Do you realize that in just a little over one week from today, the kids will be out of school for winter break? It’s a pity that parents don’t also get a corresponding winter break from work. If we did, we wouldn’t have to angst over that same question that pops up every year: What am I going to do with my kids during winter break?
Read on for some ideas.
1.Get out of town
There are only three days between the time Billings schools’ winter break begins and Christmas, so getting out of town before the holiday probably isn’t possible.
But, after Christmas, you’ll have a week in which to take a mini-holiday.
Hit the slopes at Big Sky Ski Resort or Bridger Bowl. Both are particularly good for families. Big Sky offers ski lessons, snowshoe tours and loads of fun, including non-skiing stuff (like bungee trampolines and zipline tours).
Lots of lodging located nearby, too. Big Sky Ski Resort is located a little more than 3 hours from Billings, about an hour southwest of Bozeman.
The Bridger Bowl Ski Area in Bozeman has a brand-new beginner’s area and the lodge got a bit of a facelift as well.
If you don’t mind a longer drive, head to Bannack – kids love ghost towns! Main Street contains more than 50 original structures, making it a self-proclaimed “window on history of the West.” Check out some photos, here.
You don’t need to leave town to get in some fun sledding with the kids. Sacajawea Park offers some good hills for kids as does the area in back of the old Rimrock Elementary School (Rimrock and 13th.). Of course, Pioneer Park is a local favorite (watch out for the creek at the bottom of the hill).
Other fun hills include the one at Castle Rock Park in The Heights and Ironwood Estates (should’ve been a ski resort).
3.Take them on a treasure hunt
Geochaching is a blast for the whole family. In case you’ve never participated, it’s basically like a treasure hunt. Someone will hide a container with various items inside (that’s the cache) and posts the location’s GPS coordinates.
You can find lots of them around Billings at geocaching.com and even learn all about the activity with their beginner’s guide.
“The cache containers range from tiny containers to Tupperware to ammo cans. Larger containers often have trinkets and toys inside, allowing those who find them to leave an item and take an item,” according to Erin Madison at greatfallstribune.com.
However you decide to keep the kids occupied during winter break, remember, it only lasts a couple of weeks!
4.Go shopping while they have fun
Well, here’s at least one night where the kids will be occupied and you can get some shopping done. The local Y will entertain them with arts, games and a movie. They will also feed them dinner. It’s only $15 if you’re a member, $20 if you’re not. For more information call 294-1618 and check them out online at billingsymca.org.