Swimming, yoga and art museums are fantastic Portland activities…especially when you’re a baby! When it comes to the city’s littlest residents, there’s no shortage of fun activities. Check out these amazing classes that you and your new babe can enjoy side by side. Read on to find out more.
Photo: Music Together of Portland
Make Some Music
If your little one loves to groove when the tunes come on, a fun-filled music class may the perfect activity. Check out one of the infant music classes at Music Together of Portland, designed for families with non-mobile, non-crawling babies. (Birth to 8 months.) In a warm and engaging environment, parents and caregivers can connect with their babies using methods such as “sound-layering,” and “purposeful touch.” Bond with your little one while building early music appreciation and supporting musical learning.
Tuition for infant classes is $150 per 10-week semester, and scholarship applications are available. Want to get the older kids involved? Music Together also offers mixed age classes for age 0-5, as well as Bigger Kids classes and Intergenerational classes with adults and seniors from Providence Elderplace. Free demo classes are available prior to each semester, but reservations are required. Dates vary, so check the website for the most current class offerings and registration options.
If you’re looking for drop-in music classes without committing to a series, try the early childhood music classes that Chirp! offers. Run by Licensed Music Therapists, these lively classes for 0-5 year olds combine music, play and movement at a variety of locations around Portland. First time families can check out a class with a $10 “test flight.” Chirp! also offers 4- and 8-class passes, as well as drop in rates. Check their website for current schedule and locations. Along with their locations around PDX, Chirp! can also bring classes to your home, school or other venue.
Music Together of Portland
Photo: Anna Doogan
Embrace Your Inner Artist
It’s never too early to appreciate good art! Give your little sidekick a jump start on their art education with Baby Mornings at the Portland Art Museum. On the first Thursday of each month at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., babies up to a year old and their caregivers can head to the museum for tea, coffee and a leisurely docent-led 45-minute tour through the galleries to take in the sights. The meet-up spot also has toys, books and games to keep babies entertained while they wait. $5 members and children, $19.99 non-members. Pre-registration is required, and baby carriers are recommended.
Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Ave.
Photo: Green Bean Books
Hit the Books
There are plenty of fun story times in Portland, but here’s one just for the smallest book lovers. The petite and magical Green Bean Books on Alberta now has a new Friday morning Baby Story Time at 10:30 a.m.. (Best for ages 0-2.) With a focus on interaction and early literary skills, Baby Story Time features stories, rhyming, songs and time for play. Meet other families, pick up a few new books for your collection and don’t forget to score a few goodies from the whimsical vending machines throughout the store.
You can also head to your local library and catch one of the popular Book Babies classes with your tiny bookworm. Along with a story, you and baby can enjoy songs and play while getting to know some new friends. Before you leave the library, don’t forget to stock up on some great new stories to share together at home. Book Babies is for children from birth to twelve months. Classes vary by location, so check the Multnomah County Library website to find a class at a library near you. Book Babies is a free program, but is first come, first served, so arrive early to snag a spot.
Green Bean Books
1600 NE Alberta St.
Book Babies at Multnomah County Libraries
Share Sign Language
What does your baby have to say? Enhance pre-verbal communication, learn more about what your baby is thinking and find new ways to interact at a baby sign language class. At Tiny Talkers’ Sign, Sing and Play, parents or caregivers and their little ones 9 months- 2.5 years participate in 5-week themed sessions that combine sign language with movement and music. Learn new signs, as well as strategies and tips for continuing the learning process at home.
Upper Westside Play Gym hosts Baby/Toddler Sign Language every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00-10:30 a.m. Build a vocabulary of signs, share fun songs and then stick around afterwards for even more good times at Open Play! Open Play is included with class cost. $5/child, $2.50 per additional sibling, cash or check. 10-class punch cards are also available. The class also has its own Facebook page.
Portland Early Learning Project offers a variety of play-based classes to introduce families to American Sign Language, all taught by licensed Speech-Language Pathologists and Deaf Education Specialists. The Baby Sign Language in Play is geared for 5/6 months- 24 months, and includes songs, play, sign practice and plenty of strategies and handouts for home. Check the Portland Early Learning Project’s website to see their full menu of class offerings and registration links.
Upper Westside Play Gym
1509 SW Sunset Blvd., Unit 1-G
Portland Early Learning Project
Connect through Touch
You can never have too much snuggle time! Up the cuddles, bond with your baby, regain strength and find your inner calm with one of Doula Love’s Baby and Me Yoga classes. Babies 6 weeks to crawling and their parents or caregivers can practice yoga, explore movement and meet other families. Crying baby? Sleeping baby? Need to stop for a nursing break? No worries. It’s all welcome in this warm and supportive class environment. Baby and Me Yoga takes place Wednesdays at 1pm. Registration is required and covers one adult/baby pair. Classes are $15/drop-in, or $65 for a 5 class card.
Continue to connect with your little love at one of Doula Love’s infant massage classes. Learn techniques to enhance baby’s development, increase body awareness and build quality one on one interactions, among other benefits. These three-hour classes with breaks for baby are $60, and registration is required. Check the Doula Love schedule for upcoming classes.
Searching for more offerings? Through their prenatal and postpartum offerings, The Bhaktishop offers weekly prenatal yoga classes, as well as their Baby & Mama Yoga classes. Prenatal Yoga takes place Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Thursdays at 10 a.m., and Saturdays at 11 a.m. Mama & Baby Yoga classes happen Tuesdays at 10 a.m. The Bhaktishop offers a variety of pricing options, including drop-in, 10- and 20-class cards, monthly unlimited cards and Yoga Passports with a choice of price level.
Find even more balance when you head over to Zenana Spa and Wellness Center. You’ll find weekly prenatal yoga classes, as well as weekly Mama and Me Yoga. Take care of your body while you get to know the newest little member of the family.
Make a Splash
Take your little fish to make some waves in the pool! Parent/child swimming classes through Portland Parks and Recreation are the perfect way to learn, laugh and splash together! In the Angelfish class, parents and caregivers with babies 6-18 months can explore the water through songs and pool activities. Practice bubble blowing, floating and more while making new friends and building water confidence. Adult must participate, and registration is required. Prices vary by location, so check the website for the latest class offerings.
Portland Parks and Recreation
What’s your favorite baby class in Portland? Let us know in the comments below!