Did you have a wonderful Mother’s Day? I hope you were treated to something special.
More and more I find myself wanting experiences instead of gifts for any occasion. Mallory and I had a beautiful day together recently when we attended a glass garden workshop at The Living Studio in Del Mar. Combining our love of gardening and art, Mallory aptly labeled the terrariums that were the fruits of our labor, “gart.”
The nice owners of The Living Studio helped us first-timers pick out just the right size and combinations of plants.
They had 15 different colors of sand to choose from, a variety of colored moss, stones and other embellishments to enhance our gardens.
If you’re looking for a fun mom’s day out or mommy & me class, consider an afternoon of “gart.” The Living Studio offers workshops for adults and children, AND you’ll leave with something beautiful to display in your home.
In addition to their weekly art workshops, The Living Studio offers a wide selection of hand-blown glass gardens, artisan jewelry, home decor crafted from sustainable materials, original art, and unique gifts. Visit them in Del Mar at 1011 Camino Del Mar, Suite 100 or at www.thelivingstudio.net.
Moms, have you snagged a FREE Seaworld Preschool Fun Card for your 3-5 year olds?
Teachers, did you know you could get a Teachers’ Fun Card PLUS 3 free Single Day tickets, compliments of Seaworld? It’s free to all active and certified K-12 California and Arizona credentialed school teachers?
Seaworld has a lot of great promotions going right now including celebrating the Lunar New Year with acrobats, Asian-inspired cuisine and FREE admission to those born in the Year of the Monkey; 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1992 or 2004. Valid February 6-8, simply bring your valid ID to the ticket window to receive one free single-day admission ticket.
And if you are already a pass-holder, don’t miss January’s specials just for you including BOGO tours and early ride weekend promotions.
Our family loves Seaworld. It has taught us all so much about all kinds of animals, not just marine life. Over the years we have enjoyed the rides, the Sesame Street characters, the shows (Pets Rule is my all-time favorite!), the beautiful grounds, the food, the holiday celebrations. We highly recommend annual passes for parents, especially if you stay at home and are looking great things to do with the littles during the day.
Undoubtedly this is a hard time for Seaworld. Legislation has been introduced in Congress, HR 4019 (Schiff, D-CA), that would bring an end to killer whales at federally licensed facilities. In response, Seaworld wants to let supporters know that:
- SeaWorld is a global leader in the understanding and care of killer whales. The whales at SeaWorld are healthy and thriving and live as long as their counterparts in the wild.
- They have not collected from the wild in more than 35 years, and will not do so in the future.
- They are leaders in protecting and preserving marine animals and have rescued and rehabilitated more than 27,000 since 1965.
- SeaWorld has always supported science-based regulation and looks forward to continued collaboration with the government so that together they meet the shared goals of protecting animal welfare and saving the wild.
If you would like to help Seaworld fight this legislation, please click here to voice your opinion to your representative.
We hope to see you at the park this year!
I’ve seen the home of the future, and it is Jetsons-smart!
With the swipe of an app, busy moms like me can turn appliances on and off remotely, adjust our thermostats, view live video of our homes, lock and unlock the doors, get motion sensor alerts, even monitor smoke, carbon monoxide and detect flooding while we are away from home thanks to Cox Communication’s Homelife.
Your house probably already has a few internet-connected devices like laptops, tablets, smartphones and game systems, but experts say that, by 2020, we will have an average of 50 connected devices. At the Cox Smart Home Tour I was able to experience some of what is coming like virtual reality vacations, bluetooth-enabled medication dispensers and bar-code scanning garbage can devices that automatically add to your grocery list when you run out of something.
These technologies help moms, seniors, the disabled — anyone — better manage their lives.
Through the magic of technology seniors can get telehealth checkups with physicians, Facetime consultations with nutritionists and over-the-internet physical therapy, helping them stay safe and connected to others from the comfort of the home they love.
They say that these technologies are a solution for the aging wave that is coming. How about for tweens and teens who are becoming more independent? Smart homes can offer cameras that allow us to virtually check in on our parent or our children. We can tell when doors and cabinets have been opened, We can see who is at the front door. We can even lock up the house remotely.
The “Connected Independence” Smart Home Tour was powered by Cox Communications’ broadband network and featured more than 35 connected devices designed for seniors and busy families from companies like Rendever, which offers a virtual reality platform so seniors can “travel” to favorite destinations; Trapollo telemedicine services so doctors can diagnose and treat seniors from the comfort of their own home and SimpleC, an intuitive touch-screen app which sends medicine reminders and tracks water intake. Visit them online for more information about how you can create a connected home for someone you love!
The Mom’s Guide thanks Cox Communications for sponsoring this blog post.
$5 a Week
After spending $75 on tickets for last night’s Disney on Ice show and what felt like that much on food and drinks, I had to deal with both kids begging for Disney Dare To Dream toys.
How did I handle it? I said, “Sure! Let’s go check out what they have.”
You see, two years ago, when Mallory turned 5, we instituted an allowance program. Today, Gage gets $5 a week and Mal gets $7; $1 for each year they’ve been alive.
Ever since they’ve started to receive allowance, it has been up to them to save their money so it’s available for purchases like Disney on Ice chotchkies.
In the beginning, Mallory would spend her $5 right away, and I worried that I should force her into saving a certain amount each week. But after a few situations of seeing something that she “really, really wanted” but didn’t have the money to buy, she learned on her own the importance of saving for something special. Gage has easily followed in her footsteps.
Some families tie allowance to chores. Others are opposed to that approach. In our family, allowance is earned when the kids show us the behavior we expect. That might include cleaning their rooms, setting the table, being nice to each other, feeding the pets, brushing their teeth without being reminded 10 times…whatever mom and dad decide.
Recently we’ve noticed that withholding allowance is an effective punishment that works better for our kids than time out or taking away a favorite toy. The kids are competing to see who can save the most money right now, so the threat of losing allowance is a powerful incentive to be good little children.
Last night Mal spent $12 on her Pasqual toy and Gage spent $16 on his Flynn Rider sword. They paid me back out of their piggy banks (they always know to the dime how much they have in it.) I helped them subtract what they’ve spent from what they had. It’s a good math lesson, for sure!
Allowance has taught our five and seven-year-olds the value of money. They know how long it takes to accumulate money at $5 and $7 a week and will often skip a purchase rather than dip into their banks.
If you’re looking for a way to curb the “gimmees,” teach kids the value of money, encourage good behavior and help your child feel she is contributing to the running of the household, I think allowance is a great place to start.
11-11-11My daughter was due on 11-11. I spent that evening at Jack’s in La Jolla sitting on a comfy couch in the bar balancing things on my belly like an entire bottle of wine.
11-11 came and went, and no baby, but I still loved that day. My first due date. And this year it’s especially special. 11-11-11 seems worth celebrating, so I am with ELEVEN giveaways.
To win, simply comment on this post with the giveaway you want to win. I will award the prizes in order of comments received until they are all gone.
Hope 11-11-11 is a lucky day for you!
Prize 1: Got a son? Win the Boy Mom Designs shirt of your choice. I’m super excited to get my green army man shirt with matching toddler version for my boy in the mail this week. Visit www.boymomdesigns.com to choose YOUR favorite shirt!
Prize 2: Need a night out? Win this 4-pack of Ultrastar movie tickets and you can enjoy a moms’ night out, a double-date or a trip to the movies with the hubby and kids. I love that Ultrastar’s Parent Movie Mornings and Baby’s Night Out means you don’t have to miss the blockbusters just because you’re a new mom!
Prize 3: Java Mama is the original kid-friendly coffee shop in San Diego, and they are especially close to my heart since they opened right down the street from my house just when I was ready to venture out with my new baby. Win this prize and enjoy 2 passes for supervised play and a tasty beverage of your choice. With free WIFI, yummy food and awesome play spaces, Java Mama is a safe, clean, friendly place for you and your little ones to visit!
Prize 4: If you don’t live in the North County, you may not have experienced the pure joy of Nothing Bundt Cakes. But with a new store opening this December in Mission Valley, all of San Diego should be able to treat themselves to the rich, dense, wonderful awesomeness of a Nothing Bundt Cake. Choose this prize and you’ll get a single-serving “bundtlet” from the Mission Valley store each month for the next year! YUMMMMM
Prize 5: My girlfriends and I love, love, love happy hour at Serenity Spa in Sorrento Valley…$30 for a 25-minute treatment that comes with the cocktail of your choice and delicious 1/2 priced appetizers. Win a 50-minute Swedish massage and visit this delightful spa during happy hour or whenever you need a stress-buster!
Prize 6: At a craft show last weekend I bought the cutest bows and headband for my daughter from BowBees. Fun styles and great quality at terrific prices = NEW FAVORITE. With Christmas around the corner, you might like to win this fancy red, green and white headband holiday bow for infants and toddlers.
Prize 7: Why pay $17 (plus tip) for a kid’s hair cut when you can get one for free? Kids’ Hair Salon is open 7-days a week at Grossmont Center Mall, and they’ve done a great job with my daughter’s hair for nearly 6 years. This gift certificate entitles you to one free child’s hair cut.
Prize 8: If 2 is better than 1, you’ll really love winnng TWO kids’ haircuts compliments of Super Cuts in Scripps Ranch! Each certificate entitles you to one free junior haircut at the Super Cuts on Hibert Street (near Java Mama!)
Prize 9: Moms on the move need this awesome, custom-designed Creative Travel Mug! Carlsbad mom, Melissa Badour,designs these high quality, environmentally friendly, stainless steel hot/cold travel tumblers with customer’s personal photos. Win this prize and choose up to 16 of your favorite photos for use in your new mug! (includes an additional sport lid)
Prize 10: If you love Christmas, save the dates of December 16 – 18 and join me for A Christmas Tabernacle at Liberty Station in Point Loma. Win these two adult admission tickets and enjoy all of the events and entertainment the Christmas Tabernacle has to offer for free. From the live nativity show, to the snow play village, to performances of the Nutcracker by San Diego Ballet…it will be a wonderland for kids and adults alike. Psst…check out Plum District on November 16th when they will feature A Christmas Tabernacle tickets for 1/2 price!
Prize 11: When I think “lucky” I think LOTTERY. No, I don’t usually play, but I will today, and so can YOU. Win this prize, and I’ll buy you $11 worth of lottery tickets. Will you split the jackpot with me if you win???
You live in San Diego, you’re blessed with children…even if you don’t win one of these prizes, you’re a very lucky lady already! 🙂 Have a great day!!!
166 Days of School Lunches
School’s about to start, and I thought I’d share with you some of the tools that will help me get through 166 days of packing lunches.
When Mallory decided last year that she didn’t like peanut butter sandwiches anymore, I came up with some new ideas…boiled eggs, fruit & yogurt, cream cheese on bagels…but quickly realized that the cool packs I was using in her adorable Thirty-One lunch tote definitely did not keep these items cold enough.
So this year I’ve opted for the lunch box all of my mom friends are raving about; The PackIt freezable lunch bag.
I bought this exact one on Amazon for $17 with FREE SHIPPING, and it arrived in two days since I’m an Amazon Prime member. I’ve also heard that the PackIt is available locally at Walmart, and I saw it just yesterday at Magical Child in Encinitas for $20.
Now I haven’t tested the PackIt yet, but I know lots of moms who have and swear that it beats freezing water bottles and adding extra cool packs to help keep lunches safe. Fingers crossed!
And I am super excited about this book I also just ordered.
Not only am I looking forward to trying out The Lunch Box recipes like peanut butter noodles with snow peas and chicken and rice wraps with peanut dip (my daughter still eats peanut butter…just not in a sandwich!), but I’m REALLY looking forward to interviewing the author and including some of her recipes in the 2013 Mom’s Guide to San Diego. Woo Hoo!
I found The Lunch Box available at Pottery Barn Kids for $18.95 with free shipping, but I preferred to order it from Amazon for $12.89 with 2 day free shipping, of course. 🙂
I am not that picky about what my kids eat, and I don’t fear that they will become obese, but I have enjoyed this book’s reviews of popular kids’ foods, ratings of the meals our kids are likely to choose at local restaurants and suggested substitutions that have made me a more informed mom. For example, did you know that vitamin waters can carry nearly the same amount of sugar as a can of Coke? Did you know that some of the “healthier” brands of yogurt like Horizon Organic go heavy on cane sugar making them a poor choice over some common brands like Yoplait?
Eat This Not That is 300 pages of colorful pictures and surprising insights into nutritional values and calorie content. I’m definitely going to reference it when trying to pack the perfect lunch.
We were given a bunch of “crustless sandwich cutters” in a variety of shapes that would have been fun to use. Oh well, Gage still likes sandwiches so he and I will enjoy dolphin-shaped sandwiches together while Mal is in school.
Hope your school year gets off to a great start!
4 Sale by Owner
Adorable “like new” Halloween costumes.
Strollers in all shapes and sizes.
Something special for Christmas…
We’re just a couple of weeks away from the famous Parent Connection Family Swap Meet, and just about a month away from the next fantastic Just Between Friends consignment event. If you have something to sell or if you are in search of gently used costumes, toys, baby gear, clothes, DVDs and books, do not miss these two events.
I rarely miss a Parent Connection Swap Meet, and I’ll be there again on Sunday, September 21st as a volunteer and to hand out copies of the 2014 / 2105 Mom’s Guide. Admission to the swap is just $2 per person over age 12. Not only will you get $50 in Mom’s Guide coupons, you’re likely to find just the right something special for this holiday season. 🙂
If you need to make room for your new treasures, consider taking a vendor space for just $30 for PC members and $45 for non-members. You can even share a space with your friend! Download the Parent Connection seller registration form here.
Just Between Friends is also looking for sellers. The beauty of this event is that you don’t have to be there. Just tag your items, drop them off before the sale begins and collect your share of the profits (60% or 70% for those who volunteer) at the event’s conclusion!
Unsold items can be donated to JBF’s non-profit partners. If you want to donate any unsold items, you will receive a receipt for your taxes and will benefit Birthline of San Diego and CASA (helping families in the LMSV school district).
For more information, visit facebook.jbfsandiego.com and sandiego.jbfsale.com.
Parent Connection Family Swap Meet
Sunday, September 21
8:30am – 1:00pm
Canyon Crest Academy in Carmel Valley, 5951 E Village Center Loop Rd,
San Diego 92130
Just Between Friends Sale
Saturday October 11 2-6pm
Sunday October 12 9am-3pm
Monday October 13 half price day 9am-noon
DOWNLOAD THIS GET-IN-FREE COUPON!
4th of July in San Diego – Where will your family celebrate?
With massive Independence Day celebrations taking place all over the country, there’s no place I’d rather be than right here in San Diego! Our city is sure to have a festival, parade, or firework show for your family that is close to home, and just the size you’re looking for. From small family friendly celebrations at your local park, to the famous Big Bay Boom on the bay, the moms at the Moms Guide have got you covered on your options! Where will your family celebrate this year?
SAN DIEGO CENTRAL
Annual Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show
Location: Multiple Locations along San Diego Bay
Time: Fireworks at 9:00 PM (tune in to 105.7FM or 1090AM for synchronized music!)
4th of July Celebration Aboard the USS Midway Museum
Location: Midway – 910 N. Harbor Drive
Time: 6pm, Fireworks at 9:00 PM
Enjoy live music, family activities, and All-American fare!
Location: Grape Street Pier – 1800 n Harbor Drive.
Time: Various boarding times, fireworks at 9:00 PM
Location: SeaWorld San Diego – 500 SeaWorld Dr.
TIP: throw down a blanket on the sand at Mission Bay and Crownpoint and enjoy these fireworks
(as well as the OB fireworks AND the Big Bay Boom works) in a low-key setting!
Time: Fireworks at 9:30 PM
Location: Pioneer Park
Parade, BBQ Cook-Off, and concert!
Time: 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM (no fireworks but plenty of family friendly festivities, including HULLABALOO!)
Location: Ocean Beach Pier at end of Newport Ave.
Time: Fireworks at 9:00 PM
Location: Old Town State Historic Park
Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Parade, crafts & activities including pie eating contests 🙂 (no fireworks)
Location: Various Locations on Coronado – Orange Ave/Spreckles Park/San Diego Bay
Time: 10:00 AM (parade) – 9:00 PM (fireworks over Glorietta Bay)
NORTH COUNTY COASTAL
Location: Del Mar Fairgrounds
Date: July 4, 2014
Time: Starts at 9:30 AM, Fireworks at 9:00 PM
Location: Ellen Browning Scripps Park, 1180 Coast Blvd.
Time: 9:00 PM
Location: Standley Park – 3585 Governor Drive
Time: 10:30 AM – 7:00 PM (no fireworks)
Red, White and BOOM! – Carlsbad
Location: LEGOLAND California – One Legoland Dr.
Time: Fireworks at 8:30 PM
Location: 16948 Avenida de Acacias
Time: 1:00PM – 3:00PM (parade & picnic – no fireworks)
Location: North on N Coast Hwy 101 Date: June 28, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM (no fireworks)
Location: El Corazon Site at Rancho Del Oro Road Date: July 3, 2014
Time: 6:00 to 10:00 PM
Location: Del Mar Beach on Camp Pendleton Date: July 4, 2014
Time: Party starts at 10:00 AM Fireworks at 9:00 PM
NORTH COUNTY INLAND
Location: 340 N. Escondido Blvd
Time: Starts at 4:00 PM, Fireworks at 9:00 PM
Location: Grand Tradition, 220 Grand Tradition Way
Time: Starts at 4:00 PM, Fireworks at 9:00PM
Location: Mira Mesa High School – 10510 Reagan Road
Time: Fireworks at 9:00 PM
Location: Poway High School Stadium, 15500 Espola
Time: Family friendly event from 10:00AM – 4:00 PM, Fireworks at 9:00 PM
Location: Webb Park, Avena Place and Bernardo Center Dr.
Time: 7:00 AM to 9:30 PM
Location: 16948 Avenida De Acacias, Rancho Santa Fe
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM parade and picnic (no fireworks)
Location: Bradley Park, Rancho Santa Fe Rd
Time: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Location: Scripps Ranch Hoyt Park
Time: 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM (no fireworks)
Location: Moonlight Amphitheatre 1200 Vale Terrace Dr.
Time: 5:00 to 9:00 PM
Location: 8860 Lawrence Welk Drive, Escondido
Time: 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM (no fireworks)
Location: Kennedy Park – 1675 East Madison Ave.
Time: 1:00 PM to 10:00 PM (Free, family friendly celebration from 1PM – 8PM)
Location: Along Main Street
Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (no fireworks)
Location: Olive Pierce School – 1521 Hanson Ln.
Time: 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Location: Town Center Park, 550 Park Center Dr.
Time: 2:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Location: Palm Ave to Imperial Beach Blvd
Time: Fireworks at 9:00 PM (Tune in to 96.5 FM for synchronized music)
Location: Kimball Park – D Ave & E 12th St Dates: July 2-6, 2014
Time: Fireworks at 9:00 PM
Location: Olympic Training Center – 2800 Olympic Parkway
Time: Gates at 6:00PM, Fireworks at 9:00PM
Alternate viewing location – Mountain Hawk Park
5 To Live By
As mothers we are constantly bombarded with parenting advice. It can be difficult to distinguish what will make the most positive impact on your parenting. The following are 5 parenting tips that will help any mother stay true to her authentic self and help her to raise confident, secure, and happy children.
1st Parent for the Long-term, Not for the Moment. Although it may seem easier to just give in to the whining and give your 3 year old the cookie rather than deal with a tantrum, the long-term learned behavior will be much harder to correct in the future than taking the time to set the desired expectation at the teachable moment. It could be the difference of a small battle now or World War III later. Make the extra effort in the moment to be consistent in your expectations, and the payoff in the long-term will be well worth the time spent in the moment.
2nd Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say. Kids need the security of knowing that they can count on you to follow through with what you say. Being true to your word will help your child to trust and respect you. So the next time you are at the end of your rope and threaten to skip his best friend’s birthday party on Saturday be prepared to follow through on your threat, or take a deep breath and react with a more realistic response.
3rd Accept and Appreciate. Your child is a unique and special individual born with a distinct personality. She may not be exactly what you thought you would get while she kicked away in your belly, but she is who she is, and that will never change. Take the time to really get to know who your children are and then appreciate them as individuals and nurture that individuality. Learn to understand your children’s temperament and work to parent them in the unique way they need you to in order to reach their full potential.
4th Model Your Values. BE who you want your children to be. Be clear in your values and priorities and model them in your everyday actions and words. If you want your children to be patient and kind, then you should be patient and kind with them. If you want them handle their anger and frustration in a positive and effective way, then you must do the same. Children always learn more from watching you rather than listening to what you preach.
5th Don’t Take it Personally. Your child has the very important job of testing their independence and challenging boundaries. It is important as a parent that you understand and respect this process. Your toddler, or teenager, is not purposely trying to make your life miserable. They are simply doing their job.
Many of my clients like to write these rules down and reread them every morning so that they may begin their day on a positive and inspired note. Begin your inspired parenting today!
About 5 to Live By author, Andrea Shillito: “I have worked as an elementary school teacher for the past 12 years and am a trained Infant/Child Sleep Consultant and PCI Certified Parent Coach. Most importantly, I am the proud and happy mom to my two beautiful girls, Madison and Cate. I am pleased to be writing this column for The Mom’s Guide to San Diego and hope that you will find it informative, as well as inspiring. Wishing you a lifetime of joyful parenting!”
6 Festive, Fun & Free Things to Do This Weekend!
Are you starting to feel the frenzy of the holidays? Don’t let this season of peace and love make you crazy. We have some simply sweet things that you can do with your littles to catch the holiday spirit without getting caught up in crowds and cost.
Friday, December 13th from 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Santee Library, 9225 Carlton Hills Blvd.
Bring your kiddos in your pajamas and settle in for some sweet Polar Express-themed fun at the Santee Library. They will crafts, games, holiday music, snacks, storytime and a visit from Santa.
Friday, December 13th from 4 – 9 p.m. & Saturday, December 14th from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Downtown La Mesa, La Mesa Boulevard
Saturday, December 14th from 5 – 8 p.m.
Westfield UTC in La Jolla
Enjoy storytime with the Winter Fairy, a holiday ice skating show, live Nutcracker performances, face painting, ornament-making and more. Get into the holiday spirit for FREE at UTC Mall during their Winter Nights event.
Saturday, December 14th from 3 – 5 p.m.
Mira Mesa Library
Celebrate the season with the kids by making three ornaments together at the Mira Mesa library. Craft materials and refreshments provided.
Saturday and Sunday, December 14th & 15th from 6 – 9 p.m.
The Legacy International Center, 875 Hotel Circle South in Mission Valley
Enjoy a FREE evening filled with carolers, food, vendors, festive decor and a giant tree lighting ceremony. The Legacy International Center in Mission Valley is where tradition meets technology. “The Plaza” of the newly built facility will house a 50 foot Christmas tree with digital LED lights and synchronized music show, music from local choirs and community groups, activities for children, food, drinks and a few surprises throughout the night.
Saturday, December 14th from 6-9 p.m.
Mission Beach/Pacific Beach
There are actually two boat parades happening this weekend, with the simplest one being the Mission Bay Parade of Lights. We love to throw our blankets down at Fanuel Park in PB and wave as the festive boats pass by. The free boat parade travels past Bahia Point, the Mission Bay Yacht Club, Santa Clara Point, Crown Point and under the Ingraham Street Bridge.
The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is much bigger and amazing to see. (also harder to find a viewing spot!) For details of their Sunday, December 15th event, visit sdparadeoflights.org.
We hope your season has been very merry so far!
A “Souper” Way to Foster Creativity!
Hmmmm…well, it’s an oatmeal canister, a paper plate, parts of an egg carton, a few popsicle sticks, a black pom pom and scraps of material.
It’s a six-year-old’s creativity at work (with a lot of assistance from some truly creative adults).
Mallory’s bedroom walls are decorated with Katsuma coloring pages downloaded from Moshimonsters.com. She has created Moshi Monster masks and taped them to her bed post. She has drawn pictures of Katsuma on the easel in her room. I think you get the picture; she loves Moshi Monsters.
So today when Tiffany, the owner of Art Soup, asked me about her room and what kind of craft she might like to create for her bedroom, I was a little embarrassed to say “Moshi Monster” instead of fairies, princesses, butterflies, etc. Without any hesitation, the staff at Art Soup was up for the challenge, and my daughter couldn’t have been happier to help create this new masterpiece.
It’s been a long time since we spent an afternoon at Art Soup since it’s in Encinitas and we live in La Mesa, but, man, what a great outing. Even for Gage who is not typically interested in art activities.
I figured he’d spend the afternoon painting the VW Beetle and playing with the giant Lego castle like he did the last time we were at the studio. Until someone asked him if they could help him make a tank.
Gage loves the military even more than Mal loves Moshi Monsters. So, after assembling an egg carton, parts of a box, a wine cork and a paper towel tube, voila, it became a toy that he literally played with for with hours after carefully painting it his favorite color of camouflage.
I always wish I was more creative. I’m not. In fact, while I was at Art Soup I accidentally hot glued a googley eye to my finger and now I have a large, painful blister. But thanks to Tiffany’s staff, I don’t have to be creative…my kids had a fantastic afternoon and got seriously excited about making something from common household materials. Art Soup is inspiring my children to be the creative ones in our family!
So even though it takes me a half hour to get to Art Soup, I purchased the 10 pass punch card for $100 because it’s exactly the kind of fun I want my children to have. Good thing too because both kids asked me separately if we could go back tomorrow!
Check out Art Soup for yourself…just leave a comment here for you chance to win one free pass.
A Clean Home is a Happy Home
I have a lot of passions, but cleaning is not one of them. I do, however, get excited about having a clean house when someone else is doing the “dirty work.”
Mom of three and owner of A Passion for Clean, Alisa Elswood, says I’m the reason she’s in business. “A clean home is a happy one, Alisa says. “We want to be part of the routine that helps make our customers’ lives happier, healthier and cleaner.”
There are a number of qualities that distinguishes A Passion for Clean from other agencies. Alisa prides herself on delivering licensed, bonded cleaners who are easy to communicate with and who arrive ready to provide excellent service.
“We start at the ceiling and work our way down to the baseboards,”Alisa says. “We pretty much hit every surface from cleaning lampshades to dusting the top of the bookshelves to removing all items from counters and tables, cleaning them up and placing them back.”
And that’s just the standard cleaning. For $5 more per hour, A Passion for Clean offers deep cleanings that can include the inside of refrigerators and ovens, interior windows and more.
“I enjoy knowing that I am offering families something of value,” Alisa says. “Our work is guaranteed as well. If you’re unhappy for any reason whatsoever, we’ll make it right!”
A Passion for Clean’s rates are $25 per hour for standard, $30 per hour for deep cleaning, and they are offering a special of $30 off new customer orders of 4 hours or more or $20 off for any 3 hour service.
A Passion for Clean strives to provide flexibility and same day service when possible, booking as late a 3 p.m.
“We want to win our customer’s business,” says Alisa, pictured below with her children.
A Cut-out of Your Cutie
I’m so glad that I will actually get to participate in this year’s special silhouette event featuring renowned scissor artist Karl Johnson. Now the likenesses of my little cuties will be turned into a work of art just like the children of Reese Withersoon, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Garner and Drew Barrymore.
Karl’s work is currently featured in Restoration Hardware Baby & Child, was on The O List in Oprah Magazine and has appeared in more than 30 other magazines. Each silhouette is cut out entirely freehand. Karl simply looks at the subject’s profile (whether in person or from a photograph) and starts cutting their exact likeness out of black paper.
Every silhouette is an original, one of a kind work of art, signed by the artist. Don’t miss your chance to meet Karl on Sunday, November 16th at Magical Child in Encinitas. Book your 5-minute appointment between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. by clicking here. Each original silhouette costs $25, and duplicates can be purchased for $15.
If you’d like a chance to WIN a complimentary silhouette, email me at SanDiegoMom@hotmail.com. One winner will be selected this weekend and announced here and by email. Enjoy!
A Day Out With Thomas in SoCal!
Thomas the Tank Engine has been a part of our family’s life since my little guy, Oliver, first started walking and talking. He received a Thomas book as a gift on his first birthday, followed by a wooden railroad set on his second birthday…and it’s all history from there. In the beginning, my limited knowledge of Thomas was that he was a blue engine who is eager to do just about anything to please Sir Topham Hatt. I’d often times get him confused with Edward or Gordon, the other blue engines on Sodor…but not anymore! I could now tell you about Percy, the #6 Green Engine, who plays Thomas’ best friend and is often seen delivering the mail. Or Flynn, one of my favorites, who is an overly enthusiastic fire engine on Sodor’s Search and Rescue team.
So if you’ve got a mini Thomas enthusiast like I do, then heading up to Perris, Ca for the upcoming Day Out With Thomas: The Friendship Tour, is an absolute MUST! On November 4th, 5th, 10th, 11th, and 12th, Thomas the Tank Engine and his best friend, Percy, will be visiting the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, CA! Little engineers and their families can spend the day at this fun-filled family event, which offers the opportunity to actually take a ride with Thomas the Tank Engine and Percy! In addition, they will meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway, and enjoy a day of Thomas-themed activities, featuring an array of friendship-inspired fun. Attendees will be able to participate in events that encourage and celebrate friendship including photo ops, crafts, storytelling, coloring and more. Children are invited to collect passport stamps throughout the day to receive a special gift.
Ticket prices begin at $21 and are available at www.oerm.org/thomas/. Tickets are required for ages 2 and up, and include admission to the museum, the train ride with Thomas, as well as a variety of Thomas & Friends themed entertainment such as arts & crafts, an Imagination Station, temporary tattoos, storytelling and more! Military discounts are also available.
And, as always, the Moms Guide to San Diego is here to offer one lucky family a shot at winning a family 4-pack of tickets to the Sunday, November 5th afternoon (3 or 4pm slot) with Thomas!! Just comment below with your child’s favorite engine on Sodor for your shot at winning! The winner will be selected at random this Friday, October 13th!
A Few of our Favorite Things/summer edition
These are a few of our favorite summer things.
San Diego is wonderful all year long, but some things only happen in the summer or are better with the warmer weather like our splash pads and spray grounds.
How are you spending the summer? Whatever you do may it be safe and extra memorable!
A Gem of a Day
If you’re making the hour-or-so-long trip to Julian to pick apples this fall, you should consider staying a bit to enjoy some of the town’s other family-friendly activities.
We arrived in Julian around 9:30 on a Saturday morning, while the air was still a bit cool, and the orchards were relatively quiet. Each kid got to “pick a half peck” of apples, which took about 20 minutes.
We then spent the next three hours down the street at the Julian Mining Company enjoying a hay ride, throwing tomahawks, panning for gem stones, making apple cider, feeding farm animals and checking out tee pees.
You can’t see it too well, but the above shot is of my son throwing his first tomahawk… the best part of the day for a 5-year-old boy! These activities are part of the Julian Mining Company’s fall tour schedule, and definitely worth the $6 per kid we paid. We paid extra to do the gem panning, and that was well worth it too.
