Blogger Sarah Wade has a list of weekly activities for moms who have children of a variety of ages. The purpose of her list is to encourage social interaction for children that stay home and moms that might feel home bound or are discouraged for various reasons to venture out on their own.
Activity of the Week: The Metro Richmond Zoo
The Richmond Zoo is one of our favorite activity spots. It is a wonderful zoo with a wide variety of animals and other fun kid friendly attractions and is very easy to navigate solo. The zoo offers a large play area, carousel, safari sky ride, and train!
There is also a snack bar and shaded picnic pavilion available for use. The zoo is open Monday-Saturday from 9:30am-5pm and is $17.25 for adults and $11.25 for kids, and children under 1 are free! You will also be able to purchase food to feed the animals at the front gate, trust me its super fun.
You will want to pick up some food for your little ones to feed the animals. The zoo will offer enough activity to keep your kids entertained and moving all morning and well into the afternoon if you want to make a day of it!
Meal planning for the mom on the go
Oh meals ... I feel like my brain is always thinking about breakfast, lunch and dinner. As a mom that tries to be out and about as much as possible, I have found that planning ahead for breakfast and lunch is necessary to keep my sanity. I think there is nothing wrong with off the cuff meals on a routine day, but if you are planning a zoo trip, or another activity that will be an all-day affair, then trust me, thinking about how everyone is going to be fed ahead of time will save you a lot of headaches.
I will fill you in on how I normally plan our meals for a day out.
Breakfast: Normally my plan is to do our everyday breakfast at home; this is what is easiest for me and my girls. Sometimes however one of my kids will sleep later than expected or I will be running behind. When this happens I alter how I do breakfast instead of being late to my destination. A quick breakfast for us is normally milk and dry cereal in a bag. That way it is portable and they can snack on it in the car.
My 3-year-old can sometimes be a little cranky about changing her breakfast routine so I usually have a “special” cereal on hand that makes the change exciting rather than annoying. Also, if you do milk in the morning like we do, I recommend having the Horizon boxed milks on hand. They don’t have to be refrigerated and have a nice long shelf life!
Lunch: This is the meal that is the most important to think ahead about because it’s the meal that you will most likely run into while you are
out. Even if you plan to be home for lunch, think about what you will do if that doesn’t work out. For example: if you go to the zoo and stay longer than expected, you will go to the Chick Fil A down the street. Just having that mental note and plan will save you from the initial panic of, “Oh no, we are going to miss lunch!”
We normally pack our lunch when we go out. This makes it easy for me to accommodate my girls if they get super hungry before we are ready to go, or as I have mentioned before I will use lunch as a way to keep my kids up in the car. My go to for a packed lunch is almost always an Uncrustable. My 3-year-old is picky and a PB&J is always acceptable to her. The prepackaged Uncrustables are great because you don’t have to worry about keeping them cold and they are super easy to pack!
Feeding baby on the go
When you have a baby that is not fully dependent on solids yet it can make feeding a little tricky sometimes. This is especially true if you are a first time mom, or a second time mom that’s learning how to balance a baby and a toddler.
Just as I mentioned above with the older kids, I would recommend having a plan for where you will feed baby if you get stuck out longer than expected.
If your baby is formula fed I would suggest packing enough powder and water or even those great ready to use bottles to get you through the day. That way, whether or not you will have enough milk is never a concern.
If your baby is breastfed and you are comfortable nursing in public than planning ahead isn’t as much of a concern because you will be able to accommodate your baby whenever necessary. If you are not comfortable nursing in public than I would think ahead about where you will nurse before you leave. A lot of places offer nursing mother rooms or private areas that you are welcome to use.
By planning ahead you will be able to avoid a stressful run through the zoo or park back to the car to nurse your baby. Now, what if you exclusively pump? I know this resonates with a smaller group of people than the other two options above, but this is what I did for both of my girls and I don’t want to leave these mamas out! Planning ahead for pumpers is a little trickier than the other feeding options, but is very do able.
I would recommend packing your pump; I always had a bag by the door with a set of pump parts, cleaning cloths, and a battery pack ready to go. That way I could just throw my pump in the bag and I was all set just in case I needed it.
If you have a battery pack or car adapter, then pumping in the car is a great option. Also most family restrooms, nursing mother rooms, and handicapped fitting rooms have outlets available for you to use. It took me until baby number 2 and one too many uncomfortable car rides home to figure out that pumping while you are out really isn’t that hard, and will make for a much less stressful day for you and your baby.