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Mar 03

Five ideas for free or cheap rainy day fun

Posted on March 3, 2016 at 4:50 PM by Anastasia Ehlers

5_Rainy_IdeasSpring has sprung all around, but that doesn't mean the rain is gone just yet.

When you have small children, sometimes the fifth rainy day in a row can be a little cabin fever inducing for everyone, caretakers and kids alike.

So what do you do?

Here are five ideas for free or relatively inexpensive rainy day fun:

1.  The Eugene Public Library is a super resource. All three libraries – Downtown, Sheldon and Bethel – host storytimes during the week at various times. Even if you’re not going for a storytime, the libraries have staff who can help you find age-appropriate books to read aloud, videos to watch and games to play at home or on the City computers. You can check it out before you go on the Library’s Kids and Adults link, ask questions or chat with a staff member, and figure out what books you want to reserve on the catalogIf you don’t want to leave the house but need some free streaming entertainment, the streaming system Hoopla (for library card holders) has many options for kids and adults alike. Log in and enjoy!

2.  A little drizzle never stopped us! Pull on your rain boots and explore Eugene's Ruth Bascom Bike Path, including
Delta Ponds (see if you can spot birds, turtles and more); the playground at Maurie Jacobs Park; the large and well-used RiverPlay Discovery Village at the base of Skinner Butte Park; or the solar system that starts with the Sun in Alton Baker Park.

3.  Time to skate? Eugene-Springfield has three different varieties. Take the kids, skateboards and safety equipment (it’s the law for children!) to
WJ Skatepark, most of which is covered by the I-105 ramp. For warmer indoor skating, check out Skate World in Springfield – and for those who want to practice ice skating, the Rink Exchange in the Lane County Fairgrounds is $5 for kids and students and $2 to rent skates.

4.  Getting wet is what it’s all about! And we don’t mean just jumping in puddles, but full body water immersion at our local swimming pools. Check out
Sheldon and Echo Hollow pool schedules and have some splashy fun!

5.  How about the old traditional arts and crafts approach to rainy days? MECCA – the
Materials Exchange – has all kinds of fun supplies that don’t cost a lot, not to mention some pay-as-you-can crafting space if you want to keep your personal space craft-free. And then there’s Old School, a spot for “drop-in creative play” that has all kinds of options for both kids and parents.

Have a blast combating cabin fever this winter! And please share your own suggestions in the comments.


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