We experienced a night of wonder and merriment at Atlanta’s holiday pop-up Santa’s Fantastical. My four-year-old described it as a visit to the North Pole. This indoor attraction offers interactive photo booths, games, a stage show and visitations with Santa and a bunch of adorable North Pole characters. From the moment you walk-in, you’re transported into a land of magic. Your adventure begins in a large, library viewing area. The walls come to life with interactive characters welcoming you and explaining what to expect inside. Once the doors open, you’re greeted by a breathtaking forest of lit Christmas trees, massive light-covered ornaments, snowflake coated, interactive walls and adorable photo ops. We didn’t get a lot of time to spend in the forest, as my ambitious child followed the sign directing you toward the man in red. Following that sign, we went down a long corridor at “crunched” as you walked as if snow were beneath your feet, the walls glistening like the northern lights. When the hall ends, you’re greeted with numerous options for your holiday excitement. Some of the features you can expect include: Numerous photo opportunities: Many of these photo booths are optical illusions. One photo op placed […]
Ingredients: 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese 1 cup powdered sugar 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree 1 tub (8 ounces) whipped topping, thawed Directions: Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Continue to mix. Slowly add in whipped topping. Mix until well combined. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with ginger snaps, graham crackers and/or your favorite fruit. Additional Links: Fall Leaf Globe Keepsake Handprint Towel Hosting Friendsgiving
Ingredients Large Mason Jar Glycerin Fall Foil Leaf Confetti Tree Branch from your backyard Hot Glue Gun Water Directions: Collect a small tree branch or twig from your yard. Make sure it’s clean, without peeling pieces of bark that might cloud up your bottle. Trim the tree branch to fit inside your mason jar. Test to make sure that it fits (with the lid close before attaching with glue. Once you have the size you need then add a generous drop of hot glue on the middle of the bottom side of your mason jar lid. Place your tree branch in the middle of the glue and hold until it is set. Glue leaves to the twig and allow to set until all the glue is completely dry. Fill mason jar with water (if using a quart jar this will be about 4 cups), then add the glycerin (I used a little over ½ cup). Stir with a spoon then add a handful of the confetti to the jar. Swirl again with spoon and if the confetti immediately sinks to the bottom then add more glycerin. Place the twig carefully down into the water and twist on the lid tightly. […]
Taking your child to a live show is known to have many more benefits than watching a movie or television episode. In fact, studies have shown live theatre provides your child with a lasting impression, children will reference to a character or moment for months to come. Increases Awareness of Emotions: Seeing a live show builds a deeper connection with live, tangible characters than most shows on screen. Young theatre-goers can sympathize with a character’s emotions as well as gain exposure to new emotions and ways to cope with these new feelings. Influences imagination: Oftentimes, a stage show requires a bit of imagination to come to life. A regular stair is a balcony, a broom becomes a tightrope and arms are the wings to an airplane. Seeing a live show teaches your child ways to improvise. The heightened theatrics in movement and props will inspire your child’s imagination. Allows for a more technical experience: Unlike television, a live show gives your child the opportunity to view stage resets, lighting and costume changes. For some children, this technical aspect may be the star of the show. Tips for Going to a Live Show Choose a show based on interests and age: For your child’s first […]
What better way to spend quality time with your family and get in touch with nature than a fresh, invigorating walk in the woods, along a river, or the beach? What’s more, family hikes make for fun learning opportunities for kids and parents alike. A stone is a stone is a…mineral? Take an excursion along a shoreline to learn about rocks and minerals. Before you go, learn which rocks and minerals are abundant in the area. Take along baggies or plastic containers, a rock and mineral guide, and magnifying glass for viewing the colors, layers and details. As you identify stones, discuss their uses and other neat facts. Sounds of nature Wander through a forest and listen for a variety of bird and animal sounds. Carry a cell phone to record some of the sounds you hear. Listen to the recording again at home and play a game of detective to determine the source of the sounds. Search the Internet to discover the makers of the mystery calls. Photo adventure Capture nature’s splendor. Hiking trails provide plenty of photo opportunities, and kids will love snapping the shots. When you get home, print out the best photos, then create a nature […]
