Birthdays in the High Country

Yesterday, there was a great discussion on HighCountryMommies.com, a web forum for, well.. High Country moms. Someone asked about where to have a kids’ birthday party, so I thought we could post some ideas here. I haven’t done research into costs and specifics, so if you’re interested in one of these ideas, the best thing to do is to call for more information.

These are the places I’ve been for parties:

Chick-Fil-A: What can I say? Theres a play area, chicken nuggets, balloons, ice cream, and some one to clean up after the party! Slam dunk! In my opinion, Chick-Fil-A is probably best suited for kids 7 and under.

The Swim Complex: Again, what can I say? A kiddie pool with a fountain, a big pool for the big kids, and chairs for the moms! They will reserve the kiddie pool area for you, and provide a table. You can just bring in your cake and snacks, etc.

Pizza Hut in Boone: We had a Princess Party for my then four year old at Pizza Hut, and it was great. They reserve a separate room if you call ahead, and even a TV with a DVD player. We put on the Disney Princess Sing-Along DVD, and had enough space to play princess hopscotch.

CiCi’s Pizza: A few years ago, we went to a party at CiCi’s. It was in the late morning, right before lunch. The kids got to go back to the kitchen and make their own pizzas, then play in the game room. The party was about over by the time the lunch crowd came in.

Boone Bowling Center: The first administrator of the High Country Mommies, Christina had a birthday party at the Bowling Alley, and it was really fun. It’s usually not that crowded in the afternoons, and they have a few different packages you can buy. This one is a little pricey for my budget, I think, and it’s probably best for kids 6 and over.

Appalachian Ski Mountain: One of my daughters’ friends had an ice skating party at App Ski Mtn. They have rooms in the lodge you can use, then go down and skate. The skating price is a little high during regular hours, but I’ll let you in on a secret. HipChick (my 7 year-old) wanted to have a skating party, but we couldn’t afford the regular rates. We scheduled the party for the first snow day in January, and set it up with a few friends. It’s only $6.oo each on snow days! It was perfect. We just did presents in the little “ice hut” right there, since we didn’t have too many kids, and I bought everyone hot chocolate.

My favorite party ever was at the Mountain Advantage corn maze and pumpkin patch in Ashe County. Of course it’s only available in September and October, but if your birthday is in one of these months, it’s a jackpot! The Mountain Advantage Farm has two huge corn mazes, pumpkin painting, giant sling shots which you use to launch tennis balls into floating tires in the lake, a big blow up bouncing slide, and more. As the kids go through the maze, they can collect information about corn from several checkpoints, then turn it in for a prize. My whole family came up from “the flatlands” with their kids, and made a vacation out of it. All the kids from 2 years old to 11 had a great time (not to mention the adults!)

I know that birthday parties are available at the Playhouse in Boone, and the Playroom in Ashe County, but I have never been to one.

This is just one example of the community that happens on HighCountryMommies.com. I’ve been involved for the past year, and have made some really awesome friends. Any question you have, you can ask about 150 moms at once! If you need a doctor, have trouble with postpartom issues, want to brag on your kids, and just connect with someone else in the midst of the isolation of housework, log on and try it! We also have lots of Playdates and Mom’s Nights Out!

So where are your favorite places to have birthday parties?

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March at the Library

March 15th, Saturday at 11:00 to 12:30 * EGGSTRAVAGANZA FUN!

March 19th, Wednesday at 3:30 pm * Stories with SUKANYA * Experience Indian Culture * Display of Indian Costume, Stories, and Crafts

March 19th, Wednesday at 3:30 pm * READ to ANNIE the READING DOG!

Wednesday Afternoon Story Time, 3:30 to 4:00 pm *
March 5th
March 12th
March 19th
March 26th

Visit The Youth Services Page of the Watauga Library Website for more information!
You can find The Watauga Library Kid’s Reading List Here.

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Momapalooza ~ Day 5: Live Jazz to Benefit Uganda!

Are we having fun yet? Enter all these giveaways until Sunday!
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You may have seen and heard local jazz musician Todd Wright, and his quartet playing smooth music around Boone. Well he is teaming up with Appalachian State University professor (and Mom Squad reader) Tiffany Christian, and social work students to “Change the World”! This concert will benefit their International Social Work Service trip to Uganda! You can keep up with the progress toward the trip, as well as updates from the field on their blog, ASU Uganda 2008.

