Library Summer Programs Help Keep Things Cool

Library Balloon Show at Boca Raton Library

Library Balloon Show at Boca Raton LibraryThink about it when you travel this summer too, we have been to free programs when we visit family out of town and never been disappointed.

Most have their schedules are up online so you can check it out.  I have posted links to some of my favorite local library schedules in the Up Coming Events Link.

Alvin Sherman Library at Nova Southeastern University in Davie is one of my favorites.  Their PK and toddler programs are developed with pre-reading in mind.  They often have information available for parents to help you develop reading skills in your kids.  They also have a great kids section in the library with comfortable places to sit and do puzzles, color and draw, or read with your kids.  Computers are available with great software games as well.

Imperial Point Library does story time for the little ones weekly and reading programs for school age kids.  I love this little library, they are always so friendly and it just has a great vibe.

Wilton Manors Library is a great one too.  They have special presentations for kids as well as summer reading programs.

Palm Beach County Libraries have some amazing events throughout the summer for children, teen and adults!

Broward County Libraries are right up there with shows and kids event every week.  When we lived in Broward, we used to hit up several different libraries every week!

Boca Raton Libraries are another great option!  Check to see if your city has it’s own library, you won’t be disapointed!

 

Regal Offers $1 Summer Movies! Summer Movie Express

Regal Summer Movie Express

2016 Summer Movie Express

Summer-Movie-Express-1-Dollar-Movies

Admission to the Summer Movie Express is only $1. Tickets available for purchase at the box office and all movies start at 10:00 am. Each week both movies play on both days. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute.

Most look like they are Tuesday & Wednesdays at 10am starting June 14th, but check your local theater for starting dates as they are different by State and Theater!  Find a Theater near you

  • Week 1
    The Lego Movie
    Max
  • Week 2
    Goosebumps
    The Iron Giant: Signature Edition
  • Week 3
    Pan
    The Smurfs 2
  • Week 4
    Despicable Me 2
    Home
  • Week 5
    Minions
    The Peanuts Movie
  • Week 6
    Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip
    Curious George
  • Week 7
    The Book of Life
    Hotel Transylvania 2
  • Week 8
    Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
    Shaun The Sheep
  • Week 9
    The Croods
    Dr. Suess’ The Lorax

 

The one book young readers must have.

Kindle -The One Book to Replace Them All

Kindle -The One Book to Replace Them AllWhy is the Kindle the one book every child should have?

Our kids are inundated with electronics, ipads, xbox, computers, toy dogs they have to train, heck even Barbie is becoming digital. So I get the reluctance to buy one more electronic item for my kid! This one is very different though. I bought my kindle before my daughter was born, so I am guessing at least 8-9 years ago. It was one of the first ones out there, it does nothing but let me read books. Mine doesn’t have a built in light (the newer ones do) so I can snuggle down in bed with a book light clip and read to my heart’s content. It is so light weight that I could take it to the beach, read for hours in the bright sunlight and never worry about it running out of batteries. (This was before I had a child and could do such frivolous things as read on the beach.)

When I first brought it home I was so excited. First I walked around the house with it, had a Geek moment and pretended it was a Star Trek Data Pad for awhile. Next I bought a cheap leather case for it so it felt like a book in my hands. Now don’t give me that line “I need the feel of a real book in my hands” because it simply an excuse. I get it to some extent, I have kept a few special books in print, but this Kindle -The One Book to Replace Them Allreally does feel like a real book to me – minus the germs that come with a library book. My cover is so worn and is as comfortable as an old shoe. It’s the cover that holds all of my favorite books. Every single book I love in one light weight book cover! I have read 100’s of books on it and it’s been one of my favorite things. I think I would give up my ipad before I would give up my Kindle! I have now handed it onto my daughter (unwillingly at first), and it’s the best thing I have ever done. Here is why:

1. Free Books:

You can borrow library books over the internet for free! Having a young reader starting on chapter books is a tough time. TheyFree Books for Kindle at your local Library have no idea what type of books they like. Before I thought of handing over my Kindle we bought books that she decided were not for her and we raced back and forth to the library with books. Nothing like spending money on things you don’t need.

