I’m not exaggerating when I tell you my child was sick five times this winter. With each virus lasting about a week, you do the math, because frankly, I’m pretty useless from the neck up after that many days in the house with a sick toddler. Then you add a few snow days on top of that, and forget it.
The hours go by with no adult interaction.
The weeks come and go without the need for showers, pants with zippers, or two sentences strung together.
Brain dead, unmotivated, and physically drained are the best words to describe how I’ve felt lately. It’s called “mom fog” and it’s a thing.
If you’ve never experienced it, you’re probably lying.
Anyway, I digress. When the runny nose stops dripping and we need a change of scenery, or if I don’t have it in me to eat another piece of pretend cake and call it delicious (and really mean it with all my heart and soul), these are the places we go. (And as an added bonus, you don’t have to wear pants with zippers to these places!)
Free stuff to do
This playtime is super impressive. It’s an hour and a half on Thursdays and includes a period of free play where the littles can explore one of many enrichment stations. It ends with a short and sweet circle time full of songs, a story, and a themed activity for the day. While the little plays, I usually chat (AKA vent about my latest mama drama) to one of the many amazing moms I’ve met at this group.
With branches in Charlestown, Dorchester, Allston/Brighton, J.P., and beyond, the BPL has mastered free fun for little ones. Story times include everything from stories to songs to finger plays to crafts. Plus, most branches have puzzles, blocks, and puppets spread out over the room. My kid usually runs around the library pulling books off the shelf, and most people pretend not to notice or care. Thank you, friends.
Since we’re not far from Dedham, we frequent this library as well for its songs, stories, and crafts galore! The Dedham Library also integrates plenty of sensory stuff, which my toddler LOVES! Water, whipped cream, and water beads, oh my! Hey, knock yourself out kiddo — it’s not my rug.
Barnes & Noble stores in towns like Burlington, Saugus, and Framingham (and plenty of other locations) host regular story times, sing-a-longs, and author events.
Small-fee stuff to do
This is where my kid’s immune system seems to have gotten the most “training” so far, so it’s been bittersweet for us. However, this huge open space full of toys, slides, bikes, a toy house, Legos, and more keeps the littles occupied for hours, resulting in phenomenal naps. I live for naps.
Highlights include small climbing structures, slides, play houses, doll houses, ball pit, and plenty of space to sit and eat snacks. This space is clean and colorful with lots of windows.
This is a huge space, with all the amenities — PLUS bouncy houses!
This place is AMAZING! They have Toddler Time about three times a week, and the kids have a blast while getting out all that energy. Despite peeing my pants the whole time, I love it, too, plus I can get a month’s worth of cardio in — so everyone wins!
Tell us about your favorite places to go on a rainy day!