Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Story time At Holly Springs Library

Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the Holly Springs Library (at 10 and 11 a.m.) there is story time. Since my girls are 1 & 2, we go to the early session. At 11 the story teller caters to pre-schoolers (3 & 4).

Story Time is money on a rainy, blazing hot or freezing cold day. But it's pretty packed on those extreme-weather days. There's singing, reading (of course), puppet shows and after it's over, they offer coloring or craft activities.  Even my 17-month old stands still for a few minutes to watch Miss Terry read her stories or sing a song and dance. 

Jordan (2) is getting more involved, answer questions, raising her hand to participate and singing and dancing along to the songs. It's really been wonderful, and it's so close to home it's an easy default for me when I don't want to pack a lunch or plan ahead.  There are also sessions on Mondays for babies (under 18 months, I believe). I've never been to these, but I like Tuesdays & Wednesdays so I can only imagine it's worth a shot if you have a little one.

\HIGHLIGHTS: It's so close to home, easy parking and my kids love Miss Terry.
LOW LIGHTS: It can get very crowded, and it's at a library so there are a lot of things my kids can get into.
COST: FREE -- My favorite!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Kids Together (Or should it be Kids Spread Out?)

Marla Dorrel Park (or Kids Together) in Cary (near the corner of Tryon & Cary Parkway) is absolutely fantastic. This great park is loaded with things to do.

It's absolutely perfect for my kids -- lots of places to climb, different areas to explore, large sandy areas for digging and building castles, a couple sections of swings, little shelters for lunches, bathrooms really close by and pretty clean, too.  I had seen the park before, so I knew what to expect. But I didn't know how great my kids would respond and how imaginitive this park allows your kids to be.

Dani (17 months) climbed all over the place, ran, jumped and trotted across bridges, ate and threw sand (despite my best efforts to thwart these activities) and pretty much smiled her goofy little smile the entire time.
Jordan's new friend Addison
joined usat the park.

Jordan (almost 3) spent a little more time playing hide and seek, exploring, and pretending to be a restaurantour, dragon slayer and architect. I think the pictures will tell some of the story here. It was hard for me to enjoy as much as it's so spread out that I was running around after the girls most of the time. Doesn't make for much of a blog, but the pictures should help!

Either way, we had an awesome time and will definitely go back. I just wish it was a bit closer to Holly Springs.

111 Thurston Drive
Cary, North Carolina 27518
(919) 469-4061

HIGHLIGHTS: Tons to do for little toddlers and pre-schoolers, clean bathrooms close by.  
LOW LIGHTS: It's a little hike to Cary, and it's pretty spread out so a little harder to keep track of both girls at the same time.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A hidden Gem! Great for Little Ones

Jordan's buddy Cora playing on the climbing equipment,
and once again teach Jordan something new.
I love my mommy friends! Just when you think you are getting to know the area, someone says, "Have you been to Waverly Place (in Cary)?"

Of course I have! I shop at Whole Foods when I have money burning a hole in my pocket. (Which is never, but I know where it is and have been there just a few times in the past five years). What does that have to do with our playdate? I thought.

I quickly found out! So there is a FANTASTIC little play area within Waverly's empty shell of a shopping complex. The parking lots are almost always empty, as are the shops. But this place is wonderful once you get there. Because so few know about it, the parking was easy. I just parked around the backside (which faces Chic-Fil-A and Tryon Road). Even when I saw the place I was pessimistic. Then, Dani (17 months) goes running for the back of the fenced area. That's when I saw it! WATER!!!! D loves water. This little play area has water that shoots out from the ground. They called it the splash pad. Either way, it was amazing. The girls played for almost 2 1/2 hours. I'm glad I brought snacks and water. There was no shade.

Dani (17 months) plays in the splash pad.
We didn't take advantage, but just outside the play area was a flat, grassy area for the kids to run around. I'm sure that will make for a nice picnic area for me and the girls one day.

I LOVE this place. I will definitely go back.

I couldn't find an address, but it's on the corner of
Tryon & Kildaire Farm kitty corner from Western Wake Hospital.

HIGHLIGHTS: It's small, easy to keep track of the kids and there's water (which my kids LOVE). Also, it seems to be kind of unknown, so it's not packed.
LOW LIGHTS: It's a little hike to Cary and it's not in a shady spot.

Monday, July 16, 2012

UPDATE: New Ownership or New Staff Make this Place a NO GO!!! Snip-Its: A Haircut Adventure

Since this was posted in July, there has been a huge turnover at this place. Our recommended hair cutter no longer works there. I took both of my girls in March and both had a different person cutting their hair. BOTH haircuts were a disaster. I told one lady NOT to cut my 2-year-old's bangs. That was the first thing she did as I turned my head to talk to the other lady, who was cutting my 3-year-old's hair. Her hair looks like it was done by Wayne's World's Suck n Cut. "Yes, it certainly does suck!" 

Sorry to say this is on my "bad" list until I hear otherwise from friends or family. Oh yeah, and they raised their prices. The only thing the same is the decor and the treats. I DO NOT RECOMMEND SNIP ITS.
NO, this is not an advertisement. I asked Jordan what she wanted to do last week, "Do you want to go to the pool or the park, or do you want to get a haircut?" Jordan squealed, "A haircut!" Whew, she really needed a haircut.

So I took her. She loves it, gets to eat graham crackers, suckers and play with toys while watching movies and listening to music. On Tuesday and Thursday this summer, haircuts are $12. The place we go to is in Brier Creek, so it's a hike for us, but it's not a chore; it's an activity for us.
Also, Miss Donna gives amazing haircuts and she's sweet as can be.

8411 Brier Creek Parkway #103  
Raleigh, NC 27617
(919) 484-9292

HIGHLIGHTS: The girls love it - even Dani who doesn't get her haircut there. They do a great job.
LOW LIGHTS: It's in Brier Creek, about 30 minutes from here without traffic.
COST:  $12 on sale, $17 regularly

Turtle Park (AKA Crowder Park) is A Nice Change

Crowder Park in Apex, NC off of Ten-Ten Road is another fun park to try out. It's not my favorite, but it's pretty fun, especially the first time you go. It's pretty shaded, too, so it's a great park to go to when it gets hot.

Both of my daughters absolutely screached when they saw the turtles from the bridge that connects two sections of the park. The turtles swim up, almost right at you, and then duck under water and swim away. There's a 3-acre pond, Crowder Pond?, that runs through the park. The turtles are everywhere. We counted at least 15 when we were there last time, and we weren't there long. There are two areas with playgrounds and a couple shelters and paved trails.

Next time we go we'll pack a lunch and have a little picnic. Oh, yeah, and the squirrels were incredibly friendly and not scared of people That scared me a little bit. Wild animals and toddlers don't generally mix well, but the saving grace is that the animals run away from the kids. They didn't here. The squirrels were actually playing under the playground equipment. Dani (15 months) loved it. She chased the squirrels for 30 minutes, screaming the whole time. Needless to say, she barely made it out of the parking lot before falling asleep in her carseat.

I cannot decide if that friendly animals are a positive or a negative. But the play equipment is wonderful, and there are several areas with equipment. So if one area is crowded, just keep walking onto the next.

4709 Ten Ten Rd.
Apex, NC 27539

Phone: 919-662-2850
HIGHLIGHTS: Free, the pond loaded with turtles, lots of shelters, two separate areas with playgrounds
LOW LIGHTS: Animals may just be a bit friendly, it can get crowded because there are lots of kids groups that go there, there always seems to be some kind of construction or repairs on the equipment (not good for the very little ones)

Later Crocodiles