Countdown to Christmas 2019

“It’s that time of year, when the world falls in love…every song you hear seems to say, Merry Christmas…”, The Christmas Waltz, by Frank Sinatra hums in the background, spiced pumpkin latte candles fill the air, as the fire in the fireplace envelops the space like a warm hug.  The children put the finishing touches on their gingerbread house before changing into their cozy matching PJs to watch the classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, and string (and eat) popcorn to hang on the Christmas Tree. That is how I have always envisioned spending Christmas time, when in reality it’s more like a cyclone of ‘to do’ lists…clean house, decorate house, buy gifts, me losing my patience and yelling at kids to get their PJs on, or anything that resembles PJs, because I am lucky enough if I get them matching Christmas clothes let alone matching PJs.

There is a lot on our minds this time of year and sadly the things that slip away are the things we would really enjoy doing with our children, like decorating a gingerbread house, stringing popcorn, decorating cookies, etc. Not this year! This year we are going to take back the joy of Christmas with this awesome countdown to Christmas!

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How it works:

First make a list of the things you would like to do with your children during Advent (time leading up to Christmas), or feel free to copy mine.

  1. Visit the Manor House Decorated for the Holidays at Wildwood
  2. Decorate Christmas cookies
  3. Get out the Advent wreath and read daily sections from the Advent book
  4. Attend the Christmas Carol Sing at Rosary Cathedral
  5. Watch Polar Express & get the Polar Express train out to place around the tree
  6. Make ornaments for ornament exchange
  7. Listen to, The Great Santa Clause Mystery & other books on tape
  8. Read, The Christmas Sweater
  9. See The Toledo Ballets 79th performance of the Nutcracker, at Stranahan
  10. Watch the classic, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer & Frosty
  11. Read a Christmas Carol
  12. Decorate Gingerbread House
  13. Family Christmas Bingo Night & Watch a Charlie Brown Christmas
  14. Read, The Christmas Story
  15. Visit Children’s Wonderland
  16. Watch, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  17. Read How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  18. Listen to Christmas records while decorating the tree
  19. Go to the Lights before Christmas at the Toledo Zoo
  20. Watch the classic; It’s a Wonderful Life at Valentine Theatre
  21. Watch the Nativity Story
  22. Go to a Lighted Christmas Parade (Shout out to & thank you goes out to Pemberville for adding the magic to our Christmas season with their awesome lighted parade, and to Dei Fratelli for one sweet twinkling tomato!)countdown2
  23. PJ brigade & Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt
  24. Read, The Night Before Christmas

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Second, get out your planner/calendar and determine which day works for each activity. For example, I know that Friday nights are our movie nights, so we will watch Christmas movies on Friday night. That being said there are particular evenings that certain events have to happen, such as the Nutcracker Ballet, touring the Manor House, Visiting Children’s Wonderland, Christmas Carols at the Cathedral, and visiting Children’s Wonderland. I find that laying everything out on a table and simply placing a Post-it on the date that works best for said activities is the easiest & most efficient way to schedule said events and activities for the month of December.

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Third, wrap each activity/event (place tickets in an envelope and wrap the envelope) and place number/date on the back of each package so you can remember which day to open each item. And set them out wherever you wish. I place our countdown packages on our mantel, they double as decoration. Not only does it look visually appealing but it also saves us money. I purchased the gift wrap from the Dollar Store; I spent $2 on our Christmas decorations this year. Winning! 😉

Not only does the countdown help you to spend quality time with your children, but, hopefully, it helps you budget your Christmas Activities. While most are activities we already had, like the books, books on tape, DVDs, and craft items (just raid your arts and craft bin) there are a few free events, like touring the Manor House at Wildwood, Christmas Carols at Rosary Cathedral, & Lights before Christmas at the Zoo (thanks to our membership) but, also some events and activities that we needed to budget into finances.

Coming up Next week: I will be discussing the benefits of living life simply, or rather, embracing the simple life this Christmas.

Do you have a countdown or Christmas tradition that your family practices? I’d love to hear about it, please share.

 

 

Sleepovers in the 90s vs Struggles of Sleepovers Today (WARNING for Parents!)

Nail polish, magazines, CD player, CDs, & chick flicks, the classic starter kit for any tween/teenage girl sleepover in the 90s. Sleepovers in the 90s would start off slow with social time, which literally meant having a conversation, discussing the latest happenings since we weren’t up-to-the-minute on everyone’s lives, while swapping out everyone’s CDs in the CD player…a little, Ace of Base, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Beck, etc.  Then ease into more activities, painting nails, flipping through magazines looking at the latest hair & fashion styles, “Are you still French Rolling your jeans? That’s SO 80s!” Followed by pizza & basically any Molly Ringwald movie, lol! Then once the rents went to bed the real fun began, we’d get all kinda crazy, stuffing our faces with Cool Ranch Doritos & playing, “Truth or Dare”, and surprisingly the group of gals I ran with were always up for a good dare! Finally we’d often end the night with a classic game of, “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board”, where we would basically challenger ourselves to see if we could be quiet long enough to attempt anything remotely serious, we inevitably always failed.  Then, sometime around 2/3AM we’d all start dozing off. It sounds so cliche, but those were simpler times.

Fast-forward and now I’m the one with the 14 year-old daughter hosting a b-day sleepover and to say it is complicated is an understatement. Let’s start with what should be a simple question, who’s invited?

Who’s invited?

In the 90s:

  • Girls-If you are a girl having a sleepover then ONLY girls are invited.
  • Boys- If you are a boy having a sleepover then ONLY boys are invited.

