Brr! With temperatures forecast well below freezing Tuesday, lots of us are looking for activities to while away those hours between breakfast and bedtime.
Here are some indoor spots to stay warm and keep the kids entertained:
Raleigh's indoor pools include the very popular Buffaloe Road Aquatics Center, where indoor temperatures are balmy in the high 70s or low 80s. Young kids can enjoy a toddler play area with a small slide and buckets that dump water on them. Older kids will love the lazy river, vortex and three-story water slide. Also open are the indoor pools at Pullen Aquatic Center, Millbrook Exchange Park and Optimist Park. Click here for hours and directions for Raleigh's pools. Check our pools database for more information about other indoor pools in the region.
The Stay & Play Snack Cafe in Durham offers a fun indoor spot best for preschoolers and under and their adults. The cafe in downtown Durham offers a variety of toys for kids to play with and places for parents to hang out, chat with friends or read a book.
On cold, rainy days, I sometimes head over to Blue Ridge 14 in Raleigh where tickets are just $2 for all movies. On the schedule this week are the PG-rated "Cloudy with a Chance for Meatballs 2," "Despicable Me 2," "Free Birds 2D" and "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters." Raleighwood Cinema Grill has $3.25 matinees of "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2","Free Birds," and "Despicable Me 2." Matinees are $3 at Howell Theatre in Smithfield where you can see "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2."
The Greystone Indoor Playground in north Raleigh offers a free opportunity for indoor play. I suspect the Raleigh parks-run spot will be very busy tomorrow. UPDATE: Raleigh parks tells me Greystone will be open for play from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday. The playground is designed for kids ages 5 to 12, but I know younger kids enjoy playing here too.
Head to a storytime at your local library. I featured Mr. Erik's storytimes at Cameron Village Regional Library last week, but there are many, many other great storytimes at libraries. Check our library resource page for more.
The Carolina Puppet Theater will perform at 11 a.m., Tuesday, at the Holly Spring Cultural Center. These are the same folks behind the popular Kazoom Puppet Theater that ended at Raleigh's Comedy Worx last month after a run of many years. Read my earlier post for more about that. These shows are exactly the same with songs, stories, puppets and more. Tickets are $5 and you can get them at the door. The cultural center is attached to the Holly Springs library, part of Wake County's system, so you can check out some books before or after the show.
The Tumble Gym with locations in Raleigh, Wake Forest, Chapel Hill and Goldsboro, offers open play hours, including Tuesdays at the Raleigh and Chapel Hill locations. Check the website for details.
Of course, there are many other indoor play spaces across the region. Check our indoor playground resource page for more information.
And there are the museums:
The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and its Nature Research Center offer all sorts of activities to keep kids busy. That includes the Birds of Paradise exhibit, which is very interactive.
Marbles Kids Museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can check out their new pretend school and helicopter and catch a screening of the new "Journey to the South Pacific" documentary at its IMAX theater.
The Museum of Life and Science's Springs, Sprockets & Pulleys exhibit is open. Kids can make mechanical sculptures move with the press of a button.
The N.C. Museum of History offers an interactive look at the history of the state, along with an upstairs, kid-focused Tar Heel Junior Historian Association Discovery Gallery.
Kidzu Children's Museum in Chapel Hill is closed until early February as it makes a move to University Mall. Also, the N.C. Zoo in Asheboro is closed Tuesday because of the cold temperatures.