Understandably, sometimes all you want to do is gaze into your baby’s eyes or marvel at their fingers and toes (and often, that’s all you have the energy to do!). But for those times when you just need to get out of the house, here are some ideas.
- Book Babies at your local library. Babies ages 0-12 months can enjoy songs, rhymes, books, play – and maybe even some bubbles – at libraries all throughout Portland and beyond. Multnoma County’s library’s schedule is available here. Click here for Washington County, and start here for Clackamas County.
- Other storytimes. While not geared specifically to babies, babies are always welcome at the storytimes held at your local bookstore. Some great options are the weekly storytimes at Green Bean Books on Tuesdays at 11 and at A Children’s Place Bookstore on Thursdays at 10:30. Both are free. Even more options can be found on our events calendar.
- Music. Your kids are never too young to get exposed to some great music. Luckily, Portland has a “kindie” music scene to beat all kindie music scenes. Many performers have weekly or biweekly shows, so you can catch a regular performance by musicians like The Alphabeticians, Mo Phillips, Mr. Ben, Tallulah’s Daddy, Olive & Dingo, and many others at kid-friendly locations around town any day of the week. Most of the shows have a suggested donation of $3-5. Check our events calendar for the weekly lineup. Another great option is to sign up for a weekly music class with your baby. Music Together has a wonderful program.
- Baby Hour at the Portland Art Museum. The first Thursday of every month at 10 AM, PAM welcomes caregivers with children under the age of 1 to take a slow guided walk around the museum with a docent, followed by coffee and conversation. Registration is required, and the cost is $5 for members, $20 for non-members. Details here.
- Other museums. Of course, the Portland trifecta of kid-friendly museums – OMSI, the Children’s Museum, and the Zoo – are great options, especially for parents who also have an older child to entertain. OMSI has an area in the back of its Science Playground for babies, complete with lots of cushioned blocks and items to entertain babies’ eyes and minds. Babies will love the many tactile options at the Children’s Museum, and slightly older babies will especially love the toddler area in the Outdoor Adventure exhibit. And bring your stroller or carrier and get some exercise while walking through the zoo and observing the many fabulous animals there. OMSI is free for kids 2 and under. The Children’s Museum is free for kids under 1. And the Zoo is free for kids 2 and under. (Check out our full museum guide here.)
- Messy Art. For slightly older babies, there are plenty of options to get creative and messy! Many of Portland’s community centers have weekly “Messy Arts” or “Art Parks,” encouraging little ones to put pen to paper (or hands to playdough, or glue to feathers…). Outside of the community centers, there are even more options – including Spark Arts, Art ala Carte, Portland Child Art Studio, and many more. Check out a roundup of a few here, and see even more options on our events calendar.
- Get Your Kids Moving. Many of the community centers also host regular indoor gym times. The center usually brings out balls, push cars, hula hoops, and other fun and active toys they have on hand. These are generally for ages 5 and under, although some community centers have special Baby Gyms (Montavilla Community Centerand Peninsula Park Community Center are two) that are geared towards babies under 18 months. You can also check out some of the classes at private facilities, like the Playground Gym and the Children’s Gym.
- Get Yourself Moving. Giving yourself a chance to workout can feel so good after months of having all your organs squished into a six-inch radius! There are several mama boot camp options here – Baby Boot Camp and FIT4MOM are both great options to get your workout in while still being close to your little one. If you’re looking for something a little mellower, The Bhaktishop has weekly mama-baby yoga classes.
- Movies! But you know, sometimes you just need a break from everything – even your precious little one. If so, you may be in the mood for a Mommy Matinee at the Kennedy School, where you can bring your baby without being concerned if he or she fusses a bit.
- Support Groups. Sometimes you need a little extra help. There are tons of places to get help with newborn-related issues – from breastfeeding to post partum depression. See our Parenting Help Resources Guide for more information.
Best of luck getting out of the house with your wee one and enjoying some of what Portland has to offer! For even more post-baby resources, check out our Baby Resource Guide.