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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Kid’s décor parents will love

Among the most creative and challenging decorating jobs around the house is in the kid's room. With opportunities for vibrant colors--and mixing and matching--the kid's room offers parents a chance to add something eye-catching and fun. Whether it's toys, art and designs, decorating a kid's room often reflects the personality and interests of the child. If you are ready to take on the challenge, here are some kid’s décor that you will definitely love.

Eye Candy: Displaying Kids Art
This is genius. Use an inexpensive curtain rod and curtain clip rings to hang art. Pieces are easy to change out. BONUS: Art can be hung here to dry as well.

Fun with Chalkboard Paint
Create a fun, functional chalkboard in any room of your home with paint that is erasable, washable, and durable enough to stand up to lots of little hands.

Need more storage?
Clear the shelves by stuffing pillow covers with plush toys and extra bedding. Then plop them on the ground for a comfy place to sit.

Adorable Wall Decals
Choose from a variety of beautifully created labels designed to give bare walls design and flair, with very little effort

Tack It On
A corkboard gives your child a place to post their favorite magazine clippings, photos, and ticket stubs — and keeps you from filling in a bunch of holes in the wall. Also, cut a piece of Plexiglas to fit her desk, to slip memorabilia underneath. Stop magazines and notebooks from littering the floor with a hanging rack.

Photos Courtesy of Andrew McCaul, Fiona Kate, and Urban Cottage


How to Have a Successful Move with Kids at Home

Moving is hard. It’s hard emotionally and physically…you are sad to leave one place but happy to start over in another. And hard physically, all the sorting, cleaning, packing, marking and boxing up. Now add children to this moving equation and it makes it even harder. Kids are scared and maybe angry because of the change this will bring to their lives. So how do you explain to your kids why and what moving is all about so that they can get over their fear and be excited about it? This post will give some tips to help soothe the high emotions that moving can bring out before the moving van arrives.

Communicate "why." Talk with your children patiently and frequently. Let your children know, step by step, what is happening and what is likely to happen next in the process. When you are sure a move is in your future, talk to your children about the "why" of the move. List all the advantages there are for the child in the move. For example, will the family be closer to Grandma, the ocean, or another favorite person, place, or activity? Will they be able to see old friends and family frequently or at least at holidays?

Show and tell. Show as much as you can about the new home before you get there. When you show your children their room and play area, make a game of it by asking where certain favorite toys or furniture should go. If you are moving far away, have fun by showing your child the photos or new house plans online or draw them yourself and let your child cut out furniture and toys to place in the rooms. Walk your child through a typical day in the home as you go from room to room.

Introduce your child to the new community online. Draw a map, and show how close Mom and Dad work, where schools are, where Aunt Jane lives, and other points of interest to help them orient themselves in their new surroundings.

Be ready for those "What about me?" questions. If your child is in little league, scouts, or other organizations contact those associations for referrals in your new neighborhood or city. If your children know they don't have to give you their favorite sport or hobby that will help them adjust more quickly to their new home.

If you look at moving as an exciting adventure full of fun, new possibilities, your children will absorb your enthusiasm. What has worked well for you in preparing your children or yourself for a move?

After you have talked to your child about moving and what it will be like what can you do on the day of the move to reinforce what you have been preparing for. Here are some ways involve your child on moving day and help them get settled in their your home.

Let them pack. Keep your child occupied by letting them plan and pack a box or two of their things. Talk to them about where they will put their things in their new room so they can better visualize themselves in a new place.

Help them say their good-byes. Encourage them to take the time in person to exchange good-byes with friends and loved ones. Help them to plan times to say these good-byes so that they don't feel like they missed anyone before you have to leave. Give them an address book to collect the names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers of their friends and loved ones so they can stay in touch.

Bring their favorites. On moving day, have a bag packed of personal belongings for each member of the family, being careful to include medications, clothes, and personal items. Let your children choose what they wish to take along, and reassure them they will see their other toys when they arrive in their new home.

Keep as much the same as possible. There is a lot of change happening for your children that you cannot control, so try to stick to normal routines as much as possible. Let your children know that in the new house, the rules of the household will still be the same. They still need to be in bed by... and homework has to be done before they can play etc. And although Mom and Dad are a little busier and distracted with the move, they love their children very much and are giving the entire household a new opportunity to grow.

