Victorinox Swiss Army – 2014 Fall Warehouse Sale – The Details

I was telling my sibling what the Victorinox Swiss Army Sale had to offer and was showing some of the ‘Details’ post from 2013, 2012 and 2011 to give a better understanding. It was during this conversation that I realized the ‘Details’ needed to show more.  I have always tried to just show a few things to give a broad view, but who wants to dig three posts back to see a watch or luggage. Not me and this is my site!!  So this year, instead of just showing a couple pictures and trashing the dozen other pictures taken, I am going a little deeper in hopes of better representing what the sale has to offer. Unfortunately, I could not go to the warehouse sale this year either — but had even more family members going so the finding (and my shopping list) was covered!

Victorinox Swiss Army Peak White Dial Stainless Steel Watch

Victorinox Swiss Army Peak White Dial Stainless Steel Watch

Wegner Swiss Military Standard Issue Steel Date Watch

Wegner Swiss Military Standard Issue Steel Date Watch

The line Friday night was under an hour and a little longer very early Saturday morning, but if you decided to come mid-morning, I hope you brought the lawn chair as it was around 2 hours.  For those willing to wait, here are the detailed findings:
  • Watches –  large selection and deeply discounted.  Attached is a pic of a men’s Wegner Swiss Military Standard Issue Steel Date watch that retails for around $300 and was being sold at the warehouse sale for $50! Also attached is an image of the Victorinox Swiss Army Peak White Dial Stainless Steel Watch for $50 and it normally retails at $220.
  • Cutlery – by far the best bargain there.  There were selling blocks, paring knives, steak knives, sharpening steel and much more.  Attached is a pic of the chef’s knife that normally retails around $60 and is only $20 at the warehouse sale!
  • Travel Gear - decent selection from carry-ons to full size luggage and fairly priced.  Attached is a pic of the Tallux 25? that normally retails around $600 and was being sold for $125.  (This piece is too large for a carry-on, but they did have smaller pieces in the same discounted price range.)
  • Swiss Army Knives / Flashlights – strong selection of a variety of knives and flashlights.  If you don’t own either, definitely a must have.  The utility pocket knives come in handy and the flashlights are powerful.  Once own one, you will become a brand ambassador too.
  • Clothing – they had a limited amount of women’s clothing and majority was for smaller sizes.  But there were a few finds like white jeans for only $10!  They had a huge selection of men’s clothing ranging from button down’s to fleece’s.

    Men's Jacquard Jacket

    Men’s Jacquard Jacket

  • Coats – same applies here as it does to the clothing.  Limited amount for women – and what they had were small sizes, but they had a large selection for men.  From what I saw, majority of the items were around $149 – $99

If you are not familiar with what Victorinox Swiss Army offers, its worth a look on their website to understand the quality of their offerings and what these items normally retail for.  For those of you who are familiar, I don’t need to say more.

This year they had a large selection of coats ranging from wool, rain jackets, light jackets and for men, leather.  Some of the deal highlights we got were:

Swiss Gear Camera Bag

Swiss Gear Camera Bag

  • Men’s Jacquard Jacket – $10
  • Men’s Ts – $15 (normally $75)
  • Swiss Gear Camera Bag – $10
  • Heritage Scarf – $10

We didn’t ‘need’ anything and came out relatively cheap with $75 worth of goods.  I know your question — is it worth it to go?  If you are looking for a high ticket item (like a watch) or just like to bargain hunt, its definitely worth it!

Laugh & Learn: Color Yellow

Laugh and Learn Logo

 THE COLOR YELLOW

CONTINUITY ACITVITIES

Brown Bear Book Project

My friend and I weren’t able to kick off the yellow week for Laugh & Learn together due to winter weather.

Yellow Duck Handprint Activity

Yellow Duck Handprint Activity

So, we each did our handprint animals, yellow duck, for the Brown Bear Hand Painting Project individually. My child definitely didn’t enjoy the experience as much without their friend.

Fish Bowl Craft
This week, we added a yellow starfish to the fish bowl. Although my child is too young to use scissors successfully, helping glue the items is entirely different! Now that the ‘fish bowl’ is taking on more of a scene, we look forward to this craft every week.

