Boring, boring, boring… that’s what Sarnia is in the winter. There’s nothing to do. I hear it all the time. Sure it’s boring if you don’t make any effort to find the fun! I get in a rut sometimes, too, so here is a little list I have come up with of budget friendly family fun ideas:
- Stones and Bones Museum – There are real dinosaur bones and a fluorescent minerals light show! What kid wouldn’t like that? (Note: Will reopen Feb. 4/15)
- *Drop In Programs – There are actually a ton of drop in programs around the city! Visit the OEYC Best Start Learning Pages, St. Clair Child and Youth Drop In Calendar or visit the Activities Calendar page here to view hours and locations! The main drop at the College is even open Saturday mornings from 9am-12pm.
- *Go play outside. Seriously. Even if it’s just for a half hour… get on your winter gear and pull your kids around in their sleds. Fun for the kids, good exercise for you! It’s a win-win. Make snow angels, snowmen, build a snow fort, fill up squirt bottles with water and food colouring and “paint” the snow (my 3 year old LOVES doing this).
- *Children’s Animal Farm – Not quite as fun in the winter but it’s still open 8am-4pm and there are still a few animals to visit.
- Go swimming. Sarnia’s Jerry McCaw Family Centre YMCA and Petrolia Community Centre both have open family swim times both on the weekdays and weekends! Go make a splash!
- Go to the movies! I know the Cineplex can get pricey but it makes for super fun memories for the kids and is a nice way to spend an afternoon indoors. Every Saturday morning at 11am, there is the Cineplex Family Classics (is listed as “A Family Favourites Presentation” on showtimes list) that is only $2.99 admission!
- Bowling. What kid does not love to throw balls? Marcin Bowl has $3.50/game rates Monday – Friday from 9am-6pm with $2 show rentals for kids. Not too bad! Hiway Bowl has $4/game rates Tuesday – Friday from 9am-5pm. They also have a Family Rock N’ Bowl Sundays from 12-5pm for $5.25/game. See their websites for their other hours and rates.
- *Visit the Judith and Normal Alix Art Gallery. This is a great way to teach kids about the arts and encourage their creativity! Every Sunday afternoon from 1-3pm, the gallery offers a free family art drop in where you can get hands on and make a special art project to take home.
- *Wander around the Lambton Mall. You don’t have to buy anything (just steer clear of Toys R US ;)).. My kids love going and just running around in there. It’s a great way for them to blow off some steam on the days it’s too cold to be outside.
- *Go skating! There is a FREE public skate Monday – Thursday for kids 5 years and under from 9-10:30am at Clearwater Arena. There are also public and family skating times on the weekends for just $2. See the Public Skating schedule here.
- *Take your kids to the Sarnia Children’s LIBRARY! That big building downtown that is full of things you can browse and even borrow if you want! Cds, DVDs, video games, magazines, books. Real books. Made of paper. It’s all free! The children’s library also has toys and a train table to entertain your kids while you look at their books.
- *About once a month, Lowes and Home Depot offer free building workshops for kids (usually ages 4+ but is noted per project on the websites)! Visit their websites for info and registration. They make some pretty cool stuff! (Thanks, Thea!)
If you have any other ideas, I would love to know them! Leave a comment below!
* Denotes FREE activities