Valentine’s Night Out: Drop Off Programs

I know Valentine’s Day is just three days away, but if you are like my husband and I we don’t always plan that far ahead. But lucky for everyone out there, there are two great local businesses that are offering drop off programs for less then a babysitter would cost (if you have 2 kids), as long as your kids are potty trained.

Niantic – Children’s Museum
6-9 p.m.;$20 for one child, additional siblings $10 each; kids must be potty trained. Valentine’s Day fun for your little one, from experiments to art. Don’t forget to wear red! Pre-registration required – call 860-691-1111. View our previous post on the Children’s Museum.

Local Niantic Restaurants
- The Black Sheep; Niantic
- Main Street Grille; Niantic
- La Belle Aurore; Niantic – View previous post
- The Spice Club; Niantic
- Osaka Hibachi; East Lyme – View previous post
- The Common Loon; East Lyme

Old Saybrook – Stay and Play
6-9 p.m.; $20 per child, $10 for additional siblings; ages 3-10, must be potty trained. Activities include pizza, movie, and all of Stay and Play. Call 860-395-4446 to make your reservation. View our previous post on Stay and Play.

Local Old Saybrook and surrounding town restaurants
- Aspen Restaurant; Old Saybrook
- Penny Lane Pub; Old Saybrook
- Rosemary and Sage; Old Saybrook
- The Brushmill by the Waterfall; Chester
- The Griswold Inn; Essex
- The Black Seal; Essex

What do you have planned for Valentine’s Day? Do you and your spouse go all out, or is it just another day? Share your plans with us we would love to hear them!

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Torrington: Kid’s Play Museum

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The exterior, as seen in the rain from a mini-van. It was very cold.

 

KidsPlay Museum
61 Main St.
Torrington, CT 06790

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the disadvantages to not growing up in CT is having no concept of how far certain places are from the shoreline. Google tells me IKEA takes much longer than it actually does, so when I read that Torrington was about an hour and 20 minutes minutes from where I live I was like psshhht whatevs. Well they were right this time – Torrington is very far from New London county. With my groupon on hand my family and I headed over to KidsPlay over the winter vacation to visit and get some energy out. The kids had a great time, so my long trip wasn’t all for naught.

Located right on Main St. it was easy to find the museum and we parked for free (metered at certain times) right out by the front door. Next door to the museum is a large thrift store (if your into that kind of thing) and there is a rear entrance as well. Immediately inside there was a coat rack so we shed our wet weather wear and headed on in. The front desk staff was friendly, accepted our groupon right away and let us know about some of the exhibits.

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Tubes and chutes for balls and scarves.

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Fire engine!

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Practice your (pretend) driving skills.

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Water!

In the front room there were several exhibits that caught our attention right away – some tubes and chutes for scarves, a car and a fire engine, a dress up area, light table, water table and a giant bubble station where you get inside the bubble -

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The museum is basically shaped like a really long wide hallway. There are a few unfinished areas in the back that are on their way to being more fun exhibits. In the middle, there is the rest room/changing area and a large party room.

Our favorite part of the museum by far was the grocery store -

gkj tuiu dffggKids can use real kid sized carts to collect grocery items, check out or work the bakery counter. I was even excited by this!

Beyond the grocery store there is a restaurant, with it’s own counter so the kids can serve the grown ups and an air tube/ball activity. There are a few other small exhibits around the museum as well that I didn’t photograph, like music instruments and a balancing area.

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The staff were very attentive and I am surprised to report a lot of the parents were as well – the exhibits encourage adults to get involved too, so there were fewer distracted alone adults present than I am used to seeing. Since the museum is fairly new a lot of the items found to play with are in like new condition, like play food and other toys, which is always nice to see.

We had a great time on our visit and took advantage of the trip to visit some places on the way home we otherwise wouldn’t have. If you find yourself up around Torrington with the kids, this place is worth it for a few hours of play time. They have limited hours – 10AM – 2PM Wed-Fri and 12PM – 4PM Sat/Sun (closed mon & tues) – but do extend hours for holidays and school vacations. Admission is only $4 pp ages 1 and up. Be sure to follow them on FB - https://www.facebook.com/kidsplaychildrensmuseum - and Twitter - https://twitter.com/kpmuseum – to keep updated on their events and hours!

 

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Westerly: The Cooked Goose

2013-12-23 12.15.42The Cooked Goose
92 Watch Hill Road
Westerly, RI 02891

 

 

 

 

 

 

While researching brunch and lunch places one Sunday, we found a wonderful dining spot in Westerly that also sells delicious prepared foods. The Cooked Goose is a warm, comforting environment to dine with family or friends. It’s also an ideal spot for a great Valentine’s Day brunch (so get planning moms and dads!). I would go back in a second, especially for one of their delicious fresh salads or mouth-watering sandwiches.

