Today we are joined by my friend and fellow West Hartford mommy, Annie Steckroth. Annie and I first met at our local library when our kids were in a class together, but we see each other all the time as we venture out and about with our little ones. I thought that Annie was a West Hartford native when I found out how “in the know” she was about things to do with kids in our area. So when I heard she was starting a site listing local activities, I knew I needed to check it out.
Annie has recently become the local Publisher for Hulafrog in West Hartford, joining two other Hulafrog sites in our state. We think this is a great complimentary site to the Out and About Mom blog. You can go to Hulafrog to find out what is going on and then go to OAAM to get all the details! Win-win!
Read below to get to know Annie and the Hulafrog family of sites. We think this will be a great resource for our readers!
My name is Annie Steckroth and I’m the publisher of Hulafrog West Hartford.
First off, let me say we are thrilled to be featured on Out and About Mom.
As you’ll read; while Hulafrog is a community guide and provides a daily list of activities, events, classes, camps, and such, Mandy and Shawna have explored the full experience at many of these destinations and provide ALL the details needed to survive such excursions to help make the trip a true success. I know OAAM has helped my family plan many an outing, and we are very grateful. It’s been said, “It takes a village” when raising kids. Hulafrog is ecstatic to now be a part of the West Hartford area village.
Let me tell you a little bit about how I became a part of the Hulafrog family.
My family and I just moved to West Hartford this past July and we love it! Our crazy crew consists of myself, my husband Brian, our son Charlie (3), and our daughter Campbell (1). After 8 years of frequent moving through the military, we are thrilled to settle down and set some roots! Honestly, we feel like we won the “place to live” lottery.
As mentioned, my husband Brian was a Navy pilot, which means we have moved around quite a bit over the past 8 years and lived in many different towns and none have even come close to West Hartford. If I never see another set of moving boxes or packing supplies…it will be too soon!
For whatever reason, whether it was Brian’s training or housing not being available yet, we always seemed to end up at my Mom’s or in-laws in New Jersey for weeks at a time in-between moves. And just in case you’re reading…a big thanks to our families for putting up with our nomadic brood over the years as we continually invaded your space.
For me, routine is pretty crucial in managing and surviving “gracefully” the day-to-day tasks of motherhood. Consistent activities and events to keep my kids busy are essential. The first time we had our month stay with my Mom, I was struggling. I’d scramble the night before to figure out what Charlie and I (Campbell wasn’t on the radar yet) were going to do the next day. I considered myself pretty savvy at adapting to new towns and figuring out the best things to do, but as we all know, it’s work and most of all, time-consuming.
One day we were at a storytime I’d found at our local library and I saw a card on their front desk with a cute little frog. It read, “Got Kids? Get Hulafrog!”
I went home, checked out the website and voila! It was like my prayers had been answered. A daily list of events and activities EVERY day?! From that day forward, whenever I was in NJ visiting or “living” there for a few weeks in between stations, I would hop onto Hulafrog and check it out to see what event we’d hit up the next day. From festivals, classes, open plays, to special events we had something to go to every day.
And of course, as only kids can do, Charlie came down with a wicked cough, fever, the whole bit while we were staying with my Mom. (I secretly think they plan to get sick just before you go on vacation or right when you’ve arrived) I was no longer familiar with pediatricians in the area but remembered that Hulafrog also had a section for “Other” that listed pediatricians, pediatric dentists etc. So I logged in, read reviews on the different doctors and had an appointment, at a practice that I felt confident in, the next day. Again, Hulafrog proved to be a lifesaver.
Fast forward a year and a half later, Brian had just finished up his last tour in Tampa, FL and we were out of the Navy (hallelujah no more deployments!).
Destination CT (Via NJ)
We were again back in NJ (insert thank you family) and I was again back on Hulafrog.
(Campbell is a wild woman; note she’s trying to jump ship)
I saw that they were expanding and thought; that would be my dream job.
I had stopped working when we moved to Tampa. My daughter, Campbell was due 6 weeks after we moved and we were only there for a year so it didn’t seem to make much sense to jump into something, only to leave in a matter of months. However, I was getting the itch to get back to work and thought what better job than giving other Moms a little help with so many of their daily questions? Hulafrog was a huge game changer for me, and still is, during my time in NJ. So now, here I am hoping to spread the same support I received to Moms in our area!
Campbell out spreading the word with me about the launch of Hulafrog…
As you can see, I can personally attest to all of the great things that Hulafrog has to offer.
We give the lowdown on everything for children age 12 and under, including daily kid friendly events, classes, concerts, toy stores, preschools, pediatricians, birthday party places, tutoring, indoor play centers, parks, local deals, and much more! There is SO much information out there to sift through and Hulafrog provides all of that information in one place.
We have a daily calendar chock full of events. You can search by date, by subject, by business name. We also have an Offers & Updates section where local companies can post deals they’re currently running. Plus, you can subscribe for FREE and receive weekly newsletters about “Our Pick” events and “Our Weekend Guide” so that you never miss out on the best events going on in the area.
As you can see, my family is reaping the benefits too. They love it when we check out many of the different events we’ve listed.
Campbell and Charlie building Valentine’s Day holders at Home Depot in Newington – Great event and FREE, & Campbell shredding it at Winterfest at Lyman Orchards
And when I say we’re local, I mean local! Each site covers roughly a 15 to 20 mile radius. This ensures that we are really focusing on your direct area and giving you the most relevant information out there. All of our publishers are local Moms, so we really are “on the ground” and in the know about what’s going on in the community.
Now, Hulafrog is fairly new to CT but our network is growing. Hulafrog West Hartford launched just over a month ago and joined our two other CT sites, run by two great Hula-Moms.
Hulafrog Darien/New Canaan, which covers Fairfield County, was launched roughly 6 months ago and is run by Megan Stanley. Megan, her husband Patrick, and their four children have lived in the area for 11 years.
Hulafrog Farmington Valley, covers Farmington, Avon, Simsbury, Granby, Canton and New Britain, launched about 3 months ago with Debbie Szczepanski running the show. Debbie, her husband Mark and their two girls live in Farmington and have been living in the area for 7 years.
That’s another great aspect of Hulafrog. Although we all run our sites individually there is a real sense of community and camaraderie among the publishers. We’re all Moms (it’s an all woman crew so far), we’re all going through similar life experiences, and all looking for that life/work balance.
I hope you find Hulafrog as helpful as I have. Log on at http://westhartford.hulafrog.com/ (or whichever site fits your location best). Check us out, and hopefully we’ll help take some of the load off!
Feel free to contact me if you any questions at all at 800-670-4020 ext. 276 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publisher: Annie Steckroth
Phone: 800-670-4020 ext. 276
- Hulafrog West Hartford is a new kids activities site listing local things for kids to do.
- There are also Hulafrog sites in Connecticut for the Farmington Valley and Darien/New Canaan areas.
- You can always find links to these sites and other CT kid activities sites and blogs in the Out and About Mom blogroll located in the sidebar of our page.
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