North Carolina Museum of Life and Science: Durham

Raleigh is one of our favorite places to visit and, since our usual summer trip was cancelled (thanks Covid), we took advantage of some time off to drive to the area for a day. Right outside of Raleigh is the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science. Covering 84 acres, the museum is part of the reciprocity program for the Children's Museum of Virginia. 

We started off inside with the plan to return to their really cool science and math indoor play area before leaving. (It never happened; there was so much to do outside that we didn't even hit it all out there.) Outside we hopped aboard their train before cruising the dinosaur path and then seeing bears, wolves, and lemurs. We explored the farm, produced music with their many outdoor instruments, and finally ended up at the Hideaway playground, which was a huge hit. With both a big kid and a fenced in toddler section, the playground is hidden among the trees in the woods. Hammocks, sitting areas, a creek, and and tables sat all around the grounds for parents to lounge on while kids played. We could have stayed here all day. 

Although we wanted to, the museum was so large that we didn't see half of it, so a return trip is in order. In addition to the exhibits that we didn't see, in the summer there are waterfalls to romp in and misting play areas to run through. As we were leaving, RT declared that he would like to come back "one hundred times!" 

Locals Helping Locals

Locals Helping Locals, a group started to help local businesses connect with consumers has launched a new app.  Using the app, residents can find discounts and rewards!  Locals Helping Locals, which Toddlin' Around Tidewater is part of, has held a school supply event, toy drive, and a food drive. The app is free and can be downloaded in the Apple or Google Play store. Right now there are 12 businesses on the app, and more are welcome to join. If you own or know someone who owns a local business who'd like to join, email for more info! 

Friday Five v.5

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate. Between a crazy storm, warm Christmas, Covid, and powder outages... this holiday has been a little different. Here are five links to get through the post Christmas crazy!

Mini Mondays at Cova Brewing

Mondays at Cova are for the minis! From 7-11 when you purchase a coffee beverage for yourself, you will receive a free mini muffin, craft, a drink for your mini. Cova brewing in east beach is part coffee shop, part brewery. They offer coffee, craft beet, kombucha, wine, and locally baked pastries and are family owned. Indoor and outdoor seating available. 

Friday Five v.4


It's cold out this weekend! Check out Coastal Edge's FREE photos with the Grinch this weekend and stop in the store to search for the Surfer on the Shelf. Lots of lights still going on, be sure to check out our daily calendar of events for more! 

Five links for this last Friday before break! Enjoy them! 

Psychologists suggest mothers take breaks by going on mom-cations

These Playhouses Are Insane!

FINALLY! Britney Spears Files To Have Her Dad Removed As Her Conservator

Rabbi Lights Menorah With Sharks 

2020 Experience Guide

This is one of my favorite posts every year, but going out in 2020 certainly adds a level of complication. Obviously we want to be safe, and so this year I'm looking for places where we can social distance and still enjoy an experience. 

A reminder to always check out our discount page. It is updated regularly, and has deals like iFly, Family Fun Xperience, and more! 

Inside the Bubble with Katie's Kickers

2020 has forced local businesses to come up with creative ways to stay open and Katie's Kickers is no exception. Katie's Kickers typically rented space during the winter inside a local recreation center, but this year with the closing of indoor facilities, they had to get creative. $8,000 later a giant bubble was shipped through customs into Norfolk to cover the pool of a private residence. Lessons have been able to continue in small group settings, limiting the amount of people. 

Now, in addition to lessons, private rentals are now available! For only $50 an hour, you can have a private rental for up to 20 people under the supervision of a lifeguard. There is a heated changing tent, and outdoor seating available too.! At that price, grab your family for an hour or two to get some energy out, spend a morning working out the toddlers so that they nap, or reward your older kids for their hard work with virtual learning by moving their muscles. 

Everyone knows I'm into giving experiences as gifts, so this was one of ours. I know that there are lots of "Covid bubble" play groups, learning pods, and home school groups. This would be the perfect way to mix up your regular schedule and do something that the kids haven't been able to do in months. 

It's an added bonus that the pool is chlorine based, because the CDC now states that chlorine inactivates Covid, meaning that it prevents the virus from spreading. Great for Covid, not for my Crayola red hair. I did tell the boys not to get my head wet, but literally as soon as we stepped into the bubble their excitement took over! Totally worth it. Bookings begin in January. Email for more details on both swim lessons and private pool bookings. 

