Keep Your Kids Safe Around Water

Be Your Own Life Guard

 

At 12:45 p.m. on Saturday July 18th I nearly lost my mind, but thankfully I did not loose my cool. I was at a birthday party with my girls at a local beach. It was a beautiful day and everyone was having a great time. Typically, I do not consider myself a helicopter parent. I feel like I allow a reasonable amount of space between me and my children for them to feel safe, confident and independent. However, that amount of space significantly decreases when water is involved. Anyone can drown in less than 2 inches of water if not carefully supervised, or respectful of water safety rules.

I am not a super strong swimmer, and I am outnumbered 2 to 1 when it’s just the girls and me at the beach. I am hyper vigilant, especially when they go in opposite directions. While we were at the beach both of my daughters were wearing life vests and only approximately 15 feet away from me. Suddenly, a rough set of waves came to shore and I saw my daughter topple over. She lost her footing and I could see very clearly she began to struggle to catch herself. She started moving her arms like she was trying to swim, but I know she does not know how to swim yet. I could tell by the look on her face she was in trouble. I immediately ran into the water and began shouting, “you’re OK! Mommy is coming!!”

I reached her in a matter of seconds. I scooped her up into my arms and sat her on my hip and began to sooth her. I was impressed at how little she panicked and she didn’t even cry. Another mom came over to chat and I told her what happened. All of this took approximately 30 seconds of time. The life guard on duty, a young teenage girl, never left her guard tower. She didn’t even come down the ladder to ask me if my daughter was OK, she leaned forward in her chair and casually called over, “Is she OK?” I was so angry I could see red. How could this life guard not identify a dangerous situation that happened literally several feet in front of her guard tower? She gets paid to keep an eye out for signs of struggle in the water. Doesn’t she know that drowning is silent?

UlsterLandingPark

I was incredibly agitated by the fact she didn’t rush down as soon as she noticed what had happened. It is her job to assess if someone is in danger. Even while I was soothing my child on my hip it was her job to confirm we were safe. That means leaving her chair to come down and speak with me directly. I was so angry I couldn’t even talk to this girl. I was terrified of how I was going to verbally rip her to pieces. Man, that mama bear instinct is STRONG!

I’ve had many friends tell me not to worry while at the beach, that’s what the life guard is there for. I have witnessed many parents lying out on the sand (sometimes napping) while their older children are in the water alone. I know I am the first one to say hey, you do whatever it takes to get through your day with kids, but water safety is one of the things where I draw the line on saying Whatever too.

Thankfully, I was very vigilant. I know that accidents happen so quickly in water. So, parents, no matter how old your children are, do not take your eyes off of them for a second. Do not leave their young lives up to teenagers who are paying way less attention. I heard from friends at the party afterward that the young guard was texting on her cell phone. Perhaps that is why she completely missed someone struggling in the water only 15 feet from her station. If you are the parent of a teenager, or parent of a young life guard, please share this story with them. Let them know their job is important as people’s lives are in their hands. It may be my child’s precious life in their hands. No text message is worth the loss of anyone’s life.

I may not have been a helicopter parent before, but I am now! Especially while at the beach!

Click here for safety tips and quick lessons from Lifeguard 101. There are options for water safety inside the home and outside of the home.

Sticker Chart Your Way To Success

Sticker Chart Your Goals

Sticker charts are all the rage now. As a mom I use them to help my kids earn prizes for using the potty, to chart their behaviors and chores. But, I never thought to use a sticker chart for myself. After all, I have been pretty potty proficient for the last 38 years and I gave up tantrums a long time ago. Well, mostly.

So, when I met with the personal trainer at my gym and she suggested I use a sticker chart as a way to visually capture my progress I thought it was silly. I’m too old for a sticker chart! Or, am I? I am a hard core type A that does enjoy ticking things off my to-do list; and I do love a good reward.

July 2015 004

Before kids I was at the gym often as a way to decompress from my day. Now, it’s really hard to get there. I often prioritize my self care after the kids needs, my husband and my house. I really need to be better about it. I hope using the sticker chart will jump start my drive to get to the gym, and create a lasting habit. Why not? Whatever works right?

I borrowed some star stickers from my girls and found a free printable calendar online. Every time I go to the gym I put a star on the date I went. It doesn’t matter if I worked out for 10 minutes, or an  hour. I earned my sticker for going to the gym.

July 2015 005

AAAAAND…. if I am using my sticker chart correctly I will also earn a reward! I’m thinking a nice mani/pedi at the end of the month is the perfect motivation to keep me earning those stickers!

