Thursday, March 31, 2016

Free Activities for Kids: Kids Bowl Free Nationwide!

Summer is quickly approaching and while I'm excited for the weather, I'm already starting to worry about the inevitable fighting that will occur when the kids are together all day every day. I've got our normal list of outdoor activies ready to go but let me tell you, it can get HOT in Missouri. We regularly get highs over a hundred during the summer meaning we don't last too long outside. Sometimes you need to get inside into the air conditioning and this next free activity I'm sharing is perfect for those hot days!

Have you heard of KidsBowlFree before? If not, you need to check it out. All kids 15 and under get 2 free games of bowling per day! There are over 12,000 locations nationwide so the chances of there being one near you are pretty high. Signing up is totally free, just visit KidsBowlFree.com and please use me as your referral, momentsthattake at gmail dot com (write it out as a proper email address, I just do it that way here to avoid spam bots!) Plus, there is a family pass option where parents, grandparents, older children that don't qualify for the Kids Bowl Free passes and babysitters can join in the fun and get the same great 2 FREE Game offer every day. Our local alley offers a shoe pass for the summer for a low price so the total cost is extremely low for lots of family fun!

We often visit our local bowling alley for their Mommy and Me bumper bowling time and can't wait to spend lots of time there this summer. The kids are pretty good with the bumpers:

Have you tried bowling with your kids? Let me know if you sign up for this great program!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Easter 2016

Easter weekend meant a short trip down to Wichita to visit my family this year. Luckily it's only a 3 hour drive and the kids are pretty content watching movies on the iPads. The trip is definitely getting a lot easier now that they're older and I get to pack a lot lighter now that I don't need to bring tons of diapers! Connor hopped right into his seat and looked like mister cool guy waiting for Mike to put gas in the van.


The trip down was quick and easy. We had a busy Saturday full of time with grandparents and cousins. Our visit happened to be just a few weeks after our newest nephew Bryant was born and I will admit that I took the chance to cuddle him every time I could. It's amazing to me how small he is and it's hard to remember our kids ever being that tiny!
 Connor liked him but didn't do much other than look at him for a few seconds. Grace on the other hand started begging to hold him the moment she saw him. She was very serious about it and really enjoyed getting to be a big girl.

Due to scheduling issues, we decided to do all of our Easter activities including church and egg hunting on Saturday evening. Of course, due to a day full of fun play with his cousins, Connor fell asleep in the van on the way to church and ended up sleeping on me during the entire service. He obviously needed the nap and he was happy and ready for an exciting night of egg hunting.

Grace remembered egg hunting last year but Connor had no idea what to expect. There are 9 grandkids on my side of the family ranging from a few weeks old to 12 so the little kids were given a head start. We thought we might have to help Connor but we were wrong. He ran and grabbed as many eggs as he could as fast as he could.

Each child was supposed to start with getting 10 eggs but Connor quickly surpassed that number.

Grace happily collected her 10 eggs. I wish I had gotten better pictures of her but all of the kids were running like crazy!

Connor was pretty pleased with his haul.

He had no desire to wait for me to take this photo, he just wanted to find out what was in the eggs. The final count was that most of the kids got 10 eggs while he got 22. He ended up sharing some of his eggs with his younger cousin.

We were very glad we did the Easter egg hunting the night before Easter because we woke up Sunday morning to 2 inches of snow! Of course I hadn't packed any of their snow gear so we were stuck inside for the day. I felt bad because Grace's Easter gift from us was a t-ball set and she was really hoping to try it out. So we decided it would be a good time to dye Easter eggs instead. This was the first year that both kids were really interested in helping.

The were both very proud of their final product.

Our trips down to Wichita are never long enough. We headed back Sunday afternoon with two exhausted, but happy kiddos.

How was your Easter this year? 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic Review

Disclosure: I received media tickets for my family to this event. No other compensation was received and all opinions are 100% honest and my own.

Grace and I have been to several Disney on Ice shows throughout the years and it's become one of our favorite events. We haven't brought Connor in the past because he had a difficult time sitting still for long, but now at three years old Mike and I both felt that he was ready for the show! So I showed both kids the previews and they counted down the days until we got to see Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic.