Being away from family can be a lonely affair, it’s an especially hard void to fill during the holidays. You have traditions you can’t recreate without your loved ones and meals that just never seem the same. This Thanksgiving, make the holiday your own with a Friendsgiving. It’s thought the 90s sitcom “Friends” inspired the instagrammable holiday with their potluck dinners and iconic turkey on head episode in 1998, but there’s no documented proof, only inspiring friendships. In any case, this gathering is becoming a common trend across the country. Instead of sitting alone on the holiday, friends are getting together and making it something special. Even if you have local family, some people get together to celebrate their friendships the week before Thanksgiving. After all, isn’t good company something to be thankful for? And honestly, it’s a little more fun when Aunt Nancy isn’t casting shame over my second glass of wine or inappropriate political jokes. Here are some tips for planning a successful Friendsgiving: Hosting: If you’ve decided to host Friendsgiving, you’re the captain of the team. Most frequently, a host is responsible for the turkey and gravy, because…have you ever tried transporting a massive cooked bird? Not […]
You hear it all the time, kids aren’t spending enough time outdoors. It’s an astounding change in the upbringing of America’s children. Their parents spent everyday outdoors, sometimes dawn to dusk. Today’s children often are too busy in structured activities and technology to experience finding a cicadid shell or collecting as many rocks as their shirt can hold. If you’re trying to reconnect your child with nature, consider going on a nature walk at one of these area locations: Fall Line Trace This trail runs through part of Columbus, starting at Pslamond Road in Midland and ending at the 14th Street pedestrian bridge Uptown. The trail is smooth concrete and has access points throughout town, with occasional rest stops along the way. It connects to the Riverwalk for a total of 26 miles of walkable terrain. Riverwalk This 15-mile linear park spans the riverfront from the Lake Oliver city Marina south to the National Infantry Museum. When on this concrete path, expect to see fishermen, bicyclists, rafters and more. It provides a great view of the river and wildlife. Roosevelt State Park 2970 GA-190, Pine Mountain, GA Georgia’s largest state park has 42 miles of hiking trails. Experience rolling mountains, small […]
Good communication between you and your child becomes invaluable as your child grows older and needs your support to navigate new challenges. Recent research suggests that when parents start establishing quality two-way communication with their kids during the preschool years, kids develop strong communication skills that lead to future success in careers and relationships. Parents can be very good at communicating rules or issuing instructions, such as ‘Clean up your toys now please.’ In addition, young children often seem to have an endless number of questions, ideas and requests. If parents are pressed for time and start to feel impatient, they may issue an instruction like ‘Please don’t do that’ before taking the time to fully understand the idea their child is trying to communicate. However, if your child feels that your communication includes mostly one-way commands or negative ‘do not’ statements, she may think you are frustrated with her and are not interested in what she has to say. Instead, do your best to make your conversations a two-way exchange of information, during which you take the time to listen carefully to ideas or emotions she wants to share with you. Listening carefully to your child and providing a […]
One of the top spots for a fall retreat in the Chattahoochee Valley is Oakhurst Farm’s Fall Daze. Located only a half-hour outside of Columbus, Oakhurst is your one-stop destination for fall fun. Fall Daze has the humble beginning of owner Morgan Marlowe’s father selling pumpkins off the back of his pickup truck. Eventually, the Marlowe family added the large, 4.5-acre corn maze and a half acre corn maze for smaller children. Now Oakhurst Farm boasts a hayride through an enclosed area filled with farm animals, a petting zoo, a hay bale jump, rubber duck races, a train ride and more. “We always try to add a little bit more every year,” said Marlowe. New this year is the Oakhurst Market where they sell locally grown and handmade items, including grass-fed, grain-finished beef. They’ve also given major facelifts to their most popular children’s attractions, the hay bale slides and barrel train rides by turning them into interactive tractors! The farm has plenty of fall crops as well. They not only grow and sell eight types of pumpkins for .50 per pound, they also sell Indian corn, decorative gourds, cotton, sunflowers, cut flowers and popcorn. You can also find straw, corn […]