What kind of rewards do you give yourself when you reach a goal?

 

Technology Killed The Teenage Romance

Teenage Romance (1)

We were so lucky to have my niece Ashley stay with us last week. My girls were smitten with having an older cousin to snuggle with and play with. They couldn’t stop staring at her the first two days she was here. It was very adorable. I was thankful for the extra set of hands when corralling two little ones. Ashley and I had fun watching TV and eating snacks, shopping and just laughing once the kids were in bed.

Ashley is dating a new boy and left him behind for the entire week. (OMG!) They would text each other from the moment they woke up until the moment they went to bed. This made me kind of chuckle when I remembered my own teenage romance… circa 1990. I was just 15 when I started dating. I fell in love with a boy who’s family lived on opposite sides of the country. Every summer he would hop a plane and travel between families for a few weeks before coming home. I remember thinking this was the biggest heartache I could ever have. Ahhhh teenage naivete.

To pass the time until we were united again we had to write each other actual letters. . .  on paper. . . using a pen. It was so exciting when we discovered email!! We could fire off a love letter at any time and just had to wait for the once a week we were able to check it! Today teenagers have entire conversations via text messaging! No more hand written letters on carefully selected (and scented) stationary.

If we wanted to include a picture of our fun adventures we had to drop off our entire camera at the drug store and wait two days for it to process. Then we put the pictures into an envelop, added a stamp and placed it in a mailbox. It could take up to 5 days for a letter to reach our love. The crazy kids of today can send pics via Snap Chat, Instagram, Twitter, or post on Facebook in a matter of seconds!

If we wanted to talk over the phone we had to wait until a certain hour of the day for the cheapest rate. Then we could only talk to each other for 30 minutes (45 if our parents were distracted). We had to pay actual money to talk to each other on the phone. Today teenagers can talk as long as they want at any time of day via Face Time, or Skype, or through any number of apps without the meter running!

There are apps and websites that exist today that allow you to track your loved ones airline flight. Back in the dark ages of the 1990’s no such thing existed. I had a hand written itinerary that I copied off of my boy friend’s airline ticket and I just had to wait. It was a guessing game of how much time it would take him to get home.

Technology has ruined the teenage romance. No more wondering, “Is he thinking of me?”  when you can text him 17 times a day, “are you thinking of me?” “how about now?” “Still thinking of me?” No more mystery of “what is she doing right now?” when you can see all the pics posted on Facebook.

I caught myself saying things this week like, “in my day” or “back in the days we didn’t have iphones.” I had to laugh a little at the thought of my 16 year old self tethered to a portable electronic device. It isn’t just the device I’d be tethered to, but the boy on the other side. It might seem convenient to have instant access to your sweetie, but where is the mystery and the romance in that?

 

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

 

 

 

 

To Grandmother’s House We Go!

To Grandmother's House

As soon as summer arrives the girls and I hit the open road. We make several road trips each summer to see our family and friends. This weekend we traveled home to see Nana (their grandma). The girls were so excited they started packing two days in advance. Of course all they packed were pajamas and stuffed animals, but hey they were motivated!

On a typical trip home, or an outing anywhere, I pack up individual activity bags for each of my girls. This time I decided to go with one basket of activities. This will save me from having to reload two different bags and keeping track of what items belong in each bag.

Road trip activity basket

I re-purposed a broken picnic basket I had set aside for the trash. (A small child in my care put their foot through the top while using it as a step stool. No names are given to protect the identity of the evil doer). I simply removed the hinges holding the top to the basket- viola! A perfectly usable basket!

Road Trip Activity Basket

My mom has a low tech household, which is fine because we do to. So, I packed activities they could do with grandma: side walk chalk, bubbles, card games, story books, and crayons and coloring books. I even packed our calming bottles just in case we needed to get through a tantrum while at Nana’s (thankfully they were really, really well behaved).

Road Trip Activity Basket

This basket was especially helpful during our drive! I left it in my passenger seat so any time the girls wanted a new book I could easily reach for one and pass it back to them.

The basket idea was a big hit for the girls and worked great for me!

 

What kind of activities do you keep on hand while traveling with kids?

 

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

 

 

My Dear Graduates

Dear Graduates Class of 2015

The girls and I are getting ready to head home for graduation weekend. I have three nephews ready to meet the next phases of their lives. The little guy just graduated Pre-K and the two older (ages 18 and 19) are graduating high school and ready to face the world.

