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 Week Ahead for South Florida & Valentine’s Day

Turtles at Gumbo Limbo

Happy Valentines Day from Keeping Up With Kids.

Be My Valentine and Share our Calendar with a Friend!


My Pick of the Week:  Gumbo Limbo Nature Center

Fire Tower at Gumbo Limbo in Boca RatonThis is a great time of the year to take a walk on the Ashley Trail, climb a fire tower and see the fish feedings at Gumbo Limbo!  Check out the turtle hospital and learn what we can all do to help protect these amazing animals who depend on our beaches for survival.  Entrance is a suggested donation of $5.

 

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

Got a Spring Break Camp?

Let us know and we will place your Summer or Spring Break Camp information on our Find a Camp page!

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.

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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!

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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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Welcome Back to Our Fabulous Sponsor Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens Banner Logo

We would like to thank our sponsor Flamingo Gardens
for their continued support as park of the Keeping Up With Kids Family
Flamingo Gardens Banner Logo

Flamingo Gardens Flowers
Flamingo Gardens

We love Flamingo Gardens!  This tropical paradise in Davie offers visitors the chance to wander through 60 acres of of amazing botanical gardens, orchards and an animal sanctuary.

Flamingo Gardens is home to over 90 species of mostly rescued Florida native bird and animals.  It is a wonderful place to learn about the diverse populations, both plant and animal, that are found here in Florida and no where else in the world.

Wood Stork at Flamingo Gardens
Spoonbill at Flamingo Gardens

My daughter loves the half-acre free flight aviary that has over 250 wading birds in it.  We went so often when she was still in a stroller that she can name many of them!  Nothing is funnier than a two year old trying to say spoonbill!

Scarecrow Contest at Flamingo Gardens
Scarecrow Contest at Flamingo Gardens

 

 

I have two favorite events at Flamingo Gardens that I have written about a lot over the years.  The first is the Christmas Lights event they do every year!  The second is the Halloween Scarecrow Contest.  

Flamingo Gardens offers many great events throughout the year, but some of my absolute favorites are coming up soon!

 

 

 

5 Tips about Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National MonumentI recently had the great pleasure of visiting  Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.  I had gone Albuquerque, New Mexico to visit some friends.  I was so excited just to see my friends, but I had no idea of what they had in store for me!  I can’t find the right adjective to describe this place: Amazing, Awe Inspiring, Grand, Stunning, Astounding………….Freaking Cool?

I have never seen anything like this place!  The mountain actually looks like someone carved castle turrets into the top of the mountain.  The turrets are called Hoodoos and are carved by rain and wind. The Hoodoos range in size from a few feet to 90 feet tall.  Long story short, a volcano erupted within the last million years, creating a layer of hard rock on top of soft rock and the two erode at different rates.  The result is spectacular.  Some of the hoodoos have round caprocks balanced impossibly on top of them.Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks

Here is the skinny on what to do.

  1. Use the bathroom at the parking lot before you go up the trail.  Nope, there is no place else to go except maybe a small tree.
  2. Bring Supplies!  I am from Florida and I am used to heat, but this dry heat will sneak up on you.  Snacks certainly wouldn’t go amiss either, because there is nothing around to buy.  Sunscreen is a must, and a hat and sunglasses are very helpful!
  3. Take your time.  This is most important if you are not used to the elevation.  The elevation of the City of Albuquerque is between 4,900 feet to over 6,700 feet above sea level.  (Just for comparison Denver ranges from ranges from 5,130 to 5,690 feet.)  Surprised?  I was too!
  4. Grab a Junior Explorer Activity Guide from the Ranger at the entrance or at the TrKasha-Katuwe Tent Rocksail Map Post.  The Guide has some great info for the whole family and briefly talks about the ancient people who lived in the area.  It also gives some information on how the rocks are formed by nature.  There are  some activities to do on the walk up to the summit, giving you a good reason to stop and rest for a moment, drink some water and just enjoy the spectacular views nsture has provided.
  5. Can you carry your kids?  If you are steady on your feet put the little ones in a back pack.  If the kids are really strong on their feet but still little, a kids type leash may not be a bad idea.  My friend brought her 2 year old (he is used to walking trails) and he walked most of the way. (Until we got close to nap time.)  There were places that I felt more comfortable scrambling over rocks using two hands, so i wouldn’t have wanted to carry the kiddo.  (Coming from sea level made it a bit of a challenge for me, but coming down the trail was much easier than going up.)
  6. Bring More Water.  Yes, I know I already told you that, I just thought it worth repeating.  The sun is very strong at higher elevations and you don’t always realize you are sweating in such a dry climate.  This makes it easy to become dehydrated.

Click Here For more information on Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks.

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument tentrocks0796

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South Florida Adventure Pass Summer Deals

Adventure Pass

Adventure PassThe South Florida Adventure Pass is now on sale!

