Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway

Although I pride myself on being a good shopper, the holidays is a hard time for even the most professional shopper. It’s one thing to be the parent of the children you’re shopping for…shopping for someone else’s kids can be even harder! What will they like? Is it age appropriate? Will it drive the parents nuts (though I find that people who don’t have children worry about this one less…) Luckily Melissa and Doug take out all the guess work with their top 20 list for great 2012 holiday gifts.

And don’t feel limited to these awesome options. I really like a lot of the games and puzzles they come up with. My daughter has the hangman game which is very cute and great for long car rides to grandma’s house this year! You’ll no longer have to deal with paper and crayons getting smashed into the car seat!

Another gift for older kids that I saw recommended on another parenting website was the Suspend Family Game which is an aerial version of Jenga!

Don’t forget to check out their Facebook page here to learn more ways that you can win one of their daily contests! And you don’t even have to go that far!

Geekette Bits Giveaway!

I will be giving away the following gift from Melissa and Doug that has been a favorite of my daughter and I for a very long time!

Not only do you get an absolutely adorable Trunki, a portable suitcase that your kids can also sit on or “ride” during long walks across airport terminals, you’ll also be able to decorate it! I picked one that I thought would be great for a boy or girl.

Enter to Win:

@geekettebits I want to win @MelissaAndDoug‘s trunki! http://bit.ly/TbU2di #TerrificTwenty

 

{ Although Melissa and Doug let me sample one of their products my opinions are definitely my own and I wouldn’t recommend them if I didn’t love the quality and creativity of all of their products! }

Malibu Grand Prix | San Antonio

Malibu Grand Prix | San Antonio

 

Malibu San Antonio has everything you need to celebrate birthdays, have a party, corporate parties, events and team building, and for family gatherings. It’s the perfect place for friends and families to get together and cut loose with fun, games, and great food. With Bumper Boats, Go Karts, Arcade, Miniature Golf, Batting Cages, and so much more, there’s every way to play at Malibu San Antonio!

 

Malibu Grand Prix | San Antonio

 

More Information:

 

Malibu Grand Prix | San Antonio

  • Get $10 free game play for signing up on their mailing list here
  • Also check out incentives for kids to get rewarded for attendance, homework, and good grades here!

 

Location:

3330 Cherry Ridge Dr.

San Antonio, TX 78230

 

Discounts:

Here’s a coupon (expires 12/31/2012):

  • $14.99 for Three Attraction Tickets and 10 tokens or points

 

*And for parents worried they might get bored? Malibu offers FREE wifi! J

LEGO KidsFest Austin Giveaway

If you read my other blog post on LEGO KidsFest that’s coming to Austin, Friday, August 31 through Sunday, September 2, 2012 you’ll be as excited about winning a pair (2) of adult tickets to the session Friday, August 31 from 4:00-8:30pm. This $40 value can be yours, FREE! Simply leave a comment, start following me on Twitter @geekettebits or become a fan of my Facebook page to be entered to win!

Win by being the biggest Fan!

  • Become a fan of Geekette Bits here
  • Leave a comment on this post
  • Follow me on Twitter – @geekettebits
  • Share this post on my Facebook fan page here
  • Tweet this as many times as you want:

I want to win @geekettebits’ giveaway for @LEGOKidsFest!  http://bit.ly/SiQR1w #legokidsfest

 

Check back for additional ways to win this week (i.e. Facebook shares and RTs!) Winner will be announced Sun., Aug 26th! Hope to see you there!

UPDATE:  This just in!  I have been told that tickets are selling at lightning speed: there is limited availability for both Saturday sessions, and a sell-out for all sessions is likely.  I will be moving up the competition so get your entries in now!  If you don’t want to risk it go ahead and buy you tickets now, details on my other post.

WINNER UPDATE:  (8/27/2012)  Congratulations to “PoPrice” for winning two tickets to LEGO KidsFest in Austin for the Friday session!  This event is sure to sell out others should go ahead and order their tickets ASAP!  Thanks everyone for their enthusiasm and post!  Check back for more contests in the future.

LEGO Convention Austin

LEGO KidsFest | Austin Texas

If your child is obsessed with LEGO brick building…or you’re just a big kid at heart, check out the LEGO KidsFest! The LEGO® KidsFest national tour stops in Texas at the Austin Convention Center with three acres of creative hands-on LEGO building for children of all ages and builders of all skills and interests.  { Subscribe to my blog posts so you can win the pair of tickets I’ll be giving away before the show! }

Vince Rubino, LEGO events manager, says:

 Any family who likes to be inspired, get hands-on and have fun together won’t want to miss LEGO KidsFest. We’re bringing so many activities for Texan families to test and showcase their creativity and building skills in what is sure to be a family event to remember.

