For all of us who live in the northern side of the world the days are getting colder and darker as we approach the winter solstice. It is not a pretty sight and venturing outside with your child can be daunting.

Nowadays, it takes us a lot longer to prepare for our daily walks and our jackets, hats, mittens and scarves are now out of the closet permanently. So looking for activities to do with my son that were preferably indoors, I came across a few ideas that I want to share with you:

  •  Join a local class:  From baby signing classes to swimming, there are hundreds of choices and locations. Check out a community center close to you and see if there are any classes that sound fun.  Having a set schedule and  a place to go  (once a week for example) will give you a purpose to get out of the house even if you are feeling like staying in all day.
  • Find a Child Friendly Cafe: Nowadays more and more child friendly cafes are popping up everywhere. They are usually equipped with a safe playground and a big space for little ones to run free.   You can schedule a meetup with your other parent friends there or go solo with your child, you will surely find other parents there to talk to.
  •  Go to a science center/art museum/library: When was the last time you visited a local museum or science center?  These are a perfect place to visit because there are lots of activities and fun for your little one to explore all at one place, plus lots of other children to interact with. Did you know some libraries have big areas designed for small children where you can sit down to read them a story?
  • Go to the mall (one with a playground): Those mall playgrounds are usually pretty busy. I remember seeing them filled with little kids running around rain or shine. Perfect place to meet other parents and for your child to play with other kids. I just recommend to arrive early if you want to beat the crowds.
  • Set up a play-date at a friend’s house: Take turns between houses and do play-dates for the kids at yours and your friend’s houses.  You will all get a chance to go out for the day and also to stay in and host the play-date once every few weeks.
  •  Go to the movies: Really! If your child is young enough (before crawling age) you can go to a local theater that offers movies for parents. They usually set up the theater to play the movie with the volume lower than usual, plus they have change tables, wipes and a space to park strollers. I took my son to a few when he was a few months old and it was great. He got to sleep the entire time while I watched a newly released movie with my mommy friends.
  • Get wet and go walk & run outside: Last but not least,  I mean it IS fun to go out and play in the rain sometimes. Just be sure to wear your rain boots and keep your little one warm and protected as well. Let them enjoy the magic of the rain and the winter once in a while, don’t forget everything is new and exciting to them.

*Photo: Clare Bloomfield