Archive for December, 2015

A Family That Selfies Together, Plays Together…Stays Together!

selfie-in-text-pic

#Selfie:
A Family of Trait-dition

by Just Add Kids Founder
Paula Herrmann

Two weeks back in JAK Chat blog, I wrote about some of the traditions our family does during the Christmas holiday. We have the schedule of things we do, and we pretty much stick to it every year. One of those things is to hit the road to my parent’s home in Mukwonago on Christmas Day for my side of the family’s celebration.

Last year spawned the first of a family tradition whilst on that annual trek over-the-river-and-through-the-woods…the second annual Herrmann selfie in the family truckster.

Family Car Selfie Tradition .jpg

Read more…

Johnny Jack the inventor of the selfieThe selfie phenomenon originated long before Kim Kardashian came on the scene. In fact, my brother recently produced the first evidence of the selfie on my side of the family.  Here’s my dad at my sister’s 1990 wedding  totally capturing the excitement of the selfie. The Johnny Jack selfie meme. Nice! Can you imagine having to wait a few days to receive back your printed photos?  Remember that? Dropping off film to be developed. The surprise of what you see once you open the envelop and browse through the pics. This selfie? Daddy nailed it!

Trait: a genetically determined characteristic.

Apparently, the selfie apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. In all honesty, ours was not a one shot wonder. Rather, bad snap after bad snap; swapping drivers, as the hubs was falling asleep at the wheel (a Herrmann family trait); and an accidental video to capture my hub’s failed attempt at the perfect family selfie.

#Selfie the movie cover shot.jpg

Film points of interest:
-The selfie lens option is not selected. Though many attempts are made to position the camera near the car’s rearview mirror to take snap the family  selfie.
-An accidental slip into Slo-Mo mode at :04.
-Whoops! Phone dropping at :18.
-Anyone recognize highway 20, this neighborhood in Waterford? Is that you in front of us?
-Enter me at 1:39 trying to direct him how to flip the phone for regular front lens, to selfie lens.

As long as the final product works, right? It’s all about the adventure to get there.

Family Selfie Collage

Family Selfie Collage 2

Self-portraiture….it’s an art, alright.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In a Winter Wonderland

Snow Much Fun Big Box RecPlex logo 2015Skiing,
Sledding,
Skating, and Such!
Compiled by
Just Add Kids’
Silva Karapetian

Dateline; the eve of Christmas Eve, December 23rd; and it’s raining, it’s pouring!  Needless to say, it will not be a White Christmas. Winter Wonderland? You betcha! Wondering when our temps will hit and stick below 32°. God only knows. Yet this is Wisconsin, so indeed, we will get our snow and cold.

In the meantime, gear up! Get ready and plan for Snow Much Fun! It’s Just Add Kids annual guide to winter activity destinations, this year sponsored by the Pleasant Prairie RecPlex.

Snow Much Fun!
Sponsored by Pleasant Prairie RecPlex

RecPlex logo


Cross-Country Skiing

 

Big Foot Beach State Park (1452 Well Street, Lake Geneva)
Bring your own cross-country skis and ski for free on the park’s more than 6 miles of groomed trails. Trail takes you through forest and open meadow. A half-mile self-guided nature trail has interpretive signs describing native wildlife and their habitats. The natural beauty of the park can be found in its panoramic view of Geneva Lake and winding trails. Beach Admission 2015: $7/WI vehicle, $10/out-of-state vehicle.  Open 6am – 11pm daily.

 

Fox River Park (9521 304th Avenue, Burlington)
Bring your own skis and ski for free. Cross country skiing is allowed on all trails. Not groomed. Call (262)857-1869 for more info.

 

Havenwoods State Forest (6141 Hopkins Street, Milwaukee)
Come for a leisurely stroll along 6 miles of looped trails in Wisconsin’s only urban forest. Trails are not groomed. The terrain at Havenwoods is flat, providing a good place for beginners. Call (414)527-0232 for more info.

 

Racine County Wisconsin Bike Trails (various trail heads in southeastern Wisconsin)
Trail activities include cross country skiing in the winter.  Bring your own skis and ski for free. Trails are a mix of old railroad corridors, some surfaces are paved and others are crushed stone.  Some wooded segments, other segments go through dense neighborhoods.  Find the trail best suited for you!

 

Minooka County Park (1927 E. Sunset Drive, Waukesha)
Bring your own skis and ski for free along 6 miles (3 loops) of trails.  Groomed for skate/freestyle and classical/diagonal; beginner & intermediate skier.   Gentle, rolling terrain; mix of woods & open fields; no shelter; outhouse.  Open sunrise to 10pm. Waukesha County sticker required, purchase at park. Call (262) 896-8006 for more info.

