Huntsville, AL With Kids: Caverns, Science and Rocket

Huntsville With Kids - AlabamaThe weekend before our school started here in Georgia, we squeezed in a last hurray before we all back to the routine of life. We packed up the car and drove to our neighboring state in Alabama for a fun weekend of family friendly activities in Huntsville. Here are the sneak peek of what we did in Huntsville during this weekend trip.

The Wonder of Nature at Cathedral Caverns

Huntsville With Kids - Cathedral Cave HelmetOur first stop while we were en route to Hunstville was Cathedral Caverns. This was our first visit to any caves with kids. A cave helmet was a great souvenir to get them excited about the journey lied ahead.

Huntsville With Kids - Cathedral CaveI will have to write a more detail post on our journey deep into the caverns. It was such a cool and great experience. The Cathedral Caverns State park is well maintained so it was very easy for family to enjoy. The path along the caverns is paved and you can easily navigate with your stroller.

Sharpen Young Mind with Science

Huntsville With Kids - Sci-Quest CenterSci-Quest was our next stop in Huntsville. This small, yet fun science center provided us with many hand-on exhibits that we spent the rest of the day there.

Blast Off Their Imagination with Space Center

Huntsville With Kids - US Space & Rocket CenterOur last stop was the main attraction that we came here for. The US Space & Rocket Center was hosting the special Star Wars exhibit. And the kids were truly excited as we pulled into the parking lot greeting by the huge space rocket.

Huntsville With Kids - US Space & Rocket Center Star WarsNeedless to say, Mr. Z couldn’t stop talking since. He even asked if we can move there permanently. Only if he will realize that the Star Wars exhibit is only temporary and they have already moved on to the unknown destination.

Visit back soon as we dive into the detail of our fun visit in this small town.

Also check out other traveler tales at Photo Friday and Spotlight Thursday.

Dreaming of: Spring Break

As we are fast approaching Spring break in Atlanta, I can’t help but day-dream about our upcoming Spring break. This year is very different from last year.

The Fun Spring Break of Last Year

Last year, I started planning 3 months in advance for our Washington DC trip during Spring break. I had everything all planed out. We had a great week in DC hopping from one museum to the next and learned a lot about our country history. We enjoyed awesome times navigate the city using the public transportation. Mr. Z had become an expert in the metro and could recognize our stop. Best of all, we did all that on a budget.

Spring Break on a Budget and Time Constraints

This year? Well, knowing that we have limited time and fund I don’t have a big plan to take any trip. We don’t even have a week to spare for Spring break because I will use up all my vacation time in Thailand this Summer. So I have to be creative and try to find a way for us to still enjoy Spring break with this limited options.

Luckily, I was invited to a reception to South Carolina tourism event. I learned about various destinations within a driving distance from Atlanta that are also very affordable and fit into our time frame.

I learned that Greenville is only 2 hours North of Atlanta and I could relatively visit over the weekend. This small town of South Carolina has more fun things to do than I expected. There are Children’s Museum of the Upstate, the BMW Zentrum for automobile fanatic-son, the Greenville Drive – The Red Sox affiliate team for my baseball fan-husband and the Liberty Bridge at Fall Park for my photo adventure.

I also learned about Columbia. Another great option for family weekend getaway from Atlanta. The Columbia CVB website shows various options that will be perfect for my kids like the Riverbank Zoo or the EdVenture Children’s Museum.

Now I just have to try to find out how to pull this off in the next couple weeks.

It looks like I might be able to make my dream Spring break comes true after all. Who knows my neighboring state will have so much to offer.

Check out other travelers’ dreams at Mother of All Trips: Mondays Are for Dreaming.

Fun Corn Maze at Dusk with Kids at Uncle Shuck’s

Uncle Shuck Corn Maze

A couple weekends ago, we made a last minute trip to visit our local corn maze – Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze in Dawsonville. Typically, we tend to visit corn maze earlier in the day. But this time, we planned for a sunset visit. We got there with about 20 minutes before the Sunset.

After purchased the tickets, we headed straight to the corn maze. There are other activities you can do around the corn maze but with limit sun light we just had to save that for future trip.

Corn Maze map

The corn plants are full and tall. I love the the corn field is so green. It’s much better than walking along the brown corn field like we did last year. You can’t really tip-toe or jump to see your way out so you really do need a map or good internal GPS system. Don’t worry they will give you a map with your ticket purchase.

COrn Maze

Our first goal is to get to the bridge so that I can take some pictures of the corn maze before dark. Mr. Rojo was doing a great job leading us to the bridge. But I was a bit disappointed at my own skill. I didn’t get any good pictures. Guess we might have to head out there again.

Corn Maze

Then, now the real work had just begun. There are 2 corn mazes and each has 6 check points that you have to complete. Each check point has a punch hole (with distinct shape). Once you complete all check points you can return the card to win a grand prize.

Moon

We could only complete 5 checkpoints. By that time, the creepy music started to play as they got ready for the Haunted Maze. Plus we were so under-dressed that everyone was freezing for the falling temperature. It was time to head out.

