Good to Know: Activities for Mommy&Kids on rainy days

Good to Know

{Updated article – 25/02/2015}

It’s true. We are almost in March and the cold and rainy days are still out there. Almost every single day… And for many of us, moms to little kids, that would mean… “Oh no! How am I going to entertain these little crazy (but oh so sweet) “? So, let’s face it. We definitely need to figure out some options rather than staying at home, right? Here is a compilation of some ideas gathered here and there, most of them already tried and proven by my self, obviously! 😉 This list is especially written for stay-at-home moms, but of course the ideas also apply to all working parents looking for some activities for the weekends. And please, I’d love to hear from you too! I’m sure there are plenty of other fun things to do out there during these rainy days!

1. Mom is in the mood for a coffee/tea…

Coffee

>>>> And your kiddos are still young babies, not crawling around… Then my favorite options would go to:

Konrad Cafe (7, rue du Nord, L-2229 Luxembourg). It is a very cosy cafe and the staff is very nice. Good coffee and cake! It is usually a quiet place during the morning. Best time to go there? Definitely between 10:00 and 11:30.

– Golden Bean (23, rue Chimay, L-1333 Luxembourg). This is the place for truly coffee lovers where you can have a decent coffee and a piece of delicious cake. Although the place is not that big, you can fit a stroller in out of the rush hours with no problem. Best time to go there? Week days and, definitely , between 9:00 and 11:30

– EXKi Grand Rue (72, Grand Rue, L-1160 Luxembourg). It is spacious enough to bring the stroller in and it is usually a quiet place during the morning. Best time to go there? Week days and, definitely , between 9:00 and 11:30. >>>> And your kiddos are already crawling around, running, jumping… Then my favourite options would go to:

– ZigZag Indoor Playground (7, rue Pletzer, L-8080 Bertrange). It is an indoor playground with 2 separate play areas. Upstairs for babies/toddlers up to 3yo and downstairs for older kids. There is a cafeteria in front of the bigger kids play area, but you can also ask to have your coffee next to the baby area (the staff will be happy to bring it to you). It is worth to subscribe the fidelity card as it can easily become expensive to go there very often. Best time to go there? Any day, except for Mondays (closed). Just be sure to check online the opening times as it varies, depending on the day.

Findel Airport. There is a Fischer coffee shop next to the big windows from where the kids can spot the airplanes. Also, plenty of space for the kids to run. The only thig down, I must say, is the price of the car parking.

– Cactus Coffee Shop next to the main Restaurant at Belle Etoile Shopping Centre (Route d’Arlon, L-8050 Bertrange). There is small play area next to the tables, so you can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while the kids play. Then take the elevator to the 1st floor and visit the animal shop. If you are lucky, the staff can even let them cuddle a little rabbit! After, you can also let the kids play with the many electronic cars/trains/trucks in the aisles (actually, you don’t even need to spend any coins, as long as there are no other kids waiting…). Best time to go there? Definitely during the morning or between 3pm and 5pm. Otherwise it is usually crowded, especially during lunch time.

– IKEA (Rue de Grass 100, 6700 Arlon, Belgium). It has a spacious cafeteria with a nice little play corner. Plus, the coffee is free for early visitors (9:45 – 10:00). And, you know, we always need to check around for something useful for the house, right? 🙂 Best time to go there? Anytime really, for a coffee, for a lunch… But definitely less crowded during the morning.

MUDAM Cafe in Kirchberg (3, Park Dräi Eechelen, L-1499 Luxembourg. Although it doesn’t have a playroom, it provides plenty of room for the kids to run. The only thing down is the fact that you need to buy a museum entrance ticket to be able to visit the cafeteria…

Indyland Indoor Playground (11 Rue du Brill, 3898 Foetz, Luxembourg). This indoor playground is perfect for little ones. I would say the age range 2-6yo is the perfect one. Plus, the cafeteria is right in front of all the action, so it’s quite easy to keep an eye on the children.