8 Nights of Hanukkah

In an effort to have full disclosure, I have to admit that I almost didn't run a Hanukkah giveaway this year. Last year when I did, it resulted in an Anti-semetic group of men who harassed me for months. They threatened my family, made fake profiles of me, and called me constantly. But when talking to Papa Johns of Hampton Roads, who ran it with me last year, we decided that it was all the more reason to run it. Telling this story to some of the other businesses in our Locals Helping Locals group, others decided that they wanted to join in for this reason also. Particularly this year, when things seem extra dark, bringing some extra light into our Hanukkah season is so important. A HUGE thank you to Papa Johns Pizza of Hampton Roads, Coastal Edge, Bounce House of Williamsburg, Katie's Kickers, Game On Gaming Center, and Hunt Club Farm for not just partnering with me, but for taking a stand against hate and ignorance. All the more reason to support these wonderful businesses! Want to enter? Check our socials each day for how! 

Holiday Lights at the Beach

Open again at the Oceanfront are the Holiday Lights at the Beach. Stay in your car and drive on the boardwalk to see the nautical themed lights next to the Atlantic Ocean. Tickets are $17.00 and must be purchased ahead of time online, but there is no specific day that they must be used unless you purchased a Military Monday ticket. A tip, we waited almost no time going on a weekday, but I've heard there is a line on the weekend. Go on a weeknight if you don't want to wait! Enter the boardwalk at 2nd street and Atlantic Ave.  A huge thanks to 1-800-Got-Junk who gave us our tickets. If you've got junk.. they will haul it away! Be sure when you're leaving to hit 43rd street to check out all of their lights too! The whole street decorates.

The lights are on nightly from 5:30-10:00 from now until January 3rd. Pack some hot chocolate and head down to the beach! Special thanks to sponsors 1-800-GOT-JUNK for our tickets! 

Snow Globe Spectacular

Spend an evening at Town Center Virginia Beach and check out Snow Globe Spectacular with live entertainment every weekend in December. On the hour is a light show in the giant tree followed by dancing by characters from the Nutcracker, a ballerina and a toy solider, both inside their own globes.

Santa is also on the scene at a communication station. Kids enter the station and talk to Santa via microphone. Walk around the area to check out the many themed snow globes. 

During the day there are crafts and letters to Santa, and at night once it's all lit up the live entertainment begins. For adults visiting, receive a free Lyft ride with proof of a $30.00 purchase at a Town Center establishment.

We of course ended our night with a trip to Royal Chocolate. I always love to stop here because they have donated to the Pancreatic Cancer auction, and I always so appreciate companies who give back. It's an added bonus that everything from there is delicious. Try the peanut butter hot chocolate! 

Gift Guide 2020

2020 has been the weirdest year of my life, and it is finally coming to a close. Here are some of our tried and true favorites. If you're looking for a gift, check these out! 

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Friday Five v.3

Happy Friday! Here are five links to get you through the day! It's cold out there!

 Waiting and Travel Games for Kids

Kids At Every Income Level Were Asked To Show Their Favorite Toys, And The Result Will Make You Think gives the holidays a different meaning. 

This Mom Hilariously Getting Trapped In Her Spanx Is All Of Us

How Many Days Have You Been Alive?

THESE stroller lights since it is so dark out now! 

A Morning Adventure in Downtown Norfolk

Sometimes it's fun to play tourist in your own town, and right now there is a ton of free stuff to do. First stop is the NEON District, Norfolk's official art district. Neon stands for the New Energy of Norfolk, and it has socially distance-approved offerings. Stop by The Plot which often is full of events by Open Norfolk before making your way through the district looking at the hundreds of murals and works of public art. 
Heading down Granby Strreet, we stopped at Lamia's Crepes to recharge. Open for breakfast and a crepe covered with Nutella is a win! Walking further down Granby we stopped at the corner for what we call "the steps" but I'm sure is something very profound and artsy, but fun to climb on. From here, cross the street to check out this huge tree, which looks like it plays to music and lights when it's dark. 

The MacArthur Memorial is always free, and we popped into the small building to see the 1,000 paper cranes on display. At the age of two, Sadako Sasaki was exposed to radiation from the bombing of Hiroshima. At age 12 she began making paper cranes as a wish for a long, healthy life. She folded more than 1,000, but died in 1955. This year on the 75th anniversary of the bomb dropping, students in Virginia and North Carolina volunteered their time to fold 1,000. Japanese culture says that anyone who folds 1,000 cranes is granted a wish, good luck, or a long life. 

Last step on our journey was Selden Market. Selden Market offers short-term leases for small businesses that are looking for their start. Right now at Selden the Atlantic Coast Gaugers Tidewater Division has set up their train exhibit! Check our daily calendar for hours. It was a huge high to end on for a group of four little boys and some tired mamas!