Today:

  • Agender -Not having a gender or identifying with a gender. They may describe themselves as being gender neutral or genderless.
  • Bigender -A person who fluctuates between traditionally “male” and “female” gender-based behaviors and identities.
  • Gender Fluid- A mix of boy and girl. A person who is gender fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders, but may feel more man some days, and more woman other days.
  • Gender Variant- Someone who either by nature or by choice does not conform to gender-based expectations of society
  • Third Gender-A term for a person who does not identify with either man or woman, but identifies with another gender. This gender category is used by societies that recognize three or more genders, both contemporary and historic, and is also a conceptual term meaning different things to different people who use it.
  • Transgender-A person who lives as a member of a gender other than that expected based on sex assigned at birth.
  • Two-Spirit-Is an umbrella term traditionally used by Native American people to recognize individuals who possess qualities of both genders
  • Intersex-A person born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside. (Source: https://young.scot/get-informed/national/gender-identity-terms )

 

So my daughter made her list and on the list there was a young boy who identifies as gay, thus he’s attracted to boys, not girls, so couldn’t he spend the night?  Well, the rule is ONLY girls (girls who don’t like other girls), but, he could have stayed with my son, if he didn’t identify as liking boys, thus, no, he will NEVER be able to spend the night in our house. It saddens me that we have so many children who are trying so hard to identify themselves and in doing so end up missing out on some of lives’ rites of passage.  In the end my son ended up spending the night at one of his friend’s houses out of respect for parents of one of the girls who spent the night & the young boy who identifies as gay was able to stay until 10pm, then he went home….did I mention it’s complicated?! Finally, guest list was complete, next up food & entertainment!

Food & Décor

In the 90s: Helium Balloons, streamers, & birthday banners! Cool Ranch Doritos, Pizza, Pop!

Today: No more helium! But thankfully the food category is one that has withheld the sands of time. Those Cool Ranch Doritos haven’t gone anywhere & pizza and is still a huge hit!

Her theme was “The Office”, how cool is this b-day banner?

Sugarberry Lane 

Phone: (419)944-6205 (Jan)
Facebook Group: Sugarberry Lane, https://www.facebook.com/groups/2408159029229938/
She will make you awesome favors and gifts for YOUR celebrations and special occasions.
She’s ALL ABOUT THE PRESENTATION!
And SUPER reasonable pricing!

 

Entertainment

In the 90s: CDs, Games, Magazines, Prank Calls, Movies…might have even TP-ed a house (shhhh!)

Today: Games, Movies….Smartphones!

They started the evening off with games, Taboo, & later Apples to Apples, both of which lasted for roughly 10 minutes. They also attempted watching the Pilot episode of “The Office”, which again lasted for all of 10 minutes.  The energy level was through the roof, the excitement of just being together with other kids proved too much for one party goer to contain, which then made it tricky for other party goers to really enjoy themselves. They sang “Happy Birthday”, cut cake, & had pizza. The boys left, the girls calmed down, & got situation for the evening, chatted, listened to music, & they were asleep before midnight!

Next morning I’m in the restroom getting cleaned up and I hear, “hello”, “hello”, “hello”, every few seconds coming from my daughter’s bedroom. First thing that pops into my head is that they are calling a bunch of different people. I bop in the room to see who they are calling and I am introduced to Monkey App! Talk about a BAD BANANA!

What is Monkey App?

The way the Girls explained it:

It’s a fun app just for teenagers, no parents are allowed (1st RED FLAG), you have to be 18 or younger or you’ll get kicked off. It’s a fun way to meet other kids from all over the world (2nd RED FLAG…talk about an easy way for human traffickers to gain access to kids from everywhere!). You simply open the app and start saying “hi” to different kids. And you get like 10 seconds (3rd RED FLAG) or so to talk before it goes onto the next person. And if someone is doing something weird or looks too old we can report them (4th RED FLAG…because a lot of teens will definitely report other teens for doin weird stuff?!).

What it actually is:

With MONKEY teens connect their Snapchat accounts and can “meet” random people via video chat. To sign up, they have to share their phone number and Snapchat username and password as well as invite friends by messaging them. Friends will get a message that says, “Yo (name) someone was talking about you…” Once they’re registered, opening the app starts a connection with another user. Teens will see the age, gender, and location of the connection and can accept it or skip it. If accepted, the video chat opens for 10 seconds, with the option to extend the time if both parties agree or add the connection on Snapchat.

Parents need to know that Monkey randomly connects teens with other Snapchat users for a 10-second video chat. They can add more time or add the person on Snapchat to continue the connection. Before connecting, teens will see the age and gender of the potential friend, and they can accept the video chat or not. The terms of service allow users ages 13 and older, but there’s no verification of age. Personal information is collected and can be shared with third parties. Read the privacy policy for more information about the information collected and shared.

Parent Reviews…..

“One of the top reviews in a google search (by James Grebey at inverse.com) relates how as new user he encountered older men posing a young girls. As soon as Grebey accepted their invitation to chat, he heard just the type of revolting things you’d expect middle-aged perverts to say to kids. So, until there’s some way to guarantee the age and gender of the user, it’ll be off limits to my kids”.

“Found my 16 yo daughter on this app video chatting with random strange men. We almost went to blows. It is a dangerous app that is unregulated and can very easily lead to the wrong people becoming involved in your child’s life. With all the sexual trafficking happening in our state, this app is definitely in the RED FLAG zone!!!”  (Source: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/app-reviews/monkey/user-reviews/adult )

I shut that down real quick, picked my jaw up & served the girls breakfast!

What I learned….

Going forward, if we are to ever have another sleepover in this house stricter rules must be put into place regarding Smartphones. I was under the assumption that other parents guarded their children’s phones the same way we guard our daughter’s and looking back I realize that was naïve on my part. Some parents have suggested taking everyone’s phones and storing them away while children are at the party/sleepover. However, as parents I know we want our children to have access to their phones so if they feel uncomfortable at any point they can call and be picked up.