The Kindle makes it easy to hop on your computer, go to your local library page, find the link to eLibrary and from there you search for ebooks (you will need to have your library card number). My kid can now try all types of stories -so can you- and if she decides she doesn’t like it……No Problem….Return them without leaving the house! If she loves them, we can buy them on amazon way cheaper than in a book store.

If you are a member of Amazon Prime you can borrow books from the Amazon Loan Library for free too!

2. No more Lost Library Books:

Kindle -The One Book to Replace Them All

Never worry again about or losing library books, leaving them in the car or under the couch and forgetting to return them. Well, your Kindle can be left in all those places too, but the library will never know because the book loans go back automatically.

Kindle -The One Book to Replace Them All3. Less Dusting:

Found a book your kid loves? You can buy it and it is forever yours, tucked neatly inside this one book. No dusty book shelf required. How many times have I had to rearrange the book shelf because the book she wanted was there, but she has to pull all the books out to find it? Easy, it’s all in the Kindle. It really is the One Book to Rule Them All….uh…eh hem, I mean replace them all.

3. Promotes Independent Reading: Kindle Dictionary

The Kindle comes with a Built in Dictionary with Phonetic Spelling. I remember hating to have to sit with the dictionary, stop reading my story in order to look up words. Frankly, I just didn’t do it. The dictionary comes with a touch of the screen and doesn’t interrupt reading time at all. My daughter has recently gotten into the Percy Jackson series. There are all kinds of names and words in it that she doesn’t know how to say or spell. She can tap and hold on the unknown word and the dictionary comes up with the definition and the phonetic spelling. I love the way it promotes independence for our young reader!

I forgot to mention that you can adjust the size of the words for easy reading. I like it slightly larger so I can read without my glasses on. My daughter likes it larger as well so that it’s not so easy to lose her place while reading, which is sometimes a problem for kids who are just getting the hang of reading chapter books.

On a side note: If your child is interested in Greek myths, I recommend the Percy Jackson series by Rick Rhiordan, I wish I had written these myself!

 

4. Easy Travel:

Have you ever had this conversation? Me: “Let see, we are going out of town for a week,what books do you think she will want to read? Husband: “No idea, but we can’t take too many the suitcases are already full.” This is no longer a problem, all our books are in the Kindle and if we get desperate we can always download a new one from the library or Amazon whenever / wherever we want.

No Distractions Just Reading5. No Distractions:

This is my favorite point. My daughter cannot play mine craft, watch youtube, surf on the internet, chat, facebook or anything else on this device. Did I mention no Mine Craft? If this device were handed to me as a kid I would have thought that it was simply a magic book giving me amazing library access wherever I was! (Yes the geek stuff started early for me.)

I was glad to see this statement right on the Kindle homepage. It sums up my feelings about it and there is no truer advertising statement.

“No distractions

By design, Kindle is purpose-built for reading and creates a sanctuary so you can lose yourself in a book. Unlike tablets and phones, Kindle doesn’t distract you with social media, emails, and text messages.”

I am off to replace the Kindle I gave to my daughter with the All-New Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers.

 

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Diary of a Rogue House CatDiary of a Rogue House Cat

Have you ever had a pet that just seemed to cause havoc at every turn? Has your cat ever knocked over glasses, hidden your keys or generally created chaos for no apparent reason? Have you ever wondered what on earth your pet could be thinking? Baby Girl the Rogue House Cat explains all her crazy and funny actions in her new diary. Her journey to become a good house cat will help explain why cats do some of the things they do. I hope you enjoy her antics as much as I do.

Thank You for you support!

Available on Amazon in Print and on Kindle

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

How you can help keep this site running.

If you have found this site helpful and want to keep me writing please use the Donate Button on the right side of this page. This helps us pay for our domain, ip address and hosting, maybe even a cup of coffee as I sit at Panera searching for more free events. Some sites require membership fees in order to pay for their site. We really want this information to be free and available to all. Thanks for your support!

