Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summer Sanity - Local Activities To Occupy My Kids

I am just starting to get into the the swing of summer--the free time, the no schedule, the blessed reprieve from constant events.  I must say that while I looked forward to not making lunches every day and having to get the kids up and out the door bright and early each morning that having them home all day, every day, is a bit overwhelming at times.

Two Friday's ago, I'd fully anticipated taking all the kids and going to my workout class, however, when Adam tried to leave for work, we discovered that the spring on our garage door had broken and there was not even a chance of manually opening it.  So, we were stuck at the house until Harmon Overhead Doors could arrive.  That sort of got our morning out of kilter if you know what I mean.  At that point I tried to put together a Plan B that didn't consist of a constant flow of television or playing the Wii.  If I said it once, I probably said it five or six times, "did you ask to turn the TV on?"  I thought to myself, "Oh man, this is just the first day of summer!"  I tried to get them to do Legos, play games, read or do some "school" work pages and journaling, but the combination of rain (meaning we were literally trapped in the house) and the fact that the garage door was stuck (meaning we could not leave the house) made for a tragic combination.  So, I decided then, that I needed to put a little structure into our summer days so I started doing some research on local fun spots.  For those of you Little Rocker's, here's a few local ideas you might try with your peeps this summer and if you have suggestions, I'd welcome the ideas in my comment section.

Movie Fun:
Snoopy And Charlie Brown The Peanuts Cartoon HD Wallpaper - Stylish HD Wallpapers
Rave Theatre
Enjoy all rated G or PG movies for just a buck.  Movies are shown at 10 am on Thursdays.  The schedule is:  Paddington (June 9); Alvin and the Chipmunks (June 16); The Peanuts Movie (June 23); Pan (June 30); Home (July 7); The Box Trolls (July 14); The Sandlot (July 21); Norm of the North (July 28); Shaun the Sheep Movie (August 4); and Max (August 11).  It will run each Thursday from June 4-August 6.

Chenal 9
Also has family friendly movies at 10 am and noon Tuesday through Thursday for $3 admission.  The Peanuts Movie (June 14-16th); The Surfs 2 (June 21-23); Home (June 28-30); Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (July 5-7); Puss in Boots (July 12-14); How to Train Your Dragon (July 19-21); Goosebumps (July 26-28); and Hotel Transylvania 2 (Aug 2-4).

Museum Fun:
The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum is home to the USS Razorback, the longest-serving submarine in the world.  More than just a military museum, it also offers a research library, a theatre, and a large museum area.  It's located on the NLR side of the Riverfront area.  Adult admission is $7.50, its $5 for children 5-12.  All children are welcome but children under 4 are NOT allowed on the USS Razorback tour.  Hours are Wednesday-Saturday 10 am - 6 pm, Sunday 1-6pm

Wiggle Worms-Museum of Discovery
The Whoosh exhibit at @arkmod is...
The Museum of Discovery has a program that introduces children 6 and under to science in a fun, interactive environment.  It's held every Tuesday at 10 am and Saturday at 10 am.  The Wiggle Worms 2.0 is a new program for children 12 and under and is held every Thursday at 3:30pm.   It is included in the admission fee.  Programs are: Cool Caves (June 7, 9 & 11); Electrify Sci! (June 14, 16, 18) and Outer Space (June 21, 23 & 24).

Outdoor Fun:
Little Rock Zoo-
Animal Feeding Schedule
9:30 am and 3:30 pm - Penguins
1:30pm - Great Ape Scatter Feeds (observed daily from 1:30 to 2:00 pm, weather permitting.)
2:00pm - Saturdays - Alligator Feeding
Lorikeet Feeding - Nectar can be purchased inside the Lorikeet exhibit
Fish Food - Fish food is available around the park for $.25 to feed the Koi fish.

Witt Stephens Nature Center (downtown)
Witt Stephens Nature Center 3
Geocaching - Downtown 8:30-4:30 Tuesday - Saturday
Fish Feeding - Wednesdays 2-2:30 pm
Alligator Feeding - Fridays 2-2:30 pm
Wild Tales Story Time - Wednesdays 10-11 am  Join a nature center educator for story time featuring books about animals and nature.  Then, take a guided discovery walk outside.  This free program is tailored for children 6 and younger.  Dress for outdoor time.  There is a terrific scavenger hunt that they will give each child (upon request) at the front desk, my boys thought this was a really fun activity.

Downtown & Midtown Fun:
METRO Streetcar
The METRO is a 3.4 mile street car system connecting the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock.  Attractions along the route include Verizon Arena, the Argenta Historic District, Little Rock's River Market District, the Historic Arkansas Museum and the Clinton Presidential Center.  I have only done this with the boys one other time, but they loved it!Little Rock Cable Car
The schedule is:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 8:30 - 10 pm
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 8:30 - Midnight
Sunday 11 - 5 pm

Routes begin at the River Market and it's about a 15 minute loop.
-ages 4 and under are FREE
-ages 5-11 are $.50 per boarding
-ages 12-64 are $1.00 per boarding

Splash Pads:
The River Market Splash Pad and the one at Midtown are pretty fun, though I'd suggest going early since it gets pretty crowded and is difficult to keep up with kids as they climb on the rocks and weave in and out of the many fun tunnels.

Farmers Market:
2011 07 16 Farmers Market
You could hit up several of these activities in one trip if you went and rode the METRO Street Car, went to the Farmers Market to grab some fresh produce then ended the morning by running and splashing in the Peabody Splash Pad.  I think we'll give this a go next week!

Farmers Market Hours are:
EVERY Saturday Starting May 7, 2016 – September 24, 2016
7 AM - 3 PM, rain or shine!

Starting May 3, 2016 – July 26, 2016
7 AM - 3 PM, rain or shine!

400 President Clinton Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201

Arkansas State Capitol Tour:
Arkansas State Capitol
To schedule a guided tour of the Capitol, all you need to do is call the Visitor Services Specialist at 501-682-5080.  The free tours of the Capitol Building are offered weekdays 9am - 3pm.  A friend of mine recently did this and said it was really pretty interesting, I'll let you know how it goes.

So, these are a few of my summer ideas to keep my sanity.  If you have suggestions, please share them below.

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