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30 Plus Fun Candy Alternatives For This Halloween

Are you looking for ways to avoid the Halloween sugar rush this year? Here are a few easy ideas to contribute to your kiddos Halloween parties and fun alternatives to pass out from your door step!  Take a look!

halloween candy alternatives

30 Plus Fun Candy Alternatives For This Halloween

Food allergies are on the rise and many popular candies have peanuts and other allergens. With your kids getting candy at school, the bank, other houses and almost everywhere they go, why not you be the house with kid-approved fun alternatives to high sugary treats, I guarantee other mamas with thank you!

Small plastic toys are a great idea!

My daughter will be entertained with small toys for weeks after Halloween, passing the tinker toys back and forth between her purses and shopping cart. Tiny toys can be found at any party supply store or craft shops.

  • Bubbles
  • Mini puzzles
  • Kazoos
  • Whistles
  • Yo-yos
  • Bouncy balls
  • Whistles
  • Wind-up toys
  • Spin tops
  • Glow sticks
  • Mini play-dough

Dress-up items:

  • Plastic bracelets
  • Necklaces
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Sunglasses
  • Snap Bracelets
  • Plastic spider rings
  • Glow bracelets

Fall or Halloween themed school supplies:

  • Pencils
  • Sticker
  • Erasers
  • Rubber stamps
  • Mini crayon sets
  • Bookmarks
  • Stencils
  • Rulers
  • Post its
  • Pencil toppers
  • Mini notebooks

If you are still looking forward to handing out treats, here are some yummy healthy food alternatives for your trick-or-treaters

  • 100 calorie packets,
  • Granola bars,
  • Mini box of raisins
  • Low-fat packets of popcorn
  • Peanut butter or cheese cracker packs

If you plan on having a steady stream of friendly faces at your house, here are some fun ideas for those close neighbor friends, school mates or family members that will be stopping by

  • Hot apple cider
  • Caramel candy apples
  • Goody bags full of little treats, stickers and anything else age appropriate
  • Draw a pumpkin face with a black sharpie on oranges
  • Activity kits with crayons and a small coloring book
  • Small container of homemade slime (for the older treaters)

I hope these ideas will make all the kids feel extra treated this Halloween!

From iFamily to Yours,


Top Five Reasons to Take Your Kids to the Renaissance Festival

It’s the LAST weekend for the KC Renaissance Festival!  If you haven’t been yet, here are just a few reasons you should!

renaissance festival

Top Five Reasons to Take Your Kids to the Renaissance Festival

If you’re looking for something a fun autumn family activity, I highly recommend loading up the SUV and heading to the Renaissance Festival.  There are many reasons I love the festival, but here are my top five:

5) To get some (relatively) fresh air.  

Too many of our children spend all of their free time glued to electronic devices.    The only trees and grass they experience are the pixelated versions they have created on Minecraft.  The Renaissance Festival (link “renaissance festival” to www.kcrenfest.com) is completely outside, with the exception of a few of the shops, and the first aid area (which, unfortunately I have visited several times in the last few years.)

4) It gives everybody a chance to stretch their legs. 

You’ll get plenty of exercise, walking from booth to booth, and between shows.  There is also free kids’ area where kids can run, jump, climb and slide.   It’s a great way to burn calories, which you will need to do because of number 8.

3) The food! 

My favorite Renaissance festival food is the apple dumpling.  Who doesn’t love a deep-fried apple, served with ice cream and caramel syrup?  If apple dumplings are not your thing, there are plenty of festival favorites.  You can get deep fried everything, from cauliflower to cookies.  I rarely leave any festival without trying a funnel cake…but without a doubt, the Renaissance Festival’s most popular food item is the Turkey leg.  There is nothing cuter than watching a tiny person try to eat a giant turkey leg.

2) The shows!  