Your preparedness will go a long way in reassuring your children that their needs are being considered, even while big changes are happening around them.


Good Deals on Houses Won’t Last Forever

Submitted by Prudential Carolinas Realty

The spring has sprung, house showings are up and buyers in the Triad have awoken from their hibernation for the winter and are out in force looking at houses. Why are they out there looking? Because the market is great for buyers right now. Yes, yes you have heard that phrase a thousand times but think about it...we really do have a unique opportunity right now for buyers that will not last forever.

Could this be a good opportunity for you and your family to buy? There are no doubt things you wish you could change about your current abode and those changes might be out there in a new house. So consider a few more points about today’s real estate market and your future new home....

It is on the market now.
You can only buy what's on the market, so the good news for buyers right now is the selection is great in every price point. Open houses are a great way to shop around without an appointment for what's in your price point and they are going every weekend. Find open houses near you.

It is on sale right now.
By "on sale" not just available to buy but really "on sale" like at Macy's. With interest rates at historical lows, you can buy more house for less money because of where interest rates are right now.

Buying it now can get you a tax credit.
April 15 is quickly approaching and whether you have filed your 2009 tax return yet or not, if you are a repeat or first-time home buyer and are under contract for a new home by April 30th you can qualify for a tax credit. It's not too late to find a house and get under contract before the deadline but you have to act fast.

If you combine all three of these factors it equals an opportunity to buy that we do not see often in the real estate market.

A home is an important purchase and for most, the largest investment they have and is certainly not something to rush into lightly, but if you have thought about more space for the kids or a different school is really a good time to buy.


What’s My House Worth?

Submitted by Prudential Carolinas Realty

“How much is my house worth?” Even if you aren’t even thinking about selling this is a question that has probably popped into your mind recently. Maybe a for sale sign went up in your neighborhood and you wondered if your house would sell for more than that house down the street.

The vague answer is your home is worth whatever a ready, willing and able buyer pays for it at the time you put it on the market. But if you don’t have your house on the market there are a few tips that can give you an idea of where your home stands in the value department.

You can look online for comparable homes for sale in your neighborhood with similar square footage and bed/baths. REALTORS® use comparable homes active, sold and expired to help price your home accurately at the time you put your home on the market as a starting point for what your home is worth. Just make sure your home is really comparable to your neighbors before you start comparing.

The value of your home is going to change with market conditions and comparable sales in the area over time. If you want to keep up with your home value without doing the work, we have developed a free home value report that will give you monthly updates on neighborhood activity so you can see what new listings came on the market and at what price, which prices have been reduced and which homes go under contract. This way you can see what the market is doing and when you are ready to sell you don’t go, "My house is worth what!?!"


No Television?

By Jenny D., Charlotte Smarty Pants

TV - was the big no, no word among my friends when we had our first babies. "My children are not allowed to watch TV" or "My kids get 30 minutes a day of educational TV and that's it." As a working mom, I made it clear to my caregivers that having the TV on during the day wasn't an option.

Then like most things in our house, the creep happened. We started with only letting the kids watch Curious George in the morning while I got ready for work. That quickly turned into two episodes. And then we got a TV in our kitchen so that my husband could watch football on Sundays while he cooked all day. Soon the girls began to ask if they could watch a show here and there while we were making lunch or dinner. Then on nights when I had to get work done, the TV became an option to keep them occupied.

Just putting all of this in writing makes me feel terrible. I love spending time with my kids, doing crafts and playing games. Letting the TV become my crutch was a terrible habit that I had gotten into. I have wondered if my old friends stuck to their guns about it?

This fall we had to move out of our house for a couple of weeks during a home remodel (the longest couple of weeks of my life!). We had family friends offer up their house at the lake for us to stay. It was such a generous gesture; we were thrilled. Then we got up there and remembered this house had no TV or internet and cell phone usage was spotty. At first I was out of sorts, feeling unconnected. I had no idea what was going on in the world, more importantly how to dress my children for school because I couldn't check the weather. And the worst of it...I had to wait until I got to work to get my daily fix of Charlotte Smarty Pants.

