Well, we’ve done all we can to try to will it to be spring around these parts. We put together a list of fun Easter activities:
We compiled a guide to our top 10 Connecticut parks:
And we even appeared on Better Connecticut today to talk about a few of our favorite springtime destinations.
And yet, as I write this post I am staring out into my backyard that is still mostly covered with snow. And it’s being rained on. Sigh.
I think most of us could use a little extra cheer right about now, don’t you think? Lucky for you we’ve got a whopper of a “What We’re Loving Now” post in store for you today!
How does WINNING $500 to outfit your little one for spring and summer sound? What about getting some new ideas for “date night”? Recipes that will feed your whole hungry crew but only require you to clean one pot afterwards? New places to play, shop and eat? Free storybooks delivered to your door each month? Quick fixes for common kid challenges? And did I mention you could:
There, now I have your attention, right? 🙂
Plus we’ve got the latest news from all our wonderful sponsors. We really can’t thank them enough because it’s their support that makes it possible for us to continue “scouting your outing.” So if you enjoy reading our blog, please help us support the businesses and organizations that keep us up and running.
We hope you enjoy reading about all the things we’ve been loving this March!
- I’ve finally tired of my slow cooker, so I’ve moved on to one-pot meals I can make in my trusty dutch oven (known affectionately as “Big Red” in our house). Crowd-pleasers with minimal clean-up. Perfect! Some of my new favorites include this fiesta-worthy burrito bowl and an ooey-gooey cheeseburger casserole. I’ve added those recipes (and a few others) to my new recipe board on Pinterest.
- It’s time to secure your spot in a summer CSA program! I finally took the plunge and signed up for a half share with one of my local farms, Deercrest Farm in Glastonbury. If you’re not familiar with this increasingly popular summer offering, a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program is a way to help support local farms by pre-paying for a summer’s worth of fresh fruits and veggies doled out to you on a regular schedule (usually once a week). Signing up in advance helps relieve some of the famers’ risk since they know they will have guaranteed customers all season long. Even though our first collection is months away, I’m already looking forward to taking the kiddos out to the farm for our weekly pickup 🙂 Find a program near you here.
- Lately, Boo has been trying to sneak in some morning snuggles by climbing into our bed when he wakes up. I can’t say that I’ve been discouraging it (it’s only a matter of time before I can’t even get a single hug anymore, right?), but recently those wakeup calls have gotten a little too early. So we purchased this OK to Wake clock I’d heard about from some friends. You can set it to glow green at whatever time you want your little one to know it’s okay to get out of bed (leave their room, etc.). Now we are all getting (a little ) more sleep, and as an added bonus, Boo has gotten really interested in learning how to tell time.
- We’ve got some new kids on the block here in Glastonbury. Well, new stores actually. The new building on Hebron Avenue near the town center is finally complete and the Gbury can now boast its own Noodles & Company, one of my favorite “fast food” places since they opened their West Hartford location a few years back. Right next door is a wonderful new toy store, Pinwheels. It has a great selection of unique toys, books, games and art supplies, especially for younger kids. And it even has several play areas set up within the store–marble maze, reading nook, train table, kinetic sand table–to keep your little ones happy while you browse.
- Passover is coming up and my kids just received their latest FREE monthly storybooks from PJ Library, which are adorable Passover tales, of course. This wonderful organization provides FREE Jewish storybooks to any family that signs up. We receive a new one each month for each of our boys, and they love getting something in the mail addressed to them just as much as they love having a new bedtime story to enjoy 🙂 It’s also nice that the books tend to coordinate with upcoming Jewish holidays. It really helps our family get in the spirit of things! Interested? You can sign up here.
- My husband works for Disney (well technically ESPN) and our house is therefore pretty gung-ho about all things Disney related. So when the new Cinderella Movie was released earlier this month, we were excited to take our crew to check it out. The movie was beautiful, the story delightful, and my kids just loved it. Several friends have asked me about the movie and whether they should take their little ones. I found it to be appropriate for all ages, but if you are looking for a more in-depth review check out the Cinderella Movie Family Viewing Guide from our friend Julie at the Happy Strong Home Blog.
- Easter is just over a week away and my family and I are busy getting ready to celebrate. Easter events and craft activities are making their way onto our family agenda and my girls are finalizing exactly what dress they want to wear that day (apparently a big decision 🙂 ) If you are looking for some ideas for Easter fun, be sure to check out my recent Easter Events post and my (ever-expanding) Easter Pinterest Board.
- Sparkles is finally letting me “do” her hair. Just brushing it was a battle for quite a while, but once I purchased the handy tool, the Knot Genie, the battles lessened and the hair styles started. We splurged on some new bows that I found on Etsy and I attempted to create this cute braided hairstyle. This braid-loving mama is hoping she will let me keeping trying other new styles.
