Valley Community Center: Kids Classes

I LOVE the Valley Community Center. Especially, this time of year because it has been soooooo cold. It’s an awesome place for the kids to burn off their energy, you can get some yummy snacks, chat with other parents, AND they have awesome kids classes!

Valley Community Center_ Kid Classes

The kids and I spent the entire morning  this week at the Valley Community Center and while we were there we checked out the Creative Dance for Kids class. They had a lot of fun!

The class incorporates fun animals, food, sounds, and more. To get the kids moving, they imitate animals and in this particular class, they pretended their bodies were cake! It’s a great way to get the kids using their imaginations.

The kids enjoyed rolling around on the tumbling mat like sea creatures, in the water!

They also use hula hoops to jump in and out of.

Everyone’s favorite were the colorful streamers the kids were able to play with! They pretended to paint and danced around.

There were two teachers in the classroom and they were very patient and worked well with everyone. They encourage you to drop your kids off and wait outside, in the cafeteria area, during classes. They were very welcoming to us parents who brought our children for the first time though!

Creative Dance for Kids is for children ages 2 through 5 years. There are several classes that are offered through out the week. They also offer …

Pre-Registration not required $5 per class OR $3 with punch card

  • Move to the Beat (6-11 years)  on Monday’s @ 4:30 pm
  • Creative Dance for Kids (2-5 years) on Wednesday’s @ 10 am
  • Zumba Kids (3-6 years) on Thursday’s @ 10 am
  • Kids in Motion (2-4 years) on Friday’s @ 10 am

Pre- Registration recommended $25 for all 4 sessions of $8 per drop-in class if available 

  • Inspire Me Pre-K Art (2.5 – 5 years) February 4th – 23rd every Tuesday @ 9:15 am

They also offer Kids Storytime EVERY Tuesday 10 – 11 am for FREE!

The best deal is to purchase an activity punch card. They sell punch cards for 10 classes for $30.00 or 5 classes for $15.00. You can use the punch card for the kids classes AND for the adult classes. Check out their calendar for what classes they offer for adults and for other kids classes/sessions they are offering!

Flix Brewhouse for Kids

Monte just turned 3 years old and still had not been to a movie, in a movie theater! My dad and I took him to his first movie, Ice Age 2, last Saturday at Flix Brewhouse. We all had an awesome time!

I know what you are thinking … “taking a child to a brewhouse?” Yes! Once a month Flix Brewhouse offers a special children’s movie, Saturday morning, where the kids can wear their pajamas and enjoy the theater experience. I had been wanting to check out Flix Brewhouse since they opened at Merle Hay Mall and this was the perfect opportunity.

It was amazing to see how much Merle Hay Mall has changed since the remodeling and addition of the brewhouse! The entrance/dining area was very nice and the staff were super nice and helpful also!

The awesome thing about Flix Brewhouse is not only the fact they brew beer and you can drink it DURING the movie, but they offer awesome food that you can eat DURING the movie! You have a server through out the whole movie! They offered a special brunch menu that included a breakfast burrito, pancakes (children portions), warm croissants, egg omlettes, and more!

They also offer coffee and mimosas 🙂 And of course their specialty brews. My dad and I tried the Luna Rosa Wit which is similar to a Blue Moon. Very good!

Tickets for the special monthly, children’s movie is $5 per ticket plus whatever food and drink you purchase. The food and drink is reasonably priced for a theater. When you purchase tickets online it is recommended to come 25-30 minutes before the movie start time. I would highly recommend doing this! One, they will not let you into the theater once the movie has begun. Two, it’s easier to order all your food and drinks before the movie begins, because it takes some time to get it and the lights are on. You can continue to order through out the movie also.

If you have a little one who has not been to a movie at a movie theater, I highly recommend crossing this item off your list at the Flix Brewhouse. We had so much fun!

 

Fun at Apex Athletics

The kids and I checked out a new, fun place last week … Apex Athletics.

Apex Athletics-2

Apex Athletics is located in Johnston and known for their all-star cheerleading and tumbling. They have been open since May of 2009 and since their opening, they have won several grand championship rewards, spirit rewards, community recognition, and more!

Not only do they offer cheerleading, tumbling,  and dance for ages pre-k and older, but they also offer awesome open play times, morning out programs, kids night out, and more!

We dropped in for a Des Moines Moms Blog play date event and had a blast! The gym was open for all the kids to run around and play. All of the tumbling equipment was available, a huge trampoline to jump on, a balance beam, a large area with lots of balls to play with, and more!

