Thursday, April 17, 2014

Candy-Free Easter Basket Ideas For Kids


I was looking at my Easter basket ideas post from a couple years ago and thought I would do it better this year. Here is my GIANT list of candy-free Easter basket ideas. (With categories!)

Candy-Free Easter egg stuffers (items that are small enough to fit in a standard plastic Easter egg):

Play-doh (they make egg-shaped ones for easter)
Stickers (cut sheets or strips or buy the small individual ones)
Temporary tattoos
Small boxes of raisins
Money (coins or small bills)
Small figures (like Polly Pocket or other small toys or animals)
Socks
Barrettes, ribbons or bows
Bubbles (found the small ones in the party favor section at Walmart)
Toy rings, bracelets, or necklaces (you can find these in the party favors section of the dollar store)  (Or real ones, if that's how you roll!)
For a Lego fanatic, you could buy a set and put pieces in separate eggs, then they have to find all the eggs to build the set.


Candy-Free Easter Basket Fillers:

Books or comic books or a Bible! (Or you could go bunny or spring theme or favorite characters.)
Gardening stuff-shovels, seeds, gloves, small pots to plant in.
Small Lego sets (or big)
Card games
Small stuffed animals
Character washcloths (found at Dollar Tree)
Kid-friendly music cds (We like Wee Sing )
Arts and crafts sets- (Michael's usually has bins full of $1 craft kits-use a coupon for bigger savings)
DVDs and microwave popcorn
Puzzles
Balls
Matchbox or Hot Wheels or other small cars or vehicles.
Fun toothbrush, kids flossers and toothpaste
Bubble bath
Coloring books
Painting sets
Sunglasses
Flip flops
Action toys like jumpropes, yoyos, whiffle ball sets, kites, frisbees, sand toys (most of these you can find at the dollar stores.)
Sidewalk chalk
Cute cups (I saw bunny cups with straws at Target)
Bath toys
Water guns
Whistle (Only if the basket is not for my kid)
Flip flops (Summer is coming, eventually!)


Sweet treats that aren't candy:

GoGo Squeez applesauce pouches
Buddy Fruit Squeeze Fruit or fruit bites (found in the produce department but not refrigerated)
Brothers All Natural Fruit Crisps (found in the canned fruit aisle)
Annies Cheddar Bunnies or fruit snacks or pretzels (all shaped like bunnies-perfect for Easter)
Snack packs of chips, crackers or cookies


And because I have two babies (who are turning ONE on Easter!) that I am filling baskets for, I've been doing quite a bit of thinking about...

Baby Easter Basket Ideas:
Board books
Bunny Ears headband
Bibs
Sippy Cups
Toddler Tableware and utensils
Clothes
Bath Toys
Pacifiers
Small stuffed animals (ones that are made for 3 and under- I LOVE these Veggie Tales Beanbag Plush
Oball (this is a football but it comes in lots of styles)
Puffs (or Cheerios)
Little People (Super Friends or Disney Princess)
Cars
Teethers
Bath Towels
(Or pretty much much anything that you would have bought for them already.)








Friday, April 11, 2014

Weekend Roundup 4/12-4/1314

Did you see all the fun things going on this weekend? And the weather is supposed to be great! Get out and enjoy the River Region, people.


Saturday 4/12/14
9 am-11 am Eggstravaganza at Frazer UMC FREE
Eggstravaganza is a family fun gathering featuring inflatibles, games, crafts, and egg hunts the Saturday before Holy Week to prepare our hearts for Easter. Age appropriate egg hunts have been designed for toddlers through 5th grade children. The event is free and open to the public.

9 am-5 pm Calico Fort
Arts and crafts fair. Adults $4, Children $1

10 am Historic Walking Tour of Prattville-Main Street Commerical District FREE
All tours begin at the Prattaugan Museum and Visitor Center on the corner of Main St and Chestnut, across the street from City Hall and last about and hour and a half.

10 am Historic Walking Tours of Alabama Towns and Cities (for a list of participating cities and the starting locations click the link.)

10 am Lowe's Build and Grow Workshop Recycling Truck FREE
Register in advance online here.

Noon Second Saturday Car Show

Noon-2 pm Toys R Us Lego Building Event FREE
Build Emmett's car from the Lego Movie. Ages 5 and up. While Supplies last.

