Is it just me or does it feel like the second you find out you’re pregnant, your whole world changes? Suddenly, you’re more aware of what you eat, how you sleep. You’re Googling if you’re allowed to do this or if it’s better to do that. It’s like a whole new world opens up of things you didn’t know you needed to know. And it doesn’t end with the pregnancy.
Once your baby makes it Earth side, you probably still find yourself searching for all the things, especially things to do near you. Maybe you’re looking for kid-friendly events or activities you can do with your baby, toddler, or preschooler to help them burn their energy out or keep them entertained during the day. That’s what this list is about.
Since moving to Knoxville (and becoming a stay-at-home mom), I am so confident when I say that I’ve tried more than my fair share of open play areas, parks, and mommy and me classes in and around Knoxville. Some were just okay. Others I’d rate as top tier.
So, if you are a parent looking for things to do with your baby, toddler, and preschooler during the day, here’s a list of experiences I’ve compiled to give you some idea of fun mommy and me classes available in and around Knoxville:
Mornings with Mommy
The first “class” I’d recommend is SO cute. Mornings with Mommy is tailored to parents of children aged 0 to 5 during the school year. Picture a mock preschool classroom with toys for even the smallest of the littles, sensory bins, arts and crafts, and snacks together at the end. The mornings kick off with circle time, a story, and a song led by the instructor, then families are free to break off, enjoy and explore the activities that have been set up. Mornings with Mommy is offered once a month at Shephard of the Hills Lutheran Church on a specified Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday morning from 10am to 11am. The cost is $5 (cash or check) per family. Every month has a new theme! Visit here to learn more and register. This one fills up fast!
Knox County Library offers free mommy and me storytime for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Baby Bookworms is designed for infants to age 2. Babies and their grownups can sing, clap, wiggle, and bounce together in these lap-sit programs. This mommy and me class is usually from 10:30am to 11am weekly. My girl loved coming here when she fit in this age range. It is such a cute bonding experience to look forward to doing every week if you want to get out of the house. Times and days vary by location. Check with the library branch near you to find out which days and times this session is offered.
If your preschooler loves stories or if you’re just looking to get them out of the house and around other little kids, Preschool Storytimes is another free mommy and me class hosted by Knox County Library. This storytime is similar to Babybookworms, only it is designed for 3- to 5-year-olds. This is the next step up when your 2-year-old can’t sit still and outgrows the Baby Bookworms experience. In this one, the librarian normally reads about 4 or 5 age-appropriate stories and incorporates songs in between. It’s usually from 10:30am to 11am weekly. The day varies by branch. Check with the library branch near you to find out which days and times this class is offered.
Mother Goose at Oak Ridge Library
Unlike storytimes at Knox County Libraries, Mother Goose at Oak Ridge Library is a more interactive experience. Bring your baby, toddler, and/or preschooler out for bouncing, tickling, touching, clapping, action rhymes, musical circle games, simple songs, and play. Mother Goose is every 1st and 3rd Thursday in September through May at 10:30am in the Oakridge Library auditorium. This one is great, especially if your little one has a lot of energy, can’t sit still, and likes to move around! It’s also 100% free. My girl had a blast! Learn more here.
Music Together with Glenda
While you’re in Oak Ridge for Mother Goose, another fun mommy and me class in Oak Ridge I like is called Music Together with Glenda. This one is also so cute! It’s like your little one gets to go to their very own music school, experiential play with real instruments and other kids, and you get to bond with them under the guidance of a trained music instructor who leads age-appropriate songs and interactive play. This is a 10-week music class in the fall and spring (during the school year) for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and their grownups. Registration is required. You can demo the first class for free or use the promo code Invitef22 for $25 off this fall. Learn more here.
The Little Gym
Starting at around 10 months old to 3 years of age, The Little Gym is a gymnastics facility that offers parent and child classes for those with babies and toddlers. Parents and their babies gather around for circle time, songs, activities, and skills of the day. There is also time within this 45-minute class where your little ones are free to play and explore the gym (and you can play right alongside them or make other mom friends). I think this one is so fun to look forward to, especially when they’re a baby and aren’t picky yet about what they want to do (haha)! Classes are available 7 days a week. Times vary. Check their website for availability. Unlike the other options I’ve mentioned, this mommy and me class requires a membership to join. Also, you’ll need to give them a 30-day notice in order to get out of the contract (just as a heads up). However, you can try the first class for free! Totally worth a shot.
Mess Makers at Muse Knoxville
Every Tuesday at 3pm, The Muse hosts Mess Makers for preschoolers and their families. An instructor leads you into hands-on crafts, activities, discoveries, and creations to enjoy. If your little one is into arts and crafts, they’ll probably love this one. I’d wait until your kid is at least 2-years-old to try it. Come earlier or stay later to let them play and explore The Muse itself! This experience is included in the regular cost of admission and is free for all members. You’ll want to come dressed for a mess! Learn all about it here.
Classes I Haven’t Tried (Yet), But Would if I Had Another Baby
Baby + Me Yoga
Baby + Me Yoga is a class where new moms can get out of the house, combat postpartum challenges, and meet other new moms in a similar phase of life. It’s hosted by Mama Yoga every Wednesday morning from 10am to 11am at the Farragut Community Center. Class is limited to only 10 parent/child participants. There is a $12 drop-in rate. Contact Mama Yoga to register and for more information.
Fit4MOM’s Stroller Strides
Stroller Strides is a mommy and me workout program hosted by FIT4MOM every weekday at 9:30am at different parks. This 60-minute total-body workout focuses on helping new moms build strength, cardio, and core training, all while engaging the little ones in a stroller! The class is taught by certified and specially trained fitness instructors who lead through a series of exercises specific to her role as mom and weave songs and activities into the routine designed to entertain and engage the baby. You can demo your first class for free. Afterward, it’s a $15 drop-in rate or $69 monthly with unlimited visits. View the FIT4MOM West Knoxville schedule here. Or check to see if there is another FIT4MOM franchise location near you.
Although we haven’t decided on where we’ll try out swimming lessons just yet, depending on your child’s age, this is another mommy and me option that’s worth exploring. Most swimming facilities that offer lessons teach infants and toddlers in a parent and child session.