(Play)dating on a budget

Summer is coming to a close, but I’m determined to keep the fun going.  Bean’s calendar is more impressive than mine these days!  I’m excited to get a play date invitation because it’s time for me to chat with another Mom (I could do that ALL day) and a chance for Bean to get some practice playing, sharing, and socializing with a peer.  Bean isn’t in traditional child care (I have the best Mother-in-love, it’s not up for debate), so I have been trying to make sure he’s regularly around other kids his age to support his social development.  Here are some great ways to play date on a budget:

Museums – Last week, I took Bean to a local museum and he ran around for hours with other kids his age.  In DC, the Building Museum has plenty of kid exhibits.  The great thing about a museum visit is that fun isn’t dependent on the weather!  It’s a great time on super hot days or in the middle of winter.  While some of the exhibits cost $7-$10, it’s pretty cost effective to get an annual family membership.  This is helpful if you have multiple kids or plan to have a play date with other kids!  The membership quickly pays for itself after just a couple visits.


Public Libraries – This week,  I took Bean to his very first story time at a public library!  I was nervous that we would be the only folks to show up.  I was so WRONG!

Playing after story time

There were about 15 – 20 kids on the carpet ready to hear stories, sing songs, and play with each other.  Story time is about 20-30 minutes and the librarian reads several stories with song breaks in between.  In DC, most libraries offer a couple days a week for babies and toddlers ranging from mid morning to pajama story times in the evening.  Best part….FREE.99!! Check out what your libraries offer in your area!











Parks – The DC area is a great place for parks!  DC has several splash parks during summer (what’s left of it) and well kept playgrounds with plenty of them with designated spaces for toddlers.  I’m currently exploring the imagination parks across Prince George’s County.  IMG_7715They have 25 themed parks including the Wizard of Oz themed, Watkins Park.  If you live in the area or planning a visit to the DC area, I’ve included more about those here.  The parks are also a free option although some have ticketed add-ons like putt putt, carousels, and train rides.









So, cheers to social development and play dating on a budget!

Do you have more affordable play date options?  I would love to hear about them!


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