Posts Tagged ‘Birthday Party Spots’
Now I remember why my favorite pair of linen pants were stashed away on a shelf in my closet.
How pathetic is it that I’m a grown woman who cannot easily mend her own family’s clothes? I didn’t take home economics in school, wasn’t taught how to sew by my mother, and have never made the time for learning as an adult. 🙁
I’m pretty sure they don’t even teach home ec in schools anymore, but that won’t stop my daughter from learning how to sew. We took the first step when one of our Girl Scout Troop moms agreed to lead an in-home sewing tutorial.
Mallory enjoyed making her monogrammed pillow so much that she asked for her own sewing machine. Now it’s time for us to learn how to use it together at Sew Inspired in Encinitas.
Sew Inspired teaches both adults and children the home art (and in some ways the lost art) of creating fashion and home designs. I thought we’d start with needle and thread, but, no, it’s straight onto a machine. If you don’t have one to bring, they will lend you one for the class.
Owner Laura Prince says her style of teaching kid-friendly sewing methods and techniques makes the process fun and easy for kids ages 8 and older. She offers after school programs, Girl Scout events, summer and spring break camps and even sewing birthday parties where kids make their own pillows, messenger bags , sleeping bags and more.
Check out these adorable Sew Inspired mermaid dolls…
I’ve splurged on horse back riding, synchronized swimming and recycled art classes. Now I’m realizing that a practical class like how to mend or hem a pair of pants makes a lot of sense. We have five 18″ dolls in this house who would love new outfits!
Sew Inspired is located at 531Encinitas Blvd. Suite 105 in Encinitas. Call them at 760.908.7853 or visit sewinspired.biz for more information.
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.
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
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!
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!
Happy FREE Birthday Party to YOU!
This year, “Bean’s” birthday came right in the middle of us moving to a new house. I was so busy with packing boxes, cleaning and loading everything up that I didn’t exactly do much planning for his big day. Luckily, I didn’t really have to because he still had a super fun party thanks to IKEA!
Ikea San Diego hosts FREE birthday parties for kids 10 and under, on the first Tuesday of every month. How awesome is that? All I had to do was call a few weeks before, and put his name on the list. I will say that I did have a little trouble reaching them on the phone at first, but a quick communication on Twitter fixed that right up.
The actual party was a blast! It took place on Bean’s real birthday so that made it even more special. He was allowed to invite two friends to come along as well as two adults. The party is held in the restaurant area of the store. Kids ate for free and everyone had free drinks. Petals the Clown did a wonderful job hosting the party. She put on a fabulous magic show, twisted animal balloons and passed out birthday cake. She painted all the kids’ faces with her impressive artistic painting skills, and then each birthday kid got a special gift from Ikea! I was pleasantly surprised with the level of thought and detail that went into the party. The gifts given were all age appropriate and fun – there were a variety of toys such as stuffed animals for the babies and toddlers, train sets for the younger children and art supplies for the older ones. Bean got a paint set, which was perfect for him since he loves to paint pictures. He absolutely loved the party and Pinga, my two year old daughter had a great time as well!
I really couldn’t believe that we got a party this fun and well planned out for FREE! I can see us making a tradition out of this. If you’re stumped for what to do for your child’s next birthday, consider a party at Ikea.
Location: IKEA San Diego restaurant
Date: The first Tuesday of every month
Call (619) 563-IKEA ext. 1330 to reserve your place at the party
Visit IKEA for more information on the birthday parties.
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.
Indoor Play – the Good, Bad & Sad
Last week I read that Kid Ventures is now charging parents $5 to accompany their kiddos to the indoor play land. The mommy forums are blowing up with complaints, and many are vowing to give their business to the competition; FUNbelievable, Playtown, Playwerx and Gymboree.
