New York City may seem to have an endless supply of exciting fair-weather activities to keep kids entertained during a visit to NYC, from trips to the American Museum of Natural History to long outings in Central Park. However, when the winter rolls around, the mere idea of leaving your hotel room, and braving the streets filled with ice and snow to visit Times Square, is a less-than-appealing proposition. That said, even on those days you’re more likely to catch a cold than a cab on an NYC sidewalk, there are plenty of easy ways to keep your kids entertained indoors, whether you’re visiting family at a luxury condo, brownstone, or modest walk-up home.
When you’re stumped for family-friendly fun on a snow day, try these entertaining activities on for size:
Make a pillow fort
When the snow is coming down hard outside and you’d rather not spend the day braving the winter’s chill, stay cozy warm in the privacy of your own home by creating a refuge from the cold. Create a structure using your furniture and cushions and drape some sheets and blankets over the top to make a fun fort your kids will love to play in. Line the bottom with sleeping bags or pillows for added comfort and watch a movie while sipping some hot cocoa while the storm rages on outside.
Make homemade ice cream
You might not want to eat a frozen treat outside on a snowy day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it from the comfort of your well-heated home. Instead of waiting until summer to enjoy your favorite ice cream, make your own at home with an ice cream maker and host a sundae party for your kids. Don’t have an ice cream maker at your disposal? Blend some bananas together and freeze for a healthy treat that only tastes decadent.
Put on a puppet show
Get your kids’ creative juices flowing by putting on a show together. Using paper bags (or felt, if you have it handy), a glue gun, some pipe cleaners, glitter, googly eyes, and stickers, create a batch of puppets. When your characters are ready, write a script together and act it out for your adoring fans (or your spouse or doorman—any audience will do!).
Create a scavenger hunt
While your kids may not be excited to go searching for those lost socks and missing toys, they’ll love to channel their explorer instincts with a scavenger hunt. Hide small toys or treats around your home and create a list of clues as to where they are. Your kids will have the time of their lives trying to figure out your riddles and find their treasure.
Try your hand at interior design
Who says that a day spent inside has to mean you’re unproductive? If you’ve been waiting for a chance to spruce up your home, there’s no better time than a snow day to do it. Get on some old clothes, lay down some drop cloths, and tackle a painting project, or just put some stick-up stars on the ceiling, no matter how you redecorate, your kids are sure to love getting to feel like a grown-up helper.
Just because the weather outside is frightful doesn’t mean your snow days have to leave you feeling cooped up and cabin feverish. All it takes is a few fun activities planned to turn those once-boring days stuck at home into a fun chance to enjoy some quality time for the whole family.