Kiddie Classes and Passes: Where Do You Spend the Cash?

baby gym
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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!).

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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.

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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?

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Kiddie Classes and Passes: Where Do You Spend the Cash?

Kathy Murdock works as a full time writer and web designer. Recently planted in the middle of the deep south from the busy streets of Los Angeles, when she's not coding Wordpress websites or writing about women in business and thrifty motherhood, Kathy spends time photographing alligators, playing with her family, and running. ... More

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6 comments

  1. renee200823 says:

    I would love to join a mommy and me group but the chances of going to a group in my area and it being full of fake moms that act like there the best mom in the world is pretty high… I like being around normal women with children (like myself) who are not trying to act like there soo perfect! I am really considering joining this breast feeding support group in my area, I need all the advice I can get!

  2. sayhola says:

    The only "local" thing here is playgroup that meets twice/week for 1 1/2 hours. They offer fun reduced-price field trips and things, but we only manage to get there once/wk. Music classes are an hour away, he’s too young for gymnastics gym membership or dance classes that are both a half-hour away, but maybe when he’s older. So far, the zoo (an hour away) has more than paid for itself, and will renew next month – yay! (He does attend nursery school once a week so I can work, though – $125/mo) and sees a sitter 2-3 days/month as well. Otherwise, he’s all mine! (Or, my husband’s.) Today was warm so we headed to the park!

  3. Hipmom808 says:

    I got a groupon for a baby gym near my house. But when it expired, they told me the regular price for each class is $20. That’s like $80 a month for 4 one hour classes with my baby. That’s kind of pricey!

  4. Jeanetta says:

    I live in Lexington and there is not a lot to do here other than go out of town to festivals on the weekends, so we will have to drive to Louisville, Cincinnati or somewhere in Indiana to go to the zoo, amusement parks or Newport Aquarium.

  5. Amy says:

    I haven’t found an class yet

  6. Our town has little to nothing for children of any age to do. Anything entertaining is an hour away or more. There are parks and places to walk which is good enough for me. And hopefully one day we can move to a bigger city for more activities for the little guy.

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