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by Leslie P
If you have a toddler at home, you are probably constantly on the lookout for new activities for you to do together. Watching your child’s face light up as they try something new is an amazing feeling. To help you find just the right activity for you and your little one, we have put together a list of classes, programs and fun ideas that cost under $10 – including many that are FREE! Most of these events you’ll find on our KZOOkids.com Event Calendar. Click here to see what fun things are happening in our area today!
Southland Mall, 6134 S Westnedge Ave, Portage, MI 49002
Barnes and Noble holds FREE morning story times for all ages in their fun children’s area of the store. Story times are offered on Mondays and Thursdays at 10:30 am and on Saturdays at 11:00 am. Your children will enjoy hearing a special story, doing a fun activity and taking home a small treat.
BenJammin and Analisa perform their educational entertainment at several events around the Kalamazoo area, including Old Dog Tavern in downtown Kalamazoo on Saturday mornings at 10:00 am. Current dates scheduled for Old Dog Tavern are May 2, 9, 16, 23, June 20 and July 18. You can also catch them at the Bus Stop Music Festival on May 16, Buttermilk Jamboree on June 13 and Wheatland Music Festival on September 12. Be sure to follow them on their Facebook page for updates and new events.
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7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek, MI 49014
Binder Park Zoo’s Knee-High Naturalists program gives children a unique opportunity to learn about nature. Children two to five and one adult caregiver can attend classes. The program includes animal presentations, outdoor time and other hands-on activities. The two-hour classes are offered twice-weekly at $10 per class. Pre-registration is required. Sessions run from November through mid-April.
3019 Oakland Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49008
A locally owned book store, Bookbug not only has a wide range of books for purchase, they also offer FREE weekly story times. Every Thursday at 10:00 am your toddler can join the story time group to listen to stories, enjoy a finger play and do a craft. Any age is welcome and no pre-registration is required.
(photo courtesy of Tara Fletcher Photography)
6255 Technology Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Take advantage of the Toddler Time discount at Bounceland – it’s a sure way to make sure there is an afternoon nap for your little one. Bounceland is an indoor activity fun gym featuring an inflatable obstacle course and bounce castle. Children under two are $4 and children under five are $5. The Toddler Time discount is offered Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. One adult, per paying child, is free.
Join the Fontana Chamber Arts for a FREE 45-minute mini concert on May 16th. Each concert is designed for children under age five and their families. The May 16th session will be held at Bronson Gilmore Center for Health Education at 11:00 am. Stay tuned for their summer concert series to be announced soon!
6136 South Westnedge Avenue, Portage, MI 49002
Feel like “jamming” with your little one? Children age three to five can enjoy a drop-in “Jam With Me” class on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 5:30 pm. While the class is drop-in, a call beforehand is appreciated. Your child will have the chance to create music with their peers through various instruments. The Family Center for the Arts also offers many different dance, music and drama sessions that children of all ages can pre-register for.
110 Knapp Drive, Battle Creek, MI 49015
It can be hard to juggle a toddler and a younger sibling at the same event. Fit in 30 Studio in Battle Creek is now offering two new programs aimed at toddlers, including “Sibling Fun for Everyone” and “Dance, Wiggle and Move” for ages three and four. “Sibling Fun for Everyone” is designed for toddlers and their younger siblings to comfortably take part in all fun activities together, while burning off some energy. Classes are $5 per child or $8 for two. Call to inquiry for availability of the classes and to register.
626 Romence Road #104, Portage, MI 49024
Join other parents and toddlers at Just Move Fitness’ FREE Play Dates. Your kids will enjoy a toddler-friendly obstacle course, stage to dance on and plenty of room to run around. Music and stories are incorporated to give you a morning of fun! Snacks and refreshments are available for purchase. May 11 is the next scheduled date, but be sure to follow their Facebook page as new dates or programs are announced.
5350 N Sprinkle Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49004
Haven Church in Kalamazoo offers a five-week Play Gym for $10 for children ages one to five. The Play Gym features an obstacle course with lots of activities, bounce house and circle time to enjoy stories and songs. Their “Signs of Spring” group is already in session, however, they plan to offer a fall session after Labor Day. Check back at their website for dates and registration information.
