1. Parent Talk membership perks -- Don't forget your free or discounted access to numerous fun activities and events. Along with PT's upcoming February free family swim at Goldfish Swim School, you can take advantage of discounts to fun places like Jump 'N Slide and free museum passes to Boston Children's Museum, New England Aquarium, Museum of Science, Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo.
|Improv Boston's Face Off. Photo credit: Ryan Kelly Coil.|
2. Boston Nature Center -- Stories, crafts, and indoor nature activities are offered for several Tuesdays in January and February for kids aged 3 though 6. Outdoor exploration is offered for kids aged 5 through 9 during school vacation. Other area wildlife sanctuaries in the area to visit include Stonybrook Wildlife Reservation, Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, Boston Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary, and Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary.
3. Children's Museum in Easton -- Face painting and arts and crafts, along with pretend play with an archaeological dig, spaceship, train, fire truck and farmer's market are all located on three levels of a converted old fire station in a North Easton neighborhood. Outside, there is a children's garden for milder temperatures.
4. Ice skating at Frog Pond -- No list of winter activities could be complete without a mention of this Boston tradition!
|"Frog Pond at Boston Commons" by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism|
5. Skiing/snowboarding/snowtubing -- Blue Hills, Nashoba Valley, Wachusett are a few local places to hit the slopes.
6. Snowshoeing -- This can be a great, simple activity to do with the littlest ones. The skill set needed is less complicated than other winter sports, as it basically involves walking in big shoes!
7. Sledding -- Opportunities for finding a nice, gentle slope abound in the Metrowest. Check out Boston.com's 40 great places to sled around Boston.
8. Build a snowman and/or make a snow angel.
|Snowman inspired by "A Stranger in the Woods" by Jim Sorbie|
9. Vacation programs/camps -- Exxcel Camps offer gymnastics, climbing, bungee, zip line, arts and crafts, games and circus art. Hale Reservation offers both outdoor and indoor activities. LINX offers a variety of activities over the February school vacation as well.
10. Snow painting -- Fill a squirt bottle with water and a few drops of food coloring, head outdoors, then squirt as you please in the snow to create some unique art.
11. Indoor hide and seek -- When temperatures are too cold to be out, playing hide-and-seek in the house with my three year old is sure to bring out peals of laughter, especially because we convert it into a game of tag once he finds me.
12. Prepare a meal together followed by a movie -- Everyone can get involved in dinner preparation before a family movie night. Personal pizzas and build-your-own tacos can be fun and easy to prepare with individual tastes. Salads are also quick, easy, and preparation is kid-friendly with washing, drying, and assembling various components. End dinner with a bake-in-microwave mug cake for dessert while you sit back to enjoy a movie together.
|"Parent-child cooking" by Alan Wat|
13. Family game night -- Tumbling tower games come in various sizes and types and can be fun for all ages.
14. Staycation -- Book a couple of days at local hotel and take a break from cooking, cleaning, and reminders of the long list of household tasks that await at home. Meanwhile, you get room service, housekeeping, a heated pool, spa, massage and local touring in a new environment. Getting out of the house, even locally, can give you a break from the daily grind. My family has enjoyed staying at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, which I view as having five-star service and amenities in a low-key, non-fussy, relaxing environment. We even brought our dog, under a pet-friendly policy.
15. Improv Boston's Family Show -- This show is recommended for families with children aged 4 through 12. Each Saturday, improv comedians create a fun show based on audience suggestions.
For more ideas, check out 11 Cold Weather Activities for Children that are Practically Free and
Keeping Kids Entertained in Cold Weather. Enjoy the season!
About the Author
Darlene W. Cancell is an attorney turned stay-at-home mom and most recently, blog coordinator for Parent Talk.