2019 looks like it has the potential to be a snowy one for Winchester. This year’s first storm dropped approximately seven inches of the fluffy stuff across the region on January 13, 2019, and meteorologists have been strongly suggesting that you keep your snow shovels at the ready. Something else you’ll definitely need if you’re a parent? A list of interesting and fun activities to keep your children engaged on those snow days that look pretty much inevitable this year. So here you go:
Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum, 19 West Cork St.
If you’re looking for a fun way for your children to engage their minds during a snow day, then head over to the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum. This colorful museum is home to fun exhibits where children can learn about different concepts such as simple machines or where they can learn about the human body. Children will appreciate that this isn’t a boring museum where they’re not allowed to touch anything. On the contrary, this is a very interactive museum with many hands-on exhibits. The Shenandoah Valley Museum also offers many daily programs and demonstrations at no extra charge for guests who have paid the general admission.
Handley Regional Library, 100 West Piccadilly Street
If you haven’t been to a library recently, you might be surprised by the many free programs and events that they offer for children of all ages — from babies to teenagers. During the month of January, for example, the library will host puppet shows, toddler playtimes, Lego building sessions and winter reading programs. There are also craft lessons, such as crochet classes, and entertaining programs for your older children.
Northside Lanes, 6 Richards Ave.
Bowling is a relatively inexpensive and fun way to kill a few hours. And unlike the old days when children without perfect aim could only watch helplessly as their balls dribbled down the gutters, Northside Lanes now sports brand-new automatic bumpers that lower into place when your kids are playing and lift when it’s your turn. Northside Lanes, which has been a Winchester fixture since 1959, has 40 lanes, so chances are good that you’ll find an open one on a snow day. And if you’re really lucky, you might hit Northside on one of its designated Free Student Bowling days. If so, your children will receive one free game of bowling and a hot dog. You will still need to pay for shoe rental and any other games you decide to play.
Snow Tubing at Bryce Resort, 1982 Fairway Drive, Basye
Riding a sled down a hill is one of the best ways to enjoy a snow day, but climbing back up the slope? Eh, no so much. That’s why we think that snow tubing at Bryce Resort, which is just about an hour’s drive south of Winchester, is a much better alternative and is also safer than your neighborhood park where trees and benches can pose a hazard. At Bryce Resort, you’ll get pulled up to the top of the hill by a conveyor belt and then speed down one of its three 800-foot tubing lanes One caveat: children must be at least 36 inches tall and at least four years of age to tube.