Ten Fun Indoor Activities While The Kids Are Home

Written by Hannah M.  |  26. December 2011

Christmas is over.  Relaxation is free to set in now as your family packs up their gifts and Christmas dinner leftovers and makes their way back to their respected homes. Sure, you have an ill-fitting cat sweater Grandma Rosie gave you, and maybe that Chia Pet from Uncle John just doesn’t quite fit in with your décor but you can save your returns for next week when the flurry of post-Christmas sale shoppers has settled. Not to mention the week following Christmas is popularly winter break for most school children and we all know that new toys only keep children entertained for so long. So why not spend some quality down time with the kids and keep them entertained with some enriching winter activities? Here we will provide you with some indoor activities that will be fun for both you and your children that will also keep you warm while the temperature drops.

  1. Baking – Who doesn’t love delicious treats right out of the oven? Maybe, like me, you prefer getting a taste of cookies, cakes and brownies just prior to putting them in the oven when it’s still batter. Either way baking is an excellent hands-on activity for children. It’s never too early to introduce them to the wonders of the kitchen. Try a simple recipe, like chocolate chip or sugar cookies or a boxed cake mix, to get them started.


  1. Ice Skating – Long Island is ripe with ice skating rinks, especially during winter, and lucky for you this isn’t a winter activity that is dependent on the weather. Many rinks are indoors and waiting for you to stop in for a twirl around the ice. The Rinx at Harborfront Park in Port Jefferson is open 7 days-a-week, and has extended its hours for Christmas break as has Newbrdige Arena in Bellmore.


  1. Crafting – Whether you plan to craft at home or in a crafting store it is an ideal way to keep kids occupied while expanding their imaginations and artistic skills. Take a trip to your local Michaels, A.C. Moore, (who each offer craft project ideas on their website) or Joann Fabric and Crafts for crafting supplies. You may also want to visit stores such as Fun Craft in Huntington or Plaster Fun Craft in Commack where kids can pick out pre-made plaster pieces and then paint with the custom colors of their choosing. Knitter’s Therapy in Northport operates as both a store and relaxing atmosphere for knitter’s to learn and practice the craft. Build-A-Bear, where children get to make and accessorize their own stuffed animal is another crafting alternative.


  1. Board Games – Board games are an easy way to have fun with the entire family. The shelves at Toys’R’Us and Target are surely stocked to the brim with fun and educational games but you may want to do your part in supporting local and independent business by stopping in at the following stores:
  • Mother Goose Toys, 80 Main Street, Sayville – (631) 567-0685
  • Boardwalk Games, 98 Main Street, Port Jefferson – (631) 928-4263
  • Lainie’s Way, 109 Main Street, Port Jefferson – (631) 474-5558
  • Einstein’s Attic, 79 Main Street, Northport – (631) 261-7564
  • Young Imagination, 130 Deer Park Avenue, Babylon – (631) 539-6115
  • E-magine Toys & Gifts, 338 Jericho Turnpike, Syosset – (516) 364-8771
  • Funky Monkey, 360 Wheatley Plaza, Greenvale - (516) 484-0966
  • E-magine Toys & Gifts, 44 Atlantic Street, Oceanside – (516) 792-3331


  1. Laser Tag, Mini Golf, Paint Ball and Fun Centers - Visiting an indoor fun and sports centers helps keep kids active and away from too much time spent in front of the television. Laser Tag and Paintball, specifically, are perfect for young kids, teens and adults alike.


  1. Visit Your Local YMCA – YMCA is a not-for-profit, community based organization looking to improve the quality of life for children and families. Many programs are offered through the YMCA such as aquatics and fitness. Visit YMCALI.org to find a location near you and what programs are offered at each different location.


  1. Visit a Long Island Museum – Long Island is chockfull of museums geared towards children and child’s education. Take for instance the aptly named Long Island Children’s Museum, which opens its doors as schools close theirs for vacations and holiday breaks. Be sure to plan a visit to any of the following museums sure to pique the interest of young ones.


  1. Reading – Book stores such as Barnes and Noble and Book Revue have a large section inside their stores devoted to children and children’s literature. These often boldly painted, decorated and themed areas serve as a breeding ground for a child’s creativity and lifelong love of reading. Many bookstores hold “story time” programs for youngsters. Besides Barnes and Noble and Book Revue you may want to visit any of the following stores:
  • Children’s Book Shoppe, 53 South Main Street, Freeport – (516) 771-7323
  • Booklovers Paradise, 2972 Merrick Road, Bellmore – (516) 221-0994
  • 4th World Comics, 33 Route 111, Smithtown – (631) 366-4440
  • Amazing Comics, 12 Gillette Avenue, Sayville – (631) 567-8069
  • Tor Comics, 997 Waverly Avenue, Holtsville – (631) 758-4772
  • BookHampton, 41 East Main Street, East Hampton – (631) 324-4939
  • BookHampton, 93 Main Street, Southampton – (631) 283-0270
  • BookHampton, 20 Main Street, Sag Harbor – (631) 725-8425
  1. See a Movie – A good deal of movies suitable for children have been released this year just in time for winter break. What’s more is that they are largely offered in 3D, providing kids with a unique moving going experience. By using MovieFone.com you can locate theaters in your area and find out what movies are playing this week.


  1. Go to a Play - Long Island’s playhouses offer just as special and lively an experience which, in the end, will more than likely be more memorable than a 3D film. Many playhouses put on classic productions such as The Sound of Music, Hair, and Hairspray. Others offer some truly original shows and plays especially for kids.

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