After a couple of days, we settled into our new place and started to enjoy life without distractions. The girls and I got back into our old routine of playing board games and reading more. And in the mornings, the girls ran around and played with each other instead of watching television while I got ready for work. I started to enjoy the quiet in the house and not wondering what was on TV. The girls even started to put on plays for entertainment. We had a blast living old school.

So for all of you moms who have managed to keep TV watching at a minimum, I applaud you. I also ask that you don't hold this against me. I know that TV will still be in our future - I have to face it, we are TV-watching family. But I plan to be more aware of it and make sure that the family time, fun and creativity come first.

I would love to know that there are some other Smarty moms out there that have found themselves in this situation, any one willing to confess?


Saturday, February 27, 2010

March Camp Giveaways!

Register to win a free camp spot for your child at one of these fabulous camps!

Salem Sports Camp for Kids

Eastern Music Festival

* Please be sure you are a newsletter subscriber before registering. This is a requirement in order to qualify as a winner. (Sign up for our newsletter in the upper right-hand corner of the site.)


Smarty Mom: Leah H. Crowley

By Rachel H

Today’s Smarty Mom is a mom who not only loves to spend time with her children, but also spends a lot of time helping in the community. She is able to create a great balance between volunteer time, mom time, and family time.

Leah and her husband, Pat, have four children, Will (9), Jane (7), Helen (5), and Joe (3). They have lived in the Triad since March 2001, after moving from Charlotte. Leah is a stay-at-home mom who is currently serving as President of the Junior League of Winston-Salem. She also coaches Girls on the Run and helps to train new coaches. Leah is secretary of the Winston-Salem Associated Swim Clubs. She also delivers Meals on Wheels once or twice a month and actively participates in the Neighborhood Watch Program in her neighborhood.

If you are already exhausted reading about Leah’s volunteering schedule, get this – she completed the Great Bay Swim – 4.5 miles across the Chesapeake Bay and raised $2200 for the Central Library’s children’s room! She also recently completed the Angels Triathlon. Leah also enjoys reading, gardening, running, needlework, and hiking. Instead of Smarty Mom, we may need to call her Super Mom! Here’s Leah …

My first question is the obvious – how to you juggle all of these commitments while still making time for the family?
I let a lot go – our house is not kept looking like it is ready for a Southern Living magazine photo shoot. To organize myself, and I need it, I put everything that needs to be done/attended on my calendar. I really do not enjoy shopping, so that frees up a lot of my time to do other things. I have a very supportive husband who understands I need time out of the house and be someone other than “mom” for a bit! I also try to have a quick turnaround on anything I commit to do…the longer it sits, the higher the chance is that it won’t get done!

Out of all of your volunteer work, which one has been the most rewarding to you and why?
I started coaching Girls on the Run through my volunteer placement with Junior League. I was part of the process in bringing the program to Forsyth County with Sara Lee Center for Women’s Health, so I really wanted it to succeed. Coaching 3rd through 5th grade girls about exercising, eating healthy, making good decisions, and having positive self esteem has been especially rewarding. The message permeates, regardless if I was coaching private school girls or at the scholarship sites, that girls have a lot to be proud of and celebrate! As a lifelong runner, there has been much satisfaction for me in seeing these girls complete their first 5k. Even more satisfying is seeing Girls on the Run “graduates” at subsequent 5ks – choosing to spend their Saturday morning running out there on their own!

What has been your favorite part of serving as the Junior League President?
The best part has been getting to better understand the issues in our community and getting to know more of the dynamic women who are members. I really am inspired by all the talent, experience, and passion they bring to everything the Junior League does.

Tell us more about the Great Bay Swim and you decided to take on this endeavor! Growing up in Virginia and traveling along Route 50 to the eastern shore of Maryland several times a year to visit grandparents I was always in awe of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge as it seemed so high up and went on forever! As a teenager I saw the sign from the bridge – “Great Bay Swim” and I thought “I’m going to do that some day.” I swam summer league on my neighborhood swim team so I had just enough confidence to think I could do it. After my third child, Helen, was born I had a now-or-never moment and registered for the race. To prepare, I swam 4-5 times per week and the Central Y at 5:30 a.m. for 5 months. I used my “pre-motherhood” marathon training as a guide – gradually increasing the distance each week and doing a long swim once a week until I could swim four miles continuously. The Great Bay Swim was the toughest physical and mental challenge I’ve ever done and relief was the only thing I felt when I finished. I told Pat, who waited two and a half hours for me to finish, that if I ever wanted to sign up for that one again to stop me!