I propose that, out of respect for all the parents, Smartphones can be used ONLY in the community spaces at other’s homes, where parents are within view/earshot. At bedtime phones must be left in a community space together and not touched until morning?

What do you propose? How do you handle Smartphones when you have gatherings, parties, or sleepover?

Have you ever heard of the MONKEY App? What’s your thoughts?

Don’t you wish we could just go back to the 90s?

Stanley’s Market is a Holiday Tradition in Toledo!

Tradition, tradition…tradition! I can legit hear Tevye from, “Fiddler on the Roof” singing, “Tradition” as we roll up in Stanley’s Market’s parking lot.  It isn’t officially the start of the Holiday season until we’ve visited Stanley’s, it’s TRADITION!

 

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A tradition that spans back to my grandmother, I can recall being a young child patiently holding our number in my hand, eagerly waiting to get Kielbasa. And the tradition lives on as I walk through the same doors I did once with her (who passed away in 1996), now with my children (who just so happen to proudly hold a Polish name now!…that’s right, this Irish, German, French Indian girl married a handsome talk glass of water that is Polish), and my Godchild and nephew.  But my story isn’t rare, Stanley’s Market isn’t just a tradition for our family; it’s a tradition for Toledo! Has this tradition passed your fam by, or, perhaps your new to town? Here are all the deets you need to know…followed by pics of our latest visit! (FYI- you can’t leave without getting their sauerkraut, horseradish, & Polish coffee cake….slice coffee cake, place in oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, add butter, & breakfast is served for Christmas morning, it tastes AMAZEBALLS!!)

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Stanley’s Market

Phone: 419-726-4347

Address: 3302 Stickney Ave. Toledo, OH. 43608

Website: www.StanleysMarketStore.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StanleysMarket/

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About:

Stanley’s Market is Toledo’s Polish Butcher Since 1932 offering fresh and smoked kielbasa, pierogi, sweet and sour cabbage, sauerkraut, czarnina (duck soup), kielbasa loaf lunchmeat, dips and deli salads all made in house as well as placek (Polish coffee cake), horseradish, fresh baked rye bread, gołąbki (stuffed cabbage rolls), opłatek (Christmas wafers), imported Polish beer, imported Polish grocery goods and many more items and gifts for your holiday traditions.

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And they offer LOCAL flavors…..

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Oh, and I almost forgot, the Kielbasa! So, you need to boil the Kielbasa in beer first, then bake…and whatever you do don’t rinse the Kielbasa off with water, my dad did that back in 1988 and he’s never lived it down, lol!

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I shared mine, your turn! What’s your fave food from Stanley’s Market? Never been?….then what are you looking most forward to trying out?

The Lion King PRE-SALE Tickets

The Lion King PRE-SALE Tickets for Mom on the go in Holy Toledo followers! ❤️ Get your tickets for the Lion King before the general public! If you are looking for the perfect experience to gift your family this Christmas this is it! And FYI, these tickets will go FAST!

USE THE CODE: SSWSNX to purchase tickets

THE LION KING comes to Toledo’s Stranahan Theater, March 25-April 12, 2020.

Ticket link: https://bit.ly/2qmI3TJ

Share, share, share…& tag family & friends, and make plans to see The Lion King Together! Hakuna Matata 😘

Forest Time Kindergarten

Cher sang it best! If I could turn back time, if I could find a way….I’d enroll my Pre-K in Forest Time TODAY! I am loving everything about this school, the outdoor education, organic vegan snacks, child-led learning and adult guidance, the incorporation of STEAM learning through play, etc.   I wish it was around when my kiddos were younger; I would have enrolled them in a heartbeat.  Not familiar with Forest Time Kindergarten? Here’s some info…

A popular schooling across Europe, forest kindergarten or Waldkindergarten, is a rising star in the United States preschool education. As the first forest school in Northwest Ohio, Forest Time Kindergarten is proud to welcome children between the ages of 3 and 6 to an education that will provide them with lifelong skills and friendships.

Welcomes children between the ages of 3 and 6 to an education that will provide them with lifelong skills and friendships.

Our classes are held almost exclusively outside and children are encouraged to learn through their greatest tool: play. By exploring nature in its purest form, through all types of weather, Forest Time Kindergarten provides children with a safe environment to grow and learn. Our goal at Forest Time Kindergarten is to create a setting in which child-led learning takes precedent and adult supervision is there to guide and assist. It is our hope that your children will discover a lasting love of the outdoors and learning through our program.

Forest Time Kindergarten

Email:  sherrid88@gmail.com  Sherri Dauer, Director and Founder

Website: www.foresttimekindergarten.com

Address: 1205 Louisiana Ave. Perrysburg

WHAT CAN THE FOREST DO FOR YOUR CHILD?

A play-based and child-guided education, our outdoor classroom encourages a love of learning in children from a young age. Our curriculum is focused on creating a relaxed and mindful environment where children practice empathy for each other and all of nature. Forest Time Kindergarten provides children with: -A safe environment to grow -Child-led learning with adult guidance -Life-long love of the outdoors and learning -Organic Vegan snacks provided -Learn how to take care of others and the Earth -Learning outside is the perfect place to incorporate STEAM learning.

FOREST TIME KINDERGARTEN (Ages 3-7)

Our main programming at Forest Time Kindergarten revolves around the ages 3 to 7. Sessions run for 12 weeks, you may choose up to 3 half days a week: Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays: 9:00-12:00. Each class provides a vegan snack, often cooked over an open fire on those chilly fall and winter days, and a well thought out curriculum filled with nature inspired themes and education. Classes are capped at a teacher-student ratio of 2:7 so spaces are limited. Please register on our website today to secure your spot.

