Sunshiny Day

It is going to be 81 an sunny for the next FOUR days 🙂 We spent all day long outside today. I didn’t want to go inside… and neither did this girl.

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We hit up Fit4Mom Baltimore City‘s Stroller Stride’s class at Patterson Park in the morning. This one hour total body toning class is so amazing that I am going to start teaching it this summer! The babies ride along in their strollers while the moms power walk or jog to different stations throughout the park where we do strength and toning work. After class, the babies gather for an informal play date! Today’s activities included SIDEWALK CHALK!

This was Blair’s first time playing with sidewalk chalk and it was really cool to watch her discover it on her own. She eventually figured it out and had a BALL drawing on the side walk (and herself!) Since she doesn’t go to daycare yet, we also love the fact that Stroller Strides class allows her an opportunity to socialize with other babies. It also combines two of my passions- motherhood and fitness. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my love of fitness with my daughter and show her a good example of how to live a healthy, active lifestyle. No couch potato time for the girl, there is too much to see and do!

Rainy Day in Baltimore: White Marsh IKEA

This edition of Rainy Day in Baltimore features a gem I discovered completely by accident. Last week, my husband came home to find our closet completely collapsed in on itself. The clothing rail and top selves just came right out of the wall. These structures had been installed when we bought the house, so we just moved right in and left them as-is. Turns out, they were installed without anchors and the screws used were way too small. This was a disaster just waiting to happen.

My OCD does not allow a mess like that to exist, so off to IKEA we went in search of the ALGOT series and its many complicated parts. Neither of us being engineers, it took my husband and I a few trips back and forth exchanging parts until we got it right. Blair and I got to know this place pretty well and what I learned is that, other than being a place that takes literally all of my money on things I didn’t know I needed, IKEA is a great place to take your kids on a date.

There are endless aisles for them to run about and endless gadgets for a toddler to pick up and carry throughout the store. I like to start at the kid’s section, where they usually have a bunch of the kids toys and play equipment that they sell set up as demos. Blair loves to play with the play kitchen and sit at the little miniature tables.

She also likes to wander around the kids room displays just checking out the different beds and displays. This also gives me an idea of what sort of things draw Blair’s attention and I get a lot of good ideas for decorating her room and our house this way.

Once we’ve grown tired of exploring everything the store has to offer, we head to the in-store cafe for a lunch date. At $2.99 per kids meal, IKEA is the best value anywhere. The cafe even has a play area for the kids to use while the adults finish their meals. While the adult meals are also reasonably priced at about $5-6 per meal, I usually get a kids meal and that’s more than enough for me. Blair really enjoys the meatballs and wasn’t as big a fan of the chicken fingers.

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As usual, I was unprepared and forgot to bring a bib or a change of clothes for my messy eater. Lucky for me, IKEA provides complimentary bibs right there in the cafe. #winning

IKEA Baltimore
Honeygo Blvd in White Marsh (Just off I95)

  • Parking: Plenty of it
  • Stroller Friendly: Yes- you’ll use the elevators. But I’d just ditch the stroller and use the cart. The smaller carts spin around and provide quite the wild ride 😉
  • Bathroom Situation: There are bathrooms on every floor (with changing tables!)
  • Economics: $
    • If you can get out without purchasing anything, this trip is free!
    • Reasonable prices at the in-store cafe.

Rainy Day in Baltimore: Maryland Science Center

After a brief reprieve from the rain over the weekend, rain is back in the forecast and that makes this new series I’m running pretty perfect. Growing up in the country, I was pretty isolated and the nearest rainy day activity outside my house was probably a thirty minute drive today. I remember how boring it was and how much I wished I lived closer to my friends and fun things to do. Given that, I guess it’s no surprise that I love living in the city and especially LOVE raising a child in the city. There is no shortage of things to do, indoors or outdoors, and we can always creatively occupy our time.

This week, I’ll be highlighting a couple of my favorite recent rainy day activities in the Baltimore area. I try to do things that are inexpensive (preferably FREE!) and local (within the Baltimore beltway.. walking distance or public transit accessible preferred), so they should be pretty accessible to just about any parent in the Baltimore area. Try them out and let me know what you think!

Today, I want to discuss one of our favorite places to spend a dreary day in the city: the Maryland Science Center Located at Baltimore’s beautiful Inner Harbor, this is just a short walk from our house. If you are coming from out of town, the Light Rail stop at Camden Yards is the best way to get to this part of the city. Leave your car at a station further out of town and save yourself time and money versus parking in the city.

We have a membership here and if you are able to come 3 or 4 times (or more) per year, the membership option is definitely the way to go. Otherwise, entry is about $20 per adult and $17 per child over 3. I consider this a great value because of the membership ($125 for 3 people) and because we go there all the time. We long ago broke even on the investment and it’s been worth every penny.

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The Science Center is great for kids (and adults!) of all ages. There are exhibits on natural history, weather, electricity, space and almost everything has some kind of hands-on, interactive element that encourages the kids to participate and really think about what they are seeing.

My daughter is a toddler, so we’ve spent most of our time over the past year just hanging out in the special room just for babies and toddlers on the third floor.

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The baby area includes a water bed area with a sea theme and stacking blocks, a climbing area with giant legos, a reading and counting station and a computer station. There is also a nursing chair available for the mamas.

Just outside the baby area is an interactive area for toddlers and bigger kids featuring a water table, nature station, and several big play areas with an under water theme. My daughter has recently started to venture into this area and currently loves the water table and “earthquake” lego engineering station.

We have spent many rainy/snowy/just plain cold days at the Science Center and I definitely think it’s been great for my daughter’s development. Since she doesn’t go to daycare, this provides her with another opportunity to socialize with children her own age and explore the world outside of our family home in a way that’s safe and fun. I can’t wait to see how she enjoys the Science Center in the years to come.

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Home

  • Parking: No bueno. Locals should walk or take the Charm City Circulator. Out of towners should Light Rail to the Camden Yards station and walk the short distance from there.
  • Stroller Friendly: Yes. Elevators and stroller parking available. Can be crowded at peak times.
  • Bathroom Situation: Plenty of restrooms on each level. Men, Women, and Family.
  • Economics: $$
    • Can be pricey for single admission tickets.
    • Recommend becoming a Member for best value.
    • Occasional Groupon deals are available!