July on TV

Summer is in full swing and here are some fun things to do with your kids this month.

Watch the segment below!

November on TV

Nov 2018

Here are the topics that I discussed on the segment today:

  • International Games Week at the Salt Lake City Libraries; November 4 – 10
  • Family Yoga at Natural History Museum of Utah; Sunday, November 11
  • “Pinkalicious” Storytime at The King’s English; Saturday, November 24

You can watch the video of the segment here!

March Activities

March 2016

Happy Spring! Here are the topics I mentioned on TV today.

  • Smithsonian Museum Day Live! Get two free tickets to The Prehistoric Museum in Price, Utah. (March 12)
  • Natural History Museum of Utah’s Chocolate & Cheese Festival:
    Children’s Chocolate Exploration and Fondue to Fun-Do for Kids Classes (March 19 & 20)
  • Ballet West “Beauty & the Beast” (starting March 31)

These are also some fun activities happening this month that I didn’t have time to mention on air:

To see the video, click on this link.

Adventures for Babies

IMG_3164

Theo was only 2 years old when he first started preschool, and Miss Bethany was one of his beloved teachers. She was the best teacher I could ever hope for — oftentimes holding Theo for the entire class if he was having a rough time with the separation. We were honored to attend her wedding before she moved to the East coast with her husband. After a few years, they are now back in Utah and we had some special visitors last week: Miss Bethany AND her new baby boy!

IMG_0007

Cute Baby B took some of Theo’s hand-me-down clothing and baby supplies and Bethany and I chatted about our experiences in this newborn phase of life. Even though it’s been 7 years since I was in her shoes, I still recall with fondness the activities that Theo and I did together when he was just a wee little babe. In these past years, lots of new opportunities in the community have opened up and I had a lot of fun researching them. This post consisting of “Baby Adventures” is dedicated to Miss Bethany and all the other moms of little babies.

  • Mommy & Me class at LDS Hospital, 8th Ave and C Street, 10:00am Wednesdays, Free
The single most important activity for me when Theo was brand new was attending a weekly “Mommy & Me” class at LDS Hospital. It just happened to start in 2008 when Theo was born, and was led by a registered nurse and lactation consultant. It wasn’t so much a “class” as it was a chance to go to a supportive environment and get out of the house with your baby. Many times our discussions were generated by the day-to-day challenges we were facing and we learned so much from each other. The mothers and babies that we met when Theo was 3 weeks old are literally some of my best friends even to this day. For a new full-time stay-at-home-mom, I can’t emphasize enough how important it was for me to have a support group of other moms to turn to as a community.

One thing that my new mommy friends and I would have loved to have is a place to go to hang out with our babies, other than each other’s houses. I remember visiting my parents in Virginia when Theo was 1 year old and going to a combination coffee shop/indoor playground and thinking it was such a brilliant idea that I couldn’t believe it hadn’t been introduced to Utah yet. I just learned about a brand new cafe that opened very recently that is just that! I haven’t been there yet (I’m going to “borrow” my friend’s 2-year-old toddler to check it out) but I am so glad that this concept is becoming more widespread.
 

Along the same lines, my friends told me about the Main Street Studio salon which offers on-site childcare while you get pampered. Is this a genius idea or what? I never got a chance to try it out myself, but seriously, even the idea that a sort of place like this existed gave me some peace of mind that I could take advantage of this if I needed/wanted. This would be a great treat for any new mom who wanted to keep her child close but still needed to feel human now and then.
 

I love any activity that is typically a “grown-ups only” type event where you can bring your kids. So many times we are made to feel like we cannot go out in public spaces that are “inappropriate” for kids because of their unpredictable behavior and completely natural actions. So when an art museum welcomes babies and moms to tour the exhibits without any judgment or unrealistic expectation, I find it to be a refreshing relief.

I have all sorts of other “tips and tricks” that I like to share with new mothers (the best places to nurse, using a shopping cart as a temporary stroller, etc.) but these are some fun activities that are available for you and your baby to share together. Enjoy and have fun with those snuggly little babies!

Theo’s 7th Birthday Party

IMG_6776

For Theo’s 7th birthday party, we had a repeat location: the Natural History Museum of Utah! They have a variety of different themes for different age groups, so this year Theo was eligible for their science lab themed party. It was held in the same room as the party he had for his 4th birthday, and hosted by fun museum staff.

IMG_6847

All the kids got to wear lab coats and goggles while they learned about various science experiments. There were several different stations set up and the kids were kept busy!

IMG_6781

We had our traditional Costco cake, with additional decorations provided by my good friend who made special fondant science accessories. I thought they really looked great!

IMG_6774

The favors were provided by the museum, but I couldn’t help but science-ify the water bottles that we provided for drinks. The chemical composition of its contents went on the label. I’m always happy when I can add a little educational component to the party.