Just next door to the Julian Mining Company is the Wynola Farms Marketplace with a children’s play area, picnic tables, coffee, ice cream, wine tasting and cute little shops. It was a good place to unwind after all of our outdoor fun.
And nearby is Jeremy’s on the Hill, a wonderful restaurant featuring farm to table cuisine. The kids had chicken strips and fries, but the adults enjoyed garlic and leek soup, candied walnut salads, roasted chicken with roasted brussel sprouts.
On our way in and out of Julian we had to stop on the country road for wild turkeys crossing. We passed a group horse back riding and drove past the beautiful Lake Cuyamaca where kids can fish for free every Saturday.
It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday. The next time we plan to spend the night at one of the cute B&Bs and make a whole weekend out of it!
A Gift That Will Keep On Giving
I do love a company that gives back to its community. And I’ve seen first hand how teaching children to plant and grow gardens inspires healthy eating and a real appreciation of nature. (my kids have Greg’s green thumb, for sure!)
So I am happy to share with you this post about Stretch Island Fruit Company, the San Diego-based producers of FruitaBü natural fruit snacks, and the company solely responsible for “Fruit Tree 101,” a program that brings orchards to school yards.
Students were taught about the importance of fruit, healthy eating and the environment. They rolled up their sleeves, picked up their shovels and dug in, helping to plant the fruit trees that are up to seven feet tall!
The Fruit Tree 101 program is made possible by Stretch Island Fruit Co. with the help of the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation. This national, grassroots program addresses important issues like caring for the environment and proper nutrition by providing students with an outdoor classroom where they can foster fruit trees and shrubs – from planting to harvest.
To learn how your school can apply to participate in Fruit Tree 101, click here.
To learn more about Stretch Island Fruit Company, just reading their core values will tell you a lot…
We are optimistic: We believe in the goodness of people, real fruit and community. We envision a world of tasty fruit experiences that inspire people to celebrate nature’s goodness.
We are socially conscious: We believe the business of real fruit can help make positive changes in our world. That’s why we run our business and lead our lives in ways that we feel best benefit the health of people, communities and our planet.
We are simple: We believe in the power of nature to help nourish and sustain us, and that sometimes, less is truly more.
We are healthy: We believe in the vitality of whole foods. So we make only all-natural fruit foods that help people live their best lives. When we say our products count as USDA servings of fruit, we mean whole fruit, not fruit juice.
A Great Escape – Whale Watching
Looking for a different way to spend some alone time with your hubby or friends? How about on board a spacious boat on a beautiful sunny San Diego morning sipping Baileys and hot chocolate while sea-life and birds entertain you with their playful antics? That’s what my best friend and I did recently, and it was so much fun to catch up with the bay and ocean as the backdrop.
This was my first whale-watching trip since moving to San Diego 14 years ago. I can’t believe what I had been missing…
My wonderful whale watching experience was with Flagship Cruises, which partners with wild life experts from Birch Aquarium. In addition to many dolphin and seals, we saw 5 whale tales during the tour. Had we not seen any whales, Flagship would have given us a ticket for a complimentary future cruise.
Flagship’s 3 1/2 hour tour was an exceptional mom’s morning out with my friend, and it would have been great date with my husband. But my 6 and 8-year-olds would certainly prefer the shorter 1 1/2 hour Patriot Jet Boat cruise, also offered by Flagship and Birch.
There’s just about one month left in this year’s whale watching season in San Diego, but with twice-daily tours, escaping your routine to enjoy the magic of migrating whales will be easy to do. Especially if you WIN a free pair of tickets compliments of Birch Aquarium and Flagship Cruises!
Want to go? Just comment below for your chance to win. One reader will be randomly selected this week.
For more information visit www.flagshipsd.com/whale-watching or call 619.234.4111.
A litte bit of country in the heart of the city
City Farmer’s Nursery. Ever heard of it? Up until about a year ago, I hadn’t either, so when the time came for my first trip, you can say that I was shocked to find such a great little farm in the middle of our big city. My family and I have spent so much time there in the past year that I would almost go as far as to say we’re “regulars”. Our first visit was just over a year ago for a babyfood making class, where the owner of the nursery opened up his home to my mommy tribe and invited a guest speaker to teach us all about feeding and cooking healthy food for our infants!
This family-owned garden center and farm prides themselves in organically growing every plant, bush, and tree that grows within the 2-acre property. Today marks the 43rd year that they’ve provided their customers with native, unique gardening and homesteading supplies, as well as free advice for the local gardening rookie, such as myself. Happy Birthday, City Farmers! The moms behind the MomsGuide love you!
But, it’s not just the organic plants, vegetables and friendly service that we come for. We love to spend the whole afternoon here, and bring our friends and family with us! We stop for a lemonade & cookie at the on-site Sunflower Coffee Co before we head out to visit with the animals. You can pet their miniature pony, feed the cow and goats, and watch the chickens peck around their coop. Make sure to check out their turkeys and turtles too!
We put Oliver in one of their radio flyer wagons and pull him around the nursery before we stop to let him play at their adorable playground, complete with swings, a teeter toter, and a mini barn!
In fact, City Farmer’s Nursery is so kid friendly that they have their own selection of radio flyers and kid-sized tools including rakes, shovels, and watering cans. Plus the kids can get their hands dirty and learn about the animals!
After our fun on the farm, we always head over to Nate’s Garden Grill…the nursery’s on-site restaurant. Local craft beers, live music, farm to table food, weekend brunch, and a dog friendly patio. Need I say more? Ok I will…how about the buckets of toys for your kids, the stack of board games for your date night, and the adorable wooden chairs to make your little one feel right at home. You sold yet?
Please support a local business and pay them a visit. You won’t be sorry.
4832 Home Ave.
San Diego, CA 92105
A Plum Event @ Java Mama
The goody bags are all packed, the raffle items are ready to go, and I’m looking forward to bringing the kids to one of my favorite spots — Java Mama — for the Hullabaloo concert, sponsored by Plum District.
When Java Mama in La Mesa first opened, Mallory was not even one, and Hullabaloo played at the grand opening event. I felt so lucky to have a place we could visit for a free story time or dance party, where I could get a great cup of coffee, enjoy the Wi-Fi and watch my daughter toddle around the supervised play area. A coffee shop that actually offered a changing station was a nice change of pace. (Have you ever seen one at Starbucks?!)
We were bummed when Java Mama in La Mesa closed, but the Scripps Ranch location offers more room and an outdoor playground, and I really like the owner, Virginia, who is also the mom of two young children.
Steve with Hullabaloo is awesome with kids and, of course, his songs are great too. He performed at Gage’s 2nd birthday party and appears regularly on the Parent Connection‘s calendar of events. We own several Hullabaloo CDs, but their DVD is the best!
Plum District is expanding across San Diego county, “bringing daily deals to savvy moms.” And, in the case of the Java Mama event, Plum District is bringing one great big deal in the form of a free concert, goody bags and several raffle prizes including a $100 Target gift card, a Stone Flats gift card, the most adorable Lil’ Sugarplum barrettes, one month of classes at Gymboree, Ultrastar movie tickets, and dinner and game tokens for four at Chuck E. Cheese’s (have you tried their new pizza recipe yet??).
Thank you to our sponsors who contributed goodies to our gift bags including a free kid’s haircut by Supercuts of Scripps Ranch, a free combo upgrade at Stone Flats, free sodas, churros and chips and guacamole from Rubio’s, and an awesome 15 meal for $59 Dinner Studio coupon. (Did you know they deliver anywhere for only $5?)
Want to know when the next Plum event will take place? Sign up for the mailing list at SanDiegoMom@hotmail.com.
A Roaring Good Time!
Dino Sundays at the San Diego Natural History Museum rock!
Did you see the size of that T Rex? It roars and moves, blinks its eyes and really captures the attention of everyone around.
Walk past the T Rex and enter a world of learning in the museum’s classroom, each Sunday this month from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Dig for dinosaur “artifacts,” chisel real fossils, play dino games and even make a dinosaur necklace…my daughter’s favorite part of the day.
Upstairs is the huge dinosaur exhibit and a 3D dino movie that plays throughout the day. Plus other cool non-dinosaur things to do and see.
This was our first experience with the museum. Hubby loved it, kids loved it. Most Sundays there’s a Miss Frizzle science event for the kiddos. Seems like another great annual pass purchase.
For $70 a 4-person family can get an annual pass and receive:
- Unlimited free General Admission to the Museum
- Unlimited free entry to the 3D and 2D films
- Invitations to members’ exhibition openings
- Complimentary subscription to Members-only magazine, Field Notes
- 10% discount at the Museum Store
- 10% discount at the Dinosaur Café
- E-updates through Your Nature Connection
- Members-only classes
- Discounts on field trips, lectures, expeditions, and classes
Visit www.sdnhm.org for more info!
One of our family’s all time favorite outings is to the theater. Regular mom’s guide readers know that we particularly enjoy junior theater. We may not live in LA, but there is a lot of star power right here in San Diego. I LOVE exposing my children to the local youth talent because I want them to be inspired by young people who are achieving their dreams.
Last weekend we were treated to our favorite production yet, Shrek the Musical, presented by J* Company Youth Theater at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in UTC. If your kids like Shrek, then this musical, featuring 72 cast members, is for you. In addition to the fun story with witty banter that most of us are familiar with, this show features amazing singers, a live orchestra, including 4 youth members, and terrific costumes.
“Gingy” (my favorite) and the voice of Gingy posed with a thrilled Mallory.
There were three “Fionas” in the musical, a 7-year-old version, a teenage version, and movie-version who each had incredible singing voices.
“Dragon” on left was Mallory’s favorite and “Shrek” was Gage’s, although he was too shy to pose.
This is the last week to see Shrek the Musical. Visit the J* Company box office to purchase $16 tickets for shows this Thursday, Saturday and Sunday only. You will definitely get your money’s worth here, especially if you purchase season or 1/2 season tickets like we’re thinking of doing.
If you can’t make it to the final week of Shrek, stay tuned because this is just the opening chapter of J* Company’s 21st Season, entitled “Once Upon a Time.” Upcoming performances include The Little Mermaid, The Wizard of Oz and Disney’s Tarzan.
As we were meeting and greeting the actors after the show, Mal asked, “Can I start taking lessons and audition for The Little Mermaid?!” That was the absolute first time she had ever shown interest in participating in theater after being an enthusiastic audience member of numerous performances. J* Company does offer classes, workshops and even private lessons. For a comprehensive list of San Diego-area youth theater companies and classes, visit the mom’s guide’s performing arts resource page here.
I’ll let you know when Mal is ready for her debut!
Addie’s AutismFITT Club
An Annual Membership, the BEST Gift to Give or Receive!
Each week this month we have profiled one of our favorite San Diego non-profits, giving you the chance to enter to win a membership, admission or event ticket in support of that organization. In our final week I’d like to profile my family’s all time favorite San Diego museum – the Fleet Science Center.
The Fleet is hands-on, interactive science fun for all ages with a combination of permanent and traveling exhibitions, captivating IMAX movies, a monthly planetarium show, camps and special programs like the Saturday Science Club for Girls.
What we love: From the time your children can toddle around through their high school years, the Fleet offers a variety of programs and exhibits. From Kid City for the 5 and younger set to preschool science programs to the High Tech fair for middle and high schoolers, the Fleet Science Center will intrigue and inspire a love of science. Our family membership has provided countless hours of fun that has been a nearly effortless way to make our children better STEM students.
There are nearly as many ways to visit the science center inexpensively as there are things to do once you get there. Each month San Diego residents can get in free during the “Residents Free Tuesdays” promotion. “A” students get in free with paid adult admission by simply showing their good grades in any science or math subject within the past three months. Military families enjoy up to 20% off of admission prices through MWR ticket offices. But the best “deal” is certainly the family membership that we’re giving away this month!
What we’re offering: Enter for your chance to win an annual family membership for two adults and up to six children to visit the Fleet Science Center with unlimited exhibit gallery admission, discounts on theater tickets and discounts on camps and educations programs. Simply leave a comment on this blog post for your chance to be our winner!
When we’re going: The super fun Game Masters exhibit that shows visitors how the world’s most famous video games were made will close in mid-January, so we’re headed back for more family Garage Band jam sessions and classic arcade game competitions. Family Gaming Night will take place on December 29th with the museum staying open until 10 p.m. We are also looking forward to kicking off 2018 with an astronomer-led planetarium show called “In the Sky Tonight” on January 3rd followed by free telescope viewing in Balboa Park.
Fine print: The winner of our giving Tuesday/December contest will be announced on December 23rd. Each week a different non-profit will be highlighted, and readers are invited to enter for a chance to win a membership or admission. All entries will be collected and entered. One entry will be randomly selected to win and awarded the prize of their choice. Readers may enter every week during the month of December. Only one name and prize will be selected.
An Oldie But Goodie
Here we are again at My Kids Clubhouse. Mallory is 5 1/2 and she still loves this place…maybe even more than she did when she was a toddler…because now she’s able to climb the rock wall, hang on the monkey bar and go down the wavy slide on her belly.
It’s a summer afternoon and the place is not nearly as crowded as I expected. My Kids Clubhouse has been offering terrific deals this year through the various daily deal sites, but even without a deal voucher, it’s a great value. Kids love playing on the indoor playground, dressing up or “shopping” at the pretend grocery store. Moms love the cleanliness of the place (they are about to sterilize the ball pit right now!), the free WiFi, the special toddler area, the fact you can bring in your own food and beverages or that you can purchase snacks and drinks at an affordable price.
There are two My Kids Clubhouse locations; one in Bonita and the other in Poway. This family owned business offers day camps, parent night out events, crafts, classes, birthday parties and memberships. We just pop in every now and then when the mood strikes, and we’ve never been disappointed.
For more information visit www.MyKidsClubhouse.com.
Angels Foster Family Network
Apollo Palooza ~ Celebrating the First Apollo Moon Landing
This Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin taking humanity’s first steps on the moon. San Diego history and STEM-loving families have several awesome ways to celebrate thanks to our science and air and space museums.
The RH Fleet Science Center is hosting a day full of out-of-this-world films, exhibitions and hands-on demonstrations to commemorate the occasion.
Their Education Department is offering a Junior Science Club session for students in 1st through 4th grade that is focused on lunar exploration. Students will learn about the solar system and space exploration from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Advance registration is required for Junior Science Club. Call 619-238-1233 to RSVP.
At 12:17 p.m., the Fleet will launch a super secret surprise in honor of the Moon Landing anniversary that promises to be “high flying.” Click here for more details about the Fleet’s moon landing celebration.
Where could be a more appropriate place to experience the history of Apollo 11 than at the San Diego Air & Space Museum? The museum will be open during regular business hours on July 20 and re-open at 6:00 p.m. for its newest exhibition, “EUREKA: An Interactive History of Science.” The celebration will feature family-friendly interactive activities, simulators, and the 3D/4D movie theater.
“The Day We Walked on the Moon” will air in the Pavilion of Flight at 8:30 p.m. and is free with paid general admission, free for museum members and for Balboa Park Explorer Pass holders. Visit the Air & Space Museum’s event page for more information.
Can’t make it to this Saturday’s festivities? Check out NASA’s live page for highlights of events happening all across the country and a replay of the original Apollo 11 footage from July 20, 1969.
April Showers You With Family Fun
This coming weekend is Kids’ Day at the Carlsbad Flower Fields. My friends who have gone say, while a lot of fun for the kids, it can be a real zoo on kids’ day. I’m thinking the live music and yoga day during the last weekend in April is more my speed.
On April 13th the Mom’s Guide will have a booth at the Hullabaloo Family Festival. With live music and lots of hands-on activities including my favorite Art Soup creativity station, this is always a wonderful way to spend the day.
The weekend after Hullabaloo fest, we’re hitting the Lakeside Rodeo. Sure, it will be stinky, and it may even be hot, but I think my kids will get an even bigger kick out of cowboys riding bucking broncos than they get out of men driving over giant dirt hills in monster trucks, and that’s saying something. 🙂
When we need a break from the rodeo action, we’ll take on the more relaxed Lady Bug Day at the San Diego Botanic Garden. Although we didn’t spot any lady bugs the last time we were there, it was a fun outing with lady bug crafts, free flower arranging and a beautiful day in the gardens.
Have a Fancy Nancy lover in your home? Robin Preiss Glasser, the delightful illustrator of the popular book series will be in town on April 28th for a fancy adventure, including a book reading and parade through Del Mar.
Last but not least, it’s CELEBRATE CARLSBAD DAY at Legoland on Saturday, April 27. This 6th annual event benefits the Carlsbad Educational Foundation. Participants can purchase admission to Legoland for only $20 and can snag $7 Sea Life Aquarium tickets. For more information and to purchase tickets by phone, call the Carlsbad Educational Foundation Office at 760-929-1555.
Like most little girls, my daughter has always enjoyed coloring. But instead of using coloring pages, she would insist that I draw the images she had in her mind; a mermaid, a fairy, pictures of her with her friends, with her brother, of she and I holding hands.
Now, I am no artist, but I started to think that maybe she was…a budding one at least. So a few months ago I brought Mallory in for a free trial class at Art with Larisse.
The art teachers instruct her, but Mallory does everything on her own from setting up her art easel to sketching, to cleaning up at the end of each class. It has been amazing to see my baby blossom not only as a little artist, but as a student…a little girl following directions, not needing me, not needing much help at all.
She never asks me to draw her pictures anymore. She can do it on her own.
Art Soup — Yummy!
My friend and fellow Parent Connection mom, Tiffany Golden, just opened a fantastic drop-in art studio in Encinitas called Art Soup. The kids and I made it out for their $5 morning special (weekdays between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m.) and found it to be a perfect outing for a 3-year-old boy and 5-year-old girl.
Mallory took her time creating a beautiful pair of fairy wings. Gage set aside his sword craft in favor of painting a real car (cool!). He played with the Lego castle, attempted to write his name in chalk on the fire truck, and really, really wanted to leave with the painted skateboard that is on display promoting birthday party craft projects.
When her fairy wings were complete, Mal decided it was time to draw. The sweetest Art Soup employee, Nadia, helped her sketch a beautiful picture of Rapunzul using her book cover as the model. Now that’s service!
I asked Tiffany to tell me a bit about the inspiration for her business, her plans for the future and what she wants parents and kids to get out of their Art Soup experience…
Me: Why a drop-in art studio?
Tiffany: My daughter is certainly the inspiration. Kids really deserve a creative outlet especially at the those tender young ages when their hearts and minds are so pure and they often don’t have all of the words to verbally express their emotions. I wanted to create an imaginative hands-on environment that doubled as an art studio and social refuge full of larger than life opportunities for them to explore, stretch their imaginations, and have the freedom to get messy free from the rules and confines of mom’s kitchen. In terms of the literal sense of “drop in” life and kids are unpredictable – you can have everyone loaded up in the car with intentions of making it to a certain place at a certain time but something always seems to come up: a melt-down, spilled drink in the lap, someone gets sick. etc. Moms need flexibility and I needed sanity: which meant not being in the “make-up class” business.
Me: Does Art Soup have a cafe, WiFi, flat screens??
Tiffany: Heck no! Art Soup is where you come to soak in not check out. It’s such a magical experience to see your kids so happy, engaged, and proud while they’re making their creative masterpieces. This is definitely a quality time experience and once you’ve been here, you’ll agree and leave feeling great about the time you just spent with your child as he/she/they carry out all of their adorable art. I’d also like to mention that recycled art rocks at Art Soup. We are all about trash to treasure and welcome parents and kids to bring in butter tubs, lids, paper towel rolls ,TP rolls, corks, tissue paper, etc. Our parties feature over 60 different art projects from rockstar to sports and our events launch April 4th.
191 N. El Camino Blvd., Suite 203 Encinitas
Art with Larisse
Aryn’s Family Yoga
Backyard Chickens 101
We’ve had a fun month and a half with our backyard chickens. Our 2 Buff Orpingtons and single “Easter Egger” were delivered to us on April 9th courtesy of Dare2Dream Farms, along with everything we needed to take care of them for the next month — brooder box, heat lamp, water and food feeders, chick starter food and a bale of pine shavings. I loved the ease of being able select the best breed for our family (based on the lengthy descriptions provided on the Dare2Dream site) and having these sex-and- health-guaranteed chicks delivered to our front door.
Last year our town changed its ordinances so that hens are now allowed. But no roosters! Which is kind of a problem, because, while medical doctors can determine the sex and many DNA-related conditions of human fetuses, no one seems to be able to accurately predict the sex of a fertilized chicken egg. Which is the reason we purchased hatched chicks instead of eggs. Experts can tell the sex a bit better after the chick has pecked through the shell.
But you won’t know 100% the sex of your chicks for many weeks. Emma, Chloe and Henrietta are 7 weeks, and we think that it is possible we have one rooster on our hands. I guess a lot of people end up eating the roosters, but our he/she will simply be returned to Dare2Dream Farms.
The chicks have grown A LOT in the past month! The kids enjoy them, but it’s my husband, Greg, and I who have enjoyed them the most. We love sitting in the back yard with our cocktails watching them peck and scratch and try to fly around. Their sweet little peeps have gotten louder and deeper in the past month, but they are still so sweet and fun to be around. They poop way too much, but I guess it’s good fertilizer.
The main question I get from friends is “when will they start laying eggs?” I guess we’re many months away from that, but I’ll find out for sure when I attend this weekend’s chicken 101 seminar at East County Feed & Supply. This FREE chicken class will be held on Sunday, May 31st at 10:30 am here at the store, 10845 Woodside Avenue in Santee.
I would be happy to answer any questions you may have based on my limited personal experience. We bought our cute coop from Costco.com. We have been extremely happy with Dare2Dream Farms and spent about $130 on the total purchase. I have enjoyed visiting both East County Feed & Supply and City Farmer’s Nursery for supplies and advice. And I’m looking forward to East County Feed’s free chicken class on May 31st at 10:30 a.m. Join me!
City Farmers Nursery will have a free chicken class on June 27th called “raising chickens and ducks for friends and food.” 😉
What are you doing tomorrow?
If you’re in the market for baby and kid bargains,
don’t miss out on the Parent Connection Family Swap Meet!
I’ll be there along with 100 other local moms selling our gently used baby gear and clothing at GREAT prices!
The Family Swap Meet happens 3 times a year, and families with infants, young children &
parents with a baby on the way always find something special at the meet.
Parent Connection Family Swap Meet
Sunday, June 28th from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.
Canyon Crest Academy
5951 Village Center Loop Rd., San Diego 92130
Admission $2 per adult. Children 12 and under free.
Don’t forget to bring cash and small bills are better 🙂
For more information, visit SanDiegoParent.com
Being a Mom is a Pain in My Neck
Carrying and delivering a baby is hard on the body. We all know that. But what has surprised me is how much wear-and-tear my body has endured in the seven years since delivering my daughter.
It begins with lugging around an extra 20 + pounds every day in the form of your baby, infant car seat, diaper bag and possibly another kid! Just carrying your baby alone is hard on arms, back and neck. Most of us are not use to hauling an extra 7, 10, 15 pounds each and every day for the majority of each day.
What about the twisting and the neck wrenching that we moms do while in the car checking on our screaming baby and picking up toys that are dropped? The shoulder pain I endured after months of reaching into the backseat of the car made me feel 100 years old.
Couple the physical strains of motherhood with the mental stress, the lack of sleep, the lack of time to take proper care of yourself, and it’s no wonder we are in pain, moms!
I’ve seen chiropractors and acupuncturists. I try to get massages each month and to do yoga several times a week. But I’m always up for learning new ways to reduce my stress and the pain I seem to perpetually carry in my neck and shoulders.
If you feel (the pain) the way I do, join me at MELT for MOMS. The MELT Method was recently featured on the Dr. Oz Show, and PainCare of San Diego is hosting a complimentary workshop for moms on Wednesday, May 8th just in time for Mother’s Day.
Learn simple self-care techniques you can use every day to make your body feel better and function more efficiently. Reduce inflammation, ease chronic neck and low back strain, improve alignment, and learn how to keep your whole body working better.
Join MELT Instructor Corrie Anderson, for a complimentary 60-minute workshop using soft foam rollers and small MELT Hand and Foot Balls to rehydrate the connective tissue throughout the body, making muscles and joints happy!
The M.E.L.T. Method® is an innovative science-based self-treatment program that’s being taught in some of the country’s most prestigious health and fitness centers. Reserve your spot today by “liking” PainCare of San Diego on Facebook and posting a comment that you want to attend the free MELT Method workshop. 10 moms will receive a spot in the class and a Mother’s Day gift bag!
What: MELT Method for Moms
When: Wednesday, May 8th @ 6:30 p.m.
Where: PainCare of San Diego in Sorrento Valley; 5348 Carroll Canyon Road, Suite 101
Who: Moms of all ages and body types who are looking to relieve stress and learn self-help techniques
Best Birthdays Ever
The Royal Fairytale closed its doors yesterday, and I’m sad because it was the site of my favorite birthday party ever…the one we threw for our then 4-year-old daughter.
Mallory is normally a serious child, but that day she was a princess with a smile that made her glow. We had never been to a party where the girls were adorned with fancy hair and gowns, learned special dances, played princess games and enjoyed a real tea party inside a castle, no less!
It was also the first time we had “out-sourced” a party. Instead of attending to every guest, we were the guests!
We will not forget that special birthday, or the terrific Royal Fairytale staff, or our PERFECT Parties Unique princess or the cake inspired by No More Boring Cakes that our whole family had fun creating together.
So this week I have favorite birthday celebrations on my mind. And giveaways. I love a great giveaway.
What was the best kid’s birthday party you’ve ever thrown or attended? Tell us all about it here, and you’ll be entered to win. 🙂
I’m still collecting giveaway goodies, but there’s at least one terrific in-home party entertainment package that will be awarded. Working on more, so stay tuned.
And check back this week to read about everyone’s favorites from venues, to themes, to cakes and party favors.
Even if you don’t win a prize, you’ll certainly pick up some winning tips for your future celebrations.
To play along, simply comment on this post with your favorite party memories. They can be a party you threw or attended. Be sure to tell us what made it memorable, and be specific.
I will be creating a special blog category called party favorites so that future visitors can read your contributions!
BIG Baby Bargains
For as long as I’ve been a mom our country — the whole world it seems — has been in pretty poor financial shape.
Fortunately there are numerous ways for moms to raise their families on a budget, and one of the biggest — the Just Between Friends Consignment Event — is just one week away.
And, luckily I’m giving away four prime time shopping tickets and $25 to each winner! The prime time shopping tickets entitle our winners to shop before the public rush begins, and $25 can go a long way when everything is 50-90% off of retail!
Just Between Friends is San Diego’s largest consignment sale of gently used children’s and maternity items. If you have children, are expecting or work with children you can’t miss next weekend’s sale!
Stretch your family budget. There will be 30,000 new and gently-used clothes, toys, strollers and more for your family. 10,000 square feet of bargains on everything you need for your children, and our prime time winners will get the best selection!
This giveaway is sponsored by Close5, the free buy/sell/trade app. For your chance to win just follow these two simple steps…
1. Download the free Close5 app to your smart phone.
2. Follow my Close5 profile (Close5 San Diego). You can search users/find friends under your own Close5 profile.
Prime time shopping begins on Thursday, February 25 at 6 p.m. Please note that the prime time shopping event is an adult-only event. Think of it as a Mom’s Night Out. 🙂 For more information click here.
I’ve personally shopped almost every JBF sale here in San Diego, and it is wonderful. But it will be especially awesome for those who get in early to search the best selection AND have $25 in free spending money. I can’t wait to announce our winners. Good luck!
PS — it’s not too late to sign up as a JBF consignor. Visit their website for details on how you can make money at this sale!
Big Rig Beds
You guys…these beds are UNREAL!! Your transition from the crib is sure to be an easy one if your child is lucky enough to get one of these bad boys. What toddler is not obsessed with big rigs? Can you even imagine having a big rig bed as a kid? Complete with working lights, custom license plate, and a ladder to climb in! Some of them even have a real truck horn or siren!
Pete started building these custom beds in 2002, when he built his first bed for his son. When he saw the excitement in his child’s eyes, he knew he wanted to share that with kids across the country. These beds are not your standard plastic toddler beds. These authentic designs are custom made, hand crafted, to-scale, and pinstriped with real working lights and sounds.
Big Rig Beds accommodate a standard twin sized mattress, so that your kiddo can enjoy their rig for years to come. Each comes with removable bed rails so that your toddler can transition into a big kid bed with ease. The license plate on the front bumper can even be customized to display your child’s name!
And maybe best of all, there are no bolts, screws, or nails needed to assemble this bed. Pete makes sure to give you the proper instructions for the interlocking design.
All Big Rig beds are custom made, and no two beds are alike. After an initial consultation with Pete, you will receive a quote based on your design choices. Here is your chance to make your kid’s dream really come true, and Christmas is right around the corner!! Go ahead and send this post to Grandma and Grandpa right now 🙂
If you are curious about Big Rig Beds, or would like to get more information, contact Pete at 908-642-7719 or email him at email@example.com. Either way…hop on over to his website or his Facebook page and marvel at his creations, they truly are impressive!
BIG Savings are on the Horizon!
Has your kiddo outgrown her fall clothes?
Are you looking for great deals on Halloween costumes?
Need some fun new toys but don’t want to pay the retail prices?
Mark your calendar for the next Just Between Friends fall savings event . . .
The fall JBF sale will feature clothes, costumes, toys & gear — all things you need at up to 90% off of retail! The event will take place on September 22nd through the 25th at the Scottish Rite Center in Mission Valley. Conveniently located in the middle of San Diego with plenty of free parking!
My favorite tip is to become a volunteer, a consignor or purchase a “prime-time shopping pass” in order to enter the Just Between Friends sale before the general public. You’ll enjoy smaller crowds and the best selection during the pre-sale events.
Want to WiN it?
Ten lucky Mom’s Guide readers will win their own prime-time shopping pass AND one will win a $20 gift certificate for the sale!. 🙂
For your chance, simply comment here with what item(s) you want to shop for at JBF!
Not only can JBF consignors enter early to shop the best selection, they also get to earn good money — up to 70% — on the things their families no longer need. Clear the clutter and keep the ca$h!
If you’re going to be a consignor, you might want to enter for your chance to win these helpful supplies . . .
You’ll find these items and more on Close5 under my “Close5 San Diego” profile. Make a $0 offer on whatever you’d like for your chance to win!
Good luck and see you at the JBF sale! For more details and to register to sell, visit sandiego.jbfsale.com.
Big(ger) Kid Fun at the Fleet
It’s a crime what little time I get to spend with my big-ish kids now that life is so full of school, sports and other obligations. We did carve out some family time last week, though, and headed to the RH Fleet Science Center to help solve a crime in the new exhibit, Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery.
School-aged kids will enjoy putting their deductive reasoning skills to use in this interactive exhibit involving forensic science, disguises and fingerprints.
Not only does the Clocktower Mystery exhibit invite an interest in the science of crime-solving, at least for us, it inspired an interest in reading the Sherlock Holmes series created by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
This exhibit may require a parent’s involvement since there is some amount of reading and thinking involved as you walk through several scenes, including a carnival sideshow, a séance room and a caretaker’s room, searching for clues. The final stop is in the library with Detective Holmes himself. Will your family be the one to solve the mystery???
