be endless, here's a few good resources to get you started.