January 31, 2013

MN Tot Spots - Tropical Adventure (SCC)

The last couple weeks Noelle has been rather sick with bronchitis and a nasty cold, so Evan and I have ventured out into the world without her. One of the places we tried out was The Shoreview Community Center's Tropical Adventure Indoor Playground. It's a decent one, tucked behind the gymnasium. Evan, who is 2, still seemed a tad young for the place (which doesn't have a young child area like some other playgrounds) since the tunnels go up pretty high and the slides are pretty fast but as long as he had me, he enjoyed himself. He would have also enjoyed himself more if a bus full of older elementary school kids didn't come for a field trip. Once the older kids got there, it was chaos! I had to make sure no one trampled over Evan as they chased each other. Poor tot. On the plus side, I had to go through the tunnels, mazes, and obstacles with him and it was a pretty good workout and kind of fun too! It's a really cool designed indoor playground!

A little tot kick boxing?!

Just hanging out!

Climbing all over!



Wheeee!


This was my favorite part of the playground...how cool for the kids to really use their imaginations and play!





Abstract Potato Head


Noelle, my almost 15 month old, created this masterpiece today and being the overly proud mother that I am, I had to share! The kid has abstract talent! Could she be the next Picasso? ;)

January 7, 2013

MN Tot Spots - Skyzone


Last week when I had the week off, Noelle and I spent a lot of time traveling around, looking for new, fun things to do. One of the places we tried out is called Skyzone. It's an indoor, trampoline park located in Oakdale. One of my best girlfriends and her babe always go there, since on Tuesday and Friday mornings they offer Toddler Time from 9:30-11:30 am.

It's a really cool place, with trampolines all over the place. They have 4 separate trampoline areas (although only 2 were open when we went) and an area with trampoline basketball and an area with a foam pit. I thought the place was really awesome, and can easily see why kids love going here. They have trampolines lined even on the walls so that you can bounce off the walls, and for more daring, adventurous and older kids, they can probably do flips off of them.

"What IS this place?!"

"Do I dare enter?"

Our verdict is that Noelle is a bit too young. Or maybe she needs to go there with some of her friends and see how it's done! She didn't have a bad time, but she didn't show that she had a good time either. When she first arrived, she was psyched out, and smiled when she saw the other kids jumping. She then proceeded to jump herself, which in her case is just squatting. However when I actually placed her on a trampoline she wouldn't even take a step. She must have been confused by the flexibility of the ground underneath her feet, because she refused to walk or jump. She just sat down and decided that she would spend the rest of the time just watching me jump. I jumped though and got in a mini workout.


 "These people sure make it look fun..."



"I think I would rather sit here and hold this ball."




Then we went over to the foam pit, which I thought maybe she would like. She has gone to Gleason's Gymnastics open gym before, which also has a foam pit and at the time she didn't seem old enough to go in. I thought maybe now she would be. Well, she just sat in there too. She didn't even try to move and she showed no interest. She did pick up a few of the pieces and stared at it, but nothing more.


"This is strange."

"Hmm."

"This is kind of like a ball. I think I will sit here and hold it."




Unfortunately, it's $4 per person, so we paid $8 and were there for maybe 25 minutes. Total bummer. I wouldn't say to not try the place though...Noelle and I will be coming here again in a couple months when she actually can jump and maybe she will be a little older to appreciate the place! I liked it, and thought it was a cool and different place to spend a morning with a little one!

MN Tot Spots - Eagle's Nest

I always talk about Eagle's Nest, I know. It's simply because Noelle loves this place. It's one of the only guaranteed places that she will go and be comfortable right away, run and play, and not get anxiety over not standing next to me. She's been coming here since she was much younger and just starting to crawl. Now she can run and go on the "big kid" side too. 

For anyone who still hasn't come here, it's an indoor playground in the New Brighton Community Center that's pretty big and holds a huge play area for older kids and then a smaller area for toddlers. Kids under 1 are free and all kids over 1 are $5.50. This includes the open gym, if it's open. The open gym is one of my favorite things about Eagle's Nest, and luckily about 70% of the time we go there the open gym is in session. (The only times they aren't, is when another group is using the gym.) The open gym consists of huge cushion blocks for the kids, scooters, bouncing balls, a bouncy house, and toddler sized basketball hoops.

Although I get grossed out sometimes thinking about the germs that are spreading all over that place, I still love bringing Noelle there since for a 1 year old, it's rare that I can find a place that entertains her for 1-2 hours. The other perk of coming to Eagle's Nest is the New Brighton Library that is connected to the Community Center. Although it's a small library, I am vastly impressed with their children's DVD selection (they have hard to find Baby Einstein DVDs, tons and tons of infant as well as toddler educational; DVDs, etc.) and their children's area. For being a small library they have a really nice space for the kids to play and a magnetic board that Noelle loves.

Last week when Noelle, Evan, and I went to Eagle's Nest, we got lucky and came on a themed day. On themed days they have special activities going on. Our day was "Dinosaur Day" so they had a large table full of dinosaur coloring sheets and games to play, a man making ballon dinosaurs, and face painting. And it's still only $5.50.

Here are pictures from Dinosaur Day.


In the bouncy house!

Jumping around!

Noelle getting her face painted. For a spaz, she did amazing.


A heart - simple and cute. :)

"Paint it right here."

Being so patient and good!


Evan's snake!




Evan LOVES the jumpy house! He could probably just play in there for about an hour!







The toddler ball pit! Much less intimidating than the big kid ball pit!




Noelle pratically learned how to pull herself up on this toy, months ago.





Having a little snack.

We ended our day with a trip to the library. Love this place!

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