With its varied, hands-on exhibits, its awesome IMAX films, its Young Scientists preschool program, Saturday Science Club for Girls and educational camps, the Fleet Science Center is our family’s favorite San Diego museum. For more information visit rhfleet.org.
(No books tonight if you don’t clean up that mess!)
Now in the 2nd grade, Mallory is a terrific reader. Kindergartner Gage is as excited about reading as his sister was at age 6. I love it!
A local company wants to help YOU instill a love of reading in your child. For the 30th year, Reading Literacy Learning, Inc. is holding a party in honor of books, and your family gets the gifts!
With the mission of planting the seeds of literacy in our community, a children’s book party will be held in Balboa Park on Saturday, April 26th. Each child in attendance will receive the gift of two brand new books to help grow their home libraries. Parents will appreciate the wide selection of titles- everything from Dora the Explorer to Clifford the Big Red Dog and Harry Potter, which are donated from a variety of sources. The vast majority of books are geared to children in kindergarten through third grade, but there will also be books for up to high school level as well.
The Children’s Book Party is taking place on Saturday, April 26th from 8:30 until 10:30 a.m. at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. For more information visit www.childrensbookparty.org.
Need some home library book ideas? Here’s the list I used when my children were toddlers. It was given to me by a former librarian and incredible storyteller who went by the name “Storytime Stacy.” We miss her!
“My Absolutely Positively Favorite Books to Read at Storytime! I would read these books every week if I could. They have never let me down.” – Stacy
Where’s My Teddy? — Jez Alborough
If You’re Happy and You Know It – Jane Cabrera
Bark, George – Jules Feiffer
The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark – Ken Geist
Seals on the Bus – Lenny Hort
Little Bunny Foo-Foo – Paul Brett Johnson
Tinkle, Tinkle, Little Tot: Songs and Rhymes for Toilet Training – Bruce Lansky
We’ve All Got Bellybuttons – David Martin
Yummy Yucky – Leslie Patricelli
Let’s Play in the Forest While the Wolf is Not Around – Claudia Rueda
Duck on a Bike – David Shannon
Once Upon a Time – Nick Sharratt
The Itsy Bitsy Spider – Lorianne Siomades
Bertie Was a Watchdog – Rick Walton
Leonardo the Terrible Monster – Mo Willems
The Pigeon Finds a Hotdog – Mo Willems
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? – Jane Yolen
Jump Up – Dan Zanes (comes with CD)
Boy Mom Love
Even though I too have a son, I have to admit that I get that “bless your heart” feeling when I meet moms with more than one boy or moms with just sons and no daughters. (Shout out to my friend DeSaix who just had twin boys!) I mean, it’s sometimes a little odd being a woman and having a boy, don’t you think?
They’re so LOUD, so rough and tumble.
They think it’s funny to burp and fart long before they understand that there’s such a thing as potty humor.
They (boys like my son, Gage) love dirt and grime. They lick the bottoms of their shoes and pick scabs for the fun of it. Really?! I really don’t relate.
But, I love my boy beyond words. I love all of his silly ways. I thank him for helping me understand so dramatically that the differences between men and women begin at the beginning (of life).
And, it’s true (in my case at least) what they say…little boys ADORE their moms. He seriously can’t get enough mommy time, which suits me just fine (most of the time).
When I saw Amy’s adorable Boy Mom line of shirts, I was psyched. They just spoke to t-shirt wearing me because, even though I’m a girly-girl, I’m also a very proud boy mom. And I knew Gage would get a kick out of seeing me in a brand that spoke to him too. He never wears his “green army man” shirt without asking me to wear mine. And he thinks my “football” hoodie is pretty cool.
These Ts are super-comfy, wonderful quality cotton, made in America by a fellow boy mom. It just can’t get much better than this if you ask me!
I want to give them as gifts to all of my friends pregnant with boys whose first thought might be “oh no!” There’s such joy ahead for the mom of a boy.
Ok, there are quite a few headaches too, but if you’ve got a son, you are in club “Boy Mom.” And Boy Mom Designs has created a uniform for those of us happy to be in the club!
See a Boy Mom Design that speaks to you? Tell me which one you like, and you’ll be entered to win =-)
Breastfeeding Troubles? This might help . . .
If you are experiencing problems with breastfeeding, ankyloglossia could be the problem, and Dr. Ellen Im could have the solution. Ankyloglossia, also known as tongue-tie, is a condition present at birth that can restrict movement of the tongue and lead to difficulties with breastfeeding.
Tongue-tied babies have a short frenum – the band of tissue underneath the tongue that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. Normally, the tongue tip should be able to extend to lick the lips, lift the front half of the tongue to the roof of the mouth, and sweep along the gums. If a tongue-tied baby tries to extend the tongue, it may not be able to extend past the lower lip making breastfeeding difficult. A severe tongue-tie will prevent the baby from getting the tongue tip over the lower gum ridge. The presence of the tongue over the gum ridge inhibits the baby’s bite reflex. If the breast touches the bare lower gum the baby will reflexively bite. A similar condition known as lip-tied restricts the movement of the upper lip when a short frenum connects the lip to the gums.
Both conditions can make breastfeeding difficult because baby has trouble sucking. If you are experiencing improper latching, sore nipples, and decreased milk production, Dr. Ellen Im, a pediatric dentist in Poway, welcomes you to visit her office for a complimentary consult.
“A mother’s milk supply is replenished only by vigorous sucking, which empties the breast,” says Dr. Im. “If the baby cannot suck correctly, the milk supply is not renewed, leading to frustration and problems for both mother and child. When the issue turns out to be ankyloglossia, a simple and quick treatment called a frenectomy to free the tongue can help.”
Dr. Im uses laser frenectomy to treat tongue-tied infants. “This quick and usually painless procedure involves minimal to no bleeding, no sutures, and a low risk of infection,” says Dr. Im. Further, recovery from the frenectomy is fast, usually within a day or two. After treatment, parents must follow a set of simple exercises to help prevent reattachment of the frenum.
Dr. Im is the mother of three and prides herself on providing quality pediatric dentistry with a mother’s touch. Her North County office is located on Pomerado Road and offers convenient Saturday appointments. For more information and to schedule your complimentary consultation, please contact her friendly staff at 858.679.6660 or at powaykidsdentalcare.com.
We fought the summer crowds and squeezed in one last trip to Disneyland before the start of school, eagerly anticipating the fast fun of Cars Land, but the trip left us feeling a little deflated.
Oh there’s a lot of potential in Cars Land, but also a few speed bumps to overcome. So if you’re headed to Route 66, pack your patience and remember you can always enjoy some great pit stops on the way.
When we arrived at California Adventure mechanical problems were the first road block to our dream of racing through Radiator Springs. With the signature Cars Land ride shut down, we headed over to the fast pass kiosks and saw that they were also closed for business. It seems that everyone wants to hit the track, and a whole day’s worth of fast passes for the Radiator Springs Racers had been distributed quickly.
So our first stop was actually Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. I thought the ride was pretty fun…kind of like a do-si-do of tractors…but the kids never asked to do it again, which, on our barometer, means it was just OK.
Next up was Luigi’s Flying Tires, giant air-filled balloon tires that are controlled by riders when they lean forward, backward or side-to-side. While waiting in line I could tell that Luigi’s was a bit of a let down. Riders seemed confused over how to control the tires, and they were moving v e r y s l o w l y. I’d say they were less fun than bumper cars.
Finally, we were back on the road to Radiator Springs, which was re-opened and simply gorgeous at sunset. We heard squeals of delight coming from riders and eagerly jumped in line. More than an hour into our wait, however, the ride came to a screeching halt with more technical difficulties. As we departed we heard grumblings that Radiator Springs Racers has been breaking down a lot.
We overcame our sorrows with all of the other fun we normally enjoy at Disneyland and the cocktails and mocktails of Carthay Circle Restaurant, Disney’s newest fine dining restaurant. The restaurant is fashioned after the original Carthay Circle Theater, which premiered Walt Disney’s first full-length feature film, Snow White, in 1937. The atmosphere was incredible. Our food was fantastic.
On day two of our road trip, we raced on over to the fast pass kiosks early in the morning and — OMG — the line just to pick up a fast pass was one hour long!
Honk! Honk! Time to get the message. No Radiator Springs Racers for us this time.
No worries. As annual pass holders, we’ll be back when there’s a little less traffic in Cars Land and when the pit crew has the car troubles under control!
Brunch with kids isn’t always easy, until you find the right spot!
Going to any restaurant with young kids can often times be more of a headache than it’s worth…that is, until you find the RIGHT spot! One that not only welcomes kids, but engages with them, and makes their experience so enjoyable that they look forward to going back. Brunch is something that generally tends to phase out of your life when you have kids. They wake up early demanding food, and the idea of getting everyone dressed and out the door with hungry bellies and no coffee yet? No thanks! But that’s about to change once I tell you about The Hills Pajama Brunch!
Head on in dressed in your mornings best (aka, whatever you rolled out of bed in!) as early as 8am, for an all-you-can-eat waffle bar, where the kiddos can decorate their waffles with a variety of toppings for just $5! Mimosas are flowing at an affordable rate of $3, and their brunch menu is on-point!
Our families sampled a variety of menu items and couldn’t stop raving about EVERY dish. If you have a country-fried-steak-loving-husband, the Dragon Tiger Phoenix is to die for. Have a sweet tooth? Don’t miss the bread pudding sticks. Craving something savory? Their new carne asada breakfast burrito will be one of the best you’ve ever had!
With convenient parking, a dog-friendly patio, and affordable prices, The Hills is going to quickly become my new favorite, family-friendy brunch recommendation! We all had a great time, but these kids especially, give this place two thumbs up!!
BONUS: If you are still looking for the perfect place to celebrate Father’s Day, make sure you consider The Hills! The first 100 dads to arrive will receive a FREE Rad Dad hat, and EVERY dad will receive a free Coors Light draft during their visit.
*Disclaimer: Although The Hills was kind enough to pick up our tab, all opinions are my own and I am more than willing to recommend this great spot to anyone looking for a family-friendly restaurant to enjoy!
Buckle Up Those Babies!
Did you know that 93% of car seats are installed incorrectly and up to 88% of children are buckled into their seats incorrectly? These numbers just kill me, especially considering that automobile accidents are the leading cause of death and injury, and even more so, that the majority of these collisions are caused by human error that is preventable, including lack of seatbelt usage.
A correctly used child restraint seat can reduce the risk of death by car accident by as much as 71% mamas! Luckily for us, there are extremely high standards and crash test ratings that manufacturers must meet to sell a car seat. BUT, The safety of your child is completely up to whether you are using his/her car seat properly.
Below is a list of inspection sites across San Diego County. Most are free, and others require a fee but safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless!
Free Car Seat Safety Inspection Providers
Bonita Fire Department
Call for an appointment. Offered 3 times per month
California Highway Patrol – El Cajon
Call for an appointment
California Highway Patrol – Oceanside
Call for an appointment or first come first served, every other Thursday
California Highway Patrol – Temecula
Call for an appointment. Every Friday
California Highway Patrol – Pacific Highway
First come first served. Every other Saturday
Call for an appointment. Offered once a month
La Mesa Police Department
First Tuesday of the month (9-11am). First come, first served. No appointments necessary.
Free for La Mesa residents. $49 for non-residents.
Lemon Grove Sheriff’s Department
Call for an appointment. Each installation takes approximately 45-60 minutes
Kohl’s Cares Car Seat Safety Program
Ph: 858-576-1700 x5096
Call for an appointment. Offered Tues & alternate Sat mornings
Fee-based Car Seat Safety Inspection Providers
Pacific Safety Center
Ph: 858-621-2313 x110
$50 in office or $70 home visit
Private Classes with Jennifer Lindeman
Car Seat Safety & Purchasing Assistance
Will come to you or the hospital
Until you are able to visit one of the safety check stations/technicians, here are some basic tips and guidelines to make sure you are using your child’s safety seat properly.
- Send in your child’s safety seat warranty card in case of recalls.
- The safest place for your child’s car seat is in the back seat, away from active air bags. If your child must travel in a car with only a front seat, make sure the front air bags are deactivated. If it fits, place your car seat in the center of the seats to minimize the risk of injury during a crash.
- There should be no more than 1 inch of movement in any direction once installed.
- Harness straps should lie flat and not be twisted. The correct height of the straps should be at or below your child’s shoulders.
- The chest clip should be at armpit level.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants and toddlers ride in a rear-facing seat until they’re 2 years old, or until they reach the maximum weight and height limits recommended by the seat’s manufacturer.
- Your child should sit in a car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child meets the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements. Once he/she outgrows the forward-facing height or weight limit, it’s time to have them use a booster seat.
- Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. All booster seats should be used with a lap AND shoulder belt. The lap belt should lay across your child’s upper thighs (not stomach), and the shoulder belt should cross the middle of your child’s chest and shoulder.
- Most kids can start using a seatbelt between the ages of 8 & 12. Your child is ready if he/she reaches a height of 4 feet 9 inches and the seatbelt fits properly across their body. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it’s safer there.
- It is recommended that all children sit in the back seat until at least age 12.
Set a good example and buckle YOUR seat belt for every ride. Stay safe San Diego!
California Law (Effective 01/01/2012):
Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat.
Children under the age of 8 who are 4′ 9″ or taller may be secured by a safety belt in the back seat.
Children who are 8 years and over shall be properly secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint system or safety belt.
Passengers who are 16 years of age and over are subject to California’s Mandatory Seat Belt law.
For accurate, up-to-date car seat safety information, visit thecarseatlady.com.
Does this guy look happy or what??
This kind of happy cost us only $12 and a couple of hours at the Build It Workshop in Carlsbad where my son made his own LEGO cars and beat a couple of other kids in a LEGO race.
The last time Gage had this much fun he spent 3 hours inside the “Build & Test” room of Legoland’s Imagination Zone doing exactly the same thing he did at the Build It Workshop. Cost: $70 child’s Legoland ticket.
Build It is more than LEGOS.
I am personally excited to work with the 3d printer or watch my kids participate in one of the daily build projects.
The cost of admission to Build It is $12 per child for 2 hours of build time or $20 per child for an all day pass. Military families receive a discount of $1 per child, and there is no charge for parents or infants.
We loved Build It enough to place it in the “worth the drive” category, but we may not need to drive to Carlsbad for long. Owner Rudy Gonzalez told me he’s already looking in San Diego locations for his second workshop. Woo hoo!
If you have a budding engineer in the family, be sure to visit Build It!
1818 Marron Road, Suite 103
Carlsbad, Ca 92008
Building Gingerbread Houses in San Diego
Sure, you can purchase an inexpensive and easy to put together gingerbread house kit from almost any store — and they really are good family fun — but for families looking to add to their list of holiday outings, you might consider a gingerbread house workshop.
Last year Mallory and I attended a gingerbread house cooking class at The Curious Fork in Solana Beach. We learned how to make our own gluten-free gingerbread, how to shape, cut and assemble it, how to make the royal icing from scratch and, of course, tips and tricks on decorating.
I’ve taken many cooking classes with Katherine Emmenegger, so I knew her baking class would be worth the $54. Please note that participants do not actually get involved with the baking, but do come away with the recipe, the diagram, a completely edible work of art and a wonderful mother/child experience. Classes are this Saturday and Sunday, December 3rd & 4th. Reserve online here.
A few local libraries also offer gingerbread house building events. This Saturday, December 3rd, the Lemon Grove Branch of the San Diego County Library System will distribute 125 pre-assembled gingerbread houses on a first come, first served basis to children. Starting at 2 p.m., families can enjoy holiday themed crafts, a visit with Santa and participate in a 20-minute decorating session, while supplies last. Search these links for more information about what holiday events your local library if offering:
San Diego County Libraries: http://www.sdcl.org/branch-calendars.html#LG
San Diego City Libraries: https://www.sandiego.gov/public-library/news-events
Here’s one I don’t want to miss . . . Queenstown Public House in Little Italy has transformed its exterior into a life size gingerbread house. This New Zealand-inspired restaurant is a great place to dine, especially in December when every child will receive a gingerbread man making kit. And, they will provide a gingerbread house kit in exchange for a donated, unwrapped gift for New Alternative’s Little Italy Toy Drive from December 1st – 20th.
On Tuesday, December 20, Queenstown will host its “Kid at Heart” gingerbread house decorating party from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.. The winner of the kids’ contest will win tickets to LegoLand and the adult winner will win a gift basket. For more information visit queenstownpublichouse.com.
A couple of years ago the Mom’s Guide sent a lucky reader to the Park Hyatt Aviara Hotel in Carlsbad to enjoy a hands-on gingerbread house workshop. You can read about our winner, Joyce’s, experience here. Led by the hotel’s pastry chef, this event costs $60 per participant and starts at 1:30 until 3 p.m. on December 17th, 18th, 19th & 20th. Reservations are required. Call 760.603,6907 for more information.
Happy gingerbread housing!
Bust a Myth ?
Our family loved the RH Fleet Science Center’s newest exhibit, Mythbusters. Yes, that Mythbusters. The exhibit, based on the popular Discovery Channel series, is a fantastic way to bring science to life.
Can you really pull a tablecloth off of a fully set table without disturbing a dish? (my kids did!)
Does toast always land butter-side down?
What keeps you drier: running in the rain or walking through it?
Is it possible to dodge a bullet?
In this amazing hands-on exhibition, you can put these myths to the test—just as the team from the popular MythBusters TV show has done for years!
– Use scientific observations and your own curiosity to search for the truth behind some commonly held beliefs.
– Explore the Blueprint Room and relive some of the show’s most exciting moments.
– Test your hypothesis in The Workshop and decide whether the myth is plausible, busted or confirmed.
– Catch a live demonstration on the Demo Stage. There are multiple shows throughout the day, and the variables (people) are always changing, so results can change hour to hour!
– Submit your own myths, and you could see them being tested on future episodes of MythBusters!
Mythbusters, the Exhibit, is open daily through September 3rd.
Tickets cost $5 ($2.50 for members) in addition to regular admission
for more information visit: rhfleet.org/exhibitions/mythbusters-explosive-exhibition
Busy Mom Seeks Organization
Still sticking to your New Year’s Resolution goals, or have they taken a back burner to the realities and stresses of motherhood? Perhaps the missing piece to achieving your goals is a little bit of organization.
Is there any resolution that doesn’t require organization to execute?
You want to get fit? You will need to find your workout clothes, schedule time to fit in exercise on a regular basis, and organize your finances so that you can invest in a gym membership or yoga classes.
You want to eat better? You will need to purge your pantry of temptations, find time to organize a meal plan or a grocery list, shop, prep, and cook healthier meals.
You want to start saving money? You will need to organize your budget, track your spending, set financial goals, stop spending money on items that you already have and can’t find in your home.
“Organizing your life is VITAL to strategizing and following through on EVERY SINGLE RESOLUTION,” says Beth Deig, Professional Organizer and owner of Sorted Nest, a home organizing service. “I propose that we take January to get organized and cleared of clutter and then set our resolutions on Feb. 1st. At the end of a month of mental and physical clutter clearing, I promise you will have a much better sense of what you do and don’t want for yourself and where you want to go in the coming year.”
Though Beth only discovered the field of professional organizing a few years ago, she had a passion for organizing early in life…she even enjoyed organizing her toys as a child. But this San Diego mom is challenged with keeping her own little home organized amidst the chaos of two little kids and a husband just like the rest of us. “They are not neat at all. Nor is my husband!” Beth says.
“People get overwhelmed and grumpy living in a cluttered home,” says Beth. “I’m a mom. I really get needing help and being hesitant to ask for it, but I love to be able to help other moms reduce the stress and overwhelm in their homes.”
“One mother that I will never forget was in tears upon my arrival with a disorganized guest room filled with baby shower gifts. After a single 3-hour organizing session we were able to transform the room into an organized nursery where mom could sit and peacefully dream of baby’s impending arrival.”
In addition to helping her clients clear clutter, find homes for items, and create better systems in their homes, Beth gives tips on storage systems and where to purchase them. She also takes donations, electronics and batteries for recycling, and documents to be shredded with her at the end of each organizing session.
If you’re craving more peace, calm and order in your home, call your local professional organizer. Beth is offering mom’s guide readers a free 15-minute phone consultation as well as 1 free hour of organizing during your first 3-hour organizing session, after a paid in-home consultation.
The moms of the Mom’s Guide were treated to BBQ, brews and lots of awesomeness at the Bahia Hotel’s new summer beach party. It’s dining and dancing barefoot on the sand, and you’re invited every Thursday night!
Our kids loved hula hooping
(and watching the pros hula hoop!)
And doing the limbo
Even baby Ollie (on Chelsea’s back!) was in on the fun 🙂
The food was delicious.
And the setting cannot be beat.
Whether you are looking for something special to do with your out of town guests or just want to treat yourself to a classic California beach party, be sure to check out Bahia Hotel’s Beach Party of the Decades!
Does your child want to open his/her own business? Is he or she interested in entrepreneurship? My Kids Clubhouse is opening its doors this summer so kids can learn first hand what it’s like to be inside a small business.
Camp CEO Kids launches this summer. It’s the first business camp in San Diego for kids ages 6-8 going into 1st-3rd grade. This camp will be taught by Stephanie Antin, CEO of My Kids Clubhouse Inc. With 10 years of experience running a small business and 15 years working in television news, she will teach campers new skills they can carry forward into the future.
“Kids today are so smart and sophisticated that even at this early age they can absorb basic business skills and financial literacy. This camp will give them a fun and enriching experience in a safe environment,” says Stephanie.
Our campers will learn by exploring, experiencing and addressing real life situations. Plus each day we will focus more deeply on a different theme from customer service, logos and branding, finances including money math, business plans and developing a product from idea to reality. During the week, each camper will develop their own product, business plan and logo. Campers will earn clubhouse bucks each day for performing their daily job duties. At the end of the week, campers will be able to shop in the clubhouse cafe. They will also keep a checkbook during the week to record their income and expenses like taxes and charitable donations. At the end of the week, campers will present an exhibition of their products and receive a certificate of completion.
The camp runs 8:30am-1:30pm Monday-Friday. Extended day is available until 3pm for an additional cost.
Camp will be offered in Bonita June 16-20 and Poway July 7-11. Cost is $225 per week. Limited to just 10 kids.
My Kids Clubhouse offers additional summer camps for kids ages 2-8 years old. Themes include cooking, recycled art, science, princess and knights and superheroes. Summer Camp runs June 9th-August 29th. Sibling and member discounts. Customers can sign up for one day or a whole week.
My Kids Clubhouse, Inc. is San Diego’s best indoor play and learning center. Our Poway location opened its doors in 2004 and our Bonita location opened in 2008. Check us out at www.mykidsclubhouse.com and at www.facebook.com/mykidsclubhouse.
This post is sponsored by My Kids Clubhouse, Inc. Visit them at:
12636 Poway Road Suite 4-6 Poway 92064 858 668 2838 &
5034 Bonita Road Suite C Bonita 91902 619 434 8676
Camping with the Critters
So it’s Spring Break across San Diego County, and there is no shortage of great camp options for the kiddos, that’s for sure. But if your littles love animals, check out this message from the Helen Woodward Animal Center, which is generously gifting a Spring Critter Camp spot to one lucky reader!
Spring Critter Camp 2012
April 2nd -13th
For Grades PreK-5th
Come meet horses, bunnies, birds, snakes, lizards, and much more at Spring Critter Camp!
As they have fun, campers learn respect, compassion and how to provide a lifetime of care for animals. Our camp provides an enthusiastic staff of instructors, hands-on animal encounters, and fun, animal related crafts, games, and activities that are age and developmentally appropriate. Sign up for a day, or two, or the whole week! Check out our website for daily themes and to sign up today! www.animalcenter.org/education
If you’d like to enter to win a spot at this spring’s Critter Camp, simply leave a comment here with your preferred week and age of your child. If you’ve ever been to the Helen Woodward Animal Center, tell us what you thought!
The Helen Woodward Animal Center has offered Critter Camp for 40 years! The money raised goes right back to help the animals found in this unique, private, non-profit organization dedicated to saving the lives of animals and enriching the lives of people. For more than 30 years, our no-kill Center has provided humane care and animal adoption for orphaned animals, as well as animal-centered educational and therapeutic programs for people. The Center is a dynamic, evolving institution that is an agent of change for the animal welfare world. Not only are we operating innovative and beneficial programs for animals and people, but we are teaching others around the world how to successfully market and promote their animal adoption and humane programs and stop the senseless death of thousands of animals.
Can Moms “Have it All?”
I had the amazing opportunity this week to interview Joan Barnes, the creator of Gymboree. When I think Gymboree, I think giggling toddlers, primary-colored parachutes and precious mommy & me moments.
But for Joan, balancing the needs of a multi-million dollar business with her own needs and those of her family was not so sweet. When managing Gymboree stopped being fun (or even healthy), Joan walked away and began a journey to find inner peace and happiness.
In her book, Play It Forward: From Gymboree to the Yoga Mat and Beyond, Joan tells her story with sheer transparency, chronicling the difficult road she took from groundbreaking entrepreneur to grounded entrepreneur. Joan will be in San Diego to share her story and what she has learned about being a mom and trying to “have it all.”
Join me in welcoming Joan, and don’t miss the opportunity to benefit from her insights into the balancing act we all participate in as moms. You can meet Joan at Warwick’s Book Store on Wednesday, May 18th at 7:30 p.m. and again on Thursday, May 19th at the Poway Gymboree from 2:30 – 4 p.m. (children under 5 are welcome to play during the event and parents should bring their socks 🙂 )
It’s much easier to be a mom if you are surrounded by friends going through the same thing at the same time. Gymboree was created, in part, to bring moms together. You can try classes for free!
More about Joan Barnes . . .
Forty years ago, Joan founded a play center in a church basement with $3,000 that eventually became Gymboree. Determined to enable women to achieve personal and entrepreneurial success, Joan grew Gymboree into a trailblazing leader, which became a global billion dollar brand and included an innovative franchise program that allowed women to operate a business while raising a family. She, too, was raising a family when it was hardly fashionable to combine both.
It wasn’t, however, all rainbows and fairy tales; her journey is a cautionary tale and story of redemption. When Gymboree had an historical IPO, Joan was nowhere near Wall Street, as she had earlier stepped down as CEO to battle a debilitating eating disorder that threatened to destroy her and everything she built.
She overcame her demons, charting a new path with an enduring sense of worth and hope. She resumed her business career on healthier terms with a line of yoga studios she eventually sold to Yoga Works, a stirring example of how mid-career women can triumph through reinvention.
“Joan Barnes’ story is an inspiration for any woman who’d rather “build her own table’’ than wait for a seat in the corporate boardroom. Her unflinching honesty about the lows and highs of her journey make this a must-read for anyone seeking sustainable success.”
Peggy Northrop, co-founder of Shebooks.net, former editor-in-chief of More Magazine and former global editor-in-chief of Reader’s Digest.
Candids by Katie
There are a number of good places to get a kid’s haircut in San Diego. We live in the East County and have visited nearly every kids’ salon between La Jolla and Chula Vista.
But when Gage was three he gave up kiddie salons in favor of a grown-up, traditional barber shop, and he hasn’t had his hair cut anywhere else since.
From our first visit to Captain Mike’s Hair Dock, I knew we had found an extra-special business.
Captain Mike does not specialize in children’s hair. He doesn’t have any car-shaped chairs, DVD players or toys. He’s just an old-fashioned barber who loves to fish and who gives a great boy’s hair cut for only $9. And, he is very good with my son.
I can’t even remember how we stumbled upon Captain Mike’s Hair Dock in Santee, but I am so glad that we did. He and Gage have a sweet little bond.
If you have a son, but don’t live anywhere near Santee, take a look around your own community for a local barber shop. I bet you have a Captain Mike-type around!
For a good list of San Diego area salons that cut children’s hair, please visit this link under the mom’s guide family-friendly resources tab.
Caught on Film Photography
Celebrate the Creeps of the Deep at Birch Aquarium
We’re so excited to be able to give away a family 4-pack of tickets so one Mom’s Guide family can meet some of the creeps of the deep and get hands-on with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego science at the eighteenth-annual Haunted Aquarium: Sea Monster Mash. All families are invited to dive into the spooky, slimy side of ocean science and enjoy a Halloween-themed evening of music, crafts, and close encounters with underwater creatures.
On October 20 and 21, from 6 to 9 p.m., guests will experience eerie and unusual organisms from the Scripps Oceanographic Collections, see a super-sized squid dissection, and create their own seaweed slime to take home. Meet Scripps Oceanography scientists studying ocean creatures big and small and get an insider’s look into what it takes to study different creatures of the deep.
Inspired by the Infinity Cube, guests will make unique glowing crafts and learn more about bioluminescence from Scripps Oceanography experts.
Haunted Aquarium is a fun and educational Halloween celebration. Costumes are encouraged, especially if they have an ocean science theme. Billy Lee and the Swamp Critters will return for music and dancing, and Splash! Café by The French Gourmet will be open for ghoulish treats.
Haunted Aquarium often sells out, so purchasing early is encouraged. Discounted pre-sale tickets are available for $18.50 for the general public, $13.50 for Birch Aquarium members. Tickets will be available at the door for $20. Children ages 2 and under are free, and children under 16 must be accompanied by a paid adult. General admission tickets cannot be used for Haunted Aquarium. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit aquarium.ucsd.edu or call 858-534-FISH.
If you’d like the chance to win tickets to this spooky spectacular, simply comment here with the sea creature you fear most! One winner will be randomly selected this week. Good luck!
Celebrating 55 Years of SeaWorld San Diego
We’ve been big fans of SeaWorld for at least 13 of their 55 year history. Ever since I became a mom, SeaWorld has been an oasis for me. On stressful days I’d take my annual pass and stroll my baby around the park just to get some fresh air and distraction from the chaos of early motherhood. And there has been something wonderful for our family to encounter there during every age and stage so far.
When Mallory was barely old enough to talk, she told me that their Pets Rule show was her favorite place to go.
Last year, while our family was enjoying the La Jolla tide pools and encountered an injured sea lion, it was SeaWorld to the rescue!
We’ve learned a lot and had tons of fun over the years just like nearly 175 million other park visitors since SeaWorld first opened its gates on March 21, 1964. One of the world’s most popular marine parks and a global leader in marine animal care and welfare, education, conservation, research and rescue, SeaWorld San Diego is celebrating with some amazing deals and activities in the coming weeks.
On March 21st (only), visitors can also enjoy these groovy deals:
- Free standard parking
- Churro or popcorn and soda for only $5.50
- 55₵ souvenir bottle refills
Special In-Park Entertainment happening March 21st – 24th includes The Sea Street Band playing five musical sets per day and special 55th Celebration moments during Orca Encounter presentations and Dolphin Days and Sea Lion LIVE shows.
If you don’t already have annual passes like we do, don’t miss your chance to celebrate 55 years with a $55 ticket deal.
