We’ve heard that parenting is not a sprint, it’s a marathon, but it’s hard to pace yourself when you’re excited about all the kid-friendly activities you want to try. Here are the quintessential activities that we think all East Bay babies should check off their life lists early. We don’t recommend doing them all in the first month.
1. Go to the theater where crying is allowed
Babies are welcome at Bringing up Baby shows on 2nd & 4th Tuesdays at the Cerrito Theater on San Pablo Avenue in El Cerrito. Tickets are $8 and they serve house-made pizza and beer.
2. Practice yoga baby-style
Our favorite postpartum yoga class is Yogalayam on Alcatraz in Berkeley where mother’s helpers assist with your baby and massage is included.
3. Go for a swim
The warm pool at Berkeley High offers a drop-in swim “lesson” for parents with babies, starting at six months old during the special parent and tot hour. Classes are Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.
[photo from honza soukup via flickr ]
4. Promise yourself a rose garden
Wear your baby and enjoy a stroll. Bring a visiting grandma, park on Euclid Street, and walk down through the Berkeley Rose Garden, especially at sunset. 1200 Euclid Avenue in Berkeley.
[photo by happycatthegreat via flickr]
5. Fondle the veggies at a farmers’ market
Take a stroller with a basket underneath and check out any of the East Bay’s Farmer’s Markets. Feed your baby outdoors. There are several to choose from; the picture below was taken on Sunday morning at Temescal.
[photo from joefoutrelle via flickr]
6. Test drive some music classes
Lots of the franchised music classes for babies offer a trial class for free. Music Together is our favorite and in several locations. Kindermusik (pictured below) has other options. Pull together friends for a free demo class for a group.
[photo by by jessicafm via flickr]
7. Visit a farm
Little Farm in Tilden Park has sheep, cow, goats, and more. Even better, it is free. Bring celery to feed the big animals and let your older baby see what Old MacDonald is talking about. Open daily from 8.30 to 4 pm.
[photo by soapbeard via flickr]
8. Join crawlers anonymous
Buy a membership to a place where babies and parents gather to play so you have somewhere to go when you need a change of scenery. Our favorites: Studio Grow in Berkeley or Play Cafe in Oakland. There are many other options too!
[photo from gojanelin via flickr]
9. Meow, bark + tweet at the pet store
Petco in the El Cerrito shopping center is like a tiny zoo for babies. There are tons of fish tanks, mice, guinea pigs, and birds, but and you can hold your baby right up to the cage. We like to hit the pet store and then the train table at Barnes & Noble across the way.
10. Pitch a tent at an outdoor store
An almost-toddler will appreciate the slick paths at REI. Go during off-peak hours, unzip the demo tents for her, and let her climb inside. Located in Berkeley on San Pablo at Gilman.
[photo by waymarking.com]
Here’s a downloadable PDF so you can put it on your fridge and check off these challenges as you go!
Related: checklist: 10 things to do before your kid turns 10.