It may be the first you heard of it, or you may celebrate and not even be aware. Pumpkin Destruction Day is a nationally recognized holiday. It’s the Saturday after Halloween dedicated to smashing, crushing and destroying gourds. “It is a legit holiday, an obscure one, but it is official on the books!” boasts Adam Pugh. The holiday got its start at the Rock Ranch. “It’s cool to say… I created a holiday.” Adam Pugh is the general manager of the Rock Ranch, a 1,500-acre ranch created by Chick-fil-A founder, S. Truett Cathy as a foster home for children. In 2006, to continue being a good steward to the land, the ranch opened to the public. It started as a small operation, with Fall Family Fun Days, offering a pumpkin patch and other fun attractions. At the end of the season, half a patch of pumpkins remained, enough to fill a tractor-trailer. Pugh approached the acting manager with an idea, “we teach people about being good stewards [to the land], so we should at least compost the pumpkins,” the manager agreed and asked for a press release inviting neighbors to compost their pumpkins too. However, Pugh wanted more, “Do you […]
It has been all the rage in Taiwan for decades, and over 80 of them have popped up in Japan, Cat Cafés. It is a place where you can start your day off with your favorite things, cats and coffee. Are you purrplexed? Do you think we are kitten you? It’s furreal. It is a growing trend worldwide, and it is coming to Columbus. Local owners, Ally and Justin Lawson, were purr-suaded to open a cat café after experiencing one during their time stationed in the United Kingdom. Alley Cat Cafe is set to open in the Landings this fall; it will be the third cat café in the state of Georgia. The café allows visitors to get all the perks of cats without any of the responsibility, and it’s pawsitive for the cats too. Not only for the frequent belly rubs and treats, but the cats are given a safe place to live. The café will host 10 cats within their cat room. Each cat is a “death row escapee” saved from local animal control. The non-profit, “Pat’s Rescue Cats,” evaluates the cats and decides who is a purrfect fit for the cat café, and also facilitates adoptions. The […]
Visiting Historic Westville is like taking your kids on a trip back in time to the mid-19th century. The grand opening of the re-located village was in June of this year and about half of the historic buildings present in the previous location have been moved to the new Columbus location on South Lumpkin Road. Even though the village is still a work in progress, the structures present are maintained to be as historically accurate as possible both inside and out. When we asked Cindy Bowden, Historic Westville’s museum manager, about her organization’s mission, she replied, “Through exhibits, live interpretations, demonstrations, and hands-on activities, you’ll be immersed in the history and spirit of the South and the personal experiences of those who called the Pineywoods home.” A visit to the village starts at the Welcome Center, which is in the historic Thornton House. This building offers a gift shop filled with types of crafts common in the 19th century, such as woven baskets and pottery. Some of the crafts in the shop are made in the village by skilled crafters. After purchasing tickets at the Welcome Center, visitors proceed to the village on a stroller-friendly path. Once in the village, […]
This school year, help bring the history of our region to life for your kids by visiting some of the historical sites and venues in the Chattahoochee Valley. National Civil War Naval Museum This is a must-see for Civil War history buffs. The museum is full of authentic Civil War artifacts and contains the largest surviving Confederate warship, the USS Jackson. It also includes a replica of the USS Hartford. Visitors can view a timeline exhibit that walks them through the naval events of the Civil War. portcolumbus.org Roosevelt’s Little White House The home in Warm Springs that Franklin Delano Roosevelt built in 1932 has been preserved and is open to the public for tours. FDR suffered from polio and visited Warm Springs to swim in the therapeutic 88-degree spring water. The home has remained very close to the way it looked when it was occupied by FDR for the last time in 1945. gastateparks.org/LittleWhiteHouse Historic Westville This venue located in Columbus provides an opportunity to experience what life was like in the South in the 19th century. Visitors can walk through a village of 19th century buildings filled with artifacts from that time period. Kids will enjoy seeing the live interpretations of […]
Looking for a new family fun activity this fall? Look no further than The Rock Ranch, located in The Rock, GA. It is a 1,500-acre farm created by Chick-fil-A founder, S. Truett Cathy. It is a family-friendly destination offering an array of attractions for all ages. These attractions include pony rides, locomotive train rides, zip lines, paddle boats, carousel, cane pole fishing, pedal carts, live music, animal zoo, rock climbing wall, tractor wagon rides, gemstone mining, a cow train, sports zone, speed pitch and ball toss area, giant jumping pillow, Tiny Town and more. In addition to the Rock Ranch’s attractions, they are offering themed days this fall to make every trip a new adventure: October 5 – Superhero Day – Bring the camera for photo opportunities of all your favorite superheroes! Don’t miss the live music and superhero costume contests with prizes (come dressed and ready to compete). October 12 – Great Outdoor Adventure – Experience hands-on interactions with wildlife; meet and greets with Curious George; birds of prey shows, canoe races and archery. October 19 – Up, Up, and Away Day – Ride in a hot air balloon (tethered, weather permitting, $5/child, $10/adult, cash only). Plus, After-Dark Ferrell gas Balloon Glow, stilt walkers, world […]
