Occupying the kids during the summer is cheap. You grab some snacks and head to your favorite spray deck or park to spend the afternoon. During the winter months, that becomes a bit more expensive as you head inside to places that are usually riddled with admission charges, snacks and drinks when you get there and additional fees inside. To get you through the winter, I’ve created a list of ideas for entertaining those little kids on the days when it’s too cold to go outside.
Michaels Weekend Kids Club
Cost: free to $2
The weekend art classes at Michaels are a fun way to get in some art during the winter months, without having to clean up the mess at-home. The classes are drop in, and kids can come and create an art project for a half hour, between 10-12 on Saturday mornings. The classes range from things like photo frames and craft foam to seasonal projects perfect for the holidays. You can’t leave the store, but you can browse while the kids are crafting, or help. Costs range for the classes, from free, to a minimal charge of $2/class.
Home Depot Kids Workshops
On one Saturday a month, there are kids workshops at the Home Depot. You can register ahead of time and visit the store to build that month’s theme projects. Older kids can do it alone, but we’ve been bringing Olivia since she turned three and now she’s beginning to tackle the projects on her own. You can sign up online, or in-store if it’s close to the date of the workshop.
Preschool Open Gym at Champion Gymnastics
Not free, but an easy way to get the kids to run off some energy while they’re trying their hand at something new. You can meet up with friends, practice moves from toddler gymnastics or get down and jump yourself, at the cost of $5/kid. Drop in times are Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. Closer to another gym? Contact them, as there are often preschool drop in times for cheap! It’s a great way to mix it up.
Williams Sonoma Junior Chef Classes
Are you looking for something for your older child? For kids aged 9+, there are fun cooking lessons at Williams Sonoma through their Junior Chef program. It looks like a fun activity, and some of the food is things that I want to learn about too, like fresh pasta, and the perfect waffles. Contact your local store to sign up. Hint: They’ve also got some cool adult classes.
Kids Play at Kingsway Mall
Every month there’s a fun activity at Kingsway Mall where kids and parents can come together on a weekday morning to take part in a fun playdate – and every month has a different theme.
Lego Mini Build Night
Cost: free (first 250 people)
On the first Tuesday of the month, if you’re one of the first 250 people at the Lego store in Southgate, you can get the chance to get that month’s Lego kit, a small kit that’s free for kids to build there, or take-home. You have to get there early and get a ticket, I believe the line up starts around 4:30, but it’s an easy and free way to build the Lego collection and do something out of the ordinary.
Play Days at West Edmonton Mall
September 23 is the next play day being held at West Edmonton Mall. It’s presented by Momstown and West Edmonton Mall and features a bunch of fun activities. In the past there’s been cool things like Superhero Yoga – and you can find the next class on Septembee 23. Stay up to date by checking out the events page on the West Edmonton Mall Website.
Drop In Classes at Ivivva Stores
Check out your local Ivivva store on Sunday mornings. Before the store opens, there’s a fun drop in dance class that teaches, dance, yoga and other movement to children aged 5+ that are interested in taking part. The hour long class is free, and parents can either stay in-store with the kid, or wander around the outside, grabbing a cup of coffee and chatting while they’re waiting for the class to finish. Contact your local store for details, as there are some Sundays where the kids are required to pre-register.
Storytime at the Royal Alberta Museum
Cost: free (adults $11)
Kids admission under six is free to the museum, making it a budget friendly adventure if you’re looking for something to do with the kids, solo. There is fun programming, like the daily story time and other encounters through the day that you can find on their website, so it’s a great indoor kids activity in Edmonton. Every five storytimes you go to, kids get a free milk and cookie in the cafe.
Chapters Indigo Storytime
Check with your local store to see if they participate in story time. At the storytime, the kids are going to experience a new story, and there’s usually a small craft when the story is finished (Saturday afternoons in Sherwood Park). As a bonus for coming, kids will receive a stamp card and after five stamps, they get a $5 gift certificate to spend in-store.