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Friday, April 18, 2014

National Park Week April 19-27, 2014

I recently received an email from the National Parks Foundation reminding me about the upcoming week celebrating our nation's National Parks. As if I could forget. It had such great information I thought I'd post it here for all of you as well. Leave a comment and let me know how you'll be celebrating National Park Week this year!


Washington, D.C. (April 15, 2014) From April 19 – 27, the National Park Service and the National ParkFoundation will host National Park Week, featuring special events in parks nationwide. This year’s theme, “National Park Week: Go Wild!” invites visitors to celebrate all that America’s 401 national parks have to offer. With free admission to all parks on April 19 and 20, and exciting activities and programs scheduled throughout the week, National Park Week is the perfect time to discover the diverse wildlife, iconic landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history found in America’s national parks.

There are countless ways to enjoy National Park Week. Below are nine great suggestions happening April 19 - 27 in national parks.  A complete list of National Park Week events taking place across the country is available at

Friday, April 11, 2014

Discovery Gateway Museum, Salt Lake City, Utah

Big E's preschool planned a fun field trip to the Discovery Gateway Museum located at the Gateway mall in downtown Salt Lake City. I had never been here before, but as a teenager I volunteered at a Children's Museum in Wisconsin so I'm a big fan of teaching kids through play.
We started on the upper level of the museum where lots of hands on exhibits let kids play with science. Gears, magnets, wind tunnels, and life size marble races had Big E and little g exploring, building and engineering in no time. 

The main floor of the museum housed a massive beehive where kids can feed the pollen (brightly colored plastic balls) through tubes, wheels and vacuum suction hoses and watch their progress through an interconnected two story maze.

After that was the kid's village where a construction site, gas station, grocery store, farm and water works let Big E and little g play imaginatively on their scale. Little g's favorite activity was to carry around a black baby doll, which reminded me of the Brown v Board of Education court case I learned about in college and the experiments involving presenting children with cross racial dolls. That's a side note, I know but it felt good to use my brain for something other than explaining basic concepts like how to use a bathroom to my tots.

The Discovery Gateway Museum was a great outing with my kids. They loved to explore and play, and hopefully they learned something along the way. Right now the museum is offering $5 Fun Day admission for Friday and Saturday nights and all day Sunday. Check it out at

Discovery Gateway Museum
444 West 100 South, Salt Lake City, UT
Mon - Thurs 10 am - 6 pm
Fri and Sat 10 am - 8 pm
Sunday Noon - 6 pm

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Snowboard Season is at an end.

It's time to say goodbye to my favorite past time - snowboarding. Sundance Resort - my home mountain closed for the season last Sunday but I got to go with my tots one last time before the lifts stopped running. Unfortunately this happened.

Little g is only two and half, and unfortunately her little feet are smaller than the smallest boot at the rental shop. Normally this wouldn't be a problem since she just glides between my skis anyway, just cinch it up tight and wear big socks. Too bad I left this ski on the loosest notch and when Big E and little g started knocking their skis together on the lift, it was too much for the tiny boot.

Thankfully the ski dropped in a relatively easy to reach place, just off the main drag so nobody was in danger of being impaled from above. Also on the list of things to be grateful for - her favorite bow shoes were in the backpack, she doesn't weigh much, and Big E was a big help.

Our last time on the slopes was an adventure all its own. Now it's time to look forward to warm weather adventures - planting a garden (my tots love to help with this), visiting National Parks during National Park Week, maybe even going on an epic trip. Whatever our upcoming adventures may be, I'm glad to share them all with you.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

5 Tips for Spring Skiing with Tots

I know for most of the world winter is over. Everyone's thinking about spring and enjoying the sunshine. But at our home we still love the snow, especially since I know we only have a week left to enjoy the downhill slopes.

Spring is the best time to teach young kids to ski because the weather is sunny and warm, making the snow soft and slightly slushy. Next to powder skiing, it's my favorite time on the slopes too. The crowds are nonexistent since everyone except the serious skiers are caught in spring fever. The weather is either warm and sunny or pounding fresh powder in a spring storm. It's the best time.

A few weeks ago I wrote about taking two-year-old little g on the slopes for the first time. After that dismal beginning I vowed not to try it again, but being cooped up inside while the snow melted outside inspired me to take the risk again. It was worth it.

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