September’s 8 Free Date Night Ideas in Toledo

Back to school supplies, clothes, extracurricular fees, impromptu appliance purchase, etc. which leaves the Date Night fund at, zero! September is one of the most stressful months of the year. Trying to get the entire family back into the swing of things is exhausting & can be strenuous on your relationship. You need a date night more than ever but with $0 in the date night fund makes it tricky! Wouldn’t it be nice if you could spice things up with a Concert by Havana’s top musicians, stargaze at an observatory, see the Toledo Symphony in Concert, allow your inner foodie to come out & play with a cooking instruction class? Guess what? You can do all these & more!

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Here’s September’s 8 Free Date Night Ideas in Toledo…

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Friday Night Concert featuring ORQUESTA AKOKÁN-A Big Band collection of Havana’s top musicians

When: Friday Sept. 14th 5:30-10pm

Where: Promenade Park downtown

Cost: Free (meter parking is free on the weekends)

Website: http://momentumtoledo.org/

Assembled and led by Cuban vocalist José “Pepito” Gómez, Daptone recording artists Orquesta Akokán is a big band collective of the finest Cuban musicians, both young and old. Their self-titled debut release is on one of the most critically acclaimed release of 2018. Orquesta Akokán was specifically chosen for this concert to continue the evolving trajectory forward of Momentum to bring original diverse music to our community. The concert will be free for the community.

 

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Toledo Symphony Momentum Concert with Tan Dun

When: Friday, September 15th @ 6:30pm

Where: Promenade Park downtown

Cost: Free (meter parking is free on the weekends)

Website: http://momentumtoledo.org/

Grammy Award winning Chinese composer Tan Dun, best known for his music for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and his film scores for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Hero”, has created a visually and sonically spectacular concert experience unlike any other. A trio of sensational percussionists slap, beat, cup and wield water in transparent bowls and specially-crafted instruments to create provocative, amazingly inventive soundscapes.

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Flower power! Community, at TMA 

Community, the latest installation at the Toledo Museum of Art is a must-see! As you enter the installation a tidal wave of calm greets you while the cascading beauty & fragrance envelops you.

Best part, free admission Thursdays!

When: Thursdays 5-9pm

Where:Toledo Museum of Art

Cost: Free only on Thursdays from 5-9pm

Website: https://www.toledomuseum.org/art/exhibitions

How it works…claim your free timed ticket at the information desk upon arrival. Each ticket allows a 20 minute window to view the exhibit. Arrive early if possible & if you can not plan on touring the museum until you assigned time.

 

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Latino Quesadilla! Food Demonstration

Enjoy a Hispanic Heritage Month Cooking Program! Sofia Quintero Arts and Cultural Center demonstrates how to cook up a Latino quesadilla using ingredients not normally found in a traditional quesadilla. This program is being offered at 3 different dates/times…

When: Saturday, September 08: 2:00pm – 3:00pm

Where: Kent Library (Meeting Room A)

Cost: Free

Website: http://events.toledolibrary.org/event/853093

When: Saturday, September 15: 2:00pm – 3:00pm

Where: King Road Library (Meeting Room A & B)

Cost: Free

Website:http://events.toledolibrary.org/event/856291

When: Saturday, September 22: 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Where: Heatherdowns Library (Meeting Room A & B)

Cost:Free

Website: http://events.toledolibrary.org/event/780661

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Nature at Night!!

Where: Secor Metropark 10000 West Central Avenue Berkey, OH, 43504 (Meet at NCNP parking lot)

When:Friday September 28th 9:30-10:30pm

Cost: Free, but need to register (click on link to register)

Website: https://web1.vermontsystems.com/wbwsc/ohmetroparkstoledowt.wsc/search.html?display=detail&FMID=554847&Module=AR

Walk in the park after dark and discover the wonders of the night at a time when parks are normally closed. Dress accordingly for the weather and let’s get outside!

