When the weather outside is frightful, it’s very easy to let the kids be cooped up indoors and in front of the television. Yet, with childhood obesity rates at an all-time high, a seasonal sedentary lifestyle may do irreparable harm to your child’s health. Help keep the kids healthy and active with these tips from Maryam Hamid, a Washington DC fitness professional, NASM Women’s Fitness Specialist, nutritionist and certified personal trainer.
With practically zero crowds, winter is the best time to visit to a DC monument, museum or historical site. Hamid suggests asking your child about his or her interests and then finding a destination in DC that matches what he or she likes. There’s the International Spy Museum, where you and your child can be secret agents for the day or the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Or, visit the National Building Museum, a popular family-friendly destination that features interactive exhibits and plenty of space to play.
Getting your kids involved in team sports not only helps keep them off the couch, it also helps develop important social skills and boosts their self-confidence. Research kids sports in your child’s school, in your neighborhood or local community center. The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington offers a wide variety of kids’ sports including basketball, gymnastics, kickball, martial arts, swimming and soccer.
While the DC area may not always get a lot of snow, there are plenty of places nearby that provide seasonal activities and entertainment. Go for a drive to a nearby snow resort for a day of sledding, skiing, snowboarding and snowtubing (not to mention building snowmen and having snowball fights) or head over to the local ice skating rink, like the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink. When the temperatures start to warm up, go for a hike, ride bikes or play a game of tag.
Sure, it may be fun to have a virtual bowling alley, miniature golf course or shuffleboard in your home but it doesn’t compare to the real thing. Research businesses that provide entertaining and active options for kids, like a venue that provides laser tag or a real racquetball court. Lucky Strike in DC is an uber-cool bowling alley that’s guaranteed to keep your kids on their feet while they bowl and dance to today’s latest hits.
Recruiting the kids to help around the house not only takes a load off your shoulders but also teaches good cleanliness habits and helps keep kids healthy and active. Create a daily chore chart for each member of your family and include physically-demanding tasks like vacuuming, dusting and cleaning glass surfaces. Or, invite your child to help you bake that pie or create a cake. Prefer not to make a huge mess in your kitchen? Check out Cookology in Dulles Town Center where you and your child can sign up for a “Mommy/Daddy and Me” course. Reward your kids for a job well-done with extra play time or a healthy snack.
Related: Best Playgrounds In DC
The National Building Museum
401 F St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
YMCA Of Metropolitan Washington
1112 16th St. NW, 7th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20036
National Gallery Of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink
4th and Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20565
701 7th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
21100 Dulles Town Circle
Dulles, VA 20166