It’s cold outside, and Slushageddon is making strolling the sidewalks questionable. It is reeeeeallly hard to get out of the house these days – especially with a baby. But times are equally rocky staying in all day.
I’ve been chatting with new parents in Toronto, and here’s what they are doing for a change of scene. Based on your mood and cash flow reality, there are a variety of options here in our awesome City. Side note: I think we are very lucky as Torontonians, to have all of this all at our door step, whether we can get there or not…
Tip for if you’re feeling blue or stuck: Pick a few things you could do in a one week, and make a plan to meet a friend or family member at each place (some accountability gives you that extra push out the door if you need it). You can always cancel – hopefully everyone you make a plan with knows this about you already!
FEEL like moving?
Drop in classes taught by baby-loving instructors who will hold your baby for a few stretches. Breastfeed or fall asleep on your mat.
West End – Yoga Space www.yogaspace.net
East End – Toronto Yoga Mammas www.torontoyogamamas.com
Baby & Me Fitness www.babyandmefitness.com
Locations all over Toronto.
Check out Toronto’s public pool schedule here for indoor pools with free swim, all over the City. Some even have a toddler or baby swimming pool (shallow and warmer). Bonus. This week I’m going to try out the beautiful new aquatic centre recently built in Regent Park. It looks amazing.
FEEL like caffeine, chats and play time?
All of these venues offer other fun classes and workshops in addition to their regular play areas.
Smock Café (West End)
Lil’ Bean n’ Green (East End)
Playful Grounds (West End)
FEEL playful and broke?
Early Years Centres have drop-ins all over Toronto. Toys, activities, lovely staff, parents and kids to help entertain you and your baby. It’s all FREE!! Some centres offer free coffee and snacks, other’s don’t. Many have a scheduled circle time too. Check website for hours, offerings, and locations.
Kinder Gym Mary McCormic recreation centre on Sheridan Avenue (Parkdale) has a FREE kinder gym every Monday and Wednesday between 9 and 11:30 am. On Wednesdays the children’s place hosts a large song circle at the end. Ages 0-5. This is the only Kinder Gym I know of that’s free. Are there others?
Meetup.com Moms and dads groups that do various fun things all over the City. Perfect if you need some incentive to get out and don’t know lots of other parents close by.
Mommy Connections Introduces moms to programs and services available within your neighborhood. Take a fun class with your baby and meet other parents (mom-to-be, infant and toddler offerings).
FEEL like a flick?
Stars and Strollers 1:00pm showings at Young & Eglinton and Fairview Mall Silver City. Check site for listings.
Movies for Mommies 1:00pm showings around Bloor West, Roncesvalles, Queen East and central Toronto. Check site for listings.
FEEL culture starved?
The Art Gallery of Ontario has a beautiful, tidy children’s room with awesome art supplies, costumes and endless fun. Toys for wee babies too. Unless you have a membership it’s $19.50 to enter – kids FREE. Enjoy the fabulous cafes and treat yourself to coffee, beer, yummy food…Save as a special treat for a rainy day?
Your local public library saves the day if you’re bored of your board books, or just need to get out of the house and stay inside. The great thing is, there is always one close by. Many also offer FREE classes for parents and babies (songs, stories, puppets). Give your local branch a call to find out their schedule.
FEEL like it’s urgent?
Dance around your house. One wise mamma (stuck inside during a snow storm) says she likes to blast a favourite playlist, and dance around with her babes. Ingenious. Especially on those days when cabin fever is driving you bonkers and you need to change the tempo – quickly (no time for stuffing into snowsuits). Listen to your own music or stream CBC for kids for free (for 2+ years but babies enjoy too). Most babies prefer Neil Young in my experience.