OBX Aquarium: Roanoke Island

Everyone knows that as a teacher I love summer, but the Outer Banks in summertime is insane. Tourist season is over though. That means that everything at the beach is less crowded. Yay! We were at a friend's wedding in obx this weekend, R was the ring bearer... cue the tears! He decided to sit in the aisle rather than walk down it. At least everyone laughed?!

Since we were down here, we decided to head to the aquarium. Neil and I went once when we first started dating, but it's been a longgg time. Here is the best part y'all... if you have a Virginia zoo membership, this aquarium is FREE! We didn't realize that they were having a Halloween event going on. You can trick or treat there! It was all decorated and they gave R an eye patch coming in. 
*these are all pumpkins! 

What's cool about aquariums for little guys is that they can get right up to the tank and really see. We love the zoo, but sometimes it's hard to see inside the exhibit. R gets super excited because he can get the full experience. It's awesome watching him. It's like experiencing it all for the first time again myself. My aunt and uncle were kind enough to come meet us and spend the day with us. 
There was the usual touch tank type room which was crowded with kids and an area for sea turtle rescue that really impressed me. You could see the reasons that the turtles were there along with what they were doing to help them. On the other side, they had a room for kids to grab their own lab coats and a (fake!) turtle to diagnose. You took it over to the computer and it gave you a diagnosis. Kids had to figure out how to help their turtle. The kids in the room were really into it- too old for big R though.
There are four North Carolina aquarium locations: Roanoke Island, Pine Knoll Shores, Fort Fisher, and Jenette's Pier. The Roanoke Island location and Jenette's Pier are both in the obx. (The pier is being worked on now, so check before you go to make sure it is open. It's also not a typical aquarium; it's a fishing pier.) The aquarium is open from 9-5 every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Below is a list of some of the free programs, but the aquarium offers some fee based programs too. This includes stand up paddle boarding, aquarist for a day, aqua tots, Breakfast with the rays, Happy Otter Hour and so on. Check the full list here. We did see a group in the classroom where a man was playing a guitar and singing. This may have been the story time, but it seemed to be a private group.

The most exciting part for big R was the floor projector. Animals swam across and when you walked across it a big splash would show. There were kids jumping around on it and trying to catch the splashes.
  • Use your zoo membership to get in free! **EDIT: They no longer let you in free. It is not 50% off admission price. 
  • Free admission on Martin Luther King Jr Day 
  • Free admission on Veterans Day 
  • Shipwreck Stories- 10:30 a.m.- Employees answer questions about animals and talk about diving with sharks
  • Check daily times for animal feeding
  • Education Program- animal adaptations information (Hey! Third/Four grade SOL's!)
  • Free movie- 3:30 
  • Aqua Tots is a program that they offer where children 2-5 have hands on learning about animals, nature, crafts, and so on. It is advertised that parents get to sit back and relax during this time. Cost is $5.00. Upcoming date; October 31. 

Should you find yourself in the obx, we saw on the way home that they have a children's museum. If you've been- let me know what it's all about. I saw online that locals get in free right now. 

Exciting blog news- we finally have an instagram! Follow Toddlin Around Tidewater for updates! 

Things I love Thursday v.1

I know that on Thursdays I normally do a "Throwback Thursday" link on the Facebook. (Speaking of, if you haven't liked us- click here to get updates!) But I thought I would do something a little different today. I love reading other bloggers Things I Love Thursday posts, my favorite being Kaelahbee, so I thought I would try my hand at one.

Here are some things that I'm loving this Thursday, some child related, some not.

Anyone else? Is SuperWhy just forever on at my house? 

These perfect in time for Halloween headpieces from this etsy shop.
I've been binge watching this show as an escape from some stress. If anyone is wondering- NO! I have no plans to get a divorce! Neil and I are great, it's just funny! 
We read book one of this series in my summer book club, and I've been hooked. It's a young adult novel, so some people turn their nose up at it, but it's got romance, politics, and ball gowns. What more could you ask for? 
This dog called Odin who refused to abandon his goats during the California Wildfire. Seriously- read the story! 
This photo, credit.
I tried this zucchini lasagna recently and loved it. (Neil doesn't like spinach, so not much of that in there in his.) 

Okay, okay... the spirit of throwback Thursday, since I couldn't leave it out... here's a throwback post of our trip to the Children's Museum. Complete with some tips on how to get in discounted/free! 
My mom made this for us the other day since we are trying to cut some carbs, and it was SOOOO good. She said it was super easy too. 
These free coloring pumpkins. These are great for parents, teachers, and adults. I think coloring is a stress reliever! 
Lastly, my favorite- we went to Against Me! at the Norva last Thursday, and my friend Julia got this awesome shot of Laura Jane Grace. Check her photography here.

Of course, a song to go with the photo. Have a good rest of the week. The weekend is in sight! 

Tarrallton Park

Let's talk honestly- this week has been terrible. We found out horrible news about my father's health, we decided to take away the pacifier, it's just been one bad thing after another. I've been trying to keep big R busy and preoccupied so that he doesn't pick up on any stress. With that in mind, we have been trying to check out some bigger parks around the area.

Tarrallton Park is a 70 acre park in Norfolk that we visited with some friends. The park is great because in one location there is a recreation center, a dirt bike track, three playgrounds, baseball fields, soccer fields,  tennis courts, and apparently they are working towards putting in a dog park.What's awesome about this park too- they have a bathroom!  In prebaby years I might not have been so impressed with a public restroom, but my eyes have been opened and I see the light!

We met up with some friends to play. We started in the preschool playground located next to the school. It's actually the exact same one that we have at my school.

The boys really loved climbing up the steps and running across the little bridge.  We headed over to the bigger kid playground to check that out too. There are big kid and little kid swings.

We didn't head over to the bike path, although I did ride my bike there. When we were little our friends had go karts and we used to ride them there. How our parents thought this was a good idea I'm not sure?

While researching park and recreation in Norfolk, I did find this info:
November 16, An Apple a Day

10:00 a.m. - 10:45 p.m.
Lakewood Athetlic Building: 1612 Willow Wood Drive
The perfect program for toddlers 3-5 years old who are curious about nature and enjoy the outdoors. A specially-selected nature book, nature craft, and adventure awaits! Adults must remain with their children. Registration required. Call (757) 441-5834 for details. 

Could be fun. If you decide to go, let us know. Also, if you have any advice for making my kid not hate me for taking the paci away, send that my way too please! 

MallOWEEN on the BOOulevard

I posted about all of the events for kids at Pembroke Mall a while back, and today we attended MallOWEEN on the BOOulevard. Press play while you read.
We met up with some friends which was awesome. When we first arrived we colored a pumpkin that they lated turned into a button for us- cute. We also made a little door hanger craft.

We checked out the bounce houses, obstacle courses, and some games. 

We tried the pony ride... as you can see, R wasn't into it. At least we tried? 

Then we went over to the Mad Science table, which was cool. I plan on checking them out to see what their in house field trips are like for my third graders. I did hear the man say that he do birthday parties. 

The highlight for R was the petting zoo. Not sure if he thought that the goats were dogs, but he was petting them. Funniest part.. at one point a sheep got loose and everyone was running around trying to grab it. Ha! 

Fall is so awesome because there are SO many things to do. After this morning, R came home and crashed with a 3 hour nap. There is another one of these next Saturday from 11-2. We had lunch at the food trucks, and if I were to go again I'd eat less so I could have Ritas too. There is a costume contest for kids with a $100.00 prize. If you decide to check it out next weekend, let us know what you think!