DAILY ACTIVITIES

These are some activities that the kids enjoyed for the color yellow. We varied them by day.

Sun Handprint

Yellow Sun Handprint Activity

Yellow Sun Handprint Activity

My friend was inspired by the paper plate sun handprint to make a version using a yellow construction paper circle surrounded by yellow hand prints. Super cute!

Yellow Color Poem
My friend found this and shared with me. She printed it out and used it as a fun way for yellow color reinforcement. Since my child loves to color, I printed it out in black and white and let her color it. We placed it on the fridge along with her Yellow Duck and Yellow Sticker Art. She loves to point out the sun, etc or have me read it to her multiple times a day.

Laugh & Learn: Color Blue

Laugh and Learn Logo

THE COLOR BLUE 

CONTINUITY ACTIVITIES

Brown Bear Book Project

Blue Horse Handprint Activity

Blue Horse Handprint Activity

We dove right into our blue week with our brown bear project for Laugh & Learn. We were still finding the right process for the handprint painting as to keep it a mess free activity and having some success. This week, it was using wipes to clean up their hands immediately after they made the handprint — we would never go back to paper towels again!

The kids were having so much fun at the table that when one of them wanted to color, it lead to a fun pastime of the color blue. Thank you for the natural and perfect segway! We got out paper and crayons focusing on blue as long as we could before other colors joined the coloring fun.

Color Cards
We introduced the color cards during this color week and although done individually both kids looked forward to selecting a new card everyday. It was a great way to reinforce the color. Each day that I did this exercise with my child, I would point to the blue color card say the name of the color, and then point to the individual letters and spell it out. It is amazing what they will remember!

Fish Bowl Craft
We also started this activity with the color blue. I thought it would be fun to color or paint the paper plate blue. My child had other ideas and only wanted to use it as a toy. So, I cheated and used a blue plate I had in the pantry. I cut out a red crab for the red item and we glued it to the plate. I was constantly reinforcing the color blue describing the scene we were creating.

DAILY ACTIVITIES

Blue Butterfly Activity

Blue Butterfly Activity

These are some activities that the kids enjoyed for the color blue.  We varied them by day.
Sticker Art
Color Song
Butterfly Footprint
– Color Find
Color Sheets (can customize the words)

Color Find
We liked the idea of the Color Find from when we focusing on the color red but wanted to make it appealing to both children. So, for this week for the Color Find, we lined up five toys (4 blue and 1 red) and then said out loud “Blue, blue, blue, blue, red,” pointing to each one. Then asked a child to put a blue item in the bag. Then asked the other child to take a turn. The process was repeated saying out loud, “Blue, blue, blue, red,”and asked the child to do the same. This was repeated until we had only red left. Each success for the children was applauded and praised.

The children loved this. We liked it as well for it sets up for the kids for success by repeating blue over and over. We think it helped them to realize the difference in colors and the desired action of what they needed to grab.

Laugh & Learn: Color Red

Laugh and Learn LogoTHE COLOR RED

When the kids got together for our first Laugh & Learn date, it was just after Christmas so they were so enamored with the new toys, we didn’t jump into any activities right away.

CONTINUITY ACTIVITIES

Red Bird Handprint Activity

Red Bird Handprint Activity

into the painting activity for the Brown Bear Hand Painting Project right away. When we did, they both loved being together at the table with paint. (It also helped there was two adults to help with the pointing out the red color and to setting up/cleaning up the paint stuff.)  We applied the paint to their hands with paper towel and cleaned up with wet and dry paper towels. The activity was well received by the kids and somewhat mess free!

After I transformed the hand prints into a red bird, I put it in a projective sheet and put it on the fridge. My child loved seeing the artwork and constantly pointed it out. As it turned out, featuring the handprint art would become a wonderful natural way to reinforce the color of the week throughout each day.

We didn’t decide to do the other weekly continuity activities of color cards and fish bowl craft until the next color.

DAILY ACTIVITIES
These are some crafts that the kids enjoyed for the color red. We varied them by day.

