Toledo Summer Camps 2020

It’s that time of year again! Time to register for summer camp! Woot Woot!!  I know what you’re thinking, it’s only March, summer is still months away. I used to think the same thing; I figured summer camp registration would be in May. Let me tell you, it only takes once, one time of seeing your kiddo totally disappointment upon hearing the news that they can’t go to the summer camp ALL their friends are going to because Mom didn’t register them back in March!! Thus we are helping you get a jump start on registration! We’ve taken the time to collate camps and divide them into categories, thus, hopefully making the process as simple as possible for you, simply click on the link to be directed to the camp’s website.  Please note, there are a few camps that don’t have their 2020 summer camp schedule up yet, we will be updating those, so keep an eye out, & stop back. Don’t let your child miss out on the summer fun!! If you appreciate the time and energy spent to collate this list please share & do let camps know you heard about them from Mom on the go in Holy Toledo. Thanks, loves! And Cheers to nothing but HAPPY CAMPERS!!  Read more

Ziplining & Feeding Giraffes in Toledo

As if you needed an excuse to visit the #1 US Zoo based on USA Today’s Readers’ Choice, the Toledo Zoo! That catchy little tune you hear playing as you make your way across the bridge over the Anthony Wayne Trail is 100% correct, We Love Our Zoo! And now there is so much more to love! In addition to last year’s mind blowing openings of the Aquarium, Penguin Beach, & Splash pad this year the Toledo Zoo has done it again with Expedition Africa and Tower Ridge Giraffe experience. You can now add zip lining, an aerial adventure course, and feeding giraffes to your already awesome Zoo adventures (and here the kiddos thought it couldn’t get any better than Nature Neighborhood, the Touch Tanks in the Aquarium & the Splash Pad).

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What is Expedition Africa?

Expedition Africa is located in the Africa! Exhibit at the Zoo and it is an Aerial Adventure Course. It consist of a variety of activities including, a Challenge course, Zipline, and (coming soon) Quick Drop.

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  • Challenge Course– Test your stamina as you traverse across the Africa! exhibit. Tackle a series of obstacles designed to challenge guests both mentally and physically, including rope bridges, swinging log crossings, horizontal climbing walls, zip line, and much more. (For guests 12 years old or older, Minimum 90lbs and maximum 250lbs) $30 per participantmemorial_africazoo2016 079
  • Zipline-This thrilling and unique experience will start you off at 80 feet above the Africa! exhibit and coast over 760 feet across Giraffe, Watusi Cattle, Wildebeest and more. (For guests 12 years old or older, Minimum 90lbs and maximum 250lbs) $20 per participantmemorial_africazoo2016 143
  • Quick Drop– Take a quick and thrilling 30 foot jump off of the Expedition Africa! Aerial Adventure Course main tower on a controlled descend device that guides you back to the Africa! overlook deck. (For guests 8 years old and up, Minimum 50lbs and maximum 250lbs) $10 per participantmemorial_africazoo2016 080
  • Added bonus: Sky Bridge– Take in the scenery of Africa! with this simple excursion across three sturdy footbridges. Each bridge is 250 feet long and separated by an overlook platform elevated thirty feet above the Africa! exhibit. What a view! (For guests 8 years old and up, Minimum 50lbs and maximum 250lbs) $10 per participantmemorial_africazoo2016 147

Read more & Make your reservations HERE

I opted for the Zip line as opposed to the Challenge Course due to time constraint (Challenge Course takes up to two hours while the Zip line only takes an hour). The zip line includes the awesome Sky Bridge and I was able to view the Challenge Course along the way which I am totally coming back to complete at a later date. And I decided to capture my journey via a GoPro Camera.ZOOFUN

Get this; they have GoPro Cameras available if you would like to document your experience. The GoPro Camera equipment is rented and secured to your helmet. After completing the course I was given a memory card with the footage on it. ($29.99 per participant for Zoo Members & $33.99 per participant for Non-Members)

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I had an absolute blast! The Sky Bridge was tranquil, beautiful; I have never felt more one with the environment. At the end of the Sky Bridge I began my journey up the stairs to the Zip line tower, with each step my adrenaline increased, until I was at the top and totally weak in the knees. Then the moment I had been waiting for, gliding across the Africa exhibits was unlike anything I had ever experienced before, the wind beating against my face, the humming of the zip line, and this feeling of awe swept over me, I didn’t feel like I was in Toledo anymore. Checkout my journey……

 

The only problem with the Zip line is that once you have done it once you will want to do it again! I think this is a fabulous inclusion to the Zoo; it is nice that there is something for the older kiddos to do after they have graduated from the Splash Pad and Natures Neighborhood.

While I Zip lined my munchkin and her Nana road the train and carousel, both located in the Africa! Exhibit, then we met up in the Tower Ridge Giraffe Experience line to feed the Giraffes.

