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Add these indoor play spaces to your list this winter



Courtesy of Stone Gardens

We might have our share of inclement weather here in the Northwest, but don’t let that deter you this winter. When active kids get restless, there are some excellent indoor activities to stretch their muscles and keep them entertained on a rainy day.

If you’re looking to visit a tropical paradise in the midst of winter, head to Bothell, where the McMenamin brothers have transformed the historic Anderson School building into a luxurious hotel, cluster of restaurants and entertainment complex. One of the greatest draws is the North Shore Lagoon, a tiki-themed indoor saltwater pool area complete with Polynesian statues, bamboo structures and Balinese masks. The full-size swimming pool maintains a temperature of 88 to 90 degrees: positively balmy in the middle of winter. They offer open swim time (free to Bothell residents and kids 3 and under), swim lessons and fitness classes. [Note the pool is closed for scheduled maintenance starting January 8th tentatively reopening February 6th. Check exact date of reopening here.] The adjacent Lagoon restaurant offers a South Seas-inspired menu with thoughtfully composed rice bowls, salads, burgers and a comprehensive kids’ menu (word to the wise: don’t pass up the tater tots). If you want to make a night of it, catch a movie in the on-site theater (located in the school’s old gymnasium), grab dinner in one of their many kid-friendly restaurants, and book a room in the hotel (which includes complimentary use of the pool). 18607 Bothell Way NE, Bothell, mcmenamins.com/anderson-school

For a fun, retro bowling or roller-skating experience, Lynnwood Bowl and Skate is the place to go. They offer open skate sessions throughout the week as well as lessons on Saturday and Sunday mornings. To try your hand at bowling, head on weekends between noon and 2 pm for a special family rate, and hit the arcade afterward to school your kids in air hockey and Pac-Man. 6210 200th St. SW, Lynnwood, bowlandskate.com

Ice skating is a traditional and fun winter activity the whole family can enjoy, and lucky for us we have a couple of great places on our doorstep. Winterfest Ice Rink at Seattle Center is arguably Seattle’s most popular skating rink, so plan for crowds. After skating, enjoy a delicious meal from one of the many eateries in the Armory’s food court: including Pie and Skillet. 305 Harrison St., Seattle. For families north of Seattle, Shoreline’s Highland Ice offers a year-round arena with open skating time and lessons. Head there on Sundays from 1:30 to 5 pm for a special family rate. 18005 Aurora Ave. N., Shoreline. Nearby Olympic View Arena in Mountlake Terrace runs a weekend hockey league for budding NHL stars. 22202 70th Ave. W, Mountlake Terrace. seattlecenter.com/winterfest, highlandice.com, olympicviewarena.com

Wallingford’s OmCulture hosts drop-in play Monday-Friday, 9:30 am to noon, for tots age 1 to 5. This safe and colorful play space includes swings, balance beams, gymnastic rings, tumbling mats and a daily song and drum circle. They also offer after-school programs for older kids focusing on yoga, circus arts and ninja training! 2210 N Pacific St., Seattle, omculture.com

All Together Skatepark is Seattle’s only indoor skateboarding facility and welcomes skaters of all abilities. They offer open skate sessions, camps and lessons. For your little skater gals, check out their Sunday “Skate Like a Girl” sessions, which focus as much on empowerment and leadership as they do on exercise and skating skills. ATS is located a stone’s throw from the Burke-Gilman Trail and family-friendly Fremont Brewing in case you want to follow the skating with a family walk and a pint. 3500 Stone Way N, Seattle, alltogetherskatepark.com

If you’re sick of your kids clambering on your furniture, consider taking them to one of Seattle’s excellent indoor rock climbing spaces. Stone Gardens, located in Ballard (2839 NW Market St.) and Bellevue (15600 NE 8th St.), offers classes, camps and all-day passes for kids who want to boulder (low-level, no-rope). Vertical World, which became the country’s first climbing gym in 1987, offers classes to kids as young as 3; they have locations in Seattle (2330 W. Commodore Way), Redmond (15036 B NE 95th St.) and one soon to open in Lynnwood. stonegardens.com, verticalworld.com

 We Seattleites are lucky to have 25 community centers spread around our city offering free toddler playtime for kids aged 5 and younger. Their toddler gyms and indoor play areas are equipped with a variety of toys, tumbling blocks, trikes, scooters, push-bikes and more. Some locations also offer “babyland” areas for those aged 2 and younger. These community spaces provide a wonderful option for families looking for a low-cost activity on a rainy day. Locations around Seattle, seattle.gov/parks/find/toddler-indoor-play-areas

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