IN-TWO THE FOREST (Toddlers)

In-Two the Forest provides toddlers with an early experience of nature with interactive lessons on safety, risk assessment, and learning through nature-play. In-Two the Forest is not a drop off program with the purpose of involving and teaching parents the Forest School movement lessons In-Two the Forest provides education on the importance of play in child-development and learning, risk assessment, outdoor safety for adults and children, as well as instilling a genuine love for nature and the Earth. It is our goal to create stewards of the Earth through our programming and by educating children from a young age we are able to accomplish just that.

Let’s spread the word about this awesome preschool & kindergarten option in our community, share on Facebook and with moms or grandmothers of toddlers-kindergarten aged children. This would also make a fabulous Christmas gift for kiddos….register them, pay tuition, & have them open a new tote for school!!

Free Family-Friendly 2019 Christmas Events in Toledo & Surrounding Area

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! Toledo & the surrounding areas are literally bursting with fun family friendly holiday events! The best part, there is something for everyone and every budget! For our family moderation is key during this special time of year, sure we splurge on certain family traditions like, Children’s Wonderland, Disney on Ice, and the Nutcracker.  But in order to keep that Christmas cheer & make certain the entire family, (including mommy and daddy), stay merry & bright throughout the season we seek out fun FREE events in our community…and let me tell you, there is no shortage of fun, FREE, family friendly Christmas events!

www.allwallpapersfree.org

Bowling Green’s Annual Holiday Parade in historic downtown BG…“Polar Express: Next Stop Bowling Green,”!

Where: Downtown Bowling Green, OH. The parade steps off at 9:50 a.m. & the first float is set to hit Main and Wooster streets at 10 a.m.

When: Saturday November 23rd 10am-12pm….Over 10 marching bands, 40 floats and 140 units, from dance groups, to sports teams, to scouts and other organizations  BG’s parade boasts of being Northwest Ohio’s biggest and best! The 2019 Bowling Green Holiday Parade’s theme is “Polar Express: Next Stop Bowling Green,”!

Website: https://ohio.org/festivals-events/event/bowling-green-holiday-parade/

 

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The Annual Levis Commons Tree Lighting and Christmas Kickoff is back for its 16th year and COOLER than ever….so cool it’s FROZEN!

Where: THE TOWN CENTER AT LEVIS COMMONS
3201 LEVIS COMMONS BLVD
PERRYSBURG, OH 43551

When……. November 23rd 

5pm-8pm: Visit with Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff

5pm-9pm: Horse and carriage rides $5/person $10/family of four

5:50pm: Santa arrives with a dancing entourage from PHS Dance Team and Perrysburg Twirling Sophisticates in the Taylor Automotive Family Trolley.

6:00pm – 7:00pm: Disney’s Frozen Jr* will be on stage bringing you an hour of your favorite Frozen music and fun from Act 2 Productions Toledo.

7:00pm (aprx) Count down to light the 50 foot tree

Website: https://www.shopleviscommons.com/event/Tree-Lighting-And-Christmas-Kickoff/2145533283/ 

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Hope for the Holidays & Tree Lighting

When: November 22nd @ 5pm

Where: Promedica Park

Join ProMedica and 13abc as we kick off the holiday season with an evening of Santa, character meet and greets, food trucks, carolers and family fun! 13abc will be on hand for a live broadcast throughout the evening that ends with the lighting of the Promenade Park tree!

5-6 p.m.: 13abc Action News Live news broadcast from Promenade Park
5-8 p.m.: Hope for the Holiday Celebration & Toy Drive

Website: http://www.explore419.com/event/hope-for-the-holidays-tree-lighting/

 

Santa’s Magical Arrival @ The Shops at Fallen Timbers

Where: The Shops at Fallen Timbers 3100 Main Street Maumee Ohio

When: November 29th 5:30-7:30pm

What: The Shops at Fallen Timbers will be Welcoming Santa to town with a Magical Arrival Event. Friday, November 29th from 5:30 – 7:30 enjoy Character Appearances, Music and Dancing, Face Painting and Balloon Animals, a bounce house, and we will end the evening with bringing Santa Down Main St. on a Firetruck to enjoy a Fireworks Spectacular!
This event is free and open to the public!

Website: https://theshopsatfallentimbers.com/events/

Downtown Wauseon’s 10th Annual Lighted Christmas Parade!

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Where: Downtown Wauseon

When: Saturday Nov. 30th – 7pm

Who loves a parade! It’s time for Downtown Wauseon’s 10th annual Lighted Christmas Parade! Parade winds through historic downtown Wauseon. The parade features, bands, horses, carriages, twirlers, and more!! It wraps up with caroling, FREE refreshments, and a visit with Santa at the Depot!

Website: https://www.facebook.com/WauseonChristmasParade/

Maumee Holiday Light Parade

When: November 30 @ 7pm

Where: Light parade will start at the Maumee Indoor Theater & proceed southbound on Conant St.

The Holiday Light Parade is an annual event that takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving. NEW THIS YEAR: At the suggestion of the Maumee Police Division, the route for the parade has been changed. Holiday Light Parade: Lighted floats and walking groups will line up along the six-block stretch of West William Street. The parade will then step off from the Maumee Indoor Theater and proceed southbound down Conant Street toward the river before turning right onto Broadway Street to disperse.

The Streets will be alive with crowds of kids both young and old waiting to see the 60+ lighted floats and the man of the night SANTA!

