... Unless you have a very curious, active, energetic, adventurous, ready to go toddler. Then you notice winter and how cold it can be and how you can't be outside. And you notice, that as happy as YOU, the Mama, could be, snuggled under a cozy blanket and sipping your hot drink of choice and reading your books... your toddler is NOT happy being cooped up inside. Said toddler grows bored, and whiney and then no one is happy.
To combat our winter blues, we tried to stay active. Here are 10 ideas for things to do with your toddler in Northern VA during the COLD (or warmer!) winter days.
Typically free, especially in DC (Smithsonians!), we've spent a LOT of our winter exploring various museums. It's a great place for a toddler to run around and explore indoors! We've checked out the Marine Corps Museum, National History Museum, and Air and Space Museum all in the last few weeks. We also paid a visit to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, but that was a LONG drive and an expensive entry fee, so not as frequent as our DC trips.
Ruby is quite fond of all art: coloring, painting, stickers, and even clay or play dough. This can kill anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour for us.
3) MAMA TIME
I try to find special things for us to do together that she wouldn't typically do with her father. Ideas included manicures (she also paints mine... I strongly encourage water soluble nail polish!), baking (cupcakes, cookies, brownies), and fashion shows (different outfits and shoes and then we photographed it!)
4) PAPA TIME
Ruby spends time with her Papa, squishing in mud (but really, Mama often joins in this fun) and working on projects. She's a good helper and father-daughter time is important.
5) INDOOR TRAMPOLINE PARK.
Totally worth the drive (Flight Trampoline in Springfield) and the $10. Parents jump for free.
6) TAKE A CLASS
Whether it is a swim class, music class, tumble time, or art class (which we just started!) it is a good way to force yourselves out of the house when it is cold and rainy.
7) VISIT FAMILY
Let's be real: we spent 5 seconds over the holiday rush with families, and now we actually have some calmer time in the year (before summer adventures start) so why not have some time with family? Especially those we may have missed over the holidays!
8) INDOOR PLAY PLACES
Like Beehive(Woodbridge), Busy Bees (Falls Church) the Childrens Museum (Fredericksburg) and many others... it's a great way to get out. Usually an admission price, but look for coupons online (Groupon, etc).
9) DAY DATES
We like to go on family dates, and usually plan them for breakfast or brunch. We trek to Fredericksburg or up north to DC suburbs and go on weekends with family if we can. Sometimes we go for icecream dates too!
10) GO OUTSIDE!
We've been fortunate this winter to have occasional warm spells, and when it hits 45 or warmer (with some sun) we head outside ASAP. We usually meet friends and hike or go to a playground!
And of course, Mama tries hard to keep Ruby busy, so we can fit in a cozy nap each day. Happy Winter!