Spring Activity Ideas for Kids and Families

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Spring and fall are my favorite seasons of the year so I am super excited that the spring has officially arrived. After the super cold winter we had, I honestly thought it would never get here! It’s so nice to hear the birds chirping again and to see the Dogwood trees blooming in Georgia! To celebrate, I’ve put together a list of ten of our favorite spring-inspired activities for kids and families.

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1. Go on a nature walk at the park. Name the flowers that you see blooming. Observe the animals. Feed the ducks.

2. Celebrate Earth Day of April 22nd. Teach your kids the importance of being kind to our environment.

3. Make rain in a jar. This is such a cool project that teaches kids the science of rain.

4. Fly a kite. This is the perfect time of the year to fly a kite. It’s so much fun for the whole family!

5. Go camping. This is by far one of our family’s favorite activities in the spring and fall. It is the perfect way to experience nature and bond as a family away from the tv, iPhones and video games.

6. Plant a garden or start small with these DIY Strawberry Planters.

7. Speaking of strawberries – go strawberry picking at a pick your own farm and then make your own jam.

8. Make an Egghead Planter. Kids love these!

9. Coffee Filter Butterflies are so fun for kids to make!

10. Make homemade popsicles. Healthy and delicious!

It’s important to keep your family healthy so that you can actually enjoy all of the fun spring and summer activities! But if your little ones get sick, it pays off to be prepared. One of our go-to medicines anytime either Lucas or Amelia get the sniffles is PediaCare® Gentle Vapors® Plug-In Unit.

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It fills the room with non-medicated vapor that helps soothe stuffed up noses and coughs. It contains a blend of aromatic ingredients, including menthol, eucalyptus, camphor, lavender and chamomile. It smells lovely and works for us every time. Love! For additional information, make sure to visit PediaCare.com and check out their blog, which has helpful articles like How To Treat Your Child’s Fever – lifesaver for a first time parent or any parent who needs a refresher!

Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes to Benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

The Rockettes are coming to Atlanta for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and for one night only (November 12 at 7:30pm) – the proceeds will go to help Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta! This will be a must-see holiday event for the whole family!

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About the Radio City Christmas Spectacular:

This timeless holiday tradition offers something for everyone: the Rockettes will perform five new numbers as well as cherished favorites like the Parade of the Wooden Soldiers and the Living Nativity, all while showcasing their signature eye-high kicks and new costumes and sets. Bring the whole family!

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Tickets to this special performance are available exclusively on the Children’s website. Also being offered are priceless behind-the-scenes experiences, such as a dance class taught by the Rockettes. This event is made possible by CHOA’s generous sponsor, Delta Air Lines. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.choa.org/rockettes.

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Show Date and Time:
Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center

FREE Summer Activity for Kids: Kids Bowl Free!

I’m always looking for fun and affordable activities that we can do as a family, which is why I LOVE the annual Kids Bowl Free Summer program!

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Kids Bowl Free (kidsbowlfree.com) is an amazing brand designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer. Families can get two free games for up to six children per day, and family packs for the whole summer start at $24.95.

The family pass is an unbelievable deal for just $24.95 per family. Again the family pass is good for up to 4 adult family members (Mom, Dad, Older Siblings, Grandma, Grandpa or an Adult Babysitter) to bowl 2 games of bowling every day during the promotion all summer long along with the children that have registered in your family.

Kids Bowl Free has big news this year – you no longer need to print out coupons ahead of time! If you have a smartphone or tablet with an internet connection, all you need to do is open up your KBF account on the device and the bowling center can redeem your coupons electronically.

For more info, check out KidsBowlFree.com!

Atlanta Summer Activity for Kids: Experience the United States in One Day! #WEEBLES Coast to Coast Exhibit

If you’re looking for a fun and educational activity to do with your kids this Summer in Atlanta, you have to check out the Weebles Coast to Coast Exhibit. You can find it at Children’s Museum of Atlanta from now until September 8th.

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Exhibit Overview:
Pack your bags for an exciting journey across the United States in WEEBLES Coast to Coast, a fun, educational traveling exhibit developed by the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in collaboration with Hasbro. Touched with humor, and loaded with more than 70 hands-on activities, the exhibit invites children to explore the geography, history and uniqueness of the 50 United States – and Washington, D.C., too!

