As the temperatures start to drop, so does my desire to be outside for as much time as it would take to burn off my kids’ excess energy. And because there is way too much energy to contain within our small rowhouse, I have started to find activities that will keep them moving and me sane.
Below are just a few of many that you and your family might enjoy:
Activities that embrace the season
It will be a while before we can enjoy the long, lazy days of summer and endless outside activities again. So, I’ve set out to find options that celebrate the beauty of fall and winter. One of my first stops is always the Baltimore City Rec and Parks Fall Guide. I was excited to see a Saturday afternoon series at Carrie Murray Nature Center in the season’s guide with topics such as: Turkey Time, A Critter Holiday and Frozen Footprints. And, I’ve already marked my calendar for what has now become a family tradition – the holiday open house at the Rawlings Conservatory – where we get great pictures with an awesome Santa in a beautiful setting. Wow! Am I really talking about Christmas plans already?
Activities that I can attend on my own schedule
The YMCA has been a go-to spot for us for several years. Their child watch service is fantastic (especially the one on 33rd street which I credit for helping my children overcome separation anxiety in preparation for school) and we have loved having nearby pools that we can pop into for a quick dip when the mood strikes. I am particularly excited about their announcement that they are starting to offer even more family- friendly services. Now, families can use the child watch rooms which are stocked with toys and play equipment even during non-staffed hours. We can sign out balls and sports equipment and let the kids run off the energy in the gym. We can use their game rooms which have pool tables, foosball, board games, computers and Wiis. Plus, they have a ton of family programming. Movie nights, parent nights out, holiday celebrations and several other options to keep us busy throughout the fall and winter.
Activities that last longer than it took for me to get out the house to attend
After a short hiatus, I am happy to hear that the Saturday morning science programs at Masonville Cove Environment Center will be resuming. I am fond of these programs not only for the quality of the science enrichment that they provide but also for the convenience of it all. There is easy parking, a one room set-up which makes it easier for me to keep an eye on all three kiddos and built-in snack breaks to provide critical meltdown defense. Plus, in addition to all of that, we are able to occupy ourselves for a few hours when we stick around for the afternoon program as well. That adds up to a Saturday of fun in ONE SPOT without the hassle of bundling up in winter gear, buckling up car seats and searching for parking spots multiple times. Fun. Educational. Simple.
I feel fortunate to live in a city that offers fun family events for every season and we plan to get out of the (small, row) house and enjoy it all. I hope you do, too.
Sharicca Boldon is DBFA's Vice President and Board Development Chairperson.