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    A Spring Break Stay-cation in Woodstock, GA

    Spring break is always fun for the kids and can be pretty stressful for us parents. Plan a stay-cation in Woodstock, GA for this year's Spring Break and take the headache out of planning with these things to do.

    Spring break is in the air. The kids will be running free out of school and parents everywhere will be trying NOT to end our evenings with bottles of wine. If you’re a last minute planner like me, then you’ll be having a stay-cation in your hometown this year–or exploring another. Atlanta is a pretty popular area and has an incredible amount of attractions to entertain kids. But instead of hitting up the big city, we’re going to explore the up and coming city of Woodstock, GA.

    So where is Woodstock right? It’s located about 30 minutes Northwest of the city off of I-575. The downtown area is incredibly charming and full of one of a kind shops, restaurants, and things to do.

    Spring break is always fun for the kids and can be pretty stressful for us parents. Plan a stay-cation in Woodstock, GA for this year's Spring Break and take the headache out of planning with these things to do.

    Nutin’ But Fun

    Located on your way to downtown Woodstock, Nutin’ But Fun is a kids center that has everything from bounce houses to bumper cars to laser tag. Most parents aren’t able to take off work for the entire week of Spring Break so they offer care during the week of Spring Break. They have both half and full day care options starting at $25/day with a sibling discount though their normal business hours are from 3pm – 7pm. Need a date night and don’t have a sitter? They also do a Parents Night Out on every first and third Friday from 5pm-9pm for $19.99. Even better? They’re offering Summer Camp too!!!

    Reformation Brewery

    A brewery that’s kid friendly is pretty unheard of but Reformation Brewery has made it happen. On Thursdays and Saturdays they offer family friendly tours of the brewery. They allow you to bring food with you or have it delivered and they sometimes they even have food trucks so it’s perfect to plan and afternoon with the kids to have a picnic. Spring is in the air and that means more outdoor time–especially with beer!

    It is Family Fun Day from 2-4. That means cookies and beer. Come pair your favorite cookies with your favorite Reformation beer!

    A photo posted by Reformation Brewery (@reformationbrewery) on

    Taylor Randahl Mountain Bike Trail

    Kids have energy. Lots of energy. Every day that goes by I wish I could bottle it and sell it to make millions. Spending time outdoors being active as a family not only establishes good habits but it gets rid of some of that spent up energy. Not into riding bikes?

    Dupree Park

    This is one of my favorite parks. It’s perfect for both adults and kids. The kids area has an upper and lower playground that features a slide in between the levels as well as a pond to feed the ducks. Since feeding ducks bread is actually bad for them, they have food that you can buy for $.25. For the adults, there’s a track and outdoor gym to take advantage of. This is the perfect area for kids to learn to skate, ride their bikes or practice running drills while parents take their health into their own hands.

    Woodstock Public Library

    Growing up I loved going to the library. Both my husband and I have a love for reading that has been passed down to our girls and the library is one of our favorite places to go. The Woodstock library is beautiful and robust and features some family friendly events throughout the month.

    Downtown Woodstock

    Downtown has beautiful shops and lovely restaurants that are situated in a picturesque landscape. There are train tracks that are train-free, a cupcakery, a pie shop, bookstore, and more. Spending an afternoon window shopping with your littles encouraging them to use their imagination is an afternoon well-spent. Ice pops, cupcakes, bits of pie and some of the best coffee that I’ve ever had are waiting for you and your little!

    Tea Leaves & Thyme

    Are you a mom of girls? One of my first visits to the downtown area was to this little tea room. It’s so quaint and perfect in every way. Both mini and abc are the epitome of girly girls so that means we are always in tea parties, sparkles, nail polish, and more. They feature a full tea menu coupled with crumpets and finger sandwiches as well as a full out dress up area for those who deem dressing up necessary. And Saturday mornings, they feature tea with a princess!!!


    While Woodstock doesn’t feature Aquariums or soda, it does cater to all walks of life. Whether you’re into books, activity, or tea, you can do it all and not leave the state!

    So, what area would you head to first?

    Celebrating Love With the 2016 Mazda 3

    I love the all new 2016 Mazda 3! It was such a zippy car to zoom around in making my Valentine's Day and mini's birthday something to remember! Read more here!

    Love is in the air…

    Yes, in my head I sang that. We just wrapped up Valentine’s Day weekend along with mini’s 6th birthday with the help of the 2016 Mazda 3. This isn’t our first time zooming around town in a Mazda so I already knew that I was going to be in love but how approps is it that the car was red?!?

    Lady Roulette… this @mazdausa drives soooooooooooo smooth I fell in love with her!!! #drivemazda

    A photo posted by The Crunchy Mommy (@thecrunchymommy) on

    As with all the cars, I named her Lady Roulette. I don’t know why but that’s what spoke to me when she rolled up in my driveway.

