1. The Library
The library is good for much more than books these days. Many libraries cater very well to parents too. These aren’t the storytimes of your childhood—there are puppets, bubbles, singing, dancing and reading. These modern children’s librarians cram a ton of activity into the 30 minute session. Oftentimes, the libraries will also have a small children’s play area as well. You can spend an entire morning meeting other parents for a playdate, attending storytime, then letting your children choose a book and a DVD to take home for later!
Don’t miss the social and learning opportunities for adults, either. Oftentimes you can brush up on your computer skills, public speaking practice, or learn about enhancing your business acumen. All for free at your local library.
2. The Parent-Teacher Association
Your local PTA is a great way to meet other moms and get involved with your community. They usually have planned field trips for children with their parents, fun parties and get togethers and numerous volunteer opportunities. If you want to know about the inner-workings of your neighborhood schools, this is a great place to start.
3. Recreation Center
If your town has a recreation center, or even a YMCA, be sure you are getting lots of use out of it. Many centers offer toddler playtimes, low-cost babysitting while you exercise, swimming times just for moms with children, and kids camps. Familiarize yourself with what’s available for you at these amazing community resources.
4. Nature Center
Classes, classes, classes! Nature centers are great places for moms because they offer low-cost classes where your child can explore nature in an educational and fun setting. If you haven’t searched for a center in your area, now is the time!
5. Your Retired Neighbor
Not only does this person know all of the neighborhood history and gossip, but they can probably help you in many different areas. First of all, they might have grandchildren and lots of experience with kids. Maybe they would want to watch your little ones for a couple hours each week while you run errands. Many of the retirees in my neighborhood are excellent gardeners. Perhaps they can spend some time teaching you how to better take care of your yard—you know they have all the equipment and knowledge! Additionally, your retired neighbor is the best person to help with the mail, garbage, and general observation of your house when you are away.
6. Concerts in the Park
We make it a point to attend any free concerts taking place at local parks. We bring a blanket and make a picnic dinner. Our daughter gets exposed to all types of music through these concerts, and then she wears herself out running around and dancing—the perfect recipe for a smooth bedtime.
7. The Rotary Club
Although there are dues and fees for membership, a local Rotary Club is a great way to meet others and network in your community. Many people are under the misconception that these clubs are for men only, but this couldn’t be further from the truth of where Rotary is headed. This is a great place to further your career and volunteerism in the community.
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