What is your favorite thing to do with your children?
I love to be outside with my children. We ride bikes and go for walks either around the neighborhood, at Reynolda House, or out of town. We also enjoy working in the yard together – planting a little vegetable garden and planting flowers.

What is your favorite date night with your husband?
I am happy with an evening at home watching a t.v. show or college sports. We also enjoy dinner out and my husband is always up for a movie!

Where is your favorite place to shop for kids clothes?
We are fortunate to get a lot of hand-me-downs from generous neighbors with older children. If we have to go buy something, I prefer to go to Belk – I like the J Khaki collection because everything mixes and matches and is relatively plain (I don‘t like a lot of stuff on kids clothing!) which makes it easier for kids to dress themselves.

What is the best birthday party you have attended?
We celebrate each birthday with family, but we don’t have a party, with friends invited, every year. For example, Will is nine and he had a party at five and eight. With four children I felt like that was all I’d be doing - planning and having birthday parties – if we did that for each one every year!

What is your favorite “Mom’s Must-Have Gadget” for around the house?
I love my Joyce Chen kitchen scissors that were my grandmother’s. She said she couldn’t keep a kitchen without them, and now I know why! They are so handy for cutting open plastic packages or clipping something out of the paper. I miss them when they are not in their drawer!

What is your favorite “me-time” activity?
To enjoy breakfast and read the paper are great, but rarely done alone. I run 30-40 minutes 5 times a week and that is truly me-time where I can let me mind clear and wander and also look at houses and yards for ideas.

Favorite place to eat dinner out with the family?
We like Mi Pueblo for how fast the service is and Mario’s Pizza since my husband is a New Yorker and thinks it is the best pizza! We also like Beef O’Bradys for two reasons – there are healthy side items on the menu (like steamed broccoli and applesauce) and there is an arcade room to send the kids to so Pat and I can finish our meal in peace. We also like Mayberry’s because it is kid-friendly and, of course, has ice cream.

What is your favorite park in the Triad?
We really enjoy Graylyn and Reynolda House and Gardens. The kids love to look for turtles and see geese when we hike the trail around the property. We also love Miller Park for all the trails and the wonderful playground.

What is the funniest thing one of your children has ever said to you?
We were driving down the road and Will, who was 7 at the time, saw a clunker of a car and said, “That guy needs the Credit Doctor.” First we were astonished he knew the commercial, then we laughed, and next we instituted a “no screens rule” on school days and limited television time on the weekends too!

What has been your favorite or most helpful blog on Triad Smarty Pants thus far?
I thought Triad Smarty Pants was for new moms, so I hadn’t taken advantage of it, but now I will!

Thanks so much, Leah! We appreciate you taking the time to share a little about yourself today. If any of our readers know a mom they would like to nominate, send us an email at Check out more Smarty Moms here!


Friday, February 26, 2010

Rachel’s Random Show and Tell

By Rachel H

When I try to come up with blog ideas, I always have so many random things that I want to share! (like this, or this) So today I took my latest sporadic list of ideas and put them all into one blog I am calling this my “show and tell.” These are just things that I like and thought other moms should know about!

My first show and tell is the one, the only … Airborne! I don’t know how I made it through life without it. I am telling you all – this stuff is incredible! When you start feeling like you might have a cold coming on, drop one of these bad boys into a glass of water, let it do its thing, and drink. Then about four hours later you do it again. I keep taking this for a day or so until the sickness that was supposed to come never comes. Moms, we can’t afford to be sick, and this is the way to sidestep any colds that come our way. There have been many evenings when my throat has started getting sore, body started to ache and I just KNEW I’d be out of commission the next day lying in bed with a cold. But, I drank my Airborne and woke up the next day feeling like a million bucks. I am no doctor, so I have no idea of long term affects from this stuff or whether or not it is good for the environment of your body. All I know is that it works! AND you can also buy it in generic brands at places like Walgreens.

