Fun Summer Options for Kids at the Augusta Exchange

23 Jun

Looking for some inexpensive, air-conditioned options for your kiddos this summer?  I normally wouldn’t think of a shopping complex as a great place for kids activities, but in the case of the Augusta Exchange on Robert C. Daniel Parkway, there are a few fun choices this summer:

1. Regal Cinemas:  The movie theater in the Augusta Exchange is participating in Regal’s Summer Movie Express:  kid-friendly movies for just $1, offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:00am.  Can’t beat that deal!  For the full schedule, visit this website: http://www.regmovies.com/Movies/Summer-Movie-Express

2.  Michaels Kids Craft Club:  This national chain’s Passport to Imagination Kids Craft Club is back this summer.  This summer’s theme is about visiting museums around the country and doing crafts inspired by those museums.  The website is a bit misleading– it describes the craft club as a two-hour event during which parents can shop the store.  Instead, it works more like a drop-in craft area, and I found that they weren’t quite organized enough that parents were able to leave– I ended up needing to help my kids with their crafts, though some older children were able to do it on their own.  My kids really enjoyed it, though, so for $2, we’ll be trying it again soon.  Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00am to 12:00pm, $2/child.  http://www.michaels.com/on/demandware.static/Sites-MichaelsUS-Site/Sites-MichaelsUS-Library/default/misc/passport/index.html

ETA:  We’ve since attended a second Kids Craft day and it was led by a different staff person who was much more organized.  I’m not sure if they rotate staff every day for it or not.  I’m hoping we have the same staff there again next time we visit.

3. Chick-fil-A:  The Augusta Exchange location is continuing to offer lots of family and kids events.  This Thursday, June 26th, from 4pm to 6pm, they are having a  “Lemonade Party” where kids can squeeze their own fresh lemonade, and decorate a chef’s apron or hat.  http://www.cfarestaurant.com/augustaexchange/events/20140626

 

Kids Craft Club at Michaels.  My toddler even took a break from making me chase him all over the store in order to do some coloring.

Kids Craft Club at Michaels. My toddler even took a break from making me chase him all over the store in order to do some coloring.

Resources for Family Events/Attractions in the Augusta Area

4 Jun

Ok, I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile now, and I finally have a moment to get it all down!  As I mentioned in my previous post (if you missed it, check it out now– exciting stuff!   http://kiddingaroundaugusta.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/exciting-news-about-imagination-station-mark-your-calendars/) , I’ve been busy with Imagination Station and haven’t had as much time to post as I’d like.  That said, I wanted to provide here some great new internet resources that have cropped up for Augusta families in the past few months.  I do love exploring with my kiddos and reporting back on this blog, so I will continue to post information and reviews about parks and other attractions (I have several posts that have been in my head for quite some time that I need to get typed up…!).  However, I won’t be able to post regularly, and so I wanted to direct you all to some sites that will give you the latest on kid-friendly events scheduled in the CSRA.

This blog was born when I moved to Augusta three years ago and could find almost nothing online about what to do or where to go with young children in the area.  I’m thrilled that there are several new options for parents seeking this information online these days!  First off, both Macaroni Kid and Hulafrog have recently launched Augusta-area websites.  If you are not familiar with them, they are a fantastic resource for parents, including information on area attractions and events for kids, as well as other blog posts and articles on the topic of parenting and families.  Both sites offer the option of subscribing to receive their weekly e-newsletters so you can be kept up-to-date  on family events.  Here are the links to their sites (you can also find them on Facebook):

http://www.augusta.macaronikid.com/

http://hulafrog.com/augusta-ga/

 

Also, there is  new group called “Augusta Moms” that has launched a Facebook page and website catering to parents in the CSRA.  Similarly, they offer a local event calendar, newsletter, and blogs on parenting on their website: http://augustamoms.com/.

 

And lastly, both the Augusta Chronicle and Augusta Family Magazine remain useful for their online event calendars:

http://events.augusta.com/

http://www.augustafamily.com/Augusta-Family-Magazine/Events/

 

There will be, as always, a lot going on this summer for families of the CSRA, so be sure to regularly check these sites for upcoming events… and have fun!!

