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 – 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!

Tramsmusée or Indoor playground?

Do you already know about the Tramsmusée in the city? Boys just love it! Here is my review for Wort.lu/en:
http://www.wort.lu/en/view/winter-activities-in-luxembourg-a-visit-to-the-tramway-museum-52e65766e4b0e9996823dbee

E também em português:
http://www.wort.lu/pt/view/uma-visita-em-fam-lia-ao-museu-dos-electricos-53103e6fe4b01171e9aa4199

Free indoor playground?

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Hi!
Today the weather was great for outdoor activities, but I had already scheduled a visit to the Tramway and Bus Museum of Luxembourg City. And I’m very glad I did! 🙂

Dear mums and dads, this place is a very well kept secret! Once we get there, a group of 6 mums and 8 small kids, the man in charge received us with this genuine big smile. Common here in Luxembourg? Don’t think so… By the way, we were the only visitors!

There are several real antique samples of tramways and buses waiting for the little ones to try. Also, this place has huge windows so there is a wonderful natural light.

So, besides some transportation history, this place is actually a great and free indoor playground! Especially for boys!

Also, three of the buses are available for private events. For about €200 you can have the bus with a driver for small distances.

Opening times: Thursdays from 1.30 PM to 5.30 PM. Saturdays, Sundays and legal public holidays from 10 AM to 6 PM. Closed 1st November, Week-End before Christmas till 15th January.

Address: 63, rue de Bouillon, L-1248 Luxembourg (next to Bouillon P+R).

Pumpkin Activity

Hello!!

Today’s main activity was carving a pumpkin with my boy! 🙂

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I’ve found a cute little pumpkin at Auchan for €1,50 and thought ‘Why not?’. Then I googled on how to do it and voilá! A carved pumpkin it is! 😉 Yes, I have to confess: It was my first time doing it! 🙂

So, I follow the simpler instructions I got:

1. With a sharp little knife, I cut a hole on the up side of the pumpkin, like a hat.

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2. With a melon scoop, I then carved all the interior of the pumpkin. This can actually be a very educational process for the little curious minds as we can explain them what are all the components of the pumpkins. Very simple for us, but quite complex for them!

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3. Now it’s time to make the eyes, nose and mouth. I gave a pencil to my boy and let him draw in the pumpkin. Then, with the sharp knife again, I carefully carved the holes.

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4. Finally, I placed a small candle inside it. Please don’t forget to take the hat off the pumpkin otherwise the candle won’t ‘breathe’ 😉

What a great and easy indoor Halloween activity, don’t you think?!

Activities for rainny days – Part 1

Hi there! Most of kids are on school holidays during this week and for some of us this means we’ll have to desperately find out funny and interesting activities to entertain them. As the weather doesn’t invite us to outdoor activities, even more difficult it is to find out what to do.

So I though about sharing with you some of the activities I’m planning to do with my 4 year old boy:

1. Go to the cinema20131029-000022.jpg

In fact, we already checked this one earlier today 😉 as we head to Utopolis to watch Turbo 3D. I must admit it was quite funny! Just imagine a snail who always dreamed about becaming a champion racer! The dream becames true when by accident he swallowed nitrogen! 😉

There are a few options out there. 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!

2. Go to a swimming pool
It is a fact: there are 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 Merch.

3. Go visit a museum

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There are several options in Luxembourg, but when it takes to kids-friendly museums there are two that everyone recommends: LuxLait Vitarium in Roost and the Tramways and Bus Museum of Luxembourg City in Hollerich.

I’m planning to check out both of them soon so I can write a review.

4. Go to an indoor playground
ZigZag in Bertrange, YoYo in Howald, Indyland in Foetz seem to be the most well knowned playgrounds

5. Go to the animal shop

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Are you desperate for a cup of coffee somewhere else than home? Then why not driving to La Belle Étoile Shopping Center, take a seat at the Cactus coffee shop next to Area (left end side of the building) while the kids play in one of the animated little cars nearby. Then, to make the little ones even happier, go along the corridor and stop by all the other animated cars (there are at least five of them!). Finally, take the stairs up (or the elevator) and head to the ‘Josy Welter’ animal shop (next to Ernst book shop). The kids will simply love to admire all the little animals at the renovated shop.

6. Grocery Savenger Hunt

20131029-004058.jpg Source: http://www.tipjunkie.com

Do you have grocery shopping to do and need to bring the children along? Then do some simple homework to make it fun for them! I’m sure it will be worth it! 🙂 After finishing your grocery shopping list, google the images of some of the items and print it in a piece of paper. Then, when you arrive to the supermarket, just give it to your kiddos and tell them about the important mission they have! 😉

7. Simply have fun at home
Why not carving a pumpkin? Or doing a really big drawing (simply cover your kitchen table with paper and let the children draw)? Or do some face painting? Or play dressing up your favourite characters?…

Just a quick note: as this Friday is a holiday, please check in advance if the places are opened.

I hope to be able to share more ideas with you very soon! 🙂
What about you? Please share!

Fun At Home – Take 3

As here we had another rainy weekend, I desperately needed to come up with a few more funny activities for my 3 year old boy! Especially when he’s starting to be soooo tired of not going to the playground out there!

The other day I went to Cactus hypermarket at La Belle Etoile shopping center, and I decided to have a quick look at the arts and crafts section. I bought the following items: a blank styrofoam airplane, some wood letter beads and some blue mosaic beads. So, on my quest for new activities, I chose some where I could use those new items.

As for the Airplane Painting activity, the items needed were as following:
– Styrofoam airplane
– Child-friendly paintings
– Brushes

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As for the activity in itself, just let the child do whatever he/she wants! 🙂 when it comes to painting stuff, they naturally know what to do! 🙂

Then, we’ve done a Letter Matching activity. I used the following items:
– A piece of paper where I wrote my boy’s name
– Some plastic letters to match
– Some wood letter beads to match
– An elastic wire

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As for the activity, I started by asking my boy to match the plastic letters to the name written in the piece of paper. Then, I asked the same exercise with the letter beads, and this time we also compared the difference between bigger and smaller shapes. Finally, I asked him to put the beads into the elastic wire, in the correct order and then I closed it with a knot to make a cute purse. This way we had an educational exercise with a gift at the end! 🙂

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