A.M. asks from New York, NY on September 03, 2008
Seeking Cheap Indoor Activities for Baby on UWS
Hi everyone - I am mom to a very active, energetic 7-month-old boy who is already crawling and standing up. As fall and winter approach, I am starting to get a bit nervous about how to keep him entertained in the colder months (right now we spend tons of time in the park). We live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and I've looked into classes but I can't believe how expensive they are! Does anyone have any suggestions for inexpensive/free activities or classes we can do in the fall and winter? I looked into story hour at the local library or bookstore but can't even seem to find that! The Museum of Natural History and Children's Museum of Manhattan seem like good options, but is there anything else? I really appreciate your help!
J.D. answers from New York on September 05, 2008
I am so with you. I can't believe how $$$ the classes are either. I am going to get a membership to the Children's Museum. I believe it is about $210 for the year. Your son should love it. It seems he is on the same track as my daughter was (she is only 1 mo older), crawling by 5 mo, pulling herself up by 6.5, it is crazy and it seems like her little play gym is just something to cruise by now :-)
Also, I did put my daughter in a class BUT many places have monthly payment options which is something I opted to do.
Where on the UWS are you? Come winter a few girlfiends will probably start to do playgroups, let me know if you're interested.
Best of luck,
J.C. answers from New York on September 04, 2008
I am on the same hunt right now for my 14 month old son Jack. You are right the cost of some programs are outrageous. I was doing some research and found that Saint John the Divine has an indoor playspace open in the fall and winter months for children and their caregivers. I haven't called them yet, but plan to soon. I also just heard of the Little Gym. That's one more phone call on my list. I am hoping that it is cheaper than Gymboree and a few other places I called. I myself do not enjoy the Barnes & Nobles on 80th and Bdway. It is not a great place to let your child roam around and enough of those books are being damaged by older children that I wouldn't want my son to participate in that. St. Agnes library on 81st and Amsterdam has a children's section that might be an option as well. Try calling the Y as well and see if they have any open play spaces that are available to non-members. Happy hunting and maybe two Jacks will run into each other this winter.
A.L. answers from New York on September 04, 2008
Have you visited Barnes & Noble on 80th and Bway? When I've been there it's been packed with mothers/nannies and kids.
M.Q. answers from New York on September 05, 2008
The museums you mentioned, time spent at the local library even if there is no organized story time, but what got me through (and I haven't lived on the UWS in 4 years) was finding a "mommy's group" with similar aged kids. I found one through the Reebok center and the other was organized by a college friend. We rotated what house we would visit. Check your ped office for "mother's luncheon" where for $20 you go to a lunch with a speaker who will discuss some aspect of early childhood development and be with other moms who might have some scoop for you. Our building had a playroom which created an instant "playgroup" as well.