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So,I kinda pride myself in being as transparent and honest as possible and I will be truthful in stating that at first, after paying our $4 for giraffe food, and waiting for what seemed like an eternity (which was probably more like 5 minutes, if that) for the giraffes to walk over I started to think that perhaps this experience wasn’t worth the money or time. memorial_africazoo2016 136

Then it happened, the Giraffes made their way over to us and my heart skipped a beat, they are such majestic, serene creatures, and so gentle. It was an amazing experience. Moral of the story, the experience was totally worth the money and time, just be patient (which can be extra hard on the young, hot, and/or cranky, lol!).

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And then our time was up and we had to bid adieu to Africa! Or should I say…..

 

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What is your favorite animal /exhibit at the zoo?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

101+ Places to go with Kids in Toledo

I have collated a list of fun kiddo and family friendly destinations in Toledo and the surrounding area, each has a brief description. Each destination has been linked to the website where you can retrieve more thorough information regarding hours of operation, rates, etc. Know of a fun Toledo destination that isn’t listed? Please feel free to share in the comment thread. Thank you!!

 

  1. Toledo Metroparks (Offers fun programs for kids and events for families)
  2. Olander Park (Swimming, fishing, playgrounds, etc. Sylvania, OH)
  3. Fort Imagination Playground (Enclosed playground for little kids & large playground for older kids-Woodlands Park, Perrysburg, OH)
  4. Carr Park (Fun playground for all ages-Bedford, MI)
  5. WGTE (Check events and be sure to attend family fun days) 
  6. Fossil Park (Bring small/medium paint brush to brush off fossils and baggy to take home fossils- Sylvania, OH)
  7. Toledo Lucas County Public Library (Check times and locations for Story Time and other amazing events for kids and families)
  8. Maumee Bay State Park (Swimming, biking, boardwalk, trails, nature center, cross-country skiing, sledding, etc. Oregon, OH)
  9. Toledo Museum of Art’s Family Center (Children can paint,make theme inspired craft, listen to a story in the gallery, and play at the Family Center)
  10. Gathering Volumes (Story Time –Sun. 1pm, Tues 6pm, & Thurs 10am – Always Check Calendar to confirm times)
  11. Barnes & Noble (Fun themed story times with awesome crafts! Fallen Timbers, Maumee, OH)
  12. Bass Pro Shops (Fun events for kids’ checkout their calendar- Rossford, OH)
  13. Toledo Firefighters’ Museum (Checkout the fire trucks, old equipment, kids learn about fire safety in Jed’s room where a fire is simulated, & more)
  14. Home Depot Kid Workshops (Kids get to use tools and make something to take home)
  15. Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (Checkout the “Let’s Go Outside” Backpack at the visitors center. Each is filled with fun tools for exploring like binoculars, bug jars, magnifying lens, cloud guide, and more! Oak Harbor, OH)
  16. Fallen Timbers (Lil’ Timbers Kids Klub has fun activities throughout the year and there are great seasonal events like ice skating and carriage rides- Maumee, OH)
  17. Toledo Police Museum (Fingerprint Comparitor from the 80s designed to be accessible and appealing to kids. Downtown Toledo)
  18. Sylvania Heritage Museum & Railroad Depot (Genuine railroad depot building that served Sylvania residents for 98 years, from 1858 to 1956. It is the oldest train depot in existence in the State of Ohio. Downtown Sylvania, OH)
  19. Mazza Museum (Largest museum of original artwork by children’s book illustrators in the world. The museum’s goal is to promote literacy and enrich the lives of all people through the art of children’s literature. Findlay, OH)
  20. Levis Commons (Fun seasonal activities for the kids and families like Sandtastic fun & breakfast with Santa!!- Perrysburg, OH)
  21. Imagination Kingdom Playground (Adorable playground for kiddos, pack a picnic and let their imaginations run wild while they burn off all that extra energy- Wauseon, OH)
  22.  Butterfly House (Watch a beautiful array of butterflies flutter around while listening to classical music play, try to locate and identify the various butterflies with the brochures provided. Also offers fun Autumn events like the corn maze! Whitehouse, OH)
  23. Gust Brothers Pumpkin Farm (Admission is FREE, but you are going to want to bring some spending cash because it isn’t officially fall until you stop by the farm and see all the farm animals, cows, pigs, chickens, rabbits, and more! Enjoy a hayride and finally pick out the perfect pumpkin!! And other goodies in the store…fresh produce and squash!!-Ottawa Lake, MI)
  24. The Canal Experience at Providence (Go back in time and ride the Volunteer, a reproduction of a mule drawn canal boat, visit the Mill, enjoy characters dressed in period attire-Grand Rapids, OH)