From The Cooked Goose website:

The Cooked Goose is Westerly’s premier spot for breakfast, lunch, and prepared food for take-out. This includes baked goods, appetizers, artisan cheeses, soups, sandwiches, salads and main course dishes – perfect to grab to take home, for a day at the beach or out on the water! We also prepare a delicious assortment of house-made baked goods every morning and serve (and sell!) Rhode Island’s best coffee to go along with it.

  • Full wait staff service available until 3pm.
  • Outdoor seating and service
  • Newspapers / Free Wireless Internet

The Cooked Goose is available for Private Parties, Rehearsal Dinners, Showers, Birthday Parties, etc.

I went with another friend of mine (without the kids) to The Cooked Goose during lunch. Immediately upon walking into the restaurant you’ll notice a glass case full of deliciousness. I wanted one of everything! The dining area was full so instead of waiting for a table, we chose to sat at the bar in front of the prep area. We ordered bellinis to start and perused the menu and specials of the day.2013-12-23 12.27.142013-12-23 12.29.17

Everything on the menu sounded great and we had a hard time choosing one thing, so we decided to split 2 meals between us. We ordered the Spinach Salad and The Oscar sandwich and let the waitress know we were going to be sharing. The bellinis were amazing and as we sat and talked, we gazed at the dining crowd around us and saw couples, large families, and kids all happily eating together. The Cooked Goose is definitely a restaurant that makes you feel at home. By the way, if you want to know the most popular item of the day, it was the chicken quesadilla. It was advertised as one of the specials and there was at least one ordered at every table around us. 2013-12-23 12.27.242013-12-23 12.24.11

The waitress brought out our salads first and without asking, she had already had the chefs to split them up into 2 bowls. I love her. And how in the world do they make a simple spinach salad taste so good? The curry champagne vinaigrette dressing, mushrooms, red onion, and feta made the salad taste light yet filling. Next they brought out our sandwich, already cut in halves, and served on a plate with a side of chips for each of us. The Oscar is a cold sandwich made with filet mignon, herbed boursin, tomato, avocado, red onion, and horseradish mayo on a seeded brioche roll. I’m not into mayo, so they put some on the side in a cup for both of us. The sandwich was meaty and the fresh toppings just added to the deliciousness. We both gobbled up our food in a few minutes with very little talking in between. My favorite way to eat!2013-12-23 12.33.522013-12-23 12.34.01

Before we left, I checked out their fridges and admired the deli meats and pastries in the glass cases. It was extremely difficult to go home without a cookie or slice of cake, but I made it out empty-handed this time. Next time I don’t think I’ll be so lucky. Or maybe, I should consider myself very lucky. Happy dining everyone!

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Hartford: Big Y Kids Fair is Coming, Win Tickets

This is a sponsored post and giveaway. 

The 10th Annual

Big Y Kids Fair

Big Y Kids Fair

BIG Y “KIDS FAIR”

Feb 1st-2nd, 2014

CT CONVENTION CENTER, HARTFORD, CT

 See below the article for your chance to win a family four-pack for either Saturday or Sunday.

IT’S THE TENTH ANNUAL BIG Y KIDS FAIR SATURDAY FROM 10AM – 5PM AND SUNDAY 10AM -4PM, FEBRUARY 1ST AND 2ND AT THE CONNECTICUT CONVENTION CENTER!

BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER!

GET OUT OF THE COLD AND IN ON FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY.

YOU’LL FIND A HUGE INDOOR CARNIVAL, PETTING ZOO, PONY RIDES, VIDEO GAMES, BUNGEE JUMPING, ZORBS, RC SLOT CAR RACING; OVER 150 EXHIBITOR BOOTHS AND SO MUCH MORE!

PLENTY OF GREAT ACTIVITIES, ENTERTAINMENT AND INTERACTIVE EDUCATIONAL DISPLAYS FOR YOUR WHOLE FAMILY TO ENJOY!

EACH DAY WILL ALSO FEATURE GREAT STAGE SHOWS FROM MAGICIANS AND KARATE DEMOS TO KIDS FASHION SHOWS AND MUCH MORE!  ALSO CHECK OUT THE CPTV KIDS BOOTH WITH CHARACTER APPEARANCES FROM SUPER Y & DANIEL TIGER!