 

LEGO KidsFest Austin Texas

 

Website: LEGOKidsFest.com

Twitter: @legokidsfest

Facebook: facebook.com/legokidsfest

Pinterest: pinterest.com/legokidsfest

Newsletter: Sign up here

 

When: Friday, August 31 through Sunday, September 2, 2012

Where: Austin Convention Center { map

500 East Cesar Chavez Street  Austin, TX 78701


TICKETS

Tickets can be purchased here!

  • Adults – $20
  • Kids – $18

Tickets are for 1 of 5 IDENTICAL sessions, sessions vary from 3-4 hours of LEGO fun!

Things to Do:

  • LEGO Model Gallery: 40 life-sized models made entirely from LEGO bricks
  • LEGO Master Builders: live demonstrations and activities from the crew who get paid to play
  • Creation Nation: build your own creation to add to a custom map of the U.S.
  • Race Ramps: build your own custom car, then race it down the ramp against friends and family
  • LEGO Games Arena: roll the dice to play LEGO board games
  • Construction Zones: creative free build, play and display areas
  • LEGO DUPLO®: younger visitors can explore imagination through building
  • LEGO Retail and KidsFest Marketplace:
    purchase LEGO merchandise and official KidsFest tour goods
  • Brick Pile: a gigantic pile full of LEGO bricks for creative play and enjoyment
  • Monochromatic Builds: bricks of a single color to foster group creativity
  • Brickscapes: fantastic displays that combine lots of LEGO and DUPLO sets

 

LEGO KidsFest 2012 tour stops:

  • Cincinnati (March 23 – 25)
  • Denver (April 27 – 29)
  • Milwaukee (June 15 – 17)
  • Austin (August 31 – September 2)
  • Detroit (October 12 – 14)
  • Pittsburgh (November 30 – December 2)

South Texas Heritage Center at Witte Museum

Saturday, May 26, 2012, will be the grand opening of the Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg South Texas Heritage Center at the Witte Museum.  This two-story, 20,000 square foot addition will serve as the permanent home for the Witte’s South Texas collections.  Visitors will be able to experience over 150 years of change and rapid growth in San Antonio and South Texas.

Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg South Texas Heritage Center at the Witte Museum

Some of the new exhibits include:

  • San Antonio’s Main Plaza – a look at the famous square in the 1840s
  • Life along the border
  • Early years in South Texas – indigenous people, early settlers, the Missions
  • Oil and gas industry
  • Gallery dedicated to the 19th and 20th century early Texas art collections

With high-tech guides along the way, families can learn from cinematic robots, touch-screen computers, motion-trigger audio personas, and incredible sound and lighting effects capturing the interest and imagination of visitors young and old.

20120511-131654.jpg

Kids will get to see what life what like for children in the 1800s.  A wagon display has a peek inside crate full of goods from that time period.  Families can work together to balance goods on a donkey’s back.  Kids can also carry two buckets of water with a yolk like kids back then had to.  In addition to the existing exhibits at the Witte, you’ll want to set aside a lot of time to really go through everything.

GRAND OPENING

Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg South Texas Heritage Center at the Witte Museum

 

 

 

Saturday, May 26: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sunday, May 27: Noon-5 p.m.

Monday, May 28: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Address:  3801 Broadway | San Antonio, TX 78209

  • Witte Museum Boot Scoot and 5k Fun Run – opens the festivities with a morning run through Breckenridge Park
  • Demonstrations throughout the day
  • Cowboy/cowgirl dress up
  • Trick Roping
  • Horse interactions
  • Interactions with San Antonio Living History association
  • Much more!!!

 

SPECIAL EVENTS

The facility can accommodate up to 150 for a cocktail-style reception indoors and 250 for a seated dinner outside.  Please click here for more information.

20120511-131711.jpg

Safe Search Settings for YouTube and Google

As a mom and IT geek, I wanted to write a quick blog post to remind parents (and people who ever let kids play with their mobile devices or computers) to update the safe search settings for YouTube and Google.

YouTube:

go to http://www.youtube.com/…if you’re on a mobile device it will redirect you to their mobile site.  If you’re on a computer skip down a couple screenshots to step 3.

1 – Go to http://www.youtube.com/

safe search youtube

2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “Desktop” link:

safe search youtube

3.  Scroll all the way down the desktop view and click on the “Safety” drop down.  You’ll be able to toggle safe search on and off from there.

safe search youtube

If you are logged in, you can have youtube remember your setting on any device you’re signed into (computer or phone.)

safe search youtube

Of course they caveat it with “it’s not 100% safe”…so always monitor your children wisely. 🙂  Detailed instructions from YouTube here.

