Category Archives: Field Trip


Summer Fun List: Great Waves Water Park

In honor of Teen Beach Movie, we visited our local water park for some fun in the waves and the sand.


Great Waves Water Park has a big wave pool, several water slides, a sprayground, a large pool, a kiddie pool, and a playground with sand. After 4pm on weekdays it only costs $8 per person!

Tom took Luke off to do big kid things like water slides while Scarlett tried out the sprayground.


She didn’t like getting splashed, though, so she decided we’d hang out at the Under 6 Wading Pool for a while.


It’s only about a foot deep at it’s deepest – great for the littlest kids!

After a good hour, I finally convinced Scarlett to go meet the guys at the big pool.


We hit the wave pool a little after that, but the kids were being tossed around too much so we spent the rest of the time at the playground.


The weather was great and Tom & I enjoyed relaxing while the kids had a blast playing in the sand.



Quintessential summer fun!


A Morning at Cocoa Beach

On Saturday morning, we got up early to head for the beach! We knew we had to have a beach day while we were in Florida, and Cocoa Beach was one of the closest beaches to Orlando. After an hour drive, we arrived at Alan Shepard Beach Park at 8:30am and spent the morning in the sand and surf.


Luke dug a hole as soon as we got there, and Scarlett bounced around in the hot sand for a while.


Then we raced to ocean! Scarlett absolutely insisted on wearing her life jacket – she even wore it in the car! We wouldn’t normally make her wear it in a half an inch of water.



Scarlett continued to bound around in the wet sand. Luke really enjoyed all the mud.



The kids didn’t want to go out to far. The undertow was strong  and the waves were unfamiliar. Luckily, we had plenty of tools for building sand sculptures.



Of course, everything devolved after a while into burying Dad!


Then Scarlett wanted to get in on the action.



By this time, the sunblock was wearing off. We rinsed off as much sand as we could and had a nice picnic at the covered tables in the parking lot.

After a great morning at the beach, it was time to head back to Orlando for more Disney resort fun!


Monsters University Activity: Visiting Harvard

Visiting Massachusetts during our Monsters University week was great since it was easy to visit about a billion colleges. We chose the big one: Harvard!

fathersday&mass 223

We had planned to go to Harvard Square on our next trip up because they have a Curious George store there. Luke loves George! We stopped in to read and play before our college visit.
fathersday&mass 187
He really was excited to see the doorman – even though he looks pretty grumpy.
fathersday&mass 175

fathersday&mass 182

It was a fun little store, although on the expensive side. We left with a promise to pick up some George souvenirs at the next yard sale that has some :).

After a nice lunch of pizza and yogurt parfaits, we crossed the intersection to Harvard Yard.

  fathersday&mass 220

We checked out the dorms and libraries as well as enjoyed the chairs set up in shady spots on the hot summer day.

  fathersday&mass 198

fathersday&mass 192
fathersday&mass 195

fathersday&mass 211

Well…some of us enjoyed it. Some of us wanted to go home.

fathersday&mass 189

Before we left, we popped into The Coop to check at books and sweatshirts. And a bear that rows crew…

fathersday&mass 222

It was a nice, if tiring, afternoon out.


Monsters University: Scare School at the Disney Store

While we were visiting my family in Massachusetts, we found out that the local Disney Store was holding a special Monsters University event: Scare School!

The website site said: “Children age 3+ are invited to attend the School of Scaring and learn the fine art of scaring during a Scare Approaches 101 class. Before class, students will attend a Scream Orientation, listen to a special message from the Dean of the School of Scaring Abigail Hardscrabble, and receive a Monsters University identification card. Plus, each student who attends will also receive an official Monsters University gift.”

Sounded fun, so we headed to the mall and were there for the 10:30 class.

fathersday&mass 097

At the back of the store, a countdown to the class was on the movie screen.

fathersday&mass 090

When it was time to begin, a cast member came back to lead the class. She did some Monsters U jokes and trivia to warm us up.

fathersday&mass 092

Scarlett was into it. Luke was a bit unsure (he is suspicious of monsters.) They sat on the floor with the other eager kids.

fathersday&mass 093
Before learning to scare, the kids got ID cards. They picked a monster photo and name.
  fathersday&mass 094
Predictably, Scarlett picked a pink monster and Luke picked a green one. They were supposed to use their first name and the first letter of their last name to make a monster name. Neither kid could figure out how to do that, so Tom and I named them” Luke AHHHH! and Scar Achnid.
    fathersday&mass 095

Once the video started, Luke decided to become a Scare School drop out. Instead he went to the LEGO store, and got himself some Jake and The Neverland Pirates Duplo blocks.

  fathersday&mass 102

Scarlett and I stayed behind to learn Scary Feet, roaring and even the “Aunt Phyllis”. She earned her very own Monsters University penant!


She also walked away with a Sleeping Beauty bean bag doll so it was a good time all around.


Summer Fun List: Our Special Harbor Sprayground

To celebrate Father’s Day, we took a trip over to Our Special Harbor Spray Park. This is one of our favorite summer spots, and this was our first visit this year. Very exciting.


Scarlett was a little shy but agreed to get her feet wet. Luke was afraid it was going to be cold, but ended up jumping right in.