 

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Black Holes (August 31st-October 13th)

Where: BGSU Planetarium 112 Physical Sciences Lab Bld, Bowling Green, OH 43403

When: Friday @ 8pm, Saturday @ 2pm, & Sunday @ 7:30pm

Website: https://www.bgsu.edu/arts-and-sciences/physics-and-astronomy/bgsu-planetarium.html

Cost: $1 donation is suggested

Program features a star talk showing the current evening sky followed by a multimedia planetarium show. Weekend programs are followed by stargazing at the Observatory on the roof, weather permitting.

 

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Take a tech class/session together!!

This one looked good for parents…but there are many others to choose from, see website.

Basics-Parental Visibility

Where: Apple Store Franklin Park 5001 Monroe Street Toledo, OH 43623

When: Offered throughout the month click on website

Website: https://www.apple.com/today/store/franklinparkmall/

Parents are invited to this 60-minute session to learn the features of iOS that help them manage what their kids see and do with their devices. You’ll get an overview of Family Sharing, parental controls, and more to help make sure children use their devices in the right ways and for the right reasons.

 

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Make a S’mores Station

Where: Home Depot (click on link to register at your store)

When: Thursday September 20th 6:30-8:30pm

Website: https://www.homedepot.com/workshops/?cm_mmc=SEM%7CG%7CBase%7CNA%7CNA%7CNA%7CBT2%7CResources&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIt7frlYTv3AIVw8DACh3ylgXYEAAYASAAEgLTy_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=COmv7pqE79wCFUtTDAoda9gH1g#store/3807

Indulge in a rustic tabletop s’mores station ideal for backyard parties, indoor gatherings, family nights or any reason to savor the traditional campfire dessert. In this workshop, our skilled Store Associate will show you how to measure, mark, cut, stain and assemble a station with dividers to display your s’moregasbord of ingredients and roast your marshmallows above food-safe Sterno® flames. In addition, our Store Associate will demonstrate safe practices in using common project power tools and can help you shop for everything you need to create your own project at home. The Home Depot Workshops are designed to provide a mix of associate-led instruction, demonstration, and some hands-on learning. Materials can be purchased to make your own project. For more information, contact your local Home Depot store.

Need a sitter?

Tag a friend in this post & tell them which one you are interested in…ask them which one they are interested in and then you each take a turn watching the other’s children.

16 Vegetarian Lunchbox Ideas

 

It’s back to school time which means, new clothes, supplies, homework, and packing lunchboxes!! Granted packing children’s lunchboxes isn’t exactly rocket science, but, it is always nice to have some inspiration. So, here are a few vegetarian back to school lunchbox ideas to help inspire…not vegetarian? Well then, here are a few lunchbox ideas to help inspire your ‘meat free Monday’s’ lunchboxes (wink, wink). Your time is valuable, so this post has been kept brief with just images and short explanation of each lunch. If you do have any questions please feel free to post in comments.

FYI- The meal prep containers I use are Bento Boxes by Enther Meal Prep Containers. I like them because they are reusable, BPA free, dishwasher, freezer, & microwave safe. I purchased 20 last year and still have 3 left. These are the more durable ones, I know friends have purchased others that crack right away. Mind you, if kids stand on them they will break…my son learned the hard way 3 times (eye roll)! Click here to be linked to Bento Boxes

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Nutella banana “sushi” with cantaloupe and raw asparagus

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Hummus, tabbouleh, and chick pea salad wrap with strawberries and protein balls (image includes afterschool snack of apples, pineapple, and cucumber & red pepper sticks)

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Pancakes, mixed berries, and Annie’s Bunny graham crackers

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English Muffin pizza with blueberries and strawberries & cucumber and carrot sticks

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Nut-butter and banana wrap with roasted potato slices & strawberries

 

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Hummus tabbouleh, cucumber sandwich with carrots and cherries

 

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Cheese Tortellini with garlic bread & Salad

 

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Baked beans, apple slices with peanut butter, and carrots

 

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Quesadillas with hummus and peppers and cucumber sticks (middle image)

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Smashed banana with almond butter sandwich and Terra chips & strawberries and grapes

 

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Sushi (Splurge once a month for a fun Special Day Lunch…for a b-day, big test day, etc.)