I was just 17 years old when I graduated high school and I naively thought everything in life was going to be easier than it is. I knew there would be struggles, but I had no idea the lessons I would learn and the difficulties I’d encounter to learn them. My nephews (and my nieces) are my first kids. Watching them grow up has been a joyful experience I am so thankful to be blessed with. I want to protect them from the evils of this world. But, I can’t. So, I hope sharing these small words of wisdom on their graduation day will help them along the way.

1. Always Be kind. To everyone you meet. Not only is it the right thing to do, but one day you will find yourself in a position where you need someone’s kindness. Treat other’s the way you want to be treated in any situation, and always show compassion.

2. Always Know You Are Enough. You may find yourself surrounded by people with more money, more education, more friends, etc. But, no one holds more value than you. take a breath and tell yourself, “I belong here too.”

3. Never Be Afraid of Hard Work. Nothing in life is handed to us. If you want more from life don’t be afraid to start at the bottom and work your way to the top. It will feel difficult and sometimes pointless, but just keep working. One day all that hard work and struggle will be rewarded.

4. Remember To Rest As Much As You Work. We spend most of our young adult life working hard and chasing new opportunities. Take time to make a memory, soak in a sunset, remember the feeling of holding someone’s hand, or remember how the ocean smells. These memories will carry you through the struggles in life (and one day old age).

5. No Matter Where You Go, Just Be You. Don’t change yourself to impress other people. You are who you are (and that is enough). If you have to work to get someone to like you or notice you then the relationship isn’t genuine. You will find greater quality relationships by first accepting yourself.

6. Money Is Not Everything. Money is important to paying the bills, but it is not what you build your life on. Pursuing money above love will only bring you loneliness and heartache. May you always have enough to be comfortable, and just enough extra to buy a few luxuries.

7. Never Be Afraid To Be Generous. Give away your money, open your heart, volunteer your skills, lend out your things even if they never come back. The energy and love you put out into this world will always come back to you. If you are generous life will be generous to you. If you are stingy life will treat you the same.

8. Make Safe Choices. Sometimes it’s easy to go with the flow and just follow the crowd. You may find yourself ready to do something that goes against your instincts. It’s OK to say no and make the choice that feels right to you.

9. Take Care of Your Body. Eat nourishing food, give yourself plenty of rest and take good care of it. One day you will need it to take care of you.

10. Always Look Before You Sit. This piece of advice was delivered to me on my graduation day and I still live by it. Nothing ruins your day, or your mood, faster than sitting in something sticky or messy.

Always remember this: Always. No matter where you go in life, no matter what job you have, who you marry, no matter what religion you choose (or don’t choose); even if you chose to change your body, I will always love you. Always.

Congratulations graduates! Go make yourselves proud and build the life you were meant to live and enjoy every single moment of it!

 

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Simple Ways To Celebrate Dad on Father’s Day

Simply Dad

I know Father’s Day is on the calendar every year and I have exactly 1 year of planning time between each celebration. But, I always remember last minute I need to get my hubby a gift. Actually, hubby and I do not exchange gifts with each other on Father’s Day or Mother’s Day. The gifts come from the kids. He store buys my gifts in a mad panic the night before Mother’s Day, and I hand create something magical in less than 5 minutes the morning of Father’s Day. It’s really the thought that counts right?

This will be our fifth year celebrating Father’s Day and I thought I’d share a some of our low cost gift ideas and traditions.

A Picture Says It All. For my husbands first Father’s day I did my planning in advance (by two weeks). He gave up his Camaro when he found out I was pregnant with twins. So, I converted an empty formula can into a Daddy’s Camaro Fund jar. I used pretty paper to wrap the can, glued on a picture of his beloved Camaro and used foam letter stickers to spell out “Daddy’s Camaro Fund.” I paired it with a custom t-shirt. I took a picture of our twins holding a plastic set of keys. I had the picture screened onto a shirt and above the picture I had printed, “Our tiny hands hold the keys to daddy’s heart.” I spent less than $20 and hubby wears that t-shirt every single year. Print out a cute picture of your kids holding letters that spell out D-A-D and put in a cute frame for his desk at work.

Go On A Picnic. We live in an amazingly scenic valley. We walk the same walkway trail every year and stop for a picnic. Hubby wears his t-shirt and I pack a lunch for everyone. It doesn’t matter where we eat. It is just a lovely way to spend the day outside and enjoy some time together. Take your dad to a favorite hiking spot, a park or outdoor area and treat him to a homemade meal.

