The 11 Best and Worst Summer Activities to do with a Baby
Hi! My name is Chrissie. I’m a friend of Liz’s and the mom of three kids: Connor- age 7, Mia- age 4.5, and Damon-10 months.
With three kids and 7+ years of experience some would call me a “seasoned” parent. While I would not consider myself a parenting expert by any means, over the years I have gained a certain amount of knowledge about what is and isn’t fun to do with a baby that I would like to share.
Bottom line: summer with a baby doesn’t have to be complete and utter misery- it can actually be fun! (but probably not FUN so don’t set yourself up for disappointment.)
The following is my list of the best and worst summertime activities to do with a baby:
Hiking- This is a great option for a baby since most of them love to be outside and to be on the move. Plus, leave that nursing cover at home, mama! It’s mother nature, baby!! Feel free to breastfeed (and urinate) without an ounce of self-consciousness.
The Beach- Picture yourself doing whatever fun pre-baby activity you liked doing at the beach: taking a nap in the warm glow of the sun, frolicking in the waves, or having an intense Top Gun-style beach volleyball game…Yeah, you can’t do any of those things. Stop picturing it so you don’t end up depressed.
The beach with a baby is just the worst. It takes several hours to pack for a trip to the beach and you’ll spend most of the time worrying about the amount of direct sun exposure your baby is getting plus all of the sand he has just ingested/gotten in his eyes. It’s also usually super windy which babies typically hate.
Lastly, I’ve recently learned that seagulls totally have your baby’s number when it comes to being easy targets to steal food from. Just the other day a swarm (or a flock? Yes, I went there) of seagulls surrounded my baby and stole his peanut butter sandwich right from out of his hands!
The pool- When you have a baby you can still cool off and have some fun in the water- just head to the pool! It’s like the beach but without all the hassle and birds of prey.
You do have to take into consideration your swimming attire, though, due to your doughy post-baby figure.
If you’re like me, you are going to feel inclined to cannonball into the pool and stay submerged up to your chin until sundown. Not so fast if you have a baby! It’s a SLOW and gradual descent into the water with EVERYONE watching.
Babies, on the other hand, look adorable in bathing suits.
And before you even think about it: YES, there are germs in a pool. I’m pretty sure, though, that all of the harsh chemicals they dump into pools usually kill even the most potent strains of e.coli.
A boat- Taking a boat ride on a clear summer day sounds like the perfect summer activity! Only thing is you have a baby with you.
Remember how babies hate the wind? Plus, if your kid goes ape-shit where are you going to go?
Remember, YOU’RE ON A BOAT. Save your nautical fantasies until next summer.
A farm/zoo/any public place where there’s a high likelihood an animal may pass by- Babies love animals!!
You know that adorable face your partner makes when a golden retriever comes within 50 yards?? Your baby will make that face too!!
Spending a day in the fresh air while your delighted baby coos and giggles at animals is just the best. (By the way, while you’re at it, now is a good time to start taking note of how often your recreational time involves livestock now that you are a parent.)
As an added bonus, a lot of these places are free which is great for the mom on a budget. (For more money saving tips check out Liz’s post, The #1 Way to be a Thrifty Stay-At-Home Mom).
A hotel- I know what you’re thinking: It would probably be difficult to do a full-on vacation this summer but wouldn’t it be fun to have a little getaway with the baby?! We’ll go to some cool but not too far away city and stay in a hotel overnight!
The reality of the situation, however, is that when you stay in a hotel you are essentially locking yourself in a dark room with your baby, too scared to move lest you disturb him. And don’t get me started on the shitty T.V. options at hotels!
Just stay home and take day trips- at least at home you have Netflix, extended cable, and you can stay up past 7:45.
Ice cream- What is more fun and wholesome in the summer than heading out to get an ice cream cone? (Answer: nothing) And guess what?! Babies love ice cream too! (Stop right there if you are one of those moms who say their kid isn’t going to have sugar until their first birthday cake… just stop it.)
A movie theater- You know you can’t go to the movies anymore, right?
A bridal shower/baby shower/any other potentially awkward social engagement- Have an upcoming engagement that is sure to kick your social anxiety into high gear? Bring the baby!
Normally, you may find yourself awkwardly hovering by the cheese platter or pretending to check your phone. Now you can pretend to take care of your baby! He’s like your personal, drooling security blanket.
Plus, other people will want to hold your baby giving your arms a much needed break AND you’ll have an excuse to bail early. “I’d love to stay but you know the baby… He’s like a TICKING TIMEBOMB.”
A restaurant past 7pm- C’mon your baby doesn’t want to be there, the other patrons don’t want him there…be sensible and take your baby to dinner at a more reasonable time of no later than 4:45.
If you want to have dinner with friends post-bedtime, invite your friends over, plug the monitor in, and make sure someone stays sober enough to tend to the baby if he wakes up.
A museum- Pop that baby in his carrier and get your culture on! It’s like hiking because you are walking around looking at stuff- but with air conditioning!!
In conclusion, whatever you do this summer just be sure to monitor your baby closely lest you discover he has eaten a teabag…and have fun!!!
What summer activities do you recommend with young children?
Also, I look forward to future guest spots. You two are hilarious and such a smart combo! Liz has new mom perspective and Chrissie has “been there, done that, doing it again” perspective. I would love to see more Mia stories… my fav!
You nailed it. I would add children’s library, playground to the best list and staying at vacation homes that aren’t baby proofed as worst.
Courtney, you just typed out one of my new fears. We’re staying in a vacation house in Colorado in September. I’m picturing baby Damon taking glass figurines and smashing them, as well as, crawling off the deck and into the Rockies.
Chrissie and Liz- a winning combination! Great post!
Wish I would have seen this before we booked our vacation home on the beach this August, Chrissie! LOL Great blog Mama.
Kate, as long as you have a separate place for the baby to sleep you should be good. I don’t know what to do about sand in the eyea. Sunglasses?… Sorry, you’re f’ed.
This is awesome! I have 2 under 2 (20m and 4m) and this list rings true! We learned the hard way about a lot of these last summer with my oldest and decided to live in the pool instead. Some hilarious pictures of her snoozing in her float came from those weeks.
Amanda the idea of having 2 under 2 terrifies me! I don’t know how moms of twins do this, or you for that matter. I’m planning on hiring a full time nanny for each and every single kid we have. I’d like to have a staff of nannies at my disposal. And by staff of nannies I mean random teenagers who will babysit in exchange for soda.
What a nice surprise, to read Chrissie’s guest blog. Informative and very clever. I like your random # of 11 items. The fancy newsstand mags would have done a nice neat/balanced 10 or 12. In the hiking photo, I see edges of words reading “extreme,” “risk,” and “hazardous.” Knowing you, you are teaching your children to laugh at danger. Did unknowing families walk by the sign obscured by your brood? (I am demonstrating again that I am no Maya Angelou.) Great collaboration!! Signed, your never a parent but still doughy-figured friend
Lynda, you know me too well!! Were my kids close to plummeting to their deaths off the side of a cliff? Yes. Did they get to feel the rush that accompanied it? Also, yes.
2 places we would not have survived the past 8 years without: the “mushroom pool” at Bradley Palmer Park (pool + hiking+ green meadow farm on the same road=triple bonus!) and Russell Orchrds in Ipswich. Farm animals + ice cream!
Jenn, Totally! I got my DCR pass already!
I needed this laugh today. Thank you. ❤️