Highlands Ranch, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, is a planned community that's covered in walking trails and playgrounds, all of which can engage and exhaust the hardiest toddler. More structured activities for toddlers abound at the community center and at the public library.
1. Highlands Ranch Community Association
The Highlands Ranch Community Association (hrcaonline.org) provides many opportunities for toddlers. Parents can sign up for Toddler and Me classes, where parents and toddlers share the preschool experience. Two-year-olds can also attend a weekly independent preschool class; mom or dad can use this time to do something wild like drink a cup of coffee in peace. Two music programs are available for toddlers, Crocodile Rock and Musikgarten. Finally, toddlers can take swimming and tumbling classes. Keeping up with all of the community association's many toddler activities could turn into a full-time job.
If your toddler isn't ready for structured classes, check out Highlands Ranch's parks (highlandsranch.org). Highlands Ranch has 24 parks, and most of them contain playgrounds, drinking fountains, restrooms and picnic tables. Some of the larger parks include Redstone Park, Falcon Park and Civic Green Park. Walking trails link neighborhoods and parks so it's easy to get your toddler from place to place. Although with the way toddlers like to explore, it probably won't be quick.
3. Highlands Ranch Library
Toddlers can expand their vocabularies and increase their listening skills at story time. Highlands Ranch Library (douglascountylibraries.org) has baby story time for kids up to 2 years old, toddler story time for kids up to 3 years old and all ages story time. In addition to informal story times, the library also holds early literacy classes for toddlers, where toddlers and parents can learn stories, songs, fingerplays and movements. You can do all this and check out materials from their extensive kids and parenting sections.
4. The Little Gym
The Little Gym in Highlands Ranch (thelittlegym.com/HighlandsRanchCO.com) is way more fun than whatever adult gym mom and dad are attending. Classes include toddler sized trampolines, balance beams and zip lines as well as music and dancing. Parents attend classes until children are 3, then kids attend independently while parents watch. Toddlers are divided into small age groups to help focus on specific gross motor and social milestones. Sadly, Little Gym classes don't count as a workout for mom and dad, though.