  25. Erie Orchard (You pick…blueberries, apples, pumpkins, and more! But the real fun starts in the fall…enjoy corn maze, hayrides, bounce house, music, and more…check their calendar for events! Erie, MI) 
  26. Fort Meigs State Memorial (Fort Meigs State Memorial honors the site of the largest wooden-walled fortress in North America, built during the War of 1812. Take self-guided tours, view weapons demonstrations, and learn the history of the fort. Perrysburg, OH)
  27. The Toledo Symphony (Music under the Stars-FREE concert in the summer)
  28. Valentine Theatre (Check calendar of events…offers great classic film series!! Downtown Toledo)
  29. Ohio Skate (Roller skating!! 2 locations, Maumee, OH and Toledo, OH)
  30. Copper Moon Studios (Fun art classes for kids! Walk-ins welcomed! Holland, OH)
  31. Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center ( Memorial to the 19th President of the United States it contains a treasure trove of information for history buffs. The Center includes the Hayes Mansion, Presidential Library, Museum, and the tomb of the former president- Fremont, OH)
  32. 577 Foundation (Offers an array of classes for all ages and encourages ecologically responsible living- Perrysburg, OH)
  33. Art Supply Depot (Offers art classes, paint pottery, and more! Downtown Toledo)
  34. SS. Col. James M. Schoonmaker/National Museum of the Great Lakes (Kids will have a blast when they step foot on a real Ship-Downtown Toledo)
  35. Bowlero ( Bowling alley, awesome arcade where kiddos can win prizes, bowling, food, & fun!)
  36. MacQueens Apple Orchard (Fall destination!! Their apple butter fest is amazing!! Fall events are fun, fun, fun! Check calendar for avtivites and events-Holland, OH)
  37. Interstate Bowling (They participate in the kids bowl for FREE program-Rossford, OH)
  38. Sundance Kid Drive-in (Oregon, OH)
  39. Q-Zar (Laser tag & Arcade- Sylvania, OH)
  40. Ritter Planetarium (Located on the campus of University of Toledo)
  41. Super Suppers (family day…kids help make meals)
  42. Toledo Speedway (there are free kids nights)
  43. Toledo Mud Hens (baseball) 
  44. Toledo Rockets (football/basketball)
  45. Toledo Walleye (hockey) 
  46. Bowling Green Falcons (football, hockey, basketball, etc.))
  47. Sylvania Playland (Bounce Houses, indoor play sets, and miniature golf-Sylvania, OH)
  48. Par 2 Golf (Go-karts, bumper cars, putt putt,  arcade games, & ice cream Toledo, OH)
  49. Toledo Gymnastics Academy (call for open gym time)
  50. Sunrise Gymnastics (call for open gym time)
  51. Sky Zone Toledo (Indoor Trampoline Park- Holland, OH)
  52. Hero’s (Bounce Houses, carnival games, and snacks…open play times available -Perrysburg, OH)
  53. Imagination Station (Hands-on science Museum- Downtown Toledo) 
  54. Toledo Zoo (Be sure to checkout the new penguin exhibit and Aquarium!!)
  55. Indian Creek Petting Zoo (walk thru this unique petting zoo…see camels, Zebra, peacocks, bunnies, alligator, and more!! Lambertville, MI)
  56. Uncork the Artist (Instructor guided classes, kiddos leave with an awesome masterpiece!)
  57. BG Bounce (Giant Indoor Sand Box, Toddler Room, Art Room, Science Center, Party Rooms,Nerf Wars, Paint Ball Arena, Dodge Ball, Game Arena Rooms, Food & Fun!)
  58. Peace Love & Pottery (Paint Pottery Sylvania, OH)
  59. Funagins (Paint Ball, Bounce Houses, Arcade, & More!)
  60. Sandpiper (100 passenger cruise vessel located on the Maumee River -Downtown Toledo)
  61. Calder’s Dairy & Farm (Watch them milk the cows, visit the animals on the farm, check out the goat scape, enjoy some yummy ice cream treats, and more! Carleton, MI)
  62. The Petting Farm at Domino’s Farm (Visit all the animals down on the farm, enjoy a hayride, pony rides, and more! Ann Arbor, MI)
  63. Planet Rock (All things climbing…rock wall- Ann Arbor, MI)
  64. Funtastic Play Center (Indoor playground with 2 main areas of play for children under 8 and 2 storey padded play structure with 14 different obstacles including a zip line, rock wall, and 3 slides! Checkout their Facebook page for Open Play times Canton, MI)
  65. Jungle Java (Fun indoor climbing and play area for kids…food available too! Canton, MI)
  66. Hands on Museum (Hands on science museum for kids! Ann Arbor, MI)
  67. The Creature Conservancy (See a wide variety of domestic and exotic animals. You may buy food cones to feed to the barnyard animals. Ann Arbor, MI)
  68. Gallop Canoe Livery (Canoeing as a family is so much fun! This park offers canoe, two-person kayak, one-person kayak, paddleboat, and rowboat rentals, river-themed programs and a coffee shop, score!! Ann Arbor, MI) 
  69. Jungle Junction  (Largest Indoor Play Area in Ohio-Six levels of adventure with over 60 play features including slides, air cannons, obstacle courses, interactive game panels, toddler zone, & more! Only $6 for ALL day play!!)
  70. Michigan Science Center (With live stage shows, an IMAX® Dome Theatre, a Planetarium, 250+ hands-on exhibits, lab activities, special exhibits and more, there are approximately two dozen ways to customize your MiSci visit. There’s more than you can see and do in a week!)
