10 (Cheap) Ideas – Winter Fun for Little Ones!

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October 27, 2013 by Alicia

Well we’re back in Cleveland and it is now starting to be my least favorite time of year– winter. Bleh. On the bright side, I’m a SAHM now and don’t have obligations to get out of the house everyday in the wretched weather. Score! However, I don’t want my children to be hermits for 6 months out of the year so I have done LOTS of research and have found some fun things to do with little ones while it’s so-freaking-cold outside. 

A few things to understand about my list – I have mostly highlighted what would be fun for toddlers and preschoolers. There are lots of other options out there if you have school-age children. Also, I really wanted cheap/free options so for my top 8, I aimed to get the price around $5 per person, or less. The last 2 are more expensive.


(Listed by increasing price)


1. Cleveland Children’s Museum – Free on the second Tuesday of every month, 5:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m. 


Highlights:
      –Free parking
      -Exhibits designed specifically for infants and toddlers
      -Exhibits where kids can do kid-version of grown up things (grocery shopping, pump gas, banking, driving, etc)
       -Water exhibit

2. Cuyahoga County Library Storytime– Free, at all locations. Meets various days and times.
Highlights:
      –Baby & Me – birth thru 18 months
      -Toddler Time – 19 thru 35 months
      -Preschool Time – 3 thru 5 years old 

3. Lake Erie Nature & Science Center– Bay Village – Free/Cheap

Highlights:
      –Indoor Wildlife Exhibits: Free everyday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
      -Planetarium Programs: 
              *Twinkle Tots: $2 per person, Ages 0-3, 11 a.m. Weds & Thurs / 12 p.m. Sa & Su.
              *Stellar Stars: $3 per person, Ages 3-7, 11:30 a.m. Weds & Thurs / 12:30 p.m. Sa & Su

4. Cleveland Metroparks RainForest (@ the zoo)- Discounted Mondays for Cuyahoga County/Hinckley Twp Residents

Highlights:
      –Adults, 12 & over -$5.25
      -Kids 2-11, $3.25
      -Kids under 2- Free
      -Free parking

5. The Jump Yard North Royalton – Half price Wednesdays from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. (prices below ARE half price)
Highlights:
      –6 months & under – Free (always)
      -6 months up to 30″ tall – $2.50
      -Children 30”-35” – $6
      -Children 36” and over – $7
      -Parents- Free! (always)
      -Junior JumpYard area for toddler/preschoolers only

6. Rockin Robin’s Amazone Family Entertainment Center – Medina – $4-$8/per child
Highlights:
      –Toddler playground, 2 & under- $4/each
      -Larger playground, 3 & up- $8/each
      -Parents free!
      -$1 off coupon available on their website

7. Romp n’ Stomp – Medina – Toddler Time on Fridays 9:30-11:30 a.m., Free-$10/per child


Highlights:
      –Jumper Child 30″ Tall thru 6 years old – $10
      -Tiny Tot Crawler up to 29″ Tall- $5 or FREE with a $10 admission child
      -Parents- Free!
      -Agenda:
                *9:30-10:50 a.m. Inflatable playtime
                *10:50-11 a.m. Gross Motor Skill Activity
                *11-11:30 a.m. Circle Time
      -Circle Time consists of:
                *A story to fit the theme of the week
                *Engaging group songs
                *Letter/Number of the week
                *Shape/color recognition activities

8. Great Lakes Science Center – Workshops for 18 mo – 5 years old: $10 per adult/child pair
Highlights:
      –Workshops are approximately 45 minutes long
      -Additional child is $5/each
      -Hands on activities are often messy (dress children accordingly)
      -Must register ahead of time
      -On weekdays and Saturdays
      -Workshops include admission to Great Lakes Science Center and Polymer Funhouse (usually $14/adult, $12/2-12 year olds).
      -Pay for parking if you park in their garage

9. Greater Cleveland Aquarium – Fall Special, $14.95/Adults, $11.95/Kids 2-12, Free/Kids under 2
 
Highlights:
      –Pay for parking if you park in their garage
      -Usual prices are $19.95/Adults, $13.95/Kids 2-12
      -“Touch” exhibits where you can touch the animals
 
10. I-X Indoor Amusement Park – $21.99/48″ Tall, $18.99/Under 48″ Tall, Free/Kids 3 & under
 
Highlights:
      -March 21-April 20, 2014
      -Have discounts on their website ranging from $2 off to half price admission
      -Parking: $8
      -Prices listed above include:
                 *Amusement rides
                 *Live Performances – info on their site
                 *Petting Zoo
                 *Kidzville – lots of pint-sized rides! (Great for little ones)
                 *NEW! Soaring Eagle Zipline* 
                 *Vendors to shop from
                 *Other attractions available at extra charge
 
So there ya go! Those are my top 10 winter ideas for toddlers/preschoolers! Let me know if you have any other ideas that are free/cheap/indoor/for little people!

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