Tomorrow and Saturday (March 11-12), Verizon Wireless will celebrate the opening of a new store at Quail Springs Mall with events for kids and adults alike.
According to a news release, the fun will begin with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. Friday, during which the company will present a $1,000 check to YWCA of Oklahoma City. And for all us techie parents, at 5 p.m., the store will unveil the new iPad 2.
Festivities will continue from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the store’s Kids’ Day, with FREE family activities, such as face-painting, a moon bounce, complimentary tacos from Big Truck Tacos (YUM!!) and prize giveaways.
“The focus is around family and getting the children involved,” said Michael Perry, Quail Springs store manager.
As you might know, I’m a big fan of Bass Pro Shops. They always have something fun and FREE going on for the kids and I always take full advantage.
My favorite is their Christmas Wonderland. They pack December full of free crafts, fun displays, games and a FREE studio-quality 4 X 6 photo with Santa. So skip the expensive mall Santa photos and head down to Bass Pro.
Crafts are Tuesdays through Thursdays, 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. (while supplies last) and include:
Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, 4 & 5: Snowman Suncatcher ornament
Dec. 7 – 9, 11 & 12: Wooden ornaments
Dec. 14 – 16, 18 & 19: Reindeer ornaments
Dec. 21-23: Cookie decorating
From now through Dec. 12, Santa photos are 5 to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
From Dec. 13 to Dec. 24, photo hours are extended to 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays and Christmas Eve.
All games and activities are available during store hours. These include toy trains, slot car racing, laser and soft gun arcades, remote control trucks and video games.
Also, this year, Bass Pro is giving away free “Santa Bandz” to the first 150 children on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m. Bandz are different each week.
For more information about Santa’s Wonderland, click here.
- Just for signing up, you get 30% off the list price on any one kids’ book or toy.
- For every $100 you spend on kids’ stuff online and in stores, you get a $5 reward.
- Get a free cupcake (yum!) from the B&N cafe AND a free Tikatok create-a-book project for your children’s birthdays.
- Receive a monthly newsletter featuring even more savings.
To join, just visit any Barnes & Noble or go to bn.com/kidsclub.
I recently had a birthday and you know how kids are … birthdays are the COOLEST thing since sliced bread. They don’t quite understand how adults just don’t count down the days to their next mid-30s birthday.
My 4-year-old son on Thursday morning greeted me with a “Happy Birthday, Mommy!!” and it really was the cutest thing. He even thought we were going to my “birthday party” and when he saw me pulling into the school parking lot instead, he let out the most heart-wrenching “Noooooo!” and the tears started flowing. I felt awful. What kind of mid-30s mother doesn’t throw a party for herself? So I promised him just that. A party.
So here I am, picking him up from school and ready to keep this promise. “Where should we have Mom’s party?” I should have expected his response. “Chuck E. Cheeeeeeese!!” Sigh. OK. We can do this. We invite his best friend and his friend’s mom and headed on down to see the big mouse.
To be honest, the next couple of hours were the most fun I’ve had in a while. Our “host” greeted me with a big sticker and a handful of free tokens. Score! Then we scarfed down a pizza and got ready to play some skee ball. It was great. Even Chuck E. came out to take a picture with me. I felt like I was a kid again. Which was appropriate, because if you ask my son how old I am, he’ll say “5″ with absolute certainty.
Take my advice … You’re never too old to be 5 again.
It may not be fair weekend yet (just another week to go!) but there are some fun things to fill up your weekend with the kiddos.
- When: Sept. 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Where: Governor’s Mansion and Oklahoma History Center (Click here for map)
- What: A free, fun, family-friendly, and hands-on event. Visitors get free admission to the museum all day long. The governor and first lady will read stories to children. There also will be dancing, entertainment, puppet shows, inflatables, clowns, face painting and much, much more.
- For a full description and schedule of events, click here.
Pass it on Kids
- When: Sept. 10 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sept. 11 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Where: Church of the Harvest, located between 33rd and 15th streets off Western Avenue in Edmond.
- What: A consignment sale for fall and winter’s kids’ clothing. Half-price on select items on Sept. 11.
- For more information, go to www.passitonkids.com
34th annual Western Days
- When: Sept. 10-11
- Where: Downtown Mustang
- What: A festival including a carnival, rodeo, parade, magic show, music, car show and more.
