Summer Family Fun in Pensacola – The 2012 Roundup

Another school year has come and gone and it is time to celebrate summer. When we post a summer activity, we will add it to this page so be sure to check back on a regular basis!

Summer Movies

 

77 Days of Summer with Pensacola with Kids

 

Fun Family Activities

 

Summer Reading Programs

 

Summer Camps & VBS

 

Carmike Cinemas 2012 Summer Kid Series

Carmike Cinemas will begin its 2012 Summer Kid Series on June 7, 2012.

Movies will be shown every Thursday at 10am. The cost is $2 and that includes a drink, popcorn, and admission.

Mark your calendars!

June 7 – Puss in Boots

June 14 – Chicken Run

June 21 – Over the Hedge

June 28 – Kung Fu Panda

July 5 – Shark Tale

July 12 – How To Train Your Dragon

July 19 – Madagascar 2

July 26 – Bee Movie

August 2 – Monsters vs. Aliens

August 9 – Megamind

Rave Bayou Free 2012 Summer Movie Schedule

It is a few weeks before school lets out but we just got our hands on the Rave Free 2012 Summer Movie schedule. Remember that the schedule is subject to change and we will make adjustments here if we receive them. We love the free summer movies because, well, they are free! Also, it is a great way to get out of the house and escape the humidity that sets down on our city during the summer.

All movies are Monday and Thursday at 10am. Doors open at 9:30am.

These movies fill up quickly and once the theaters reach capacity, they will lock the doors. I learned this the hard way when we drove out to a movie at the Ridge in Pace and they were locked up tight because the theater was full.

I will add the other movie theater schedules as we receive them.

Mark your calendars!

June 4 and 7- Cats & Dogs:The Revenge of Kitty Galore

June 11 and 14- Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

June 18 and 21- Yogi Bear

June 25 and 28- Happy Feet Two

July 2 and 5- Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

July 9 and 12- Dolphin Tale

July 16 and 19- Shorts

July 23 and 26- Inkheart

July 30 and Aug 2- Happy Feet

I am glad to see three animated movies on the list this year because I felt that it was lacking in the schedule last summer.

Things to Know Before You Go:

  • Head to the free summer movies with patience. These movies fill up quickly with day care field trips and families with kids. This is not a date night movie and there will be constant noise during the movie. It does quiet down to a reasonable level but remember that the movie is free and full of kids!
  • Doors open at 9:30 but a line begins closer to 9am.
  • Concessions will be open and often there is a deal on the Kid’s Pack.
  • You may want to go with a friend who can watch your seat if you have to get up for whatever reason.

Where to Take Swim Lessons In Pensacola

As I write this post, I am currently watching my children learn how to swim the backstroke. We are in our third year of swim lessons at Milestone Aquatic Club. We chose Milestone mainly for the location but we have been thrilled with the lessons, the instructors and the progress that both of our children have made with weekly lessons.

Summer is almost here, the pools are heating up and the kids are ready to jump in. Learning how to swim is an important skill for children to have even if you don’t own a pool. There are many options for swim lessons around Pensacola.

Barracuda Swimworks

  • Ages: Beginner Private Lessons (adults and kids) & Swim Instruction for triathletes and competitive swimmers
  • Days and Times: See calendar
  • Location: Pensacourt, 3001 Langley Ave, Pensacola, FL 32504; Tanglewood Golf Course, 5916 Tanglewood Drive, Milton, FL 32570
  • Cost: Options for both $40 or $80 classes

The Club II

  • Ages:  6 months and up
  • Days and Times:  Year round lessons.  Dates and Times vary.
  • Location: 1230 Crane Cove Blvd. GB, Fl 32563.
  • Cost: Group lessons are $65 and private/semi-private lessons vary

Infant Swimming Resource – Specialized Self-Rescue (TM) Swimming for Children ages 6 months to 6 years

  • Ages: 6 months to 6 years
  • Days and Times: Vary by appt.
  • Location: Locations vary by instructor
  • Cost: $105 for a first-time national registration fee or $35 for refresher students, $75 a week