Make Dad The King. After we take our usual walk we return home so hubby can sit in his favorite comfy outside chair with an icy cold beer. My husband works a lot of hours so we can afford for me to stay home (and write this killer blog). It’s only fitting to let him relax while we do a little work. The girls and I wash his car. It isn’t always a perfect car wash with two littles helping out, but it is a nice way to let him enjoy some down time and I can teach my kids how to do something nice for someone else.

Kiddie Coupons. One year I was so behind in my planning that I grabbed blank, white printer paper and hand drew some cute coupons from the kids. Of course the girls helped me with the silly ideas. We made coupons for free snuggles, free date days and free car washes. Hand make some fun little coupons to let dad know you appreciate his hard work, or find a great Pinterest site with kiddie coupons and print them out!

Overall, we don’t make a big fuss about Father’s Day. My kids are still so little that it is really more about laying the foundation for showing gratitude and expressing appreciation. One day the girls will be in charge of the gift planning and I hope they understand it isn’t the amount of money that goes into a gift, rather the amount of thought that goes into it.

What are some of your favorite Father’s Day gift ideas? Please share away!

 

I Said I’d Never Do —>THIS!

Potty Fairies

I remember watching the Pull Ups commercial where the little girl is sometimes a “potty super hero, and sometimes she’s a potty princess” and I thought, “yeah that’s not gonna happen!” I am not going to make potty training this magical fun fest that never goes away. You have to pee, you put it in the potty end of discussion.

Well, fast forward to age four and a half and my little lovies are still fearful of using the big potty for more than the business of #1. We still have issues with #2 (To my child’s future therapist, I am not sharing this to humiliate my child as she will claim, but it is to help OTHER MOMS know they are not the only ones who do these crazy things in the name of helping their child “grow”).

Ya’ll… I willingly sprinkled glitter (a.k.a. magical fairy dust) all over my house to convince my children they had been visited by the potty fairy. What is the purpose of this potty fairy? Well, each child gets their own personal fairy who will go with them to the potty and keep them safe. I assured my innocent little cherubs that these fairies will give them the confidence they need to be successful little poopers. These magic fairies report back to Fairy Godmother who will grant them prizes based on their success. I said I’d never make the potty a magical place. And, now I hang my head in shame and share with the world the biggest, fattest lie I have ever told my children. And why? Because I am just trying to make it through ONE day without having to clean up you know. . . p-o-o-p.

We are on day two of the magic and so far one kid has lost her stupid little fairy, and the other is insisting her fairy will be making the poops for her, so she never has to sit on the potty again. *Sigh* I tried moms. I tried.

The most useful parenting advice I ever received: “all those things you said  you’ll never do- you will do them ALL!” So, fess up moms! What have you done that you said you would NEVER DO?

 

Moms, We Have Each Other

MOMS

Ever meet a mom and think, “Man, I wanna be her friend!” That happened to me at the park today.

I was just sitting there minding my own business, watching my kids run all over the play area when this other woman walked toward us with two girls close to my kids ages. I really did not want to make small talk. I just wanted to sit alone … in silence. Our kids were so ecstatic when they met each other I thought they were long lost friends.

“Hello, how are you?

“Good, how about you?”

From there she sat down on my bench and I don’t remember much about our conversation other than we laughed and we had the same vibe going. We watched our kids from afar as they helped themselves up and down the stairs, come down the slide together and even walked over to use the bathroom by themselves. This mom didn’t even flinch when all of the kids kicked off their shoes to run through the park in their socks! Neither of us jumped up to scold or demand the kids keep their shoes on. We just rolled with it and continued our conversation.

Every time one of her kids asked her a question she replied with the same tone and remarks I encourage my kids with, “You can do it. YES you CAN!” “No, I just sat down.” “OK, so just go to the bathroom.” It was like hearing myself, but with a voice outside of my own head. I felt like, “so I’m NOT the only one that says these things!!?” We both sat back and let the kids just play and make up stories while we chatted. It was so nice to not feel pressured to impress this mom with how attentive I can be, or for either of us to defend our decisions on organic food, co sleeping, or vaccines. We were just two tired moms sitting at the park watching our kids. We didn’t need to be anything more.

We shared stories about how life used to be when kids could just open the door and run free. A time when kids ate dirt and peed in the yard. It was incredible to share this space with a mom who was just so Whatever. She didn’t judge me and I didn’t judge her. We didn’t even judge other moms. We just shared the same philosophy of keeping life simple and doing what we need to, to get through the day. She is a grandma well into her 60’s and I am a mother about to turn 40. And, we just clicked.