  71. Monsoon Lagoon Water Park (Splash adventures and games! The park features water playgrounds, slides, Go-Karts, bumper boats and mini-golf. -Port Clinton, OH)
  72. The Scrap Box (kiddos will get a kick out of all the recycled scrapes! Great for arts & craft projects! Ann Arbor, MI)
  73. Rolling Hills Water Park (Ypsilanti, MI)
  74. Bowling Green Water Park (Bolwing Green, OH)
  75. The Old Road Dinner Train (Fun events like Grandparents day, Dad & Daughter Day, Kids Halloween Express, and more! Blissfield, MI)
  76. Snook’s Dream Cars (travel in the past lane…see old cars, parts, etc. Bowling Green, OH)
  77. Ohio Maple Syrup Events (Maple syrup tours, watch it being made, enjoy pancake breakfast, and more…click on link under central ohio for all the maple syrup listings-Central, OH)
  78. Henry Ford Museum (9 acres to explore Americas past and future- Dearborn, MI)
  79. Greenfield Village  (Step back in an 80 acre time machine, see Noah Webster’s house, ride and original model ‘T’, train ride, and more! Dearborn, MI)
  80. Liberty Aviation Museum (Determined to showcase the aircraft of Worl War II, the Liberty Aviation Museum was established in 1991. Museum houses dozens of vintage aircrafts, vehicles, and multimedia exhibits Port Clinton, OH)        
  81. I-MAX Theater (The ultimate film experience!!! Special projectors, giant screens, 2D & 3D! Dearborn, MI)
  82. Marblehead Lighthouse (Built in 1821, Marblehead Lighthouse is the oldest operating lighthouse on the Great Lakes! Marblehead, OH)
  83. Jiffy Mix Plant Tours (Educational and informative walk through of the plant and refreshments provided Chelsea, MI)
  84. Sauder Village (Offers experiences rich in history and fun…kids will enjoy the train, store, helping make butter, candles, ice cream,etc. Be sure to stop in the bakery for homemade treats! Archbold, OH)
  85. The Chelsea Tree House (Indoor playground/climbing equipment for kids…and offers snacking options)
  86. Erie Spirit Sailing Adventures (Enjoy a family friendly day out on the waters of Lake Erie. Choose from standard tour packages or work out a custom plan with the Captain and let your adventure begin. Marblehead, OH)        
  87. COSI (Columbus Ohio Science Institute…amazing exhibits, phenomenal kids area, I-MAX theater, great scientific demonstrations and more!! Get in for FREE with an Imagination Station membership- Columbus, OH)
  88. Boonshoft Museum (This is another awesome hands-on science museum with some added fun, a playground/indoor 3 story slide, fun critters, planetarium, and more!! Get in for FRE with zoo membership-Dayton, OH)
  89. National Museum of the U. S. Air Force (Educational experience to say the least…children will be amazed by the huge air crafts, NASA room, enjoy fun demonstrations, learn about history, tour a real air plane, and more!! Dayton, OH)
  90. Spangler Factory/Dum Dum tours (Enjoy a trolley ride through the factory where you will learn the history behind the Spangler Factory and see how the various candies are made…and enjoy samples!!-Bryan, OH)
  91. Splash Universe (Fun indoor water park!! Dundee, MI)
  92. Great Wolf Lodge (Zero depth outdoor pool and more…indoor lazy river, slides, etc. Sandusky, OH)
  93. African Safari Wildlife Park (Must see experience!! Better than Animal Kingdom at Disney World!! Drive through and view & feed animals!! Walk around, pet animals, and watch animal demonstrations…and ice cream, yum! Port Clinton, OH)
  94. Merry-go-Round Museum (Enjoy a fun and relaxed atmosphere while you tour the Merry-Go-Round Museum and learn about the history and art of the carousel. And enjoy a ride of course! Sandusky, OH)
  95. Kalahari (Zero depth indoor pool/young children play area, wave pool, slides, and more! Sandusky, OH)
  96. Train-o-rama (Featuring Ohio’s largest, multi-gauge model, public railroad display-Marblehead, OH)
  97. Cedar Point (Roller Coaster Capital & Amusement Park…amazing kids Planet Snoopy area, Dinosaurs Live, and more ! Sandusky, OH)
  98. Ghostly Manor Thrill Center (The Travel Channel has featured Ghostly Manor Thrill Center among the best place to visit in a lifetime. Virtual rollercoaster, bounce houses, and more! Sandusky, OH)        
  99. Kelley’s Island (Check out the Glacier grooves, neat fossils, bike as a family, see what Kid Stage is up to and more! Kelley’s Island, OH)
  100. Wild Winds Buffalo Preserve (Daily tours into the herd…children can see buffalo up close, horseback riding trails, stay the night in a Tipi or Safari Tent!!Fremont, Indiana)
  101. Pokagon State Park (Swimming, fishing, horseback riding, sledding, tobogganing, skiing, pack a picnic and enjoy the day or spend the night camp or lodge- Angola, Indiana)
  102. Country Tree Lane Farm (Milk a real, live cow, hold baby ducks, chicks and bunnies, feed all the large Farm animals, go thru a straw maze, ride a barrel train, get a pony ride & more. Fun seasonal activities including Easter Bunny Hay Rides, U-Pick pumpkins, & more!)
  103. Clayful Art  (Kids Night-Your child will explore their imagination while learning a variety of hand building techniques.  They offer complimentary snacks-1 project offered once a month Friday nights from 6-8p.m.)