 

The Mountain Top, Lake Geneva (7036 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva)
Bring your own cross-country skis and ski for $10 trail pass, 10am-4pm. Also available, cross country ski rental/$15 (adult & children’s sizes as small as 80cm). Call (262)249-4726 for more info.

 

Petrifying Springs (4909 7th Street, Kenosha)
Bring your own cross-country skis and ski for free. Cross-country skiing on all trails. Open 7am -10pm daily. Call (262)857-1869 for more info.

 

Pringle Nature Center at Bristol Woods County Park (9800 – 160th Avenue, Bristol)
Bring your own cross-country skis and ski for free. Trails are shared with snowshoers.  Call (262) 857-8008 for more info.

 

Richard Bong State Recreation Area (26313 Burlington Road, Kansasville)
Bring your own cross-country skis and ski for free along the 16 miles of ungroomed trails.  Vehicle admission sticker required to enter rec area, WI licence/$7 daily, out of state licence/$10 daily. Trails all start and end at the Trailhead parking lot.  This lot is located just east of the Visitor Center parking lot and is marked with a “Trailhead Parking Lot” sign. Skiers use trails south of Hwy BB or blue and green trails south of Hwy 142.  Call (262)878-5600 for more info.


River Bend Nature Center (3600 N. Green Bay Road, Racine)
Bring your own cross-country skis and ski for free. Otherwise, cross-country skis available for rent for $10.00/person per session. Cross Country Ski equipment includes skis, poles and boots.  All rentals are weather permitting and are on a first come, first served basis.  Rental Times: Monday to Saturday, from 8am – 4pm; Sunday, 10am – 4pm.  Rental equipment must be returned to the office 30 minutes before closing time. Rental equipment must be used on River Bend grounds only.  River Bend Nature Center does not accept credit cards – check or cash only. Call (262)639-1515 for more info.

 
White River County Park (6503 Sheridan Springs Road, Lake Geneva) Bring your own and ski for free at the County’s largest and newest park opened in July 2014. With nearly 200 acres and two miles of frontage along the White River, this park features almost five miles of already developed walking trails, cross country skiing and snowshoeing are welcome.

 

Whitnall Park (5879 S. 92 Street, Franklin)
Bring your own and ski for free. Saturday, between 11am and 8pm; Sunday, between 11am and 6pm. **May be open additional hours with fresh snowfall.  Call (414)257-PARK for updates (M-F: 8:30am – 4:00pm). Cross-country ski rentals also available for $25 per pair for same day, $30 per pair for 24 hours, $100 per pair for weekly rental. Call (414)525-4765 for more info.


UW-Parkside Ski Trail (Kenosha County Road JR, east of Highway 31/Green Bay Road)
Bring your own and ski for free. There is a total of approximately 5 miles of trail here, but there are also many more miles of ungroomed trails across the street at Petrifying Springs Park. Park in Petrifying Springs Parking lot on the north side of the street. Trail is unmarked on the south side of JR.

 


Washington Park Municipal Golf Course (2205 Washington Road, Kenosha)
Golf course is closed for the season. Bring your own and ski for free.

 

Downhill Skiing/Snowboarding

 

Alpine Valley (W2501 County Road D, Elkhorn)
The ski hill provides diverse terrain for beginner ease, challenging expert runs and a full featured Terrain Park. Three high speed Quad Advanced Chair lift systems mean less time in line and more time on the snow. Four wonder carpet lifts and certified professional instructors will help you learn a new sport or improve your skills to enjoy learning for all ages and levels. There are over 90 skiable acres with 20 Runs, a vertical drop of 388 feet, and the longest run is 3,000 feet. Features on-site ski-in/ski-out rooms with a full service Bistro for dining and free weekend family movie nights. Call (262)642-7374 for more info.

 

The Mountain Top, Lake Geneva (7036 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva)
Enjoy skiing and snowboarding all winter long with our snow-making capabilities, Three chairlifts and two carpet lifts. Take Skiing and snowboarding lessons by professional ski instructors available for kids or adults. Night time skiing available. Days, prices and hours very. Ski & snowboard rental is available.  Call (262)249-4726 for more info.

 

The Rock Sports Complex (7900 W. Crystal Ridge Drive, Franklin)
The Rock Snowpark offers trails, jumps, and downhill skiing for all experience levels. Whether this is your first time trying skiing, or you’ve been on the ski slopes for years, we’re sure you will enjoy our Milwaukee ski hills. Daily hours for downhill skiing and snowboarding. Days, prices and hours very. Ski & snowboard rental is available. Call (414)529-7676 for more info.


Wilmot Mountain (11931 Fox River Road, Wilmot)
The facility features 25 unique runs with varied terrain for all skiers and snowboarders. Lift ticket prices and hours vary. Ski and/or snowboard equipment rentals available and vary. Ski school opportunities.  Call (262)862-2301 for more info.