    So what did Lady Roulette and I do while we were together? Everything!

    Celebrating My Little Love

    I can’t believe that my mini, my breath, my greatest achievement and the catalyst to my life being as challenging awesome as it is now turned SIX on the twelfth!!! I feel like it was just yesterday that I was picking my mom and her bestie up from returning from a cruise when I told her that I was having contractions. Me at 26 was waaaaaay less informed about all of this birthing stuff and I hadn’t even had Braxton Hicks contractions so I had no clue what I was in for. I sat on Facebook and chatted with my friend Lori, what was already a mom, about what contractions felt like and that was when she suggested that I start timing them. Less than 24 hours later, I was holding my mini who is now 6.

    We decided not to do a party outside of school since she opted to take the cash that we would have spent on it instead. I thought it was a winning deal because while party planning is so much fun, it can also be super tedious. But just because there wasn’t a party doesn’t mean that she wasn’t going to be treated special! For her birthday, I decided to go against the norm and make birthday donuts instead of cupcakes! Roulette and I zoomed around town looking for all the things I would need to make them both vegan and delicious. We made it happen:

    But when she woke up, I wanted her to feel special! So I zoomed around and got balloons that we weighted down with little gifts and a chalkboard that screamed “Happy Birthday!!!” Luckily for me, the trunk space in the Mazda was so unexpectedly big that I was able to leave the balloons in there overnight and not ruin her surprise! She loved her birthday treats that concluded with a formal tea at one of our favorite spots. She has been officially inducted into her sixth year of life!

    Celebrating The Love of My Life

    This isn’t my first time at the marriage rodeo (another post for another day ha!) but it is my final ride. I married the most amazing man. He’s an incredible friend, father, and mate and I wouldn’t trade him for the world because his idea of a night out on the town matches mine. Instead of doing the cheesy, romantic stuff for Valentine’s Day (not knocking it, it’s just not us), I surprised him with tickets for the Amazing Escape Room. I registered us for the zombie room (side note: I’m legit scared of zombies so I chose this room to make sure that should the apocalypse happen, I’m ready. This is also the reason I work out ha!). But on our way there, Roulette set the tone for us:

    Roulette, the @mazdausa I’m whipping this week, is setting the mood for the hubs and I’s #datenight #drivemazda #thanksmom

    A photo posted by The Crunchy Mommy (@thecrunchymommy) on

    Amazing Escape Room

    I’ll go into a deeper review sometime soon but here’s our visit in a nutshell:

    • the zombie room is the hardest
    • it was tons of fun
    • we didn’t make it out alive

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    Granted we didn’t make it out of the room, but we still won since we were able to hop back into our cute Mazda to continue zooming about our evening.

    I love the all new 2016 Mazda 3! It was such a zippy car to zoom around in making my Valentine's Day and mini's birthday something to remember! Read more here!

    Celebrating the Mazda

    I really enjoyed this car! Now I typically drive a crossover vehicle that is more spacious but I loved that this car offered way more trunk space than I currently have.

    Pros:

    • The engine is eco-friendly. It gets a boost from self-charging battery source using less gas.

    I love the all new 2016 Mazda 3! It was such a zippy car to zoom around in making my Valentine's Day and mini's birthday something to remember! Read more here!

     

    • The interior is rather lush! I love the leather seats which make for easy clean up with kids and the red on black is sexy!!!

    I love the all new 2016 Mazda 3! It was such a zippy car to zoom around in making my Valentine's Day and mini's birthday something to remember! Read more here!

    • The trunk space is something that any mother would love. I had a jogging stroller and two weeks worth of groceries in there!

    image

    • Great gas mileage. I put $5 in and was able to drive 85 miles!
    • Easy and safe messaging on the go

    I love the all new 2016 Mazda 3! It was such a zippy car to zoom around in making my Valentine's Day and mini's birthday something to remember! Read more here! I love the all new 2016 Mazda 3! It was such a zippy car to zoom around in making my Valentine's Day and mini's birthday something to remember! Read more here!

    • Flip up speedometer so it’s easy to see your speed

    I love the all new 2016 Mazda 3! It was such a zippy car to zoom around in making my Valentine's Day and mini's birthday something to remember! Read more here!

    Cons:

    • Not enough space for 2 carseats + long limbed parents. We were quite literally squished with the 4 of us in there. My husband is 6’3 and I’m almost 5’6. Both our kids are off the charts with their height so we’re rather long people. We kind of felt like sardines in there!

    We had a lot of fun driving this car but I think it’s more for my peeps without 2 kids!

    Are you a car, SUV, or minivan lover??? 