Gold Rush by Fun City Indoor Playground (33, rue Robert Krieps – L-4702 Pétange, Luxembourg). The brand new indoor playground just opened its doors and it’s located just a few kilometers south of Luxembourg city and it also includes a bowling area for some extra fun. It has two separate areas by age (0 to 3yo and 4 to 14yo) but as they are next to each other, it’s also perfect for moms to more than 1 kiddo. Plus, everything is brand new 🙂

– Atomic Kids Indoor Playground (Rue de l’Hydrion 17, 6700 Arlon, Belgium). This indoor playground is just the right size for little ones to play and it is especially good when you have two little kiddos (or more) in different ages. There is also a small cafeteria just in front of the play area. Definitely less crowded than the other ones in Luxembourg. Best time to go there? Anytime, just make sure to check their opening times online.

– YoYo Indoor Playground (105, rue des Bruyères, L-1274 Howald). This place is perfect for moms with very energetic boys in age range 4 to 10 years old, as the play structure is huge and adventure-themed. However, it is almost impossible to have a constant eye on them, unless you do some ‘exercise’ climbing up and down all the time! The only thing down I must say is the price. Entrance and some food becomes quite expensive… Best time to go there? Anytime during the early morning and afternoons after 3pm. You should definitely avoid lunch hours as this place is also a restaurant serving people working in the many surrounding offices.

– Indyland Indoor Playground (11, Rue du Brill, 3898 Foetz). It’s a big indoor playground perfect for every age, but especially for kids older than 3yo. Definitely less crowded than the other ones in Luxembourg. Best time to go there? Anytime, just make sure to check their opening times online.

– X-Treme Bowling (11, Rue du Brill, 3898 Foetz). Different from the usual indoor playgrounds and good for kids to practice some gross-motor skills (4+). Best time to go there?  Anytime, just make sure to check their opening times online.

2. Mom is in the mood for a lunch…

lunch

Well, sometimes is also good to have a change in weekdays lunch, right? But really, going out with kids for a proper meal without hubby can be quite a challenge! So here are some ideas that can ease that task and make it actually possible and enjoyable! So, what exactly do I look for when I’m alone with the kids for a lunch out? The obvious kids-friendly atmosphere, preferably including a small kids corner and some kids-friendly meal options.

All Indoor Playgrounds (mentioned above) serve meals at lunch time and it also has some kids-friendly options. While waiting for the food, the kids can always spend some energy in the playground.

Little Britain (1C, Route d’Arlon, L-8310 Capellen, Luxembourg). It’s such a cosy place to have a simple and relaxed meal. Plus, you can always combine it with some British/American grocery shopping 🙂

Pizza Hut in Strassen (277, route d’Arlon)  has a renovated little indoor playground. Make sure you go early (by 11:30, preferably) and ask for a table next to the play area (“aire de jeux”). Pizza Hut in Beggen (154, rue de Beggen) is also a very good option.

McDonald’s in Bereldange (1A, rue du Pont, Bereldange) has a nice indoor playground next to the tables. McDonald’s in Strassen (168 Route d’Arlon) has an outdoor playground and also a small indoor playground upstairs. Plus, the staff is very nice and are happy to help you carry your items upstairs. I know, you should be now thinking: McDonald’s?? Fast food for young kids? Well, we all need some fast food every now and then, right? Plus the kids love it, especially when they know that’s a one time special treat.

Antica Trattoria in Belair (166 avenue du X Septembre) is a more fancy option, but quite nice for every now and then. Italian restaurants are always a success with little ones and this one even have a little play corner.

Cactus Restaurant in Howald has a little corner with some tables to have lunch, next to a small play area. As it is a self-service kind of restaurant, it is always easy to get some kids-friendly food.

Cactus Restaurant at the Belle Etoile Shopping Centre (Route d’Arlon, L-8050 Bertrange) also has a little play corner next to the tables, plus the self-service ‘add-on’.

Ikea (already mentioned above) is always an option. Who doesn’t like the Swedish meatballs?

3. Mom needs to meet other moms and be able to chat with someone older that 3yo

– Join the AWCL (American Women’s Club of Luxembourg) and the BLC (British Ladies Club). Both clubs have specific groups for moms and kids and organise several meetings and playgroups every now and then.

– Join some gym classes at LittleGym. – Join some music classes at KinderMusik. Offering a complete range of class options for different ages, Kindermusik program surely engages every child, providing a good quality time for the parent as well. – Join some Baby Swimming classes at Le Coque where you can have fun and learn together with your little one.

– Join the St Georges International School playgroup. This is a playgroup especially designed for mommies with babies 0-3 years old. Except for school holidays, it is held every Tuesday and Friday morning from 9.15-11.15 to allow for parents to pick up their children from school.

