Summer Guest Blogger- Charline Barger ” Writing a Coop List”

summer-fun

You have probably heard plenty about bucket lists, those essentials we
want to accomplish before we “kick the bucket,” such as visiting
exotic locales and jumping out of a plane. But, what about a list for
kids? We all know how quickly childhood flies by. Before we know it,
our little ones will be too big to do many of the things we consider
important parts of adolescence.

So, why not write a “coop” list for our kids, a collection of the
activities we want our children to experience before they “fly the
coop?” Below is an example “coop” list. Of course, each one will be
unique. You may include the moments you cherish from your childhood orth15H8HP7S
activities you think your son or daughter would especially enjoy.

Just as with a bucket list, there may be destinations (but probably
ones like Disney World in the place of the Greek Isles) and
experiences (think flying a kite rather than bungie jumping). Items on
your list might be skills for your little ones to learn, such as doing
a cartwheel or mastering the monkey bars. And don’t forget the small
stuff. A very simple task, like planting a garden in your backyard or
roasting marshmallows over a campfire, can end up being one of your
child’s favorite memories.

Why write a list, you ask? I don’t know about you, but I don’t get
anything done without a list and checking those boxes off will feel
satisfying for both you and your child. Bring your kids in on the fun
and you may be surprised by their contributions. Sure, you have plenty
of time before they will fly off from your coop, but you want to be
sure to have those fun, youthful adventures now. After all, very few
twenty-year-olds want to go rollerskating with their parents.
SummerFun_2

Have a treehouse
Go to the beach
Go camping
Play a team sport
Have a pet
Read a novel with a parent
Build a fort
Get a treat from the ice cream truck
Go swimming in a lake
Go on a train ride
Play in the rain

 

Bio:  Charline Barger

Charline is a local stay-at-home mom of three wonderful children: Jude
(9), Ruby (7), and Caroline (8months). She has taught English at the
middle and high school levels. Her writing has been published on
various websites and in community newspapers.

Follow The Yellow Brick Road…All the way to Pensacola Little Theater!

Tonight I was lucky enough to get to preview PLT’s final dress rehearsal for their production of “The Wizard of Oz” and all I can say is, “Wow!”   This was really a stellar production and everyone involved should be very proud.

It’s a visually stunning show, with my favorite moment being the early transition from dreary “black and white” Kansas to the eye popping color of Munchkin Land.  I was also very impressed with how the technical director and set designer tackled things like the tornado and the field of poppies.  All were very creative and really neat.  I don’t want to give too much away but the demise of the Wicked Witch of the West is particularly awesome,  as is the magical disappearance of the ruby slippers from her dead sister’s feet and onto Dorothy’s.  Very cool!

 

And then there’s the cast!  This is a PLT “Treehouse” series show, so it has lots of kids in it.   From the munchkins to the flying monkeys, the younger set were great!  I brought my 14 year old, who LOVED IT, but opted to leave my 3&4 year olds at home and I’m kind of glad I did, because there’s a flying monkeys entrance that is so good, it scared me!  (PLT has the show as rated PG…..so use your judgment because every child is different.)  The citizens of Oz are particularly fun and have wonderful costumes as well as some great choreography.  The “Jitter Bug” number is probably my favorite dance number, with eye catching  black light effect and such energetic dance moves that it made me tired!  Kudos to the costume designer and the choreographer!  And the rest of the supporting cast does a fine job, too.

But the real stand-outs of the show are all of the lead actors, who carve out roles all their own and yet, you almost feel like you are watching the movie in some places!  Dorothy, Glenda the Good, The Wicked Witch of the West, and Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion are all SUPERB!  With strong characterizations and top notch singing voices for those who sing.  (The Wicked Witch’s laugh you’ll have to hear for yourself!) And Toto is adorable, although he seemed to have his own agenda tonight.  But the actors handled it well.

We have such a gem of a little theater here in PLT, and I encourage you to support our local arts and take your family to see this wonderful show.  Tickets are available online here or you can call the Box Office @ 850-432-2042.  The show opens Friday @ 8pm, Sat @ 8pm and a Sunday matinee @ 2pm.  The following week, shows are at 8pm Aug. 8-10 and the closing matinee @2 on 8/11.   Tickets range from $14-$30 with kids 12 & under half-off.

Finally, you don’t want to miss their special “Munchkin Land” Event on Sunday Aug. 4th immediately following the 2pm show.  You can get your tickets to Munchkin Land here.  They are $10 for adults and $6 for kids 12 & under.  Pensacola with Kids will be there and if you come and find Jenn or I and say “hello” we will enter you into a drawing for four tickets to the second week of shows.  Check out our facebook page for all the details @ https://www.facebook.com/PensacolawithKids.    We hope to see you there!  – Julie

 

 

 

Disney on Ice at the Pensacola Bay Center

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to win 4 tickets to tonight’s performance of Disney on Ice at the Pensacola Bay Center.  I was at a fundraiser for the LEAP Trail (which is a really neat thing for our city.  You can check out the details here and our very own Jennifer Harrison is a member of Pensacola LEAP 2013!) and had the winning bid on a great package that included the tickets.  My daughter’s 3rd birthday was yesterday and to say that she loves all the Disney Princesses would be the understatement of the year.  So, I figured what the heck?  LEAP Trail is a great thing to give money to and my baby girl would have a ball!