Extreme Options

Lake Geneva Canopy Tours: Zip Line (N3219 County Road H, Lake Geneva)
Zoom through snow-covered trees on a zip line.  Bundle up for the 2.5 hour ride which includes 8 lines, 5 sky bridges, 3 spiral stairways and a double helix stairway that wraps around an ash tree. Call (262) 248-9271 for more info..

 

Dan Patch Stables: Horse Trail Rides (3002 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva)
We offer guided trail rides year round during regular business hours, by reservation.  Rides are approximately 45 minutes in length and weave through acres of beautiful Grand Geneva property.  Kids under 7 years old can enjoy pony rides.  Call (262)215-5303 for more info.

 

Ice Skating

 

Echo Lake (595 Milwaukee Avenue, Burlington)
Stairs to the lake, pavilion, benches, outdoor portable restroom.  Free.  Call Department of Public Works: Dan Jensen, (262)539-3770 for more info.

 
Geneva Ridge Resort (1221 Geneva National Avenue South, Lake Geneva)
Fully lit outdoor rink available to public and resort guests.  Hot chocolate and other concessions available.  Rentals available for $5. Open daily until 9pm. Call (262)249-3800 for more info.

Grand Geneva Resort (7036 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva)
Public ice skating rink is located outside of Leinenkugel’s Mountain Top Lodge at the ski hill. Use the rink Monday-Thursday 12noon – 9pm. Friday, Saturday and Sunday rink is open 9am – 10pm. Skate free with your own skates, or rental charges apply ($10).  Rentals available at Mountain Top.  Call (262)248-8811 or Mountain Top ski hill (262)249-4726 for more info.

 

Milwaukee County Parks (various)
Many area frozen lagoons and land rinks are listed here. Some locations have designated areas for hockey practice.  Many of the rinks have warming houses. Warming house hours vary. Free. Website is frequently updated due to  weather conditions affecting availability. Call (414)257-7275 for more info.

Slice of Ice in Red Arrow Park (920 N. Water Street, Milwaukee)
Refrigerated oval is open weather and conditions permitting,  through February (or March if the weather allows). Bring your own skates and skate for FREE. You’ll have a great view of all that’s happening on the ice through the floor-to-ceiling windows in the warming house or from the rooftop overlook. There are restroom facilities, ice skate rentals (age 17 & under $7/pair and age 18 & up $8/pair), lockers (limited availability), Starbucks, selling coffee and bakery, Soda, beer, candy, and snacks at the Skate window. See website for hours. Call (414)289-8791 for more info.

 

Indoor Ice Skating

 

Kenosha Ice Arena (7727 60th Avenue, Kenosha)
A one sheet indoor ice skating rink. Ice Hockey Leagues, figure skating and skating lessons. Call (262)694-8010 for more info.

 

Pettit National Ice Center (500 S. 84th Street, Milwaukee)
Public Skating Fees are as follows: Adult (19-59) – $7.50, Junior (13-18) – $6.50, Youth (4-12) – $5.50, Senior (60 and Older) – $5.50, Children 3 and Under- Free. Skate rental is available for $3.50. Schedule is subject to change, please check daily. Call (414)266-0100 for more info.

 

RecPlex Ice Arena (9900 Terwall Terrace, Pleasant Prairie)
The ice arena offers public skating, open hockey, and freestyle sessions daily. Specific times for those activities can be found here. Admission cost for 4+ is $6.50, 3 and under free.  Skates can be rented for $3. Call (262)947-0437 for more info.

 

Wilson Ice Arena (4001 S. 20th Street, Milwaukee)
The Recreation Center building houses the indoor Ice Arena, where you can skate year-round. The 17,000 square-foot sheet of groomed ice is a standard NHL-sized rink, 200 by 85 feet. The Arena has a concession area, and rental figure skates (Skate Rental $3/pair) in a full range of sizes. Open skating prices: 10 & under $3.50/skate session (must be accompanied by an adult), 11-17 $4/skate session, 18 & up $6/skate session. Lessons are offered in conjunction with the Greater Milwaukee Figure Skating Club Call Dawn Dahlman-Schwab at (414)235-3153 or visit the GMFSC website. Public skate times vary.  Call (414)281-6289 for more info.

 

Sledding/Tubing/Tobogganing

 

Beverly-Jo Park (367 Dunford Drive, Burlington) Free.

Camp MacLean (31401 Durand Avenue, Burlington)
Public Tobogganing is open to the public Sundays from 12:30 until 5:00pm in January and February. Cost per guest ages 3-5 years is $3.75, ages 6+ is $6.25. Price includes use of toboggans & sleds, use of the warming house, bathroom facilities, and cocoa. All people coming to camp must pay fee—even if not sledding or tobogganing. All children 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Call 262-763-7742 for more info, or visit http://www.ymcachicago.org/maclean/

Devor Park aka “Water Tower Hill”  (Amanda & Origen Street, Burlington)
Public popular hill by Cooper School. Free.

 

Fox River Park (9521 304th Avenue, Burlington)
A special attraction during the winter is a bermed sled slide, which provides a long and exhilarating run. Artificial lighting allows night use of this popular sledding facility, lights on from dawn to 10pm  (weather permitting). Free. Call (262)857-1869 for more info.

 

Greene Park (4235 S. Lipton Avenue, Saint Francis) Free.

Hales Corners Park (5765 S. New Berlin Road, Hales Corners) Free.

Humbolt Park (3000 S. Howell Avenue, Milwaukee)
Free. Lighted daily from 4:30 – 8:30pm.

Johnson Park (6200 Northwestern Avenue, Racine)  Free.

Lincoln Park (7010 22nd Avenue, Kenosha) Free.

Lockwood Park (4300 Graceland Boulevard, Racine)  Free.

 

Lowell Park (2201 Michigan Avenue, Waukesha)
If you enjoy thrills, chills and speed, you will not want to miss the 350 foot lighted toboggan runs. Open weekends in January and February. For up-to-date conditions, please call WPRF Information Line at (262)522-9356. Bring your own or rent.
The Mountain Top (7036 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva)
Rent sleds or bring your own to the top of the ski mountain.  $10/sled. Call (262)249-4726 for more info.

 

Paddock Lake (On Highway 50 near Hwy 83/75 intersection) Free.
Hill is between Central High School and the church to the west. Hill goes from parking lot of church down into the Central HS soccer fields.

Park High School Bowl (1901 12th Street, Racine) Free.
Recommended for older kids.


Petrifying Springs Park (761 Green Bay Road, Kenosha)
 Free.
Lighted sledding hill at Area 2. Open 7am – 10pm daily. Call (262)857-1869 for more info.


Reservoir Park (4400 Maryland Avenue, Racine
) Free.


Shoop Park (4510 Lighthouse Drive, Wind Point/Racine)
Free.
Behind Shopko (5300 52nd Street, Kenosha) Free.

St. Peter’s Park Detention Bowl (2152 30th Avenue, Kenosha)  Free.
Steinhoff Park (833 Cedar Drive, Burlington)  Free.
The Rock Sports Complex (7900 West Crystal Ridge Drive, Franklin)
Daily sessions for snow tubing. Tube rental is $15/tube (Wednesday & Thursday) and $16/tube (Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Holidays). Weeknights Monday through Thursday 5 – 9pm – unlimited; Weekends Friday through Sunday and Holidays 2 hour sessions. Call 414-529-7676 for more info.

 

Washington Park (1901 Washington Road, Kenosha) Free.
Washington Park Municipal Golf Course (2205 Washington Road, Kenosha) Free.

 

Wilmot Mountain (11931 Fox River Road, Wilmot )

The tubing facility features 20 lanes for tubing and a state of the art covered conveyor lift. Snow tubing hill is for ages 5 and older. Brand new lodge features ticket sales, rental items, food, drinks, restrooms and more! Prices and hours vary. Call (262)862-2301 for more info.

 


Whitnall Park
(5879 S. 92 Street, Franklin)  Free.
Wilson Recreation (4001 S. 20 Street, Milwaukee)  Free.
Lighted daily from 4:30 – 8:30pm.

Snowmobiling/Snowmobiling Clubs

Effective July 1, 2015, Act 142 requires each snowmobile operating in WI to display a Wisconsin trail pass. Wisconsin Trail Passes will need to be purchased annually, separate from WI snowmobile registration.  See Association for Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs for more information.  Downloadable map at Racine County Trails. To see if the trails are open call the Snowmobile Trail Hotline at (262)554-0133.

 

Burlington Sno-Snoopers Snowmobile Club

Caledonia Sno-Balls

Caledonia Sno-lords Es Ki Mos

Grove Sno Hawks

Hiawatha Sno Chiefs

J-Wax Snow Bugs

Raymond Trail Breakers

Rolling Dice Riders of Franklin

Tishigan Sno-N-Go

Windlake/Northcape Drifters

Walworth County Snowmobile Alliance
Call the snow phone at (262)742-2664 for trail conditions and much more.

