Free Event at the Local Libray

Day 2 of spring break was full of fun. We started at the pool for preschool splash time. Then went across the street to the library to build blocks while we wait for the special event presented by Sno Isle Library.


Museum of Curious Things


The Museum of Curious Things was visiting the library. It is a travel museum in a cool Airstream travel trailer. With a quick look inside, I knew It wasn’t for my kiddos. There were animal skeletons inside. I’m sure it was educational but I’m not ready for my kids to grow up that quickly. I know I’m being selfish so I googled what is an appropriate age to discuss death with my kids? It sounds like talking about death is good for kids based on Psychology Today‘s research.

Also, Lesson Learnt Journal has a lesson plan to teach preschoolers about skeletons and their functions. Now, I kind of feel bad we didn’t check it out… Next time.

Inside the library’s conference room, there was a display of the different animals in resin. Each animal had a different fun fact.

Did you know? Starfish have no brain and no blood.

To end the day, my daughters picked two different bug embossed prints for their crayon rubbing. Crayon rubbings is a great gross motor exercise in holding the paper still so the crayon can reveal the bug below. I helped hold my toddler’s paper still so we could recognize the ant print. I didn’t do the best job. I need to work on my gross motor skills. Also, remind the kiddos to use the side of the crayon instead of the top otherwise the picture isn’t as clear.

What do you think? Do you think talking to preschooler and/or show them skeletons is too early? I’d love to hear your feedback.

Horse Sleigh Ride

This weekend we enjoyed a wonderful long weekend at Suncadia in Cle Elum, Washington for the celebration of president Washington’s Birthday. Originally, we made these plans a while ago thinking our family would experience the winter wonder for only one weekend away however to our surprise we got snow at home the two weeks prior to our visit at Suncadia. Luckily, the mountain passes cleared up and we got to experience the fun activities Suncadia had in store. For example, the magic experience of a horse-drawn sleigh ride.


Calming Sleigh Rides


This experience was like the lullaby tune “Jingle Bells.” So much so I began to sing the song when I heard the sleigh bells jingle as we rode through the forest under the cozy blankets that were provided to us. The ride was so peaceful and we were so cozy under the blankets that my toddler fell asleep 10 minutes into the ride. I have to thank the team at Three Peaks Outfitters for a great memory of this winter outing!

Meet Lucky and Tip from 3 Peaks Outfitters. Both the kiddos got to pet these beautiful, big horses. I believe he said their horse breed is Percheron. Similar to a Clydesdale but a noticeable difference is the short hair near the hoof or fetlock. Not sure if you can see us standing back there with our winter outfits on but we have big smiles on our faces.

The driver offered my daughter the opportunity to sit up front with my husband. She jumped up there faster than she could say yes. The cowboy explained all the harnesses and horse behaviors to us as we rode through the snowy forest. The sleigh would twist and creak during this half hour trek. It was beautiful, peaceful and educational.

Check back tomorrow for a full review of our experience at Suncadia with a list of activities available to you.

Ski Lessons

I love skiing. My parents took me when I was 3 years old and it was a big part of my life until I had kids. I tried to take my oldest daughter a couple of years ago but we just had our second daughter making it hard to leave the baby at home as well as bring a baby with us to the mountain. This year I hope that changes.

As I look into ski lessons again, I keep getting drawn to a Steven’s Pass package because they have a wonderful program that lets my daughter try skiing in a one on one teacher environment. This is the same lesson my daughter did a couple of years ago. The instructor was experienced and patient with a three year old. My husband and I could observe the lesson so we knew what was going on. Plus when she was too cold during this 90 minute experience she was able to go inside and the instructor read her a story and gave her hot cocoa (with our permission of course). What could be better. It is called the Pre-School Lesson designed for kids age 2-6. Check it out here.

This year wish me luck. I hope to be there holding her hand (or poles) as we go down the mountain. After this quick refresher course, we will be on the bunny hills together. My daughter is excited to try skiing again. Hopefully she will have the same fond childhood memories that I do when she grows up.

Seattle’s Carousel and Winterfest Miniature Village

If you are looking for an activity after Christmas, the carousel in the Westlake Park is beautiful and fun for all ages.

