You'll notice that we're pretty active on the weekends. Exhaustingly active if you ask me. But really, once you have a toddler, there's no real "hanging around the house" because that's no where near exciting enough for the little ones.
So I thought I'd compile a list of ideas - things to do with your little ones to get them out of the house.
*Festivals - I love taking advantage of these, and every town has them in some sense of the word. There are usually street performers, music, and some have specially geared activities for little ones. In our area I swear there's something every weekend.
*Summer activities - check and see if your area does anything special for the summers. San Diego has free summer concerts and movies throughout the county in the summer. And of course, there are always the fairs.
* Parks/Playgrounds - I know my tour of the San Diego parks makes blog news on a fairly regular basis. Parks themselves, even the kind without playgrounds are usually a great place to run around and blow off energy. There are trails to hike, balls to kick, kites to fly, trains to ride.
* Botanical Gardens - Similar to parks, but with a little more structure. Some have birds, most have flowers and cool looking plants. I've been to two different ones that have model railroads, but many more that don't.
* Amusement Parks - This is a touchy one. Because a lot of amusement parks are expensive. But if it's in your budget, these are great places for kids. I won't spend money to take Thatbaby to Disney, but discount coupons to Legoland or Sea World make them more easily accessible. Try to find ones that are geared for younger kids. Thatbaby loves Legoland, even though there are only 2 rides he can ride. Sea World and Knotts Berry Farm both have sections for littler kids.
* Museums - We haven't taken Thatbaby to a Fine Art museum since he was 10 months old and non-mobile, but other museums where touching is encouraged are big hits here. There are so many kid friendly museums. History museums, science museums, art museums, music museums, and of course, the quintessential "Childrens Museums."
* Aquariums - Thatbaby loves aquariums. I think it's due to the fact you can get really close to the fish. Closer than at a zoo where most of the time the animals are fairly far removed from where you stand.
* Zoos - We took Thatbaby to the zoo for the first time when he was 2 weeks old. And we've returned many times since. And visited zoos in different cities. He does love his animals. And no matter what their age, zoos are oh so kid friendly.
* Pools/Splash Parks/Beach - This could just be that Thatbaby is a water-baby, but I don't think he's the only one. Kids love water. If you have a beach near you, beaches are fantastic because unlike a pool running is encouraged. If you don't have a beach, a pool is fun for splashing in the sun. If you don't have a pool, then sprinklers in the backyard serve much the same function. And splash parks are really just public sprinklers.
* Classes - When we finished swim classes last year, Thatboy was anxious to enroll Thatbaby in something else because he had such a good time doing something as a family. Some people like music classes, some do gymnastics classes, some enroll their kids in sports. It's never too early! Thatboy and I had a long discussion earlier this year about soccer lessons for our little Pele, but decided to hold off another year.
* Playspaces - These are the perfect playground alternatives for rainy days or cold weather. Or just another alternative of things to do. Whether they're the fake play towns, or just indoor climbing gyms, they keep kids occupied. Some of the ones near us also offer parent perks like attached coffee shops. And they often have kiddie concerts.
*Sporting Events - We're holding off on baseball games for Thatbaby because I want Thatbrother to take him to his first game. But from what I've heard, kids love these things. We took Thatbaby to the races this weekend though, and he loved that. Sitting in his seat, getting excited by the cheering throngs. I would imagine any other sporting event would be similar.