There are gymnastic feats and acrobats, people hula-hooping with fire, and some of the funniest pub songs you will ever hear.   Take your kids to watch a jousting match and let them cheer for their favorite knight.  The shows also serve as a great way to rest your well-exercised legs between stretches of walking.

1) Character Bingo. 

Collect a bingo card at the gate, and let each of the characters you meet sign mark your card.   There’s a prize for winning bingo cards at the end of the game. It will keep your children observant for the day, but there’s also a secret history lesson.  The actors are not supposed to break character have researched their roles.   Last weekend, Queen Isabella, explained told my daughter each of her official royal titles.  It was impressive.

Seriously, there are games and shops, and for the second year, an Escape Room.  It is fun for the whole family.

From iFamily to Yours,

 

Gabrielle


KC Pumpkin Patch Preview!

pumpkin patch

KC Pumpkin Patch Preview!

Happy Fall Y’all! It is officially Fall so that means it is time to hit up the good old pumpkin patch! Luckily as a Mom Squad ambassador, I get to do all the dirty work for you and check out this season’s must see places! I was so excited to have the opportunity to preview this year’s activities at the KC Pumpkin Patch!

The KC Pumpkin Patch is a”Kid- friendly country- style entertainment just a few miles from Kansas City” and it is so much fun! It really is a perfect family outing for this Fall season. With tons of stuff to do, wide open spaces for the kiddos to run around and amazing food (especially the apple donuts), everyone is sure to have a great time! Plus, there is plenty of picnic areas to sit and enjoy your lunch or quick treats.

The KC Pumpkin Patch is open every day this season and closes for the season on October 31st. The KC Pumpkin Patch has not 1, not 2 but 3 slides perfect for everyone. They also have a zip line, hay rides, tricycle tracks, a Kiddie corn maze, grain truck ski-ball, a jumping pillow and tons more to do! Plus your little critters can feed little critters too! Of course, we can’t forget they have TONS OF PUMPKINS! We were there for 2 hours and we still didn’t get to do everything lol. Visiting the KC Pumpkin Patch really is an all-day adventure!

General admission tickets are only $9.95 + tax per person, $5 for military and 2 and under are FREE! General admission includes most activities on the farm and the hayride! If you plan your trip on the weekends, your admission includes special stage shows! Plus you can experience haunted trailers and more (extra cost). You can purchase your tickets, plan your trip, see the menu and more online. Head over to their website to see full list of activities too.

From iFamily to Yours,

 


Paint, Glaze & Fire ReCap Kids Club Event Recap

If you haven’t had a chance to check out Paint, Glaze & Fire here in KC then you should!  Bridgette was able to attend our Paint, Glaze & Fire Kids Club Event, here is a recap of her fun experience!

Paint, Glaze & Fire

Kids Club Event Recap

Hey there, KC! Have you ever been somewhere, smelled something or seen something and you were instantly transported back to your childhood or a special memory? At our recent iFamilyKC Kids Club event, I was! For the first time forever…just kidding, sorry if that song gets stuck in your head now. But seriously, for the first time in a very, very long time, I was transported back to my childhood when my kiddos and I visited Paint, Glaze & Fire.

Growing up, my grandmother had a room dedicated to ceramics and I loved watching her make and paint them. Paint, Glaze & Fire is a neat art studio filled with pre-made ceramics in a wide variety of things. They have plates, mugs, figurines, home decor and plenty more to choose from. You and your family could spend a nice afternoon there laughing and painting away! They have a coffee shop inside with a variety of drinks and snacks in case you or your kiddos need a little something to sip or eat. There really is no rush!

Even though space was limited to the first 18 people, there was no shortage of fun and memories being made. For this special event, kids and parents were able to pick a specially selected ceramic fitting to the season. There were ghosts, monsters, pumpkins and mugs. Of course, my kiddos went straight for the pumpkins!

Paint, Glaze and Fire is located at 12683 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park, KS

They are open Tuesday- Sunday with various open and closing times. They do allow walk in sessions if seating is available but they highly recommend making a reservation. You can get more information on making reservations and hours of operation by visiting their website.

