One of the first things I experienced as a new mom was sticker shock by how expensive everything related to kids and babies can be. It seems that little babies carry a big price tag when it comes to everything from clothes, to furniture to toys, and most of these things need to be updated every few months to keep up. They weren’t kidding when they said having babies is EXPENSIVE! Luckily, I’ve gotten really good at finding free activities for babies.

If you’re not sure what is available in your area, google can be your friend when you use the right search terms. When I first started looking for free activities near me, I had a lot of trouble finding them. As you can imagine, small operations aren’t always focused on using the right keywords. For example, I tried searching free things to do with kids, and I only received a few results. I found the more specific I was with my search, the better your search results. But, as a new mom it was hard to know what I didn’t know. How would I know to search for free petting zoo if I didn’t know that was a thing?!? This is what inspired me to write this post. I hope the list below helps you get out of the house with your baby with little to no impact on your wallet.

Below is a list of free activities I found near me, and the search criteria I used to find them them.

  1. Baby Swimming Lessons  – Every swim school in my area offers free lessons for kids 3-6months of age. Signing up for swim lessons also allows us to attend family swim hours at no charge. AND, if you have one child signed up for swim lessons, their siblings can also attend family swim at no charge. Check out the policy at your local swim school and find out if they offer something like this in your area.
    • Search Term: baby swim class near me

      sunglasses girl swimming pool swimming
      Photo by Juan Salamanca on
  2. Baby Gym Class – I was a bit late to the game on this one, but chains like Gymboree and MyGym offer free classes to babies under 6 months. It’s a great way to get your babies moving and interacting with others the same age.
    • Search Term: indoor kids gym near me
  3. Baby Reading Time – Most libraries offer free reading time for your little ones, but did you know a lot of books stores offer reading time as well? Our local book store offers free reading time daily. I love this because it’s always my backup when I’m out of ideas, and they also offer free author readings and book signings.
    • Search Term: bookstore storytime | storytime public library

      photo of a boy reading book
      Photo by mentatdgt on
  4. Indoor Playhouse – My local indoor playhouse offers free playtime to pre-walkers. They have a much smaller area for babies under 3 years of age and pre-walkers can use the facility free of charge.
    • Search Term: indoor kids playhouse
  5. Local Farm/Petting Zoo – I love spending time outdoors with my little baby, but he’s starting to loathe the stroller and I’ve begun looking for fun things to do outdoors where he can walk (stumble) around and enjoy a little bit of sun.  I have found a free, volunteer run farm where my little one can observe pigs, sheep, goats, cows, chickens, and geese for no charge. Petting zoo’s can also be a lot of fun and are generally free or have a small charge for food.
    • Search Term: free petting zoo | free farm

      two lambs
      Photo by Vladislav Vasnetsov on

Pro tip: If rates aren’t clear, call ahead and get more information about rates. You might be surprised by their answer.


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