We visited the Children’s Museum of Atlanta this past weekend to check out the Weebles Exhibit and it was so much fun! Basically, each state has a hands on display that kids can explore. For example, children can join a pit crew at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana (see Lucas’ picture below), mush a sled dog team in Alaska, try for a field goal at the National Football Hall of Fame in Ohio, and count down on New Year’s Eve in New York’s Times Square. It is really cool – even for the parents!

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Check out Weebles Coast to Coast

For additional information, please visit ChildrensMuseumAtlanta.org.

*Complimentary tickets to the museum were provided. However, all opinions are my own. Please see this site’s Terms of Use for additional information.

Atlanta Holiday Activities 2012: Callaway Gardens Fantasy in Lights

If you live in the Metro Atlanta area or are within driving distance of Georgia – I highly recommend that you make a trip out to Callaway Gardens during the holidays for their annual Fantasy in Lights event. This is truly one of the best ways to experience holiday lights and celebrate the season – it was even named one of the “Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights” by National Geographic Traveler. Fantasy in Lights features 8 million lights stretching more than five miles, creating 15 larger-than-life holiday scenes.

 

 

We visited last year and already have reservations set for this year as well. We LOVE it and expect that it will be a Jolly Family Tradition for years to come! Speaking of Jolly…Visitors experience the light and sound extravaganza on the “Jolly Trolley” or by driving through the lighted scenes in their personal vehicle. The “Jolly Trolley” is the way to go though! The sparkling, animated displays include Snowflake Valley, a winter wonderland filled with enormous snowflakes and thousands of white lights; Magical Christmas Garden with a 24-foot wreath entrance; and Santa’s Workshop, showcasing animated versions of Santa’s elves busy making toys for the big night. Two “don’t miss” scenes are on Robin Lake Beach and are both narrated: ’Twas the Night Before Christmas and The Nativity. Each lasts approximately 10 minutes. All of the scenes are BEAUTIFUL.

Once you’re done seeing the lights, you have to head to the Christmas Village, a 22,000-square-foot indoor, heated area. Guess who is there? Well, Santa of course! You are welcome to take your own pictures, which is a big savings compared to other places. There is also plenty of shopping to be done too – there are unique gifts, nostalgic toys, and a variety of Georgia artisans selling their goods. There are a couple of new activities in 2012 that we’re looking forward to!

 

 

New for 2012
Children can partner with an adult family member to join “Storytelling with Mrs. Claus,” where guests can listen to Christmas stories, decorate cupcakes and more, or “Build a Natural Birdfeeder,” with some of Santa’s elves. These activities are available on Saturdays at 3 p.m. from November 24 through December 23.

You can visit Callaway for the day and see the lights OR stay overnight, which is honestly the best choice! It is such an affordable stay! Packages start as low as $99* per night in the Mountain Creek Inn and include:

• Fantasy In Lights admission
• Accommodations
• Special Jolly Trolley loading area dedicated for overnight guests
• Admission to the world-class Gardens and its many attractions including the Day Butterfly Center, Sibley Horticultural Center, Callaway Discovery Center, live Birds of Prey Shows, seven miles of nature trails and our 10-mile Discovery Bicycle Trail.

Callaway Gardens®, is in Pine Mountain, Ga., 60 minutes southwest of Atlanta and 30 minutes north of Columbus. To experience nature at its finest, call 1-800-CALLAWAY or visit www.callawaygardens.com.

*A discounted accommodations rate was provided. However, all opinions are my own.

Atlanta Holiday Activities 2012: A Christmas Carol at the Alliance Theater

One of my favorite Christmas stories (actually one of my favorite stories period) is A Christmas Carol. My family and I were thrilled to have the opportunity to see this great story put on as a play at the Alliance Theatre at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta last week. This is, hands down, the greatest holiday play I have ever seen.

