Sage Kitchen

Inside of Anderson's Garden Center sits the Sage Kitchen, a restaurant with what all parents want- a play area! The kitchen offers soups, bowls, sandwiches, and salads, all made in house. Outside offers a variety of seating, a play area, a larger than life soccer ball "pool table", mini golf, an arcade, fire pits, and a stage for live music. 
Right now, due to Covid, all service is quick style, so you order and pick up at the counter. Masks are required to enter the building. Tables are spaced six feet apart, cleaning and disinfecting is happening constantly, and all utensils are individually wrapped. All phase three regulations are being followed. 
Sage Kitchen is located in Sandbridge, and you can spend several hours here between all they have to offer. There are vegan and gluten free options. Enjoy! 

Botanical Gardens Favorite Places: Baker Overlook

I continue to talk about how much we love Norfolk Botanical Gardens. So much so that there is a series on this blog about some of our favorite places within the garden. I'm excited today to share Baker Overlook, which I think often gets swept under the rug because of the other awesome things at the gardens.
Baker Overlook can be easily accessed from either of the two parking lots at the gardens. We love it particularly if parking in the front parking lot as a pit stop on the way to the Children's Garden. (A heads up, the Children's garden splash pad is closed right now.)  The Overlook is a two-tier deck and gazebo. On the first tier is a set of cushioned bench swings. Up on the second tier is a fun to climb old, knotty oak tree which provides shade to the structure. We call this the "tree house". Looking out below, you can look down on the waterway, walkways, and plant life all around the tree.
Stop by if you're out exploring!  Check out more of our favorite places; The Little Houses, Tunes for Tots, Bike Nights, Airplane Overlook, and the Sand Pit

Sitting Shiva for Summer 2020

In Judaism when we are in mourning we sit Shiva. This means that for seven days we sit in mourning with loved ones and typically talk about the loss. Well, I'm mourning a loss. I can't sit around with loved ones right now, but it seems that all of social media wants to talk about it, so I'll weigh in too. 

As summer comes to an end, we are mourning the loss of normalcy. We missed our splash pads, our library, summer bbq's, and pool parties. The Children's museum is empty. The park is quiet. And of course, we are now mourning the loss of a normal school year for our kids. (I do think we are making the right call.) Like my typical response to loss, this sucks. I never try to sugar coat it. It just sucks. 
Don't get me wrong. We made the best of our summer and I'm grateful as always to be able to spend the summer with the boys. We visited new places and tried new things, and a quick scroll through this page and you might not notice much difference other than the masks. But we really missed some our tried and true favorites, and we mostly missed doing them with friends.

It sucks for teachers, who like me have small kids at home and will be expected to be on zoom for hours upon hours with kids under their feet. It sucks for kids who we have told forever that they can't have too much screen time. It sucks for parents who now have to figure out how to work and monitor their kids.

To the mamas who are overwhelmed, sad and tired, who are happy to be around their kids so much but also so bummed that they are missing out so much, I see you. To the mamas who want to scream from the mountain tops about how unfair and hard this is, I see you. To the mamas who are scrambling trying to figure out what the heck next month is going to look like, I see you. This sucks, and sometimes we don't have to pretend that it doesn't. 

Virginia Zoo Scavenger Hunt

If you're looking for a new way to look at the zoo, check out this scavenger hunt. They created it for Home School Day awhile back, but it is perfect for the last days of summer too. Included are two activity pages for kids to work on also. Happy hunting!


More entertainment places are popping up in Hampton Roads. Glowgolf now has two locations locally, inside of McArthur Center and the Norfolk Premium Outlets. We visited the McArthur location this week to get some energy out during the rain, and we were not disappointed. 

The course has loops, bridges, a windmill, and other obstacles. You can play the course three times. There is also a laser challenge. Prices are as shown, but currently there is a Groupon! Grab it before it's gone.

Open Norfolk

One of Norfolk's responses to reopening was to get people outside in safe spaces for all to enjoy. Open Norfolk both helped local restaurants create outdoor spots, but also set up neighborhood spots with outdoor programing for families and kids. These neighborhood spots are located at both Broad Creek and Five Points and have events from Friday Night Pop-Ups, Soccer Shots to Bee Hive workshops, to Poetry and Percussion and mobile barbers. 
They hand out food from the food bank to those who need it and have partnered with REACH to give out free kid's books. The sites will be open until the end of the month, but they are applying for funding to be open longer. 

Imax Movies at the Air and Space Museum

The Virginia Air and Space Museum has the largest movie screen in Hampton Roads and has showings in 3d. I actually saw Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban there with my dad when I was younger. The tickets can be purchased in addition to the exhibits, but the real bang for your buck is to get the family membership. With the membership the movies are included, which is really rare for memberships. This makes it so that the membership pays for itself in two visits. 

Right now the two showings are Into America's Wild, and Backyard WildernessInto America's Wild plays Monday-Saturday at 11, 1, and 3. It follows two Native Americans in a cross-country journey to some of America's hidden wonders. Backyard Wilderness plays daily at noon. It takes viewers into a close up view of everything happening in their backyard. To my surprise, both boys sat through the 40 minutes of our show, and we can't wait to go back and see the other. 

5 Reasons to Visit Hickory Ridge Farm

One of the best parts about summer is the fresh veggies, and picking them fresh off the vine is an awesome experience for kids. Hickory Ridge Farm is a family owned local farm that we visited for the first time this week and have fallen in love with. 

Here are 5 reasons why: 
01. UPick: Fields of pick your own are open year round. In summer it's tomatoes, but there are also pumpkins and strawberries in fall and spring. 
02. Farm Animals:  Located on the property are some farm animals for kids to see for free. Although we have been to the zoo, this is the first time that my youngest could really walk around and get this close to farm animals. 
03. Free play area: Everybody loves a free play area. This one has little houses, teepees, and a sand pit. In the houses are some trucks to dig with. I love that there are shaded tables in the shade to sit at while the kids play. 
04. Farm Stand: At the farm stand today were cantaloups, watermelons, tomatoes, corn, scuppernong grapes, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, onions, peppers, shrimp, snowcones, snap peas, romaine lettuce, peaches, all kinds of peppers, plums, blueberries, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and an array of baked goods, salsas, butters, peanuts, hot sauces, and lemonade. 
05. Grab Bags: Grab bags are available for those who want a variety of options. You can either get out and get your grab bag or you can pull the car up and they will bring it to you for a contactless delivery. We got one of these and got a cantaloup, a watermelon, 4 homegrown tomatoes, 3 ears of sweet corn, 1 pint of scuppernong grapes, 1 pound of small potatoes, 1 quart of cherry tomatoes, 1 onion, 2 plums, and 4 green peppers. Grab bag prices vary. This particular one was $24.60.