While winter break and the promise of two full weeks off from school is exciting for kids of all ages, parents may not be as excited. While the family time and extra hours with kiddos are always rewarding, a few days cooped up inside is enough to shorten tempers and get arguments started. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to stave off the frustration. Here are 10 fun things you can do with the kiddos during winter break this year!
1. Visit the Central Park Plaza Ice Rink
Thanks to Valpo Parks there’s an ice rink right in Valparaiso! With low admission, low rental prices, and skate aids for the younger crowd, it’s easy for the whole family to get out and have some fun. Plus, the active nature of skating is bound to use up some of that extra energy the kids are known for having!
2. Try your Hand at Making Slime
Crafts may not be a talent that everyone possesses, but with a few instructions online, it’s easy to find something anyone can handle. Slime has been a popular activity lately, and with magnetic, glitter, color changing, and foam varieties that can all be made in your kitchen, it’s a fun, and only slightly messy, activity that will keep kids entertained for hours.
3. Visit an Indoor Arcade or Playground
Being too cold to go outside doesn’t mean fun can’t be had! Luckily, the Region has places like Zao Island, Funflatables, or Fireflies Fun Zone full of arcade games and indoor playgrounds for the kids to expend a little energy on.
4. Go Sledding
The Region boasts many places full of great sledding hills. Lemon Lake, Oak Ridge Prairie, the Lake County Fairgrounds, and Rogers-Lakewood Park all have wonderful hills perfect for sledding and snowboarding, as long as the season cooperates, of course!
5. View Shelf Ice along the Lakefront
The Lake offers us the opportunity to see some beautiful formations in the form of shelf ice. Freezing temps create the majestic formations along the shore of Lake Michigan and create a spectacular opportunity to not only view some natural beauty but learn a little about nature as well!
6. Watch a Movie at the Goodrich Portage 16 IMAX
With Thrifty Ticket Tuesdays and Flashback Cinema each week, there’s bound to be something to please everyone. Whether you’re into the newest kids movies (Ferdinand, anyone?), or want something a little more serious, there are plenty of options over at the Goodrich Portage 16 IMAX. There are plenty of candy, drinks, and even hot food now too, making it a one-stop shop for lunch and a movie!
7. Bake Something Delicious
Whether you’re an excellent cook or not, baking and decorating cookies is sure to create lasting memories with the kids. Gingerbread, sugar cookies, or regular chocolate chip cookies not only keep the kiddos entertained for a few hours but also gets dessert ready for the next few days!
8. Have a Game Tournament
Regardless of your preference for board games, video games, or card games, there’s plenty that can be taught to kids of any age to help engage them and keep them entertained. If you’re having trouble deciding which game to play, play them all and crown a grand winner at the end of the day!
9. Sample Some Local Restaurants
Every city and town in Northwest Indiana has amazing local restaurants. From Fiddlehead Restaurant in Michigan City to Blackbird Café in Valparaiso, there are plenty of delicious places to sample in the Region. Don’t be afraid to venture out and try something new!
10. Find a Place to Volunteer
The Region has plenty of places in need of volunteers to help them run. Take the break as an opportunity to introduce the kids to a little philanthropy! With senior care facilities, nonprofits, and local organizations in need of a little help, winter breaks from school are a perfect time to lend a helping hand.
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