5pm Until Second Satuday Festival $1 admission benefits Montgomery Humane Society
Kids 12 and under free. Tickets for sale for children's activities and food vendors available.

Sunday 4/13/14
9 am-5 pm Calico Fort
Arts and crafts fair. Adults $4, Children $1

4 pm-7 pm Cloverdale-Idlewild's Spring Concert Series Zig and Ben FREE
Bring your chairs or blankets (or both), coolers, snacks. Plan to sit under the beautiful oak trees in the park setting and enjoy the music.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Paint and Clay Giveaway Winner and Ramblings!

I was on the phone for an inordinately long time today with my bank. Really. Like more than an hour trying to get some online banking things straightened out and while I was on the phone I couldn't just sit and do nothing. I entered the names of all the entrants for the Paint and Clay giveaway into a blank spreadsheet. (All six of you. That's some good odds, you guys!)


Then I entered the number of entrants into a random number generator at random.org and got the number for the winner:



Congratulations to entry #6- Amanda!!!

Funny: You folks must think I am a mind reader. Because no one left an email address for me to contact them. But it's ok, here's why:
1. Because you made me realize that I didn't have my email contact info on my public blogger profile either and that may be keeping me from hearing from blog contests that I won. I fixed that problem post haste because I love to win! Seriously, I need to do a blog post one day about how much I've won because it's pretty impressive (to me, anyway.) (Actually maybe not. Gotta keep the odds in my favor. Sorry, guys!)
2. I know almost everyone that entered. (Cue the song It's A Small World) (Sorry, if you are now singing that.) (Not really.)
3. I know that I have a lot of work to do if I want to grow my blog. Because I won't be able to do more giveaways until I can be sure that more than 6 people will enter a giveaway.
4. I am a mind reader. (Ok, not really. But I did work in retail and insurance for a while and I felt like I had to be a mind reader for that.)

Thanks so much to Paint and Clay for sponsoring the fun giveaway. Please go there and make painted things with them, they are really nice and helpful. Support your local businesses people!


Monday, March 31, 2014

Calendar: April 2014



Whew! Lots of fun things to do this month! If you see any other events, please leave a comment, post on the River Region Family Facebook page or send me an email. Thanks!
 
River Region Calendar April 2014



Friday 4/4/14
9 am- 3pm Civil War Living History Program Confederate Memorial Park in Marbury, Al
Event is Free. Admission for museum only.

Saturday 4/5/14
9 am-6 pm Zoo Weekend Montgomery Zoo

9 am-Noon Home Depot Kids Workshop
Build a Birdbath/Birdfeeder from the new FOX film, "Rio 2", in theaters April 11. FREE
Register online here.

10 am- 2pm (Skirmish at 1pm) Civil War Living History Program Confederate Memorial Park in Marbury, Al
Event is Free. Admission for museum only.

10 am Historic Walking Tour of Prattville-Old Prattvillage and Autauga Creek
All tours begin at the Prattaugan Museum and Visitor Center on the corner of Main St and Chestnut, across the street from City Hall and last about and hour and a half.

10 am Historic Walking Tours of Alabama Towns and Cities (for a list of participating cities and the starting locations click the link.)

10 am-Noon Let's Fly a Kite Cooter's Pond Park Upper Level FREE
April is National Kite Month. Build or bring your own kite and join in the fun. Call to get your name on the list 334-595-0800.

Sunday 4/6/14
9 am-6 pm Zoo Weekend Montgomery Zoo

1 pm First Sundays at Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
Learn more about work in the Museum (traveling exhibitions as well as the Museum’s Permanent Collection) in these FREE docent led tours the FIRST Sunday of each month at 1 P.M.

4 pm-7 pm Cloverdale-Idlewild's Spring Concert Series Federal Expression FREE
Bring your chairs or blankets (or both), coolers, snacks. Plan to sit under the beautiful oak trees in the park setting and enjoy the music.

Wednesday 4/9/14
9:30- 10:30 am The Art of Baking Puppet Show at MMFA FREE (by reservation)
Come join the Montgomery Museum as it introduces its new puppet show, The Art of Baking. Children are engaged as they visit a bakery run by colorful animals from different parts of the world. The characters show children how it takes everyone working together to turn the bakery’s yummy treats into art. Children are shown that the bakery’s cakes are created using color, shape, and line.
Various works of art from MMFA’s collection make an appearance during this exciting production. Please contact Jill Byrd at 334.240.4359 for more information.