 

I have to say that I was seriously impressed with the show.  Having really young kids, this was my first time and this type of show that is clearly geared toward the younger set.  I expected something much more cheesy and frankly, with a lot less talent.  I was wrong!  This is a wonderful production with seriously talented ice skaters, beautiful sets and costumes, and great production value.  There are 3 performances left and I highly recommend it, if you have young kids who are big fans of Disney.  Tickets range from $17-$52 and all the info is here.  I think we were in the $30 seats and they were just fine.  Honestly, for this type of show, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

 

They open things with a cute “cast warm-up” that encourages the audience to get up and move around and it’s led by The Incredibles.   It was fun and very cute, although we opted to stay seated since we both had kids in our laps.  Next comes Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy, who tell you that this night is about looking for “Treasures” that are the Disney characters.   First we have a big, fun number with the entire cast of “Alice in Wonderland”.   The dancing cards that are hearts one side and clubs on the other are really cool.  And the Queen of Hearts is sufficiently mean.  But, Alice keeps her head and all is well.   The first act ends with a second full cast number that is almost the whole story of Peter Pan.  Captain Hook and Mr Smee are actually really cute bad guys.  The Lost Boys are adorable, Wendy and her brothers and great but Peter Pan steals this number.  He’s an excellent skater and after an epic battle between the pirates and lost boys, he saves the day, but not without the help of a flying (and skating) Tinkerbell.  My kids LOVED this part.  Also, Captain hook gets eaten by the biggest crocodile puppet in history!  Hooray!

Intermission is quick and Act II is all about the Disney Princesses!  (which is good because Samantha kept asking me, “Mama, when are the princesses coming?”)  But before we get our princess fix, we are treated to a visually stunning number from The Lion King.   From the opening with a beautiful set piece depicting “Pride Rock” and Rafiki to the gorgeously skated ending with Simba and Nala to “Can you Feel the Love Tonight”, this was probably my favorite large cast number.  I thought the neatest part was the way they portrayed the stampede in the canyon that results in the death of Mufasa.  It was so cool and incredibly inventive.  I am always so impressed with stuff like that.  It reminded me of the amazing way Animal Kingdom does the “Finding Nemo” show with puppets.  Way cool.

 

Finally, it is Princess Time!  Mickey and the gang re-appear to tell us that coming up the first feature film that Walt Disney produced and out come 7 cute little guys to give us a quick version of Snow White.  The manage to touch on the whole story in about 8 minutes.  Snow White is another very talented skater and her part with her Prince is very pretty.   The big Act II number is from Aladdin and it’s great!   The Genie is fun, Aladdin rides in on an elephant and the Magic Carpet flies!  Aladdin, just like most of the other leads, is immensely talented.  He does a spin at the end that made my kids squeal and clap.   A  great number.  After that, we were treated to Ariel and Sebastian and some under-the-sea creatures that were fun.  Then a very cute and really beautiful skate with Rapunzel and Flynn.  (she’s my favorite Princess and “I See the Light” is so pretty!)  They even had the floating lanterns.  I loved this one.  Then Tiana and Naveen did a bit to “Dig a Little Deeper” that was upbeat and again, very fun.  (I need better adjectives besides ‘cute’ and ‘fun’…but you get the picture.)  Finally, we see Mickey and company again and then the pinnacle for all the little girls in the house….every Disney princess and her prince!!  I can’t for the life of me remember what they skated to, but it was big and flashy and gave ample time for everyone to skate all over the ice.    Let me put it this way…my daughter pointed to all her favorites that were not featured several times over.   “Mama!  Belle!  Cinderella!  Sleeping Beauty! Mulan!”   She was thrilled.   I should mention that my 4 year old son had a ball, too.  And even my husband was impressed.

 

 

A few things to know before you go-

  • Parking at the Bay Center is FREE, but the front fills up fast.  So, if you don’t want to walk up the giant ramp, I’d get there at least 30 minutes early.
  • The Bay Center is so proud of their snacks.  We tell the kids they can pick one thing to share and a drink to share as well.  (after the circus last year) This time it was popcorn.  I think the cotton candy (with the Mickey ears, that frankly I could do without) was $15.  Wha?  Anyway, I make sure the kids eat a decent dinner and stick some goldfish in my purse.
  • Holy Over-Priced Souvenirs, Batman!  My daughter, God bless her, is not one to ask for anything, anywhere. She didn’t even notice the scads of Princess-y, sparkly crap that was $20 and up.  ( I love her slightly more for this particular trait.)   My son whined about getting a sword all night and in fact, we are going to Wal-Mart in the morning to purchase a reasonably priced plastic one.  You’ve been warned.
  • If you have a little girl, by all means let her dress up.  Sam wore her tiara with a sundress, because she doesn’t have a Disney princess costume just yet, but we saw so many girls dressed up.  Very cute.

The shows tomorrow are at 2:00 and 6:00 and then again at 2:00 on Sunday.  Tickets are available here.  Let us know if you go and what you and your kids thought about it.  We always love to hear from our readers.   xoxo Jules

PWK Pick of the Week

**This has ended for the summer.

If you hit the site late last night, you might have noticed a small change.  I have added the PWK Pick of the Week!  Every week (or two or three), I will change out our pick of the week!  This week, our pick is the new Pirates! Trolley tour.  Take a trolley ride, look for hidden treasure and learn how to tie a proper banadana!  We haven’t taken this tour yet, but we have heard it is very family friendly.  Although adult tickets will run you $20 a person, the child’s ticket is only $5!

If you take the Pirates! tour, come back here and let us know what you think.  If you have a spot or activity to suggest for the PWK Pick of the Week, send us a note through the Contact form!