Manic Monday: 9 Fun Activities to Start Your Week

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Mondays seem to hit hard in the summer. Hard like you’re slamming on the brakes to avoid a pile-up, hard. All of a sudden, there’s Monday, desperate for attention, tugging on your sleeve and wondering, “what’s next?” You can practically hear it declaring, “I’m bored!” before you’re even out of bed, after a whirlwind weekend of family festivities. Maybe it’s the lack of a schedule for the kids to follow. Maybe it’s the ice cream hangover from all those treats we Seattleites indulge in when the giant yellow orb makes an appearance. But whatever it is, summer Mondays seem to bring out the kid craziness that makes moms fantasize about the start of school (it’s oh so far away). So if you’ve got a case of the Mondays, be sure to pencil in one of these home run hits on your calendar. They’re the perfect cure!

Sing a Song
Start the week with a song in your heart and a drum in your hand at Baby Jam’s Monday morning class, that’s sure to be a hit with the 5 and under crowd. Founder/Directors Blake and Mayrav focus the class on authentic musical experiences through movement, storytelling (in Spanish, English and Hebrew) and, of course, percussion (it’s the baby jam instrument of choice, yo!). Each 30-minute class starts with a welcome, before kids move on to dancing and drumming, immersing themselves in a rich environment of language, music, rhythm and song. You’ll be amazed by what your little ones pick up through the entrainment teaching style of this class!

Baby jam drumming

Good to know: Drop in any Monday at 11:00 am to jam with your little ones, there’s no need to pre-register. It’s $10 for each kiddo, but siblings are free if you purchase a punch card (it’s a significant discount and they never expire). So drum on over and check it out!

Let Them Climb the Walls
When it comes to climbing the walls, turnabout is fair play. So when your little one’s summer energy is making you climb the walls, turn the tables and head on over to the Seattle Bouldering Project. This indoor climbing facility, located at the corner of Dearborn and Rainier Avenue in the International District, might just be your little monkey’s new best friend (and yours too!). With colorful “rocks” mounted on angled walls, your tiny Spiderman (or woman) can climb to new heights, no strings attached, literally. Part of the appeal of this climbing gym is that little climbers can jump right in since there’s no climbing test and belays aren’t used. This free form climbing only requires hands, feet, special climbing shoes (that you can rent on-site), and a sense of adventure that seems to come pre-packaged with little kiddos. The matted flooring system and walls that are built for shorter climbs appeal to little adventurers, and encourage them to challenge their climbing abilities.

Seattle Bouldering Project climbing wall

Good to know: We recommend signing and submitting the online waiver before heading over to the gym, because once the wee ones see the space, they’ll be off and climbing before you can grab hold. And while parents don’t need to climb with their kids (but they can if they want to), they do need to keep a close eye on their charges. A one to two adult to kiddo ratio is recommended for this reason. $12 gets you drop-in climb time all day and the first time shoe rental is free. So, let them climb, climb, climb!

Break a Sweat
It’s definitely a workout chasing after the little ones all summer, but if you’re feeling the need for a more structured work out in your day, try a free preview class with the Fit4Mom Stroller Strides program some Monday morning this summer. We heart this program because not only do moms get a serious workout, but the kiddos are right there with you, stroller-side. They’ve got the best seat in the house to watch you squat, crunch, run and burpee your way through this awesome one-hour workout designed specifically for mamas. And if your exercise partner’s gettin’ a little cranky, the instructors jump in with songs, silly faces and even some stroller pushes (or two) so that you can focus on your workout.

Mom sit ups with baby

Good to know: There are two Monday classes that meet in Seattle, and both locations are total mom-tot hot spots on a sunny day. Fit4Mom West Seattle meets at 9:30 am on Monday mornings at the Alki Bathhouse, and the Fit4Mom Seattle group meets at 9:40 am at the Green Lake Bathhouse Theater. Just think of the post-workout play time possibilities! Be sure to wear comfortable workout clothes and shoes, and bring a water bottle, yoga mat and some sunscreen if it’s sunny. Talk about easy! And don’t forget your smile. After all, it’s the most important stretch of the day!

