local fun

Local Family Fun: Green Halloween

Did you know that swapping half the costumes kids wear at Halloween would reduce annual landfill waste by 6,250 tons equal weight of 2,500 midsize cars?* 

Green Halloween is a non-profit, community initiative to create a healthier and more earth-friendly Halloween.  This is the first year I've heard about this initiative and I wanted to spread the word.

According to GreenHalloween.org, here are some ways for you to have a healthier and more eco-friendly Halloween this year:

  • Host a costume exchange for National Costume Swap DayTM (second Saturday of October)
  • Choose fun treasures instead of conventional sweets. Or, choose healthier treats such as organic candy, natural snacks and honey sticks.
  • When it comes to costumes and décor—reuse, borrow, trade, purchase used or do-it-yourself.
  • If you’re giving a party, avoid disposable napkins, plates, cups, tablecloths and other
  • Get creative with Treat bags For extra fun, match the bag to the costume using something you already own. Here are some ideas: purses, flower pots (cover the hole), cloth sacks, backpacks, lunch-boxes.  We always used pillow cases as children and they worked perfectly.

*Statistic credit Bob Lilienfeld www.Use-Less-Stuff.com based on data from U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Transportation.  Assumes costume weight of 1 pound. 

Highlights: Local Fun Mom Blogs

When I created LocalFunforKids.com, I had a  vision.  I wanted to make it easier for parents to find fun, local, family friendly events and feature kid crafts and activities that can be done no matter where you live.  Luckily, there are a ton of resources at our fingertips!

All across the country there are bloggers who search high & low for the best local kids activities. Their sites are great if you want to find family activities in your own community or travel advice from a local mom.  You might even find lists of the best playgrounds, family fun centers, indoor play centers, and other local kid-friendly businesses. I put these blogs together in the Best Blogs for Local Fun.  If you haven't already checked out this section of my blog, please take a second to see if there are any local blogs in your area.

Also, it's been a while since I highlighted Local Fun Blogs.  But, there are a couple things I wanted to tell you about:

Triad Family Fun (NC),  Super Suburbs (Chicago Area, IL), Toddler Trails (Orange County Area, CA) are the latest blogs to be added to the Best Blogs for Local Fun.

I was so excited to see a couple Local Fun Blogs participate in Fun for Kids Friday
Toddling Around Chicago Land shared their DIY I-Spy travel bottles. And, Kidlist shared a their post about How to Make a Cardboard Train.

Thanks to all of these 'Local Fun' bloggers (mostly moms) who work extremely hard to keep their sites going strong.  You're making life more fun for moms everywhere!

Fun Kid Finds - Feature Monday!

Local Fun Mom Blogs: One mom's reminder to back-up your hard drive, What happens when a mom writes a letter to President Obama and More! 

As usual, I've thoroughly enjoyed browsing the Local Fun Mom Blogs.  There are so many great posts to talk about, but here's a small sample of what's been going on across the country...

Go Back Up Your Hard Drive Right Now.  Seriously!  - 3KidsandUs has survived the loss of irreplaceable photos, videos, memories, etc., not once, but twice!  In this post she hopes to spare anyone else going through this experience and offers extremely valuable advice regarding the importance of backing up your hard drive on an external hard drive--on a regular basis.  Unfortunately she learned just how crucial this is---the hard way.

A letter to Obama - Mile High Mamas have an article about a local mom who took action when she saw her son's class trip might be affected by the looming government shut down.  She knew how hard her son and his classmates had worked over the year to make this trip happen and she couldn't sit by idly.  Find out what happens when she decides to send a letter straight to President Obama!

  When Your Daughter is Afraid of a Butterfly - Go West Young Mom has a post about what to do when your preschooler is suddenly afraid of everything--particularly if the list of fears happens to include something that you're afraid of too.  Unfortunately, this issue comes up a lot in our household.  I am terrified by spiders, and most things that move quickly and have many legs---those thousand-legger things seriously creep me out.  I try my best to keep these fears to myself, but some encounters are definitely more challenging than others.  Multiple times I have screamed out loud when surprised by a thousand legger scurrying across the floor when I move something or a spider in the bathroom.  When I see my kids worried faces and hear them yell "What happened?" I instantly feel terrible and try to make up lame explanations..."Everything's fine....no big deal, just an interesting bug.  Bugs aren't scary guys...mommy was just surprised to see one...now go get daddy, k?