There were also several kids and moms their. It was a great opportunity for moms to meet other each other and the kids made friends quickly also.

Apex Athletics offers a lot and it’s all very affordable also.

Mom’s Morning Out: Monthly registration program. $80 a month or $25 for drop-in. Monday or Friday 9 am – 12 pm. Drop the kids off while you go run errands! The kids will enjoy crafts, gym time, snacks and more!

Daytime Playtime: Available every Thursday 10:30 am – 12:00 pm. The entire family cam come and enjoy the gym. Families come meet other families, while the children run around and play. There is no age limit and it’s only $5 per family!

Lunch Bunch: Available every Friday 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm after Mom’s Morning Out. $10 per child. This includes more play time, crafts, and children bring their own lunch to eat. Register the previous week to attend and you do not have to participate in Mom’s Morning Out to attend.

Pre-K Tumbling: These specific classes are available during the week days. The classes are available as 10-week sessions. They will learn basic tumbling techniques, coordination, and more. Check here for dates, times and prices.

Recreational Cheerleading: These specific classes are available during the week days for children ages 3-6 years old. The classes are available as 10-week sessions. Children will learn tumbling, jumping, stunting, dancing and more! Check here for dates, times and prices.

They also offer a lot of special events monthly and other fun activities. This is definitely a site to bookmark to keep track of what is going on!

A Robot Party!

My baby boy turned three years old this past weekend! Oh my gosh, I cannot believe he is already three!! Where has the time gone?!

Monte has recently become attached to the movie Robots. I actually had not heard of it until recently, but Monte wants to watch it ALL THE TIME. It’s okay though, because it’s a pretty cute movie. Travis and I decided we would have a themed robot party and he loved it!

We decided to have his party at the Grimes Community Center. We rented out a large room and rented the tumbling equipment to go along. It ended up working out perfectly! The kids really enjoyed burning off some energy.

I ordered special invitations from, of course, Etsy 🙂 Unfortunately, I do no have a picture of the invite, but you can take a look to see what they looked like and purchase yours from here!

I also ordered him a special t-shirt with a robot, his name and age on it. This has become a tradition. I usually order a t-shirt with his birthday theme, name and age every year. It’s something fun and something we can keep forever 🙂 I ordered his robot t-shirt from here.

We also got the idea to build robots as decorations from Pinterest. They were very easy to put together. We just wrapped old boxes with solid color wrapping paper, added googly eyes, glued pipe cleaners on the top for antenna’s, and used construction paper for the rest! They turned out really cute and Monte knew exactly what they were, “Robots!”

We had small snacks, cake and drinks. I found this fun idea on Etsy also! It was easy to print out the labels, fold them, and staple to snack baggies of chex mix. You can purchase these labels here.

I also offered a small craft … “Build a Bot”! I had foam shapes, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, pom-pom balls, popsicle sticks, and glue sticks sitting out. The kids were able to create their own robots. This was perfect for some of the bigger kids that attended and the little ones loved it also!

Of course, there was cake! We ordered our cake from Kissner Cakery and I highly recommend her! She did such a fantastic job and everyone loved the cake. Not just the appearance, but it was tasty also.

Overall, Monte had a great time celebrating his birthday. The robot theme came together very nicely and it was super easy! There are so many ideas out there!

What birthday themes have you done? 

 

MommyCon Minneapolis 2015

I am so happy to be an official MommyCon Blogger of 2015!

I attended MommyCon in Chicago last year, while I was pregnant and had a lot of fun. This year, I will be attending MommyCon Minneapolis with Amelia in tow 🙂

For the next several weeks I will be doing a lot of blogging and talking about MommyCon. I will be offering FREE tickets and I will also be offering a discount code so you can receive $5 off your tickets!

Some of you may be wondering, what is MommyCon? So, let’s start with the basic information and get you as excited as I am!

What is MommyCon?

MommyCon is a natural parenting style, influenced convention. The event is full of speakers, workshops, shopping and much more! It is a great event to attend whether you are about to become a parent or are already a parent, there is something for you. You can learn about cloth diapering, babywearing (even try on some awesome carriers), breastfeeding, bottle feeding, etc. There are so many different resources available to see and ask questions.

When is MommyCon Minneapolis?

It is Saturday, April 18th 9 am – 5 pm and will be located at the Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington.

How much are tickets?

Tickets are $35, but if you use the code MIDWESTMOM15  you will receive $5 off!

Can dads attend?

Of course! Last year, there were several dads that attended the event. They can learn just as much as you!

Can I bring my baby and do they need a ticket?

