Monday, September 28, 2009

Evie Discovers Parent/Child Classes

Evie has had a busy week at different parent/child classes, and can't wait to share her newest adventure with you!

First, she visited

The Little Gym has classes for ages 4 months through 12 years. Evie was really excited to find a place that allows kids to attend so early! After speaking with one of the instructors, Evie learned that the programs have been designed to build motor skills, but they also put an emphasis on fostering social skills. They offer parent/child classes, gymnastics, karate, dance, as well as sports skill development.

The facility has a glass wall so parents of the older children can watch the classes. Since Evie was in a younger class, her mommy got to participate with her. She even learned how to do a somersault!

Parents can register their kids for a full semester, which would allow you to attend one class per week. The best part is that they offer one free visit on their website. If you visit The Little Gym Website you can sign up for your free introductory class online. They will email you a confirmation, and even have your paperwork ready when you arrive! The instructor said, "This must be Evie" as we walked in the door! What a welcome!!

Evie's next class was the same afternoon so she had to catch a quick nap in the car to make sure she would have enough energy! Unfortunately, her mommy woke her up by taking pictures!!

Evie's next investigation took place at

It's a division of the Gymboree clothing store.

Gymboree Play and Music has classes for 0 - 5 years old! The youngest class is a Play and Learn for 0-6 months which focuses on tummy time, flashlight play, songs and parent discussion time to learn about the child's development. As the children get older, there are different classes you can choose from: older Learn and Play, Music, and Sports.

During Evie's Play and Learn class, the teacher brought out a large parachute. Everyone sat on top while the teacher walked around blowing bubbles for the kids to catch. Later in the activity, the parents pulled the parachute over their heads to create a tent for the kids!

Gymboree's registration is also set up per semester which allows you to attend one class per week. And guess what?! They offer a free introductory class too! Just go to Gymboree Classes Website, and find the location closest to your house! You can register online for your free class, and they will email you a confirmation.

Even if you aren't ready to commit to an entire semester at The Little Gym or Gymboree, it's a great one day adventure for your kids! And it's free!!

Both The Little Gym and Gymboree can host birthday parties. Another great service they offer is a parent's night out. The Little Gym calls them "Parent Survival Nights" and Gymboree calls them "Pajama Parties". Here are some of the details for each:
  • The Little Gym - 3-8 years old (children must be potty trained); select Friday or Saturday nights
  • Gymboree - 18 months - 5 years old; 7pm-10pm once a month on a Saturday night; $25 for one child and $42.50 for siblings
*The day of the week and times of the Parent's Night Out classes change depending on your location so be sure to check the website!

Here's a video of another activity at Gymboree's Play and Learn class. The kids helped push the toy back and forth. It's such a simple activity, but they all loved it! The only negative was that the children enjoyed it so much that they didn't want to give other kids a turn.

And now for the winners from the Indoor Play Zone Giveaway!!

For the 2 pack of passes to Jungle Java in Round Rock, Texas...the winner is entry #3 = Amelia!

For the 5 pack of passes to Jump N Jungle in Pearland/Webster, Texas...the winner is Barrett and Hunter! (Evie had one entry for Jump N Jungle so she didn't need to generate a random number)

Congratulations Amelia, Barrett, and Hunter!! Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Evie Discovers Story Time

After an exciting and active adventure at the indoor play zones, Evie wanted something a little more relaxing. She decided to investigate story time! She packed up her detective hat and magnifying glass, and headed to...

Barnes & Noble!!
After noticing an events flyer during a previous visit to the store, she made a mental note to come back for a true adventure! She couldn't believe all of the great kid events they have for free!! Each location has different story times...some during the week and some on Saturdays. She even found some cities have a bedtime story they do one night a week! You can visit the Barnes & Noble Store and Event Page to see the different events taking place at the locations near your home! Evie is really excited that the location near her house has story and craft time!! The day Evie went, the story teller read Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett. It was such a fun book! There were a lot of other kids that came to story time too!

After the story, Barnes & Noble provided the supplies to create a craft! Evie made a paper hat to help cover her head - in case it ever actually rained meatballs. Then she colored some meatballs to glue on her hat. And if it rained meatballs, guess what else would come down with it? Spaghetti noodles! So, Evie colored some yellow and orange noodles to glue on along with the meatballs!
All of the kids loved making the craft!
Here is Evie's finished product!

Do you not have a Barnes & Noble near your house? Evie also looked online at Borders. The locations near her house don't offer weekly story time, but she noticed that several other cities and states did! You can go to Border's Store Locator page, and type in your zip code. Once the results come up, you'll need to click on the location nearest your home. When the store information loads, you will need to scroll down to the bottom of the page where they have the store events listed.

Another great story time option is the public library!! Over half of the locations in Evie's city offer a weekly story time!

Are you a part of a Mom's Group, or do you have a large group of parents and kids that get together for play dates? When Evie visited the location near her house, the community relations manager told her that she would be happy to host a group of parents and kids for a private story time! If this is something that you are interested in, go to your location and ask to speak to the community relations manager. Just in case if this individual doesn't know what you are talking about - you can tell them that a location in Houston, Texas offered to do a private story time for free!

