Now that winter is here, pack up the kids and have some fun! Activities for kids

Now that winter is here, pack up the kids and have some fun! Activities for kids

Well, we’ve hit that awkward time of year again. The holidays are over, and winter is here. There will likely be weeks on end of cold, wet days with overcast skies. This leaves many parents wondering how to entertain their children for the next several months. Most of the older kids are in school, so most of these ideas pertain to the 5-years-old and under crowd (although they work for no-school days too.)

Indoor Play Park

The best way to keep the kids occupied (in my opinion) is to get them moving. Once they can get some productive energy out, my kids always seem to be better able to take on the other necessities of the day like lunch and nap-time. Some of my favorite indoor play spaces include:

  • Tigard Indoor Playpark – Tigard
  • Munchkin Playland – NW Portland (an especially pleasant spot for pre- and new walkers)
  • Oceans Play – Hillsboro
  • Outdoors In – Hillsboro
  • Playdate PDX – Pearl District in Portland

Library Story Time

Pretty much every library branch around Washington County offers weekly story times based on your child’s age. Most are about an hour or less and include multiple stories, songs, and age-appropriate activities. After story time, every children’s section has additional toys, and of course, books, to keep your little one engaged and learning. Most libraries have occasional special-events as well, so keep an eye on their calendar.

Hit the Kitchen

I’m going to be honest here. I do NOT know my way around the kitchen. Lucky for me, neither do my kids, so it’s always a learning experience when we try to prepare something together. I would suggest starting simple and working your way up. The point isn’t to be perfect but to have fun and learn a little in the process. You never know. Maybe your kid will really run with the whole cooking thing, and that’s one less chore on your list (at least that’s what I’m hoping for!)

Dance the Day Away

Do you know how hard it is to frown and dance at the same time? It’s not possible. When moods (and weather) turn gloomy, turn up the tunes for an impromptu dance party. There’s nothing like breaking a sweat while introducing your kiddos to some of your favorite hits. And before you ask, yes it definitely counts as a morning workout.

Take a Hike

Some days the weather isn’t that bad. If you can’t stand the indoors anymore, perhaps it’s time to brave the rain for a hike. Use layers and bring a change of clothes for the ride home. It can be incredibly enjoyable (and therapeutic) to jump in mud puddles. You could even head up the mountain for a day trip in the snow (just make sure to have proper driving gear in that case.)

I sure hope these tips help you and your little ones turn a cold wet winter into a fun and exciting one!

Katie Carrick lives in Beaverton with her husband, two young children, and their yappy but loveable dog, Mendel. She’s a former clinical scientist who now works as a freelance writer. For more information visit