Both kids decided to dress up in Disney gear, Grace as Aurora and Connor as Buzz Lightyear. We picked up a friend and headed to the Sprint Center for a night of Disney magic.

We arrived a few minutes late because parking was difficult to find but we finally got to our seats and the kids were very excited.


We missed the first few minutes of the Mickey and friends intro due to finding our seats, but we got settled just in time to see the Blue Fairy, Jiminy Cricket, and Pinocchio. The kids have never seen Pinocchio so they weren't too interested in this section. The energy of the audience at this show was amazing and you could hear the gasps when Nemo "swam" out onto the ice. The costumes in this section were amazing and the turtles were so much fun. The kids loved every second of it.

After a swim in the ocean, we were whisked away to the Beast's castle where we watched the Beast transform into a handsome prince.

One of the things that I noticed most about the 100 Years of Magic show was the amazing couples skating featured throughout the evening. I know I've seen some impressive skating in shows in the past, but wow, these couples were great! I could have watched them skate all night and I loved when all of the royal couples danced to their specific movie song.

You could hear all of the little girls scream and yell for their favorite princesses and it was impossible not to smile. This was by far Grace's favorite part of the whole show and she is still talking about it this morning.

The rest of the first act featured Frozen. We went to Frozen on Ice last year and this was basically a condensed version of that show. It was by far the longest feature in the show and while I understand that is the most popular Disney movie at the moment, it felt way too long to me. It was fun to hear all of the little girls belting "Let It Go" but I wish they would have shortened the Frozen section to include another film.

The second act was definitely my favorite as it contained some of my favorite Disney movies. It started with a fun Genie number from Aladdin that featured tons of Genies skating in complex formations.

Next came the section Connor had been waiting for, Toy Story. He absolutely adores Buzz and Woody so he was in awe the entire time.

Next came several songs from Mulan which I loved. We had watched Mulan the day before so it was great to see this movie featured. The war scenes were a bit abstract for the kids but this section was my favorite. The dragon was amazing!

The kids loved seeing all of their favorite characters together at the end and were sad that it was finished.

There's nothing like watching your child's face as they experience the magic of Disney. We really enjoyed that this show featured more characters than any of the other show we've ever seen and most of the sections were fairly short, perfect for short attention spans. The kids are already begging to go back again and I can't wait to take them next year.

Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic will be at the Sprint Center:

Friday, March 25th @  3 PM, & 7 PM 
Saturday, March 26th @ 11 AM, 3 PM, & 7 PM 
Sunday, March 27th @ 3 PM

Click here to purchase tickets to Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic. To learn more about Disney on Ice, check out their Facebook and Twitter pages now!


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Free Kansas City Activities for Kids: Burr Oak Woods in Blue Springs

It is snowing in Kansas City today, it's supposed to be Spring people! The kids and I are so ready to be outside but for now we've been frequenting some of our favorites inside places to avoid going stir crazy. This winter I discovered a hidden gem in Blue Springs that is now one of our favorite places to burn off energy.

Burr Oak Woods Conservation Area is in Jackson County, 20 miles east of downtown Kansas City. The area is composed of 1,071 acres of woodlands, fields and ponds and includes a scenic portion of Burr Oak Creek.

Burr Oaks is an amazing place for hiking, picnics, and animal watching. We've taken photos there numerous times and the scenery makes for gorgeous pics.

I need to go back and take that photo again now that they're older and might actually stand still long enough to get a good one! While we've been there many times to hike and watch animals, we'd never had the chance to go inside the nature center until this winter. We had been missing out because the inside is amazing! The Nature Center is open Tuesdays- Friday- 7 AM- 6 PM and Saturday 8 AM- 5 PM and visits are totally FREE. The kids immediately ran to this fun tree house and slide area. They could play happily here for hours.


There are lots of interactive activities that encourage your child to push, pull, and discover new things.

There are exhibits that feature different animals, Connor's favorite was this bird exhibit that showed the skeleton of the hummingbird on the back.

Connor couldn't pass up climbing on the back of this large frog sculpture.

Both of my kids love animals so we spent a large amount of time looking at all of the turtles, frogs, snakes, and fish that reside in the nature center.

One of the snakes was being particularly active and they loved watching him.

Right outside of one of the nature center windows, a large flock of turkeys roamed around eating while we watched.