Color Find
A bunch of red toys and a couple toys of other colors were placed under a tent. We asked the children individually to go into the tent and get something red. My friend’s child is familiar with colors, was successful at selecting red items and enjoyed the activity. My child is still learning the colors. When going into the tent, the item selected was based on appeal and immediately used to go play with. So, the next week, we did a similar activity where my friend’s child get something red and then we ask my child what color it is.

Color Collection Basket
Using a red basket, we selected and added all red items to it.  This process was great for the first few items and then my child decided to just add items of all colors.  This is what happens when my child gets into the clean up spirit!

Hand Print Apple Tree Craft

Hand Print Apple Tree Craft

Hand Print Apple Tree

This activity was followed closely to the blog post linked above. My friend loved this activity with her child and great for reinforcement as the color red was mentioned heavily. When the red paint was taken out, my friend would show her child the paint and repeat the color a few times. Then she would ask her child what the color was. This was done thought the craft to much success!

Color Sheets
For the coloring, my child wasn’t keen on using only one color so I tried to use the red crayon as long as we could before using the other colors and just reiterate the color of what we were coloring.

At some point in the week, the preference was that I color and my child color along with me. So, I took it as an opportunity to draw pictures that focus on the color red.

Red Color Drawings

Red Color Drawings

Laugh & Learn: Tot School all About Play

Laugh and Learn LogoA friend of mine and I were both individually facilitating learning at home with our children, who are currently around 2 years old. We both decided not to send them to a 2’s program in the fall (in which they would be 2 1/2) and to spend the time with them doing other enrichment activities. Therefore, we thought it would great to have a collaborative environment that would foster learning when at home. So, my friend and I decided to do a light version of ‘tot school’, or what we would come to refer to as Laugh & Learn. I say a light version as we wanted a more creative curriculum to teach them with play. So, no formal circle times (they would get that from the four or more structured activities a week they did outside the home), just learning around play. We also wanted to stay true to the children’s play style and organic to the way they interact.

We decided to start with colors to promote the recognition and differentiation of them. We would focus on an individual color for one week and if needed, do another week before moving on. (We both have been pointing out colors to our children for a while.) Overall, we would promote as many instances the color of the week can be highlighted. During the color weeks, we will NOT be ignoring other colors, just largely focusing on the chosen color. We would have a couple weekly continuity activities as well as daily activities.

WEEKLY CONTINUITY ACTIVITIES
The weekly activities we did are:

Brown Bear Book
The activity that would kick off each color for the week would be a painting project — the Brown Bear Hand Painting.
After each color was transformed into the animal, we would put it into a clear protective sleeve and put the name of the color on it. (We waited on including the words from the book until the end.) We hung the picture in our homes and reiterated the color and pointed out the words whenever possible.

What we loved the Brown Bear Hand Painting Project was a fun activity that turned into a book at the end of teaching the colors. We decided that when we move on to another topic (shapes, numbers, etc) we would also do a painting project (hopefully that can be turned into a book!). We did find several nice options to bind the artwork as a book.  We found the paper, after the paint and glue dried, was very wrinkled so we wanted to make sure their artwork was well preserved. So in addition to making a book of the actual artwork, we would also scan each piece of artwork so they are preserved and can make a sturdy keepsake.

OberBargain Tip: I didn’t own any washable child safe paints, construction paper, etc. After doing a little research on Amazon, big retail chains and crafts stores, I found utilizing a 50% or 40% off a color pack was the way to go.  I bought a Crayola 10-color washable paint set for less than $4, which was perfect for my child who doesn’t care to paint!

Color Cards
We liked this activity as it allowed for a new image everyday while reinforcing the color of the week and precious week. The idea in this blog is called completing the color chart. Both my friend and I executed this idea in a little different way, but utilized the main concept of each week of hanging up the word that says the color of the week and having the child select one of the appropriate color cards from a bin and each morning. The card will get be hung up next to the appropriate color card row. (The previous weeks colors cards will remain.) So, at the end of the week, it was a gallery of the featured color photos.

