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December 2011
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Keeping Kids Busy in the Cold
More active fun for chilly December weekends.

Summer is long gone and winter is full swing, and while school provides a diversion during the week, it can be tough to keep a bunch of cooped-up kids happy on cold and blustery weekends. It might be cold or wet outside, but that doesn’t mean the action has to stop. Here are a few ideas for things to do to get your kids moving outside of the house in the depths of winter.
Go to a museum. Art, history, science or military, there’s bound to be a museum of some sort within an hour of home. Don’t make it just an extension of school, though; sure, the kids are going to learn something, but let them choose the pace and the spots of special interest. The wonderful thing about museums is that there’s so much to see, and even maintaining the proper sense of decorum won’t prevent your youngsters from burning off abundant mental energy.
Bowling, anyone? Everyone enjoys a good round of tenpins, but we often forget how much fun the local alley can provide. Older kids can get a bit of athletic competition, younger kids can have a good time learning the game, moms and dads can relax and enjoy time as a family—it’s a win-win-win. With most establishments offering a variety of snacks and a few other entertaining activities in case your crew gets bored with the main event, a bowling-based outing can provide a full afternoon of out-of-the-house amusement.
Work on your figure-eights. Whether you prefer blades or wheels, skating can provide hours of active recreation for people of all ages and talent levels. Glide in nice, easy laps to the rhythm of the music or try some more fancy footwork in the center of the action; skating provides a great way to burn off a ton of energy and keep everybody moving. Both the controlled cold of an ice skating rink and the ambient warmth of a crowd of roller skaters provide nice alternatives to winter’s inclemency, so head on down and lace up.
Check out some community classes. This one requires a bit of planning, but with just a few taps of the keyboard you can find a local list of extra-curricular classes on a wide range of topics that will keep your family occupied for a few hours every weekend. From swimming to drawing to crafting, most community centers and a number of other organizations offer a variety of courses aimed at personal enrichment and development—perfect for kids in their first round of self-discovery, as well as adults looking to reconnect.
Winter is here, but that doesn’t mean the weekends have to become endurance marathons in window-gazing and video gaming. All it takes to dust off those dreary-weather doldrums and put some bounce back in your step are a few good ideas to get you going.


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