Happy Birthday SeaWorld!
Check it out!
It’s the next chapter in San Diego’s public library system; the public preview of its new Central Library, and a free family street festival happening this Saturday. Stop by the new library, located at 330 Park Blvd., anytime between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. for your sneak peek. Lots of fun activities are planned, especially for fans of the Fancy Nancy book series.
While the library festival is free, Fancy Nancy illustrator, Robin Preiss Glasser, has donated ten separate ORIGINAL mini Fancy Nancy Paintings, which she will sign and personalize for $125 each. All of the money from the sale of these special collector items will be donated. Other fabulous Fancy Nancy activities include:
- Fancy Nancy hair design courtesy of Little Locks children’s hair salon. For a $5 suggested donation, you can receive a wristband (at the Adventures by the Book booth) for a fun Fancy Nancy hair design.
- Fancy clothes courtesy of Mon Petit Chateau, which is generously donating a portion of all sales. At 2:30pm, Mon Petit Chateau will be conducting a not-to-be-missed Fancy Nancy fashion show.
- Robin Preiss Glasser will be signing books and her paintings at the Adventures by the Book booth from 2:00-3:00pm and again from 4:00-6:00pm, so stop by with your fancy children to see her and have her sign your books. Books will be available for sale at the Yellow Book Road booth nearby.
- At 3:30pm, Robin will lead a short mini-Parade around the area, and thru the first floor of the new library (this is a sneak peak as it is not open to the public until Monday), ending at the Adventures by the Book booth where she will sign books until the event closes at 6:00pm.
For more information about the family-friendly events planned for this weekend, please visit the San Diego Public Library website.
Children & Nature in San Diego
Last weekend’s beautiful weather has me thinking about the bounty of spring events San Diego offers. You don’t need your own garden to inspire a love of nature in your children.
There are many wonderful ways to introduce kids to gardening, farm-to-table cooking, conservationism and the cycle of life in the next couple of months. We’re planning to attend next weekend’s open house at Olivewood Gardens, an indoor-outdoor classroom for children and adults that provides science based environmental education lessons, hands-on gardening, and hands-on cooking to students. We’ll be back at Olivewood on March 8th for hands-on cooking demonstrations and children’s garden activities at the the Kids in the Kitchen event, produced with the help of the Junior League of San Diego.
Nothing quite says spring in San Diego like acres of rolling hills covered in orange, yellow, pink and red blooms. The Carlsbad Flower Fields will open on March 1st and will celebrate Kids’ Day on March 30th. The season lasts a quick 6-8 weeks before the flowers die and the park closes so mark your calendar!
The Japanese Friendship Garden cherry blossoms are also blooming, just in time for their 9th annual Cherry Blossom Festival on March 1st.
On March 8th Alta Vista Gardens presents Kids in the Garden, “Farmer Jones” will lead children in a fun-filled day of learning about planting and eating an edible garden.
The San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy presents a Spring Egg-ucation at its March 29th Family Day. Kids will get an up-close look at all kinds of critters that hatch from eggs. Families will discover an egg-themed Trivia Hunt around the Nature Center Loop Trail.
The Water Conservation Garden celebrates the opening of its new Butterfly Pavilion with a Butterfly Festival on Saturday, April 5th. Participants can learn how to create a butterfly garden, get up close with larvae, caterpillars and butterflies, march in the pollinator parade and more.
Also on April 5th is one of our favorite annual events, Lady Bug Day at the San Diego Botanic Garden. Kids search for lady bugs, make lady bug crafts and create beautiful lady bug-attracting floral arrangements with the help of garden volunteers. It’s a sweet way to spend the day.
If these events are not enough to satisfy your appetite for earthy-outings, spring is also U-pick strawberry season. Yum!
Choo Choo Choosing a Holiday Train
‘Tis the season for special train rides.
If you have a locomotive-crazy kid, here are some not-to-miss events as well as some fun anytime rides …
A Day Out With Thomas
Just a quick 1.5 hour drive from San Diego, the Orange Empire Railway Museum’s annual Day Out with Thomas is extra special for fans of the classic story book and television series. Thomas can be found each November in Perris, CA where children and their grownups can take a 25-minute ride with and meet Sir Topham Hatt. Tickets start at $19 for ages 2 and older. For more information, visit Oerm.org
The North Pole Limited
Hurry! The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association’s annual North Pole Limited ride with Santa is about to sell out. Volunteers help bring The Polar Express alive, complete with hot chocolate and cookies, storybook characters and lots and lots of elves. Hop aboard the train in Campo and travel to Santa’s Workshop to pick up Mr. & Mrs. Claus. Every child gets to share his holiday wishes with Santa. Tickets start at $30 for children and $40 for adults. Visit psrm.org/npl/ for more information.
Coaster Holiday Express
The North County Transit District operates the Coaster commuter train, which runs between Oceanside and downtown San Diego. Families can take the Coaster to Padres games and the fair, students can take advantage of a classroom day pass program, and each December hundreds take the 65-minute Holiday Express train ride, mingling and singing with Santa, Mrs. Claus and even The Grinch! Tickets for this year’s event cost $8 per person and go on sale November 12th. For more information visit gonctd.com/coaster-holiday.
San Diego Trolley
Our city’s red trolley is a great way to reach family-friendly destinations like Qualcomm Stadium for Chargers games and Petco Park for Padres games, but it’s also fun for kids to simply ride the trolley to nowhere in particular. Children 5 and younger are free with any paid passenger. Visit Sdmts.com to find out more.
Poway Midland Railroad
The Poway-Midland Railroad is a full-size, narrow-gauge railroad in Old Poway Park that carries passengers aboard vintage and antique railroad equipment. The railroad is owned by the City of Poway, and operated as a non-profit. The trains run on Saturdays and Sundays. Fairs range from .50 for kids and $2.50 for adults.Visit powaymidlandrr.org for more information.
Balboa Park Miniature Train
Take a 3-minute, ½-mile trip through four acres of Balboa Park on the San Diego Zoo’s model G16 – a rare antique with as few as fifty currently remaining. The train runs on Saturdays, Sundays and school holidays. Tickets are $3 for anyone over age 1.
Lee’s Kiddie Train
It’s fun to make a trip to the mall with mom when you get to climb aboard the adorable train at Westfield UTC. Lee’s Kiddie Train has been a long time partner of the Mom’s Guide, handing out lots of free tickets to our readers over the years. Want one? Just comment below with the age of your child for a chance to win!
As many of you know, we were blessed with three sweet chicks right around Easter time. Hens need to be 6 months old before they start laying eggs, and many urban farmers choose to purchase mature hens in order to start collecting eggs right away. But I am so glad we got our little ladies as babies. It has been incredibly fun for our whole family to raise them.
Now they are fully grown and these girls are social and curious. They love to be around us and really want to be indoor chickens!
They each lay one egg almost daily, so they are a joy as pets as well as useful sources of food. Our chickens are without a doubt the gift that keeps on giving, which is why the idea of donating chickens to families in need through World Vision really appeals to me.
If you are the kind of mom who wants to help teach her children about generosity and changing the world, then show them one of the World Vision videos about giving the gift of animals. A family in need will get much more than just the animal. They will have nutrition, a product to sell and the ability to transform their situation from one of poverty to self-sufficiency.
We just gave the gift of two chickens for $25 because I know first hand how wonderful they are, but you can give ducks, which also provide eggs, and goats, which provide milk, yogurt and cheese and a variety of other farm animals to help sustain a family and even a village.
World Vision wants to share its mission and pathway to helping others with you. If you are looking for a way to reach beyond yourself into another world of need, please take a look at the opportunities to help children supported by this charity.
God bless you and Merry Christmas!
Christmas in July – Basic Invite Style
The holidays will be here before we know it, and this month you can give yourself the gift of knocking one thing off your Christmas to-do’s early AND get a Mom’s Guide discount!
Intrigued? We’ve teamed up with Basic Invite just in time for Christmas in July and sharing some mid-year cheer with all of you San Diego moms.
So, what exactly are we crossing off of our Christmas lists? 2017 Christmas cards!
It’s not one bit too early for Christmas cards. Summer is a great time to take family photos, and Basic Invite is offering 30% off holiday cards for Christmas in July. This is a great opportunity to get your Christmas cards designed and ordered so all you have to do is pop them in the mail come December.
Aside from an awesome discount and one less thing to cause chaos when the holidays roll around, getting your Christmas cards ordered in the summer gives you the chance to put a unique twist on your seasons greetings. Embrace the summer vibes and create unique Christmas cards. Choose a funky design, bright colors, or upload a family photo from your summer vacation. Everyone sends out the typical red and green greetings, but you deserve to stand out!
Basic Invite is an online stationery company offering invitations, announcements and cards for all of your major life moments. They’ve been in the invite biz since 2006 and are a leader in online stationery.
Basic Invite has hundreds of designs to choose from, and they are all customizable. With 180 colors and endless personalization options there is a style for everyone and a card for every occasion.
Take advantage of Christmas in July this year and customize your holiday cards now! Choose a classic foil design available in gold, silver and rose gold and don’t forget to pair your look with one of 40 colored peel-and-seal envelopes.
Our gift to you – use code holi30 — for 30% off of your holiday cards.
Merry Christmas… in July!
Yesterday we got our annual catalog from BuyCostumes.com, and the kids are excitedly flipping through it, fantasizing about which characters they’ll become this Halloween. Yes, it’s barely back-to-school season and here comes the Halloween stuff.
Every year we host a family Halloween party, and every year I do my best to get a good deal on our costumes, starting with the Parent Connection‘s annual Great Halloween Costume Swap. Gage was just 14 months old when I traded in the softest, sweetest Nordstrom blue bunny costume for the “scary” dino costume he wore for the next two years. You don’t have to be a member of the Parent Connection to participate in the exchange, and you don’t even have to trade a costume…simply purchase one for $10 if you prefer. This year’s event takes place on September 23rd at 11 a.m.
Last year we found a terrific Star Wars storm trooper costume (with astro blaster!) at Cory’s Closet, our favorite local resale shop. At checkout we were given a buy-back coupon offering 40% of our purchase price if we decided to return our costume after Halloween. What a deal!
That storm trooper wasn’t going anywhere though. My son was wearing it just the other day. But Cory’s Closet’s costume corner is open for business now so check it out if you’re looking for a great selection and the chance to make a little money back after the holiday. Or check out the mom’s guide list of resale shops to find a deal in your area. Most that I contacted are preparing their own Halloween sections now!
So many of my kids’ costumes no longer fit…princesses, clowns, Mickey Mouse, Power Rangers…and I’m thinking about setting my own price for them and selling them at the upcoming fall consignment events. Trunk Treasures, Just Between Friends and San Diego Kids Consignment each have fall sales scheduled. Consider them for selling or buying your own costumes this year.
P.S. If you love Halloween as much as we do, don’t miss Mickey’s annual Halloween party. It’s a great time and a great value considering the expense of a normal day at Disneyland. Check out last year’s blog article about that. Tickets are on sale now!
Cute as a Cupcake Photography
Daniel Tiger is coming to OUR neighborhood!
Every toddler/preschooler goes through “phases”, whether it’s a picky eating phase, a nervous phase, or a frustration phase. Sometimes they struggle to share, to adapt, to listen, or to leave when asked. It’s moments like these that we, as parents, have to find patience and use tools to guide them through the many challenges of growing up. And if one of your tools isn’t to regularly bust out in song and dance from the popular children’s program, Daniel Tiger, I highly recommend you jump on that bandwagon! IT WORKS!
Recently at the dinner table, my 3-year old refused to put a piece of broccoli in his mouth (it should be noted that he’s loved broccoli for years), but as soon as my husband and I put on our best Daniel Tiger voice and gleefully starting singing “You gotta try new food ‘cause it might taste good!” he popped those florets right into his little mouth. These catchy, upbeat tunes have helped us through dentist appointments, bedtime routines, first day of school anxiety, and potty training.
The animated program, which is based on the characters from Mr. Roger’s neighborhood, has won a Parents’ Choice Award every year since it premiered in 2012, and it’s not hard to see why! Preschoolers love the show and the common early learning themes/strategies are relatable, interactive, and easy for both kids and parents to remember in every day life.
The grr-ific musical for little tigers and grown-ups alike is back with an all-new show for 2017-2018! The hugely popular Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE!, based on the #1 PBS KIDS TV series, has delighted live audiences on stages across the country. Now, in its third year of touring, your favorite characters are hopping back on board Trolley and coming to your town with Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE: King for a Day! Daniel and all of his friends invite you for a brand-new adventure in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe where Daniel learns just what it takes to be King.
Take advantage of the password pre-sale to get some of the best seats in the house! Use the password TIGER between September 14 at 10AM and September 17 at 10PM before tickets go on-sale to the public on Monday, September 18 at 10AM using these links:
Enter for your chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets by leaving a comment today about why you and your child enjoy watching Daniel Tiger! One winner will be randomly selected to win on October 1st.
See you at the show!
Daniel Tiger Live!
Saturday, March 17 at 2 PM & 5:30 PM
Balboa Theater 868 Fourth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
Daniel Tiger Returns For Neighbor Day, February 29th
Was your little too little the last time Daniel Tiger came to our neighborhood? You’re in luck if seeing this“grr-ific” live show is on your mommy & me bucket list.
Daniel Tiger and his family, along with O the Owl, Miss Elaina, Katerina Kittycat, Prince Wednesday and more familiar friends, will take audiences on an interactive adventure to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, sharing stories of friendship, helping others and celebrating new experiences.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live, comes to the Balboa Theater for two shows on Saturday, February 29th 2020! The “Neighbor Day Tour” features new songs and fan-favorites series, including the beloved “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” The live theatrical production is filled with music, dancing and wonderful surprises that will warm the hearts of preschoolers, parents and grandparents alike.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live tour has been hugely successful in San Diego and around the country, playing to sold-out crowds. Don’t miss your chance to snag the best seats in the house by using our super-secret password “PBS” to access the Daniel Tiger pre-sale starting on Wednesday, August 21st at 10 a.m.
Tickets starting at $20.00 plus service fees go on-sale Friday, August 23 at 10 a.m. online, by phone at 619.570.1100, or in person at the San Diego Theatre’s Advance Sales Windows. A limited number of VIP tickets that include a post-show photo with Daniel Tiger will also be available.
DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD LIVE: NEIGHBOR DAY
Saturday, February 29, 2020
11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Use password “PBS” to access the Daniel Tiger pre-sale starting 8/21 at 10 a.m. until 8/22 at 10 p.m.!
Daniel Tiger Returns to Our Neighborhood!
We love Daniel Tiger and his friends because they help us teach the valuable lessons of kindness, helping others, and being a friend. The all-ages show brings the #1 PBS Kids TV series to life at San Diego Civic Theater on Sunday, March 10 2019 at 3 p.m.
San Diego Civic Theatre
Sunday, March 10 at 3PM.
Tickets are $100.00 for VIP and $50.00, $40.00, $30.00 and $20.00 for general reserved seats. VIP tickets include the best seats in the house and a post-show meet & greet with the characters. All ticket prices increase $5.00 day of show. Tickets go on sale Friday, September 14th at 10:00AM PST and are available at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 800-745-3000, or in person at the San Diego Theatres’ Advance Sale Windows.
Discovering Mission Trails
The weather should be much improved in time for Saturday’s annual Explore Mission Trails Day. But whether you make it to the free May 16th event or not, East County’s Mission Trails is a definite “to do” for families interested in hiking, nature and the history of the Kumeyaay indians.
Home of Cowles Mountain, whose summit is the highest point in the City of San Diego, Mission Trails Regional Park is one of the largest urban parks in the U.S. It offers about 60 miles of trails, boating on Lake Murray, camping at Kumeyaay Lake, informative hikes, and a wonderfully educational visitor center. I was there recently with my daughter and her 3rd grade class for a lovely afternoon of exploring and hiking.
This was not our first education experience at Mission Trails. When the kids were preschoolers we loved going to the monthly Nature Adventure Classes where the kids would learn about the plants, birds, snakes, bugs and people of the area. Each class was followed by an easy nature walk and a craft.
If you’re ready to get back outdoors after our rainy end of the week, be sure to check out Explore Mission Trails Day!
Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment
It’s back! Our own piece of the magic right here in San Diego…Disney on Ice! You can hardly buy your kiddo a Disney stuffed animal for less than $15, so we are always excited when Disney on Ice comes to San Diego and sells tickets at such a great cost. The new Worlds of Enchantment is sure to make those little jaws drop when they see the high-speed stunts from Lightning McQueen, Ariel’s undersea kingdom, daring adventures from Woody & Buzz, and of course Arendelle’s wintery wonderland with the Frozen sisters.
At just barely 2-years old, I wondered if my son was too young to enjoy the Disney on Ice performance. My doubts went straight out the window when I realized I had hardly watched ANY of the show because I couldn’t take my eyes off of the magic in his. He squealed with excitement, clapped his hands, and danced in his seat. I can not wait to go back for this season’s show!
Feld Entertainments, Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment is performing from January 26-29 at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. Arrive early for Mickey’s Dance-Along Pre-Show Party, and stay for those magical moments with your favorite characters, dazzling skating, and special effects.
Show Times made available for any kid with any nap time!
Thursday, January 26th @ 7pm
Friday, January 27th @ 7pm
Saturday, January 28th @ 11am, 3pm, & 7 pm
Sunday, January 29th @ 1pm, & 5pm
The MomsGuidetoSanDiego is excited to be giving away a family 4-pack of tickets to opening night of the show! To enter to win, comment below with YOUR favorite Disney Character from your childhood years!
Tickets are available for purchase online at AXS.com, by phone at 888-AXS-TIX, or in person at the Valley View Casino Center Box Office.
Disney Tips from a San Diego Mom
Some people say, “Don’t bring little kids to Disneyland because they won’t remember it.”
Some of our best Disneyland experiences were early ones; the look on her face when her favorite princess walked around the corner. His belly giggles on the Bug’s Life rides.
Our family has made regular trips to Disney for 6 years, including one this week. Here are a few of the things that have made our visits magical.
When to Go to Disneyland (or rather, when NOT to go)
Let’s face it, Disneyland is always busy. Our country has been in an economic downturn for all of the years my family has been visiting, yet the ticket prices have steadily increased, the discount promotions have decreased, and I think the crowds are getting bigger. But, if you live in San Diego, it is easy to take a day trip to Disneyland. I suggest avoiding weekends, holidays, spring break (as in the whole month of April) and summer.
An easy way to estimate the crowd size is to visit the Disneyland schedule. When the park opens at 8 and closes at midnight, Disneyland itself is expecting a lot of people. If you are attending during a peak time, try to arrive at the park as early as possible. When we were there last Monday, the wait for Indiana Jones was 20 minutes at 9 a.m. By Noon it was 60 minutes. We didn’t make it to Toon Town this time, but, trust me, those kiddie ride lines were as long or longer!
If you choose to stay overnight and can afford a Disney-themed hotel, you can participate in the “extra magic hour,” which allows hotel guests to enjoy select attractions, stores, entertainment and dining locations in Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park for one full hour before the parks open to the general public on select days.
We love going to Disneyland in September for Mickey’s Halloween Party. Yes, I did say September, because that’s when the party will be less busy. The party is a separate ticket ($50 – $60) that everyone must purchase in order to attend, including annual passport holders. It’s a chance to meet lots of Disney villains, enjoy shorter ride lines and get lots and lots of candy. Definitely worth doing once.
Deals & Discounts
By far the best “deal” at Disneyland is the annual pass. We like the Southern California Select pass. Even though it has the most blackout dates, we don’t want to be at the parks during those times anyway. To me, having a pass means being OK with leaving when the kids are exhausted, the park is packed, someone feels ill. You can come back again. You don’t have to spend 10 hours in the parks to get your money’s worth.
You can make monthly payments for annual passes, and with them you will receive discounts at select restaurants and shops, as well as discounts at Disney hotels and some other local hotels. Our favorite hotel, The Candy Cane Inn, gives a 10% discount to passholders.
The Scripps Parent Connection, my favorite local non profit, offers discounts to Disneyland and nearly every major attraction in SoCal to its members. For example, the regular price of the Southern California Select Passport is $289, but Parent Connection members can purchase it for $274.55.
The Disney Visa card offers some pretty good perks. No discount on tickets, but 10% off at select Disneyland and Downtown Disney restaurants and shops, plus private meet-and-greets with Disney characters AND a complimentary 5×7 photo.
Where to Stay
When we stayed at the Disney Paradise Pier hotel many years ago, we paid $250 a night. The kids loved the Mickey Mouse shaped Rice Krispies Treats that the housekeepers left in the room, and watching the special Disneyland productions on the TV. Getting into the park an hour before the general public was great, and the character breakfast was fun for all of us. But Greg and I thought the rooms were very average and we later discovered that the walk into the park was actually longer than our walk from the Candy Cane Inn, where we always stay these days.
If you want to explore hotels near Disneyland, my suggestion is to check out Trip Advisor. Here are the reviews for Candy Cane Inn, which is a short 250 yards to the Disneyland entrance, offers a shuttle, nice complimentary breakfast, pool, and where you can leave your car parked all day, even after you’ve checked out.
Where to Eat
You can bring your own food and drinks into the parks, and I’ve gone with the kids and managed not to spend any extra money while we were there. However, it’s awesome to splurge on Disney’s Character Dining for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The kids will stay entertained during the entire meal because every 10 minutes or so a new character enters the room and makes its way to your table. Parents can stay entertained too with cocktails at Ariel’s Grotto. And everyone will enjoy avoiding lines to meet characters throughout the day.
Miscellaneous Tips from Our Trips
Bring a stroller or rent one there: If you have young children, you will most certainly want to have a stroller. You can bring your own (even on parking shuttles, the mono rail and train) or rent one on site for $15 per day. Your stroller probably has better storage for all of your goodies.
Bring a change of clothes for everyone: We get wet on rides, spill food on our clothes and get cold at night so I always go to Disneyland with changes of clothes and layers.
Drink your water: You can bring your own water into the park, but you can also request a free cup of cold water from just about any restaurant in Disneyland.
Bring an autograph book: Once your child sees others getting the autograph of a Disney character, she/he will want one too. After your first visit you could make a small Shutterfly picture book and use that for autographs during future visits.
Don’t skip the parades: They are amazing and you can usually see well from just about anywhere along the parade route. Kids can usually easily scoot up to the front.
Get a birthday button: Visit nearly any gift shop and request a free birthday button for your birthday kid. She’ll hear “happy birthday princess!” from characters and cast mates all day long.
Child Swap: You don’t need to miss out on a ride just because someone is a little too small for it. Take advantage of the child swap / rider swap options where one parent rides while the other waits with the child(ren) and then you switch. Not all rides offer this option.
Christmas Wonder: We were on our way out of Disneyland headed for California Adventure one trip in November when we heard the announcement to please turn and look at Snow White’s Castle. Twinkling lights appeared over the castle, beautiful music began to play. This part of the holiday festivities is not listed on the schedule, but it occurs each night as the sun goes down.
That night, Greg was holding 2-year-old Gage, and I had 4-year-old Mallory in my arms when it began to snow on Main Street. Mal squeezed me tight and squealed “I believe in all of this magic!”
They may not remember that night, but Greg and I always will.
Enjoy your trip to the “Happiest Place on Earth!”
Do the Whale Tail License Plate Raffle!
In addition to looking cute on your car, the WHALE TAIL® License Plate gives drivers a way to help protect and restore the priceless resources of California’s coast and ocean and helps to fund many worthy coastal education efforts. Sales benefit the California Coastal Commission and supports the year ’round Adopt-A-Beach® program, the WHALE TAIL® Grants program (which supports marine education at the local level), free resources for educators, the Coastal Conservancy’s beach access and habitat restoration programs, and other programs to preserve and enhance environmental resources.
My personalized plate cost $98 and will be $78 to renew each year. Standard plates cost $50 at first and $40 to renew. But YOU have the chance to win a standard plate for free right now! Enter this Mom’s Guide contest for a chance to win a Whale Tail License Plate!
For your chance to win, please comment below with the name of your favorite California beach. 🙂
One reader will be randomly selected to win before the end of the month. Our winner will be contacted for additional information to set up the official plate order. To be eligible, an entrant must be able to provide proof of current vehicle registration and Vehicle Identification Number, reside in California and have a local mailing address. This contest is only for the initial purchase of the plate (a $50 value) and not for the annual renewal fee.
If you don’t get picked, don’t worry, Whale Tail the plates are easily available for purchase at ecoplates.com. You can convert your existing plate or buy a brand new whale plate online.
Good luck everyone!
Don’t Love Grocery Shopping with Kids? Get Instacart!
Is there anything good about grocery shopping with kids?
When they are infants it’s difficult enough to get into the store with them much less through it. The infant carrier takes up much of the cart, and if you shop with baby in the stroller, your storage space is way limited. Littles who can sit up often end up sucking on the cart handle. Add a second kiddo and you’re really screwed.
When they are toddlers they either want to ride in those dirty car carts that you can barely maneuver around the store or want to “help you” push a full-sized cart. This is also when they start to talk and tell you how much they want everything they see.
I’m in the “tween” stage where the kids don’t want to shop at all. “Are we done yet?” “Can we wait in the car?”
As I type this I’m awaiting my second Instacart delivery of the day (chips, guacamole and a bottle of La Crema Chardonney). I shopped from home this morning via new-to-San Diego Instacart and scheduled someone else to drive to the store, schlep around looking for my items, stand in line to check out and drive to my home with the food and household items we need.
The stores I selected were Costco and Smart & Final, but I could have also shopped from Whole Foods, Ralphs, Petco and Jimbo’s. This service is great when you don’t want to go to the store, don’t have time to go to the store, when you want to give your friend a hand . . . imagine sending a new mom the gift of delicious, prepared meals from Wholefoods that are delivered right to her door along with a bouquet of flowers.
Instacart sends messages throughout the process, alerts you if something is not available and lets you chat with your shopper through the app or your computer.
My super-friendly, right-on-time personal shopper, Rheanna, arrived at my door holding the 42-lb cat litter that I can barely lift. I didn’t have to circle around the Costco parking lot searching for parking, didn’t have to wait in the check out line that seems to get longer with each visit and, even though I am a Costco member, I didn’t have to be. Instacart shoppers have memberships, which means you can snag the club store savings without paying the annual fees. 🙂
Instacart just launched this week and, in this first phase, will be serving Downtown including Gaslamp and Little Italy, all the way East toward the College area, Rolando, and Oak Park. But they’ll be expanding shortly into the areas with the most downloads and the most potential for new customers. (come on East County! Download the free Instacart app so they will expand into our community 🙂 )
Although I used the special shopping code, MOMSOFSD, to get free delivery, the time, energy and gas money I saved were well worth the normal delivery fee of $5.99 (for orders over $35) and the 15% tip I chose to give Rheanna. I love that the Instacart stores are the same ones I already shop. Most offer the same prices via Instacart as they do to in-store shoppers. Costco prices are 15% higher, but worth it to me and probably most moms, especially those who aren’t members!
Thank you Instacart for giving me the opportunity to order groceries at a discount for this article and for sending them to my neighborhood even though we’re not part of the roll out. Check it out for yourself! All San Diego moms are invited to take advantage of a month of waived delivery fees. Use promo code MOMSOFSD or click this link to enjoy San Diego’s great new way to shop for your family!
Don’t Miss the Santa Train
There are many special ways to celebrate the holidays, but taking a trip on the North Pole Limited is one of the most magical in all of Southern California.
Children munch on chocolate chip cookies, sip hot chocolate and sing Christmas carols as the train approaches Santa’s workshop.
Parents help write letters to Santa in anticipation of the special time they will spend with him.
Elves read the story of The Polar Express.
Then, finally, the train approaches, and Santa can be seen waving and ho-ho-ho ing
After Santa climbs aboard he makes his way throughout the train, stopping to sit with each and every family, listening to Christmas wishes and spreading holiday joy.
Although the Santa train is nearly an hour drive from San Diego and costs $30 per child’s seat $40 per adult ticket, it sells out just about every year. There are only two dates left in 2014.
A great new option this year is a Santa’s Toddler Train on Sunday, December 14th at 1 p.m. for children who are too young to stay up for the trip to the North Pole Limited.
Visit the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum’s website for more information, and add the North Pole Limited to your list of holiday events.
Don’t trash them … SMASH them!
So with Halloween over, what plans do you have for that rotting jack-o-lantern sitting on your porch?
I know of two fun ways to recycle your pumpkins this upcoming fall weekend. The first is just East of Mission Valley in the beautiful San Carlos Community Garden.
Located at 6460 Boulder Lake Avenue, this community garden is typically open each Saturday for tours. But on Saturday, November 7th they’ll host a family-friendly Pumpkin Smash Harvest Festival with games and activities for kids, live music, food and refreshments. Bring your pumpkins for smashing between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Your compost contribution will help nourish the gardens for the months to come!
A little further away, but well worth the drive on a beautiful fall day is the 1st Annual Pumpkin Chunkin’ event at Cross Family Farm. We spent a few hours on the farm last weekend and wished we had more time to hang in Julian. You can enjoy all of the activities that we did (petting corral, hayride, apple cider pressing) on November 7th & 8th PLUS try your hand at catapulting pumpkins. Bring your own or buy one off the farm!
Owned and operated by our friends from The Julian Mining Company, Cross Family Farm is located just across the street from the mining company on Highway 78 in Julian. This weekend will be the last of the year to enjoy a harvest weekend. Visit this Saturday and Sunday between 12 and 4 p.m. and kiss that ‘ole pumpkin good-bye!
Easing Your Child’s Anxiety at the Doctor’s Office
Contributed by Dr. Jaime Friedman from the CPMG office in 4S Ranch
Pediatricians have all been there — the child is screaming, the parent is anxious, and the exam just isn’t getting done. During a busy day, it’s hard to wait for a parent to calm their child for an adequate lung or ear exam, so now the doctor is anxious! There are preparatory steps that a parent can remember to make a visit to the doctor more comfortable for the little patient:
- Prepare your child in advance. Let him/her play doctor with a set of toy doctor tools. Bring the toys with you, or bring a stuffed toy for the doctor to examine.
- Don’t lie about shots or promise that there won’t be any if you are coming for a well visit. The immunization schedule is always being updated and boosters get added. The shots are usually built into the well visit and are part of preventative care, so that is the best time to get them done if they are needed.
- Make sure you can hold your child for the exam, even if they are freaking out. The exam will be faster and more effective if your child is still.
- Avoid saying “it’s ok” or “it won’t hurt.” It is better for your child to hear you validate his/her emotions and know that being scared or nervous is actually ok. They don’t have to like or enjoy what’s being done to them.
- It’s ok to have a “lovey” or favorite toy with you, or even a song or movie on your phone to distract your child.
We understand that coming to see us can be scary. Let’s face it, the wait is boring, we use big words and there may be something painful coming.
But when it’s all over, we both want what is best for your child, which is to have an accurate exam and diagnosis. The best way to make that happen is for your child to be at ease and cooperate as much as possible. If that means a little bribery is needed (do I hear sticker and lollipop?), well, I’m not going to object!