Fish Bowl Craft
For this activity, we created and added to the fish bowl each week with an appropriate color. So blue was one of the first colors, so we painted the plate blue. The first week was red, so we added a red crab, etc. As we kept adding a new color, we added a new ocean element.

 

DAILY ACTIVITIES
So, every day we would have at least one activity focusing on the color and the weeks activities would consist of things like:

  • coloring page
  • painting
  • wear the color / color song
  • color collection (put all the colored items together and name the item/color)
  • read books on colors as well as point out that color in other books
  • have a meal that has the color in it

 

HELPFUL TIPS
Here are some helpful tips we found researching colors and teaching toddlers and children:

  • Children learn nouns before colors so when teaching colors, use the color after the noun (from a study done by Scientific America). It will help build the connection more fully
  • Introduce learning primary/main colors first (Red, Blue, Yellow, Black and White) and only later add the other colors (suggestion from several sites)
  • Children learn better with multi sensory experiences
  • For children to point out a color iIt takes several different receptors to process so be light in jumping in to assist them — give them 15 seconds before helping

I also found the tips from an educator on her website helpful. It provided good pointers as to how to refer to colors as well as other suggestions for activities.

So with that, we started Laugh & Learn. Below are the links to what we did for each color

Wusthof Outlet – Holiday Sale {12/4-12/6}

The Wusthof Outlet in Norwalk, CT is having their annual Holiday Sale Thursday, December 4th to Saturday, December 6th from 10am to 6pm.

Sale will feature regular discounts on the store models, overstocks, and discontinued models between 40% to 70% off – with an extra 20% off everything. Also, every customer will get a free keychain sharpener with purchase.

WÜSTHOF Outlet Store
333 Wilson Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06854
Phone: 203-852-8000

Halloween Activities for Toddlers and Babies {Fairfield County}

Some Mom friends were asking what is there to do for toddlers or their babies for Halloween in lower Fairfield County. Well, here’s a round up. (Hardly anything was free, so note costs accordingly.)

Parties

  • Halloween Art Party – Silvermine Arts Center, New Canaan, CT. Sunday, October 26th; 2-4 pm. Admission: $15; members $12. Participate in art activities (including mask making and clay pumpkin painting), costume parade, and enjoy snacks and a Halloween movie!
  • Monster Mash – Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Norwalk, CT. Tickets: member $10, non-members $15, and children under 1 are free. Saturday, October 25th, 6:00-8:30pm. Costume parade, dance party, tricks, treats and Halloween crafts galore.
  • Mill River Halloween Party – Stamford, CT. Friday, Oct 31st; 4-6pm. Children will trick-or-treat along the river path on the west side of the Park, from Broad Street to the playground. At the playground they will be able to decorate pumpkins while listening to the sounds of Father Goose.

Trick or Treating

  • Trick or Treat at Stamford Museum and Nature Center – Heckscher Farm. Sunday, October 26th; 1-3 pm
    Admission: $10; seniors $8; students $6; children $5. Wear your Halloween costume to trick or treat with your favorite farm friends! Grab a map and head off in search of different “treats” at the trick or treating stations. Then, stop by Overbrook for “Ick-Fest” and get slimy with our slime table, visit live reptiles and bugs, and create crafts around some of our favorite Halloween critters.
  • Trick-or-Treat with the Stew Leonard’s Characters – Norwalk, CT. Thursday, October 30th; 5:00-6:00pm. Children are invited to dress in their costumes and come to Stew Leonard’s in Norwalk to go trick or treating. Children can come with their own bags or Stew Leonard’s will provide one for them. Stew Leonard’s famous characters, including mascot Wow the Cow, will be available for taking photos with the children.