So make your way to Farthing Auditorium in Boone on March 6th at 7 PM. Tickets are $5 each, available at the Farthing ticket office. The concert will feature The Todd Wright Quartet, with an opening performance from local youth band “Consecrated.” Tiffany will even make an appearance, singing… well, it’s a surprise. You’ll just have to go see for yourself! Silent Auction and sales featuring products made in Uganda will be available in the lobby.

One Mom Squad Reader will win two tickets to the benefit concert! It would be great if you want to visit the websites mentioned in the post, but there are no hoops to jump through for this giveaway! Just:

1. Leave a comment on this post, including an email address where I can contact you. You can spell out the [at] and [dot] to avoid spambots. Example: singforhim94 [at] yah** [com]. Pretty soon, we will be moving to a format where you can leave me your email confidentially. If you left your email on a previous contest, that is sufficient.

2. If you are a new or existing subscriber, leave a second comment, saying “subscriber”! You get an extra chance. To subscribe, enter your email address in the top right hand of the page. (privacy policy)

3. If you email this contest to a non-subscriber, leave another comment, saying “email.” You get yet another chance to win!

All the contests will run through the week, and will be closed on Sunday, Feb 24. The winners will be announced on Monday, Feb 25.

Add your comment by visiting the High Country Mom Squad, (Click Here) then click “Post a Comment” at the very bottom of this post. When the comment page comes up, type your comment, then click “Sign In,” “Name/URL” or “Anonymous,” and publish your comment. IF you have any trouble commenting, please email me.

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More Mom Squad Articles:
Advertising Policies on the High Country Mom Squad
How to Get Great Customer Service
Listing of Local Parks

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February Activities at the Library

Here’s what’s going on at the Watauga Library in February:

  • February 7th, Thursday at 3:30 * Chinese New Year * Year of the RAT * Join us for a celebration of Chinese culture, crafts, snacks include

  • February 14th, Thursday at 11:00 am *Valentine Storytime Party * Pooh Movie and crafts
  • February 14th, Thursday at 3:30 pm * SPEAK OUT * Book Discussion for Middle Schoolers* This month’s book is True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Come for FOOD, FUN, AND FRIENDS!
  • February 20th, Wednesday at 3:30 pm * READ to ANNIE the READING DOG!
  • Wednesday Afternoon Story Time, 3:30 to 4:00 pm *
    February 6th
    February 13th
    February 20th
    February 27th

    Can’t make it for morning storytime? Try Wednesday’s at 3:30, great for school children!

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    Connecting with Other Moms After Your Baby Arrives

    After my first daughter was born, I had sort of a culture shock. I had spent four years as a busy music teacher, traveling to three schools. Most of my friends worked full time. I knew it would be great for me to stay home with my child, but it took a lot of getting used to! For once in my life, I actually had to be alone with myself, and my baby! Many moms feel guilty for feeling this way, and aren’t sure how to deal with it. If this is you, then you are not alone!

    There are many activities around Boone to help you connect with other moms to share experiences, learn from experts, and even get healthy together!

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    There are post-natal exercise classes at the Watauga Wellness Center. You can bring your stroller, and children under 12 months. You don’t even need to be a member; all you need is a note from your doctor releasing you for activity! Call the Wellness Center at 266-1060 for more information.
    • Post Natal Classes: Monday and Wednesday at 11:00 AM

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    Watauga Medical Center also has classes for new moms. They bring in experts to talk about baby issues, and have time for socialization.
    • Babes in Arms: New mothers will meet to discuss any issues or concerns they have with an RN and a staff person from Birthing Center Education Office. Birth through 9 months. FREE
    • Babes on the Move: Mothers (or fathers) and babies from 10-18 months meet once a week. Guest speakers from various community agencies will present information related to parenting and health. FREE

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    Join the High Country Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS)
    Welcome to High Country MOPS. Our goal is to reach out to mothers of young children and fulfill your unique needs at this stage of life. We aim to meet some of those needs by providing real relationships with other moms. We welcome ALL moms of preschoolers–urban, suburban, rural, stay-at-home, working, single, married, and teen. We meet the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month from September through May at Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Boone, NC. Call 828-266-9703, ext. 133 or e-mail: hcmops@yahoo.com for more information

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    Join the High Country Mommies
    As part of The Mommies Network, HighCountryMommies.com is a free community for moms in Ashe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell and Watauga Counties. We realize that all moms need local support — and who can’t use another friend? HighCountryMommies.com offers a simple way to connect with local moms for friendship, support and fun. Members meet on our forums to share information on everything from where to get the best haircut to tips on transitioning to a “big kid” bed. Each month, we also offer many face-to-face events for our members, their children and their families. Register today and join us!