What was Kid Ventures’ motivation for adding a charge for parents? We asked owner Darren Solomon who shared the following:
“We believe strongly that a day at Kid Ventures is a great value. In needing to do a price increase, which we have not done in years, while all of our costs have increased every year (rent, labor, utilities, supplies etc) we felt that adding a nominal adult fee would be a good way to keep up with the rising costs while minimizing the impact on our loyal customers for the following reasons:
**since military and seniors do not pay the adult fee, they still get to benefit from the same affordable pricing where as if we raised the child fee or went to an hourly pricing model like many places, it would be a lot more costly to everyone
**we did a lot of research in the market around Southern California and did see that it was very common for places to charge an adult admission so we felt that adding a small fee for adults was in line with this.
**we have great alternatives for families who want to come to Kid Ventures and save including our membership and multi-visit punch card, which include adults at no extra fee. We don’t ask for any long term commitment (membership is month to month and the multi-visit card never expires which is a unique benefit when you compare with many other places).
**lastly, our day admission is for the entire day for kids and adults and we offer enrichment activities every half hour, in and out privileges at no extra charge and also a great, safe, clean and healthy environment that is designed with both children and adults in mind. We feel that Kid Ventures offers a lot more than just fun…we offer learning, enrichment, structured and unstructured activities and social connection. We hope that our KV families agree and of course we are always open to suggestions and feedback as ultimately we are hear for the customer and want to be around to serve families in San Diego for a very long time.
Since starting the Mom’s Guide we’ve seen numerous indoor play spots close down including two Java Mama coffee shops, two My Kids’ Clubhouse locations, two Kidville gyms, several JW Tumbles, the Royal Fairytale, Pump it Up Mira Mesa, Bears, Buddies & Toys, the Chula Vista Gymboree, My Gym and a few others that didn’t stay open long enough for us to remember their names. All of these places were reasonably priced and fun, but ever-increasing rents and the down economy undoubtedly made it hard for those small businesses to stay afloat.
So what’s the best way to enjoy some indoor fun without breaking the bank? Here are our tips . . .
1. When it’s a place you and your child love, purchase the membership. Memberships make multiple visits very affordable. Plus, if you have to leave due to crankiness, nap time or some other reason, you never feel like you didn’t get your money’s worth!
3. Get your friends together and enjoy a group rate. If you don’t see a group rate listed on the company’s website, simply call and ask for one. You’ll be surprised how often you can snag a good deal!
4. Literally, “check out” a circulating family membership from your local library to some of San Diego’s best indoor play spaces including The New Children’s Museum, the RH Fleet Science Center (Kid City is perfect for the under 5 set) and the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum. The libraries of the City of San Diego, the County of San Diego and the City of Escondido each participate.
Perhaps most importantly, be sure to give your business to the companies you would like to see stay open. Many of them are owned by parents like us who appreciate your patronage.
It’s a Gym! It’s a Playground! It’s a Spa! It’s a…
However, step inside San Diego’s most unique mommy & me play space, and you’ll quickly discover that Jungle Gym & Cafe offers as many goodies for you as it does for your kiddos.
During the hour-long instruction, I had the chance to answer emails using the Jungle Gym’s complimentary WiFi while savoring a wonderful lemon sorbet served in the biggest lemon I’d ever seen.
This afternoon the kids will enjoy a 25-minute yoga class while I kick back and catch up on my reading.
Then they will play with their classmates under the supervision of the Jungle Gym staff while my friend and I take an hour-long yoga class of our own. Adult fitness classes are offered before the Jungle Gym & Cafe’s indoor play space is open and after it closes, so the only children inside belong to the moms taking the classes.
Next week I will take advantage of their free childcare again when I get a pumpkin peel in the newly opened med-spa facilities. There’s also acupuncture and they’ll soon offer massage.
I know it sounds like I go to The Jungle Gym & Cafe to get a break from my kids and to take advantage of some mommy pampering and stress relief. That is true!
But I also have a lot of fun with my babies while we’re there playing badminton and air hockey together.
Join me at The Jungle Gym & Cafe (and spa!) this month. Any two classes are free, and I’ll cover your childcare for up to two kids. Just check out the fitness schedule and tell me which classes you’d most like to take. 5 winners will be selected this week!