Always make sure to check Burr Oaks event calendar because they have lots of fun family and kid events that you won't want to miss. We try to go to the Little Acorns program every month now. This program is exclusively for kids ages 3-5 and is free. Make sure to call and reserve spots for your children because these programs often fill up fast.  Each month features a different topic, so far we've learned about animals in the snow and bunnies. They try to get the kids outside each time and during the bunny program we walked a trail looking for bunny tracks and paper bunnies that the staff had hidden. The staff are wonderful and very knowledgeable. During the snow program it was super cold outside so they had us stay inside with fun snow based activities for the kids. Connor happily played in this icy water for about 10 minutes!

If you happen to be near the nature center on Wednesday or Saturday at 3 PM stop in to watch them feed the amphibians, turtles, and fish. The snakes are fed every other Friday but we were warned by a staff member that some of the snakes are fed live mice and I don't think our kids (or I!) are ready to watch that so we've just visited during the normal feedings. Watching them feed the turtles was definitely a highlight of our visits to Burr Oaks. We had the opportunity to touch a small turtle and the kids got a huge kick out of watching the large snapping turtle try to snap worms, crawdads and crickets right off of the staff member's tongs. They have been begging to go watch it again so I know we will be visiting a lot this spring and summer! 

We could easily spend an entire day at Burr Oaks. This summer we will take a picnic, hike and enjoy the nature center for a full day of family fun. And it's all free! I hope you visit and enjoy it as much as we do! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Marvel Captain America: Civil War "Girls Reforming the Future Challenge"

Does your daughter want to make the world a better place? Marvel, supported by the Science & Entertainment Exchange, a program of National Academy of Sciences is currently running the Captain America: Civil War – “Girls Reforming the Future Challenge” that will give one exceptional young woman a week long internship with Marvel! The challenge focuses on inspiring young girls to create positive change for their generation and beyond through science and technology. Check out this video with Elizabeth Olsen (“Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch”) and Emily VanCamp (“Sharon Carter / Agent 13”) for more details:


If Grace were old enough we'd definitely be doing this! If your daughter is interested, here are all the details. Check out all of the amazing prizes for the finalists.

This program, supported by the Science & Entertainment Exchange, a program of National Academy of Sciences, seeks to inspire young girls to create positive world change for their generation and beyond through science and technology. One exceptional young woman will be selected to receive a one-week internship with Marvel Studios. 

The challenge invites girls nationwide, ages 15  18, in grades 10 -12, to submit innovative STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics)-based projects that have the potential to change the world. Each applicant will be asked to submit a short video demonstrating her project and explaining how her science and technology-based project could make the world a better place. Five finalists will be selected to come to California and present their projects to a panel of experts. One grand prize winner will be selected from the five finalists to receive an internship with Marvel Studios.

Finalists will have the opportunity to inspire other young girls around the world by participating in a LIVE global Broadcom Masters webinar during which the girls will discuss how their STEM skills enabled them to create their projects and become a finalist of the Captain American Civil War: Girls Reforming the Future Challenge.  The Grand Prize Winner will share her MARVEL STUDIOS Internship experience, giving girls everywhere a peak into STEM skills in action outside the lab and the classroom. 

Each finalist will receive: Two round-trip tickets to Southern California for the finalist and her parent or guardian, including scheduled meals, ground transportation to and from organized activities, hotel accommodations, from April 10 through April 13, 2016; an opportunity tobe on the red carpet at the World Premiere of Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” at the Dolby Theatre® in Dolby Atmos® and Dolby Vision™ on April 12, 2016; a tour of the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California; and  $500.00, deposited into a High Yield Savings account with Synchrony Bank.

Complete contest information will be available from March 11, 2016 through March 26, 2016.   Entries will be accepted beginning on March 11, 2016 through 9:00 PM PT on March26, 2016. For application forms, eligibility requirements, official contest rules and moreinformation about MARVEL’S CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR – GIRLS REFORMING THE FUTURE CHALLENGE, please visit http://www.captainamericachallenge.com.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Easter Chick Hand Print Craft: Easy Craft for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Flowers are blooming, the trees are blossoming, and our grass is starting to turn green, spring is finally peeking out in Missouri. We're enjoying the weather and getting ready for Easter in a few short weeks. We created a fun, cute, easy craft yesterday that would be perfect for preschoolers or toddlers.
Easy Easter Crafts for Preschool

Connor's attention span for crafts is minimal. But if I let Grace paint, he wants to too so I'm loving quick and easy painting projects right now.

