Toledo Winter Break 2019 Family Fun Guide

I will be honest, when I heard the kiddos break started on Friday Dec. 20th I got my calendar out and counted how many days until school resumed, in case you’re wondering, 18 days including weekends, 18! Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my kiddos but 18 days without a routine, scary! Thus in order to minimize the meltdowns here’s a guide of some fun ideas, day-trips, & places to take kiddos that’ll help make it a joy filled winter break! 😉

 

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Toledo Museum of Art Presents, The Great Art Escape 

Address: 2445 Monroe Street Toledo, OH 43620

Phone: (419) 255-8000

Website: https://www.toledomuseum.org/visit/events/great-art-escape-0

Cost: FREE

The Great Art Escape is a FREE holiday tradition at the Toledo Museum of Art, where a number of special programs are planned Dec. 26, 2019-Jan. 1, 2020. Bring your family and friends to this annual event for live performances, art activities and more. This year will include a series of live dance performances in the galleries and in the Peristyle. A variety of genres will be represented, including ballet, swing, Mexican folk, Irish and Indian dancing.

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The 2020 Great Art Escape is sponsored in part by Taylor Cadillac and by members of the Museum. Here is a day-by-day schedule of events, all of which are mostly FREE!!! Click HERE for dates & times.

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Play:CLE

Address: 38525 Chester Rd, Avon, OH 44011

Website: https://www.playcle.com/

Phone: (440) 695-3565

Hours: Vary, click on website for schedule

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If you’re looking for the place to mix fun and fitness, you’ve come to the right spot. Play: CLE has created a unique mix of attractions that will have kids and adults’ alike running, jumping, climbing and challenging themselves!

  • Zip line
  • Ropes course
  • Climbing wall
  • Ninja warrior course
  • Parkour course
  • Bouldering wall
  • Dining area (The Biner)
  • Kids’ area

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Outdoor Adventure Center

Phone: 844-OAC-MDNR (844-622-6367)

Address: 1801 Atwater Street Detroit, MI 48207-4020

Website: http://www.michigan.gov/oac/

Hours: Varies during the holidays, see website for schedule

Cost: Children 2 & under are FREE, Children 3-12-$3, & Adults- $5

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Experience exciting outdoor adventures with hands-on activities, exhibits and simulators — walk behind and touch a waterfall, step into a fishing boat and reel in a big fish, hit the trail on a mountain bike or snowmobile, and much more. At the OAC, you’ll learn about how the DNR manages state parks, forests, wildlife and fish as you climb the roots and explore the canopy of a massive bur oak tree, hop aboard a real airplane, and see what’s swimming in our aquarium.

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University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

Address: Biological Sciences Building, 1105 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1085

Phone: 734-764-0478

Website: https://lsa.umich.edu/ummnh

Museum Hours: Monday-Sunday 9AM-5PM

Admission: Free (suggestion donation of $6)

Parking: Good luck, lol! Just kidding…there is a parking garage on Forest Ave. Cost us $6

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You too can deny your child a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle and allow your inner child to come out and play at A Christmas Story House!!

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A Christmas Story House Tour

Address: 3159 W. 11th St., Cleveland, OH 44109 in the Tremont neighborhood.

Phone: (216) 298-4919

Website: https://www.achristmasstoryhouse.com/

Hours: Varies during the holidays, see website

Cost: Children 2 & under are FREE, Children 3-12- $10, Adults-$13

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Harlem Globetrotters Pushing the Limits World Tour

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This is more than a basketball game. It is more than a show. It is the one and only Harlem Globetrotters in an all-new, larger-than-life world tour! You’ll be on your feet, out of your seat, laughing until it hurts and loving every moment. The 5th Quarter – The game isn’t over after the final shot! Meet your favorite Globetrotter court-side after the game to get an autograph and photo. Don’t miss out – get your tickets today!! Take the fam, your local basketball team, scouts/troop, and/or any tween/teen

WHERE:

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

WHEN:

Monday December 30th @ 2pm

TICKETS:

https://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/world-tour/schedule

 

 

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Toledo Botanical Garden’s Hidden Treehouse

Address: 5403 Elmer Drive Toledo, Ohio 43615

Phone: 419-270-7500

Website: https://metroparkstoledo.com/explore-your-parks/toledo-botanical-garden/

Hours: Open 7 a.m. until dark every day

Admission: FREE

Amenities: Picnic area adjacent as well as restrooms

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Copper Moon Studios 

Address: 8007 Airport hwy Holland, oh 43528

Phone: 419-867-0683

Website: https://www.coppermstudio.com/

Cost: Varies, depends on project

Hours: mon – sat  (10-6) & sun (12-5)

 

My kiddos absolutely adore dropping in & making a Lil’Chips project! Deets in pic below.

