When I had the minions I found the task of heading out in public with them alone completely daunting and overwhelming. After all, we were barely acquainted and I didn't know how they'd react in the great unknown. I didn't want to exceed a 20 minute travel time from control centre should operation meltdown commence so our daily walks covered: grabbing a coffee to go, getting some groceries, hitting the local fruit market or book store.
It wasn't until Molly and Jack were about eight months old that I really got comfortable with taking them anywhere unknown solo beyond our immediate local area. I debated trying a baby exercise class, but because I had two infants it wouldn't work unless I could find a friend, available during the day, without their own child, who was also willing to strap a baby grenade to their chest so the four of us could participate. In retrospect a lot of gyms offer child care while you work out, but I wanted activities that I could attend WITH my children.
Eventually I learned to suck it up and get out there to participate with the minions because they need interaction with other kids and I need interaction with other adults.
Below are some of my favourite resources for activities for parents with young children:
Story Time Programs:
You can find these at a variety of places by doing a quick Internet search by typing in the name of your city and story time in conjunction with names of local libraries, Early Years Centres and community hubs.
In Toronto Try:
For kids of all ages: Toronto Public Library Children's Programming
In my local community (The Junction) Kid Culture has started a French Story Time Program geared towards children ages 2-5, and English language sessions geared towards children ages 1-5 (who can't sit still).
Children Friendly Coffee Houses
When I was a kid, the only place my mom could take us to play while she enjoyed a cup of coffee was playland at McDonalds or the park with a thermos. Today many businesses have begun to cater to parents who want something beyond the golden arches. To search your local kid friendly coffee establishment, search Name of City, Children friendly coffee shops.
In Toronto my favourite location to have coffee with the minions is Playful Grounds on College Street.
Movie Times for Parents of Infants
I've never tried this one because I could never imagine managing both children in a dark theatre, but for parents of older kids or singletons this seems like a great way to break up the day without worrying about disturbing other movie goers. I know this one is a sexist search, but look up Mommy and me Movies in your local city and you're set.
Meet-Up ProgramsI was introduced to Meetup years ago when I joined a local wine tasting group. It was a fun and inexpensive way to try new wines. Now as a parent it's a great way to meet other local parents and attend any of the above mentioned programs, or to just go for a walk in your local park.
Where do you go to get out with your children so everyone can get some face-to-face time with their peers?
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