The Adventure Pass offers unlimited admission for the whole summer to Flamingo Gardens plus 6 other top attractions in South Florida! Visit Everglades Alligator Farm, Flamingo Gardens, Jungle Island, Patricia & Phillip Frost Museum of Science, Perez Art Museum Miami, Sawgrass Recreation Park, and Young at Art Museum as often as you like from May 15 through September 30, 2015.

South Florida Adventure Pass is just $50 for Adults (ages 13+) and $40 for Children (ages 3-12). Flamingo Gardens Members can purchase the pass for only $30.00 per adult and $20.00 per child! Passes may be purchased at the Flamingo Gardens Ticket Booth or at any of the 7 participating attractions. Save time and download this form to fill out in advance.

More details can be found at:http://www.southfloridaadventurepass.com/

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/

 

 

 

I Will Never Cut Off the Crust

crusts cut off of bread

crusts cut off of breadI am sure I am not the only one to announce to the world “I WILL NEVER CUT OFF THE CRUST” when my  child was born.  I can’t be the only one.  I managed very well with this decree for a very long time!  I figured if she didn’t know that not eating the crust was an option, she would eat it right?  Well, she did!  I was right!  Oh so right, and let me tell you it felt good to be right.  I am very lucky that my kid is a voracious eater.  I rarely made her something different from what we were eating for dinner, and if it was different then she wanted to try it!  Even demanding to try our Louisiana Hot Wings at age three.  She took a bite, calmly waited a moment, then grabbed her milk and chugged.  Her exact words were “that is kinda hot” said with mild surprise.  No tears, no fussing, no complaints.  I was totally impressed! I will admit, I was a bit smug about it.  I was doing it right and seeing as I rarely feel like that, I may have enjoyed it a bit too much.   If anyone within ear shot of my child  announced that they did not like a certain food, I smacked them in the back of the head.  Yes literally!  I forbid the words “I don’t like (insert food choice here)” in our home.  You know what? It worked, I couldn’t believe my good fortune, in the words of Charlie Sheen “I was winning” while my friends fretted, and begged their children to eat something that wasn’t in the shape of a nugget.   My plan was working.  Well, for awhile anyway.

I should have known it couldn’t last.  The whole crust cutting decree was derailed by my well meaning, sweet and loving partner in life.  One of the first times he was left responsible for making her lunch, he cut off the crusts of her bread and made a big too-do about how special it was, how it meant that he loved her and  blah blah blah blah blah blah.  Yes, just like that, my anti crust cutting days were over.  Suddenly, she wouldn’t eat the crust.  She would eat the center of her sandwich leaving 80% of the sandwich attached to the crust.  The more I insisted she eat it, the more she refused while looking at me like she thought I didn’t love her anymore because I refused to cut off her crusts.  So guess what?  I caved.  Sometimes I make a feeble stand and refuse to cut them off, but I always regret it when the sandwich is left on the table with a small hole eaten out of the middle.

What is more, the “I don’t like (insert food choice here)” ban has gone the wayside too.  I knew that she has never really cared for eggs.  No matter how I made them, she would take a few bites announce that they were good, but that she was full.  I never made a big deal  but did continue to serve them occasionally and in very small portions.  She clearly didn’t care for them, but would always have a few bites and I was perfectly happy with this being the extent of her food refusal.  I know now that I was lucky and I should have known that it could not continue, that I was living a fantasy, a dream that could not be imagined by other parents.  Don’t be jealous, because this too has ended.   My carefully crafted bubble has been popped at school where she watches other students refusing this or that.  Lately, she has been toying with the idea of disliking foods by suddenly refusing to eat meals that she has previously eaten with unabashed abandonment not to mention plenty of nom nom sounds to boot.

So now, here I stand making lunch and dutifully, if resentfully, cutting off the tiniest sliver of crust, painfully attempting to create as little waste as I can manage. While my daughter suddenly does not like what yesterday was her favorite meal.  I tried keeping the crusts and then drying them to make bread crumbs, but let’s face it.  My name is not Martha. I smile to myself as I imagine the reaction I would get if I served a giant pile of these saved up slivers of bread for dinner to the two people that I love most in this world.  It seemed that I was doing it right for awhile. I was so proud of myself for the way I handled the topic of food with my child, but now I am paying for my hubris as I announce to the world “I WILL ALWAYS CUT OFF THE CRUSTS!”

 

 

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5 Tips for Hitting the Beach with Kids (Rip Current Warnings)

Beach with child by KUWK

Fort Lauderdale Beach with pier in distanceI was greeted once again this morning with stories of lives lost due to rip currents. It breaks my heart every time I see it and it seems that it happens every holiday! With Spring Break in full swing, unfortunately it has happened again. I thought I would repost an older article about beach safety.

Please take a moment to read 5 Tips for Hitting the Beach with Kids and be sure to protect your family on the beach and keep your perfect day idyllic.  Make sure that if you have visitors over the holidays that they understand the seriousness of rip currents and what to do if they get caught in them.