Psssssst – that’s the name of my next show and tell! When one of my girlfriends first told me about this greasy hair remedy I thought, “Ew gross! If your hair is that greasy, just wash it!” But I have actually seen its benefits on mornings when I am headed to the Y, but of course do not want to wash my hair before I work out. My hair is not the kind that can be washed once every three days like some of you lucky ducks and it starts looking greasy fairly quickly. So, on those mornings where I am headed to the Y, but the hair is looking a little on the greasy side, I spray this Psssssst on it and viola – looks all pretty and new. You can find this at most drugstores.

I have a book for show and tell today, too. There are very few books that you remember for months and years after you read them, but this is one that really touched my heart and soul. Same Kind of Different As Me was incredible. I laughed out loud a few times and also had tears streaming down my face as I read in bed one night. This is the kind of book that makes you want to be a better person. I won’t give too much away, but you can read more about it here.

I haven’t had a child in a carseat carrier for over four years, so maybe I am just totally out of the loop, but when I saw these, I thought “ingenious”!!!!!!!! It is called the Padalily, and is a carseat handle pad that keeps your poor arms and hands from hurting while toting around your bundle of joy. They are so stylish, too! You can check them out on the website here. They are also sold all over the Triad in boutique shops like Hip Chics, Gazoodles, Polliwogs, Splurges, and Taji Baby. I think this is a fabulous baby shower gift idea as well!

I had to include these sweet, sweet gift ideas in my blog today. I have always loved to buy tea towels as gifts, and when I saw these I just fell in love! I saw them at Francesca’s. (There is one in Greensboro and one in Winston-Salem. You can read more about it on my Best Kept Secrets blog.) The first one (shown at the top of the blog) I spotted and told my friend how much I loved it. She snuck back in the store to buy it for me and surprised me with it at Christmas. The second one I thought would be a perfect Mothers’ Day gift for my mom, but I just couldn’t wait that long so I gave it to her for Valentine’s Day! They have a bunch of other cute towels as well, but these two were my favorites.

Last, but not least, I have to share my favorite video of 2009. Yes, I know it is 2010, but I thought this song was so fun and it never made it as big as I had hoped! I know you have all heard it, and now I wanted to show the fun little video that goes along with it. The longer you watch it, the more it makes you smile. The group is All Rebel Rockers, and the song is “Say Hey” or as some people call it “I love you.” This is one of those feel good songs that the whole family will love. We had many dance parties to this song over the past year. You can watch it on youtube here. Go download it today and give yourself a good dose of dance party fun!

Show and Tell is over for Rachel now, but if anyone else has some show and tell today, please comment below and tell us about your great finds!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Smarty Sponsor: Martha Nichols, Travel Consultant for Aladdin Travel

By Guest Blogger, Martha Nichols with Aladdin Travel

You may remember Martha from a previous post she authored on amazing first-hand tips for any family visiting Disney World. Well, she got such a great response that we asked her to offer MORE tips for our readers. Today, Martha blogs about everything and anything you would ever need to know about booking a Disney Cruise vacation. We hope you find her tips, tricks and insights as invaluable as we do! Enjoy! - KM

Last December, my family received an early Christmas present of a seven-day Western Caribbean Cruise on The Disney Magic, part of the Disney Cruise Line fleet! The perfect Christmas gift for a Disney crazy family!! Looking back, this vacation onboard The Disney Magic, was truly one of the best vacations my family has ever had. Because of all the things that Disney offers on their cruise ships, everyone’s needs and wants were met. All in all, the memories we have from this vacation are priceless.

Why do I believe that Disney Cruise Line offers the best cruises for families? Let me count the ways….

1. Family Entertainment
Walt Disney’s first visions for Disneyland were of a place where adults and their children could go and have fun together. The Disney Corporation has continued with this vision 60+ years later. This is seen in the activities planned for families. My family’s favorites were the Pirates of the Caribbean Deck Party, decorating a Gingerbread House, Jackpot Bingo, and a Tea Party with the Mad Hatter. Other family centered activities include:

• Deck Parties that include characters, music, dancing, and even fireworks.
• Broadway quality stage shows featuring characters from our favorite Disney movies in the Walt Disney Theatre.
• First run movies in the Buena Vista Theatre, even premieres of movies on the ship when they open on land. We enjoyed the premiere of “The Princess and the Frog” during our cruise.
• A dedicated family night club with dance parties, trivia contests and activities like kite making and tea parties.
• Sporting activities including basketball, shuffleboard and ping pong.
• Two family pools with water slide and spas.