For more information about Children’s Physicians Medical Group pediatricians, please click here.
Easter April Fools
Are you thinking of pranking your kids this Easter? (Which also happens to be April Fools Day.)
If your children are old enough to understand April Fools, you might want to throw a couple of these tricks into their basket!
She’ll think she’s unwrapping a foil covered chocolate egg, but it’s really going to be her least favorite veggie – a grape tomato!
Don’t tell my son, but there will be a certain number of eggs that are super-glued shut. Even more frustrating, they’ll be full of pennies that he can’t get.
The joke might ultimately be on me, but I’ll fill some of their eggs with confetti.
One egg will be filled with money . . . Bunny Money that is!
Do I dare add cat treats to some of the eggs? Sure, why not?!
Last but not least (and, actually, the first prank of the morning!) . . . jellybeans are not just potty training rewards. 😉
After 2018, the next time Easter will fall on April 1st is 2029 when your kids won’t be kids any longer. Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy the double celebration day with them.
Years before getting married, we enjoyed Easter Brunch at the Catamaran Hotel, getting a table outside just steps from the Bay, enjoying all-you-can-drink champagne and a fabulous brunch buffet. We’ve spent Easter the same way for the past five years as parents, but now the Easter egg hunt on the beach is part of the day.
Several San Diego hotels offer great Easter Sunday brunches coupled with egg hunts…The Bahia, The Westgate, The Hotel Del. And there are even more public celebrations happening the day before Easter, so if you’re looking for something fun to do with your little ones, check these out:
USS Midway Easter Celebration: Enjoy an Easter egg roll competition, petting zoo, flight deck safari hunt and more. 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. with paid admission
Santee Lakes Spring Eggstravaganza : Crafts, inflatables, carnival rides, pony rides, petting zoo, bunny photos, and continuous egg hunts from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Spring Party with Bunny at the San Diego Botanic Garden: Children ages 2 to 6 are invited to visit the gentle bunny and make some colorful spring crafts. Children will also parade through the garden, go on a bunny hunt, and enjoy a rabbit snack. Pre-registration required. 2 event time: 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. until 1p.m.
Bunny Drop at The Kroc Center: Free Easter Egg hunts, visit with the Easter Bunny, pony rides, arts and crafts, and more! 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Carlsbad EGGStravaganza Spring Festival in Pointsettia Park: (note, $5 activity fee must be purchased in advance to participate in activities). Come celebrate spring with music, fun games, arts and crafts and a Fun Zone with bounce houses, a giant slide, obstacle courses and a chance to “soak the bunny.” Collect eggs in the ongoing “Egg Scramble.” 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Spring Fling at Liberty Station: Free festival that includes egg hunts, inflatable slides and bounce houses, face painting, balloon artists, lawn games, crafts and games, raffle with prizes, music and much more. 12p.m. until 5 p.m.
City of Encinitas Easter Egg Hunt Festival in Ecke Sports Park: Free event featuring arts and crafts, entertainment, prizes, jump houses, face painting, pictures with the bunny (for a fee) and of course, 24,000 eggs! 10 a.m. until 1p.m.
Fallbrook Pancake Breakfast & Spring Egg Hunt at the Fallbrook Community Center: Join the Easer Bunny for a pancake breakfast and egg hunting fun. Fallbrook Firefighter’s Association will serve up a pancake breakfast as the Bunny hops around and meets all the kids. After breakfast, egg hunts are arranged by age group followed by games and contests.
Breakfast with Peter Cottontail and Egg Hunt in San Marcos Walnut Grove Park: Come and have breakfast with Peter Cottontail at “The Williams Barn” in Walnut Grove Park. Immediately following the breakfast, toddlers through 5th graders are invited to the community “Holiday Egg Hunt” where eggs with prizes will be hidden by the bunny himself! Come early to have your picture taken with Peter Cottontail, create free craft projects, and enjoy carnival games and party jumps. Bring a bag or basket for each child. New this year….. Special prize for every child who hunts. $5 donation per family.
Looking for something other than an egg hunt as a way to celebrate Easter with the kiddos? Check out the The Pacific Southwest Railway “Bunny Trains,” the Chula Vista Nature Center’s “Eco-friendly Easter” and the Temecula Children’s Museum “Egg-citing Dyeing” event.
Happy Easter everyone!
Hop on over to our egg hunt directory to find the best Easter events near you!
Saturday, March 24th 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Mt. San Miguel Park
Visit your Chula Vista Fire Station on March 1st to snag a free ticket to this annual event. The fun includes an egg hunt for children ages 0-10 yrs. old, pictures with the Easter Bunny & your neighborhood firefighters, fire engines to explore, lessons on fire safety, make-your-own-bunny-ears and special eggs filled with prize tickets in each age group. Space is limited. Children MUST have entry ticket to participate and must bring their own Easter basket.
Christ Lutheran Church La Mesa Annual Community Egg Hunt
Saturday, March 24th 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Harry Griffen Park
Hunt for thousands of filled eggs, enjoy Easter Bunny photo ops, face painting, and inflatable jumpies for children preschool through fourth grade. Free!
Saturday, March 24th from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Allied Gardens Community Park
Enjoy spring crafts, inflatable jumpies, food for purchase and a great time hunting eggs for kids ages 2 and older!
Sunday, March 25th from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Spring is in the air at Santee Lakes! Join this family friendly event that features continuous egg hunts all day (for ages 8 and younger), craft booths, inflatables, carnival rides, pony rides, face painting, food and more. Parking is $10 for your carload, and the event is free.
Saturday, March 31st 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Kroc Center San Diego Athletic Fields
Featuring egg hunts, candy bags, prayer offerings, photos with the Easter bunny, prizes, games and more. Eggstravaganza is open to all San Diego communities with children ages infant to 11 years. The “hunt” will be divided into three different sections according to age. Prizes in the eggs will range from candy to small prizes.. The entrance fee is $1 per person. Kroc Center members can “skip the line” and get in free through the gymnasium with their membership cards!
Saturday, March 31st from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.
Carmel Valley Community Park
Jumpies, face painting and a free egg hunt at Carmel Valley Community Park.
Saturday, March 31st from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m.
Mance Buchanon Park
Held at Mance Buchanon Park, this annual egg hunt is free for children ages 3-11. Families are encouraged to come early. There will be lots of candy, prizes, a magic show and of course, a special guest appearance by the Easter Bunny.
Saturday, March 31st from 10:30 a.m. until Noon
La Colonia Park
This free event at La Colonia Park is designed for children in the 3rd grade and younger. Come and enjoy the egg hunt, games and refreshments!
Saturday, March 31st from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Carlsbad’s largest egg hunt features the Egg Scramble activity where kids race to collect candy-filled eggs among several other fun activities, including face painting, crafts, soak the bunny, cookie decorating, fun zones, and more. This event also highlights the Carlsbad Parks & Recreation summer camps with demonstrations and activities that children can participate in. Wrist bands and activity cards are required for some of the activities and can be purchased presale or at the event.
Saturday, March 31st from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Poway Community Park
Living Way Church hosts this year’s Easter Egg Hunt at Community Park featuring an 8 a.m. pancake breakfast, fun and prizes, free arts and crafts, a bounce house and slide.
Saturday, March 31st from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.
Torrey Hills Community Park
Enjoy games, music, face painting and jumpies for free at this community event. There’s even a special scavenger hunt for kids ages 10 and older. Don’t forget to bring your own basket!
Saturday, March 31st from 10 a.m. until Noon
Encinitas Community Park
Pack a picnic and make a day of it hunting eggs and singing along with Hullabaloo Band at this special event in Encinitas Community Park!
Saturday, March 31st from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
Grossmont Center Mall in La Mesa
It’s an eggs-tra special fun Easter Egg Hunt at the mall! Hop from store to store to collect your goodies.
Know of a free egg hunt that we missed? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know! Happy Easter. 🙂
Hop on over to our egg hunt directory to find the best Easter events near you!
Saturday, April 6th from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Carmel Valley Community Park
Jumpies, face painting and a free egg hunt at Carmel Valley Community Park.
Saturday, April 6th from 10 a.m. until Noon
Adams & 35th Street
Egg hunt, prizes, games, crafts, opportunity give away and more! Don’t forget to bring your own basket for the egg hunt!
Saturday. April 6th from 9 a.m. until Noon
NTC Park at Liberty Station
Enjoy refreshments, inflatables, arts & crafts, and egg hunts for all ages!
Saturday, April 6th from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Santa Clara Recreation Center & Park
Fun for the whole family! Egg Hunt, Arts & Crafts, Jumper, Photo with the Spring Bunny.
Thursday, April 11th from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Nobel Park & Recreation Center
Face painting, arts & crafts, inflatable jump, photo with the bunny and lots of eggs!
Friday, April 12th from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
La Mesa Public Library ~ 8074 Allison Avenue
Celebrate día de los niños/Children’s Day with an egg hunt, crafts, goodie bags, face paining and more (while supplies last).
Friday, April 12th from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Tierrasanta Recreation Center
The fun begins at 6 with a “parade of wheels,” so decorate your bike, trike or scooter and join in. Then enjoy a DJ, prizes, games and crafts before the egg hunts begin. Don’t forget to bring your basket and to wear your glow gear like bracelets, necklaces and reflective clothing.
Saturday, April 13th 9 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Harry Griffen Park in La Mesa
Hunt for thousands of filled eggs, enjoy Easter Bunny photo ops, face painting, and inflatable jumpies for children preschool through fourth grade. Free!
Saturday, April 13th from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Allied Gardens Community Park
Enjoy spring crafts, inflatable jumpies, food for purchase and a great time hunting eggs.
Saturday, April 13th from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Carmel Mountain Ranch Recreation Center
Free event featuring arts, crafts, jumpers, snacks and of course a fun egg hunt.
Saturday, April 13th from 9-10 a.m.
Parkway Plaza Mall, El Cajon
Join the Easter Bunny and Hop till you drop at Parkway Plazas Bunny Hop Dance Party on 4/13 from 9-10am featuring: Little Catbird puppet shows from Little Catbird Children’s Theatre, delicious snacks from Cinnabon, complementary crafting + photos with the Easter Bunny/Spring Fairies.
Saturday, April 13th from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Civita Boulevard, Mission Valley
Join City View Church at Civita for a FREE Easter Egg Hunt with a petting zoo, pony rides, inflatables, and egg hunts all for free! Plus a selection of delicious food trucks where you can purchase fun food and snacks. Located at the Corner of Via Alta and Civita Blvd in the grassy area next to the dog park.
Sunday, April 14th from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Spring is in the air at Santee Lakes! Join this family friendly event that features continuous egg hunts all day (for ages 8 and younger), craft booths, inflatables, carnival rides, pony rides, face painting, food and more. Parking is $10 for your carload, and the event is free.
Friday, April 19th from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Decorate your own pair of bunny ears to wear during an egg hunt in the library and enjoy a book giveaway to celebrate Dia de los ninos. Please RSVP at the front desk, or call the library at 760 753 4027.
Saturday, April 20th 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Kroc Center San Diego Athletic Fields
Featuring egg hunts, candy bags, prayer offerings, photos with the Easter bunny, prizes, games and more. Eggstravaganza is open to all San Diego communities with children ages infant to 11 years. The “hunt” will be divided into three different sections according to age. Prizes in the eggs will range from candy to small prizes.. The entrance fee is $1 per person. Kroc Center members can “skip the line” and get in free through the gymnasium with their membership cards.
Saturday, April 20th from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
San Carlos Recreation Center
Free activities include egg hunts, air jumpers, The Little Fire Truck Company, pony rides, petting zoo, face painting, live music, and a VERY SPECIAL GUEST.
Saturday, April 20th from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m.
Mance Buchanon Park
Held at Mance Buchanon Park, this annual egg hunt is free for children ages 3-11. Families are encouraged to come early. There will be lots of candy, prizes, a magic show and of course, a special guest appearance by the Easter Bunny.
Saturday, April 20th from 10:30 a.m. until Noon
La Colonia Park
This free event at La Colonia Park is designed for children in the 3rd grade and younger. Come and enjoy the egg hunt, games and refreshments.
Saturday, April 20th from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Carlsbad’s largest egg hunt features the Egg Scramble activity where kids race to collect candy-filled eggs among several other fun activities, including face painting, crafts, soak the bunny, cookie decorating, fun zones, and more. This event also highlights the Carlsbad Parks & Recreation summer camps with demonstrations and activities that children can participate in. Wrist bands and activity cards are required for some of the activities and can be purchased presale or at the event.
Saturday, April 20th from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Poway Community Park
Living Way Church hosts this year’s Easter Egg Hunt at Community Park. Create spring masterpieces with free arts and crafts; bounce and slide your way through the popular Fun Zone; take your picture with Benny and Bonnie Bunny; and then there’s everyone’s favorite – the Egg Hunt!
Saturday, April 20th from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.
Torrey Hills Community Park
Enjoy games, music, face painting and jumpies for free at this community event. There’s even a special scavenger hunt for kids ages 10 and older. Don’t forget to bring your own basket.
Saturday, April 20th from 10 a.m. until Noon
Encinitas Community Park
Pack a picnic and make a day of it hunting eggs and singing along with Hullabaloo Band at this special event in Encinitas Community Park.
Saturday, April 20th from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
Grossmont Center Mall in La Mesa
It’s an eggs-tra special free and fun Easter Egg Hunt at the mall! Grossmont Center even provides Easter bags for storing your eggs—just pick one up from Guest Services while supplies last. In between egg hunting, there are fun activities geared towards kids such as crafts, face painting, and balloon animals.
Know of a free egg hunt that we missed? Please email email@example.com and let us know. Happy Easter. 🙂
EGG-cellent Things to do with Kids this Saturday!
Your family can hop all over town this weekend to celebrate Easter. From Santee to San Marcos, cities across our county are planning “Egg-cellent” events.
I’m most excited about Santee Lake’s Spring Eggstravaganza because I’ll be there representing Close5. If you have time between the continuous egg hunts (for kids 8 & under), face painting, pony rides, carnival rides, games, crafts and petting zoo, come and visit the Close5 booth for a free flip book featuring your family! (great alliteration, right?)
Santee Lake’s Eggstravaganza will take place at Lake 5 on Saturday, April 4 from 9 am until 3 pm. Activity and ride tickets are $1 each, and there is a $5 fee to enter the lake area. But I’m giving away two VIP packages that include Easter hunt wristbands and 25 activity tickets, so enter to win by commenting here with your favorite Easter tradition. 🙂
The Kroc Church in La Mesa will host its own Free Easter Eggstravaganza. Enjoy visits and pictures with the Easter Bunny, bounce houses, arts and crafts, music, carnival games, and prizes. There’s a toddler zone for those under 3, and kis 4- to 11-years-old are invited to hunt for more than 17,000 eggs on the Kroc Center field! April 4, 10 am-1 pm. Egg hunt for ages 4-11. 6845 University Avenue. Visit www.kroccenter.org for more information.
In addition to its Easter Eggstravaganza, Coronado is also offering Breakfast with the Easter Bunny. At 9 a.m. on April 4th, families can enjoy pancakes, sausage and fruit, egg hunting, crafts and face painting. Tickets are $9-$11 and must be purchased in advance. Free egg hunts by age group at the Coronado Community Center start at 1 p.m. 1845 Strand Way. Call 619-522-7342 for more information and to order tickets.
Carlsbad’s EGGstravaganza Spring Festival includes an “egg scramble” hunt, arts and crafts and a Fun Zone with obstacle courses, a giant slide, bounce houses and games on Saturday, April 4th from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.. Free admission, but there is a $6 charge for activity cards and unlimited Fun Zone wristbands. Poinsettia Community Park, 6600 Hidden Valley Rd.
Solana Beach’s Spring Festival & Egg Hunt features treat-filled eggs, games and refreshments. April 4, 10:30 a.m. until Noon. Free! Third graders and younger only. La Colonia Park, 715 Valley Ave., Solana Beach.
San Marcos families can enjoy a pancake Breakfast with Peter Cottontail followed by an Egg Scramble in the Park. The fun starts with breakfast at 8a.m. on April 4 followed by the egg hunt at 10:15 a.m. Cost is $5 per adult and $4 for children under 10. Walnut Grove Park, off Twin Oaks Valley Road.
The City of Encinitas will host a free egg hunt in Encinitas Community Park, 425 Santa Fe Drive. Easter Egg Hunt Festival in Encinitas will take place — when else? — this Saturday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.
El Capitan Equestrian Center
El Nino is here. Where will you play?
Yesterday, I glanced at my weather app, and saw nothing but rain in the forecast. My first thought was…”oh no, El Nino is here. Where will we play?!” I take my toddler to the park playground nearly every day. It’s such an easy, free way to have fun and burn energy. When the rain starts coming down, we’ll be out exploring the many indoor options that San Diego has to offer. In case you’re wondering what those options are, here is your ultimate guide to indoor fun! We want to know….where will your family play?!
KidVentures 4S Ranch
10760 Thornmint Road
San Diego CA 92127
M – F: 9:30am – 6pm
Sat: 9:30am- noon
Sat PM and Sun reserved for private parties.
851 Showroom Place
Chula Vista, CA 91914
M – T: 10am – 6pm
F: 10am – 8pm
Sat: 9am – noon
Sat PM and Sun reserved for private parties.
KidVentures Liberty Station
2865 Sims Road
San Diego, CA 92106
M – T: 9:30am – 6pm
F: 9:30am – 8p
Sat: 9am – 8pm
Sun: 10am – 5pm
Find parachute fun, Hullabaloo concerts, tea parties, arts & crafts, sensory play and more at KidVentures. Hours vary on the weekend due to private party bookings. Always call first.
First child $15. Sibling $8. Military discount available. 8 visits for $80
We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym
10175 Rancho Carmel Drive A128
San Diego, CA 92128
Hours 9am – 7pm
$15 per child. Siblings are $12. Military discount is $12
Check out 5 visits for $60
Full use of the gym, and arts and crafts featuring beading, painting, lanyards, and more.
Gym includes swings, crash pillows, zip lines, trampolines, indoor play structures, sensory toys, and arts & crafts stations.
858 Jackman St.
El Cajon, Ca
M – Sat: 9am – 6pm
Sunday hours vary based on private party bookings.
Daily admission $10 per child. Sibling $8. Military $1 off per child. Non walkers free up to age 1.
Check out 10 visits for $70, or 5 visits for $40
Song & Story time, music time, mess hour, special craft days. This indoor playground is designed for younger children with age-appropriate equipment and opportunities for exploration. An infant play area is available for non-walkers.
Escondido Children’s Discovery Museum
320 N Broadway
Escondido, Ca 92025
Admission is $6. Children under 1 are free. Military discount is $3 per person (Free for active duty until Jan 31st).
Mon – Sun: 9:30am – 4:30pm
At this museum, children learn through play and exploration. An outdoor children’s garden offers nature-based science activities. Parking is free but limited and is offered on a first come first served basis, but overflow parking is usually available. Check their calendar for fun events such as story time, crafts, and music.
Urban Jungle Fun Park
8711 N Magnolia #300
Santee CA 92071
M – T: 1pm – 8pm
F: 1pm – 9pm
Sat: 10am – 9pm
Sun: 10am – 8pm
Check out Urban Tot Wednesday from 10 – 1 for tots only!
Mon – Thurs $10 per hour or $14 for 2 hours
Fri & Sat $12 per hour or $18 for 2 hours
Jump Around Now Trampoline Adventure Park – Chula Vista
1675 Brandywine Ave
Chula Vista, CA 91911
Sun – Thurs: 11am – 8pm
Fri & Sat: 11am – 9pm
1 hour admission is $18, 2 hour admission $28
A huge, indoor trampoline and adventure park, featuring over 12,000 square feet of connected trampolines. Also check out the skywalk, climbing walls, and bungee jumping (check their website for age limits)
11655 Riverside Dr.
Lakeside, Ca 92040
M – T & Sat – Sun: 10am – 6pm
Fri: 10am – 8pm
Open Play $11. Sibling $9. Non-walkers/infants are $5 or free with paid sibling. Military discount $1 per child
Check out: Hero Mondays: $5 per child for active duty police, firefighters and military.
5 visits $45, 10 visits $80
Kids enjoy a large, indoor play structure with 3 large slides, rock climbing walls, ball pits and sports arena. Dedicated baby/toddler area for little ones with mini slides, a mini ball pool and soft play toys.
Smart Kids Time
Sculpture, Fine Art, Math Enrichment, Russian Language
Indoor Children Learning play center that offers parent/child activities devoted to the educational, emotional and social development of children.
5500 Grossmont Center Drive
La Mesa, CA 91942
Call for classes and hours: 619-244-0712
Open Jump at Pump It Up – Chula Vista
751 Design Ct Ste A
Chula Visa CA
Massive inflatables spark imagination and let them burn off energy.
$9 per child
Check calendar for times http://www.pumpitupparty.com/event-calendar/chula-vista-ca
Most open jump hours are M-F 10 – 11:30 and 4-5:30
Open Jump at Pump It UP – Poway
12760 Danielson Court Suite J
$10 per child
Check calendar for open jump hours. http://www.pumpitupparty.com/event-calendar/poway-ca
Rockin’ Jump San Diego
8190 Miralani Drive
San Diego, CA 92126
Check their website for Open Jump hours (typically 3pm – 8pm Mon – Fri and 10am – 9pm on weekends)
30 minutes of jump: $10
60 minutes of jump: $14
90 minutes of jump: $18
120 minutes of jump: $20
Military discount of 50% off
Trampolines, dodge ball arena, stunt bag arena, x-beam, slam dunk zone and rock climbing walls
Check out: ROCKIN’ TOTS jump time on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM and Saturdays from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM.
The cost for Rockin Tots (Parent and 1 Child up to 6 years old) for 2 hours of jump time will be $15.00 and each additional child will cost only $3.00.
6060 Avenida Encinitas
Carlsbad, Ca 92011
T – F: 10am – 6pm
Sat: 9am – 7pm
Sun: 10am – 6pm
Admission is $11 for ages 4+. Ages 3 and under is $8. Military discount is $1 off each child. Admission includes access to megaplay structure, learnwerx room, and library. Separate toddler area for little ones 24 months and under.
2375 Marron Rd.
Carlsbad, CA 92008
9:30am – 2:30pm $12 per child. $9 for sibling.
2:30pm – close is $8 per child.
Non walking children are $5 or free with a paid sibling.
Only children 7 and under are allowed on the equipment. Play houses, slides, castles, climbing ramps, trampolines, ropes, rings, cargo nets, low balance beams.
Check calendar for open play time hours and events http://www.kidsvilleplaygym.com/#!calendar/c8pq
Serra Mesa Library
9005 Aero Drive, San Diego
Kids Night with Hopscotch Tiny Tots
Tuesday 4:30 – 5:10
Music, stories, crafts for babies & toddlers
Music time with cowboy bob
Thurs 10am. Dance with cowboy bob as he sings and introduces his instruments.
Morning Story Time
10am – song and story
The Serra Mesa/Kearny Mesa libraries is one of our favorites for many reasons. They have wonderful programs for children, and a great reading/play area. And even in the rain, their outdoor play zone is covered!
The New Children’s Museum
200 West Island Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
M, W, Th, Sat: 10am – 4pm
Sun: Members only 10am – 12pm, Open to public 12pm – 4pm
Closed on Tuesdays.
The Museum opens a world of art to children through opportunities to observe and create.
Children (1+): $12
Children (under 1): FREE
Military w/ID: $6
Check out: Toddler time every Friday at 10am. Target Dollar Second Sundays – Admission on the second Sunday of each month is just $1.00 per person. Military personnel get in half price all year long and FREE from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Coming up, HBO’s Sesame Street Day. Free Admission on January 9th! Check their website for more details!
It might be time to sign up for Gymboree’s play and learn classes, offering fun from newborn to age 5. Check out my recent blog post on this incredible kids gym.
John’s Incredible Pizza
3010 Plaza Bonita Rd
National City, CA 91950
M – Th: 11am – 9pm
F: 11am – 10:30pm
Sat: 10am – 10:30pm
Sun: 11am – 9pm
Admission includes all you can eat buffet!
Kids 2 & under free
Kids ages 3-6 $4.99
Kids ages 7-12 $6.99
All military service members and their spouse and children receive 10% off their buffet & beverage purchase with valid/active Military ID Card (white, tan, red, green or blue).
Games, rides & attractions for everyone. From the classic skee ball and air hockey to the bouncing bumper cars, there is something fun for everyone. Toddlers can even enjoy their Kiddie land!
Dave & Busters
2931 Camino del Rio North
San Diego CA 92108
M – W: 11am – 12am
Th – Sat: 11am – 1am
Sun: 10am – 12am
Eat, drink, and play games with the family (not recommended for toddler play)
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
1649 El Prado
San Diego CA 92101
T – F: 11am – 4pm
Sat & Sun: 11am – 5pm
Children 5 and under are free
Does your kid love trains like mine does?! Not to be missed! Check out their calendar for fun-filled toddler hours including finger painting Friday’s and StoryTime hours. The museum offers train tables, puzzles, books, toy trains, and a chalkboard wall.
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
1875 El Prado
San Diego CA 92101
Open daily: 10am – 5pm
Adults 13 + $19.95
Kids 3-12 $16.95
Under 3 are free. Special pricing for military, seniors, & teachers.
Over 100 hands-on science exhibits for all ages plus an IMAX Dome Theater.
Check out: Kid City, specially designed for kids age 5 and under, complete with mini grocery store, little learner’s lab, block corner, and magnetic wall. They also offer an infant area, just for crawlers.
**Residents get in the Model Railroad Museum and the Science Center for free on the first Tuesday of each month! (Jan 5th & Feb 2nd)
San Diego Air & Space Museum
2001 Pan American Plaza
San Diego CA 92101
10am – 4:30pm
Adults over 12 $19.50
Youth 3-11 $10.50
Under 2 is free
Active Duty Military Free
**San Diego residents can enjoy the Air & Space Museum for free Jan 26th & Feb 23rd
Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater
General Admission is $5
Children under two are free
Wed, Thurs Fri: 10am and 11:30am
Sat & Sun: 11am, 1pm, 2:30pm
San Diego Junior Theater –
Ivy + Bean, the Musical and
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
1650 El Prado, Suite 208
Casa Del Prado, Balboa Park
San Diego CA 92101
Admission is approx. $11 – $15
January 8 – 24th, 2016
Recommended for all ages
Encouraging Speech Development Through Every Day Play
Previously, when I would see the words “speech development class”, the first thing that would come to my mind is a program specifically designed for speech delay. And thinking about speech delay immediately put my guard up, as it would with any parent. Knowing that all kids develop at different ages and stages, how do I really know if my 20 month old is ahead, on-track, or maybe just a late bloomer with his language development? I decided to take the plunge and see what I would learn! After all, it wouldn’t HURT anything.
During our class with Ryan, I learned that yes, she does offer speech therapy for children who are delayed. However, she also offers amazing advice and tips for ALL children, including those who are “late bloomers” or are having a hard time using the words that they do know to express themselves. To my pleasant surprise, I even learned that Oliver is totally on track and even ahead for his age, but found her advice so useful that I now implement her tricks on a day-to-day basis. This was a fun, interactive, mommy & me participation class with personalized attention and engaging activities!
After Ryan’s class, encouraging Oliver to use his words came naturally to me. Ryan incorporates music, toys, and games with an emphasis on parent education, so that you can continue to ensure your child’s success, even outside of her class.
Intrigued? Want to learn more? Here’s your chance! Check out the free preview class, June 9th @ 9:30am at the Baby Garten studio in South Park. To learn more and to send in your RSVP, visit her website at http://www.rlspeechtherapy.com/#!class-information/bdl41
This summer, the 6-week “Talking Tots” class will take place at five different locations throughout San Diego, making it accessible to parents and toddlers all over town. Regardless of your child’s speech progress, you will benefit from the toys, games, books, and songs used to improve your toddler’s language skills.
La Mesa Community Center (La Mesa)
Baby Garten (South Park)
Discover the Glow (Pacific Beach)
KidVentures (4s Ranch – class begins in August)
Babies in Bloom (Vista)
Classes begin the week of June 20th (the Kid Ventures location will begin in August) and run 6 weeks.
As an added bonus, ONE LUCKY MOMS GUIDE READER WILL WIN A FREE 6-WEEK SESSION TO RYAN’S BABY GARTEN SERIES! To enter to win, just leave a comment below with your baby’s first word! Our lucky winner will be selected on the evening of June 8th!
End of Summer Bash with Hullabaloo!
Beat the heat and treat your family to fantastic indoor fun at Gymboree in Poway this Saturday! We (and our kids) love Gymboree and are excited to be able to give away a FREE family pack of tickets for the end of summer party.
The bash includes:
*Two Hours of indoor play for the whole family (children ages crawling to 5 years)
*Summer Themed Play Activities on Gymboree’s state-of-the-art Play Floor
*Summer Themed Art Studio with Sand play, water play & crafts
*Special 30 minute jam session with HULLABALOO
*Goodies, snacks and giveaways!
The fun takes place at Gymboree Scripps Poway on Saturday, August 27th from 4-6pm
Tickets are $20 for members, $25 for non-members and FREE for one Mom’s Guide family. Comment below with your child’s birthday month to be entered for a chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets. One lucky reader will be selected on Wednesday of this week!
Good luck. 🙂
Engineers on the Big Screen
Last Tuesday was my husband’s birthday, and the thing he wanted to do most of all was go to the RH Fleet Science Center with our kids to see the IMAX film “Dream Big, Engineering Our World.” You see, Greg’s an engineer, and he wants to inspire our kids (and others) to be engineers. And that’s the whole idea behind Dream Big . . .
Produced in partnership with American Society of Civil Engineers, Dream Big combines the incredible scenery IMAX film-goers have come to love with inspiring stories that will resonate with children. There’s the story about high school students who beat competitors from Harvard and MIT at a NASA-sponsored robotics competition. And there’s a female engineer who is designing bridges in poor countries like Haiti to make it safer for students to walk to school over local rivers.
Dream Big is 40 minutes of awe and inspiration, and it’s just one more reason why the Fleet is our family’s favorite museum. The science center’s Tinkerer’s Club staff were on hand to help our kids create their own engineering wonders. We never leave this place without learning something, doing something and having some fun.
Dream Big is playing several times each day at the RH Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park. For tickets and the show schedule, visit rhfleet.org/shows/dream-big.
Every Other Year
We skipped the Del Mar Fair last year (I like to call things by their original names) and enjoyed avoiding the crowds and the cost that come with a fair day.
But this year I purchased the $59.95 fair deal from Costco, which included a parking pass, 4 admission tickets, a coupon book good for a variety of buy-one-get-one deals, four regular sized soft drinks (normally $3-$4) and 50 ride tickets. It was a great day from our parking lot shuttle ride to the fried snickers bar and everything in between. And, boy did we get our money’s worth!
I’m not a scheduled person and think it’s nice to just show up, taste the famous fair foods and stroll around taking in whatever happens to be going on during the visit. However, had I looked at the schedule ahead of our visit we would have definitely made time for some of the more kid-friendly events like the pie eating contest and 3 o’clock fun.
