The capital city of New York, the all-American city of Albany is rich with history and culture. Whether it's strolling through a local museum or taking part in an enriching program at the library, you will find no shortage of activities to enlighten and entertain your toddler in the heart of the Capital District.
Admission to Albany's New York State Museum is free, as is a ride on the carousel. Take advantage of the many kid-friendly programs this museum offers for your toddler, including a family fun day on the third Saturday of each month that combines crafts, performances and learning activities. Join the interactive fun provided in the Furry Tales and Touchables program, where your toddler will be able to touch real animal skins, bones and plants while listening to a storybook. Ten minutes from Albany in Troy, visit the Children's Museum of Science and Technology. A five-week program called "My Parent and Me" allows children ages 2 to 4 to learn about science through music, arts and crafts, stories and other media. The museum also offers birthday parties that include a planetarium show.
Parks and Pools
Let your toddler burn off energy by climbing, sliding, swinging and swimming at one of Albany's parks or pools. Bayhill Park on Sheridan Avenue boasts a playground facility and a wading pool for your little one. Lincoln Park has everything from a swimming pool to handball courts. During the cold winter months, take your toddler ice skating at Buckingham Lake Park. Swinburne Park has fun for all seasons, with outdoor playground facilities and a wading pool for the summer months and a weather-protected ice skating rink open from November through March.
My Place to Play -- in Rotterdam, just fifteen minutes west of Albany -- has safe and sturdy climbing equipment and ride-on toys appropriate for children ages 1 to 7 years old. Your toddler will love the cars, trucks and trains room, where he can play with an 11-foot-long train set. The My Place Toy Shop is a space especially for younger toddlers, with soft carpeting and kid-friendly equipment. A half hour north of Albany, TreePaad Fun Center in Malta has plenty to keep your toddler busy. At the "Paad Tot" area, your little one can climb and slide on the soft, toddler-friendly equipment. For the more adventurous toddler, visit "Fort Ballocity", a three-story, interactive, soft foam ball play arena and indoor playground with thousands of foam balls.
The Albany Public Library system has a downtown location along with several other branches that provide free and fun activities for you and your toddler. Most branches host toddler story times, with books, songs and movement activities. Take your toddler to one of the craft activities or take a stroll through the Farmers' Market, held Tuesdays in the summer from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Delaware branch of the library, enjoying local produce and live music. Attend one of the library-hosted programs, including summer movie times, a "Teddy Bear Tea Party" or a Chinese Dragon workshop.