OK. So it is cold outside. That doesn’t mean you and your children have to stay inside. There are plenty of winter-time outdoor activities for kids. And there are some great ways to keep active inside, too.
Take a hike. According to state and county websites these are some of the best outdoor winter hikes for kids: Clear Creek Trail in Silverdale. There’s a paved trail and an interpretation center to learn about the nature and history of the area. There are places to picnic and plenty of parking off Bucklin Hill Road. To map out your visit go to www.clearcreektrail.org. Classes and volunteer opportunities are also available.
Grand Forest Trail on Bainbridge Island. It’s a easy day hike for kids at approximately two miles. Grand Forest Park Trail is a 2.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Point No Point, near Hansville. This hike is about a mile and a half long and includes the opportunity to see the Point No Point Lighthouse, and a “sugar and sand” beach (rocks and sand.) There’s a beach walk where kids can collect shells, driftwood and rocks.
Or try Foulweather Bluff, a one-mile beach hike, with a beach that’s covered in driftwood. The hike to the beach is through a Douglas Fir and cedar forest, and it’s located two miles northwest of Hansville on the Kitsap Peninsula. For more on any of these and other trails, check out www.visitkitsap.com, which will take you to local, county and state parks throughout the county.
Go rollerskating. At Bremerton Skateland, there are family skating times at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays, and open skating at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Saturdays, and 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays. Skating is a great activity and according to wellness.com, a person weighing 100 pounds, will burn 252 calories an hour with active roller skating. To learn more, go to www.Bremertonskateland.com, or call 360-479-roll. Skateland is located at 1740 N.E. Fuson Road, Bremerton, phone 360-479-7655.
Nothing’s better than an indoor playground. And at Ahoy Kitsap, that’s just what you’ll find. There’s open play from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The indoor playground that resembles a pirate’s ship, is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday until 7 p.m.
This is the county’s destination indoor children’s playground at 5934 Highway 303 NE in Bremerton. Cost to play is from $6 to $10, based on the age of the child. Call 360-479-7529 or go to www.ahoykitsap.com for more.
Let’s go bowling. Who doesn’t like the opportunity to show off your bowling alley skills? In Kitsap County, bowling is available at All Star Lanes in Silverdale and Hi Joy Bowl in Port Orchard. At All Star, there’s a Sunday family bowl from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.and it’s only $50 for five people to play for an hour and a half. The bowling alley, at 10710 Silverdale Way, also has online reservations for other open play times. Check out www.playallstar.com. All Star offers an arcade for kids full of fun games to play and a great lunch counter/diner for a snack or meal before or after bowling. The alley is at 10710 Silverdale Way NW, Silverdale, phone 360-692-5760.
Hi-Joy Bowl has open bowling every day of the week, including Sunday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to midnight, and on Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Rates are $3.50 per game per player, or $4.50 on Saturday and Sunday. There is a kid’s club with youth bowling at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. For more information go to www.hijoy.com. This 32-lane bowling alley is the most iconic bowling lane in the county at 1011 Bethel Ave., Port Orchard, phone 360-876-8111. And, by the way, bowling for an hour will burn 150 calories for a youth weighing 100 pounds.
Take it to the ice. Kitsap County has its own indoor ice skating rink in Bremerton. Bremerton Ice Arena, at 1950 Homer Jones Drive, offers public skating on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon, and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Other public skating times are available during weekday afternoons. Check the online calendar at www.bremertonicecenter.com. Cost to skate is $6.50 per adult and $4.50 per youth 5 years old and younger. Call 360-479-7465 for more information. Skate rental is $2.50 and the center also offers skating lessons.
Don’t forget to learn. All of the parks departments in the county have classes for kids. Everything from writing your life story to learning to knit can be achieved through a park department class. Most are reasonably priced and will give the kids something to do on the winter weekends. An example is Bainbridge Island Metro Parks and Recreation District which offers painting and pottery for youth. Or go geocaching through an activity at the Kitsap County Parks Department.
Classes are offered on weekdays after school and on Saturdays.
This article originally appeared in Kitsap Living – Winter 2017.