Sleigh Rides

 

Apple Holler 5006 S. Sylvania Avenue, Sturtevant
Enjoy the magic of winter with an old-fashion sleigh ride at Apple Holler. Traveling through the crisp snow and hearing the clump of the horses’ hooves will transport you back to a simpler time. Our Halflinger horses, purchased from our Amish friends, will take you and your family or friends on a special orchard tour to see beautiful hardwoods, many of which are over 100 years old. A true winter wonderland! At the end of your adventure, we’ll treat you to a cup of hot chocolate or tasty warm apple cider. Includes: Sleighride that last approximately for 30 minutes. S’mores, Hot Cider or Hot Chocolate that can be enjoyed around a campfire. Cost:$70.00 for up to four people and $10.00 for additional person

Dan Patch Stables: Sleigh Rides (3002 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva) Dashing through the snow on Our horse-drawn sleigh ride takes you through some of the most beautiful areas on the Grand Geneva property. Sleigh rides are weather and snow-condition permitting – please call first! When available, sleigh rides can be reserved 7 days a week between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm (weather and snowfall permitting). Reservations are required and fill up quickly, especially on weekends.  The sleigh can seat 4 adults comfortably, OR has plenty of room for a family. Call (262)215-5303 to reserve your sleigh ride

Snowshoeing

 

Fox River Park (9521 304th Avenue, Burlington)
Bring your own and hike for free. Snowshoeing is allowed on all trails. Call (262)857-1869 for more info.

 

Havenwoods State Forest (6141 Hopkins Street, Milwaukee)
Snowshoe in the city! Bring your own and hike for free.  Otherwise, snowshoes can be borrowed when the nature center is open (Monday through Friday, 7:45am – 4:30pm; Saturdays, 9am – 2pm; closed Sundays).  Come for a leisurely stroll along 6 miles of looped trails in Wisconsin’s only urban forest. Call (414)527-0232 for more info.

 


The Mountain Top
(7036 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva)
Snow shoe equipment available for rent, $15/pair. Call (262)249-4726 for more info.

 

Petrifying Springs (4909 7th Street, Kenosha)
Bring your own and hike for free. Snowshoeing on all trails. Open 7am-10pm daily. Call (262)857-1869 for more info.


Pringle Nature Center (9800 160
th Avenue, Bristol)
Guided Snowshoe Hike, Saturday, January 9, 1:00pm
Valentine’s Snowshoe Candlelight Hike, Saturday, February 13, 6pm – 9pm
Self-guided snowshoeing available Tuesday – Saturday, between 9am and 3pm and Sunday, between noon and 3pm.  Bring your own and hike for free. Snowshoes available for rent $5.00 per pair/Friend of Pringle.  Rental for member of Pringle are free. Call (262)857-8008 for more info.


Retzer Nature Center (S14 W28167 Madison Street, Waukesha)
No cross country ski trails.  Snowshoe trails; rental $5.50/person for 4 hrs.  Open 7 days a week from 8am – 4:30pm.  Waukesha Country sticker required; purchase at park. Call (262)896-8007 for more info.

 

Richard Bong State Recreation Area (26313 Burlington Road, Kansasville)
Bring your own snowshoes. Vehicle admission sticker required to enter rec area. Trails all start and end at the Trailhead parking lot.  This lot is located just east of the Visitor Center parking lot and is marked with a “Trailhead Parking Lot” sign. Use trails north of Hwy BB, or off trail any area of the park. Call (262)878-5600 for more info.


River Bend Nature Center (3600 N. Green Bay Road, Racine)
Bring your own and hike for free. Otherwise, snowshoes available for rent for $10.00/person per session. All rentals are weather permitting and are on a first come, first served basis.  Rental Times: Monday to Saturday, from 8am to 4pm; Sunday, 10am to 4pm.  Rental equipment must be returned to the office 30 minutes before closing time. Rental equipment must be used on River Bend grounds only.  River Bend Nature Center does not accept credit cards – check or cash only. Call (262)639-1515 for more info.
Whitnall Park (5879 S. 92 Street, Franklin)
Bring your own and hike for free. Saturday, between 11am and 8pm; Sunday, between 11am and 6pm. **May be open additional hours with fresh snowfall.  Call (414)257-PARK for updates (M-F: 8:30am – 4:00pm).  Snowshoe rentals $15 per pair for same day, $20 per pair for 24 hours, $50 per pair for weekly rental. Call (414) 525-4765 for more info

Might we introduce you to…

Curling (Curling is a team sport with similarities to bowling and shuffleboard, played by two teams of four players each on a rectangular sheet of carefully prepared ice. Teams take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones down the ice towards the target. Two sweepers with brooms accompany each rock and use timing equipment and their best judgment, along with direction from their teammates, to help direct the stones to their resting place.)

 

Milwaukee Curling Club (W67 N890 Washington Avenue, Cedarburg)
Come out to the Milwaukee Curling Club and give curling a try! We have 2 available dates for you to come out and join us (December 26, January 3). These sessions will take you from off the street to game ready in just two hours. Registration required. Email info@milwaukeecurlingclub.com for more info.