If you would like to learn more about our partnership opportunities Contact Us today!
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The Week Ahead for South Florida with My Favorite Holiday Sites

Cyndi’s Favorite Kids Holiday Websites

Norad Tracks SantaIf you read this blog regularly you know that I am always on the search for the most educational types of recreation for the kids.  I have once again posted and updated some of my favorite Holiday Websites.  All of them have at least a nominal amount of educational value. Well may not the Elf Yourself site, but it’s the Holidays and you gotta have some fun too.

decorationBear with me for a moment, I had a deep thought I wanted to share.  They are rare for me so here it is.

I thought I would share some of our Holiday decorations with you.  My daughter put together this little assortment. I love how she added some of her stuffed Christmas toys to our regular decorations.   I was so touched that she included my book on the Holiday Shelf.  I think the best thing I could have ever done was publish this little book, because she sees it as a major accomplishment. I want to encourage you in this Holiday Season to live out your dreams in a visible way to your children.  Not just your success, but the failures too.  For me tell her that she can be anything doesn’t mean as much as allowing her to see me try, fail and sometimes succeed.  Including her in the struggle to get published demonstrated that sometimes things don’t always work the first time you try, but together we really can do anything as long as we don’t allow ourselves to become discouraged.   I wanted to say “Hey girl, you can do anything, so I have to show you it’s possible”.  Okay, onto more fun things!

 

Flamingo Gardens of Light Holiday Event

Don’t forget to head out to Flamingo Gardens, Garden of Lights!  Even if they weren’t a wonderful sponsor for our site I would advise you go this event.  In fact it is one of the reasons that I decided to invite them join our Sponsor Family!

The calendar is filling up quickly!  Please make sure that we don’t miss your next event and submit your event today!

Click Here for the full list of upcoming events!  or scroll down for this weeks events!

Diary of a Rogue House CatDiary of a Rogue House Cat

Have you ever had a pet that just seemed to cause havoc at every turn? Has your cat ever knocked over glasses, hidden your keys or generally created chaos for no apparent reason? Have you ever wondered what on earth your pet could be thinking? Baby Girl the Rogue House Cat explains all her crazy and funny actions in her new diary. Her journey to become a good house cat will help explain why cats do some of the things they do. I hope you enjoy her antics as much as I do.

Thank You for you support!

 Available on Amazon in Print and on Kindle

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

How you can help keep this site running.

If you have found this site helpful and want to keep me writing please use the Donate Button on the right side of this page. This helps us pay for our domain, ip address and hosting, maybe even a cup of coffee as I sit at Panera searching for more free events. Some sites require membership fees in order to pay for their site. We really want this information to be free and available to all. Thanks for your support!

If you would like to learn more about our partnership opportunities Contact Us today!
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Click Here for the full list of upcoming events!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cyndi’s Top 5 Favorite Holiday Kids Websites Countdown

I wanted to share my Top 5 Favorite Holiday Kids Websites for the Holidays.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

#5 Yes Virginia,There is a Santa Clause! 

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
Kids and parents can read the original editorial for the story.  (Warning this may be for older kids as Virginia does question the idea of Santa!)

 

#4  Starfall Gingerbread Man  and the Snowman. 

Starfall Gingerbread Man
Starfall is an  incredible educational website that is available all year long.  It has great games and online activities that encourage reading skills.  What I love about this site is that the kids can click on each word in the Snowman Counting Activity on Starfalldirections to have them read aloud.  This site is wonderful for emergent readers.

One of my daughters favorites is the Gingerbread Man that allows kids to decorate it anyway they want.  It’s a great way to review or learn shapes for the little ones.  The bigger kids seem to like it just for fun!

I also like the Snowman activity here, it is a cute little Matching decked out in Holiday themes.

