Sit Back and Play

THE PLAYDATE CO.

Per the usual I am constantly scouting out new fun places and activities for the kiddos. Although we love allowing our kids to exercise their abilities to run and explore that usually requires us as parents to be on our toes as well.

But what if there was a place where your little ones could roam free, let their imaginations run wild while you could sit back and relax and watch them play?! I have just the place, The Playdate Co. This sweet little spot is exactly what the name says… a company for playdates! The Richardson based center is perfectly located and easy to get to for anyone in the Dallas area.

This bright and beautiful center is furnished with several adorable playhouses each embracing a different theme to accommodate any child’s fancy. Each house is fully decked out with every imaginable prop or toy incorporating it’s motif.

They had everything; an ice-cream shop, schoolhouse, book nook, general store, tool shed and garage, home center, creative coloring, and gardening… but the big hit amongst all the tots was the merry-go-round style bikes in the middle.

There is even an area for the littlest ones who are not yet crawling so for those with a toddler and a newborn this is a perfect place for you!

Upon entering the gated play space you can store all your things in the provided cubbies, and when all that play time has worked up an appetite you are welcome to bring your own snacks and drinks too, just be sure to keep them in the designated snacking area.

Ok, so what about the moms?  There is seating and complimentary coffee for us mamas to sit, take a breather, enjoy a cup of “pick me up” juice and some adult conversation.

There is free WiFi as well so you can get caught up on your articles and emails. Relax at ease as everything is visible and open for keeping eyes on our little movers at all times.

The pricing structure for play packages are as follows:

  • $10.50 per child, age 1 and up.
  • $8.50 for siblings, age 1 and up.
  • $5.50 for children under age 1 not accompanied by an older sibling.
  • Free for siblings under age 1 with a full price child’s admission.

For any additional info check them out HERE .

See more pics below from our day

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Jump Up, Jump Up and Get Down!

DFW TRAMPOLINE PARKS

Oh January, the Christmas merriment is over, it’s still cold out, and you need to get out of the house.

Try taking the kids to a trampoline park, they’re not just for birthday parties. If you’ve never been to one it’s exactly what it sounds like, a a huge space full of trampolines and mats! Most have special hours and pricing just for toddlers. It’s the perfect indoor activity that’s easy, inexpensive and will guarantee nice long nap!

The two main players in the DFW area are Urban Air and Jump Street . We have been to both below are some FYI’s of each.

URBAN AIR:

  • 6 locations all around the DFW area
  • OUR FAV FEATURE: Large facilities (some locations have additional rigs such as  padded jungle gyms, zip lines and foam pits)
  • Toddler hours are Wednesdays and Fridays from 10-12
  • Cost is $5
  • Must fill out waver upon entry. Waver is valid for 1 year. You can fill it out online before you go to avoid waiting.
  • Bring socks
  • Snacks for purchase but mostly candy

 

JUMP STREET

  • 4 locations (one being centrally located on 75 and Walnut Hill)
  • Less trampoline space than Urban Air. Toddlers are limited to the toddler area, but it has a bounce house and foam pit for kids 4+.
  • OUR FAV FEATURE: Toddler hours are ALL DAY, EVERYDAY
  • Cost is $5
  • Must fill out waver upon entry. Waver is valid for 1 year. You can fill it out online HERE  before you go to avoid waiting.
  • Bring socks

Happy jumping and we’ll see you out there,

Noelle and Dexter!

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A New Snap on Family Photos

MY EXPERIENCE WITH LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHY with Alexis Marie Photography

“Can I follow you around and take pictures of you?”  (Was an email I received from a photographer)

Me: Absolutely!!!!  (If you know me, this is right up my alley)

As I continued reading the email from Alexis Vazquez an up and coming lifestyle photographer, I fell in love with her story and her new found approach on photoshoots opposed to the traditional family photo set up. Among her experience and many ideas the statement that grabbed me was this:

“As a photographer, I have often felt defeated and guilty when clients have stressful experiences during photo shoots. Mom feels like she can’t keep control of her hair or her kids. Dad is dying to go home and watch the game.Kids are impatient and ice cream bribes fail 20 minutes in. I don’t want my clients to feel that way after I capture them. I want them to be confident that someone just captured their life story and 50 years from now.”

I’m in!

We set up a fun day for her to join us and capture our experience. Some moments were great and some not so great, but the important thing in my opinion was that each one was genuine.

I also found so much value in being able to be completely present in the experience instead of half focusing on trying to get the perfect photo.

I know the “getting the perfect photo” part may sound trivial but the truth is you are making memories and your kids are only small once and I want to capture every ounce of it I can.

I often enjoy looking back on past times and reminiscing… But maybe that’s just me.

I really enjoyed this concept of photography. You get much more out of your time this way, you get to do a fun activity spending time with your family,  while capturing all the pure joy and genuine smiles without all the cranky hassle.

Here are a few of the photos from our day.

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If you are looking for a new way to preserve your family in a new light, give lifestyle photography a “shot”… Get it. Contact alexismariephoto@yahoo.com

More about her concept:

As a visual storyteller, I do my best to make my photo sessions an experience and not just something you add to your check list every year at Christmas. I love capturing real, raw moments of people more than anything because you tend to see a soul when that happens and not just a person. Over the years, I believe photography became more about the camera and less about who the camera was capturing. You’re important. You have a story. You’re my muse. Not just a client or subject. Therefore, my approach is a little more organic and interactive then me just telling you to sit in front of my camera and smile.  Whether we’re shooting in your home or at a park when the sun is about to set, my photos are often described by others as bright, raw and dreamy. As world renowned photographer, Annie Leibovitz said, “When I say I want to photograph someone, I mean: I want to know them.” That’s my heart- to know you and tell your story in light.  -Alexis

12 Days of Christmas at the Dallas Arboretum

If you are from the Dallas area you probably already know about the Dallas Arboretum. I grew up going there every year in the spring and fall but it’s only been in recent years that they have added holiday displays and activities. With Texas weather being so unpredictable it’s nice to have more outdoor options for Christmas family fun!

