Once you have kids there are a lot of things that you realize people “forgot” to tell you! No one ever told me that going out will never be the same again. Before you have kids you take it for granted that you can just pick yourself up and head out without a second thought and more importantly without a solid plan.
Planning days out with the twins is something we have become better at through trial and error. Good planning, nine times out of ten will mean a successful day out. For me a successful day out use to mean a day out centered around what the boys like to do, eat and play. More recently however, I’ve realized it’s important to include “us” into the plan. This comes under “self care” but it does make all the difference if you can schedule something you enjoy too!
I check at the beginning of each month what’s happening in our local area and favorite spots. I pencil them all in, even if the calendar ends up looking too ambitious. What we’ve learnt is that if it’s not written down on the planner we won’t end up going anywhere but if it is at least we have the option depending on how things are going. For all the planning I do if we’ve had a rough week I don’t push it with a jam packed weekend. Below are the sites I check for events or activities which interest the twins and/or us:
Local events (Halton and Peel Region):
Parks and Conservation Areas:
The little big details
Parking: Depending on where we are going I make sure we know exactly where to park beforehand. Parking can be a pain when you have toddlers in the back wanting to get out asap. There are some great parking apps one of which we use for Toronto days out is Green P Parking App. This is a great app with kids since it lets you pay, track and extend your parking, from your smartphone.
Food: We used to pack the twins food before going out but as they’ve gotten older it has become a little easier to eat out with them. However they are fussy eaters so that does mean planning a suitable place to eat. Somewhere family friendly, near to wherever we are visiting and preferably with an online menu is what we look for so that we know exactly what to order before we get there. The twins can’t sit still for long so if we can eliminate the menu browsing time it’s a plus! Favorite Apps for food finding: blogTO yelp and Google Maps.
Naps: Scheduling the boys naps while planning a day out can be a pain. They tend to nap in the afternoon and like to get an hour or so. Local trips are easy to get done in the morning and be done by nap time. Longer trips we try to set off when its nap time that way we can drive a good hour in peace!
Weather: There’s been times that we’ve gone out and our trip has been cut short just because we didn’t bring the right clothes/shoes. That’s why The Weather Network app has become my best friend! Its not always accurate but it gives me a good enough idea of what we will be needing.
Mood: This is probably the biggest change that has come about the more we go out with the twins; maintaining a positive mood! Going out with toddlers is hard no matter how much planning you do. I’ve slowly come to terms with the fact that planning softens the blows but it doesn’t eradicate the possible toddler melt down or a lack of diaper change facilities. I’m learning to enjoy the good parts and trying to smile through the not so great parts of our outings because soon enough they’ll be too “cool” to hang out with mum and dad!
I am hoping to add to this post with time as I learn new ways to deal with these monkeys. Would love to hear your planning tips and tricks when out with the kids!
Happy planning xx