For new parents in Chicago, getting out of the house with your little one is well worth packing a few snacks and wipes for. And when you're ready for an adventure beyond exploring a new playspace or hitting the local playground, there are dozens of baby and me classes you and your little one can try out together. Fortunately for toddlers and preschoolers (and their parents), there are plenty of parent-child classes for older kiddos too. Ready to explore yoga, nature, movement, dance, music, swimming, cooking—or even beatboxing? Read on for our list of fun "mom and me" classes to take with kids in Chicago.
Baby and Kids' Classes at Bloom Yoga Studio — Ravenswood
4663 N. Rockwell Street
Ages 6 weeks-4 years
Unlike most yoga studios that only offer baby-and-me yoga until baby starts crawling, Bloom Yoga Studio offers parent-child yoga classes for three different age levels. There's a baby-and-me class for caregivers with pre-crawling babies as young as 6 weeks, a parent-tot class for active babies up to age 2, plus a "storytime yoga" session for two to four year-olds that incorporates stories and play-acting. (Drop-off classes for older kids ages 5-14 are offered, too.)
Bubbles Academy — Lincoln Park
2184 N. Elston Avenue
Ages newborn-5 years
This early education center offers classes in everything from crawling to music, art, and math, as well as classes that encourage gross motor skills and speech development. New moms looking for community and support can join the Fourth Trimester Village, a moms' group with visiting experts and the opportunity to explore introductory mom-and-baby classes.
Chicago Children's Theatre — West Side
100 South Racine Avenue
Ages newborn-5 years-
Drop-ins are welcome at parent-child classes at the energetic Chicago Children's Theatre. Classes for little ones with their caregivers include storytimes that introduce classic tales, "Bubble Jams" where music and movement exploration comes with a dazzling dose of bubble play, and even BeatBox for Kids, where toddlers to preschoolers can get started on their careers in hip-hop.
Baby-Toddler Swim Classes at Chicago Blue Dolphins — Lincoln Park
2222 N. Elston Ave.
Ages 6 months-4 years-
With toys, songs, games, and a gentle, child-focused approach, swim classes for babies and toddlers at Chicago Blue Dolphins are laid-back and fun with an emphasis on getting comfortable in the water with a caregiver, rather than strictly skill-building. Perfect for littles who are a little bit leery of the wet stuff.
Babes and Buds at Edgewater Playhouse — Edgewater
1048 W Bryn Mawr Ave.
Ages 18 months-3 years-
If climbing, tumbling, and generally getting to run a little wild with a gym full of cool, soft, toddler-appropriate mats, blocks, and toys sounds like your toddler's idea of heaven, the parent-child tumbling classes at Edgewater Playhouse are a great bet. Little ones get a mix of independent and structured playtime in each session, with adults participating in stretches and skill-building.
Fairytale Ballet — Lakeview, Bucktown, North Evanston
See website for locations
Ages 18 months-3 years
At these seriously adorable dance classes for toddlers and preschoolers, caregivers help little dancers take their first ballet steps with the help of fairytale props and costumes, familiar stories, nursery rhymes, and songs.
Backfloat Baby at Foss Swim School — Lakeview
3026 N. Ashland Avenue
Ages 6 months-3 years
Caregivers and babies can splash and explore water play together in swim classes conducted in a deliciously warm pool with instructors who lead the group in songs, games, and basic water skills.
Morning Glories at Garfield Park Conservatory — Garfield Park
300 N Central Park Avenue
Ages 0-5 years
At weekly FREE learning sessions in the lush environment of the Garfield Park Conservatory, kids under 5 and their caregivers can participate in activities that let kids dig into the natural world, with digging, planting, storytimes, crafts, and other projects.
Baby and Tots Cooking Classes at The Kids' Table — Wicker Park and Lakeview
2337 W North Avenue (Wicker Park) and 2864 N Lincoln Avenue (Lakeview)
Ages 18 months-4 years
Strap on an apron with your favorite cutie and pick up valuable cooking skills together, while making something delicious. Kids' cooking classes here are smartly adapted to chefs of all ages, and even the youngest get to participate with their adult's help.
