do what you love, on the town with kids

by Whitney on October 29, 2010

We talked about how to keep yourself entertained at home with the kids, and now, for the brave . . .

do what you love, on the town:

Just the thought of moving beyond errands and mommy and me can be exhausting. There are tantrums to consider, and all of the things they might destroy, and the proper footwear necessary for chasing runaways, but kids are often more accommodating than we give them credit for.

Remember, start small and cheap, and get out in half the time you think the kids will tolerate.

Think places you might go if you were on your own.

  • Hit the trail. A backpack full of snacks, water, and mosquito repellent is all you really need for a quick hike. Binoculars, a magnifying glass, and a fun guide enhance the experience. Try geocaching with an adventurous crew. Seeking quiet? Encourage kids to listen for crickets, rustling leaves, cracking twigs, and other sounds they have to be very still to hear.
  • Take in some art. Galleries and museums quiet . Kids three and under are strapped in the stroller or carrier and don’t get out, so there’s no worry of an escape attempt. The five year old is in sneakers. If they get antsy, we move on. You won’t see every piece and read every plaque this way, but it beats another round of Chutes and Ladders.
  • Tune in. Plan a strategic walk past an outdoor concert to catch some live music on the go, or spread out a blanket at the neighborhood picnic. Start small (and free!) and work your way up to the biggies.
  • Go to the game. Just because your kids aren’t in high school doesn’t mean you can’t support one of the local teams; the slower pace is helpful when looking to learn the rules of the game. Many collegiate sports also offer free spectating.
  • Shop. I like to take the young ones thrifting. Big warehouses and open markets are stroller-friendly, and there’s plenty of visual stimulation. Keep preschoolers interested with a scavenger hunt: “Do you see anything red? How many birds can we find?” Babies are even more portable. If it’s just the two of you, strap on a carrier and visit a favorite boutique or bookstore.

How do you cater to everyone’s interests (including your own!) outside of the home?

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