So all of a sudden it’s winter again! What the heck, man? It’s cold today!
I almost put away all of my family’s winter coats for the season. Luckily I’m a lazy mom and haven’t gotten around to it yet…
Since it’s freezing today, I thought I’d post about my top five places to take my little monsters…er…sweet angel children when it’s cold outside. Because sitting around our house all day drives this mama insane.
Good old Hippo Hop. It’s been one of my go-to places for years. It’s an indoor play area with lots of toys and bounce houses. What makes it great though is the fact that (1) it’s clean (2) the food is pretty tasty (3) the staff are super friendly and (4) most importantly – there’s FREE coffee until 11am.
Free coffee? I’m SOLD! I also like how I can pretty much see the entire play area when I’m standing up. Nothing like losing a child out in public to make you feel like a terrible mom, am I right? So I like that I can see where my kids are most of the time. And now that my kids are getting older, I’m almost to the point where I can let them run around on their own. I’ve always dreamed of the day when I could sit and read a book and sip on coffee while my kids Hippo-Hopped! Prices start at $5, but we’ve got the pre-paid Hippo Hop card that gets us 25% off each visit. A great way to save some money! P. S. Everyone has to wear socks at Hippo Hop. So make sure you bring some – even for the grownups!
We just purchased a yearly pass to Fernbank over the summer and it’s been a wonderful place for us to head to when it’s too cold or too hot. And they just added an amazing outdoor play area with trails and two playgrounds – so it’s a great place to visit year round. The museum is packed with exhibits that the kids love. On our most recent trip, we spent a good chunk of time exploring the Wild Weather exhibit. The kids had a blast learning about tornadoes, hurricanes, and winter storms.
Our favorite part of Fernbank has to be the NatureQuest area. Located on the top level of the museum, this interactive play area has TONS to keep the kids occupied. There’s a clubhouse to climb, hands-on-activities, and animal displays. Maddie is obsessed with the baby alligators and always has to stop and say “hi” to them. Fernbank also offers so many special events and programs throughout the year. I’m so glad we decided to splurge on our yearly pass! Individual prices start at $16.
We live in DeKalb County and our local libraries have some great weekly story-time events. Our closest library almost feels like a second home to me after taking my kids at least once a week for the past 4 years. The best part about story time? It’s FREE! We love the songs with movements and the interactive stories. And Graham and Maddie’s favorite part? The bubbles!! Our librarian breaks out the bubble machine at the end of story time. And you guys – the kids go crazy over those bubbles. It’s too cute watching the amazement and the excitement.
We haven’t been to Legoland in a while, but my Master Builder son LOVES legos and I’ve been dying to take him back. He was amazed during the Lego Factory tour – he’s all about learning how things work. And we each got a special commemorative lego brick after the tour to take home. Any time Graham sees that brick he always starts talking about our trip to Legoland. After the tour, you can hop on one of the two rides or check out the 4D theater. We spent most of our time just running around and playing with all of the legos at the different stations. And both kids loved the Duplo village. I’ve got to take the kids back soon! Prices start at $12.50 online.
So Bass Pro isn’t actually in Atlanta, but it’s a quick drive up 85, especially during the day before the evening rush hour starts. My kids could watch the fish swimming in the aquarium for hours and they love having their picture taken with the fake shark hanging from the ceiling. We climb onto the boats and pretend we’re pirates out at sea (and mama pretends we’re rich enough to afford a boat and daydreams about drinks with umbrellas and the lake or ocean breeze flowing through her hair). We also check out the toys and always stop to watch if someone’s rock climbing or shooting in the arcade. Bass Pro is free to explore. Well, unless you decide to buy a boat. Then it’s the most expensive activity on my list. Ha!
And a bonus idea for you – any fast food restaurant with an indoor play area. We’ve spent so many hours at our local Chick-fil-A that they know us by name and always give us an extra chicken nugget. We’re totally VIPs there.
So tell me – in your town, where are your go-to indoor places for toddler fun?