 

Pettit National Ice Center (500 S. 84th Street, Milwaukee)
We feature a curling area on our West rink and it is available for rental and use by contacting Kevin Butler, Director of Marketing at (414)935-4778 or via e-mail at kbutler@thepettit.com.

 

Racine Curling Club (1914 Melvin Avenue, Racine)
Email info@racinecurlingclub.com for more info.

 

Wauwatosa Curling Club (7300 Chestnut Street, Wauwatosa)
Call (414)453-2875 or email info@wauwatosacurlingclub.com for more info.

 

Dog Sledding/Mushing (Mushing is the practice of harnessing dogs to a sled for the purpose of recreation or transport. It may also be practiced as a competitive sport. The term mushing comes from the call used to goad the dogs – “Mush!” It is thought to derive from the French marche, meaning “go” or “run”.)

 

McKinley Marina (1750 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive, Milwaukee)
The Door County Sled Dogs provides dog sled rides for all ages on Sundays only, from 11am – 1pm, beginning January 17th and running through February, weather permitting.  Please check location and trail conditions prior to coming out by calling the Sled Dog Hot-line at (414)967-9677. The entire experience includes visiting with the dogs, question and answer time with the mushers, picture-taking time and an actual dog sled ride around the trail. Rides are only $15 for each child and $20 for each adult.

 

Whitnall Park on occasion (5879 S. 92nd Street, Franklin)
Door County Sled Dogs offer $15 rides beginning in January. Call (414) 967-9677 for more info. The Door County Sled Dogs provides dog sled rides for all ages on Sundays only, from 11am – 1pm, beginning January 17th and running through February, weather permitting.  Usually located at McKinley Marina, however, depending on the weather location may be changed to Whitnall Park.  Please check location and trail conditions prior to coming out by calling the Sled Dog Hotline at (414)967-9677. The entire experience includes visiting with the dogs, question and answer time with the mushers, picture-taking time and an actual dog sled ride around the trail. Rides are only $15 for each child and $20 for each adult. ALSO, Come out to Whitnall Park for a special Valentine’s weekend on February 13th & 14th and help the Sled Dogs, all who are rescues, celebrate their Birthdays!

Ice Sculptures/Carving/Festivals

US National Snow Sculpting Competition (Riviera Park, Lake Geneva)
February 6 – 7, 2016
Witness the sculptures come to life during the week or see the finished works during the city’s Winterfest.

The Big Chill (Downtown Racine)
January 8 – 10, 2016
The 26th Annual Wisconsin State and Midwest Regional Snow Sculpting Championship will be held at Monument Square, in Downtown Racine. Professional snow carvers will create breathtaking masterpieces. Sculptors will craft these frozen works of art from 6′ x 6′ x 10′ blocks of packed snow. The sculptures will definitely give visitors a reason to pause in awe and wonder at the creations that emerge from the imagination and hard work of the 33 artists from around the region.

Jammin’ JanBoree (throughout Waukesha)
January 15 – 17, 2016
Get ready to jam out at the 31st Annual Waukesha JanBoree! The Jammin’ JanBoree has more than 35 events (ice sculpting, ice skating, 5K run/walk, trolley rides, ice bocce ball, geocatching, penguin egg hunt, free indoor ice skating, horse-drawn wagon rides, and much, much more) taking place all weekend long and most are FREE!

Snow Daze Festival (711 59th Place, Kenosha)
February 13, 2016
Come CHILL with us in Downtown Kenosha at this free, family-friendly winter festival! Enjoy an array of activities at Library Park including ice sculptures on display and an ice sculpting demo.

 

If you know of an activity/destination/relevant event that is not listed above, please send us all of the details including: name, date(s), times, description including family-friendly aspect along with contact info (name, phone, email, website).
Email: silva.justaddkids@gmail.com
Subject: Snow Much Fun!

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Traditional Holidays!

herrmann family over the river

Over the river and through the woods. 2014

Celebrating Family Holiday Traditions
by Just Add Kids Founder
Paula Herrmann

We, the Herrmanns, are looped into the same old same old Christmas routine, year after year. And I LOVE IT! And I do believe my kiddos do too. As they’ve gotten older, they’ve bought into the nostalgia of the season and embrace the holiday routine. We may be a bit boring, but, hey it’s been 20 years in the making. Though some traditions have come and gone. I’ll take this same old, same old. And I never want it to change. I dread the year that it will. Yet, it will.  And it’ll be interesting to see how that all evolves. Family traditions bind a family in love and create amazing family memories.

