Holiday Activities for the Kids. No Cabin Fever Here.

So between now and the end of the year – the kids are out of school for the better part of THREE WEEKS.  Wow.  That could make even Mother Teresa go a little nuts.

 However, there are so many options of activities to do with the lil’ darlins (and even a camp where you can drop them off!).  And if you have family in town – (or worse – IN LAWS…just kidding – I know I love mine), never fear – this list is family friendly and sure to entertain even Aunt Edna. 

And as always – you can catch Baby J and me on Fox23Daybreak on Monday mornings

 Free Activities:

  Red Bud Valley – for you lovers of the great outdoors – this is a hidden treasure in the Tulsa area.  Red Bud Valley is a nature preserve east of Tulsa that has kid-friendly hiking trails, caves to explore and much more.  Open daily. And it’s free!  Let those kids burn off all that sugar…

holiday activities for families

The fam at Red Bud Valley. Tristan looks like he is about to have a seizure. But he's having fun. Promise.0

  Turkey Mountain is another outdoor treasure for Tulsans.  This urban wilderness area has several trails from half a mile to a four mile loop that overlooks the Arkansas River.  It is especially pretty this time of year.  Trust me – I know. Just don’t ask me to be your guide.  (you can read why here…)

 Christmas Lights Extravaganza at Rhema Bible Church – This amazing city of lights is a favorite of ours – and it is one of the biggest light displays in the country! You can either drive through or park and walk through the dazzling displays throughout Rhema’s campus.  It’s free – but donations are accepted. November 23 – January 1, 2012. 

Holiday actvities for kids

My little elves at Rhema...

  Lights on the Hill at Chandler Park – Another free light display – and it’s a drive through (yay to those of us with wayward toddlers!).  West of the River, Chandler Park winds up a hill filled with light displays.  They’ve made a lot of improvements over the years – it is definitely worth the trip.  Again, it is free to the public, but they accept donations.  November 25-December 25 (Friday, Saturday and Sundays only). 

   Deco District Holiday Pop Up Shops (downtown) – I think I am the most excited about this new addition to the holidays!  Opening the Monday after Thanksgiving – over 10 retailers will open up “Pop Up” shops in downtown Tulsa on Boston Avenue.  Images of old fashioned Christmas window shopping, carolers, hot chocolate run through my head –  this is how Christmas Shopping should be! Avoid the mall and head downtown.  Grand opening is Nov. 30 with Santa, the lighting of a  200 foot light tunnel over Boston Avenue, food, drink carolers, and of course – shopping!  Nov. 30- Dec. 30.  Shops open daily except Sundays and open late Wednesday evenings. 

One of the retailers setting up her window display...YAY!!

 Other Activities:

Arvest Winterfest presented with the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation returns to Downtown Tulsa from November 25, 2011-January 2, 2012. The month-long celebration will include outdoor ice skating, photographs with “Segway Santa,” a towering Christmas Tree, horse and carriage rides, delicious concessions, and free holiday entertainment on the ONEOK Stage. New enhancements for 2011 include the expansion of the holiday market, a new climate-controlled seating and hospitality tent, and additional charity skating promotions.  *Tip.  Don’t try and take three small children to skate when you are pregnant.  Not a good idea

 Woolaroc Wonderland of Lights – A wonderful holiday tradition returns again this year at Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve with their Wonderland of Lights spectacular.   The grounds and buildings of Woolaroc will be covered with over 650,000 lights as the historic ranch transforms itself into a magical winter wonderland!   The lights will be turned on Friday, November 25th and will be on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 24th.   Admission to Wonderland of Lights is $4 for adults and $1 for children 11 and under. The hours for Wonderland of Lights is 5-9 pm.

Woolaroc Wonderland of Lights

Just a short little drive from Tulsa - I love this place!

 Shopping for Angels – What a better way to spend time with family than by helping those less fortunate.  Our family adopts a family every year.  We let each child shop for their “angel”.  They love to pick out the gifts and help wrap them.  It is a great way to teach your children about giving back.  And there are so many programs that can use help.  Salvation Army angel tree, Youth Services of Tulsa, Family and Children Services just to name a few. 


 Loughridge Winter Camp – This place is amazing in the summer – so I can only imagine what it is like in winter!  For those parents who have to work during the two week break (or just need a break from the kiddos)– no worries – Camp Loughridge can keep them entertained!  Dec. 19th -23rd and only $50 a day!  Seriously – that is cheaper than a baby-sitter and they will have so much more fun (and you can do one day at a time, or the entire week.).  Activities include snow forts, snowfamily building, archery, arts & crafts, canoeing, challenge and ropes events, chapel, court sports and games, dance, and nature hikes. Just like summer camp, your fee covers a hot lunch and regular snacks.

So there you have it.  That’s enough stuff to keep the kids from driving you crazy.  Well, maybe not…but it will help.  Happy Holidays!

The Two Longest Weeks EVER. Or God Bless Mother’s Day Out.

I love my kids.  I really do.

And I know I chose to stay at home to be with the lil’ darlins. 

back to school time

Look at these angelic faces...

But OH MY GOSH.  If Baby J’s school hadn’t started this week – I’m pretty sure I would be committed by now.

Back to school night

Back to School Night...Baby J does not share our excitement...

 I’ve come to the conclusion that 40 is WAY too old to have a toddler running around.  Especially a toddler like Baby J.  WHO NEVER STOPS. EVER EVER EVER.

Eating dog food.  Decorating our house with rolls and rolls of toilet paper.  Emptying out the contents of our pantry all over the floor.  Washing the same load of clothes 5 times (she has figured out how to use the washing machine…sigh.).  Taking off her diaper because she would rather pee on the floor.  Falling down over and over with so many bruises, I’m thinking we will be reported to DHS. 

life with a toddler

She also likes to help with the trash. As in dumping it out every where.

And forget the fact that I can’t even go the bathroom by myself – let alone take a shower.  I now share my shower with a toddler who won’t let me shave my legs (sorry Shane) and screams while I try to wash my hair.  

bath time with toddler

Yeah - we don't have an attitude problem at all...

And riding in the car?  Ummm.  Not so much.  “Mama-mama-mama-mama-mama-mama-mama-MAMA-MAMA-MAMA!!!!!  Until I finally turn around.  Then it starts all over again.  This is what I get to listen to every time I strap her in.  So much for my meditation time.

Running errands with her?  Again.  It is BRUTAL.  So I’ve been trapped at home with the munchkin for two weeks straight while the other kids started school (lucky ducks). 

life with a toddler

Just another super-fun day with Mama and Baby J.

 I can’t even make it to the liquor store – so you know I’m in dire straits…

(News Flash:  AFTER my two weeks of confinement – my mom friend Nancy enlightened me that the liquor store at 41st and Peoria in Tulsa will watch your baby for you while you run in and grab your mommy juice…I mean Chardonnay…WHY did I not know this before???)

I’m not cut out for staying at home.  Just ask my parents – apparently I was on the go as soon as I left the womb. 

SO whoever invented Mother’s Day Out should get a Nobel Peace Prize. 

I’m going to buy her a bottle of wine right now.   Guys at Old Village Wine and Spirits – Thanks in advance for watching Baby J. 🙂 

P.S.  And I am SO very far behind on recognizing my blog winners!  (Blame Baby J).  Congrats to Jean Crosswhite, Carrie Bergstrom and Shannon Wilburn for winning the PSI Bands and the goodies from Vintage Couture from my fashion show post.  I’ll be contacting you guys soon w/ your goodies. 🙂