- Even though spring is slow to arrive, I’ve already started the task of spring cleaning. First on the list — getting rid of clothes and toys that we no longer need. I’ve sold a few things on Facebook (my town has a great community page for buying and selling items), taken some items to our local consignment store, Max and Lilly’s Closet, and started gearing up for consignment sale season. If you are looking to sell, stay tuned for our annual Consignment Sales listing, which will be updated soon!
- Date nights don’t happen often in our house but when they do they typically involve going out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants or being adventurous and trying a new food venue every once in a while. But for the past two months we’ve really gone out on a limb with date nights and checked out a whole new scene. In February, my husband and I attended a show at the new Infinity Music Hall in Hartford and last month we joined a group of friends for a St. Patrick’s Day themed tavern night at the Noah Webster House in West Hartford. Now I need to figure out our unique date night adventure for April. It will have to be special because both of us celebrate birthdays that month!
But we’re really loving our amazing sponsors!
Don’t forget to check them out too. And help spread the sponsor love. If you know friends, family, neighbors, coworkers or anyone else who might be interested in what our fabulous sponsors have to offer, please share. It’s one simple way you can help support our site and keep us “Scouting Your CT Outing.” Thanks!
CONNECTICUT CHILDREN’S MEDICAL CENTER, Hartford, CT
Connecticut Children’s is the only hospital in Connecticut dedicated exclusively to the health and well-being of children. For the sixth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Connecticut Children’s a top hospital in the 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings.
Our top physicians and researchers are dedicated to advancing pediatric care through medical innovation and cutting-edge technology. With more than 200 pediatric residents and fellows in over 20 pediatric subspecialties, Connecticut Children’s is the primary pediatric teaching, clinical and research partner for the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Connecticut Children’s research portfolio includes nearly $20 million in active awards.
Getting kids healthy and home is our goal. And we do it every day. Do you have a Connecticut Children’s experience that you would like to share? Tell us about it.
Visit www.connecticutchildrens.org or call 860.545.9000 for more information.
THE INDEPENDENT DAY SCHOOL, Middlefield, CT
The Independent Day School is design thinking and hands-on. It’s life long friends and knowing that you’re known. Nature trails and vegetable gardens. And academic rigor and preparing for next steps. It’s finding out who you are and what you’re good at. It’s making mistakes and trying again. It’s being a kid, the best kid you can be. It’s not like any other school. It’s IDS. It’s the way we are. All for the love of fearless learning. 1:6 teacher/student ratio. Find out more about IDS at our Open House, Saturday, April 25 at 9:30 a.m. followed by a scavenger hunt on our nature trail. And save the date for our Summer Programs starting on June 22.
THE MANDELL JCC, West Hartford, CT
Now in its Centennial year, the Mandell JCC serves people of all backgrounds and at every age and stage of life. It is a gathering place and resource for the Hartford region, providing recreational, cultural, educational, and social programs designed to promote physical, intellectual, and spiritual well-being of its members and others who participate. As a center where all are welcome, our mission is rooted in a fundamental commitment to inclusivity and in universal Jewish values. We work to build community, cultural identity, and bridges of understanding by celebrating diversity and fostering appreciation for Jewish culture and heritage. Encourage your children to thrive! For more information on our programs, events or membership, visit www.mandelljcc.org or contact the Member Services Center, 860-236-4571.
**NEW** MARIE-CHANTAL LUXURY CHILDRENSWEAR
Does your family have a wedding celebration to attend this season? Maybe it’s time for that long overdue family reunion? Or perhaps you’ve finally scheduled that professional family photo shoot you’ve always wanted to have? Whatever the special event or occasion coming up in your calendar, be sure your children will look their best too with charming attire from Marie-Chantal Luxury Childrenswear. This global lifestyle brand creating unique and beautifully crafted designer children’s clothes and gifts for boys and girls from new-born to 12 years old was founded by Princess Marie-Chantal when she was pregnant with her third child. As the company’s creative director, her experiences as a parent – now to five lively kids – continue to inspire everything they do. And we’ve got big news! One lucky Out and About Mom reader will win $500 to spend at their online store! So be sure to browse their clothing selection. Whether for boys or girls, you are certain to find something adorable amongst their collections & gifts! CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY (ends 4/30/15). Or visit their website to view their entire collection.
Once again, a great big “thank you” to our current sponsors. We are very proud to showcase them here on our site, and we look forward to introducing you to even more family-friendly businesses and organizations in the future.
Are you interested in becoming an Out and About Mom sponsor?
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Want to keep up with things to do with kids in Connecticut?
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