By Olivia Orzech
It’s bound to happen, there will be at least one day on vacation where the sun refuses to shine and the family will be trapped in the hotel room. If you’re lucky, the hotel has an indoor swimming pool where you can spend a few hours. But, swimming can’t last forever, so here are a few ways to keep everyone occupied.
1. The Once Upon a Time Game
This is a great way to see into the kids’ imaginations and get your imagination going as well! It works like this: you sit in a circle and start off the story with “One upon a time…” and finish the sentence with anything you like. For example, “Once upon a time there was a yellow frog name Jeff”. Then, you go around the circle and have each person add a sentence to the story. The only rules are that each person must say a complete sentence and no interrupting!
2. Dance Marathon
Dancing is one of the best ways to get all of that energy out and to teach them some of your killer dance moves: now cue the Beyoncé songs! You can make it feel like a party by turning off the lights and putting a flashlight app on your phone. The app uses your screen to turn your hotel room into a disco! Then, use Spotify to find a music playlist that everyone can enjoy!
This may be an obvious one, but you can’t go wrong with some good ol’ fashioned coloring! Pick up fun coloring books or ask the kids to draw a picture of their favorite animal. Take this time for art lessons, you may not be a Picasso, but maybe you can draw a really good giraffe. Or, take out your tablet and check out YouTube videos like this one which teaches them how to draw an owl.
4. Scavenger Hunt
If you’re stuck in the hotel, try making a scavenger hunt! Write down clues or riddles for the kids to figure out, then walk around with them as they find the hidden items. You can also just list items, such as find a man wearing a hat, look for a painting of a flower, etc. if riddles aren’t your thing!
5. Build a Fort
Our favorite thing to do, especially on rainy days, is build a fort with all of the pillows and sheets in the house and play pretend! Call down to room service for a few extra sheets and use hair ties and safety pins to keep everything together. You can even stand up the suitcases and us them to make a tunnel into the fort!
6. Prep a Backup Plan
Use the concierge or websites like Trip Advisor to help find places to go that are nearby and keep you out of the rain. Check out local museums or catch a movie, and then grab some food from a place locals suggest! Also look into events happening at the local park district or mall-keep in mind, a lot of malls have indoor playgrounds for kids so after the event, they can go run around! You can even bring a few crafts of your own to make, Pinterest has a million simple, and not too messy, crafts for the kids to make.
7. Go outside!
If it’s not too cold, head outside and splash around in the puddles. Make sure the kids are wearing clothes that you wouldn’t mind them getting mud on. Ask the hotel for a few extra can liners to put shoes and coats in so that they’re not dragging mud and water all over the hotel.