We started this family tradition years ago when my husband’s coworker invited us to join them on the half day from school before Christmas Eve. The coworker wanted to meet our new daughter but it transitioned into a yearly tradition. We park our car at the Seattle Center and go to the Armory to view the miniature village at Winterfest then drive the miniature trains. There is a suggestion donation of $2 to maintain the trains and village. While waiting in line, there is a scavenger hunt to look for homes, businesses and animals in the miniature village. Lots of fun!

Miniature Village Dates:

November 23 – December 31, 2018

Hours:

10am – 6pm daily

Special Holiday Hours:

Dec 24 – closes at 4pm,

Dec 25 – closed)

Control the model train: 

10:30am – 12 noon, 1pm – 2:30pm, and 3:30pm – 5:30pm daily.

Fee:

$2 suggested donation.

From the Armory, we ride the Monorail to Westlake Center. The track is above the cars and buildings making it so much fun for the kids to experience. We always race up front for the clearest vantage point of everything below us.

Monorail Hours of Operations:

Monday-Friday: 7:30am-11:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 8:30am-11:00pm

Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Winter Hours of Operation (January-May 2018):

Monday-Thursday: 7:30am-9:00pm

Friday: 7:30am-11:00pm

Saturday: 8:30am-11:00pm

Sunday: 8:30am-9:00pm

One-Way Fares:

$2.50 for Adults

$1.25 for Youth ages 5-12

$1.25 for Reduced Rate

(Seniors 65+, disabled, persons with Medicare cards, & U.S. military with ID)

Finally we end up at Westlake Center and walk across the street to the park and carousel to meet my husband whom works in downtown Seattle.

Downtown Seattle Association historic Holiday Carousel in Westlake Park for over 31 years. Suggested donation of $4. Each donation benefits Downtown Seattle Association, a nonprofit organization, that brings year-round activities and events to Occidental Square and Westlake Park. For more information, check out DSA’s website here.

After you hop off the carousel, pick up some lunch from the Food Trucks just a few steps away before heading back on the Monorail.

View more events for the holidays at downtownseattle.org/holidays.

Dates:

November 23, 2018 -January 1, 2019

Carousel’s Hours of Operation:

Sunday – Thursday : 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m.–9 p.m.

Special Holiday Hours:

Nov. 23: 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Dec. 24: 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 31: 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Jan. 1: Normal Hours (see above)

Fairmont Teddy Bear Room

If you are visiting Seattle before Christmas, I recommend taking a look at the Teddy Bear Room at the Fairmont Hotel in Seattle, Washington. It is a hotel room draped in silk and elegantly filled with teddy bears and festive decor.

As you walk in the room, there is a beautiful fireplace adorned with teddy bears and silver stockings.

Teddy Bear Suite:

Location: Fairmont Hotel, Seattle

Date/Time Information:

November 22, 2018 – December 26, 2018 from 10am to 6pm daily

Fees/Admission: no fee

There are many places to take adorable pictures of your kids. My favorite place for a photo op is on the bench in front of the teddy bear filled bed (since you can’t sit on the actual bed). I love seeing their happy faces.

There are 3 large teddy bears and this one is right at the kids level. They got to snuggle the life size teddy bear. The bears were very soft.

The room and tree theme this year was white snowflakes. I love the glowing icicles wrapping the room. The snowball ornaments are very original.

This experience is totally free however The Fairmont asks for donations to the Seattle Children Hospital. The hotel room is located on the second floor.

While at the Fairmont, check out the life size gingerbread house with candy cane lined windows. The house is located at the lower lobby by the valet entrance.

Gingerbread House:

Location: Fairmont Hotel, Seattle

Date/Time Information:

November 17, 2018 – January 1, 2019

Fees/Admission: no fee

It is really hard to keep the kids from picking at it and trying to eat it but there are beautiful ornaments, lights and nutcrackers to keep the kids distracted.

The guests can race through the gingerbread hallway that smells delicious and made with more than 4,000 real gingerbread bricks. For a list of all the events, go to the Fairmont’s website.

Giving Tree

A Giving Tree is a great way to help those children less fortunate by giving gifts to them. My daughter’s ASB is participating in a Toy Drive for the Christmas House charity during the month of December.

Christmas House is a non-profit organization that is 100% volunteer operated located in Everett, Washington. They provide hope to qualified low-income, Snohomish County parents by allowing them to select free holiday gifts for their children ages infant – 18 yrs old. In 2017 Christmas House provided over 46,000 gifts to 7,500 children to 2,500 families.Each December their “store” is located in the Boys & Girls Club gym at 2316-12th Street, Everett, WA. Their mailing address during the year is PO Box 717, Everett, WA 98206.