  104. Paint Your Place (Kiddos have an educated art instructor to help guide them through each stroke till their masterpiece is complete)
  105. Children’s Museum of Findlay (They have so many exhibits for you to explore. To see more or to view the learning topics for each exhibit before your visit, click on the images under Exhibits on their website)
  106.  Outdoor Adventure Center  (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.)
  107. Nickel World Low-key indoor arcade featuring video games, skeeball & other games all for just one nickel, and kids get plus tickets & prizes.
  108. Toledo Playzone Over 70 Arcade Games Laser Tag Spine Zone Bumper Cars Virtual Reality Games, & Café Menu.
  109. Get Air Trampoline Park (Coming Soon)
  110. Pat Catan’s Craft Center Craft supply chain, with the makings for scrapbooking, jewelry, needlework, floral arranging & more. Often offers FREE crafts for kids on weekend , check calendar.
  111. The Armstrong Air and Space Museum Located in Wapakoneta, Ohio, is the hometown of Neil Armstrong, first man to set foot on the Moon. The museum chronicles Ohio’s contributions to the history of space flight.

 

Toledo Zoo = Winter Fun!

We had originally planned on just going to the zoo for an hour or two since it was so cold. The high for the day was only 23. But surprisingly thanks to our warm clothing, the sun, and plenty of heated buildings to pop in and out of we ended up staying for 5 hours! I was shocked when I glanced at the time.

We had such a wonderful time. The animals were so active in the cold weather and we had the opportunity to spend time in buildings that we would otherwise walk past on warmer days, like the reptile house. Here are the pics from our fun filled day at the Toledo Zoo…

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We didn’t get a chance to see the gorillas or orangutans, which are my favorite so we will be going back! So, how do you decide what animals you will visit first at the zoo? What is your favorite animal at the zoo? Have you ever visited the zoo in the winter? Awesome, right!?

How you can save at the Pump! ($100 giveaway)

Mom on the go is not a title exclusive to the school year.  In fact, we might even be more ‘on the go’ during the summer months than we are during the school year. And why shouldn’t we be? There are so many local activities and events that are offered in our community.  One such event is the city’s focus on Australia!

I have always wanted to go to Australia. Ever since I heard my first Didgeridoo when I was a kid the culture, animals, history, land, aboriginal art etc. intrigue me and I would simply adore the opportunity to fly there and visit. However, a family vacation to Australia isn’t feasible at this juncture in our lives. But thankfully the Toledo Zoo and Toledo Museum of Art are offering exhibits on Australia! Thus, if you can’t take Mom on the go to Australia, why not bring parts of Australia to Mom on the go?

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So, in addition to attending local concerts, story times, workshops, art classes, etc. we will be exploring Australia via Toledo, haha! 

Unfortunately, even though I try my best to seek out free activities for the kiddos and I to enjoy there are still some fees we incur. Well, one to be precise.  Gas!! I have a feeling you can relate, at least based on Facebook statuses, the following has been floating around Facebook for the past couple weeks…

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Though a tad crude, it gets the point across which is, gas prices are high! Thankfully I have found a way to save money at the pump!

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Right now at all Kroger’s stores they are offering 2 x the fuel points for all grocery purchases on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through June 30th!  That means that you could save up to $1 per gallon at the pump by redeeming up to 1,000 Fuel Points at any Kroger Fuel Center, and at participating stations. I know what your thinking, to good to be true, right!? But it is true, and so simple to qualify. All you have to do is click here for the digital coupon that will double your fuel points earned when shopping at Kroger on weekends, meaning every $1 spent on the weekends equals 2 fuel points. Can I get a woohoo? Look out Australia via Toledo here we come!!!

To help get you started with that grocery order and on your way to saving 2x fuel points Kroger’s has teamed up with Mom on the go in Holy Toledo and is offering a $100 gift card to one reader.

How to enter the giveaway:

  1. What are your plans for the summer? Will you be traveling around town, or perhaps you have an awesome road trips planned? Reply to this post expressing where you are going this summer…what is your summer destination?
  2. Like Mom on the go in Holy Toledo Facebook page.
  3. Follow @mamaof3onthego on twitter
  4. Tweet this post
  5. Share this post on Facebook
  6. Follow Mom on the go in Holy Toledo on Pinterest

Winner will be randomly selected June 23nd at 11:59pm. Good Luck and remember, everyone wins when you get 2x the fuel points! So get your grocery shopping on!

Well, I am off to put another shrimp on the barbie!

Disclosure: I will be receiving a $100 Kroger gift card. All opinions expressed are my own.

Things to do on Mother’s Day

It is that time of year again when mothers begin to stock pile their Kleenex and practice their expressions of surprise and endearing smiles in the mirror.  When little ones bring home macaroni necklaces and Fruit Loop bracelets, clay plaques with imprints of their little hands, and priceless placements that claim mom is 20 years older than she really is….true story, my daughter claimed that I was 53 years old…I know I look tired but come on-haha!