Still, it was a terrific day because the fair wasn’t overly crowded, the day wasn’t too hot or cold, the tickets and food were not too expensive thanks to our Costco deal, and, because everything we did was really fun. Highlights included the swifty swine pig races, a viewing of Hercules, one of the world’s largest horses, watching the charity fair horse show practice from box seats, feeding animals at the petting zoo and riding lots and lots of rides and still ending up with 6 extra tickets!
Everything you need to know about the fair can be found online. I suggest taking a look at the daily schedule to get a feel for what you want to do before you show up. There are so many options it can be overwhelming once you’re on site so planning ahead is a good idea.
It’s also a good idea to find a special promotion that works for your family. Activity, ride and game tickets can add up quickly, and that’s after you’ve paid $10-$15 for parking and $8-$14 for admission. The Passport to Savings book came with our Costco ticket package and is definitely worth the $4 on-site price.
This year’s fair experience was really great and something we will do again…at least every other year!
Expectant Mom Mingle
It’s that time again when expectant moms get together to talk pregnancy, babies and meet others going through the same thrilling experiences. This quarterly event is sponsored by the Scripps Parent Connection, a non-profit organization that has been supporting San Diego moms for 35 years, and Babies R Us, which generously provides our meeting space and fabulous raffle prizes like…
Every Expectant Mom Mingle guest is a winner — whether they walk away with a prize or not — thanks to the expert advise we get and sweet connections we make. Plus we enjoy complimentary food and drinks and relaxing chair massage.
Special guests at next weekend’s mingle are Elaine McGhee of ThriveMomma.com who will talk about how prepare for your post-maternity period and managing your time once baby arrives and Dr. Heidi Henson of PainCare of San Diego who will talk about natural solutions for pre-natal and postpartum pain.
I hope you’ll join us!
What: Expectant Mom Mingle
Where: Babies R Us, 8181 Mira Mesa Boulevard
When: Saturday, June 13th from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m.
Cost: $10 includes program, raffle prizes, complimentary chair massage, gift bags, food & beverages
To register visit SanDiegoParent.com.
FALL-ing in Love with San Diego?
Have you been enjoying the beautiful days and chilly nights this week? I’m frequently contacted by moms who are moving to San Diego, and I’m thinking about them, wondering if they are impressed with our So-Cal fall.
We’re only a week or so away from Halloween, and the temporary pumpkin patches you find at malls and such will soon be gone, but there are still many wonderful ways to enjoy fall with your little ones in San Diego County. Here are a few of our favorite outings…
Summers Past Farm
The kiddos can pick a beautiful pumpkin from this East County patch, but your family will enjoy visits to Summers Past throughout the year. The gardens are whimsical and are a fantastic spot for family photos. There are chickens, a rabbit and sweet farm cats around. Annual events and special workshops also keep families visiting year round. I’m determined that 2012 will be the year we make it to their popular fairy festival.
Van Ommering Farm (Oma’s Pumpkin Patch)
There’s never a bad time to visit Oma’s Pumpkin Patch. Open all year, Van Ommering’s is a working California dairy farm in Lakeside that hosts annual pumpkin patches as well as a Christmas patch. But we like to visit anytime to sled down the cotton seed hill, visit with the newborn calves, run through the hay bale maze and “milk” cows. Sure, it gets a little hot in the summertime, but somehow the kids never seem to mind.
Apple Picking in Julian
This weekend appears to be the end of apple picking season in Julian, but even without the the fabulous u-pick experience, it’s a great place to visit in the fall. I’ve never done it but have thought often about staying at a little Bed and Breakfast on a chilly weekend. The town is quaint and a great place to go if you’re missing the feel of East Coast fall.
Family Christmas Party
The Parent Connection’s Breakfast with Santa is such a sweet way to kick off the holiday season.
For just $35 per parent/child couple, you’ll enjoy a hot breakfast, a private concert by San Diego’s favorite kids’ band, Hullabaloo, a special visit with Elsa from Frozen, cookie decorating and professional photo with Santa, compliments of Sandra Kay Photography.
Make the most of Saturday morning, getting into the holiday spirit while staying out of the crowds and chaos. You’ll leave with a full belly, a warm heart and your professional Santa photo as a memento. Reserve your spot before it’s sold out!
Saturday, December 8th
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Qualcomm Cafe Q
6455 Lusk Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92121
Children ages 1 and older $15
Babies under age 1 are free
Family Field Trip to Julian
Did you feel the hint of fall in the air this morning? Whether it’s warm or cool as we enter September, many San Diego families start to think about taking a drive up to Julian for apple picking season.
Julian apple picking is one of the sweetest ways to spend time with your kids, and it’s just an hour east of San Diego in the beautiful Cuyamaca mountains.
Orchards are reporting strong crops that are maturing a little later than usual. While every apple is normally gone by the end of September, some u-pick orchards will have only just opened by the end of the month.
Volcan Valley Apple Farm is our fave for straight apple picking. They plan to open at 9 a.m. on Friday, September 7th.
The Julian Mining Company is our favorite place for all-around family fun in Julian. In addition to picking juicy apples, this is the place we can spend the day with a petting zoo, gold mining, tomahawk throwing and more! They are open each weekend, but apples may not be sweet until later September.
You can find a complete list of orchards and links to their websites at visitjulian.com.
New this year is Julian’s Old Fashioned Country Fair, September 22 – 23rd at the Julian Farm & Orchard. Free and open to the public, this event will feature games and activities, some of which may carry a small charge.
Take a step back in time with the Mom’s Guide and join our group for a day of apple picking, hayrides and cider pressing at the Julian Mining Company. We’re working to get a group rate and hope to see you there!
Family Fun GIVEAWAYS!
This will be another jammed pack weekend of family fun with both the annual Hullabaloo Family Music Festival and San Diego Kids Expo taking place. And Mom’s Guide readers once again have the chance to attend both for FREE!
The Hullabaloo Family Music Festival has been sold out for weeks now, but I have tickets to giveaway! This sweet event is held at the gorgeous Bernardo Winery (and, yes, there will be wine sold!). In addition to Hullabaloo and guests singing with the kids, there will be opportunities for kids to get hands on with music and for moms to shop the “Mom Made Market.” It’s a fabulous way to spend a Saturday!
Hullabaloo Family Music Festival
Saturday, April 30th
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte, San Diego, CA 92128
This will be our first year attending the San Diego Kids’ Expo. I’ve heard wonderful things. Both Saturday and Sunday are packed with entertainment for the kids including rides, jumpies, games, characters, performing arts and music. I have both adult tickets to give away (kids under 12 are free) AND activity wristbands for kids to play in the inflatable play world for as long as their little hearts’ desire. 🙂
San Diego Kids’ Expo & Fair
Saturday April 30th & Sunday, May 1st
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Del Mar Fair Grounds
If you’re interested in a weekend of non-stop fun, enter BOTH of our giveaways today. Simply comment below with “Hullabaloo,” “Expo” or “both” to be entered for your chance to win!
While perhaps not as fancy as our last rendezvous at the Westgate hotel with the most delightful illustrator imaginable, I am excited to announce this year’s Fancy Nancy Parade with Robin Preiss Glasser.
Your splendiforous Fancy Nancy Parade Adventure will begin at Powerhouse Community Center in beautiful Del Mar with some fun Fancy Nancy activities, including tiara crafts.
Next, beloved New York Times bestselling children’s illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser will delight her fans with a fun, interactive reading, after which she will lead Fancy Nancy fans and their families on the first ever Fancy Nancy Parade along a short route through the streets of Del Mar.
***Pre-purchase an autographed copy of Fanciest Doll in the Universe, the newest book in the Fancy Nancy series, and you are invited to join Robin for a fun VIP reception immediately following the parade at Del Mar Plaza. But hurry, this offer is limited to the first 200 who pre-purchase the book. And as a special bonus the Vickie Lavanty Salon is donating complimentary haircut coupons valued at $45.
If you’d like to ENTER TO WIN an autographed book and ticket to the VIP reception, simply comment with either your child’s favorite Fancy Nancy book or favorite fancy word. One winner will be selected this week!
Fave 5 ~ first week of October
It’s the first week of October, and fall is in the air. This is the month of pumpkin patches, trick or treating at Seaworld & Legoland AND free admission for kids to nearly every San Diego museum and attraction. It’s also the last month for summer movies in the park with many Halloween favorites playing for free in parks across the county. So much fun, but what will you choose????
Tuesday, October 1st – Thursday, October 31st
Museums, Attractions, Restaurants & Hotels County-wide
Take up to two kiddos per paid adult to nearly any San Diego museum that you’ve ever thought about visiting with the family. There are more than 100 attractions, hotels and restaurants offering deals for San Diego families starting this week. The San Diego Zoo is offering free admission for up to ten children, aged 11 and younger, free with each paid adult ticket. Legoland is offering a one-day child hopper ticket with purchase of a full-price one-day adult hopper ticket to LEGOLAND California and SEA LIFE® aquarium. Up to 4 children can cruise on a Coronado Gondola with a paying adult. Get the full list of these special offers here.
Friday – Sunday, October 4th – 6th
Village of La Mesa
Kid and dog-friendly, La Mesa’s Oktoberfest is a great outdoor event. Enjoy rides, games, music and food all weekend long. Free entry.
Saturday, October 5th from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Lemon Grove Recreation Center, 3131 School Lane in Lemon Grove
The Grossmont Healthcare District generously puts on Kids Care Fest each year, providing free vital screenings and services from local healthcare providers, food, games, rock climbing, safety demonstrations, giveaways and more! Free admission, open to the public, no registration necessary.
Saturday, October 5th @ 5 p.m.
Santa Clara Point in Mission Bay
Arrive at 5 to enjoy the pre-movie fun including a bounce house with slide, and arts and crafts. This free movie in the park will begin at sundown at the Santa Clara Recreation Center.
Saturday, October 5th from 5-6 p.m.
Sweetwater Summit Regional Park in Bonita
Meet LIVE Hawks, falcons and owls with the help of Sweetwater Springs Summit Regional Park rangers. Experience a close encounter with these skilled predators and learn about their fascinating physical adaptations. Learn about the birds of prey that live in your neighborhood and the important role they serve in the wild. Gain skills in identifying the birds of prey in Southern California.
Fave 5 ~ Week of August 12th
The summer is winding down, but the family fun is not! Don’t forget to visit our online calendar for even more fun things happening in San Diego this week.
Saturday & Sunday, August 17-18, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. performances
Balboa Park Casa del Prado Theater
This family-friendly dance performance merges the timeless beauty of ballet with four classic stories – Cinderella, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Puss in Boots and SDCYB’s 2020 spring ballet The Firebird – all coming to life at the historic Casa del Prado Theater in Balboa Park. Featuring a professional storyteller leading an interactive experience that includes an enchanted forest in the lobby of the theater and SDCYB’s award-winning, sustainability-themed Fairy Tale Village directly outside the performance, it is perfect for families of all ages! All tickets are $15.
Saturday, August 17th from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Bayside Park in Chula Vista
Free family fun with hands-on animal encounters, arts & crafts, life music, food and drinks, water sports, Lucha Libre Wrestling and more! click for details.
Saturday, August 17th from 10 – 11 a.m.
Mission Trails Regional Park
Children ages 5-10 are invited to join Ranger Heidi for a nature story, followed by an arts-and-craft project related to the theme of the story. Meet at the Kumeyaay Lake Campground’s picnic shelter (across from the restrooms) on the 3rd Saturday of each month from 10 to 11 a.m. This program is FREE, but space is limited, so please be sure to RSVP by calling 619-668-3279.
Saturday. August 17th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park
Stop in the San Diego Model Railroad Museum on Saturday, August 17th for a day full of games, crafts, and fun! We will also have music to sing and dance along to, so come celebrate all things trains. Dress up like your favorite Thomas character, whether it’s a costume, shirt, or pajamas! Music performances will be at 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm. This event is included with regular price of admission.
Sunday, August 18th from 12 – 1 p.m.
Los Penasquitos Ranch House
Fave 5 ~ Week of June 24th
It’s going to be another amazing week to be a kid in San Diego! We love bringing you our “fave 5,” but there’s definitely more to do than what you see below. So be sure to visit our local events calendar to pack your week with even more fun.
Wednesday, June 26th from 4-5 p.m.
9005 Aero Drive, San Diego 92123
Sparkles the Clown & Co drops by the Serra Mesa / Kearny Mesa library with a hilarious and whimsical magic and bubble show. Free!
Friday, June 28th at 11 a.m.
San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, Escondido
Meet and learn about rabbits through a live presentation, meet, greet & pet rabbits, enjoy a special craft, and more. Free with Museum admission.
Friday, June 28th from 10 a.m. until Noon
Screen-free fun for kids age 3 and older at your local Michael’s store. Camp Creativity happens every Monday, Wednesday and Friday through July 26th. The cost is $3 per child and includes supplies and staff-led activity. This Friday’s craft is “jungle slime.” Be sure to register in advance to reserve your spot.
Saturday, June 29th 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.
Crown Point Park
Join local families and others around the globe for International Mud Day! Enjoy a day of splashing, rolling, squishing, sliding, making mud pies and connecting to the natural world. Crafts and other events planned as well. This is a FREE Event sponsored by The City of San Diego and SD Children & Nature.
Sunday, June 30th from 5 – 7 p.m.
The perfect way to end your weekend – – bring the whole family, throw down a picnic blanket, and enjoy the happy tunes of Hullabaloo as the sun sets over San Diego Bay. FREE!
Fave 5 ~ Week of May 19th
This week’s fun starts on Sunday and goes strong through Sunday. Some of our favorite annual events of the year happen this week, both at the Waterfront Park! ~ kick-off of Summer Movies in the Park & Hullabaloo at the Waterfront. Join us!
Sunday, May 19th from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
San Dieguito Heritage Museum
The Ranch at The San Dieguito Heritage Museum turns into a kid’s paradise with face painting, petting zoo, lifeguards, fire engines and more. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., just $5 per person, kids 12 and under get in free!
Wednesday, May 22nd from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m.
Get hands-on with interactive beginner painting exploration (process bases) using paint brushes and stamps with author and artist Spramani Elaun. This art experience uses earth-friendly art supplies and participants will take home their art. **Included with Aquarium Admission**
Thursday, May 23rd from 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Salvation Army Kroc Center
This FREE, family-friendly event will encourage your children to love literacy and the arts! Enjoy an interactive theater performance titled “Carnival of Little Animals” by Jerry Hagen, an interactive story teller. A creative, animal-themed art project will follow the performance, and attendees will also receive a free zoo themed book to take home, “Zoo in the Sky” from National Geographic.
Friday, May 24th from 6 – 10 p.m.
Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Highway, downtown
Bring your blankets and lawn chairs to kickoff the 2019 Summer Movies in the Park! It’s a fun night for the whole family with pre-movie activities starting at 6 p.m., concessions and food trucks onsite.
Movie starts at 8pm right after sunset.
Sunday, May 26th from 5-7 p.m.
Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Highway, downtown
The perfect way to end your weekend – – bring the whole family, throw down a picnic blanket, and enjoy the happy tunes of Hullabaloo as the sun sets over San Diego Bay. Children’s Physician’s Medical Group, East San Diego Soccer Shots,
G3Kids and The Super Dentists will be there with the kid-friendly pre-show activities starting at 5 p.m. Music starts at 6. FREE!
Have a great week and be sure to check out our online events calendar for more ideas on what to do with the family.
Fave 5 ~ Week of November 18th
I try very hard not to jump straight from Halloween to Christmas. But this week’s Fave 5 focuses on Christmas events because, if you want to participate in some of San Diego’s more popular holiday events, you’ll need to get your tickets before they are sold out.
Here are five holiday happenings that we’ve loved over the years …
Holiday weekends beginning November 29th
Pacific Southwest Railroad Museum in Campo
I see lots of San Diego families traveling great distances to enjoy a live “Polar Express” experience, and I often wonder if they realize that the super fun North Pole Limited train takes off from nearby Campo throughout the season. This has been a favorite of ours for many years. Arrive before your train departs to stroll through the hobo camp next to the depot to hear tales from railroading’s past.
Once onboard, Santa’s elves lead guests in singing favorite Christmas carols, they read Polar Express, pass out cookies and hot chocolate and, before you know it, the North Pole Limited has arrived at Santa’s Workshop to pick up Santa and Mrs. Claus. Each guest gets to sit with Santa on the way back to the depot. Don’t forget to come dressed PJs if you’re taking the night train!
Some dates for the North Pole Express are already sold out. For the full schedule and to purchase tickets, visit psrm.org/npl/.
December 14th, 15th, 20th, 21st & 22nd
San Diego Symphony, Downtown
The San Diego Symphony’s annual “Noel Noel” holiday concert will put your whole family in a festive mood. The show features some of the season’s favorite songs as well as magical new holiday music that everyone will love. Noel Noel is performed several times over two weekends, and there is a special family daytime concert on December 15th. Get more information and purchase tickets at SanDiegoSymphony.org.
Mom’s Guide Tip: The famous Donut Bar is just across the street from Copley Symphony Hall and is often open before and after a performance. They serve awesome, mega-sized donuts and amazing craft beers. 😉
December 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 & 22nd
Lincoln Performing Arts Center, 4777 Imperial Ave
Ok so we haven’t seen this version of Traditions of Christmas yet, but we have seen the original and were so sad when it went dark for two years to be “remixed.” With lots of dancing and singing to favorite holiday songs, the original version of this Christmas musical extravaganza has been seen by over 250,000 patrons. I just know that the new LED scenic designs, lighting, new songs and dance numbers are going to get everyone into the holiday spirit – even the Grinch! For tickets visit CYTSanDiego.org/shows.
Select dates now through December 29th
The Old Globe Theater, Balboa Park
This is one show we try to do every single year because it is so fun, so happy and imparts a wonderful message about Christmas being a whole lot more than shopping and gifts. Uber talented children and adults in whimsical costume perform day and evening shows throughout the holiday season, including a special sensory-friendly performance on December 14th. For tickets and more information, visit TheOldGlobe.org.
Mom’s Guide tip: Arrive early to take pictures in front of the Christmas tree. There’s a nice snack bar serving hot chocolate and other kid-friendly goodies as well as cocktails and light meals.
December 5, 6, 7 & 8
Faith Chapel in Spring Valley
Here’s another San Diego favorite that has changed since we last visited. For many years Fatih Chapel’s Bethlehem Story was interactive with visitors walking the streets and bazaars of Bethlehem on the night Jesus was born. Last year the show was changed to a stage performance, and the free tickets were distributed before I could snag 4. If you’re looking for events that really express the reason for the season, Bethlehem Story is a must. As told in the Gospel of Luke, encounter Mary and Joseph as they travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, witness the announcement of the birth of the Christ child, learn of the great census and visit with citizens of Bethlehem as they experience the extraordinary event that changed the world forever, the birth of the Messiah.
Tickets are FREE. Get yours here.
We know you’re also looking for fun things to do this week, so check out our online calendar to help plan your week as well special seasonal activities!
Fave 5 ~ Week of November 4th
Halloween festivities have come to an end, but there’s lots of fall fun on the horizon. This week brings free museums, toddler yoga at the aquarium, hands-on discovery tables, trains, monster trucks and more. As always, our event calendar is a great place to turn when looking for kid-friendly fun in our beautiful city, but here are our fave 5 picks of the week! Have fun out there San Diego!
Tuesday, November 5th – all day
Balboa Park Museums
Ok so this may be one of those “everyone already knows about that” events, BUT, the first Tuesday of the month is our absolute favorite, and worth an extra mention this week. If you have young kids, some of the most family-friendly museums will offer FREE ADMISSION this Tuesday. While it’s unlikely that you can make it through all three in a day, you have great options with the Fleet Science Center, The Natural History Museum, and the Model Railroad Museum. Note that during crowded times, strollers may be restricted, and asked to be left at the front of the museum. All residents (adults) will need to show a photo ID with your address for free admission.
Wednesday, November 6th from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
From story time and live music, to art activities or animal interactions, Toddler Time is a fun and engaging event for the littlest guests, ages 5 and under, at Birch Aquarium. This week, Seed & Song will explore the mystery of the ocean in this upbeat yoga + music class, developmentally designed to wake up your senses and carve out mindful time together. Take a deep breath and dive in with our original Seed & Song music that harnesses the power of music therapy techniques. Get ready for interactive, quick-paced fun. Learn more at seedandsong.com.
Saturday, November 9th from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Mission Trails Regional Park
Stop by the Discovery Tables in the lobby of the Visitor Center of Mission Trails Regional Park anytime between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and learn all about lichens from MTRP Trail Guides. See if you can solve the lichen layers puzzle and identify the three types of lichen!
Discovery tables are set up on the second Saturday of every month. Tables feature hands-on activities and take home materials for kids and adults. Topics vary month-to-month.
November 9, 10 & 11 from 9 a.m – 5 p.m.
Southern California Railway Museum
If you have a mini Thomas enthusiast like I do, then heading up to Perris, Ca for the upcoming Day Out With Thomas: The Steam Team Tour, is an absolute MUST! On November 9th, 10th, & 11th, Thomas the Tank Engine and his best friend, Percy (check Percy’s appearance times), will be visiting the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, CA! Little engineers and their families can spend the day at this fun-filled family event, which offers the opportunity to take a ride with Thomas the Tank Engine and Percy! In addition, they will meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway, and enjoy a day of Thomas-themed activities.
November 9, at 12:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m, November 10, at 12:30 p.m.
Hot Wheels™ Monster Trucks Live will visit Pechanga Arena on November 9th and 10th for 3 action-packed performances. The inaugural tour launched in January, brings the famous Hot Wheels™ Monster Trucks to life in a full-size, kid-focused, immersive Hot Wheels® experience for the first time ever! Ticket prices start at $8 for children, and $30 for adults.
Fave 5 ~ Week of October 21
It’s the last full week of the month, and it’s over flowing with festive fun. Don’t forget to take advantage of the Kids Free October promotions before they’re over. Here are our five favorite ideas for the week, but there’s oh so much more. Visit our online calendar for more options than you’ll have time to enjoy!
Wednesday, October 23rd
La Jolla Kayak Rentals in La Jolla Shores
Take advantage of the warm weather and the last full week of Kids Free in October with an afternoon paddling around La Jolla Shores. One child rides free in double kayak with an adult who purchases a full priced single kayak @ Bike & Kayak Tours La Jolla!
Thursday, October 24th from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Mission Hills Library, 215 W. Washington St.
Introduce your baby to reading during this festive season with books, songs, rhythms, and finger plays designed especially for Halloween. Bring your baby in costume. Every baby will get a prize!
Saturday, October 26th from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Point Loma Nazarene University in Point Loma
At this FREE community event, enjoy wagon rides, a pumpkin patch, music from local musicians and exhibit booths showcasing San Diego businesses, artisans, and nonprofit organizations. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. you sample food from local eateries at the Taste of Point Loma. Visit one of the Top 20 Most Beautiful College Campuses in the U.S. and experience a day of fun, fall-inspired activities for all ages – the young and the young at heart!
Saturday, October 26th from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
It’s the region’s largest free Halloween Festival and Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama and El Prado walkway will be overflowing with free hands-on activities for kids like a haunted lantern craft at the Japanese Friendship Garden booth, a rooftop pumpkin drop experiment in front of the San Diego Air & Space Museum and a “Thriller” flash mob dance in the Plaza de Panama that anyone can learn and participate in. Museums offer additional Halloween-themed activities inside their buildings, and there’s even a mini-carnival games for prizes.
Sunday, October 27th from 4:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Old Poway Park
Celebrate Halloween in a distinctly different way by taking a ride into the past aboard the “Halloween Express,” Poway’s own Baldwin Steam Locomotive. Haunted house, scary stories, carnival games and more guarantee to thrill and chill!
Fave 5 ~ Week of September 16
Cool off with a swim, stay safe with help from the Sheriff, pick an apple, touch a truck, enjoy a stuffed animal sleepover all this week . . .
Tuesday, September 17th from 2-4 p.m.
Kroc Center Pool
Happiness is only a dollar away! Attend the Kroc Swim Happy Hour and enjoy two hours of swim time for one dollar! Spend Tuesday afternoons from 2-4pm lounging at the pool, while the kids play in a safe environment. Each Tuesday in September
Wednesday, September 18th from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Simon the Safety Bloodhound from the San Diego Sheriff’s Department will talk about how to stay safe at the Santee Library. Free for kids grades K-4. Watch the fun video about this program here.
Friday & Saturday, September 20-21st
La Mesa Library
Bring your favorite stuffed animal to the La Mesa Library anytime on Friday for a fun sleepover where they’ll discover what happens when the library is closed. Meet up with your stuffy on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. for a special story time and find out what shenanigans they got up to during their slumber party!
Saturday, September 21st from 12 – 3 p.m.
Julian Town Hall
Heading to Julian for apple picking this weekend? Stop by the Julian Town Hall for some free apple-themed kids’ crafts. Orchards open for U-pick include Gatil Mountain Farms, Apple Starr Orchard, the Julian Mining Company and Volcan Valley Apple Farm.
Sunday, September 22nd from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
11600 Riverside Drive in Lakeside
Bring the whole family to climb up and sit in the cab of some of the biggest and baddest hard working trucks and large machinery around! Touch-a-Truck features trucks, trailers, tractors, machinery, cool cars and everything in between!
There’s even more fun to be had this week. Check out our full calendar here.
Fave 5 ~ Week of September 23rd
It’s one of those weeks with too many awesome things happening than time to enjoy them. In addition to our Fave 5 listed below, it’s Air Show week and the kick off of Kids’ Free October with the Museum Mashup. Don’t miss a thing – visit our full local events calendar before making your plans for the week!
Thursday, September 26th – Sunday, September 29th
California Center for the Arts in Escondido
Enjoy the best history of the old-world circus tradition under a big tent that seats just 500. This circus features acrobatic feats, equestrian showmanship, canine capers, clowning and plenty of audience participation.
Saturday, September 28th from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Naval Base Point Loma
A fun event for the entire family, Cabrillo Festival features educational activities, cultural demonstrations and exciting folkloric performances celebrating Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European to land on the west coast of what is now the United States of America. Brightly colored clothing and vibrant music and dancing bring to life the traditions of the Native American, Mexican, Portuguese and Spanish cultures that are part of the Age of Exploration. Enjoy delicious traditional Mexican, Native American, Portuguese and Spanish food. Vendors will showcase a diverse array of artistic goods.
Saturday, September 28th from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Michael’s Craft Stores throughout San Diego
Skip the scary Jack-o’-Lantern and make fun craft pumpkins instead! Buy the craft pumpkin, and the supplies to decorate it will be provided by your local Michael’s store. Kids can make a clay pot scarecrow project for free.
Saturday, September 28th beginning at 6 a.m.
Open to kids ages 15 and younger, this free fishing derby is held on beautiful Lake Cuyamaca. Participants will get to use equipment and fish for free. Kids also have the chance to win prizes for the biggest catch. Free lunch is provided following the derby. Kayaks, pontoon and peddle boats available to rent to enjoy the lake to the fullest.
Saturday & Sunday, September 28 & 29 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Bates Nut Farm in Escondido
Teach your kids about farming and agriculture. Special guests will be on hand to share their knowledge of farm animals, wool spinning, organic gardening, beekeeping, and other aspects of life on the farm. Live entertainment and food, tractor hayrides, picnicking, pony rides, petting zoo, face painting and farm zoo continue through the weekend. Don’t miss the antique tractor parades at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day!
Favorite Family Friendly Restaurant
I’m asked all of the time which family friendly restaurant is our favorite. For Team Humora, there’s none better than Corvette Diner.
We’ve celebrated several family birthday dinners at Corvette Diner, we head there with school friends on our half days and we love to visit on any Wednesday for the 1/2 priced games promotion!
We were treated to an awesome diner lunch last Sunday, and I’m excited to report that I picked up some yummy giveaways for YOU!
If you enjoy comfort foods like burgers, chicken fried steak, tuna melts, cobb salads and old fashioned milk shakes in a setting that’s full of dancing, laughter and silliness, keep reading.
If your kids (or you!) love playing Skee ball, air hockey, Kung Fu Panda and Deal or No Deal (my favorite because it yields the most tickets), the “Gamers’ Garage” is a must visit after your meal.
And, if this looks like the perfect ending to a family dinner, now’s your chance to enter to win!
Corvette Diner, part of the respected Cohn Restaurant Group, has been a popular San Diego destination for years. It’s a place where the kids can be themselves, the adults can snag a cocktail and everyone can enjoy a delicious meal and family-friendly entertainment including magicians and balloon artists how roam from table to table.
Comment below with your favorite item from their menu for your chance to win a free kids’ meal and a free milkshake coupon. I’m picking 10 winners. 🙂
Gage and I have spent many afternoons fighting the bad guys from World War II, Desert Storm and battles in between. Hanging out on the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier was our special thing to do while Mallory was in school last year.
After the first “this is AWESOME!!!” trip, I knew it would make sense to buy the family membership for $90.
It’s a favorite place to take our friends and family who are visiting from out of town.
There’s so much to learn, to see and explore whether you are a 5-year-old boy or and 85-year-old man. Even girls enjoy the Midway, as I learned yesterday when we took Mallory and her friends to our special place for the very first time.
We only had time to grab a quick lunch at the Fantail Cafe, take a simulated trip on the F18 Hornet and explore the flight deck, so everyone wanted to plan another trip soon. Lucky us! USS Midway Memberships are half-priced through October!
Our own membership doesn’t expire until February 2014, but I was able to extend it until February 2015 for only $45. A terrific deal given that a regular-priced, single-visit adult ticket is $19.
In addition to the half-priced membership offer, the USS Midway is participating in the Kids Free In October promotion. So now’s a great time to check them out!
Some might say that hitting arcades like Chuck E Cheese’s with your kids is a drag for parents, but I don’t see it that way at all. Don’t you remember the thrill of an afternoon of pizza and Ms. Packman? The lights, the sounds, the smells, the PRIZES…kind of like Vegas for minors.
So even though the food is usually just OK, and we often struggle to find prizes the kids want that cost less than 5,000 tickets, our family loves to hit our neighborhood Chuck E. Cheese’s (great value), Shakey’s Pizza (yummy lunch buffet, especially the fried chicken!) and the “boardwalk” at Parkway Bowl (awesome in the summer during the kids bowl free promotion). You could say I’ve become something of a connoisseur of arcades.
This month Chuck E. paid us to visit by offering 10 free tokens attached at the bottom of this Halloween promotion. In my experience, they offer the best overall value. Every game costs only a quarter compared with some arcades that will charge up to a dollar for the exact same games. Chuck E. usually pays us a visit while we are there, handing out free tickets to the kidlets. And there are always coupons to download from their website, making each trip price out to about $20 for pizza, drinks and a couple hours of playtime.
While not quite the bargain that Chuck E. Cheese’s is, Corvette Diner is a better overall family experience. Corvette has really good food, thick and wonderful homemade shakes, a full bar for parent-type fun, games for all ages that are 1/2 priced every Wednesday and the most awesome prize counter ever. My kids have gone home with trick gum, disappearing ink, Nerf guns, toy bow and arrows…I love these toys that don’t break on the car ride home and don’t take thousands of tickets to “buy.”
