Sometimes, you and the kids need to get out, but the weather is too hot, too cold, or too rainy. Fortunately, there are plenty of indoor play options in the RVA:
Bass Pro Shops – Don’t knock it ‘til you try it, moms. I don’t know what it is about massive fish tanks, but they fascinate little ones. Friends and I took our kids there on more than one occasion last year, plopped them in carts, and parked them in front of the big fish tank towards the back of the store. This bought us at least 15 minutes of stillness, and any mom knows that feels like an eternity. The store and staff are actually quite child-friendly, so once they got a bit antsy, we let the kids explore the lay of the land. It’s free and entertaining. What can beat that?!
Cartwheels and Coffee – Bless the individual who came up with the concept of combining a kids’ play area and coffee. Not only is this place a gem because it caffeinates the caregivers, but it has an awesome (gated!) play area where kids can climb and jump and play to their heart’s content. Is your little one not yet big enough for a playground? No problem! I lived for the little play area for babies in the front of the shop. I’d meet friends, and we’d let our babies roll around while we drank lattes. To top it all off, Coffee and Cartwheels also has weekly events every Monday-Friday at 10 am that are free with their insanely reasonably priced admission.
Library Story Time – Not to brag, but I’ve been to story times all over the Richmond area. Living the dream, I know. In all seriousness, I love story times because they’re free, can be close to home, and engage my son with stories, songs, and little dances. Heading to your local library story time is also a great way to meet other moms, too! A quick Google search will easily locate the public library (and story time schedule) closest to your home.
Barnes & Noble – Similar to libraries, we love the ease of parking and the kid-friendly environment. PLUS, you can score some Starbucks, so it’s a total win-win for everyone! Check out your neighborhood B&N’s story time hours or special events. And if you miss those times, just plan on watching your kids roam around the adorable children’s section as they pick up familiar characters or explore new titles.
The Children’s Museum – With several locations in the Richmond area, the Children’s Museums are an outstanding option for those days when your kid just needs to run around for a few hours inside. With a plethora of interactive stations and activities, it’s impossible for your little ones to not love every second.
Malls – I’ll admit that it took me a little bit of time to get over the germ factor of play areas at the mall, but I’m glad I finally did. Whether it’s Short Pump, Regency Square, or Chesterfield Towne Center, you can’t go wrong. Your kids burn energy, have a blast, and you’ll probably get a solid nap time as a result. (Price: Free; additional shopping you may do not included.)
Other Richmond Moms Blog Team Favorites:
Once the weather permits, check out our Richmond Moms Blog Guide to Parks & Play, get back outdoors, and soak up the sunshine in the RVA!