Creative, Free Play Dates for Moms and Babies

Hey Mom! Are you looking to get baby out of the house for an hour or two but want to avoid the coffee shop or an expensive entry fee into a museum? There are plenty of fun, free ways to have a date with your baby.

My daughter hates being indoors for too long. She gets stir crazy and downright grumpy. Thankfully, from a young age we went and did things together. However, the past few winter months I found myself finding excuses not to go outside. This week I wanted to change this bad habit and start reinvesting in my daughter, her social skills, and hunger to explore.

We have been trying some new, fun ways to get out together and bond. It has been really fun, and I am wondering what I was thinking before!

Here is a list of fun things to do for free (or almost):

1. Free day at the museum
We went to the free day at the Children’s Museum last night. Check your local museum calendars for free nights. It was really crowded, but really fun. She had a blast. I also had a great time watching her filled with wonder at the amazing things the museum had- giant bubbles, woodland themed crawling spaces with tunnels and fake furry animals, and an entire Whole Foods market for little ones to play in!

2. Go for a stroll outside
Is it a nice, sunny day? Grab your kicks and go for a stroll. Walk anywhere- to a grocery store, to the park, to a friends house. We love going on walks together. For a really fun time, play peek-a-boo from behind the stroller, play music on your phone or sing out loud, and talk to baby!

3. Go to the library and perhaps attend a book babies class
Most libraries will have a book babies reading session. They are really fun! Music, props, and books are read and enjoyed during the hour. Babies get to sing songs in their parents laps and learn about their toes and fingers. Lots of exploring and play time usually happen. If you don’t have a book babies class, let your little one explore and feel baby books in the book section. The library is such a magical place for little ones!

4. Go to the park and have a picnic
Is there anything more fun for little ones than swings, a sand box, and other kiddos running around? Nope. The park is the timeless solution for a quick outing. Pack a sandwich and some finger foods for baby and enjoy the grass and outdoors. Let little one feel the texture of sand, grass, and even take some fun swings!

5. The mall (leave your wallet in the car)
Most malls have a kids area. While some might be cleaner than others, it is still a free way to let little one socialize with other kids and crawl/ walk/ run in a new and bright environment. I did this today and packed a lunch and it was a great time.

6. Join a MOPS or MEETUP group
Some of these groups have a small fee associated with them, but these are great ways to meet other moms and babies and enjoy some fun socializing time or activities. There are thousands of meetups and MOPS groups- check online to find one near you.

7. Join a bible study at your church that offers free daycare
Many larger churches offer bible studies for women that also have free childcare included. I have attended a wonderful one in the past and while it was not mommy and baby time, it was a lovely way for me to get an hour to myself with coffee and some stimulating mental “food for thought”, while my child played with others in a fun, new, caring environment.

8. Volunteer to help with childcare through a church or non-profit
This is often overlooked, but if you are staying at home with your baby or have a little free time you can still volunteer with them! I help with childcare a few nights a month with a non-profit organization and bring my daughter along. It is really fun as we get to hangout with other babies in a fun room with tons of toys. Plus, she is learning service and how to share and love from a young age.

9. Go hiking
Invite a friend and go on a hike. Make sure you have a good backpack or carrier for your baby and sturdy shoes with support. This is a fun way to get exercise and get out!

10. Indoor play areas such as Monkey Bizness
Many indoor play areas that are for profit are actually free for babies who haven’t started crawling, and are usually under $10 for babies that crawl. While there is a small fee to play, these places are usually really fun, safe, and a great way to get out of the house if it is a cold or snowy day.

Do you have any fun ideas to share?

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