Like many moms, I’m trying to figure out what to do with my almost-crawling baby now that the temperature goes no higher than 50 degrees these days. Gone are the days of walking around the neighborhood, waiting for nap time to fall upon her. Gone are the days of sitting on the front step, watching cars go by.
So now what?! It’s not even officially winter!
I’ve culled together a few places to go that I think could be contenders for staving off stir craziness. I needed to expand my circle to include places a bit farther away than Vienna, but still a reasonable drive when you’ve got a bouncing baby. Check them out:
- At Play Cafe. [NOTE: At Play closed as of February 18, 2011 in Reston, but is looking to move to a new location.]. Located in Reston, this place tries to balance both parents’ and kids’ needs. Sure there’s a play area and classes for the kids, but there is essentially babysitting of the kids in these activities while parents can enjoy a sandwich, snack or coffee. With some small tables, Wi-Fi and a few cozy couches, I think it would be ideal to meet a friend or two for a parent play date, as long as the kids were old enough to fend for themselves in the play space. If not, it’s definitely a safe place to take a baby and not worry about making a scene.
- Holiday light watching. While not technically indoors, you can drive in your warm car to check out a riot of holiday lights in Fairfax, thanks to Holly’s Tacky Christmas Lights Web site. Apparently there’s a doozie in McLean. I think we could take Bean out for a few minutes and let her see the twinkling lights.
- Childtime Magic Party Place. I haven’t been yet, but it’s in Vienna and it’s got an indoor moon bounce. Birthday parties also feature a magic show. There’s a Free Play Friday where for $10 your kid can run around the moonbounce for as long as she’d like, from 10am – 5pm.
- MoBu Kids. As I mentioned in my post on the Vienna road trip to Falls Church, this is a fun space that has open play times and classes (though unfortunately not on weekends). If you sign up for a class, the open play is free during the weeks of your session. They’ve also got parents night out events which will eventually be cool for us.
- Oak Marr Rec Center Pool. Although I’ve given up on official swim lessons for now, I still think the Oak Marr Rec Center pool is a great place to take the baby. She loves the water. I mean Seriously Loves It. And it tires her out so that when it’s time for bed, it’s all I can do to keep her awake long enough to finish her bottle. Beware of swim meets and after-work times when the pool is busy.
- Vienna Community Center. The VCC is open on Thursdays from 9:00 to 10:00am for toddlers and preschoolers ages 20 months to five years for play vehicles. Parents have to stay with the kids and bring their own vehicles (which need to be non-motorized and have at least three wheels). It’s free, but you should call ahead first (703-255-6360) to make sure there’s space for your wee one. Obviously an activity for us to aspire to next year.
- Wee Play. I haven’t yet been here, but it’s apparently got open play times and classes for kids aged six weeks (!) to five years. It’s in Herndon, near Reston Town Center and Fairfax County Parkway. It’s $5 per kid, but infants seem to be free. Yahoo. I think this has potential for us.
How about you? Where do you take your kid when it’s cold?