Recently, I ran across this family who has created a their 4th annual Christmas dance video (in their mom’s really ugly holiday sweaters, lol). Check it out ==> Read more…

Family Dance Video card

[click here for video]

It’s interesting to see what different families do as part of their annual holiday celebrations.  And if you looking for a new tradition or two that will help your family get in the holiday spirit and create lasting memories together, check out these ideas, including some of our family’s favs:

 Give your kids a set of cozy winter pajamas every Christmas Eve.
 Hang gift bags or small stockings on your neighbors’ doorknobs.
 Put your kids on decorating duty! Give them Popsicle sticks, cotton balls, glue, paint, etc. and have them make festive crafts to display around the house. (My 13 year old, has been the annual tree decorator. She even helps grandma and her aunt with theirs!)
 Give each child a unique ornament every Christmas Day. (We’ve started a collection of Dept56 Snow Villages for each of our kiddos. Just like their mommy has, for when they are out on their own.)
 Pick your favorite holiday movie and cozy up to it with hot cider and popcorn each year. (This year, we’re doing a StarWars movie marathon throughout break! Then we’ll go to the theater for StarWars VII)
 Go see the lights. Drive around your city or a nearby town and drink in the glowing festivity. (Um, you know we do that! Here’s the list of where to go peeps Just Add Kids Holiday Tour of Lights)
 Make a memory book by recording each member’s favorite part of the season (in pictures or words) and keep it for future enjoyment.
 Feed the neighborhood birds by throwing pine cones and strings of popcorn covered in peanut butter and bird seed into the tree branches.
 Have a gingerbread making party or contest!
 Leave a bowl of reindeer food (oatmeal and glitter) in your front yard on Christmas Eve. (Don’t forget to remind Santa to tip the bowl over and scatter the food when he comes!)
 Ask each family member to make a card for everyone in your immediate family and place them on the tree on Christmas Eve to open before gifts in the morning.
Start a Charity Box/Jar that you keep in the kitchen or other frequently used part of the house. Throughout the year, drop cash and loose change in it. Come the holidays, collaborate with the family and decide on something worthy of its contents.
 Initiate a house decorating contest in your neighborhood. (It might be a bit late for this year. How ’bout next year?!)
 Start a Christmas puzzle together at the beginning of the season and work on it a little bit at a time to decompress through the holidays. (Yes, this is surprisingly fun. For kiddos and adults of all ages.)
 Decorate a holiday themed dish at a local paint your own pottery with your family and add to the set every year. (Off to Alpaca Arts!)
 Host a cookie swap.
 Whether it’s cinnamon buns, sourdough bread with butter, or an egg-sausage casserole, have a special, consistent breakfast on Christmas morning or a few different choices throughout Hanukkah. (We call it “special breakfast” and our’s is typically french toast, bacon, fresh fruit, orange juice and coffee. I can smell it right now!)

You are likely in the early years of family holiday traditions. Wherever on the spectrum you are, live in the moment and enjoy!

Merry! Merry! Happy! Happy!

idea source: SignUpGenious

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Season of G/Living

12 Ways of Giving logoJust Add Kids’
12 Ways of Giving
by Just Add Kids’ Founder,
Paula Herrmann

“The first way of giving, my true heart gave to thee…”(sung to the tune of “The 12 Days of Christmas”.)

During this holiday season there is so much focus on the Christmas Gift List. What your kiddos want for Christmas, what you’re going to buy, etc.
I’m guilty as charged. Not that it is a crime. It is not.

But what if each one of us, just added on one more thing to our list, or perhaps, created a new list.  Read more…

Certainly, you need to play Santa to your kids and family. At the same time, there are people and families in need, today and throughout the year. So let’s check out some ideas of things you can do now, during this holiday season, to pay your blessings forward.


1st Way of Giving:
Volunteer for treats, or to work a shift at HALO Santa’s “Adopt-a-Family Holiday Program.

2nd Way of Giving: Donate a shoebox or two for Santa in A Shoebox.

3rd Way of Giving: Donate food for veterans via Holiday Food Drive for Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin.

4th Way of Giving: Shop Amazon via Amazon Smiles and designate Faith, Hope & Love – support for children in crisis, choose to donate financially or bag items directly.

5th Way of Giving: Donate financially to Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, Inc.’s SCAN (Stop Child Abuse and Neglect) program.

6th Way of Giving: Volunteer to man & ring bell (Oak Creek, Racine, Kenosha), or donate online or in person to Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign.

7th Way of Giving: Send a card to 8 year old burn victim Sa’fyre Terry.

8th Way of Giving: Drop off new or gently used warm clothing items as part of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s “The Big Bundle Up” campaign: Kenosha, Racine counties.

9th Way of Giving: Buy a Shalom Center Cheesy Scarf for yourself or a gift.

10th Way of Giving: Donate toys for Racine, Kenosha, Walworth County Community Toys For Tots. Volunteering and donating for Tex Reynolds’ Toys for Tots program is accepted year ‘round.