 

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English Muffin pizza with strawberries and banana slices & cucumber and red pepper sticks

 

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Pancakes, cantaloupe, & raw asparagus and cucumber slices

 

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Cinnamon raisin toast, roasted sweet potatoes sticks with cinnamon, and apple slices (peanut butter on the side in a separate Rubbermaid container)

 

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Mexican pizzas (refried beans, lettuce, salsa, cilantro, cheese, and lime)

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Brown rice, black beans, and salsa wrap with strawberries & Annie’s Bunny graham crackers

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Brown rice, black beans, salsa, mini pepper scoops, & cherries

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Toasted English Muffin banana slices and grapes & salad (dressing on side in small Rubbermaid container)

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Mason Jar Salad (for the tweens & teens)

 

10 Tips for a Smooth Back-to-School Transition

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1- Outfit Planning

Sunday evening have kiddos set out their outfits for the week. Include hair bows, socks, underwear, & jewelry in the planning. And make it clear that once the outfits are sat out they are set in stone, this eliminates any rushing around the house looking for clean socks minutes before the bus arrives.

 

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2-Pack lunches the Day Before

Have kids sit down & plan the lunch menu for the week either on Saturday or Sunday, place menu on clipboard next to lunch boxes/containers. After dinner each night have kids grab menu and necessary items from fridge to make their lunches. (I prep the veggies & fruit ahead of time so all they have to do is literally open the container & place food in their bento box).

 

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3-DO NOT TURN ON THE TV or SCREENS

The television/screens are productivity zappers. Cartoons, news, etc. are out of the question in the morning. Mom can check the weather on her phone, but beyond that mornings need to be screen free for ultimate productivity!!

 

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4-Morning Playlist

Music is the perfect way to help kids wake & stay on task. Put together a morning playlist, start out with quiet mellow music & slowly increase the energy with each song, and let kids know when a certain song plays it means they have 10 minutes until you’re out the door.

 

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5-Breakfast

Don’t give kids too many options. Simply toss a couple choices on the breakfast table & let them pick and eat as they wake. It’s also a good idea to have some grab-n-go breakfast options…every kid is different. I have one that is up & at-’em early and lingers over breakfast and another that literally grabs her breakfast as we walk out the door.

 

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6-Eliminate “Dropsies”

Kids tend to walk in the door and literally drop everything, book bags, coats, shoes, socks, etc. Have a place near the door where they can hang their book bag, coat, lunchbox, & a spot for shoes.

 

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7-Chores

There are complicated charts, graphs, stickers, carry the one & add a smiley face methods out there for chores. Keep it simple! Get inexpensive frames, place each child’s picture in said frame, then each week write chores on the glass portion of pic with dry erase marks. Include community chores, as well as, an opportunity project to earn money.

 

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8-Homework & Paper Clutter

Eliminate paper clutter after school by giving each child a clipboard to put letters home, their homework, etc.

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9- Put it on the Mother Board

Everything must get on the calendar. As soon as a child brings home the school newsletter place those events on the calendar. All extracurricular activities, recitals, games, art shows, field trips, doctors appointments, wear green socks day, etc. must be put on the calendar.

10- Make adjustments where Needed

Every school year is different, children grow, and schedules change, if you see something isn’t working out then adjust the routine where needed.

 

Agree and/or disagree with one of the tips that made the list? Do you have a great back-to-school routine tip or trick that didn’t make the list? Please share!

After School Activities Guide (2018)

This isn’t your average after school activities guide! Toledo has stepped up its game and is offering the best in after school fun, from Aerial Silks, Circus, Ninja, Food, Vocal, Hip-Hop classes, to Lego, Slime, & Art Clubs…and awesome hands-on opportunities like Dissecting a Cows Eye! It is literally the best time to be a kid, cultivate your children’s interests, and sign them up today! And don’t forget to tag friends and set up that carpool!