Evie hopes you will enjoy this relaxing, and free, adventure!

Be sure to register for the indoor play zone giveaway on the previous adventure post - giveaway closes Sunday, September 27th at 11:59pm CST. The winners will be announced in the following day's adventure post. Good luck!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Evie Discovers Indoor Play Zones - Giveaway!!

Evie has been working hard, and is excited to report back her discovery...Indoor Play Zones!!

Since it was her first adventure, she insisted on visiting two different play zones in two different cities!

First up, Jungle Java in Round Rock, Texas

Jungle Java is an indoor playground and restaurant. There are 4 different chain locations: one in Austin, Texas area and the other 3 in Michigan.

It looked like the kids were having a great time climbing through tubes, swinging on zip lines, and racing down the slides!!

There is even a Toddler Safari area for children under 3!

Parents also looked to be having a great time! There were several seating areas, one being a lounge with leather chairs and sofas. Evie saw at least one flat screen TV which was playing college football the entire time...she knew the dads appreciated that! She was also impressed that they had free wifi - what a great option for parents that might need to get some work done!

There is a concession stand style restaurant at the front of store. The items that caught her eye were the coffee drinks and smoothies!

Jungle Java had several areas for birthday parties. Since Evie explored on a Saturday, there were a few going on while she was there.

Evie's second trip was to Jump N Jungle in Webster, Texas. They also have a location in Pearland, Texas. This is a family owned and operated business - Evie met one of the owners, Julie, who was incredibly sweet and supportive of Evie Adventures!

Jump N Jungle is an indoor jump house. Have you seen those inflatable bounce houses that you can have delivered to your house for a few hours? This is the same idea except that the Jump N Jungle contains several rooms, with several bounce houses in each room!

Jump N Jungle also hosts birthday parties! This is such a great alternative to renting a bounce house for a party! You don't have to worry about the weather or your house getting destroyed! They even have the option to cater the event with items like pizza, chicken nuggets or sub sandwiches. Jump N Jungle was just recently voted Best Party Facility in Clearlake Area by Bay Area Citizen Newspaper.
Evie found out Jump N Jungle also offers a day care service. The children are able to play in the bounce houses during their breaks...what a great way to get good naps out of the kids!
One of Evie's favorite things about Jump N Jungle is the decorations! There are paintings of animals and scenes from a jungle on every wall, and even the floor is a bright colored tile!

Some things to know about indoor play zones: they require children to play in socks so remember to pack a pair if your kids are wearing sandals. Otherwise, you can purchase some socks at the front counters. Also, parents are required to wear socks if they are going to enter the play areas. But parents - guess what?! Admission for adults is FREE!

Are you excited to visit an indoor play zone but don't live near Jungle Java or Jump N Jungle? Try searching for "indoor playgrounds" + "the name of your city" on Google! Evie tried this for several different cities and found great results. There is also a chain called Pump It Up that has over 175 locations nationwide!

Do you want to save some money but still want to visit an indoor play zone? Try your favorite mall! A lot of malls have a small playground for the kids...what a great way to spend a rainy day!! Or why not visit Jungle Java or Jump N Jungle for free?? Both Jungle Java and Jump N Jungle were incredibly generous and donated free admission passes! So, there will be 3 giveaway prize packages:
  1. 2 free admission passes to Jungle Java in Round Rock, Texas
  2. 2 free admission passes to Jump N Jungle in either Webster or Pearland, Texas
  3. 3 free admission passes to Jump N Jungle in either Webster or Pearland, Texas
Would you like a chance to win one of the great prizes? All you have to do is comment on this post with your answer to the following question:

If you went to Jungle Java, what drink would you choose?
A. Café Mocha
B. Caramel Mocha
C. Chai Tea Latte
D. Lemonade Smoothie
E. Strawberry Banana Smoothie
F. Mango Tropics Smoothie

A few guidelines on commenting:
  • Leave an email address so Evie can contact you if you win
  • Put which prize package you are entering to win (either Jungle Java or one from Jump N Jungle). Do you want a chance to win both? Just put that in your comment
  • Deadline for entering the contest is Sunday, September 27th at 11:59 CST
  • Winners will be chosen using Random.Org The website will be used to generate a random number, and then Evie will start counting from the first entry until she arrives at the randomly generated number. (Don't worry, her Mommy will help her with the counting!)
  • The winners will be announced in an adventure post on Monday, September 28th!
Good luck!!

Each Monday a new adventure will be posted! Evie's looking forward to sharing her next adventure on Monday, September 21st!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Let's Have An Adventure!

Have you ever searched the web for ideas of activities to do with your kids? Do you find yourself doing the same activities over and over? This site is to help parents and kids find fun, new ways to spend their days!

Evie is ready to start her adventures!! She will explore near and far to find the best places for you to take your kids, as well as the best activities to do at home! Evie will have at least one adventure per week, and will report back with all of the details.

She will also be gathering gift certificates from some of the places she discovers! There will be several random drawings using Once you see a post with a giveaway attached, you will just have to post a comment to enter to win. A super easy way to have a free adventure!

Be sure to check back each week, and get ready to have your own adventures!!