Being a new parent can be isolating. Between nap schedules and feeding routines, it can be hard to find time to connect with other moms and dads who are in the same trenches as you. But there’s hope! Mommy-and-me classes (a.k.a. daddy-and-me, granny-and-me, or nanny-and-me) are not only great chances to bond with your baby or toddler, they’re also prime places to meet other parents (who are also sleep deprived and covered in spit-up). Below are 30 opportunities to get out of the house, give your little one an enriching experience, and hopefully meet a new parent bestie.
This 30-minute program for parents and babies ages 6 weeks to 6 months old encourages physical bonding through rocking, rolling, tummy time, and social interaction. Registration is required for each ongoing session. Kids First Sports Center, 7900 E. Kemper Rd., Blue Ash, (513) 489-7575
CINCINNATI FOREST PLAY
Enjoy the great outdoors at these weekly gatherings that promote nature exploration. As a group, you’ll take a short hike with your littles, explore a creek, and have a story and snack time al fresco. Plan to get wet and dirty! The schedule shifts frequently, but common meet-up locations include Sharon Woods, French Park, and California Woods. No registration is required. Visit Cincinnati Forest Play on Facebook for current meet-up times and locations.
CINCINNATI PUBLIC LIBRARY STORYTIMES
Each of the library’s 41 branches offers regular storytimes for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Library Babies, designed for ages birth through 18 months, guides caregivers and babies in sing-a-longs, stories, and movement activities. Movers and Shakers, designed for ages 1 through 4, lets little kids dance, sing, and follow along with read-aloud books. Visit your local branch’s website for event days and times.
KING ARTHUR’S COURT STORY TIME WITH ROB
This casual meet-up is hosted on the comfy couches of one of Cincinnati’s favorite toy stores. Grab a (free!) coffee and popcorn, and settle in for a few read-aloud books, then stay for some play in The Dungeon. Tuesdays at 11 a.m. King Arthur’s Court, 3040 Madison Rd., Oakley, (513) 531- 4600
Pre-Preschool Classes with Parents
BEGINNINGS AT THE SEVEN HILLS SCHOOL
Parents participate alongside children ages 12–24 months in this eight-class session of preschool-like play. Centers and work stations expose little ones to art, drama, and sensory experiences, while group snack time allows children to pause while parents discuss caregiving topics with the program director. Wednesdays 9:30–10:30 a.m. at the Hillsdale Campus, 5400 Red Bank Rd., Madisonville, (513) 728-2411. Mondays and Fridays 9–10 a.m. at the Doherty Campus, 2726 Johnstone Pl., Hyde Park, (513) 728-2411, 7hills.org. $250/session.
Hosted in the Early Childhood Center of Cincinnati Country Day School, this play-based program for parents and children ages 10-24 months old nurtures verbal, cognitive, social, physical, and emotional growth skills. Children experiment with loose parts to develop creativity, take nature walks, play with puppets, work with clay, and practice building. Classes are offered once per week. Fall and winter sessions are available. Wednesdays 9–10:15 a.m., $225/session. Cincinnati Country Day School, 6905 Given Rd., Indian Hill, (513) 561-7298
Parents join their toddlers ages 16 months to 3 years old in this nature-based curriculum of teacher-led hikes, stories, games, and songs. Parents and children “work” alongside each other in outdoor, play-based activities. Classes are offered 9–11 a.m. once weekly as seasonal sessions, $390. Cincinnati Waldorf School, 6743 Chestnut St., Mariemont, (513) 541-0220,
Gymnastics and Dance Classes
DANCE WITH ME AT PRESTIGE DANCE CENTER
For children 18 months to 2 years old, this movement and music class is designed to strengthen a toddler’s coordination, balance, and social interaction. $50.83/month or 10 classes for $130. Prestige Dance Center, 3826 Roundbottom Rd., Newtown, (513) 271-9400
This drop-in, open-gym-style class for kids 2 to 5 years old offers a safe space to burn off some energy. A casual obstacle course gives kids prompts for exploring various motor skills, with free range to choose their activities—from a long tumble track, to low balance beams, to monkey bars, and a slide. Parents join their kids on the gym floor. Fridays 10–11 a.m., $5/class. Gymnastics Central, 8485 Broadwell Rd., Newtown, (513) 947-0540
PARENT/CHILD CLASSES AT THE LITTLE GYM
Explore all the colorful equipment of a big gymnastics gym, but mini-sized to fit kids 4 months to 3 years old. Classes for various age groups are offered Monday through Saturday. Tuition plans start at $23/class. The Little Gym of Mason, 8201 Arbor Square Dr., Mason, (513) 204-1400
Parents join their toddlers in the action for these 45-minute, teacher-led classes. The curriculum fosters gross motor exploration and confidence while learning skills like taking turns, sharing, and following directions. Classes are divided by age and developmental stage: 6 months old to pre-walking, walking to 24 months, 3 to 4 years old, and 4½ to 6 years old. Prices vary. Kids First Sports Center, 7900 E. Kemper Rd., Blue Ash, (513) 489-7575
TIPPI TOES TODDLER & ME DANCE CLASSES
For children 18 months to 3 years old, these 30-minute music and motion classes serve as an early introduction to the world of dance. Parents play an active role in encouraging their tiny dancers to follow along with the rhythm and movements of the class. $55/month. Blue Ash Recreation Center, 4433 Cooper Rd., Blue Ash, (513) 399-7449
For little ones 18 months to 3 years old, these 30-minute classes help develop movement, rhythm, coordination, and balance. $65/month. Premier Tumbling and Dance, 679 Loveland Madeira Rd., Loveland, (513) 677-1240
QUEEN CITY ZUMBINI
A spin-off to the Zumba brand of dance fitness, this early education program for parents and children up to 4 years old is designed to get kids moving and grooving. Classes are offered in sessions, once per week. $15/class. Outdoor classes are hosted at Owl’s Nest Park, 1984 Madison Rd., O’Bryonville