Let’s Get Physical, Physical…
San Diego’s newest indoor play space for kids comes with a cool twist for parents. Yes, there’s a cafe. Yes, there’s free WiFi. Yes, they offer birthday parties, memberships and drop in pricing. In many ways the Jungle Gym & Cafe is like the other indoor spots your kids love. But for the first time in San Diego we have an indoor play center that offers fitness classes for the whole family and spa services for those of us craving a little extra TLC.
I am so excited for my friends, the Larsons, who are set to open the Jungle Gym & Cafe in Santee this coming weekend. Tonya Larson’s enthusiasm for fitness has led to what I think is a brilliant idea…moms get to work out while the kids are playing. I’m looking forward to cardio dance and athletic yoga. Maybe I’ll add a few pure pump and zumba classes too. If I can get even half as fit as Tonya already is, I’ll be psyched. (so will my husband!)
I also cannot wait for the massage and acupuncture services that will be online in the coming months. Childcare is available during fitness and spa sessions for kids ages 4 months to 12 years. Babies and toddlers have their own special play space, while older kids can jump, run, climb and play on Jungle Gym’s bouncer slides, jumper and obstacle course, safari cycle rides, jungle themed playground with airplane, hammock and rope swings and a campsite and costumes for imaginative play. There’s also badminton, soccer, basketball, foosball and air hockey. WOW!
The “safari cycles” are just one of the many unique goodies you will find at Jungle Gym & Cafe. Kids use their whole bodies to power the animals around the room. Too cool!!
If you want to be among the first to visit this amazing 8,000 square foot indoor wonderland, mark your calendar for the grand opening, this Saturday, August 11th. Take advantage of the 25% sale off fitness and play space memberships through August 18th.
Want to win it?
Leave a comment below for your chance to win a 3-month combination fitness and play membership valued at more than $150. This membership is good for two adults and up to two children and the benefits include:
Unlimited Adult Exercise Classes
Free Childcare for children 4 months to 12 years of age during classes up to 2 hours daily.
Free OPEN PLAY Membership included
Members have no time limit in the Jungle Gym & Cafe.
Unlimited Open Play Visits
All Children’s Classes are FREE!
1 FREE Open Play Guest Pass for a friend
2 FREE Guest passes for 1 Exercise Class (Childcare fee not included)
10% off of any BIRTHDAY PARTY PACKAGE
Love to Play?
Did you see this awesome deal from PlumDistrict.com for a $65 semi-private party at Play Town? Play Town is a great place for kids 6 and younger, and my 6 and 4-year-olds have loved going there since they started walking.
I am fond of East County’s first indoor play space for so many reasons. Before we had Play Town, we used to drive out to Poway for this kind of indoor fun!
I like that there is space for non-walkers as well as bigger kids, free WiFi and that families are allowed to bring in their own food and drinks. They have a wonderful calendar of events chock full of character visits, face painting, specialty classes and boutique shopping days. Play Town’s owner, Jillian, is a fun, sweet fellow mom who purchased Play Town from its original owners after hosting her son’s 2nd birthday party there. “I took over Play Town when I got separated and needed to provide for myself and my son. I thought owning an indoor playground would still allow me to enjoy all the great things that come along with being a mom.”
AND Jillian has generously provided mom’s guide readers with a buy-one-get-one free coupon in the 2012 printed resource guide. In honor of Friday the 13th, the first 13 moms who comment on this post will be mailed their own copy of The Mom’s Guide to San Diego with its Play Town BOGO coupon.
Have a great day!
My Budding Artist
This is a picture that Gage drew in kindergarten just a couple of months ago.
I’m not sure if that’s a horse on the left or who those “people” are supposed to be. Let’s just say that this is exactly the type of art I expected of my 6-year-old son who has never had patience for coloring or shown an interest in drawing. It didn’t bother me that all of his pictures needed captions.
