The Kidlist Guide for New Parents: Fun Things to Do with a Baby in Chicagoland!

Activities by AgeUncategorized

When we put together our activities by age guide, we felt like something was missing. Even though we’d covered every age, from baby through teenagers, we realized there was something different about being a first-time parent. After all, it’s a different experience than taking care of a baby when you have older kids, too.

We also get questions on our social media accounts like: How do you meet other moms and dads? When do you need to sign up for things? What kinds of places can you bring a baby when you’re not just bringing them along to their siblings’ activities?

So we put together this guide to help the new parents out. It’s a great resource to bookmark, or to send to the new parents in your life!

baby playing in a fountain at the Willow Pond Splash Pad

Our Top Articles for New Parents

10 Best Things to Do with a Toddler or Baby in Chicago’s West Suburbs

For babies who aren’t walking yet, it’s all about finding places where they can see, touch, and (let’s face it) taste safely. Toddlers need spots where they can stretch their legs and explore! And parents, nannies, and caregivers with babies and toddlers need to leave the house, too.

This article has 10 great activities for local parents to do with their little ones, as well as the scoop on where to go in our area.

Where to Find Parent-Child and “Mommy and Me” Classes

Parent-child classes are a gentle way to introduce young children to a structured class environment. Our list of local parent-child classes includes music, dance, swimming, preschool programs, and more.

When to sign up for these kinds of classes? Park district enrollment often begins a couple of months before the classes begin; you can usually sign up to get email reminders. However, you can always check to see if the class is full or not, usually even right up until the class starts. Private businesses usually have more of a rolling schedule.

Classes for Little Kids 0-5 Years Old

Classes for little kids ages 0–5 years old help keep kids playing, learning, exploring, and engaging with other children. With countless classes offered for children at this stage in life, there’s something for everyone!

Almost as important as the benefits for the kiddos: parents can meet and connect with other parents in this same stage of life.

25 Best Parks for Walking with Beautiful Trails to Take Together

These paved trails make smooth sailing for a stroller or pram. Get out and enjoy the fresh air together!

All the 2024 Free Museum Days Chicago and the Suburbs Have to Offer

If there’s a museum you’d like to stroll through, a free day is a great day to do it with a baby in tow. That way, your trip can last just the right amount of time for the both of you! Spots like the Field Museum and the Art Institute have private rooms for nursing and feeding, too.

Other ideas for new parents with a baby

Enjoy the changing of the seasons.

Getting out to enjoy nature and fresh air has huge benefits for parents and babies alike. As the seasons change, there’s so much for little ones to see and opportunities for parents to talk about changing temperatures, colors, and scents.

In the springtime, explore bright buds together during Chicagoland’s tulip season, which is usually mid-April through mid-May. Aurora’s sunken gardens at Philips Park and the tulips at Lilacia Park in Lombard are both free and easy destinations with a stroller or baby carrier. Chat about colors and scents as you go!

In the summer, visiting a farm with your baby can make for a great opportunity to chat about the animals, watch their movements, and enjoy the fresh air. Check out calmer farms where you can stroll the paths and watch the animals at your leisure: free spots include Wagner Farm in Glenview, Primrose Farm in St. Charles, and Volkening Heritage Farm at Spring Valley in Schaumburg.

In the fall, gorgeous colors abound everywhere we look! Our guide to changing colors in Chicagoland includes advice from an expert at Lisle’s Morton Arboretum on making the most of the season.

Winter brings its own chances for adventure in the outdoors! Bundle up for a winter hike and enjoy snowy scenery together. Or, take the stroller through a walk-through Christmas lights display and watch your little one’s eyes light up . . . unless, of course, they sleep right through it.

Find indoor places to go with your baby.

Especially when the weather makes it hard to get outside, indoor playplaces can make for a nice destination to get out of the house. (They’re great when you really need to be somewhere where no one will bat an eye at spit-up on your sweatshirt.) Our article on places to go with a baby or toddler calls out a few spots that are especially good for younger ones.

The library is also a great destination. Some libraries, such as the Downers Grove Public Library (one of our readers’ choices for best kids’ libraries in Chicagoland) even have special spots for babies to play.

You can think outside of the box when it comes to indoor places to go with your baby, too. Our list of unlikely places for fun is written with entertaining little ones in mind, but these are all great spots where you can browse with your baby along for the ride, too.

Look for baby-friendly events near you.

Our Kidlist event calendar has family-friendly activities for all ages. Sometimes, signing up for an activity at a specific day and time can be a great motivation to get out of the house! Activities like baby storytimes or sing-a-longs at the local library are a great way to meet other parents in your local neighborhood, too.

Save ideas for fun things you’d like to do.

Stay in the loop with emails from Kidlist! Even if your kids aren’t old enough for some of the fun things you hear about, you’ll learn more about your local area and all of the kid-friendly things to do. Save ideas for places to go and things to do. As your child grows, you’ll be ready to explore and make memories together.

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