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If you haven’t guessed I am talking about Mother’s Day!  Mother’s Day is a day filled with emotion, love, and sometimes a little added stress. While we appreciate every last Fruit Loops our little ones so delicately placed on that yarn it is the inevitable question, “what do you want to do for mother’s day?” that can send our heart rates racing. My first thought when I hear this question is, ‘WHY!’ As Moms we, well, make the world go around, or at least it feels that way most of the time. We are responsible for so many things, people, and events.  The last thing I want to do on Mother’s day, a day that is supposed to honor and celebrate all that hard work and responsibility we do year round, is be responsible or in-charge of that day too! But then again what is the alternative? Dad decides what we do for Mother’s Day?

 

 

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I have suddenly had a change of heart; I will gladly take on the responsibility of Mother’s Day. So I did a little research and it turns out there is so much to do on Mother’s Day. For example, did you know that moms get into practically every zoo, science institute, museum, etc. for free!! How awesome is that? Obviously all these places clearly appreciate us so much that they are giving us free admission for a relaxing day by ourselves, now that is a mother’s day.

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Upon further evaluation it has come to my attention that their intent is for a fun family day. To be clear that means you, your husband, and kids.  What was I thinking? I mean come on, what kind of Mother wants to spend Mother’s Day alone…like it’s all about her…not me that’s for sure!

So, I have collated a list of fun events, free admissions, and the like, in hopes of laying out all my options when it comes to how I want to celebrate Mother’s Day/weekend (some events are Saturday only):

Brunch….

Call up moms favorite restaurant or nearby hotel, lodge, etc. and see if they are serving a special brunch or meal for moms.

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  The Henry Ford Dearborn, MI

Elegant. Classy. Affordable. Delicious. A Mother’s Day to Remember. Treat Mom to an elegant Mother’s Day Brunch in Michigan’s most beautiful ballroom – Henry Ford’s private ballroom in Lovett Hall.
The meal is memorable. And the setting? One-of-a-kind. Crystal chandeliers, vaulted ceilings, a terrazzo lobby and a grand staircase. Magnificent! Just what Mom deserves. You’ll dine on a sumptuous menu prepared by The Henry Ford’s award-winning culinary staff.

Toledo Zoo info below

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Shopping….

The Town Center at Levis Commons…….

Levis Commons is here to make all your Mothers Day dreams come true.  One place to soak up all the “mom” time you can handle.  Venetian Nail Spa, Salvatore Capelli, endless dining options, and if you really cant ditch the kids for the day, Kidz Watch can take them off your hands for a few hours!

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Imagination Station….

Open from 12pm-5pm and when the kids come with her, Mom gets in FREE*!

Join us in Science Studio where you can learn about chromatography and make a special butterfly magnet to take home for your Mom.

Bring the whole family down and celebrate together, exploring, discovering and creating at Imagination Station.

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The Toledo Museum of Art…..

Sun, May 12, 12:00pm – 5:30pm

Free, fun, and open to everyone! The TMA Family Center, located in the education wing near the Plough entrance, is the perfect place for our youngest Museum visitors to make and take memories with their parents and caregivers. Drop in for themed activities that enliven the world of art for kids ages 1-10 (and even grown-ups!). Theme :Tell a story by creating symbols and shapes that represent something personal to you.

Art Hour: Create a Glass Flower- Sun, May 12, 4pm – 5pm and 5pm-6pm

Description:  @ the Glass Pavilion -Buy tickets ($15 members/$30 nonmembers; no refunds) in person or by phone during Museum hours starting the Tuesday before each session. Adults and children 14+ with an adult are welcome. Call (419) 254-5771 ext. 7448. NOTE: Most items created in Art Hours require a 24-hour annealing (finishing) process. Therefore, they must be picked up at a later date

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The Rep….

MOMologues Poster

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The Toledo Zoo….

This Mother’s Day, show your mom she’s the best—and show her the world! All mothers receive free admission when their kids bring them to the Zoo.

Give Mom a great Mother’s Day experience by taking her to the Zoo. You can also treat her to our superb Mother’s Day Brunch that takes place in our Nairobi Pavilion. Brunch details

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The Movies…..

Go out and see a movie with the family or stay in and watch home movies. Rave Motion Pictures…..Maumee Indoor Theater

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Mother Nature….

Pack a picnic and head to the park for the day. Go on a trail, explore, and enjoy nature with the family. Or grab your gardening gloves and get that veggie garden started. Metroparks of the Toledo Area

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Volunteer/service….

Spend time volunteering together.  Serve dinner at a locale shelter, donate items, help plant a garden, clean up litter, etc.

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Get Crafty…..

In2Art

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Open Saturday 11am-4pm Walk-ins welcomed

Paint your own pottery of make a wet clay project with the kiddos.

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Edible Art Work!

At the Sugar Shop can you choose from 3 dozen different shaped clear containers and fill the containers with any mix of the 150 available sugar flavors including, root beer, blue raspberry, extreme sour, cappuccino, peach cobbler, etc.

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The Scrap Box

Saturday 10am-2pm

The Scrap Box is a store filled with hundreds of interesting objects: ribbons; buttons; beads; paper; colorful rip-stop nylon; sturdy paper tubes 6 inches long; bamboo-like sticks; yellow spongy cylinders; and little foam squigglies.

Best of all: these items are for sale at very reasonable prices. 

 Using sticky-back foam to create an imaginary critter with plastic caps for eyes and shredded paper for hair is recycling at its best. It’s called upcycling, the ultimate form of re-use. Anyone can turn a recyclable item into something of greater value, and thus, do upcycling

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Go to the Library…..

Family – Mommy and Me Tea

Saturday May 11th 2-3pm

You are cordially invited to an afternoon tea party in honor of mothers everywhere. Children of all ages are welcome to attend with their moms or special grown-up lady friend. Dress your best and be prepared to enjoy games, crafts, and of course, tea and scones!

Location:  West Toledo Auditorium  (need to register)

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Have fun with the kids in the kitchen…..

Bake muffins or cookies and let kiddos decorate them just for mom.

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Super Suppers….

Sat, May 11, 12:00pm – 3:30pm

Super Suppers (map)
Description: Children ages 4+ can come make monthly menu entrees from *12-3:30pm every Saturday of the month. We hope to see you here!
*Appointments encouraged to be guaranteed entree availability (especially braided breads) or you can walk in and choose from entrees available to make that day. There are up to 12 entrees each month to make!
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And there is so much more…
So, what are your plans for Mother’s Day? Or, better yet, what would your dream Mother’s Day look like?

Spooktacular Saturday fun!

Saturdays in October always mean one thing in our house, Spooktacular Fun!

Last Saturday we went Trunk or Treating with friends from our playgroup.  For those who are not familiar with Trunk or Treating it is when a community establishment (church, business, school, etc.) comes together, parks their cars in the parking lot, pops open their trucks, decorates them, and then passes out candy as children walk up to their vehicles. There is often some incentive to decorate the best trunk too!

 

I have to be honest I do find it a little amusing that from the moment our children can walk we, as parents, preach stranger danger, exclaiming that they should never approach a stranger in a car and to never ever take candy from a stranger in a car. Then what do we do, go Trunk or Treating, haha. Perhaps I am sending mixed messages to our toddler?

After Trunk or Treating we headed home and made some Frankenslim! So much fun, you can read more about it here.

 

Later that evening we had family movie night and since it was a Spooktacular Saturday we watched Casper!

 

But the Spooktacular fun did not stop there, while watching the movie we all enjoyed brain cupcakes, yum!

 

We so enjoyed our Spooktacular Saturday!

Are you looking for something fun to do tomorrow that will make your family’s Saturday Spooktacular? Then check this out….

 

 

 

Music under the Stars

Last night we attended Music under the Stars at the Toledo Zoo’s Amphitheatre. 

Music Under the stars is presented by the Toledo Symphony and is free, that’s right, I said FREE! Thanks to the headline sponsor, Mercy, and support from The Andersons, the Toledo Community Foundation, Huntington Bank, Taylor Cadillac, and the Toledo Zoo.

It is such a wonderful way to introduce your youngsters to the Symphony in an outdoor setting that is kiddo friendly.   So if you need to walk around with your toddler you can simply get up and walk around while still enjoying the music. Or, if your toddler is inspired to dance after watching the Ardan Academy of Irish Dancers on stage she can. The dancers were amazing…

 

And the zoo has a variety of yummy treats too! Nothing like a cold refreshing ice cream during intermission…

 

While waiting in line for ice cream, and what a line…

…we had the pleasure of listening to Summerstock Toledo who will be presenting My Favorite Year at Ottawa Hills School July 27th and 28th at 8pm and July 29th at 3pm. Summerstock Toledo is a non-profit, student run theatre company. We are committed to offering theatrical opportunities to high school students in the Toledo area. Our students not only perform on the stage, but also run the business and technical aspects of the show. Read more

 

The theme for last night’s concert was “Music of the Movies which included pieces from movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Selections from The Sound of Music, Theme from Superman, Selections from Star Wars, and more.

It was nice because there were a variety of genera that our entire family enjoyed. I and the girls adored the Selections from The Sound of Music that was conducted by Sam Szor who made a special appearance! Many in the crowd started singing along. My hubby and son favored the theme from Superman and Star Wars selections.

Upcoming concerts:

July 29th “Passport to Europe”

Jason Stumbo, conductor with Voices of Harmony

August 5 “Americana”

Rodney Dorsey, conductor

August 12 “That’s All Folks”

Kenneth Thompson, conductor

Have you been to Music under the Stars? Or perhaps you have attended something similar in your neck of the woods? If you have what is your favorite part, the music, the fact that it is outdoors, the entire atmosphere?  If not does it seem like something your family would be interested in attending?

Scary Mommy Moment: You can’t find your child!!

It is one of every mother’s worst fears, a child being separated from her in a crowded public place. 