Thinking of checking it out? This Halloween, which falls on a Wednesday, will be a good time to visit Corvette Diner with 1/2 priced games and the chance to win prizes in their annual costume contest. Be there or be square, as they like to say 🙂
Festive Cheer at Legoland California
The best toy and the best holiday, all in one happy place…LEGOLAND California!!
On Monday, we were invited to attend the 14th annual tree lighting ceremony at Legoland in Carlsbad, California. This was our first visit to the amusement park and let me tell you…O. M. Geeeeee we loved it!!
Having lived in San Diego for several years, and having explored most of the areas attractions, I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t have many expectations for Legoland, but this place blew me out of the water. In my mind, my two-year old would be too young to enjoy the park, but boy was I wrong! We are already planning our next trip back!
We didn’t have enough time in the day to get through all of the rides, shows, and play areas before heading over for the evening ceremony, where we were treated to a live performance from the Lego Friends holiday show and given a sneak peak of the new LEGO NINJAGO rooms at the Legoland Hotel, and renderings of the new Castle Hotel, due to break ground in January 2017!!
Guests cheered as Santa and Stana Katic (from the ABC hit series “Castle”) engaged in an exciting countdown to light the 30 foot tall “tree”, made out of more than 245,000 green DUPLO® bricks, and featured more than 11,000 LED lights! During the ceremony, LEGOLAND donated a generous $10,000 to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles on Katic’s behalf and celebrated with an epic firework show!
The annual ceremony was the kickoff to LEGOLANDS holiday celebrations, Festive Cheer. Now through January 1st, families who attend the park can also enjoy holiday shows, holiday treats, occasional snow flurries, and even LEGO Santa! Kids can sing and dance with the LEGO Friends, and take a photo with a life-sized LEGO Santa and Reindeer!
On December 31, head up to LEGOLAND for a Kids’ New Year’s Eve party, complete with fireworks and a “Brick Drop! Don’t forget to turn your admission ticket in for a FREE RETURN ticket to be used in early January. I know I will be back!!
Fever? Rash? Child Under 5? Let’s Get Checked out for Kawasaki Syndrome!
Sixteen San Diego children have been diagnosed with Kawasaki disease since this January, and County Health officials believe that more cases may occur through March because of the wet, cool weather we’ve been experiencing.
“The symptoms of Kawasaki disease include fever for up to 10 days, rash, swelling of the hands and feet, bloodshot eyes, swollen lymph glands in the neck, and/or red mouth, lips and throat,” says Dr. Jaime Friedman of Children’s Physicians Medical Group. “Peeling of the fingers and toes is a late finding in many patients after the fever has subsided.”
Photo Credit: Kawasaki Kids Family Foundation
Kawasaki disease is the most common acquired heart disease in children. Untreated, roughly one-quarter of children with Kawasaki disease develop coronary artery aneurysms – balloon-like bulges of heart vessels – that may ultimately result in heart attacks, congestive heart failure or sudden death.
While weather may be a factor in contracting this disease, so may ethnicity, age and gender. Asian/Pacific Islanders have an increased relative risk of contracting Kawasaki disease compared to other races or ethnicities as do males and children 5 and younger.
Kawasaki disease is estimated to affect fewer than 6,000 children in the U.S. each year, but cases appear to be rising in San Diego County. The Kawasaki Disease Research Center at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and UC San Diego School of Medicine alerted HHSA to the fact that twice as many San Diego children had been diagnosed with Kawasaki disease so far this year compared to prior years.
Diagnosing and treating Kawasaki Disease within the first 10 days is crucial to prevent long-term damage “If your child has a fever that lasts more than four to five days, especially with any of the above findings, contact your child’s doctor,” says Dr. Friedman.
For more information about the disease, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Kawasaki syndrome website or the Kawasaki Disease Research Center website.
Children’s Physicians Medical Group is a long-time partner of The Mom’s Guide to San Diego. They are pediatric healthcare experts with same-day appointments if your child is sick or hurt and convenient locations throughout San Diego County offering after-hours care. We appreciate their contribution to our health-related articles!
Fit for a Princess
Do you have a princess in your house? A prince?
I have one of each, and they love a good tea party. What they got last week at The Royal Fairytale in Parkway Plaza Mall was a GREAT tea party with Cinderella.
Sure, the first thing my daughter said was “She doesn’t look like Cinderella at Disneyland.” And she was right.
But, does Disneyland Cinderella fix your hair in a princess-do complete with sparkle fairy dust and tiara? Has she ever read from the books The Princess and the Pea and Miss Spider’s Tea Party? Does Disneyland Cinderella do the hokey pokey? Teach you how to play “princess says?” Lead the limbo?
Most importantly, does Disneyland Cinderella teach you table manners, how to sip tea from a real china cup and serve you heart-shaped sandwiches?
Dressed in her favorite pink princess gown, dripping with fairy sparkles and beaming with delight, my sweet 4-year-old declared that this was the best Cinderella ever at the end of the 2-hour event.
My 3-year-old prince, who elected not to wear the adorable knight costume available in the dress up area, was also pleased with his Cinderella encounter, even though, as he reminded me, Belle is his favorite princess.
At The Royal Fairytale, you can purchase a single seat at the tea party for $15 or host an entire private birthday party in a “real” castle. Prices start at $250 for 8 guests and there are a variety of party themes including Glitzee Girl, Sassy Spa and Stuffie-making parties.
We’re partial to The Royal Fairytale since it’s owned by the lovely ladies who brought us Bears, Buddies & Toys, which is where we had Mallory’s 4th birthday party before they closed earlier this year. We’re so thrilled that they are back in business in a new location. Check them out online too at www.theroyalfairytale.com
Fitness, Childcare, Support & Community
“Do you want me to hold your baby so you can take a shower?” These were the words that Tina, owner of Hapa Yoga, said to me after I finished my first Mommy and Me session. I immediately knew I would be hooked. I was 6 weeks postpartum, and finally ready to revisit my practice. I had heard good things about this studio through word of mouth, and decided go to check it out for myself. I cannot say enough about this place. Hapa has everything you could want in a yoga studio; convenient location, easy parking, clean facility, friendly staff, childcare, quality equipment, great bathrooms and…worth a second mention…childcare! 7 days a week!
I gathered the troops from my mommy tribe more than a year ago, and, to this day, we are all incredibly fond of this studio.
Hapa Yoga offers everything from Vinyasa to heated yoga, Pilates to Barre. For the mommy in us, they have a wide variety of Mommy & Me fitness classes, pre-natal yoga, and even Hapa Tots Kids Yoga (for ages 2+).
Follow Hapa on Facebook page to stay up to date on special workshops like self defense training, baby music & movement, natural birthing and more.
Interested in becoming a yoga instructor? Yup, they do that too! A good friend of mine recently shared this about her teacher training experience:
“There are a couple of reasons I chose Hapa for my training. I really like the focus on family. The fact that I could bring my son with me while I practice to a fun environment, usually playing with other kids, makes me feel like it’s a positive experience for both of us. And, it makes me feel less guilty and more relaxed about having to practice all the time! Hapa has a wide variety of classes that they offer, so I knew the training would include different styles. And Tina is such a giving, wonderful person who really wants everyone to succeed. She helps in every aspect of becoming a teacher, offering internships and business advice on top of the standard training. It feels like I am part of an awesome family there.”
Are you pregnant and wanting to stay in shape while waiting for baby? Did you loose touch with your yoga practice after your little one arrived? Do you have a kid who you’d like to introduce yoga to? If you answered yes to ANY of these questions, you should absolutely bump a visit to Hapa Yoga to the top of your priority list. You won’t be sorry you did.
I was not surprised at all when Hapa was voted the best studio in San Diego for the second year in a row!
4242 Camino Del Rio N.
San Diego, CA 92108
Five Star Martial Arts
Doesn’t it seem that a new trampoline park opens every few months? I guess the secret’s out — kids love to jump and flip.
We recently went to what might be considered one of San Diego’s “original” trampoline parks, Flip Force in Mira Mesa. The difference is that at Flip Force, kids not only feel the thrill of flying through the air, they receive instruction on how to do it properly and safely. The owners of the multi-sport competitive gym has been instructing children and adults for more than 20 years.
Girl Scout Troop 6767 enjoyed a party there a few months ago, and an instructor was with us for the full 1 1/2 hours helping us warm up, teaching us technique and introducing us to all Flip Force has to offer. Moms even got in on the action, and it was a fantastic way to spend the day with our kids.
The girls even got the chance to learn a little about the art of cirque.
Flip Force offers a variety of classes like tumbling, cheerleading, cirque and Parkour, which is like ninja training. They have an open gym option each weekend and also offer camps throughout the year.
At $275 for 12 guests, pizza, drinks and 1 1/2 hours of instruction and fun, I think Flip Force offers one of the better birthday party values in town. There were no dull moments, everyone was able to participate, and we all learned a little something. I give them an A+ for our Girl Scout party!
As the mom of a one-year-old, my life is so full of activity and noise that, even when I take a minute to sit down and relax, my mind is running with all of the things I should be doing. You know what I mean, right?
When I heard of “float therapy” — a new way to “let it go” through deep, weightless, silent relaxation in a warm pool of water, I was intrigued. But when the owner of A Quiet Place Floatation Spa invited me to come and float as his guest, I immediately had anxiety about it. Could I actually relax in a dark, quiet tank and float in the water for an hour? It sounded isolated and claustrophobic.
But on behalf of all San Diego moms who could use a little more peace and relaxation, I decided to give it a go. This is what I discovered…
What is a “floatation spa” and how does it differ from an “isolation/deprivation tank”, or does it?
This depends on who you are and what you are looking to get out of it! The tank can be as dark and quiet as you want it to be, therefor giving you the “isolation tank” feel. I, however, decided to play music throughout my experience, and also left the tank door half open so a small light would shine in.
I was nervous about feeling claustrophobic, but it wasn’t that way at all! I could spread my arms and legs completely out and drift from one side to the other! With dim light and the music playing, I was completely aware of my surroundings and never felt trapped.
Why would I go to one? What are the benefits?
As moms, sometimes we just need to “get away from it all”, and when we do, we turn to different avenues of relaxation or meditation….yoga, massage, shopping! And although I highly enjoy all of these activities, I encourage you to try a float sometime and just completely let go. Did you know that one hour of floating is equal to four hours of sleep?! Here are just a few of the many benefits that the float will give you:
• Promotes total calm and peaceful relaxation
• Eliminates fatigue and jet lag
• Improves sleep
• Alleviates stress (mental and physical)
• Increases motivation, diminishes depression, anxiety and fear
• Facilitates freedom from habits, phobias and addictions
• Creates mental clarity, alertness
• Decreases the production of cortisol, ACTH, lactic acid and adrenaline
• Speeds up rehabilitation and recovery
• Relieves pain (arthritis, migraines, injuries and so on)
• Boosts immune function
• Improves circulation and distribution of oxygen and nutrients
• Reduces blood pressure, pulse, heart rate and oxygen consumption
And, more than anything, I wish I had discovered float therapy during my pregnancy! During your 2nd or 3rd trimester, you will be given a pillow/noodle so that you can lay on your stomach. Floating completely weightless decreases inflammation and swelling, and takes away your stress and anxiety!
How does it work?
The moment you walk in the door of the spa, you can immediately let go. Dim lights, the smell of lavender, the soft music, the chamomile tea…the whole experience is very…zen. Once you’re settled and watch a brief video explaining how everything will work, you step into your private room and rinse off in a warm shower. You then slip directly into the pod, put your earplugs in (to avoid swimmers ear), close the pod door (if you want), lean back, and voila! time to relax! You have the option of floating naked, or in your bathing suit. The level of salt in the tank makes it physically impossible for you to sink, and you can even do some stretches or turn on your side if you choose. I was also nervous that an hour would be way too long, but I found it to be completely the opposite! Since it took me a few minutes to really settle in, I think I was just about to drift off to sleep when the lights come on signaling my hour was up. I probably could have floated for another whole hour! Once your time is up, you’ll step back into the shower to rinse the salt off. At A Quiet Place Floatation Spa, they also provide you with nice organic soap, shampoo, and tea!
Is it expensive?
Surprisingly, NO! First time clients enjoy a one hour float for just $38! Even better, Richard is giving one of our Moms Guide Readers the chance to win a free float! We will choose one lucky winner from the comments below. Just tell us how you would benefit from an hour long float!
Is it sanitary?
Yes! I was pleasantly surprised at how clean the whole venue was. Each of the pods has an amazing filtration system, providing an extremely sanitary environment. This state-of-the-art purification system removes particles up to 5 micron (which is 5/100th of a human hair!). The filtration process runs 24/7, with the exception of when it’s in use, and completes, at minimum, 3 full turnovers between each user session. On top of that, all pods and showers are completely cleaned with an anti bacterial solution after each user.
Where do I try it out?
If you’re like me, I always turn to Yelp for “real” reviews on a business before I go try it out. Lucky for you, I’ve already done this, and can confirm that A Quiet Place Floatation Spa has 5 stars! I am even working on my 5-star yelp review today! This is definitely the place you should go! This business is known for being clean, professional, comfortable, and personal. Plus, their pods are larger than many others you’ll find. It is an experience unlike any other, and I walked away feeling a complete sense of relaxation and euphoria.
Float on my friends! Visit or contact:
1525 Grand Avenue in San Marcos
Follow Your Heart to the new Disney on Ice!
It’s about this time every year that we get giddy about the upcoming Disney on Ice show and what they will have in store for us! This year Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart, featuring some of our favorite characters from the smash hit animated movies, Finding Dory & Inside Out for the first time in a live production!
Performances run from January 25-28, 2018 at the Valley Vo Center!
Just keep swimming with Dory, Nemo, Marlin and new pal Hank from Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory as they embark on a life-changing excursion to find her parents and discover the true meaning of family. Cheer with Joy, Sadness, and the rest of the Emotions from Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out as they help Riley find the confidence to win the big hockey game.
Venture to wintery world of Arendelle where Olaf and Kristoff help reunite royal sisters Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen and learn love is the most powerful magic of all. See Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana and the Disney Princesses make their dreams come true through their virtues of bravery, kindness and perseverance. And celebrate true friendship with Buzz Lightyear, Woody and the Toy Story gang.
WHEN: January 25 – 28, 2018
Thursday, January 25 7:00 PM
Friday, January 26 7:00 PM
Saturday, January 27 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
Sunday, January 28 1:00 PM & 5:00 PM
WHERE: Valley View Casino Center – 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., San Diego, CA 92110
TICKETS: Ticket prices start at just $15 each!
Discount Opening Night tickets available for only $12 (not valid for premium seating levels)
GIVEAWAY: We are excited to be able to offer one lucky family a 4-pack of tickets, good for either Thursday, January 25th, or Friday, January 26th at 7pm. Tickets will be distributed as vouchers, which will need to be redeemed at the Valley View Casino Center box office. For your shot at winning tickets to the show, COMMENT BELOW WITH YOUR CHILD’S FAVORITE DISNEY CHARACTER!
All seats are reserved; tickets are available for purchase online at AXS.com, charge by phone at
888-9AXS-TIX or visit the Valley View Casino Center Box Office.
*tickets prices are subject to change; additional venue/ticketing fees may apply
Free & Cheap Summer Movies w/Kids
Looking for inexpensive family entertainment this summer? San Diego’s summer movie specials make it easy to build memories with your kids without busting your wallet.
You can catch free and cheap kid-friendly movies all over town and in all kinds of places, from outdoor movies on the beach to movies on the Midway. Enjoy movies from your lawn chair at the lake or snuggle into a luxury lounge chair to catch a family-friendly flick.
Movies in a Pool
The Summer Movies in the Park series includes movies in municipal pools. This summer families can enjoy FREE movies while floating. On July 7th The Lion King will be shown in the Las Palmas Pool, National City and Moana will be shown on July 20th at the La Mesa Pool.
Free to Kroc Center members and just $10 per person to non members, enjoy swimming and movie watching on Wednesdays throughout the summer. The event kicks off on Wednesday, June 20 with the screening of Hotel Transylvania 2, followed by Wednesday, July 25: Finding Dory and Wednesday, August 15 with a showing of Wreck It Ralph.
Movies at the Lake
Bring your blanket and enjoy this movie under the stars! Parking is $10 per carload. We like to make it a day, playing at the splash grounds, feeding the ducks and having a picnic dinner. 🙂
Movies on the Beach
The Catamaran Hotel’s Summer Movies on the Bay continues tomorrow with a sunset showing of Inside Out. These free movies are shown on the north side of the pier overlooking the bay each Monday, Wednesday and Sunday.
The Hotel Del’s Movies on the Beach series gives viewers a few different ways to watch under the stars. General admission beach chairs are available for $20 per person. There is also a VIP family movie package available including a private beach bonfire, s’mores for 4 people, two Del Beach beach chairs and a Del Beach daybed. This package must be reserved in advance. Cost is $300.
The Hotel Del movie lineup includes The Lego Ninjago Movie on July 7th, Coco on July 14th and Star Wars – The Last Jedi on July 21st.
Movies in the Theater
Luxury cinemas are typically not in the picture when it comes to bringing my kids to the movies, but thanks to the Cinepolis Summer Kids Series movies like Paddington 2, Despicable Me and The Emoji Movie are just $3 per ticket. You do need to purchase the tickets in advance, but how fun is this idea for a summer play date?
Of course we love, love, love our traditional theaters that also offer sweet movies all summer long for only $1 per ticket!
Regal’s Summer Movie Express shows films like Sing, Hop and Alvin and the Chipmunks for just $1 every Tuesday and Thursday.
Ultrastar Cinemas in Mission Valley also offers a Summer Kids Series with $1 movies each week, Monday through Thursday. Upcoming showings include Boss Baby, Ferdinand and Captain Underpants.
Reading Cinemas in Clairemont is hosting its Reel Kids Summer Movie Festival now with $1 summer films as well. Happy Feet, Kung Fu Panda and Shrek 2 are on the roster.
Movies in the Park
San Diego parks from Oceanside to OB participate in the Summer Movies in the Park series. Each park handles their movie night a little differently. We have loved being on the USS Midway for a movie (next up, Hidden Figures on July 13), checking out the snakes and animal pelts on display at Sweetwater Regional Park before the start of their movies, and enjoying the pre-movie jumpies and faces painting at Scripps Ranch Community Park.
All movies are free and there are more than 100 shown from the end of May into October. Find the full list here.
And if you can’t find something you want to see through the parks department programs, check out the Liberty Station Outdoor Movie Series on the second Saturday of each month from May through October. The six curated films reflect the diverse arts and culture offerings at the growing Arts District at Liberty Station and appeal to film lovers of all ages. Evenings feature surprise pop-up performances or activities along with curated shorts preceding the feature film. Next up is Wonder Woman on July 14th.
Free Car Seat Safety Checks
If you’re not sure about how to install your baby’s car seat, help is available.
Babies R Us and the CHP are teaming up to provide FREE car seat safety checks this weekend. A complimentary car seat safety check event will be held this Sunday, November 2nd from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Babies R Us in Chula Vista.
No pre-registration is required. Just arrive at the Babies R Us located at 1860 Main Ct in Chula Vista between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and let the experts properly install your baby’s car seat.
If you are unable to attend the November 2nd event, here is a list of other San Diego organizations that provide free safety checks:
Kohl’s/Rady’s Children’s Hospital Car Seat Inspection at Kohl’s East Lake, Chula Vista. Click link to schedule your appointment.
Central San Diego
Kohl’s/Rady’s Children’s Hospital Car Seat Inspection at Rady’s Children’s Plaza in Serra Mesa and at the Balboa Kohl’s. Click the link to schedule your appointment.
California Highway Patrol-San Diego , 4902 Pacific Highway twice a month on Saturdays. First come first served, call 619-220-5492 for more information.
La Mesa Police Department at 8085 University Ave. Free inspection on the 1st Tuesday of each month at 9am. First come first served, no appointments needed. Call 619-667-1400 for more information.
California Highway Patrol, 1722 East Main Street in El Cajon. Tuesday mornings, call 619-401-2000 for appointment.
Kohl’s/Rady’s Children’s Hospital Car Seat Inspection; Kohl’s of Rancho San Diego. Click the link to schedule your appointment.
California Highway Patrol, 1888 Oceanside Blvd. in Oceanside. Once a month, first come first served from 9 – 11 a.m. and 1 – 3 p.m.. Call 760-757-1675 for available dates.
Kohl’s/Rady’s Children’s Hospital Car Seat Inspection for Encinitas and San Marcos. Click the link to schedule your appointment.
California Law (Effective 01/01/2012):
Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat.
Children under the age of 8 who are 4′ 9″ or taller may be secured by a safety belt in the back seat.
Children who are 8 years and over shall be properly secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint system or safety belt.
Passengers who are 16 years of age and over are subject to California’s Mandatory Seat Belt law.
For accurate, up-to-date car seat safety information, visit http://www.thecarseatlady.com/.
FREE Demo Day with Super Soccer Stars!
Saturday, September 20th
Carmel Mission Park – (Corner of Carmel Country and Carmel Mission Road)
9:00 – 9:40am: 2-3 year olds
9:45 – 10:30am: 3-young 4 year olds
10:35 – 11:25am: Older 4-5 year olds
9:45 – 10:45am: 5-7 year olds
10:50 – 11:50am: 8-10 year olds
Spaces are limited, so be sure to save your spot!
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 619.577.4009!
Super Soccer Stars teaches soccer skills to children 2 and older in a fun, non-competitive and educational environment. Through our age-specific curriculum, we use soccer to nurture, build self-confidence and develop teamwork. Low child-to-coach ratios and positive reinforcement ensure that each child improves at his or her own pace while having a blast!
Fresh Flowers for the Holidays
A couple of years ago I took a floral design workshop with my daughter that made me say, “This is how I want to kick off fall every year.”
Not far from our house was an adorable local florist who offered us the opportunity to step away from our hectic schedules and escape into a room overflowing with the beauty and aroma of fresh greenery and flowers.
Mallory was just 8 years old at the time, but had a better talent for design than I did.
The class cost about $50 and lasted a couple of hours. Together (and with the help of the pros) we plucked our favorite colored and shaped flowers from a vast assortment and managed to assemble festive centerpieces for our Thanksgiving table.
I thought this would be a wonderful mother/daughter tradition, but sadly that floral shop closed. So I’ve done some research to try to find a replacement class, and this is what I’ve come up with . . .
Four Seasons Flowers in the Poway area offers a variety of holiday-themed workshops including a floral cornucopia class on November 19th and a holiday candlelight centerpiece on December 3rd.
Isari Flower Studio in Solana Beach offers workshops each month. There’s nothing listed for this holiday season, but a 2017 calendar is “coming soon,” and the space is available for rental and private workshops.
And the San Diego Floral Society meets in Balboa Park to teach floral design in a series of affordable classes.
The holiday are often hectic, but if you’re looking for a way to bring more meaning and joy to the next few months, try creating your own centerpiece. Whether with your kids or as a Moms’ Night Out, it’s a great way to relax, unwind and enjoy the beauty of the season.
Fresh or Fake?
We invested in a “permanent” tree long before I realized that San Diego has several Christmas tree farms where families can wander and search for the perfect tree to cut and take home.
We really love our tree. It’s ready for holiday decorating whenever we are, it is always beautifully shaped with reinforced branches that can hold any ornament without drooping, it never loses needles and even smells nice thanks to the scent-cicles we hang.
But it certainly would feel more “Christmas-y” each year to journey out to one of the four farms within an hour drive from San Diego. They each open the day after Thanksgiving and feature U-cut Monterey Pines as well as other varieties of freshly cut and potted/plantable trees.
House Evergreen Farm in Alpine boasts trees over 10 feet tall and complimentary candy canes.
Pine Tree Acres in Ramona hosts a party jump each weekend, ornament and cookie decorating, games, pony rides, a petting zoo and visits with Santa. Some activities require a small fee. Weekends through December 12th.
Highland Valley Christmas Tree Farm in Ramona offers military families a 20% discount and has trees starting at $8 per foot.
Family Christmas Tree Farm in El Cajon features hay rides and farm animals for the kids to enjoy.
We don’t need a real Christmas tree, but many of our readers do, so I am super excited to give one San Diego family the opportunity to visit the farm of their choice and select a U-cut tree of their own, compliments of The Mom’s Guide to San Diego.
For your chance to win, please comment here with your favorite holiday memory from your childhood or as a parent. One winner will be selected on Thanksgiving day, just in time to be first at the Christmas tree farm!
P.S. Please share with a family who is especially deserving this holiday season. 🙂
Game Changer on Friday Night Fun
Are you looking for something extra fun to do with your family tonight?
Check out the Fleet Science Center’s Game Masters exhibit any Friday starting tonight through September 1st for late night gaming open to all ages until 10 p.m..
There’s 100+ playable games, gaming on the Giant Dome screen and a no-host bar (open at 6 p.m.) for your adult beverage needs.
We got a sneak preview of this last night, and it truly was one of our best family night’s out ever. Greg and I got to introduce our kids to the arcade games we grew up with . . .
And the kids introduced us to some of their favorite games.
This is the first large-scale exhibition to take visitors behind the scenes of how video games are made as well as spotlighting the people who actually make them. From Nintendo’s iconic worlds featuring Mario and Link, to the obsession that is Minecraft, to the immersive experiences of Blizzard Entertainment, this is a landmark collection of the most popular video games on the planet, as well as independent games with a cult-like following.
No quarters needed! Regular admission applies, and includes Game Masters and all the Fleet’s interactive exhibits. Game Masters is also available for daytime fun, but we loved having a family night out, and I would imagine it’s always less crowded!
Want to WIN a family 4-pack of tickets to the Fleet Science Center? Comment below with your all time favorite game for a chance to win!
FREE admission is also available to any San Diego kinder – 12th grade student who has received an “A” in any science or math subject in the past 12 months.
Want discounted tickets? The Fleet has great discounts for educators and military and is also open every month during resident free Tuesday.
Game Masters will be on exhibit through January 15, 2018.
Late night at the museum runs this Friday through September 1st. Last admission is 9:30 p.m.; the building closes at 10 p.m.
Those who wish to consume alcohol must have a valid ID and be 21 or older.
Gaming is more fun with a friend!
It’s inevitable…our kids are just drawn to screens. By the time your child is age 5 or 6, you have most likely just accepted it and allowed him to play within reasonable limits and parameters. Luckily, there are games like Minecraft, that are built for learning, creating, and interacting! And, luckily, there are places like GameSync where your child can play with friends in a parent-approved, high tech gaming arena!
Looking for a unique party venue for this year’s birthday?! GameSync might be the one! How about the idea of a Minecraft Birthday?! Kids can build objects, solve puzzles, and explore endless possibilities within the private on-premise server (meaning lightning fast speed and no abusive language or inappropriate game actions taken by malicious people on public internet)! Best of all, there are thousands of game choices which means there is something for everyone!
Tournaments, Minecraft classes, and private parties…your kiddo will be nothing less than stoked to play here!
So let’s play!! The MomsGuidetoSanDiego is giving away THREE chances for your child to invite a friend to come and play for free on Wednesday, April 13th from 1-3pm (each winner gets two tickets). The appropriate age for this activity is 5 and up.
To enter to win one of our three giveaways, please leave us a comment below with your child’s favorite game!!
Gas Tax = Less Fun
This mom loves to crisscross San Diego County, chasing fun with my family. The recent 12-cent gas hike and the coming 2018 vehicle registration increase of about $48 per car means less of that.
Some say the tax hikes will cost a family of four an additional $500 a year or more. The new taxes are supposed to be devoted to repairing our deteriorating roads, but for as long as I’ve lived in California there has been much mismanagement of taxes. It’s hard to believe that the money will be well spent. In fact, you can even see within the bill that there are plans to use some of the money for parks, railway projects and to hire new lifeguards. WTH?
That’s why I just signed the petition to repeal the new gas tax. Yes, I want safer, better roads. I wish they could just create a law that did only that with the money. Even better, politicians could start using the money already collected in gas tax to repair roads. Apparently it has mostly gone to other pet causes over the years.
I downloaded the petition to repeal the gas tax from stopthecartax.org and you can too!
However before I even mailed my petition, I met up with some volunteers collecting signatures at the mall and signed it there. If you’d like to find a public petition signing event, visit carldemaio.com/events.
Santee, CA 92071
Give Dad a Gift the Whole Family Will Love
At the Mom’s Guide we’re always giving away fun things for, well moms. But today we’re giving away a prize that any dad would love and just in time for Father’s Day.
Dad doesn’t have to be a tech guy to appreciate the Penclic C2 Mini Keyboard, although there are 3 USB ports in this corded version for plugging in all of his techy stuff. Like my husband, he’ll probably like that no extra software/driver installation is needed and that the keys are actually full size.
You’ll love the Penclic’s sleek Scandinavian design that lets you reclaim your desk space. The clunky number pad has been removed, but the keyboard has full functionality. And since only small keystrokes are needed and minimal pressure is required when typing, using this mini keyboard relieves pressure on joints, helping to prevent computer related repetitive stress injuries in your kids and yourself.
This Penclic keyboard retails for about $55, but today you can enter to win one for free AND receive it in time for Father’s Day. For your chance to win, simply comment on this blog post with what you are doing with Dad for Father’s Day. One winner will be selected on Saturday morning.
Give Yourself This Gift For Mother’s Day
With Mother’s Day less than 2 weeks away, I thought now was a great time to introduce a new column called “5 To Live By,” written by Andrea Shillito, PCI Certified Parent Coach and Sleep Consultant. 5 To Live By will be a series of articles giving 5 tips each month featuring a variety of subjects. This week’s topic is the all-important Self Care. There is no better time than now to think about yourself a little bit more : )
5 To Live By: 5 Tips to Starting Your Self-Care Practice
By Andrea Shillito, PCI Certified Parent Coach
Self-Care. To a mother this term is not just one “four-letter word”, but two! After all, what mom has the time or the luxury to care for herself, let alone admit to it? I mean, what would people think? A mother taking time away from her family and her responsibilities to take care of her own needs? To replenish her soul? To re-energize and refuel? What a ridiculous concept! To become the best version of herself so that she can care for her loved ones to the best of her ability without becoming exhausted, resentful, impatient, and overwhelmed? Oh….wait….that could make sense!
The following are 5 tips on how to get started on your own Self-Care Practice:
1st Take Care of Your Health. You are no good to anyone if you are run down or ill. Be sure you are getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising and keeping up with your medical care.
2nd Get to Know Yourself Again. By getting in touch with your inner and authentic self, you will be able to tap into a wealth of self-confidence, creativity and pride that can only work to enhance the kind of parent, spouse and person you are. Some ways to do this could include: journaling, meditation, time alone.
3rd Find What Refuels You. For different people this means different things. It might mean a day alone to spend as you wish a few times a month, it might be a regular workout routine, time in the week to meditate or get out into nature, or perhaps a creative outlet such as painting. Whatever it is for you, make time to recharge your battery so that you can have the energy, patience and gratitude for the ones you love.
