Monday, June 30, 2014

Books a Million FREE Family Fun Camp

Books-A-Million, Inc. (NASDAQ:BAMM) announces today it will host a Family Fun Camp at all 258 of its stores nationwide, every Saturday in July from 2 to 4 pm.
Books-A-Million offers programs such as the Family Fun Camp as a refreshing way to help parents provide their children with creative outlets for learning during the summer break.
"Books-A-Million is focused on ways to engage our local communities and get children excited to read," said Jeff Skipper, Vice President of Marketing at Books-A-Million. "Each activity is designed to inspire children to use their imaginations and discover that reading is fun," he stated.
Parents should put Family Fun Camp on every July must-do list. Four different themes, each with associated books, will keep the activities fresh and encourage repeat visitation.
July 5th, 2014: "Summer Adventure Saturday"
  • Search the store for reasons to read with a scavenger hunt, hear tall tales of adventure during story time, and participate in activities designed to introduce kids to the wonders of reading.
July 12th, 2014: "Under the Sea Adventure"
  • Every little girl dreams of being a mermaid and every little boy dreams of being a pirate. Join the fun to make mermaid crowns and pirate captain's hats, participate in the undersea story time, make sand castle art, and learn fun pirate lingo.
July 19th, 2014: "Superhero Saturday"
  • Save the world from certain destruction and tap into your inner powers by creating your own top-secret superhero identity, crafting superhero cuffs as a part of your costume, and participating in crime-fighting games.
July 26th, 2014: Celebrate "Harry Potter's Birthday"
  • Are you a Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Slytherin? Come dressed in your favorite Hogwart's school attire and find out by attending our sorting hat ceremony. Then, be tested on your wizardry knowledge, and earn your very own wand.
Visit to learn more and find a nearby store.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Local events for kids Week of June 29

Local events for kids Week of June 22

Local events for kids Week of June 29
  • Michaels; Passport to Imagination Come Craft  every Mon-Weds-Fri, 10am until noon, $2 per workshop, ages 5-12 years old
  • Cobb, Free Summer Kids Movies, July 1-2-3 at 10 am, doors open at 9:30 am; This week showing The Croods and Shark Tale
  • Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse, July 1 at 9:30 am showing Turbo, $1 per movie or $5 for all ten movies if bought in advance
  • Mulberry Library; Spiderwebs activity for Elementary, Tuesday, 7/1 at 11am, for Preschool with storytime, Spiderweb art on Wednesday, 7/2 at 10:30 am and for Teens and Tweens on Thursday, 7/3 at 1 pm with Dr. Who marathon
  • Bartow Library; July 2nd at 10:30 am, Summertime fun with Ronald McDonald (magic and a few surprises for Fizz, Boom, Bang Summer and Thursday July 3rd from 3-4 pm Mad Science: Ice Cream Chemistry for 9-12 year olds
  • Lakeland Library Summer Program at Lake Mirror Center No summer show this week-next show July 11th
  • Larry R. Jackson Library Summer Program at Simpson Park Community Center No summer show this week-next show is July 10th
  • Auburndale Public Library At the Auburndale Civic Center, Tuesday, July 1 at 2pm Ronald McDonald magic show
  • Auburndale Public Library at the library:  Wednesday, July 2nd, 10 am Children's programs- Fizz, Boom,Pop!,  Thursday, July 3 at 10:30 am Preschool-Zing,Bang,Boom and at 5:30 pm Tweens and teens- Duct Tape Crafts
  • Winter Haven Library: Tuesday, July 1 at 10:30 am- Experiment-Gut soup and Thursday, July 3rd at 10:30 am-Experiment-Elephant Toothpaste; Registration required at

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

SPCA Florida Critter Camp

Critter Camp
For animal loving children who want to learn more about animal welfare and the vet field. Students interact with dogs and cats, learn from guest speakers, complete craft projects and educational lessons, and participate in service projects.