The Dallas Arboretum features oversized scenic displays of the time honored Christmas carol The 12 Days of Christmas. As you walk the gardens you are directed to each ornate presentation encased in beautifully crafted gold and jewels. From a partridge in a pear tree to 12 drummers drumming each vignette is as visually dazzling as the next.

This is a great way to share the Christmas carols you love with your children while getting some fresh air and exercise. Check out of the fun we had with our playgroup in the photos below!

Don’t forget to check out the children’s garden  if you have some extra time. This is a newer addition to the park including an ABUNDANCE of interactive, educational exhibits and activities…. not to mention visually stunning and stimulating for the littles.

There are many options for tickets and parking listed HERE , of course the best bang for your buck (especially for full time moms) is the 1 year membership.

PHOTOS by Alexis Marie Photography

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Park Treasures

It’s October, pumpkin spice is in air and the weather is perfect which means get your butt outside and enjoy it. We have been soaking it all in around town while hitting up some of our favorite secret play spots! Check out our top 3 park picks you may not even know exsist;

3) Reverchon Park

3505 Maple Ave, Dallas, TX 75219

This park is near and dear to me, I have been an avid Reverchon Park goer even before I had a baby…. well I took my fur baby. This park has everything (said in my SNL Stefon voice), it’s in a perfect secluded location right off of Dallas’ famous Katy Trail. The trees, plants, ponds and greenery are unbeatable for an uptown city park. There are several grassy, spacious areas for babies, both human and four-legged. Being attached to the Katy Trail allows a workout with a view for mom before or after playtime. Reverchon Park was built to accommodate handicap children which also lends itself well to crawlers. I took Dexter here all the time before he could walk because all the ramps and low lying playground equipment made it easy for him to enjoy the park. This park also has a permanent shade structure shielding little ones from UV rays and exhausting heat.

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2) Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge

Unless you are new to Dallas or have been living under a rock you probably have seen the magnificent white arch that stretches across the Trinity River, also known as the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Did you know that it is also a fabulous pedestrian walkway containing play areas, games and spray grounds?!!!! Not to mention the absolute, hands down best view of the city.  It’s beautiful in the daytime or evening. At night you can grab a snow cone from the ice truck at the front to cool down and for bite to eat just stroll on over to the adjacent Trinity Groves center. If you are looking for something different than your average park,  plan a playdate at the bridge!

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1) ALLAN SHIVERS PARK at Scottish Rite Hospital 

2222 Welborn St, Dallas, TX 75219

You have most likely driven past the Scottish Rite Dallas hospital, saw the crayon sculptures and thought “that’s cute” and went on your way. I did anyway. We recently discovered that those giant crayons are the entry way to the best park in Dallas we’ve ever been to, the Allan Shivers Park! We immediately fell in love with how beautiful and well kept it was. There were pretty flowers all around the perimeter and the soft foam covered ground was immaculate. I saw not one paint scratch or rusty bar. Safety and security are top notch here, the park is enclosed with a gate and serviced by friendly security guards. The playground equipment got an A+ in innovative, interactive and unique pieces. We played with musical stations, a scavenger hunt, electronics and make-believe! It’s shady, tranquil and relaxing. This park is number 1 on our list for a reason, if you’re in the area go see why for yourself!

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Dallas’ Best Kept Splash Pad!

THE CHILDREN’S PARK at KLYDE WARREN PARK

I have been around Dallas a time or two, have many local mommy friends and am always shocked when some of them still don’t know about the Children’s Park at Klyde Warren Park. I’m not talking about the east side with games and activities or the fountains that you see from the street when driving past, I am talking about the amazing gated park just for children which is tucked away in the west side corner. If you have been to KWP (as we call it) and never noticed it, that because it is secluded beneath peaceful tall trees and bushes. Within the gates of this hidden gem you will find one of the best splash parks in Dallas, here’s why;

  1. IT’S FREE!
  2. IT’S SHADED- Most public splash pads in Dallas are the same, some water features and foam ground, most have little to no shade. This park is surrounded by trees and beautiful shade structures so your little ones will be safe from the Texas summer sun.
  3. IT’S CLEAN- This park is equipped with super soft astro turf hills and patches so you get to enjoy the greenery without itchy, messy grass ruining your fun. In addition to the soft green sitting areas, this park has attendants that regularly come by to make sure the area is neat, trash is emptied and bathrooms are tidy…. yes, it has  clean restrooms!
  4. IT’S FUN- This splash pad has interactive fountains which are constantly changing and moving keeping the kids on their toes! It also has uniquely constructed play ground equipment incorporating the creative vibes of the Dallas Museum of Art which is ross the street.
  5. IT’S SAFE- The park is usually supervised by a city staff member who watches the gate giving extra peace of mind that your little wanderer will not roam too far.

I have never had an issue finding parking at the meters on the street, but a little tip: If you valet at the restaurant Savor, you can grab a quick snack from the bar and get your valet paring for free!!!

If you have never been to this park, I suggest you check it out while its still warm enough to splash around. See you out there!

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