5 Indoor Activities for Little Kids
Get out of the Cold and Get Exercise
Aside from the shortened daylight hours, I don’t mind winter. It’s a chance to explore the world and see our beautiful state in a different light and covered with snow. And until a few years ago it didn’t matter what the weather was like, we would still get out and explore.
But now we have an active four year old at home. One that loves to go outside and play, but when the temps are low, he only lasts a half an hour at most. This means we are stuck inside, and cabin fever creeps in pretty quickly. So we look for ways to get some exercise, have some fun, stimulate our minds, and not freeze toes off. Here are some great indoor activities in Billings that you can do with your little ones.
Billings Public Library
Nearly 3 years ago our new public library opened its doors to the public. Since then it has gotten even better, and provides a whole host of services to the community. A small percentage of your tax dollars are keeping the doors open, are you making the most of them?
There’s a café where you can snag a coffee, a children’s play area with brain stimulating toys and books, a story tower where kids can read or be read to, a teen section, a research section, quiet study rooms that you can reserve, and more. Head over to the library’s website and select events to see what is coming up. They even have it broken down by age group so you can select what is right for you and your kids.
YMCA Tumble Gym
A couple years ago I did a little write-up about the Thomas Kids Gym at our YMCA. Every Friday we would look forward to tumbling for at least an hour to get our morning energy out, and my son loved it. It was the highlight of the week.
There are balls to throw, a zipline to ride, blocks to stack, and mats to roll on. Every now and then it gets a little crowded, especially on the days where the weather is a little worse, but it’s never so crowded that the kids don’t have fun. At the time it was just $4 for non-members to get in, and the kids could tumble for an hour or two; probably the cheapest indoor physical activity that you will find nearby. The YMCA online schedule says that the Tumble Gym is open from 11-1 on Thursdays, and 10:15 to Noon on Fridays. You might want to call to verify before heading down there; some days they are closed for various reason.
Wise Wonders Children’s Museum
In spring 2015 Billings saw the opening of a much needed service. Wise Wonders Children’s Museum has since grown and expanded providing a bunch of great learning activities for children of all ages. From artistic, to scientific, to mathematic stations, even as an adult you’ll be intrigued watching your little one’s mind expand.
The children’s museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday 10AM to 5PM. It’s just $5 to get in, but that’s for everyone; adults pay too. A yearly pass will run you $60, so if you have 2 kids it’s only 4 trips to make it worthwhile. You can even have your child’s birthday party at the museum, it’s a great place to let them play and learn when the weather outside is less than ideal. Take a look at their website to see all of the great ways that your kid can have fun while indoors.
Get Air Trampoline Park
In the middle of 2016 we saw an incredible center open for kids and adults. Get Air Trampoline Park is an 18,000 square foot recreation center that is nearly entirely covered with trampolines. There are specialty foam pits where you can practice your flips (with a delayed screen so you can watch yourself after you land), a dodgeball section, a children’s only section, and a ninja warrior course to hone your upper body as well.
Get Air is open 7 days per week and open until midnight on weekends. Take a look at their website for full details on the hours. The best time to go with a child, however, is Tuesday morning. If your kid is under 46 inches tall, 10AM to Noon is Toddler Time. Only little ones, and their adults, can jump. Plus it’s two-for Tuesday. Buy one hour and get one free, so your jump time is $13 for 2 hours, their jump time is $8 for two hours.
The Reef Indoor Water Park
Most kids love swimming. But Billings doesn’t have a very long swimming season; just a couple of months in the hot days of summer. Fortunately, there are a few places around town that you can swim indoors all year round. The YMCA has a pool, various hotels have pools, and there are at least a couple of houses. But what if you want more? Fortunately, The Reef can provide that added bit of stimulation.
Open from 4PM to 9PM on Thursdays and Fridays, 10AM to 9PM on Saturdays and from 10AM to 7PM on Sundays, the hours are ideal for working parents and kids in school. The reef has a kids section, a wave pool, and 2 slides where you have to be over 48 inches tall. There’s a lily pond and hot tubs where you can go to warm up a bit. It will run you $14.95 if you’re over 48 inches tall, and $12.95 if you’re under; but that cost is discounted to $10.95 for everyone after 4pm (and it’s just $5 for parents to soak in the hot tub only while the kids get their crazies out).
Enjoy Billings… Inside
5 places where your child can learn, grow, exercise, and play without worrying about the snow, rain, or scorching hot sunshine. The next time you hear, “I’m bored!” keep these places in mind so that you have a backup plan where you can escape the boredom, and maintain your sanity.