4. Mom doesn’t need a coffee or lunch, just an indoor place where the kids can spend some of their endless energy…

swimming

– Have fun at one of the fantastic heated swimming pools in Luxembourg. Just pick one! My favourite ones are Syrdall Schwemm in Niederanven, Les Thermes in Strassen and the Krounebierg in Mersch.

Enjoy the Tramway and Bus museum is a great free playground, especially for boys. You check my complete article here.

– Pick one of the animal shops around here and go for a visit to the cute pets. Here are some ideas:

> Pet shop at the Hobbi Cactus, Howald (4, rue des Scillas, Howald)

> Pet Shop at the Belle Etoile Shopping Centre – “Josy Welter” (already mentioned above)

> Pet Shop at the Gamm Vert, Gasperich (1 rue Fw Raiffeisen, Gasperich)

> Pet Shop at Howald Comercial area – “Fressnapf” (22, rue des Scillas, Howald)

5. Mom just need to get out of the house…

GoOut

– Go to the library “Il etait une Fois” in Gasperich (6, rue Tony Bourg). There are resources in 16 different languages and many arranged activities for kids. You can check the detailed program here.

– Go to the Cinema. Just search for a film with the age restriction ‘EA’ (Every Age) so you won’t have any problem taking a young child to watch it. As it was explained to me a few months ago, as for EA films, it’s up to the parents to decide if the child should watch the film or not! (as long as they are at least 2yo)

– Go grocery shopping and play “groceries scavenger hunt” – and play around with the shopping cart when nobody is seeing you! 🙂

– Dress you and the kids up with some rainy clothes, put on some rubbery boots and go out and sing in the rain (and run all over the park and jump on the mud!). Seems like fun, doesn’t it? 🙂

6. When nothing else works… Simply have fun at home! 🙂

Invite other mum&baby to come over for an hour or two of playdate. Just like you, all other expat moms are secretly desperate to meet you too. Even if you just met them once or twice (after all, we are in the same ‘expat boat’!). Plus, it doesn’t require that much work. Simply do a quick clean to your living room (do remember that the other mom would probably have a messy house too!). Prepare some coffee/tea and offer some store-bought box of cookies (or cook some, if you’re fancy of that). Remember, if you keep it simple, the other mom won’t feel embarrassed to invite you back! 🙂

– Finally, if you’re just home with your kids, relax, enjoy and invent some fun. Here are some ideas: https://expatmuminluxembourg.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/kids-rainny-days-fun-at-home/ https://expatmuminluxembourg.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/fun-at-home-take-2/ https://expatmuminluxembourg.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/fun-at-home-take-3/ Plus, there are tons of other ideas online! Have Fun! 🙂

Sharing Some Fun – Decluttering Tips

SharingPosts
For today’s “Sharing Some Fun”, I’ve chosen to declutter!

Yes, that kind of thing we always, but always, say: “Yeah, well, I’ll do it tomorrow!” So here are some great tips to simplify and start doing it right now! 🙂

http://www.yourmodernfamily.com/10-things-throw-give-away-right-now/
Have some (organized) Fun!

Pick of the Week – 4th & 5th October 2014

Pick of the Week_4Out

Here are my Picks of the Week. Enjoy & Have Fun! 🙂

WHAT: Games to play in family
WHY: The Circle Cite in Place d’Armes will be converted into a big open space with traditional social games for the whole family. The entrance is free and the toy’s company “Ludobus” will be there as well with a showcase.
WHERE: Circle Cite, Place d’Armes, Luxembourg city
WHEN: 4th October, from 10am to 5pm

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WHAT: Father’s Day in Junglister (“Fête des Pères” / “Pappendag”)
WHY: A big party with a lot of different activities for all ages, including face painting, bouncing castle, ballons and mechanical bull. Entrance is free.
WHERE: Centre Commercial Laangwiss 1, Junglister
WHEN: 4th September, from 3pm to 6pm

Sharing Some Fun – Activities for Toddlers

SharingPosts
For today’s “Sharing Some Fun”, I’ve chosen something useful for all parents of little busy minds, aka, TODDLERS! 🙂

If you have little ones in the age range from 1 to 3 years old (not know the precise year-range to classify a “toddler”), you know what I mean:

– They are usually very active;

– They need 200% of your attention on a 24h*7 basis;

– They cannot even consider to be quietly sitted and  enjoying a good book…

Well, they are crazy little sweet toddlers, right? Our precious little ones! 🙂
So, for you, here is a very complete list of fun activities you can do with yor toddlers.

http://creativewithkids.com/toddler-years-must-do-list-activities/
Have Fun!

