If you are looking for a fun family activity while the weather is still nice, I highly recommend the Goochland Drive-In Theater. We took the boys there several weeks ago to see Cars 2 and we all had a blast. To begin with, kids 3 and under are free, which worked out well for us. Adults tickets are $7, and many times during the week they drop the price to just $5 or $15 per carload.
We found a space in back near the concession stand and the playground. The playground is enclosed and separated in to an area for babies/toddlers and an area for older kids. It’s a great way to keep the little ones entertained while waiting for the movie to start. We also hit the concession and were pleased to find that nothing on the menu is over $3. There are plenty of picnic tables for you to sit and eat before heading back to your car. Since this was our first visit, we were not as prepared as we could have been. Most of the people there that night brought chairs and set them up in front of their cars. We have made a mental note for next time.
Each night is usually a double-feature with the most child-friendly movie showing first. Now that it is getting darker earlier, I believe the first shown starts around 7:30. I must also note that if and when your car battery dies…they have the means to get you up and running again. Their regular season runs until late October/early November. If you don’t mind the drive out to Goochland, you should definitely put it on your list of things to do. www.goochlanddriveintheater.com
A lost little mouse and hundreds of singing children will overtake Carytown’s Byrd Theater on October 30 for ChildSavers’ 4th Sing-A-Long event. The day will kick-off with performances and activities before the 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. showings of Steven Spielberg’s animated musical “An American Tail.”
Children and parents will enjoy a magician, face-painting stations, music and dancing before sitting down to watch the movie and singing along to favorites like “Somewhere Out There” and “There are No Cats in America!” Ticket holders 18 and older will be eligible to enter a free raffle with the chance to win a gift basket complete with movie theater goodies.
“We had more than 1,300 people show up for last year’s Sing-A-Long. It’s incredible,” said ChildSavers CEO Mark Hierholzer. “Parents, grandparents and kids have a wonderful time, while helping other Richmond children in the process.”
Each year, Sing-A-Long ticket sales go toward funding ChildSavers’ commitment to the mental well-being of traumatized or abused children and the positive bond between adult and child. Programs incorporate clinical treatment as well as education and training services that offer reassurance, healing and the skills necessary to achieve normal life and development.
Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for children and can be purchased online at www.childsavers.org and by calling (804) 643-7283. Will Call opens at 9:30 a.m. and seating for the first showing will begin at 10:00 a.m.
ChildSavers is an organization dedicated to helping children in mental health and crisis situations, and has been a source of hope for Central Virginia’s children since 1924. ChildSavers provides various support services to children, parents and childcare providers on-site at its Church Hill location, and off-site in crisis situations. The organization partners with emergency response organizations, schools and in-home and childcare centers in Richmond and Central Virginia. ChildSavers also maintains strong relationships with health clinics and government agencies who work to serve needy children throughout the Richmond metropolitan area. ChildSavers’ three core program areas are its Guidance Clinic, Trauma Response and Child Development Services. For more information, visit www.childsavers.org.
My husband and I have wanted to join a gym for some time and recently began looking in to options for our family. We have several friends that belong to the JCC and rave about so we decided to check it out. The most important thing for me is finding a gym that also offers babysitting to include young babies. Not only does the JCC fulfill these needs, but it also offers so much more and is very affordable, in my opinion.
Babysitting services are available to members each day starting at 6 weeks of age up to 7 years. This is perfect for me as I will likely be cleared to start exercising again once baby #3 is that old. You must make a reservation to ensure a space for your child or children which I think is fantastic. You never have to worry about getting there only to find out that they are full. I love to plan ahead anyway! The babysitting facility is very clean and bright and full of fun things for young kids to do while their parents work out. And when your work out is over you can grab the kids and head on over to the indoor pool which is open all year. Now that our community pool is closed this is a perfect alternative.
I was excited to learn about all of the other programs and activities offered for kids of all ages at the JCC. I am especially interested in the Great Beginnings class for newborns. It seems like a good place to take our littlest to socialize with other babies. Once your child is 2 they can enroll in the preschool. In the summer there are so many different camps for all ages that I cannot even list them here. And don’t forget about the swim team. I also recall looking in to swim lessons over the summer for our older boys. We were never able to fit that in but I look forward to signing them up as soon as we can. And if you are looking for a place to host your child’s next birthday party, they offer several themes including sports, dance and pool parties. I also know that we will utilize the guitar and piano lessons once our kids are in Kindergarten.
I have only scratched the surface when it comes to all of the things that the JCC has to offer kids and their families. Hopefully this will entice you to explore it further. Most (if not all) of the things that I talked briefly about above are available to members and non-members alike, although they will always be less expensive for members. Be sure to visit their website and schedule a tour if you think you might be interested. http://www.weinsteinjcc.org/
During the last few weeks we have been eating out quite a bit because I was very pregnant and did not feel like cooking. I am always looking for places to where kids eat for free and was delighted to find two in the last week. Since lately it seems that most of what I attempt to feed my kids intentionally winds up on the floor, I don’t feel too bad about it when it comes free with my own meal.
Kids eat free at Qdoba every Sunday. I have wanted to try Qdoba for some time and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Chipotle will always be my absolute favorite, but Qdoba actually has a much larger menu and it was very tasty. With the purchase of each adult meal on Sundays kids have a choice of naked burritos, chicken or cheese quesadillas or tacos. Each meal comes with juice, milk or a fountain drink, and the sides are vegetarian beans, applesauce or tortilla chips. My kids not only loved the chicken quesadilla that we got for them, they also decided that this was the day that they would start using forks to eat their meals. It was a very exciting dinner out for all of us. You can view their menu and find the closest location to you here http://www.qdoba.com/.
I was also excited to discover that kids can eat for free at Great Wraps every single day of the week. We used to eat their all of the time before we had kids and just recently went back for the first time in months to discover the Kids Eat Free sign on the door. With the purchase of each adult meal you kids have a choice of chicken tenders, grilled cheese and one other item that escapes me at the moment. You also have a choice of french fries or chips and a drink. There aren’t as many choices as I’ve seen at other places, but the few items they do offer are usually big hits with kids. They happened to be out of the chicken tenders that we wanted to order, and offered up grilled chicken for the boys instead. I was pleased that they were so accommodating and the boys were happy. Since their website (http://www.greatwraps.com/) does not actually show a kid’s menu, you may want to check with your local Great Wraps ahead of time. Or just head down to the location just off Broad Street near VCU.