2011 04/07

14 Weeks of Summer: Indoor Play

So far this week’s weather forecast is looking nice and sunny! Of course it is….we’ll be spending a good portion of it in the car as we travel.  Oy-vey!

We’ve definitely had our fair share of rainy weather already this Summer, which has resulted in us coming up with some creative Indoor Summer Play!The fun thing about Indoor Summer Play is that you have lots of choices!  Aside from being creative at home, there are quite a few places in the Greater Holland area where you can go to run off some of that “they are going to drive me nuts” kid energy.

Deanna’s Playhousean amazingly large, open play space that has everything a kid would want in their playroom.  Complete with a stage and dress up clothes, race track, art room, and music room.  $5 per person (age 2 and under free).

Deanna's Playhouse

Java GymThis place is on my “must-visit” list of the Summer. It opened earlier this year and I have yet to take the kids {shame, shame}. Again, this is a huge play area that the kids will love AND it has free wi-fi for us parents who like to work on the go.  It’s like a McDonald’s play area on steroids. $7 ages 3+, $3 ages 2 and under, adults are free.

Crazy BounceWhat kid doesn’t love to bounce? A few hours (or even just an hour) on these giant inflatables and your kids will be begging for a nap. They even offer a special time just for toddlers! $7 for one hour ($10 for 2) Ages 2+, $4 for accompanying adult, ages under 2 are free with paid adult

Crazy Bounce

Indoor play areas — Christ Memorial Reformed Church is generous enough to offer up their kids ministry indoor play area during the week at no cost! It’s basically the play equipment you’d see on a playground (minus the swings and bugs) but inside, with a reading area, building area, and some picnic tables for mom thrown in.

Mall Play Areas — Another great free option! Head to the little lighthouse play area at Holland’s Westshore Mall, the fabulous tree house play area at River Town Crossings (Grandville) or play on breakfast foods at Woodland Mall (Grand Rapids).

Woodland Mall play area

Holland Aquatic CenterThis is indoor playpark meets water. Our own little water park on a small scale. Make them swim laps or let them shoot each other with the water cannons! $4 per person, $3 per person for groups of 4 or more.

Paint-a-PotNeed to express that creative energy instead, go paint some pottery! Plus, it doubles as fun gifts for grandma or dad for those holidays that seem to sneak up on us every year! $6 per hour to paint, plus the cost of pottery.

Craig’s CruisersGreat for kids of all ages! And still a great place to go in the rain. The Holland location offers pizza and a ton of games inside (g0 karts, batting cage, boats, and minigolf outside) and the Grand Rapids location offers even more indoor activities with indoor go karts and laser tag, in addition to their outdoor go karts, minigolf, bumper boats, and high ropes.  Also, 2 more locations reside in Muskegon and Silver Lake. Rates vary.

Bowling — Great fun for all ages! Some bowling alleys might even offer discounts for day bowlers! Grab some friends and grab a lane!

The Library — If you can keep your kiddos on the hushed side (not a chance in my house), then head to the library for a little reading time and exploring. Or check out one of their videos for a rainy movie night at home!

Your House — Yes, I said ‘your house’ but no I don’t mean that I’ll be showing up at your house. Unless you want me to. Do you?  Well, regardless, you can do a lot of creative things right in your own house!  Get some old cardboard boxes from a furniture or appliance store and create a cardboard box town, castle, forts, cars, etc.  Those big refrigerator boxes are AWESOME! Save up some of your old cereal boxes and cans and let the kids play “grocery store” (great opportunity to get some math practice in, too, with prices and pretend money).

Cardboard Box house

That should get you started or at least spark some ideas of places to check out in your area.  All else fails, put on the rain coats and rain boots and go make the most of all those puddles!

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