Parades

  • Halloween Spooktacular – New Canaan Nature Center, New Canaan CT. Saturday, October 25th; 6:30-8:00pm.  Admission: Members $6, non-members $10. Meet creepy critters like bats, snakes, spirders and more before getting a chance to make your own slime. End the night roasting marshmallows by a roaring campfire. Costumes encourages, appropriate for all ages, but please note it’s not a drop-off activity.
  • New Canaan Halloween Parade – Park Street Lot Park Street, New Canaan CT. Sunday, October 26th; 12:00-2:00pm. Annual Halloween Parade starts at 1pm lead by the Old Faithful Antique Fire Truck. Goodie bags are handed out. Children of all ages and their dogs are invited to participate.
  • Rowayton Halloween Celebration – Rowayton Community Center, Rowayton, CT. Sunday, October 26th; 1:00-4:00pm. In addition to a parade, this event has a hay maze, petting zoo, pony rides and a haunted house.
  • Westport Halloween Spectacular – YMCA and Town Green in Westport, CT. Wednesday, October 29th. 3:30 p.m. in front of the YMCA and 4:30 p.m. on the Town Green. Children in costume parade up Main Street and trick or treat along the way towards Town Hall for more treats, snacks and a DJ dance party. The Town Green party starts at 4:30pm.
  • Darien Halloween ParadeFriday, October 31st at 10am. $5/child. Meet at the parking lot next to the Darien Fire Station opposite Post Corner Pizza to participate in this annual parade for toddlers and pre-school aged children. Costumed kids trick or treat with local merchants on their way to Tilley Pond for snacks and a special magic show with The Amazing Andy.

Activities

  • Hayrides – Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouse, Greenwich CT. Friday, September 26th – Friday October 31st. FREE hayrides to their Pumpkin Patch
  • Halloween Hayride Spooktacular at Stew Leonard’s In Norwalk – Friday, October 3rd to Friday, October 31st. Monday through Friday: 3:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 A.M. until 8:00 P.M. Cost: $1 per person. It’s 15-minute family-friendly all ages hayride that weaves through a course of more than twenty vignettes, including scenes of popular movie and television characters, traditional holiday settings, and a musical light show.
  • Build a Scarecrow Workshop – Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouse, Greenwich CT. October 4th, 11th, 13th, 18th, and 25th. For $35, they supply the frame (4ft or 6ft), head, stuffing and a place to make a mess. You supply the pants and long sleeve button and whatever accessories you want to create a one-of-a-kind scarecrow. Each workshop will be judged and the winner gets a prize. Reservations are a must.
  • Pumpkin Painting – Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouse, Greenwich CT. October 4th, 11th, 13th, 18th, and 25th between 10am and 2pm. For $8, they supply the pumpkin, paints and a place to make a mess.
  • Halloween Day Stew Leonard’s – Norwalk, CT. Friday, October 31st, children who come to the store in their costumes will receive a free small ice cream.
  • Halloween Costume Contest at Trader Joe’s – Stamford, CT. All day, Friday, October 31st. Contestants will get their picture taken and a winner will be picked in the evening.  Winner receives bag of Trader Joe’s food.

Gyms

  • JOE’s SPOOKTACULAR Halloween Event! – My Gym, Stamford, CT. Sunday, October 26th 9:15-10:15am OR 10:30-11:30am. Sunday, November 2nd 9:15-10:15am OR 10:30-11:30am. Pricing: members $10, nonmembers $15, siblings $5. All ages welcome. Pay n’ Play filled with fun Halloween decorations, games, and activities! Children can come dressed in costume.
  • Halloween Party - My Gym, Stamford, CT. Wednesday, October 29th. Available Time Slots for all ages: 9:00am, 10:00am, 11:00am, or 3:30pm. For children 6 weeks-13 months only: 12:00pm. For children 3.25 years and up: 4:30pm. Free for members. (You must sign up in advance.) All time slots are 45 minutes long. Halloween themed games, dances, puppet shows, and more! Kids, don’t forget to wear your costumes for some bone chillin’ fun!
  • Great Play Halloween Party - Great Play, Stamford, CT. Friday, October 31st. 1:30-3pm for children 1-5. Pricing: members $20, $15 siblings; non-Members $25, $20 siblings. Costume parade, followed by games and activities. Also a trick or treat for a few trinkets and end with a Halloween Treat.

