Monday, September 23, 2013

Story Time @ Bedford Public Library

I really enjoy the Bedford Public Library, it is great for the whole family. (I always encourage people to check their local libraries for events and story times, free classes and seminars, and even twilight concerts on the front lawn like in Hurst!)  So the story time at Bedford Library is amazing.  Space is extremely limited, and you MUST register.  There is a waiting list, so if you don't show, your spot is given to someone waiting.  There are songs, stories, puppets, parachute play with a song, the lighting is really neat and the teacher is great.  All of the songs and stories are read by everyone aloud to their child together, and there are songs that include drums, maracas and tambourines.  If you wish to attend Bedford Public Library Babygarden, check on line for registration times, and make sure you register for the correct time.  There are separate story times for pre-walkers, walkers and toddlers.  I am trying to visit as many story times as I can, and I am working on a blog post with information from the local libraries with story times.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Yes Another Mall Play Area! And more to come.....

Ridgmar Mall
Soft Play Area                            1888 Green Oaks Rd  
                                                      Fort Worth
Open during business hours


Let me start by saying that I took public transit to get here, and the bus dropped me off in the parking lot near Macy's.  That stop also happens to be a transit center for other buses as well, so this could be your only trip or a stop along your journey.

I originally went here for just the play center.  It was everything I hoped it would be.  It really has an interesting layout, firetrucks, mushrooms, trains, a boat and a waterfall.  The best time to visit is before school lets out, during the week.  The play area rules say nobody over 42", but many parents ignore this and the little people it was made for get run over.  Just FYI.

There is also a little train nearby that goes around the mall.  It costs $3 a person, and parents can ride as well.  It makes choo-choo noises and sounds like a very quiet version of a real train.

A carousel sits right at the entrance of Macy's, and for $2, you (your child) can take a ride.  I have yet to ride it, as our last attempt at a smaller version of a carousel was met with cries and screams for mommy.  

In front of Sears there are some coin operated rides, just like the kind I used to pretend to ride when I was a miniature version of myself.  They only take quarters, and there is a change machine right next to the rides for your convenience.

In the food court, right next to the adult sized tables, are children's tables.  Just the right size for little legs.  My 1 year old loved that he was not confined and we actually had a better dining experience than usual when eating out.

There are 2 fountains inside the Mall.  One is larger with a bridge that crosses over it, and 4 turtle statues "spitting" water into it.  Little people love to cross this bridge over and over, as well as climb the little the turtles.  The other fountain is more a traditional smaller fountain, to be found by Dillard's.  It is actually a nice place to take a breather away from all the action in the center of the mall.

There is also an attraction next to the soft play area that has giant trampolines, and the kids are strapped to a hoist and lifted as they jump, so that they can soar way up high and remain safe.  It costs $7 for 3 minutes, which I thought was kind of steep until I actually saw the contraption in action.  I felt like a kid just watching!

If you are shopping for your little one here, there is a Children's Place, Justice, Titan Toys, and a Build-A-Bear.  There are also 2 conveniently placed "Sweet-tooth Shops" right next to the play area.  One is all cupcakes, and the other is ice cream.  If that was not enough, there is also a Candy World in this mall.  I had to literally drag my son out of it, even though he knows nothing of candy yet, the vibrant colors and sweet smell grabbed my son and tried to suck him in.

As far as I am concerned, this is the best mall in Tarrant County that I have found, as far as being child friendly.  I can make several hours out of a visit here, often spending $5 or less.  This mall definitely comes with the DFW Metroplex Mommy stamp of approval!!

One of my favorites!!!

The Hills Church of Christ
Soft Play Area and Play Structure                        FREE!!

Mon- 2pm-5pm                              6300 N. Loop 820
Tues-12pm-5pm                              North Richland Hills


This play area is fantastic for your little ones to release their wiggles!  This is an ideal play area no matter how old your little squirts are!  There is a tube play structure (think McDonald's but cleaner and taller) for the older children, although the little ones can go through as well so long as they can handle it.  The soft play area is roomy with plenty of space between the features.  Some places seem rather cramped, not here Mama!  

There is a mini slide, a rocket ship and a shuttle to run/crawl in and out of, soft play moon rocks(?) and the area is surrounded by a comfortable seating area to watch the little ones.  Since this church has an area for the big and little kids, there aren't any issues with your little one getting run over by the bigger kids.  Mothers are also very attentive here.

The star slide is the main attraction for the ankle biters, and they all congregate around it speaking heir baby babbles to each other, conspiring to take over the world and such.

I went with my son through the tube structure, and all I could think was, "Where was this kind of stuff when I was a kid?" I was getting pulled out of the Hamburglar by the Fire Department because I got stuck in his head! Nope, nothing like this around.  Anyhow, it was really a workout for me!  There were a number of obstacles to wiggle through, and the twisting levels seemed to never end.  The slide didn't seem too fast, mind you I am an adult with a 24lb child in my lap, so I did not reach full speed or anything.