But after just four classes at Art with Larisse, we no longer need him to explain what his pictures are about…
Can you believe that these were drawn by the same 6-year-old boy? I was surprised when he said he wanted to take summer art lessons with his sister and even more surprised when I saw how quickly he began to create beautiful pictures.
Gage is so thrilled and proud. We always though of Mallory as our little artist, but now we have two thanks in large part to Art with Larisse!
When I dropped the kids off last week I was admiring the window filled with the blue ribbons won by Larisse’s students at this year’s fair. They’re being honored with an ice cream social next weekend, and you’re invited to go and learn more about how Larisse can help develop a love of art in your child. To attend simply RSVP here.
If you would like to see the difference four classes can make in your child’s drawing, comment below with why art is good for kids. One lucky mom’s guide reader will be selected to enjoy four classes at one of Lariesse’s art studios.
Art with Larisse offers classes for children and adults ages 5 and up. There are three studios to choose from located in La Mesa, Santee and Kearny Mesa. Art with Larisse also offers camps and birthday parties. For more information visit artwithlarisse.com.
Once Upon A Time…
Once upon a time there was a sweet little girl who loved to dance, get manicures, dress up, create beautiful crafts, go to tea parties and make new friends. Happily, she was able to do all of her favorite things at a magical place called The Royal Fairytale.
For four wonderful afternoons this summer the little girl enjoyed the best of girlhood during The Royal Fairytale’s princess camp. She learned how to create a rainbow of carnations using food-colored water. Her new favorite toy bunny, “Sugar,” came to life at the Fairytale’s stuffie station. She learned how to sip tea from a china cup with “pinkies up.” She enjoyed a first — blue fingernail polish and purple toe polish– and she performed a special dance with her new friends to the song “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”
Her mother, the Queen (ha, ha), loved that princess camp cost only $99, that it was offered by the sweet store owners of The Royal Fairytale whom she likes and trusts very much, and that the camp was limited to 12 girls so that every princess got the royal treatment she deserved.
If you have a special little girl in your life, check out The Royal Fairytale. There are only a handful of spots left in the last session of princess camp, but she can feel like a princess all year long at the store’s birthday parties, monthly tea parties, pajama parties, glamour parties, stuffie station and adorable gift shop.
The Royal Fairytale
Westfield Parkway Plaza
San Diego is certainly known for its awesome climate, but when you’re planning your little one’s birthday, our summer weather may preclude an outdoor party. Fortunately, there are great indoor playgrounds all across the county ready to host a fantastic party for your family.
FUNbelievable Play, winner of several awards, including Red Tricycle’s best indoor playground, is a place where toddlers and pre-teens alike can have a great time AND they are offering a terrific discount on parties right now!
We’ve celebrated many birthdays in FUNbelievable’s 6,000 square foot air-conditioned play space. There is plenty of seating for adults to comfortably watch the kids run, climb, swing and slide through the mega play structure.
FUNbelievable supports our local military and first responders through “Hero Monday” with $5 entry per child for those with military, police and fire fighter I.D. They are also a valued Mom’s Guide partner, offering a terrific BOGO coupon in this year’s resource book. For more information about one of San Diego’s finest local businesses, visit funbelievableplay.com or call 619.456.2474.
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
Boys (and girls!) who love things that “go” have a lot to love in (and near) San Diego. Here are some favorite ways kids can enjoy automation and aviation…
Located at 1960 Joe Crosson Drive in El Cajon, Gillespie Field hosts an annual air show in June, is home to a San Diego Air & Space Museum annex and features the Gillespie Field Cafe.
Located at 3750 John J Montgomery Drive in the Kearny Mesa area, Montgomery Field has three runways, meaning lots of plane traffic. Casa Machado Mexican restaurant sits atop the main terminal building, offering very good food and even better views of the planes.