Free Things to do this Summer {Ffld County}

The nice weather is upon us and with a little one with boundless energy, we can’t get outside enough.  Although we love playgrounds, it is nice to keep boredom at bay and infuse the weekly ‘routine’ with other activities. This is OberBargain, so the focus will be FREE activities to do in Fairfield County this summer:

Art/Festivals

  • KidsDrawFree in Kiwanis Park – Kiwanis Park in Stamford Saturdays, May 24th to October 15th from 12-4pm.
  • Art & Music Rowayton Arts Center-fest – 145 Rowayton Ave in Rowayton on Saturday, May 31st from 2-6pm.  Sidewalk art, free-form painting, and mask making. Music at 4pm
  • The Greek Experience – Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Danbury from Friday, June 6th to Sunday, June 8th
  • 3rd Annual Summer Fun Fest - at Grace United Methodist Church in Fairfield on Saturday, June 21st from 10am-6pm. There will be music, arts and crafts vendors and inflatables. (Some activities require a fee.)
  • Trumbull Summer Welcome Craft Festival – field adjacent Marisa’s Restaurant in Trumbull on Saturday, June 21st from 11am-5pm. Feature local and other artisans.
  • Artwalk – Downtown Stamford on Friday, June 27th from 6-9pm to Saturday, June 28th from 10am-7pm.
  • Norwalk Art Festival – Mathews Park in Norwalk on Saturday, June 28th and Sunday, the 29th from 10am-5pm.
  • Arts & Crafts on Bedford – craft and artisan boutiques on Bedford Street in Stamford Saturday, September 20th from 11am-8pm and Sunday, September 21st from 10am to 5pm. Live music from 6-9pm on Saturday. Event features a rock-climbing wall and animals from Stamford Nature Center and Museum.

Summer Concerts

  • Waveny Summer Concerts – on the lawn behind Waveny House in Waveny Park in New Canaan every Wednesday from 7:30-9:30pm, beginning, June 4th and ending August 27th. Raindate is the following day, Thursday. Bring chair, blanket or picnic supper and enjoy the music.
  • Norwalk Public Library Family Concerts – at Norwalk Public Library Friday, June 6th and July 18th from 10-10:45am
  • Summer Fun at Mill River Park – at Mill River Park Playground in Stamford kicking off on June 7th from 10am-noon then at 11am on Saturdays beginning June 21st until July 26th.
  • Fairfield Summer Concert Series at the Sherman Green Gazebo in Fairfield on kicks off on Sunday, June 8th at 3pm and ends Wednesday, August 27th at 6:30pm
  • Music for Children – Cos Cob Library in Greenwich. Wednesday, June 18th at 3:45.
  • Corpus Christi Concert – in the parking lot of Basilica of St. John in Stamford at 6pm on Sunday, June 22nd. Bring chairs and picnic dinner.
  • Sing Me a Story – Weed Memorial & Hollander Brand in Stamford on Saturday, June 28th from 10:30 to 11:30.
  • Norwalk Summer Concert Series – at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk. Series kicks off on Wednesday, June 25th at 6pm and ends on Wednesday, September 3rd.  Beach stickers are needed to enter beach, if without $5 charge (expect 4th of July, $20).
  • Alive@Five – at Columbus Park in downtown Stamford on Thursdays, July 10th through August 14th. Kids 12 and under are free and must enter before 7pm. Between 5-6pm $5 entrance fee, $10 entrance fee otherwise
  • Levitt Pavilion Summer Series – at Levitt Pavilion in Westport beginning Tuesday, July 15th. (Details and performers being finalized at time of posting.) Children concert series as well, but no details at time of posting.
  • Sand Jam & Movie Nights – at Jennings Beach in Fairfield. Dances begin at 6:30; Movie at dark. Most events are Fridays, starting June 27th and ending on Thursday, August 7th.  Beach stickers are needed to enter beach, if without $20 charge.
  • Peanut Butter Jam Concert – at the Sherman Green Gazebo in Fairfield every Wednesday starting, July 9th at 12:30pm and ends on August 13th. Pack a picnic and enjoy the interactive musical performances for kids.
  • Sound Beach Community Band Concert – at Binney Park in Greenwich on Sunday, July 27th at 7pm.
  • Sing-Along with Dr. Ev – Stamford Ferguson Library Main Branch, 3rd floor on Monday, August 4th from 1-2pm.