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Share, tag friends, & make plans to meetup at one of these awesome kiddo fave hot-spots today!

 

 

 

15 Summer Date Night Destinations in Toledo!!

Date Night!! The two words every couple looks forward to, especially those with kids. It means a night away from the kiddos, to reconnect with your spouse, to remember why you fell in love in the first place. It is easy to get caught up in the responsibilities of adulthood & parenthood. That is why it is so important that you step away from it all for a few hours and have some fun, remember fun, that thing you did before you had a job, mortgage, kids, you know, before you had major responsibilities!?

Here are some FUN Date Night destinations you and your significant other are certain to enjoy:

1. Escape Game Experience  (Fallen Timbers, Maumee) and/or Trapped Toledo (Toledo)- Locked in a room with a group of friends or strangers; you must use your wits and the group’s collective knowledge to find hidden clues, solve daunting puzzles and overcome challenges to escape before time runs out. ​Are you ready?

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2. Murder Mystery Dinner Train–  (technically not in Toledo but nearby) Fine dining with a murder mystery featuring their acting troupe and a rotating schedule of shows throughout the year. Be prepared to be part of the show in this intimate setting and WATCH OUT! You might even be the unfortunate soul who gets to be the VICTIM of their devious plot! (Rated PG-13 of course).

3.  Sky Zone– Indoor Trampoline Park! Experience WOW – the weightlessness of bouncing, flipping and landing in a pit filled with 10,000 foam cubes. You and your spouse will experience the pure joy that comes with flying. They also have a basketball trampoline, dodge ball trampoline court, and more!!

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4.  Sandpiper–   The Sandpiper is a 100 Passenger cruise vessel located on the Maumee River in Toledo, Ohio and offers fun events throughout the summer and fall. Here are a few fun date night events they offer but be certain to check out their website for more!

Musical Dinner Cruise What could be better than a relaxing cruise up the Maumee River enjoying traditional Hungarian fare from Tony Packo`s and the music of Kerry Patrick Clark.

Sunset & City Lights Cruise This is a breathtaking experience! Cruise up the Maumee River and view stately homes, yacht clubs and wildlife. Catch a sunset around Walbridge Park & return to downtown after dark and experience the city lights shimmering on the water. Snacks included.

Cigar Cruises on the Sandpiper Check out the new developments along the riverfront and enjoy a 2 hour smoke on the river. Bring your own cigars! If you wish bring your own picnic or order a Marco’s Pizza delivered to the boat and bring your own beverages too!

 

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5.  It’s Friday at Toledo Museum of Art– Each evening offers an ever-changing combination of events for adults and families including free tours, activities, live music, glassblowing demonstrations, wine tastings, and more. Click here to view the calendar.

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6. 3rd Thursday Loop– The 3rd Thursday Loop (5:30-9pm and is $1) is presented in partnership with the arts and cultural institutions, organizations, and businesses of greater downtown Toledo and features a standardized bus loop each month designed to connect and highlight our city’s creative community and the unique culture of our downtown neighborhoods. This new program combines the former Art Walk series and Gallery Loop / Holiday Loop programs into one year-round monthly bus loop made possible through a special partnership with TARTA (Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority).

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The 3rd Thursday Loop program offers an opportunity for Toledoans to use public transit in a new and exciting way in Downtown Toledo while exploring the city’s creative community and experiencing a new form of walkability in the Downtown area. Click here for more.

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7.  Jazz in the Garden at Toledo Botanical Gardens– Bring a blanket or chair and relax to smooth jazz nestled in the beauty of the Garden. A barbeque vendor will be on grounds for food purchase, bakery goods for sale on grounds, & guests may bring food, wine and beer. Cost: $10 general admission & $5 for Metropark Members. Thursdays, 6:30-8:30pm. Visit website for list of artists performing.

8. FREE Concerts on Saturday Evenings–FREE concerts at Ottawa Park Amphitheatre. Unwind on a warm Saturday evening as you enjoy great music performed by various local artists.  Each show features a fun musical theme…blues, British invasion, classic rock, etc. and admission is FREE!