Imagine taking your children out to enjoy a pleasant afternoon together and what had the potential of becoming a memorable afternoon turns into a horrible nightmare.   You and your children are together and then suddenly you aren’t.  Your heart begins to race; you can hear it beating in your head. The sweat begins to pour down your face. It is as if everything is going in slow motion and yet it feels like it is taking a lifetime to scan the room in hopes of an inkling of familiarity.  But your brain gets its wires crossed and you struggle to remember what your child was wearing.  Was it a red shirt or did he wear the blue?  Did he grab his new shoes or was he wearing his old ones?  You think so hard it hurts. Then the guilt hits you like a freight train. You are the mother, you are supposed to watch over and protect your children, and here you are searching for your child, how did you let this happen? You try so hard to hold it together, to maintain composure for the outside world while inside you are crumbling fast.

Unfortunately I am able to express these feelings and emotions so candidly because it happened to me.  I hate to admit it. I wish I didn’t have to but something in me tells me that I need to be honest and share my story no matter how embarrassing.  And yes, I do realize this will leave me vulnerable to ridicule and judgment by others but perhaps this story will resonate in another mother’s mind and she will learn from my experience.

My toddler, preschooler, and I met up with two other moms and their toddlers at the Toledo Zoo yesterday.  It has been gorgeous here, definitely unseasonal weather temperatures, the past few days have been in the high 70s – low 80s. So we figured what a wonderful day for a visit to the zoo. We met at the Polar Bear exhibit.  My toddler unlike their sweet baby girls was out of her stroller, running around, and simply curious about the world and everything the zoo had to offer.

We slowly made our way to Natures Neighborhood, the area dedicated to the children.  It is a really cool space for children to explore and play. There is an area where they can do face painting, there are large honey combs’ to climb in and bee costumes they can play with, a climbable spider web located next to real live spiders, a forest with hidden wonders, and so much more inside. Outside, in a fenced in area there is a playground, small wading stream, small animal petting area, and much more.

He is at that age where he will only look at the camera on his terms.

My children always look forward to going to Nature’s Neighborhood. My sons favorite part of Nature’s Neighborhood are the hidden passageway between the face painting area and the large room and the smaller kiddo sized doors to the outside (similar to a doggy door but for children).

We arrive in Natures Neighborhood and it is pretty empty but within minutes a school group enters followed by a mommy brigade. It is getting too crowded inside so we decide to head outside for more fun in Natures Neighborhood but first I need to bypass the mommy brigades to get to my stroller.  I have my toddler and preschooler stay in the corner together while I get the stroller.  I arrived back in the corner with the stroller and my curious little Toddler took off outside while my preschooler went running over to the secret passageway. I had assumed her was going through the passage in order to go through the fun kiddos door on the other side. I figured we would just meet him outside. Once outside my toddler, being the brave little kiddo that she is took off up the stair that led to a hidden slide.  This space is a danger zone for toddlers due to a drop offs. So I was watching her like a hawk, actually more like her shadow, I was right behind her waiting to grab her before she got to close to the edge.  After a couple of minutes I realized I had not seen my preschooler on the playground equipment and began searching for him while standing on top of a manmade cliff, at least it was the perfect lookout.

After scanning the ground below a few times I grabbed my toddler who began kicking and screaming and headed down the ramp, off the cliff, to locate my preschooler. At this point my heart started pounding; it was like it was in my head.  The sweat began rolling down my face, time stood still yet it seemed like an eternity. 

I have always explained to my children what to do if we get separated.

  • First, and foremost, do not panic; when you panic you cannot think clearly.
  • Second, do not leave the area or the space that we were in to go find me, stay where we were at, I will come back to that space to find you.
  • Third, find a mommy or someone who works wherever we are at and tell them that we have been separated.
  •  Lastly, never, I repeat, NEVER leave with another person! I don’t care what they tell you, they may say they saw me outside somewhere and to follow them, they could say they will give you a ride home, or that they may have candy, whatever they say don’t go with them, NEVER leave with another person!! Then I explain that there are some sick people out there that want to hurt children, sometimes so badly that they will never see their mommies and daddies again. I realize it might be a little scary but if it keeps my child from going with a stranger or even an acquaintance, no matter what that individual says to them then I have done my job. As our children get older we will address issues of sexual predators, human trafficking, etc. in more detail but at the age of my kiddos not seeing mommy or daddy ever again is scary enough.

As I walked through the kitchen area of Natures Neighborhood I could see a little boy in the distance sitting on a bench with one of the young zoo volunteers just looking around. There he was, my precious boy. He came running over to me giving me a huge hug and began crying. I held onto him so tight, gave him a kiss, and exhaled. As I stood there holding him I could not recall a prouder moment, he listen to me.  All those times I explained what to do in a situation like this one he actually listened. I had thought for sure it was going in one ear and out the other but  he was actually listening.  Unfortunately we didn’t have much time to relish our reunited moment because our little toddler was off and running again.

We take our play seriously, mud and all!

We managed to stay together for the remainder of our zoo visit but yesterday will go down as one of the most terrifying and satisfying day of my life.  For it was the day I lost my son, the day I found him, and realized all my labors, words, and lessons proved valid in a true life experience.

Have you ever been separated from your child in a public space? Or maybe when you were a child you were separated from your mom? What happened? How did you feel? How did the experience change you?