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12 Places to Go During Baby’s First Year

These exciting outing ideas will get you through baby’s first year and beyond

Sharon Mead headshot

Published on: February 14, 2024

Mom carrying a baby in backpack by a lake is a wonderful thing to do with a baby in Seattle

While the first months of a baby’s life can be dominated by eating, sleeping and pooping, by the time your child is eating solid food (or even before that), getting out for daily or weekly experiences can be healthy and inspiring for you and your baby. Thank goodness for a front pack or a well-packed stroller and diaper bag. These 12 fun-filled baby-friendly places will ensure nap time is successful and feed your soul, too.

You might find some of these places become your favorites that you frequent for many years to come. Experiment and see what you and your baby enjoy. This is the adventure of parenting and growing together as a family.

Heybrook, a new studio for parents, is a wonderful thing to do with a baby in Seattle
Photo credit: The Heybrook

Discover The Heybrook

Opened in Kirkland in 2023, The Heybrook is a haven for new parents who are ready to get out of the house and find a home away from home. When you are asking yourself “What in the world am I doing with this small human?” The Heybrook is a place where you can celebrate this new season in your life — even if it’s complete with blowouts, meltdowns and breastfeeding in public. You’ll find spaces for a playdate, coffee, or checking your email, along with a variety of classes you can book. Memberships are available, too. 

Go hiking in the city

Driving up to the mountains or distant trails is probably more time in the car than you (or baby) can handle right now. So, stay in the city for a hike and still get outdoor time with your family (and easy bathroom access). Many parks around Seattle and the Eastside offer stroller-friendly trails and oodles of rejuvenating Pacific Northwest scenery. Try the Mercer Slough Nature Park in Bellevue, Myrtle Edwards Park on Seattle’s waterfront, Discovery Park in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood, Alki Beach in West Seattle and Seward Park in South Seattle. 

Want to be outside, but not hike too much? Walk aboard one of the Washington State Ferries for a trip out and back and lots of beautiful window seat views. You can walk around Winslow on Bainbridge Island for a snack or lunch before heading westward again.

Photo credit: Anna Moblard Meier

Kaleidoscope Play & Learn

If you don’t know about Kaleidoscope Play & Learn, you should! This free program is designed to build connections, friendships and mutual support among people who care for children ages infants through 5. You will find Play and Learn sites located all over the region — offered at various times and in multiple languages. Not only is it a great thing to do with your baby in Seattle, but it’s also designed to develop your child’s love of learning. 

Bask in the cherry blossoms

Each spring, the University of Washington’s campus puts on a show of amazing cherry blossoms. The Quad’s 90-year-old Yoshino cherry trees bring thousands of visitors each year to revel in the beautiful spectacle. Wondering when the peak of the blooms will come? Check out the University “Bloom Watch” for the latest updates. And if you feel especially energetic, you can walk or drive to the adjacent Washington Park Arboretum for more fantastic foliage, lots of trails, playground space and the Japanese Garden, which will reopen on March 1.

baby in front of art
Photo credit: Anna Moblard Meier

Art is baby-friendly

In his famous quote, Picasso said, "All children are artists.”  And it’s never too early to nurture and preserve that creativity lurking beneath the surface of your little one. Take them while they’re still stroller-bound for a spin as a walk through a local art space like the Seattle Asian Art Museum or SAM or an outdoor walk through the Olympic Sculpture Park.  

If you want to be a little more intentional with art, try attending a Family Saturday with a variety of activities that include art making, performances, story time or movement workshops. Even if your child is too little to engage fully, it’s an opportunity to be with other families and enjoy being in the presence of creativity. Advanced registration is recommended for Family Saturdays.

Strike up the music at Tiny Tots Concerts

Music is good for the soul and tiny souls are no exception. Take a musical adventure led by Seattle Symphony musicians with stories, songs and games designed for ages infant to five. You can introduce your tiny tot to new sounds and even a pre-concert xylophone orchestra and hands-on play area. These fun, interactive concerts are approximately 30 minutes long, with a 30-minute pre-concert activity time. Tickets are required for Tiny Tots concerts, which are held on Fridays at 10:30 a.m. or Saturdays at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. 

Mom and baby swim lessons
Photo credit: iStock

Stretch those baby swim legs

There’s no need to wait to introduce your child to swimming and your local pool. Many community pools and YMCAs offer parent and baby swim classes. This gives you some exercise and a chance to meet other parents with children who are the same age. Signing up for swim classes might seem like a big step if you are just getting your legs back under you after welcoming that baby into your life. But sometimes having a scheduled activity makes all the difference for mental and physical health as you move into your new life as a parent. 

Crawl, stretch and roll

Movement is life. And starting exercise with babies sets them up for a life filled with movement and health. The Little Gym offers parent-and-child gym classes once your child is four months old. These movement activities support connection with adults, boost development and offer an easy activity you can do out and about. Many community centers offer baby gym classes or check out a parent-and-child yoga class for some de-stressing for you and stimulation for your baby. For example, Blossoming Yogis in Kirkland offers parent-and-baby classes, plus lots of other options that incorporate kids into this practice.

Whole Cat and Kaboodle
Photo credit: Anna Moblard Meier

Purr and snuggle at a cat cafe

Even if you’re not in the market for a kitty of your own, take your little one to a cat cafe, such as Kirkland's The Whole Cat and Kaboodle for a dose of feline fun and lots of snuggles (assuming you don’t have allergies to contend with). Doing this simple activity also pays dividends to our feline friends as profits from the $15 entry fee enable the folks at the Cat Lounge to care for and find families for all the pets they shelter, many of whom come from Hawaii and need forever homes.

Stroll with the animals

Along with art and music, it’s wonderful to expose your baby to the world of animals at the Woodland Park Zoo. The sights, sounds and even the smells can liven the senses of babies as they become more aware of their surroundings. The Woodland Park Zoo offers plenty of walking paths for strollers and a grassy area for picnics or emergency diaper changes. On wetter days, stroll inside the Zoomazium for some indoor exploration or a rain break.

baby in library
Photo credit: iStock

Check out your local library

Libraries are more than just books. They are places of connection, stories and learning — often offering programs in multiple languages. Free baby story times and early learning programs are designed to develop learning, literacy and language skills, even for those who are barely crawling. Find a story time near you at either the Seattle Public Library or the King County Library System.

Wine with your baby

Let’s face it, raising kids is not easy, no matter how rewarding it is. If it’s been a long week (or month) and you need a break, why not take your little one with you for a glass of wine while bouncing a babe in arms? There are a variety of wineries in the area that welcome families including Patterson Cellars in SoDo, Two Vintners in Woodinville, Sigillo Cellars in Snoqualmie and Eleven Winery on Bainbridge Island. Enjoy, you earned it!

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