#3  Elf Yourself 

Elf Yourself Home Page

If you’ve never seen this (It’s been around for years!)  you will get a giggle and so will your family.  The kids think this is hilarious and watch it over and over again.  Simply place pictures of your family members on the elves and watch them do a jig.   You may wish it would get old, but it just doesn’t!

#2 NorthPole.com

NorthPole.com Home Page
This is site is a good time.  It has a nice countdown to Christmas and lots of little excerpts to read and loads of games all Santa’s Village.  You can visit Mrs. Clause’s kitchen, write Santa a letter, fill out a check list to find out if you are on the Nice or Naughty list, and so much more. There are cute stories to read and color.   You can sign up to save your progress, but you don’t have too.

If your little ones don’t read yet then they will need a little help from you.  It’s a great way to spend some time getting into the Holiday spirit with your child.

#1 is a tye!  My Two Favorite Sites are  Norad Tracks Santa.  and  Portable North Pole!

Norad Tracks Santa#1  Norad Tracks Santa. 
This is a close second for my favorite holiday site.  Really, it is a stalemate with Portable North Pole!  They have lots of fun games for the kids to play, even I got stuck playing a tetras like game the other night.  The best thing is that starting Christmas Eve, they “track” Santa’s flight around the world with cute little cartoon type videos, so your child can see where Santa is before they go to bed.  It’s lots of fun and the kids get a kick out of it.  It has become tradition in our family to see Santa over London where Nana and Papa are before we go to bed.  It looks like they have updated it this year, so I am looking forward to seeing what they have in store for us!

Portable North Pole#1 Portable North Pole! 
This is the most fun free thing you will do this year!! They have changed it a bit over the last few years, so you don’t get to put in so much information as you used to for the free version.  I am tempted to go ahead and get the paid version, considering that we have been using it every year and have always loved it.   You go to the website, answer a few questions about your child’s name and age and what they want for Christmas and upload pictures if you want.

Then Santa sends you a personalized video message for your child  Santa checks his file and shows pictures of your child and everything.  The first year my daughter went nuts when Santa showed a photo of her and her cousin on vacation (you don’t get this anymore with the free version) and mentioned how lucky she was to have gone on vacation this year.  She started yelling “Santa!  That is my cousin Santa!”  It was so wonderful!  Literally brought tears to my eyes!  We do it every year!

The calendar is filling up quickly!  Please make sure that we don’t miss your next event and submit your event today!

Click Here for the full list of South Florida Mostly Free Family Events!  

How you can help keep this site running.

If you have found this site helpful and want to keep me writing please use the Donate Button on the right side of this page. This helps us pay for our domain, ip address and hosting, maybe even a cup of coffee as I sit at Panera searching for more free events. Some sites require membership fees in order to pay for their site. We really want this information to be free and available to all. Thanks for your support!

If you would like to learn more about our partnership opportunities Contact Us today!
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Diary of Rogue House Cat

Diary of a Rogue House Cat

I wanted to share some fun news! I finally published a book! It’s little and a bit silly, but I think it’s cute. (My 7 year old likes it for what that is worth.) This project is certainly a learning experience! It is available on Kindle US and Kindle Europe now and I am working on the print version at the moment. The print version should be available for purchase within the next 3 weeks.

Diary of a Rogue House Cat

Have you ever had a pet that just seemed to cause havoc at every turn? Have you ever wondered what on earth your pet could be thinking? Baby Girl the Rogue House Cat explains all her crazy and funny actions in her new diary to help explain why cats do some of the things they do. I hope you enjoy her antics as much as I do.

Free Preview

Get a preview of Diary of a Rogue House Cat by Cynthia Yates Buckley. The book will be available to purchase in about 3 weeks. https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1179567

Amazon Kindle US

If you like the preview and just can’t wait to read it, the book is available on Amazon Kindle right now.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0161QL9AQ?keywords=diary%20of%20a%20rogue%20house%20cat&qid=1445352453&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

Amazon Kindle in the UK

Diary of a Rogue House Cat is now available on Amazon Kindle in the UK! So all our British friends can feel free to share the link around. I would very much appreciate it! It is only £1.99!
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0161QL9AQ?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

How you can help keep this site running.

