To find out more, check out our outdoor blogger’s post:
Sounds like a fun time!
Discovery Cove Nature Center at Lake Thunderbird State Park has many activities for children planned this month. I took my 4-year-old son to the nature center for a class on Memorial Day and he loved it. There’s plenty to see and do there, and even some trails if you want to take a stroll. The lake is right past the nature center so go have a cookout at the campground while you’re there.
All activites are FREE unless otherwise noted.
10 a.m. – Tree Walk. Learn what kinds of trees grow around the Nature Center. Ages 4 and older.
11 a.m. – Trees Through the Year. Learn about seasonal changes in the lives of trees. Ages 4 and older.
1 p.m. – Paint a Rock. Kids make their very own pet rock. This activity is 50 cents. Ages 4 and older.
10 a.m. – What’s a Solstice, Anyway? Learn about the solstice and how some celebrate it. Ages 5 and older. This program is also on June 21 at 1:00 p.m.
11 a.m. – Aliens Among Us. Check out small animals and plants under a microscope. Ages 6 and older.
7:30 p.m. – Summer Solstice Celebration at the Park. Hear about solstice observances around the world, past and present. Watch the sun to set over the lake on the (almost) longest day of the year.
2 p.m. – Oklahoma Insects. Learn about insects and see many of the kinds found in Oklahoma. Ages 4 and older.
3:30 p.m. – How Many Legs? Get to Know Arthropods. Learn about the other “bugs” besides insects. Ages 4 and older.
Discovery Cove Nature Center is located off State Highway 9, almost a mile down Clear Bay Ave. For more information, call 321-4633 or e-mail email@example.com.
For more information about happenings at Lake Thunderbird, go to http://friendsoflakethunderbird.org/.
This Saturday, May 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be tons of safety fun in the parking lot at 3800 N. MacArthur. Kids can meet members of the Warr Acres Police and Fire departments, the Bethany Fire Department, EMSA, Medi-Flight, OG&E, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department and much more.
Activities will include a moon bounce, face-painting, a dunk tank, safety demonstrations (including a really cool smoke trailer demo), car seat checks, health checks, emergency vehicle walk-through and more.
So bring the kids to Warr Acres Saturday for some great safety fun!
For more information, go to cityofwarracres.com.
If you’re like me, you may be trying to find somewhere to put your preschooler this summer if their day care is closed for a week or you have a sitter going on summer vacation. Believe it or not, there are actually some pretty interesting camp options for the 3- to 4-year-old set.
Here are some of the camps being offered this summer (costs vary-click on websites or call for more information):
Oklahoma Children’s Theatre, Oklahoma City
Dates: June 1 – Aug. 13
Preschoolers travel through time and learn performing arts basics. Camps conclude with a performance. Other camps available for up to age 12.
Casady School Summer by the Lake, Oklahoma City
Dates: June 7 – Aug. 13
Over 100 programs are available from pre-K to high school.
Fine Arts Institute of Edmond
Dates: June 7-Aug. 13
All types of artistic camp classes for age 2 through 8th grade.
Oklahoma City Zoo, Oklahoma City
Dates: June 7-Aug. 6
43 themed camps offered for ages 4 to 15.
Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Norman
Dates: June 7 – Aug. 6
Summer Explorers program is for ages 4 to 14.
Ginger’s Kindermusik, Oklahoma City
Dates: June 21-25 or July 19-23
Themed camps for children from birth to age 7 and piano keyboard camps for ages 7-8.
Mad Science of Central Oklahoma, various locations
Dates: June 21 – Aug. 6
Camps for kids age 4 to 12 include Secret Agent Lab, Science AdventureQuest and Little Agents Academy.
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Dates: June 1 – Aug. 6
Themed camps for ages 4 to 16 focus on permanent exhibits and special exhibits.
Heritage Hall Day Camp, Oklahoma City
Dates: June 1-July 23
Camps for ages 3 and older include enrichment, creativity, technology and sports options.
Victory School of the Arts, Warr Acres
Dates: June 21 – Aug. 7
Classes offered for age 3 and older in all types of dance, tumbling and guitar.
Unpluggits Playstudio, Edmond
Dates: June and July
Camp sessions have a superhero or dinosaur theme.
If you know of any other fun summer camps available for preschoolers, comment here or email me.
There are some interesting and informative kid-related posts on NewsOK.com. Here’s a sample:
Keep your kids of out danger on busy streets:
An outdoorsy opportunity for young people this summer:
An interesting column about the interaction between smokers and babies:
A story about summer meals for children on school lunch programs:
A look at the Edmond Fire Department’s Safety Village, built just for children:
A story about charter schools as a “smart alternative”:
And a review of the family movie “Furry Vengeance” :
I fretted over how to have everything “just right” – SpongeBob cake, pineapple decoration, SpongeBob balloon, yellow utensils, SpongeBob napkins & tablecloth, “Crabby patties” (mini hamburgers) … my family would have enjoyed the visiting time without any frills.
Birthday parties can be so stressful if you take them too seriously.
