An unexpected fun place to take your toddler during the day

We have had our home on the market for more than a month now. We used to spend most days at the YMCA or at friend’s houses, but with flu season in full effect we have been avoiding kid-specific spots.

Last week we had a showing scheduled for Monday morning. Thankfully I had advance notice so I was able to plan. But BabyCoolJ had developed a cough and I didn’t want to take any chances so I was desperate to find a decent, indoor place to go where he and others would be kept separate.

So I took my plea to the area mommy’s FB group and the best suggestion was IKEA. We don’t live far from one, so I thought…why not?

Best idea ever. Here’s why spending a few hours at IKEA with a toddler is the best non-kid past time ever:


They can run around and it’s like playing house, with tons of rooms and fun things to look at! Closets, drawers and bathrooms to zoom in and out of, kids toys sprinkled into the displays and lots of couches to sit on.

Related: 20 things to do in New Braunfels with a toddler


There’s something about climbing a couch, getting down, and doing it all over again that makes my tot so happy! Same applies to patio furniture, chairs and anything else that was his height. He especially loved the toddler picnic table and spent a good 10 minutes just playing there. That’s a win for a tired mama!


Kid’s showroom.

I’m not referring to the kid’s play spot – remember, I’m avoiding flu season. But the kid’s showroom was the funnest part for my kiddo! BabyCoolJ loved playing with the displays (we picked up after ourselves…I’ve worked plenty of retail jobs). He loved climbing in and out of things. And, honestly, just sitting in the middle of the kid’s room made him cheerful.


While we didn’t stop for any food or snacks, I know people love it. One day we’ll make it a thing, but we were there in between meals and I was pretty done by the time we reached the food section. This is also an excellent place to recharge if your child(ren)…or you…need a breather!

Related: How to survive eating out with a toddler

Forget running around and zoom on through.

Once my kiddo started to get a little too nutty, I swooped him up and put him in one of their mini carts. He LOVED it. We zoomed through the breakables/kitchen area and he was in heaven. So much so that he didn’t want to get out of it when it was time to go!

No one gave me dirty or judgy looks. The staff was friendly. And, we kept it respectful. I’m not looking for a place for my child to go buck wild or break anything. I was watching over him the whole time, but gave him space to have fun. IKEA’s website even says the whole family is welcome to come shop!

And, one more amazing tip for you: stop at the entry kiosk and sign up for the free IKEA Family Card. Use that card to get free coffee during your time at IKEA. You’re welcome.

So whether it is flu season, the park is packed or it’s a rainy day, I think IKEA is an excellent (occasional!) option to go hang out for a couple of hours. BabyCoolJ has already asked when we’re going back. And he napped perfectly after the excursion! That is a win all to itself.

Where’s your favorite non-traditional spot to take the kiddos?



An unexpected and fun place to take your toddler | #momlife #toddlerlife #ikea
An unexpected and fun place to take your toddler | #toddler #thingstodo #funforkids
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Lisa Alfaro

About Lisa Alfaro

As a seasoned Marketing Communications Consultant, I help women in business engage their target audience through local marketing and social media strategies.

28 thoughts on “An unexpected fun place to take your toddler during the day

  1. Omg, what a great idea! We just recently got an Ikea in my area (finnally) and I have yet to visit. This has definitely put a little fire under my butt. Can’t wait to take my little one there to explore. Awesome Idea. Thanks!

  2. You are right on about IKEA!! What a great place to take the kids – it’s like a big museum for them to explore. So long as you keep an eye on your little one, it is an amazing place for a tactile experience.

  3. Who knew IKEA was such a great place for kiddos! I myself love hanging out there and went often to get my long walks in during my third trimester. My son is only 3 months but I will be trying this when he gets older. Plus, free coffee?! I’m so there!

  4. This is so cool! Would you believe that I have never been to IKEA and that it’s on my 2018 small bucket list. I want to go even more now. Looks like fun! Thanks for sharing!

  5. This would be a great excuse to get my husband to go to Ikea with me. I love the place but he doesn’t. I’m sure our 4 year old would have a ball though at 4 we’d have to walk out with a “surprise” for her.

  6. Ikea seems like such a great idea to keep a toddler busy! I never would have thought of that. Next time one of my friends wants to get out the house with their kiddos I’m going to share this idea.

  7. If there was an Ikea closer to me I would totally do this more often! Note though – go earlier in the day! Once I went to late in the day and my toddler was tired, therefore it turned into meltdown city (with me melting down too, ha!)

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