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I'm Suzy of Simply by Suzy, and I'm so happy you're here at my blog because I can't wait to serve you with lots of good stuff like a peek into all of my favorite photoshoots for clients, freebies and resources on motherhood, how to get more connected with your life, and how to take beautiful pictures of it.
Now that I have a toddler, having to shovel my car out of 3 feet of snow has become the least of my worries. Now, it’s wondering how on earth am I going to entertain my kid without spending a small fortune. We’ve had 2 winters now trying to get crafty so to save you some time and money (and hopefully make winters much more enjoyable for you too) I’ve put together this list below fo some of my favorite activities.
2. Indoor Aquatic Centers/Community Centers. A year and a half ago my husband and I took a trip around the Pacific Northwest in a van. There were no showers in the van and we didn’t stay in hotels so we had to get creative, which is when we figured out about local Aquatic Centers/Community Centers. If you google “Indoor Aquatic Center” you’ll probably find some place like a YMCA or a Community Center with what looks like a mini indoor water park. Look at the calendar or just call the center up and ask them if and when they do “Family Swim Time.” During this time you can pay $3-$7 a person to swim and play for 2-3 hours (these things vary per center). And sometimes these centers even other things for small kids like they might have a bunch of toys to play with in the gymnasium or a free class going on – just ask the people at the front desk what other activities they have going on for kids.
3. The Local Kids Museums. We have one by us called the Glenview Kohl Children’s Museum so if you don’t live in the Chicago land area just start googling what kids’ centers and museums are near by. It’s usually about $5-$15 a person but what you can do is go there once to check it out, and if you like it, you can buy a family pass and ask them to use your admission for that day toward the membership (family memberships at these places are usually about $75-$150). At the Kohl’s Children’s Museum, it was $130 and that gets 2 adults and 2 kids into the museum at one time. So I calculated if our family goes once every other week this winter, that’s 8 times between December-March, so that will cost us about $5 a person each time for my husband, my toddler and I to go (kids under 1 are free). And that’s just 3 months! These passes are for an entire year so beyond the winter, if you go even 10 more times, that’s $2 a person! Such a steal.
4. The local conservatory. Usually in most cities there’s something like a conservatory or indoor Atrium/garden that’s free to go to. For example if you’re in Chicago, there’s the Garfield Park Conservatory and the Lincoln Park Conservatory. It’s like being outside, except you’re inside.. they have so many different rooms with plan exhibits and lots of puddles for the kids to play in and have fun with (when the staff waters the plants it leaves a bunch of puddles, I guarantee your kid will play in them over anything else so make sure they don’t wear anything you care if it gets dirty). They also have a calendar of events on the website for children Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays that are free! And not only is the conservatory so stunning, best of all it’s free.
All right that’s it! Those are my top favorite things to do with your toddler during the winter. Let me know your favorite spots if they’re not on my list, and hopefully I’ll see you out at one of these if you’re in the Chicago land area. Happy holidays! xo
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