Freschetta Pizza and 3-piece Storage Set Give-away - Sippy Cup Mom - Who doesn't love pizza?  In our household we are big (big) fans!  Our top 5 fave pizzas from the grocery store include Freschetta and this new pizza by the slice thing has me intrigued.  Does this mean that I could eat something super tasty like Chicken, Spinach and Mushroom pizza while my kids eat their perrenial favorite--Four Cheese Medley?  Hurry up and head over to Sippy Cup Mom's site to get the details on how to enter!  Ends on April 20th.


Here are some other posts from 'Local Fun' Moms to check out:

10 Reasons to Switch to Glass- Kingdoms First Mom - Some really great cases for making the switch to glass from plastic when it comes to food storage.

Fail safe way to introduce gardening to kids - Akron Ohio Moms - I love the look of these mini Miracle Gro Kits!  The fact that they're guaranteed to grow something, and even include extra seeds (just in case), sounds perfect for the gardening-challenged sort like me. 


I hope you enjoy these posts.  If you're a 'Local Fun' Mom and have a great post that you want me to share, just email me here, and maybe I can feature you next week!


Giveaways from 'Local Fun' Mommy Bloggers

I hope by writing this post I don't jinx myself, but ever since 2011 started, I've been a little luckier than usual.  Part of my good luck has included winning a few blog & facebook giveaways. Blog giveaways are easy to enter and extremely winnable. It's so simple - just click and comment. 

So, what are you waiting for?  Here are a few to get started with:


The Akron Ohion Moms blog is always chock full of fun National giveaways! Here are a few that you might want to enter: $25 Publix Gift Card (ends Feb. 28th), Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air Infant Car Seat & Clic It! Stroller (ends March 1st), Case of POM Wonderful (ends Feb. 25th)


Chambana Moms blog is hosting a giveaway for a $50 credit to Erica Elliot’s Etsy shop!  Click here to learn more about Erica Elliot and enter the contest. The winner will be chosen on Friday, Feb. 25 (for U.S. Residents). Enter their giveaway here.


La Jolla Mom and Munchkin teamed up to give away an Easy Close Safety Gate AND a $50 American Express Gift Card to help with nursery design. Just go to La Jolla Mom's blog to enter (Ends March 4th for U.S. Residents only).



Are you thinking of heading to Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA this summer?  Win a family four-pack of Sesame Place passes ($200 value) from Jersey Family Fun (enter here) & Mamas Little Helper (enter here). Both of these contests end Feb. 28th.


Whether you live in Washington DC or are thinking of heading there for a day-trip, you won't want to mis this contest.  Enter to win four tickets to see ANY show playing at the National Museum of Natural History’s Johnson IMAX Theater, the National Air & Space Museum’s Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater, the Airbus IMAX Theater at the Dulles location, or the Albert Einstein Planetarium with Kid Friendly DC.  Enter the contest here.


Free Fun in Austin, TX is giving away two Family 4 Packs of Tickets to see the The “World Famous” Lipizzaner Stallions on Sunday, March 13th at the Frank Erwin Center.  Here is the blog post where you can enter. The winners will chosen on Monday, March 7.


There's just one catch... If you win, please come back and let me know. I get just as excited when my friends win as when I win myself!  Good Luck!

Weekly Highlights: Blog Posts from 'Local Fun' Moms

Disneyland Beignets - by Just Spotted - Just Spotted caught my attention when they posted the recipe for the beignets you'll find at Disneyland.  Even if you're not headed to Disneyland anytime soon, you can still treat yourself with this little piece of sugar covered heaven. They must be a billion calories, but they look amazing.  And, If you're not ready to indulge just yet, keep this recipe book-marked, because Fat Tuesday (March 8th, 2011) is just around the corner!

Carseats for the CarFree: Travel Vest vs. Backless Booster - by CarFree with Kids - This blog post really surprised me because I had no idea that a "travel vest" even existed.  It's basically a vest/harness for 4-8 year olds to be used in place of a booster seat which slightly resembles a sturdy life jacket (in my opinion).  It's probably something I wouldn't use because my husband and I are huge supporters of 5 point harness car seats (even for bigger kids too). But, this is a really interesting post that tells you the pros and cons of a travel vest vs. a backless booster.

Broccoli Cheese Vegetable Soup Recipe - by Akron Ohio Moms - This morning, I took a peak out the window and saw it was another cold, dreary day where you just want to stay-home-in-your-jammies and cuddle up with the kids.  And, it seems like this type of weather is exactly what most of the country is going through right now.  Akron Ohio Mom's broccoli cheese vegetable soup sounds like the perfect soup to warm you up on a cold winter day and give you a nice dose of vegetables.  I don't have all of the ingredients, but I might use what I have in the kitchen and cook up a batch of this soup today.