Milestone Aquatic Club

  • Ages: 3 and up
  • Days and Times: M & W 3:15-4; Tues & Thurs 3:15-4, 4:45 & 5:45; Sat 10:45am
  • Location: 35 New Market Street, Pensacola, FL 32533
  • Cost: $70 per month for weekly classes; $38 per month for Saturday classes

Pensacola Athletic Center

  • Ages: Swim lessons for every age
  • Days and Times: Vary by week
  • Location: 7700 Hwy 98, Pensacola, FL 32506
  • Cost: unavailable

Pensacola State College

  • Ages: Mommy and Me (ages 6m to 4yr) and Preschool Swim (3yr to 6yrs)
  • Dates and Times: vary by class
  • Location: 1000 College Blvd, Pensacola, FL 32504
  • Cost: unavailable

Seastars Aquatics

  • Ages: Water adjustment to custom lessons
  • Dates and Times: set with instructor
  • Location: Salvation Army Pool, South Pace Blvd; Home lessons also available
  • Cost: Vary for private and semi-private lessons

University of West Florida

  • Ages: 6mo and up
  • Days and Times: Times vary by date, lessons available Tuesday and Thurs evenings or Mon-Thurs mornings
  • Location: 11000 University Parkway, Pensacola, Fl 32514
  • Cost: $33 or $60

YMCA

  • Ages: 6mo to 12yo
  • Days and Times: Vary by locations
  • Location: Various YMCA locations
  • Cost: $30 a session for family members, $60 a session for program participants

Did we miss one? Send us an email at jennifer at pensacolawithkids dot com or leave a comment with the information. You can also use our Event Submission Form.

2012 Summer Camps in Pensacola

Spring break is over and we can already feel the humidity of summer in the air. Whether you are looking for full-time summer care or just a one week camp to help break up the summer, you can use this guide to help you plan.

This is not a comprehensive guide and is not complete by any means. I will continue to add camps to the guide as I continue to receive information.

Registrations for many camps have already started so don’t wait to plan your summer camps!

The list is in alphabetical order and lists the type of camp, age groups, dates and where the camp is held. Follow the link for more information or to register your child. We are not affiliated with any of the camps listed.

If you know of a camp we should add to our list, please send me an email at jennifer (at) pensacolawithkids (dot) com or leave us a comment with a link to camp information.

Argo Adventure Camp

  • Program Categories: Recreation
  • Age Group: Ages 5-12
  • Date: One week camps from Jun 11 to August 3
  • Location: University of West Florida
  • Program Categories: LEGO building and creative play
  • Age Group: Ages vary by camp
  • Date: Camp dates available throughout the summer; can sign up for one day at a time or full weeks
  • Location: Bricks 4 Kidz

Environmental Encounters Summer Camp

  • Program Categories: Science and nature
  • Age Group: Incoming 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders
  • Dates: June 4-8 or June 11-15
  • Location: Roy Hyatt Environmental Center

Explore UWF Summer Camps

  • Program Categories: STEM, History and Archeology, Reading and Writing, Art, Theater and Music, Sports, and more
  • Age Group: Incoming Kindergartener to  to Incoming 10th graders
  • Dates: One week camps from June 11 to August 10
  • Location: Vary by camp (Hellen Caro Elementary School, Pensacola Beach Elementary, Pensacola Historic Village- Downtown Pensacola, UWF Main Campus- Pensacola
  • Program Categories: Open gym, large group activities
  • Age Group: Ages 4-14
  • Dates: One week camps from June 4 to August 3
  • Location: Flip Factory
  • Program Categories: Surfing
  • Age Group: Ages 8 and up (must be a good swimmer)
  • Dates: Three day camps from June 4 to August 17
  • Location: Pensacola Beach
  • Program Categories: Nature
  • Age Group:
  • Dates: Information for 2012 not available yet (follow link to see last year’s schedule)
  • Location: Gulf Islands National Seashore

Kaleidoscope Associates Cooking Camps

  • Program Categories: Cooking
  • Age Group: Ages 6-9 and 10-14
  • Dates: June 25-27 and July 16-18
  • Location: Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Resource Center