We have all probably heard of ‘helicopter’ parents, who ‘hover’ over their kids constantly to ensure nothing goes wrong during their day. Some parents take this form of over-involved parenting a step further and go to extremes to ‘prepare the way’ for their child by removing any obstacles in their child’s path. This is often referred to as ‘snowplow parenting.’ Children of snowplow parents may reach adulthood with little or no problem-solving skills or the ability to advocate for themselves because they were shielded from having to face a challenge or deal with adversity. In addition, a child of a ‘snowplow‘ parent may end up occupying a position in school or in the workforce that he is not prepared for. Here are some tips on how to serve as your child’s coach on his journey to adulthood, instead of denying him valuable experiences by ‘snowplowing’ any and all obstacles out of his way. Alleviate the anxiety that may tempt you to ‘snowplow’ We all want the best for our kids and it can be disturbing to watch them struggle and sometimes fail. In addition, some view parenting as a competition and social media makes it easy to get caught up […]
Supplies: High-Melt Paraffin Wax Party Balloons Double Boiler Cookie Sheet Directions: Fill a balloon with tepid water. Melt your wax. Optimum working temperature is 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Slowly dip your balloon into the wax just below the water level in the balloon. Hold the balloon in the wax for a few seconds, and then slowly lift it out. Dip the balloon a few more times, allowing some time between dips to let the wax cool. While it is still warm, carefully set the balloon down, level, onto a piece of paper or a cookie sheet. Dip your balloon a few more times until it is the desired thickness, 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch. Set the balloon on the paper or cookie sheet again and let it cool. When completely cooled, hold the balloon over a sink or bucket, facing away from you. Carefully pop the balloon with a skewer or knife and let the water drain. To level the top of the luminary, heat a cookie sheet on the stove and place the luminary top-down onto the hot sheet and melt the edges until level. Place a tea light or votive inside the luminary and burn on a candle holder. Courtesy […]
Ingredients: 4 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts Mrs Dash’s Original seasoning blend 20 ounces fat-free cream of chicken soup 1 envelope Good Season’s Zesty Italian dressing mix 8 ounces low fat cream cheese, cubed chopped fresh Parsley, for garnish ¼ to ½ cup milk, as needed Cooked noodles, rice, mashed potatoes to serve chicken over Directions: Spray a large slow cooker insert with cooking spray. Lay chicken breasts in the bottom. Season with Mr’s Dash’s original seasoning ( I use a teaspoon or two) and a sprinkle of pepper. Pour cream of chicken soups and Italian dressing mix evenly over chicken. Lay the cubed cream cheese all over the tops. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on low heat 5 to 6 hours OR on high heat 4 hours. Carefully shred chicken with two forks and mix up the sauce/gravy. If it’s too thick you can thin it out with a little milk. Serve over noodles, rice or mashed potatoes and garnish with Parsley. Enjoy! Recipe Courtesy of Life-in-the-lofthouse.com
Accessing the internet has become an unavoidable part of our kids’ daily lives. During the summer, kids game online and keep up with their circle of friends by chatting on mobile apps. Once summer is over and the school year begins, kids are given homework assignments through Google Classroom and parents communicate with teachers through apps. Here are some updated cybersafety tips that can help your family avoid any hidden threats while using devices online. Evaluate online games and apps before they are downloaded Mature content or privacy risks can lurk in apps and games. Some criminals even develop apps that look legitimate but actually contain a ‘Trojan,’ a malicious piece of code that can compromise your computer or mobile device. Require your child to seek your approval before downloading any app or game onto any of your devices. The app should come from a reputable source (Google Play, iTunes or Amazon) and be rated for kids. Research the developer before downloading the app to ensure their legitimacy. Dating apps that share the user’s location and profile are meant for adults. They do not have the same safeguards and privacy standards as apps designed for kids. Delete any you find […]
Growing Room opens the door to a secure, quality, fun and nurturing educational environment based on a balanced partnership with parents. At Growing Room, our goal each day is to provide an enriching environment with nurturing teachers using a planned developmentally appropriate curriculum for Infants 6 weeks of age through children age 12 years.
