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5 Fun Places to Go With Baby

Getting to stay home with your baby is a wonderful blessing. Occasionally, however, it may get a little boring for you and for baby. When you need some stimulation, chances are your baby does too. Instead of staying stuck in the house, use these ideas to get a great social life you can enjoy together with your baby.

Take a parenting class. Many classes like "Mommy and Me", exercise classes and educational classes are available for mothers of any age baby. This is a great place to meet other parents, find play dates for your child and a reason to dress up and get out of the house. Be sure to bring the stroller so you can stop for a bite to eat or for some shopping on the way home.

Visit your local park at least once per week. This is a great chance to get some exercise while pushing the stroller around, and a good way to introduce baby to the birds, trees, squirrels and other gifts of nature. Pack a picnic and make it an afternoon out of the house for both of you.

See local museums and galleries together. Even very young babies enjoy the bright colors of artwork, and it is a chance to acquire some culture for yourself. Take a notebook along and jot down the names of paintings, sculptures and artists you want to research further when you get home. This is a great option for cold and rainy days.

Use your local library. Check out baby books, parenting books, educational books for yourself and videos for baby to enjoy while you read. Most libraries have play centers baby can use when he is old enough to sit up. Better yet, take the stroller and keep him with you while you browse around. This is also a great social opportunity for you and for baby.

Look for an indoor play gym in your area. These venues often have infant areas in addition to toddler play areas, and most are good at keeping older children out. These places are usually packed with other parents who are looking for someone to talk to while the children play. Take a friend the first time you go in case you aren't comfortable with another parent watching your child while you grab a soft drink or visit the restroom. Some gyms stamp parents' and kids' hands at the door so no child can leave with the wrong person.

With five fun things in your parenting "to do" arsenal, you have a good option for each day of the week, including days when going outdoors isn't pleasant. Be sure to pack the stroller, snacks and drinks for all your outings and schedule events after nap time when everyone is feeling fresh and rested.