by Leslie P
If you have a toddler at home, you are probably constantly on the lookout for new activities 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!
You’ll find most of these events 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, 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. Click here for the calendar.
BenJammin Educational Music performs their educational entertainment at several events around the Kalamazoo area, including Old Dog Tavern in downtown Kalamazoo on Saturday mornings at 10:00 am. Be sure to follow them on their Facebook page for updates and new event announcements.
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7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek, 49014
Binder Park Zoo’s FAWN (First Adventures With Nature) Program gives children a unique opportunity to learn about nature and animals. Children age two to five and one adult caregiver can attend classes. The program includes animal presentations, carousel rides, crafts, outdoor time and other hands-on activities. Classes are an hour and a half and offered twice a week at $10 per class ($5 for each additional adult or child). Pre-registration is required. Sessions run from November through early April. Click here for dates and descriptions. You can register at www.binderparkzoo.org.
3019 Oakland Drive, Kalamazoo, 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, 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 Wednesday through Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. One adult, per paying child, is free. Don’t forget to bring your socks!
6650 South Westnedge Avenue, Portage 49024
Located on popular Westnedge Avenue, Crossroads Mall has a convenient “Tot Lot” area for kids in the food court area. “Tot Lot” is open daily during mall hours, but closed from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm for a daily cleaning. In addition to the play area, there are also mechanical cars and the carousel available to ride with purchase.
5350 N Sprinkle Rd, Kalamazoo, 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. Classes are Mondays and Thursdays at 11:00 am and Tuesdays at 6:00 pm. A new program begins in January, with other programs beginning later in the winter and spring. Call (269) 344-5871 to reserve your spot as space is limited.
626 Romence Road #104, Portage, 49024
Join other parents and toddlers at Just Move Fitness’ 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! Cost is $5 per family or FREE for Just Move Members. Upcoming dates are January 20, February 17, March 17, April 15, May 12 and June 12. 10:30 am to Noon. Check out their Facebook page for additional information on other classes, including Toddler Yoga!
255 S Sprinkle Rd, Portage, 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. Unlimited-play admission prices are $10 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.
9027 Portage Industrial Drive, Portage, 49024
Kids Gym is a unique gym designed just for kids with kid-size equipment, carpeting and padding for your child’s safety. In addition to the many tumbling/gymnastics programs that they offer, 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 from 12:30 to 2:00 pm for just $9.
314 South Park Street, Kalamazoo, 49007
Get your magnifying glass! The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts’ Art Detective Program lets your kids search through the KIA’s exhibits, all while learning about and appreciating art. This FREE program meets at 11:00 am on the second Saturday of every month, September through May. Appropriate for children age four to eight, with an adult. Click here for details. Additionally, admission to the KIA is always free for children under 12.
7000 North Westnedge Avenue, Kalamazoo, 49009
The Kalamazoo Nature Center features activities and events focused on instilling the importance of nature in little ones. You and your toddler can learn about nature together through options such as weekly Creature Features and monthly Stroller Strolls. Children three and under are free to see exhibits, adults are $7 and children four and up are $4. Click here for the full calendar of events.
315 South Rose Street, Kalamazoo, 49007
Preschool story times, family story times, LEGO events, Baby and Toddler Talk 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. Click here for their calendar.
230 North Rose Street, Kalamazoo, 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.
8151 Merchant Place, Portage, MI 49002
Join Toddler Open Play at Kingdom Soccer on Mondays & Wednesday from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. Cost is $5 per visit or $40 Punch Card for 10 Visits.
2595 North 10th Street, Kalamazoo 49009
The Point Community Center offers a weekly Parent and Toddler Playtime in their gymnasium. On Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:15 am to 11:30 am, your toddler (up to age five) can play with ride-on toys, bouncy toys, slides and balls. There is also space for you to do some laps with your stroller. Parent supervision is required at all times.
300 Library Lane, Portage, 49002
The Portage District Library offers many educational and fun opportunities for toddlers including Baby and Toddler Storytime, Two & Three Year Olds Storytime, Family Storytime, Just Move Storytime and Preschool Play & Learn. Dates and times vary from month to month, so be sure to check out their full calendar here.
5103 Portage Road, Kalamazoo, 49002
Sky Zone, the indoor trampoline park in Kalamazoo, offers three NEW weekly jump-times exclusively for children under five. You and your toddler can participate for $7.99/hour on Thursday, Friday and Sunday 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 $2, but can be used at every visit.
7187 South Sprinkle Road, Portage, 49002
Drop-in to SoccerZone (Portage location only) on Mondays from 10:30 to 11:30 am. For only $3 your child can work with a licensed coach as they introduce the group to skills such as dribbling and passing, free play and games.
240 Mt. Olivet Road, Kalamazoo, 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 Friday at 10:00 am your kids can visit the group for some fun with their peers. All ages are welcome! Please contact Heather Ackman, Coordinator, at [email protected] for additional details or questions. Located at the back entrance of the church.
Otsego Public Schools offers Tots ’n Tunes music and movement classes. Classes are held on Tuesdays at 9:30 am at Otsego-area elementary schools. Tots ’n Tunes is FREE for children five and under. Click here for the 2016-2017 schedule.
RELATED: Toddler-Friendly Parks Around Kalamazoo & Portage 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.
With so many opportunities in the Kalamazoo area, we discovered some that were a little more than $10 or require additional registration, but we didn’t want to miss the chance to share them with you.
6136 South Westnedge Avenue, Portage, 49002
“Families that Play Together, Stay Together” is the motto at Family Center for the Arts. Classes in music, art, dance and drama are available. Currently being offered for the five-and-under age group include Creative Dance, Music and Movement, Family Music and Movement, Drama and Play, Small Hands Big Art and Teeni Ballerini. Call (269) 321-8385 to register.
314 South Park Street Kalamazoo, 49007
Not only does the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts showcase amazing exhibits, they also offer art classes. Classes for toddlers beginning at age three include My First Art Class and Artistic Expression. Click here for class descriptions and pricing.
South Kalamazoo Mall, 359 S Kalamazoo Mall # 204, Kalamazoo, 49007
At Wellspring Dance, professional dancers will teach your child healthy movement dance techniques and how to work together with others, giving them great social interaction. Three and four-year-olds can attend their Creative Movement sessions offered four times a week: Tuesday 5:30 pm – 6:10 pm, Wednesday 11:15 am – 11:55 am and 5:30 – 6:10 pm and Saturday 9:00 – 9:40 am. The winter session begins January 9th click here for registration package information.
1001 West Maple Street, Kalamazoo 49008 (269)
In addition to sports leagues, the Portage and Maple Branches of the YMCA offer movement and music classes for youth. Classes for toddlers include Creative Dance, Jitterbugs, Pre-tap, Pre-ballet and Pint Size Play. Member and Non-Member rates are available. Click here for information.