Tuesday, August 23, 2016

5 Date Night Ideas in Sun Prairie

Kid-free nights are few and far in between.  It's a hassle to arrange for childcare and waste all of your time driving across town, fighting traffic and rushing to dinner.  Why not enjoy a date night right here in Sun Prairie.  Here are five ideas how you can enjoy time with your special someone, right here in Sun Prairie.

  1. A "Drive" into the Country.  Pack your clubs and head to the driving range at Sun Prairie Golf Course.  Head out into the country to enjoy a little friendly competition and follow it up with a refreshing ice cream cone at Sassy Cow Creamery just around the country corner.
  2. Love is Brewing.  Visit Cannery Wine and Spirits for one of their upcoming tasting events or classes.  From home brewing classes to wine tastings and pairings, you two will reconnect while sipping a glass or two.
  3. Couples Couch to 5K.  Couples Couch to 5K with Running Diva Mom is a great opportunity for a weekly active date night!   This class starts September 1, 6:00 pm.  If you and your spouse are interested in getting active or you are a runner and want to share your passion with your partner, join Joel and Jamie Adcock, for this gentle introduction to running.  Class will meet on Thursday evenings at 6:00-6:45 pm at various parks and trails in Sun Prairie.  This program slowly and painlessly prepares your mind and body to run a 5K race in a supportive community environment. We’ll start off alternating between walking and running small distances, and slowly build up endurance over the course of nine weeks, so you’re ready to run a 5K.
  4. Dinner and a Movie.  Enjoy the newest romantic comedy or action flick at Marcus Palace Cinema.  Enjoy dinner right in the movie theater or grab dinner before hand in the Take Five Lounge.  This fall, you can follow your flick with an after-dinner drink outdoors by the romantic firepit.
  5. Chill while you heat things up.  Try out a hot yoga class at Dragonfly Hot Yoga on Sun Prairie's west side.  New Dragonfly clients receive their first week FREE at the Sun Prairie location.  When you're done with class, stop next door to Elements Massage to unwind even further.

Troll Beach

I have one child that isn't too keen on lake water.  I was reminded of Troll Beach in Stoughton recently.  So we decided to make the drive to check it out.  When I was a child, I visited these manmade beach frequently.  We called it the "mud hole" back then. 
 
 
Hot, metal slides with buckets have been updated.  This was completely different than what I remembered as a kid.  And even more fun.  My children enjoyed inflatable obstacle courses and slides throughout the water.  Younger swimmers were divided from older swimmers.  More experienced swimmers also had to take a swimming test before they would be allowed on the obstacles in the deeper water. 
 
My oldest enjoyed sunbathing with her friend on the beach and we were also able to bring in our own sand tows for the little ones.  There was plenty of sun.  But, there was also plenty of shade to enjoy.
 
The water quality was great - clear and blue.  We also enjoyed the snack bar, which I remember as a child.  My kids enjoyed jumbo-sized freezy-pops just like I had as a kid.
 
The non-resident rates were comparable to the rates at the Sun Prairie Aquatic Center.


Sassy Cow Creamery

Sassy Cow Creamery is definitely worth the short seven mile trip out into the country.  With an assortment of ice cream flavors, delicious milk, cheeses and other local items, their charming store is filled with all sorts of tasty treats.  Their chocolate milk is the best I've ever had.  Curious children will also enjoy taking a peek inside their production facility as they peek through the observation area.
 
 
My kids love mixing and matching the delicious flavors in their dish of ice cream.  Who can pick just one of these tasty flavors?  Purple Cow is a family favorite. 

We like sitting out in the cozy chairs on the front porch.  Or there is ample seating under the shelter, over-looking the cornfield.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Sassy Cow offers farm tours and special events at the creamery and the farm throughout the year.  Make sure that you check out their event calendar or Facebook page to stay in the loop on all of their FREE events.
 
Kids will enjoy a few animals that are available on site at the creamery.  There is also a racing track for all of the multi-colored tractors.
 
 




Friday, August 19, 2016

Enter to win TWO FREE TICKETS to LEGO KidsFest Milwaukee - October 7-9

My family and I visited LEGO KidsFest in Milwaukee a few years ago and it was a huge hit.  You aren't going to want to miss this year's event.  Sun Prairie Mom is also offering you a chance to win TWO FREE TICKETS for the Friday evening opening night (see details below).

New activities, popular favorites featured in interactive event running Oct. 7 - 9, 2016.  The award-winning
LEGOKidsFest returns to Milwaukee's Wisconsin Center from Oct. 7 - 9, 2016. Those who attended the previous show can once again expect hands-on building, creative experiences and one-of-a-kind activities. Children of all ages and builders of all skills and levels are welcome. LEGO KidsFest features dozens of new activities and popular favorites on the three-acre show floor. New activities for this year's visit include LEGO Mindstorms, LEGO Movie, LEGO Disney Princess, the Mixels, a LEGO Superheroes area and more. Once again, show-goers can enjoy the LEGO Model Museum, Race Ramps, Creation Nation, Construction Zone, LEGO DUPLO, LEGO Retail store and LEGO KidsFest Marketplace, the Big BrickPile, LEGO Ninjago and more.

