It can be really tough to stay indoors, especially when the weather is starting to warm up. You can't stand another minute in your house, even with a battalion of DVDs or On Demand options. I have a few suggestions that get you out of the house without sharing the germs. Would love to hear about your favorite tricks in the comments!
Olympic Game Farm, Sequim WA, http://www.olygamefarm.com/
This is far and above the most exciting for the kids, and yet not a quick option most of us. I couldn't resist including it. For those folks within an easy drive of Sequim, nothing could beat the excitement of a zebra, rhinocerous, or bison eyeing you through the window. Bet your kids forget to sneeze!
Even in this economy, there are plenty of sites buzzing with large trucks, cranes, and new loads of concrete. Pull up across the street and gawk a bit.
Coffee drive through
Yes, this is mostly to relieve you. The kids can enjoy a steamed milk with honey for their throats, you get whatever legal quantity of coffee you need to get through the day.
Let the kids "drive"
I started this little game with my 3 year old. I let her be my backseat driver and take her instructions at every intersection: left, right, or straight ahead. She thinks it's hilarious and adventurous. I bet older kids would like following a map to a new location or an oddly-named street that catches their eye.
The prior suggestion led to another idea. I don't know the first thing about geocaching, except that it's an outdoor adventure mixing brainpower and a little mystery. Could it be that some of the caches can be sighted from the comfort of your car? Perhaps that suggestion is completely at odds with the values of true geocachers. Maybe someone should invent car-based geocaching, and tell us about it. Or, you could make up your own treasure hunt (find the Fremont troll!).******
Update 5/12/2010: Drive through a car wash! The ones where you hop out & do your own scrubbing take longer (in my experience) and that's a good thing when you have time to kill. Both of my kids are fascinated with the water coursing over the windows- induces happiness in one girl, a bit of fear in the other. I think the fear comes from not knowing what a clean car looks like.
Did I provide at least one hour's distraction for you and your kids? Success!
Take care everyone,