Peter Rabbit Family Movie Night With A Mr. McGregor’s Garden Themed Popcorn Bar

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WelcomeToFamilyNight #PeterRabbit #CollectiveBias

Our family loves having family movie nights. It’s a nice break from our busy sports and work schedules and the perfect way to spend time together as a family. There’s nothing better than cuddling up together on the couch! Typically we take turns picking the movie but this week I bought the Peter Rabbit Blu-Ray + DVD Combo from Walmart for us to watch. I don’t typically get into “kid” movies but I’d seen commercials for this movie and it looked hilarious. Movies that the whole family can enjoy are the best because they keep mom, dad, AND the kids entertained!

I put together a cute little gift basket to surprise my boys with my movie selection for the week. Along with the Peter Rabbit movie, I added in a couple of their favorite frozen meals from Kid Cuisine, including Luke’s favorite- the Kid Cuisine All Star Chicken Breast Nugget Meal, for the boys to enjoy before movie night (because who wants to be doing the dinner dishes when they could be enjoying time with their family?!). Kid Cuisine serves up kids’ all-time favorites, many with full servings of vegetables. With these easy meals, you know you’re choosing dishes that will satisfy your kids. Plus, they usually have a fun dessert that kids love!

I also added in a box of Orville Redenbacher’s Movie Theater Butter Flavored Popcorn because popcorn is a must-have on movie night (and the more butter the better in my opinion)! I like Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn because they have a lot of flavor varieties and they are the only leading brand of microwave popcorn with no Artificial Preservatives, Flavors, or Dyes in any of its products. The Kettle Corn flavor is delicious as well when you are craving something a bit sweeter.

Everything fit into a basket that looked like a white picket fence.I thought it was perfect for this because it reminded me of the gate to Mr. McGregor’s garden. The movie night gift basket was a fun surprise for them after a long day at school!

I also set up a simple “garden” themed popcorn bar since, in the movie, Peter Rabbit and his three sisters love spending their days in Mr. McGregor’s vegetable garden trying to eat all his veggies. I put the popcorn in a bushel basket with an unused garden trowel as the scoop and put some napkins in a watering can. The popcorn was served in small garden pots (that were lined with napkins).

For the mix-ins I set out chocolate cookie pieces (to represent dirt but just not as messy as crushed cookies), gummy worms (like you’d find in the soil), mini marshmallows (aka bunny tails), and candy pieces (with orange ones to represent carrots). The boys favorite part of the evening was creating their own special popcorn mix!

For your own popcorn bar you can do any mix-ins your family would like. I just stuck with our movie night theme. Other mixins we enjoy are raisins, sunflower seeds, dried apple pieces, and chocolate chips. Just make sure you have some of everyone’s favorites!

The kids loved our fun family night with their special dinner and treats. We all thought the movie was great and I’m glad that we have it in our collection now. Whether it’s a family movie night during the week, or celebrating a special event, Peter Rabbit is a fun movie for the whole family. Plus, the DVD/Blu-Ray combo came with a digital copy which will be great for rewatching it on our travels this summer!

You can pick up everything you need for your next family movie night at Walmart. 

Have you seen the new Peter Rabbit movie yet? Find more fun Peter Rabbit themed ideas here.

Ideas To Beat Winter Boredom

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Now that the holiday season is over I’m ready for winter to be done. Anyone else feel that way? Unfortunately, most of us still have two to three months of cold weather ahead so I figured we might as well embrace this cold, snowy season and figure out how to get the most fun out of it that we can. Here are some of my favorite ways that families can beat winter boredom:

Have a family fun night

Our family loves family fun night! We watch a movie and play some of our favorite games. Bonus points if there’s pizza and popcorn involved! Personally, I like to do theme nights that go with the movie or game we are playing. We’ve had an Angry Birds themed night and a FISHtastic movie night before, too!

Play in the snow

From building snowmen and forts to having snowball fights to sledding, there are so many ways to play outside in the pretty white fluff that falls from the sky. If you live near a good skiing or tubing place that would be a fun way to spend the day. We’ve even gone to a playground before and let the boys climb and slide down snow covered slides and they had a blast. Too cold to head outside? Bring the snow inside! Put it in the sink or bathtub, put gloves on the kids and give them sand toys to play in it.

 

Go to a museum or aquarium

During the winter months here in Chicago many of our museums have free days. Residents of the state can get in free certain days in January and February at the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum, and the Shedd Aquarium among other places. If you don’t live in the Chicago area check your local museum or aquarium to see if they have deals, too!

