by Julie S
If you have a toddler at home during the winter, you may be feeling cooped up and looking for new things to do. There are so many activities and programs in our area that are designed for toddlers, and we’ve compiled a list of ones that are $10 or less – including many that are FREE! You’ll find most of these events on our KZOOkids.com Event Calendar.
*This article has been updated January 2018
Southland Mall, 6134 S. Westnedge Ave, Portage | (269) 324-1433
Barnes & Noble holds FREE morning storytimes for all ages in their fun children’s area of the store. Storytimes 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. Recently they’ve added STEM and yoga storytimes as well. Click here for the calendar.
BenJammin performs educational entertainment at several events around the Kalamazoo area, including Old Dog Tavern in downtown Kalamazoo on Saturday mornings from 10:00-11:00 am.
8151 Merchant Place Portage, MI 49002 | (269) 226-2000
Kingdom Sports offer drop-in soccer on Mondays & Wednesdays 11:00 am-12:00 pm for just $5.
7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek | (269) 979-1351
Binder Park Zoo’s FAWN camp for preschoolers gives children a unique opportunity to learn about nature and animals. 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 generally on Thursdays, with an occasional Saturday for $10 for the first child and adult ($9 for members). Additional children are only $5 ($4.50 for members). Pre-registration is required.
3019 Oakland Drive, Kalamazoo | (269) 385-2847
A locally owned bookstore, 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.
5350 N Sprinkle Rd, Kalamazoo | (269) 344-5871
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. A Halloween / Thanksgiving session will begin on October 19th with sessions offered on either Mondays or Thursdays. Go here to reserve for the Monday session beginning January 22nd, or here for the Thursday session beginning January 18th.
626 Romence Road #104, Portage | (269) 425-2387
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! The next Just Move Playdate is on February 2nd, from 10:30 am – Noon. $5 for families, or free for Just Move members.
255 S Sprinkle Rd, Portage | (269) 324-1992
Jungle Joes is the largest indoor inflatable fun park in the Kalamazoo area. Kids 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 participating 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. They also offer a frequent bounce card to save money!
1501 Fulford Street, Kalamazoo
Learn how to drum and dance and immerse yourself in West African culture every Saturday at their Kids/Family Drum and Dance class. $10 for the whole family, and all ages welcome. Don’t forget the water bottle!
This winter, the City of Portage has a couple of programs where kids can meet live animals. Check here for event details and to check for registration requirements. All of these are FREE!
- Endangered Species | February 11, 2:00-3:00 pm | Schrier Park Building
- Give a Hoot About Owls | February 23, 12:00-1:00p m | Celery Flats Grain Elevator
9027 Industrial Drive, Portage | (269)323-7657
Every Saturday, from 12:30-1:30 pm, Kids Gym opens their gyms for free play and gymnastics fun. Children ages 1-5 must be supervised by a parent or guardian 18 or older, and all children must have waivers signed by a legal guardian. No registration necessary, $10 per child drop-in. Open Gym may be cancelled due to weather or scheduling conflicts, check the Facebook page before going.
5103 Portage Road, Kalamazoo | (269) 459-9243
Toddler Time is a great shared experience for child and parent. A time for your little ones to discover the joy of being active, bouncing under the supervision of their parents, and without interference from the big kids. Toddler Time generally runs Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and is $7.99 per hour. If you are a frequent jumper, they offer 5 and 10 session punch cards.
Portage District Library
300 Library Lane, Portage
The Portage Library offers several fun classes for toddlers, some weekly, and some that are frequent special events. Check our event calendar for specific times and details to these FREE programs:
- Baby & Toddler Storytime – Join us with your little one and have fun with early literacy as we sing, read, rhyme and play. A developmentally appropriate playtime will follow. Registration is not required.
- Family Fun: Jump Turn Dance & Learn – Celebrate the joy of music and creative movement. Children will move to upbeat music and the fun props encourage active participation. This enriching program strengthens coordination, cognitive skills, and creative thinking in a positive and super fun atmosphere!
- Family Fun: Just Move – Miss Heather from Just Move Fitness and More is here! Join her as you stretch, move, and dance, dance, dance! This high energy class develops your child’s body awareness, coordination, and self-confidence. Parent participation is highly encouraged.
- Family Storytime– Children will build language skills while listening to stories, learning rhymes, moving to music, and learning the mystery letter of the week! These activities help build early literacy skills and a love of books. All ages are welcome, and no registration is required.
Before you know it, the flowers will be starting to bloom! Let us know anything else to add to the list.