Featuring meticulously restored aircraft from World War II to Operation Desert Storm, the USS Midway aircraft carrier is one of San Diego’s most popular attractions. Featuring an annual 4th of July event with excellent views of San Diego Bay fireworks, the Midway is located near Searport Village. Children under age 6 tour for free! Midway.org
Miramar Air Show
The Miramar Air Show is scheduled for October 3-5 at MCAS Miramar. This annual event features the Blue Angels, Navy Leap Frog parachute teams, aircraft displays, fireworks and more. Miramarairshow.com
Air & Space Museum
Aviation history unfolds at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, located in Balboa Park. The museum offers educational camps, birthday parties and has a small children’s play area. Sandiegoairandspace.org
Offering “open cockpit days” throughout the summer, the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum is located at MCAS Miramar and honors the contributions of marine aviators. Flyingleathernecks.org
Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association
This non-profit educational organization is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of railroads as they existed in the Pacific Southwest. Although it operates the small La Mesa Depot Museum, open on Saturdays from 1 – 4 p.m., the museum is better known for its weekend excursions on portions of the San Diego & Arizona Railway utilizing actual vintage equipment, and special events like the North Pole Limited ride with Santa. Sdrm.org/npl
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 up to $2.50 for adults. powaymidlandrr.org
Balboa Park Miniature Railroad
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.
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
Enjoy one the largest indoor model railroad displays in the world right here in San Diego. Residents can visit for free on the first Tuesday of each month, and children 5 and younger are always free. The museum offers summer camps and birthday parties. Sdmrm.org
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 90-minute Holiday Express train ride, mingling and singing with Santa, Mrs. Claus and The Grinch. Gonctd.com
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. Sdmts.com
Orange Empire Railway Museum
While not in San Diego, Day Out With Thomas is worth the 1.5 hour drive to Perris, CA for Thomas-crazy kids. This annual November event offers children and their grownups the opportunity to take a 25-minute ride with the classic story book friend Thomas the Tank Engine and meet Sir Topham Hatt. Oerm.org
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. Don’t forget to bring your mom’s guide BOGO ad for your next visit!
Whether they love race cars, police cars, garbage trucks, military vehicles, school buses, your kids will love Touch-a-Truck. If it has wheels you’re likely to find it at the annual Touch-a-Truck event. Touchatrucksd.com
San Diego Automotive Museum
The San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park offers a wonderful selection of vintage and classic American and European vehicles and motorcycles. Kids 6 and younger visit for free, and residents are free on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Sdautomuseum.org
Back to the 50s
The La Mesa Car Show transports kids and adults “back to the 50s” every Thursday night in June, July and August. Lmvma.com
San Diego Cooking Classes for Kids
Today is my little brother’s birthday. He just finished his freshman year at Texas A & M and is ready to learn to cook, so I sent him my favorite Sam the Cooking Guy cookbook and Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer. But I really wish I could have gotten him a cooking class. I caught the cooking bug in elementary school when I took a summer cooking camp and made cream puffs and chicken-salad-stuffed avocados for my family.
They say kids will love healthy eating when they learn to prepare healthy foods, so I’m committed to inspiring my kids before they get to college. This week Mallory participated in Jamie Oliver’s Big Rig Kitchen where she used a chef’s knife for the first time while helping prepare crispy oven baked garlic chicken.
The mission of these free “learn to cook” classes is to improve health and spread food education in underserved communities. It was way cool, and Mal is eager to prepare a dinner for her family!
There is still time to sign up for Jamie’s free classes since the Big Rig Kitchen will be in town until May 31st. But if you don’t make it, here is a list of places in San Diego where kids can learn to cook…
2. Chef Jenn offers private cooking parties for kids.
5. Local grocery stores also offer occasional kids’ cooking classes like the Wholefoods in Del Mar’s Kids’ Club, which is hosting strawberry shortcake from scratch this Saturday.
6. The owner of Cook for Thought instructs this month’s Wholefoods Kids’ Club cooking class. Through Cook for Thought, she also offers cooking classes, summer camps, school assemblies and private cooking events for children.
8. Sur la Table has three San Diego locations, and each offers a summer cooking camp for kids in addition to the occasional child-oriented class.