♦ POLICE DOGS – FUN & EXCITING DEMONSTRATIONS

♦MAGICIANS – GARY BESSETTE THE MAGIC GUY; PETE & CHRIS AMUSEMENTS

♦JUGGLERS – THE AMAZING CHAZZ

♦FASHION SHOW BY LITTLE MISS BELLA BEAUTIQUE & JOHN CASABLANCAS MODELING AGENCY

♦MINIATURE GOLF – LYMAN ORCHARDS

LOTS OF INTERACTIVE EXHIBITS FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES:

2X MORE RIDES THAN LAST YEAR

30% MORE EXHIBITS

100% MORE FUN!!!

THE 10TH ANNUAL BIG Y KIDS FAIR

WHEN: FEBRUARY 1-2, 2014

WHERE: CONNECTICUT CONVENTION CENTER EXIT 29A OFF 1 91, HARTFORD, CT

SHOW HOURS: SATURDAY, 10AM -5PM AND SUNDAY, 10AM – 4PM

TICKETS: ADULTS – $10.00, KIDS – $5.00 (INCLUDES 1 FREE RIDE)

ADULTS GET $2.00 OFF WITH “Big Y® Express Savings Club® or Silver Savings Club® Card (Limited one per party)

THE FIRST ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE IN THE DOOR WILL RECEIVE A FREE TICKET TO LIME ROCK PARK’S OPENING DAY RACE.

SPONSORS INCLUDE: BIG Y WORLD CLASS MARKETS, ST. FRANCIS HOSPITAL, CPTV, CLEAR CHANNEL, KISS 95.7, COUNTRY 92.5, HARTFORD COURANT, ESPN RADIO, LIMEROCK PARK, VERIZON WIRELESS, COMCAST,  MY CONNECTICUT KIDS, WWW.PLACESFORKIDSCT.COM; KIDTIVITY; FUN 4 KIDS, CONNECTICUT PARENT, MACARONI KID MIDDLETOWN.

FOR MORE INFORMATION LOG ON TO: www.connecticutkidsfair.com.

Check out the great schedule of events: www.jenksproductions.com/eventschkidsfair.html

Here is our post on last years event:www.sectkids.com/Hartford-area-Hartford-big-y-kids-fair/

Win tickets here! Enter by Monday, January January 27, for your chance to win a family four-pack of tickets. Drawing will be held on Tuesday, January 28. The winner will be contacted with your choice of day, and then you will pick your tickets up at will-call.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Ice Skating Rinks in Southeastern Connecticut

If you’re looking to bring the family ice skating this winter, here is a list of nearby locations to check out! And before you tell me otherwise, I know Westerly, RI is not in Southeastern CT, but it’s only a short drive away to enjoy a fun skating day at this great outdoor rink!

Image from the Washington Trust Community Skating Center in Westerly, RI. http://www.washtrustskatingcenter.com/

Dayton Arena (Connecticut College)
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320
860-439-2575
Dayton Arena is located on the Conn College campus. A special event is coming up on February 22nd at the arena. “Ice Skate for Babies” is being held to help raise money for the March of Dimes charity. See the Facebook page for more info https://www.facebook.com/skateforbabies/info.

Foxwoods Rink and Winter Patio
Foxwoods Resort Casino
350 Trolley Line Boulevard
Mashantucket, CT 06338-3777
“Skate seven days a week on our outdoor rink.  Enjoy a hot chocolate while relaxing by one of our outdoor fire pits…”

Norwich Ice Rink
641 New London Turnpike
Norwich CT 06360
860-892-2555
Norwich Ice Rink offers public skate times, movie nights, birthday parties, hosts hockey games, and more.

 Washington Trust Community Skating Center
61 Main Street
Westerly, Rhode Island 02891
401-637-7902
“The Washington Trust Community Skating Center, located in downtown Westerly, offers 12,000 square feet of real ice on a 100’ X 120’ rink. No skates? No problem! With 250 pairs of rental skates, there are plenty for you and your family or friends to come try a centuries old winter tradition. If skating is not for you, there is seating for 200 people around the rink to watch and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. Visit the Washington Trust Community Skating Center under the sun, or stars, to build memories that will last a lifetime!”

Know of any other rinks in our area? Email us and we’ll add it to the list! sectkids@gmail.com

 

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East Lyme: Osaka Asian Restaurant

Osaka Asian Restaurant
324 Flanders Rd.
East Lyme, CT 06333

 

Osaka Asian restaurant, which offers sushi, hibachi, and other selections, is one of the newest restaurants on the scene in East Lyme. I have to be honest, I was very excited to see another Asian restaurant would be taking the place of the former sushi restaurant that was located in the same place in this shopping center in East Lyme, near Gabriel’s Martial Arts and The Shack. I had been to the other restaurant in the past and was disappointed and have been driving all over for sushi. I am thrilled to report Osaka is a delightful replacement, with a fresh new set up, decor, and most importantly, delicious food.