“Man, these kids exhaust me. As soon as I hit the pillow I’m out like a light.”

“Me too.”

“It’s great that they have each other though.”

“It really is.”

Dear Moms of The World

Glasco3

This week has been incredibly eye opening. On Monday I had a lovely visit with a more seasoned mom who has raised three children, all three on their way out of the nest. I was a little on edge with two whirling littles, mostly because we are so noisy. I was worried they’d make a mess, break something or just completely melt down. Thankfully, they were complete angels! It was such a wonderful experience spending time with a mom whom I did not have to itemize my organic food choices with, or plead my case for having to formula feed babies instead of breast feeding. It was just nice to be accepted as a member of this mom community where we all work our hardest to provide the best for our kids.

Then Tuesday came and the shaming began. Articles started popping up in my Facebook news feed about the stigma of having a c-section. I was curious to know if anyone actually felt shamed for having a c-section. I had a c-section and people often ask if I did. Maybe that’s par for the twin parenting course? Maybe I am too busy to hear these kinds of reactions, or maybe I’ve just been really lucky I haven’t crossed paths with such ugliness. But, no one has ever commented on how I “took the easy way out,” or worse, “didn’t actually give birth.”

dear moms

Dear Moms of the World,

What are we doing????! Are we really that insecure about our positions as mothers that we need someone else to feel superior to? Aren’t we better than that? Aren’t we in charge of role modeling loving, caring, productive behaviors so we can raise loving, caring and productive human beings? Why are we “mean girling” potential friends and judging moms whose stories we most likely don’t even know?! Why are we freely dumping our personal opinions onto the world wide web and not sorry when it hurts? Can we all agree that every decision we make for our kids is hard? Can we all just have a giant group hug and drink a hot cup of coffee til this whole me vs. you thing blows over? I know I’d really like that.

Sincerely,

The Whatever Mom

 

 

Review- Mystic Aquarium Road Trip

You may have noticed a break since my last post. We have been traveling and jumping into our new soccer routine. During our Spring break vacation we made an over night trip to Mystic Connecticut to see the Aquarium and a few other local family friendly places to play. My kids love, love, love ocean life. They absolutely adore penguins and whales and all kinds of sea creatures. Thankfully the Mystic Aquarium has all of the above! My kids almost lost their minds when the Beluga whale came out of no where to give them a great big kiss through the glass tank! The excited looks on their faces and their squealing was priceless!

If you’ve ever wanted to make a trip to see the aquarium in Mystic, here’s what you need to know:

mystic fish
Enjoy thousands of colorful fish, jelly fish and other living sea creatures!

 

MYSTIC AQUARIUM

Purchase tickets online for a 15% discount (the hotels only offer $2-$3 discount coupons). Redeemed printed tickets at the aquarium for actual tickets to take with you.

We did not know there were so many outdoor exhibits such as the Beluga Whales, Sea Lions and African Penguins. It was a drizzly day and a little chilly. Thankfully we were dressed properly, but if the rain had not held out we would have missed out on a few key exhibits. Be sure to bring back up rain gear, or an extra coat on a chilly day! The inside exhibits are plentiful! There are many interactive things to keep little ones busy. My kids couldn’t get enough of the Sea Lion show, or the hands-on Wild exhibit. At the Wild exhibit we picked up a Scavenger Hunt card on our way in and had fun checking off everything on the list. My kids especially loved the science area where they could dig for dinosaur bones. The majority of the museum is stroller friendly and there is stroller parking available at the Foxwoods Maritime Sea lion show. It is very accessible for wheel chairs as well. They make it easy for your entire family to enjoy the exhibits.

Tips: There is a cafe to purchase lunch. However, it is simple fair of chicken fingers, burgers, fries, pizza, wraps and soft pretzels. If you want to save some money buy a large pizza and share it with the family. Or, pack your own lunch and eat at the cafe (no food or beverages allowed inside the aquarium) and keep the $40-$50 dollars you would have spent to buy a cute something at the souvenir shop.  Even better- skip the souvenir shop all together and purchase the photos they take when you walk in the entrance. Those run about $25.00 for two 3×5 pictures, or $35.00 for (2) 3×5’s (1) 4×6 and (2) 5×7’s. Last, bring some change for the penny press machines 50 cents per penny. Parking is FREE. If you don’t get to see everything in one day, or miss the outside exhibits due to rain, you can have your admission tickets validated to use again the next day.

