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Rain, Rain, Go Away

A week booked at a cottage and it rains for two days. Reason to panic? Visions of kids running amok, trying to braid the dog's fur out of boredom?

As I said in my "What to Take to the Cottage" article in March, the key is to 'be prepared'. Books, board games and playing cards help but here is a more specific list of fun things to do:
    * Research the area around your cottage before you leave to see if there are any attractions to visit (HINT: always has some new and interesting listings for different cottage country areas! Check them out!) Make note of location, hours of operation, GPS locators and so on.
    * Go to town! Small villages and towns thrive on summer visitors and rainy days can be the best of fun, with bakeries and little cafes filling up quickly! Check out the local boutiques and get an ice cream cone. Rain or shine, nothing is better than a cone with sprinkles!
    * Drop in on the nearest tourist office or Chamber of Commerce! They often have listings of local events going on, including indoor activities, and can direct you with maps and coupon books! If you have kids with you, many communities have indoor playgrounds that you can visit for a 'per kid' fee. These are great for burning off that energy!
    * Bring rain gear! Short of a full on thunderstorm, a little rain shouldn't stop you from going on a nature hike! In fact, it can be a perfect time as a little rain will help to keep the bugs down and keep things nice and cool for walking. Make sure everyone has appropriate shoes though, as rocky trails can get slippery when wet!
    * Don't want to leave the cottage? Set up a fort! All you need is cushions and blankets to make your own fortified city, complete with a snack corner with popcorn and drinks! Turn off all the lights and use flash lights for extra fun! This is a great way to distract little ones during a thunderstorm and the big kids have some fun too!
Time at the cottage is meant to be family and friends time. It's easy to digress back to old habits and simply flip on the TV or put in a DVD to watch, when the weather turns bad.
While there's nothing wrong with curling up with a cup of tea and a good book, take some time to do something as a group and getting people talking to one another. One way? Bring a box of old photos, some glue and a couple of big pine picture frames with backing (easily found at stores like IKEA). You know that box that you have in the closet that you keep meaning to organize but never seem to get around to? Now's the time! Spread out the pictures and start getting everyone involved in putting them into a collage on the picture frame backing. You just have to put them in place to start and can glue them later. It's absolutely guaranteed that someone will pick up one of the pictures and say: "Do you remember when ...?" Off you go down nostalgia lane!
Of course, one of the best ways to avoid rainy day blues is by making sure you have something special tucked up your sleeve for meal times... Like a sundae bar? Different ice creams, bananas, jelly beans, gummy bears, chocolate chips, chocolate and caramel sauce and sprinkles of all kinds... Let the kids, young and oldArticle Search, make their own sundae and soak in the silence as everyone digs in and enjoys their very own creation!

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