Website: https://www.maumeeuptown.com/holiday-light-parade

 

Pemberville Lighted Christmas Parade

When: December 1st @ 6:30pm

Where: Downtown Pemberville

Website: http://pemberville.org/calendar.htm

 

Christmas in Ida & Parade of Lights (and Fireworks!!)

When: Dec. 6th-7th

Where: Downtown Ida

Christmas in Ida & Parade of Lights…..Hosting over 52,000 visitors, and known as a family destination of the Midwest, the festival creates a winter wonderland known for its hospitality, entertainment and the Granddaddy of all, the spectacular Christmas in Ida Parade of Lights featuring parade units from Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Canada and Michigan. Most of the events are Saturday, including lunches with Santa, story time with Mrs. Santa Claus and the craft shows are all day! Click on Website for full rundown of events for the weekend!

Saturday Dec. 7th at 7pm, HUGE light parade and fireworks!

Website: http://www.christmasinida.com/eventschedule.php

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The Polar Express Storytime

All aboard! Come in your PJs and join other kiddos for a magical evening as they host their annual Storytime of the beloved classic The Polar Express. Free hot chocolate and cookie…and activities to follow!!

When: Friday December 6th, 2018 7:00 PM

Where: Barnes & Noble Fallen Timbers 3100 Main St #1400, Maumee, OH 43537

Website: https://stores.barnesandnoble.com/event/9780061896690-0

 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Storytime

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When: Saturday Dec. 7th 11am-12pm

Where: Barnes & Noble Franklin Park & Fallen Timbers

“Grow Your Heart 3 Sizes!” and celebrate all things Grinch with a reading of the classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas! We will have good deed badges and tracking booklets for kids to log all the good things they do this holiday season. Activities to follow!

Website: https://stores.barnesandnoble.com/event/9780062102502-0

Heralding the Holidays -Toledo Botanical Gardens

 

When: Friday, December 6, 5 to 9 p.m.
Saturday, December 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, December 8, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Toledo Botanical Gardens

Heralding the Holidays
Heralding the Holidays is a decades-long tradition showcasing the artist and garden clubs of the Artist Village at Toledo Botanical Garden. Throughout the weekend, you will find art, jewelry, stained glass, and pottery for sale, dried herbs and herbal products, food trucks and roving carolers. Visitors can blow a glass ornament, and glimpse Father Christmas (Friday evening) wandering through the village. Village studios will be decorated. For more details visit the Artist Village website.

Website: artvillage419.org

City of Toledo Holiday Tree Lighting 

When: December 15th 3-7pm

Where: Ottawa Park Ice Rink

Bring your family to Toledo’s 6th annual Holiday Tree lighting, outside the Ice Rink.

Website: http://ottawapark.org/calendar-ottawa-park-toledo.html

Light-Up Waterville for the Holidays

When: Saturday December 7th 6pm-9pm

Where: Third Street

Special lighting celebration to take place on Third Street at 6:00 p.m. kids can visit with Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves, enjoyed music and view tree lighting at 6:00 pm.

Website: http://www.watervillehistory.org/new-events-1/2019/12/7/light-up-waterville 

Home for the Holiday’s Parade- Downtown Perrysburg & Parade

When: December 8th @ 2pm

Where: Downtown Perrysburg

Downtown Perrysburg, Inc. (DPI) is busy preparing for the annual “Home for the Holidays” parade, complete with marching bands, horse drawn carriages, dancers, and other street performers, clowns, big and small balloons, little cars and big trucks, candy and of course Santa Clause! The parade will begin at 2 p.m.

Website: http://www.visitperrysburg.com/events/2019/12/08/events/home-for-the-holidays-parade/#.XdRqL9VKjIU 

Miracle on Main St Holiday Weekend & Light Parade 

When: December 6 at 5:00 pm & December 7 
Where: Downtown Sylvania, 5632 N. Main St.
Sylvania, OH 43560
For Full Lists of events click on website.

Holidays in the Manor House

When: December 7th- 15th  10am-8pm

Where: Wildwood Metropark 5100 Central Ave, Toledo, OH 43615

Ring in the holidays at one of Northwest Ohio’s most festive celebrations, Holidays in the Manor House! For over 40 years, community volunteers have transformed over 30 areas of the Manor House at Wildwood Preserve into a holiday wonderland. Tour the Manor House and see why over 25,000 people make Holidays in the Manor House an annual tradition. They always incorporate the kiddos into the tour by adding a small scavenger hunt for items, dress up & photo opportunities, s’mores outside, & NEW this year, ice skating!!!

Website: https://metroparkstoledo.com/features-and-rentals/the-manor-house/

 

Winter Wonderland- Co-sponsored by the City of Toledo

When: Tuesday, December 03 6:00pm – 7:30pm

Where: Toledo Heights Library 423 Shasta Drive Toledo, OH

Help us celebrate the holiday season with an event for all ages. We’ll start with a craft at the Library, then walk together to the Highland Park Shelter House to enjoy live music, cookies, hot chocolate and a visit from Santa!

Website: http://events.toledolibrary.org/event/2484281

 

 

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It’s A Wonderful Life: Silver Screen Classic Film ($5 a person)

When: Friday, December 20th & Sunday, December 22nd @ 7:30pm

Where: 410 Adams St, Toledo, OH 43604

Enjoy Toledo’s New Old Fashioned Night Out! Cold Tall Drafts, Full Bar & Popcorn available! It’s a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas fantasy drama film produced and directed by Frank Capra. Starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, and Henry Travers. (Tickets are general admission but reservations are strongly encouraged for this film).