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9. Black Cloister Brewing Company (Trivia on Thursdays)- They do things a little bit differently, in a good way! You can get your beer here and order up some delicious food from surrounding restaurants and or food trucks.  Call ahead for a complementary tour!! Click here for more info.

10.  War Zone Paint Games– Paintball & Lazar tag fun!! Click here for more info 

11. Attend a Festival/Event- Black Swamp Festival, NW Ohio Rib off , Pizza Palooza!

12.Cleland’s-Archery range, Pistol range, lots of various events going on, be sure to check out the website for more info.

13. Ritter Planetarium– Located on the main campus of the University of Toledo, the Ritter Planetarium is your gateway to the Universe.  Outfitted with a state-of-the-art digital projector and 5.1 surround sound, the Ritter Planetarium is capable of transporting you though space and time to view the wonders of the Universe.   Click here for more info.

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14. Mud Hens Game– Why not enjoy a good old fashioned game of baseball? Let’s Go HENS!! Click here for schedule and ticket info

15. Sundance Kid Drive-in Theatre-Spend an evening under the stars at The Sundance Kid Drive-In. The nostalgic 50’s style drive-in, located across from Pearson Park in Oregon, features Digital Cinema projection and FM Stereo sound. Two movies play on two screens April through October. Their concession stand has all your favorite treats prepared fresh daily. Lucky ticket gift winners drawn nightly! For times and showings click here

 

Here are a few suggestions to make your date night more economical:

  • Whenever possible have family or friends watch your kiddos, perhaps even consider starting or being part of a babysitting co-op. 
  • Save up! Set aside a decided amount of money each week, say, $10 dollars, and at the end of the month you have $40 for your date night. Date Night can happen no matter what your budget is, it may mean sacrificing your lattés or convenience store purchases, but it is worth it!
  • If you go out to eat beforehand don’t order drinks and consider splitting a dish…..you can go REALLY fancy if you order water to drink and split a meal (note that there may be a splitting fee but it is often cheaper than ordering an additional meal). Added bonus when you split a meal, you don’t feel as guilty ordering dessert!
  • Inquire about possible coupons, deals; some places have deals on certain days.

Enjoy your time out, put your phones away, give each other your undivided attention, and most important, HAVE FUN!!

 

10 Awesome Ladies Night Out Destinations in Toledo

As moms and wives we are the one everyone comes to with request, complaints, clean laundry, food, TLC, etc. but what about moms? Where do they go to recharge, to be seen, heard, to have fun? 3 words, Ladies Night Out!!!

Health experts say that maintaining positive relationships with friends should rank right up there with healthy eating and exercising. That being socially engaged leads to more positive emotions and may actually boost your body’s immune system and reduce the physical signs of stress. So, no more excuses! It is time to give the girls a call, and set up a Ladies Night Out!!

Needs some ideas?

Here are 10 awesome Ladies Night Out destinations in Toledo! (In no particular order)

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1.UNCORK THE ARTIST – Full disclosure; I was a tad nervous the first time I did this because I was afraid of everyone seeing my canvas and the fact that I was a total novice, a.k.a. clueless! Haha! My worries were quickly put at ease when the instructor explained that she would be giving us a step-by-step instruction, score! And the glass of wine didn’t hurt. Lol! That’s right; you are more than welcome to bring your favorite bottle of wine to enjoy while creating your gorgeous masterpiece! They offer a nice variety of painting to select from, CLICK HERE  to view the calendar.

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2. TRAPPED TOLEDO  -I had THE BEST time doing this! I love activities that involve wit and working together. Team work, baby!! You are locked in a room with a group of your friends and you must use your intellect and the group’s collective knowledge to find hidden clues, solve puzzles & overcome challenges to escape before time runs out. ​We made it with just minutes to spare. Are you ready? CLICK HERE  to check out the current experiences, and see which piques your group’s interest!

3. SANDPIPER – I planned a Ladies Night Out back in August on the Sandpiper, specifically, the Dinner Cruise. It was such a relaxing and enjoyable experience. We were allowed to bring wine, and I did, but the river and cruise was intoxicating enough, I never did open my bottle of Sangria. Thus, if you are in the mood for a “chill” evening out with the girls than a cruise down the Maumee River is perfect! There are a variety of options to choose from, CLICK HERE to see the schedule.

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4. HOLLYWOOD CASINO – Luck be a lady! Call up the girls for a fun filled casino night!! Get dressed up and dolled up for a night to remember! Enjoy delicious food, dancing, fancy “girlie” drinks, & channel your inner Grace Kelley, Audrey Hepburn, etc. for an epic Ladies Night Out!!