The cool thing about Paint, Glaze & Fire is that along with ceramic painting, they also offer glass fusion, raw clay building and even canvas painting. Plus, they host kid’s birthday parties or group outings too!

As a homeschooling family, this is definitely moving into our extra-curricular activities budget for Art class!  Check out some of the cool things we painted! I didn’t get to snap a picture once they were done painting, I was having too much fun of my own! I hope you can make it out to our next Kids Club event! Just keep checking iFamilykc or better yet subscribe to our email list below to be one of the first to know!

From iFamily to Yours,


40 Fall Bucket List Ideas Your Family Will LOVE

Fall is a great time for making memories!  Apple picking, pumpkin patches, baking and snuggling up with some warm apple cider and just a few of our favorites!  Liz, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad shares some fall bucket list ideas for your family to enjoy this fall!  Take a look…

fall bucket list

40 Fall Bucket List Ideas Your Family Will LOVE

Now that the season of pumpkin spice is here, I have compiled a family bucket list to make this fall the best ever!

  • Roast marshmallows, either outside or use an indoor fireplace
  • Carve pumpkins together
  • Take a hayrack ride
  • Visit an area fall festival
  • Go camping in your backyard
  • Enjoy a foggy morning walk together
  • Create your Halloween costumes together
  • Bake Halloween treats
  • Go apple picking at a local orchard
  • Snuggle up and eat chili
  • Decorate your porch with fall flair
  • Visit a local pumpkin patch together
  • DIY fall crafts together
  • Get lost in a corn maze
  • Sit outside with hot chocolate while telling spooky stories and telling funny jokes
  • Have a slumber party on the living room floor while watching Halloween movies
  • Open the windows to let in the crisp fall air in
  • Make pumpkin bread, pumpkin dip and caramel apples
  • Discover a new place to explore for colorful full leaves
  • Walk or run in a local race together
  • Tailgate together at a local football game
  • Get spooked in a haunted house together
  • Trick or Treat as a family
  • Celebrate Oktoberfest with sausages and German food
  • Host a potluck Halloween party
  • Do a nature scavenger hunt together
  • Sip on apple cider
  • Bake a pumpkin and an apple pie
  • Jump in a pile of leaves
  • Host a family trunk or treat in your neighbor
  • Decorate the inside and outside of the house for Halloween
  • Check out fall and Halloween books from the library
  • Decorate and send out Halloween cards
  • Make a festive fall wreath
  • Create a countdown to Halloween
  • Go star gazing
  • Donate to a food bank or food pantry
  • Host a family garage sale
  • Rake a neighbor’s yard
  • Visit a local farmers market

Take some time to search around for more ideas around your area to do for the next few weeks. Look up easy recipes and craft projects for your family to do together. When in doubt, grab a pumpkin spice latte sure and refer back to this list to keep your family’s fall season full of fun!

From iFamily to Yours,


5 Spooktacular Ideas For Celebrating Halloween in the Classroom

 Halloween is going to be here before we know it!  Here is Ruth, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad with some spooky ideas for celebrating Halloween in the classroom!

celebrating halloween

5 Spooktacular Ideas For Celebrating Halloween in the Classroom

Halloween comes around once a year, and there are a lot of ways to make it special without adding lots of sugar and hyper kids into the mix. Many of you are already planning out ways to help your child’s classroom celebrate this year. Here are a few ideas that are great for the classroom!

#1 Do-It-Yourself Games & Activities 

DIY games are a great way to celebrate parties at school. Most of the time they are cheap and use items that you can find at home such as ghost bowling.

Items: bowling pins or empty water bottles, crepe or toilet paper, googly eyes or black paper and a small ball. The kids can even help prepare the activity. For directions and other DIY party games check out this link from Good Housekeeping.

