Before having my daughter Sydney, Fall simply meant, I got to take out all of my cute boots and start layering my clothing. It also meant the start of pumpkin spiced everything edible! Now with a mobile toddler, for the first time, fall marks an impending winter. While I know that winter is still a month or so away, the cooling temperatures have me asking myself what are some good non playground options for the winter.
Local library - The library has always been a place that we've been able to seek refuge in cooler temperatures or when it rains. Libraries are also great because they often have baby/toddler themed reading/sing-along sessions. Even if your library does't, if your child is anything like mine, he or she will be happy exploring new books and running around in an open space that's not home. When your child is a little older, you can make an activity out of going to the library to borrow books which will also help to nurture a love for reading.
Take a class - We, fortunately, live in a time where there are lots of options for classes for babies to take and those classes often cater all the way to the toddler years. The best thing about these classes is that they range from music to reading to gardening to yoga, giving you not only a large variety to choose from but also serve as a great tool for learning what your baby really likes to do. They're also good for meeting other moms that are stuck inside the house.
Play dates or play groups - Playdates can become a mom's best friend when there is inclement weather. The trick to a good play date is to not only plan them with kids that your child likes to play with but to make sure that you like to hang out with the moms as well. You can go on play dates with friends that you already have or you can set up play dates with moms you meet in the classes you take. Sydney is always thrilled to explore new toys so going to someone else's home yields hours of entertainment as she plays with new toys and having other people in our home is also entertaining for her because she gets to show off her toys to her new friends. Kids also have an incredible knack for regaining interest in their old toys, once someone else takes an interest in them! As a bonus, play dates are a great way to teach your child all about sharing.
Indoor play spaces - Indoor spaces are everywhere and while there are the ones that charge, there are often ones that you can go to for free like at the mall or maybe a local store that caters to children. You may have to turn to google if you can't think of any off of the top of your head. In my neighborhood, there are two ice cream shops that have play spaces for kids. While the smaller places won't provide hours of entertainment, they're often a nice break up in routine when you need a quick outing.
Swimming lessons - If you've been thinking about taking swim lessons, winter may be a great time to do so since most swimming pools are inside. In addition to learning how to swim and get comfortable in water, it'll give you a fun activity to look forward to once a week and teach your child all about water safety.
Bundle up and go outside - Invest in some warm undergarments or layer up and on those days when it's not too cold, rough it out and go to the playground. While going to the playground during the summer may be a trip that lasts for hours, a winter playground trip can be quick and easy. If you want to keep moving outdoors, you can make a walk extra fun with a little imagination. If you're able to do this every now and again, you can save the indoor activities for the days when it is too cold to be outdoors.