Get crafty

When I was a preschool teacher, it was rough when we couldn’t go outside and play. On those days I’d pull out every craft supply I had in my closet and let the kids create all afternoon long. They loved it and I loved seeing all of their creations. Crafting kept them occupied while we were stuck inside. Whether you set out craft supplies and let children create whatever they can imagine, help them make a special craft (like this heart shaped “love you to pieces” one) or get a craft kit, crafting is always fun to do.

Work on a STEM project 

For Christmas my boys got some STEM sets and these cold days give them the chance to pull them out and work on them. You can find sets for every interest, from Bloxels which lets kids create their own video games to circuit sets that let kids explore electricity to building sets like Roominate. I share some other great STEM toys here.

 

Learn a new skill

Winter is a great time to learn a new skill. Jacob recently started learning how to play the guitar but my boys have also taken art lessons and participated in sports camps as well. Ask your child what they’d like to learn, whether an instrument, dancing or an art, and find a place that offers to teach that skill. Don’t have money for lessons or classes? Consider bartering with a friend who may have the skills you are looking for, exchanging a service you can offer (like babysitting, cleaning, or accounting) for classes or lessons from them.

Cook or bake together

Lucas loves helping in the kitchen, whether it’s baking cookies or helping with dinner. It’s fun to get kids involved in the whole cooking process, from the menu planning to the grocery shopping to putting the meal together. These apple pie flavored yogurt parfaits are an easy snack to make together.

 

Find fun indoors at an indoor entertainment center

Our favorite way to beat winter boredom is to head to an indoor entertainment center. In the Chicago area, we love Gizmo’s Fun Factory, the new family fun center in Orland Park, a Southwest Suburb of Chicago. This place has it all including laser tag, zip lines, go-karts, bumper cars and climbing walls. They have 75+ arcade games and redemption-style games as well. Out of all the activities there are to do at Gizmo’s, my boys enjoyed the toyland area the most. Designed for guests under 54 inches tall, their Toyland “Ballocity” area boasts climbing tubes, slides, foam ball launchers, and more. This area is four-stories of fun and my boys loved chasing each other through it and playing hide and seek. They spent the most time in this one area and they were having so much fun that they didn’t want to leave!

While kids play parents can enjoy enjoy an upscale cuisine, craft beers and wine. Gizmo’s Fun Factory is open seven days a week. They even open early on school breaks and holidays. All this fun can be enjoyed at one price with purchase of their wristbands. The Gizmos Basic WristBand allows four hours of unlimited play on everything except Laser Tag and Sky Trail, plus a $5 game card for $22.99 (Monday-Thursday), $27.99 (Friday-Sunday). The Plus Band allows unlimited play on everything, plus a $10 game card for $29.99 (Monday-Thursday), $34.99 (Friday-Sunday). Originally I thought this sounded a bit pricey but when I think about our trips to pay as you go places, I realized I probably spent more than double for just a couple hours of fun at those other places. This money is well spent for four hours of unlimited fun, whether it’s spent raising each other in Go Karts, braving heights as you zoom down the zip line or playing your favorite arcade games.

What does your family do to beat boredom during the winter months?

 

Exploring Glenview, Illinois With Kids

Thanks to Go Roma for sponsoring this post.

I love taking road trips and one of the best things about living in the Chicago area is the amount of fun things there are for families to do within just an hour or two of where we live. A few weeks ago we headed to a town I’d never been to before called Glenview which is about 14 miles North of the city.

The boys and I spent a whole day exploring the town and didn’t even get to do everything on my list. Here are the things I’d recommend doing on your next trip to Glenview.

Play: Little Bear Garden Park

My boys spent hours playing at Little Bear Garden Park. It was a wonderful area with something for everyone. There was a playground, splash pad, huge sand pit, and plenty of grassy area and seating. There was also a path that went around the park with storybook pages every so often which would be perfect for families with preschoolers to walk around and read a book as they went along the path. The park was busy but large enough that it did not feel overcrowded.

Eat: Go Roma

I enjoyed eating at Go Roma when I was pregnant with Jacob so I was excited to see that a new location opened in Glenview. Go Roma features quick and delicious Italian foods. Their pizza is my favorite. Go Roma was affordable which I appreciated when I was working retail and on a very tight budget and I still appreciate.

When we tried out their new location for lunch I got the BBQ Chicken Pizza which I really enjoyed. I loved that the chicken was very prevalent on the pizza instead of diced up really tiny and barely there like at some other places.