#2 Skip the Sweets 

Non-candy Halloween treats are a delicious and healthy idea for the classroom party. There are a lot of fun and healthy alternatives that can be made at home and sent in without giving every child a sugar buzz. Mini mummy pizzas, ghost bananas and spider crackers are just a few ideas to get you started. Listotic.com has 64 ideas to choose from.

#3 Get a Little Crafty 

Crafts are usually a winner with kids. They love things that are hands on and it’s also the best way to teach young ones new skills. Parents.com has some fun ideas for party crafts that kids can create at school as well as some other fun ideas for costumes and decorations. These ideas are simple to create and there are video tutorials for some of them as well!

#4 Don’t Be Too Scared to Keep it Fit 

Make it a fit Halloween by adding in some themed movement activities. You can do a Halloween dance party, do story yoga, spider parachute toss, zombie tag or a variety of other exercises that will be fun to get them up and moving. These activities are geared toward PE teachers but they would work well out on the playground too! GopherSport.com has some great ideas for Halloween!

#5 Every Good Ghoul and Goblin Loves to Read 

Get those kids reading with Halloween themed books and songs.  Fortunately, there are books out there for all ages at the school library or book fair. You can do buddy reading or a group story time. You can make it more fun with puppets, finger plays, or let kids act it out and tell the story to each other. The more participation that is included, the more fun it will be for everyone. Here are some fun book ideas for younger elementary kids from StorytimeKatie.com.

I hope you find some of these ideas useful for this year’s Halloween party!

From iFamily to Yours,

 


5 KC Parks to Fall in Love with This Autumn

Erin, with the iFamily Mom & Dad Squad shares with us 5 of KC Parks for you to FALL in love with this Autumn season!

kc parks

5 KC Parks to Fall in Love with This Autumn

Fall is the perfect time to check out a new park or visit an old favorite!  I love October for many reasons but one reason being in KC you can get away with picnics and outdoor parties at the park with beautiful weather! There are so many awesome parks in our awesome city! We’re counting down the 5 best parks in the KC area! Which one is your family’s favorite?

Variety KC Parks

Several park locations in KC are adapted so that children of all abilities have a safe place to play.  Smooth surfaces, adaptive swings, fencing, ramps on the play equipment, stainless steel slides and roller slides, sensory activities involving musical chimes and drums.  Located in Independence, Leawood, Olathe and Tiffany Springs,

McCoy Park

Nice park with shelters for rent, playgrounds, spray ground, tennis courts, horseshoe pits. Located in Independence, MO. across from the Truman Library.

Loose Park

Well known park in KC with 75 acres of beautiful and historic land.  Fantastic rose garden, picnic areas, large shelter house for parties and events, and a playground with a sand pit the kids will love to dive in to! Spray ground open May 27th-September 4th. Located on Wornall Rd.

Shawnee Mission Park

1600 acre park includes 120 acre lake with boating, fishing, swimming, sail boarding, a giant off-leash dog park with 53 acres of land for your furry friend to run, picnic areas, shelters, playgrounds, Theater in the Park, archery and disc golf. You can even rent paddle boats, canoes and fishing boats!  What more could you ask for? Located in Shawnee Mission, KS.

Drum roll please…..

The number one park in KC has to be Penguin Park!

Kids LOVE the gigantic animals including a penguin, giraffe, kangaroo, and an elephant.  They have a separate area for the little ones to play and tucked away behind the park are some great walking/biking trails with a pond for fishing and watching geese. Located on Vivion Rd in Kansas City North.

Also worth mentioning:

Fleming Park

English Landing Park

Antioch Park

Dagg Park

Waterfall Park

The “Castle” and “Pirate” parks

Little Mill Creek Park North

 

Happy Park Hunting!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 


4 Easy Ways to Balance Your Crazy Busy Schedule

If there’s one thing that we, as moms, need more of (and just can’t get enough of), it’s balance. Between managing your household, working around your children’s school routines, getting to and from extra curricular activities, and everything else that life seems to throw your way, balance can become overwhelming (and sometimes feel too time consuming).  Bridgette, with the iFamily Mom & Dad Squad has 4 easy ways to help balance your crazy busy schedule!

