Kiddy Kalendar: White House Easter Egg Roll

For the first time, tickets for the White House Easter Egg Roll are being distributed on-line, rather than in person the week before the event. Tickets will be available starting tomorrow, Thursday March 26, here. The Easter Egg Roll takes place Monday April 13 from 8am to 5pm on the South Lawn of the White House. What better excuse to take the kids down to DC for a weekend?


Why Not Consider. . . Wednesday: Travel With Kids

Remember when you could just throw some stuff in a bag, hail a cab to the airport and hop on a plane? Take it from those of us who have been traveling with kids for a while- this strategy won’t work when you have young children.

The Things You Pack In Your Checked Luggage Can’t Help You If You Are Stuck On a Plane
When you have children in diapers, or children who are on formula or baby food, it is important to plan for the worst case scenario. When I was a new mother I grabbed 5 diapers and a few bottles with formula for a trip to Florida figuring this would be more than enough to get me to my destination. It would have been, had we not been stuck on the plane on the runway for hours. My child went through every diaper before we even took off and I was sweating trying to figure out how I was going to make it to Florida with only the diaper she was wearing. (You know you are in trouble when you start wondering how you can use the sweatshirt you are wearing as a makeshift diaper). Luckily, I was also breastfeeding so I knew in a pinch we would be ok on the food front.

Pack Essentials in Your Carry On Bag: Diapers, Formula, Food, Medicine
Because of that experience, I learned to pack enough diapers to last me a few days in the carry on bag, an entire pack of wipes, and lots of food. When my kids were younger, I would just pack the entire carton of formula and put it in the bag along with a bunch of baby food. Now that my children are a little older, I travel with two packages of Goldfish crackers, as well as other starchy foods like pretzels, graham crackers or Ritz crackers. I also like to travel with Tylenol in our carry on bag- for me and for my child- just in case.

Buy Some Water When You Get Past Security To Have For Take Off and If You Get Delayed on the Runway
For younger children bring an empty sippy cup and fill it up to avoid spills. This will get you through until the flight attendants offer beverages, which may take a while if you get delayed on the runway. Additionally, letting the kids drink and swallow during take off and landing helps them pop their ears. 

Pack A Change of Clothing for You and Two For Your Child
You never know when your child will end up throwing up on you or blowing out a diaper. Bring a fresh shirt and maybe some pants that don’t take up too much space (I find leggings to be great) for just in case. Additionally, bring a change of clothing or two for your child. I like to pack a pair of pajamas as a second option, because they usually don’t take up too much space.

A Portable DVD Player
I have traveled without a portable DVD player and with a portable DVD player and I must confess that I feel that having a DVD player is a good investment. If you do not let your children watch TV- there might still be a place for a portable DVD player (with DVD’s to be used only on airplane trips). If you are uncomfortable with letting your child watch any television, see below.

Toys and Activities
We have found that good options for the plane include books, Play- Doh, crayons and coloring books, and new toys (they will keep your child’s interest longer than old toys). However, old toys that haven’t been used in a long time become just like new toys and can work just as well.

Stroller Situation
You will be allowed to bring a stroller with you to the gate and slightly beyond. You will get a special tag at the gate for the stroller and will have to fold it up and put it right outside the plane. When you get off the plane at your destination, the stroller will be waiting for you right outside the plane. However, it has been my experience that my kids usually fall asleep right before we have to disembark. It’s not that easy carrying a sleeping child off a plane with all your carry-on luggage. For the afore reason, I highly recommend bringing a baby carrier on the plane with you.

Car Seats
To us, the biggest source of stress when going someplace with the kids is what we are going to do about the car seats. You can go with a car service when you get to your destination. However, be aware that you may not get what you have requested. We have had car services tell us that they would be bringing car seats only to arrive with no car seats. We have had car services bring an infant car seat after we specified we needed a seat to fit a three year old toddler. In order to avoid such problems, you might want to try to get a recommendation from someone with children who has used the company or call the hotel you are staying at, explain your situation, and ask for their recommendation.

If you plan on renting a car be warned. You may get great car seats. On the other hand, you may get terrible seats. We have rented cars and been confronted by terrible car seats that we had to install ourselves with no instructions provided by the rental company. To make matters worse, the rental company told us that, for liability reasons, they could only hand us the carseats and we had to figure out how to put them in the car ourselves.

Bringing your own carseat is the safest best, but, be warned, it involves a lot of lugging. Just be aware that you may or may not be able to use the car seat on the plane. (I once decided to bring our Britax Marathon car seat on the plane instead of checking it at the curb. I was very disappointed, because our car seat was just too big for the plane seat and would not fit. The flight attendant had to put it under the plane where it sat with our stroller and did me no good.)

We hope these suggestions will help you on your next trip!

Tipster Tuesday: What to Do When It Rains Every Day During Your Beach Vacation

When you plan a beach vacation with children, you hope and pray that every day will be a perfect beach day.  However, what do you do when mother nature doesn’t cooperate?

Plan Ahead- Bring a List From Home With a Few Places to Explore:
We like to hit the internet before we go away. Once you get to your destination, it may be difficult to get on the internet.

Talk to People at Your Destination:
We discovered some wonderful places to go in Boca Raton when we went to the farmers market.  The people there were very friendly, and were more than happy to help us (er take pity on us) and help us find a way to entertain our brood. 

Go to a Museum and Pick up Pamphlets There:
Sometimes all it takes is finding one place geared for children to find other places geared for children. For instance, when we went to the Boca Raton Children’s Museum, they had a booklet put out by the Palm Beach Cultural Center with a list of activities for kids in March and April. This Calendar had an index in the back which I found to be the best resource. The index tipped me off to some places to investigate further, like: the Schoolhouse Children’s Museum, the Palm Beach Zoo and South Florida Science Museum.

We have included the following review just in case you find yourself in the Boca Raton area.

Imagine That! Boca Raton Children’s Museum is a hands-on museum for children that is housed in one of the oldest homes of Boca Raton (circa 1912).  Make a homemade doll (kids used to make their own) from a handkerchief, styrofoam ball and ribbons, and then decorate your doll with markers.  Move onto the next room and examine a miniature doll house made to look like the house you are in. Although one side is covered with plastic panels and is just for looking, the other side is open and ready to be explored.  After exploring the doll house, you may have an opportunity to do another craft.  In honor of St. Patricks day, we made paper flowers with pieces of green tissue paper and a pipe cleaner.  Next, check out the lovely grocery store.  One child can go shopping, while the other acts as the clerk and rings up all the items and bags them.  When your children bore of this (it will be a while) take them to the bank next door complete with vault and teller booth.  They will enjoy pretending to be tellers and, can learn about money and also open up a safe deposit box in the vault.  There is also an area with dress up materials and an area with some musical instruments. If it isn’t raining, let the kids play on the large wooden boat outside the museum and run around the fort. 
Bang for your Buck: Thumbs up! $3.00 per person.
Location: 498 Crawford Boulevard Boca Raton, Florida 33432. Phone: 561-368-3752. 
Rainy Day Recommendation: yes.