Cost: $5 per person for admission

Order tickets here: http://www.valentinetheatre.com/events.html

 

Family Movie Time

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (26 minutes), TV-G

When: Saturday, December 21 4:00pm – 4:30pm

Where: Kent Branch Library

Every who down in Who-ville likes Christmas a lot, but the Grinch who lived just north of Who-ville did NOT! So the cuddly as a cactus Grinch (with termites in his smile and garlic in his soul) tries to wipe out Christmas for the cheerful Who-villains, only to discover: maybe Christmas, he thought doesn’t come from as store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more! Magnificently narrated by Boris Karloff and animated by cartoon legend Chuck Jones, it’s an award-winning Who-roast-beast-feast of a holiday classic!

Website: http://events.toledolibrary.org/event/2456904

 

Click here for details

 

Remind and Inspire: AWESOME Christmas gift for moms!

Where joy & pain collide! As I stand here over tubs of clothing wailing like a crazy woman I’m reminded of the ever popular quote, “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened”, which is often cited, by Dr. Seuss, and/or anonymous. I can tell you one thing; whoever it was, it was definitely a man because he never experienced the heartache of not expecting, & then finally expecting, sharing the good news, THE BEST news of your life with family & friends, & then blinking and it’s all over, they are grown, or worse, teenagers. And all you have left are the memories and tubs of clothing….the “Promoted to Big Sister” onesie that was SUPER hard to find for a 10-month-old, the “Big Brother” t-shirt proudly worn by my little 2-year-old, & the baby blanket each of my newborns came home with…I can practically smell the newborn smell & feel the exhaustion still embedded in the seams.

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Seeing, feeling, smelling these articles of clothing and trying to part with them does not make me want to smile, Dr. Seuss. IT HURTS!! They are mine; each has such a special memory and deserves to be treasured for at least my lifetime, and hopefully my children’s, & possibly grandchildren’s’. Which is why I was beyond elated when I learned about Inspire and Remind! Check it….

 

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Inspire and Remind allows you to freeze time and preserve memories of your favorite moments spent with your kids. The owner, Michelle, mixes modern fabrics with your loved one’s baby clothes, beloved blankies, treasured team t-shirts, and/or accessories to create a custom made, reusable journal. The cover of the journal is created to fit a standard sized composition book, so you can reuse it for many years to come, by simply replacing the notebook.  This is legit, the perfect gift for us mommas!!!

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Your journal will be a reminder of the love and support you get from your biggest fan, so you can be inspired and encouraged to chase after your dreams.

Remind and Inspire has Gift cards available on their site. And while you are there be sure to check out the blog with ideas to create memorable moments with your kids.

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Possible uses for the journal:

I use my journal to record my dreams, goals, and gratitude. Seeing a glimpse of my daughter’s clothing, in the journal, gave me the encouragement to follow through with my dream.

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NEW MOMS!!! Are you looking for an easier way to document your baby’s milestones? If you are like me, you have a partially finished baby book with random months that has height, weight, and maybe first words recorded. When something memorable happens, with your child, grab your journal and record the date and what happened. It could be anything from how you felt driving them home from the hospital, their first steps, or how they mispronounce something. You’ll end up with a memorable keepsake made from your baby’s clothes.

 

 

Remind and Inspire

Phone Number: 419-340-8585

Website: https://www.remindandinspire.com/   

Blog: https://www.remindandinspire.com/blog

Promo:  Turn your favorite outfit, blanket or accessory into a daily reminder of some of your best moments spent with your kids! Use Promo Code: momonthego and receive 10% off your order.

 

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My mom was my daughter’s biggest fan. She helped me in so many ways when I first became a mom. From watching my daughter, so I could take a break, to answering late night questions I had as a new mom.  At Christmas time, I would always try to come up with the perfect gift for her. If you’re looking for a gift that holds special meaning for your mom consider having a special outfit turned into a journal for her.

-Michelle-

Want to find a gift that is perfect for your best friend’s baby shower? Give her a treasured keepsake she’ll have and use long after her baby is grown.

Jane Dough & Sweets: Vegan, Dye-Free, & Allergy- Friendly Baked Goods in Toledo

Song sang, candles extinguished, and I could legit feel all 24 eyes on me as the knife slowly plunged into the cake. Party hats were snapping, kids were salivating, & a chorus of “mine”, “mine”, “mine” broke out, like the seagulls in Finding Nemo, as each child declared dibs on their piece of cake.  The anticipation of that first bite of cake could be felt in the room, for all party-goers but one, poor Sam sat with a disappointed expression on his face while he got out the snack his mom had packed for him and slowly opened it. His dairy allergy prevented him from joining in the birthday cake fun.  It’s the worst knowing you have a friend or family member that has to be excluded because of their allergy, especially at birthday parties & Holiday gatherings. But never again will Sam have to miss out on the fun & your family and friends with allergies don’t have to miss out either thanks to Jane Dough and Sweets!

 

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Jane Dough & Sweets is a home based bakery that offers homemade, elegantly decorated, moist, delicious baked goods!  Including vegan, nut-free, dairy-free, etc. cupcakes, cakes, donuts, caksicles, cake push pops….and flavors that’ll make your taste buds dance, including, strawberry, funfetti, almond raspberry, etc.

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Jane Dough and Sweets

Phone: 419.344.3471

Website: https://ajane1829.wixsite.com/janedoughandsweets 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JaneDoughAndSweets/

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So the next time you host a birthday party or family gathering be sure to order your cupcakes, cakes, baked goods from Jane Dough and Sweets so ALL party-goers, family, & friends can enjoy a delicious slice/bite of heaven!!

