My plan is to have a list of possible activities around town that we can plug into at any given moment. Here are my go to activities for 2016:
1. My girls are Disney crazy. They love all the characters from Disney Junior, all the princesses, and even the classic characters. So I was really excited to learn that the Disney Store has fun free events every Wednesday. Some times there are movies or Sing-A-Longs. Afterwards, we can play at the Busch Garden themed, International Mall play area. This isn't a new place for us, but the kids always love it. We have learned that in the evenings there are less people and less chaos at the mall play areas.
2. For years we would go to the library story times, but those became very crowded and less about reading and more about corralling kids. Barnes and Noble has great story times too! Many of these events are Friday and Saturdays but there are weekday story times too. We sometimes have a cookie at the cafe as a treat. B&N also has reading programs for older kids.
3. Bowling for free! A friend of mine mentioned this national program so I had to look into it. You can take your children to bowl two games every day. As I look into it and filled out the information there is a one time cost of $29.95. It is a good deal especially if you have multiple kids and live in an area where you never know if it's going to rain. I also figured out if I go with my kids at least twice, the one time cost would at least allow us to break even.
4. Bayside Gymnastics Academy has open gym time once a week for a low cost. The girls love to jump and tumble and run. This space is great. It can also get a little wild for young kids, so I avoided it when my kids were under 2. However, we have a great fondness for this warehouse and it is designed to contain kids in a huge safe padded space.
5. My kids love art. We have attended several events sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Pete such as the Painting in the Park in April, and the Breakfast with Santa in December. These events have become staples to our family fun time. MFA is really welcoming to kids. There is a chunk of the museum that is just for kids. They also have activities to do with the kids for the traditional exhibit areas. They also have a cafe at the museum but there is ice cream across the street. The museum is next to Straub Park which has open spaces and great banyan trees kids love to play in, climb up and swing through every time they see them.
We have a few more things we will do....
- Make and decorate cupcakes
- Make pizzas
- Splash parks
- Pool time
- Build a fort (Indoor and Outdoor)
- Create an art museum and invite grandparents to the opening
- Game night (Candyland, Uno, Chutes and Ladders, Mermaids)
- Have an banana split
- See Finding Dory
- Go to a Rays Game
- Go to a Rowdies Game
- De Leon Springs and Old Spanish Mill Pancakes
- Visit the Atlantic Ocean
- Roller Derby
It will be impossible to do it all and still have stay at home veg out and play days (those are just as important to me), but I like having a list of ideas that I can look at when I am feeling less creative. Cheers to summer!