Ah, winter. For some it evokes visions of hot cocoa, warm fires, snuggling inside with your loved ones. For new parents, winter can feel like The Doldrums, as they look at life on the outside with wonder, awe... and desperation.
"I gotta get out of this house! But what do I DO with a newborn in the cold weather?"
Well thankfully dear readers, you're in (or around) the Bull City, one of the most family-friendly cities, and we've got some suggestions for you on today's 5 Things list.
- Museum of Life and Science - This museum is a true Durham treasure. Do yourselves a favor and buy a family membership now, because as your little one grows you'll find yourself coming more often than you visit local parks.
But for now, bypass all the neat indoor (and outdoor) exhibits and play structures, and keep going all the way to the butterfly house! The Magic Wings Butterfly House is one of our favorite exhibits and it's perfect for you and your newborn. Here's why: lots of gentle butterflies AND it's warm and humid. You can even pretend you are in Key West if you want. Babies dig it. The Museum also has Durham resident days several times per month where you get in free.
Pro Tip: Test out your babywearing skills inside the exhibit, as the aisles are tight and you'll want to take a leisurely stroll without worry of bumping into anything (or anyone).
- Bean Traders Coffee - Bean Traders is a really excellent place to go with infant. Take your iPad and headphones or a favorite book. Scope out a perfect table in the back corner and settle down for a spell with slice of pie, a fluffy, hot waffle (peppermint chocolate a la mode is a personal favorite) or a warm hand crafted beverage. Bean Traders is just large enough and loud enough to feel inconspicuous if you want to get in a quick nursing session, or if your baby starts fussing a bit. No one will mind. Plus, it's owned by a local Durham family!
Bonus: They have a giant chalkboard wall and books to keep busy big siblings entertained while you enjoy a moment to yourself.
- Streets of Southpoint Mall - Weekday mall visits aren't just for sneaker-wearing, pedometer-proud Mall Walkers anymore. Go window shopping (or go really shopping) for the morning. Find a quite spot in the upstairs family rest area or head to the food court to and have a bowl of Pho or sample the latest from Food-Truck-Turned-Storefront, Porchetta. Finally, walk down to the Nordstrom Women's lounge for a quick diaper change/feeding session before you head home. Daytime mall visits are a really low-key (and warm) way to practice getting out and about with your newborn.
- Durham Libraries - If you don't already know, Durham has some of the best libraries around! Check out the activities page to find an interesting event for you or your older children. Each branch of the library has daily programs including a Baby Lap Sit story time.
Want to know a secret? Storytime isn't just for babies! It's a great place to meet other new parents like you. In fact, if you become a Storytime Regular, you'll find that you see the same faces each week. So, speak up and introduce yourselves!
- Emerald Doulas - Wednesday mornings at 11 a.m., we have a weekly New Parents Hangout hour. Come chat with us ask us those burning parenting questions, or meet up with other parents before heading out on the American Tobacco Trail (literally a stones throw away). Who knows, you might just meet your new Parent BFF!