Winter Survival :: Indoor Activities in Boston and Beyond

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Life with children gets tricky in the winter. If your kids are anything like mine, they need to get lots of energy out on a daily basis. We don’t do well sitting at home all day. When it’s below freezing, and you can’t send your kids outside to play in the yard all day, how do you survive the long winter months? I have some great indoor activities to share with you!

Indoor Play Spaces

Jump On In (Woburn)

This large indoor inflatable and jumping facility hosts birthday parties but also has open gym times. I don’t recommend it for toddlers, because many of the slides and climbing structures are large. There are plenty of options here to wear your kids out!

VinKari Safari (Woburn)

An indoor playground, this play space is suitable for kids ages 6 and younger. There are cars, slides, toys, climbing structures, small jumpy houses, and a snack room.

Launch Trampoline Park (Methuen, Norwood, Watertown)

This spot is just as fun for mom as it is for the kids! The Watertown location offers “toddler time” each morning for parents and kids ages 5 and under — two hours of trampoline jumping is a perfect pre-nap activity!

Gymja Warrior (Danvers and Woburn)

If your kids are as into Junior Ninja Warriors as mine are, this is the place for them. I have yet to bring my kids here, but I plan to soon. The gym has a wide variety of strength-building obstacle courses. They run classes but also have some open gym times for kids ages 3 and up.

Chikki Plaza (Woburn)

This bilingual, imaginative play center offers playhouses, dress up, toys, and a snack room. This spot is best for children ages 1 to 5 and was a favorite of mine when my kids were toddlers. I especially loved that it was one room so I could sit down and see them the whole time.

Imagine Playspace (Cambridge)

This space is huge, with two floors of interactive play opportunities. The “play town” area is so fun for imaginative exploration, and the “active play” areas — with a bounce house, ball pit, swings, slides, climbing, and ride on toys — never get old.

Museums

Discovery Museum (Acton)

This museum is such a cool place. It’s a STEM-rich environment full of hands-on, interactive exhibits. They have an indoor area and an outdoor discovery woods (with a treehouse!) that’s open year round.

Peabody Essex Museum (Salem)

This beautiful museum has a variety of art collections that change often. Although it’s not a “children’s” museum, they do have an interactive area for children, and they conduct art workshops. They are under renovation, so make sure to check the website before you go.

Boston Children’s Museum (Boston)

This museum never gets old. My kids loved visiting it when they were babies, and they still love it at 6 and 8 years old. Every exhibit is interactive, and there’s something to please each personality. My son especially enjoys the construction zone, my daughter loves the theater, and they both like the climbing structure that spans the first floor to the third.

Museum of Science (Cambridge)

This museum is our personal favorite. We have a membership, which I highly recommend, because you could visit this museum every month and not get bored. The exhibits change so often, and everything is interactive. There’s also the planetarium, Omni Theater, and food court. You could easily spend all day at this museum.

Art Spaces

Plaster Fun Time (Braintree, Chelmsford, Dedham, Framingham, Haverhill, North Reading, Salem, Saugus, Waltham)

At this drop-in art center there is a wide variety of items to paint, and kids can take their creations home that day.

Mucky Kids (Cambridge)

A few days a week Mucky Kids offers drop-in hours, with six stations of really creative and thoughtfully prepared art projects. The variety of art supplies offered here is always so impressive! And what could make mom happier than seeing her kids creating lovely pieces of art — without making a mess of the house in the process?!

Look What I Made (North Reading)

A pottery painting space with many options, this place is not just for kids; they have options for adults as well. You could paint a mug or plate while your children paint their choice. They hold birthday parties, moms nights, and there are many walk-in times as well. They fire the pottery in a kiln, so you need to come back in a week to pick up your item.

Kidcasso (Andover, Newton, Wakefield)

This is an excellent option for your little artist. They have classes for children ages 6 months up to 18 years old, such as painting, drawing, and sculpting. They occasionally have drop-in times, so check their website.

Tin Bucket (Reading)

This adorable store not only sells beautiful, creative goods, but the owner also hosts a variety of art classes for adults and kids. Classes include sewing, painting, and crafting. The classes change often, so check out the calendar on the website.

Other Options

Butterfly Place (Westford)

Jordan’s (Reading)

Local libraries

Bowling

Indoor ice rinks

Open swim at your local YMCA or Boys & Girls Club