Places to Escape When Cabin Fever Sets In


bored-kid-575x460If your children are anything like mine, they love to be busy, and they especially love to be busy outside. I don’t blame them; playing outside is great! It allows them to burn off energy, catch some fresh air, and serves as a great break from being holed up inside all day. However, winter weather often brings an end to many outdoor activities. Quick trips to the park and playground are put on hold, leaving you and the kiddos stuck inside for longer stretches of time. Sure, a couple days home is fine. It allows you to pull out all those toys that have been crammed to the back of the closest. Sometimes it’s even like Christmas all over again. “Who knew we had a Buzz Lightyear blast gun back there?! Woohoo!” But, after a couple days have passed, they’ve played with every toy in the house and you’ve made every craft you (and Pintrest) can think of…it’s time to get out the house! Before you let cabin fever get the best of you (and you think a trip to Wal-Mart with small children in tow actually sounds fun), let me give you a few places to visit. These are great ways to beat the winter boredom blues.

  • Libraries: I live in Camden, so we frequent the Kershaw County Library. The Camden branch has a great kids area with cute little tables and chairs, computers just for the kids, and lots of books (of course). But, my child’s favorite spot has to be the large lego duplo table. They have a giant zoo/safari set for kids to play with, along with a few other lego tables just for building their own creations. During the week, the library also offers a variety of children classes. Each class is separated by age, and all are free to the public.  Some of my favorite classes at the Camden Branch are listed below.  (Note: Richland and Lexington County Libraries also offer similar programs, as well as special classes. Check out the schedule at the branch closest to you!)
    • Mother Goose on the Loose is designed for 0-2 year olds, and involves a lot of storytelling, singing, and dancing. Afterwards, toys are often brought into the room so kids can socialize with one another. The environment is very low key, and the instructor understands this age range has a limited attention span. (Offered Thursdays at 11:15)
    • Get Set to Read follows a similar format as Mother Goose on the Loose with lots of storytelling, singing, and dancing, but is geared towards 3-4 year olds.  (Offered Thursdays at 10:30)
    • Special Interest Classes are often posted on the library’s calendar, such as toddler art club and traveling “plays”.
  • Chick-Fil-A: Again I live in Camden so I am going to focus on the Chick-Fil-A there. Honestly, I love this one! It is new, clean, and not nearly as busy as some of the others. I love the play area. It is toddler friendly! At other fast food restaurants, my little one is too small to climb on the play equipment (which is REALLY frustrating – for both of us). But, at Chick-Fil-A he can maneuver with no problem. He is able to burn off a ton of energy and take a GREAT nap!
  • My Gym: This is an indoor, organized play center with instructor led classes (and open gym play times as well). There is a fee to enroll in these classes, but it may well be worth the money for your kids to have this type of structured play environment. Classes are broken into different age groups, and each session lasts about an hour once a week. There are similar facilities in Columbia, such as Little Gym and Gymboree Play & Music, which offer similar classes. Bonus, you can check out a class for free at any of these centers, with no strings attached, to determine which is best for you and your child.
  • Plex Indoor Sports Complex: There are two locations, one in the Village at Sandhill and one in Irmo. The Sandhill location has an inflatable bounce area which opens during the week at 10 a.m. They also have the new HiWire Trampoline Park which features huge trampolines that launch you into foam pits and much, much more (parents can join in the fun too!). Honestly, it’s awesome and scary all at the same time! Bonus, everyday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. HiWire only allows kids 6 and under (which is great, because it can get crazy in there!). Plex also has a rollerskating rink open on the weekends and at night during the week.

These are just a few ideas to get you and the kids out and about!  What are your favorite winter hangouts?

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Brandi is the woman who wants to save the world! After obtaining her degree in Biology, with a concentration in Conservation Biology, she worked as a zookeeper and loves to bird watch. After having kids, she made the decision to become a stay at home mom to her two children, a 2 1/2 year old boy and a 3 month old girl. She loves all things outdoorsy, playing with her children, and going and seeing as many places as she can. Brandi lives in Camden SC, but hails from Buffalo, NY and used to call St. Petersburg, FL home for many years.


  1. Also, we have a zoo membership and go there A lot. When we have to renew it I hope to get the adventurer membership. (is that what its called when you can do everything?)
    We also go to monkey Joes on half Price Tuesday. And I am waiting for a groupon for Edventure (that place is awesome)

  2. We like to do the playground at McD’s… though I hate the food. Usually we just buy oatmeal or something. Edventure is awesome, and so is the indoor stuff at the zoo like the ARC and new bird house. Columbiana, Columbia, and Richland Fashion Malls have good playgrounds. And as you stated, libraries are awesome! One day, we will make it to HiWire!


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