Winter is here! But when the novelty of playing in the snow wears off, and you're all out of Pinterest pins for indoor activities...so is cabin fever.
Have no fear, we've compiled a few of our favorite ways to keep your kiddos busy when it's just too cold or too rainy to be outside - but you have to get out of the house.
The winter session of Tiny Tykes, sponsored by the Asheville Parks & Recreation Department, will be back underway from January 25th - February 24th. On Wednesday and Friday mornings at the Stephens-Lee Center, children 0-5 (with an adult) can enjoy free-play and arts & crafts from 10am-11am, then move up to the gymnasium for all the large motor skills fun. Bounce houses, bikes, climbing gyms, you name it. It's two hours of indoor fun, all for $1/day! There's no need to register in advance, arrive on time, or stay until it ends. Come as you are, play with friends, and meet other parents.
Asheville Public Library Storytime
The Asheville Public Library offers a series of free programs for children of all ages at most of the local branches. Storytimes take place several days a week at various branches, typically beginning at 10:30 or 11 am. We love Mother Goose Time for babies and toddlers and Bounce n' Books for 2-4-year-olds (but really, they are all great!. Check out the current calendar to plan your trip.
Bowling at Sky Lanes
If you have slightly older kiddos, a game or two of bowling can be a blast! Sky Lanes on Patton in West Asheville has everything your little one needs to be able to keep up with the big kids. They'll provide you with ramps to help younger bowlers roll strikes with more independence, and the lanes have programmable bumpers that pop up when it's your child's turn. On Monday-Friday, enjoy discounted rates of $2/game and $2 shoe rental.
Hands On! in Hendersonville
For just $5/person (ages 1 and up), you'll enjoy seemingly endless opportunities for hands-on learning, play, and exploration...inside! The facility is always rotating exhibits, events, and activities so your kids will love going again and again. (You may want to consider a membership!) Hands On! is typically open from Tuesday-Saturday from 10a-5p, but is closed for some holidays and special events so check ahead before you plan your trip.
If you haven't been to the play area in the Asheville Mall, you may be surprised by the toy box-inspired play area. It received a major makeover in November 2015, with a soft surface for tiny feet and giant models of some popular Fisher Price toys perfect for climbing. (The play area is located in the food court.) And if you're looking for something a little more low-key, pop over to the Barnes & Noble inside the mall. The children's section is a wonderful place to spend some time. There's space for quiet play, reading, train tables, and the store hosts it's own free storytimes. Check the calendar for upcoming events.