New mom? New-to-the-QC mom? Whether you’re having your first kiddo or you’re a newbie to the QC, it can be daunting to find the local favorite mommy spots. You can’t just Google, “best places in the QC for moms and kids but not ones that everyone knows about because those are usually bonkers busy.” Well, you can but this is what pops up. It is not encouraging.
I moved here almost 3 years ago when my daughter was basically a year old. While we moved to a city that had incredible family support and a great church that we love, it took me FOREVER to find the lesser trodden gems of the QC. I kept thinking, “I wish someone would give all the new moms and move-ins a stinking booklet about this stuff!”
Enter: Quad City Moms Blog
These are, of course, not ALL my favorite things, just the ones that maybe occupy the path a bit less traveled. These are my favorite places to recharge, get some to-do’s to-done, and make memories with Squishy.
[To those of you who read this and think I’m so basic because you already knew about all of these the moment you gave birth, please let me live in blissful ignorance thinking that I discovered cool things.]
Coffee: Dunn Brothers. We must begin where all productive days are born: caffeine. Dunn Bros in Bettendorf is an extra snazzy place to get your daily dose and even a minute of peace because for any little who finds a green frog (“find” is a strong word for what they’re asked to execute), they get a FREE cup of hot cocoa! Everyone is happy and on to the next errand.
Car Wash/Car Detailing: Pro- Clean Car Wash and Detailing in Rock Island. Whether it is a drive across the bridge for you or not, it is worth it! They have BAGS OF POPCORN and a NERF GUN TO SHOOT SOAP ON CARS. That is a solid 45 minutes of stress-free entertainment for my toddler. I can actually get my disgusting car detailed without organizing ridiculous drop off and pick up shenanigans.
Grocery Shopping: Wal-Mart Pick Up via the Grocery App. They let you check your produce. It’s free. You don’t leave your car. ‘Nuff said. Oh, and one time I got moldy cauliflower (happens to the best of us) and the manager called me apologizing profusely and made it right. Without prompting. Bonus points for great customer service!
Introvert Park Time: Because sometimes your hair is not in a “meet new moms” kinda’ place: Phipps Prairie Park in Silvis. In addition to a great play structure, bathrooms, lots of swings and a pavilion, this nature-heavy park features a giant field with mowed trails. The fun also keeps on comin’ with short, easy wooded hiking trails perfect for little one’s legs or mommies wearing an extra 15lbs of Moby-wrapped munchkin. There are rarely other humans.
Extrovert Park Time: Because other times, you need another adult with which to converse, despite the state of your hair: Riverside Park in Moline. It has a pretty large, multi-faceted play area, usually filled with at least a few families and maybe a preschool class. In addition, the local greenhouse right next to the play area gives free plants to any little that walks through!
Story Time: Moline Library Story Time. Most Illinois residents may already know about this awesomeness BUT, did you know you do NOT need a library card to attend? That’s right folks, ALL the Moline Library programming is open to everyone, card or no card, unless otherwise indicated.
Music Class: Okay, this one is tricky. I like my music class. I don’t want to be told I can’t get in because there was a rush of QCMB readers who enrolled. BUT, alas, I love you all enough to share a beautiful secret: Eastern Iowa Community Colleges Music Time for Toddlers. The classes for littles are listed in the linked brochure on pages 36 and 37. Ms. Tina is the greatest. Siblings are welcome. Cost is $25 for 6 weeks. Can’t get much better than that.
Nature Class: Quad City Botanical Center hosts a monthly program for kiddos and parents called KinderNature and it is all things wonderful and green.
Mommy/Little Tea Party: This one is kind of a DIY. Cafe D’Marie is one of Davenport’s true treasures and a favorite of most QC mommies. I would sell an organ for unlimited amounts of their soup. It is a problem. Did you know they’ll also do a Tiny Tea Party for you and your little? They will brew up some peppermint tea, pour it in the tiniest little cup you’ve ever seen, and make it a BIG DEAL. My daughter thought it was the greatest day of ALL TIME. And it was pretty close.
How-In-The-World-Do-I-Be-A-Mom Class: This is a two for one deal here and I WISH I would’ve known about these earlier! They seem so wonderful, it is madness!
- Parenting Successful Kids is a parenting class offered to any Scott County resident by the ISU Extension and Outreach Center. Each class provides free dinner, $25 to pay a babysitter (!!!), a free gift at the end of each class AND anyone who attends 10 classes gets $50 in incentives of their choice.
- Born Learning Academies are parenting workshops offered through the local United Way chapter. Classes are open to any QC resident who are expecting or have a child who has not yet entered Kindergarten. Each class also provides a free meal, childcare (!!!), giveaways and any family that attends 5 of the 6 workshops in the series receives a free tablet pre-loaded with educational games. Locations vary, check out the website for details.
Post-Baby Workout: QC Fit4Mom has INCREDIBLE classes including Stroller Barre (my personal favorite), Stroller Strides and, for 6 months post partum and on, Body Back. While you do get your body back, as the name suggests, you gain friends, a new outlook on fueling your body, a great workout and even meditation at the end! Body Back classes are limited to 12 to encourage personalized attention.
Lastly, A Good Read: When Love Feels Heavy. As a new mom, and then a new-to-the-QC mom, there were some hard days. Hard nights. Hard everything. Emotions were high, energy low and sometimes I just needed a good ugly cry. This little nugget of a blog is a classic that I returned to again and again. It is inspiring, cathartic and oh so real.
There you go my beautiful mommy friends. Some of my favorite local places and stuff I wish I would’ve known about sooner. Get on out there and enjoy our stellar city!
I’d love to hear from you too!
What are YOUR favorite local mommy spots?