It's raining, it's pouring...
And you wish you could be snoring but you have KIDS. ;) I wanted to share a handful of my favorite options for those of you looking to branch out from the usual assortment. We have some lovely local options, and I'd love to hear any additional suggestions you'd like to add! So, without further ado, here are my top 10 rainy day activities for families with young kids:
1. Read a book and cook a recipe from it!
This was one of my most radiant moments as a parent, where I just felt like I was really doing it right. My kids always pick random books from the library, but this one turned out to be a huge blessing to us and provided a really fun, connected experience all around! The book was called The Runaway Wok, and it's a Chinese New Year tale. We read the story together in front of the fire, it was entertaining for both my 3 year old and my 6 year old, and the best part was that it came with a fried rice recipe at the end. My 6 year old asked if we could make it, and I actually had all of the ingredients, so it was game on! And the magic continued with that beautiful enigma that happens -- when your kids make the food, they unquestioningly love the food. So we had a fantastic dinner that they were stoked to make, we got to explore a fun cultural tale, and it was just a total win all around. See below for a whole list of children's picture books with recipes incorporated!
2. Rockin Jump + The Baby Shop + Journey Coffee
This is one of my favorite Vacaville trifectas, all in the same parking lot. Hit up Rockin Jump either at Tot Time (for kids age 6 and under) or other hours of the day for older kiddos. Let your kids go crazy bouncing around on the trampolines, and either chill on the couch with your Kindle or put your bright green socks on and join them! Then swing by The Baby Shop, my favorite local resale shop for children's clothes/toys/books, and let your kids grab a new book or toy while you peruse the women's clothes or baby supplies. Then cruise across the parking lot to Journey Coffee, and snag a cozy table to read with your kids and enjoy some exquisite drinks from Vacaville's favorite coffee shop (yes, I'm speaking for the whole town, but it really does feel like Vacaville's living room). The owners' hearts for the community really shows through everything they do, but I digress.
3. Create something beautiful together
We have such amazing local spots to allow you to explore your creative side. Two of my favorites are right in downtown Vacaville, starting with Joyful Art Studio. They have walk-in hours and all kinds of projects ready-to-go, where you just choose it right off the shelf and get to work. Or, you can choose a class for your kids to explore a certain art medium, whether it's painting or photography or sketching or anything in between. It's a beautiful, clean space that's somehow always quiet and orderly no matter how many kids they have in there. The teachers are incredibly kind, the classes are fun, and it's always fun to see what you create. Similarly, if you'd like to paint a piece of pottery to take home or gift to a friend, right down the street is Bella Terra, where you can decorate a huge variety of pieces, including serving platters, coasters, mugs, plates, etc. It's a great place for kids, and they feel so proud when they get to come back and pick up their own creation after it's been fired! Grab a sandwich at La Borgata across the street when you're done (or hit that other Journey Coffee location, haha!)
4. Take a tour
Check out the Jelly Belly Factory tour to learn all about the way those tasty candies are made, and come home with 18lbs of them so you can enjoy them for the next... well, let's be honest... three days.
5. Check out a museum
Try out the Vacaville Museum or the Rowland Freedom Center for some historical intrigue, or if you're feeling similarly sophisticated, try the Vacaville Art Gallery.
6. Challenge each other to some friendly competition
Check out Bowlero, formerly known as Stars Recreation Center, for some bowling, then try your hand at a variety of arcade games. Laser tag is open now, too! Win some prizes, have a blast, and definitely don't keep a record of who wins everything. ;) Bonus perk... the bowling alley actually has a variety of delicious adult beverages, as well as a plethora of hot, cheesy snacks.
7. Get a little crafty at home
I am not a crafty mom, I will admit that right now. But there are a few that are delightfully easy and equally entertaining for the kids. Some current favorites include watching tutorial videos on how to build a variety of paper airplanes, then seeing whose can fly the farthest. Another love for kids of all ages is to follow along to the drawing videos on the Art for Kids Hub channel on YouTube. You can also be pleasantly surprised at how much creativity comes out of providing your kids with some pipe cleaners and beads to string onto them. And last but not least, watch a Bob Ross episode and paint along. It's therapeutic!
8. Have an indoor scavenger hunt
There are tons of lists online for a variety of items you can send your kids hunting for. If you want to be really crafty about it, you could make your own list of all the things you need picked up off the floors and see how quickly you can get your house cleaned.
9. Humiliate yourself, on ice!
Have a go at ice skating at Vacaville Ice Sports, and whether it goes well or you decide to never do that again, head across the parking lot for some hot chocolate at Starbucks, warm food at Mary's Pizza Shack, or to keep up with the cold theme, frozen yogurt at Cultive.
10. Check the library for activities, stock up on books, and make a reading fort
The libraries around Vacaville all have great event calendars for things like story time, crafts, author meet and greets, read to a dog, etc. Time your visit for one of these, or just go stock up on all the wonderful books (and okay, maybe a movie or two?) they have there. Then, come home, and use all the couch cushions, ladders, sheets, zip ties, and whatever else you use to make an epic fort. Equip it with pillows, blankets, reading lights, and SNACKS, and your kids just might be entertained for more than 12 minutes. Might. If not, go back to Bob Ross. ;)
What are your favorite rainy day activities around Vacaville?