As the chilly air moves in my toddler has decided that five minutes outside is long enough. I see him peering out the window and I can almost hear the internal battle going on inside his head. He wants so badly to run in circles, to move all my potting soil out of the pot and onto the deck, and to pluck all the berries off the holly for inspection. He wants to, except, “brrrr!” as he puts it. I can see his energy bubbling over as his arms flail uncontrollably throwing whatever was in his hand, as he clears off the coffee table for no apparent reason, or slams a tune out on his piano. This child needs to get out. He needs to run, jump, and be a toddler.
I have two options. Option one, morph into a mommyzilla and stomp around growling about how we don’t throw toys and demand he take a time out. Or, option two, redirect his energy to something positive. So here it is, a list of activities we can go do the in community! (See my next post for a list of activities to try at home.)
In and around Howard County, Maryland
- Play N Learn: The Playground Superstores in Columbia, MD – When you can’t get outside to play the next best thing is an indoor playground. This huge indoor playground equipment store features “safe rubber flooring, swingsets, basketball hoops, trampolines, air hockey and foosball tables best suited to entertain ages 2-8”, plus infant swings. They sell tickets for two hour blocks Monday through Sunday for $8 per child.
- Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Columbia, MD – I have heard a lot of parents talking about Toddler Time at Sky Zone, but have yet to check it out. The cost is $7 for children 5 and under and $12 for adults.
- Pump It Up in Elkridge, MD – This giant inflatable playground is sure to get the energy out in a safe and fun way during pre-k open jump for the under-6 crowd. The cost is $10 per child.
- Irvine Nature Center in Owings Mills, MD – This is a fantastic resource for anyone local. We have really enjoyed exploring their resident animals, playing on their outdoor playground (in the warmer months), and participating in their “Tales & Tails” story time held every Friday at 10. They also have a (very) small play area for the little ones. This is a great, free place to explore with your toddler any time, but they also offer some fantastic programming and camps. If we lived closer, I would definitely enroll my guy in their 12-week Little Birds program.
- Kiddie Crusoe in Timonium, MD – We had the opportunity to go here in October and I definitely want to keep it on our list as a future option. This location features three main rooms. The first room has little “stores,” dress up clothes, and ride-on toys for make believe. The second room has an indoor playground with a few swingsets. The third room has inflatables for the kids to climb, bounce and slide on. Mini Mondays and Tot Tuesdays are for children 3 and under (plus siblings). The cost is $7 per child.
- The Original Playhouse in Newmarket, MD – As their website explains, “[t]he playhouse offers two colorful floors dedicated to imaginative play, creativity, and experiential learning…The Original Playhouse targets children ages 3-9 as the activities are most appropriate for this developmental range.” Toddlers are welcome to play too; however, parents need to be extra watchful as there are toys and areas that aren’t designed or safe for children under three. They are open for walk-in play Tuesday-Friday from 9am-4pm and Sunday 12-5pm. Adults and children 1.5 – 2 are $5 and children 3 and up are $10.
- Play Date Junction in Eklridge, MD – This is a great little drop-in option. Although it is not huge, they do have a few small wooden slides for climbing, small trampolines, a train set, and a small kitchen. They have a great nursing room for feeding and changing. It’s worth joining their Facebook page because they do offer events such as “I’m the Chef Too” and “Parent’s Night Out”. Drop-in play is $15 per child and $13 for siblings.
- Hopper’s KidZone in Eldersburg, MD – This indoor arena has bounce houses, obstacle courses, and jumbo slides for kids to run, jump, and play. The open play is on weekdays from 10 am-1 pm and 4 pm-8 pm on Tuesday & Thursday. The cost is $8 for 2+ and $5 for the under-2 crowd.
- Kidville in Fallsgrove, MD – They typically offer gym, art, music, and dance classes, but open their facility to non-members for open play, mostly in the afternoons. They charge $10 per hour per child for non-members.
- Rollie Pollies in Crofton or Severna Park, MD – They appear to have a lot of children’s gymnastics equipment including trampolines, foam pits, beams, a bounce house, etc. It seems similar to My Gym. They have open gym hours for $10 per child and allow drop-offs for potty trained children over 3.
For 7 more local activities for babies and toddlers please visit my first post, Out And About With Baby!