Of Metal Rabbits and Wood Dragons - by Albany Kid -  I love this article because it quickly sums up everything you need to know about: the Chinese calendar, your animal sign, Ying and Yang and your Heavenly Stem.   If you want to stay in-the-know and don't want to search the web forever, this is the article for you.  Learn something new!

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's Circus: Tips, Online Activities, and Philly & Atlanta Giveaway

Looking for indoor family fun? Don’t miss Fully ChargedSM, by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® where there are non-stop thrills in every corner of the arena for kids of all ages!

If you decide to go, you should read this post from Birmingham Mom called Big Top Tips on Going to the Circus. She tells you all about purchasing tickets, meeting clowns before the show, and other tips for a smooth experience.

If the circus isn't coming to your town, but you still want to share the excitement, you can enjoy some circus-themed online activities in  the Fun Zone.  There are so many cool activities, including: Desktop Train, Pie-o-Gram, Clown Cannon and Create your own Circus. I know my 5 year old will love these!

If you live in the Philadelphia Area and haven't puchased tickets yet:

Here's a Coupon Code for you:

Just Enter Discount Code:  “MOM” - “Good for 4 tickets for $60  (Additional service charges, processing and handling fees may apply.  Does not include the venue Facility fee. Cannot be combined with any other offer and cannot be used towards previously purchased tickets. Valid only for shows Thursday, February and Friday, February 18.)

Traveling with Kids? Use Blogs to Plan your Getaway

Traveling with kids can be exciting and exhausting, and, as a Mom, I always want to be prepared. I've been using local resources for nearby weekday adventures with my little ones. But, in the past, I would check Trip Advisor and other big travel sites to help research our vacations before we went away.  But, this year is different.  I'm using blogs.  Why?  Because everything is so much easier when you get advice from a local mom who knows your destination like the back of her hand!

Last year, we traveled to the Hilton Head, SC area and we had a blast bike-riding, going to the beach and taking the kids on a boat.  But,  I remember thinking 'I wish there were some more  things to do with kids to do around here.'  Then, a year later, I came across Southern Mamas website and was completely blown away by the endless amount of activities for families and kids in the Low-country area.  This would have been an amazing resource for my husband and I as we were planning our trip.  It has all of the best activities, events and resources for parents in the Low-country and it's all written from a mom's perspective.  If only I had known about it a year earlier!

This year I have no excuses.  I'm looking forward to planning some Spring and Summer day trips using the Best Blogs for Local Fun Guide.  And, for our Spring vacation to Disney World, there are so many amazing blogs written by moms that are dedicated to helping parents navigate their way through the Disney attractions as smoothly as possible (see my post here).  It's kind of empowering to know I have the inside scoop from these blogging Moms.  

But, it doesn't matter if your traveling across the country or just having a spontaneous day trip with your family. Blogs can help make your trip a little bit easier.  Just Remember: When you're traveling with kids you have to expect the unexpected and when the going gets really tough - laugh it off!

Are you planning any fun getaways this Spring or Summer?

What's your favorite Destination for your family?

Check to see if your destination is listed here.

Photo Courtesy of: Robert Trueman Photography

'Local Fun' Mom Blog Round-up

This past week, there have been so many great blog posts from 'Local Fun' Moms.  Here are some that I wanted to share.  Enjoy!         


Monster Jam - Just Spotted

Easy Indoor Fun: Yoga With Youngsters - Go West young Mom

Birthday Party for Baby: Planning Checklist - Springfield Moms

Family Fun Weekends at Disneyland - Daytripping Mom


Easy & Yummy Bread Pudding - Boston Mamas

Why You Should Make Home Made Pasta With Your Kids - La Jolla Mom

DIY: Maple Candy Using Snow - Fun 4 Kids in Buffalo



In Defense of Pajama Jeans - Birmingham Mom

From There to Here: The Pregnancy Police - Chambana Moms

Disrespect and the Disney Channel - Chambana Moms

Things that will cost more in 2011 and what you can do about it - Akron Ohio Moms


How to lighten the burden of bed rest - Mile High Mamas

10 Tips for Safe Sleep - Mile High Mamas

Homemade Baby Wipes - Chester County Moms

'Local Fun' Bloggers: Valentines Day Recipes, Postpartum Health, Blissdom and More!

'Local Moms' Take the Kids to Disney on Ice: Toy Story 3

Disney On Ice: Toy Story 3 Review

Buzz and Woody are two of the most popular characters around. So, it's no surprise that people are also buzzing about Disney On Ice: Toy Story 3Albany Mommy was completely blown away when she had the chance to see the local performance with her 5-year old.  Read her full review here.

