Typically, they will have a set up for non-walkers which is nice if you have little ones that need to be in a smaller gated area. They will also have a larger area with slides and jungle gym set ups for the toddler aged kiddos. I have one in my hometown, and it is nice how they have it set up with tables and seats for the parents/care takers which can also be used and rented out for birthday parties. They also have different activity rooms with arts and crafts and such things! This is great if you live somewhere that has 4 seasons and if it’s a snow, rainy, or extra cold or even hot day these places provide a nice area for the kids to get out all their energy.
Another place that kids of all ages love is Sky zone or just a trampoline park in general. They typically have areas split up depending on the ages of the kids and these types of places provide lots of things for the kids to do. Some have obstacle courses, zip lines, foam jumping pits and much more. Some of these places have 18+ nights too and allow them to have the whole place without worrying about the little ones. Some offer exercising classes as well. Great for the whole family!
More ideas, of course, would be looking into all the local parks. I like to find a nice park with a lot to offer and even if I have to drive to it, it’s worth it! The good thing about the parks is that they are free, and you can stay as long as you want! On a nice day you can pack a lunch or some snacks and just enjoy being outdoors. Another idea that is free, is a lot of shopping malls have a small indoor play area for the little ones. I find these nice if you were shopping and the little ones seem relentless you can stop and let them run around for a bit!
Other things to look into when you are in a new place are kid friendly restaurants. I have found this to be very important especially as my little one is getting older and wanting to do a lot of walking around not sit in his highchair. My husband and I have learned the hard way that taking a 13-month-old out to a nice dinner is not the best idea! He was great until he figures out how to walk, and now that’s all he wants to do. Finding restaurants that are kid friendly is great because if the little one acts up or cries or needs to walk around, everyone there will understand. I like to find outdoor dining (weather permitted) or somewhere that has some distractions, like live music or a total kid place in general. (i.e. Chuck-e-cheese, Rainforest Café, Friendly’s, etc.). My son seemed to be entertained when we took him to Hibachi. He was a little scared at first but then thought it was great. The nice gentleman made him a balloon animal and he was very happy. However, once the show was over, he just wanted to walk around and not sit in his chair anymore. It can be a little challenging when they are at this stage of learning to walk but not old enough to understand we sit and eat then go play. My husband and I have found that take out and a movie is much easier right now!
It's always best to keep things simple when you are dealing with a newborn or toddler. Knowing that you have options within a driving distance will go a long way and instead of trying to figure out what to do, you will already have a set gameplan. If you implement any of the thoughts in this blog, you will not only save yourself some stress, but it will be a very enjoyable day with the people that you love to spend time with.