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5. BIRD’S EYE VIEW CIRCUS  -Hands down this is the coolest!! I just did this with a group of friends and it was amazing! We did the areal silks. (That is me in the image above) They offer a variety of options to select from, aerial hoop, hammock, and aerial yoga, stilt walking, juggling, etc. and offer private group lessons. Did I mention this is SO cool! I highly recommend you get this on the calendar ASAP as they do fill up fast! This is certain to be a night all the ladies will remember! CLICK HERE  for a list of activities they offer and contact info.

6. BOARD & BRUSH Wood signs, Workshops, & Wine– No experience necessary! Bring your personality & creativity and they provide the wood, wine, & paint!! There is something so therapeutic about painting & hanging out with the girls. It is such a great way to relax and unwind While they mainly use wood elements for projects, they also offer a wide variety of other materials in the DIY wood sign workshops, including; Glass, Chalkboard, Canvas pillows, Slate, Terra cotta pots. Checkout their calendar for workshop schedules & book your today!! 

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7. PUB CRAWL – Sometimes a girl just needs to let loose, laugh, and live it up! Don’t feel like making a bunch of plans. Perhaps an impromptu Ladies Night Out is in order? Then downtown Toledo is the perfect spot for a LNO Pub Crawl!! Why just enjoy the ambiance and atmosphere of one pub/brewery when there are a slew of great spots downtown….you would really be doing yourself, your friends, and the city a disservice if you only visited one all night, true!? Haha! Now I am not endorsing intoxication by any means, pace yourselfers, drink responsibly, eat something, have a designated driver, and have fun!!

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8. GATHERED GLASSBLOWING STUDIO– Are you mesmerized by the art of glassblowing or maybe you are just looking to do something new, different, something outside your comfort zone? They will introduce you to the art of glassblowing and help you create a glass piece of your own. Or better yet, don’t feel like making something, then check out their Hot Glass, Cold Beer, & Cool Music event every 3rd Thursday of the month. CLICK HERE  to check out their calendar of workshops

9.LISA’S MANICURE & PEDICURE SPA– Imagine an evening of relaxation….sitting in the massaging chair, feet soaking in the warm water, sipping wine, snacking on munchies, and enjoying fabulous conversations with friends. Yep, Lisa can make that happen! I am a fan of Lisa’s because it is an all-natural/green nail salon so you don’t have to worry about any ridiculous fumes giving you a headache. You can rent the space after hours for a Ladies Night Out to remember!! CLICK HERE  for Lisa’s contact info so you can get your LNO in the books asap!

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10. FOODOLOGY COOKING CLASSES – Native Toledoan and Chef Julie Daunhauer is finally answering the question we have been asking for years, “Where can I take cooking classes in Toledo without enrolling in a college program or certification course?” She offers a variety of courses at various class levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced) if you are just looking to take a class (adults are welcomed to bring an adult beverage to enjoy while they cook) or you could set up a private party, checkout the website for more! Foodology supports local businesses and farmers and strives to purchase locally grown food for the cooking classes whenever possible. 

So what are you waiting for? Don’t end up on national news, call up the girls for a Ladies Night Out!!

Organizing Memories One Adoramapix Photobook at a Time (Discount code included)

I posted this a couple weeks back on Facebook……

My 1st BIG Project of the school year: Stop Storing the Past & Make room to enjoy the Present!

Problem: “You can’t take it with you when you go”. So why do I have vast amounts of nostalgic memorabilia taking up valuable real-estate throughout my home? Total confession, the moment I became a mother I also became a sentimental fool…I have kept everything, first outift thru size 3T, first/almost all- art projects, etc. But what I would really like to do with the space is have a multipurpose family area for homework, piano lessons, puzzle assembling, etc.

Solution: Take pictures of everything. Place images in a photobook chronologically. In the back of the book attach a pocket to place memory cards from that year, any video/DVD footage, and/or small paper item. And then get rid of all the “stuff” after it has been documented.

It sounds very practical right? I’ll see how well my mommy heart does with this Project. Cheers to realizing the importance of no longer storing the past but making room to enjoy the present!!

So, I began my quest. First stop, family vacation 2015, Lake House (I decided to take it easy on my mommy heart and begin with the most recent items/memories). I managed to hunt down all images, pamphlets, and children’s art work from the Annual Lake House Art Show! lakehousebook7Honestly, the hardest part thus far has been the collecting of everything and identifying the date/location.  And the easiest part, thanks to Adroamapix is the putting the book together.

