Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Where Did We Go Wednesday? Crayola Experience

I had the opportunity to go along with my son on his field trip to the Crayola Experience at the Mall of America last week. Crayola Experience only gives so many chaperone passes and I was not picked to be one of those but they allowed additional chaperones to come along for $9 a piece which is a bargain when you consider that the cost of admission is $19.99 a person. My sons admission was covered by the school so I didn't have to pay for that so for two of us to go for that price to check it out is a good deal. I really wanted to see what it was like because my kids have been asking to go but considering that it would cost $60 for me to take both of them I wanted to be sure it was worth the cost because $60 sure can buy a lot of crayons. Just to note you can buy a season pass which is unlimited admission for $29.99 per person or $99.99 per family. The next time we go, and there will be a next time we will be buying a season pass. Unlike other season passes we get this is a for-profit company so our season pass is not tax-deductible.

We were there for 3 hours on the field trip and managed to get around to all but one area. Some of the areas we had to rush through because we wanted to try to get as many as possible. I am not sure I could even pick out what my favorite area was. There is a lot to do here. You end up leaving with many projects but there are still even more areas that are just physical play or they are a digital type of area.

In the picture above you can see the crayon ring I made. That is in one of the areas and you get to choose between three different wax Creations, one of which is a ring. In that same picture you can see my son is watching his crayon drip and melt into his creation.

This next picture is a good example of some of the large motor skill play areas as well as digital areas. Same with the bottom picture which is two pictures of my son and I in a digital area where it appears like crayon wax is dripping over us. 

There is a couple of shows to watch while you are there. They are live shows. One of them shows how a crayon is made from start to finish and at the end they give them a red crayon which is what they are demonstrating being made. The other show was demonstrating the scientific properties of silly putty. Both shows are performed at various times throughout the day. So you are sure to be able to find one of them that fits into your schedule.

Besides getting a red crayon from the one show there is also another area where you get to name your own crayon can you pick out what color you want and put whatever name on it you want. So between the crayon mold, the show and the name your own crayon area you will leave with three crayons.

There is also a puzzle making station and a painting station and a hot wax Spin Art station and a hot wax painting station. You will leave with projects from all of those if you do them. There is also a station for Model Magic clay that you can do. This station as well as the crayon naming station take one token each period we were given a token for each one for each person when we arrived. They do have a station where you can buy more tokens that is by the Model Magic dispenser. The Model Magic dispenser gives you one color of Model Magic clay / token. Tokens were two for a dollar.

There is also two big play areas with slides and tunnels and monkey bars that kids can play in one is geared towards younger kids and one is towards older kids. There is also area where there is a huge Lite-Brite to play with. The number of digital areas is probably about a half-dozen of them. I didn't do those as much because there is only so many stations and we had so many kids that were wanting to play that the adults just watched in these areas

There is a Caf├ę there and they do serve a variety of food but we had brought bunches. I'm not sure if they allow you to normally carry in food or if they only allow this for school groups.

I am sure I am missing telling you about some area or private we got to create but as you can see there is quite a bit to do to fill your time.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Junior Naturalist Program at MN State Parks

Patches you can collect through the Junior Park Naturalist program: prairie, hardwoods and pinelands naturalist.

This summer, help your kids become Junior Park Naturalist through the free program at the MN State Parks. The program runs all year long, but why not start this summer and help them earn all 3 badges and fill out their 3 free activity booklets. It will certainly be something they won't forget.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Paper Plate Patriotic "Banner"

Aren't these just so cute! There are four of us in our family and we each made our own design to hang up at the cabin. All you need is one paper plate for every 2 you want to make. Cute them in half and have fun painting. We made these while at the cabin and while we are there we like to get crafty but don't have quite the arsenal of craft supplies there like we do at home, so fun and simple things with minimal supplies is definitely something we can do while we are there. Try these out!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon

I can't believe I didn't tell you about this Indoor Triathlon after I completed it in January. Yes, it's been a while but it was the second one I had ever done and I didn't want to forget about it. I was looking at posts I had in draft mode and realized I dropped the ball on publishing this one. Sometimes, I wish Blogger would send me notifications about "On This Day" like FB does so I be reminded of what I wrote about each day over the last 8 years. Yes, it had been about 8 years now, which is crazy. What is crazier is that I started blogging on a personal blog ever longer ago. I don't post on there that much, maybe a few times a year.

Anyways, I diverge......I finished exactly where I expected to and how I finished last time -- right in the middle. I am not terribly fast, but I am not terribly slow. I'm just an average person, in so many ways. LOL! I had 3 friends who did it with me. One of them was the friends I did my 1st Indoor Triathlon with and for the other 2 this was their first.

So, what I can remember about my race is that we were at the Lakeville location and I would totally not choose this location again because the pool was not conducive to a race. Seriously, it was 3 feet deep, which means it was super wavy as every one is swimming their laps and was a slow pool. Ugh. I am already a slow swimmer, I didn't need this. Plus they stuck 2 in a lane at a time and I was stuck on the wall side, which is not as easy to side stroke so I tried to do freestyle as much as I could.

