Horse Expo Coming to Harrisburg

horse-racingHarrisburg is so underrated as the great city it is. There is just always so much going on – something for everyone. Take the Pennsylvania Horse Word Expo for example. In its 13th year, the biggest and longest-running hose expo in the mid-Atlantic is coming to town. In fact, we’re right in the middle of it now.

It started two days ago and lasts until tomorrow (the day I’m planning on taking the kids) at Harrisburg’s Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center which is always the perfect venue. It’s going to be crowded but my kids love the crowds. Also this year there is something I’m looking forward to – the show that choreographed comprising, circus, Wild West and horse ballet!

It’s definitely something different. And I love showing the kids how cool animals are, especially horses, one of my favorite types. Come to Harrisburg; it’s fun here!

Farm Show Milkshakes Are Back

milkshakeFarm show milkshakes are available again! It’s a great excuse to go to the Great American Outdoor Show. We’re going today. It runs til Feb 15th at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center.

The milkshakes are going to be served by the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association. The last time I had one was at the 2015 Farm Show. Apparently I wasn’t the only one; 165,000 were sold there! And thus because of that, they are now being sold again, even though they are going to be a dollar more a piece. But the way I see it, for $5, it’s worth it. They are so delicious, especially the vanilla one.

This will now be the third event at which I’ve had one of these milkshakes. The first time was back In 2013 at the Harrisburg’s Kipona Festival.

Cleaning Up the Post-Christmas Streets

christmas-treeI was happy to learn that the Department of Public Works is going to be collecting old Christmas trees this month. It’s a great way to deal with the situation. Apart from cleaning up the mess, this is a truly educational endeavor as they are recycled for other uses. And, the best part is that there are no fees for this service either.

Another initiative the city is engaging in to enhance the environment is the new Regional Transportation Plan. This seeks to both support bus transit and various other transportation methods while improving traffic conditions. The city has already made some headway with this. For example I read recently that there has been a reduction in the amount of vehicles traveling on the roads by 6.4 percent between 2009 and 2013. But the West Shore still needs work in this area. Part of this project is to help people find alternative modes of transportation that are better for the environment.

It’s great to live in Harrisburg.

Ugly Tree

There was such an ugly Christmas tree in Reading that residents actually complained and petitioned to have to it put down. I saw pictures of it but didn’t think it was so bad. It was small and skinny and had a lighted pretzel on top (as it’s in an area with a ton of bakeries) but I thought it looked okay. Obviously these complainers either a) have nothing better to do with their time or b) really have their Christmas spirit affected by ugly trees. I’m not quite sure which option is more acceptable.

So the next step apparently is that a group has started to raise money to purchase a better one and then decorate it themselves. So let’s see what happens with that!

Don’t Spoil Halloween

halloween-candyI’m all for dental hygiene and keeping my kids healthy and safe and all that, but I still want them to enjoy Halloween as much as the next person. That’s why I actually really respected what the Pennsylvania Dental Association did this year connected to Halloween.

Rather than issue some boring educational video on how bad candies are for you, the Dental Association encouraged kids to participate in the Halloween Candy Buyback Program. It’s really cool actually. The way it works is that the dentists hold an event at which they can purchase any Halloween candy a kid got that they didn’t open. They give the kid either: cash, coupons, toothbrushes or other goody bags.

And don’t worry; it’s not like they are keeping the candy for themselves or their kids. Once they’ve collected it all it gets sent to Operation Gratitude which is a Californian non-profit that thereafter ships it all out to soldiers’ and troops overseas.

So it seems that even when you’re big (a soldier) you can still enjoy Halloween thanks to this initiative by the Pennsylvania Dental Association!

Woohoo! Time to Party!

daylin-leachSo the state senators just passed a bill to legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania! I know there’s a long way to go (Corbett seems to be causing trouble as he’s no fan), but this is the first step. And as far as I’m concerned, it’s a great one!

All the Democrats voted yes and a somewhat high number of Republicans (27) did as well.  I don’t know about these nay-sayers. I mean, there are so many people out there suffering. And why? Because of college students getting high from it? That’s just crazy. I personally am wholeheartedly behind Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, who said at the debate: “It is cruel and heartless to deny people the best medicine that is available. And it’s time to stop treating this irrationally and saying, ‘we’re not going to let you have this, we’re going to instead make you take far more dangerous and less effective drugs.’ That’s just not how we would want to be treated; it’s not how we want our families to be treated.”