If you have found this site helpful and want to keep me writing please use the Donate Button on the right side of this page. This helps us pay for our domain, ip address and hosting, maybe even a cup of coffee as I sit at Panera searching for more free events. Some sites require membership fees in order to pay for their site. We really want this information to be free and available to all. Thanks for your support!

If you would like to learn more about our partnership opportunities Contact Us today!
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Click Here for the full list of upcoming events!

Kids Bowl Free for the Summer – Nationwide

Kids Bowl Free Logo

A friend pointed me towards this website, if you sign up for free, your kids get to bowl (2 games a day) for free all summer long!

I looked at some of the areas available and there are many.  South Florida unfortunately is a bit lacking and the nearest one is in West Palm Beach.

There is a page on the website that can suggest a bowling center near you and they say they will attempt to get them to participate and then let you know when they succeed.

Here is the link to the participating alleys.

Florida : http://www.kidsbowlfree.com/state.php?state=FL

Nationwide: http://www.kidsbowlfree.com/

 

 

 

Battelle Darby Creek Park Nature Center and Bison in Galloway Ohio

Battelle Darby Nature Center Water Table
Battelle Darby Nature Center Viewing Deck
Looking at the Bison at the Battelle Darby Nature Center Viewing Deck

I grew up going to Battelle Darby Creek Park (aka Big Darby), we thought it was great.  Compared to now, though?  Wow.  This park has come along way.  On our last trip to Ohio, we headed over to Battelle Darby Creek Park to see the Bison and the Nature Center.  This park spans 20 miles of riparian forests along the Big and Little Darby Creeks.  It includes 7,000 acres of prairies and forests.  As kid I felt this park had the best canoeing, hiking and the absolute best sledding hill around!  These are all still there and of course, there are picnic areas, pet trails and playground equipment

Battelle Darby Park Bison
The Bison are way back in the right hand corner.

everywhere, not to mention the Environmental Study Sites and Nature Programs.

The Bison can be seen in winter from the Battelle Darby Creek Nature Center.  The Bison can be viewed from the deck of the center, and it serves as their winter paddock.  The Nature Center can be found at 1415 Darby Creek Drive, Galloway OH 43119.

We were able to see them only with the telescope on the deck of the center, but it was still pretty neat.

Battelle Darby Nature Center Water Table
Battelle Darby Nature Center Water Table

The Nature Center itself is really amazing!  There are many hands on areas for the kids to learn about the nature.  A giant wall that allows kids to place pictures of animals in their habitats on the wall.

There is a pelt room, full of the pelts of all the native animals that you might find in the Ohio Valley.  Be prepared for this room, as a former zoological educator I used confiscated animal pelts to teach audiences about important animals for years, but I still find it difficult to see.  The educators and volunteers around the room will gladly explain to you where they came from.

Battelle Darby Park Nature Center
Peering into the creek bed table

The Riverbed Water Table is the highlight of the exhibit.  The table stretches the length of the room and show the different levels of the creek.  There are some really neat places where the kids can stick their heads into a plexiglass box from under the table so they can see right into the creek.

If you have a chance, this is a fabulous (free) way to spend a fun, education afternoon.

Thanks to our sponsors, please be sure to check them out!  Stella & Dot have some great Valentines Gifts so check them out!
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Bass Pro Shops Santa Land – Nationwide

Santa Sitting in Santa Land at Bass Pro ShopsBass Pro Shops Santa Land is one of our all time favorites and we make sure to find time to do it every year.  They have a whole section of the store remade into Santa Land.The Big Red Guy is there (real beard of course) to pose for a free picture.  He is really good and spends a good amount of time with each child.  They manage to keep the line moving pretty well and when they get busy they hand out tickets with times on them to shorten your line waiting time.  You can buy picture packages if you want, or just take the free one.
Kids doing crafts at Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops

There are craft table set up for the kids to make Christmas Tree Ornaments or make coloring pages.  They also have suction cup cross bow games, rifles for the kids to shoot, toy trains and cars.  All of these are hands on for the kids to play with.  Not to mention the giant fish tanks in the front of the store.  Santa’s Elves are hanging out at all the games to help the kids out.

