I have always loved Halloween night. I still remember the thrill of getting dressed up and running around the neighborhood in the dark. There would be kids running everywhere, house to house, demanding candy. There was such excitement and fun in the air.
Then I got older and didn’t get to trick-or-treat anymore. To be honest, I did keep it up until I was 18. But then I finally had to accept my time was done.
But now: Enter the Child
My son is my ticket back into the socially acceptable practice of parading in the streets for free candy on All Hallows Eve. I have taken him trick-or-treating since he was 6 months old. This was the first year he was into it. Oh he didn’t care one bit about his costume, but he sure made a beeline for those candy baskets. He caught on fast and had no shame grabbing as much as he could stuff in his little toddler hands.
And I was lucky to have recently moved to a neighborhood that really celebrates things the way I remembered. Kids were running from house to house, everyone was out and dressed up, it was amazing. Plus there was the added bonus of the adults enjoying themselves as well and serving up adult beverages along the way. I had a never-ending wine glass, and got to trick-or-treat. It was Awesome!
So according to my calculations, I should get at least another 10 years of trick-or-treating out of this arrangement…lol
Back in April Bay and Bee offered a “buy two months get one free special,” so I thought it would be a great chance to check it out and really let us get to know it before committing to a regular monthly membership. It’s a Montessori inspired, eco-friendly indoor play space for children under 5, located in Jacksonville, FL.
They have a great play space with tons of toys, a wooden train set that you can use to build different tracks, a play kitchen area, lots of blocks and creative toys, and a little jungle gym in the middle.
I was really looking forward to trying all the classes they offer from Sway and Play Yoga to sign language. Unfortunately Keelan lasted about 30 seconds in yoga and ran out of the room, and I couldn’t get him to sit still and pay attention to any of the demonstrations. He participated a tiny bit in the art class. But as usual it was not the amazing mom and son activity time I had imagined. He mostly just wanted to run off and play with the dump truck.
It is a great place to go on a rainy day or when it’s too hot or too cold to play outside. Other than that I want to wait until Keelan is more interested in classes before getting a membership again. I feel like you need to do those to really make the most out of the cost of the membership which starts at $48/mo.
If you are interested in checking it out, your first visit is free!
Bay & Bee
13475 Atlantic Blvd
Jacksonville, FL 32266
Our toddler adventure for today was at the Hands On Children’s Museum in Jacksonville, FL. I went in expecting it to be on the science-y side, but it ended up being more like a museum of real life. There was a grocery store, bank, veterinarian, cafe, theater, etc. I’m not really sure where the “museum” part comes in… maybe because it has been there for 17 years? Lol
Everything was a little old and beat up, and it was hot and some stuff was stinky, but you know who doesn’t care about any of that? A two-year-old. So I just took a step back and let him go crazy and play with everything. We’ve got to kick that immune system into high gear for our impending date with preschool anyway!
It’s definitely worth checking out if you live in Jacksonville. We were there a couple hours and K didn’t want to leave! I think it’s odd that parents have to pay $5.50 to sit and watch their kid, so essentially that made it a $9.50 visit. But overall worth the trip since I had a tired baby afterwards!
We spent the weekend on Jekyll Island, GA, for their 2016 ComicCon. I was a cosplay guest so I had a table all weekend and Sean was on daddy duty. We did manage to break away on the last day and check out the famous Driftwood Beach, where they recently filmed some scenes from the Walking Dead.
The beach was pretty amazing, though Keelan was mostly interested in throwing sand. I’ve been wanting to visit for a while, but it’s an hour and half north of us so the comic con event was the extra incentive I needed to finally make it happen.
We stayed at the beachfront Days Inn, so of course I had visions of going out and enjoying the sunrises and taking some pretty family photos. Keelan had other ideas. Lesson number one with kids: nothing ever turns out the way you have it planned in your head. Lesson number two: never let it stop you from trying because it is still worth it!
The con was small, but fun. I dressed as Sub Zero on Saturday and Wonder Woman on Sunday. Keelan had fun looking at all the costumes. He had to go say hi to all the Stormtroopers. We even found Santa Claus and then found Deadpool dressed as Santa, so we got our Christmas card pics taken care of. Photo of that coming soon 🙂
In my big effort to “get out there and do stuff,” I signed us up for a handprint ornament class at one of those make it and paint it pottery places. In other words, I took a toddler to a fragile land of no-no filled with colorful animals, flowers and even tanks and video game controllers that he can’t touch! In case you are wondering how fun it is with a 19 month old, well on a scale of 1-10…it’s maybe a 3. And that’s if you just really like arts and crafts. And chasing toddlers. We spent 10% of our time on the handprint and 90% of the time it was me chasing him around going “No Touch! No Touch!”
It all sounded so lovely – a story time with snack and drink, followed by creating a pottery piece that went with the story. Unfortunately they started with the crafty part, so by the time the story time came he was WAY over it. Then the snack and drink were terribly inappropriate for his age group. Little hard gummy bear type things and juice in a small Styrofoam cup that he immediately grabbed and tried to crush in his tiny toddler hands as it sloshed all over my lap. I quickly ate all the gummy bears, took the shot of juice and then gave him a pouch from home. Oddly enough the only thing he didn’t try to crush was his handprint. I could barely make a dent. I was starting to worry I was hurting him, trying to cram his hand into the clay.
Other highlights include a kid peeing his pants in the corner and a mom who thought a loud airplane might be a tornado. I’m serious. She went outside to check the clouds.
So in just a couple weeks we will get a lovely $18 handprint turned Santa ornament to mark this occasion. I’m glad we tried it, but it will be a little while before we try it again. It is making me reconsider the $90 art class I’ve been eyeing. Maybe save that for a couple months from now…
I’m glad I didn’t stick around for the footprint (an additional $18) because I found this nifty idea online on how you can do the exact same thing at home for free: