After giving birth to my second child in October 2019, I had visions of doing all sorts of outings with her once she was a little older. I imagined we would spend mornings, while her brother was in school, at the library or a baby gym or in music class. Because of COVID, we still haven’t done any of those things. Thankfully, we’ve gotten creative and found lower-risk, outdoor classes and activities for babies and toddlers to have fun and socialize.
A few of the activities we did pre-COVID have started back up again, but many remain virtual or have not returned at all. Online classes and storytimes don’t work for my 2-year-old, and I want her to be able to socialize in person with other kids. And I need to get out of the house and meet up with other adults, too.
Here are some lower-risk, mostly outdoor classes and meetups for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Round Rock Public Library – Outdoor storytime for toddlers and preschoolers on Wednesday mornings.
Cedar Park Public Library – Storytime for all ages on the front lawn on Wednesday mornings.
Bee Cave Public Library – Storytime on Friday mornings at Bee Cave Central Park for all ages, best for toddlers and preschoolers.
Dripping Springs Community Library – Storytime, including books, music, movement, and take-home craft bags, on Tuesday and Friday mornings.
Umlauf Sculpture Garden – On the third Saturday of every month, a docent reads a story, followed by a related exploration activity in the garden. All ages welcome; geared towards ages 7 and under.
Heartsong Music – Outdoor, socially-distanced Music Together classes in south, central, and north Austin for birth through second grade.
Tunebugz – Music Together classes offered in fully outdoor settings or open-air buildings.
Free Forest School – In-person nature play meetups for young kids (birth through age 8) recently resumed with Free Forest School on their new platform, Our Outdoors. It’s easy to register and find events hosted in wilderness areas all over Austin.
Tinkergarten – Weekly play-based outdoor classes led by an expert for kids ages 18 months through age 8. The curriculum includes inspiration for at-home learning.
Break a Sweat with RLC – Outdoor Bootcamps in Austin | Heart pumping, muscle toning outdoor workouts with a special RLC formula that combines body, soul and sweat! All set to music that will motivate you and keep you moving.
Stroller Strides – Strength, cardio, and core workouts designed for moms with kids in tow. Classes include songs and activities to entertain kids while they’re in the stroller.
Wildflower Center Parent and Toddler Yoga – Playful class held at the Wildflower Center on Tuesday mornings. Recommended for ages 18 months to 3 years; all levels welcome. Advance registration required.
Ballet Austin – Outdoor movement classes at the JCC pavilion in northwest Austin for ages 2 to 5 years.
Sportball – Parent/child soccer, t-ball, and multisport programs for kids ages 16 months to 3 years. Multisport classes teach sport and social skills through play-based activities.
Figment Creative – Hosts a toddler play group (but all ages welcome) on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Class is held outside weather permitting and class size is limited. Advance registration required. Sensory play and fine motor skill stations, and even visits with the chickens and goats.
Generation Serve – Family volunteering options for kids as young as age 3, including park and creek clean-ups all over Austin and opportunities with the Austin Humane Society.
Pease Park – The beautifully redesigned park is hosting two family-friendly volunteer opportunities (Oct. 30 and Nov. 13) where kids can help plant flowers.
INDOOR PLAY (PRIVATE SESSIONS)
Pikopye’s Town – You can reserve a family play session (two hours of private play for up to six kids) or a group play session (up to 12 kids). You and your small group get the run of the entire place, an imaginative, adorably designed indoor play town that includes a baby section.