Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away

I know today is only the first day of rain in a while. We have been very lucky with weather lately, and even had several winter beach visits. I should count my blessings, because typicaly I don't have to think about weather-appropriate activities here in Los Angeles. The most I ever really need for Miss Pinball is a sweatshirt and sunscreen. The few times a year we have rain, it makes the top story of the news. I make tea, cuddle up and pretend we can't go outside. We don't get snow days here so when else can I get an excuse to stay cozy? I could never live in Seattle.

Staying inside only works for one day with a toddler though. Everyday when she takes a nap, she asks, "What we doing after my nap?", even when she goes to sleep at night. She wants a plan, so I usually can find an easy solution. Today, I needed to be a bit more creative. I could bake with her, but that is only fun for her for twenty minutes or less. She is a little young for a craft project. We could have a freeze dance party, which she loves, but after a week of illness we both have cabin fever now.

The forecast says rain for the next few days, so I have decided I need to be prepared. I am making a little list of rainy day activities so I can reference it when I need. Feel free to add to the list, as I am always looking for more.

The Boone Gallery at LACMA has a kids art room and it's open from noon to five, everyday except Wedsday. While you are there sign up for the NEXGEN pass for your child. They will have free admission to the museum until they turn eighteen, and can bring you as a guest for free. Sweet!

I'm pretty sure that most Los Angeles museums are free one Thursday a month. I know that the Skirball is on that list. We recently went to the natural history museum downtown and that was really cool. Kidspace in Pasadena, and the Zimmer are also fun, but can be a bit pricey if you go a few times. They both offer memberships though.

Indoor playspaces are fun, but I have to ask myself if it is worth the possibility of my child catching a cold. Usually, my answer is no. My answer is always no if it is Under the Sea, but I make exceptions for the Playroom in Sherman Oaks, because it is cleaned right there as kids are playing. I also like The Coop in Studio City. There is a crazy neon dance floor and kids can "swim" in the ball pit it's so big. The woman who works there is always so nice and friendly.

The free option to playing inside is a few malls have soft floored play areas with some little, colorful play structures. I have been to Westside Pavilion and Fashion Square, too. They just get a little crowded sometimes though. When the mall doesn't sound exciting to you, which is mostly the case for me, I go to Ikea. She loves the area with all the toys out. She can play with the kitchen set, and slide for a long time and then we top the outing off with a one dollar cone of frozen yogurt.

A favorite of ours for any kind of day has been the Beverly Hills Library. It's free, of course, but it also has the best kids area ever. It has awesome wooden toys, great toddler size tables set up a play kitchen with all the fixens, and a little puppet theater too. I have spent so much time at this library since Pinball was a baby. They offer free classes for kids for all ages. They call it storytime but it is really so much more. They sing, do felt poster boards, wear cute little name necklaces, and not only do they read stories, they also show a short movie of classic children's stories to end every class. We love it.

An easy activity is a playdate with friends. It's always more fun to hang inside when you do it with friends. It's also cool to have new toys to check out when you are at someone else's house, and on the flip side it's always interesting to see how your kid will share their own toys when friends come to you. Either way, it's a good time.

Lastly, is puddle hopping. No further information needed on that one. Duh!

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