The approaching cold weather strikes fear into my heart.
Don’t get me wrong. I am no chionophobe. I am a fan of the seasons. And when wintry mix and sleet keep me indoors, I have no problem snuggling up with a good book (or the new Sherlock Holmes starring Benedict Cumberbatch). I wish I could say the same for my toddler.
My sweet son is a high energy kind of lad, and he is prone to bouts of cabin fever. Soon after he mastered the pronunciation for “ball” and “car,” he learned “outside!” – said while tugging at the doorknob. All summer and autumn long, we escaped to the park, woods, pool, or beach. In fact, you can read about our hikes through Lynn Woods right here, or a reflection on our afternoon at World’s End here.
I plan on taking full advantage of beautiful snowy days with a flurry of activities: throwing snowballs, building forts and snowmen, and sledding. But what about the windy, wet, and miserable days? God knows there are more than a few here on the North Shore. And this is where the fear comes in. I envision my toddler literally bouncing off beds and walls until he careens out of control and rockets out the window.
So I am coming up with a list of indoor excursions. Some of these places I regularly attend, and others will be new territory. Feel free to suggest a few to add to my list. I can use the help.
The Salem Public Library in Salem, MA
We come for the books, but we stay for the bins of toys.
The Wenham Museum in Wenham, MA
Model trains everywhere! It is an incredible collection. Plus there are lovely antique dolls (with ensembles custom made in France) and dollhouses of all shapes and sizes. There is a great play room in the basement.
The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA
We can spend the better part of an afternoon in the Art and Nature Center, building birds and playing the wrench-a-phone. It is currently closed for renovation, but they have set up a temporary space.
The Museum of Science in Boston, MA
I wasn’t sure if a two year-old would be too young to enjoy the exhibits, but no need to worry there, he had a blast. He was entranced by the things we saw — a bee hive, hatching chicks, a complete triceratops fossil, stuffed owls, and a wonderful thing called an audiokinetic ball sculpture. We did not even make it to the Discovery Center, the room designed for toddlers.
Monkey Joe’s in Danvers, MA
I’ve never been here, but the website promises “bouncing, sliding, and jumping fun.” Perfect.
The Boston Children’s Museum in Boston, MA
This one is definitely on my list to check out. There is sure to be a wealth of hands-on, creative activities.