Families

Plan ahead to keep children active on rainy days

Children's Library Specialist Bernice Chang, left, reads books about cats for Luca Pasquini, 4, and other kids during Time for Tales in January 2013 at the Bellingham Public Library.
Children's Library Specialist Bernice Chang, left, reads books about cats for Luca Pasquini, 4, and other kids during Time for Tales in January 2013 at the Bellingham Public Library. THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

A bright sunny day full of outdoor activities might be Plan A for parents during the spring and summer in Bellingham, but it's always a good idea to have a backup plan for one of those familiar rainy days.

While the cheapest alternative might be to keep the kids at home, children don't want to feel cooped up day after day. Parks are mostly out of the question when it's rainy, so what can families do when the weather turns blue?

Here are some ideas:

BELLINGHAM PUBLIC LIBRARIES

Where: Central Library at 210 Central Ave.; Barkley Branch at 3111 Newmarket St., Suite 107; and Fairhaven Branch at 1117 12th St.

Cost: Free.

Activities: The libraries offer "Little Storytime" for children up to 3 years old, Preschool Storytime for children 3 to 5, and Time for Tales for 4- to-8-year-olds. Aside from books, the libraries feature small toy areas for children, where storytime is hosted.

Details: Visit bellinghampubliclibrary.org/children or call 360-778-7323 for the Central Library, 360-778-7290 for the Barkley Branch, or 360-778-7188 for the Fairhaven Branch.

PERCH AND PLAY

Where: 1707 N. State St., Bellingham

Cost: The first child in each group costs $6 for up to one hour of play, and $10 for more than an hour. Each additional child is $4 for one hour, and $8 for more than one hour. Adults, and children under 1 year, can enter for free.

Activities: There is a large play area for children of all ages, a smaller play area for younger kids, loft seating for adults with free Wi-Fi and seats for infants, and a small café.

Details: perchandplay.com or 360-393-4925.

ARNE HANNA AQUATIC CENTER

Where: 1114 Potter St, Bellingham

Cost: Bellingham residents pay $3.50 per youth (under 18 years old), $4.50 for each adult, or $13.50 for families for single admission. Non-residents pay $4 for each youth, $5 per adult, or $15 per family. You must have ID with a valid Bellingham address to qualify for resident's costs. Some time slots are $1 off family or lap-swim prices; check the schedule for details.

Details: cob.org/services/recreation/aquatic or 360-778-7665.

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