Kaleidoscope Associates Cooking Camps

  • Program Categories: Cooking
  • Age Group: Camps for ages 6-9, 10yrs and older
  • Dates: Camp dates vary in June, July and August
  • Location: Distinctive Kitchens
  • Program Categories: Sports
  • Age Group: Ages vary with camp (5-14)
  • Dates: Dates vary through June and July
  • Locations: Pensacola Catholic High School
  • Program Categories: Art
  • Age Group: Ages 5-13
  • Dates: One week camps from June 4 to August 17
  • Location: Pensacola Museum of Art
  • Program Categories: Opera production
  • Age Group: Ages 6-16
  • Dates: July 9-14; July 16-20
  • Location: Pensacola Opera
  • Program Categories: Swim, play, creative play, and more
  • Age Group: K5 – 5th grade
  • Dates: One week camps from June 2 to August 17
  • Location: Vickrey Resource Center, Gull Point Resource Center, E.S. Cobb Resource Center, Fricker Resource Center
  • Program Categories: Art, science and more
  • Age Group: Ages 6-14
  • Dates: One week camps from June 11 to August 10
  • Location: Pensacola State College
  • Program Categories: Sailing, swimming lessons, kayaking and more
  • Age Group: Ages 5-15
  • Dates: One week camps from June 4 to August 17
  • Location: Pensacola Yacht Club
  • Program Categories: Bowling
  • Age Group: Ages 5-18
  • Dates: June 18-25; July 9-16-23-30; August 6-13
  • Location: Cordova Lanes
  • Program Categories: Karate, swimming, bowling and more
  • Age Group:
  • Dates: One week camps throughout the summer
  • Location: PTSDA Karate
  • Program Categories: Recreation
  • Age Group: Ages 5-14
  • Dates: One week camps from June 18 to August 17
  • Location: Roger Scott Tennis Center
  • Program Categories: Tennis
  • Age Group: Ages 5-12
  • Dates: June 18-August 3
  • Location: Roger Scott Tennis Center
  • Program Categories: Fishing
  • Age Group: Ages 7-13
  • Dates: June 4-6; June 18-20; July 9-11; July 23-25; August 6-8
  • Location: Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Resource Center
  • Program Categories: Theatre
  • Age Group:
  • Dates: Dates vary from June 4 to August 16
  • Location: Pensacola Cultural Center

University of West Florida Nike Tennis Camp

  • Program Categories: Sports
  • Age Group: Ages 9-18
  • Date: June 24-June 28, 2012
  • Location: UWF

YMCA Day Camps

  • Program Categories: Arts, sports, games and more
  • Age Group: Ages 5-12
  • Dates: One week camps throughout the summer
  • Location: Various YMCA locations
  • Program Categories: Sports
  • Age Group: Ages 6-12
  • Date: One week camps from June 4 to August 17
  • Location: Pensacola Christian College
  • Program Categories: Art, Music, Sports, Science and History
  • Age Group: Grades 9-12
  • Date: One week camps in July
  • Location: Pensacola Christian College

 

Family Fun at a Pensacola Blue Wahoos Baseball Game

My family loves to go to baseball games. When we travel, we make sure that we see a local team play, both Major and Minor League games. We have been to stadiums all over the United States and I have to say that the Blue Wahoos’ stadium is absolutely beautiful. While you are watching a game, you can see the tops of sailboats, seagulls flying above the field and the breeze coming off of the water will help keep everyone cool on a hot summer day. The stadium is small enough that there really isn’t a bad seat in the house.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get Opening Day tickets but we spent Sunday afternoon exploring the park and trying to find answers to the questions you asked. As we collect more information throughout the season, I will update the guide.

Where should I park? * Can I bring a Stroller * Does my child need a ticket? * What are the seating options? * Can I Bring My Own Food? * What sorts of food options are available? * Kid Friendly Activities * Blue Wahoos Kids Club * Blue Wahoo Gear


Where should I park?

Parking is available in a number of lots all around the baseball park. At most, you will be walking about ten minutes from your car to the stadium. The walks are mostly on the sidewalks. We have not attended a night game yet, so I am not sure if street lighting is an issue.

If you wait until you get to the stadium to cross the street, there will likely be a police officer there directing traffic and helping pedestrians.

