DCA- what we do

Last week I highlighted all the rides we cannot ride when we visit Disney California Adventure as a group of one mom and three kids (ages 5.5, 3, and 5 months). Today  I’ll tell you what we do.

Ender wears 3-D glasses

Ender wears 3-D glasses

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Arora wears 3-D glasses

The kids number one favorite ride is Toy Story Midway Mania. The line is always long 30-45 minutes and they still want to do it. In the ride you wear 3-D glasses and play a series of midway games on giant screens.  This is a fun ride and I enjoy it much more then the similar Buzz ride in Disneyland.

While over here we will catch a ride on King Triton’s carrousel, which always has a super short line.

Disney Junior live onstage djlos2

The second favorite thing we do is catch the Disney Junior Live on Stage show. If you have kids that are at all familiar with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or other Disney junior shows (Sofia the first, Doc McStuffins or Jake and the Neverland Pirates) you have to see it. It is interactive fun in a cool dim room. It is a great break from the heat without a break in the fun. I recommended sitting in the front middle because there will be surprises falling from the ceiling that are pure magic.  Make sure to check the times guide given out at the gate because this show only runs in the morning. This is also a great time to get in a quick nursing session.

After this show the kids next favorite thing is Turtle Talk with Crush. This show is a chance to talk with, to ask questions to and learn to “talk turtle” with Crush from Finding Nemo. This show run all day, about every 20 minutes. Again a great indoor cool calming place to relax while still enjoying the Disney magic. Outside of the theater (but still indoors) are huge screens that play bits of favorite Disney movies. This is a great place to sit and have a picnic lunch, or nursing session. There are so many other things to do in this area. Make sure to check out Beast Library!

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One more thing we like but haven’t explored as much as we could is the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. This is across from the Grizzly rapid ride. This is basically  a large play ground with climbing walls, rickety bridges, giant logs to climb through etc. Kids can also earn badges but my kids just wanted to run around.

Other things we sometimes do:

Monsters Inc and Ariel rides. I like them but the kids think they are too scary.

We could ride the Micky’s fun wheel (Farris wheel) but that this is way too scary for me!

There are two rides in A Bug’s Land we could ride but skip because they are simply boring. Flik’s Flyers and the Chew Chew train. Both are 30 second long and unimpressive.

Also in A Bug’s Land there is a spray park, that we always skip because I don’t want to deal with 1. ) wet kids or 2.) hauling in a change of clothes. If we were going to be there all day on a hot day we might try it, depends on what you are going for, I guess.

There is a Pixar parade that we want to see but the time hasn’t worked for us yet. I’m sure it will be a favorite when we do.

Over all there is not as much for us to do compared to Disneyland. But the things we do the kids love so much I think it is worth a trip about once every three Disney days.

Disneyland: take 3

Hi all you Disney Fans, Here is my third installment of tips on doing Disney with three little ones often with just one adult.

Want to know the ride we simply can’t miss? The one my two year old talks non stop about? One all four of us can ride? That almost always has a short line?

Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters. It is a bit boring for me because I have to get to sit in the middle (with the baby in the Ergo) with no blaster.  Want to know my kids scores? Ender generally gets about 1200 points and Arora can get around 5000. When I actually get a blaster I get somewhere in the 50000 range. Whats your best Astro Blaster score?

Another favorite is the monorail. The kids like to sit in the very front. You simply have to ask to do so and may have to wait for the next monorail to come. There is a four body limit in the front.

 

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Next to the Monorail is the Finding Nemo submarine. We rode it once and it was scary (dark) for the kids and boring for me so we will not ride again. I thought there would be much more of the Finding Nemo story to the ride, but it was actually just a few characters spread through out.

A great way to get around the park is the Disneyland Railroad. It stops at the front of main street, New Orleans square, between Toon Town and Fantasy Land and in Tomorrow Land. You can take your stroller on but it must be folded up.

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If you visit Toon town there are only two rides. Both have restrictions. The rollercoaster has a height requirement and Roger Rabbit has the most unusual requirement I have heard of yet. First every bum must be on a seat and everyone must be awake to ride.  I don’t know how someone could be sitting on the seat and not be awake.

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If you are looking for a quite place to nurse a wee one while not putting the fun on hold I have two more suggestions: The Tiki Room in Frontier Land. Shows start often and there is rarely a line.  The other is the Cinema on Main Street. It is dim, cool, almost always empty and you can watch some great black and white Micky cartoons.

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Visiting Disneyland

Our family recently relocated to southern California. One of the biggest perks so far has been living so close to Disneyland.  I love Disneyland. I have been planning a vacation to Disneyland in my head for years. I’ll say actually going is way better, harder, but way better.

ImageVisiting Disneyland can be expensive, stressful and there are many unknowns about what to really expect. Since our family decided to purchase annual passes we will be (and have already) visiting a lot. I will be writing a series about visiting Disneyland and California Adventure. Most of our visits will be me with the three kids. Look back here frequently for how we manage, what rides we can go on, tips for where to nurse in the parks and other hints to make visiting with young kids easier and more magical.