IMG_6773

 

Field Trip to Provo: Origami Exhibit

We don’t often go down south to Utah County on our adventures, but we took the opportunity to head to Provo yesterday to visit the wonderful “Folding Paper” exhibit at the BYU Museum of Art. We recently went to an activity at our local public library where they had the Origami Lady show the kids how to do various simple origami projects. Theo loved it and we ended up folding origami hearts for him to give out as Valentines to his classmates. When I saw that there was this exhibition so close to us, I wanted to check it out.
It was my first time at this museum and I was really impressed. It is a beautiful space and the other exhibitions were also lovely to see. The Folding Paper exhibit met all of our expectations. We saw amazing examples of origami, and beautiful displays about the history and art of origami. Everything was made out of paper and they were incredible.

One of our favorite parts of the exhibit was this station where they set out iPads and origami paper, so that we could try folding some of it ourselves. (I admit, while you’re looking at all the art, you’re thinking to yourself, “I want to try this!”) The iPads had a great app on them where they had videos and illustrations walking you through how to fold various projects. The app is available to download for iPhones and iPads on the iTunes store and is called Folded BY-U. I love that origami is a combination of art, geometry, fine motor skills and really is a fun activity. Try it out, either at home or by visiting the museum!

Free Museum Day – Thanks, Smithsonian!

I’ve written before about how much I love the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. It is amazing that we have these resources available for FREE. And now we can thank them again, as they offer their “Museum Day Live!” program, which is a day that museums around the country are offering free admission. This year, it is on Saturday, September 27 and two local (SLC) museums are participating:

Once you register, you can download a voucher for 2 free admission tickets (which you can conveniently show on your smart phone — printing hard copies is so last decade). On the Smithsonian site is also a comprehensive list of other museums around the state that are participating, but I thought these two were the most relevant to a SLC and child-oriented audience.
For your consideration, here are the detailed comparisons between the two options:
  • Discovery Gateway
    • Open from 10am-8pm on Saturday, Sept. 27
    • Usual Admission price: $9.50 for anyone over age 2
  • The Leonardo
    • Open from 10am-5pm on Saturday, Sept. 27
    • Usual Admission prices: $9 for adults, $7 for children age 6-11, Free for children 5 and under
    • The Leonardo has special exhibitions that you can “upgrade” to see by paying an additional fee
We have been to both museums and I think they are both great. Being value-minded, I tend to consider which one is the most “bang for your buck” in terms of getting free admission. So it will of course depend on the size of your family and the ages of your children, plugging in the formula of how much it would cost you to pay on a regular admission day vs. this free museum day.
But I think it is a great opportunity to check out a place you may not have been before, or take advantage of a favorite and visit it again!

A Curious Destination

Today we went to visit the new Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point. To make it even more of an Adventure, we took the Frontrunner train from Salt Lake to Lehi to the museum.

I’ve mentioned the Frontrunner train on this blog before, when I mentioned taking it to the Treehouse Museum in Ogden. I have been a frequent traveler on many public transport systems while living in Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C. but I have never encountered a more pleasant commuter train ride than the Frontrunner here in SLC. It is always exactly on time, pristinely clean, and never crowded. You can take it as north as Ogden and south as Provo. We’ve ridden the entire line and I’m so glad it is an option. Anyway, kids 6 and under are free, and adults can buy a group pass that pays for itself if you have 2 adults riding roundtrip.

When we arrived in Lehi, we had to walk about 1 mile from the train station to the museum itself. It was a scenic walk along a golf course for most of the way, with sidewalks available. Once you reach Thanksgiving Point itself, there is a stretch of road into the museum where there aren’t any sidewalks so we had to walk carefully along the side of the street. It is still paved, so a stroller would be doable, but I was surprised that they wouldn’t provide a sidewalk along the main thoroughfare into the children’s museum.

It’s in sight! We made it!

The museum only opened a few weeks ago, and even on a weekday morning, it was very crowded. Like wait-outside-in-a-line-just-to-get-in crowded. I’m used to doing that going into a concert or something like that but to have restless kids involved is not as much fun. We eventually made it inside and took a look around!

We hit up every area of the museum with the exception of the high ropes course, which was an additional fee. Everything was bright and new but nothing really jumped out at me as exceptional, or unique to the museum. In fact, one of our favorite parts was going into the Children’s Discovery Garden (which they thoughtfully planned to be connected to the museum). I tend to think the most impressive part of Thanksgiving Point is still the outdoor gardens.

Overall, it was an enjoyable day trip since we involved the fun of taking the train back and forth, but it probably won’t be a very frequent destination since it’s pretty far away for what it is and about double the price of the children’s museum we have close to home. But I’m always glad to see more infrastructure being built for children and families and I’m sure it is a welcome addition to the Utah county area.