Movies

  • Animation Celebration – Mill River Park Playground in Stamford starting at 6:30pm every other Saturday beginning June 14th and ending August 30th.
  • Landmark Free Summer Movies for Kids – at Landmark 9 in Stamford and Marquis 16 in Trumbull.  Each Tuesday and Wednesday starting Tuesday, June 24th and ending Thursday, August 20th.  Seating starts at 9am and movie begins at 10am. First come, first served. Limited theatre capacity.
  • SYSB Drive-in Movies – every Saturday night in July and August at the River Walk in Shelton.
  • Sand Jam & Movie Nights – at Jennings Beach in Fairfield. Dances begin at 6:30; Movie at dark. Most events are Fridays, starting June 27th and ending on Thursday, August 7th.  Beach stickers are needed to enter beach, if without $20.
  • Norwalk Movie Time Outdoor Movies – at Shady Beach in Norwalk. Series kicks off on Saturday, July 12th and ends August 16th. Evening begins at 6pm with face painting and movie starts at dusk.  Beach stickers are needed to enter beach, if without $5 charge (expect 4th of July, $20).

Museums

  • Open House Day – Discounted, free admission or special exhibits at museums, parks and other properties around the state on Saturday, June 14th.
  • Worldwide Day of Play – free admission for all at Stepping Stones in Norwalk on Saturday, September 20th from 10am-5pm with additional activities and performances.
  • Museum Passes – free or discounted passes for area museums and state parks at your local library. My post Playgroups and Programs for Mom, Baby and Kids details the local library’s and links to their passes.

Theatre

  • Shakespeare on the Sound – performing “Two Gentleman of Verona” opens on Thursday, June 12th at 7:30 in Rowayton.  Performances will also be in Greenwich. Admission is free although donations are encouraged.

Storytimes

Of course there are the carnivals and the 4th of July fireworks during the summer that are fun.  I also love a good farmer’s market which are so prevelant in this area.

Events are subject to change.  Please check the website or call ahead to be sure there are no changes to the event from the date of this posting.

What do you like to do in the summer?

11 Free Things to do this Spring

One of the joys of living in New England is the seasons.  The wonderful Spring weather is upon us, so get outdoors and enjoy some FREE:

  • Greenwich Annual Kite Flying Festival – Greenwich Point in Greenwich on Saturday, April 5th at 11:30am.  Feel free to bring a kite of any shape or size made of paper, plastic or fabric.  Award ribbons will be presented to all high flyers.
  • Mystic Slow Art Day – Mystic Arts Center in Mystic will celebrate Slow Art Day that encourages art to be viewed slowly.  Saturday, April 12th from 11am to 1pm.
  • May Exhibit at the Geary Gallery – Geary Gallery in Darien on Wednesday, April 23rd to Saturday, May 4th.  Open Wednesdays to Saturdays. Featuring Peter Max: A Retrospective (1960-2014)
  • Annual Cherry Blossom Festival – Wooster Square in New Haven on Sunday, April 27th. There will be music, food and activities for kids and pets.
  • Mini Maker Faire - inside Westport Library and on Jesup Green in Westport on Saturday, April 26th from 10am to 4pm.  Family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness. Although the event is free, you must register for tickets.
  • Meriden Daffodil Festival – Hubbard Park in Meriden running Saturday, April 26th to Sunday, April 27th.  There will be food, crafts, music, fireworks and amusements.
  • Connecticut Sheep, Wool and Fiber Festival – Tolland Agricultural Center in Vernon, CT on Saturday, April 26th from 9am to 4pm. Demonstrations, crafts, music, animals, food.  Parking $5 per car, but free admission.
  • 79th Annual Dogwood Festival – Greenfield Hill Congregational Church in Fairfield on Friday, May 2nd to Sunday, May 4th.  Offers a range of entertainment.
  • Milford Living’s 7th Annual Kite Fly – Walnut Beach in Milford on Saturday, May 3rd from 12pm-3pm. Bring chairs, pack a lunch and the show.
  • Milford Harbor Duck Race - Fowler Pavilion in Milford on Sunday, May 4th.  Event will include food and family entertainment.
  • Music Haven Summer Performance Party – in New Haven on Friday, June 6th from 6pm – 8pm.  Celebrating the accomplishments of their 75 students with performances from the Haven String Quartet, Music Haven student soloists and ensembles.  Concert followed by a potluck reception.  Please bring a dish to share.

