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Day out with baby

Published on: May 14, 2008

So you want to get out of the house, see a play, see a movie, get some exercise, have a conversation with another adult. But you have this new baby at home, and things have gotten complicated.

Some pre-baby hangouts - health clubs, restaurants, concert halls, theaters - now seem seriously inhospitable.

The music is too loud, there's no place to change a diaper, other patrons give you the eye.

Adjustments must be made (at least until you feel comfortable hiring a sitter). A somewhat well-kept secret of "la vida baby" is that there's a network of places out there - all but invisible to folks not packing a day's supply of diapers - where you and your infant can socialize as a unit without suffering the indignity of feeling like outsiders. You can:

Get in shape
It's like taking a walk with your baby, only you're working on building your strength and flexibility with other moms and dads. Baby Boot Camp offers get-fit classes at locations in Edmonds, Lacey and Olympia.

2. Here's another baby-in-stroller fitness class, and the first Stroller Strides session is free. Meet other parents in parks in Seattle, Snohomish County and the Eastside. 

3. Visit to make individual arrangements with other parents who want to run or walk together. You'll find training tips and group activities on the site, too.

See a play
See classic (and new) musicals at Village Theatre's Issaquah location, which has a cry room in the back. We love them for that. 

5. Children's theater: Learn to love it. Actually, what's onstage at Seattle Children's Theatre is as good as anything else in the city, and you can hang out in the cry room in the Charlotte Martin Theatre if your baby gets fussy. 

Maybe not quite the thing if you have a newborn, but 6-month-olds get to boogie at family dance party Baby Loves Disco . It's your club days all over again, slightly modified: You can get a drink, but there are healthful snacks for the kids and a quiet spot to relax if anyone gets too riled up. 

Catch a movie
Every other Friday at 9:45 a.m. is Baby's Day at the Movies at Kirkland Park Place Cinemas. First-run movies; no apologies necessary for a fussy baby. 425-827-9000.

8. Columbia City Cinema is a beautifully restored vintage building in a great neighborhood: Every Tuesday, all shows before 6 p.m. are set aside for parents and kids at the theater's Cry Baby Tuesdays. 206-721-3156.

9. The Landmark Theatre movie house chain keeps it pretty quiet but Metro Cinemas, Varsity Theatre and Guild 45th Theatre in Seattle all feature soundproof cry rooms. Don't be late, though: Seating is first-come, first-served, and the rooms can only hold two to five adults. The Metro and Varsity's cry rooms are both located in Auditorium 1; the Guild 45th's is in the "blue room." For movie information for all venues, call 206-781-5755.

Visit a museum
Babies wiggle free in the Hands On Children's Museum's Tot Spot while you pick up information about parenting. 

11. Discovery Bay, the infant and toddler space at The Children's Museum, Seattle , has a sweet marine theme, soft surfaces and lots to look at and touch

12. Set crawlers loose on a giant (pretend) sand castle at Imagine Children's Museum

13. Visit the "backyard" at KidsQuest Children's Museum, where babies and young kids can play in a big basket and get their hands on interesting sensory materials. 

14. The Pacific Science Center's play area is better suited for preschoolers than infants, but there are mats and simple ride-on toys that near-walkers could easily handle. 

15. Woodland Park Zoo's Zoomazium gets mama a "high five" for the comfy chairs in its nursing section, and a fenced-in area where very young kids can play without getting trampled by the older hordes. 


Kris Collingridge is ParentMap's Out & About editor.


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