Why do I adore Adoramapix, let me count the ways….

  1. User-friendly! Everything about the AdoramaPix experience is very easy. Gone are the days of complicated formatting.lakehousebook50 Adoramapix formatting is so simple my kindergartener could do it. And the variety of themes, layouts, backgrounds, etc. is incomparable. They even offer round formatting options, so cool! They think outside the box, literally! I love it!lakehousebook60
  2. Economical price points! The only thing I can’t stand more than wasting my time with irritating, frustrating, formatting issues is wasting my money! Not an issue with Adoramapix, their products are priced accordingly and there aren’t any weird add-on costs at the end. BONUS: AdoramaPix offers credits through contests, sharing, etc. that you can accumulate to go towards your next project, score!!
  3. PROFESSIONAL- The end result left me speechless!

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The quality of the photo book is like none other, the colors are so rich & vibrant color. I simply adore the fact that the thick, durable, professional grade photo paper resists fading & ensures that my photos will be just as colorful for future generations…which is HUGE for me since I am tossing most of these treasured items, in particular, the kiddos’ artwork, after I take the images.

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(This page, swoon! I ❤ this memory….I want to go back to this day. The kiddos were obsessed with watching the Shrinky Dinks shrink in the oven. Did I mention this is such an emotional process…now I know why I just threw thing in the storage room. My heart aches…they are growing too fast :() 

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(The Lake House Art Show is clearly a pajama friendly event, lol! In fact I think she lived in those PJs that week, next summer I should just pack bathing suits and PJs, lol!)

 

DISCOUNT CODE:

Looking to create a photobook? You are going to want to jump on this deal….all Mom on the go in Holy Toledo followers can get 15% off photo books from @Adoramapix! Code:photobook15 Ends: 11/05/2016 http://bit.ly/23Tm25J

 

One book down! Woot! Woot! Small victory, one photobook down and a thousand to go, lol! What photobook project are you working on? Are you one of those amazing, on-top of things, parent who is already collating images for Christmas photobooks? I so admire those parents.

 

10 Reasons Why Franklin Park Mall is the Best Place for Moms to Shop (Includes $50 Giveaway!)

I met up with some other moms and their kids at the park the other day. The moms discussed the latest happenings in their lives while the kiddos played on the playground. I shared that I had just taken the kiddos back-to-school shopping at Franklin Park Mall, and let me tell you, if looks could kill. Lol! The other moms were all stunned. What’s more, when I told them I finished ALL our back-to-school clothing shopping at the mall, in one day, and saved money, their jaws dropped. I continued and explained that the mall has really evolved and made some awesome accommodations for us moms! So look out mall rats the mall moms are taking back Franklin Park Mall! We are coming with kids in tow, toddlers and tweens, diaper bags swung over the shoulder, we are baby wearing, double stroller pushing, breastfeeding, and ready to shop!!!

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10 Reasons Why Franklin Park Mall is the Best Place for Moms to Shop