Google Safe Search

After going to https://www.google.com/ scroll to the bottom of the page:

safe search google

Click “Settings“:

safe search google

Make sure that “Strict” search is selected:

safe search google

and scroll to the bottom of the page and save before exiting the browser.

safe search google

Detailed instructions from Google here.

Check out more information from Google’s Family Safety Center (that I didn’t realize existed before writing this blog post!)  It includes advice from their partners and a lot of other helpful resources:

Valentine’s Day Printables

If you’re like me and LOVE printables, you enjoy these Valentine’s Day themed ones! I have found over 40 printable valentines for kids and adults, whether you’re handing them out at school or your special someone. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • Download pdfs by clicking on printable’s images
  • Blog images go directly to the “printable”-related blog posts if you want to check out other printables the blogger shared
  • If it’s not a direct PDF it’s because there were multiple images to download

Don’t forget to check out my blog post on Kid’s Valentine’s Day Websites, Printables, and Crafts!

FREE valentine's day printables

FREE valentine's day printables

FREE valentine's day printables

FREE valentine's day printables

FREE valentine's day printables

FREE valentine's day printables

Printable Valentine’s Day Jokes!

FREE valentine's day printables

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FREE valentine's day printables

 

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http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Tattered-and-Inked/174217669273613

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http://twitter.com/30daysblog

http://facebook.com/30daysblog

Pencil Toppers!

FREE valentine's day printables

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Bag Topper

FREE valentine's day printables

Cute Gift Labels “Open Me At”

FREE valentine's day printables

page 1 & page 2

FREE valentine's day printables

 

FREE valentine's day printables

https://www.facebook.com/iheartfaces

http://twitter.com/iheartfaces

Download a zip file full of templates displayed below.

FREE valentine's day printables

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https://twitter.com/#!/amyistheparty

http://www.facebook.com/amylouisecluck

FREE valentine's day printables

Skip to My Lou

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Skip-to-my-Lou/45710348090

http://twitter.com/cindyhopper

FREE valentine's day printables

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http://www.facebook.com/LivingLocurto?sk=app_265208426850693

http://twitter.com/livinglocurto

And cute bag labels here.

FREE valentine's day printables

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http://www.facebook.com/lovevsdesign

http://twitter.com/lovevsdesign

FREE valentine's day printables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011 Frost | Westin La Cantera

For people living in Sam Antonio or just visiting, the winter holidays are one of the best times of years. One family tradition we have enjoyed for the past two years is provided by the Westin La Cantera. This luxurious resort paints a beautifully festive backdrop to kick off the yuletide season with plenty for families, couples, and friends to do.

During a complimentary “mommy bloggers” preview, my daughter and I, her best friend’s family, and a couple other families were able to see firsthand all the excitement and Christmas spirit the Westin is returning to the Hill Country.

When: Nov. 18th through Jan. 8

Where: Westin La Cantera | 16641 La Cantera Parkway, San Antonio, TX 78256

Phone: (210) 558-6500

Website: http://www.westinlacantera.com/holidays.html

The fun kicks off with Frost – imagine be able to skate outside on a 1,200-square-foot synthetic outdoor iceless skating rink, whether it’s in the 20s or 80s!

This activity is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Cost is $10 for 45 minutes of skating and skate rental.

*A portion of the proceeds will go to the George Gervin Youth Center, Inc.

**Guests who skate will instantly be included in a prize drawing. The grand prize includes: a 2-night stay, daily breakfast for two at Brannon’s Café and a personalized memento from Spurs legend George “Iceman” Gervin

Santa’s Workshop

When: Dec. 13 to Dec. 24

Drop by Santa’s Workshop where guests or locals can take a photo with Santa, make a holiday toy or decorate cookies with the elves.   A portion of the proceeds will go to a local charity.

Legendary Holidays

When: Dec. 13 to Dec. 24

The resort’s 13th annual Legendary Holidays program is sure to dazzle kids of every age. This one-hour resort tradition takes place daily at 5 p.m. Guests are guided around the property by the popular storyteller, Bandera Cowboy ‘Makin’ Dust’, who sings and tells holiday stories.

 

The program concludes with ‘snow’ magically falling from the sky as the choir begins to sing a holiday song at the top of Plaza San Saba.


Holiday Menu and Cocktails

Celebrate the season with culinary delights, including a special Thanksgiving Day Brunch as well as delectable Christmas and New Year’s Eve menu selections.

 

The Magik Theatre

San Antonio’s local children theater presents a holiday comedy “The Pirate’s Holiday”!

Cost is $5.00 for adults; children under 3 are free.

