The spring season is here but the mother nature is as erratic as she can be. Looking for fun things to do in Suwanee with kids on a rainy day? Check out a suggestion from Heidi Clarke, our Atlanta Parent Squad. Heidi is a mother of two energetic, sweet, crazy little boys and a writer to juicingpedia.com, a site all about her escapades and education in health and nutrition.
Suwanee April Showers: Top 4 Places to Go on Rainy Days
April Showers bring…FUSSY kids. At least in my house. Rain is usually a death sentence for my house – toys will erupt all over the house, and kids will turn into Nascar racing Banshees. To avoid myself breaking down into a fit of despair, we must escape the prison that is our house during an “April Shower” day. I’m sure many of your children are perfect little angels during rainy days, and simply read and color all day long. If not, here are four spots I have found that are perfect rainy day escapes in the Suwanee/Sugar Hill/Buford areas.
1. Gary Pirkle Park
Gary Pirkle is a haven for mucky, rainy days…because it is COMPLETELY covered. No, it is NOT indoor. It simply has a full pavilion roof that covers the entire (very cool, I might add) playground.
Drawbacks? The swings are not covered, so kids may still get wet (why is it that my sons never like the swings until it’s raining outside?)
Perks? The surrounding soccer field is made completely out of astroturf, and thus gets much less wet than normal rained-on grass. In fact, many times we have gone to Gary Pirkle when it was raining, played on the playground until the rain stopped, then ran around in the fields WITHOUT getting wet or muddy. It really is the ideal (FREE) outdoor location for those April Showers.
You can find Gary Pirkle Park off of Suwanee Dam, past Highway 20, going towards Lake Lanier. Turn right off of Suwanee Dam at Austin Garner Rd, then follow the signs in.
There are two beautiful public libraries both within 10 minutes of my house in Sugar Hill: The Suwanee Library and the Buford Library.
Both have Toddler and Preschool storytimes that are FANTASTIC (and free!). They also often have puppet shows, magic shows, and plays. AND…(here’s the clincher!) they have kid-safe computers, with kid-friendly learning software.
During a rainy day, I can go check out new books for my sons and myself, while allowing my four-year-old to quietly explore this new world of technology WITHOUT me fearing for the life of poor computer. I know most toddlers manipulate iPhones and iPads these days, but this mom just doesn’t have the money to let my clumsy, sticky-fingered child anywhere near my expensive techy stuff.
So…for a quiet, indoor rainy activity, the Suwanee Library is right off of Suwanee Dam, across the street from Town Center, and/or the Buford Library is off of Buford Highway, going towards Gainesville. To get a library card, all you need is proof of residence and an ID.
3. Catch Air Suwanee
Think Monkey Joes or any of those other bounce house-style indoor playgrounds, but with a few key differences: a three story (solid) jungle gym, a ball pit, a rope swing, ride-on toys, giant foam blocks for building, and (my niece’s favorite) a disco-style light-up dance floor, with laser lights and bubbles to add to the groove.
But there is a cost to all the fun. It’s $8 per kid 3 and up, $5 for 1-3 year olds (adults are free, thank goodness!)
HOWEVER…the Catch Air Suwanee facebook page posts a code word every day that gets you 20% off (so that makes the price a bit more affordable). And you can enter and leave as many times as you want the same paying day (for naps, lunch), so a long rainy day can potentially become much shorter…
Just don’t forget to bring socks. They’re required for everyone, even adults. Catch Air is off of Suwanee Dam, close to exit 111 off of 85.
4. Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center
This spot is also a bit on the expensive side. $7.50 for adults and $3.50 for kids 3-12. It is worth it, though.
It has a little aquarium inside, as well as changing child-centered exhibits, and it is VERY hands on. They have a whole room dedicated to water, including a ball pit that teaches about evaporation and rain, a miniature river that you can manipulate with dams, boats, and alternative terrain, as well as a full water play area, where you can use pulleys, suction, and wheels to move water.
My boys were entertained for three full hours. That is saying A LOT. Truthfully, my four-year-old wanted to stay and play, but my one-year-old was needing a nap.
It is close to the Mall of Georgia, off of Woodward Mill and Plunkett Road.
So don’t get caught in the “Cat in the Hat”-style rainy day play. Get out of you house and enjoy the day!
Photo credit: Adwriter