Attn: Philadelphia Area Moms

Frugal Philly Mom is giving away 4 Tickets to see Disney On Ice: Toy Story 3 at the Wells Fargo Center (Up to a $120 Value).  She also has a promo code for discounted tickets.

This giveaway will end on Monday Dec 20th at 11:59pm EST Click here for the contest.


Want to know when the toys are in your town?  Find out here.


Travel Tuesday! Holiday Events across America

ALASKA -Alaska on the Go would love for you to get outside with the kids! A few options for outdoor fun include: The Tree Lighting Ceremony in Anchorage, Zoo Lights at the Alaska Zoo or the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

KANSAS -  Want to know about the best Christmas light displays & places to see Santa The Kansas City Area? KC Kids Fun has has an extensive list of everything going on from now until January!

CALIFORNIA - Just Spotted has the scoop on Orange County holiday fun.  Some of their cool events include: The Christmas Train through Irvine Regional Park to meet Santa, the Newport Beach Boat Parade, Disneyland and Scuba Santa

FLORIDA - Florida's temperatures may be warmer than other parts of the country, but the Daytona Area is turning into a Winter Wonderland for the holidays. Some of the events on the Volusia County Moms site include:  Santa Cruisin' Classic Car Show or the Daytona Beach Parade in the Park, or theThe DeLand Holiday Tour of Homes

ILLINOIS - Go West Young Mom has an amazing holiday activity guide for making the most of the holiday season in the Chicago Area! The Christmas Stroll, Walk with Santa & Holiday in the Grove are just a few of the listed events.

PENNSYLVANIA - Looking for Fun in the Philadelphia area? Fun Things to Do with your Kids in Delaware County Blog has some wonderful ideas, such as the Peddler's Village Christmas Festival, Ice Skating at the Blue Cross River Rink, and the Holiday Light Show and Dicken's Village at Macy's Center City.

WASHINGTON - If you're looking for the largest holiday drive-through display in the Northwest (Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park), Sleigh Reides or Photos with Santa, Sounds Fun Mom blog will guide you to holiday fun in the Puget Sound Area!

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net Photographer: Salvatore Vuono

Need some time to work on your Holiday-To-Do-List?

Check the 'Best Blogs for Local Fun' for an activity near you and have Dad take the kids out

The Lowe's Build & Grow Clinics or the Michaels Free Family Events are always a lot of fun!

Lowes' Build and Grow Clinics are at Lowe's stores all across the country, and they are FREE.

Saturday, December 4th is the first part of a three part train kit.   The Lowe's clinics are held on Saturday mornings at 10am. All of the materials are provided by Lowe's, including a kid-sized apron that your child can take home as well as their completed wooden project!

For more information and to pre-register for a location near you CLICK HERE.


Michael's Stores also has FREE events this weekend

On Saturday, December 4th, From 11am to 12 noon, they are hosting a free family event to make your own Reindeer Ornament.

On Sunday, December 5th, from 1pm to 2pm, there is another free event to make your own Duck Tape Luggage Tag or Tree Ornament

For more information and to to find a location near you CLICK HERE


http://www.freedigitalphotos.net Photographer: Simon Howden

Austin Blogger Awards Recognizes a 'Local Fun' Mom

Heidi, a busy mom of four in the Austin Texas area, provides a fantastic calendar of fun and affordable events on her website, FreeFunInAustin.com.  She was so excited to find out that FreeFuninAustin.com was just honored with four nominations from the Austin Blogger Awards!

Just click here to vote* & support Heidi's efforts!   You don't have to vote for every category.  Just be sure to vote for Free Fun in Austin in the four categories they are nominated for: Best New Blog, Best-Designed Blog,Best Party/Events Blog, Best Hyperlocal Blog.  Congratulations on your nominations!

Free Fun in Austin is also featuring a National Giveaway for a Papa John's coupon book (with coupons valued at $400).  This giveaway ends tonight, so Click Here to Enter now!

There is also a Giving Challenge and Giveaway for a 2 Night Stay in San Antonio.  Anyone who donates any amount (even $1) to Angelheart Children's Shelter can enter.  Heidi and her husband are generously offering to give a $10 donation for every donation by their readers of $10 or more, up to $500 total.  Not only is this a wonderful cause, but you have the chance to win a Two Night Stay in a Deluxe Guestroom at the Holiday Inn in downtown San Antonio's Market Square plus, breakfast for two. That will be running through December 10.  Click Here to Learn More

Update: Free Fun in Austin won Best Hyperlocal Blog!