  1. Best variety of stores in Town– I adore the fact that it doesn’t matter what the occasion, or your budget; there is a store in the mall that will meet your need.  Mall17Need a gift for that kid’s birthday party that starts in two hours? Disney Store to the rescue! Mall2Did your child’s sandal just literally break while walking through the mall (true story)? The solution is a piggyback ride to Payless! Entering the 2nd trimester and your pants are getting snug? Destination Maternity has you covered momma! And you might want to stop off at Godiva Chocolatier to curb those cravings. Did your child decide to reclaim the coin they just threw in the fountain? Bath & Body Works has Hand Sanitizers to attack those germs! Mall3Looking to ramp up your culinary skills? William Sonoma offers classes and everything you need to make your kitchen into a chef’s dream come true! And there are SO many more stores, Click Here for Mall Directory.
  2. Moms don’t have to cook, do the dishes, or break the bank!!!- Franklin Park Mall has food that’ll tantalize the taste buds and price points that meet every budget. Mall34Whether you are meeting up with other mommas, dinning with the kiddos, looking for a quick bite, or want to linger a bit longer with friends Franklin Park Mall food court and restaurants have you covered! Mall22We opted to celebrate the occasion of back-to-school shopping with lunch at Bravo! Mall11Mall12(I am a fan of their kids’ menu; they have the usual suspects like chicken fingers and pizza but also offer healthier options too….and for me it just doesn’t get any better than their salmon salad!!)Mall13 Click Here for a Directory of Restaurants.
  3. Deals, Deals, & More Deals!!!- Oh my gosh… I am blown away by all the great deals that not only the individual stores offer, but the mall too! Mall36Franklin Park Mall now offers a Mall-wide rewards program called, Oh, So Simple Rewards. And like it says, it is oh, so simple, to register. You simply enter an email at a sign-up kiosk, swipe the credit card or debit card that you will be using to make purchases, shop, dine, see a movie, etc. Then for every $250 spent on that card $10 gets put back automatically on your card! Winning!Mall16 (And it adds up fast….just think, a date night, dinner, movie, movie with the kids, kid’s birthday party at Build a Bear, back-to-school shopping, shoes, shoes, & more shoes!! Means money back on your card ;))Mall
  4. Moms can get their workout in while they shop! – After a day at the mall my legs felt so toned. I didn’t even need to work out the next morning. Best part, you can just meet up with friends and stroll the mall then grab a coffee (Coffee Karma is opening soon!) or lunch, you don’t have to shop (can’t believe my fingers just typed those words, lol!).
  5. It never rains or snows inside the climate controlled environment– Don’t get me wrong those “other” places are nice too (the one in Maumee and the other in Perrysburg) but what I really like about the mall is that I don’t have to come in contact with all the elements outside each time I enter and exit a store. Mall14And as a mom with 3 kiddos there is nothing more annoying than having to put on ALL the winter stuff, mittens, scarves, hats, and coats to leave a store just to have them take it all off when they enter the next store…rinse and repeat!! FYI, if you are looking for a cute umbrella JCPenney had these adorable gems.Mall21
  6. Family Lounge & Nursing Moms’ Quarters– Franklin Park Mall offers a clean, safe, and comfortable environment for nursing moms and moms with little ones. Mall31The family lounge has tactile boards to engage preschoolers and toddlers while mom tends to the baby. Curtains are even available for those moms who wish to be more modest, otherwise there is a comfortable sofa and television.
  7. Awesome Community Events– Franklin Parks Mall partners with the Girl Scouts for their annual Lock In. Has, My Buddy, My Books, where children enjoy book readings by local celebrities, including Muddy the Mud Hen and there are crafts, entertainment, giveaways, and more! Summer Play Days at the Disney Store. My kiddos have so enjoyed the $1 Summer Movie Clubhouse features. And there is so much more, click here to see all the cool events going on at Franklin Park Mall.
  8. Gumballs & Fountain– No matter what you call it, rewarding good behavior, bribing, etc. it works!Mall33 I was shocked how fast my son tried on a shirt once I said he could have a gumball afterward. Mind you, I forgot to clarify that he had to take off the shirt he had on first, lol! Mall6And the Fountain is also another great incentive and the best part; the donations go to the conservation projects at the zoo!
  9. Parking Garages– This one is self-explanatory, but SO awesome! Franklin Park Mall has two parking garages making parking a breeze, which is much appreciated when you have little ones in tow. Added bonus, if you are lucky enough to snag one of the parking spots below you can continue to avoid the elements, i.e. rain and snow.
  10. Toledo Proud– Now there is a store in the mall where you can get  all your Toledo fan paraphernalia, Toledo Rockets, Toledo Mud Hens, & Toledo Walleye (latter two are coming soon)!! Mall1We had to get the little lady a Toledo Rockets Shirt (while on vacation each kiddos was allowed to pick out a shirt but she wanted her shirts to say Toledo, not Grand Haven, lol!).

Guess where all of us mommas are meeting up next week?

Giveaway!

Enter to win $50 to Franklin Park Mall!!!

To enter simply comment below and share what you like most about Franklin Park Mall. Also, I would advise following Franklin Park Mall on Facebook for up-to-date events going on and/or enter to receive texts on deals (they don’t bombard you with texts).

Winner will be randomly selected August 10th at 11:59pm. Good luck! And happy Back-to-school shopping!!

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The 577 Foundation is a MUST see!

There are so many magnificent things for the children to see, do, and learn, and the best part, it is all FREE!

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History of 577 Foundation

The property goes back to the 1880’s as an old farmland, while the deed to the place was actually signed by President John Quincy Adams. In 1935, Duane and Virginia Stranahan purchased the 12 acre property, built their home and raised a family of six children. Virginia always had an interest in gardening & agriculture. Their home was a small farm with pigs, chickens, cattle, horses & victory gardens for each of the 6 children.