 

 

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Bird’s Eye View Circus

Classes: Beginner Youth, Intermediate, & Teen Circus Classes (aerial silks, static trapeze, and lyra)

Address: 1153, 2413 Collingwood Blvd 1st floor, Toledo, OH 43620

Phone: (567) 298-6841

Website: https://www.birdseyeviewcircus.com/

Cost: •$20/single class •$105/ 7 Classes •$200/ 14 Classes

“This August is our 6th year anniversary!   To celebrate we are offering 10% off all our regular class packages throughout the month of August for youth and adults!  Learn more and sign up on our website”

 

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CREATE: Art Studio + Workshop

Classes/Clubs: Preteen Painting Club, Advanced Art 101, Slime Club, After-school Art Club, Friday Preschool Art, Adventures in Painting, & so much more!

Address: 422 Louisiana Ave., Perrysburg, OH 43551

Phone: 419-873-6240

Website: http://www.createperrysburg.com/

Cost: Varies…average is $75-$80 for a 6 week class/club

Register now for art classes and workshops for children and adults. Fall Session starts September 10th!

 

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Exceleration Gymnastics Center

Classes: Classes for babies through teens, boys & girls, Gymnastics, Tumbling, Aerial Silks, Ninjas/Parkour, and birthday parties!

Address: 2255 S Reynolds Rd. Toledo, OH 43614

Phone: 419-381-1000

Website: http://www.excelerationgymnastics.com/

Cost: Varies…$45-$89 See Website for details

 

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Foodology

Classes: Homemade Pierogis, Kids Turn to BAKE, Burger Battle (for teens) Taco Takeover (Family Friendly), Kids Turn to COOK (tweens 9+), and more!

Address: 2059 W Laskey Rd, Toledo, OH 43613

Phone: (567) 970-7100

Website: http://www.foodologytoledo.com/

Cost: Prices for the classes range anywhere from $30 – $80, depending on the menu

 

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Greater Toledo Lego Club/Brick Brainiacs

Classes: Cadets (Pre-K & K), Juniors (1st-4th grade), & Seniors (5th-8th grade) also offers Cyber classes

Club Address: 316 N. Michigan St.  Toledo, OH 43604

Phone: 419-318-9756

Website: http://toledolegoclub.org/

Cost: $75 Registration & $40 per month

“Register now for discounted price of $50 and monthly price of $30.”

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Imagination Station

Classes: Think Tank- Think Tank Workshops allow you to use real tools, familiar materials and lots of freedom to explore your own ideas. Exploring the eye of a cow through Dissection (Octobers Think Tank)

Address: 1 Discovery Way, Toledo, OH 43604

Phone: (419) 244-2674

Website: https://www.imaginationstationtoledo.org/

Cost: Think Tanks is $6 for members and $8 for Non-Members

 

 

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Mini Motions Dance Center

Classes: Tap, Jazz, Tumbling, Hip-Hop Modern, Ballet, Lyrical, Cheerleading, Poms, Baton, and more!

Address: 2437 Tremainsville Road. Toledo, Ohio 43613

Phone: 419.473.0999

Website: http://www.minimotionsdance.com/

Cost: $25 Registration Fee – Classes $43-$53 a month.

Fall Registration, Thursday August 16th 5:30-8:00. Classes Start September 4th.

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New Heights Gymnastics & More

Classes: Gymnastics, Tumbling, Ninja Zone, Birthday Parties and more!

Business Address:   6539 Weatherfield Ct. Maumee, OH 43537

Phone: 419-795-2132

Website: http://www.newheightstoledo.com/

Cost: Varies!

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The University of Toledo Community Music Program

UT Center for Performing Arts

Lessons/Classes: Workshops, ensembles, music lessons and more, the Community Music Program seeks to provide local people of all ages with ways to engage their passion for music. Beginner group music lessons in piano and guitar (6 weeks of lessons) start September 4. Other 6-week sessions available starting October 23, January 22 and March 12. Visit online today to learn more.