Shows start at 7:30 p.m. The kids (ages from 3-8) and the adults (slightly older) in our group all laughed throughout the show, everyone having a TON of fun!

  • December: 12/3, 12/10, 12/16, 12/17, 12/19 through 12/23
  • December: Special show times on 12/17 at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Arrive 30 minutes early, seating is limited.
  • The show is 45 minutes long.

Below are some more pictures from our visit!

2011 Kids Summer Reading Programs

Free stuff for reading? Yes please! Check out this list of retailers and local libraries offering incentives for kids to read with their families or on their own this summer! Beat the heat and reap the rewards, literally! In no particular order here are a bunch of great programs!

 

 

2011 Kids Summer Reading Programs Barnes and Noble

 

Barnes & Noble’s Summer Reading program encourages kids to read by asking them to download a journal, read 8 books, and then pick a FREE book at the nearest store near you. Now through 9/6/2011!

 

Downloads:

 

 

 

2011 Kids Summer Reading Programs Borders Books

 

Borders book store is offering you a free book after the 10th book read! Now through 9/5/2011! Download the reading form here. You get to pick which 10 and Borders is offering a great selection of freebies to choose from (see complete list of freebies here!)

 

2011 Kids Summer Reading Programs Chuck E Cheese

Even Chuck E Cheese is getting in the spirit by offering this reading calendar in exchange for tokens!! Print our calendar here.

 

2011 Kids Summer Reading Programs HEB Buddy

 

From now until 10/1/2011, you can join the HEB Summer Reading Club and after reading 10 books you’ll get a cool prize!

 

After printing out the form (download here), mail it in to this address:

 

H•E•Buddy® 2011 Summer Reading Program,

10530 Sentinel, San Antonio, Texas 78217

 

2011 Kids Summer Reading Programs Half Price Books

 

Download your summer reading log from Half Price Books here and spend your summer keeping track of all the great books you read! Start turning in completed logs between July 25th through August 7th and receive $5 Back to School Bucks reading rewards cards!

 

2011 Kids Summer Reading Programs Scholastic Books

Scholastic if also offering freebies in their summer reading program here. Log your minutes to win rewards! This is by far the most modern and technologically filled summer reading program. Your child will sign up for an account where they log the hours they read each day. Meet the reading challenge each week and win FREE downloads and other prizes.

2011 Lemonade Day San Antonio

Last year was the first time San Antonio, TX participated in Lemonade Day. While their goal was 1,500 kids participating, San Antonio had 3,300 participants, the most every for an inaugural city! In 2011, their goal is 7,500!  On May 1, 2011, any kid (or young at heart) is encouraged to not only open a lemonade stand but pick up the FREE backpack ahead of time.  It includes information for kids and parents about planning and becoming a young entrepreneur.

 

The City of San Antonio passed a health ordinance on March 3rd waiving the temporary food establishment permit requirement for children and youth participating on May 1st!

 

2011 lemonade day san antonio

 

Website:
http://sanantonio.lemonadeday.org/

 

2010 Lemonade Day in San Antonio

  • Last year the average stand was open for 4 hours and 51 minutes. In that time the average profit was $73.00
  • In 2010 over 70% of profits were donated to charity
  • Last year’s most successful stand in San Antonio made over $600!

 

Twitter:
http://twitter.com/ldaysa

Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/LemonadeDaySA

 

Online Resources:

  • Facebook app and more games here
  • Teacher Guides here
  • Compete for prizes this year!

 

2010 Lemonade Stand Map | San Antonio, TX

 

 

Backpack Pickup Locations

Register online or pick up your FREE 2011 Lemonade Day backpack full of educational information and coupons for kids and parents! Different bags for different age groups, pick up at any of the following events:

 

  • San Antonio Library at any time starting April 4th, Library locations click here.

 

What

Where

When

Fiesta de los Niños 

2011 lemonade day san antonio fiesta de lose ninos

Parade at noon

Featuring middle school bands, elementary school students, Port San Antonio employees, SAFD fire truck, & lots more.

 

Rides, games, food, entertainment and lots of fun!!!!

200 Donald Goodrich Rd 

San Antonio, TX | Map

Saturday, April 9, 

10:00am-7:00pm

KidsDay in the Park 

2011 lemonade day san antonio | kids day in the park

Free event for parents and children age 10 and under

San Pedro Springs Park | Map Saturday, April 9, 2011 

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Kids’ Kingdom @ King William’s Fair 

 

2011 lemonade day san antonio | king williams fair

 

Kids’ Kingdom is the child centered park area in the King William Fair, features “kid” friendly attractions with games and carnival attractions. Activities include free arts and crafts by Mission Trail and other community groups

1032 S. Alamo Street San Antonio, TX 78210 | Map Saturday, April 16, 

10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

3rd Annual San Antonio Youth Summit 

 

2011 lemonade day san antonio | San Antonio Youth Summit

Small group sessions on important social issues in San Antonio with panel discussions with community leaders on how to build for a better future.

