And now for something a little different…

I’ve been focused on OCD-related posts a lot lately, probably because OCD is a fairly size able chunk of my life, but it’s not all that I am so I’ve decided it’s not all I should blog about.

Today, I want to write about one of my favorite things to do: get out of my house. 

I have two small children, live in Wisconsin, and it’s January. You think I’d be trapped, right? WRONG! I get myself out of the house as much as humanly possible. We’re all happier when we get out. 

Milwaukee, thankfully, is an incredibly accessible city. I live in the suburbs, but I can get downtown in about 20 minutes and if you’re smart about it, you can find toddler-friendly things to do any day of the week. Here are three of my winter favorites:

1.) The gym. This sounds ridiculous, I know, but the gyms around Milwaukee have figured out what a draw high-quality childcare can be. The one I am a member of will not only change diapers and bottle-feed the babies, but they do small crafts, walk the kids to a story time, and provide a snack. My son LOVES my gym and I love the opportunity to shut my brain off and actually squeeze in an uninterrupted shower.

2.) The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. This place is AMAZING and an annual family membership is only $75. There are things to climb on, TONS of imaginary play scenarios, and some pretty decent kids programming. ALSO, they have an attached parking structure, so on rainy days I can get my kids there and back without getting wet. This is a HUGE plus. 

If you park in the attached structure, you pay only $4 as a member, and I make sure to buy up a dozen or so passes at a time. I keep them in my car and then I get to use them in that structure during festival season. If you’ve ever been to one of the festivals, you know how expensive parking near the grounds can be. A one-block walk for only $4? Done!

3.) Milwaukee Public Museum is another favorite. My son is currently really into dinosaurs and “bufferflies” so we spend a lot of time on the first floor. The first floor is also where the quiet family room is located. I can’t tell you how nice it was to have a quiet, semi-private place to nurse my son, especially when he was in his “I hate being covered” phase. The room is back next to the women’s bathroom, but men, do not be afraid to take your little ones in there. There is a separate door to the bathroom and you are more than welcome to use it too! Like the children’s museum, there is an attached parking structure, ($5 for members) and we run in to get parking validated for things like jury duty and events at the Bradley Center or Milwaukee Theatre (both short walks away). One of my favorite things about this museum is the way it will continue to meet our needs as our children grow. At first, when bug was a newborn, it was just a place where I could walk around with the stroller, now it’s where he roams around and says “wow!,” as the kids grow, I’ll be able to incorporate lessons–with help from the curators, who put worksheets in the member services office. 

If you’re finding yourself stuck at home and experiencing cabin fever, I encourage you to find ways to get out. With a little bit of planning, it can be easier than you think and I’m sure you’ll be glad you did–if only so your house doesn’t get trashed that day.


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