Refer to Pensacola Parking for a map of the parking available during a Blue Wahoos game.It seems as if there was more parking available then on the map that may not be city sponsored.

If you are arriving early, I recommend that you start to look for parking as close to the stadium as possible and work your way back. When we went to the Sunday game, we arrived an hour and fifteen minutes before the game and we realized that we could have parked directly across the street from the stadium.

On South Reus Street, there is parking available for $10, $7 and $5 and $3, depending on how far down the street you will walk. Our walk was only a few minutes and we were in $3 parking. My husband arrived late to the game (around the 5th inning) and he was able to find parking only three blocks away from the stadium. Some parking fees support Winterfest and other parking fees support the city. Winterfest lots are marked as such.


Can I bring strollers into the stadium?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is that it needs to be a stroller that can fit under your party’s seats. An umbrella stroller to get you from the car to the stadium and back would be the best way to go if you need a stroller.


When do you have to buy your child a ticket?

Children ages two and up must have a ticket. If your child is under the age of two, they can sit in your lap. We sat in the Box seats and they are fairly roomy compared to other stadiums we have visited but if you think you will need the extra space, purchase your child a seat.


What are the seating options available?

There are several different seating options at different price points. Like I mentioned before, I think that the park is small enough that there really isn’t a bad seat in the park. The park is small enough that even if you are in Section 117, about as far away as you can get from homeplate, you can still see much of the game. Our seats were in Section 115, and we felt like we had a great view.

$5 – General Admission/Standing Room Only – For $5, you gain access into the park but you are not given a seat location. The Berm is a grassy area in the outfield and is a great place for families to sit. You cannot bring chairs, but you can bring a blanket to sit on. There are some bar stool type chairs available and they are first come, first served. If the party deck is not in use for the game, that will be open for General Admission use as well.

$8 – Reserved – These reserved seats are on benches with backs. Each spot on the bench has a number and you will sit in your assigned seat.

$10 – Box – If you purchase Box seats, you will be sitting in a stadium seat. We sat in Box seats for our first game. We felt the seats were comfortable and roomy for the most part with enough leg room to move around.


Can I bring food into the park?

You are not permitted to bring food into the park. That being said, I had a couple of fruit snacks and crackers that I always carry with me in case of a food meltdown in the middle of a store and we weren’t stopped at the door to empty my bag.


What sorts of food options are available?

I was pleasantly surprised at the food options and pricing available throughout the park. It is definitely ballpark fare but that is part of the fun right?

My son had a kid’s hot dog and French fries and it was $5. That is comparable to most kid’s meals at a restaurant, however this does not come with a drink. There are a couple of drink options, but we decided our best bet was to purchase the Souvenir Soda for $5 (a smaller soda is $3). Refills for the Souvenir Soda are $2 each and you can bring the cups back to your next game. I bought one Souvenir Soda for me and one for my children to share. When we wanted another drink halfway through the game, it was nice to only have to pay $2.

Other food options include a shrimp po’ boy, hamburgers, chicken tenders, wraps, salads and more. Most of the meal choices are $4 to $8. Nachos are $5, a slice of pizza is $3 and French fries are $4.

There are vendors throughout the park selling different things like snowcones, Dippin’ Dots, and more. Each of my kids had a snowcone (Watermelon for Little S and Wahoo – cherry and blue raspberry – for Big S). The snowcones are all $4 and they come in a medium sized cup. Bring cash for the vendors because not all of them take credit cards.


Are there kid-friendly activities at the park?

Watching a baseball game together is a great family-friendly activity but if your kids are like mine, they may be a little antsy halfway through the game. One of the things we do when watching a ball game, is spread out the trips to purchase food. We had lunch during the first inning so I told my kids that we were not going to have any snacks until the 5th inning. This gave them a time to watch for and helped them to pay more attention to the game.

On Saturday nights, there is a fireworks show immediately after the game.

Sunday is Family day. At the end of the game, children are allowed on the field for a post game Catch-on-the-Field and kids can run the bases.

On Tuesdays, there is a special player autograph session behind home plate.

If you are going to the game during a promotional giveaway, you will need to arrive early because supplies are limited.