- For more information, click here or call 376-2758.
103rd annual Cleveland County Free Fair
- When: Now through Sept. 11
- Where: Cleveland County Fairgrounds, E Robinson St., Norman
- What: A fair that has animals, a petting zoo, carnival rides, a midway, celebrity cow milking and much more.
- For more information, click here.
- When: Now through Sept. 11
- Where: Choctaw’s Creek Park
- What: German food and goods, live entertainment for all ages, dancing, crafts and activities for kids. Admission is $3 for age 12 and older. Kids younger than 12 are free.
- For more information, go to www.choctawfestival.org or call 390-8647.
If you know of any other great family-friendly events this weekend or coming up, please post them below or e-mail me.
Have a great weekend!
Looking for one more weekend of lake fun with the kids before summer is officially over? Then head down to the Discovery Cove Nature Center at Lake Thunderbird State Park. They have packed the long holiday weekend full of activities. Classes are:
Saturday, Sept. 4
9:00 a.m. - Bird Walk. Call 321-4633 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details or to sign up.
11:00 a.m. -Birds of Lake Thunderbird. Enjoy a slide presentation of birds that live around the lake.
1:00 p.m. - Animal Clay Sculpture. Sculpt an animal out of clay. Ages 4 and older. $1.00 fee. Call or e-mail for a reservation.
2:30 p.m. -Oklahoma Reptiles: Snakes and Lizards. Learn about these reptile groups and meet the nature center’s “resident representatives.” All ages.
3:30 p.m. - Oklahoma Turtles. Meet seven kinds of turtles and watch some of them being fed.
Sunday, Sept. 5
1:00 p.m. - Aquatic Insects. Learn all about what these insects eat, how they breathe, and other facts, at this special presentation.
2:00 p.m. - Plaster Casts. Make plaster of Paris casts of animal footprints. Ages 2 and older. Fee is 50 cents. Casts require one hour to set. (This is my son’s personal favorite!)
3:00 p.m. - Aquatic Insects. Repeat of 1:00 p.m. program.
Monday, Sept. 6 (aka Bug Day)
10:00 a.m. - What did that? Kids can become nature detectives and look for clues that insects and small animals leave behind. Ages 5 and older.
11:00 a.m. - Oklahoma Insects. Learn about insects and see many of the kinds found in our state. Ages 4 and older.
1:00 p.m. - Bug Bookmarks. Decorate a one-of-a-kind bookmark. Fee is 50 cents. Ages 3 and older.
2:00 p.m. - Aquatic Insects. See above for description.
3:30 p.m. - How many legs? Get to Know the Arthropods. Learn about other “bugs” besides insects. Ages 4 and older.
Discovery Cove Nature Center is located off State Highway 9, almost one mile down Clear Bay Avenue, almost to the boat ramp, across from Turkey Pass Campground For more information, call 321-4633 or e-mail email@example.com.
But did you know that they also offer the storytime experience online?
With Online Storytime, children can hear their favorite books read aloud by authors and even celebrities. This month, author Judith Viorst reads her story “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”
Just go to http://www.barnesandnoble.com/storytime/index.asp to have storytime in the comfort of your own home.
Education programs abound at the Oklahoma City Zoo. And as a Zoo Friends member, I enjoy as much of these with my 4-year-old as I can. It’s a great perk for members and nonmembers alike so get ready for some fall fun with the kids!
Toddler and preschooler programs include a live animal presentation, craft, story time, songs and more. Classes are 10 to 11 a.m. and cost $12 for a child with adult Zoo Friends member, or $15 for child with adult nonmember. Additional fees apply for siblings.
Age 2: Mother Goose, Sept. 2 or 4
Age 3: R is for Rhino, Aug. 19 or 21
S is for Sea Lion, Sept. 16 or 18
Ages 4-5: Flying High, Aug. 28
Billy Goats Gruff, Sept. 25
School’s Out Safari Day Camps
If you would like somewhere fun and educational your child can enjoy during fall break or other fall days off from school, the zoo has you covered. Classes are for ages 4-12 and meet from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the zoo’s Education Building. Cost per day is $30 per child, siblings $20 each. Advance registration and payment are required, and spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Snacks will be provided, but children must bring their own lunch.
