Rainy Day Blues | TheUnion.com

Rainy Day Blues

John HartA stroll down the covered sidewalks of Mill Street will keep a young child occupied - for, say, maybe 10 minutes max? - on a rainy day.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

It’s raining, it’s been raining, and it will always be raining.

Or so it seems to parents when their children are confined inside for days, as happened last week.

Children cooped up will restage battle scenes from the “Lord of the Rings” movie or use the living room walls to imitate the dance routine they saw Fred Astaire perform in a video.

So how do you wear the little darlings down when you don’t want them to risk pneumonia?

Rain sends families out to the bowling lanes “big time,” said Pam Cantor, an employee of Prosperity Lanes in Grass Valley.

“We get swamped,” Cantor said about the 18-lane bowling alley. People are calling and waiting outside the door as the lanes open at 9 a.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. weekends. They’re open until midnight Saturdays and 10 p.m. the rest of the week.

The establishment rents lanes by the hour, but people stay longer when it’s raining, budget permitting, Cantor said.

To wear down kids of soccer-playing age, there’s Samba Soccer Indoor Soccer & Tennis in Grass Valley.

For the truly ambitious parent, there’s Nevada City’s Imaginarium science museum, if the kids are calm enough to pay attention.

Raining in the two cities and Penn Valley? Head for the hills, where it might only be snowing.

The organized and athletic parent may tackle snowshoeing and skiing at the Omega rest stop off Highway 20.

What about teamless and as-yet-unliberated toddlers?

That’s why God invented covered sidewalks.

Nevada County has provided desperate parents with at least three long-enough protected walks outside that end on a high note, depending on the age of the wee one.

It could take a toddler all morning to take in the third-of-a-mile stretch of covered sidewalk at Pine Creek Shopping Center. Begin at Mail Boxes Etc., go past the colorful plants in front of Raley’s, up a flight of stairs or a truly entertaining elevator that lands you and the tyke in front of adults exercising in the Courthouse Athletic Club. That’s good for a few minutes, one parent swears.

But the big reward comes at the end: The Pet Mine, with dozens of different live critters, which is better than a Disney video.

Take a left turn off Freeman Lane to more covered sidewalks, Kmart through Mountain Mike’s Pizza, which contains video games.

Gold Rush-era towns commonly have blocks of covered sidewalks and Grass Valley is a prime example. Start at East Main Street across from City Hall until it becomes West Main, cross over to Mill Street, cross Mill, walk down the other side, around the corner down West Main again, and you can end up at a toy store.

Sure, it may have been partly cloudy Monday, but it’s supposed to rain again today.

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