Drop-in family storytime at the Whitby Library (Rossland Branch)

Depending on the local library branch that you visit in Durham, drop-in storytime programs can get chaotic due to their popularity. Some babies do well in social and busy environments, but for those that prefer a more quiet and intimate group experience, a smaller location like the Whitby Library on Rossland Road may be a better fit.

The area where storytime at the Whitby library, Rossland Branch, takes place

Family Storytime is held in the back corner of this branch in the children’s book section, where parents and caregivers can sit with their little one on the mat to listen to stories read by one of the librarians. Librarians will read stories from the library collection and have parents and children interact by answering questions about illustrations. After a book is read, any children that are willing are encouraged to join in with singing songs or playing activities like rolling a ball to other members in the group.

Drop-in Family Storytime is held at the Whitby Library, Rossland Branch (701 Rossland Road East, Whitby) on Fridays from 10.30-11am. This program will continue weekly from now until Friday, December 12th. Registration is not required. Children and babies of all ages are welcome.

Cost: Free.


To find out more, visit the Whitby Library event page for details.

Take the family on a train ride with Santa

If you’re looking for something to do outdoors with bub this season, you might want to check out the Santa Train this November and December.

Santa will come around to sit with each child, entertain families and distribute small gifts. Each ride lasts for an hour and follows the historic York-Durham railway line. This is great for any of you that like to experience the local history or for those of you that would enjoy the local scenery.

A cartoon graphic for the Santa Train


The ride begins and ends at the Uxbridge Heritage Station (19 Railway Street, Uxbridge). All rides take place on weekends in November and December with trains departing at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. A snack bar is available and the train comes equipped with a washroom. Tickets can be pre-ordered online on the York-Durham Heritage Railway website. Some railway cars have been said to be cold so be sure to bring along enough clothes to keep you warm.

Cost:  Infants under 1 not occupying a seat ride for free. Tickets for all other riders are $20 each (incl. tax).


pic via ydhr.ca

Continue the Halloween fun at an outdoor event this Saturday

If you haven’t had the chance to celebrate Halloween by Friday then it won’t be too late! This Saturday evening there is another Halloween event being hosted in Pickering that you can attend.

Halloween Barn Haunt flyer

The Belle Wood Equestrian Center is transforming their property for Halloween with haunted barn tours, a bonfire, corn roast, apple bobbing contest, haunted jumping castle and pumpkin carving contest. There are so many activities on offer that this is a great event for all ages. Why not bring the family and invite a mommy friend out who has older kids?

The Halloween Barn Haunt will be held this Saturday, November 1st at the Belle Wood Equestrian Center(2745 6th Concession Road, Pickering)  from 6-11pm.

Cost: Admission to the event is free, but you do have to register ahead of time. To register, text 905-995-3109 with the number of adults and children that you plan on bringing along.


pic via kijiji.ca

Attend a puppet show at the Oshawa Library

If the weather continues to be this rainy, you might want to consider taking your little one to the Oshawa Public Library this Friday afternoon for a fairy tale puppet show. The group performing the show are performing a series of classic fairy tale stories over the course of an hour! It`s nice to mix up my week with something like this, rather than plonking my little one in front of the TV while I catch up on my afternoon coffee. Plus, this branch has fully accessible washrooms on site which always makes it easier for those of us juggling a baby and diaper bag all at once.

Two fairytale puppets


The puppet show will be held from 2.30-3.30pm, this Friday, October 24th at the Oshawa Library, Northview branch (250 Beatrice Street East, Oshawa) in the Nonquon room. You can pre-register for the event on the Oshawa Library website, or at the front desk before the event.

Cost: Free

pic via finesolutions.co.uk

Get crafty at the Mad Hatters Tea Party

As every mom knows, the closer you get to the end of your mat leave, the more creative you have to be with entertaining your little one as they get more mobile and more interactive. Events like the Mad Hatter`s Tea Party are a great family event because there is lots of green space outdoors (to practice walking) and craft activities for kids of all ages. Even though my little guy is still not at the stage to make anything, he does enjoy the different textures and colours of paper so these are criteria enough for me to check out the event.

In addition to craft activities, this event will also include games, treats (hopefully a bake sale!) and photo opportunities.

Four paper flowers made from craft materials

The Mad Hatters Tea Party will be held Saturday, October 18th from 10am-3pm at the Dunbarton-Fairport United Church in Pickering.

Cost: Entry to the event is $5 per person. All proceeds go towards providing respite for families with children on the Autism Spectrum.

For more information, you can visit the Footprints 4 Autism website here.


pic via leahbb.com

Find a local playground with an infant swing

In the past few weeks I’ve been taking my little one to try out the swing at the park. He’s long outgrown his baby swing that he loved when he was smaller, so I figured that trying out the infant-sized swings at my local park wasn’t too much of a stretch out of his comfort zone.

An infant swing

I’m able to fit my little guy into this swing comfortably but depending on the size of your baby, you can always add a rolled up receiving blanket around your little one to help make them more comfortable.

Many playgrounds around Durham have these type of infant sized swings installed, but from what I understand not all of them do. I found this great post written by a local mom that catalogues the top 10 infant and toddler friendly playgrounds in the Durham area if you want to do some pre-research to find the best park or even a new park to give this activity a try.

pic via babble.com

Learn how to soothe baby with massage

I’ve discovered a great program for new moms that’s free, will get you out of the house, meeting new moms and learning a new skill to help you soothe your baby. I feel like I’ve stumbled upon the holy grail of activities for moms in the Durham region with this one.

If you haven’t heard of this great little idea known as Infant Massage, it has all the benefits for baby that you would experience yourself from having a massage, with the added benefits of bonding time with your little one. The benefits are just too numerous to mention.

A baby receives a chest massage

Infant Massage will be held at the Ajax Main Library, 55 Harwood Avenue South and runs from October 2nd-30th, every Thursday from 1.30-3pm. Registration is now open for this program through the Ajax OEYC (Ontario Early Years Centre). Register in person at the Ajax OEYC located at 75 Centennial Road South or call 905-619-4565, extension 310 to reserve your spot.

Cost: This is the best part. Classes are free!

For more information, visit the Ajax Library website for details.


pic via ohbaby.co.nz