 

Motivational speakers and workshops on preparing for the future

200 E Market St 

San Antonio, Texas 78205 | Map

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 8am-4pm
Valero Go! Challenge
 

2011 Lemonade Day San Antonio, Valero Go! Kids Challenge

Alamo Dome 

100 Montana St.

San Antonio, TX 78203 | Map

Sunday, April 10, 2011 

12 noon – 3 p.m.

San Antonio Zoo
 

2011 Lemonade Day San Antonio, San Antonio Zoo

San Antonio Zoo 

3903 North St. Mary’s St,

San Antonio, TX 78212 | Map

Sunday, April 10, 2011 

9am—12pm

2011 Lemonade Day San Antonio, san antonio locations whataburger pick up San Antonio Whataburgers Saturday, April 23, 2011 

2—5pm

Charlotte’s Web
 

2011 Lemonade Day San Antonio, Magik Theatre

Showing at the Magik Theatre from April 6 through May 7th.

420 South Alamo 

San Antonio, TX 78205 | Map

Friday, April 22, 2011 

6-8:30pm

 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

1?3:30pm

Best FREE Preschool iPhone apps

I don’t even need to own an iPhone to know how helpful a few strategically downloaded games can be when it comes to entertaining your child (or someone else’s!)  Here are one’s that I have downloaded on other people’s phones or that were recommended to me!

All the apps are free to download and have been kid tested and mommy approved!

*Make sure thought that before letting your child play the games, all default settings are as you expect.  Lately there have been a lot of articles about kid’s downloading full versions and automatically charging to their parent’s itunes account.  Don’t be caught with any surprise purchases!

Click Image for iTunes Link

iPhone App Description

kid iphone app - tap fish Tap Fish, you are only taps away from owning multiple aquariums where you can decide what fish to grow, to sell, and to breed!
kid iphone app - disney toy story Toy Story takes you on the adventure of a lifetime: 

A fully interactive reading experience packed with Games, Movie Clips, Coloring Pages, Sing-along Tunes, and Surprises on every page. Hear the story read aloud, record your own narration, or explore at your own pace.

kid iphone app - toddler teaser shape Approved by teachers, parents and toddlers alike Toddler Teasers Shapes teaches while it entertains. With a focus on simplicity and full voice overs, toddlers play and learn without the need for extra help. The app displays colorful quizzes and offers positive reinforcement and fun rewards. The child-safe menu allows parents to customize game play and difficulty.
kid iphone app - i hear ewe I Hear Ewe – Animal Sounds for Toddlers –Entertain and educate your toddler with this simple game full of 24 different authentic animal sounds and 12 different vehicle sounds. When your baby taps on an animal or vehicle icon, the game will verbally announce what type of animal or vehicle it is and play a recording of its real sound.
kid iphone app - balloonimals Balloonimals (MY FAVORITE!!) Beautifully rendered Balloonimals spring to life when you blow into the microphone on your iPhone or press the screen with your iPod Touch. Watch the balloon inflate and then give your phone a shake to start constructing your Balloonimal. With each shake, your animal takes greater shape until… Voila! Your Balloonimal appears and is ready to play. Pet your Balloonimal to see what tricks it can do.
kid iphone app - peakaboo barn lite Peekaboo Barn Lite Inside a little bouncing barn, friendly farm animals are waiting to pop out and surprise your little one. Try and guess who they are; tap the doors to find out!
kid iphone app - chinese for munchkins Chinese for Munchkins takes children on a journey, teaching them how to say animals and numbers in Mandarin and Cantonese – the two most common Chinese dialects in the world (there is an English option too). Whether they want to roar with the “lau fu” (tiger), munch on bamboo with a “hung mao” (panda) or count “yak, yee, saam” (1-2-3), kids will be drawn to the flashcard pictures, sounds and animations.
kid iphone app - parents flashcards The experts at Parents® magazine help moms and dads keep young children entertained and stimulate learning with Parents Flash Cards. The included card packs are Colors and Shapes.
kid iphone app - shape builder lite Shape Builder LITE – The Preschool Learning Puzzle Game – Each puzzle has 5 to 10 pieces and after positioning all of the pieces, the real image is revealed along with a professional voice recording of the word spoken by Jill Dews, a licensed speech therapist. Encourages cognitive thinking and fine motor skills plus exposes young minds to new music instruments, animals, produce, objects and the alphabet in a fun and engaging format with LOTS of fun sound effects!
kid iphone app - tangram Tangram Puzzle Pro FREE – Get 12 puzzles for free and see what Tangram Puzzle Pro is all about. Intuitive one-finger controls let you slide and spin shapes, and a convenient shape tray keeps things organized.
kid iphone app - fingerpro lite FingerPiano Lite – allows you to play the piano with your forefinger.
kid iphone app - read me stories Read Me Stories – Children’s books A fun new educational and entertaining book EVERY day helps your child develop good reading habits. Each book teaches your child new concepts, new words and how to say them.