Exciting news about Imagination Station!! Mark your calendars…

4 Jun

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You may have noticed that I haven’t blogged in quite awhile… well, there’s a great reason for that!  I’ve been extremely busy working with an amazing group of people to make the dream of a children’s museum in Augusta a reality.  I’m so pleased to announce that our museum concept, Imagination Station, went over its $8,000 crowdfunding goal by raising  just over $9,000 to get us started with the building process in the community building of Hickman Park!!  Many, many great thanks to all those who helped to make this happen.  We could not be more excited about getting started, and we are on track to open the museum in mid-July!  We now have the key to the building in hand, which means that the interior cleaning and painting effort is beginning this Saturday morning.  Help from our community members and families is always more than welcome, so if you are inspired to help scrub or swing  a paintbrush this weekend, stop by Hickman Park between 9am and noon!

Then, mark your calendars for our IMAGINATION STATION KICK-OFF CELEBRATION PICNIC:   Saturday, June 14th, from 11:30am until 1:30pm at Hickman Park!  Come see the space that we are getting ready to move into, and enjoy everything our picnic has to offer, including:

  • FOOD!! —  Chick-fil-A, Publix, Kroger, and Bi-Lo are generously donating to our cause with food and paper products.
  • LIVE MUSIC!!–  We have Karen Gordon of Garden City Jazz AND Tara Scheyer performing!
  • BRICKS4KIDZ–  This fantastic kid venue is bringing their Lego fun and games to us!
  • STORY TIME–  Ms. Kathy Crosson of Appleby Library fame is going to present kids at the picnic with a special story time!
  • SWEETS–  Local bakery Pink Frosting is generously providing their delicious sweet treats as part of our fundraiser!
  • GAMES–  Chick-fil-A is bringing their spinning wheel and corn hole tent!
  • CRAFTS–  We’ll have a community canvas set up for the kids to paint, our popular dress-up photo booth, and more!!

As you can see, there will be a LOT going on at our picnic next week!!  And best of all, it is FREE and open to the public!  We hope to see each and every one of you there!!  Donations of children’s books, puzzles, and art supplies for the museum will gladly be accepted.  There will also be the opportunity for families to sign up for a museum membership, as well as Imagination Station t-shirts and bumper stickers on sale.

Come on out next Saturday, and in the meantime… spread the word!!  Let’s make this event a smashing success!  Thanks!!  :)

 

As always, more info about the museum is available at our website, imagineaugusta.org.

 

 

Tara Scheyer will be performing at our Kick-Off Celebration Picnic!!

Tara Scheyer will be performing at our Kick-Off Celebration Picnic!!

 

 

We're thrilled to have Bricks4Kidz there as well!

We’re thrilled to have Bricks4Kidz there as well!

This weekend…

10 May

Here’s a quick, last-minute run-down of some of this weekend’s events…

TODAY: Saturday, May 10th:

Augusta Market at the River, 8am-2pm

News 12 Time to Care Family Fair, 11am-3:30pm:  Games, crafts, rides, food, music benefiting area non-profits.  Come visit the Imagination Station children’s museum booth!

Art in the Park, Columbia County Amphitheater, 10am-5pm:  Festival of visual and performing arts

National Train Day Celebration, Aiken Visitor Center, Aiken, SC, 11am-1pm

Strawberry Festival, Mead Hall Episcopal School St. Thaddeus Campus, Aiken, SC, 10am-3pm

Symphony Orchestra of Augusta: Pops Under the Stars, Columbia County Amphitheater, 7pm:  Hoping the weather holds out tonight for this one!  If you have never been, grab a blanket and chairs and a picnic and bring everyone in the family– young and old– to hear the orchestra play in the park.

 

 

Imagination Station Update!