 
 
LEGO KidsFest tickets can be purchased at www.LEGOkidsfest.com. Tickets are $19 for the Friday and Sunday afternoon sessions, and $22 for both sessions on Saturday and the Sunday morning session. 
Purchase your tickets to LEGO Kidsfest Wisconsin. 
 

LEGO KidsFest discount code:  SAVE 10% with promo code School2016

 

One Sun Prairie Mom reader will win (2) tickets to for the opening night session on Friday, Oct 7 2016 (4-8:30pm). I encourage you to LIKE and Follow LEGOKidsFest on Facebook for all the latest ticketing and event updates. Must be 18 to enter, 1 entry per day allowed, random drawing by USFG!

Winner will be randomly chosen by USFG on and announced on
Sun Prairie Mom and notified via email after September 1, 2016.

ENTER HERE to win TWO FREE TICKETS.  Contest ends September 1, 2016.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Wizard Quest & Ripley's Believe it or Not! - Day Trip to Wisconsin Dells

Yesterday, we were looking to get out of town for the day.  The kids and I decided to venture up to Wisconsin Dells for a quick day of sight-seeing and fun.  We hadn't been up to Wisconsin Dells yet this summer and were looking forward to doing a little exploring and trying some new activities out - other than the typical water parks that we visit.
 
After a quick stop to the Outlet Mall, we stopped for some fast food downtown and grabbed a quaint spot by the dam.  We enjoyed our picnic lunch over-looking the water.  We had the whole place to ourselves!
 
 
Then we headed over the bridge to Wizard Quest.  I have been to The Dells dozens of times and walked right past Wizard Quest on several occasions.  I had even browsed through the gift shop before.  But I never have actually thought of going in, because I thought it would be cheesy and a waste of time and money.  I really try to plan where we spend our money, especially for special outings like this.  Man, was I wrong.

 
Upon entering Wizard Quest, we were given a device (Skrindle) and were able to choose from several adventures., or "realms".  We opted to start with "Earth".  Each realm has a wizard who has been trapped and it is your job to free them.  You are given clues throughout the game to find other objects in your assigned realm, which will unlock more adventures in the other three realms.  There are tons of secret doors, passage ways, a ball pit, crawl spaces and a mirror maze.

 
If your kids like video games, Pokeman Go or Geocaching, they will love this!  This adventure is pretty similar and a team-building treasure hunt.  We were given 75 minutes to complete our adventure.  I was worried that we wouldn't be able to do it, but we did within the first half hour, which unlocked more challenges that we were able to complete. 




 
I was advised that the floor was not stroller friendly (think stairs and optional slides), so I was happy that I brought my baby carrier.  I strapped my baby in it and walked hands-free while she enjoyed the scenery and eventually napped for the rest of our adventure.  My kids had so much fun working together on the clues and finding all of the items on our list.  Some areas may be scary for small children.  My older children are 8 and 12 yrs and they were perfect for this kind of outing.  You will be zig-zagging all over Wizard Quest, too and may split up.  So I would recommend keeping a close eye on preschool age children - especially in the darker areas.

Like I said, I thought this would be a cheesy attraction, but it actually turned out to magical and an absolute blast!!  We even finished all of our challenges with thirty seconds left to spare.
 
Kids ages 5-11 are $9.99 and adults are $14.99.  I would highly suggest doing Wizard Quest as a family on your next trip up to Wisconsin Dells.  It's located right downtown next to the quaint Wisconsin Dells Riverwalk.  I think you could even combine Wizard Quest with one of the local pubs and a stroll down the Riverwalk - for a fun, unique date night experience. 

 
 
Speaking of "cheesy" .... after we freed our Wizard ... we headed next door to Oodlesmack Popcorn.  They have so many cheese flavored popcorns, specialty popcorns and fruit flavored popcorns.  You are going to love all of their FREE samples!  Each kid chose their own mini bag and both tasted delicious (believe me, I tried them!).  We grabbed a spot on the patio outside and enjoyed our afternoon snack.



Right next to the popcorn place was Ripley's Believe it or Not!.  Now THIS I had walked by many, many times but never went in.  They claim to have everything odd, weird and unbelievable.  And, that's exactly what it was.  There are eleven galleries in this crazy attraction.

 
The kids enjoyed walking through the Duct Tape Room and looking at everything made solely from Duct Tape.  They also liked the shrunken heads exhibit that they read up on.  There were multiple levels in this attraction as well. But I was able to navigate with the stroller - with some assistance from my two older helpers.  There were a couple of areas I couldn't go, like a secret fireplace.  This self-guided tour was completed in about fourty-five minutes. 