Windcrest Christmas Lights | San Antonio, TX

UPDATED:  Link to 2013 Windcrest Christmas Lights homepage

So, I should be ashamed because after living in San Antonio, TX since 2001-ish, I have never been to drive through the Windcrest Light Up (link to official website…) and marvel at the Christmas lights.  This year’s Light Up theme was “A Star-Studded Christmas” and there were tons of “stars”!  One yard boosted everyone from the Beatles to basketball players and everyone in between!  One house had music that you could tune into while you watched the lights flash in time w/ the music.

WARNING:  I went on Christmas night and it was pretty bumper to bumper.  Some people walked through the neighborhood which was fairly good sized.  I know though, the people walking made GREAT time and although they may have been chilly, they would have enjoyed the lights far more quickly than anyone sitting in traffic.  I’m not sure how residents deal w/ the traffic, Fenwick was bumper to bumper for 45 minutes!  Bring snacks, activities, and don’t go before the kids have gone to the restroom.  The lights were incredible and even the side streets w/o winners had many neighbors in the holiday spirit.

Check out the google map below, based on the winners list found on the website, I have plotted where each of the houses is for easy Garmin GPS entry. 🙂

According to their website, the City’s official map of the lighted neighborhood is here.

View 2010 Windcrest Christmas Lights – San Antonio, TX in a larger map

City of Windcrest

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/CityofWindcrest

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/City-of-Windcrest/356850095710

Give Best Gift Ever | UNICEF Charity

Did you wait until the last minute to purchase a Christmas present this year?  No fear!  UNICEF is here.

The best gift is a gift that keeps giving…and what could be better than a gift that literally saves lives, natural resources, and makes the world a better place!

A couple of Sundays ago, at my church Oak Hills in San Antonio, Max Lucado quickly showed a video of missionaries from our church sent to different parts of Africa to build fresh water wells w/ money raised from the Bibleland Children’s Sunday School classes.  Not only were the children there laughing and thanking us, they are now able to enjoy clean, fresh water without worrying about contamination, disease, and travelling many miles to fetch a tiny amount.

Check out all the ways to give back to children around the world:

UNICEF Charity gifts

About UNICEF:

Working in over 150 countries, UNICEF provides children with health care, clean water, nutrition, education, protection, emergency relief, and more.

22,000 children die EVERY DAY from preventable diseases.  Imagine being able to buy a gift that saves the life of one or many children in poverty stricken parts of the world!  Several, charitable organizations like UNICEF let you do just that!  Dedicate the purchase in the name of a loved one or friend and send/print notification.

Right now the featured gift is a “Winter Child Survival Pack” that includes:

  • supplies to sustain child for 6 months!!
  • vitamins and minerals to grow healthy
  • measles and polio immunizations
  • enough water purification tablets for 50,000 liters of water!!

ALL of that is possible w/ a small donation of $81.35!  And if that’s too much they take general donations of $5 and more.

help provide clean, safe drinking water for an entire community

  • Education & Play – school supplies, soccer balls, and more give these children a chance for quality educations!
  • Immunizations – vaccinations for diseases that don’t even exist in modern countries ($20 buys 412 tetanus shots)
  • Water – water pumps, purification, and family water kits
  • Nutrition – baby scales, ready to eat food, vitamin powder ($18 buys 604 individual doses of vitamins and minerals!)
  • Emergency – high energy food, water kits, tents and more to help during emergencies
  • Health – first aid kits for field workers, mother/baby packs, for $80 save 1000k from deadly diseases

UNICEF Holiday Promotions from Corporate Partners

Did you know that as you’re shopping for people on other sites you could still be helping children fight preventable diseases?!

American AirlinesCauses on FacebookDelta Air Lines
FEEDGucciH&MIKEA |  Western Union

Click on the links for more details!  American Airlines is fighting diseases w/ incentives to donate to UNICEF by offering 2 AAdvantage miles in return for EACH dollar donated.  Donate right now!