4th Form a Support Network. Make sure you have people around you who will support and encourage your self-care plan. Women thrive on relationships. Take the time to form meaningful friendships or nurture the ones you already have, join a church or spiritual group, and find others who share your creative passion – whatever that may be. There are also many Mom’s groups- such as MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers)- where you can meet women to whom you can relate.
5th Be Clear in Your Values and Priorities. Make a list of your values and of your priorities. Are you living in alignment with who you are and who you wish to become? If not, start today.
Now that you are clear on what self-care means to you, make a plan on how to incorporate it into your busy life and start taking care of yourself today. Do it for the ones you love. Do it for yourself.
About 5 to Live By author, Andrea Shillito “I have worked as an elementary school teacher for the past 12 years and am a trained Infant/Child Sleep Consultant and PCI Certified Parent Coach. Most importantly, I am the proud and happy mom to my two beautiful girls, Madison and Cate. I am pleased to be writing this column for The Mom’s Guide to San Diego and hope that you will find it informative, as well as inspiring. Wishing you a lifetime of joyful parenting!”
Go Green This Spring!
I’m not a “green” mom, but, according to Ecocrazymom.com I am taking baby steps in that direction with my love for children’s resale. Here in San Diego we have a myriad of options for buying or selling gently used children’s clothing, toys and gear.
I know many moms who wouldn’t dream of purchasing a “used” item (or even selling one for that matter), but I have found some truly awesome goodies through resale, and their great prices made them just that much more fabulous.
For example, at Cory’s Closet I bought a blue “Bratz FM Cruiser” for my son for only $10. It didn’t say Bratz anywhere on it…I had no idea it was supposed to be a girl toy…but it is one of the most fun cars he has ever owned because the doors and trunk open, the steering wheel moves, the seat belts click shut AND the radio really works! Thanks Cory!
In San Diego there are three types of children’s resale; consignment stores, swap meets and consignment events. Here’s a bit about each:
Consignment stores: Consignment stores operate all year long and will purchase your items outright as long as they meet the store’s standards and are something they are interested in selling. Some stores specialize in upscale items and others are less picky. Some require appointments to sell and some have set walk-in sales times. They will usually offer you 50% of the price they expect the item to sell for in their store. So, if you had a Bratz FM Cruiser that sells at Toys R Us for $29.99, then the store will likely try to sell it for $15 (half the retail value) and will give you half that amount ($7.50) for your item. You will usually earn a bit more money if you take store credit instead of cash. You should definitely look around before you sell…there’s bound to be something you need or want!
Consignment Events: Trunk Treasures is the original seasonal consignment event in San Diego. I’d love to ask Stacey, the stay-at-home mom turned entrepreneur exactly when she began her business, but I know she’s swamped preparing for this weekend’s sale. And in this past year she’s found competition from three other local moms who have started their own events, Just Between Friends and San Diego Kids’ Consignment.
I participated in both Trunk Treasures and Just Between Friends last year as a seller and ended up spending even more money at both events than I earned. Of course I ended up with lots of terrific treasures. 🙂
At consignment events you decide what to sell and can price your items at any amount you’d like. You do all of the work here, from setting the price, to tagging your items, to delivering them to the event site and picking up any unsold items at the event’s conclusion. There’s a fee to participate (about $10) and a percentage of your sales is taken by the event (between 60% – 70%). Volunteers who work the event enjoy early bird shopping opportunities and greater percentages of their sales. Consignment events last a couple of days…usually over a weekend. Once the event is done and the accounts are settled, a check is mailed to you, usually within a couple of weeks. Each of these companies has a spring event, so be sure to check them out!
Swap Meets: Many schools have family swap meet fundraisers, but the largest and oldest (that I know of) benefits my favorite non-profit, The Scripps Parent Connection, and happens twice a year in Carmel Valley.
The Parent Connection Swap Meet attracts hundreds of sellers and about a thousand buyers to each event. There is a $2 admission fee to buy and a $35 fee to sell in a 10×10 spot in the parking lot. As with consignment events, you’ll set your own price, you’ll tag your own items, you’ll get them there and bring whatever doesn’t sell home. You’ll also have to work your booth from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., but you’re sure to unload many items and you’ll certainly find a few to purchase as well.
The next event is Sunday, March 25th at Canyon Crest Academy. I’ll be there and hope you will be too!
For all of these resale opportunities, please be sure to visit the resale section of our family friendly business listings by clicking here. Happy shopping!
Golf for Girls & Boys
Now that spring break has come and gone, we’re turning our attention to summer planning. Camps are a fun way to introduce new sports and hobbies to your kids, and golf has been on our bucket list for a couple of summers now. According to Junko Suzuki with Southern California PGA, children can start learning the game of golf at any age.
“Golf is a lifelong sport and a great sport the whole family can enjoy together,” Junko says. She says the kids who will do best will have coordination and athleticism, patience and determination. “The game of golf helps children learn a lot of these character skills and it’s the only sport where players keep their own scores. There are no referees. This teaches responsibility and playing with integrity.”
The Southern California PGA and TGA Premier Junior Golf have joined forces to provide San Diegans with junior golf camps that that combine expert instruction, course play and exciting activities that keep young students engaged. A low camper-to-instructor ratio means individual attention and proper instruction for each child.
Each day of camp includes:
- Station-based instruction (full swing, chipping and putting)
- Fun games and contests
- Course play with an instructor
- Snacks/lunch break
Whether at a camp or your neighborhood course, it’s not necessary to have equipment for your beginner golfer. Facilities will usually have club rentals for junior golfers and can help you find the correct length. Most professionals will actually tell you to hold off on making the investment in golf clubs until you know for sure your child wants to play.
Junko offers these tips to San Diego parents…
* Do not pressure your children into playing golf. Forcing them will not help them enjoy the game on their own terms.
* Golf is not a game of perfect. I hear many parents say ‘My child has been golfing for X amount of years now, why is he/she not improving or why is everyone else better than him/her?’ Your child is improving – although it may be happening slowly.
* Do not make your child feel like they are playing a sport to impress you or make you happy. They should play because they want to and it makes him or her happy! Parents should be there for support.
The Southern California PGA Section is excited to introduce the game of golf to more children and introduce them to professionals and facilities in the area that they can go to!
For a list of available camps, visit
Good-bye 2011, It Was a Blast!
Boo Hoo. I’m not ready for 2011 to come to an end. It’s been a great year.
I thought I’d close out the year with 11 favorite things of 2011.
Did you do something wonderful in 2011? I would love to know what we should plan for in 2012 so please do share! 🙂
In no particular order…
1. Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland
2011 marked our first visit to Mickey’s Halloween Party, which required its own special $49 ticket (no passes allowed). The park shuts down to anyone without the Halloween party ticket, which means it was less crowded than I could have imagined. There were lots of free trick-or-treating stations throughout (they were shoveling candy at us even as we left the park!), a fun, all-ages dance party, special “villain” meet and greet opportunities and, best of all, little-to-no-waiting on all rides. We are making this a family tradition!
2. Daily Deals
Groupon, Living Social, Circle Buzz, Plum District and Juice in the City were a few of my favorite things in 2011 because they afforded me the opportunity to do so much more with my kids than I would otherwise have been able to do. I especially loved buying the family memberships to museums (Chula Vista Nature Center, San Diego History, Museum of Making Music…)
3. Pennypickle’s Workshop (The Temecula Children’s Museum)
If I didn’t have a friend in Temecula with a daughter the same age as Mallory, I might have missed out on this most unique children’s museum. I can’t count the number of times my kids have asked to go back, which is interesting to me since they are really a bit young to completely “get” it. The museum’s focus is on science and experiments, but it’s funky and fun for all ages, and my kids have literally asked to go back more than they’ve asked to go to Disneyland.
4. San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum (formerly the Escondido Children’s Museum)
When The New Children’s Museum opened, I imagined that it was going to be the kind of hands-on awesomeness that the former Escondido Children’s Museum actually is. I will say that the new location of this museum is not fully operational, so it is less wonderful at this moment than it was the last time we were there. But when the outdoor area opens in the spring, it should be completely fabulous again.
5. The Royal Fairytale Princess Camp
This was the first year we let Mallory attend a camp, and what a wonderful choice we made. There were mini-manicures, dancing, crafts, stuffed animal making, tea parties and more. Just the type of sweet, girly-fun we were looking for!
6. Zoomars Petting Zoo
For this one I can thank the daily deal companies again because, while I had heard of Zoomars in San Juan Capistrano, it was unlikely that I was going to make a special trip there just to pet some animals. However, when several daily deal companies starting offering discounted tickets, and when our favorite San Diego petting zoo closed (Victoria’s Gardens), we headed north. The visit was so worth it for the mini-train ride, the pony rides, the playground and petting zoo that I bought the deal the next time it crossed my inbox and, we want to go again! The part my kids enjoy most is the bunny and guinea pig corral where there must be 100 little animals hopping around for them to cuddle with and feed. My advice to you…get there early before those animals are stuffed and weary of being man-handled. I know several families who enjoy taking the train from San Diego to San Juan Capistrano and then staying for a lunch at Ruby’s Diner.
7. Park in the Park @ Petco Park
Parents enjoy the vibe of a professional sports events while the kiddos enjoy the freedom of running around the park area just outside the stadium, rolling down the hills and hitting balls with the help of Padres staffers. A limited quantity of these tickets are sold for each home game, so get yours early in the 2012 baseball season.
We aren’t sure how we managed to live in the East County for five years before discovering that just a half hour away, near the Viejas Outlet Center, lies a winter wonderland called Mount Laguna. Thanks to our playgroup buddies, we made a spontaneous trip up there after a particularly rainy and chilly week and, voila, see for yourself!
9. Feed the Ducks, Ride the Trolley, Go to the Beach
There are a lot of free or cheap things to do in San Diego that thrill kids as much as anything else. It’s one of my personal goals for 2012 to enjoy more of the simple things our fine city has to offer.
10. Circus Vargas
I really never had an interest in going to the circus with my children because I’ve been completely spoiled by Cirque du Soleil and find every other show to pale in comparison. But I’m so glad that we went to Circus Vargas, and we will definitely be back in 2012. There were motorcycle stunts, trapeze artistry, balancing acts and some of the best clown comedy. While it wasn’t as polished as Cirque du Soleil, Circus Vargas did a fantastic job of entertaining.
11. Fancy Nancy Tea Party
Each year the Junior League of Orange County hosts a super fun Christmas shopping extravaganza at the OC Fairgrounds. At this year’s children’s event, the illustrator and the author of the Fancy Nancy book series were the special guests at a Fancy Nancy Tea Party. It was stupendous, fantastic and fabulous for the kids. The best part of the event for me? Meeting the ladies behind the series and, now, working with them to bring a Fancy Nancy tea party to San Diego in 2012! More details to follow, but let me just say, it will be splendiferous!
Happy 2012 Everyone!
This is National School Choice Week. I have no idea if this is the first School Choice Week or the 51st. All I know is that I have a daughter who will enter kindergarten in the fall, so choosing a school is my first priority these days.
Like most of my friends, when I was little it was just a given that I would attend the public school in our neighborhood. It was great. I was happy. I received an above-average education and have enjoyed professional and personal success. I have no complaints about the public school education I received.
But I’m not considering our neighborhood school for my daughter. None of my friends made the neighborhood school their first choice either.
I have a number of reasons for investigating our options, but at the top of my list is the state of California’s economy and the ongoing threats to public education. You don’t even have to be a parent to know that a lot has been cut from pubic education over the years. It’s always in the news, and there are many more cuts coming. Even San Diego Unified’s Office of School Choice, which helps parents navigate magnet, charter and alternative school options, is on the chopping block.
Several months ago I started reviewing options from home schooling, to religious education, to charters, magnets and independent schools. It is real work educating yourself about all of the types of schools and teaching philosophies, to try to figure out the pros and cons of each for your child, to attend the open houses or take the tours, fill out applications, etc. It would be so much easier if we didn’t have so many options to consider.
I could write for days about what I’ve learned so far, but for now I’ll just share these points with you in case you’re wondering where to begin.
1. Tour your neighborhood school first to see what they have to offer.
2. Ask your child’s preschool teacher for recommendations.
3. Speak with your school district’s enrollment options or school choice department to find out about charters and magnets. If you’re interested, take a tour.
4. Create an education wish list. Small class size? Diversity? Religious instruction? Specialty classes including art, music, foreign language? Playground with recess? PE? Bus transportation? Hot lunch availability? …you get the idea.
5. If you’re looking at private schools, check their financial aid policies. Many schools offer assistance.
If you already have children in San Diego schools, I’d love to hear about how you selected the school and how you feel about the choice you’ve made. I’m still learning, so contact me anytime!
Great Deal From Disney
Boo. I’m super bummed that the kids are too young to really appreciate a trip to Alaska because I’d love to take advantage of Disney Cruise Line’s Kids Sail Free promotion.
Every stop offers shore excursions for the young and old, the active and the not-so-fit, the adventurous and the cautious. There are helicopter rides to the tops of glaciers, close encounters with moose from river boats and dog sledding through the snowy mountains.
Salmon bakes, whale watching and duck tours equal fun for any age. Have you ever heard chunks of ice breaking away from a glacier and plummeting into the water? It’s called calving and it’s amazing.
I can only imagine what amazing on-board activities Disney has in store for its passengers. Character appearances and shows, a day camp for kids offering cooking class, dancing and games, a spa and numerous restaurants and clubs. Have you ever known Disney to disappoint?
If you’ve thought about a trip to Alaska with your family, jump on this deal. When I heard about it 2 days ago it included some dates in June that seem to already be sold out. I know you’ll have a memorable, possibly favorite family vacation…and save a couple thousand dollars too!
Great Museums for Kids in San Diego
February is Museum Month in San Diego when 44 local museums offer half-price admission. Families can visit one of the 14-area Macy’s stores to pick up free Museum Month Passes and redeem them at one of the participating museums for up to four half-priced admissions. What a great way to check out some of our county’s incredible museums! A great time to visit the Natural History Museum’s new Real Pirates exhibit, or the New Children’s Museum FEAST exhibit or the Birch Aquarium Sea Days special event.
Of course I love Museum Month, but each year there are a number of opportunities to visit some terrific family-friendly museums and attractions for free or at heavy discounts. We loved being on the USS Midway for FREE last Friday to celebrate the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies.
Several Midway attractions were open to the public, in addition to special events like free ice skating, snow play area and curling demonstrations. We had a blast, and, if we were not already members, we would have likely purchased a membership.
Speaking of memberships, I sincerely believe they are the best deals available. We scored our Midway membership at 1/2 price ($45 for the whole family!) during last October’s special promotion. But we thought it was worth it at full price, as is the RH Fleet membership at $89 for two adults and up to six children. My kids started with the Fleet’s Kid City and are now old enough to enjoy the other permanent and visiting exhibits.
If you don’t make it out in February, there’s always Residents Free Tuesdays to help you explore some of Balboa Park’s top attractions. And each October many attractions and museums are open complimentary to children during Kids Go Free Month. Through our county and city library systems, families can “check out” a two week membership to places like the RH Fleet, The Children’s Discovery Museum, the New Children’s Museum and the San Diego Museum of Art through the circulating memberships program.
We have the most wonderful opportunities to teach our children thanks to San Diego’s numerous museums and educational attractions. Get out and enjoy them!
Great News! (for San Diego moms)
If you’re a mom, you probably do some amount of cooking.
Do you want to make homemade baby foods?
Do you entertain family during the holidays?
Are you looking to jazz up chicken dinners?
Would you like to introduce your children to cooking?
Want to learn to decorate cakes and make special desserts?
Curious about time-saving convection and pressure cooking techniques?
Well, sit back, relax and prepare to be entertained, well fed and to learn a few things too. Whether you are an experienced cook or one who doesn’t know the difference between a toaster oven and a convection oven, you’ll find a cooking class that suits your needs at Great-News Cooking School in Pacific Beach.
Unless you’re taking the “homemade baby food for each stage” class, you won’t leave hungry (in fact, many attendees bring tupperware to transport their recipe samples leftovers!) or thirsty (wine accompanies the meals!)
While you can select a “hands on” class where you dive in and prepare recipes alongside the instructor, I’ve always enjoyed being part of the audience…kind of like watching a live version of a Food Network show. Taking a class at Great-News with my girlfriends or on my own is one of my favorite treats. I’m so glad that they agreed to let me share one of my favorite outings with you.
One mom’s guide reader will win a Great-News gift card for a class valued up to $49! Please use the form below to enter for your chance to win this special mother’s day week giveaway!
Green Buy Back
If you’re anything like me, you have gone through a number of devices since your kids were born. Whether you needed more storage for photos, a better camera, or a straight up replacement after your phone “looked like it would make a good boat”, chances are you’ve got one or two old phones sitting in that junk drawer in your kitchen! Whether you like it or not, your little ones most likely love technology. They might even have their own ipad, or know how to work your smart phone better than you do. They also tend to BREAK these devices more often than we’d like to admit.
Enter in Green Buy Back! Why bother with flaky buyers on Craigslist, or lowball offers from your service carrier when you can get an immediate quote and quick cash from Green Buy Back?!
How Does it Work?
- Get an immediate quote on the website for your phones, tablets, smart watches and MORE, in ANY condition.
- Print out your pre-paid UPS shipping label, affix it to the box you’ll be using, and carefully pack and mail your device to us.
- Get paid. We will make quick Payments via check or Paypal.
Broken screen from a tantrum? No problem. Water damage from a dip in a bubble bath? Easy. It’s a good thing these kiddos are cute!! Get cash from your old devices to finally buy the new one that you deserve.
Moms of older kids and teens know that they are into having the NEWEST technology. They are excited to get an upgraded version of their device frequently. Why not sell their current one, and use that money towards the upgrade for their birthday this year, or as a reward for those good grades?
*Although this is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links, all opinions are my own, and my opinion is that moms NEED this. We have very little time to properly recycle or find the best price for their devices, and Green Buy Back is a convenient service that solves this problem. Happy selling mamas!
Halloween Family Day at the NAT
Don’t forget — it’s Kids Free October, which means children 12 and younger get free admission to 43 participating museums, including the NAT, with an adult ticket purchase. For more information visit sandiegomuseumcouncil.org/kidsfree.
Thursday, October 27th
Java Mama Halloween Costume Party; 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Face painting, bounce house jumping, art projects, meet Princess Belle, get a temporary tattoo, and join the costume contest, with prizes for kids and parents! $5 for one child and $2 for siblings.
Boo Blast Party at Kid Ventures Pacific Beach; 5-7 p.m.
Bobbing for apples, broom stick limbo, monster mash freeze dance & costume contest. $20 for non-members & $12 for members.
Friday, October 28th
Airtime Halloween Party; 5-8 p.m., $8 per child
Indoor jumping, pumpkin carving, costume contest and Halloween games
Art al la Carte Old Fashioned Halloween Carnival; 4:30-7:30 p.m.
$15 per participant ($12 before the 28th), which includes games, a craft, costume contest & a tasty treat!
Kidventures Chula Vista Spooktacular; 5-7 p.m.
Laughter and a-maze-ment await you at the baby BOO nursery, the KV school house for goblins, the house of mirrors and the macabre market. $12 for members and $20 for non-members
Saturday, October 29th
Art Soup Customer Halloween Party; 3-5 p.m.
$5 per kiddo for spooky, crafty fun at one of San Diego’s favorite fun zones.
Balboa Park Family Halloween Day; 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
With a dozen museums offering free admission to kids, a pet costume contest, ballet performance and other fun activities throughout the park, this annual event is not to be missed!
Seaport Village Halloween Bash on the Bay; 3:30-7 p.m.
Trick or Treating at over 50 shops and restaurants within the Village, photo ops with a live scarecrow, monster mash band and a pet costume contest!
Westfield Plaza Bonita Family Spooktacular; 12-5pm
Enjoy a scavenger hunt & trick-or-treat bag decorating
Wholefoods Encinitas; Kid’s Club Spooktacular & Costume Contest; Noon -2pm FREE
Bring the kids by for free cookie decorating on the patio, and enjoy other fun seasonal goodies just in time for Halloween! Also enter to win the Costume Contest for a $50 Whole Foods Market gift card! Judging at 1pm, must be present to win.
Sunday, October 30th
Kidsville Playtown Halloween Party; 2-4 p.m.
A fun filled day of ghoulish games, creepy crafts and some trick-or-treat fun around the town of Kidsville. Dont forget to come in your costume.
Westfield Plaza Bonita costume contests
12:30-2pm: ages 3 and under
2-3:30pm: ages 4-7
3:30-5pm: ages 8-10
Wholefoods La Jolla, 10 a.m. – Noon
Pumpkin painting, haunted house, trick-or-treating through the store and a reusable bag for each child. As if that’s not fun enough, Wholefoods will debut their new waffle bar and moms and dads can “treat” themselves to a Belgian waffle, fruit and coffee for only $3. (I’ll be adding a mimosa for $2 🙂 )
Monday, October 31st
Playtown Carnival; 10am-12pm
Enjoy games, face painting, storytime at 11am, costume contest at Noon, and a raffle. FREE WITH ADMISSION!
Safe Trick-or-Treating at:
Encinitas Safe Trick-or-Treating; 5-8 p.m.
Trick-or-Treat on India Street in Little Italy; 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Mall-wide Trick-or-Treating at participating Westfield Malls
Hand, foot and what disease?
By Jaime Friedman, M.D. & Children’s Physicians Medical Group
Every spring I breathe a big sigh of relief that flu and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) season are over. Unfortunately, the reprieve is short-lived. Winter viruses give way to spring and summer illnesses. One such illness is called hand, foot and mouth disease. That’s right, not hoof and mouth but hand, foot and mouth. This illness is caused by the coxsackie virus which is an enterovirus, meaning it can spread through contact with fecal matter. It can also be spread via nasal and oral secretions through a cough or a sneeze.
The symptoms of hand, foot and mouth start with fever and poor appetite. A few days later blisters begin to develop in the back of the mouth but can also be seen on the palate and inside the lips and on the tongue. A few days after that red blisters can develop on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. For some kids, the rash can spread to other parts of the body including the trunk and extremities. I’ve seen some bad cases of blisters clustering on the knees and elbows.
As stated above, HFM can be spread by touching a contaminated surface, touching a contaminated bottom (think diaper changing) or being exposed to respiratory secretions. The infection does not come from animals, again no hooves involved, and usually infects kids under 5. Children can get the infection more than once, up to about 5 times.
Of note, this infection can spread through ingesting contaminated water, included contaminated pool water. This happens from fecal matter present in an incompletely chlorinated pool. Furthermore, the virus can shed from an individual for weeks to months after infection and is mostly present in the summer. Moral of the story? Make sure you are swimming in a properly chlorinated pool!
The good news about HFM disease is it typically resolves without any consequence. Some patients do experience finger and toe nail loss a few weeks after infection but this is rare. The nails do eventually grow back normally. Some patients experience headache and stiff neck because of viral (aseptic) meningitis. While aseptic meningitis is not life threatening, bacterial meningitis is so if your child is experiencing these symptoms please see the doctor right away.
The main treatment is comfort care. Give your child Tylenol or Ibuprofen for pain and fever. Keep in mind that children should not be given aspirin. A mouthwash of Benadryl and Maalox mixed together in a 1:1 ratio can be used for gargling to coat the mouth and throat. Make sure your child can spit the mouthwash out before using it. Your doctor can also prescribe this mixture with a numbing medicine mixed in.
Your child may not want to eat while they have sores in the mouth, and that is ok. Make sure he/she is staying hydrated with lots of fluids. You can also try ice chips or a popsicle.
As always, good hand washing is the best thing anyone can do to prevent the spread of germs. For this illness, patients are most contagious in the first week of illness when they are most likely to have symptoms. Therefore, while your child is feeling sick or having a fever, keep him/her at home to rest. Once they are feeling better, let them return to school/daycare. Because this virus is so prevalent during outbreaks and can shed for so long in the stool, it is hard to control the spread. Furthermore, the infection is self-limited so containing spread, while not feasible anyway, is not really necessary.
For questions or concerns about your child, see your doctor.
So Mother’s Day has ended, and it’s back to the realities of motherhood that can sometimes drive us a little batty. Ask any mom about her biggest daily parenting challenge, and the answer is very likely food related.
A couple of weeks ago I was a guest at a picky eaters workshop that was led by San Diego pediatrician and mom of a picky eater, Dr. Jaime Friedman. You may be thinking (as I did), if a pediatrician struggles with picky kids, what chance do the rest of us have to “fix” our own children?
What I realized during the workshop is that kids don’t necessarily need to be fixed! Most are actually getting the appropriate calories and nutrition during the week, even if each and every meal is not the rainbow of foods we aspire to deliver.
It’s kind of refreshing that doctors experience the same parenting concerns that we do. Dr. Friedman says kids are just that way… changing their interest in foods, going through growth spurts and slow downs, “grazing” enough during the day that they are not hungry for the dinner put in front of them.
Did you know that most two-year-olds experience decreased appetites? Did you know that breastfed babies get the benefit of more exotic flavors, meaning they may be more likely to appreciate a variety of solid foods? Here’s a bit more from Dr. Friedman:
I remember when my own kids were toddling around, seemingly never hungry, always on the go, a “trick” that worked for me was to simply create a mini smorgasbord and just leave it out so that they could graze when ready. They did not want to sit and eat an actual meal, but everything that I put out for the smorgasbord was usually eaten. It was nice to hear that my strategy was physician-approved. 🙂
Jimbo’s sponsored our picky eater event and is offering a free “cook with your kids” class at each of their 5 San Diego locations next Wednesday, May 20th. Shopping and cooking with children is another great way to encourage them to try new foods.
Check out all of Dr. Friedman’s picky eater tips on the Children’s Physicians Medical Group blog, and share YOUR questions, struggles and suggestions for a chance to win a $50 Jimbo’s gift card. One reader who comments below will be randomly selected to win later this week.
Good luck and happy week after Mother’s Day!
Harnessing Their Energy
The kids and I got charged up about the future of energy at last week. Boundless Energy at the Scripps Birch Aquarium is an interactive exhibit that celebrates ways we can use natural forces to power our world. It also lets children harness their own energy to power the reusable energy stations on display.
Of course, in addition to Boundless Energy, the aquarium is a wonderful place to visit with sea creatures of all sorts including sharks, starfish, seahorses, sea urchins and more. There really is something to capture the attention of any age child. We all really enjoyed the different varieties of sea dragons we met…
September 20th is the last day to celebrate the Birch Aquarium’s 20th anniversary with 1/2 priced admission, and next month kids go free to the aquarium all month long with a paying adult. But I’m excited to be able to give one lucky playgroup 12 free tickets to visit anytime.
If you have kids whose energy needs to be harnessed, take a trip to this San Diego treasure. To enter to win, simply reply below with the name of your playgroup and age range of the kiddos. One entry will be randomly selected this weekend!
Help Find a Natural Cure for PPD
San Diego moms, YOU can earn money while helping scientists discover natural treatments for postpartum depression!
The UCSD Department of Psychiatry is conducting research on depression using non-medication Sleep & Light Therapy at home. Women ages 20-45 pregnant or postpartum who do not smoke, use hormonal birth control or certain prescription drugs may qualify to participate.
Both depressed and non- depressed women are needed and reimbursement up to $600!
The first step toward participation is a phone interview. Please call:
To find out more about this and other UCSD studies, please visit psychiatry.ucsd.edu/research/Pages/clinical-studies.aspx.
Hip Hip Hooray! It’s Gymboree Day!
Full disclosure: Gymboree is an advertiser in the print edition of The Mom’s Guide to San Diego, and my kids attend free classes at the Solana Beach location. That’s just ONE reason that I enjoy driving them from La Mesa to Gymboree in Solana Beach each week. Now here are some reasons you may like to check out that location or one of the other three San Diego Gymboree centers…
1. QUALITY: If you’re confusing “Gymboree Play & Music” with Gymboree, the children’s clothing store, you’re not alone. Both are owned by the Gymboree Corporation. Gymboree = quality and value in both clothing and classes (oh, and they have the BEST bubbles you’ve ever seen, on sale at both the clothing stores and play & music centers!) Enroll in the play program after your trial class and enjoy these Gymboree store special offers:
* 20% off coupons for Gymboree Clothing, Janie & Jack and Crazy 8
* $25 in GymBucks
* FREE Gymboree Shopping Bag
2. MOMMY & ME: Gymboree is an excellent place for mommy and me classes. We enjoyed it when Mallory was just a crawler. You’ll get music, bubbles, parachute play and as much as activity as babies and toddlers are capable of. Gymboree is bright and cheery with lots of cool (and heavily padded) structures to climb and explore. If you are looking to get out of the house with your little one, want to mingle with other moms or want to find a great playgroup weekly activity, Gymboree is a fabulous place to start. Don’t forget to take your free trial class. OR, on this article to be entered to win one free month of classes!
3. OPEN GYM! No matter their age, I don’t think there is anything a Gymboree kid likes more than “open gym,” meaning they can explore and climb to their heart’s content during the free play hour. Sit back and enjoy mom! Open gym is available several times a week and is included with membership.
4. SPORTS SKILLS: My kids are older now, so I wasn’t sure if they’d love Gymboree as much as they did as toddlers. But the Sports skills class is a real winner for kids 3-5 years. I love that my two are able to take the class together. And during the course of our membership, they’ve been introduced to golf, soccer, track and field and tennis. Not only have they had a blast, they truly picked up some skills. Each class began and ended with open play, and they loved to see the different way the gym equipment was set up every week. Ms. Amanda, their teacher, is a mom herself and most excellent with these kids. Added bonus…sports is a drop off class meaning moms get a 1 hour break. Enough time to get a pedicure next door, hit Starbucks or power shop.
5. ART: If you add the art class for ages 3-5 like I do, you get to drop your kids off for another hour and the kids get to express themselves with paint, glitter, glue and more somewhere other than your kitchen table (no clean up for you!). Every week there’s a new theme, and Ms. Rachel in Solana Beach is as sweet as can be. My kids are so proud of the many mini-masterpieces they’ve brought home.
6. SOCIALIZATION: Moms are often concerned about making sure their children are “socialized” especially if they don’t attend preschool. My kids have had a lot of opportunity to share, partner and play with other kids in their Gymboree classes. And now Gymboree even offers a “School Skills” class where they can build key social, emotional and intellectual skills. There’s art, music, science and play…sounds good. Sign us up!
If you’re looking for any of the above, simply leave a comment below, and you’ll be entered into the raffle to offered at the Solana Beach or Clairemont locations. And mark your calendar for their end of summer open house featuring the live music of HULLABALOO! We’ll be there to enjoy parachute time, bubbles, art activities and more!
Gymboree Solana Beach
End of Summer PaRtY
971C Lomas Santa Fe Drive
Sunday, August 28; 3:00-6:00pm
FREE for currently enrolled members.
$5 per family for those not enrolled.
Children under 5 only please.
Holiday Gift Idea
Here’s a special idea for holiday gifts; a hand-cut silhouette of your child.