It can be hard, on these cold wintry mornings, to keep two restless, bored kids from causing each other bodily harm. Often, the best thing to do is just get them out of the house to burn off some energy and distract them from each other. Since I hate shopping, and my girls have no interest in food, things like eating out or heading to the mall just don’t do it for us. There aren’t many options when it isn’t nice enough weather for a park outing, but one great alternative near us is a place called Studio Grow: http://www.studiogrow.com.
It’s an indoor play space, geared toward the toddler thru five-year-old set, with just about every activity you can imagine. I just spent three hours there with the girls, and the only reason we left after three hours was because they were closing for the day. The girls could’ve gone on playing there forever. During those three hours, the girls danced, painted, made play-doh art, put on a puppet show, listened to story time, climbed on a jungle gym, rode these little cars down a coaster-like slide, played with dinosaurs, trains, blocks, and farm animals, read books, dressed up, played with dolls and prepared pretend food in their favorite “kitchen room,” experimented with gears, stamped, colored, glued, and a bunch of other activities that I was too busy socializing with the other moms to notice. Really, there’s no other place quite like it around here, where kids can be kids, busily and safely, and the messy arts and crafts aren’t in my house or on my carpet, where they can make new friends and so can I, and where I leave with two reluctant but very tired kids who actually nap (well, one napped anyway).
If you haven’t been, and you live in the Bay Area, it’s worth checking out. They have one in Berkeley and one in Concord, and both are owned by the nicest brothers-in-law you’ll ever meet. Your kids will thank you for it.