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  • Writer's pictureThe West End Mom

7 Classes for Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers in Richmond

Updated: Aug 29, 2021

I love participating in local programs with my children, and we started trying out activities when my son was around 4 months old. Ranging from learning about art and music to animals, the Richmond area offers a bunch of teacher-led classes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. These local "mommy and me" classes create hands-on learning opportunities, provide time to bond with a parent or caregiver, and help little ones develop social skills.

Based on my experiences, these 7 programs are the best classes for little children in Richmond that do not require a membership or require multiple sessions. Each class can be done just once or as many times as you want! All of these classes are also for an adult/caregiver and a child - they are not drop off style classes.

1. Art Factory Play Place: Located in Brandermill, this indoor play space and art studio is for babies through teenagers. It’s open on Mondays through Fridays from 7am-6pm and on Saturdays from 7am-4pm, and on Sundays from 8am-4pm Sundays.

While you can always drop-in for open play time, The Art Factory also offers a Little Explorers class for preschoolers, summer camps for all ages, and events for the family. Little Explorers and Musical Storytime with Mr. Beatman are for children 5 and under, and these classes costs $16 and $12 respectively for the parent/child pair. Little Explorers and Musical Storytime fill up quickly, so make sure you sign up online in advance.

*Check here for my full review.

2. Happy Palette RVA: Located in Henrico, this art studio has classes for 1 year olds to teenagers. Happy Palette offers classes as a single class, as sessions and as pop ups. Children 6 to 15 years old can also participate in Happy Palette‘s open studio time where they have access to art supplies & create whatever they want! Classes start at $20, and you need to preregister on Happy Palette's website. Masks are required for all preschool & summer camp students while inside.

Happy Palette is less than 10 minutes from Tuckahoe Creek Park, Henrico's Gayton Elementary School's playground & Short Pump Park.

*Click here for my full review.

3. Lewis Ginter's Children's Programs: Located in Henrico, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden has 50 acres of themed gardens + it’s part of the RVA Garden Trail. We spend a lot of time running on the giant hill, walking the Tree Trail & exploring the Children’s Garden. We got a membership when H was a baby, and this is one of our favorite places to visit!

Children's programs are back in the garden! Each Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m. children can participate in Storytime in the Garden outside the Kelly Education Center. These classes are free for members, and they are included in the admission price for nonmembers ($8 for kids & $14 for adults). Children under 3 can visit the garden for free.

*Check here for my review of Lewis Ginter and here for my review of Storytime in the Garden.

4. Library Storytimes: We are so excited that storytimes are back at Henrico libraries! Classes start for children at 6 months old through adults, and all of the programs are free. Some of the classes we have tried are "Baby Songs & Stories," "Family Fun" and "Music, Rhymes & Wiggle Time." HCPL is also offering Outdoor Family Storytime, weather permitting.

Visiting the library is also a free activity. Children can register for a library card, search for a new bedtime story or read in the children's area. We also enjoy going to Chesterfield County Public Libraries and Ashland Branch Library.

*Check here for my review of an infant storytime , here for the full schedule of events at Henrico County Public Libraries, and here for Chesterfield County Public Libraries.

5. Maymont's Toddler Time: We love Maymont's children's program! These classes are geared towards 18 months-4 years olds and an adult must accompany child. Toddler Time classes meet in the recently renovated Children's Farm - there are two classrooms, a breeze way, and a large family bathroom. The Toddler Time classes are hour long classes that meet almost weekly. It costs $15 per toddler/adult pair, and $13 per member toddler/adult pair.

In our classes, we have worked on crafts, listened to stories, had free play time, and met animals. If you have multiples, don't worry - bring them both. I started bringing my son when he was almost two, and his one month old sister came with us. She was slowly able to participate, even before 18 months.

*Check here for my full review.

6. Miss Anne's Music & Movement: Miss Anne’s is a 30 minute parent + me style music class for young children at All Saints on River Road. Infants (3 mo+), toddlers and preschoolers sing, dance and play instruments to classic children’s songs, like the “Hokey Pokey,” and to hits, like Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” & Frozen’s “Let it Go.” Miss Anne's Music & Movement incorporates directions, counting + colors in her seasonally themed classes. You don't need to make reservations - you can just "drop in" when it works for your schedule. It costs $5 per child and $2 for additional siblings, and you pay at the end of class (cash or Venmo). This class is currently held outside, and all adults are asked to wear a mask.

We love Miss Anne's drop-in class! I started bringing my son to her classes when he was under a year old, and my daughter started at one month old. This is the perfect class for first time moms or moms of multiples, and the playground is fantastic for littles too!

*Check here for my full review.

7. VMFA's Childhood Art Classes: The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts offers childhood art classes for children starting at 3 months old. In these classes, children have free play time, story time, a tour of one exhibit, and an art art activity that connects with the exhibit.

We started taking my son to art classes when he was 4 months old. This was one of the first “mommy and me class” we did together, and I definitely recommend it to new moms & moms of multiples. It's a great place to meet other parents, and it's easy to help your children participate. I also managed this class easily with a toddler and a newborn by bringing a baby carrier.

*Check here for my full review.

We also enjoy participating in local Toddler Times at Surge, Launch & Sky Zone. While these aren't organized activities for little kids, the adventure parks have discounted rates and/or limited admission during this time.

Looking for a day trip with a children's program? We love participating in the children's program Cultivating Curiosity at Carter's Mountain & Chiles Peach Orchard. This children's program meets on Mondays and Tuesdays throughout the summer. Each week has the same class, and the themes change each week. Children can learn about peaches, apples, bees and more. The program is geared towards children between the ages of 3-8, but all ages are welcome to participate in the story time, craft, picking adventure and snack. Parents are required to stay with children (no drop off). It costs $9 per child, and this includes a snack and picking fruit. Wear your walking shoes: the peach orchard is quite a long walk, and the apple orchard is a little bit closer. Check here to my entire blog post on Cultivating Curiosity.

Looking for organized sports or programs for little ones that last for a month of longer? Check out CORE gymnastics, SCOR, Village Dance Studio , West End Academy of Dance, and Soccer Shots.

Looking for details on our local playgrounds? Check out this post on the best and worst shaded playgrounds around Richmond, Virginia.

Don't forget to tag @thewestendmom and #thewestendmom in your adventures! I love seeing all the fun your family has!


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