Category Archives: liebsummer

Summer is almost over….

I love summer, I don’t always love when it’s a heat index of 115 outside but I love warm summer days spent at the pool. So I’m a little sad that summer is almost over for my oldest 2. They start school on Monday, July 31st. I know it seems really early to start school but they are at a year-round school. We’ve never done year-round school but everyone I know that does it loves it. This is also our first year with public school. I’m bother excited and nervous for my boys. I know they will do fine but sometimes change can be difficult so I’m praying they have an easy transition. Tomorrow we go meet their teachers so I’m hoping that will help ease everyone’s (mostly mine) nerves.

But for now we have a few days left of our official summer so we’re making the most of it with lots of trips to the pool, hanging out with friends and relaxing.I’m excited for them to start this new chapter of school I just don’t know if I’m ready for summer to be over.

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Weekday Adventures: Sunflower Field

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We joined the several hundred other families that went out to see the sunflower field in bloom along the Neuse River Greenway Trail this week. At first we tried to go on Sunday but the parking was crazy so we waited to go on Monday morning. Not only was the weather a bit cooler but the crowd was considerably smaller.

We parked at the The Mial Plantation access point, 6008 Mial Plantation Rd and walked about a mile along the trail to the Sunflower field. The city of Raleigh started planting the sunflower field a few years ago as an application site for biosolids from the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The sunflowers will be harvested and the seeds will be used to produce biodiesel.

We had a great time walking along the Neuse River Greenway Trail and the boys loved seeing all of the flowers. The boys rode their scooters and we got to talk about waste water, biofuels and of course all of the beautiful nature that surrounded us.

Weekday Adventures: (Almost) Free Bowling

Photo Jul 06, 2 08 24 PM A few months ago I signed up the boys for the Kids Club at Buffaloe Lanes here in Raleigh. Over the summer they are offering Free Bowling for Kids. Each child you register will receive 1 free game every day (shoe rental not included) through October 31st.

It’s like 100 degrees this week so I took finally took the boys bowling and we had a blast. None of them had ever been bowling so it was a little chaotic for the first half of the game as they learned the rules and techniques. By the end of the game everyone had vastly improved and was loving the game. I think we spent around $9 for shoe rentals all three of the big boys.

In addition to 1 Free Game per day Buffaloe Lanes also has daily EXTRAS. We went on a Thursday and could have got an additional game for free but we had a limited amount of time. We plan on visiting on one of the other days to take advantage of some of the other bonuses like free cookies and arcade tokens.

If you’re in the Raleigh area and looking for a great (inexpensive) way to beat this summer heat register for the Buffaloe Lanes Kids Free Bowling program. Photo Jul 06, 1 50 41 PM Photo Jul 06, 1 47 19 PM Photo Jul 06, 2 03 08 PM Photo Jul 06, 2 02 25 PM

 

Weekend Adventures: Wet n Wild Emerald Pointe

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On Friday we took the boys to Greensboro, NC to meet up with some friends at Wet-n-Wild Emerald Pointe. We visited Wet-n-Wild last summer but I was excited this time because the boys are a bit older, better swimmer and more interested in the rides. My boys didn’t do too many of the big rides but Joe did get to sneak off for a bit and ride some of the bigger rides with our friends who had teenage sons.

We arrived shortly after the park opened at 10am and set up post at the Bayside cabanas right beside the wave pool. (You can rent a cabana for all day starting at $125/day.) The boys loved watching all the swimmers in the wave pool whenever we were taking a little break. I love the cabanas because they are sectioned off from the rest of the crowd and provide a bit of calm amidst all the crazy fun everyone is having. The cabanas in our section can hold 8-10 although they only really have seating for 8. We had 10 people in our group but the majority of them were kids and they rarely sat down. Each cabana comes with it’s own private locker for storing valuables and food service right in your cabana. You can of course go eat at any of the other food options throughout the park but I really liked being able to order food directly from the cabana.

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The weather was a little iffy the day of our visit, with dark clouds looming over us most of the morning. It actually made for a pretty nice start to the day, there weren’t a lot of people at the park and the hot summer sun was hidden behind the clouds. Around noon the sun came out and so did the rest of the people. Although, I will say, compared to our last visit which was on a Saturday it wasn’t nearly as crowded.

We started with a trip to the wave pool as it was calling all the kids, however we didn’t get any waves for some reason and decided to explore a little more of the park. The big kids rode, Cyclone Zone then we all rode the Lazy River. I always love a good Lazy River. The big boys did the Double Barrel Blast that goes way faster than I realized. Jude and some of the bigger boys also tried the Tropical Drop.

Then we headed back to the cabana for a little rest and some lunch. After we placed our lunch order I took all the boys right next door to the Soak Zone. This was probably my favorite place in the whole park. I love all of the fun water features they have for children of all sizes and ages.

