Posted in Blog, Friends, Mother, Shawna

Poolside parenting and other summer ideas

When I decided to quit my part-time job in November and become a full-time stay at home-mom, my biggest worry was being cooped up all winter. Sure, mothering had been great for the first six months, but it included so many walks through local parks and the zoo that I wasn’t really sure what my life would look like once the activities ended. What would I do all day at home with my baby??

Well, lucky for me, we had an extremely mild winter, and my life didn’t change too much. We also found some great indoor activities like storytimes at public libraries and bookshops, and experienced the communion of moms and babes that is the playdate. I was so busy that I actually really enjoyed being cooped up with my little one on the few times we found ourselves marooned indoors.

Still, it is hard to top the bliss of summer parenting. It may not look like it today, but the season of swimming pools and fresh-cut grass is fast approaching. For those of you who had babies after September or so, you don’t realize how great it’s about to get. For the rest of us, all I can say is: Yippee! We made it!

To kick off the season, why not bring your baby to one of our area’s outdoor pools? Mounger Pool in Magnolia opened on Saturday (that’s right; past tense!), and Colman Pool in West Seattle opens May 29. The city also has eight indoor pools, and the Mountlake Terrace pool is also an amazing spot for tots, though it tends to get crazy busy on weekends. The city also has nine beaches with lifeguards.

As for area wading pools, they don’t open until June 26-28 (depending on the pool). Parks is planning to open some of the pools that were closed for repairs last year, but some budget decisions have yet to be made. A few will also be closed for construction. We will give you the full scoop on that when it’s available.

The Woodland Park Zoo is also on its summer schedule, open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, giving you another play idea post-afternoon nap. The zoo also has a new South entry plan in place designed to get members through faster. You walk right through the entry gate, and then show your card at this little station just inside. They also have a new exhibit, Meerkats, an animal small enough for little ones to notice (my daughter was transfixed when we saw them last week, anyway).

We are lucky enough to live next to a neighborhood park with a ballfield. Some evenings we bring a blanket and our dinner to the park and watch the ballgame while the babe crawls. Parenting exposes you to so many free delights, and that’s never truer than at this time of year.

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  1. Seattle has such incredible parks – Carkeek Park, Discovery Park, Volunteer Park, Golden Gardens, Greenlake, Magnuson Park, The Arboretum, Gasworks – it’s so easy to go somewhere beautiful and interesting and not have to spend any money. (Though as cool as Gasworks is, they do tell you to keep babies off the grass.)

    Keeping my fingers crossed on the wading pools since there’s one right by our house. It looks to be under construction, but they haven’t done much with it.

    Thanks for the ideas!

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