Saturday 4/12/14
9 am-11 am Eggstravaganza at Frazer UMC FREE
Eggstravaganza is a family fun gathering featuring inflatibles, games, crafts, and egg hunts the Saturday before Holy Week to prepare our hearts for Easter. Age appropriate egg hunts have been designed for toddlers through 5th grade children. The event is free and open to the public.

9 am-5 pm Calico Fort
Arts and crafts fair. Adults $4, Children $1

10 am Historic Walking Tour of Prattville-Main Street Commerical District
All tours begin at the Prattaugan Museum and Visitor Center on the corner of Main St and Chestnut, across the street from City Hall and last about and hour and a half.

10 am Historic Walking Tours of Alabama Towns and Cities (for a list of participating cities and the starting locations click the link.)

10 am Lowe's Build and Grow Workshop Recycling Truck
Register in advance online here.

Noon Second Saturday Car Show

Noon-2 pm Toys R Us Lego Building Event FREE
Build Emmett's car from the Lego Movie. Ages 5 and up. While Supplies last.

5pm Until Second Satuday Festival $1 admission benefits Montgomery Humane Society
Kids 12 and under free. Tickets for sale for children's activities and food vendors available.

Sunday 4/13/14
9 am-5 pm Calico Fort
Arts and crafts fair. Adults $4, Children $1

4 pm-7 pm Cloverdale-Idlewild's Spring Concert Series Zig and Ben  FREE
Bring your chairs or blankets (or both), coolers, snacks. Plan to sit under the beautiful oak trees in the park setting and enjoy the music.

Wednesday 4/16/14
10:30-11 am Tales For Tots at MMFA FREE
This free program offers young children and their families special stories and simple arts and crafts activities related to works of art in the Museum galleries. A different work of art and story is presented each month.


Saturday 4/19/14
9 am- Alabama Book Festival FREE
Book sellers, Book signings, children's activities and vendors. (We love the festival. In past years Scholastic has given children a free book and there has been different characters from childrens books in the children's area.)

10 am Historic Walking Tour of Prattville-Historic Residential Area
All tours begin at the Prattaugan Museum and Visitor Center on the corner of Main St and Chestnut, across the street from City Hall and last about and hour and a half.

10 am Historic Walking Tours of Alabama Towns and Cities (for a list of participating cities and the starting locations click the link.)

10:30-Noon Lakeview Baptist Church Community Easter Egg Hunt
The entire community is invited to attend an Easter Egg Hunt on the grounds of Lakeview Baptist Church, rain or shine. There will be free hot dogs, cupcakes, candy and prizes!!! The Easter Egg Hunt is for children age 0 to 12 years old so don't forget to bring your Easter basket!!!

11 am City of Wetumpka Easter Egg Hunt

2pm -9 pm Wetumpka Craterfest FREE
At Goldstar Park. Craterfest is an annual festival featuring music, entertainment, arts and crafts and concessions generating interest in the region's only marine impact crater with a focus on family fun, delicious food and educational crater activities. Crater bus tours are $5 per person. More info: http://www.wetumpkachamber.com/Craterfest.html

Sunday 4/20/14
4 pm-7 pm Cloverdale-Idlewild's Spring Concert Series  Stephen McCullough FREE
Bring your chairs or blankets (or both), coolers, snacks. Plan to sit under the beautiful oak trees in the park setting and enjoy the music.

Thursday 4/24/14
7 pm - 8 pm Festival of Alabama Fiber Arts Meet and Greet the Vendor and Instructors. Free event open to the public. This is your chance to meet the workshop leaders and see examples of what you could make if you sign up for their  classes. Over 20 very nice door prizes will be given away at this event. You won't want to miss it. This event will take place at the Universalist Unitarian Fellowship at 2810 Atlanta Highway.

Friday 4/25/14
9 am-6 pm Festival of Alabama Fiber Arts  Fiber Workshops and Fiber Market. Free admission and parking. Charge for workshops.


Saturday 4/26/14
9 am-6 pm Festival of Alabama Fiber Arts Fiber workshops and demonstrations and Fiber Market. Free admission and parking. Charge for workshops.