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My husband and I visited on a Saturday for lunch, right at 11:30 because we are cool like that (our babysitter was available for a limited time). The restaurant is open every day for lunch and dinner, though closing hours do vary based on the day of the week – find them here http://www.osakact.com/contact.php . If you are looking to save money, grab their coupon found in the latest clipper magazine and head in for a meal between Mon-Thurs. There is also a sign up on their menu pages for e-mail promotions and coupons - http://www.osakact.com/menu.php – look on the right sidebar for the red button.

Although we arrived right at opening time (OK, let’s be honest, a few minutes earlier), the staff greeted us with smiles and sat us immediately. Being without kids, we obviously ordered the most mature drink ever, a scorpion bowl to share -

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You can’t tell, but the middle is on fire.

While we enjoyed our drink, we looked over the lunch menu. The whole thing is online – http://www.osakact.com/menu.php - if you like to look beforehand, and the staff is happy to answer any questions you may have. We took advantage of the lunch prices and got 2 special rolls as an appetizer to share – at lunch, these are a half portion, so not too much food. The hot night roll (spicy tuna on top of shrimp tempura, avocado, crab roll, scallion, masago) was large and flavorful, with fresh sweet tuna abounding. The funky money roll (deep fried spicy salmon, shrimp, jalapeno and cheese) was like the world’s best jalapeno popper – my husband mostly ate this one, and as an avid seaweed hater, that is a big deal. There was not a bit of seaweed present in this roll, and the sauce was reminiscent of katsu sauce. Not too much heat either, so don’t let the jalapeno scare you. We really loved both of these.

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In fact, we loved them so much we ate most of them before I remembered to take a picture. Pretend there are 4 of each there.

When it came to our main dish choices we both went in opposite directions. I had the Sashimi Bento Box, which includes a bowl of miso soup as well as all of this -

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Again, I started eating before I snapped a pic. The rice is actually white and the crab should be over with the rest of the sashimi. Sorry!

My husband got the Hot Stone BB Rice, which we had never tried before. The menu says – Korean seasoned vegetables, egg and beef on top of rice with sesame oil and in hot stone pot until served w/ spicy sauce on the side. When the dish came, the waiter asked if he liked it spicy (which he did) and mixed it all up for us – just dumped the bowl of hot sauce on top and mixed it all around.

kidsplay4The sauce was spicy, so if you plan to get this keep that in mind. My husband (who enjoys spicy food) really enjoyed this. It was a generous serving and we wound up bringing some home as well. We were totally stuffed at this point, but I would have liked to try their “Flaming Ice Cream” dessert.

We are looking forward to going back with the kids to try some hibachi and have more sushi soon. We noticed a great hibachi lunch for two option on the menu – $24 includes salad, soup, veggies, fried rice, chicken, steak and shrimp! They have a full bar as well as a sushi bar, so if you want to head in solo and avoid sitting at a table alone those are great options, or get some take out! The service we received was prompt and friendly and it appeared the same for the other diners as well. Osaka is wonderful addition to the East Lyme food scene, visit soon so they have the support they need to stay here! For more information, visit their website - http://www.osakact.com/ - or like them on FB - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Osaka-Asian-Restaurant/421975101236311 . For an even better deal, visit them during East Lyme/Niantic Restaurant Week  from Jan 20th – 31st.

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Diaper Derby is coming to the Crystal Mall!

diaper derby

 

Calling all crawlers! This adorable event is fun for the whole family. Our very own Emily participated with her crawler (who is now a toddler) last year, check out her post for some great pictures and info - http://www.sectkids.com/waterford-diaper-derby-at-crystal-mall/ - they had a great time! Sign up your little one today or share with your friends!

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Gales Ferry: Kindermusik with Miss Terri

KI_logo_rainbow_SMALLSign up for a Great 8 week Winter Activity starting next week January 22nd, 23rd, 25th - Kindermusik with Miss Terri! This is a playful and educational music class for children Newborn up to 5 years old!
** Special this session – FREE 8 classes for babies under 5 months old!  Only pay for the take home materials of $35.00!  $110.00 total value! 2 spaces available per class so please email etisenburg@yahoo.com to make sure a spot is open. **
 Baby Times are Wednesday 10:15am, Thursday 10:30am, and Saturdays 10:30am.

** 10.00 off Tuition if you mention you saw this on Southeastern CT Kids!! ** to be used on 18-3 years old class, 3-5 years old class and babies 6 months and older. 

For more information on the programs and scheduled times visit www.missterrikm.com

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