I want to share a fun activity Monte and I did last week … Erupting Sidewalk Chalk
We had so much fun making a mess and painting on our patio outside. I came across this site for the recipe.
Ingredients & Directions (per color)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 – 1/2 cup of water
When adding the water to the mixture, make sure to add it slow. I used 1/2 a cup and I think it wasn’t thick enough. I would start with 1/4 cup and then add more if you want. You want it to be thicker so it’s more like paint.
I decided to just make three colors, but you could make any and however many colors you want! You can also add glitter to the paint, and/or scents. You can also use whatever items you want, to paint with. Get creative! I had a couple of apples that were going bad, so I cut them in half, and placed a popsicle stick in them to paint with.
Monte had a blast!
After you are finished painting your masterpiece! Place vinegar in a squirt bottle and begin squirting your artwork. It will begin to fizz and bubble! I think that was Monte’s favorite part!
I definitely recommend this activity! I love how simple it is to put together, easy clean up (the rain will wash it away), and you can change up what you paint with and what colors you paint with!
Have you tried using Erupting Sidewalk Chalk before?
We checked out a new pumpkin patch and orchard this past weekend and LOVED it! We usually go to Center Grove Orchard every year, because they are awesome! We did make a trip this year, but decided to try out a new place also.
Deal’s Orchard is about an hour drive, depending where you are coming from. It’s located in Jefferson, Iowa. Saturday was the perfect fall day to make the drive. Not only was the weather perfect, but it was also their Fall Festival!
It was very busy because it was Fall Festival, but parking was not a problem. They had hayrack rides that picked you up and your parking area and drove you right to the entrance.
There was SOOOO much to do, we did not get a chance to do it all or see it all. A lot of things were going on specifically for the festival, but they had a lot of things that are available all season long such as:
Goats & Donkey!
Wiggle Cars (which Monte loved!)
Hamster roll (for the bigger kiddos)
The area where all these fun activities were located is called Apple Acres. It’s $6 for adults to enter and $4 for kids. Children 2 years and younger are free!
There were so many other fun activities specifically for the Fall Festival, such as:
Spook Cave – A haunted house put on by the Boy Scouts
Spin Art and Sand Art
Balloons and Face Painting
Lots of food (I think this is all season long!)
Train Rides (Not sure if this was just for Fall Festival or not)
Picket Fence Creamery had a stand
Samples of their own Hard Cider
Delish Hard Cider!
There is also a cute little shop with gifts, pies, already picked apples, pumpkins, there own honey, apple cider, and so much more!
Of course, there is a pumpkin patch to pick your own pumpkins! And an apple orchard to pick your own apples!
We really enjoyed our time at Deal’s Orchard! Next year, we will definitely make an entire day out of it so we make sure to see and do everything!
Have you been to Deal’s Orchard? What is your favorite thing to do?
Here are some 2014 Fall & Halloween Activities to mark on the calendar for this year!
1. Deals Orchard Fall Festival
Saturday & Sunday October 11th & 12th
This is one event we are for sure checking out this fall! Located in Jefferson, Iowa this apple orchard will not only have apples to offer! They will have a jumping pillow, horse-drawn hayrides, giant slides, sand art, corn pool, corn maze, petting zoo, yummy goodies and much more! Check out Deals Orchard’s website for more details!
2. Night Eyes at Blank Park Zoo
October 16th – 19th & 23rd – 26th
Even though we went to Night Eyes last year, we WILL be attending again! Night Eyes is a wonderful, kid-friendly event where your kiddos dress up in their costumes and trick or treat their way through the zoo. Some of the animals are out, train rides are available, and there are always some kid friendly characters making an appearance.
3. Great Pumpkin Party at Valley Church
October 21st – 23rd
I have always heard great things about this event and I am excited to take Monte this year! There are inflatables, pony rides, petting zoo, carnival games, food, and more! Tuesday, the 21st, is specifically for families with special needs to enjoy. For more information and to keep track of the event, “like” their Facebook page.
4. Spooky Science at the Science Center of Iowa
Dress up in your costume and come out to the Science Center! Enjoy spooky flashlight tours of the dinosaur exhibit, participate in the costume contest, meet creepy crawly critters, experience live science experiments such as a pumpkin explosion, and get candy of course! Check out the Science Center of Iowa website for more details!
5. Pumpkin Walk at Valley Junction
Trick or treat through Valley Junction in your costumes, enjoy fun children’s activities at Green Grounds Cafe, and get a free pumpkin at the Swander Gazebo. Chillin’ in the Junction will also be going on where you can sample great chili’s and play Bingo! Check out their website for more details and times.