9-11 am Plant It! Montgomery Oak Park
 Tomato Plants, Crepe Myrtles and Door Prizes will be given away; Also Featured: Crafts for Kids, Tree Committee, Beekeepers Association, Clean City Commission and the Montgomery Herb Society; A Rain Barrel Demonstration; A Tree Planting Demonstration

10 am Historic Walking Tour of Prattville-Main Street Commerical District
All tours begin at the Prattaugan Museum and Visitor Center on the corner of Main St and Chestnut, across the street from City Hall and last about and hour and a half.

10 am Historic Walking Tours of Alabama Towns and Cities (for a list of participating cities and the starting locations click the link.)

10 am Great Cloth Diaper Change and Green Parenting Fair Cloth diaper class, door prizes, record breaking cloth diaper change event and other fun!

11 am-4 pm Bark In The Park Cooter's Pond FREE

Noon-3 pm Michael's Free Family Craft Time
Mother's Day card. While supplies last.
Get your kids into our summer crafting program, Passport to Imagination. The first 50 to register in-store get a free, exclusive Michaels™ Tote*. Seats are Limited! *First 50 travelers per store who register for Passport to Imagination® in-store get a tote! Offer only available in-store on 4/26 from Noon - 3pm. Limit one tote per child. While supplies last. No rain checks.

Sunday 4/27/14
4 pm-7 pm Cloverdale-Idlewild's Spring Concert Series   John Bull and Sheffield Walker FREE
Bring your chairs or blankets (or both), coolers, snacks. Plan to sit under the beautiful oak trees in the park setting and enjoy the music.





Disclaimer: We do our best at River Region Family to provide accurate, useful information about events and activities. This information (such as times and locations) is gathered from press releases, local newspapers, signs around town and word of mouth. We do our best to confirm details before they are posted here. Sometimes details change or we are given inaccurate information. Whenever possible we link our write-ups to the source in which our information came from and strongly urge you to confirm details before you go. River Region Family is in no way responsible for any problems that occur while participating in activities recommended on this site.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Alabama Homeschool Expo Free Admission With Code (exp 3/31)

Use code free2014 at checkout for free individual or husband and wife admission to the Alabama Homeschool Expo. Code expires Monday, March 31, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. So hurry and register.

The Alabama Homeschool Expo is June 13-14, 2014 at the Montgomery Convention Center.

First 150 families to enter the exhibit hall on Friday (the 13th) get a free "I Love Reading" backpack. (One per family-while supplies last.)

I firmly believe that any parent  (or maybe even a grandparent) would find something useful at this expo whether they homeschool or not. There are always workshops geared toward all different aspects of parenting and education. And since the registration is free, why not check out the list of speakers and workshops and see if there is something interesting to you? Kids are welcome at the expo and your child might enjoy the Lego Build Zone in the exhibit hall while you browse the exhibitor booths. (I may or may not be planning to attend the How To Deal With Children Who Are Whiners and Complainers workshop.)

"The Alabama Homeschool Expo is a “don’t miss” whole family two-day event with exhibitors and thousands of products where parents can review and purchase the latest curriculum, hear great speakers who give practical encouragement, and receive personalized help and answers to any question. Our workshops especially emphasize the practical aspects of working with children in ways that will promote their educational, social and emotional growth.

From gifted children all the way to the struggling learners – you’ll find great encouragement at the Expo. Helpful parents and other experts are willing to spend the time to demonstrate exactly how to homeschool in a way that fits your family’s lifestyle, (from a wide variety of perspectives of course!) and specifically how to make your family’s homeschool journey enjoyable and satisfying."

Learn How to Homeschool in Alabama

Friday, March 21, 2014

Paint & Clay Studio (Plus: A Giveaway!)

You know I try very hard to keep up with "goings on" around these parts and I found very few "goings on" for this weekend. So that makes it a perfect weekend to load up the family and try something new.  Today, I just want to share a fun thing that you can do in Montgomery that you may not have known about.



Paint and Clay is a paint-your-own-pottery (and canvas) studio in Montgomery. If you've never been to a paint-your-own-pottery studio, here is how it works: You pick the pottery piece you want to paint, choose your paint colors and create your own one-of-a-kind piece of artwork. It's for all ages.


Paint and Clay Studio has a huge selection of bisque pieces to choose from, starting at $10.00 + tax.
Price includes pottery, paint, glaze, and kiln-firing of the item. They'll even add your name and a date for FREE! Studio hours are 11am -6 pm Monday through Saturday.

