Archive for category Atlanta Kids
The first total solar eclipse to cross the entire United States in almost 100 years will be taking place Monday, August 21, 2017. And we here in Georgia get a prime spot to view the total eclipse as it crosses the northern part of the state.
The AJC reports: “According to NASA, the center-line path of totality — where the moon completely blocks the sun, the earth goes dark and the sun’s corona shimmers in the blackened sky — will stretch from Salem, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina, and will last up to 2 minutes and 41.6 seconds.”
While folks in Atlanta will be able to see a short partial eclipse from spots in the city, many of us are planning to head north to see the full eclipse. Chase’s school will be doing field trips by grade level to spots in the path of the total eclipse to watch; and I plan on finding a good spot with some friends to watch.
365 Atlanta Family has a great list of north Georgia peaks and open spots where you can get the best unobstructed view of this phenomenon. They have included the times as the eclipse progresses across the state as well as links to state parks and resorts to help with planning. Rabun County is the most directly affected spot in Georgia and there are a lot of events planned in the days around the eclipse to commemorate it.
If you’re unable to make it out of the city (or have family members outside the eclipse path), don’t worry: NASA will be live-streaming the eclipse! They have set up a special website with lots of great info about the science as well as tips to get the most out of the experience.
It’s important to remember to take precautions to protect your eyes when viewing the eclipse, even if you are planning to see the partial eclipse. Protective glasses or indirect viewing methods will keep your eyes safe during this unique event.
Are any of you planning to travel to see the Great American Eclipse? Let us know where you’re headed or any tips for finding the best spot to view in the comments!
Chase will be participating in this fun event on May 13. Whether your child is new to the area, new to lacrosse, or interested in the Northside Youth Lacrosse League, this festival will be a lot of fun. There will be lots of vendor tents, food trucks, and live music for the whole family as well as an all-day tournament for surge players. For more information check out the venue map, schedule, and their Facebook event page. Hope to see you there!
This is National Adoption Day and November is National Adoption Month. For me its also a special week, Thanksgiving is a time for everyone to reflect on what we’re thankful for, but to me it means a whole lot more. Here is my story:
Adopting one child will not change the world; but for that child, the world will change.
11 years ago my mom and I made the trip to Kemerovo, Russia to bring home my son. Attached is a story that I wrote back then for my adoption agency. This week always reminds me of that journey and ALL I have to be Thankful for. I can’t believe it was that long ago!
The Journey for Chase :
My journey to adopt a child unofficially began in 2003. I made the trip to Bulgaria with my sister-in-law to bring home her two children. From then on I had the idea that I wanted to adopt a child from an Eastern European country. Finally in 2004 when I was preparing my year-end financials, I decided I would finally be able to afford the process and had a consistent enough income to support a child on my own.
I am single. So in January of 2005 I began the process with a local agency here in Atlanta thinking they could help me through the process. By April, I had all of my paperwork done and was “paper ready”, that agency sent my dossier to one Russian Region, where it sat… Week after week I heard different reasons why nothing was happening in that region and that it would pick up any day, but by the middle of July I was getting tired of the excuses and decided to network around and inquire online to find out about what agencies had people traveling and to what regions etc. A friend recommended me to Adoption ARK (now out of business due to Russia being closed to adoptions), she put me in touch with several people who were traveling within very short times from becoming “paper ready”. I contacted Elina and she was in Russia at the time and a week later she emailed me and told me they weren’t currently working in Krasnodar (that was the region I had done the paperwork for with the other agency) since nothing had been moving there in such a long time. She also told me that she expected to have some more children available next week and to contact her that Wednesday. Well by Monday evening, I had an email with a picture of this darling little boy – Dima. I asked what I had to do, she sent me a list and I was off on recreating my dossier, and getting everything ready for his different region.
I traveled within 2 weeks to meet him, a darling little boy whose name was Dima and went back for court within 7 weeks. From beginning to end the process was under 3 months! My little guy – (now called Chase) is healthy, happy and so loved by the entire extended family. We’ve been home 3 months now and he acts like he’s been here his whole life. He gained 5 pounds in 2 months and grew 2 inches. He has already outgrown the clothes I brought him home in and understands English and Spanish (his nanny is Spanish). He speaks a few words and kisses good-bye. He is the light of my life and he has the ability to cheer anyone up. Everyone keeps saying how happy he is and he really is…
The picture of Chase in his reindeer was the first night in our hotel in Kemerovo. We had given him as much formula as he wanted and he proceeded to throw up on me! The picture in the tub was at home. The other pictures were a few weeks later when he made the trip to Charleston to meet all the family.
I still remember that week and what happened daily. My Mom and I flew out on a Saturday evening arriving in Kemerovo on a Monday morning. They immediately whisked us off to my court date which took most of the morning. Later that day there was more paperwork to do and the next morning (Tuesday) we made the journey with several other families via a van to Novokuznetsk. We had issues with the Van with fuel line freeze up and we sat on the side of the road in Siberia while they sent another van to us. By the time we got to the baby home it was afternoon. No time for a tour, but I do remember seeing this beautiful baby in a light blue knit outfit and my mother and I commented on pretty he was. It had only been a month since we had seen “Dima” but that was him. No time for a tour, we got our babies and they loaded us back into our van to head back to Kemerovo for more processing. By Thursday on Thanksgiving we were in Moscow to meet with the embassy doctor and more processing. There was no turkey to be found at any of the hotels or restaurants we had contacted. So we just ate a regular meal in the Park Hyatt Hotel in Moscow. All went well and Friday we were headed home! That’s a very abbreviated version of what happened, but as you can see it makes every Thanksgiving that much more special with the memories. Hope you have a very special Thanksgiving this year as well full of your special memories!
