BURRR!!!! Baby it’s Cold Outside……Yes today was one of those bitterly cold days up here in good ol Wisconsin. Temperatures around 4 degrees without a windchill. These are the days that its to cold to send your kids out to play and they are itching to do something. Lucky for me I have a ton of unused flat rate boxes that I use to send out items once in a while. Really you can use any boxes you have lying around, or even sheets work for this. I remember back when I was Jesse’s age, that’s what my Brother and I used to build forts and tents in the house when we couldn’t go outside to play. I made sure not to destroy the boxes so I could use them again in the future.
As the morning set in today I could see that my little one had a little more energy than usual and figured that he could use a good project to work on and play with. I just received a brand new shipment of Large flat rate boxes and my Husband and I decided to build an indoor igloo for Jesse. My Husband did most of the constructing of little igloo while Jesse and I decorated the inside with his beanbag chair, a little clip on LED light, and some of his toys. We finished it off by adding a small flat rate box and taping it to the pillar and using it as his personal little mailbox. All this was done just in time for the mail lady to come and bring a letter that had some stickers in it for him to add to his stickerbook collection.
This extremely cheap family activity was able to give our entire family a fun-filled afternoon and evening. It was such a delight to see him interact like he was an adult going into his own home and then having to leave to go to work. (Just like his Daddy) When he would get home he would check his mail. Most of the time I just filled it with our left over junk mail. I love being able to do projects like this that make our little one interact, think, and problem solve. As Jesse was the one that added the chimney to the igloo. I just can’t see taking it down tonight so I am sure we will have another fun-filled day with it tomorrow, seeing how we are expecting up to 8 inches of snow tomorrow.
I just wanted to share this to remind everyone that it doesn’t take much to entertain your family and this did not cost us a dime. I look forward to sharing more of our cheap family activities as they come up. If you have any suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments section.
p.s. Yes that is a small “Christmas Tree in the corner of the photo. We are starting to get our Valentine’s day tree set up for next month. I will share photo’s after the tree is finished being decorated.
By the way Listia is a great place to get stickers, embellishments, and other materials for crafting really cheap. It’s where I get 75% of my material and even a few items to pamper myself once in a while. The reason I am telling you is because unlike Ebay its free. There are some items that might have minimal shipping costs, but for the most part you can find free shipping on a lot of items. You can find a link to it at the bottom of the page if you are interested in checking it out.
Enchantment in the Park
Every year my family takes our annual trip to see the Enchantment in the Park. Holiday lights are probably my families favorite part of this time of year besides the food. The Enchantment in the Park is a drive thru light show that plays music on a specific radio station and all the lights dance to the music. So far this year my family has gone 4 times. Its located about 10 min from my home and it brings a smile to all our faces as we drive thru it.
This event is held through our local rotary clubs in the county that I live in. I wanted to give them a little shout out because I think they do a wonderful job on their light displays and all the proceeds and donations are going to a great cause. Admission to go thru is either a $10 donation or a bag of food pantry items. We usually do the food pantry items because our son loves to rummage through the pantry bagging up the cans. He also likes to reach over and give the bags to the people collecting the cans. It seems like every year they change bits and pieces of the light show which is nice, that way every year you will see something different. This year there were over 340,000 LED lights lighting up in all different types of displays. My Favorite this year where the big presents. My son always likes the light up tunnel that you drive thru. My Husband says his favorite part was the big trees that were all lite up beautifully. The best part of going to one of these type of attractions is that there is more than just a light show.
As I had mentioned in an early post Our Family Trip to see Santa this was the first year we actually got out of the car to go see what else they had to do and look at. As we entered the first building they had a stage set up where different groups throughout the month would go sing Christmas songs and play instruments. They also had craft projects for the children to do on certain days. In the same room they had a concession stand set up selling snacks and refreshments. The hot apple cider is my favorite!! Then you walk out of the first building into a barn type building which is called the reindeer shed. This area was set up with cute wooden cut outs where people could stick their heads through for photo ops. There was a slide area for the kids to play and haystacks for everyone to sit on while they waited to get into the next building. there was a few other nice decorations scattered around the barn. After we got through the reindeer shed you walk into a small house looking building where an elf would greet you and have you sign Santa’s book. Then you get to sit on Mrs. Clauses lap and then last but not least the big man in red. After you leave you can go back to the first building and hang out if you like. We had decided to go around another time since we still had one bag left over. I would have to say the whole experience was great and everything was very well put together.
I know that there are other facilities that do this type of event, However for a family on a budget this is the cheapest in terms of money or donations. There are 3 other places with in 30 minutes of our home that do the same type of thing, However all 3 cost $15.00 and do not take food donations that I was able to see. A couple of them did have 1 or 2 nights where they accepted food donations for a $5.00 off to bring your admission to $10.00 per car load. These just so happen to be nights that my husband had to work. I am not trying to put these other facilities down, but to drive 20-30 miles away I felt like our money was better spent going to a good cause.
For a family on a budget I think this was a great activity for the whole family to enjoy that does not cost more than $10.00. In fact because we used coupons to buy our cans. Our 4 trips cost just under $10.00 and still gave 5 cans in every bag. The Event runs Thursday – Sunday every weekend starting the weekend of Thanksgiving then in December it starts running every night for the week of Christmas, However its closed on Christmas day but then runs again from the 26-29th. If you live locally or are traveling towards Southeastern Wisconsin it is a great place to stop and see a great light display.
I would also like to thank the 62 local business that helped sponsor the event this year and a BIG HATS OFF to the over 900 volunteers that worked through this event donating over 4600 hours so that families like mine could enjoy this and make it a tradition in our families holiday fun. Below I posted some photos from the light displays I hope you enjoy
Happy Holidays to Your Family From Ours!