Paint and Clay does parties (or groups)! The pricing makes it easy, too: it’s simply the cost of the pottery piece per person (starting at $10 per piece), with an 8-person minimum. There are no hidden fees, and the required $20 deposit is deducted from the final cost of the party. The birthday party includes a special keepsake plate for the guest of honor that all the party attendees help decorate.

Paint and Clay can also help you create a beautiful work of art on canvas for yourself for to give as a gift. Come in any time during open studio hours (11am to 6pm) Monday-Saturday and they will help you paint any of the canvas projects that you want to do. You know all those cute handprint and footprint paintings that you've been pinning on Pinterest but will never get around to doing because of the mess? Paint and Clay can do those for you. You just bring the hands and feet!

Thursday nights are Family Painting Night at Paint and Clay! Each week features a different painting with step by step instructions. Paint and Clay does birthdays, church/scout groups, daycares... anyone who wants to paint together can have a party!

This Easter start a new tradition. Paint a pottery egg and pass it down for generations. The eggs are $12 each or 3 for $30. Fill your basket with precious eggs painted by your little ones.

You definitely want to follow Paint and Clay on Facebook because they sometimes run specials (like 10% off a pottery item) and announce them only on Facebook. All Facebook fans of Paint and Clay can get $5 off a canvas painting. Canvas paintings start at $20 for 8x10.

One River Region Family reader will win a $20 gift certificate to use at Paint and Clay on pottery or canvas.

How to enter:
Like River Region Family on Facebook
Like Paint and Clay Studio on Facebook
Come back here and leave a comment on this post saying that you did both of these things. I will check. Don't try to be all sneaky on me. :) If it's not on your profile, leave your email address, so I can contact you.

For an extra entry tag a friend on the giveaway post on the Paint and Clay Facebook page!

Share this post with friends and family. The more the merrier!

Entries will be accepted until the end of 3/31/14 and I will announce a winner on 4/1/14! 



Thursday, March 6, 2014

Grocery Store Deals 3/5/14-3/11/14


Ok, I'm going to TRY to get to this every week because it's really nice to know what good deals are going on at the local grocery stores. But I can't make too many promises. That said, this week my favorite local grocery store deal is going on. I love when the AG Store has 20 lb bags of potatoes for $4.99! I usually buy a bag and just when we run out, they go on sale again. We used our last potatoes to make mashed potatoes last week and Ta-Da they are on sale this week!

Here are the best deals at some local stores this week, to see the entire ad, click on the link. I put a * by my favorite deals.

AG Store:

Fresh ground beef (family pack) $2.59/lb
Boston Butt Roast $1.59/lb
TW Granulated Sugar 4 lb bag $1.79
*Russett Potatoes 20 lb bag $4.99
Strawberries 1lb 2/$4.00
Tomatoes 4pk $0.99
Cucumber 2/$0.89
Sunflower Self Rising Meal Mix 5 lb bag 2/$5.00
USDA Bone-in Chuck Roast $3.19/lb

McGehee Rd Super Foods:
Cataloupes $1.98 each
Family Pack Split Chicken Breast $1.38/lb
USDA Select Angus Boneless Chuck $3.48/lb
Texas Jumbo Sweet Onion $0.99/lb
Potatoes 15 lb bag $4.98
*Halos 3 lb bag $3.98
*Apples (granny smith, gold or red) $0.98/lb
Tomatoes (on the vine) $1.48/lb
Celery $0.98 each
Sliced Mushrooms 8 oz $1.58
Select Fresh Express Salads $2.28
Kraft Cheese 8 oz varieties $1.98
Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing 16 oz $2.98
Starkist Tuna 5 oz $0.88
Food Club canned beans or tomatoes (select varieties 10-15 oz) $0.58

I finally got the new website for Food Outlet (thanks to whoever answered the phone at Millbrook) and the weekly ad is updated! Yay! (Remember Food Outlet is cost plus 10% so figure that in when you are comparing prices.)

Food Outlet:
USDA whole Fryers $1.15/lb
Tomatoes 4pk $0.94
Starkist Tuna 5oz $0.91
USDA Pork Fingers $1.45/ lb
*Shure Fine Milk 1 gal $2.98
USDA Sirloin Tip Roast $3.45/lb