I definitely made up time and points on the bike. I had been going to spin classes regularly, so I was very well prepared for this. My only complaint is they started the clock and then came around and started our distances, so unless you were one of the first couple of people they started you didn't get credit for all of your distance, so that sucked because I lost a couple of minutes of distance and I was cruising!

The run was so much better than last time. I felt better prepared with understanding how my body would feel during the transition and ran at the pace I wanted. Only bummer was that I accidently hit the reset button (who puts an automatic reset button right next to the speed buttons? Stupid.) and my time/distance was wiped. Luckily I had looked at it right before it happened because I was making myself up my speed every certain distance, but then it took 30 seconds to get everything cleared and started and then another 10-15 seconds to get back up to speed on a treadmill. Ugh. When you are doing 60 minute race and you lose 3 minutes of distance, which is 5% it does make a difference.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Kids Skate FREE All Summer!

Last week I told you about a program where kids can bowl for free all summer long, and today I am telling you about a program where kids can skate for FREE all summer long. However, in MN there are only 2 skating rinks that participate. They are located in Woodbury and St. Louis Park. Although in our neighboring state of Wisconsin there are 7 locations.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Save $5 on MN State Park Permits

Do you have a Minnesota Zoo Pass?

If so, you already know you get 50% off admission and many zoos across the U.S. 

But did you know that now you can get $5 off your $25 MN State Parks permit.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Basket Hurdles Balloon Obstacle Race

Making these hurdles are fun and easy! You just need 2 laundry baskets per hurdle and some kind of dowel or stick or broom handle to stick through the slats.

To play the water balloon obstacle race, you first need to fill up a bunch of water balloons and get a tablespoon (used to carry water balloons) for each person.

The object of the game is to get the most water balloons in the basket at the end by going over the hurdles. You can assign each player a balloon color in order to easily count at the end of the race. You could also set a timer so they are forced to run over the hurdles, making it a harder race than if they are allowed to walk it.

Have fun!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Where Did We Go Wednesday? Valleyfair

Did you hear?
Valleyfair just opened for the season!!!!

We went about 10 days ago for the season passholder preview day, but it just opened this past weekend for everyone. We got season passes to Valleyfair last year and it worked out well for us. If you only go 2 times it has paid for itself, but go more than that and it's basically free. 

This year we did not go on the new ride, North Star. None of us are thrilled about spinning in a circle up so high. But I did get my daughter to go on 2 more roller coasters with me, the Renegade and the Corkscrew. Last year she went on only two other roller coaster rides, Mad Mouse and High Roller. She is slowly but surely, trying them all out. Plus there is a smaller roller coaster that both kids will go on called, Cosmic Coaster. My son went on High Roller last year and hated it and won't go on again, too scary for him yet. He did go on Mad Mouse and likes that one, so I guess he has some he liked. He likes a lot of the spinning rides, he doesn't get motion sickness as easily as the rest of us do. I can't wait for the waterpark to open up, that is where we spent a handful of days this summer and will again this summer. 

In the fall, we go there for Valleyscare. That was a lot of fun and is included in our season pass too.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Wild Edibles Recipes

I got all these recipes from a wild edibles hike and class I took a while ago and needed to not lose these recipes again. I am taking a similar class this coming weekend, so hopefully I will learn some new interesting ideas for wild edibles to share with my readers.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Kids Bowl FREE This Summer!

Kids Bowl Free

There are 33 bowling alleys in Minnesota that Kids Bowl FREE at all summer long. In fact, there are locations all across the U.S.

In fact, it has already started, even if your school is not out of session.

They can bowl 2 free games, every day, all summer long. You do need to rent shoes or have your own. 

The nearest one for us is 30 miles away, so I doubt we will take advantage of this program but hopefully there are readers who do have one of them near them.

Friday, May 12, 2017

FREE Fishing in MN State Parks for the Fishing Opener

Did you know that you are allowed to fish for free in most of the Minnesota State Parks at any time, not just our fishing opener weekend. Here is the information taken directly from the MN Dept of Natural Resources:

A Minnesota resident may fish in a state park without a fishing license when:
  1. the body of water does not require a trout stamp
  2. fishing from shore or wading in water within the state park
  3. fishing through the ice, from a boat or a float on a designated lake that is completely encompassed within a Minnesota state park
Plus, what is even more awesome is that many of the state parks have fishing kits that you can also check out for free. 

So, if you have always wanted to get out for fishing opener but don't have a license or the supplies, then just find a state park that you can fish in and has a kit and you are all set to go.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

FREE Fishing for MOMS in Minnesota This Weekend

No fishing license for the opener, plus it's Mother's Day! Well, no problem for moms who are MN residents. Those moms can fish for FREE over Mother's Day Weekend (May 13-14), which is always fishing opener weekend! All other fishing laws are in effect, so be sure you know the rules and regulations.

