Summer with a Toddler

Last summer I had a totally different child, one who couldn’t crawl or walk.  She just rolled everywhere, and cried…and cried.

This year I’ll have a toddler who can walk, and probably run!

Oh, and did I mention that our air conditioner is broken?

Eventually we will look into buying a new air conditioner, but they are quite expensive!  Hopefully it won’t be another hot summer, and by hot I mean temperatures in the 90’s and 100’s with dangerous heat indexes.


I’m going to need to revamp our current ‘winter’ schedule to fit my little E’s needs as well as my own.  She loves the outdoors, and is starting to take an interest in art projects.  So here is a simple list of activities for us to do this summer:

IMG_20140527_105239Splash Pad @ MN Zoo

IMG_20140527_105151Toddler Tuesdays @ MOA

IMG_20140527_103048Woodland Adventures @ MN Zoo

IMG_20140527_102813Storytime for Babies @ Dakota County Libraries

IMG_20140527_105553Biking @ Lake Harriet, Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, Cleary Lake…

IMG_20140527_105017Como Conservatory & Zoo

IMG_20140527_104942Parks Around the Cities

IMG_20140527_105044Pool Parties

IMG_20140527_105128Beach Days

IMG_20140527_110512Art Projects

I highly recommend a MN Zoo membership to anyone with small children.  During the winter we went nearly twice a week, and the tropics trail single-handedly got us through the long and miserable Minnesota cold!  In the summer they have the Woodland Adventures playground and a splash pad water park for the kids, and I hear they are both pretty awesome.

The Mall of America has an event called Toddler Tuesdays.  I have not had the opportunity to check it out, but we usually enjoy walking around that mall because there are lots of sights to see.  Plus, it is a great place to take a walk, or people watch, when it’s raining or snowing outside.

The Library is one of my favorite places to take little E.  The County Libraries in our area have weekly storytimes for young children spanning different age groups, and since little E is still pretty young we attend the storytime for babies (0-2 years).  The staff is excellent, but so far the librarian from the Burnsville Library is my favorite because she has the patience of Job with the children and has tremendous knowledge about books for tiny tots.

I usually avoid driving into the cities unless I have no choice, but one of the few exceptions is because we love to bike around the lakes.  Isaac’s parents gave him a bike trailer for Christmas, but Little E has yet to take a ride in it.  She usually enjoys traveling about, but I fear putting a helmet on her head is going to be a hard sell.  Isaac and I loved biking around the lakes when we lived in Edina; we would pack a lunch and ride trails from our apartment to Minneapolis.  That was before E, obviously.  Now that she is big enough to ride in the trailer, we are making it our goal get out and bike regularly.

The Como Conservatory and Zoo is located in St. Paul, which is about 30-40 minutes from our house.  It’s something I would love to do once a month this summer.  The wonderful thing about this place is that it’s free!  Although I usually put a couple bucks in the donation bin, it’s not required.  The conservatory has many beautiful flowers and a pretty cool Japanese Garden.  We were frequent visitors during those long winter months when we wanted to see something green!

Last year I met with a group of mommies once a week at different parks in the Eagan area.  It was a great way to connect with other moms in the area, as well as explore the many parks in our neighborhoods.  I plan on doing that again this summer and I’m hoping that some of my “mom friends” will join me in my quest.

There is no denying it, Little E loves water!  Now that she can sit up on her own (which wasn’t the case last year) I am on the hunt for a safe but fun kiddie pool.  We already have all kinds pool toys, and I’m anxious to dress her in her adorable new swimsuits.  The pool will be a lifesaver for those really hot muggy days when we need “Serenity Now!” (Seinfeld anyone?)

I tried to take E to the beach last week, and it was a total failure.  She started screaming her head off when her little feet touched the sand.  So, the goal this summer is to get her to tolerate (or love) the sand and enjoy a day at the lake.  I’ll keep you updated on how this goes.  Wish me luck!

Since I’m an artsy person, I always have ideas for little art projects to do on rainy days.  I was so elated when I found we were having a girl because I wanted someone to be crafty with.  So far she is a big fan of paint and pencils, mostly because I don’t trust her with any of the more permanent mediums yet.  I can’t wait to show her chalk, markers, pastels, and watercolor.  On that note, my Pinterest page is full of ideas, so feel free to check it out.

So there you have it, my summer routine.

I would love to hear yours!  Are there any fun places to go around the cities that I missed (that don’t cost an arm and a leg)?





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