Events are subject to change.  Please check the website or call ahead to be sure there are no changes to the event from the date of this posting.

To find good sites for most events this spring, visit New England Travel and Tourism or New York Times Events in Connecticut.  What events do you enjoy in the spring for free?

Pinwheel Themed Dol

All this talk on my daughter’s Doljanchi (also referred to as a Dol), a Korean first birthday, and how to make a Dol Tower, I thought I would include a post of how I decorated with a pinwheel theme so you can see all the DIY and the final product.

As I mentioned in my post How to Make a Dol Tower, the Dol has the same constructs as the American birthday but combined with traditions like a Dol Table (featuring Dol Towers, fruit, banner, rice cakes, etc.), Hanbok (traditional outfit), traditional food and of course the Doljabi event (baby foretells the future).

Favors for the Dol

Favors for the Dol

Close up Favor for the Dol

Close up Favor for the Dol

The favors were Chinese take out contains with handmade pinwheels attached.  (Yes, I affixed silver beads to every pinwheel that decorated the Dol. Crazy, yes.) I only ordered 50 containers thinking only 40 people would attend the Dol.  When our numbers were finalizing around 60+, so I had to come up with alternatives.  So, the child favors were brown paper bags with handmade pinwheels attached.  (I looked for white bags, but couldn’t find any and in the 11th hour I just had to get them made already…so brown paper bags it was!)  The adult favors had candy and were given as they left the party.  (We even had a sign and placed the table near the jackets so people knew to take one as they left.)  The children favors were given as they arrived so they had a few little toys to entertain themselves.  The boy favors had bubbles, an inflatable ball and vintage painted wooden cars.  The older girl favors also had bubbles and an inflatable ball but they also had a princess ring and bracelet.  The younger girls favors had a rubber ducky instead of the jewelry.  The favors for the kids seemed to be a hit and giving them at the beginning of the Dol was the way to go!

Buffet at the Dol, featured on pinwheel food labels

Buffet at the Dol, featured on pinwheel food labels

Even the food got decorated with pinwheels!  I made food labels for each of the items served since we were not in a restaurant but had it catered in a clubhouse. All the food served at the Dol was a combination of my daughter’s nationality — Lebanese, Italian and Korean.

We also served the customary beverages, water, soda, wine (red and white) and craft beer.  I didn’t get a picture but instead of wine tags for the wine glasses, we had sharpies in the colors of the party for people to write on the glass.  (It comes off with water or rubbing alcohol. Yes, permanent marker comes off glass.) The special treat here was the craft beer.  There was three different styled IPA’s from Two Beagles Brewing. What a generous gift!

 

Doljabi board

Doljabi board

The Doljabi board goes along with the Doljabi Event.  The board is a decoration and placed on a table with small containers for party guest to “bet” on what our daughter will choose using a yellow ticket (featured in yellow on the bottom right corner of the picture).  Our daughter picked the microphone and we gave all those who selected the mic $1 scratch off lottery tickets.  The two grand prize winners won cash.

The board itself my husband designed and we had it printed at Costco on poster board paper.  We made the backing out of cardboard and affixed an easel to it.  Between the designing of the board, printing, and mounting you can easily spend well over $150.  These ‘decorations’ don’t come cheap, so planning a DIY way definitely can help make everything affordable!

It was a lovely party, but done completely for my husband and my daughter.  Our culture and heritage is important to my husband and I, and particularly important to preserve for our daughter.  So, I worked har d on putting this together and thinking through the details so it could be wonderful for them…and it was.  Now, next year it will be an extremely small party and cake.  :)