In case you’ve missed any of my shameless, self-promoting announcements lately, Mandy and I are celebrating a HUGE milestone this week. On Thursday, our little blog project turns one-year-old. We thought about singing “Happy Birthday,” but decided it might be preferable (not to mention more useful) to give you a “Top 10” list chosen from the 90+ outings (yup, you read that right; 90!) we’ve documented for this site so far. Turns out it was a lot harder than we thought to narrow it down to our 10 favorite adventures. But trust me, it’s still way better than our rendition of ‘Happy Birthday.’ You’re welcome 🙂
You can also view our blog-a-versary slideshow here. It’s a fun look back at some of our best adventures.
Shawna’s Top Five:
Scott’s Orchard and Nursery – Connecticut has so many beautiful farms and orchards that it’s really hard to highlight just one. Scott’s Orchard has a wonderful Fall festival with plenty of apple picking and photo opps in the pumpkin patch, but the best part is their toddler-friendly hay-bale maze. It’s a real gem. Boo could have spent all day in there!
The Big E – Of course this one had to make the list! It’s so rare to find an event that really has something for everyone and every age. From farm animals to fair rides to fried foods, there was a new surprise around every corner (did I mention the life-sized butter sculpture?). We are definitely looking forward to making a trip to The Big E an OAAM tradition.
TimberGyms – I had heard so many people rave about this play place that I wasn’t sure it would live up to the hype. Boy was I wrong. When the weather doesn’t cooperate for an outdoor adventure, TimberGyms is the next best thing for wearing out your wee ones. With full-sized backyard playscapes, as well as pint-sized playhouses and slides, not to mention a bounce house, it has all the excitement of an outdoor playground, just indoors.
The Bright Spot – This indoor play place was another super discovery. It’s so hard to find a place where you can take a baby, a toddler, AND a preschooler and they will all have plenty to keep them amused. The Bright Spot offers pretend play, sensory experiences, pint-sized exercise equipment, and a cozy nook perfect for your pre-crawler. And it’s all within view of some comfy parental seating, so you and your friends can have a playdate too 🙂
Goodwin Park Holiday Light Fantasia – We scoped out quite a few holiday events last season, but none wowed so much as the amazing light display at Goodwin Park. With Boo all cozy in his PJs and hubby and I enjoying some hot chocolate and pastries we’d picked up on the way, this was the kind of wonderful, family-oriented seasonal extravaganza that makes a person believe in good ol’ fashioned holiday magic again.
Mandy’s Top Five:
Stepping Stones Museum – I have now visited several CT children’s museums (some I haven’t even blogged about yet) and while they all had things that I like, my favorite so far has been Stepping Stones. It is newly renovated and has a great area for kids 0-3.
Lyman Orchards – When it comes to Fall activities, there is a lot to choose from in Connecticut. I think my favorite so far has been Lyman Orchards. The property is beautiful and they offer a lot of fun activities for the little ones. For our visit last year, we checked out the Apple Barrel. There we picked up lots of goodies and had an enjoyable lunch on their outdoor deck. We also tried out the pony rides and visited their mini petting zoo. Most of our visit included trying to make our way through their corn maze. That thing was tough, but fun. This year I am hoping to go again and try out some pick-your-own activities.
Fernridge Pool and Spray Pad – Our go-to destination this very hot summer was the Fernridge Pool and Spray Pad in West Hartford. Many a morning we would head over there for some playground time, and then the kids had a blast getting wet at the spray pad. A few afternoons, the twins did wake up early enough from their nap for us to make it to the brand new pool, which was fun as well.
Flamig Farm – This petting zoo in Simsbury is a really wonderful destination for kids of all ages. I love how laid back the atmosphere is on the farm and the fact that there are many, many opportunities for the kids to interact with all of the animals. Now that Bruiser and Sparkles are learning animal sounds, we really need to get them back there to try out their skills!
Rotary Park Boundless Playground – You can already tell from a lot of our posts that Shawna and I are big fans of the Boundless Playgrounds. These playgrounds offer a variety of fun and engaging activities for the kids. One of my favorites so far is the Rotary Park Boundless Playground in Simsbury. It has everything you may want at a playground including playscapes for the toddler crew and the older crowd, baby swings, a sand box, fun bouncy toys and a shaded pavilion. This playground is also relatively new and in great condition.
So there you have it! Our top 10 OAAM outings (so far). Of course, we are already positively giddy about all the new places we are going to explore next. Stay tuned!
What’s your favorite OAAM outing?
COMING UP: Don’t miss the special treat we’ve got in store for our official Blog-A-Versary on Thursday!
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