Parky’s Wetland Adventure

img_9444-1

Looking for an affordable, kid-friendly outing on a hot summer day in Cincinnati?  Consider a trip to Parky’s Wetland Adventure on the Eastside.  It’s in Woodland Mound Park which is part of the Hamilton County parks system.  It’s $3.50 each for kids ages 2-12.

We have been trying to visit all the different parks around Cincinnati. There are so many of them! It may keep us busy for ages. Isabella, six years old, loved it. The place is a perfect way to run off some energy and enjoy the heat. There is also a toddler section so we may revisit this with Octavia when she is a little older. Ivy was too old to play here.  She and I had time to chat while Isabella played with kids her age. Octavia slept through most of our trip. She’s a newborn and sleeps a lot.  The view of the river from the benches at the back was amazing!

img_9452-2

They have a snack/drink shop and picnic tables to eat at. After Isabella was done playing in the water, we grabbed a drink and quick snack. We chose to sit at the picnic tables near the playground next door to the waterpark instead. The girls had a lot of fun playing at the playground that is built into a hill. The tables were at the top of the hill so I could watch them playing.

There is also a nature center near the waterpark area that is free and worth a visit. It was a fun place to visit for a bit. There were plants and local animals. There was a short trail right by it that we walked. We had a lot of fun. This place is definitely a great way to spend a hot summer afternoon with the kids.

Kite Flying in Kentucky

IMG_0575

We were trying to find a good place to go kite flying.  We came across A.J. Jolly Park in Alexandria, KY while searching online.  It’s a beautiful park with large open areas that were perfect for flying kites.  There is also a large lake and tons of trails.  We had a picnic under a large tree.  The kids played on the playground. The park was clean, easy to find, and as you can tell from the photo, not too crowded.  Looking for a low-key family outing in Northern Kentucky?  Perhaps A.J. Jolly is what you are looking for.

Kinman Farms Spring Fest 2015 – Free Family Fun!

Kinman Farms

Spring Fest 2015 at Kinman Farms in Burlington, KY continues this coming weekend (5/16/15 & 5/17/15). Spring Fest is being offered free this year. Yes folks, Free! Free petting zoo, Free hayrides, Free pony rides, Free face painting, Free parking. The other activities were very budget friendly. They also sell a ton of plants if you are looking for something for your garden. Our first stop was the photo booth where the kids enjoyed holding bunnies.

Kinman Farms

There is an area here to paint a flower pot for $2. We skipped this because the line was too long. The petting zoo was a hit. Isabella, 5 years old, loves chickens! She could have stayed there all day. You can buy feed in an ice cream cone for $1. We went through a few of them!

ChickensPetting Zoo

The face painting station is in the petting zoo barn. It was kind-of odd placement. The girls running it were very nice.

Kinman Farms

We grabbed a quick lunch off the grill and ate at a picnic table looking out over the lake. It was relaxed and very budget friendly. Food options are Pulled Pork $4, Hotdogs $2.50, Funnel cakes $4, Nachos & Cheese $3, and Drinks $1. After lunch we went for a hayride around the farm. This was a lot of fun. A pony ride was Isabella’s favorite part of the whole day. This family farm day was just what we needed!

Pony Ride

OMNIMAX – Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs – Cincinnati, OH

My daughters and I recently enjoyed Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs at the Omnimax in Cincinnati, OH.  The show runs for 40 minutes. It is educational and not scary. The Omnimax in general can be scary for kids that are afraid of the dark and the large scale can be overwhelming. We have personally not had any problems. Before every film we repeat “This is just a movie. If you are afraid close your eyes and hold my hand until you feel better.” There was one moment during one about space that she clamped down on my hand for a second and that has been it. I found this show entertaining and informative. My five year old daughter, Isabella found it amusing enough to sit still the entire time. There are many beautiful shots of Egypt. The show ends April 26th. If you are interested in Egypt, mummies, or advances in healthcare this may be the film for you.

You can see a trailer here – http://www.cincymuseum.org/omnimax/mummies

You get a discount on tickets if you print them at home. There is a link on the above link. Current prices are $8.50 for adults and $6.50 for kids without the discount. If you live in the Cincinnati area & would enjoy experiencing the Omnimax on a regular basis I would suggest a 1-year membership for $25. It’s a great deal. Parking is $6. After 4:30 it’s $4.

Spontaneous Family Travel

There are a lot of books, blogs, and articles about planning family travel. They detail how easy travel can be if it is all planned in advanced. The problem with this is that it takes all of the spontaneity out of travel. I’m not telling you to kick all planning to the curb. There is a time and a place for a step-by-step plan. You don’t want to wing a trip to Disney world. On the other hand, you do not need a plan to enjoy a random Saturday in your own neighborhood. It is good to have some things in place for emergencies but I promise you that you can leave your house unscripted with children and survive. You may even enjoy yourself!

We have had many adventures simply by leaving our house without a single plan. To go out on a completely spontaneous trip you will have to decide on two things. The first thing is how long your trip will last. Do you need to be home by bedtime or before work on Monday? The second thing is how are you leaving the house. Will you be walking, driving, or riding public transit to start your trip? That is it.

We typically drive because of where we live. When we get to the end of a road, stop sign, or a light we take turns deciding which way to go. We have stumbled upon some great parks, restaurants, and outings that have resulted in some amazing memories. The extreme planning that goes into most family travel is confining. Sometimes you just need a little spontaneity to really relax and enjoy your family time. Go have yourself a little adventure. Even if it’s a bust you end up with a great little story and some life experience. Going out on a whim gets easier the more you do it. Eventually you will know everything in and around your neighborhood. At that point you have to hop on the highway for a little distance (or you just move to a new area). When we first move to a new area we start at our front door. As time goes on we often get on the highway and drive to a nearby town or city before starting our random adventure. This is a great way to learn your surroundings and to find those little places that you would never see in any guide book.