Drop in for Some Play
Since Seattle summers often include at least a little rain, a list of drop-in play spaces is every Seattle parent’s best friend. While there are many to choose from, these are some of our favorites for a rainy or extra sunny summer day (those Seattle kids can only take in so many rays per day, ya know).

The Dizzybus Open Play time is a great post-nap play spot on Monday afternoons from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm. $10 per kiddo (and $6 per sibling) gets you access to the upstairs playspace that includes a play kitchens, markets and dress-up delights. And if it’s sunny, you can head outside to enjoy the Rainbow play system, spring free trampoline, and the Tumble Bus, that’s parked for a rompin’ good time!

Twirl Café atop Queen Anne is another of our favorite spots. Their playspace is perfect for walkers through pre-schoolers and boasts plenty of educational toys, in addition to their groovy tree house climbing structure. And, this summer they’re hosting all day free play on the last Monday of the month. Add this to the new, expanded menu and you’ve got yourself a rockin’ inside play date for moms and kids alike, rain or shine!

Lego Day Happy Nest

The HappyNest Play Center in Redmond is another Monday hot spot for the wee ones and their big people. Mondays are LEGO Day during the summer months, so get ready to build your blues away in the baby area, which is transformed with pirate, princess and castle LEGO sets. This LEGO play time is geared towards builders between 18 months and 5 years of age. And moms can rest easy because the Duplo blocks means no chocking hazards for those who still believe LEGOs should be eaten, not played with. Be sure to mention their online coupon (no need to print it) to receive $1 off admission for each child. This brings the prices down to $9 for the first kiddo and $5 per sibling.

Play Tourist for a Day
Mondays are the perfect day to break out your best Hawaiian shirt, white socks with sandals, and camera to play tourist for a day. Think of all you’ll learn about this gem of a city we call home when you Ride the Ducks with your little ones this summer. This is one wacky tour that’s got kid-love written all over it. With the chance to sing along to kitschy songs, holler and wave at passing strangers, and quack like a duck (get your Wacky Quaker for $2.25 before you head out on the tour), your kids will clamor for more of this amphibious adventure.

ride the ducks

Good to know: The first sea-worthy craft leaves Seattle Center Monday mornings at 9:20 am, and advanced ticket purchases are encouraged, especially during the summer months. Be sure to use the Seattle Center location if you’ve got a stroller with you, since they’ve got storage there. And if you have the chance, book a ticket on Captain Tuck N. Roll’s boat. We hear he’s a little kid favorite!

Read a Good Book
Story times are a smart bet when it comes to the little lot. After all, toddlers and stories go together like Hansel and Gretel or Jack and his beanstalk. So if stories put a smile on your little one’s face, head over to Mockingbird Books in Green Lake for their Monday story time that starts at 11:00 am. This story time is geared towards infants through 4 year olds, and includes both simple stories for the smallest readers as well as some longer stories for preschoolers. It’s a super casual story time that involves songs and a little puzzle and play time at the train table after the kiddos have cozy-ed up for stories. Be sure to head over to Green Lake for a picnic and playground play, after story time. Now that’s a perfect summer Monday!


You can also indulge your little literati’s reading habit with the Seattle Public Library’s annual Summer Reading program. This year’s program encourages kids to expand their horizons, and they have some crazy fun activities for the little lot planned to help them accomplish just that. Mondays hit the jackpot with musical story times, magic shows, and zany workshops for kids of all ages. Be sure to check the Seattle Public Library calendar of events for times and locations for these kid-tastic programs.

What are your favorite Monday haunts and hangouts for the summer? Share them with us in the comments section below.

–Allison Sutcliffe

Photos thanks to: Baby Jam’s website, The Seattle Bouldering Project’s Facebook page, Happy Nest Play Center’s Facebook page, Ride the Ducks of Seattle Facebook page, Donna DeRousie at City Mouse Studios and Fit4Mom West Seattle