9. My Cool Kid Cooks provides mobile junior chef cooking classes, birthday parties and summer camps.
10. Harvard Cookin’ Girl in La Jolla offers kids’ cooking classes, camps and birthday parties.
SAVE on Sports Camp!
Join Coach Heather and the Camp Playball Team teaching perseverance, confidence, and positive relationships through fun sports activities.
Sign up now for summer camp and save up to $30!
Camp dates & times are:
June 16th to June 20th @ College Park Preschool in the College Area
9am to 1pm
June 23rd to June 27th @ College Ave Preschool in the College Area
9am to 12pm
June 30th to July 11th @ The Children’s School in La Jolla
9:30 to 12:00-
Ages Kindergarten/2nd grade
July 14th to July 25th @ The Children’s School in La Jolla
12:30 to 3:00
Ages Kindergarten/2nd grade
July 14th to July 18th @ La Jolla Rec. Center
9am to 1pm
August 4th to August 8th @ La Jolla Rec. Center
9am to 1pm
August 18th to August 22nd @ Silverman Preschool in East County
9am to 1pm
Go To…. WWW.CAMPPLAYBALL.COM…. Sign up before May 31st and receive $20.00 off. Register for siblings and receive $30.00 off (1 offer per registration)
See it for FREE! The New Children’s Museum
The kids and I had an excellent time at The New Children’s Museum recently and, visiting it for free, made the outing especially wonderful to me.
How did I get the three of us into the museum at no cost? I checked out a Circulating Membership through our La Mesa library, a branch of the County of San Diego library system.
New Children’s Museum circulating memberships are also available through branches of the City of San Diego library system. You check them out just as you would a book. Ask the librarian to locate one for you, and for two weeks your family will enjoy the benefits of regular museum membership including $5 parking.
FEAST is the current museum exhibition, and it’s my favorite one yet. It begins with scratch-and-sniff ripe bananas as you pass over the rainbow bridge into the museum, and continues with incredible displays and hands-on activities…
There are quite a few ways to enjoy The New Children’s Museum on a budget. The current Mom’s Guide has a buy-one-get-one admission coupon, Target sponsors the “free second Sunday” program, and there is currently a $5 happy hour admission promotion running. But, by far, the circulating membership program from county and city libraries is the best deal in town to get a “taste” of FEAST at The New Children’s Museum.
Baby Shamu has arrived, we have a Circus Vargas winner, another fabulous birthday spot bites the dust, and your mom’s guide is waiting for you. This is one action packed post, so let’s get started.
Valentine’s Day seemed like the perfect day to activate my son’s new Seaworld preschool pass. Our date turned even sweeter when we discovered that we would be among the first Seaworld guests to meet baby Shamu, the killer whale who had been born that very day at 6:33 a.m.
It was incredible to sit in Shamu Stadium and watch the “tiny” 6-7 foot calf swimming along its mom. It surfaced many times, provoking oohs and ahhs from the crowd. It’s a great time to visit Seaworld, and if you have a preschooler, don’t forget to get your pass before the March 31st deadline.
Baby Shamu was the good news of the week. The bad news, for us, was to discover that The Royal Fairytale is closing. We have enjoyed many special times with the owners and staff of this business including Mallory’s 4th birthday, several princess camps, tea parties and pajama jams. Visit them before February 25th for one last tea party with the princesses. Happily, The Royal Fairytale will continue to offer a mobile party service. Stay tuned for details.
Next week Circus Vargas opens its 2013 show to San Diego, and one lucky family wins a 4 pack of tickets. I’m drawing the winner right now and…it is…Melissa Velzis!
Congrats Melissa, you will be sent instructions on how to claim your prize via email.
Finally, if you would enjoy buy-one-get-one-free coupons to places like Mon Petit Chateau, the Natural History Museum, Chick-fil-A, San Diego Botanic Garden, Java Mama, SeaLife Aquarium, The New Children’s Museum, Balboa Park Puppet Theater, Birch Aquarium, Living Coast Discovery Center and for the kiddie train at UTC mall, you need a copy of the 2013 Mom’s Guide to San Diego. Email me at SanDiegoMom@hotmail.com to get your copy!
