By Tracey Dowdy
A fellow mom recently introduced me to one of the greatest, most life-changing apps of all time. Behold Sit or Squat – the app that tells you where to go when you’ve got to go. If you’ve ever been out with a toddler who just has to go, then you know what a game changer this app could be.
Created by Charmin (of course it was!), the app uses your location services to find a clean restroom nearby. Content is user curated and users can search, rate and add bathrooms, so you’re never stuck again. (Free – iOS, Android)
The same mom introduced me to Trekaroo, an app that searches for kid friendly venues, like parks, playgrounds, museums and even restaurants and hotels. Again, content is user curated so you’re getting honest opinions from other parents. The app can tell you things like how friendly the wait staff really is; the availability and cleanliness of rest rooms; and the proximity to public transit. (Free – iOS)
Similarly, Playground Buddy searches for playgrounds and parks all over the world, something that comes in pretty handy if you’re away from home or staying with relatives or who don’t have kids and have no idea where kids can go to go run off that cabin fever. The app allows users to update information and add new playgrounds and parks as they are built or discovered. (Free – iOS, Android)
Kids Eat Free provides a list of places where, well, kids can eat for free, or at a deep discount. As with other apps on the list, the content is updated by users and its accurate and easy-to-use interface makes it very popular with parents. (Free – iOS, Android)
Kidscore suggests you think of it as Yelp for parents. The app goes beyond kid friendly restaurants and attractions to include recommendations on hotels, pediatricians and shopping. Users can search under the following headers: Food and Dining, Health and Medical, Retail Shopping, Activities and Attractions, and Hotels and Lodging. The app includes not only reviews but also photos do you can get a clearer idea of where you’re going and what to expect when you get there. (Free – iOS)
The founders of the next app noted that we “date on Match, have regrettable hook-ups on Tinder and find the best brunch places to cure our hangovers on Yelp. Then we have kids…. and then what?” Their answer is Yuggler, a “comprehensive community for family fun.” More than just a list of museums and parks, Yuggler provides information like parades, classes, festivals and other community based events all over the world. You can search by cost and by times like Today, Tomorrow, or Next Week to find events that fit your schedule and your budget. One of its best features is a direct link to Pinterest, so you can save your favorites, plus you can choose to get Push Notifications about upcoming events. (Free – iOS)
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.