July 7-11
10 am until 3 pm

For 4th and 5th graders 

July 14-18 for 6th and 7th graders


SPCA of Lakeland
5850 Brannen  Rd. Lakeland

Steam Saturday: Mulberry Phosphate Museum

Register at or call (863)425-2823.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Polk Museum of Art free this week

It is Harrison-Hooks Week at Polk Museum of Art, which means everyone will be admitted FREE Tuesday - Saturday from 10am to 5pm. (Jun 24 - 28th) The "free week" is being offered to honor the legacy and the memory of Lois Cowles Harrison and Homer Hooks.
Lois Cowles Harrison and Homer Hooks were advocates for accessibility in the arts and lifelong supporters of Polk Museum of Art. Ms. Harrison died June 6, 2013, and Mr. Hooks died June 10, 2014. We thank them both for their contributions to the City of Lakeland.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Home Depot Kids Workshop

Build a Bug House

  • Come learn how to build bug house and discover the outdoors.
  • FREE hands-on workshops; designed for children ages 5 - 12
  • All kid get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last.
  • Children must be present at the store to participate in the workshop and receive the kit, apron and pin.
  • Kids Workshop activities are scheduled on a first come/first served basis. Please do not arrive before 9:00 a.m.
  • Thank you for registering online to help us better plan our craft kit quantities needed.
  • Sat, Jul 5, 2014
  • 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM

 Register at:

Lowes Build and grow

Sheep Drop Game

Saturday, June 28 (10:00 AM)
Score some points with your kids! Bring them into Lowe's and they can build their very own Sheep Drop Game inspired by DreamWorks Animation's How To Train Your Dragon 2!

Local events for kids Week of June 22

Local events for kids Week of June 22

  • Michaels; Passport to Imagination Come Craft  every Mon-Weds-Fri, 10am until noon, $2 per workshop, ages 5-12 years old
  • Cobb, Free Summer Kids Movies, June 24-25-26 at 10 am, doors open at 9:30 am; This week showing Epic and Free Birds
  • Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse, June 24 at 9:30 am showing The Croods, $1 per movie or $5 for all ten movies if bought in advance
  • Mulberry Library; Lego Bots activity for Elementary, Tuesday, 6/24 at 11am, for Preschool with storytime, Robot crafts on Wednesday, 6/25 at 10:30 am and for Teens and Tweens on Thursday, 6/26 at 1 pm with Dr. Who Trivia game, Friday, June 27 at noon-Lego Free Play and at 1 pm the Lego Movie
  • Bartow Library; June 25th at 10:30 am The Wonderful World of Bats (meet some live bats and learn why they are important to the health of our ecosystem and Thursday June 26th from 4:30-5:30 pm Family Book Discussion: The Silver Chair (pre registration required) for 9-12 year olds, Saturday, June 28th, 10 am until 11am: Paws to Read-Come read to Charlie the Therapy Dog and receive a free book
  • Lakeland Library Summer Program at Lake Mirror Center Presents Giving Tree Music "Drum Circle", Friday, June 27 at 10 am
  • Larry R. Jackson Library Summer Program at Simpson Park Community Center Presents Bits N Pieces Puppet Theatre (Marionette Show), Thursday, June 26 at 10:30 am 
  • Auburndale Public Library At the Auburndale Civic Center, Tuesday, June 24 at 2pm "Out of my hands" Juggling and Illusion Show
  • Auburndale Public Library at the library:  Wednesday, June 25, 10 am Children's programs- RU Curious?,  Thursday, June 26 at 10:30 am Preschool-Color My world and at 5:30 pm Tweens and teens- Forensics: CSI techniques
  • Winter Haven Library: Tuesday, June 24 at 10:30 am- Performer: Miz Daisy; Registration required at

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Mulberry Public Library upcoming events

Mulberry Public Library
103 E Canal St
Mulberry, Florida 33860
Upcoming Events:
Techno Fun Week!!
Tuesday 6/24~ Elementary Program @ 11 ~ Lego Bots
Wednesday 6/25 ~ Preschool Story Time @ 10:30 ~ Robots
Thursday 6/26 ~ Teen/Tween Time @ 1 ~ Dr. Who Trivia
Friday 6/27 ~ Lego Free Play 12-1 and Lego Movie @ 1

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Merry LEON Event Marks Six Months to Christmas Event