Many of the riverfront estates began to sub-divide and develop. None of her 6 children wanted this place, so Virginia decided to return her property to the community in a way that will preserve the land she loves, teach stewardship & make it useful to as many people as possible. At the age of 80, she decided to practice her belief as a preservationist. “To keep a corner of Perrysburg green” and “give people a way to get down to see the Maumee river” were a couple of the reasons she gave people when they questioned why she was preserving her estate from development. “Whatever we do here, let’s be educational, environmental, experimental, and let’s have fun” these words were often used as she opened her grounds and facility to the public. And one of the most significant comment when people asked what we were all about was “What would you like us to do?” (Source)What will you will find at the 577 Foundation?

Geodesic Biodome

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We started our exploration in the Geodesic Biodome! The Biodome was filled with fun learning opportunities from solar energy, data showing the weather related conditions in the Dome, a fun scavenger hunt, Koi pond, and more!

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Virginia’s Children’s Garden

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We than followed the path around to Virginia’s Children’s Garden. It was the most adorable garden filled with fun interactive activities for the kids including climbing apparatuses, games, small wading stream, a stage to dance and/or put on a puppet show, tree house, and more!

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Did’s Dig

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Then we were off to Did’s Dig, where each of the kiddos channeled their inner paleontologist and searched for 350 million year old silica shale fossils like, clams, sea lilies, corals, trilobites and bony fishes including sharks! Best part, the kiddos got to take their fossil finds home with them!

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Log Cabin

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After searching for fossils the kiddos had worked up a sweat so we headed back in time to the 19th century to cool off in a Log Cabin home. It was donated and moved there in 1995. It was originally built in 1804 and replicated to be an example of the 19th century.

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Compost Corner

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After checking out the Log cabin home the children wanted to go back to Virginia’s Children’s Garden, which was clearly their favorite. On the way back we did happen upon the Compost Corner.  There are several compost bins for, leaves, weeds, vegetables, etc. that the community organic gardeners are asked to use for any scraps taken from the garden. Then, once everything composts the result will be rich nutrient fertilizer to go back on the garden, talk about sustainable!

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Carriage Room

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We were there for two hours and barely skimmed the surface on all the magnificent educational, hand-on, and most importantly, fun experiences 577 Foundation offers. On the way out we did stop in the Carriage Room that is filled with books for the Once-Read Book Center. The Book Center is open daily and operated by non-profit organizations. And this part is really awesome; the proceeds from the purchase of books benefit the group in charge as well as Read for Literacy.

For more information about book donations, signing up for one of the amazing classes offered here, or perhaps you have a talent you wish to share via a class, here are all the details…..

DEETS:

 

Hours: Monday-Sunday 9am-5pm

 Address: 577 East Front Street, Perrysburg, OH 43551

 Phone: Phone: (419) 874-4174

 Website: http://www.577foundation.org/ 

Ohio Presidents Tour: Grant’s Birthplace

Every summer we make a bucket list of places and things we would like to do. And this summer we decided to visit all the Ohio Presidential sites. Mind you, there are 8 Presidential sites in Ohio. Our First stop on our Ohio Presidential Tour is the birthplace of our 18th President, Ulysses S. Grant in Point Pleasant, Ohio.

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Ulysses S. Grant (April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885)

18th President of the United States (1869–77).

Commanding General of the United States Army (1864–69)

Birthplace: Point Pleasant, OH

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Our drive down to Grant’s birthplace was so scenic. The hills, though they seriously made this momma car sick (thank God for Dramamine), also provided such a magnificent view that we NW Ohio peeps don’t have the pleasure of relishing. As we pulled up to Grant’s birthplace home it reminded me of a little town you would see on a train board, complete with a church on a hill, whitewashed everything, etc. it was so cute and quaint.

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Our tour guide, Jim, greeted us at the door. Now, I will admit, going into this I think we were all kind of anticipating a boring, monotone, anticlimactic kinda tour, and what we received was the complete opposite. In fact Jim’s passion and enthusiasm for our 18th president became contagious, by the end of our tour the kids couldn’t wait to go to the next Presidential site.  

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Here are my Top Highlights from the Tour (I don’t want to give them all away….you need to have something to look forward to when you visit, wink wink).