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Oregon city farmers market

Last Saturday I took the kids to the Oregon City farmers market. It is held on Saturday’s from 9-2, and is located on Kaen road. We arrived around 10am and the first booth we visited had a huge cinnamon roll that was calling out to Arora.

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We bought it and then wondered down to the Mexican food stand. I bought myself a pork tamale . We sat at an plastic table with an umbrella and enjoyed out treats.

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After we were full and some of us were covered in frosting we kept browsing. We bought a small bag of hand made carmels and a 1/2 flat of just picked strawberries. Monday the berries will become jam, I doubt the carmels will last til Monday.

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Something I found out at the market is if you want to pay with a card (debit or ebt) you can to to the information booth. You choose a dollar amount, they run the card and then give you tokens to give to the vendors. Great idea in case you don’t have cash on hand.

The market was fun, I’m sure we will go again.

Trip to OMSI

We went on a family trip to OMSI, the Oregon museum of science and industry, last week. I was a little disappointed. I had been there a few times before and really enjoyed it. Nut this was my first time taking little children.
First off it is not cheap to get in. To see the basic permanent exhibits is $12 per adult and $9 for kids 3 and up. Plus they tack on a $3 parking fee. So we paid $36 just to get in the door. If you want to see the traveling exhibit (a “Chronicles of Narnia” piece right now) it is $2 more per person.
The museum in spacious and has tons of stuff to read about and learn from. Only maybe 20% is likable for kids under 6. I would say 10% is geared for 3 and under.
The science playground is made for the preschool and under set. It has many activities in a large room. The room was dark, crowded and under supplied.
The kid sized grocery store had nothing in it. The play house had 5 puppets and nothing in the play kitchen. The craft room had two dried out glue sticks and only scraps of paper to cut. The biggest part of the kid are is a sand pit, but neither of our kids like sand. We played in the kid room for all of 30 minutes.
We looked at some of the other exhibits but they are heavy on reading. Even with Arora being able to read she did not want to stand and read about how the inner ear works, or why women generally live longer then men.
We wondered through the rest of the museum, it was loud, busy, and geared to middle schoolers and up.
All in all I think our kids enjoyed the family day but would have preferred Safari Sam or the swimming pool. We will plan tongi back in say five years or so.

Last minute holiday activities

Wondering how to fill the next few days coming up to Christmas and getting through Christmas break? Here are some things we have been doing.

Bake Christmas cookies. We did this twice: the first time from scratch, the next time from a box. I recommend the from a box method for cooking with preschoolers. Arora’s favorite part was eating them. It was hard to wait to eat them. So many steps. Make the dough, chill the dough, roll it out, cut out, bake, cool, frost and decorate, then eat. We made sure to take some to our neighbors too.

Make snowmen: We painted this snow man, then when it was dry we added his face, bow and arms.

Make nativity puppets: We printed ours from here, colored and cut them out and used hot glue to stick a craft sick on them. Arora’s favorite part was showing them to daddy and telling them that the wise men walked and walked and walked to find Jesus.

Craft stick ornament:  We made three different designs, a reindeer, Christmas tree and star. Arora is glad to see them actually hanging on the tree.

Christmas painting: We loved this idea that Arora’s cousins did. I liked using our cookie cutters for something new. We changed it a little by mixing our paint with shaving cream. It makes the paint go really far and the texture is really neat. We are taking this one to a friend in a nursing home tonight.

Drive down a Christmas light street:  In Gladstone visit Ridgewood Dr,  off of Webster rd. Nearly every house has a huge display. Every one drives down really slow down the street. Arora really really liked sitting on my lap and seeing all the “puhtend reindeer”. In Portland there is Peacock lane, between 39th and Belmont. We have not been here but I have heard it is amazing.

Zoo Lights: Be ready for crowds! This can be expensive, but with our zoo membership we got in for free.  Arora loved seeing all the bright Christmas lights at the zoo. We rode the train and she was so sad when we had to leave. She is already begging to go back. This run through January 2.

Family at zoolights

outing- Enchanted playhouse and a great deal!

Outing- Enchanted Playhouse

Located:  11520 82nd ave, just a block from the Clackamas mall.

Phone # (503) 908-0633

We went with our friends Shannon, Lexi and Owen last week. We had a great time! The boys napped and otherwise chilled in the baby swing or in the Moby Wrap. The girls were all over the place. Lexi was more adventurous to try all the toys Arora stuck with her few favorites : bouncy house and slide, and the roller coaster car.

I had to help her up the first time or two but then she liked it so much she was motivated to try a bit harder and master the skill.

There were a few older kids (5ish) and a few other toddlers but it was mostly empty. We played for around 2 hours, but once you pay you can play all day. We will absolutely be going back. It is a great place to go on a rainy day.

Normally it is $7 per child to play but you can get 3 passes for $10, a $11 savings! I’ll take it! But you have to act today. Trust me you kids will love it. A great things to put in your kids/grand kids stocking. (hint hint to Arora’s grandmas. 🙂 )  Click on the deal here .