Also - kids under 16 can always fish for free in MN. So kids, take your moms fishing for Mother's Day. Maybe catch some dinner and certainly make some memories.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Where Did We Go Wednesday? Shrohaven Dairy Farm

This past week I went with my son on a field trip to Shrohaven Dairy Farm in Owatonna, Minnesota. It is an Organic Valley Farm. Wild we were there the kids got to see how milkers work and how they get the milk from the cow and into the tank. They were introduced to three different breeds of college. They also had a petting zoo set up with baby farm animals including a sheep, goat, piglets, and a pony. At the end of the field trip the kids were given a snack of organic valley milk and string cheese as well as some cookies to dip in their milk. The Minnesota Dairy Association sponsors these farm field trips for our school and they get to go to another farm when they are in third grade. They gave me a couple coupons for Organic Valley products, but I am afraid I forgot about them in my pocket and they went through the wash.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Easy Vinyl Lettered Cups for Teachers and Bus Driver

It is teacher appreciation week so giving you an idea of something you can easily make to give to a teacher, a coach, or a bus driver. I made mine using the silhouette machine but if you don't have one of those machines to cut out vinyl letters you can just bye your own vinyl stickers and put on. We filled our drink cups with drink mixes as well.

Sunday, May 7, 2017


I thought this one sounded like a good one for me to do. I need to work on the flexibility in my back so some of these poses me not look so curved and pretty but in the long run they will be helping me to become more flexible there.

Friday, May 5, 2017

High 5 for Hope 5k

It has been a while since I have done erase. I have really fallen out of running and 10 to go to spin class and yoga class more often. Both of those things are beneficial to me but I don't get the speed I used to have when I was running more. The last couple weeks I have decided I needed to kick it up a notch and B cross training even more.

To be honest, this was my slowest 5K Pace since I have started running. I could blame it on the Hills I could blame it on the wind but the fact was I have only been running 3 miles once a week for the last couple weeks and for three months before that not running at all and only doing Spin and yoga. The good news is that because of all the spin I had no problems with breathing and my heart rate didn't Spike too high comma it's that my legs were being used and trained in a different way.

Now that it is getting warmer outside I would like to get on my bike on the trail more often as I really have been enjoying biking a lot. I will go biking by myself or as running I often dread having to do by myself. But I do plan to get out there and try to start running 3 miles a couple times a week. I plan to do that in addition to biking and yoga , both things I enjoy.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Growing a Three Sisters Garden

I recently went to a Companion Gardening class at an area library. (It was actually a library I had not been to, but I saw the free class on FB and thought I would go check it out and was glad I did.)

There were a lot of interesting take-aways from that class, but I was particularly drawn to the handout about a Three Sisters Garden, which is corn, beans and squash/pumpkins/melons all planted together. The instructions are for a 4 sq ft area, which is the size of my raised beds.

I usually grow beans as well as squash and pumpkins and I might decide to grow corn but I usually grow it for decoration in the fall or to add visual interest in my gardens and food for animals that come to our yard, so I am thinking this year I will grow multi-colored corn as something different to grow. I think the kids will enjoy seeing the colors they develop.

I am trying not to hold on to papers that just add more clutter, so I thought if I put them on my blog then I have a digital version that I can reference and can share with others.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Where Did We Go Wednesday? St. Paul Cathedral

I went with a friend to tour the Saint Paul Cathedral in St. Paul Minnesota a couple weeks ago. When I was in college I had toured several churches and cathedrals in Malta during a j-term course. I was curious to see how this compared to those venues with even more historic significance and story.

They do tours at 1 p.m. On Tuesdays through Fridays for a $2 donation. They have a volunteer to a guy that has a script and will bring you around and tell you who is in the paintings, statues, and stained glass and the significance in the numbers of different items around the cathedral.

This month we are going to tour the Basilica in Minneapolis and see what kind of differences there are between the two Catholic churches. And this to her we learned that the architect who designed the St. Paul Cathedral also was the architect for the Basilica.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Half Birthday Cake

This was totally a fun surprise for my son. We don't normally celebrate half birthdays but sometimes it is fun to do something for a surprise and it's a great excuse to have some cake. So as you can see for his birthday made him a half birthday cake. In the picture you can see what I did was that I took one Circle cake and cut it in half and stacked on top of each other to make one half of a cake. A cake mix does make two of these so I have another small cake that I frosted and put in the freezer for another time. We certainly don't need to have full cake just for the 4 of us.

I'm not sure if you can see it in the picture, but my daughter thought he needed a candle as well and so she took a candle and broke it in half so he had one candle that was half the normal length in his half birthday cake.

Monday, May 1, 2017

#Goddessomgrowth Yoga Challenge

Look at all those beautiful goddess poses in the picture. I am sure that will probably be one of our first poses for this challenge that last half the month. I wonder what other poses they will come up with that fit the theme.