10 Magical Events to attend with Kids Christmas 2019 in Toledo

It’s funny, I couldn’t tell you what I wore the Christmas of 1990 (I’m sure it was a gorgeous dressed that matched my siblings and we all looked adorable, mom), or what gifts I opened from under the tree, or even if we had snow that year. What I do remember is sipping hot chocolate as we walked through the zoo at night (that in itself is pretty cool to kids) in wonderment at the Lights before Christmas with close family friends, rushing ahead of my parents in awe of the Christmas magic at Children’s Wonderland, touring the over the top decorations at Holidays in the Manor House with my grandparents, seeing the classic, A Christmas Carol, & watching the joy on my father’s face as he recited lines as we watched the classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. That’s the thing about Christmas; it really isn’t about the perfect gift it’s about the time spent with loved ones. So this Christmas let’s focus less on the quantity of goods under the tree and more on the quality of time spent making childhood memories that our children will cherish for a lifetime.

Here are 10 Christmas Experiences for Kids in/near Toledo that will help build up that memory bank!

ToledoChristmas

 

 

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Maumee Holiday Light Parade

The Holiday Light Parade is an annual event that takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving. NEW THIS YEAR: At the suggestion of the Maumee Police Division, the route for the parade has been changed. Holiday Light Parade: Lighted floats and walking groups will line up along the six-block stretch of West William Street. The parade will then step off from the Maumee Indoor Theater and proceed southbound down Conant Street toward the river before turning right onto Broadway Street to disperse.

The Streets will be alive with crowds of kids both young and old waiting to see the 60+ lighted floats and the man of the night SANTA!

When: November 30 @ 7pm

Location: Light parade will start at the Maumee Indoor Theater & proceed southbound on Conant St.

Cost: FREE

Website: https://www.maumeeuptown.com/holiday-light-parade

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Holidays in the Manor House

Ring in the holidays at one of Northwest Ohio’s most festive celebrations, Holidays in the Manor House! For over 40 years, community volunteers have transformed over 30 areas of the Manor House at Wildwood Preserve into a holiday wonderland. Tour the Manor House and see why over 25,000 people make Holidays in the Manor House an annual tradition. They always incorporate the kiddos into the tour by adding a small scavenger hunt for items, dress up & photo opportunities, s’mores outside, & NEW this year, ice skating!!!

When: December 7th- 15th  10am-8pm

Location: Wildwood Metropark 5100 Central Ave, Toledo, OH 43615

Cost: FREE

Website: https://metroparkstoledo.com/features-and-rentals/the-manor-house/

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Holidays on A Carriage Ride: Take a leisurely ride through scenic Wildwood Preserve aboard a carriage pulled by Molly and Sally, the mule team from Providence. This experience is being offered December 7th, 8th, 14th, & 15th  to make your visit to Holidays in the Manor House even more memorable. Cost is $6 per rider, children under 5yrs. free, if they sit on an adult’s lap. All tickets will be sold online only. Ticket sales begin November 1, 2019 Click HERE to register

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Santa Express & Lunch with Santa

Children will enjoy a 1 and 1/2 hour train ride, a visit with Santa, coloring activities, & cookies and juice.

When: Santa Express is on December 7th, 14th, & 21st. There will be two departures each day – 10:00AM and 12:30PM.

Location: 301 E Adrian St, Blissfield, MI 49228

Cost: $22 adults, $20 seniors, $17 children ages 2-12 and children under 2 are free

Lunch with Santa on the Santa Express

Lunch with Santa includes a 2 hour train ride, pizza, salad, bread sticks, dessert and soft drink. Children will also enjoy a visit with Santa and coloring activities.

When: December 8th, 15th, & 22nd at 2:00PM respectively.

Location: 301 E Adrian St, Blissfield, MI 49228

Cost: $34 adults, $22 children ages 2-12 and children under 2 are free.

https://www.murdermysterydinnertrain.com/  (BOOK YOUR TRIP HERE)

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Children’s Wonderland

And it just wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to Children’s Wonderland!! Children’s Wonderland began as a Northwest Ohio holiday tradition over 50 years ago. For decades, families from all over the Northwest Ohio have been coming to find the holiday spirit at Children’s Wonderland. As always, dozens of classic exhibits will be on display, train rides will be available, and there will be plenty of opportunities to take pictures with Santa.

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When: December 6th-Dec. 23rd  11am-8pm & Dec. 24th 11am-2pm

Location: 7060 W Sylvania Ave, Sylvania, OH 43560 (Tam-o-shanter)

Cost: Kids 2+ $6, Adults 18+ $8, & Seniors 65+ $6 (plus $ for train and crafts, if interested)

Website: http://www.playsylvania.com/childrens-wonderland/

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Holiday Lantern Tours at Sauder Village

They’ve added a new twist to the Holiday Lantern Tours at Sauder Village! Make reservations now for a “1920s Christmas”! Experience American Christmas traditions of the 1920s as you visit the Grime Home, make a Christmas novelty at our Tin Shop, learn about Christmas shopping in the Elmira Depot, act out The Night Before Christmas in the District 16 Schoolhouse, and sing 1920s Christmas songs in St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.  Pre-registration and pre-payment is required.

Holiday shopping available at the Sauder Village Gift Shop, Lauber’s General Store, Herb Shop, Glass Shop and Pottery Shop.  Make it an overnight stay at the Sauder Heritage Inn with the Holiday Lantern Tour Package.

When: December 6th & 7th (tours last 1 hour 45 min & are on the 1/2 hour 4-8:30PM)

Location: Sauder Village22611 State Route 2, Archbold, Ohio 43502

Cost: Adults $13.00/ Children (3 and up) $7.00 (By Reservation Only, limited spaces Make reservations online or please call for availability 800-590-9755). Click HERE to register

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It’s A Wonderful Life: Silver Screen Classic Film ($5 a person)

Enjoy Toledo’s New Old Fashioned Night Out! Cold Tall Drafts, Full Bar & Popcorn available! It’s a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas fantasy drama film produced and directed by Frank Capra. Starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, and Henry Travers. (Tickets are general admission but reservations are strongly encouraged for this film).

