I’m not a huge fan of winter, especially those days that are so cold that your face burns as soon as you step outside. My kids have inherited my dislike for cold weather, and their desire to play outside for prolonged periods deflates shortly after they are hit with the reality of the cold Canadian winter.
As much as I love sending my kids outside to build epic snow forts or go skating outside at City Hall, there are some days where it is simply too cold to play outside.
The Government of Canada has a helpful wind chill index chart that provides excellent information on when it is, and isn’t safe to be outside for prolonged periods.
Our family has been trying to stay active and get out of the house despite some bone-chilling days. This week I compiled a list of local places that have fun indoor places to play, especially for those of us that are home with younger kids during the day.
Free local activities:
Guelph Public Library: All public library locations in Guelph have a variety of fun children’s programs and activities, plus a huge selection of books to take home for some fun and cozy reading time. Check out the Kid’s Program Calendar for fun weekly and special events and variou locations across the city.
Did you know you can check-out board games at the library? Our family loves getting a weekly game at the downtown location each week.
Guelph Early Years Centre: An open play space for families to enjoy, play, and learn together. The Early Years Centre offers a downtown location at the Community Health Centre and a second location on the second floor of Stone Road Mall. Entrance is free.
Jelly Tots at Lakeside Church: Every Thursday morning from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Lakeside Church hosts a program for babies and preschool aged children called Jelly Tots. Parents, grandparents and caregivers from the community are welcome to join for storytime, songs, craft, and a snack.
Parkview Kids Treehouse: Parkview Church opens its doors to the community every Tuesday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. to play in their fun indoor “treehouse” climber. Entrance to the playground is free. The treehouse is also open to play in every other Thursday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
PB and J: A free parent-child drop-in program organized by Two Rivers Guelph Neighbourhood Group, the program runs every Thursday from 9: 30 to 11 a.m. and meets at Tytler Public School. More information can be found here.
Paid local activities:
Guelph Civic Museum: The Civic Museum is a hot spot for adults and children to learn and play. The Museum offers a fun children’s area on the second floor, with a variety of hands-on activities for big and little kids to explore. The first Thursday of every month the Museum offers a Tiny Tot Thursday program. In February the event is called Fairytales and Fantasy.
Royal Distributing Athletic Performance Centre (on Marden Road): The RDAPC is a year-round multi-use facility that includes indoor sports fields and walking track. There are many different programs available at the Athletic Centre, but a popular program for parents of young children is Tot N’ Play. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon the sports field is open with a variety of toys for the kids to play with on the field. Kids over one are $4 per visit, and the program is drop-in.
Tiny Town: Guelph’s Tiny Town offers a mini-town for young children to play, get creative, and use their imaginations. Admission is $10 per child, and Tiny Town offers a loyalty card for recurring customers.
Bulldog Fitness Guelph: In the East End of Guelph Bulldog Fitness offers plenty of activities for children. The facility offers a Mommy and Me program every Tuesday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for a fee of $3 per child.
Funmazing Playcentre: A fun indoor playcentre located in Guelph, Funmazing offers a large play space for children ages 0 to 10. Check their website for admission rates as they vary depending on the child’s age and the time that you visit.
The Children’s Art Factory: A drop-in style art studio full of different spaces for children to get creative and use their imaginations; the space is best for young artists ages 0 to 10-years-old. Admission is $12 per child.
There’s plenty of other indoor and outdoor places in Guelph that children that enjoy and explore during these cold winter months, but these are a few of my favourites for my own kids!
Where do you love to go on the coldest winter days to keep busy and active?