Yes! Bring your kiddos! Children who are 16 years or younger are FREE with their parent.

Can I bring a stroller to the event?

You are allowed to bring a stroller, but due to the high volume of traffic and attendees, it is recommended to wear your baby.

What if I need to feed my baby?

MommyCon is okay with however way you need to feed your baby and wherever you want to feed your baby. They do offer a special lounge area for just women also.

Are there special hotel accommodations?

There is a block of hotel rooms at the Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington. The rate is $99 per night and you must book by March 18th.

 

As we get closer to the event I will be talking about LOTS of things to see and do, talking more about the speakers, and more. Of course, if you have any questions, please do NOT hesitate asking! You can post here or e-mail me!

I am looking forward to sharing this with you and I hope you ALL attend!

 

 

 

West Des Moines Public Library

The kiddos and I went and checked out another library last week … the West Des Moines Public Library. This library had a fun, entertaining children’s area similar to the Urbandale Public Library.

West Des MoinesPublic Library

Our favorite activity was the puppet stand! There were tons of different puppets available, the kids could pick from and use. The kids enjoyed using their imaginations and creating their own stories using the puppets.

They had a fun lego table, puzzles available to play with, train table and a computer area available. The computers were specially programmed for the children with games and other educational activities.

Of course, there was story time with Mr. Nate. The kids really enjoyed Mr. Nate and had a lot of fun. Last weeks theme was trains and they had fun hearing stories, singing songs, and playing fun instruments to go along with the theme.

Last weeks story time was held in their large conference room, but they also have a designated story area in the children’s area.

There are also TONS of books available to check out!

Unlike the Urbandale Public Library, the West Des Moines Public Library requires pre-registration for a lot of their kid events and story times. They do offer drop-in story time also!

Drop-in Oliver’s Tales – Every Wednesday at 9:30 am

Drop-in story time – Every Friday at 10:30 am

Take a look at their event calendar for other drop-in events and programs they have through the month or to check to see if any other event or program is full.

WDM Community Center

We checked out another indoor play area last week! The West Des Moines Community Center located in Valley Junction. Another place that was recommended by Des Moines Beyond 4 Walls!

West Des Moines Community Center

The WDM Community Center has been around for awhile, but we just decided to visit because they changed their hours! They are a little bit more convenient for those with little kiddos.

It is open Monday’s & Wednesday’s 10 am – Noon

The kids had fun, but I was not overly impressed with what they had to offer.

They had several toy cars, four-wheelers, little motorcycles, a plastic stroller with baby, and tumbling mats. The room was very large, so the kids enjoyed running around and riding back and forth.

I felt that they could place more things out to play with such as plastic slides, toy houses, etc. I was expecting more, something a little more similar to Waukee Tot Lot.

After we were there for awhile someone mentioned there might be more things to play with in the closet, but it was locked 🙁

Overall, I think this is a great place to take your kids to burn off some energy in these colder months, but I think they could offer some more items to play with! We will probably check it out later this winter to see if there is more 🙂

DIY Sensory Board

This Christmas we struggled with ideas on what to get Amelia as a gift. She was only 4 1/2 months old, so there wasn’t anything she needed or wanted. I came across this idea for a Sensory Board from someone else and searched them on Pinterest. I had no idea how popular they were! When you search for them, so many different types popped up! I was so excited to do this for Amelia. It was inexpensive and creative.

We purchased everything from Menards, besides a few items we purchased at Michaels. Here is what we used for our sensory board:

  1. You need a board – Ours is 2 feet by 2 feet. You can get much larger or smaller. We thought this would be the perfect size to pull out and store away when it is not being used.
  2. Spray paint – I decided to spray paint ours pink. There are a lot of people who just leave it the natural wood color also. It’s whatever YOU want to do!
  3. Chain door guard
  4. 3 inch spring door stop
  5. Switch & plate
  6. Red paracord bracelet
  7. 3 carabeeners, different colors
  8. 3 carpet samples
  9. Sandpaper
  10. Door chain
  11. Sash lift
  12. Spiky wood chain – Michaels
  13. Colored glass rocks – Michaels
  14. Super Glue
  15. Wood Glue
  16. Screws & Drill
  17. Wooden letters & numbers – Michaels
  18. Various paints for letters & numbers – Michaels
  19. Wooden square sample

Total at Michaels – $25.86

Total at Menards – $38.50

Total = $64.36

I love how this turned out. I also love that you can do anything to create it your own. Travis and I enjoyed creating this together too!