Fun at Uncle Shuck

After we got out from the maze, we let the kids check out the kiddie version. I am not sure what kind of vegetable that is but my guess was it’s kudzu. They had fun running through the maze and played a bit before we headed back home.

Next time, I guess we have to plan to arrive a bit earlier to take advantage of other fun activities there. And for a more daring and adventurous family, you can wait till dark and go for the Haunted Maze. I for one, will NEVER do that.

Family Tips:

  • Bring jacket or sweater for a drop in temperature during night time
  • Bring your flashlight if you plan for a dusk corn maze
  • Wear comfortable shoes. This can be a long walk if you don’t really know where you are going
  • Bring camel pak or water bottle
  • Haunted Maze is extra so if you don’t want to do it, make sure that you tell the cashier up front.

Check out my round up for fun corn mazes around Atlanta at Atlanta With Kid.

5 Fun Things to Do with Kids on Family Camping Trip

Family Camping Tent

Well, we did it. We went camping with our kids and our friends. An outdoor camping trip!

Ok. Even if the trip was literally 10 minutes from our house, I considered a big step up from the city gal like me. I will write more in detail on our experience later.

But today, I want to share our fun things we did during our camping trip with kids. I was so worried about things to do. But with great advices from my pals around the blogosphere, I took the deep breath, relaxed and let it go. Turned out it was the best advice.

Here are our 5 Fun Things to Do with Kids on Family Camping Trip

Jogging

1. Walking, Jogging, Hiking – Whatever you want to call it, just put on the shoes and explore your area. Kids will be running up and down the trail and enjoy their freedom in the natural environment. They will discover the sun’s ray in the morning and turn that into a game of their own.

campfire

2. Campfire fun – Sitting around the camp fire at night is probably one of the best things to do on a camping trip. They will love BURNING their marshmallows more than making the S’mores. We ended up with a lot of leftover chocolate. Can you believe it!

sandcastle

3. Make sandcastle – Even if your campground is in the mountain, they still can make sandcastles. Give them a plastic cup and water and they will turn the dirt around the campground into a sand masterpiece.

flashlight

4. Flashlight adventure – Give each kid a flashlight or lantern and they will make it fun. We don’t even have to do anything for them. They will make up their own games from hide and seek (might want to watch out for little ones not to wander too far from the campsite), shadow show, spot light tag and more.

swimming

5. Swimming – Our campground is situated by the lake so it’s a perfect activity during the day. Kids love to swim and play on the beach. An inflatable boat is a big hit for the whole gang. They love to just paddle the little boat out to the lake. But if you don’t have lake or pool nearby, just take the opportunity to explore the area. We also play ‘Mushroom Hunting’ game. There are so many types of mushrooms in the wood. We hunt for yellow, red, brown and white mushroom.

Bookworms On the Loose @ Decatur Book Festival

Decatur Book Festival

How was everyone Labor Day weekend? I hope everyone had a great time. There were so many things to do in Atlanta over the weekend I had a hard time choosing. However, being a nerd and bookworm by heart, I couldn’t pass up a chance to check out Decatur Book Festival.

This was a 3 days event book festival at downtown Decatur. I was hoping I could go on Saturday as there were many authors that I would love to meet. But we had other commitments like lunch with Thai friends and neighbor’s birthday party. So I settled with Sunday outing.

We arrived in the afternoon and found plenty of public parking.

dbfest_dog

The book festival is a great fun outing to introduce young kids to the love of reading. It is very family-friendly and pet-friendly as well. We found so many four-legged friends roaming around. I wished we bring our Java with us.

dbfest_bag

We knew that this will involve a lot of walking. So I came prepare this time. Everyone wore their most comfortable shoes and the kids each had their own Hydration backpack from REI. It’s a backpack that has a pouch for water. So they can carry their own drink and sip on those water whenever they want. It was such a big hit and we got several compliments on them. :) One less thing for us to carry around. I need all hands on deck to carry all the books we will buy.

dbfest_drink

The weather was perfect. It was sunny but not too hot. We walked around enjoying different activities for kids like making your own book mark, listening to the story teller, watching the martial art performance and creating their own story book. After a while, even with such a nice weather the little legs needed a break. So I went to our favorite treat for the whole family… I scream, You scream, We scream for Ice Cream..

dbfest_icecream

With more energy from a little red energy bar (popsicle), the kids were ready for more walking and checking out books. Another reason I love going to the local fair and festival is the chance to get to know about local groups or businesses like Cooking for Monkeys – this cool mommy blogger who makes the coolest lunch box or Sheltering Arm – a great nonprofit eduational organization that helps bringing books to all kids.

dbfest_read

We also stopped by local independent children bookstore – Little Shop of Stories. A cute bookstore that is perfect for kids of all ages and adult too. Mr. Z was so into reading. We had a hard time getting him out of the store.

dbfest_food

Ok.. I admitted there is another reason I love festival and it is FOOD. I love festival food especially the Funnel Cake. No matter how full I am, I can always find more space for Funnel Cake.

dbfest_funnelcake

Thanks to Mr. Rojo who reminded me to take the picture of this yummy Funnel Cake. Otherwise, there won’t be any evident that we had one..