 

Waiting for the show to start

 

The Alliance Theater does such an amazing job. The acting, the singing, the stage, and the costumes are all top notch. If you haven’t been, the Alliance Theatre, which is located in the Woodruff Arts Center, is a perfect little theater. It is large enough to fit plenty of people, but small enough for everyone to feel a part of the show. There really doesn’t seem to be a bad seat in the house.

 

The gorgeous set

 

As I said, the play itself is outstanding. The acting is rich and humorous. And the singing is beautiful. All of the characters are portrayed brilliantly, especially Ebenezer Scrooge himself. Now for those of you that just landed on this planet, A Christmas Carol is a story that is, at its very heart, a story of redemption and second chances. Ebenezer Scrooge is grouchy old money lender that despises Christmas in every way. He is mean to everyone he meets. On Christmas Eve he is haunted by 3 ghosts; the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Each one takes him on a journey through those times to help him see what shaped him into the man he had become, and where that would lead him if he didn’t make amends.

 

 

Now of course I will leave it there so as to leave some intrigue for those of you that are not familiar with the tale. But regardless of if you are familiar or not, you do not want to miss this play at the Alliance Theatre. Make your plans to go see it this holiday season. This year was our second year seeing A Christmas Carol at the Alliance Theater and will most definitely not be our last. In fact, we’ve decided that it will be an annual holiday tradition!

Special Offers:

Woodruff Arts Center is excited to announce Sunday Family Series Days offering discounted access to the best in family centric performances and events. The first Family Series Day will take place on Sunday, December 9th. A free child ticket will be offered with the purchase a discounted adult ticket for the Alliance Theatre’s A Christmas Carol; Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Kid’s Christmas – Second Chance Christmas; or the High Museum of Art’s Second Sunday Funday with Young Audiences performances. Each offer is priced separately and includes a $10.00 food voucher for family-friendly specials at Table 1280 and the High Café. Discounted parking of $5.00 (regularly $15.00) is also available for purchase.

Carter’s, the leading brand in children’s clothing, will sponsor six Family Nights during A Christmas Carol. Family packages include parking, family photos, pre-show choir performances, and four tickets to A Christmas Carol for $125. Kids are encouraged to wear their pajamas to the show and to bring a new pair of pajamas to donate to the Carter’s sponsored Pajama Program, providing PJs to children in need, most of whom are in foster care. Family Nights are – 12/6, 7:00pm; 12/13, 7:00pm; 12/14, 8:00pm; 12/20, 7:00pm; 12/21, 2:30pm; and 12/21, 8:00pm. Additional details below. (Pajamas may be donated on any day Nov. 23 – Dec. 23)

 

Pre-choir show

 

Ticket and Show Information:

Performances are Thursdays at 7 pm, Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 2:30 pm and 8 pm, and Sundays at 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm, Nov. 23 – Dec. 23, 2012. An additional 2:30p performance will be added on Friday, December 21. There will be no evening performance on Sunday, November 25, and no performance will be held on Friday, December 7. Opening Night for A Christmas Carol is Thursday, November 29, 7:00pm.

Tickets start at $17.50 for children and $25 for adults are available at The Woodruff Arts Center Box Office or by calling 404.733.5000 or visiting www.alliancetheatre.org/carol. Discount rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling 404.733.4690. Discount rates are also available for members of the military, seniors and students. The Alliance Theatre is located at The Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 – at the corner of Peachtree and 15th Street, in Midtown Atlanta.

 

*Complimentary tickets were provided. However, all opinions are my own.

Atlanta Holiday Activities 2012: Blizzard of Winter Fun Awaits At Stone Mountain Christmas and Snow Mountain

I’ve always been jealous of my Northern friends who get a white Christmas every year. Here in HOTlanta – it is a very rare thing to even get a few snow flurries in the Winter let alone a “white Christmas”. However, now there’s some hope for us Southerners! This past weekend, Mike, Lucas, two of my nieces and I headed to Stone Mountain or “Snow Mountain” as it’s called during this time of year!

Snow Mountain is a snow park featuring various tubing runs and activities, including the Avalanche Alley family tube ride and the Snow Zone area where younger kids can tube, make the ultimate snowmen and snow angels and throw snowballs in a snowball shooting gallery. After playing in the snow, families and visitors can warm up next to a crackling fire, roast marshmallows and enjoy s’mores.