Tour Highlights:

What’s in a name?– Ulysses S. Grant was actually born Hiram Ulysses Grant. He despised the name Hiram and never went by it; he always went by his middle name, Ulysses, or Lysse. So where did the S in Ulysses S. Grant come from? When congressman Thomas L. Hamer nominated him for Military Academy at West Point he assumed his name was Ulysses Simpson Grant due to the fact that he had always gone by Ulysses and back then the mothers maiden name was often used as the middle name. Grant tried to explain that it wasn’t his name but all the forms had it written already and since he hated the name Hiram it was the perfect opportunity to be rid of that name, which was probably a good thing since his initials had to be sewn onto everything at the Academy and having the initials H.U.G. would have probably resulted in a lot of harassment from the other guys. Note the chest at the foot of the bed, which is Grant’s actual chest that he took with him to the Academy (it did not photograph well thanks to the Plexiglas).

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Family Heirloom– The hutch below was a wedding present to Grant’s parents, talk about a piece of history, I am a sucker for all antiques! I was totally excited when Jim said we could touch the piece (they usually don’t let you touch anything…and yes, I am worse than the kids, lol!), though it looks smooth it was really rough, when you look at it upclose the craftsmanship was apparent….I am a history of furniture junky, so I found this piece to be quite fascinating.

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Did momma get that out with A-L-L (stain lifter!?)-There were a lot of period pieces in the one room house and a handful of actual pieces/items that belonged to the Grant family, including the nightgown hanging on the wall, which was Grant’s mother’s nightgown. We are talking about an almost 2 hundred year old nightgown. Anyone else dying to know how she laundered it? I have shirts in my drawer that don’t look that white!

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Next round is on Lincoln!-When McClellan got wind of Lincoln wishing to make Grant a three Star Lieutenant General, (only George Washington had risen to that rank in the U.S. Army before him), he protested by stating that Grant shouldn’t receive this ranking because he drank an excess of alcohol. To which Lincoln replied, “Find out what Grant drinks and send a barrel of it to each of my other generals!” Here is a copy of the letter from President Lincoln addressing Grant as Lieutenant General …..

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Isn’t it Romantic & Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb? – Grant died from throat cancer on July 23, 1885—four days after completing his memoirs (memoirs that he only wrote because he wanted to leave his wife with money…he had lost it all when he fell victim to a Ponzi scheme) On August 8, 1885, more than a million people attended his funeral procession, which was seven miles long and lasted five hours. Money was a concern with regard to his funeral arrangements; he could have been buried in Arlington Cemetery and it wouldn’t have cost anything but he refused because he wanted to be buried with his wife….I totally let out a vocal, and loud, AWWWW, when I heard this, how romantic! Speaking of romantic, she carried a lock of his hair for always in her locket.

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A public foundation was formed to fund a memorial & within two years, approximately 90,000 people from around the country and the world donated more than $600,000 to construct Grant’s tomb. (At the time, it was the largest public fundraising effort ever). Designed by architect John Duncan, Grant’s Tomb was completed in 12 years and remains the largest mausoleum in North America.

And there was so much more that we learned about Grant’s family, childhood, etc. in fact, I learned so many intriguing things about Grant that I now wish to read his Memoirs and I can honestly say that prior to visiting his birthplace I had little, to no interest, in doing so.

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Kiddos got their first stamp in their Ohio Historic Passports…..

Passport to Your Ohio History

Explore Ohio, a state rich with stories of Native American and African American culture, 19th-century life, ancient earthworks, presidential heritage, space travel and more. Enjoy your visits. Have fun while you learn. And don’t miss the chance to capture a memorable adventure that is uniquely yours!

Within your passport you’ll find helpful information about each Ohio History Connection site. As you visit, you can collect site stamps representing each location and answer challenging trivia questions.

Passports will be available at the Ohio History Center and many of our sites throughout Ohio.

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More Pics…..

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If you are looking for a place to eat nearby we recommend…(you can sit outside by the Ohio River)

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DEETS:

Phone: (513) 553-4911

Address: 1551 State Route 232, Point Pleasant, OH 45153

Website: https://www.ohiohistory.org/visit/museum-and-site-locator/us-grant-birthplace

Admission: Adult: $3.00, Senior: $2.00, Children 6-12: $1.50, OHC Member: Free, Children (Under 6): Free, School groups: $35/bus

Hours: Open April–October Wed – Sat: 9:30 a.m.–noon & 1 p.m.–5 p.m. Sun: 1 p.m.–5 p.m. (Will open by appointment during the off season).