There is a little outdoor park that is available to play on as well.  We might play outside if the weather cooperates, and then move the party inside or vice versa. 

Like it says earlier in this post, always check the website for closings. The link is at the top of the page, just click the name of  the church.  Then visit if open.  

Going to North East Mall? Park at Nordstrom...

Simon Kidgits Clubhouse
            @                                               FREE!!
Northeast Mall                                          

Open All Day  
        (Mall Hours)    
Nordstrom Hallway 

1101 Melbourne rd.
 Hurst, Tx
I recommend that if you visit this mall with children, park in the Nordstrom parking lot for the following reasons:

- The parking garage.  The sweltering Texas sun makes your vehicle an oven, and with a small child in tow it can be downright miserable.  For the both of you.  Park in the shade and avoid the "meltdown".

-Visit Nordstrom children's shoe department for a free balloon.  They are usually out in sight, but if there aren't any the sales associate is usually more than happy to get one for you.  They are helium balloons, with a cute little weight at the bottom so the child will not lose the balloon, (at least not to the sky).  

-The clubhouse is in the Nordstrom Hallway, so you can visit before you shop and/or after, and it's already 'on the way' rather than 'out of the way'.   

-If you are a nursing mother that would like some privacy, or a mom with a "bathroom" crisis that is better handled as privately as possible, Nordstrom has a Mother's Room.  It is roomy and comfortable and there are nice places to sit rather than a toilet.  In fact, the toilet stalls are separate from the nursing/lounge area.

-There is an interactive screen pad on the floor in front of Nordstrom.  Actually if you are walking in from Nordstrom, it is technically behind the directory signage.  Children can walk across it and watch the images, as it makes it appear as though they are kicking leaves, or leaving a trail of sparkles.

Simon Kidgits Club is a little membership club that the kids can be a part of for $5 a year.  You do NOT have to be a member to enjoy the play area.  You get to spin the wheel at the Customer Service kiosk for prizes every time you visit the mall (bring your membership card) and when you sign up you get a bag of goodies, a t-shirt, and coupons that are to be used at stores or for food at places in and around the mall. There are events that are held regularly for the Kidgits Club members, and they are a blast!!!

There is more for the kiddos here, like a little carousel in the same hallway as well as one in front of JCPenney.  There is also a very nice and relaxing fountain, and kids love fountains for some reason.  If you eat in the food court, the high chairs are by Subway ;)  And Villa Pizza usually has a special for a .99 kids meal when you order a meal.  You're Welcome.     

I love it every time I go :)                               

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

One of the many DFW churches that has an open playtime...

Grace Point Church
590 S. Denton Tap Rd.
Coppell, Tx
Monday from 9:00am to 5:00pm                                                      
Tuesday from 2:00pm to 5:00pm                                                   
Wednesday from 2:00pm to 5:00pm
Thursday from 2:00pm to 5:00pm
Friday from 9:00am to 12:00pm noon
******************ALWAYS CHECK WEBSITE FOR CLOSINGS******************

I will start by saying that I went here on a whim.  I was looking for things to do on a hot Texas Monday morning with my son, and BAM!  I found this gem!

I found this place to be AWESOME!!  The play area and play structure here for the "larger little ones" is HUGE with plenty of room for the kiddos to release their wiggles.  All I could hear the entire time were the delighted squeals coming from children that were happy to be anywhere but stuck in the house on a 105 degree day.

We went to the little tots area, as my son is only 1. There is a mini play structure with slides and plenty to climb in/on/around.  Lots of soft play toys, pads in case of falls, and the walls are covered with colorful games and other sensory objects to entertain the knee-high explorer.  Jacob loved the little enclosed area in the play structure that had GIANT bouncy balls in it.  Imagine: walking around in a world where the bouncy balls are bigger than you!!  Rather Entertaining.

There is an eating area with tables and chairs which is great to take a break in.  I really like that they made it comfortable and fun.  Also note that the larger play structure is big enough for a parent to crawl in in the event of a distressed child.

The ARK is located in the back of the church, so before you park at the front and walk all the way around, (like I did), drive to the back and park where you see the outdoor playground.  You're Welcome.  Also socks (no shoes allowed) are REQUIRED so bring an extra pair.  They do have socks for loan, but I prefer to bring my own.  Plus, I am that mom that will accidentally run off with those socks!

I will also note that you can have children's birthday parties here, but they fill up fast, so register early.

I highly recommend that you take visit this church play area.  I give it 5 stars.  So does my son who slept for 3 hours straight after we left:)

Get to the splash parks while you still can!!

 Parr Park Spray Ground

Hours: 8 am to 8 pm daily
Cost: Free

Address: 3100 Parr Lane, Grapevine, Texas
Closes Sept. 30th