8 May

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Hi all!  First off, thank you for your patience as I am finding less time to post these days.  As you know, I have been busy on a project… working on the Imagination Station fundraising and membership drive to create a neighborhood children’s museum here in Augusta!  If you missed my previous post about the museum project, you can visit it here for details: http://kiddingaroundaugusta.wordpress.com/2014/04/24/fundraising-and-membership-drive-for-imagination-station-has-begun/

And even more information is available on the Imagination Station website:  imagineaugusta.org

 

We are about half-way through our initial online campaign and here are the latest updates for you about this exciting endeavor:

**  So far, we have raised over $2,000 on our Community Funded site (http://communityfunded.com/projects/imagineaugusta/imagination-station-start-up-campaign/).  We need to reach $8,000 by May 23rd in order move forward with the building phase of the museum.  It has been so amazing to see the enthusiasm and support coming to us from so many members of the CSRA community and beyond!  Please help us reach goal by buying a membership or making a donation TODAY, and urging your friends and family (and colleagues, neighbors, dentists… everyone!) to do the same.

** This Saturday, May 10th, Imagination Station will have a craft/activity booth set up at the Time to Care Family Fair sponsored by News 12 at the Augusta Common.  This FREE fair features rides, food, crafts, and live entertainment.  Please come by to see us, and spread the word…  We’d love to stay busy all day meeting and greeting wonderful families from our community!  The fair runs from 11am until 3:30pm.

 

Come on, Augusta!  Let’s get together and make this children’s museum happen!!  :)

 

Weekend Festivals

2 May

Just a quick post on a couple of festivals going on this weekend…

TONIGHT:  Friday, May 2: 5pm-11pm:  The Great American Lobster Races:  Aiken, SC.  In addition to the racing lobsters, enjoy live music and food as well as activities, rides and games for kids.  $10 at the gate/ kids under 6 are free.  Benefits the mentally and physically challenged in Aiken County.   http://www.lobsterrace.com/

 

TOMORROW:  Saturday, May 3:  

9am-5pm: GoodBoats Annual Dragon Boat Race and Festival:  Lake Olmstead in Augusta.  Dragon boat races, Asian dances and martial arts on stage, food and crafts.  We went to this free festival last year and the boys really enjoyed themselves!  FREE.  Benefits the Buidling Goodwill Campaign to finish the Augusta Career Campus.  http://events.augusta.com/events/festivals/goodboats-annual-dragon-boat-race-and-festival

 

This weekend’s events

25 Apr

Wow!  This last weekend in April is always a busy weekend in Augusta, but this year it seems particularly packed!  Lots of great choices for family fun… Thanks to the Augusta Family Magazine (http://www.augustafamily.com/), here are the highlights:

April 26. Swamp Stomp. 
5K and 10K races at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park. 8 a.m. 706-828-2109.

April 26. Art Rocks! Social Canvas at the Museum. 
Enjoy painting demonstrations by some of your favorite local artists as they are inspired during live performances by the Dirty Realists, Funk You and Celia Gary. Join in the fun at art-making stations, take part in gallery scavenger hunts and help paint a giant canvas. Free and fun for all ages. Noon-4 p.m.

April 26. Benderdinker. 
Experience the tastes and sounds of the South during this festival on the water. Live music, local food, paddling, poker runs and free refills of Georgia-brewed sweet tea in your mason jar. Benefits Benderdigger, a youth garden program aimed at teaching the importance of slow foods (locally sourced and wild foods). 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Betty’s Branch. Evans.www.benderdinker.com.

April 26-27. The Artisans Fair. 
Showcases a wide array of fine artists and skilled artisans. In addition to booths displaying unique items for sale, several sites throughout the park will feature craftsmen demonstrating their skills. North Augusta Living History Park. Preview party, April 25. 5-7 p.m.www.colonialtimes.us.

April 26. Earth Day Celebration. 
Explore and celebrate our planet at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park. A day of fun, education and adventure for the whole family. 706-828-2109.

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And don’t forget!!  Sunday, April 27th:  Imagination Station playdate

Join us for an informal playdate at Hickman Park (965 Hickman Road) from 4pm to 5pm (or come early and stay late!).  Meet the Imagination Station steering committee and ask them any questions you might have about the future museum and how to donate or become a member.  Tours of the building will be available 4-4:30pm.  Come on out for this fun opportunity to get together, play, and talk about this exciting children’s venue coming to Augusta!!   More information about the museum is at http://www.imagineaugusta.org.

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