Thursday, January 9, 2020
Weather Day Adventures
While trampoline parks, climbing centers and indoor gyms are nice, there are plenty of low-cost/no-cost ways for families and kids to burn some energy and have fun without breaking the bank.
Here are some of our favorites:
One of the best ways to beat the cooped-up blues is to spend a good hour or two playing in the water at a nice, warm indoor pool. Guaranteed to wear you out in the most pleasant, satisfying way, there’s something exceedingly gratifying about flexing those swimming muscles – whether you’re doing laps, playing tag, or water-walking. Your whole body will thank you.
nearly a dozen warm indoor pools, some of which also include kid-friendly amenities, like slides and zero-entry wading areas. Our favorite indoor Y pool is Stratford Richardson.
But there are other great local options, like the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation aquatics centers, which include Ray’s Splash Planet.
Over the holidays, we hit SouthPark Mall, which is accessible before-hours at the Food Court entrance starting at 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. on Sundays. Carolina Place opens to mall-walkers at 7 a.m. every day and Concord Mills opens at 7:30 a.m. Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. Saturdays, and 10 a.m. Sundays.
Overstreet Mall in Uptown Charlotte. This network of hallways and skywalks is open at all hours most days of the year. Pick an entry point at one of the buildings along the route and you can make your way from MLK Jr. Blvd. to E. 5th St. without going outdoors. Bonus: Shops and restaurants along the route are open weekdays mostly during business hours.
County Recreation Centers
Recreation Centers, which offer everything from basketball courts to computer labs, fitness centers, and arts and crafts rooms. Here’s a map of local Rec Centers. Scattered throughout the county, these make for easily-accessible, safe, fun spaces to move and learn.
Check out the extensive offerings.
Imaginon, the children’s library uptown, where wiggles are welcome and invited.
This large, open space, full of centers of activity, offers both entertainment and room for engaging gross motor skills. Plus, Imaginon is located across the street from First Ward Park, perfect for mixing it up with a dose of fresh air if the weather allows.
library programming at Imaginon and other local public library branches. Some offer things like “Listen and Move Storytime” and library scavenger hunts, great for a more curated active learning experience.
If you don’t live in safe walking distance from an establishment, drive or take the bus or light rail to a spot that gets you close enough, but leaves room for a stroll. A great option for this is to park somewhere along the urban section of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway and walk to the Metropolitan area, where there are a handful of restaurants, Target and Trader Joe’s.
It’s admittedly a little more work to get moving on a weather day, but I always find it to be worth the effort. And, with some great local options, it might just be easier than you think.