Submitted by Kelly Moore, 11.06.07
I'm always looking for an excuse to get to the East Village, but there's hardly ever any family-friendly events down there. But that's changed now that East Village Books has committed to a monthly family activity, scheduled to be held the first Friday of every month.
First of all, I love that the bookstore caters to the parents as much as it does the children. With the wine and cheese pairings available for the "big kids," it becomes date night and family night rolled in one.
We absolutely LOVED this event and will go back as often as our schedule allows.
A few things to keep in mind when you take your family:
1. Inquire as to the actual start time of the children's activity. Last Friday's event notice said to "join us anytime after 6," and the storyteller didn't start until 7. You know what they say about idle hands... especially idle toddler hands in a beautiful bookstore.
2. Put the kids in jammies... last Friday's event was almost an hour long, and the kiddos were ready to go straight to see the Sandman when we got home.
3. Designate a driver. Free wine can get pretty tempting for mom and dad.
This event and this store gets a huge thumbs-up from DesMoinesFamilies.com. Way to go... remembering that parents deserve some attention at kids' events is so rare... great job!
Submitted by Kelly Moore, 07.24.08
So the Jordan Creek Family Festival is a lot less festival and more... well... three bounce houses and a face painter. Really, calling it a "festival" is a bit much.
That's not to say we didn't have fun. It's actually the perfect amount of activity if you're looking to get there right after work, do a little bouncing, get a puppy painted on your toddler, grab a bite to eat and make it home in time for bed.
This might be a little tough for a single parent, but it worked out great for us, as my husband and baby graciously held a spot in the face-painting line for our toddler while we did the bounce houses.
Because we got there at 5:30 on the dot (starting time), we were only 10th in line for the face-painting, which gave us exactly enough time to go down the slide, do the obstacle course and bounce in Scooby for 5 minutes.
Then it was over to Joe's Crab Shack for some playground and burger time. Kid's meals are only $2 on Tuesdays, so we saved a little there. And our toddler loves to play while waiting for his food. We love it, too, as it gives us a chance to talk (we always request an outdoor seat in view of the playground).
So, I'd recommend the family "festival" with a two caveats... don't expect much and get there early!
Submitted by Ankeny Mom, 02.06.07
We like to go to Valley West for Family Fun Nights to beat the winter blahs and the summer heat. It's held the last Tuesday of every month from 5:30-8 p.m. They have inflatables ranging from huge slides and jump houses to obstacle courses. There's a craft to do and take home, as well as characters that walk around and say hello. This past Tuesday was Elmo.
A radio station has a color table and you can register to win a bike each month. There are also some games to play. The lines aren't long to get on the inflatables, and most the time the kids quickly hop back on the inflatable they just got off if they want.
The kids wind up walking around with no shoes on, going from one inflatable to another, so make sure you wear sturdy socks you don't mind getting a little dirty. We usually aren't there too long... just long enough to burn a good amount of energy.