MINI SWIM LESSONS
Bond with your baby in the water with these 30-minute classes that teach basic swim skills. Mini 1 classes are for children 4–15 months. Mini 2 classes are for children 16–35 months. $26/class. Goldfish Swim School, 8253 Beechmont Ave., Anderson Twp., (513) 813-5534
SWIM LESSONS AT KIDS FIRST SPORTS CENTER
Get ready to get wet! Caregivers join their little fishies in the pool for infant swim classes that teach early water acclimation. Little Guppies 1 is for babies 6–16 months old, while Little Guppies 2 is offered for toddlers 16 months to 3 years old. $109/session. Kids First Sports Center, 7900 E. Kemper Rd., Blue Ash, (513) 489-7575
TEDDY PADDLE SWIM CLASSES
Starting at 6 months old, infants can learn swim skills like blowing bubbles, kicking, and floating alongside their parents. First lesson is free. $25/class. Bear Paddle Swim School, 3099 Disney St., Oakley, (513) 880-8330
Active Classes for Mom
BABY AND ME YOGA CLASSES
What new mama couldn’t use a little relaxation therapy? These yoga classes with baby are perfect opportunities to relax, stretch, and practice mindfulness. Tuesdays and Saturdays 10 a.m., $20/session. Tender Beginnings Birth and Parenting Services, 3373 Princeton Rd., Suite 129, Hamilton, (513) 505-6548
FIT4MOM STROLLER STRIDES
This class is all about mamas! With prenatal and postpartum bodies in mind, these challenging workouts blend cardio, core, and strength work to help mamas get active while kids come along for the ride in their strollers. Classes are offered at Ault Park (Hyde Park), Weller Park (Montgomery), and Liberty Center (Liberty Township). First class is free. $18/class. Visit central.cincinnati.fit4moms.com for class days and times.
This high-energy program combines both structured, instructor-led activities for parents and toddlers (5 years old and under), as well as unstructured trampoline bounce time. Activities include active play time that helps develop hand-eye coordination and social skills, sensory play with fine motor play like coloring or bubbles, and music time that gets kids and parents moving to well-known tunes. Saturdays and Sundays 10:30 a.m.–noon, $11/person. Sky Zone Trampoline Park, 11745 Commons Dr., Springdale. (513) 342-0872
Get an amazing cardio workout while bouncing along with your toddler at these open-bounce sessions dedicated just to parents and little ones. One parent jumps for free for every toddler admission. Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–noon, $15.99/child for 60 minutes of jump time. Rockin’ Jump, 8350 Colerain Ave., Colerain Twp., (513) 373-4260
CREATIVE TOT MORNINGS
Giving toddlers 18 months and older their first exposure to art, this curated 45-minute class begins with a story time and is followed by art and activity stations that align with the theme of the book. $15/class. LilyPad Play, 2008 Madison Rd., O’Bryonville, (513) 321-1379
POP-POP PARENT-CHILD PROGRAM
Give kids space to create and make messes in a safe environment with guided activities such as drawing, painting, sculpture, and performance. Sessions also include a story and snack. Tuesdays and Thursdays 11 a.m.–noon, $5/child. V + V Visionarium, 3054 Madison Rd., Oakley, (513) 417-8491
Does your little one love making marker murals on your walls? Here’s a place to channel that creative energy. This drop-in art-making class allows little Picassos 5 years old and younger to learn about different artists and explore various styles of artmaking. Mondays and Thursdays 10 a.m.–noon, free for members or with museum admission. Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., West End, (513) 287-7000
Instructor John Hoerr plays a variety of instruments to expose children up to 6 years old to the magic of live music. Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m., $15/class. LilyPad Play, 2008 Madison Rd., O’Bryonville, (513) 321-1379
BROWN MUSIC TOGETHER
Built on the philosophy that all children are musical, these classes welcome children from birth to 7 years old to experience family-style music experiences through instrument play, songs, and movement activities. Indoor, outdoor, and virtual classes are available. $180/first child for 10-week session; $110/siblings 9 months and older. Siblings under 9 months attend for free. Visit brownmusictogether.com for times and locations.
Based on the international program for young children and parents, these music-based classes incorporate instrument play and movement as participants experience various styles and genres of music. $75/unit. The local Kindermusik by Cheryl chapter offers classes in Anderson Twp. (7120 Dunn Rd.) and Amberley Village (8329 Ridge Rd.), (513) 673-7169,
Children 6–24 months are introduced to various kinds of music and instruments while enjoying meaningful connections with their caregiver. $100/session. Baldwin Music Education Center, All Saints Episcopal Church, 6301 Parkman Place, Pleasant Ridge, (513) 351-1109
Taught by Cincinnati Spanish School, this immersive language class for children 2–6 years old teaches beginner Spanish from native Spanish speakers. Thursdays at 10:30 a.m., $15/class. LilyPad Play, 2008 Madison Rd., O’Bryonville, (513) 321-1379
Themed stories and crafts correlate with seasons and holidays. Registration is required for the once-a-month sessions, which are offered live at the museum and virtually on Zoom. Tuesdays 10:30–11:30 a.m. Free for museum members, $9/adult, $5/child, $1 craft fee per child. Behringer-Crawford Museum, 1600 Montague Rd., Covington, (859) 491-4003
CALLING ALL DADS
The Cincinnati Dads Group is a diverse community of male caregivers who play an active role in their children’s lives. The group hosts several meet-ups each month, such as bike rides, park dates, zoo outings, and conventions. Outings are designed to encourage positive interactions with children and build relationships with other dads. Visit cincydadsgroup.com for more information.