1200 Manchester Expressway, Columbus, GA 31904
The CSU Dance Conservatory offers a distinguished recreational and pre-professional program in ballet during the school year with opportunities to perform with The Columbus Ballet at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts. Our mission is to prepare young students for futures as dancers, engaged citizens, audience members, and responsible young men and women. Year-round classes are taught by a dedicated faculty with extensive professional credentials, providing intensive training and performance opportunities for our students. The Conservatory’s comprehensive curriculum focuses on strong technique that is rooted in the traditions of classical ballet and inspired by a contemporary vision of the future. This curriculum is designed to serve dancers of all ages by supporting the continuing quest for greater technique, artistry, clarity, grace, speed, and musicality. Annual performances of classical and contemporary works are also an important part of the training model at the Conservatory, allowing students to develop discipline, endurance, choreographic memory, and stage presence. Providing exceptional dance training, nurturing our students’ developing skills and instilling a lifelong love of dance extends far beyond our curriculum. We strive to challenge each student, whether dancing for enjoyment or pre-professional training. Our highly-trained teachers take great care to instruct students with proper technique and […]
1004 Broadway, Columbus GA
At Impact Performance RX, they offer youth training services! Some benefits of youth exercise includes reducing the likelihood of obesity and other weight related problems. By staying active, teenagers can reduce the risk of stress, depression, and other mental health issues. Youth fitness can also help teenagers maintain a positive body image. If you would like to learn more about our youth gym, please contact Impact Performance RX today! Contact Us Today!
1951 Veterans Pkwy, Columbus GA 31904
The Columbus Ballet is a non-profit arts organization founded in 1998 that advocates for the artistic achievement of classical dance through the joy, spirit, and celebration of dance instruction and performance. We strive to provide the most distinctive dance experience to the community through the development of a diverse curriculum for dancers of all ages and a season program that promotes art, education, and culture. The official school of the Columbus Ballet is the CSU Dance Conservatory, which offers classes for dancers 3 years old through adult in classical ballet, jazz, modern, and contemporary dance. The Columbus Ballet annually presents the beloved holiday story of “The Nutcracker,” and produces an annual spring production that has included such well-known ballets as “Cinderella”, “Sleeping Beauty”, and “Coppelia” as well as many others. The Columbus Ballet is proud to be a part of the arts community in Columbus and strives to provide the highest artistic quality performances to Columbus and the surrounding areas.
The Rankin Arts Center 1004 Broadway
Welcome to Family and Kids Magazine‘s online parenting resource, serving families of Columbus, Fort Benning, Phenix City and the rest of the Chattahoochee Valley. We strive to be your #1 local magazine for family news, parenting tips, local events and business referrals. Check out our online localized directory for things to do, places to eat, where to shop and almost every other resource a growing family in the Chattahoochee Valley could need. While you’re here, enter our monthly giveaway or submit your child’s photo to be featured in our Hoo’s Cute section of our magazine. We welcome all families coming into our area, whether for a temporary stay or a new place to call home, and hope our magazine guides you through our large community. Pick up a copy of our Family and Kids magazine at our many distribution locations, including all local Chick-fil-as or read the latest issue here.