Pick of the Week – 27th & 28th Sept 2014

Pick of the Week

Not sure yet how to entertain your family during the next weekend? Here are my Picks of the Week. Enjoy & Have Fun! 🙂

WHAT: History Alive – 1814 
WHY: The Museum Dräi Eechelen invite everyone to a kind of a “making of” about the last days of the Napolean time, as a way to sign the 200 years of the liberation. More than 150 live figures will represent this moment with demonstrations of the military exercises and simulated cannon fire. There will be also some cafeteria services on place. Access to the open space and animations is free. Entrance to the museum will have a reduced cost of €3.
WHERE: 5, Park Dräi Eechelen, L-1499 Luxembourg
WHEN: 27th September (10am to 7pm) and 28th September (10am to 5pm)

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WHAT: Apple Picking – Steinsel (“Fête des Pommes”)
WHY: A family event full of fun and educational activities. Also, a great opportunity to taste some “apple specialities”. For more details on the event, you can read my blog post from last year (https://expatmuminluxembourg.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/apple-picking-in-steinsel/)
WHERE: Vergers de Steinsel
WHEN: 27/28 Sept, 04/05 Oct, 11/12 Oct, 2014 (10am to 6pm)

Pick of the Week – 20 & 21 Sept 2014

Pick of the Week

Not sure yet how to entertain your family during the next weekend? Here are my Picks of the Week. Enjoy & Have Fun! 🙂

WHAT: Luxembourg Portes-Ouvertes
WHY: Unique opportunity to visit the backstage of some very interesting companies in Luxembourg. Some very good examples that will surely be great for your kiddos are: AIR Television (visit the studios in Kirchberg), Red Croix (learn some important tips on first aids at Place d’Arms), Déierenasyl Gaasperech (visit the national animal shelter), Post (see and learn what happens to the letters that we put in those little yellow boxes, at Post warehouse in Bettembourg). Entrance is free. To know more about the activities, you should visit the official webpage (www.portesouvertes.lu) and access to ‘Participants’.
WHERE: Several companies in Luxembourg (www.portesouvertes.lu)
WHEN: 20th and 21st September

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WHAT: Pumpkin Festival – Mersch (“Kürbisfest”)
WHY: In the past, there were pony rides, a giant sand pit, bouncy house, trampoline, pumpkin painting…
Detailed program (not available in english, sorry…)
– Flyer – Front Page (PumpkinFest_Pag1)
– Flyer – Back Page (PumpkinFest_Pag2)
WHERE: Hal Irbicht, Beringen/Mersch
WHEN: 20.09.2014 (17.00-23.00) and 21.09.2014 (10.00-18.00)

Travelling with Kids – Skiing

TravellingWithKids
The other day, a dear friend shared on facebook some very usefull info on Skiing Hotels as recently she had done some reasearch for herself (Thank You Tam!). So, I thought that it might be a very good idea to share with you all. Well, at least I can speak for myself, as someone looking forward for some skiing holidays in the near future for the very first time 🙂

So, the result of that precious search was the following list of hotels (and hotel chains):
Kinderhotels
Club Med
Belambra Clubs
Familotels
Crystal Ski
Esprit Ski

Please note that this search results focus mainly on locations near Luxembourg. A nice tip is to check on the reviews from other people. Personally, when it comes to hotels, I rely mostly on Tripadvisor and Booking, but a generic Google Search is also very useful.

As a family with young kids, and for all kinds of holidays (not only skiing),we are always looking for hotels with some very family friendly details like:
– Outdoor playground (for those times when you’re not skiing or if somehow your kiddo finds out that he’s scared of it!)
– Indoor playroom (just in case you need to stay inside…)
– Baby-friendly amenities like high-chairs, baby cot, baby bath tub, bottle warmer
– Baby / child care
– Proximity to a hospital or available doctor on hotel premises
– Proximity to a pharmacy
– Proximity to a supermarket (you never know when you’ll run out of diapers)
– The all-inclusive system is something very useful for families, although not a ‘must-have’