Merry LEON Event Marks Six Months to Christmas

A number of shops in downtown Lakeland are starting the six-month countdown to Christmas with the Merry LEON Shop Hop. You guessed it- “LEON” is noel spelled backward.
This is the second year of the shop hop, which is June 26, 5-8 p.m. and involves the following businesses (we'll continue to update as we learn more about activities and offers at each location):
Black Swan BazaarBruce Hughart Merry Leon 2013
Brooke Pottery
Got Candy- children can decorate one complimentary sweet treat.
Just Dance
Lloyd’s of Lakeland
Nathan’s Men’s Store
Parresol Jewelers- free testing of mechanical and electronic watches to see if they're timing correctly. A $25 value.
Scrappin’ Shack
The Strand
Traditions Unlimited- Christmas cookies demonstration, and cookies to eat! Draw at the register for 10, 15, or 25 percent off entire purchase. All who shop that night receive a coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase good June 27- July 31.
Two Hens and a Hound- Santa Claus will be hangin' 10 for kids of all ages to get in their early wishes (and explanations). Bring your own camera!

Activities include a food drive for Agape Food Bank, toy drive for Toys for Tots, a visit from a vacationing Santa, refreshments and shop demonstrations.
Win Valuable Gift Certificates
Shoppers can get a Shop Hop map by bringing a donation for Agape Food Bank or Toys for Tots. Maps also can be purchased for $5, with proceeds being donated to these two charities. Shoppers will get their maps stamped as they visit each business. Completed maps must be turned in to any participating store by 4 p.m. June 28. Drawings will be held where three recipients each receive a $100 gift certificate; five more winners each will receive a $50 gift certificate. Gift certificates can be used at any of the participating stores.
Ann Rye, owner of Traditions Unlimited, came up with the idea based on inspiration from WFLA AM radio in Tampa and its morning show host Jack Harris. Years ago, Harris began celebrating the halfway mark to Christmas on June 25 with holiday music.
June tends to be a slow month for retailers here, because the area’s winter residents have left, and lots of residents go out of town for vacation.
“We wanted to do something more creative than a sidewalk sale,” Rye says.
Come join us in the festivities. Merry LEON!

Bok Tower Discovery Days

Bok Tower 
Discovery Days for Kids
Wednesday, June 18th 
9 am until noon

Theme is Buggin out. Kids will learn the characteristics of insects through the insect song, create their own artistic insect, and make their own collecting gear before venturing out for a Bodacious Bug hunt. A ladybug release in the gardens ends the day. 
Pre-registration is required, call 734-1222 to register or for more info. 

Local Summer kids events Week of June 15th

  • Michaels; Passport to Imagination Come Craft  every Mon-Weds-Fri, 10am until noon, $2 per workshop, ages 5-12 years old
  • Cobb, Free Summer Kids Movies, June 17-18-19 at 10 am, doors open at 9:30 am; This week showing Turbo and Walking with Dinosaurs
  • Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse, June 17 at 9:30 am Epic the movie, $1 per movie or $5 for all ten movies if bought in advance
  • Mulberry Library; Edible Slime activity for Elementary, Tuesday, 6/17 at 11am, for Preschool with storytime on Wednesday, 6/18 at 10:30 am and for Teens and Tweens on Thursday, 6/19 at 1 pm with Duck Tape Bowties
  • Bartow Library; June 18th at 10:30 am "Mad Science presents Fire and Ice" and Thursday June 19th from 3-4 pm Paper Airplane activity for 9-12 year olds
  • Lakeland Library Summer Program at Lake Mirror Center Presents Performance by "Jiggleman", Friday, June 20 at 10 am
  • Larry R. Jackson Library Summer Program at Simpson Park Community Center Presents Tricky Dog Circus with Live Animals, Thursday, June 19 at 10:30 am

Cat Tower Craft

This create*Make it was in the December/January 2014 issue of Family Fun magazine. We had put it aside as a Summer "To Do" and the above picture is Alex's version and it is Korra cat approved!!  He plans to add to it as we get more boxes in the house.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mulberry Public Library upcoming events

