If you are a Chattanoogan, you know our winter consists of lots of rainy days. Thankfully, it is short lived but it still can be a bit of a nuisance when you are stuck inside the house. Since Chattanooga is mostly known for all the things you can enjoy outdoors, rain eliminates a bulk of the activities to do here. I have a house full of boys who have energy to burn and have had to get very creative coming up with activities to fill rainy days or weeks.
Here’s a list of some of the places we have found that offer shelter from the rain and also keep the kids entertained:
If you haven’t utilized our local libraries, go check them out! For younger ages, they offer several story times and for older kids, they offer STEAM activities and Lego building times in the afternoons after school. If you are able, check out the downtown branch’s 2nd floor, which is dedicated to kids and offers activities for all ages. We love the tunnels and mats for the younger ones to explore. There are also train tables, magna tiles, and play houses, just to name a few things. Recently, my older child has begun to utilize the tween space (ages 8-12). They have specific stations offering a variety of projects and challenges. He has recently loved making his own buttons to put on backpacks or jackets and they supply all the materials and tools.
Change Of Scenery
Sometimes we will head to a coffee shop after school just to have a change of scenery before heading home. I may or may not splurge on a muffin for the kids and a coffee for myself while we tackle their homework. One of our favorite local coffee shops is Stone Cup on Frazier Avenue. My kids love to go to the 2nd floor to get a table by the windows to enjoy the expansive view of the bridges and river. Plus, they have games and puzzles readily available up there to use as well. Another favorite is Peet’s Coffee in the West
Village. They have lots of couches and tables, and as a bonus, it’s across the street from umbrella alley! Walk over with your kids for a fun photo opportunity.
If you are able to purchase a family membership at one of the many places Chattanooga has to offer, I highly recommend doing so! Memberships make for great birthday gifts for your children from relatives. The Creative Discovery Museum, High Point Rock Climbing, Chattanooga Zoo, Tennessee Aquarium, and Defy Chattanooga are just a few options. Many of these places offer weekly classes for younger children during the day, plus they are great places for your kids to play and explore after school or on a rainy weekend day. I know the libraries also offer passes for Hunter Art Museum and the Zoo that you are able to “check out.”
I am the first one to admit that going to the grocery store with three kids is not my favorite thing to do or my idea of a good time. However, on a rainy day, it can actually be fun. Allow them to choose something new to try for dinner that night or to pick out a dessert or treat to take home to bake together. My favorite is to pick up all the ingredients to make homemade pizzas complete with fun toppings and cheeses. The sky’s the limit here for ideas to get creative with your children.
Like most things in motherhood, we have the privilege to set the tone for the day in our homes. If the rainy day blues are getting to you, make up your mind that you can and will make the best of it!