The special edition “Gucci for UNICEF” Sukey bag, designed by Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini in grey “La Pelle Guccissima” leather, is being sold in Gucci stores in over 20 countries and from April 15, 2010 through February 28, 2011, Gucci will donate 25% of the retail price!

 "Gucci for UNICEF" special edition Sukey bag

UNICEF Social Media

Teacher resources for online charity UNICEF

TeachUNICEF is a portfolio of UNICEF-focused resources designed and collected by the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s Education Department for educators, afterschool instructors, and parents. The units, lesson plans, stories, and multimedia cover topics ranging from the Millennium Development Goals to water and sanitation.

*Teaser for my next blog “Teach UNICEF” 🙂

Back to School Sales for Teachers | Educators Discounts

I hope that even if you’re not a teacher, you share the information in this post with one you know!  I can’t think of a more intense profession – please take the time to thank the teachers in your life!

This post is chock full of deals, reward programs, and other incentives that teachers and educators might not have the time to find.  Check out these deals for back to school, a lot of which last all year long!  Most require sign up with proof of teaching license or school code but all programs are free with rewards offered to your school!

Barnes and Noble Educator Program

B&N Educator Program

  • Educator Discount, Resources & More
  • Save 20% off the publisher’s list price on all purchases for classroom use
  • Get up to 25% off the publisher’s list price during Educator Appreciation Days
  • Receive valuable email offers and information on special Educator events
  • Listen to popular stories being read online
  • Join by filling out this application and bringing it to any location! More FAQ
  • Coupon code: B8X7U8U, Exp: 08/17/10 (save 30% off the Back to School Category)

Borders Teaching Zone Reward Program

Classroom Discount Card – savings for teachers

  • Individual teachers, from preschool through high school, as well as school librarians and homeschool educators.
  • Save 25% off the list price of books and music CDs
  • Save 10% off the list price of DVDs for professional use.
  • Applications are available at all Borders stores, and signing up is completely free.
  • Follow on Facebook for more deals and events!

Half Price Books Teacher and Librarian Discount Card

Half price Books – Educator Discount

  • Half Price Books supports educators, school teachers and librarians in the community.
  • Educator’s Discount Card saves 10% all year round!
  • Just bring in valid ID and proof of current employment such as a pay stub or employee ID card.

Crayola Gold Star Teacher Program

Crayola – Gold Star Teacher Program

  • Sign up
    for the program to get great deals, printables, and other online resources!
  • Check out these resources, templates, and other freebies!
  • FREE science lesson plan for teachers

Office Depot Star Teacher Program

Office Depot – Star Teacher Program

  • Get 10% back in Rewards on ink, toner, and paper, plus 1% back on almost everything else.
  • Get discounts with these “My Star Teacher” reward partners
  • Find out more information about smart reward programs and going green!
  • $10 off $50 (Coupon Code: 75009959)
  • $15 off $75 (Coupon Code: 63427096)
  • $20 off $100 (Coupon Code: 40124581)
  • Expires 8/21

Adobe Software Student and Teacher Discounts

Adobe Software – Student/Teacher Discounts

  • Get up to 80% off Adobe software products!
  • FREE shipping!

AT&T Wireless Teacher Savings and Discounts

ATT Wireless

PBS Teacher Program

Join PBS Teachers!

  • Exclusive Content from PBS!
  • Ability to Save, Rate and Comment on Classroom Resources (like their Activity Packs)
  • Online Discussions on Media and Technology
  • Just by signing up, you will receive a 10% discount on your next purchase at ShopPBS for Teachers.
  • Follow on Twitter – @pbsteachers

2010 office professional student discount

  • You must have a valid e-mail address at an educational institution ending with the domain suffix .EDU (i.e., leina@contoso.edu) OR have a valid email address at one of the educational institutions listed here.

Staples back to school discounts

  • 20% Off All School and Office Supplies (In-Store Only)
  • Valid 8/15/10–8/21/10

Michael's the Knack Faculty discount program for teachers

Michael’s has this program called “The Knack Faculty” which offers teachers and other educators tons of printable templates, ideas, and savings!

Make sure you take advantage of their teacher appreciation event:

Michael's the Knack Faculty discount program for teachers

What: The Knack Faculty Free Teacher Appreciation Crop Event

When: 8/27/2010 3:00 PM – 8:45 PM

“Create some fun for the classroom. Teachers and friends, join us for Teacher Appreciation Crop Event. Learn to create fun bulletin boards, bookmarks, signs and more. We provide the space and assortment of tools. Plus, we take care of the cleanup.”

Michael's 40% off regular price item

HP Teacher Experience

HP – Teacher Experience Exchange

FREE Summer Events for Kids | 2010

Find out how to keep your children entertained for FREE this summer! This blog post contains tons of places that are offering FREE events for your kids to participate in this summer. Don’t forget to check out my post on how you can get free stuff, just for reading to your kid here!