11th Way of Giving: Buy your choice/amount of gift cards and have in hand to pay it forward to (a) random stranger(s). Random blessing.

12th Way of Giving: Bake cookies/deliver, give/make holiday card, rake leafs/shovel snow for a lonely neighbor.  Selective blessing.

I have a coach/mentor who I tap into daily. Today she said the most amazing thing and something that I am going to take to heart and apply to my life/my kids’ life today and going forward:

“If we want to take the limits off of our blessings (received),
we need to take the limits off of our giving.”

Beyond this holiday season, I am going to make a bucket list of NOT things I’d like to do (ie: travel to Hawaii), rather, the things I WANT GIVE. Similar to the list above, yet can happen anytime during the year. You in?

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LOOK UP these things…

Star GazingFinding Jesus 2015 Big Box no CLICK
Compiled by
Just Add Kids’

Silva Karapetian

The holidays are a time for celebration! There are many opportunities for kids and families to reflect on the Christian reason for the season…the birth of Jesus.

Like our two previous directories, Finding Santa and Holiday Tour of Lights, Just Add Kids has put together Finding Jesus, a guide to the area’s live Nativity and other Christian events, which is sponsored by Racine St. Catherine’s. Read more…

Finding Jesus 2015 Directory (updated 12/21)
Sponsored by Racine St. Catherine’s
Racine St. Catherine's logo cropped final

Streets of Bethlehem
Country Springs Hotel: 2810 Golf Road, Waukesha
December 4  – January 2, Monday-Thursday 5 – 9pm; Fridays, Saturdays & Holidays 5 – 10pm.
Nestled in the heart of Southeastern Wisconsin is a holiday destination steeped in festive tradition. Each year, the Country Springs Hotel is transformed into a winter wonderland called Country Christmas. Admission to Wisconsin’s largest drive through Christmas lights display includes a trip through the Country Christmas Trail and entrance to two buildings located at the end of the trail, Christmas Village and The Streets of Bethlehem. Located at the end of the drive-through trail, guests can get out of their vehicle and walk through The Streets of Bethlehem.  This building is home to a collection of nearly life-sized Fontanini nativity characters, a replica of the one found at the Vatican. This very serene area of the event cuts to the heart of what Christmas is all about and leaves visitors in awe every year. $15 per car-load or minivan.  For more information: (262)547-0201.

La Salette Shrine Holiday Lights
10330 336th Avenue, Twin Lakes
December 1, 2015 to January 1, 2016 5 – 9pm (weekends only)
Countless colorful miniature lights are turned on. Come on weekends and walk the grounds to view the biblical displays and Christmas alphabet. Please keep in mind the weather conditions because the displays are outdoors.  Come and experience for yourself that quiet feeling of peace that the Shrine and grounds provide. Let this season bring you and your family peace. FREE admission, all donations are greatly appreciated.  For more information call (262)877-3373 (ext 149) on most afternoons or call automated schedule information any time at (262)877-3373 (ext 151).

 

Just Jesus Christmas Dinner
The Miracle Center: 1100 Grand Avenue, Racine 
Wednesday, December 23, 4:30pm
A free dinner with music entertainment for the community. To volunteer or for more information, call Scotty Martin at (262)744-3107

Live Nativity
1st Church of Christ, 1650 Lathrop, Racine
Tuesday, December 22, 7 – 9pm & Wednesday, December 23, 7 – 9pm
First Church of Christ has  presented a live nativity every year since 1957.  Live animals, costumed characters and a recording of the Christmas story will be presented. Hot cocoa, cider and treats will be served in the church hall. For more information: (262)634-1463

Christmas in the Barn
Squire Farm: 26715 Church Rd, Burlington (Town of Dover)
(If using GPS to find the farm, use “Burlington” for the destination)
Christmas Eve, December 24, 5 – 8:30pm (services are every 30 minutes)
English Settlement United Methodist Church families and friends present a live Nativity on Christmas Eve. The public is invited to attend this free event, located at Squire farm. Members of English Settlement United Methodist Church play angels, shepherds, wise men, and innkeepers.  The audience sits on straw bales as Scripture is read and joins in singing Christmas Carols.  Hot cocoa, coffee, and Christmas cookies are served. There is no admission fee or any offering taken for the program. For more information: (262)534-6592 or (262)534-6593

Nativity Program
Salvation Army: 8853 S. Howell Avenue, Oak Creek
We gather at the manger – along with the angels, shepherds and their sheep, wise men with their camel, and Mary and Joseph – to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

If you are hosting, or know of a live Nativity or other Christian Christmas (kid-friendly, family-oriented) event that is not listed above, please send us all of the details including: name of the event, date(s), times, description including family-friendly aspect along with contact info (name, phone, email, website).
Email: silva.justaddkids@gmail.com
Subject: Finding Jesus Event

 

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