Little Beans Cafe — Bucktown and Evanston
1809 W. Webster Avenue (Bucktown) and 430 Asbury Avenue (Evanston)
Ages newborn-3 years
Among the many (many) classes on offer at both locations of the much-loved local playspace, cafe, and learning center, parent-child classes here focus on building communication skills through Baby Sign Language and Toddler Talk + Play. Weekly music and movement classes for babies with caregivers are on the calendar, too.
The Little Gym of Chicago — Roscoe Village
3216 N. Lincoln Avenue
Ages 4 months-3 years
Parent-child classes at the Little Gym incorporate movement, music, and social skills, plus teach numbers, colors, and letters in a friendly, action-oriented format, where kids get to tumble, climb, and explore on mats and play structures.
Merry Music Makers — Lakeview, Andersonville, Edgewater
See website for full list of locations
Ages newborn-5 years
With catchy tunes that teach music-making basics like rhythm, pitch, and dynamics, these baby-friendly music classes go beyond simple singalongs. Babies love the opportunity to play with instruments like drums, triangles, and maracas, and parents can't help but get into the groove, too. Classes are also offered in Spanish and French.
Explorers at Morton Arboretum — Lisle
4100 Route 53, Lisle
Ages 18-35 months
Toddlers with their caregivers explore the natural world at the Morton Arboretum in weekly classes that include a nature walk, crafts, and engaging, hands-on learning. Themed adventures have included weather, forest animals, and worms and bugs, and classes meet outdoors in rain, sunshine, or snow—so dress for the weather.
Old Town School of Folk Music's celebrated early childhood music program welcomes young children and their families to the world of music. Photo courtesy of the school
Lullabies and Wiggleworms at Old Town School of Folk Music —Ravenswood
4544 North Lincoln Avenue
Ages 0-5 months (Lullabies) and 6-12 months (Wiggleworms)
The Old Town's much-loved music classes for youngsters start kids off young with the sweet Lullabies series for babies up to 5 months. Starting at 6 months, babies can rock out to Wiggleworms classes, which are also offered in Spanish, as well as in class formats that allow siblings and grown-ups to join in the music-making.
Buddha Belly Yoga at the Sod Room — South Loop
1454 S. Michigan Avenue
Ages 18 months-5 years
The unique eco-friendly play space offers a weekly yoga class for kids of all ages and their caregivers, drop-ins welcome, with teachers from Buddha Belly Kids Yoga. The focus is on relaxing fun, with singing, yoga games, and stories.
Mom and Me Yoga and Talking Tots at Sprout San Francisco — Wicker Park
1943 W Division St.
Ages newborn to 6 months (Talking Tots) and ages 6 weeks-1 year (Mom and Me Yoga)
Encourage your baby's communication skills at a weekly class designed by licensed speech-language pathologists. Through activities, movement, and play parents bond with their babies and help foster early development. For relaxing stretches with your little one, weekly mom and baby yoga classes in this serene, sweet space focus on building mom's strength and agility, with fun poses for babies and instruction in soothing baby massage.
Baby and Me Yoga at Sweet Pea's Studio — Lakeview
3717 N. Ravenswood Avenue
Ages 4 months through "active crawlers"
Sweet Pea's Studio is a family-owned yoga center that offers prenatal classes as well as sweet, playful baby-and-me yoga classes for little ones and their caregivers (dads are welcome, too!). Infant massage basics and stress-busting stretches taught by are part of every session.
Tiny Tunes Studio — South Loop
69 E 16th Street
Ages 0 months-5 years
This adorable, action-packed spot offers music and movement classes every day of the week, with singalongs aimed at various age groups from newborns to toddlers and beyond. Little ones get to explore playing with instruments while learning new tunes and building physical skills. Classes for babies include tummy time and sensory exploration.