Opt Out of the January Stir-Crazies

Wirestock, “January 2024 calendar flat lay.” Canva, 1/9/24.

January descends upon us in the guise of a month of rest. Eagerly, we turn our eyes toward “the end” of the holiday season as our mental and emotional capacities are pushed to the limit during the rush and pressures of December. But when January comes, it’s cold and dark and our children refuse to go outside and instead stay in. They create chaos with their new holiday toys, they don’t want to go back to school, our schedules are shot and our nerves are frazzled.

If the stir-crazies catch you and your family this month, fear not! We’re lucky to live in an area that is bustling with activities for curious minds and active bodies. It almost seems like other parents have stood right where we are now then found solutions to help us, or maybe that’s too close to what Newton said about standing on the shoulders of giants. Parents are meant to help each other and during this time where all our friends without kids are relaxing and regrouping, explore some of the indoor options that Harrisburg has to offer.

READ: Dear Schools: ENOUGH With the Spirit Days!

  • Urban Air opened their new location at 4200 Derry Street and is a guaranteed fun time. The facility boasts trampolines, go-kart racing, laser tag, and more! But the best part is that it’s fully indoors and families can enjoy themselves no matter the weather. It’s also a great option for parties and events as they have group deals and discounts.
  • The Popcorn Hat Players will be performing Tales from Ancient Greece January 17-27. If you have not yet experienced the magic that this troup brings, delight yourself with one of their shows. They have blown me away with every performance I’ve seen- engaging kids and parents alike in modern and silly retellings of classic stories that we all know and love. The whole family will laugh out loud while enjoying and learning the value of performance arts. Fun Fact – Gamut Theatre also offers youth acting classes!
  • On those rare lovely January days, try what I’ve dubbed a Tour de Parks. My version of this game is simple. Map out a route of three parks that are within 10-15 minutes of each other. Set a timer for 30-45 minutes at each park then when the timer goes off move on to the next one. After the first two parks, stop somewhere to warm up and get a treat before the final park. Some example routes of Tour de Parks are Thomas Holtzman Elementary Park to Fort Hunter Park to Ciervo’s Pizza followed up with Riverfront Park or The Oasis Playground to Paxtang Commons Park to City Line Diner followed up with Chutes and Ladders Park. It’s a fun way to get kids excited about being outside without anyone getting too cold and cranky.

As we start the new year while trying to climb out of the overwhelming chasm that is the holidays, remember that both parents and kids alike have survived these dark months for hundreds of years. Together, we will continue to find creative ways to value this time and appreciate the resting period of nature. Even though parents are always on the go, maybe we should carve out a few moments to take some deep breaths and be grateful for all that we are and all that we have.


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