We get it, parents. When there’s not much fluffy white stuff outside for snowman building or sledding, the winter blahs can be all-too-real for kiddos of all ages. But, even in the middle of a Pure Michigan winter, West Michigan has plenty of ways to warm up and keep your little ones active all season long. Here’s how (and where!):
Nothing says “Let them be little” (… and burn off that giant sugar cookie… and take an extra-long afternoon nap) quite like a visit to Gymco. Because, at this Grand Rapids favorite, an hour of Open Gym means an hour of safe, supervised and ultra-active play for your little ones. For just $5 (members) or $10 (non-members), kids walking and older will enjoy an hour of uninterrupted fun (while parents and infants play free!) If Gymco becomes a new family favorite, you may want to consider snagging the Unlimited Open Gym Pass, getting you and yours access to Open Gym all year long! And don’t forget about Gymco’s Mini Movers open toddler playtime, every Tuesday from 9am – 10am (think Open Gym for the littlest littles, from crawling to 4 years).
What would a winter day indoors be without a visit to West Michigan’s largest indoor child entertainment center? Jester’s Court is the perfect winter escape for kids under 12 (think soft, ouch-free indoor jungle gym and breathe a sigh of relief, parents!). Obstacle courses, inflatable slides, and games round out the Jester’s experience (and there’s even a Toddler Court for little ones under 3!) Best of all, this for-all-ages fun zone is the perfect place to book a winter birthday party!
We love SkyZone‘s motto on age limits… “If you can walk, you can jump!” And jump you will, with kids of any age (have no fear parents: jump zones are separated by age group for safety). And we especially love the $10 Tuesdays offered by this indoor trampoline park, where you’ll choose from 3 great jump options (though the 60-minute jump & ICEE combo sounds like a no-brainer to us!) Other SkyZone activities for older kids include Extreme Volleyball, Ultimate Dodgeball, Skyslam, and the Foam Zone… all not-to-be-missed!
Goldfish Swim School
Is there any better way to chase off the winter blues than splashing around where the water’s always warm and welcoming? Escape the cold while teaching your little fish to swim, family-style, at Goldfish Swim School. Here, you can bring your whole school of fish for open Family Swim, or sign up for Group, Private, Semi-Private or Mini Swim Lessons. (Psst: you can even give your infant an intro to the water with Goldfish’s FREE Bubble Baby Class for ages 3-6 months!)
Leave your kids screaming, “BEST. DAY. EVER!!” with a visit to Craig’s Cruisers. This West Michigan staple has it all, from go karts, mini golf, and arcade games to a pizza and pasta buffet that’ll keep your kids fueled up for a full afternoon of fun.
ArtEngage Creation Station
Disguise S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) learning as winter play for your little ones this season, with a visit to Grand Rapids’ own ArtEngage Creation Station! From a Paint Place (with both guided classes and open painting sessions) to a Cuckoo Construction site with over 65,000 legos and even a Tot Spot featuring fun house mirrors, textured walls, giant blocks, and a mini maze, your kids will be laughing and playing (ahem… secretly learning!) for hours on end.