6. Valley West Mall Trick or Treating
October 28th, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Who knows how cold it will be the week of beggars night? This is a great opportunity to trick or treat, indoors and get lots of candy! Not only is there candy, but free inflatables to bounce on, crafts, balloon animals, and more! This is the last family fun night of the season, so make sure not to miss it!
7. Living History Farms Family Halloween
October 18th – 19th, 23rd – 26th, & 30th – 31st
We attended this event last year and had so much fun! Trick or treat through the old town, enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides, storytellers, pumpkin bowling, roast marshmallows (Monte’s favorite part), and more! Check out the Living History Farms website for more details.
What fun events will you be attending this Halloween?
It’s cooling off, the leaves are changing colors, and everything smells like pumpkin!
That means it’s FALL! My favorite time of year!!
This time of year means pumpkin patches open, apples are ready for picking, farms open with lots of fun activities, corn mazes, and it’s time to do fun crafts! I thought I would share some previous posts from Midwest Mom and Wife to give you ideas of what to do in the Des Moines area to celebrate this fun time of year!
2. Center Grove Orchard is one, of the many listed, pumpkin patches and orchards we visit every year. We already made our visit early this year. Check out last years post on all of the fun they have to offer. They are also offering season passes if you think you will visit multiple times this year!
3. Monte and I checked out Wills Orchard last year and had lots of fun picking apples. Make sure you visit when they have Apple Pumpkin Fest going on. This years dates are September 27 & 28, October 4 & 5, and October 11 & 12. Check out their website for even more information.
We are nearing the end of the 2013 Fall Bucket List! This weekend I crossed another thing off the list and made Mini Apple Pies inspired by Little Bit Funky’s recipe! I decided that mini apple pies would be a lot easier for Monte’s hands to eat and carry around. Of course I made some changes and also halved the recipe.
Makes 18 individual apple pies
4 cups chopped apples – Approximately 4 apples depending on the size. You can also peel the apples, I chose not to.
7 Tablespoons flour
3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 Tablespoons chilled butter, cut into smaller pieces
2 boxes of Pillsbury pie crusts – not frozen, refrigerated
1. Peel (if you choose to) and chop up your apples into bite size pieces. Approximately 1/2 inch in size.
2. Place apple pieces, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a large bowl and combine well.
3. Unroll first pie crust. Use the ring of a mason jar. Make sure you use a QUART ring, NOT pint. Her recipe did not specify this and I started using a pint ring and my circles were way too small for the muffin tins. I was little mad after spending all that time making perfect circles :/ Using a quart size is perfect!
4. Place the circles into each muffin slot. Pinch the edges on top creating a hammock in the muffin slot.
5. Place your apple mixture into the center of each crust. Fill until slightly mounded.
6. Take your butter pieces and add a piece on top of each pie.
7. Take whatever leftover dough, you may have and place strips on top of each pie.
8. Brush with melted butter.
9. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. You may give or take a few minutes depending on your oven!
I love how well these hold together! I was concerned they would not stay together well and crumble. You could make all varieties of pies using this basic recipe! Enjoy!
First off … I am so excited about Midwest Mom & Wife right now! I have a Twitter account, Instagram account, Pinterest account and now a very own Facebook page. Everyone should follow along to get the latest updates on everything! You can also visit these by clicking on the icons on the right hand side of the screen
I am also excited to annouce that I will be participating in the Great Diaper Hunt with Diaper Decisions! It is such an awesome thing to be a part of and if you have not already done so, go sign up for the hunt. It’s a great way to support small businesses and bloggers, while winning prizes.
Nothing smells better then apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and apple cider brewing in the crockpot!
I did not follow a specific recipe and making apple sauce can be done pretty much however you want.
This is what I did …
1. Cut about 10-15 apples into chunks. I did not peel my apples and the number of apples used depends on the size you are using and how much sauce you are wanting to make. We used Wills Orchard apples, which were pretty small.
2. Squeeze half a lemon on top.
3. Add about 1 – 1 1/2 cups apple cider. We used Iowa Orchards tasty cider!
4. Sprinkle nutmeg on top, approximately 2 Tablespoons
5. Add 4 cinnamon sticks
6. Put on low about 6 hours. My crockpot cooks VERY fast! So this may differ for everyone.
7. Scoop the mixture out into a glass bowl and mash it up with a masher.
2. Carved and Painted Pumpkins
Monte did such a woderful job and he took the task very seriously!
He is such an artist 🙂
3. Watch It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
Papa Tony was nice enough to buy Monte the movie on DVD so we can watch it whenever! Sunday evening was the perfect night to cuddle up and wait for the Great Pumpkin to appear!
If you do not own It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, ABC is airing the show at 7 pm on Thursday!
Record it if you will be trick or treating, so you can watch it!
It’s was a PERFECT Fall weekend 🙂
What fall and/or Halloween things did you do this past weekend?