 Upcoming Events:
Tuesday June 17th:  Elementary Program @ 11 am ~  Edible Slime
Wednesday June 18th:  Preschool Story Time @ 10:30 am  ~ Edible Slime
Thursday June 19th: Teen/Tween Time @ 1 pm ~ Edible Slime and Duct Tape Bow ties
Friday June 20th: Adult Program ~ Book Chat @ 11 am
Mulberry Public Library
103 E Canal St
Mulberry, Florida 33860

Monday, June 9, 2014

Born to Move Les Mills YMCA

So excited Born to Move is back at the South Lakeland YMCA for the summer. FREE for members and a nominal charge for non member families. My boys have done this class a couple of times before and loved it. It's a great workout like all Les Mills programs but created just for kids!
 3620 Cleveland Heights Blvd., Lakeland 33803

Fizz Boom Read; Mulberry Library's Summer Reading Program

Even our cat Kitarra is Into Reading! LOL, We went today and got signed up for the Mulberry Library Reading Program and got this cool bag, our reading logs and their summer program listing. They have great prizes every week for showing your reading log at the library and a bigger prize at the end of the summer. Go get signed up today!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sundays at Sunset at Got Candy

Local Summer kids events Week of June 9th

  • Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse, Ice Age, Tuesday, June10th at 9:30 am; $1 per show or $5 for all ten movies this summer if purchased in advance.
  • Sorry, Cobb FREE Summer movies do not start until June 17th
  • Mulberry Public Library events this week; Monday, June 9: Summer Reading Logs Available (in the past Mulberry Public Library has summer great prizes for reading), Tuesday, June10: Elementary Program @ 11am- Dissolving Rocks, Wednesday, June11: Preschool storytime @ 10:30 am, Thursday @ 10:30am: Fizzy Fun presented by Explorations Children's Museum (pre-registration Required) and Friday, June13 @ 1pm The library presents "Meet the Robinson"
  •  Bartow Public Library Presents John Storms World of Reptiles, Wednesday, June 11th at 10:30 am or 2 pm
  •  Lakeland Public Library Presents John Storms World of Reptiles, Friday, June 13th at 10 at Lake Mirror Center

Summer Frenzy Open Recreation Winter Haven

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Our Summer Challenge

My son has challenged our family to Read a lot of books this summer. We are a family that reads a lot anyway, but I do have to admit I don't read as much as I once did. My boys are voracious readers and of course, we don't want to do the "Summer Slide" so we encourage lots of reading each summer. My boys have encouraged myself and my husband to do more reading also. It's funny that at an end of the year party one of my boys' 3rd grade teachers gave them the challenge of only reading 4 books all summer and my son Luke wants us to read 150 books!!!
I think we are up for the challenge and I will be posting updates as the summer progresses. What ways do you encourage your children to read?  What other summer challenges does your family do during the summer?

Friday, June 6, 2014

SPCA Kitten Shower

Little Paws Kitten Shower
June 21st, 2014 11AM – 2PM
Admin Education Room at SPCA Florida
View our Registry or Donate Here.
Join SPCA Florida for its first annual Little Paws Kitten Shower, an event designed to raise awareness of “Kitten Season” and the need for foster homes and supplies. Kitten Season the time of year when cat births spike, peaks in summer and puts a strain on shelters’ supplies and foster homes.  In exchange for items from SPCA Florida’s Kitten Shower Wish List, attendees will enjoy door prizes, games, refreshments and of course lots of cute and cuddly kittens to play with. SPCA Florida’s Wish List items include kitten replacement milk (PetAg brand preferred) liquid or dry, kitten bottles, patécanned wet food (note paté is preferred over chunks or other varieties), dry kitten chow, litter, litter pans (tin foil baking pans also accepted), heating pads, and gift cards to PETCO, Pet Supermarket, or PetSmart.

The Little Paws Kitten Shower will feature information on the importance of spay/neuter, the critical need for foster families, and instructions for a DIY Wish List donation drive.  The game and information stations will be available throughout the event so attendees can drop in at their convenience. Behind-the-scene tours will also be given for anyone interested in an inside peek at how SPCA Florida cares for the thousands of animals it takes in each year. The Little Paws Kitten Shower is sure to be a blast for all ages. Those who are unable to attend the Kitten Shower are encouraged to check out SPCA Florida’s online registry or donate here. For questions please call (863) 577-4607.

