Oklahoma City family fun feels hampered by inclement weather sometimes. April showers bring May flowers but in the meantime, we often feel stuck indoors.
Today is a gorgeous day. It's sunny and 70+ out. The weekend forecast, though, calls for rain again and temperatures that dip into the 40s.
I wrote last week about three indoor venues to visit with your toddler when you're tired and don't want to clean up anymore than you already have to during an average weekend. Our family is getting used to live with a newborn so we find ourselves indoors more than usual.
There's another school of thought on rainy days that I'm less likely to embrace: enjoying the mud.
That part about not making a mess pretty much goes away when you choose to go out and get muddy. My oldest son, Sam, just turned 11 and he got in trouble at school for saying "the damn mud." I'm not usually one to flout school rules but he wasn't going to get in trouble at home as well for what I considered an accurate description. It's hard for me to see the fun in mud.
The person in our household who loves mud is 6 and he embraces the experience with all the joy of a kindergartner. Isaac is that kid who will seek out new, previously invisible treasure brought to the surface by rain. He tries on too-small galoshes, rescues earthworms and splashes in puddles. I have no doubt his immune system is boosted every time he's out there in it.
Is it an extra mess? Yes, that's almost guaranteed. Is my child genuinely happy for a few hours? Yes, that's almost certain too, so I let it happen now and then. There's very little that can't be fixed with a mop, a shower and a load of wash, after all.
This just might be the weekend I give in and go with mud-filled activities that will keep everyone happy. Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22, so it's a good time to let the mud in for now.
Besides your own backyard, here are three free ways to let your kids find out about Earth Day, mud included, this weekend:
- Earthworms for Earth Day Event at Science Museum Oklahoma on Saturday: The Oklahoma Gardeners Association is hosting an educational event about earthworms' habits and habitats. Get your hands dirty and help gather nightcrawlers. There's a butterfly release and other insect-related activities at the Earth Day Celebration that follows it too, with an indoor option in case of rain. There's no extra charge to attend the Earth Day events, just regular museum admission.
- Earth Day Celebration at Southern Oaks Recreation Center on Saturday: Learn about environmental issues and make dirt cup desserts. Open to all ages, there are games and your child can also learn to identify trees and find out about plants native to the state.
- Earth Day Terrariums at Capitol Hill Library on Sunday: I can see my sons wanting to keep a terrarium and then finding a frog or other rainy day creature to take up temporary residence in it. Isaac loves plants too so that could be a fun thing and the fact that all supplies are provided without is also a plus.
If you're looking for other activities with or without mud, find them on our calendar here. You can even sign up for our e-newsletters; Weekend Picks hits inboxes on Thursday afternoons and it features 10+ activities coming up each and every weekend. There are also 10 indoor venues here if the outdoors isn't calling your name this weekend.
Here's to sunnier days and in the meantime, enjoying the ones we have.