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    The Children’s Playhouse
    (From their website) The Children’s Playhouse provides children from birth to age eight with an enriching, educational play environment while at the same time offering their parents and caregivers friendly support in the important job of raising children. It is an informal “town square” for the High Country, a place where natives and newcomers, out-of-towners and locals, experienced parents and eager first-timers, and people of all classes are brought together to share the joy of playful learning with their children.

    Stimulating arts– and science-based programs, enticing play areas and exhibits, and informative parenting resources all support this mission. The Playhouse is supported in part by the Children’s Council of Watauga County, the United Way, Watauga County, and the Town of Boone.

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    Watauga County Library Storytime
    Every morning from 11 – 12:45 is preschool storytime at the library. Bring your preschooler, relax with them, listen to stories, and connect with other parents.

    Wednesday afternoon storytime is from 3:30 – 4, and includes school children.

    What activities have you been a part of? Have you had any really great experiences? Share by clicking on “Post a Comment” under this article.

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    High Country Public Parks

    The Boone “Tot Lot”: Off of State Farm Road, near the Fire Station and Swim Complex in Boone

    • Fenced-in playing area
    • Newly renovated with up-to-date, safe equipment
    • A small track for walking, strollers or wheelchairs
    • Separate areas for younger and older children
    • Large sandbox
    • Picnic tables with a shelter
    • Bathrooms next door at the Swim Complex

    Daniel Boone Park: Next to Daniel Boone Gardens, behind the Library restaurant in Boone

    • Large open area
    • Toddler play area
    • Sandbox
    • Picnic tables with a shelter
    • Bathrooms across the street and up a hill

    Valle Crucis Park: In Historic Valle Crucis. Take 194/Broadstone Rd into Valley Crucis. Turn at the Mast General Store. Park is straight ahead.

    • Large track for running, walking or biking
    • Pond for catch-and-release fishing
    • River access for wading
    • Two picnic shelters
    • Bathrooms in the center of the park
    • Basketball court
    • Large open area for playing soccer, Frisbee, or setting up a volleyball net

    Green Valley Park: Located in Todd. Take 194 to Todd, turn right on Railroad Grade Road, shortly after the Todd General Store, turn right on Big Hill Road. Park will be on the left.

    • Beautiful Views
    • Picnic Shelter
    • Small Playground
    • Large Fields
    • Walking Trails
    • Right on the New River!
    • Near Todd General Store

    Blowing Rock Park: Right in Downtown Blowing Rock

    • Large Children’s Play Area
    • Lots of Swings
    • Tennis Courts
    • Basketball Courts
    • Gazebo
    • Near Kilwin’s Ice Cream Shop
    • Bathrooms

    Canon Memorial Park

    • coming soon

    Banner Elk Park

    • fantastic climbing frames,
    • swings
    • slides
    • a walking trail
    • a lovely stream right down the middle of the park, which is fantastic for playing in in warm weather. Bring those bathing suits for the kids; they absolutely love it and it’s got easy banks and a nice shallow area which is great for the small ones.
    • There are also bathrooms.
    • Dogs are allowed on a leash too.

    Jimmy Smith Park

    • Coming Soon

    The Buckeye Lake Recreation Area (Thanks, Debbie): Located in the Town of Beech Mountain

    • baseball field, walking trail, tennis courts
    • a multi-million dollar facility that houses fitness, indoor basketball and tennis as well as computer access, television lounge and kitchen/reception areas.
    • The indoor facilities are accessible for a reasonable fee.
    • For more information, see http://www.townofbeechmountain.com/community/rec_center.html

    Tell us about your favorite park! Click to add a comment under this article. .