Need to get out of the house but want to avoid places where you’ll get the stink-eye for having your newborn in tow? Look no further! Let me be your Stefon of infant-friendly outing suggestions.
Is your new baby giving you a case of cabin fever? Want to get out of the house but aren’t sure where to turn for a quick trip that maybe won’t involve changing a baby on a table1 or getting the stink-eye for having your baby with you? Look no further! Let me be your Stefon of infant-friendly outing suggestions.
Disclaimer: I have an admittedly easy baby as far as fussing goes.2 Your mileage may vary! Heck, my mileage varies from Saturday to Sunday!
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Robins Nature & Visitor Center
Everybody knows Maymont is a great, free place to stroll through greenery. But I suggest trying the road less taken and paying the $3-per-adult (children under four are free!) fee to wander the stroller-and-wheelchair friendly indoor Robins Nature & Visitor Center. It’s soothing, temperate, interesting, and there are places to sit if you need to–and those places include ample seating in front of the otter viewing room. For less than the price of a Panera sandwich, my husband and baby and I were able to casually walk around and look at turtles, fish, and an otter for 45 minutes while our daughter snoozed on and off. I can’t think of a more pleasant way to regroup than by watching an otter flippity-dive in the water. You otter try it!3 Also, there are changing tables in the bathrooms.
Food Truck Courts
So, going out to eat is a bit too elaborate for the moment. Enter the food truck court. Several run from 5:30–8:30 PM, providing a wide window of opportunity. Check to see if there’s one in your area! The benefits are bountiful: you’re outside in the fresh air, it’s a little more social than going to eat formally, and if you live close enough, you can walk back home quickly if things go downhill (or someone needs a change) without leaving your meal–just eat while you walk!
Cartwheels & Coffee
Cartwheels & Coffee in Carytown is a cofeehouse/pre-school playland for kids, but they also have a baby area, and infants under one are free! If you’re looking for a place to get coffee with your little one without bothering anyone writing their screenplay, this might be the place. Bonus: maybe you’ll make some parent-friends in that baby play area.
VMFA Sculpture Garden
I’m going to let you in on one of my favorite places in all of Richmond: The VMFA Sculpture Garden is one of the nicest places to relax and take in a pleasant view. But better still, the fountains provide a relaxing white-noise effect, so your baby might nod off instantly. The best part is that you can wander the garden after-hours, so if you need an evening walk, this is totally an option. The garden is surprisingly uncrowded, so shhhhh, let’s keep this our little secret, okay?
St. Stephen’s Market
So, the last time I went to the South of the James Market, it was….kind of crowded. Oh, who am I kidding, it was crazy! This is awesome for vendors like Mrs. Yoder, but all those people and dogs and strollers can get a little overwhelming, even without an infant. So, I suggest (heresy) skipping SOTJ and giving St. Stephen’s Market a try instead. Parking is a breeze in comparison, and it’s nice to try something new, right?
Richmond’s hottest club is your bed, with takeout. Because let’s be real, sometimes that’s as far as you might get on your planned trip. Sticky Rice has ToGoGo, you knowknow.
Photo by: MARK-SPOKES.COM