 

 

Enjoy your cocoa and cookies here!
Enjoy your cocoa and cookies here!

HOTEL

We stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites just four minutes away from the aquarium. We chose this hotel after careful research and recommendations. There are certainly cheaper hotels, but the pricing was middle of the road with great reviews. We were sold on the free breakfast in the morning (another savings of around $50 for a family of four) and free cookies at night. Sounds like such a little thing, but my kids looked adorable coming down in their P.J.’s for cookies and cocoa before bedtime. We also used the  pool to tire the kids out after dinner. There is a small fridge and  microwave for use in each room.

Tips: Coffee/tea and cocoa are available in the lobby 24/7. The free cookies may only be available during the week. Ask when making reservations if there are any cookies/snacks provided on the weekends. There are family packages available that bundle the price of the room with tickets to the aquarium, but it is cheaper to pay separately (especially if you purchase in advance online). I also really like that the site we used to book our room adds all taxes and fees for you. So, you get to see the exact price before booking your room.

 

 

mystic pizza
Don’t miss this family friendly place to eat! Super affordable and can even order online for pick up!

DINNER

Mystic Pizza! You can’t make a trip to Mystic CT without eating at the famous Mystic Pizza. If you haven’t watched the movie yet they have it on continual loop at the restaurant! Or, you could rent it at home too. I loved everything about this place! It was cozy and the staff very friendly. But, most of all the pizza was delicious!! Hubby and I enjoyed sharing a seafood pizza (since I missed out on getting a lobster roll). The kids each had their own personal pizzas. The prices were very reasonable and as the slogan says it was a “slice of heaven.”

 

We stayed only one night. But, to maximize our fun we decided to break up the drive back home into smaller adventures. My kids love of ocean creatures is only second to their love of Dinosaurs. They also really love exploring kids museums. So, we found something to satisfy both loves.

dino park
A beautifully interactive look at Dinosaurs! Kids of all ages will love this one!

DINOSAUR STATE PARK

We traveled about an  hour West of Mystic to Rocky Hill where we found Dinosaur State Park. This place is the real dino deal. A giant fossil (with 2,000 dinosaur foot prints!!) was unearthed during construction for another building project and BAM! They built an entire museum around the fossil! Kids can interact with the exhibits all around the museum. It is a very scientific look at the earth, how fossils are made, and how dinosaurs existed in New England and around the world. The very last exhibit is a hands-on learning room full of fossils, minerals, puppets, coloring and craft activities. Kids can hold actual fossils, play dinosaur games and identify animal sounds.

Mystic Trip 2015 175
Kids are encouraged to open the drawers to find actual rocks, minerals, geodes and fossils. All objects are under plexi-glass. The entire room has rows and rows of drawers kids can open!

This room is jam packed full of interactive stuff! We spent over an hour in this room alone! They have short films throughout the day you can view for free. They announce each film as it is about to play. The museum sits on a National Park, so there are several hiking trails and picnic areas to use. In the summer months they also let kids help make a plaster cast of fossils.

Tips: Admission is only $6.00 per person (under age 5 is FREE). You can make a souvenir penny press, but all the gifts in the small gift shop are super affordable. They even make a cute little goody bag for $5.00. If you don’t get a chance to pack your own lunch the museum staff has already put together a list of local restaurants.

 

 

Mystic Trip 2015 196
Our favorite exhibit! The mini grocery store lovingly created by volunteers!

KIDS PLAY CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

We traveled 50 minutes from Rocky Hill to Torrington to spend a few hours getting a hands on education at the Kids Play Museum. The admission price is only $5.00 per person! There are some super cute exhibits! My kids especially loved the mini super market, the 1950’s diner and the race car pit stop.  There is a small toddler area for kids age two and under. Everything was pretty clean for our late afternoon visit at a super busy time of day.

Tips: Parking is a challenge. You can find street parking in front of the building, or on side streets and pay the meter tolls (so bring some quarters!). A few blocks further down and you will find free Municipal parking. We were lucky to find street parking right in front of the museum on our rainy day visit.

This was definitely a whirl wind visit! There are so many more places to go and see in Mystic we will definitely go back!

 

The Whatever Mom did not receive any financial compensation for this review. The opinions and views about the businesses listed in this blog are solely the opinions and views of the The Whatever Mom. Be sure to click on the headings for each business review to directly link to each website.