255 S Sprinkle Rd, Portage, MI 49002
Jungle Joes is the largest indoor inflatable fun park in the Kalamazoo area. Your child can jump, slide and climb all of the unique inflatable toys for hours of fun. Admission prices are $8 for children two and up, $3 for adults and $2 for children 23 months and younger. In addition to the games and inflatables, Jungle Joes features a specific area designed for toddlers.
(photo courtesy of Tara Fletcher Photography)
9027 Portage Industrial Drive, Portage, MI 49024
Kids Gym is a unique gym designed just for kids with kid-size equipment, carpeting and padding for your child’s safety. Kids Gym offers a Saturday drop-in session where your child can roll, bounce and run their way to fun. One to five year olds can drop in on Saturdays through May 23 from 12:30 to 2:00 pm for just $9.
7000 North Westnedge Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
The Kalamazoo Nature Center features activities and events focused on instilling the importance of nature in little ones. Looking for a unique way to teach your toddler what sounds animals make? Be sure to check out the farm animals visiting the Nature Center this spring and summer. Visit Lacey the Haflinger horse, Neo the pig, and all your farmyard favorites this spring and summer in their new location behind the Market Barn, 357 W. E Ave.
There are also weekly Creature Features and monthly Stroller Strolls for you and your toddler to enjoy together. Summer also features one of our favorite toddler events: Farmyard Wednesdays. These fun farmyard programs are for children ages 2-8 and anyone with a love of animals! $2 program fee per participating child (in addition to regular admission). Children three and under are free to see exhibits, adults are $7 and children four and up are $4.
315 South Rose Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Musical story times, family story times, “drive-in” movies, LEGO events, Tinker Tots and special workshops are just some of the events and activities offered at the Kalamazoo Public Library. In addition to the branch in downtown Kalamazoo, there are also Eastwood, Oshtemo, Powell and Washington Square branches.
230 North Rose Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
The Burton Henry Upjohn Children’s Landscape section of the Kalamazoo Valley Museum is designed for hands-on learning for children age two to five. Since the theme of the children’s area changes monthly, you may want to make a trip to the museum a regular activity. Admission to the museum is FREE, as are most of their programs and special events. The Children’s Landscape section is located on the second level of the museum. This summer the Children’s Landscape themes are: Puzzles and Games (June/July) and Family Fun (August/September). Plus, the TINKERTOY®: BUILD YOUR IMAGINATION™ special exhibition runs June 6-September 20. Giant replicas of the classic TINKERTOY® construction set provide the framework for fun and educational activities.
300 Library Lane, Portage, MI 49002
The Portage Public Library offers many educational and fun opportunities for toddlers including special story times for each age group, Family Story time, Just Move Story Time, and Just Move Fitness Zumba. Dates and times vary from month to month, so be sure to check out their full calendar. The Portage District Library also has many exciting summer events coming up, including a summer kick-off event on June 13.
(photo courtesy of Tara Fletcher Photography)
5103 Portage Road, Kalamazoo, MI 49002
Sky Zone, the indoor trampoline park in Kalamazoo, offers two weekly jump-times exclusively for children under five. You and your toddler can participate for $7 on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10:00 am to Noon. Sky Zone is great for a rainy day, or any day that your little one needs to get some extra energy out. Sky Zone socks are required for purchase at $1, but can be used at every visit.
240 Mt. Olivet Road, Kalamazoo, MI 49004
Sit and chat with other parents while your little ones play at Spring Valley Church’s FREE weekly Mom and Tots play group. Every Tuesday at 10:00 am your kids can visit the group for some fun with their peers. No registration is required and there are no age restrictions.
South Kalamazoo Mall, 359 S Kalamazoo Mall # 204, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
At Wellspring Dance, professional dancers will teach your child healthy movement dance techniques and how to work together, giving them great social interaction. Three and four year olds can attend their Creative Movement drop-in sessions offered three times a week: Tuesday from 4:00 – 4:30 pm, Friday 9:00 – 9:30 am and Saturday 9:30 – 10:00 am. The spring session runs through June 20th.
More Toddler Friendly Ideas
Don’t forget to check out our Parks Guide on KZOOkids.com. The Kalamazoo area has many nice parks that offer a variety of toddler-friendly playground equipment.
Sandy at Meijer Locations
We can’t forget Sandy! A ride on Sandy at Meijer will always bring a smile to a toddler’s face. Costing only a penny, at least one ride is always a must after a successful shopping trip.
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