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Fall Festival Activities

As much as I LOVE summer and all that happens during the summer months, fall has a special place in my heart. I love the leaves changing, the weather getting crisp but not quite bitter and most of all, the festivals. If you haven’t made your way to any this month yet, you’re in luck because there are 2 left that are worth checking out. Unfortunately the end of the month is sooner than later so make sure to check out the following festivals:

1. Erie Orchards Harvest Festival-Saturday, September 23rd

This is a great fall weekend to visit the orchard. The apples are all ripe for picking and the corn maze is open and pony and hayrides for all.  They will have a magic show on Sunday for the children. 


2. Traumatic Brain Injury Resource Center Fall Festival

The Traumatic Brain Injury Resource Center will host its first Fall Festival on Saturday, September 30, 2017 from 10 AM to 5 PM in the parking lot in front of the Center.

This family-oriented event features:

Children’s games

Both children and adults can make a fairy garden or decorate pumpkins.

Our pumpkin patch will be stocked with both typical and exotic varieties, courtesy of Rupp Seeds.

Food with an autumnal flare will be available from our neighbors at Fowl & Fodder.

The Amazing Eli will conjure up balloon creations from 11 AM until 2 PM.

This year’s main event will be the MEGA Brain, a larger-than-life, inflatable interactive exhibit of the human brain. Visitors will have the chance to learn how the brain works from the inside out and what can happen when the brain is injured. This is a wonderful educational tool for teachers, healthcare professionals, parents, children or anyone that wants to know how the brain works.

Healthcare professionals will also be available to answer questions about brain injury and resources in our community.

We will also be offering fleece mermaid tails for sale. These one-of-a-kind items, crafted by TBI survivors, can be worn for Halloween or used to keep warm while relaxing at home as the evenings turn cooler.

Admission to the event is free. Proceeds from the event benefit the Traumatic Brain Injury Resource Center and will help to support the launch of pediatric programming. The event take place under a tent, rain or shine.





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Getting Active When the Weather Breaks

It’s Spring!!! The warmer days many of us have been thinking about since the cold weather hit! However, some of us are still feeling the icy chill of winter or the continuous stream of rain. It may not seem like it now, but soon we will be enjoying the sun, barbecuing with our loved ones and heading to the pool. Below is a quick list of cost-friendly things to do once the weather breaks.

Enjoying the warm sun, watching your kids play at the park and snacking on a sandwich can be a perfect weekend outing. All you have to do is grab a blanket, pack a lunch and you are ready to go!

Start a Kick Ball Team
Sports are a great way to have fun and socialize. Why not gather a group of friends and start your own kick ball team? Parents and kids alike can enjoy the fun. Get everyone in the spirit by getting matching t-shirts. Nothing says team like matching outfits.

Spring Cleaning
After months of a closed up house it’s time to open the windows, let in the fresh air and clean up the clutter. To get kids motivated make a game out of the day. See who can organize their room the best. If you chose to do this, make sure there is a prize for the best room. If you have toddlers at home, I know mine enjoy helping out because it is something new and exciting!

Throw a Beach Party
You don’t have to live at the beach to party like you do. Go all out and buy beach theme decorations for the occasion. Find some great beach towels and hang them around the house. Cook some hot dogs and hamburgers and you are on your way to a great beach party—who needs the beach anyway?

Scavenger Hunt
This takes some planning, but who doesn’t like a good scavenger hunt. You can set one up in your backyard, enlist the help of your neighbors for a larger scale event or host it at your local park. Get your creative juices flowing and plan for a day of fun and excitement.

Although it might not seem like it now, warmer weather will be here before you know it. It’s spring after all. Do you have any traditions you and your family like to do once the cold weather breaks? Let me know in the comments below.

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December MUST Do’s in the Toledo Area!

I’m THRILLED!!! I had a lot of people respond to my November calendar of events in the Toledo, Ohio area so I decided to give you a good snap shot of what we plan on doing the month of December and you can pick and choose what you think your family may enjoy. I have toddlers and preschoolers but I must say this list is for ANY AGE! I have also included all links to the event pages along with the Toledo Parent link (which is where I get many of my monthly ideas).


1. Toledo Zoo for the Lights Before Christmas.

If you have a membership, they allow you one free pass into the zoo for the lights (for the whole family). This is HANDS DOWN our FAVORITE holiday activity!

Check the link below for times and days they are open.


lights-before-christmas toledo-zoo-lights huge-tree



2. Bass Pro Shops to see Santa and do some holiday crafts

This is a FREE (my FAVORITE 4 letter word) activity to do with the family and there is always a lot to do there.

Check out the link below for all activities, days they are doing them and when Santa plans to be there.




3. The Bethlehem Experience at Westgate Chapel Church

This happens to be THIS WEEKEND (December 9th-10th) but is FREE and totally worth it! GET THERE EARLY!!!

The Bethlehem Experience is the largest live indoor experience of the Christmas Story in the greater Toledo area. It’s an interactive dramatization of the Christmas story where you’ll journey through Biblical accounts leading up to the birth of Christ. You experience the sights, sounds, people, animals and trades of a bustling Bethlehem Marketplace, all culminating with an awe inspiring scene of the Angel’s pronouncement to the Shepherds and the birth of the Christ child.