We had a blast making a snowman…

 

 

playing at Fort Snow…

 

 

 

 

riding the tubes…

 

 

 

 

having snowball fights…

 

 

Then, in the evening we changed into some warm and dry clothes and walked right on over to Stone Mountain Christmas. We have been to Stone Mountain Christmas several times in the past few years and have always LOVED it! Stone Mountain is lit up with beautiful holiday lights throughout the park. There are holiday shows to see – our favorite is the Polar Express 4D show. It’s awesome!

There are visits with Santa and the Snow Angela, stories with Mrs. Claus, cookie decorating and so much more…

 

 

 

Oh, and how can I forget? The grand finale with the Snow Angel, falling snow, and fireworks display – it is beautiful!

 

 

It’s a lovely way to celebrate the holidays with family and loved ones!

About Stone Mountain Christmas:
The holidays come to life during a Stone Mountain Christmas as Stone Mountain Park is decked out with more than 2 million lights. Stone Mountain Christmas is the only place in Atlanta to see the Polar Express™ 4-D Experience, live holiday shows: new for 2012 “Forever Christmas,” “A Crossroads® Christmas Carol,” “Holly Jolly Cabaret,” “The Gift” Train Show and more. Guests can stroll through Wonderland Walkway, a magical tunnel of lights and melodies. The Wonderland Walkway leads families and visitors to visit Stone Mountain Park’s very own Snow Angel at her Snow Palace in Memorial Hall. Families and visitors can also catch the Christmas spirit with the nightly Christmas Parade and visits with Santa Claus. The experience culminates with the magic of the beautiful Snow Angel as she flies high in the sky creating a nightly snow and fireworks celebration.

From Nov. 22 to Jan. 1, when both attractions are simultaneously open, SMP is offering a limited time combo ticket that can be used on the same day or two separate days. The combo ticket is $44 plus tax and includes a two-hour snow tubing session, all-day access to the snow play area and all-access to Stone Mountain Christmas. The combo ticket can save visitors up to $10 per ticket. Tickets are on sale now at www.StoneMountainPark.com.

*Thank you to Stone Mountain Park for providing complimentary tickets for my family and I to attend the events featured above. All opinions are 100% my own.

Disney on Ice: Treasure Trove Review

My family and I are going to Disney World at the end of April. Mike and I haven’t been to Disney World since we were kids and this will be Lucas’ first trip. We are all really, really excited, but Lucas is beyond excited. It’s Disney & Mickey Mouse, all day, all the time. He literally lives in his Mickey ears LOL. We were fortunate to get an early Disney treat by going to see the new Disney on Ice show, Treasure Trove, which is based on the greatest animated Disney movies.

 

 

About Disney on Ice: Treasure Trove
Disney On Ice presents Treasure Trove sets the gold standard with a live celebration of Disney animation. Get tangled up in Disney’s 50th animated feature with Rapunzel and Flynn and enter the worlds of your other favorite Disney princesses – Tiana, Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Mulan and of course, the one who started it all, Snow White. Ahoy, Mateys! Set sail with Peter Pan, the always sassy Tinker Bell and the cantankerous Captain Hook & his pirate pals on an adventure beyond Neverland! Trek the wilds of Africa with Simba, Nala, Pumbaa and Timon as they discover the true meaning of the ‘Circle of Life.’ Tick-Tock! Tick-Tock! Don’t be late to a very important date with Alice & the Madhatter as they march with the Queen of Hearts’ Army Of Cards in this extraordinary lineup from the Disney animated film vault.

 

 

The show starts off with a bang with the Incredibles, which Lucas loves! He kept pointing at them and saying that he couldn’t believe it was the REAL Incredibles! Then, the real stars of Disney come out — of course, I’m talking about Mickey, Minnie, Donald, & Goofy.  You should have seen the applause and squeals they got from kids and adults alike. Everyone went wild when they came out — especially my Disney crazed kiddo! Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy let the audience know that they are on the hunt to discover the timeless movie classics, both old and new.

There are tons of acts in the show like, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, the Lion King, Snow White, and so many more. Each act is like a condensed version of each story played out on ice.