    **I received the 2016 Mazda 3 for a week but the opinions expressed here are all mine.**

    15 Day Camps to Grow Your Budding Artist – Atlanta Guide

    If you're in Atlanta and having a little one who loves the arts, look no further than this guide to Atlanta Summer Camps with a focus on the arts. www.thecrunchymommy.com

    Can you believe that summer is around the corner? Once my birth season comes, that means no more school for the babes and mama is NOT about that “sit around the house and bother me” life. When I was a kid growing up in NY, summer camp was my FAVORITE! I started out at Camp Magic, then Camp Goodtimes, and then Camp Star–the final camp before we hit the “I’m too cool for camp” years. I did a couple stints at sleepover camp but my mom forgot about me one summer so that sealed the deal on me never returning.

    Characteristics of a quality day camp program

    Well, now that mini is FINALLY old enough to hit these here day camp streets, research has become my best friend. In my head, summer day camp is an extension of school–but just more fun. So when seeking out a camp, I look for these characteristics:

    • Experienced staff: While I do think that younger camp counselors are all sorts of great and awesome, I want an experienced program director that sees camp as more than just a day care but is invested in enriching the children.
    • Low staff to child ratio: Let’s be real here, summer is here and the kids lose their minds. Summer = pool time, crafts, etc. and in order to keep safety first, there needs to be an appropriate amount of staff keeping the kids together.
    • Variety of activities: Independent, small and large grouped activities are so important in the development of children and this is something I look for in camps.
    • Field trips: Who doesn’t love these?
    • Staff training: I’ve got some pretty scary camp stories that would have been downright awful if the staff wasn’t trained properly and certified in CPR and first aid. Proper and ongoing training is a must.
    • Fun: I believe this is obvious.
    • Cost-efficient: Yes. It does need to be this as well. Cutting out one income is so big and isn’t the easiest so making sure that the camp doesn’t bleed us dry is super important.

    Mini keeps telling me that she belongs on the stage and I can totally see her up there with all her drama-princess tendencies. One of this year’s “to-do’s” for me has been to really foster her development in the areas SHE wants to and what better place than camp to do that? I know that she isn’t the only budding artist out there waiting to be discovered so here is my line-up of best camps to foster their growth:

    If you're in Atlanta and having a little one who loves the arts, look no further than this guide to Atlanta Summer Camps with a focus on the arts. www.thecrunchymommy.com

    Top 15 Camps for Your Budding Artist

    Arts Summer Academy Camps at UGA

    1197 South Lumpkin Street Athens, GA 30602

    Summer Academy at UGA is an exciting series of over 30 specialty summer camps in Athens for middle school & high school students who want to do amazing things. Arts camps include music production, comic book art, animation, photography, digital film school, & fashion design.

    Appropriate for: Teen

    Sewing camps at Fabricate Studios! (You guys know I love this one!!!!)

    1746 Defoor Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

    Fabricate Studios offers sewing camps designed specifically for kids (ages 6-11). They have camps for those who are new to sewing or have limited sewing experience as well as more advanced camps. Students will learn to use a sewing machine and make multiple projects that they can show off while learning the mechanics of sewing and hand embroidery.

    Appropriate for: Elementary, Teen, Adult

    Forefront Arts Drama Camp

    Various Locations

    Forefront Arts drama camps for ages 3-14 feature acting, improv, creative play, singing, dancing, designing, and more.  Our camp instructors are professional actors and every camper participates in the performance at the end of each week.   Productions offered in multiple locations throughout Atlanta.

    Appropriate for: Preschool, Elementary, Teen

    Puppet Camp!

    1404 Spring St, NW, Atlanta, GA 30309

    This immersive, week-long adventure will allow students the opportunity to write, build, and perform their own world-premiere puppet shows. Campers gain inspiration and knowledge from experienced puppet professionals and guest artists. 

    Appropriate for: Elementary

    CirqueFreaks Summer Circus Arts Camp

    5910 Gateway Drive, Alpharetta, GA, 30004

    Open for ages 6 – 13, our Circus day-camps introduce young people to everything from aerial silks to acrobatics, all while in a safe and positive atmosphere.  All ability levels are welcome!  Simply wear athletic clothing and bring a snack!

    Appropriate for: Teen, Elementary

    Guitar and Educational Enrichment Music Camp

    5187 Roswell Rd. NE, Sandy Springs, GA 30342

    Introduction to guitar in different styles of music. Guitar instruction for  beginner and intermediate levels. Introduction to different music instruments and to world music. Basics of music theory, sight reading, and improvisation.

    Appropriate for: Elementary, Teen, Preschool

    Y.E.A.H. Summer Camp (Youth Entertainers Acting Hub)

    115 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Atlanta, GA 30303

    YEAH! is for youth interested in learning about acting and developing skills to be successful on and off stage. curriculum includes acting, voice and movement introduced through various course topics from the youth’s perception in an effort to help aspiring entertainers develop their potential.

