Someone wrote:

A while back, maybe a year or two, Joyce posted a very long and wonderful list of places to go, things to explore out in the world with kids. I know someone who could really use this right now and I can't find it in my ever so organized files. Anybody know how to get their hands on it or what it was called so I can search for it?
Joyce responded:
It wasn't me. I have a kid who loves to stay home :-) If you can remember one item on the list I may have saved it and can search for it. [and Joyce already had this on hand because she is a wonderful Finder of Things:]
Deb Lewis's List of Things to do in the Winter

When you have snow, or can get to snow, snowshoeing is wonderful because you don't need any special skills to strap on the shoes and go have fun. Rental isn't expensive and most places offer group rates if you ever get together with others for the day. We went snowshoeing on Christmas day... Wonderful!

Don't be afraid to tell rental places you're looking for the best price. Tell them you're homeschoolers, ask for a discount, You'll be surprised how well it works.

Deb adds this to the list, in 2011: Nerf-gun wars.

Indoor ice rinks are fun, if you have one in a mall nearby.

We go to the indoor climbing wall at a mountaineering shop. The wall is fifteen dollars per hour but we only ever paid the full price once, our first time, and since then we often go for free, because we know the slow times and because Dylan isn't loud or wild and any friends he takes are nice too.

There are indoor archery ranges, look in your yellow pages or call a sporting goods shop.

There are go cart tracks, and while the one near me (54 miles away) is outdoor I've heard of indoor tracks. Make an appointment and go as a group and get a good rate.

Paint Ball!

Bowling, if you like that.

Dinner theater.

Hot springs! Nothing like a skinny dip on a cold and rainy day.

Swimming, in a suit, at the public pool.

Spelunking. And if no one's experienced, a guided tour through a cavern.

A one time visit to a belly dancing class.
Dinner out where said belly dancers entertain.

Hike. Yes it can be wet, but that's half the fun.

Go play basketball at the community gym.

Go to the police station and get a tour.

Go to the fire department and do the same.

We've gone on picnics on the coldest of cold days. There is a big shelter, open at one end with a big fire pit that was built by the snow mobile club up at a campground near us. We've gone there on cold days with thermoses full of hot soup or stir fry, built a fire, had fun.

The Forest Service rents cabins for recreational use. They're often booked during hunting season, but you can get them for just one day, build a fire, live like pioneers for a few hours. Take a deck of cards.

Visit an animal rescue center and play with the puppies. Take them a bag of critter food and stay all day.

Visit a ghost town.

Go to the Zoo. (Our nearest zoo is six hours away.)

Go to a pet store where they'll let your kids hold the parrots and ferrets.

Call your wildlife biologist and find out where the nearest raptor center is. Go look at awesome birds. Or just go talk to the biologist. He can tell you about great places to go watch wildlife. He'll give you free posters.

Free posters from the Forest Service office too!

Go see your county extension agent. They sometimes have cool bug collections.

The vet has gross posters about hoof and mouth disease and tape worms and wood ticks. They're FREE! Your boys will love you!

See how much free stuff you can find in one day!

Make sock puppets and put on a puppet show. We still have old paper bag puppets from years ago. Mr. Glad Sack, Mr. Bad Sack, Mr. Mad Sack...

Pull out the sheets and drape your furniture and make tunnels all over the house. Your cats will love it too.

Visit a fish hatchery.

Go to a music store and play every instrument.

Go to a game store and play every board game you've never seen before.

Video arcade! They're still around, one near me still has a Pac Man game!

Go to tall buildings and ride the express elevators.

Go to an underground parking garage and sing, or if you can't sing howl like hyenas.

Find a pond and feed ducks.

Join a gun club and target shoot.

Craft stores offer kid classes.

Home improvement stores offer building projects for kids.

Fiber arts stores let you try their looms.

Electronics stores let you drive the little radio-controlled cars.

Visit a cabinet maker.

Make candles.
Make soap.
Make ice cream.
Make paper.
Make a braid rug.
Microwave old cd's then make a mobile.

Paper mache!

Have a barbecue. Visit art galleries, museums, national historic sites.

Call around to the museums in your area and find out what programs they offer. Get on their mailing lists and go to the events.

Call the universities and do the same.

Find an astronomy club and go to star parties.

I have found so many interesting things to do around our little town just by talking with people and asking questions. I ask everyone questions about what they like to do, etc. I have met so many people with interesting hobbies who have been happy to share what they know with my son and show him their collections.

The man who runs the local green house lets us help transplant seedlings. He grows worms too, and lets Dylan dig around in the worm beds.

The guy who works at the newspaper speaks Chinese and draws cartoons. He's given Dylan lots of pointers about where to get good paper and story boards, etc.

The old guy at the antique shop was a college professor and is a huge Montana History buff, whenever Dylan has questions, we go browse the antiques.

The lady at the flower shop keeps birds and lets Dylan hold them when we visit.

The mayor builds stock cars. He sometimes drives them to work. When we see one parked on main street we stop in and say hello.

The old guy across the street collects Chalmers tractors and the man at the sandwich shop collects John Deere. They love to show kids their toys!

Cool things are everywhere, summer and winter. David and Dylan went to the tennis court on Sunday and tried to play with snow balls. There's no snow now so what ever we do this weekend will be wet and chilly, but we'll find something.

Deb L



More of the exciting words of Deb Lewis

How bad is Boredom? * Ideas for filling kids' lives with fun and conversation and peace
and generally all kinds of ideas about unschooling

That fire photo is by my friend John Hooker. It was taken at a campout.
I like it and it reminds me of winter, so I snagged it (with permission).