To make this Easter Chick Hand Print Craft you will need:

  • A paper plate
  • Yellow paint (we used Crayola finger paint)
  • White card stock
  • Orange construction paper
  • Googly eyes
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
Let your child paint the entire back of the paper plate yellow. I figured we'd use our fingers but both of my kids wanted brushes.

You might have to help them with the edges.

Paint each of your child's hands yellow and make hand prints onto white card stock to create the wings. Let dry and then cut each hand print out. Cut out a small triangle from the orange construction paper for the beak. After the plate has dried, attach the two googly eyes, the beak and wings with a glue stick.

These cute little chicks are fun additions to our Easter decor! Do you decorate for Easter? 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Captain America: Civil War New Preview

Connor's obsession with superheroes has motivated me to rewatch all of the Marvel Avengers movies in the past couple weeks. I feel like it's been a great refresher course in preparation for Captain American: Civil War which will be in theaters May 6th. Mike and I will be going to see it opening weekend and I know the kids will want to see it shortly after.

Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” finds Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps—one led by Steve Rogers and his desire  for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability. Get ready to pick a side and join the nonstop action playing out on two fronts when Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” opens in U.S. theaters on May 6th, 2016. 

The new trailer was just released this morning:


Whose side are you on? I can't choose! Captain America and Iron Man are my two favorite Avengers so I already know this movie will be tense for me. While watching the trailer for the 5th time this morning (I told you he's superhero obsessed) Connor said they need to be nice to each other! The highlight of the trailer for us this morning was definitely the appearance of this web slinging hero:

Oh yes, that's Spiderman- with Captain America's shield. I can't wait to see this epic battle!

Buy your tickets now and see Captain America: Civil War on May 6th! 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic Ticket Giveaway

Disclosure: I will receive tickets to this event for my family. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.

One of my favorite events of the year is coming up very soon in Kansas City and I can't wait! Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic will be at the Sprint Center March 24th through the 27th and you won't want to miss it.
Disney on Ice is a unforgettable experience that your entire family will love. This will be our 4th year attending. We will be bringing Connor for the very first time and I know he will love it just as much as we do. If you've never had the chance to see a Disney on Ice production, check out my review of last year's Passport to Adventure show.

I am excited because this show promises more than 60 characters from 18 beloved Disney stories. Grace can't wait to see the Princesses and Connor will be thrilled to see his favorite Pixar characters like Buzz, Woody, Nemo, and the Incredibles. 

Check out the preview now:


Join the celebration as more than 60 of Disney’s unforgettable characters from 18 beloved stories come to life in Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic!  You’ll be captivated by the one and only Mickey Mouse, the irresistible Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio and many Disney Princesses.  Be thrilled by exciting moments from The Lion King; Mulan; and Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Toy Story films; in a skating spectacular filled with magical Disney moments you’ll remember forever as Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic!

Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic will be at the Sprint Center:
Thursday, March 24th @ 7 PM
Friday, March 25th @ 10:30 AM, 3 PM, & 7 PM
Saturday, March 26th @ 11 AM, 3 PM, & 7 PM
Sunday, March 27th @ 3 PM

Kansas City obviously loves Disney because they added the Friday, March 25th show at 3 PM due to popular demand so get your tickets before they sell out! Click here to purchase tickets to Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic. To learn more about Disney on Ice, check out their Facebook and Twitter pages now!


Giveaway 

One lucky Moments That Take My Breath Away reader will win 4 tickets to attend the Thursday. March 24th, 7:00 pm performance of Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic in Kansas City at the Sprint Center.

How to Enter: This is a Rafflecopter giveaway. Follow the instructions on the widget to enter. All current likes/follows count! Please contact me if you run into any technical difficulties with Rafflecopter. The giveaway runs through Monday, March 14th at 11:59 PM CST! Open to US residents only. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email or a new winner will be chosen. 
The first entry is mandatory- Like, comment, and share the giveaway announcement post on Facebook.  Once you complete this entry, the widget will give you the option of completing the rest. Complete more steps for more chances to win! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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