By Christina Q. Cross
Let’s face it – holiday travel isn’t always really a vacation. More often than not, it is an obligatory annual visit to your in-laws and/or extended family’s home, in an unfamiliar town with inclimate weather, where it’s hard to keep everyone (especially the younger tots) appeased once you’ve arrived.
During the winter months, it’s often too cold to go to the zoo or enjoy other outdoor, child-friendly attractions/activities in your relative’s city. Or, there may not be enough time to visit indoor kid-friendly museums that typically have limited hours around the holidays.
To help escape your kids’ boredom while staying at a relative’s home, it may seem that you’re left with few options – bring the kiddos to blow of steam at an overcrowded mall (where you will fight for decent parking), or if they are old enough, to the movies or an indoor ice-skating rink. That’s about it. Or is it?
Before you make your annual holiday trek, we suggest doing a quick Google search on local indoor play gyms for kids, which have been cropping up by the dozens in neighborhoods all across the country. Most allow for a one-time, drop-in play rate – which is perfect for holiday travel.
Pump it Up is a private indoor arena, filled with gigantic inflatable slides, bounce houses, and obstacle courses with franchisees nationwide. You can drop in and bring the kids to play for an hour or two during a “Pop-in Playtime.” Also, depending on your destination, there are likely local coffee house play gyms that offer something for both parents (coffee and free Wi-Fi) and kids (fun play equipment) plus extended winter hours.
While it’s always sunny here in San Diego, here are just a few indoor play spaces throughout the San Diego area that are available in case it rains:
All of these offer kids the opportunity to bounce, slide and just be kids for a few hours without messing-up their relatives’ homes (or costing their parents a fortune).