Later today I will be updating the events calendar with great springtime family-friendly happenings. And check back later in the week when I post a SUPER birthday party blog and contest. I love delivering the latest, greatest news and contests to my readers!
I cannot believe that FUNbelievable is turning 1! Where has this year gone?
It is also pretty incredible that in less than a year this indoor play space has become one of San Diego County’s most popular meeting spots for playgroups. With 6,000 square feet of play space including a large toddler area, climbing structure, sport court and giant slides that are fun for any age (moms included!), there is something for kids up to age 12 at FUNbelievable. My neighbor was there with her 3 and 1-year-olds for six hours the other day!
FUNbelievable’s owners had their fantastic play structures built in the UK and shipped over when they couldn’t find exactly what they wanted in the USA, so you know when you visit your children will have a truly unique experience.
Break out your 2012 Mom’s Guide to San Diego and use the buy-one-get-one coupon to FUNbelievable! Or stop in this Sunday, June 24th for their 1st birthday party complete with the music of Clint Perry and the Boo Hoo Crew, a free gift for every child and special $5 per child entry (adults are free).
FUNbelievable is located at 11655 Riverside Drive, River Run East Business Park, Unit 155-157 in Lakeside. Visit www.funbelievableplay.com.
The Hills Are Alive…
I love that my kids think that the San Diego Junior Theater‘s production of The Sound of Music is the best junior theater musical they’ve seen so far. I totally agree, but I wasn’t expecting that reaction from them. The performance is intended for children ages 6 and older because of mature topics like falling in love, becoming a nun and the Third Reich. But the music and the talent of those young actors transcend the grown-up themes and leave even little ones humming “The hills are alive, with the sound of music….” all day long.
The Sound of Music opened last weekend and is the first of eight shows coming to the Casa del Prado Theater in Balboa Park for the 2012-2013 season. Some performances, like The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) and Guys and Dolls, are recommended for ages 10 and older, but others will be fun for all ages including Doctor Dolittle, A Little Princess, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Go, Dog, Go!
Just before The Sound of Music began, the sweetest little girl was brought up on stage and everyone in the theater sang “happy birthday” to her. She was presented with a personalized and autographed show poster and, apparently, had partied with the cast before the 2 p.m. performance. I didn’t know that the San Diego Junior Theater offered birthday parties in addition to camps and classes. In light of how much Mallory loved The Sound of Music, I wish I had booked her birthday party with this cast. What a special memory that would be.
It doesn’t have to be your birthday for you to get a chance to treat your family to The Sound of Music or another Junior Theater production because I’m giving away a family 4-pack of tickets good for the 2012-2013 season show of your choice. If you would like to be entered to win, simply reply below with your name and whether or not your children have ever been to the theater for a live performance.
Worth the Drive
Even though Mallory is “way more into kittens than horses,” I just couldn’t pass up the Plum District deal I found several months ago for a horse back riding birthday party. And while Miller Equestrian Services is 36 miles from our home, it was definitely worth the drive for our family and party guests.
You won’t be blown away by the owner Ann’s warmth, but don’t let that deter you from considering Miller’s for horse back riding lessons, summer camps, scout programs or birthday parties. Our children were divided into seven teams of two, and each were led by sweet, fun and talented young ladies who made the afternoon terrific.
This party was a lot of work for the kids. Fun, educational, different, but definitely work.
They learned to walk their horses, groom their horses, saddle them, mount them, ride and trot.
Miller Equestrian Services is in Escondido at Valle Vista farm. The property is just beautiful, easy to find and filled with gorgeous horses and a number of adorable dogs too. I enjoyed our horse party so much that it inspired me to create a new blog post category called “worth the drive.” Of course, if you are already near Escondido and have a child who is into horses, then a trip to Miller Equestrian is definitely in order!
936 Vista Avenue
Escondido, CA 92026