As January hit, so did the cold weather in Cincinnati. As a mom of a toddler panic set in of ‘what are we going to do?’ Last winter Parker was only 4 months old. So he stayed where you put him, for the most part. This year he is on the move, and getting into EVERYTHING.
I went on a hunt to find the best places to let a 15 month old run around and have fun. I found so many resources to look on for what is going on in Cincinnati. Two websites I found that offer a day to day calendar of hat is happening are, HulaFrog and Mothering Chaos. The calendars are very helpful for when you need to get out of the house, but have no idea what is going on.
Parker and I ventured out in the past month to try some these ideas. Below are some of our favorites and highly recommend trying out.
Union Terminal was one place I couldn’t wait to take Parker to. I remember back when I was little, and how much fun I had every time we went. We actually decided our first visit to go ahead and get a year pass. This was such a great decision as we have been about 6 times since November. One thing I love about having a pass is not feeling guilty if you don’t get to every exhibit or only stay for 45 minutes because someone is having a meltdown.
Our family absolutely loves the Children’s Museum that is located on the bottom floor of Union Terminal. Through trial and error, we learned that you need to get there right when it opens. We lucked out once and arrived right as they were turning on the elevators for the whole building. The children’s museum was pretty much empty which is perfect for an energetic toddler, or if you have smaller children and worry about them. The museum offers a specific area, that is managed by a worker, for these young-ins. Inside this walled in area is a breast feeding area, enclosed area for the not yet walking kids, a story area where they do offer story times, and much more.
If you haven’t checked this gem out, I highly recommend it. As the year progresses, even more of the museum will start to reopen after the construction finishes up.
Love going to the park in the spring and summer? Bummed that the weather is too cold outside to take your child to? I found the perfect place that offers all that you love about going to the park, but indoors. This place was so much fun, and Parker loved it. Inside was lined with jungle gyms, swings, trampolines, basketball hoops, and a few mini play kitchens.
I had a blast watching Parker explore it all, especially since he had only been to a handful of parks so far. He didn’t really start walking till the end of September, beginning of October so we had missed most of the park days. He even got daring after watching some older kids and decided to climb up one of the big stairs. This pregnant mama got very nervous and had to climb up after him. The look on his face after getting all the way up there was pure pride in himself.
I can’t wait to take him back again for more fun! It is located in Milford, right off Rt. 28.
Your Local Library
The most recommended place even while I was pregnant with Parker was to check out our local library. They offer a ton of story times throughout the week, along with a space for kids to play. I took Parker to his first ‘Baby Story Time’ when he was only 3 months old. Since then we have been back countless times, and have given me so much joy to watch him change from that first class until now.
Taking him to story time is sometimes funny. He is at the age where getting him to sit still for the whole 20 minutes in nearly impossible. Parker is an explorer so he gets up in the middle and starts walking around checking out other things going in the room. There are times I try and get him to sit back down, but this kid is determined. I just quietly follow him around to make sure he doesn’t make a mess, and hurt himself, or anyone else. If your kid sounds the same, don’t worry you are not alone.
One other thing I love about the local libraries, is their kids area. We have been to 3 different libraries and all have marvelous areas for kids to play. The library is a wonderful, warm, free resource to use with all ages. Check out and see your nearest story time, Hamilton County Public Library and Clermont County Public Library.
Parker loves music, so I knew when I saw a free demo class we had to check it out. We almost didn’t make it, the snow tried to stop us. Since the snow was coming down pretty bad on our way to class, there was actually only 2 kids there. It made the class more intimate, but could definitely tell when Parker was not doing what he was supposed to.
When we first got there, Parker was unsure about what was going on. He had never been around people playing live music before. As the class went on, he started to warm up and was showing interest in the instruments. The drum in particular caught his attention, he kept wanting to go over and touch it. Let’s hope this isn’t a foreshadowing of the future. At the end of the class there was time for each kid to check out the instruments. They could touch, play, and explore; this was Parkers favorite part!
My friend Stephanie, from Consistently Curious, took her daughter here and I was intrigued. She explained that Soph loved it and I should check it out. We decided to meet up and have a little playdate. Parker and I arrived first, so we had time to look around a bit. I saw endless amount of trampolines, foam ball pits, and misc things for the older kids. In my head I saw this going one of two ways; he was going to love it, or cry.
Adrenaline has a specified toddler area, which always gets high marks for me. Parker had never seen trampolines like this before so he didn’t know what was about to happen. He walked straight at the trampolines, and immediately face planted into the first section. After composing himself, he got up, and figured out what to do. A big smile came across his face as he was getting a hang it.
As with everything, Parker gets easily distracted by other things. He saw the whole room as something he needed to explore. I’m not going to lie, this part about him makes me nervous. First time mom over here! The reason I feel this way is because there were so many kids bigger than him that could take him out pretty easily. I just followed along and he was enjoying himself very much. Perfect to tire out a toddler right before nap time!
A new indoor play area opened up in Oakley/O’Bryonville and we had to try it! We went on the Tuesday before the Polar Vortex around 10:30 and it was packed. Everyone in the area had the same idea. Even though there were a lot of people, we had a great time. It was perfect for Parker who moves from thing to thing with no notice. He is a toddler boy who gets distracted very easily with another toy. LilyPad was wonderful with this in mind. There were legos, things to ride on, play kitchen with food, a play set with slide, climbing wall, painting, kinetic sand, book, train tables, and so much more! I highly recommend this place, but go around 11:30/12. This was about the time we were headed out, and the crowd was starting to diminish. They also offer a variety of classes you can do with your toddler or young child.