 

4 Easy Ways to Balance Your Crazy Busy Schedule

I remember, back when I was in school, how exhausted I felt after sporting games, work, and pageants (sorry mom!). But now that I am a mom and a wife, I can fully see just how important plans, balance, and organization really are to a family. So, if you, like pretty much the rest of us moms out there need to incorporate a little or a lot more balance into your life, try incorporating these four small ideas.

#1 Get a Mommy (or Daddy) Binder

I know this may sound crazy but my life is basically written out into multiple organizing items. But my binder is my “go-to” strategy for keeping everything together. Inside, you will find everything from mail that needs to be sent, monthly bill paying spreadsheet, grocery list, to do list and way more. Seeing everything written out on a calendar or a check list makes me feel more organized and able to keep school tracking and home life more doable.

#2 Get a Family Command Center

Lately I have been getting hip to the idea of a family command center. Since I don’t always need my binder just a quick reminder, I can take a glance at my command center to make sure I am on schedule for the day and EVERYONE can see what is ahead.

#3 Get a Planner, Be a Planner

Similar to my binder but more for “mom stuff”. If I plan a girl’s night or have a doctor’s appointment it goes into my planner. I know it may seem a little extra to have a planner as well, but my binder is so big and bulky, It would never be ideal to carry it around with me every single day. A planner is a lot smaller to carry around but big enough to write things down.

#4 Use Your Cell Phone

Last, I have my cell phone. Nothing is worse than writing everything down and forgetting an appointment because you have been hustling and bustling all day. Adding events and dates in my phone allows me to set a timer so I can ensure that I am on time.

Now, you may be thinking this is a nice idea to get organized but how can I balance everything. Well, on top of being organized with dates and times, you will be able to see what you are doing a lot of and what you need to do more of. Are you doing too many extra-curricular activities after school? You can see what days you can rearrange or let go of to allow more family time or time with your spouse. Working too much outside of the house? This will also help you add in those much-needed vacations and breaks from the stress. Having a balanced life makes not only you, but your whole family, happier! The saying is true, happy wife, happy life.

I hope you find these ideas helpful and are able to incorporate them into your life!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 


10 Best KC Date Nights For You To Do This Weekend

Stuck in a rut with the same restaurant and movie date nights?  Liz, from the iFamily Mom and Dad Squad shares some of KC’s best date nights for you and your honey!  Take a look…

KC Date Nights

10 Best KC Date Nights For You To Do This Weekend

Shake things up a bit with these unique and fun date ideas to do around Kansas City with your sweetheart!

  1. Take a Ride

Meet anywhere from the River Market to the Plaza and hop on a B-Cycle, Kansas City’s bike sharing program! Ride around all day for only $7!

  1. Pack a Picnic

Before it gets to chilly outside, take advantage of the beautiful fall air and take your lunch to the park! Try Loose Park or the lawn at the Nelson-Atkins for a picnic date.

  1. Get Your Tokens

Relive the 90s by heading to Tapcade or Up/Down for a night of arcade games and beer! There are a ton of beers on tap between the two locations. The extensive beer menu features a long list of Kansas and Missouri brews.  Once the tokens run out catch a movie in Tapcade’s Screenland Theatre or enjoy the patio at Up/Down.

  1. Get Cooking

Enjoy an interactive and relaxing evening out with a couples cooking class at The Sundry, located in the Crossroads.

  1. Breakout Escape Rooms

Team up with other couples to test your composure at an escape room, like the Exit Room Express at Paradise Park, a live action escape game!

  1. Get Spooky

This Halloween grab your partners hand, have a scary good time and brave Kansas City’s haunted houses! The Edge of Hell and The Beast are located in the West Bottoms.