 

 

The skating was really beautiful too. I especially loved the performance of The Lion King. The grown up Simba and Nala did an amazing skating number with a lot of tricks. Another thing that I loved about the show is that both boys and girls will like it. One minute The Incredibles are on the stage and the next Tinkerbell is spreading pixie dust on the ice — there’s something for everyone — loved it!

 

 

 

Hear Lucas’ Thoughts on the Show:

 

Disney on Ice: Treasure Trove was a fantastic show — you should definitely check it out if you get a chance! For additional information, please visit DisneyOnIce.com.

 

Complimentary tickets to the show were provided by the pr company representing the company for the purpose of this review.  All opinions expressed are mine. Please refer to this site’s Terms of Use for more information. 

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at Atlanta Botanical Garden

Last Thursday, Mike, Lucas and I headed to the Atlanta Botanical Garden for their first annual Garden Lights, Holiday Nights light display. Every light display we’ve ever visited is always seen by car or another type of vehicle, but at this light display; you walk through the gardens. There are almost 1 million lights (they are energy efficient bulbs, by the way) featuring whimsical and modern scenes.

 

 

 

Beautiful.

As you walk through the 30 acre gardens, you are treated to live carolers, fire pits with all the fixings for s’mores, hot cocoa, and more. We also stopped by the cafe and had chili and sandwiches.

 

 

But Lucas’ favorite part of the night was the toy train model. It was awesome!

 

 

 

Destined to become an in-town holiday tradition, Garden Lights, Holiday Nights, open nightly from November 19 through January 7. For more information, please visit AtlantaBotanicalGarden.org.


The featured product{s} in this post were provided to me free of charge by the manufacturer or pr company representing the company.  All opinions expressed are mine. Please refer to this site’s Terms of Use for more information. 

Celebrate the Holidays at The Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta

If you’re in Atlanta and are looking for the perfect way to celebrate the holidays, please visit The Woodruff Arts Center. They have a really fun holiday lineup filled with a variety of events in the coming weeks. For instance, how about gathering up the family and heading to Table 1280 (Woodruff’s Restaurant) for a swanky Breakfast with Santa?

Not only will you have a delicious meal filled with cheese blintzes, blueberry pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, pastries, and more (check out the menu)

…but you will also get a picture with Santa himself.

Santa and Mrs. Claus even visit every table during breakfast for even more photo opps…

There are also crafts and goodie bags for the kids. Lots of fun!

Table 1280 is also hosting High Tea, Cookie and Cupcake Decorating, Gingerbread House Decorating, Holiday Brunch and more this holiday season!

After a yummy breakfast, how about seeing a family movie? The Woodruff Arts Center is offering free screenings of fun, family movies this holiday season. Movies include Happy Feet, A Christmas Carol, The Dog Who Saved Christmas, MGM Cartoon Christmas and more. You can see the full schedule HERE.

After the movie, you and the kids can do crafts. We made these beautiful holiday cards!

Then, head to the Visions of Santa Exhibit and look at all the artwork while the young kids listen to a fun holiday story told by one of Atlanta’s premier storytellers…

And, for the ultimate in holiday family events–stay for A Christmas Carol. Oh my goodness, A Christmas Carol at the Alliance Theater is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. It is an impeccable performance. The acting is superb. The singing is phenomenal. Mike, Lucas, and I LOVED it!

About A Christmas Carol
Back for its 22nd smash year, the most heartwarming story of the entire season comes to life with Ebenezer Scrooge’s discovery of the true meaning of Christmas over the course of one fateful evening. Journey through the beloved Dickens tale meeting favorite characters along the way like the generous Mr. Fezziwig, the selfless and beautiful Belle and the adorable Tiny Tim. And with a new-this-season surprise – all we can tell you is you might want to warm up your singing voice before you arrive.

Written by Charles Dickens
Adapted by David H. Bell
Directed by Rosemary Newcott

For more information about holiday events at The Woodruff Arts Center, please visit woodruffcenter.org.


Thank you to The Woodruff Arts Center for providing my family and I complimentary access to all of the above holiday events. We had a fabulous time! Please refer to this site’s Terms of Use for more information.