I don’t remember EVER having a kid birthday with friends when I was growing up. Although, I did attend two: One was a sleepover (I had to sleep with the light on), and the other had the most magnificent cake: a doll cake draped in green and white icing. All the little girls took turns passing the cake around and taking a bite from the hem of the dress. … Can you say GERMS?
When my oldest daughter turned 5, I joined the birthday parade. It was that “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality. And, I continued this insanity when my second daughter turned 5. Here is a sampling of the birthday parties we’ve had:
- At home with treasure hunt, silly string and cake … fairly inexpensive
- Sleepover (with 12 girls!) … exhausting …. juice and drinks spilled all over carpet, door knob broken off of bathroom door, fights among girls, crying birthday girl.
- Mall shopping … this would have been fairly inexpensive, but I had the bright idea of giving each child $10 … and then they needed more … and then they were hungry.
- Gymnastics … a little pricey, but it was “handled” by the instructors, and we had a cake and gift room, so this was a hit.
- Neighborhood park … who would have thought all 30 of the daycare classmates would have attended? Overall, a great success, but the number of presents were obscene. Looking back, we should have donated or said no presents. But my daughter was in heaven. There was an expense to reserve the pavilion, but it was such a beautiful day that all the kids had a great time. (We did this twice. The second time, hardly anyone showed, so you never know. That’s why RSVPs are so important to parents!)
- Overnight stay at a downtown hotel (Do you really want to take out a second mortgage on your home for a party?) This was a big hit with the girls … TV all night, dogpile on the couch and chairs for sleeping, swimming pool, water taxi ride through Bricktown. All of this would have been perfect, except for the chin injury in the hotel exercise room. Note to parents: Don’t let three 11-year-olds get on a treadmill, even if they say they’ll be fine.)
Looking back, our parties weren’t much different from other parties my kids’ friends had. And I’m glad my kids enjoyed the fun and time with friends and family.
But I still remember the simply iced white cake decorated with animal crackers that my mom made for me. The gift also was very modest. No ponies or jumping castles or skating rink or hotel rooms.
And I loved every birthday.
– Linda Lynn
Ready to get some new ideas for summer fun? Then head down to the Sheraton Hotel downtown from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 18, for the annual Oklahoma Summer Adventure Expo.
There will be engaging hands-on activities for kids, visits from Rumble the Thunder mascot and the Thunder Girls, door prizes, discounts from vendors, a performance by the Sugar Free All Stars, and plenty more to see and do. The entertainment stage schedule will be posted on the site soon.
For more information, click here.
Then how about a mountain adventure? For kids a little bit older (my 3-year-old is probably still too young) there is an area to go mountain climbing that’s easy and fun for families.
Check out this blog if you are up for hitting the trails:
If you’d rather save your adventures for the movie theater, then you might want to catch a showing of “How to Train Your Dragon.” Our reviewer says it is one of Dreamworks Animation’s best films, and she gives it 3 1/2 out of 4 stars.
Read the full review here:
Bass Pro Shops is offering Easter fun for children this year. Kids can do free crafts, such as sun catchers and Easter decorations this weekend and next (March 27-28 and April 3-4), beginning at noon, while supplies last. And from 2 to 3 p.m. (same days) there will be an Easter egg hunt at the store for kids age 8 and younger.
Also, children can get a free picture taken with the Easter bunny. Instead of dropping big bucks at the mall this year, get a free 4X6. Pictures will be taken 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and 6 to 8 p.m. on weekdays from March 27 through April 4.
For more information, click here.
We’ve been patiently waiting for more than two years. We’ve seen the signs change … “Children’s Zoo coming in Fall of 2009.” “Children’s Zoo coming in Spring of 2010.”
Friday, March 12, that day finally came. The Oklahoma City Zoo opened their new Children’s Zoo, located on the zoo grounds.
First tip: Do not try to find an entrance near the Canopy Food Court. You will have to come all the way back to the main entrance to take the route to the right down to that area.
Second tip: When you find yourself just inside the Children’s Zoo, be sure to duck down before entering the tunnels. They are made for the kiddos, so don’t hit your head. There are some neat things to check out in the tunnels. Bugs, scorpions, other creepy-crawlies, so don’t miss them. When you come out on the other side, there is a big slide for the kids and a path to come up to everything else.
The best part: the Barnyard. Although you only get to really pet the donkeys the zoo staff brings out, seeing the other animals up close is fun for the kids. Children get to brush the donkeys outside of the barn and go inside to see the bunnies, goats, sheep and hogs. If your children are really small, you may have to lift them up to get a good look at the animals.
A really neat exhibit is Explorikeet Adventure. You enter in a little area where lorikeets are flying around, landing on your arm, your head, everywhere. My son, who is 3, was a little scared but thought it was hilarious when I bent down to talk to him and all of sudden I had a bird on my head and one on my back.
Third tip: Don’t stand directly under the lorikeet tree. They tend to poop … a lot. And they’re not looking at where it’s going to land.
All in all, the new Children’s Zoo is a lot of fun, especially for younger kids. They’ll have a blast, guaranteed.
And while you’re at the zoo, be sure to check out the very cute, 2-month-old baby giraffe.
For more information, go to www.okczoo.com.