Saturday was “Family Fun Day” for real

February 5, 2008 at 6:15 pm (goings-on, Other) (, , , )

Last Saturday was only the second day since returning from our Christmas holiday that Stephen and I have had a day off work together. He, of course, works Monday through Friday and I work, well, sporadically, but it just happened that I had to work Saturday and Sunday of the previous three weekends, leaving little to no family fun time. So, needless to say, having Saturday off together for a much needed “family fun day” was much anticipated. We had everything planned out so that we wouldn’t waste a minute of the day:

Bright and early–well Eleanor generally sleeps in until about 9, so it wasn’t that early–we set out for a great little place called The Little Nest. It’s a funky and very family-friendly little cafe on the Drive that features yummy, healthy food for adults and kids alike, using sustainable and organic ingredients! They open at 9 and we got there around 9:30 so as not to be the first but early enough to get one the primo tables right beside the kids’ play area. The food was great, the coffee was great, the wait was great! It’s the only place I know of where you can go with a small child and just let them run around and play while you have a leisurely adult conversation over coffee. And, the price is extremely reasonable for what you get, including a little peace. This was the second time we’d gone to The Little Nest with Eleanor (I don’t think anyone goes there without kids, it’s so crazy) and the first time, it was so packed it was only by dint of a miracle of timing that we ended up with a table beside the play area. We will definitely be going back there, but early.

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So, then we took a stroll up Commercial Drive. We stopped in a pet store because I can’t go by a pet store without looking at the fish. I think this stems from rainy days with my grandmother–she would take me and my brother and cousins to the mall to “hang out” and one of the places we always went in the mall was the pet store where there was a darkened nook lined with aquariums, the only light being the bluish glow from the water. Anyway, this store just happened to be running a sale–45% off!–on the very water test kits I’ve been in need of. It was truly a lucky day!

So, then, we headed off to Science World! For Christmas, my mother was kind enough to give us a gift certificate for a one-year family membership and we thought we were going to hold off until somebody’s upcoming 2nd birthday, but we couldn’t resist. It was, after all, “family fun day.” At first it seemed that it was going to be a little over Eleanor’s head, despite what I’d heard from other tot-gym moms, because there were tables with brainy puzzles and games that even Stephen and I couldn’t figure out (luckily, they have staff wondering around offering clues). Then, we wandered into a room with some turtles, snakes, and bugs on display (in cages, of course) and Eleanor thought crawling through the fake beaver dam was way cool, especially because it had a stuffed beaver she could pet. She wasn’t scared of it, which is surprising because she was scared of the plastic blue heron in the pet store. Then, in the next room, we really had some fun…

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That last picture is of Eleanor looking amazed at the ball she just threw into a current of water. I’m not really sure of the scientific principle on display here, but this particular exhibit had all the toddlers in histerics. The cool thing about Science World is that, for kids this age, it doesn’t even have to be sciencey, it’s just plain fun! And, now that we have a membership and it won’t cost us an arm and a leg to get in, we can go back whenever we want. It’ll be a great way for us to entertain Eleanor when it’s too cold and wet to go outside. Yay! Thanks, mom!

So, Science World really wore Eleanor out and it was nap time as soon as we got home, which Stephen and I always use to relax:) After nap time, we went to the park and played for about 10 seconds on each piece of equipment (does ADD set in so soon?) and when Eleanor got cold, which was inevitable as it was nearly freezing outside, we went to a coffee house close to home to warm up. Stephen and I relaxed, yet again, with a nice warm cuppa joe and Eleanor had the perfect child’s hot chocolate–not too hot and not too strong. With the help of a play tool set and work bench to occupy her, Stephen and I were able to relax and read the paper for nearly an hour before we had to get Eleanor home for dinner. We fed her, bathed her, read to her, and put her to bed, all with no fuss. Ahhh… And, then we ordered sushi from our favorite, Zipang… the perfect end to the perfect day!

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