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After lunch of chicken fingers, burgers and gluten free pizza we headed back to the wave pool to catch some waves. The wave pool is intense and I’m very glad they make smaller children wear life vests. I want to take a moment to commend the wonderful lifeguard staff at Wet-n-Wild, they were all very attentive and responsive. I witnessed a few times the guards had to respond to a swimmer in distress, thankfully no major rescues. I’m always very watchful of my children around water but it’s comforting know that if one of them gets out of my sight for just a moment there is someone making sure they are safe. Photo Jun 16, 12 46 47 PM

After the wave pool we took the little ones to the Happy Harbor and Kiddie Wave Pool. The boys love the Happy Harbor slides, Simon (4) loves rides but is just a little too short to ride some of the bigger slides so this was a welcome opportunity for him to “ride” some slides. While we played at Happy Harbor all of the big boys ran off to ride some of the more exciting slides like Dr. VonDarks Tunnel of Terror, Runaway Raft, Riptide Racer and maybe a few others. I don’t think anyone was brave enough to try Daredevil Drop, Twin Twisters or The Edge.  Photo Jun 16, 3 57 35 PM Photo Jun 16, 3 58 17 PM

We finished off our afternoon at Shipwreck Cover and Leisure Lagoon. We changed out of our wet clothes in the Locker Rooms before heading home. We had such a perfect day and we look forward to going to Wet-n-Wild again very soon.

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Disclosure: I received free media passes. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and not influenced by the company.

Weekend Adventures: Mud – Walnut Creek Wetlands

Photo Jun 03, 12 22 05 PM

On Saturday we took the boys to a special program at the Walnut Creek Wetlands Center in Raleigh called, Mud: A Celebration of Wetlands. Some of the families from our Scout Troop met up to enjoy the muddy fun.

There were several different stations where kids could explore, play and learn about mud, wetlands, wildlife and the environment. The boys particularly loved the fort building station which was equipped with bamboo sticks, rope, cardboard and tarps.

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We got to meet several turtles from the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and some Salamanders, frogs and other creatures that you might find in the wetlands.

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There were several stations that taught kids about native plants, storm water, pollution and other elements that impact the wetlands.

Photo Jun 03, 10 32 28 AM Photo Jun 03, 11 03 01 AM Photo Jun 03, 11 25 21 AM The big boys and Joe went on a creek walk where they got to a guided tour of the Walnut Creek Wetlands.

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And of course there was mud. Lots of mud to cook with, paint with, and play in.

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It was fun and muddy day and we can’t wait for the next adventure with the Raleigh Parks.

Prairie Ridge Ecostation #liebsummer

I love to give the boys opportunity to explore new places and play along the way so today we went to the Prairie Ridge Ecostation – Nature Play Space. It’s similar to the Durant Nature Park Play Garden but much bigger and with more hands on activities.

We arrived a little before 10am (they open at 9am) and were the only ones there. The weather was gorgeous, I like getting outside before the sun blazes down on us and everyone gets hot and cranky. Unfortunately the boys went into our adventure a little tired from all of our weekend fun so they didn’t last as long as I’d hoped. But overall we had a blast.

Prairie Ridge Pour

The Nature Play Space was nicely laid out with different sections based on type of nature play from digging to climbing to stacking and more. The boys loved the “Pour” section with all the water and tubes and funnels. I really liked that there was a good amount of shaded areas and plenty of seating around the park for parents to sit. There is also a bathroom (with changing table) located just up a hill in the outdoor classroom building. There weren’t any trash cans located nearby.

They have a story time every Thursday morning at 10am for anyone that wants to attend. I’ve heard it can get pretty crowded but maybe sometime we’ll check it out.

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Durant Nature Park #liebsummer

We kicked off the first real week of summer break with a trip to the Durant Nature Park. They just opened a new Sensory and Natural Play Garden that I thought the boys would love. I’ve never been to Durant Nature Park so I wasn’t really sure what to expect but it was a great space for the kids to run around and explore. We will most certainly be visiting again this summer. We started off walking down to the restrooms  near the lake and playground. They boys made friends and played on the traditional playground equipment before we headed back up toward the parking lot to find the new Sensory Garden.

durant playground

The Sensory and Natural Play Garden just opened early this month so a lot of the plants and garden areas are roped off to protect the young plants. However, there was plenty of space and special areas for the kids to explore.

Durant Sensory and Natural Play Garden

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They played in the natural teepee, built fairy houses, looked for rolly polly bugs, built sandcastles, climbed rocks and played in the rock garden.

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Durant Nature Park

We spent more time at the natural play garden than at the traditional playground. They also got very sweaty and dirty but we packed plenty of water.

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Follow us on our summer adventures on Instagram and Twitter #liebsummer