4. Children’s Wonderland at Tam-O-Shanter

This Toledo classic event has been around for more than 50 years. A truly beautiful look at the wonders of Christmas, it features train rides, treats, interactive kid zones, and pictures with Santa!


childrens-wonderland-2 childrens-wonderland



5. Fort Meigs Holiday Open House in Perrysburg, DECEMBER 11th ONLY

Celebrate the holidays with Fort Meigs as they provide demonstrations and answer questions about the War of 1812, all while you enjoy holiday music and refreshments.




6. A Charlie Brown Christmas performed by Ten Mile Creek Theatre Company DECEMBER 16th-18th

Join Ten Mile Creek Theatre Company as it begins a new tradition of presenting A Charlie Brown Christmas live onstage. The well-known holiday story takes its turn in the spotlight.





7. The Nutcracker at the Stranahan Theatre DECEMBER 17th-18th

The longest-running annual Nutcracker performance in the United States, this Toledo tradition is sure to stun audiences. Keeping with tradition, the character Mother Ginger will be played by a local celebrity at each performance! Tickets range from $27.50-$57.50.





8. Holiday Magic Show at the Waterville Branch Library DECEMBER 19th

Feel the magic of the season with a Toledo Public Library-sponsored magic show! Fun for the whole family and free! Just be sure to register for your seat starting December 5.




9. Noon Year’s Eve at The Toledo Zoo on DECEMBER 31st

Midnight is awfully late. Why not celebrate a little early at the Toledo Zoo’s Noon Year’s Eve? Cheer in the New Year by watching the ball rise at noon and having an apple juice toast. Ice carving, crafts, and an ice slide will also be available for a fun family outing.



Pay it Forward!

“Do you know what Firemen do? Police Officers do? Nurses and Doctors?” I asked.

Annora replied, “Yes. Firemen get to ride in red fire trucks, police officers help people and get bad guys and nurses and doctors take care of boo boos.”

Oh the simplicity of a child and the way they think! So black and white and nothing seems to ever be gray. They are constantly trying to figure this world out and figure out where they fit in. It wasn’t until I had this discussion with Annora that I realized I had done her a disservice. She had been exposed to the bare minimum when it came to professions and “heroes” in the community. She had NO IDEA that these people put themselves selflessly on the line to help others in a desperate time of need.

It just so happened that our church decided to participate in a national event called “Serve Day.” Churches around the US collaborated together to go out into their local communities and serve others. Anywhere from serving lunch at a nursing home, paying for people to do their laundry at the laundromat, free car washes in a local neighborhood, organizing and restocking the shelves at the local Habitat for Humanity, cleaning up parks, and feeding the local fire station lunch as a THANK YOU for their service to the community. It was a FANTASTIC opportunity to serve others, get the kids involved in serving, AND it provided me TONS of teachable moments to my 4.5 year old little daughter.

"Serve Day" in the Ann Arbor, MI community.

“Serve Day” in the Ann Arbor, MI community.

The drive to and from the fire station where we were providing lunch to the local firemen was a solid 1 hour 5 minutes. PERFECT opportunity for me to really express what local heroes do for each and every one of us. How they selflessly put their life on the line to keep us safe. I started with a story about how, as a child, I used to be scared of firefighters because sometimes they wore scary outfits. We chatted a bit about that and why they wear the gear they do. The conversations quickly turned into a question asking event. She asked about the fire dog and if we would meet him, she asked about if she would be able to honk the horn and hear the sirens, she asked if the firemen would be dressed in their scary gear, she asked if she could eat lunch with them and why they “blow” fires out. She was curious beyond belief! It was then that I decided to make a shift from all of the cool things firemen are and do to why they are so important. I explained that it is important for us to give back to them because they give so much to us EVERY DAY! That we are taking them lunch to “Pay it Forward.”  That life is precious and they do what it takes to keep everyone safe.  After the firemen lesson, we moved into police officers, doctors and nurses with a similar conversations and teachable moments.

On our way home, Annora expressed her LOVE for giving back and saying “Thank you” for a job well done. She was ecstatic to meet a “real” firemen and shake his hand. With a small grin on my own face, I knew she had learned a valuable lesson. Teachable moments are all around…it is up to us, the parent, to expound on them.


What to do in a day?!?


Oh don’t tell me you don’t get those words coming out of your child’s mouth…I would tell you you’re lying! LOL

In all reality, kids need structure to their day…whether they are 1 month or 18 years old. Structure creates a feeling of safety and security. Making it a point to create structure in your household will only make life MUCH easier and I PROMISE you will hear less of “I’m Bored!” comments coming from your child’s oh so clever mouth.

Rhythm and Rhyme Time!

Toddler obstacle courses??? YES PLEASE!!!

If it weren’t socially awkward to run my way through a toddler obstacle course, I would have done so yesterday! My girls had SOOO MUCH FUN interacting with other kids and joining in on the festivities of make-believe car washes, bean bag tosses, dancing, puppet shows, bubbles and obstacle courses! Our 45 minutes was jam-packed with gross motor fantasticness (I know I just made my own word up…it was “word making” worthy)!

All the fun aside, I submerge my girls in gross motor rich environments for a much deeper reason. Both of my girls were born with Hypotonia (low muscle tone) that makes them appear like Gumby (OOBER flexible). They contort themselves this way and that. To the naked eye, it is cool and neat to see them that flexible. To Mommy and Daddy, it has been a series of interventions and environmental exposure to teach them motor planning and gross motor awareness.