Waukesha Recreation Department
The Waukesha Recreation Department offers some fantastic activities your family can enjoy together. For Valentine's Day, there is the annual Daddy/Daughter Valentine's Day Dance for kiddos 2 and up. Attend the Garden Meadows Petting Farm field trip. This parent and child program gives your little one the chance to meet more than 300 animals, ride on a pony and take a hayride. Participate in the Mini Master Art Studio with your 2- to 3-year old or the Mighty Masters Art Studio with your 4- to 6-year-old. These parent and child programs feature art stations where your kiddo can draw, paint and sculpt with the family.
Annual Waukesha Events
Attend some of the annual special events put on by the Waukesha Recreation Department. The Waukesha JanBoree is a weekend long event for families that includes ice sculpting demos, ice skating, fireworks, a treasure hunt and a penguin egg hunt. In October, your family can participate in the Minooka Mash, an event geared toward kids 10 and under. It includes a Mini Monster Mash (unhaunted barn dance), Halloween Nature Hike and the Owl Prowl. Kids also get to play games, make crafts and enjoy yummy treats.
Indoor Family Activities
With the cold weather that hits Wisconsin in the winter, it's a good idea to have some indoor activities you can do. You can always head over to the Waukesha Public Library (waukesha.lib.wi.us) for some of the kids' programs. Your 2-year-old will love Rhythm and Rhymes for Twos with stories, singing, dancing and fingerplays. Take your preschooler to Stories Alive for 3- to 5-year-olds for music, crazy stories and fun activities. Visit Monkey Joe's (monkeyjoes.com/Waukesha) to let your little one run off some energy on a cold winter's day. The kids can bounce, slide and jump through all the inflatables and make their way through obstacle courses. There is even a toddler play area for the younger crowd.
Outdoor Family Activities
When there's snow on the ground, head over to the Toboggan Run at Lowell Park (no website; 2201 Michigan Avenue, Waukesha; 262-524-3737) for some sledding fun with the whole family. Pick a hot summer day and visit the Horeb Springs Aquatic Center (no website; 330 Spring Street, Waukesha; 262-524-3727). The family can splash and play in the wading pool or shoot down a slide. Visit the Retzer Nature Center (no website; S14 W28167 Madison Street, Waukesha; 262-548-7801) to check out the touch and discover area where you'll find animals, native fish and a walk-through prairie underground. Take a hike on one of the trails and enjoy the wildlife you see along the way.
Rather than using your furniture for gymnastics training, check out Salto Gymnastics (salto-gymnastics-dance.com). Their Tiny Tot fitness program is designed to build self-esteem and confidence while developing important motor skills through rhythm exercises and ball handling. Choose from Munchkins (2 to 3 years old with parent), Kinderkiddies (3 to 4 years old with parent) and Kinderkids (4 to 5 years old). Salto also features open gym for Tiny Tots Monday through Thursday from 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Pewaukee Lake Montessori Academy
With a focus on hands-on learning experiences to develop independence, respect and creativity, Pewaukee Lake Montessori Academy (oconomowocmontessori.org) offers a nurturing environment where your young one can learn at his own pace. A pre-primary class for 2- to 3-year-olds meets the developmental and high-energy needs of this age group while stressing social interaction with the class. For 3- to 5-year-olds, there is a primary/kindergarten class offering a balanced curriculum of sensory learning, math, practical life, language and outdoor life. The school's tuition ranges from $325 to $795, depending on the days and hours your child attends. Tuition discounts are offered for siblings of students already enrolled in the school.
Swimtastic Swim School
What better way to learn to swim than in an indoor 90-degree pool? Swimtastic Swim School (swimtastic.com) provides swim lessons and water adjustment classes for 2- to 5-year-olds. Water adjustment classes are specifically designed for each age and incorporate music and themes to help your future Olympian get comfortable in the water. Swim lessons are for kids who are already moving independently through the water, with an introduction of breathing techniques and safety skills.
If your little one loves to dance, Dance Tracks (dancetracksllc.com) is the place to go. For ages 2 to 3, there is a Mommy and Me class -- but it's not just for mommies. Grandma, Grandpa, Dad or even Nanny can take part. For ages 3 to 5, try the Dance Basics class which teaches creative movement, motor skills, rhythmic skills, music appreciation and ballet. There is also a combo class including ballet, tap and jazz for dancers 4 to 5 years of age.