HOUSTON – School is out, which means families are going to have to get creative to keep kids entertained in this new social distancing environment!
It might seem like a difficult task -- but it can be done.
Amanda Sorena, contributor at Mommy Nearest, shared 6 ideas for a fun summer with the kids.
These camps are live, interactive and reoccur for a series of weeks in small groups, perfect for fostering friendships. You can choose from art, music, dance, yoga, languages, STEM and more.
“A lot of camps aren’t happening this summer in person, so if you’re looking for something to do, KidPass actually launched some national camps, which is great because you have ages 2 to 18 and you can a lot of wide range kids in there. And you can take a theater class from someone in New York and if you’ve got cousins or friends across the country you can join them in classes as well,” said Sorena.
COVID-19 Measures: All camps are virtual and from the safety of your home.
Cost: Prices range per camp.
This new escape room just opened near West U. It has two kid-friendly games and you have an hour to solve the puzzles.
“Escape rooms are great. This one is a little bit more geared towards kids ages 9 and up. One is a wizard-themed and the other one is a steampunk-themed where you are trying to save time-travelling scientist. This particular one has a lot of COVID-19 measures in place,” said Sorena.
COVID-19 Measures: Contactless payment and check in. All of the games are private (meaning only the people you bring with you will be in the room). They’re staggering start times to allow for heavy sanitation between each game, and using the latest UVC and Ozone Light technology to add in where to focus sanitation efforts.
Cost: $22.50 a person with up to 8 people in a room.
Locktopia is also offering a promo code for Houston Life viewers. Enter “HLife10” for 10% off, now through June 12.
With a great family line up with movies like High School Musical, The Little Mermaid, Shrek, and The Goonies, this is a great option to introduce kids to a fun way to watch movies. Your exact parking spot is assigned on a first-come-first-served basis upon your arrival. Doors open at 7:15 p.m.
“Rooftop Cinema Club has turned Sawyer Yards into a drive-in. This is excellent for social distancing because you’re all in your own car which whoever you came with. They are selling some snacks with contactless payment. But you can also bring your own snacks with you, which is great,” said Sorena.
COVID-19 Measures: You’re in your own car.
Cost: $35 a car for a central view and $28 for a side view.
With options like hip-hop dance classes, Tai Chi, cartoon bowling and science classes, there is plenty to choose from to keep the kids busy during the day.
“Levy Park is known for such great programming such as Zumba classes, story-times and crafts. They’ve taken that and moved it online. So, you can do it live with them if you check their Facebook and their YouTube channel, sometimes they have it live. But if you missed it and you need an activity it’s on demand and on their website as well," said Sorena.
COVID-19 Measures: You don’t need to leave home.
Outdoor activities are great for social distancing and a nice way to exercise and enjoy nature with your young ones.
“There are more than 50 trails around Houston. When I think of where to go with my family, I immediately think of the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center and Buffalo Bayou Park. Both of those places have plenty of ways to spread out with social distancing. And Buffalo Bayou Park has their kayaks, bike rentals and private pontoon rentals, and they’re all opening up again June 1,” said Sorena.
COVID-19 Measures: Outside and socially distant.
They are back open and ready for visitors. Usually this museum is not overly crowded, and the planes are really cool to see up close.
“It’s a big place so there’s lots of place to spread out and they’re doing a lot of social distancing things. None of the touchscreens are going to be up, they got stickers all over the floor. They’re requiring masks for anyone age 10 and over.
COVID-19 Measures: More cleaning and sanitizing of the museum. All the interactive screens will be off and hands-on activities closed. Everyone over the age of 10 will also be required to wear a mask. There will also be some stickers on the ground to promote social distancing.
Cost: Starting June they are offering reduced fees. $5 for kids ages 4-11, and $10 for adults and seniors.
For more family-friendly places across the country, including right here in Houston, download the free Mommy Nearest app for iPhone and Android.
To see Sorena’s complete interview, watch the video above.