Well, it’s been another month of bundling up, dodging the snowflakes, and trying to find fun indoor activities to keep us all entertained as we anxiously await the arrival of spring. So let’s scroll down memory lane and see how we survived the last weeks of winter. (Of course, when we are all complaining about the heat in August, we might just find ourselves back at some of these places–yay air conditioning!).
But first, let me remind everyone about Mandy’s fantastic post filled with fun Easter Activities. There’s still time to check some of them out before the bunny makes his special deliveries this Sunday. From egg hunts to toy trains, there’s no shortage of Easter fun for all your little ones.
Also, we’re coming up on the very last days of full ACM reciprocity. So if you have a reciprocal museum membership, take advantage of the final opportunity to get into other ACM museums for FREE before the benefit changes to half-off on April 1st. (Wondering what the heck “reciprocity” is? Read our post on the subject here.) And if you’ve been putting off purchasing a museum membership to places like Kidcity, the Lutz, Imagine Nation, or the Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut (and all other ACM museums that don’t currently meet the new minimum price requirement), now is the time to seal the deal because starting on April 1st, their yearly membership rates will all be going up from $100 to $125.
And finally, ever have those days where you just don’t know where to go or what to do with the kids? We do all the time! That’s why we were so happy to learn about a network of websites called Hulafrog where parents can enjoy a seriously local community guide with a real-time daily listing of events and activities (because sometimes we just need to know what’s going on right NOW). To find out more, meet the publisher and read about the Hulafrog network of sites here.
Now, get ready to Eat, Play, Learn with this month’s awesome outings…
If you’re craving an old-fashioned cheeseburger and ice cream shake, head to Shady Glen in Manchester for vintage fun and food. This über family-friendly dining establishment has been around for more than half a century, and people have been singing its praises since the doors opened. Treat yourself to their famous crispy cheeseburger and share a sundae with your little ones who will love watching the hustle and bustle of the wait staff from a comfy booth or perched on a swivel stool. Better still, head there on the first or third Sunday of any month and post-lunch you can check out the ginormous model train layout at nearby Time Machine Toy and Hobby.
Nothing burns all that endless toddler energy quite like a good bouncy house, so Mandy took her crew to Jump Zone in Canton. With tons of colorful inflatables including some that are designated for different age groups and even a (non-bouncy) play area for kids ages 3 and under, PLUS a video game area where kids can win tickets and redeem them for prizes, this bounce arena is the perfect place to take your whole family.
It was the old standby when you were a kid, but today’s Chuck E. Cheese’s (at least the one in Manchester, CT) has undergone quite a makeover. With a separate area for toddlers and preschoolers filled with pint-sized games and rides that only cost 25 cents each, plus two playscapes that are completely FREE, even your littlest ones can enjoy this perennial kid favorite. Add in some seriously yummy pizza (no kidding!), and a bunch of new-to-me menu items, and you’ve got yourself the makings for a fun outing for both kids and their grown-ups.
Mandy also put together a great update on Kidcity from the eyes of a two-year-old. It’s amazing to see how many more activities the twins could enjoy at age 2 compared with Boo’s more limited engagement at just shy of 18 months (and we thought he was having a blast then!). This museum is truly a place where little ones of all ages can find tons of entertainment. We can’t wait to see what they do at age 3!
We’ve got great news for toddlers who love to dance. The Dance Dance class at the Elmwood Community Center is open to little ones as young as 2! The half-hour class includes lots of dancing, movement, singing, rhymes, and balancing. It’s the perfect dance introduction for your little mover and shaker.
Looking for some new and unique kids’ classes? This month I checked out one of the classes at the Lutz Children’s Museum. Not only are these classes well-planned and well-executed, but they may just be the best bargain in town! That’s because the class fee includes museum admission for the child enrolled in the class and the adult accompanying him or her. Come for the class, stay to play. Then finish up with a picnic at one of the tables dotting the lovely green space behind the museum. The classes change every month so there’s always something new and exciting to try, and online registration makes signing up for a class ridiculously easy.
So that’s it for this month. I know that we are all looking forward to some nicer weather and some outdoor activities now that spring is upon us. As always, if you have an idea for an outing we need to scout, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
Here’s hoping for lots more sunshine soon!
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