5 Awesome Baby Hangouts Around San Diego

Standard

Like all inquisitive 9 month-olds, Xaviana adores being out and about. I’m a lucky mom, because there are so many family-friendly places to take her, right here in the San Diego area. Here are 5 of my favorites. If you’re a SD (especially North County) mom, take note…or check out these places next time you’re in town!

  1. UTC Mall – Babies and malls don’t usually mix, but the Westfield UTC in La Jolla boasts a clean, futuristic-looking family lounge. The curtained feeding cubicles, huge family bathroom, stroller “parking lot,” and cute play areas all ensure that baby will be fed, changed, and rested for a day of shopping heaven.
    The stroller parking at the mall

    The stroller parking at the mall

    The huge family restroom

    The huge family restroom

    The feeding rooms

    The feeding rooms

    The play area

    The play area

  2. Alga Norte Pool – This pool is heated to such a comfy temp that moms and babies alike won’t want to get out! We took Xaviana to swim classes (only around $45 for 8 lessons), and enjoy open swim from time to time. Just don’t go before noon in the summer. Mondays through Thursdays, the pool is swamped–literally–with the summer camp crowd.
  3. Dove Library – Like her mommy, Xaviana loves to read, so this is the perfect hangout for us. Not only does it host educational kids’ activities like Baby Rhyme Time and Toddler Time, there is a secret garden outside the children’s section, perfect for little ones to enjoy an afternoon frolic while moms sip delicious coffee drinks from Cafe Muse.
  4. Xtend Barre Encinitas – Xaviana and I rarely miss a Baby on Board barre class here–they’re just that awesome. The instructors make classes challenging and fun for moms, and most of the workout is performed while wearing the little ones in their carriers. It’s the perfect way to meet other moms and babies while working up a sweat.
  5. Poinsettia Park – This park has a cute playground and scenic walking trails, perfect for a stroller jog. There are also tons of benches and wide grassy areas, which are ideal for picnics and playdates. If you have older kids, they can play various sports here, such as tennis, basketball, soccer, and baseball. There are also free concerts on long summer evenings. We just attended a reggae one, and had a great time sprawled out on blankets with friends, babies, food, and wine. What could be better?

Moms out there, what are your favorite family-friendly hangouts in your area? Have you been to any of these in SD? I’d love to hear what you and you little ones do for fun. 🙂

Advertisements

Happy, Healthy Baby: Why We Love Mommy and Me Exercise Classes

Standard

Xaviana and I have a long history of exercising together; when I was pregnant, I delighted in feeling her little movements as I did the All-Belly Pregnancy workouts and practiced prenatal yoga. Now, Xaviana is an active participant in my at-home workouts, laughing at my burpees and ab exercises, and even throwing in some planks and tabletops of her own every now and then. I swear, I caught her doing an upward facing dog the other day!

Even though I love exercising at home, I had to admit that it was beginning to feel a bit monotonous. I wanted to return to the gym, but our schedule only allows me to go once or twice a week. This is a common complaint for so many moms–and that’s why mom and baby exercise classes are so fabulous. You don’t have to worry about childcare or coordinating schedules with your partner. Plus, it’s the perfect way to meet other moms and babies, and to teach your little one the benefits of fitness from an early age!

I found a group of fit moms on meetup.com, and started attending biweekly exercise classes…and it was revolutionary.

Here I am (5th from left) with this fun group of fit moms and babies in my first-ever barre class.

Here I am (5th from left) with this fun group of fit moms and babies in barre class.

The first class I tried was a Babies on Board Barre class at Xtend Barre Encinitas. I was new to barre, and never took ballet as a kid, but it turns out that dance background doesn’t matter all that much. True, you might have prettier form (I’m still working on that, admittedly.), but you really don’t have to be a prima ballerina to reap the benefits of this intense cardio and toning workout. In the class, we wear our babies in their carriers for the barre portion, and let them loose for the core and ab training. The kids love the upbeat music and the constant movement, and the class is punctuated by whoops, giggles, and the occasional cry. Because of the bouncing and closeness to their mommies, many of the little ones fall asleep. Barre is a full-body workout and burns tons of calories, plus the dance moves and overall grace make it fun and rewarding. Xaviana and I are both addicted, and we go to class every week!

The other class I love is the FitMama and Me Fitness class at IgniteMe in Solana Beach, which incorporates babies into a strength-training interval workout. It turns out that babies love being used as weights. 🙂 Xaviana’s favorite exercises are the wood choppers and squats, punctuated by lifting her high overhead. The energy level of the class, coupled with the timed intervals of activity and high-octane soundtrack, make this type of workout a favorite for moms and babies alike. Xaviana enjoys her active involvement in the exercises as I swing and lift her in various fun and stimulating ways.

Moms out there, have you tried mommy and me exercise classes, and if so, which ones are your favorites? Which ones do your babies seem to prefer? I’d love to hear your experiences!