When I start seeing crocuses in bloom and greenshoots of daffodils and tulips, I realize that my dream of a snowday has morphed into something strange like dreams often do. I start envisioning a change of scenery and squirrels running around. And soccer balls rolling by. Suddenly my family is at the park on the weekend.
Then reality slaps me in the face when the unpredictable weather of the Puget Sound area brings a dusting of snow one day and a beautiful sunny (but cold) day the next. Actually it was the huge gust of wind with a ridiculous windchill factor that literally slapped me in the face. Either way, I am reminded that it’s way too cold for a park outing just yet. At least for us.
There are plenty of things to do indoor in the Puget Sound area. There are bouncy houses, movie theaters, live theater, and more. The cost for entry or participation in said places can be minimal, but still a cost. Something comparable to a day at the park, aka free and entertaining, is a visit to a pet store!
I’m not promoting loitering at a pet store. Sometimes people truly considering buying a pet leave empty-handed because they are shopping around or didn’t find what they wanted. I’m also not suggesting people feign appearing like they are searching for the perfect family pet. I’m just thinking back to the first time we took our boys to a pet store when they were about 2 and 4. It was new and exciting to them. You’d think we had brought them to the San Diego Zoo! (We did take them to the San Diego Zoo three years later and this is definitely no comparison)
We didn’t end up buying anything because we went there to visit our friends’ son who worked there. Seeing our boys squeal with delight at the different animals did get our wheels turning about adding pets to our home. Now we have fish and a cat. (My husband wants to get Pygmy goats, but that’s a whole other story) For pet food, we mostly go to a pet supply store that doesn’t have animals on site, but it has a video of cats playing which our boys find entertaining. Occasionally we go to a national chain pet store and the boys still want to check out the cat adoption center first. I guess you can call this the frugal family’s (indoor) zoo. You might not find giraffes, zebras, or tigers, but you might find my little monkeys jumping around with glee.