Jacob got the kid’s cheese pizza and Lucas got the kid’s macaroni and cheese. They were so excited to see that their kid’s meal came with a cookie and they happily gobbled up their entree to get to their dessert.

Shop: The Glen Town Center

If you love shopping you will enjoy spending time at The Glen Town Center. It’s a beautiful, outdoor shopping area with stores, restaurants, and even a movie theater. I found Fourth of July shirts for the boys at Carter’s and looked around a few other clothing stores. We stopped by The Book Market and then stepped out of the sun for a bit and spent time reading our books while I enjoyed a coffee. We checked out the local candy store, Rocket Fizz, and ended with a trip to GameStop so the boys could look at Skylanders.

Some other places located in Glenview that we didn’t get to visit are Wagner Farm, the Grove and Kohl Children’s Museum. There really is enough to keep families busy for a day or two and it’s so close to the city for those who want to visit Chicago but then escape the hustle and bustle (and parking fees) of the city!

Have you been to Glenview? What other fun places should we check out next time we visit?

 

Exclusive Coupons For Family Fun In Illinois {Summer 2013}

Hope you all are enjoying your summer! I wanted to share some great coupons with you all to help you save money this summer and have fun with your families on a budget :)

 

Our Christmas Season “To-Do” List

The Christmas season is here and I want to make sure that my family has a wonderful season of fun and making memories. The past years I have had many things I wanted to do but just didn’t get around to so this year I have made our family a Christmas “to-do” list. I figure if it’s written down there is more of a chance we will do the things instead of just thinking about them.

Here are the things I’d like to do this Christmas season:

*Throw a birthday party for Jesus

*Go to the zoo to see their lights display

*Visit Santa

*Make our Advent ornaments daily

*Put together a Gingerbread Train

*Give the boys new Christmas pajamas

*Drive around town looking at Christmas lights

*Donate money to Salvation Army bell ringers

*Bake (and decorate) cookies together

*Make some Christmas crafts to hang on the walls

*Wrap gifts for others

*As a family choose a gift from World Vision’s gift catalog to give

*Make Christmas cards for our loved ones

*Send a letter to Santa

*Mail a Christmas card to a soldier

*Get together with family to celebrate the Holidays

*Paint wooden ornaments for our tree

*Get family Christmas pictures taken.

*Have a Christmas movie marathon in our pjs

*Read a Christmas themed book every night before bed

*Make “reindeer food”

*Leave cookies and milk out for Santa

*Get a family dough ornament made

*Go downtown Chicago to look at decorated window displays

*Go to the light show at our local outdoor mall

*Play in the snow and then come inside to drink hot chocolate

*Donate food to a local food pantry

*Go sledding

*Make paper chain garland for the tree

*Make a snowman

*Move the Elf On A Shelf to a new place everyday and find him as a family

*Eat chocolate from our Advent calendars

***

What’s on your family’s Christmas to-do list?

Rainy Day Fun {Top Ten Tuesday}

As I write this we are having another dreary, rainy day in Chicago. Today’s Top 10 Tuesday is a list of fun things to do with your family on a rainy day:

1. Head to an indoor playground. Many McDonald’s, community centers, and malls have children’s play areas where children can play for free. There are also other indoor playgrounds that cost money including: Monkey Joes, Lil Monkey Bizness, and Pump It Up.

2. Have a movie day (and don’t forget the popcorn)!

3. Bake. Kids love to help in the kitchen. Even young kids can help! My toddler likes to do the pouring and stirring.

4. Create a rainy day box that only comes out on rainy days. Fill the box w/ craft supplies or special toys and take rainy days from boring to *fun*!

5. Head to a local museum or aquarium.

6. Bring the outdoor fun inside. If you have items outside that can be played safely inside bring them in. We have a slide that can easily be brought inside for the day.

7. Have an indoor picnic. Spread out a blanket and have lunch on the floor of your living room. Make sure to choose easy finger foods for the meal.

8. Build a fort. Using pillows and blankets help your children make a fort. Make it simple or go all out adding a flag, decor, and anything else they can think of to personalize it.

9. Play a game. Board games, card games, duck-duck-goose, and make believe games all make the day seem to go by faster.

10. Cuddle on the couch with some good books.

{And as a bonus…}

11. Run “drive thru” errands. This may not be too fun at the time but doing these things on a rainy day means that you can be outside having fun on the sunny days! Consider the following errands that can be done without leaving your car: dropping off mail at the post office, picking up prescriptions, returning books and  movies, making a deposit at the bank, etc. (As a bonus, how about picking up lunch on your way home?)

What does your family do on rainy days? I’d love to hear your ideas! :)