Three years. Yes, our blog turns three years old this week.
Happy Blog-a-versary to Us!
It seems like only yesterday I was taking baby Bruiser and Sparkles for a walk, listening to a podcast about blogging, and the idea came to me to start a blog documenting our family outings.
Of course I knew it would be more fun to write with a friend, so I convinced Shawna to join me on this crazy adventure. She agreed (yay!) and 473 posts later, we are still going strong! It has taken a lot more planning, dedication, and motivation than I thought would be needed to keep this little blog going, but it has been such a rewarding experience.
And the most rewarding part of running this blog is getting a chance to interact with all of our wonderful readers! I feel like over the last year our blog has grown in so many ways, but the most amazing thing that it has created is a network of moms who read our blog, share outings suggestions, tips, and new ideas with us AND each other. Not only have we seen a large number of followers who have been with us from the beginning, but over the last few months we have seen a tremendous growth in new readers stopping by our site (and then continuing to stick around!).
It is with those new readers in mind that Shawna and I decided it was probably time for us to put together a “Start Here” page for the blog. If you are new (or even an OAAM veteran) you will hopefully find this page to be a helpful resource to guide you through our site.
Last year I included in our blog-a-versary post a few fun blog stats. I thought it would be interesting to share those same stats for this past year and see how much this little blog has grown. Well I’ve pulled the numbers for our third year in the world of blogging and was amazed to see the path we are on.
- We are still holding strong with 5 kiddos in the OAAM crew! No new additions this year 🙂
- Our readership continues to grow: Our average monthly site views have grown from ~1,000 in Year 1 to 12,000 in Year 2 to 27,000 in Year 3. That means we grew by ~129% in the last year! Wowza!
- We’ve written about over 250 destinations
- We’ve logged 473 posts ( which includes destinations, Wordless Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, giveaways, product reviews, special events, OAAM Guides, etc.)
- We have over 2,400 Facebook followers (140% increase since last year)
- We have over 668 followers on Twitter (67% increase since last year)
It has also become an annual tradition for us to look at all the places we’ve been in the past year and attempt to highlight our top five favorites. This is always a challenging task, but I did my best to whittle the list down to just five. Here I go:
My top five posts for the last year:
Harkness Memorial State Park (Waterford, Connecticut) – Maybe it is the fact that I just recently visited this destination or maybe it is because the site is absolutely beautiful, but either way, Harkness Memorial State Park is definitely one of my favorite outings of this past year. The park has so much to offer its visitors including beach access, beautiful open space, water views, picnic facilities, and amazing gardens to tour.
Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (Amherst, Massachusetts) – I learned so much about the world of picture book art and even more about Eric Carle himself during our visit to this museum. I’m not sure who enjoyed this outing more, me or my kids but the museum is gorgeously designed and includes a variety of things for the young and old alike. Visitors can relax in the picture book library, tour the art exhibits, or even try out their artistic skills in the museum’s art studio. One of the great things about this outing is that many libraries offer passes that would make your visit free.
Flight Trampoline Park (New Britain, Connecticut) – When these warm summer days are gone and you are looking for an indoor activity, make sure to remember Flight Trampoline Park’s Kid Flight as a great outing option. The sessions are now offered everyday from 10:00 am – 11:00 am and it is a time when the whole trampoline park is open for kids ages 6 and under. The cost to jump is $8 per child and an adult can jump for free with each paying little one. Disney music is blasting on the sound system and the munchkins have the whole place to themselves. The best part about this outing is that they are completely tired and ready for a nap when it is over!
The Maritime Aquarium (Norwalk, Connecticut) – This indoor aquarium is another great cold weather outing option. The recently refurbished venue offers so many fun things for kids to see and do. From massive sharks in the shark tank, to jellyfish , seals, and much, much more you could easily spend a full day getting lost in the aquatic world on display at this Connecticut aquarium.
Hole in the Wall Beach (Niantic, Connecticut) – After reader suggestion after reader suggestion, I finally got a chance to visit this beach. Now I can see what all the fuss was about! If you are looking for an easy beach day with little ones in tow, this is the destination for you. Parking was easy, the restrooms were new, the walk to the beach was short, the beach was beautiful, several playgrounds were located within walking distance, and a full downtown filled with ice cream, restaurants, and shopping was just a few steps away. Everything you need for a great beach day can be found at the Hole in the Wall Beach.
Wow. Another year has come and gone and we still have so many great adventures ahead of us! Shawna and I have exciting new things planned for this upcoming year and we can’t wait to share all of them with you in the coming months.
Thank you once again for reading our site, liking and sharing our posts on Facebook and Twitter, leaving us comments, and for being amazing supportive readers.
Make sure to check back in with us this coming Thursday when Shawna will be posting her Top 5 Outings list (and hopefully doing a little blog reminiscing as well!).
And we would really love to be able to post a third top 5 list this week, one from you, our readers. What has been your favorite outing that you discovered from our blog? Pick just one and tell us what it is by leaving a comment on this post. Shawna will tabulate all the responses and summarize them in a top 5 post later this week. Can’t wait to hear your favorite!
- 4D Vision Gym – A vision training center located in Cromwell, CT where Dr. Juanita Collier, MS, OD and her staff show members how to utilize Vision Therapy to correct visual issues and make learning and playing easier and more fun.
- NEW Imagine Studio – Under the direction of Karla Kress-Boyle, opening this fall at 97 South Street is West Hartford’s only Creative Arts Studio. Focusing on building imagination and self confidence, our wonderful staff will be sharing their talents in Dance, Art, Music, Yoga and Theater programming.
- The Independent Day School – Located on a rural campus in Middlefield, CT this private pre-school, elementary and middle school serves families from over 20 communities.
Are you interested in becoming an Out and About Mom sponsor? Click here for more info.
Want to keep up with things to do with kids in Connecticut?
Check back every Tuesday and Thursday as we dish up more Momsense for getting out and about with your little ones. Don’t have time to check back in? Let us send you an automatic notification of new posts straight to your email inbox by signing up here. Also, you can like us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest posts and get some extra tidbits we share only through those sites.