For three months after my return to work I anticipated and fantasized about the two additional weeks of maternity leave I was taking in August. I envisioned the boys and me lounging around our backyard, running through the sprinklers, taking long walks around our neighborhood.
After day two of my leave even the baby made it clear, this is boring! We were going stir crazy.
The kids and I are used to piling into the car every day to do something. I drop them off at daycare during the week; we run errands and meet up for playdates on the weekend. Apparently, the novelty of staying home all day wasn’t as exciting as I’d thought it would be.
I needed to get us out of the house. I know how to keep us busy and engaged on the weekends, but what was I going to do now that we had free time on our hands during the week? As it turns out, there is a lot of stuff to do in our area with two young children.
Redwood City Library provides storytime for Preschoolers at 10:30 a.m. on Mondays at the Main Library.
The Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo is open Tuesday through Saturday starting at 10 a.m. and on Sundays at 1 p.m. There is no entrance fee but a $3 donation for each visitor is encouraged. All museum exhibits are interactive and the zoo features mostly locally rescued animals. My eldest son’s particular favorites are the peacock and the two bobcats. http://www.friendsjmz.org/index.html
Hiller Aviation Museum is located near the San Carlos airport. They are open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $11 for an adult, $7 for children and senior citizens, and free for children 4 and under. You may need to steer your children away from the early aviation exhibits (the exhibits are roped off but the delineation doesn’t seem to be as clear as it is at some museums) but there are other opportunities for hands on exploring. You can climb into a helicopter, a Blue Angels’ cockpit and the front forty-five feet (including the cockpit) of a Boeing 747. Once inside you and your child can press buttons and pull levers to your heart’s content. http://www.hiller.org/
Redwood City has some really great parks. Pick a park and turn your kids loose for some fun! There’s Stulsaft Park on Farm Hill which has a water feature, Mezes Park in the Stambaugh Heller area has great play equipment (and a tank!), and Spinas Park on 2nd Avenue has a play structure fashioned like a fire engine. Best of all, a park visit and a picnic lunch practically guarantees a long afternoon nap. http://www.redwoodcity.org/parks/parksandpools/locations.html
Redwood City has a fantastic Parks & Rec program. We just received our Fall 2011 catalogue, and if I were staying home long term I would definitely take advantage of the weekday programs available for babies, tots and moms. There’s a baby sign language class, music and art classes for toddlers and age appropriate sports camps. Check out the current catalogue to see what’s being offered. http://www.redwoodcity.org/parks/Online_Reg/recreation_brochure_fall.htm