Dates are: Sept. 6, 7 and 24 and Oct. 21 and 22.
An upcoming family program is “Sink Your Teeth into Sharks!” and is Aug. 28 from 2 to 3 p.m. Your family can learn all about the world of sharks. Adults are free with paid child registration. Cost per child is $15 for zoo members, $18 for nonmembers. Program is for children ages 4-12.
Have any little artists in your family? Then come join local artist Lance Kelly and learn to draw animals. Basic drawing concepts are reviewed, followed by live sketching of zoo animals. Class meets in the education building and is $20 per class for one person, $5 for each additional family member. Classes are for ages 7 and older and meet from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Class dates and animal topics are:
Sept. 25: Grizzly Bear
Oct. 23: Bison
Nov. 13, Turkey
For more information or to register for any of these programs, go to okczoo.recware.com or call 425-0218.
Thomas the Tank Engine is chugging into Oklahoma City and tickets are on sale for this very fun event. According to the event website, Day Out with Thomas is in its 15th year, and as always, the Oklahoma Railway Museum will be hosting Thomas’ arrival.
Besides getting a train ride with Thomas, children can enjoy other activities such as arts and crafts, storytelling, playing with toy trains, meeting characters and getting a look at the history of Thomas, who is turning 65 this year.
Get tickets soon, as this tends to sell out. Dates of the event are Sept. 24-26 and Oct. 1-3. Tickets cost $14 to $18 each. When you order tickets online, you can choose which train you’d like to sit in. Pay extra attention to which train car you choose. Some are air conditioned, some only have sliding windows, and others are completely open. Also, I suggest picking an early morning ride to avoid high temperatures.
Two years ago, I mistakenly chose the 2 p.m. time slot and the car with only the sliding windows. Since some of the cars are so old, some windows won’t open. That was our window. September was especially hot that year, and my then-2-year-old son was completely decked out in his Thomas overalls, Thomas polo shirt, Thomas conductor hat, socks and shoes. We couldn’t bring our drinks on board, but it’s a 30-minute ride. No big deal.
About two minutes after we pull out of the station, my son starts screaming and crying. He’s sweating, he’s red in the face, he’s hot as can be. I didn’t know what to do and we couldn’t get off the train. We were starting to get some mean looks from other paying passengers. He cried the entire ride. People were upset with us, asking employees for their money back and just generally being more than annoyed.
About a year later, I was talking to some parents at my son’s day care about how Thomas the Train was back in town. All of a sudden, one parent starts talking about this screaming child on her train car last year … decked out in Thomas overalls, polo and conductor cap. She described my son to a T - an entire year later. She was on that car. She was one of the parents demanding a refund. Yikes.
Me: ”Oh, we didn’t get to go last year … how awful … why would his mom dress him in such hot clothes in the middle of summer? … “
So please take my advice. Choose the air conditioned car. Get an early time and don’t dress your child like a conductor. After all, it’s September in Oklahoma.
For a schedule and tickets, click here.
Bass Pro Shops in Bricktown is offering all kinds of free workshops, crafts, photo opportunities and even s’mores made over a campfire this summer.
From noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, through July 11, children and adults alike can attend seminars on archery, bird watching, plants & insects, camping basics, animal identification, hiking basics, pet safety, fishing basics and shooting basics. And for every workshop you attend, you earn a pin.
There are also craft sessions for children on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 2 p.m. They include:
Paint a Wiggle Fish: June 22 and 24
Make a Camping Photo Frame: June 26-27, 29 and July 1
Paint an Animal Track: July 3-4, 6 and 8
Design Your Own Birdhouse: July 10-11
On Saturdays and Sundays, get a free photo of yourself or your kids on the cover of Field & Stream magazine.
And make some free s’mores over a campfire from 5 to 6 p.m. Yum.
Other free activities include the shooting gallery, shooting range and casting pond.
On June 26-27, the NASCAR Sprint Cup race car also will be pulling into the Bricktown Bass Pro so bring the kids out for an up-close look at a real race car.
And while you’re there, pick up a free copy of the Summer Fun 2010 guide to get tons of ideas, tips and product checklists to make the most fun out of your summer.