Kazoo, the mascot, is always wandering the park, too!


What is the Blue Wahoos Kids Club?

For $35, you can enroll your children in the Blue Wahoos Kids Club. The benefits include five game tickets for the Sunday games (April 15, May 13, June 17, July 15 and August 19), pre-game activities on Kids Club game days, off-site activities throughout the season, fun with the Blue Wahoos mascot, kids club newsletter, and official Kids Club hat and membership card. To join, fill out the form.

The tickets are general admission tickets so if you are planning on purchasing seats for yourself, you will need to order the tickets over the phone or at the stadium. When you purchase your tickets, they will make sure that you are seated with your kids but it will cost a few extra dollars.


How much will Blue Wahoo gear cost me?

Children’s T-shirts start around $12. We bought adult sized hats for the kids because they liked how they fit better. Those hats ran us $18 each. Basic adult t-shirts are about $19. The line was long and many of the items were not priced yet so it was a little chaotic.

2012 Bands on the Beach Schedule

Grab your beach chair, a towel and throw together a picnic dinner because it is time for the Bands on the Beach 2012 season.  Bands on the Beach is a fun way to spend an evening together as a family in the midst of the craziness of the week.

Dates and times are schedule to change so be sure to check Visit Pensacola Beach before heading out there.

March 31 Superband
April 3 The Kyle Parker Band
April 10 Shades
April 17 Holly Shelton
April 24 Beulah Land South Band
May 1 Mass Kunfuzion
May 8 Westside Players
May 15 Mr. Big and the Rhythm Sisters
May 29 The Song Byrds
June 5 The Astronauts
June 12 Lektric Mullet
June 19 Dr. Breeze
June 26 Modern Eldorados
July 3 Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs
July 10 CrossTown
July 17 Pearl Clarkin and Big Jim Brown
July 24 The Reunion Band
July 31 Not Quite Fab
August 7 The Laymen
August 14 Big Muddy
August 21 Southern Breeze
August 28 The Sawmill Band
September 4 The 13th Hourglass
September 11 Wildwood
September 18 No Bands on the Beach
September 25 Kee Creek Band
October 2 On the Beach
October 9 Class X
October 16 One Accord
October 23 Civilized Natives
October 30 Touch of Gray

Reflections on the Waves at Waterville, USA

My pal Dianna mentioned she was headed to Waterville, USA in Gulf Shores, AL for an afternoon of fun in the sun and I was thrilled when she said that she would do a guest post.  We haven’t been to Waterville yet and though we intended to make it this summer, it will have to wait until next summer.  I love Dianna’s tips on how to survive a day at a big waterpark!  Even though school starts Monday, Waterville will be open on the weekends until the end of September (9/24).  Be sure to check the calendar for dates and times before you go!

The Hayden Trio decided to take advantage of the first sunny day in weeks and embark on a journey to Gulf Shores, Alabama for our first experience at Waterville, USA.  We hadn’t been to a water park in years, and decided to take the plunge with our three-year-old, Cautious C.   Overall our 3 hour stay was a mixed bag of fun and less fun mostly because of some oversights, mistakes, and lack of information.   To ensure that your experience is better than ours, I have compiled a list of tips in the form of do’s and don’ts for your trip to Waterville. 