    Appropriate for: Teen, Elementary

    Atlanta Workshop Players Summer Performing Arts Camp

    Brenau University

    Co-Ed, One- or two-week sessions. TV/film acting, theatre, dance, musical theatre and performances, audition for top agents and casting directors. Produce a full show.

    Appropriate for: Elementary, Teen

    Encore Music Camps

    Atlanta and Milledgeville, Ga.

    A musical experience with rehearsals and master classes, with a blend of recreational activities. Camp closes with concert performances

    Appropriate for: Elementary, Teen

    Barrington Hall Writing Camp

    535 Barrington Dr., Roswell, GA

    Learn how to tell stories clearly using guided exercises, creative thinking and local field trips.

    Appropriate for: Teen, Elementary

    Abrakadoodle Art Camp

    Various Locations

    Abrakadoodle Art Camps inspire kids to reach beyond and create art that is unique to them. By doing so, kids feel empowered to be creative and expressive. It’s amazing to see just what kids design when given the freedom to explore and to express themselves creatively! Imaginations soar!

    Appropriate for: Preschool, Elementary

    Alliance Theatre Drama Camps

    Alliance Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St. NE Atlanta, GA 30309

    Alliance Theatre Spring Break and Summer Drama Camps.  All ages. All levels of experience. Be a part of it. Camps are available for students K through 12th grade in musical theatre and performing arts.

    Appropriate for: Elementary, Teen, Preschool

    Margaret Mitchell Writing Camps

    979 Crescent Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30309

    Margaret Mitchell House writing camps provide an opportunity for youth to discover the power and excitement of writing. With a new theme and 10-15 participants each week, campers receive individual attention while learning writing techniques.

    Appropriate for: Elementary, Teen

    GDA Kidz Summer Dance Camp

    1778 Ellsworth Industrial Drive, NW. Atlanta GA 30318

    Presented by Celebrity Choreographer CiCi Kelley, The Gotta Dance Atlanta KIDZ Summer Dance Camp consists of an enriching environment for young dancers ages 5yrs -13yrs old to learn and enjoy the art of dance.

    Appropriate for: Teen, Elementary

    MudFire Minis Camp

    175 Laredo Drive Decatur GA 30030

    Weekly camps from June 1st thru July 31st, for kids ages 5 – 14 at MudFire Clayworks in Decatur, GA. Come PLAY in the CLAY!

    Appropriate for: Elementary, Teen

    Whole World Theatre Summer Improv Camp

    1216 Spring St. NW, Atlanta, GA

    Improv and games. Performance every Friday.

    Appropriate for: Elementary, Teen

    Other Really Cool Camps:

    Break Into Business

    Georgia Tech & Mount Vernon School

    Camps for aspiring entrepreneurs. Launch a real business.

    Appropriate for: Elementary, Teen

    Peacebuilders Camp at Koinonia Farm

    1324 GA Hwy 49 S, Americus, GA 31719

    Peacebuilders Camp at Koinonia Farm is a unique overnight summer camp in rural south Georgia where youth ages 11 to 14 spend a week together learning how to work toward peace and justice. Campers enjoy farm life, play games and sports, go on field trips, learn about human rights.

    Appropriate for: Teen, Elementary

    Southeastern Railway Museum Camp

    3595 Buford Hwy., Duluth, GA

    ’Railroad Adventures’, where your child will learn about railroading while exploring over 50 historic trains.

    Appropriate for: Elementary

    Sports Broadcasting Camp

    Emory University Campus

    Learn from the pros. Make reporting, play-by-play and sports anchor tapes. Meet celebrities and more.

    Appropriate for: Elementary, Teen

    Project Inside Out

    Holy Innocents’ School, Atlanta, GA

    Girls learn to build self esteem, leadership skills and help recognize the value of community service

    Appropriate for: Elementary

    Fashion Workshops

    Atlanta, Buford

    Learn about fashion designing and styling.

    Appropriate for: Elementary, Teen

    Camp Salud

    Whole Foods, 5945 State Bridge Rd., Duluth; Harryís, 1180 Upper Hembree Rd., Roswell, GA

    Hands-on cooking camp. World cuisines.

    Appropriate for: Elementary, Teen

    Peace and Carrots

    1088 Bouldercrest Dr. SE, Atlanta, GA

    Explore the farm and learn about care for animals and plants while also working on conflict management skills.

    Appropriate for: Elementary


    More Camp Info

    Science Camp: Atlanta Edition (Really, are you serious?)
    Summer Camps in Atlanta: What to Consider and How to Pay For It (Field Trips With Sue)
    Finding a STEM based science camp – Atlanta Guide (Love, Peace and Tiny Feet)
    Summer Camps: Athens, Ga (Mommy Octopus)
    The Best Summer Camps in Georgia (365 Atlanta Family)

    See the complete listing of Atlanta Summer Camps here.

    So what are your kids’ plans for the summer?