When the weather outside is frightful, outings to indoor family-friendly spots can be delightful – and absolutely necessary for everyone’s sanity! In this post you’ll find ideas for keeping kids busy during inclement weather in or near Prince Edward County.
In Prince Edward County:
The Prince Edward Fitness & Aquatic Center (PEFAC) runs public swims on Tuesdays from 6-8 p.m., Thursdays from 7-8:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 1-3 p.m. Fees are: Child – $5, Adult – $6, Family – $15. The third Tuesday of every month is free.
Take the kids skating for free at the the Prince Edward Community Centre or Wellington & District Community Centre during public skate times – the schedule can be found here. Helmets are mandatory for kids aged 5 years and under, and BYO skates!
All hail the kid-friendly cafes and stores of the world! In the County, we are lucky to have a few of these; here’s hoping that more local business owners will follow suit. Beacon Bike & Brew (188 Main St, Picton) is a wonderfully family-friendly cafe with delicious treats and a welcoming kids’ play space. Books & Company (289 Main St, Picton) is another fun excursion – share a cookie from Miss Lily’s Cafe, build some train tracks, and browse/read/buy a book/toy or two!
Escape Camp Picton offers two 1-hour escape room experiences – A Spy’s Workshop (2-5 participants) and The Secret Guild (5-12 participants). They are designed to challenge adults but all ages are welcome to join. The cost is $30/person, but kids under 6 can tag along for free (and don’t count towards the maximum number of participants). It is an indoor experience, but they advise dressing warmly; also, note that there is no running water and only a portapotty on site. Visit the website for hours and to make a booking.
Escape Macaulay House is another 1-hour local escape room adventure with a cost of $25/person or $75/family (includes 2 adults and up to 4 children under 16; they are flexible on pricing, call to inquire!). It is open from Wednesday-Sunday from June-August and on weekends only in April, May, September, and October (winter dates can also be arranged).
Playgroups and storytimes are engaging, rain-or-shine socializing opportunities for kids and parents alike. Check out our Playgroups & Library Activities Guide for information on County organizations hosting playgroups and storytimes at various locations and times. Of course, all 6 branches of the PEC Public Library system have children’s areas where families are welcome to hang out any time during opening hours.
Catch a matinee or evening movie at Picton’s iconic Regent Theatre. The combination of popcorn, booster seats, and a good number of kid-friendly flicks makes this a great weather-independent family outing.
Explore the region’s history at the County’s museums. They are open from Victoria Day weekend until Thanksgiving weekend, and for special events during the winter.
Near Prince Edward County:
Belleville’s Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre hosts public swims every day of the week; the schedule can be found here. The cost is $3/person (kids under 3 are free), or you can purchase a 10-visit pass for $25. In addition to a main pool and therapy pool, there is a preschool pool with beach entry, a slide, and splash features that is heated to 90 degrees!
Steeeerike! The Quinte Bowling Centre in Belleville is open daily from 9 a.m. until way after bedtime. You can pay per game ($4 during the week, $5 on weekends and holidays) or by hour for up to 6 people per lane ($25/hr during the week, $32.50/hr on weekends and holidays). Shoe rental is $2.50 for kids and $3.50 for adults.
ROLLER RINK!!! Disco Ball Events in Napanee operates a roller rink on Friday evenings from 6-9 (throwback to 70s, 80s, and 90s, yes please!), Saturday afternoons from 3:30-6:30 p.m., and Saturday evenings from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Admission is $10 and skate rental is $2.
Are the kids in playground withdrawal? The Treehouse and Ninja Zone at the Belleville YMCA may be the answer. The Treehouse has small, medium, and large slides and climbing structures with fun obstacles to play around, and is suitable for kids aged 1-6 years. The Ninja Zone is best for older kids (aged 7-13 years), offering a rock climbing wall, zip line, and monkey rings and bars. Entry costs $7.50/kid, and adults and baby siblings are free (entry is free with a YMCA membership). Regular hours are 8-12 & 1-8 on weekdays and 8-10:30 & 3:30-5:30 Saturday-Sunday, but they suggest calling ahead (613-966-9622) to confirm.
Another indoor playground option is the Playtrium in Kingston. There is a play structure, monkey bars, climbing wall, ball pit, toddler area reserved for kids 3 and under, an arcade, coin-operated rides, and a restaurant. Entry fees are $8.99/child under 3, $16.99/child 3+, and $2.99/adult; but grandparents and non-crawlers are free! Opening hours are 10-6 on weekdays, 10-8 on Saturdays, and 10-5 on Sundays (click here to confirm holiday hours).
At Putt N Blast in Kingston, your family can descend into the dark and forget, if only for a few hours, that it’s 50 below outside. It offers an 18-hole 3D Glow-in-the-dark Mini-Putt experience (indoor shoes required), laser tag, and a laser maze. It’s open from 12-9 Mon-Thurs, 12-10 Friday, 10-10 Saturday, and 11-7 Sunday; check the website for prices.
Napanee’s Strathcona Paper Centre also deserves an honourable “non-PEC” mention due to its offer of skate and helmet rentals for public skating sessions! See calendar here for times, and click here, then on “Skating Opportunities” and “Public Skate” for more details.
Finally, Joey’s World in Bowmanville is a (literal) step up in the indoor playground game. A huge play structure, 2 separate toddler areas, 20′ climbing wall, (supervised!) archery practice with real bow and arrow, and Skytrekking, an aerial ropes course suspended 17′ above the ground. It’s open from 10-4 on Mondays and 10-8 from Tuesday-Sunday; check the website for prices. No outside food (other than baby food) is allowed; there is a cafe onsite.