For starters, let me tell you, I live in North Dakota. We get about 3 months of summer, and then the rest of the year likely includes something white on the ground. We were lucky that our little girl was born at the end of March so it was just getting warm so we could take walks outdoor and get around easier. That said, winters in this part of the country with a little one are HARD. You can’t really take a family walk in the evening with a 6 month old in the bitter cold of winter when the sun is down. That’s why I’m here to help you with some ideas of activities with baby.

I’ve had to some digging and find things to do this winter. My dog and I used to go for a walk everyday after work through the winter and all, but it’s difficult to do that in the winter with the baby. So we’ve resorted to other things including walking the mall or indoor tracks. Here I’ve included a list of activities to do outside the home. I’ll put together another post of things you can do at home but getting out of the house was essential for my sanity through my extra long maternity leave, and still as I decided to stay at home. 

Free Things to Do

1. Check out your local library

I was amazed how much the library had for board books and a full children’s section. There are a few branches in my city, and the main library even has a play room that they call the ‘wiggle room’. There is a full play kitchen with lots of accessories, padded blocks, a belly time activity area, large blocks, and other toys. It is almost like a preschool room, and best of all it’s free!

2. Find Free Story Times

I started with this by finding one in the city next to us. They do it once a week and there are a couple of sessions to cater to different age groups. They do some songs, books, and activities. It was a great way for us to get out of the house and my daughter to meet other kids. Then I found another story time at the city library. Since, I’ve also seen them at Barnes and Noble, the Mall, and some local churches. Check around your area, you’ll probably be surprised.

3. Free Forest School

I have yet to get to this one because it’s been cold and we don’t have the best winter gear for my daughter, but I follow their facebook and have read into them online. It looks like a great way to get little ones out in nature to explore and play. It is basically child-led hikes and playtime outside. In my city it takes place the same day, time, and location every week. If it is not weather permitting they also try to do other events (usually a meet up at the local library). 

4. Walk (Indoor or Outdoor)

If you live somewhere nice, outdoor walks are great because you expose your little one to the elements, and you can point out things such as the sky, grass, parks, cars, etc. Exercise and learn at the same time. Also, fresh air and sunlight is good for you! If you live somewhere where it’s cold half the year, you may have to resort to indoor walks. We have found a few free walking tracks that are indoor, as well as the mall. There are a few ways to get a change of scenery!

5. Visit a park or playground

So if you have a newborn, this probably isn’t for you just yet. That said, I liked to baby wear and would stop by the park by our house when we were out on walks. If I had her in the carrier I would take her down the slide a few times. Once they can support their head weight and sit up on their own you can try to put them in the baby swings too. If you live in an area like us that is cold all the time, you may even have a location with an indoor playground. In a surrounding city, there is a park district building with a large indoor playground. For $3.25 a child, you can visit and stay all day!

6. Find a Local Mom’s Group

I did some Facebook digging for this, and found a Moms group in our area. They do meetups a few times a month in different locations and try to make the times during the day for stay-at-home moms to get out of the house. Other options are MOPS groups. 

7. Check out a local farmer’s market

While the large farmer’s market in our area happens Saturday mornings, through the summer and fall there are small ones that pop up during the week. Take your baby out to one and check out the locally grown produce, goods, and get some sun!

8. Local events

If you are on Facebook and like your city’s downtown or city page, a lot of times there are events that are posted by them or the park district, or similar entities. If you find one or two and are ‘interested’, you’ll get suggestions of other similar events. Many of these are free or low cost (street fairs, children’s festivals, free swim days, Santa Village, etc.). 

Paid Activities with Baby

1. Local Education Centers

In our area they have the ECFE center which does classes for babies of all ages. They do classes with parent and baby together as well as separation classes to help build that trust. It is like a precursor to preschool, where they do a snack time (when it is applicable), songs and circle time, as well as free play.  They try to build their curriculum around pre-K and requirements to get into kindergarten. In our case, sessions are once a week for 8 weeks, and range in price around $50-60 per session.

2. Swimming Lessons

You can take your baby to swimming lessons. Our daughter had some pretty nasty eczema so we didn’t start her right away, however you can start around 6 months at lots of places. There are many YMCA locations with pools, FOSS Swim Schools, and other wellness centers that offer infant swimming lessons. Prices will vary. 

3. Kindermusik

I haven’t done these yet, but I have friends that have done them and they rave about it. They’re music lessons for children that include materials to take home. I believe sessions are around $65 per month in our area, but would vary based on location.

4. Gymnastics/Fitness 

In our area there is a place called TNT kids fitness that does gymnastics and other fitness related activities for kids. There is also another gymnastics group that starts really young. This is a great way to get your child active, working on coordination, and build muscles. Prices are between $65-120 per 9 week session which includes one visit a week. 


5. Local Museums

In our area there are a few children specific museums, as well as art galleries, and history museums. Many of these offer discounted entry for children, yearly memberships, or free days. If you check their websites they even do some events geared toward children!

6. Zoo

Visit your local zoo! We took our daughter as young as 6 months and she really enjoyed looking at all the animals and people too! They may not charge for children under the age of 1 or maybe even 2. Also, many zoos do memberships for the year so you can go as often as you’d like.

7. Join a gym

There are large wellness centers that have daycares included in your membership fees. YMCA is one that does. Take a mommy’s afternoon out and hit up your favorite yoga class, run some laps, or do some water aerobics while your little one hangs out with the other children for an hour or two. Memberships range in price, but a family membership at the YMCA in our area per month is $77 a month or $924 per year.

Related Post to Activities With Baby

At Home Activities With Baby

Of course this list is not all inclusive, and if you live in a bigger metro you probably have access to LOTS more than we have being in a smaller town. That said, not everyone lives in big cities with access to everything, so here are some ideas for those of you who are in smaller cities or small towns. Hope this helps some of you find more to do with your little ones!

-Cassie 🙂

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