Up until now, most outings with your child may have consisted of a quick run to the grocery store or a trip to Grandma’s house. But your toddler’s newfound mobility and endless curiosity make this a great time to get out of the house and broaden his horizons. “Exposing him to different environments will introduce him to lots of new sights and sounds, which will stimulate his cognitive development,” says Susan Goodwyn, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist and coauthor of Baby Minds: Brain-Building Activities Your Baby Will Love. Plus, your routine-loving 1-year-old will also get a taste of how to adjust to a change of pace.
But this doesn’t mean you have to book a big family getaway. You can find a variety of toddler-friendly (and cheap) outings in your area. Check out these four expert-approved field trips — and how you can make the most of them.