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Ivana Katz of Kids Universe sent a great article.

Children rarely sit still, so going to the park or the beach is ideal to keep them active and burn off extra energy. But what do you do when it’s rainy or cold outside? Here are some ideas to save your sanity when you need to keep your kids occupied.

The first idea that usually springs to mind on a rainy day is to take the kids to the movies. You get out of the house and change of scenery is sometimes enough, but if they are too little or you know they won’t sit still there are many other alternatives.

Go Bowling

Bowling allies are usually in every suburb, so Google some near your home. As these venues can get busy on the weekends and during school holidays it’s a good idea to book a lane or two ahead. Make it more fun by inviting some friends or their kids.

Go Swimming

An activity you probably wouldn’t consider on a rainy day, but there are plenty of indoor swimming pools, so pack your swimsuits and towels and head to the nearest pool. Your kids will be entertained for hours and sleep well at night.

Visit a Museum

Sydney has a lot of great museums including National Martitime Museum, Rocks Discovery Museum, Powerhouse Museum, Australian Museum, Hyde Park Barracks, Cockatoo Island, Madame Tussauds. Other great museums in NSW include the Australian War Memorial and National Dinosaur Museum in Canberra, Lady Denman Maritime Museum in Jervis Bay, Australian Fossil & Mineral Museum and National Motor Racing Museum in Bathurst.

Go Ice Skating

If there is an ice skating rink near your home, then this is lots of fun. You don’t need to book and can usually just turn up, but check out the rink’s website first to ensure it is open to public at the time you are wanting to go. You can hire ice skates there and they often have special frames you or your kids can hold onto if you haven’t ice skated before.

Head To the Airport

Children, especially boys love to watch planes, so why not head to your closest airport and watch as the planes take off and land. You will be nice and warm and there are usually cafes and kiosks so lunches and snacks are also taken care of.

Indoor Play Centre

Another great place to go when it’s cold or wet, especially if you have young children. But what about if you have older kids? Then how about finding an indoor rock climbing venue nearby.

Putt Putt Golf

If the weather is cold, but not rainy, then a fun thing to do is to play some Putt Putt golf. This is great fun for not only young kids, but older ones as well.

Visit an Aquarium

Most aquariums are indoors, so ideal during rainy days. Sydney has two excellent ones – Sydney Aquarium, located in Darling Harbour and Manly Sea Life sanctuary.

Play Tourist

Most cities have popular tourist attractions, so why not Google some fun activities in your area that you wouldn’t otherwise consider. Look at your city from a tourist perspective and go exploring.

Visit a Library

Many libraries have special kids programs, so check out your local library website to see what they offer. Admittedly, the kids won’t be able to run around, but you will be out of the house and the children entertained.

Go Shopping

If you need to get your grocery shopping done, then write up a list of all the things you need to buy and split the list amongst your kids. Then sell it to them as a treasure hunt! Your shopping will be done and there won’t be any tantrums, especially if you promise them a little treat at the end.

But if you simply can’t get out of the house, then here are some fun ideas to do at home.

Make an indoor club house out of tables, chairs, and blankets.

Let the children build a maze out of boxes and furniture

Cook up a storm – find child friendly recipes and let your kids loose in the kitchen (with some supervision, of course)

Have a disco – get dressed up, turn up the music and decorate a room, then get your dancing shoes on and dance the day away.

Set up a treasure hunt – Hide some treats and special items around the house and give your kids a list of all the hidden items to find.

There is plenty you can do on a rainy or cold day … all it takes is a little planning and preparation. Rainy weather activities for kids don’t need to involve sitting in front of the TV or computer … your children can be active and have lots of fun no matter what the weather is doing.

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