Child meeting Mrs. Claus at Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Mrs. Claus Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops

Don’t forget to say hello to Mrs. Claus.  She is usually hanging out not far from Santa’s Chair.  She is an absolute gem!  She will chat sweetly with the kids and is absolutely perfect!  I think my daughter liked her as much as she did Santa!

We usually pick up hot dogs outside the store for $2 a piece and soda’s for a $1.  It is really easy to spend a few hours there and has become one of our must do Christmas Traditions!

We have not done it yet, but if your kids like the train, the Bass Pro Shop in Dania, Fl is right next to the Tri-Rail Station.  We plan on parking at our local Tri-Rail Station and taking the Train to see Santa!  What an adventure that will be!

Call your local store to check thier Santa Land Hours.  Remember weekdays are less busy, and weekends get more and more busy the closer to Christmas weekend you get.

Kids playing at Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Child and mother shooting air riffle at Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Child shooting air riffle at Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Santa Sitting in Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Fudge Shop at Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Games at Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Children shooting toy arrows at Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Child watching Toy Train at Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Toy Train at Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Toy Train at Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops
Santa Land at Bass Pro Shops

IKEA Play Place and Fun for the Family

Ikea Lips Pillow

We as moms often hit the mall on a rainy day, just to get a cup of coffee and let the kids play in the play area.  It is easy to forget that IKEA is the perfect place for a wander with your Littles!  Our Fort Lauderdale store even has special close parking for families with Littles and strollers.

Ikea Dining Room Kids Area

When I go to IKEA, I always start with breakfast.  They offer specials throughout the week and you will never spend more than a few dollars on a plate of food.  The is food is okay, it is not stellar, but the dining room is always clean and has wide windows all along the wall to make it a bright happy space.  There is a kids space in the dining room where the Littles can eat together in front of a flat screen TV, allowing the adults a chance to brush up on conversation that involves words with more than 2 syllables.

According to Charles Wing Local Marketing Specialist IKEA’s founder wanted the store to reflect his belief that the should store be “a day out for the whole family”. This influence is certainly felt throughout the store and.IKEA seems to work hard to make their store a family friendly place by offering strollers for Ikea Dining Room Bottle Warming Stationthe kids and family bathrooms. The dining room has a bottle warming station, with a toaster, microwave, bottle warmer and bibs.

The family bathroom has a chair in case you need to find a quiet place with baby for moment.  The bathrooms are generally pretty clean, but on the weekends when the store gets crazy busy and they can get a little bad.  They do seem to make a huge effort to keep them clean and I have always seen them spotless first thing in the morning.

Ikea Kids BedroomAt our IKEA you start out on the top floor, this has all the furniture for adults and kids.  My daughter likes to walk around this floor with me and check out all the rooms.  We love to see the way storage and whimsy works in the kids areas and dream about the kitchen we would someday like to have.

The bottom floor is full of the housewares, which is less interesting to my daughter. This floor has everything from silverware to picture frames and glassware, so not really an area where I want to worry about what my Little might try to pick up when my head is turned.  Ikea Lips PillowSo we head on over to the Smalland Play Area, where there is a supervised play area for kids. The Play Area is open daily from 10 am to 7:30 pm.  Usually, the kids can stay for about 50 minutes, they give you a beeper and tell you when you are due back to pick up your child.  Kids must be at least 37 inches tall, no more than 54 inches, and must be completely potty trained.  My daughter had a great time didn’t want to leave when her time was up.  The staff in the play area were courteous and seemed to be very capable. My daughter didn’t want to leave, so that is always a good sign.

Smalland Store Promo Photo
Smalland IKEA Store Provided Promo Photo

On your next rainy day call up your friends and meet at IKEA for a morning of shopping, food and fun. It is a great alternative to the mall when the weather rules out the outdoors.