As Midwesterners, we are coming up on some of the harder months ahead; also known as the winter. It can be a rough time, especially for parents. All those grueling hours trapped inside the house because the weather isn’t nice and you’re going positively stir crazy. Even when it’s nice outside, like today, it can still be difficult coming up with ideas of what to do and where to go as a parent. When I first had Wynter I remember that going to Starbucks seemed like a big trip out for the day. Now that she’s older and I have my footing, I try to be more creative when thinking of places to go and things I can do with her.
One thing Wynter loves to do is go to the library! Have you checked out the kid’s programs at your local library? Almost every library has some kind of “reading” or “story time” for children. In my area, I’ve been to the Williams Bay Library, the Elkhorn Library and the Walworth Library. The Elkhorn Library is awesome! I was so impressed from the second I stepped foot in there. Wynter and I have done their Books ‘n’ Babies program a few times and she LOVES it. It’s so well planned and carried out, that I can’t believe it’s free to go! Ms. Pattie, whom is a local teacher runs the program, and she’s great with the kiddos (and has the patience of a saint!). Here is a calendar of their events: https://www.elkhorn.lib.wi.us/wordpress/calendar/ We’ve also been to the Williams Bay Library that has a lot for the kids to do. Their play area is packed with toys. This would be a great place to meet a girlfriend; grab some coffee at Steamers across the street and walk over to the library with your kiddos after. As an adult I never went to the library much, but now that I have Wynter I realized that all the libraries have so many programs on their calendar (for kids and adults too). Worth looking into!
Above: Wynter at the Williams Bay Library
Williams Bay: https://www.williamsbay.lib.wi.us/
Lake Geneva: https://www.lakegeneva.lib.wi.us/
Another thing I love to do is check out local programs that I can enroll Wynter in. If you have a park district close by, or a YMCA, there’s usually a variety of programs you can get your child signed up for. At Wynter’s age, a lot of the classes I’ve seen are ones where you stay with your child (in other words, you can’t leave to run errands ☹). However, if you have the time and you’re looking for something to do, signing up for a class would be perfect for you. Since having Wyn, she’s taken swimming lessons at the YMCA http://www.genevalakesymca.org/ and she took a music class at Rock Central https://www.rockcentral.org/about/mini-rockers-and-performers/. Here’s my take on classes with a baby/ toddler; don’t have high expectations from your child. I think when you are undergoing any program with a baby... or even with a toddler/ two year old, don’t think they are going to leave and master whatever it is they are enrolled in. For example, I had Wynter take swimming lessons for FUN. I knew it would be an enjoyable way of getting her introduced to being in the water and getting her more comfortable with it. I also like having her take classes just so she can be around other children. With the music class, it was a great solution to eating up some time in our day and getting her out and socializing with other kids and adults. That’s a win-win in my book. Something I’m excited to take Wynter to, but haven’t had a chance yet, is the Lakes Area Gymnastics Center in Burlington. They not only have classes you can sign up for, but also open gym sessions every day of the week for children 5 and under. Sometimes Wynter just needs to run off some steam, and this is key for that, especially in the winter months https://lakesareagymnastics.com/open-gym/. The Gymnastics Center would probably be similar to a My Gym https://www.mygym.com/ that I know exists in the suburbs.
Since we can still be outside (luckily) some other things I like to do with Wynter are, run around Pearce’s Farm Stand https://www.pearcefarms.com/, pick apples at Edwards Apple Orchard https://edwardsappleorchard.business.site/ or pick berries at Blue Clay Berry Farm http://www.blueclayberryfarm.com/home.html (this was so fun)!
As a mom, I’m forced to get creative when it comes to thinking of ideas of what to do and keeping us busy. Now before I start sounding like Super Mom over here, I openly admit that a lot of days I take Wynter to Target and that’s our big adventure for the afternoon. Sad but true. I love grabbing my Starbucks, putting Wyn in the cart, let her grab a little something from the dollar section and then aimlessly wander the aisles of Target for an hour or so 😊. Wynter and I also like going to Mayfair Mall (she loves a good Nordstrom run), strolling around the boutiques of Lake Geneva or shopping around Homegoods for a bit. Sometimes it’s just about getting out the house for awhile before nap time. Am I right ladies and gentlemen?!?
I will definitely keep posting about things to do in the Lake Geneva area for kiddos, but for now, here are some upcoming events that parents, or visitors will want to keep on their radar:
Halloween Preschool Storytime: https://www.visitlakegeneva.com/event/halloween-preschool-storytime/3783/
Trick-or-Treating in Downtown Lake Geneva: http://www.bestoflakegeneva.com/event/trick-or-treating-lake-geneva
Annual Electric Lights Christmas Parade: https://www.visitlakegeneva.com/events/christmasparade/