  1. Restaurant Hop

Why sit down for an entire dinner when you can restaurant hop! Enjoy small bites and drinks at all your favorite local eateries. Some of my personal favorites are Beer Kitchen, McCoy’s Public House, Westport Flea Market and Californos.

  1. Take a Brew Tour

In the heart of Kansas City is the Boulevard Brewing Company! This was my husband and I’s first date and one we will always remember. Mainly because they asked us if we wanted to meet with someone about having our wedding there …remember it was our first date.  You and your partner can also enjoy a FREE 60- minute walking tour of the brewery, which includes samples in the tasting room!

  1. Have a Friendly Competition

Hit up a local spot for a friendly competition verse one another! Char Bar in Westport is a great spot to enjoy the feel of a backyard BBQ with great yard games- corn hole, bocce ball, croquet and ping pong. No other pub in the Power and Light District has an awesome bowling alley, shuffleboard and beer pong! If pool is more your style than hit up Westport Flea Market for pool, skeeball and pinball.

  1. Take a Road Trip

Just a short drive from Kansas City is historic Weston, Missouri. Spend the day touring this fun little town and all it has to offer. Drop into Pirtle Winery located in the Weston Historic District for a tasting and tour. In the backroads of Weston is the Green Dirt Farm featuring cheeses, yogurt and ice cream. Enjoy a cocktail at the McCormick Distilling company on Main Street. Get your barbeque fix at the Tin Kitchen featuring a menu driven by hickory-smoked barbeque meats.

With some much going on daily in Kansas City there is no reason you can’t find the perfect day date or night date for you, have fun!

From iFamily to Yours,

 


Unique Kansas City Playgrounds That Are Worth The Drive

If you’re looking to add a little variety to your playdates, read on!  Ruth, from the iFamily Mom And Dad Squad has provided us with a list of 4 Unique Kansas City Playgrounds that are well worth your drive!  Take a look…

kansas city playgrounds

Unique playgrounds that are worth the drive

As a Mom of 3, I am always looking for something new to do. I have a range of kids ages 9, 6 and 3.  Sometimes it’s can be hard to find activities that accommodate all their interest levels and needs. Parks are a fun way to keep kids active and socializing. This summer I spent some time seeking out new parks.  These are the ones that I have found to be the most unique and kid approved!

Frisco Lake Park 

1100 E Dennis Ave, Olathe, KS 66061

This park has features for kids and adults! It features a trail that wraps around a lake that includes built in exercise equipment with directions for a quick work out every few yards. Or if you are seeking some relaxation, there are a few bench swings along the walk, shelters and even the option for fishing. And I cannot forget to mention the pirate ship themed playground designed for the younger crowd. All around this park has something for everyone!

Listowell Park 

12037 W 71st St, Shawnee, KS 66216

This park features a pirate ship themed playground prefect for elementary age kids. There is access to a ball field, 2 roller hockey rinks and a walking trail, if you’re looking for something more relaxed. This park is a favorite for our family on International Talk like a pirate day!

Barrier Free Playground

290 Grant Ave, Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027

This playground is designed for kids with special needs. There is a fence around the perimeter to help parents with kids that may like to run. A variety of swings, climbing equipment, padded ground and interactive musical items are included to engage children at a variety of levels and needs. Themed around the state of Kansas, the park features a large bison, teepee and boat which can prove to be a history lesson in itself. It’s a great place for fun photo-ops!

Lions Park 

300 W Morse Ave, Bonner Springs, KS 66012

This is by far the most interactive park I’ve found. It goes beyond your standard playground. There is a simple playground for kids ages 2-5, a large structure with climbing ropes, slides, and tight rope walk geared toward older kids, a small merry go round, a bridge and an outdoor electronic game system. The game system has a few choice modes for play and kids run around the area taping and seeking lights. This park is great for developing a variety of motor skills of all kind. The best part is that all parts are easily within a short visual range from the shelter and a rocking bench swing that parents can use.

Enjoy!

From iFamily to Yours,