And if at the same time we can use it recreationally as well…

Kids Back at School

First+Day+of+School+back_to_school_family_cartoonFinally the kids are back at school. I don’t mean to be a terrible mom or anything but yay! The kids are back at school. It’s just so hard sometimes. The demands are so great. I only have two yet it seems like at least one of them always wants something! I can’t even imagine how it is for people with more than four kids.

So for my first day “off,” I just sat and vegged. I brewed myself a wonderful pot of Starbucks Medium Roast Breakfast Blend, put my feet up and turned on my iPad. I then proceeded to spend the next two hours, completely enwrapped in funny YouTube movies to enjoy my escapism.

The cutest one I found was Baby Got Class. Boy did I laugh. Can’t wait to show that one to Daniel when he gets home! Plus, it took away some of my guilt at feeling like a bad mom. It seems like I’m not the only one who was excited for the first day of school!

Well, here’s to happy days at school and relaxing, quiet days at home for mom!

Summer Things To Do with Kids in Harrisburg PA

appalachian_trailLooking through the calendar for cool things to do with kids in Harrisburg this summer, I came across some great ideas. The first thing I saw might not have been perfect for my older kids, but for sure my younger kids and I enjoyed “Music at the Mill.” Carroll Swam of the Bluestone band came along to help out the informal jam session. We got to see the mill that dates back all the way to the 19th century and we hung out, jamming to the music. The best part was it was free (although they were collecting donations to benefit the Friends of Wallace-Cross Mill).

Another cool activity for my kids in Harrisburg was Nixon’s Park Turtle program, presented by the York County Department of Parks and Recreation. We learned about this turtle species which was pretty interesting actually, this time, more so for my older boys.

A couple of weeks ago I went with my girlfriend on the 10 mile hike on the Appalachian Trail that started on the Shippensburg Road South and ended up at the Caledonia State Park. It was pretty scary actually since most of it was downhill, but I had to pretend I was doing fine as that for sure wouldn’t have impressed the girlfriend! We went across two small streams and it really was a great way to enjoy nature.

Overall so far – both with and without the kids – we’ve had a great summer in Harrisburg. Long may it continue!

Harrisburg Calendar for July

wildwoodI’m wondering what to do this month to really get into the spirit of summer. So I started checking out the Harrisburg Calendar for fun activities, especially those that are outdoors, and also – preferably – kid-friendly ones.

So next week there is a Stress Relief Walk, starting at the Nature Center! I don’t think my kids are going to go for that so I’m going to try to see if the ex will have them that night. It’s early evening (the best time to walk in my opinion) and it’s a 3-mile stroll with short climbs and easy trails. Why not? I think it’s a great way to kick off the summer!

Now, the next night there’s a Canoe Wildwood by Moonlight. That looks really interesting but I’m not sure if I can get away two nights (I also have a lot of work commitments next week and the week after). Anyway, if I do get to go, I’ll learn all about what’s changed over time vis-à-vis the lake and the park, as I paddle into the aquatic ecosystem to check out the lake and marsh. It sounds phenomenal, especially since the timing will provide picturesque views as the moon rises over the lake.

On July 12 there is a Volunteer Work Day to help Wildwood and all its habitat enhancement projects. That’s from 10am to 1pm so that’s perfect for the kids and me to do since they are on holiday from school anyway. Then I’ll treat them all to a pizza. It’ll be a good day out I hope.

So that’s a start at least. It looks like it could be a really good summer. That’s presuming the ex and the kids co-operate!

Summer Harrisburg Clubs for Kids

canooeingIt’s time to think about the summer. The kids are with me for a long stretch of time and I simply don’t have the cash to take them away anywhere. So I’ve just started looking around for local options. Thankfully there seem to be a few.

Clubs in the region will be opening ponds, streams and grounds for local kids to frolic and enjoy lots of outdoor activities – the perfect antidote to my three boys’ massive energy! Registrations are just beginning and I’m going to get in there! My philosophy is, the more exhausted they are, the better off for everyone!

This year there are some great opportunities for nine to sixteen year olds (which more or less covers all three of my boys). The Capital Area Sportsmen for Youth Field Day on June 14 will make a great weekend activity – starts at 7 30 and ends at 3 00pm. Thankfully I’m past the days of early risers so we’ll probably find ourselves there at around 11. It’s perfect – especially for my oldest who is constantly complaining we only do stuff for the younger ones. They are going to do shooting, canoeing, fishing, archery and more. He’ll definitely have fun there.

So it’s a start. I’m going to keep my eyes peeled though for more Harrisburg clubs and their activities to keep boys busy and active this summer.