First thing we did, when we entered the Farm Fun area, was check out the kid toy tractors! Monte thought he was such a big boy “riding” around.
Next, we were off to check out the farm animals. Monte isn’t too sure of goats. Remember when he wouldn’t get near the goats at Wills Family Orchard? Well, same thing here!
One of my favorite things is the 3 Little Pig houses they have. They are sooooo cute! They are perfect size for Monte to walk in and check out.
The bridge and old school house was fun too! Monte enjoyed the small desk. He was ready to learn!
Off to the corn pit! I wanted to do this last year with Monte, but he was still a bit young. Monte had so much fun “swimming” in the corn and would not stop laughing 🙂
The Jumping Pillow is another highlight at Center Grove and GREAT exercise!
Riding on a hayrack ride was also on our bucket list. We hopped on the hayrack ride to go find us some pumpkins! Monte enjoyed all of the bouncing and scenery along the way.
When we got out to the pumpkin patch there were so many pumpkins to pick from! Monte picked one out just his size 🙂
Last, but not least, we could not leave without trying some yummy apple cider made from apples at Center Grove. The perfect ending to a great experience!
Overall, Center Grove Orchard is a definite must! There are so many activities to do and see! I couldn’t list them all!
Some other things include …
Horse bounce races
Lots of food to eat such as apple cider doughnuts and caramel apples
Admission is $9.95 per person for ages 3 and up BUT if you go during the week it is $7.95 per person for ages 3 and up. The main advantage for going during the week is it’s not as crowded. There are some things that are not available though, such as the restaurant and science shows they offer.
If you think you may go multiple times, purchasing a season pass would be smart for $21.95 and you can visit the Farm Fun area as many times as you like for the 2013 season!
Sunday was a gorgeous Fall day! A perfect day to get one of our items crossed off our 2013 Fall Bucket List!
We went to Apple Pumpkin Fest at Wills Family Orchard. The orchard is located outside of Adel, so it was a bit of a drive, but we enjoyed the beautiful scenery.
When we arrived, we walked up to the store to check out what was going on. They had some yummy samples of their homemade applesauce, apple butter, some of their jams, and apple cider donuts.
Monte was a HUGE fan of their applesauce. We ended up purchasing a jar to take home with us.
In the store they have picking instruction and tid-bits for picking apples on their orchard. We glanced through the tips and purchased a bag, to place our apples in. The bag was a really good size! You pay $25 for each bag and you can fill it up with as many apples as you want! It’s a pretty good deal for fresh picked, organic apples!
Next, we walked towards the orchard, but made a stop to see the goats and chickens. Monte was not too sure about either of them and would not get very close.
We continued on our walk to the orchard. When we got there a very friendly gentlemen was there to point out which trees were good to pick from and some other tid-bits on how to pull the apples off the tree. When you pull them off, you want to leave a spur so next year an apple will grow from that spur.
Monte got the hang of it very quickly and was picking apples left and right! He did such a good job picking them and placing them in the bag.
Each bag holds a peck of apples, which is 10 lbs! Here is are peck of apples …
When we were done picking apples we headed back up to the store. For the Apple Pumpkin Fest they were grilling brats, hot dogs, and had other yummy goodies to eat. We sat down and ate some brats!
Monte had more applesauce 🙂
Monte also had a chance to paint a small gourd for 50 cents. He is so talented!
The last thing left to do was pick a pumpkin! We headed over to their 3 acre pumpkin patch! Monte had so many pumpkins to choose from, he just could not decide!
Overall, we had a great time and I definitely would recommend everyone to make the drive out to Wills Family Orchard. It is well worth it for some yummy organic apples. They also have cider, apple pies, apple butter BBQ sauce, and more! All of this is organic too!
Today is the first day of Autumn! Monte and I have created our 2013 Fall Bucket List.
In previous posts, you may have noticed I mentioned our 2013 Summer Bucket List. Since I started my blog late in the summer I did not share our whole bucket list with everyone, BUT we are definitely going to share them here on out!
I love creating bucket lists because I always want to do so many different things and our bucket lists help organize all of these activities.
2013 Fall Bucket List
1. Center Grove Orchard
2. Carve/Decorate Pumpkins
3. Pick Apples
4. Make homemade applesauce
5. Trick or Treat
6. Drink apple cider
7. Play in corn pit
8. Hay rack ride
9. Make homemade apple pie
10. Wills Family Orchard
11. Eat a caramel apple
12. Play in leaves
13. Go on a bike ride
14. Make chili
15. Make pumpkin pancakes
16. Pick pumpkins
17. Watch the Thanksgiving Parade
18. Do a Fall/Halloween craft
19. Watch – It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
20. Watch Nebraska football!!!
Make sure to check out the Bucket List tab on the top of my page. This is where I will keep track of everything we accomplish!