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places to take 2 toddlers (by yourself)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
i'm home with my 19-month-olds and am really wanting to get out more, but am having a hard time thinking of places where i can bring them alone (i have no family nearby, my friends work and i don't want to hire anyone). maybe you have some ideas?

i used to take them to the playground, but am lately feeling a little unsafe about it, as inevitably one dude is on top of a slide while the other runs to the bottom of the giant slide w/8-year-old on his way down and about to crush him. or, they'll be at the top and one needs help going down, while the other is teetering at the edge of that STUPID giant opening for the monkey bars (i hate that opening ). and of course they don't want to be on the swings the whole time.

i take them to the library, they have a great kids section with some toys. that works.

but where else will i be able to manage them, and where they'll be able to run and have fun?
post #2 of 14
Ok, I'm just going off of things I used to do with DD, but I think these would probably be manageable with two...

zoo- we would get a membership so that if we only say, watched the lions for half an hour and then left it was no biggie. At that age, I'd pull her in a wagon so she could get in and out pretty easily.

Children's museum if you have one there

rec center/pool with a kiddie pool or splash park thingie

hmmmm, in bad weather and desperation, I would sometimes take her to McDonalds with a play area

Is there an early childhood pta in your area? You might be able to get some more ideas or get in on some group activities.

Hope this helps. I'll keep thinking.
post #3 of 14
I used to take mine, (and still take my daycare toddlers) to the football/soccer field near our house. During the day when there's no games/practices happening.
We bring a few balls and I bring a book and everyone just runs around. It's safe, open, and usually deserted.

On cloudy, rainy or coolish days I used to take them to the beach. They could explore and I didn't have to worry about losing them in the crowd, because it was always, (much like the field) nearly deserted.
post #4 of 14
I'm not sure where you are located, but in our urban area I also take full advantage of stores. Menards has a full indoor playground set up with play houses and such. They use it for display purposes but it's great on bad weather days to take dd to. We also go to the mall for their indoor play area. Basically, it's completely fenced in so I can sit by the opening and just not let them escape. They also have fountains and such to amuse them with in the stroller. I'd lean more towards splash parks than kiddie pools, but then water makes me nervous. If I think of any others I"ll let you know.

Disclaimer: My twins are only 8 months, but I do have a toddler and am already starting to think ahead for when I have three. Being alone does stink sometimes.
post #5 of 14
I take advantage of the "under 2 free" now that mine are crawling. I took them to the Children's museum here, which has an "infant nursery" - padded areas and stuff to crawl over, a low fish tank to stand up and look at, that kind of thing.

One of the local malls also has a play area that's similar so we might find ourselves there when the weather turns foul. Also a play place for kids with tubes to crawl through is free for under 2, and has padded, secluded sections.
post #6 of 14
I don't have multiples, but I do have two under four, and my recommendation is to consider occasionally driving to another park that is less crowded, or more manageable. Is that do-able?

Also... as a pro-leasher, have you considered using leashes in addition to hand-holding, so that although you may often have both their hands, you will be okay to let go occasionally, if you take them somewhere safe, but where they can't run off? My child doens't like to hold my hand, but when she does occasionally, I have the leash end around my wrist as well.

Good luck!
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
thanks for all of your suggestions! keep them coming! an open field is actually a really great idea.

before i had the kids i was very freaked out by the toddler leashes. now, i understand completely. if i had one toddler, running after him would not be a problem... oh the places we could go... but when the two want to be out of the stroller, and we're in a crowded place, and one runs left and the other runs right, well..... yeah.
post #8 of 14
our local nature center has a toddler program. they take them on a hike after stories.

a short hike on a trail (take them just before naptime and let them walk and explore- sleepy babies.... ).

library story time.

when my 1st two were little, our local schools had an awesome weekly playgroup that was invaluable to me. it was a wonderful way to get out and meet other new mothers. plus the little ones loved playing and crafting.
post #9 of 14
I take my 22-mo boys hiking. They stick to the trail pretty easy and LOVE to run wild - back and forth. I still don't do that alone because I also have a 3 yo DD, but my 12 yo DS is a great help for that.

I'm getting the leashes because they are to the age where they do not want to be in the stroller/wagon very long. With the leashes, and some practice, I would take them to the zoo, trails, stores for window shopping, etc.
post #10 of 14
When my 2 were at that age, wide open spaces were the best bet -- trails, playgrounds, soccer fields, basket ball courts (without players of course). The beach was tough because one liked the sand and the other the surf. The local children's museum, Natural History Museum, zoo, Wild Animal Park were all very doable during the week when the crowds were low. At these type things we actually faired better without the stroller because then I didn't have to be pushing that and try to manage dds at the same time (because they never wanted to be in it). I could keep up with dds without the burden of the stroller. We just didn't stay very long and would have frequent stops. We also have a wonderful botanical garden in town that is low key trails and an enclosed children's garden where we spent a lot of time.

Storytimes were actually THE WORST for us. I could not keep them sitting and they'd be crawling all over everyone, grubbing snacks off the floor, and interested in everything in the place except the person reading the stories. I tried a few times but it was never fun. They were at least 2.5 before storytimes worked for us.

And the leashes. I bought them with high expectations of expanded freedom. Tried them once and it was a bust. It was much harder walking while trying to hang onto the leashes, keeping dds untangled, fighting the pull of one while the other dawdled. I kept the leashes because I could still see how they may be useful in an airport or shopping, etc, but the need never arose.
post #11 of 14
Gymboree was my savior at that age. It was worth the money to be at a safe place where they could go a little wild!
post #12 of 14
How do you feel about joining a group for moms? I belong to a local chapter of the MOMS (Moms offering moms support) Club, we have weekly playdates, cooking club, field trips, all sorts of things. You can google your town and "MOMS Club" for info, same with a Moms of Multiples group. I loved playgroups at that age b/c we went to someone else's house each week and the kids in your group are all around the same age.

I also took them to the local library, Barnes & Noble train table, the mall play area, McDonalds play area, stuff like that. My little town doesn't have much, so we spent quite a bit of time taking turns hosting playdates, and a lot of time at home doing messy projects.

Oooh another favorite was Costco, we'd walk around and sample all the yummy goodies. Their carts seat two kids, pretty rare in my experience.
post #13 of 14
My go-to activities for 17 month old twin daredevil monkeys usually involve-

Nice weather stuff:
the zoo- we have a membership so it's we go often...even just to visit the petting zoo. It's a favorite activity

the local soccer field to just run around

the dog park- I try to go early so there are fewer dogs there, the girls love to bring their "pup pup" and throw the ball for him.

Rainy Day Stuff:
Petstore- it's like a mini-zoo for my girls, they love to look at the fish, hamsters, etc. They each get to pick out some treats for our dog.

the mall playzone- it fills up FAST with lots of older kids, so I try to go early.

Whole Foods- They have shopping carts that seat 2, shaped like a space shuttle with 2 steering wheels... we wander around and sample the free goodies the store always has out (cookies, bread, fruit, cheese). Same goes for Sam's Club.
post #14 of 14
subbing to come back later and read
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