Address: 1910 W. Rocket Drive Toledo, OH 43606

Phone: 419-530-2448

Website: www.utoledo.edu/al/svpa/music/communitymusic/

Operated by the University of Toledo Department of Music, the Community Music Program offers many opportunities for music education and performance, and does not require enrollment as a student at UT.

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Imagination Station Playground

If you are touring the Spangler Factory (Dum-Dum Factory) in Bryan, Ohio anytime soon then this playground needs to be on your itinerary! It is literally a hop, skip, & jump from the factory…or better yet, just ask the amazing Spangler worker behind the counter for directions to the playground (they have printouts). Pack a picnic lunch and make an afternoon of it in gorgeous Bryan, Ohio!

 

Imagination Station Playground

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Where: 1313 Horton Trail, Bryan, OH 43506

Phone: 419-633-6030

Website: http://www.bryanparksandrec.com/

Amenities: Imagination Station Playground offers kids endless fun! There is a Toddler area, it’s partially enclosed, has a nice variety of picnicking options…picnic tables in sun and shade, restrooms, (no changing stations), it’s near the tennis courts, and is short walking distance from the parking lost…like, literally 10 feet, very close!

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Need a rainy day suggestion?

New Hope has an indoor playground area…a KidZone play area full of exciting things for all preschoolers and elementary children (up to 5th grade).  A trampoline, tube slide, racing slides, tunnels and obstacles are sure to keep your kids busy while you relax and watch them play.  They even have a toddler area within the room with toys specifically for little ones. Bring socks…no shoes on trampoline, etc.

KidZone Play Area New Hope Church

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Address: 15627 US-127, Bryan, OH 43506

Phone: (419) 636-1362

Hours: KidZone is open to the public Monday – Thursday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (check website for holiday hours)

Website: https://www.newhopecc.org/story.aspx?storyid=324

Back to School Shopping with Kids ($50 Gift Card)

 

 

 

Post your pic of you and your kiddos shopping at Franklin Park Mall to the Facebook page…winner will be randomly selected next Wednesday (8/8/18). Good luck, loves!

 

Know of any great deals going on around town, do tell!!

-FYI-sign up for store emails & you will often receive a coupon for 15-20% off an order. Already signed up? Sign up a family member or open a new email account.

-Gymboree…sign up to receive emails & receive 20% off your purchase Gymboree
& earn GymBucks…$25 in GymBucks for every $50 you spend (redeem bucks Sept.19th-30th)

-Payless-sign up for emails & get a coupon for 20% off
https://www.payless.com/coupons/discounts-and-savings.html

-Macy’s Backstage…offers 20-80% off of retail everyday! (Located upstairs in Macy’s)

-Uniform clothing is 50% off at JCPenny’s, Children’s Place, Crazy8…practically every store that has uniform clothing has a great deal going on now.

-JCPenny…get 15% off your entire order, 20% with JCP card, get $10 off of $50 for school uniforms, get kids cut for $10, etc. click on link for barcodes https://m.jcpenney.com/m/jcpenney-coupons/N-mpi6e5

-Aeropostale had great stuff for boys/men…polos as low as $7 also, insider rewards (get $10 off of $50, $15 off of $75, & $25 off of $100) Click Here

-Dicks has backpacks 40-50% off (for the older kiddos…if your littles are still rockin unicorns, emojis, etc. this is not wear you want to shop)

-Bath & Body Works-lots of great deals! (Hand sanitizers for book-bags are 5 for $6) Also, if you received the coupons on the mail for 20% off & 1 Free body care item don’t forget to take it with you!

-J.Crew Mercantile UP TO 60% OFF EVERYTHING! Plus: First Time Ever Friends and Family Event: get an extra 20% off your purchase of $75 or more (August 1st-7th)

-FYI parents….bd’s Mongolian Grill has $5 Margaritas