Having a baby to care for makes going out a bit more difficult, but with a good stroller or baby carrier it can easily be done. In Forest Hills, New York, there is plenty to do with a little one tagging along. You just have to find it. Parks, libraries, shopping centers and coffee houses are all baby-friendly in this section of Queens.
Forest Park is the third-largest park in Queens and one of the only parks in New York City that has naturally dense forest areas and paths. It is in the center of the Richmond Hill, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Woodhaven, and Glendale neighborhoods. Whether you're in the mood for walking with your baby, picnicking, exploring the playground or just taking in the scenery, you'll find just what you're looking for across the hundreds of acres set aside for park activities. A small child is better carried here than pushed in a stroller due to the bumpy terrain.
The Queens Library on 71st Avenue encourages children to play and learn within its walls. The staff sets up crafts and activities for children of all ages, including the very young. You can relax in the Discovery Center as your baby explores board books and plays on simple science pods with your help and supervision. Babies enjoy the stimulation of different sights and sounds, so don't hesitate to show them pieces of the world around them, even if you feel they're not going to understand it.
Cafe Moms Playgroup
Forest Hills has a successful mom play group that meets regularly for those with children 2 and under. The group members get together for lunch, coffee and outdoor play groups during the week. The babies then interact with each other, receiving important socialization at a young age, while like-minded adults can talk about issues that affect them, like co-sleeping, baby-led weaning, and baby wearing. You can join this group online through Meetup.com by using your Facebook account or simply sign up on the site with your email address.
To improve dexterity and athleticism and promote balance and flexibility, you can sign your baby up for Mommy and Me classes at Gymboree in Forest Hills. The classes can start when your child is an infant. At Gymboree, your baby will learn visual cues and sounds during tummy time by exploring light patterns with flashlight play and listening to baby's first music. Meanwhile, you can learn about your child's development and milestones from professionals. Call 866-477-3700 for more information on classes available.
- New York City Department of Parks and Recreation: Forest Park
- Queens Library for Kids: Children's Library Discovery Center at Queens Library
- Meetup: Forest Hills & Rego Park Cafe Moms
- Queens Mamas: Gymboree in Forest Hills: More Than Mommy and Me Classes
- Gymboree Play and Music: Gymboree Play & Learn Classes
- Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images