I only got pictures of the stuff that wouldn’t drench my phone. Trust me, though, it was fun.



After we were sufficiently cooled off, we changed into our regular clothes and played for a bit at Chessie’s Big Backyard, the playground next to the Sprayground.


The kids even learned a thing or two from Dad.


Our first Summer Fun outing was definitely fun! Looking forward to a lot more.


Port Discovery Museum Part III

We had such a fun time at the Port Discovery Museum in Baltimore that I had to share some of the pictures that weren’t related to The Wizard of Oz.


Luke’s favorite part by far was the giant climbing structure that went up all three floors in the middle of the museum. I didn’t actually get a photo of that part, because I was trying to keep track of the kids. It was tough! But fun.

Scarlett’s favorite was Tiny’s Diner, a “realistic 50’s style diner, kids can ‘cook’ and serve food to their parents while using their math skills to ring up orders at the cash register.”


Luke served me a bowl full of fruit and Scarlett found some pie and waffles in the fridge.

Scarlett rung up my order.

Luke pretended to chat on his very first pay phone.


We played here for a good while before finally checking out other things. It was an awesome play space.

Next, we found Wonders of Water which was also a blast. We floated boats, connected pipes, washed windows, and even played music with water.




There was a lot of other stuff, too. I forgot to take pictures in the pretend convenience store where the kids used an ATM and pumped some gas! They pretended to drive a train and load it with cargo. They started to explore ancient Egypt but Scarlett thought it was too scary. We even took a break in The Oasis, where they painted rocks with water, put together a Mr. Potato Head, and relaxed with some crayons and books.
Port Discovery is a terrific children’s museum, even for little ones like mine. They had a wonderful time.

Oz The Great and Powerful Activity: Port Discovery Museum Part II

For the first part of the Wizard of Oz exhibit at Port Discovery museum, we visited Dorothy’s home in Kansas, Munchkin village, and met friends along the Yellow Brick Road.


The second part, on the other side of the museum, was an experience with Emerald City. It added a bit more Science to our visit.

Welcome to Oz!


The “Wizard” let kids experiment with a voice changer and special effects.


They could also try color mixing for A Horse of a Different Color.


A special viewer let us see thing from the Wicked Witch’s point of view.


And peddling Miss Gulch’s bike created a movie of her turning into the witch.



 Pretty neat!

There was lots more fun to be had at Port Discovery that wasn’t even related to The Wizard of Oz. See Part III for everything else!


Oz The Great and Powerful Activity: Port Discovery Museum Part I

When I found out there was a Wizard of Oz exhibit at the Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore, I knew we had to make the trip.

We showed the kids The Wizard of Oz the night before we went so they had a reference point, and Scarlett spent the entire drive singing “Follow The Yellow Brick Road.” It was a nice build up.

The Oz exhibit was pretty neat, with many different things to explore.
The first area we visited had items from Kansas and from stops along the Yellow Brick Road.

Inside Dorothy’s room, we could see the tornado and make it spin!

A Twister!

We found the yellow brick road. We didn’t attempt to build the rainbow arch.

Build a Rainbow over the Yellow Brick Road

Scarlett had fun dressing up the Munchkins and making the apple tree talk.



Luke learned about optical illusions.


He brushed the lion’s mane and passed the courage test!


He also played with some gears to get the Tin Man’s heart beating.


There were several other little parts to this section, including building Glinda’s crown, playing songs with pipes in Munchkinland, decorating Scarecrow, and making a tornado in a tube.

And there was even more Oz to explore once we made it to Emerald City. Check out Part II for more pics!


Toy Story 2 Activity: Visiting the Toy Store

One thing we HAD to do for Toy Story 2 Week was – duh! – visit the toy store!


Luke went straight for the train table, his favorite part of the store. There weren’t any trains this time, but he made it work.


Scarlett did a bit of shopping on her own ;).


Oh, hey! The Toy Story toys!


We had to check out the bikes and Scarlett’s favorite, the Power Wheels.


Tom and Luke went to look at video games while Scarlett and I looked at the dolls. She found some Oz the Great and Powerful make-up that she fancied. 
When it was time to go, Scarlett wanted to stay, so she hunkered down in a baby pool by the exit.


We finally convinced her to leave with the promise of strawberries with dinner. Otherwise, she might have decided to live at Toys R Us. And, really, I don’t blame her – it’s not Al’s Toy Barn, but it sure is fun!


The Princess and the Frog Activity: Frogs at Hidden Pond

Our next field trip for The Princess and the Frog week was to Hidden Pond Nature Center, a wonderland of amphibians.

frog 044
The Nature Center itself was closed, but the pond was available to explore.
frog 051
We saw turtles and bugs and played in the mud.
frog 062
The sound of frogs was super loud, but I wasn’t sure we would see any. Then we spotted one relaxing on a log in the water.
frog 057
It was a beautiful day for watching the animals and enjoying nature.
frog 094
It was also a great day to run over bridges to the playground!
frog 097
A lady walking the trail pointed out a snake in the water right before we left, though.
frog 099
There’s a snake in there somewhere!
Then it was time to play!

frog 041

frog 018 

It got very hot, so we left soon after to get ice pops. But Hidden Pond was a fun place to spend an afternoon. We will be back!