Mel Peachy is a new mom who loves getting out there but refuses to break the mat-leave bank to have fun. She’s here to run down her favourite free and cheap mat leave things to do to inspire your next adventure.
Mamas, we all know how easy it is to blow the maternity leave budget on pumpkin spice lattes and “window shopping” at the mall. Most baby-friendly places aren’t exactly expensive but even $7-10/visit adds up! I mean…you have 365 days (or more) to fill on your leave and you can’t be dropping big bucks every time you leave the house. So where can you go with babe that won’t break the bank? Let me help you with that! You see, I am very cheap – very cheap – I actually hate spending money. So when I do, it better be worth it! My son and I have ventured around town and found all the best places to go that are either 100% FREE or worth the $5 for a visit.
Soup to Go (formally Frootogo), 573 Parkside Dr, Waterdown
This place has it all! Bakery, homemade soups, tractor rides, pumpkin patch, and an epic fenced-in play yard for the kiddos. Best part? FREE for babies under 1 and FREE for grandparents! Just $3.50 for adults – and get this – it’s $15 for a SEASON’S PASS! I am actually afraid that by writing this blog post Soup to Go will no longer be a hidden gem. John and I love the play yard here. There is so much for kids to do. Sandbox, swings, haystacks, cars to drive, and loads of toys. The grass is beautifully maintained so it’s a great space to let babe crawl around and explore!
Morden’s Organic Farm Store, 801 Collinson Rd, Dundas
How often do you get to see a camel up close? At Morden’s, it’s FREE to visit with the animals in the paddock. Meet Quinness the camel and her donkey, alpaca, goat, horse, and sheep friends! Your baby will love how close you can get to the animals. If you’re brave you can feed them! After you’re both exhausted from making googly eyes at the animals head into the store to pick up some local, organic meat and treats!
The Early Years Centre, 315 Dundas St E, Waterdown
Waterdown has an epic Early Years Centre. Built in an old house, it features multiple rooms for babe to discover. You will find sensory bins, and messy play as well as a soft toy room for younger babes. If that’s not enough you will find costumes for dress-up play, books to read, and music circles to join. Best part? FREE and totally drop-in, so it doesn’t matter what babe’s nap schedule is, their hours are awesome!
Gymalaya, 3410 Mainway Unit 6, Burlington
Drop-in baby gymnastics?! Yup! For only $7 per child, (they don’t charge adults!) babe can run jump and explore the entire gym! From crawling on the padded floor to bouncing on the tumble track, hanging off the bars, and climbing over obstacles, there is so much to do to help your baby burn off some steam! Not to mention, Gymalaya is located in an activity complex that houses Aqua-Tots swim school, Zorbit Sports, a dance studio, adult fitness facility, a coffee and juice bar, kids photography studio, and a kids coding class (coming soon)! It’s the ultimate place for families.
The Apple Orchard, 1668 ON-6, Hamilton
When was the last time you went apple, pear, pumpkin, squash, and sunflower picking all in once place? FREE for babies under 2, and $3.99 on weekdays for adults this place has so much for babe to explore. Check out the life-size corn-filled sensory bin you can actually sit in! Or take a tractor ride through the 12-acre apple orchard! Explore the corn maze or visit with the ponies. Between the orchard, pumpkin patch, and gigantic sunflower field, this place has the most stunning backdrop for family photos. Dog-friendly too!
Owner, Coach Peachey Personal Training
I offer custom online strength coaching for new and expecting Moms!
Thanks Mel! We love these suggestions and your reviews are going to help parents plan their next adventure!