Although the winter might seem to be coming to an end on this lovely 54 ℉ and partly sunny day in Boston, being outdoors for extended periods of time might not be ideal just yet, especially with small children. Playgrounds might still not be up to active conditions yet in recovering from the winter snow and piles of fallen leaves still on the ground so an indoor activity might be the best option for families for this long President’s Day weekend.
Looking through some recommendations and areas in and around the Boston area, the Playground Project: INDIGO realized that many activities require a entrance fee and do not have inclusive equipment for children of all abilities. Tara Jordan highlights nine indoor play spaces in Boston on the Mommy Nearest website which include spaces with features like interactive puzzles on the floor with Beam technology, dinosaur climbing structures, ball pits and indoor trampolines. The nine spaces vary in the amount of play area and age range focus, making sure that families can pick the most suitable option for their own children. Some other indoor play spaces in Boston are highlighted in the Mommy Poppins blog with free weekly or daily activities for kids, although these options might be less spacious than other indoor play areas.
Taking advantage of museum exhibits, like the Museum of Science, which always offers space for kids to play, and the Museum of Fine Arts, featuring an interesting M.C. Escher exhibit this February and March, might also satisfy a weekend family outing. Although these cultural experiences are great options, they do require purchasing a ticket which can be pricey. The Playground Project: INDIGO hopes that inclusive play be accessible to all regardless of economic ability as well, leading us to look at other alternatives for indoor play that wouldn’t break the budget.
Indoor activities for play that are convenient for days to stay inside the house (snow days, for example) call for creativity and provide a great opportunity to help a child develop through play. Many ideas have been published through blogs and we came across one set that even separates activities by categories of learning outcomes, like science or art, AND they are mostly made with household items! Although we think many cities need to improve winter play facilities to be accessible throughout the year, families can be inspired to create their own private space and encourage inclusive play, or check out local play spaces in museums or indoor gyms.
- Wiener, Robert. “Inclusive Lifetown gets grant for ‘park’ : Adapted playground part of full-immersion center for special-needs kids,” NJ Jewish News. http://njjewishnews.com/article/26699/inclusive-lifetown-gets-grant-for-park?source=njjnrelated#.WnsJWainGM8
- Jordan, Tara. “9 Favorite Indoor Play Spaces in Greater Boston,” Mommy Nearest. (https://www.mommynearest.com/edition/boston/article/9-favorite-indoor-play-spaces-in-greater-boston)
- Heyworth, Kelley. “12 Free Places to Play Indoors around Boston,” Mommy Poppins. (https://mommypoppins.com/boston-kids/free-activities/12-free-places-to-play-indoors-around-boston)
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. http://www.mfa.org/
- Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. https://www.icaboston.org/
- Museum of Science, Boston. https://www.mos.org/
- “Indoor Activities for Kids,” What Do We Do All Day. https://www.whatdowedoallday.com/indoor-activities-for-kids/