Waukesha, Wisconsin -- named as one of CNN Money's Best Places to Live in 2012 -- is a bustling community of about 70,000, located 17 miles west of Milwaukee. As a mom, you'll find there are plenty of family activities in the city to keep your little ones happy during the entire year.
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.
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