  • Do pack water shoes.   Again, I have not been to a water park in years and do not remember needing shoes.  But for Waterville in July, foot protection against the hot pavers is a big plus, especially for little ones.  Cautious C is sensitive, but even we bigger Haydens ended up with scalded soles at the end of our day. 
  • Do not pack food or drink (but you can get away with a juice box).  We packed two waters and a juice in our bag for our fun day, and were promptly asked to take them back to the car when the park attendant searched our bags.  Since the car was parked in the back 40, we ended up throwing away our perfectly good waters.  When I pushed about bringing the juice box, they did bend on that rule. 
  • Don’t avoid the parks in July.  Though it was a beautiful day and fairly crowded, the lines moved rapidly and there was plenty of room on the lazy river and in the wave pool. 
  • Do park near the arcade (right below the biggest hill of the roller coaster) and buy your wristbands there.  We avoided the long lines at the entrance and waited only minutes in the air-conditioned arcade for our wristbands.  Plus it gave me an opportunity to buy the tickets while the hubby entertained Cautious C by walking around the video games. 
  • Do use the clean restrooms in the arcade before you enter the water park.  It is obvious that bathrooms in a water park are going to be wet.  But if it grosses you out to put your bare feet on a wet bathroom floor, the dry arcade is your best bet. 
  • Do print a map from the Waterville website before you go.  I know it’s a water park and you’re not going to run around with a wet map all day, but it would have really helped to have a map to get our bearings at first.  There are no signs directing you to things like inner tubes and the beginning of the lazy river.  It doesn’t take long to figure it out, but when you have a little one whose feet are burning, not having to backtrack at the beginning really helps. 
  • Don’t expect to be able to go down slides together (except for inner tube slides).  After making a climb up Rainbow Falls with Cautious C, being told we could not accompany him down the slide, and then having to walk all the way down the crowded steps, it is a lesson I will not soon forget.  Cautious C has gone down slides before, but needs a little help to get comfortable at the beginning.  Needless to say, he never went down any of those slides. 
  • Do not bring a life jacket.  Waterville provides all types of life jackets in good condition free of charge. 
  • Do nab a yellow tube anywhere you can get it.  From my previous water park experiences, I thought tubes and flotation devices were organized in separate areas for each attraction.  However, even the Waterville employee told us that we might have to look several places for an inner tube.  There was no real pattern to the distribution and collection of inner tubes, and they seemed to simply flow without boundaries all over the park.   If you intend to ride a tube ride, get on the lazy river, or float in the wave pool, get your yellow tubes wherever you see ‘em.  We got ours around one of the lazy river exits and held on to it for the other tube attractions.  
  • Do not wear a shirt over your swimsuit and don’t feel subconscious about it.  There were signs everywhere that directed slide riders not to wear shirts down the water slides.  If you wear a shirt because you want to hide something, don’t.  Even at the beach I have never seen the range of body types and “get-ups” that I saw at Waterville.  There is no reason to wear anything more than a swimsuit.  It’s July for goodness sake! 

Final Note

If you too have a Cautious C, It may not be best to start on the 10 and under play area beneath the huge dumping bucket.  That is where we started and it was a critical mistake because Cautious C does not like surprises.  It took us over an hour to rid him of his anxiety after the huge bucket dumped right on his head as he reached the slides.  We should have started small. 

Overall, Waterville was an interesting and entertaining experience.  If you have a fearless child, then you should have no problems just diving in and having fun.  The Hayden Trio spent over $100 at the park and did little more than we would have at a community pool.  But most of that was due to having Cautious C and making some general mistakes.  Hope that these tips can help make your Waterville trip everything you want it to be! 

Dianna Hayden lives in Cantonment with her husband and 3-year-old. As a family they love to travel, but find that Pensacola and the surrounding areas are hard to beat!

Photos courtesy of nola.agent via Flickr.

Silver Screen Free and $1 Movies

The Silver Screen has updated their June and July calendars with their free and $1 summer movies!  It seems like the movies change weekly and they play at 10am.  Mondays are free and the other special summer showings are $1.  Check the calendar before you go!

2011 Roundup of Summer Activities

**Please note this is from 2011! See our updated list here!

 

As I continue to post, I know it is difficult to locate the posts about summer activities.  If you just want this week’s movie schedule you have to wade through several posts.  I have created this roundup with links to the posts about summer activities.  As I write about things that are exclusively summer activities, I will continue to add them to this post.  Look to the second column and you will find a link for summer activities…that will link back to this post so it is easy to find!

Summer Activities

55 Days of Summer in Pensacola

Blueberry Picking

Chagall for Children

Splash Pad Hours

Summer Reading Programs

Sunsets at the Plaza

Free Summer Movies

Breeze Cinema 8 Free Summer Kid Show

Destin Commons 14 Free Summer Movies

Friday Family Flicks

Rave Bayou Free Summer Movies

Ridge Cinema Free Summer Kid Show

Silver Screen Movies

Pools

Roger Scott and Cecil T. Hunter Summer Hours