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Top 3 Resources for Getting Out and About with Young Kids

Very, very soon I’m going to find myself in the precarious position of being a mom to a 2 year old and a 1 year old.  To be honest, I’d say we’ve actually been managing activities, nap times, and errands pretty well since S arrived into the world.  For some reason, though, the thought of having two kiddos only a year apart kinda freaks me out!


This is partly because it can be a challenge to find appropriate activities that are fun and engaging for both of my little ones.  But believe me, find them we will – the very last thing I want to do is be cooped up in the house all day with these little monsters go-getters.  So, today I’m sharing with you my top 3 resources for getting out of the house with young toddlers and babies.


1. Kid Cafes

There’s a new breed of coffee shop popping up all over the country that’s perfect for parents of young children.  These kid cafes are part coffee shop for mommy and daddy, part play zone for the kids.  The best shops are set up with zoned off play areas so you can sit with your coffee, and maybe even partake in some wi-fi, while the kids go crazy with the new toys.
In the Seattle area there are three that I’m familiar with (there are probably many more that I’m not): Tot Spot Cafe (pictured above), The Village Bean, and Twirl Cafe.  A Google search should help you locate spots like this in your neck of the woods.  Click through for my other top 2 resources.

2. Local Family Event Blogs

Although I don’t necessarily consider myself a “mommy blogger”, I am most definitely a mom who blogs.  As such, it should come as no surprise that I often consult the blogosphere to help me with parenting dilemmas and in this case my fellow bloggers didn’t let me down.
FreePlay Kids is a wonderful new blog solely devoted to family friendly events around Seattle that are either free or “less than a latte”.  Just two days ago I was on the site looking for a play date activity for us and a new mom friend.  I found a free planting and gardening event for young kids at a local park/petting zoo and we all had a great time.
If you don’t live in Seattle, I’m sure there are plenty of similar blogs out there for cities all over the country.  Just go to google blog search and search under your city’s name and key words like “free kid activities”.  Parent Map and Macaroni Kids are two national parenting blogs I follow that feature local family events.  Red Tricycle is also a good one for those of you in a major west coast city.


3. Toddler Parks

I didn’t realize until I had little kids that there are actually parks built specifically with them in mind.  These little plots of paradise typically have smaller toys, bigger sand boxes, tables for eating, and (best of all) are fully fenced.  They’re actually a lot like dog parks except the kids don’t enter on leashes (hopefully).  A small, enclosed park where young toddlers can roam free while you lounge on a bench with a latte is a beautiful thing.

In Seattle’s Eastside, there’s Tot Lot Park and Phyllis A. Needy Park (pictured above), which was a total life-saver for me last spring/summer when I was pregnant.  Check out your local parks and rec website to find a toddler park near you.

Do you guys use these types of resources for hitting the town with young kids?  Did I leave anything out?  If so, please share with me in the comments.

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