I have some great updates for that Atlanta summer camps post I did a couple of months ago!
Much to the dismay of many families, Josh Powell Camp announced that they had closed their doors last year. Then today I read an article that they are open again! It is available for boys and girls who are rising 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders. But since they were closed last year, this year only, they are taking rising 4th graders as well to allow children the full 3 year camp experience. Chase went all 3 years and has aged out now, but it truly is an camp experience he enjoyed. It still has many openings and I think that is due to the belief that it closed down, but here is the weblink to hurry and register your child; they are frequently updating their Facebook page as well for more details. They pick up at West Paces and Northside and drive the kids out to the country. They get muddy and hot, but I know nature boys and girls love it!
I also heard about a few more camps that I want to tell you about for those of you who haven’t finalized your summer camp plans yet. The original post has all the updated information is available in one place, but here are some new camp options I wanted to highlight:
- Club SciKidz is a science and technology camp for boys and girls ages 4-15. They have locations throughout the metro Atlanta area. Currently registering for camps beginning June 6.
- CampMODA: a Design Thinking Camp is being presented by the Museum of Design Atlanta at 4 locations: MODA’s Midtown campus, The Lovett School, GA Tech’s College of Architecture, and First Presbyterian Preschool on Peachtree. Programs are available for children ages 5-14 are are now registering for summer sessions. Check out Field Trips With Sue‘s write up for more details on the camp (and great ideas for kids activities in general).
- GA Tech Lacrosse Camps focuses on older children looking to really polish their lacrosse skills but has both day and overnight camps for boys and girls ages 8-18
I’ve written about planning Chase’s birthday parties a few times over the years; it’s fun to stay on top of what’s available in Atlanta because not only do kids grow up fast, their interests and hobbies change as they get older. I’ve always tried to plan a theme or venue that really reflects who Chase is as a person so I’m always asking friends for recommendations or researching to see what’s new.
Last year, I wrote about Main Event on Cobb Parkway, a great indoor facility with games, laser tag, a rock climbing wall, and even a sports bar for adults. Main Event is still a favorite with Chase’s friends and I think it’s a good option to keep in mind for winter birthdays.
Another place that seems to be popular no matter the age of your child is LEGOland Discovery Center at Phipps Plaza. They have DUPLO for toddlers on up to rides for older children and all the LEGOs you could possible want to build with! They even have a LEGO box kids can jump into!
Zip lines, ropes courses, sky bridges for the gravity defying adventurer, Treetop Quest has 3 locations in Dunwoody, Buford, and a new location in Roswell. One of the cool things about this place is that the activities are self guided so once you are trained on the safety equipment, you can go through the course or zipline as many times as you want.
Paintball is really popular with the older kids (and adults) and can be a really fun group activity. Most paintball facilities will reserve a field for groups of 10 or more on weekdays.
- Dosser Works Paintball in Atlanta (near Turner Field) has a zombie themed course- perfect for kids who are in the “gory” Halloween costume stage. You can bring your own party food to their picnic area but they also offer concessions like hotdogs and snacks.
- Classic Paintball in Lithia Springs has 5 fields and an urban course to choose from. They also have picnic areas and pavilions for your birthday party treats.
- Georgia Paintball has two fields in Acworth and Dallas Georgia. They have a castle, a western town (called Dodge City) and wooded courses and they offer packages and specials for groups at both locations.
For the nature lover, Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell has birthday party plans that include hiking, animal interaction, and a nighttime planetarium theme. They tailor parties for different age groups and every party package includes a cookie cake. They host a lot of great programs and events including a butterfly festival and a summer camp so they’re a great local resource for nature-loving families.
Members at the Center for Puppetry Arts can book a birthday party with tickets to a show and a party room. You can add a build-you-own puppet workshop to the party package and each guest will have a puppet to take home with them.
I don’t have as much experience with planning parties for girls but my friends with daughters tell me that their girls are really into their American Girl dolls so the American Girl Boutique & Bistro at North Pointe Mall in Alpharetta might be the perfect spot to celebrate. They even have a doll hair salon!
Or if your little lady (or gentleman) enjoys a lovely cup of tea and a tower of delicious scones and cakes in elegant surroundings, several of Atlanta’s top hotels offer afternoon high teas:
- The St. Regis Atlanta offers an elegant Afternoon Tea at Astor Court Friday – Sunday.
- The Ritz Carlton Buckhead’s Lobby Lounge has two seatings each afternoon Wednesday – Sunday with live piano entertainment.
- Four Season’s Park 75 Afternoon Tea is available with seven day advance reservations for parties of ten or more.
For the budding artist, the Vinings School of Art right here in Vinings offers several different art class packages for birthday parties. Your child can choose the project they create and instructors will guide the guests through
I also ran across a great list of birthday party ideas for children in Atlanta including Fernbank, the Georgia Aquarium, Young Chef’s Academy and more. Just click on the highlighted words to get taken to their sites.