National Park Service

Don’t forget to check for “Free Entrance Days” where you and your family can enjoy nature, for FREE! Also check out offers by local parks who offer visitors other incentives! Check out all their events here for details, by state/date about fun, free activities!

Don’t forget to follow them on Twitter – @NatlParkService. Kids can also sign up to become “Web Rangers” and become part of a community with their own Ranger Station!

AMF Bowling

Join the AMF eClub will get your 10 FREE games, exclusive monthly offers, birthday offers, and news of upcoming events and promotions!

Kids Bowl Free

Find a local bowling alley that’s participating in the “Kids Bowl Free” summer program that offers 2 FREE games of bowling, all summer long! Specific details of the program are listed here. Simply register at your local bowling alley to take advantage of this incredible offer!

“This program is designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer.”

Brunswick Bowling

Kids can bowl FREE every day this summer! Use the Student Ball pass for FREE bowling, all summer long! (We did this last summer and brought a lot of different friends each time!) Sign up for great coupons for yourself too!

Regal Cinemas

Now playing – FREE family movies! Starting at 10am every Tuesday AND Wednesday, enjoy FREE tickets for the entire family. Showing movies like “Doogal”, “Wallace and Gromit” (one of my favorites!!), “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs”, and many more, shows vary by movie theater!

Cinemark Movies


Although not free, it’s pretty close! Each movie ticket is $1 OR you can purchase all 10 movie tickets in advanced for $5!! Check out for your local theater’s listings.

Stores Offering Crafts and Activities for Kids this Summer | 2010

There are tons of FREE and discounted things for your kids to do this summer! Take advantage and don’t pay retail! 🙂 This blog post consists of all the fun activities we do during the week and on the weekends! Most of the programs we participated in last year. Also make sure to check out my blog post about 2010 Summer Reading Programs for Kids (to learn how to get free books, t-shirts, and gift certificates to reward your children for reading over the summer!) Some of the activities were mentioned in my blog post, 6 Kid Activities for the 6th Day of the Week!

Bass Pro Shop

I hope you have one nearby, they offer great activities over the summer (and throughout the year!) They will be offering FREE/Fun activities and make your own crafts! EVERYTHING is FREE! Activities include crafts, shooting galleries, casting ponds, family workshops, making s’mores, photo opportunities (FUN!!), shooting range, merit badge workshops, and more!

Bass Pro Shop Family Summer Camp Activities and Crafts

When: June 5 – July 11

Time/Day of the Week(s): Tues/Thur (at noon) OR Sat/Sun (at noon) { Schedule }

Cost: FREE

Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinics

Make sure you check out my recent blog post about these quality activities that occur every other week! Your child will enjoy getting the free Lowe’s apron, goggles, and hammering away at the wood craft of the week!

Lowe's Wood Craft

When: Indefinitely, not just for the summer!

Time/Day of the Week(s): Every other Saturday, next event is 6/12/2010, after that is 6/26/2010 – starts at 10am and supplies go FAST! { Schedule }

Cost: FREE!!

Home Depot’s Kids Workshops

Another fun, FREE activity, Home Depot activities are very similar to Lowe’s. Really quality crafts! Have made a wooden airplane, treasure box, pirate ship, and more!

Home Depot Wood-working craft

When: Indefinitely, not just a summer thing!

Time/Day of the Week(s): First Saturday of EVERY month, starts at 9am – get there EARLY! { Schedule }

Cost: FREE!!

Lakeshore Learning Store

Another really quality craft activity, this one is fun and can kill a couple hours! After making the craft, walk around the store and play with all the displays set out on Saturday for kids to experiment with. A fully stocked kitchen, put on a puppet show, go fish, and much more!

Also, on special holidays they sometimes offer multiple crafts! Great gifts for grandparents! They also encourage parents to participate if you’re feeling particularly crafty.

Lakeshore Learning Store crafts and activities for kids

When: Indefinitely, not just summer!

Time/Day of the Week(s): Every Saturday from 11-3pm…try to not just show up at 2:45pm when they’re trying to clean up. The San Antonio location brings out supplies as long as there are kids which I’ve always appreciated. { Schedule }

Cost: FREE!!

Target Arts + Cultures

Target is supporting the Arts by offering over 2,200 FREE and reduced-price events sponsored by Target! Click on the link to find events near you!

Pottery Barn Kids Book Club

When: Indefinitely, not just for the summer

Time/Day of the Week(s): Tuesdays at 11am-1130am { Schedule }

Cost: FREE, after 5 visits get a FREE gift!