beat cabin fever (with kids) before it beats you

As the cooler weather approaches, it can be VERY easy to succumb to cabin fever.

I personally start to get in my head a lot when stuck in the house for too long. Anxiety quickly moves in, sets up a spot, and camps out. I begin overanalyzing every text I receive. I become suspicious when my husband isn’t responding. I ultimately just become a crazy person.

Add two energetic toddlers that do not want anything I have cooked, want to do the opposite of everything I say, make messes just for fun, and run around like crazy people – I become even crazier.

This results in me having less patience, yelling a lot more, being a lot less fun.


Which is why, we get out of the house as much as we can. Sometimes it is quick, small trips and sometimes it is all day events. Here are some ways we beat cabin fever in our house.

  1. Visit your local library. We are lucky enough to have an amazing public library system in our county. A few of the local branches have a children’s section which is closed off from the rest of the library (great for small children to remain free, yet contained). There are lots of toys for the kids to play with while I find us some new books for the week. The librarians tend to be very nice because they know to expect a little craziness. Also check to see if your library has any weekly classes for kids, like many do.
  2. Indoor play places. There are many nationwide establishments with indoor play centers for children, such a Gymboree and My Gym. These offer open play which allow you to just GO and PLAY at any time so your children will have somewhere else to climb besides your couch at home. Many times, there are also smaller, local places you can search for and find. We have a few local bounce houses and indoor play stations that we love and enjoy often.
  3. Trampoline parks. Trampoline parks are one of the best ways to get the energy out without having to plan ahead. Sky Zone is a very popular one with locations all over the country. Most parks have “toddler time” a few days a week which allow you to head in with your kids and not have to worry about older kids running them over. But I have been there outside of these hours and the workers are very careful to ensure your children get the same play time as everyone else.
  4. Art studios. We have found quite a few local art studios with classes geared towards young ones as well as open play time to just drop in visit. This is helpful because if you’re like me, you can plan and know that every “insert day of week here” you have an art class to attend and it will give you something to look forward to/a guarantee that you will get out of the house.
  5. Malls. Local malls almost always have a section geared towards kids. Quarter machines to ride, small jungle gyms to climb up and over, a place to run freely while you sit and watch without worrying they’ll break another vase. Scrounge together some change and head to the mall for a few hours. You will get the exercise of walking around, they’ll get some play time, and you might even spot a great sale.
  6. Fast food play places. I am a big fan of these because I can bribe my kids with lunch in order to be given time to play. Yes, I know many of you are thinking about the germs in these play places – but let’s be real for a second, germs are everywhere so why not at least let them catch the germs in a fun manner. Plus, loaded up on carbs equals sleepy, sleepy kids.
  7. Local fundraisers. Dance studios tend to put together a lot of events to raise money for their projects. Ours is currently holding a “Fairytale Dessert + Dance” for kids to show up in costume, parade around with their favorite characters, and share desserts with them. It is such a cute little event that we will definitely look forward too. I am certain you can find local events like this done by dance schools, local high schools, sports centers, etc. Facebook is a GREAT place to locate these kinds of things.
  8. Kids Eat Free. Lots of restaurants have a specific day in which kids eat free. Our MOMS Club recently scheduled a lunch date to enjoy one. It is a great way to get out of the house and get a change of lunch menu.
  9. Orchards and farms. Orchards have “u-pick” times when you can go run freely around (bundled up of course) and pick the item. As colder weather approaches, it is mostly pumpkins, but there is almost always a petting zoo, yummy snacks to purchase, open space to just run.
  10. Coffee shops. Coffee shop owners know that the majority of their customers are tired moms, so many have made their shops child friendly. We have a local shop with a story time, crafts, toys, and chalkboard walls the kids can draw all over. It is a wonderful place. With the right digging, you might find that you have something similar close by + who doesn’t love coffee?
  11. Museums, aquariums, zoos. All of which are everywhere in the world, child friendly, and a full day of fun. These can be inexpensive options depending on the time of day that you attend AND if you pack a lunch, you won’t have to worry about buying their overpriced food.

For more ideas on what to do in your area, check out Hulafrog. This is a site I recently found that is in every state across the US with different areas divided up. By entering your closest area and signing up, they will send you emails to let you know of local events, classes, play areas, special holiday surprises, etc. We use this almost everyday to find things to do. Each day, you can go to the website and click “todays events” and find some last minute fun to get into and out of the house.

Here’s to hoping you do not catch cabin fever this fall/winter on those chilly day!

xoxo K

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