New Year’s Eve for Kids 2014

I cannot believe that 2014 is coming to an end! Here are some awesome ideas that you can do locally with your kiddos!

1. Bounce in the New Year

Where: Pump it Up Urbandale

When: December 31st, 10 am – Noon

Info: $10 pre-registered and $12 at the door. Come bounce with friends and celebrate the New Year with a balloon drop at noon! Each child will receive New Year’s favors. To register or find out more information click here!

2. GuideOne ImaginEve

Where: Hy-Vee Hall at Iowa Events Center

When: December 31st, 4pm – 8 pm

Info: This event is FREE! There will be inflatables, obstacle courses, slides, face painters, carnival games & prizes, live entertainment, super heroes & princesses, and a special toddler zone. For children 1o years and older there will be a tween zone and laser tag. The evening will end with a confetti drop at 8 pm and fireworks at 8:15 pm. Check out here for more information!

3. New Year’s Eve at Seven Oaks

Where: Seven Oaks Recreation

When: December 31st, 7-11 pm

Info: Come out and celebrate the New Year with snow tubing, skiing, and/or snowboarding! Admission includes a hot dog or pizza, soft drink, and party favors. Check out here for more information and prices.

4. New Year’s Eve Party at the Ramada Tropics

Where: Ramada Tropics Resort & Conference Center

Info: Ramada Tropics is hosting a very special New Year’s celebration. They have an indoor water park, slide, and tiki bar. There is something for everyone! Check out the flyer for packaging prices and more information of what is included. You better book soon!

5. Noon Year’s Eve

Where: Science Center of Iowa

When: 9 am – Noon

Info: Visit the Science Center and all the exhibits they have to offer. They will also have face painting, balloon twisting, and a huge balloon drop with noisemakers at noon! All of the special events are included with your admission and SCI Members get to enjoy it for FREE! Check out more information here

6. Jolly Holiday Lights

Where: Water Works Park

When: 5:30 pm – 10 pm

Info: Check out the last evening of Jolly Holiday Lights. Load the kids up, get some hot cocoa, and enjoy the festive lights before the end of the year!

7. Host a New Year’s Eve Party at your house

Where: Your house!

When: Whatever times you choose!

Info: Invite your friends and their kids over to your place and host a New Year’s party. Or you can invite just the kiddos and have a big sleepover. There are tons of ideas on Pinterest of games, snacks, activities and more to do. Here are some of my favorite pins to check out:

  1. 30 Awesome NewYear’s Eve Games
  2. 10 Things to Do with Kids on New Year’s Eve
  3. New Year’s Eve Countdown Goodie Bags (Free Printable)
  4. Best New Year’s Eve Crafts for Kids
  5. New Year’s Eve Activities for Kids

One Starry Night 2014

This year we checked out One Starry Night at the Grimes United Methodist Church.

It was amazing!

One Starry Night is not just a live nativity scene, but it’s a journey you take through Bethlehem and end at a live nativity scene. The whole church is set-up like Bethlehem, everyone is dressed up accordingly and there are live animals! Monte enjoyed the real life experience. The entire time, he was completely engaged in what was going on.

When you enter the church you register your family at the census table and receive your denarii, in a little cloth bag. Monte made sure to hold on to the denari and paid whenever he needed to. Then you walk into the worship area where you get to take a family picture!

Of course, Monte wouldn’t look at the camera!

As you wait in the worship area, waiting to start your trip through Bethlehem, you can snack on cookies and hot cocoa. There is a large screen with a Mickey Mouse Christmas movie playing to keep the kiddos entertained for a bit. There was also three young ladies who sang some Christmas songs, while we waited.

Then you get to enter the town of Bethlehem! Your first stop is to pay taxes. Monte had to pay one denari! Then we ventured outside where we looked at the stars with the shepherds and angels appeared to deliver the good news.

We then saw King Herod receive the news from the Magis. We traveled with the Magis through Bethlehem and even looked for a place to stay the night, but there was no room at the Inn.

We traveled back outside and saw baby Jesus and the live nativity scene!

After our travels, Monte spent the rest of his denari on animal crackers, making a clay pot, a Christmas bracelet, an ornament and a scarf !

I loved every moment of One Starry Night. Not only did Monte learn about baby Jesus, but he also learned the value of giving his denari to be able to go on the journey, do a craft, or eat some food. Oh yeah … and the entire thing was FREE!

This will definitely become a new tradition for our family in years to come. Unfortunately, One Starry Night is finished for the season, but I highly recommend putting it on your list to check out in 2015!

Have you and your family been to One Starry Night before?