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Rainy Day Activities

Winter is coming, and you know what that means. Restless, cooped up kids are going to drive you crazy. Everyone needs to get out of the house – kids and adults alike. But it’s cold and rainy out. What is there to do? Well, here are some ideas of things to do on a rainy day.

Ice Skating. Don’t hide from winter, embrace it! Get out the mittens, scarves and jackets and go ice skating. Kids will get the wiggles out and you’ll get some exercise. And when you get home you’ll enjoy how warm your house is! You might be surprised to learn that there are quite a few Orange County Ice Skating Rinks – both indoors and outdoors.

The Mall. When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. You don’t actually have to buy anything. Local indoor malls have carousels, play equipment and more. Young ones will love wandering through the Disney Store. Older kids might go shopping for clothes. After all, now that the weather is getting cooler, they might need more long pants or a new jacket.

Make Tents. Let the kids turn your house, or at least a part of it, into a tent city. Get out extra sheets, blankets and towels. The kids can drape them over chairs and tables to make a cool indoor tent. Flashlights and books are a must!

Brave the Outdoors. I know you’re trying to avoid the wet weather, but every now and again you should just take it head on. Take the little ones on an Umbrella Walk or a Puddle Promenade. Pick up some rain boots at the local thrift store or Target. Older children can build a small fort with several umbrellas. And my kids cannot recommend Snail Races highly enough. Kids collect snails and release them into the water flowing down the gutter.

Theme Park. At least once this winter, you should hit up a theme park in the rain. The lines are non-existent and laughter is guaranteed. Just pack dry clothes (and slippers!) in the car for the ride home. Pack a thermos of hot chocolate as a special treat to help thaw everyone out when you get back to the car.

Bowling. Kids love bowling, and everyone from little to big can play together. If you’re willing to spend a little money at the snack bar, kids would love getting french fries or nachos to bring back to eat right at your lane. Here’s a list of Orange County Bowling Alleys.

Cook. Yes, I know that cooking sounds like a chore to you, but the kids will love it. They can bake cookies or a cake. You can have them choose something to make for dinner. In fact, they can make up a grocery list and you can take them to the store to do their shopping for dinner. You might even get your regular shopping done while you’re there. Are there any achievements in their scout books about shopping or cooking? What about preparing for those evenings when everyone is going different directions at dinnertime? Have the kids make burritos or little pizzas and freeze them for those get-it-yourself dinner nights. If you want to get a group of kids together, but you don’t want to offer up your kitchen, there are cooking schools for kids that will host a group activity.

Go to the Gym. No, not 24 Hour Fitness. Sorry. Most kids’ gymnasiums offer open gym time or group parties, even if you’re not signed up for a regular class. Kids can tumble on the (indoor) equipment, learn somersaults, even jump on trampolines. Check out places that offer gymnastics for kids in Orange County.

Go to a Museum. There are tons of museums just for kids. Discovery Science Center is always popular. Or how about the new Pretend City in Irvine? There are museums to discover wildlife, dress-up, history or art.

Crafts Project. Make a gingerbread house, finger paintings or macaroni necklaces. You can keep it simple and just bring out the art supplies you have and let the kids exercise their imaginations. Or you can make a whole day of it by going to the craft store and picking out a big project that everyone can do together. A more expensive but less messy (for you) option is to take them to a ceramics place where they can decorate their masterpiece and bring it home.

Go to a Pet Store. Check out Omar’s Birds, Prehistoric Pets or just the local pet store near you. There’s even a pet store in Orange called Wagon Train Feed & Tack that specializes in farm animals – baby farm animals.

Indoor Bounce House. There are many places that have a variety of bounce houses set up indoors. They mostly cater to birthday parties, but some of them offer an open playtime too.

With all the fun things for kids to do, you and your kids will be looking forward to the next rainy day!