When: Friday, December 20th & Sunday, December 22nd @ 7:30pm

Location: 410 Adams St, Toledo, OH 43604

Cost: $5 per person for admission

Order tickets here: http://www.valentinetheatre.com/events.html

 

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Christmas Carol Sing at Rosary Cathedral

If you still haven’t gotten in the Christmas spirit this afternoon will get you there! The beauty of the Toledo’s Diocese gorgeous Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral adds a layer to the experience like none other as you listen to (and participate) the glorious voices of the Cathedral Choir, Paul Monachino, conductor and the talented St. Aloysius Parish Handbell Choir, Neil Kraft, director. This is a great event for families with older kiddos (5 & up)

Location: Rosary Cathedral 2535 Collingwood Blvd. Toledo, OH 43610

When: Sunday, December 15, 2019 – 3:00 p.m.

Cost: FREE

Website: https://rosarycathedral.org/music/concert-series/

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Lights before Christmas at the Toledo Zoo

The beloved tunnel entrance will make its renovated debut during this event, voted best Zoo lights in the nation! The 2018 edition of the area’s brightest holiday tradition features over one million lights and more than 200 illuminated animal images! Stop by Santa’s workshop in the Arctic Encounter! New this year is a 3-D holiday scene set to music and projected onto the side of the Carnivore Café. Take a moment to enjoy this new take on a holiday short story with your whole family! See the big man in his element, whisper your holiday wishes and pose for a fun family photo. (Paid photo opportunity) Also, don’t miss all the frozen fun in the Winter Village sponsored by Kroger. The fan-favorite Ice Slide returns with inner tubes built for two along with Bumper Cars on Ice in the Zoo’s historic Amphitheatre!

When: Nov. 22nd -Dec. 31st Sun – Thurs: 3-8pm Fri – Sat: 3 – 9 p.m. (holiday times will differ, check website)

Location: Toledo Zoo 2 Hippo Way, Toledo, OH 43609

Cost: Members, Mon-Thurs: Unlimited Visits & Weekend: One Visit

Non-members: Adults $20 and Children $17 (Members receive one free Weekend visit)

Website: https://www.toledozoo.org/lights

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A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, revised by David Jex and Debra Ross Calabrese & Directed by Amy Spaulding-Heuring is a 30-year Toledo Rep tradition! This timeless tale of redemption follows Ebenezer Scrooge as he is transformed by the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future from a miserly old curmudgeon into a man who embodies the true meaning of Christmas. With lavish costumes, spectacular sets and a musical score rich with carols of the era, this production is one you will not want to miss!

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Toledo Blade

When: December 6th @ 8pm, December 7th @ 8pm,  & December 8th @ 2:30pm

Location: The Valentine Theatre 410 Adams St

Cost: $29 + handling (Group pricing available)

Website for tickets: http://www.valentinetheatre.com/events.html

 

 

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The Polar Express Storytime

All aboard! Come in your PJs and join other kiddos for a magical evening as they host their annual Storytime of the beloved classic The Polar Express. Free hot chocolate and cookie…and activities to follow!!

When: Friday December 6th, 2018 7:00 PM

Location: Barnes & Noble Fallen Timbers 3100 Main St #1400, Maumee, OH 43537

Cost: FREE

Website: https://stores.barnesandnoble.com/event/9780061896690-0

 

Disney On Ice presents Dream Big Family 4-Pack Tickets Giveaway

Who’s ready to DREAM BIG?  Courage leads the way for Disney’s most adventurous heroes when Disney On Ice presents Dream Big coming to Toledo Thursday, Dec. 19 – Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019.

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Join the wayfinder Moana and the greatest demigod that ever lived, Maui, on an action-packed voyage to restore the stolen heart of Te Fiti. Explore the Land of the Dead as Miguel from Disney•Pixar’s Coco brings the festivities of Dia de los Muertos to the ice. Get tangled up in Rapunzel’s hair-raising quest to see the floating lights. Travel to the kingdom of Arendelle with Anna, Elsa and Olaf in a dramatic retelling of the sisterly love that saved a kingdom. And discover the strength, bravery and kindness that inspired generation after generation with Jasmine, Ariel, Aurora, Belle and Cinderella.

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Dream Big captures all the magic and adventure of Disney’s immortal tales through cutting edge figure skating, glamorous costumes and stunning set designs. Through innovative lighting and thrilling special effects, audiences are transported to a world of imagination, where heroes of every kind seek to fulfill their dreams. High-flying jumps, breathtaking skating and lovable Disney friends make Disney On Ice presents Dream Big an experience your family will never forget!

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WHERE:

Huntington Center, 500 Jefferson Ave., Toledo, OH 43604

When:

Thursday, Dec. 19 at 7 pm

Friday, Dec. 20 at 7 pm,

Saturday, Dec. 21 at 11 am, 3 pm and 7 pm

Sunday, Dec. 22 at 1 pm and 5 pm

 

Tickets:

$15 and can be ordered online at www.ticketmaster.com . Note: ticket pricing is

subject to change based on market demand.

Giveaway:

Enter to win Family 4-pack tickets to Disney on Ice Dream Big Opening Night! (Thursday Dec. 19th @7 pm)

How to Enter:

1-Follow the Blog (Not the FB Page of the Blog, the actual Blog ;)see image) Follow Button should be located in the bottom right side of your screen

 

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2- Share this on Facebook

3- Comment below indicting what your all-time favorite Disney character is?

 

Winner Randomly selected December 3