9 Things to do with your kids this Winter in Southeastern CT and RI | CT & RI Family and Newborn

Now that Christmas is over, who’s ready for Spring??? A week into this single digit weather and I am done with Winter already. We burned through half a tank of oil in less than a month. And we primarily use our pellet stove for heating our house. WTH?!

In an effort to stave off that enormous temptation to just crawl under some heavy fur blankets in a ball on the floor in front of said pellet stove, I’ve done a little research and exploring to come up with a list of things to do out of the house with the kids. I wanted to share them with you here, in case you’re like me and would rather not become a hermit for the next month. Or two. Or three *sob*.

First, a picture of my sweet little pumpkin, because obviously snow and winter and cold (oh, cry!) doesn’t scare her!

Young girl plays in the snow in Winter in Preston, CT

Now on to the main event, in no particular order.

1.) First on my list is The Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut. This is a staple outing for anyone with children under the age of 10 and living in the south eastern part of the State. It’s basically an indoor playground, with about 10 different areas and activities for the kids to participate in. My husband, Brian, and I took our kids there this past week to get out of the house. We were there for a couple hours, and even still, when it came time to leave they put up a fight. Their hours are Tuesdays – Saturdays: 9:30 – 4:30, Sundays: Noon – 4:30 and Closed Mondays. It’s $8/person to get in ($5 for my military peeps) for anyone 1 yr and up.

2.) Kids Fun Fair & Traveling Zoo at the Providence RI Convention Center. It’s an indoor petting zoo and mini fair ground! You can look up more details on their website, linked above, or check out their Facebook event page here. The event is scheduled for January 14th, from 10am to 6pm. On their Facebook page it says tickets are available for purchase the day of the event at the box office, $16/adult and free for children under 12 with coupon.

3.) Something similar, on a slightly larger scale is the 14th Annual Connecticut Kids Fair. It’s basically an indoor carnival and petting zoo for kids of all ages. From what I hear, it’s a pretty big deal. I’m talking pony rides, bungee jumping, RC Slot car racing, gymnastics, martial arts and dance demonstrations, kids magic and fashion shows, as well as educational displays. This is held February 3rd from 10am to 5pm and February 4th from 10am to 4pm at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.

4.) Number four on my list is the Mystic Museum of Art. This one is for a little later in the season, so it may not ease the winter ache immediately, but it’s something to look forward to, a light at the end of the tunnel! They’re hosting a “Family Night” on March 15 from 6pm-8pm. There will be games, face-painting, art making, and the “Young at Art” exhibit of artists aged 18 and younger. Admission is free. Find more details here on their Facebook event page.

5.) Okay, this one is pretty freakin awesome, but that’s just my humble opinion. It pulls on my heart strings a bit, because the event is sponsored by Alicia’s Angels, a not for profit organization raising awareness for preemies and fundraising for more home-like hospital rooms in NICUs. For anyone who knows our family, you’ll know our youngest child, Jacob, was born 12 weeks early (at 28 weeks and 3 days gestation) due to a placental abruption. He was in the NICU at Woman and Infant’s Hospital for 71 days. He’s now a healthy one year old (11 months corrected), but we’ll never forget those long, terrifying days in the hospital, waiting, praying, and hoping for him to be strong enough to go home with us. Anyway, the event is called “The Cooper Family’s Famous Ice Skate for Babies VII”, located at the Connecticut College’s Dayton Arena on January 27th, from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. Find more details on the Facebook event page here. If I can convince my husband to “risk his life” ice skating, I may just drag him and the older kids out to this one.

Here’s a photo of our own preemie, for good measure.

One year old boy posing for camera, born premature at 28 weeks

6.) Roller-Skating! This one may be kinda obvious, but for those of you looking for a place in particular, here are some options! If you’re local to the Groton area, the Galaxy Roller Rink is right downtown, though it’s a slightly older venue, and has limited hours for the public. Another option is The Skate Inn in neighboring Plainfield, about 30 minutes north.

7.) Another more obvious option for any locals, but for those of you who are new to the area, or maybe just visiting and looking for something fun to do, the Mystic Aquarium is a great choice! General admission is about $34/adult, $25/children, and free for children under 3. They also usually offer 10% off ticket prices when purchased online (again for those of you who are military, they offer a 10% discount at the door). Although some of the exhibits are outdoors, there are several interesting indoor exhibits as well! For those of you reading this prior to the new year, there’s a pretty neat Winterfest event scheduled for January 1st from 11am to 3pm. Find details here.

8.) Connecticut River Museum Holiday Train Show in Essex. This is an ongoing winter event from November 21 to February 19th 2018. Visitors can participate in a scavenger hunt designed around artist Steve Cryan’s train model exhibit. This is a great choice for any and all train enthusiasts, from toddlers to grown-ups alike!

9.) Rock Climbing – This is one of those things catered more towards slightly older kids (I don’t think you’d want to bring your toddlers rock climbing…), but a great option for kids about 4 and up! Try out the Glastonbury location if you’re in Connecticut, or the Warwick Gym for you awesome Rhode Islanders, both beautiful indoor gyms that offer certifications and lessons at very affordable prices, including special military rates.

10.) And last, but not least, my personal favorite option for something to do in these winter months…snowboarding (or skiing for those of you more traditional folk ;))!!! Mohawk Mountain and Wachusett Mountain are two great options for “local” resorts, both with beginner or bunny hills, rental options, and lodges where you can escape the cold and enjoy a drink and/or some eats by the fire.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of possibilities to keep us from rotting indoors all winter, but it’s a place to start! If you know of any other options, or have any favorite places you love to take your own family during the winter, comment and share below!

Julia blowing snowflakes at camera

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