Bad weather can hit when you’re least expecting it — and that means school closings. Here’s an arsenal of ideas to keep the kids (and yourself!) entertained.
If it’s warm enough to go outside:
1. Sledding - Bundle up the kids and break a sweat walking up and down, and up and down again, on these top sledding hills in Dayton.
2. Winter hikes - There’s over 75 miles of hiking trails across the Five Rivers MetroParks alone. Check out our list of 10 places for winter hikes.
3. Nature activities - The MetroParks features a host of winter activities online at www.metroparks.org/winter, including ice fishing, nature photography, birding or even looking for animal tracks and building a snow fort, said Kristen Wicker, marketing manager for the parks system.
4. Skiing, snowboarding and tubing - Just a hop, skip and hour’s drive away, Perfect North Slopes in Lawrenceburg, Ind. is a great place for beginners. The slopes open daily at 9:30 a.m. and introductory ski and snowboard lessons are included with admission. Cost is $35 for kids 12 and under; $47 for adults; and a $25 rental fee for everyone.
5. Ice Skating - Lace up and test your muscle endurance and balancing skills. Here’s a list of places for public skating.
If it’s too cold and you have to stay indoors:
6. Scene75 - This indoor entertainment center offers over 12 attractions for children and adults alike. Let your child mess up someone else’s place AND tire them out at the same time. Everything from sand volleyball, go-karting, laser tag, glow-in-the-dark mini golf, an arcade, bounce houses and a chaos room with four types of video game consoles and 15-foot definition screens. Here’s just 5 things to love about Scene75. Prices range from $3 to $10 for activities. Scene 75 is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but opens at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (in addition to weekend hours).
7. Hit the library - Totally free programs at locations of the Dayton Metro Library offer something for everyone - and you don’t even need a library card! There’s a program schedule — by groups children, tweens and teens — with activities from now through April on their website. You can zero in to find something for every child you have. For children: storytime, karaoke, Angry Birds, and lego club. For tweens: trading card games, video games, book club, arts and crafts. For teens: comics, video games, karaoke, lego robotics, movies, teen iron chef contest, anime and arts and crafts.
8. Break a sweat - Ten locations of the YMCA of Greater Dayton have a variety of programs including art classes for kids, ballet classes and swimming. A family membership is $53 a month or $20 a month for children 17 and under.
9. Get geeked on science - Boonshoft Discovery Museum offers 94,000 square feet of interactive science fun with a children’s museum, Discovery Zoo, space theater, and sections just for astronomy, anthropology and biology. Admission is free for members; $13 for adults; $10 for kids 3-16; and free for kids under 3. More info at www.boonshoftmuseum.org.
10. Arts and crafts - Stock up on supplies now to pull out on a weekday or weekend. Check Pinterest for seasonal inspirations or visit local craft stores for ideas. In Beavercreek, Busy Beaver Arts & Crafts is offering drop-in fusing classes for $19 for school-aged kids and parents to create unique, 6-inch plates decorated with pieces of glass. Kathy Woodruff, part owner at Busy Beaver, said after the glass is fused it becomes a trinket dish. The business also has art supplies for sale — everything from craft kits, beads, paint, felt and macrame. “We have a little bit of everything,” she said.