 
We spent forever in a dark tomb, uncovering secret symbols and pushing the buttons to see what secret passages or attractions would open.  My littlest did not enjoy the loudest secret of them all, when the whole tomb would shake.  Even mom was a bit scared the first time.  Of course, the Egyptian temple was the favorite attraction for my oldest children.  So we braved it out.


 
 
Again, kids ages 5-11 are $9.99 and adults are $14.99 per visit.
 
 
We had a fun, unique adventure in downtown Wisconsin Dells yesterday.  Two fun attractions crossed off of our list!  Both were great activities if you are looking for something different to do in the Dells, other than the water parks.  They would also be great options for a rainy afternoon or sometime this winter, too.  If I had to choose one spot to spend my money, I would hands-down choose Wizard Quest - and my kids agree.  It really was fun working together and solving all of the riddles together.  I would go back and see what other adventures there are in the other realms. 

But, why choose??!!  Purchase the
Downtown Dells Discovery Pass and receive half-off the second attraction!
 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

15 Things you should be Buying from Dollar Tree

My family frequently visits The Dollar Tree to stock up on low-cost essentials at a fraction of the price that we would pay at Target or Walmart.  I typically will by four to six of each item, so that we have enough on hand for several months.  Items are sometimes similar quality to the brand name version.  Sometimes they are not quite as well made.  However, for these products, I am willing to trade the quality for a similar product that is twice the price. 


Here are fifteen items that I pick up regularly from The Dollar Tree or have trusted in the past.
  • batteries
  • hand soap
  • dish soap
  • drain cleaner
  • glass cleaner
  • dusting spray
  • carpet refresher
  • toilet bowl cleaner
  • napkins
  • sandwich/snack baggies
  • scented diaper baggies
  • pregnancy/ovulation tests
  • disposable coffee mugs
  • tissue paper
  • gift bags

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Thrift Shops in Sun Prairie

I love garage sales and am an avid thrift store shopper.  I love finding a treasure among the organized racks and piles of used items.  I get satisfaction out of finding a new purpose for things and a new home for fun finds.  I enjoy finding unique clothing with fun embellishments and made by unique brands.  Most of my children's clothing has been purchased this way.  I also purchase things for myself, as well as items for organizing and decorating my home.
 
A friend and I planned an afternoon for visiting thrift stores in Sun Prairie.  In the past year, Sun Prairie has gained two of our very own thrift stores. 
 
During this trip, we visited:

Society of St. Vincent DePaul
1110 West Main Street, Sun Prairie
 
Goodwill
2111 McCoy Road, Sun Prairie
 
I also enjoy browsing the shelves at Savers and Goodwill on Madison's eastside.  I find Savers to be especially clean, well organized and decently priced.
 
 
Before you leave the house, take an inventory of clothing/sizes your family may need for the current or upcoming seasons.  Look into jackets, boots and other seasonal items that you need to purchase every single year.  Look at organizational projects you are planning in the home, garage or basement.  You can find several fun baskets or containers at thrift stores, for a fraction of the cost.
 
Always start with a cart when you enter the store.  You just never know what you're going to find!  Also, allow yourself plenty of time.  Time can pass by very quickly while you are searching through deals and looking for specific sizes for every member of your family.  We visited both stores and spent the entire afternoon at these two locations.

I find that sometimes thrift stores price their items way to high for used items.  I also note that prices are drastically higher than garage sales.  However, if you shop sales right and are picky about what you purchase, you can find a lot of really good deals.  Some items are even new with tags.
 
My family has also enjoyed finding several new books and completing book series over the year, by visiting thrift stores.
 
 
 
We were happy to find that there were also discounts on winter apparel and coats, during the first week of April.  At St. Vincent DePaul, we received 50% off of the ticketed prices.
I also had a Bucky Book coupon for Goodwill, for buy one apparel item/get one free (up to $4.29).
 
Many of the thrift stores also offer loyalty cards.  You either receive gift cards or automatic cash back on future purchases that you can redeem each time or accumulate for a larger purchase.

My daughter needed pants and jeans for next fall.  She also requested a black "leather" jacket.  I not only found one, I found three to choose from.  The pants were almost all half-off and had a lot of fun details on them.

 
Here's what I purchased:
 
St. Vincent DePaul

3 pairs of jeans for my daughter
1 blouse for my daughter
3 brand name sweat shirts for my daughter
1 hat for my son
1 pair Athleta pants for myself
1 blouse for myself
1 DVD

Total:  $75.97
- $28.79 discount on winter apparel
- $2.80 loyalty points
Total:  $46.97
 

Goodwill

1 black leather jacket for my daughter
1 pair shoes for my daughter
2 blouses for my daughter
1 Sun Prairie sweatshirt for my daughter
2 notebooks for my daughter
1 large bag of Sharpie markers and gel pens

Total:  $28.60
- $4.29 Bucky Book coupon
Total:  $24.31