Kiddie Classes and Passes: Where Do You Spend the Cash?
When my first daughter was about six weeks old and I’d been confined to the small condo we rented in Los Angeles, I began to feel itchy. Not in ‘I have poison ivy’ itchy, but in ‘If I don’t get out of this house soon, you’re going to need to commit me’ itchy.
I’m sure most of you know that feeling.
The hospital proved to be my first savior with a mommy and me class I could start when my daughter hit eight weeks. I made friends with quite a few moms, who I still keep in contact with today. I also met others that I no longer talk to but that, at the time, kept me company in those first few months and years of my daughter’s life.
I also became privy to a ton of activities that I could attend with my daughter.
The downside? Most required at least a little cash.
For instance, we joined Mommy and Me (about $10 per class, which lasted approximately three hours each week – completely worth every cent!).
We tried out a few classes at a small kid’s style gym, which had jumping and climbing and swinging (oh my!). That ran about $10 to $12 per class, but, after a time or two, I realized we could do the same thing at a local park for free so I didn’t join.
We went to a bouncy house a few times, but the $10 fee seemed a bit steep for the limited activities so we stopped.
We also did mom’s day at the local gymnastics club quite a few times. Again, a $10 drop in fee for a few hours of play.
I also discovered the wonderful LA Zoo, for which I purchased a one year membership. While I don’t remember the cost of this pass, I do know it paid itself over many, many, many times. We went at least once a week for several years.
I found dance classes and art classes and music classes. Museums and arboretums. Another zoo in Orange County. Disneyland, which offered season passes. Bouncy places. Ball places. Chuck E Cheese.
The problem, of course, was we couldn’t afford to have passes to everything fun in town. We would test out classes or museums or other activities, and if we liked them enough we would return. In most cases, though, other than the zoo and Mommy and Me when my daughter was small and, later, the gymnastics place when she was older, we stuck to play dates at the park or someone else’s house until my kids were school-aged.
I know some towns are better equipped with these classes than others. We now live in a small town that doesn’t have nearly what LA had to offer in terms of kids activities, though we do have a few.
Does your area offer paid-for classes for kids, and, if they do, which ones do you attend, if any? Which classes/activities does your child enjoy most? And which ones do you enjoy the most?