Hip hip hooray for two hour delays, right? Not if you’re the parent of a preschooler because two-hour delays usually mean no school. It’s all fun at games at first but after your third pajama day in a row, things get old really fast . Most local tots have only gone to school for one day since Tuesday, January 6. That’s a LOT of time off which makes for stir-crazy kids and caregivers.
My kids are now in Grades 3 and 4, but I can remember those days. Most times, the roads are fine which makes the whole situation even more frustrating. Thanks to Our-Kids.com and a few of my friends I’ve compiled a list of fun things to get you out of the house on days when your tot’s preschool is closed due to inclement (or in some cases, not so inclement) weather.
1. Indoor Play Areas
Our-Kids has a huge list on their website ranging in price from free to about $8.00. When my kids were little, we used to go to the Falls Church Community Center on Friday mornings from 10-12. The fee is $1.00. Arlington Mill (T/Th 10-12) and Lubber Run (M/W/F 9-11:30) also have open play for tots. The National Building Museum is also a great choice. JW Tumbles in Arlington and Alexandria also has open-play most days.
Flight Trampoline Park in Springfield offers a FlightFit class for adults on T/Th at 9 am. Kids jump for free and Flight staff will supervise your children. The class is $11 if you’re a walk-in and $7 if you buy a 10-class pass. I go to this class regularly and it’s fun and a really good workout. My kids love coming on Saturdays (at 8 or 9 am) and Wednesday nights at 5 pm.
We are so fortunate to live in and near our Nation’s Capital where we have access to so many wonderful (and free!) museums. To check out a complete listing, visit the Smithsonian website.
3. Ice Skating
Indoor and outdoor options abound! Kettler has many options for public skate times and on Tuesdays from 2-3:30 it’s only $1.00 for Arlington residents. Outdoor options include the Sculpture Gallery, Washington Harbour, Tysons Corner Center, Pentagon Row and the Reston Town Center.
4. Story Times
Our public libraries in Arlington host many opportunities for kids and their caregivers to cozy up with good books. To learn more click here. Northern Virginia magazine has also compiled a list of 7 free Northern Virginia story times.
5. Indoor Swimming
Although I’ve never been to Cub Run Rec Center myself, I’ve heard a lot of really great things about it from my friends. Their kids love the water slides and the spray ground. This is one that we will definitely try this year. The Freedom Center in Manassas also has a beautiful pool facility. I was there once many years ago and was very impressed. It’s a bit of a drive, but worth it. Locally, Wakefield, Washington-Lee and Yorktown pools all have community swim times.
Did you know that there’s a bowling alley at Ft. Myer? We’ve been many times for birthday parties and my kids always have a great time. They do require ID at the gate, though, so come prepared!
The Puppet Co, Adventure Theater and Imagination Stage all offer daytime showtimes. We’ve been to all three theaters and my kids always enjoy the plays. Imagination Stage also has a really great gift shop full of unique items that kids just love.
8. Jammin’ Java
We were regulars back in the day. My kids were Rocknoceros groupies. For a calendar of musicians and performers, visit Jammin’ Java’s “Tot Rock” calendar. The upside? Your kids will be entertained for a couple of hours. The downside? You won’t be able to get some of the songs out of your head. You know how that goes.
My fingers are crossed that there aren’t too many more days off of school this winter, but if there are hopefully this list will come in handy.