If you are interested in donating this year, here is a list of all their donation locations. Many of the Les Schwab locations are still accepting toy donations.

If you are looking for donations ideas, Christmas House has a list of ideas based on age range.

Children Gifts – Age 0-8 years old enjoys toys, toys and more toys.

Preteen Gifts – Age 9 – 12 years old enjoy sports equipment, craft kits, jewelry boxes, electronic games and remote control cars. Please include more batteries.

Teen Gifts – Age 13 – 18 years old popular items are similar to preteen but also include sleeping bags, cosmetic gift sets, watches, hair dryers and curling irons.

If you are running low on funds, the dollar store has great options. Toys, school and craft supplies. Plus makeup and hair accessories.

If you are looking for more ideas on ways to give or information why the act of kindness is so important to teach to your kids, check out my earlier post about Food Banks. Food is just as important to give as gifts. Both give hope to children in need.

Wish you peace and good fortunate in this holiday season.

Holiday Pajamas

I have a friend that gave her kids a new set of holiday pajamas every year after thanksgiving. After learning about her tradition, it inspired me to buy new pajamas for my kids too.

Being that this year we have a bird themed Christmas tree, I wanted to get bird themed pajamas in Christmas colors, red, white and/or green. In addition to these requirements, it needed to be cotton since polyester bothers my daughter’s skin. A pretty tall order.

I wasn’t able to find a bird theme, Christmas color, cotton pajamas but I found these adorable cotton pajamas by CharmLeaks Christmas that are two piece, top and bottom. CharmLeaks has over 8 different patterns on Amazon. Most have reindeer print.

Today I am feeling lucky my oldest daughter got new pajamas because school is having a pajama day the last day before winter break. Now she has a new, clean pair of pajamas that fit since she grows like a weed. Her teacher convinced me to wear pajamas to the holiday party too so I purchased these bird themed bottoms on Amazon by PajamaMania Women’s Sleepwear.

Hope you and your kiddos enjoy their holiday party at school or work and feel the festive spirit.

Free Holiday Light Displays

We have a family tradition with some good friends of ours where we drive around and look at Christmas lights on houses. We have yummy treats and hot chocolate then drive around looking at beautiful lights.

There is a wonderful neighborhood in Duvall, Washington that we like to go to because it isn’t crowded and each house to beautifully decorated. While we drive to and from Duvall, the kids watch a festive holiday movie in the back of the car. This year I think we are going to watch Frozen, age recommendation is 5 years old plus by common sense media. For other movies recommendations for little ones, check out my earlier post; Holiday Movie Night.

Christmas lights

However, if you are looking for a neighborhood that is not that far out of Seattle; here are a couple of beautifully lite homes too.

  • Candy Cane Lane (otherwise known as N.E. Park Rd., just off of Ravenna Blvd. and 21st Ave. N.E. just north of University Village)Red Tricyclehas a great article about candy cane lane and how to make it a great night out.
  • Olympic Manor (off of 85th and 22nd Ave in Ballard)
  • Silver Lake Neighborhood (in the neighborhood of Fir Grovelocated just off 19th Ave SE and 100th ST SE near the Silver Lake Costco)

If you are looking for other options, Seattle’s Child has a list of over 18 different locations throughout the Seattle area.

My favorite homes have a theme to their Christmas light decorations. Whether the lights are all the same color or a character theme like Mickey Mouse, it is like watching the show, the Great Christmas Light Fight, on ABC. The new season start December 17th.

Nutcracker Ballet

Today my 5 year old daughter and I went to the Nutcracker Ballet. This is our second year going to the Nutcracker. Last year we went to the Olympic Ballet in Edmonds/Everett and this year we tried the Emerald Ballet at the Northwest Preforming Arts in Bothell, Washington.

Both ballets are beautiful and entertaining for kids. I had a friend growing up that went to the Seattle Nutcracker Performance every Winter break with her mom. It was their family tradition.

The Emerald Ballet is unique because the kids can look into the orchestra pit during the breaks. This was not an option at the Olympic Ballet performance.

However, the Emerald Ballet consisted of more youth performers which added some humor. A little boy was making some funny faces and we thought it was hilarious.

The principal ballerinas were very good. The Egyptian Princess in the second act was very good and the costume jingled when she jumped adding another element to the performance.

Other Nutcracker performance in the Seattle area:

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