Ready, Set, Learn at Family Fundamentals

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Summer Youth Tennis Programs

Florida Railroad Museum

 The Museum is located 25 miles north of Sarasota and 35 miles south of Tampa off Interstate 75 at exit 229. Our physical address is:
    12210 83rd St East
    Parrish, FL 34219

Summer Special!!
Kids Ride FREE all Summer!!
Dads ride FREE on Father's Day
Details, ~ 941-776-0906

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Guns and Hoses

Local Day Trips we hope to do this Summer

 Local Day Trips we plan to do this summer Part 1:  (I hope to post more installments and as we get to do these trips I plan to post about our visit and some pictures) Please give me input if you have visited any of these destinations.
  •  Lake Kissimmee State Park: 
    14248 Camp Mack Road
    Lake Wales, Florida 33898       $5 per vehicle (up to 8 occupants);  I know summer is a little too warm in Florida for camping but we are hoping to do some hiking around this park's many trails and bridges. The park also has canoe and kayak rentals.
  •  Fort De Soto Park:  3500 Pinellas Bayway S., Tierra Verde, FL 33715  Pay booth collects the daily parking fees of $5.  This is one of our favorite beaches not only because it is where my husband and I were married but it just a great place to spend the day. It is usually pretty quiet with an older crowd on the beach and if you get tired of just relaxing on the beach you can go check out the historic fort. There is also trails to hike or bike and 2 fishing piers. It is also a great place for camping when the weather is cooler.
  • Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park: 
    4732 Millhoppper Road
    Gainesville, Florida 32653    

    $4.00 per vehicle.
    A National Natural Landmark, Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park is a miniature rain forest at the bottom of a bowl-shaped cavity 120 feet deep.    I originally saw a piece on this park on the local TV station and the video made me want to go check it out.  Here's a link to a site with a video about Devil's Millhopper;
    "In the midst of north Florida's sandy terrain and pine forests, a bowl-shaped cavity 120 feet deep leads down to a miniature rain forest. Small streams trickle down the steep slopes of the limestone sinkhole, disappearing through crevices in the ground. Lush vegetation thrives in the shade of the walls even in dry summers. A significant geological formation, Devil's Millhopper is a National Natural Landmark that has been visited by the curious since the early 1880s"

  • Tarpon Springs Florida, home of the historic Sponge Docks: In all the years my husband and I have lived in central Florida we have never visited Tarpon Springs. I understand there is quite a lot to do at the historic Sponge Docks including; shopping, dining, fishing, the Tarpon Springs aquarium, museums and sightseeing. You can even take a boat tour to see sponge diving and dolphins.

  •  Lake Eva Aquatic Center in Haines City: 321 S. 6th Street, Haines City, Admission is $5 or there are family seasonal passes available.  The Aquatic Center is currently open on weekends, and the hours of operation are 12 PM – 6 PM. Starting June 9, 2014 the Aquatic Center will be open seven (7) days a week.    Here is a link to a blog post I wrote a few years ago when we first visited Lake Eva,

    Poolside Activities:

    Kid’s Play Area – Young kids love the wet/dry play area with a zero-depth entry lagoon pool, slide, splash pad and water activities.Pavilion - Cool off in the shade or celebrate a special occasion with family and friends.Pool Snack Bar – Whet your appetite with hamburgers, hot dogs, snacks, and beverages.

  • Bok Tower:  1151 Tower Blvd, Lake Wales FL 33853  •  863-676-1408; There are so many things to do at Bok Tower Gardens like touring the gardens and geocaching. They even have Discovery Backpacks that they will loan you for free to help your child explore the gardens; complete with guidebooks, binoculars and bubbles.  During the summer, they have extra kids and family activities like First Friday walks and Discovery Days,
  •  Amish Country in Sarasota:    Since we don't have plans to travel up North to experience Amish Country I have heard there is a community of Amish in Pinecraft near Sarasota. I have heard great reviews of Yoder's Amish Village where they have a restaurant, Gift Shop, Produce Market, Deli Market and award winning pies!