You've put in your nine-month wait time, survived those first harrowing weeks with a newborn, and you're finally ready to tackle the great big world... or city of Houston... with your baby. The only problem is where do you even start? Rest easy, mama, because we're here to help! We've rounded up 14 of the best activities for you to do with your baby around the Bayou City.
Baby ball pits and other sensory activities are perfect for your little one under one./Photo courtesy of Carrie Taylor.
1. Head to an indoor playspace designed especially for baby. When you first think of indoor playspaces, you probably think of the ones designed for toddlers and little kids, however, many spaces have areas that are specially designed for babies under one, allowing your little one to expend some much-needed energy and engage in sensory play that's tailored specifically for their little minds and hands.
2. Sign up for a Mommy & Me class. What better way to bond with your baby than by regularly attending a mommy and me class? From music classes to baby yoga, sign language classes and everything in between, there is no shortage of fun activities you can tackle with your baby. Who knows? You may even learn something, too!
3. Attend or join a mom's group in your area. Motherhood can be isolating at times, but finding a group of moms that have babies and children the same age as your own can offer an outlet for babies and moms alike. These groups usually meet on a weekly or bi-weekly basis at designated spots that allow you and your baby to have fun together while making new friends.
4. Sit down for storytime at your local library. Foster an early love of reading and literacy in your baby at a local storytime. In addition to interactive book readings, these storytimes typically also include sensory activities that teach babies early on how to follow instructions during the class and offer free play with other babie afterward.
Have some splish splash fun in the water during Mom and Me swim classes./Photo courtesy of Goldfish Swim School.
5. Sign up for swim lessons. It's never too early to start learning water safety tips and techniques, and mom and me swim classes are the perfect way to get your baby comfortable in the water at an early age. And since most of these classes require a parent in the water during the lesson, you get a chance to spend a little extra time with your little one.
6. Take a trip the movie theater for baby's first movie. While the thought of taking a wiggly, vocal baby to the movies may seem laughable, many theaters offer special showings for families to attend with their babies and toddlers. During these specific movie times the lighting is usually brighter than a normal showing and patrons are warned that these screenings are family-friendly and may be louder than normal.
7. Start yearly holiday traditions. From Easter Bunny photos to fall pumpkin patches and visits to jolly old St. Nick, you definitely want to start your yearly traditions during year one and watch the progression. Just don't be surprised if there are a few tears of fear shed the first year... Santa can take some getting used to!
8. Say hi to all the animals at the Houston Zoo. Your baby will love getting to meet all the animals at the Houston Zoo; all the colors, sounds, and smells will be sensory heaven! Plus, you can also visit the petting zoo, cool off at the splash pad, and take a ride on the Hermann Park train - there's no shortage of fun to be had during your trip. Visit on the first Tuesday of the month September through May and you can also take advantage of FREE admission.
Family bike rides and stroller runs are the perfect pairing of fun and exercising./Photo courtesy of the author.
9. Hit the trails. Whether you're taking a family bike ride or going on a stroller run, Houston is home to lots of easy trails you can tackle with your baby. Everyone gets a little fresh air and a nice change of scenery, and you get to get in some extra exercise. It's a win-win!
10. Visit the beach. It's never too early for some sand, sun, and a little family fun, so start planning your first beach trip with baby. Just don't forget your floaties and sunscreen!
11. Take your playtime outdoors at one of Houston's many playgrounds. Swings and slides offer endless smiles for your babies, making a nearby park or playground the perfect option for fair-weather days.
12. Splish and splash at a local splash pad or spray park. If you're not quite ready to brave the pool, but want to cool off on a hot summer day, a splash pad is the ideal alternative. Babies can crawl around while the water sprays without the risk of traveling into water that's too deep.
13. Start checking off bucket list items from Mommy Poppins' Top 100 List. It's never too early to start visiting some of our favorite Houston landmarks, and with 100 items on the list starting sooner than later is always a good idea.
14. Plan their first birthday party. You made it through the first year together and it's time to celebrate! Whether you're hosting a party at home or going somewhere fun, all first birthdays have a few things in common: family, friends, and lots of cake!