2. Children’s Programs
The children’s programming was a hit with our family. My son would beg to go to the Oceaneer’s Club, ditched us for dinner at least one night to play in the club, stayed on board while in port to play in the club, and would cry when he had to leave! My daughter’s favorite activities were learning to draw Mickey Mouse, and making Flubber. Thanks to the youth counselors who said that the green goop will bounce if left in the refrigerator for 30 weeks. We currently have a zip lock bag of green stuff still in the fridge.

• Children’s Programming runs from early in the morning until late into the evening, even on days the ship is in port.
• Youth counselors that are enthusiastic, professional, and truly enjoy children. I sat in on some of the activities and was astonished with the costuming and energy level of the staff. During science lab, the staff dressed in full costume as the mad scientist and the children wore lab coats. For parties, characters came to interact with the children in song and games.
• The security is top notch and a priority. It is computerized so that they know exactly who is enrolled in any activity at any time. Parents register approved adults who can check-in or check-out children. Identification is required for both adult and child when entering and picking up. For additional security, a password that is predetermined by the parents is required to pick up any child.
• In January 2010, DCL re-invented their children’s programming. The activities are designed for particular age groups, but are available to any child between 3 years (and potty trained) and 12 years old. This allows siblings to stay together during activities if desired.
• Activities include Toy Story Boot Camp, Goofy’s Pajama Party, Pirate Party with Captain Hook, A Royal Ball, Making Flubber, Ratatouille Cooking School, and Animation Class.

3. Infant and Toddler Amenities
• Flounder’s Nursery is available for children age 12 weeks to 3 years (and not potty trained) for an additional charge.
• DCL has a relationship with Babies Travel Lite, where you can preorder baby supplies and have it delivered to the cruise ship.
• A splash area at the Mickey Pool for children in swim diapers.

4. Teen Amenities
For Teens, they have their own area on board the ship and a separate beach on Castaway Cay (no adults allowed). High up in the ship’s funnel, teens have their own lounge area, hosted by the coolest crew at sea. Activities include Karaoke, Dance Parties, Video Game Tournaments, and Pool Parties.

5. Adult Exclusive Options
Every parent knows that while family time is wonderful, we also need adult-only and couple time to recharge ourselves. DCL offers this throughout the cruise while offering superior programming for the little ones.

• Palo’s, DCL’s adult-only restaurant with sweeping ocean views. Make sure you try the Chocolate Soufflé, as this is the only place on the ship to get this to-die-for dessert! Open for dinner nightly, and Champagne Brunch and Afternoon Tea for days at sea.
• Adult Enrichment Series that include art auctions and lecture series, cooking and beverage tasting classes, and behind the scenes tours.
• Vista Spa and Health Club
• Adult only pool and coffee bar.
• Adult only lounges and night clubs.
• Serenity Bay, the adult only beach on Castaway Cay.

6. Dining
Dining onboard DCL ships is an affair to remember.

• There are 3 restaurants that guests rotate through. Lumiere’s (Triton’s on Disney’s Wonder) has a French inspired menu. Parrot Cay has a Caribbean flare. Finally, Animator’s Palate has Pacific Rim cuisine. On 3 night cruises, you will experience each of the restaurants. On longer cruises, you will rotate through the restaurants more than once. Each night the menu will change and some nights have themes like the Captain’s Dinner and the Golden Mickey’s.
• The first night you dine in Animator’s Palate, be prepared for a show. When you enter, the restaurant presents in black and white. As the evening goes on, color begins to be infused into the restaurant with the finale coming just before desert. Since this show is only done on your first evening dining in this restaurant, make sure you do not miss it!
• On DCL, your wait staff goes with you to each of your dining assignments. It does not take long for your servers to know your likes and dislikes. By the third night our servers knew what our drink choices would be, and what two items my son would eat.
• For those families who are assigned the second seating dining assignment (8:15 PM), there are options for the children. DCL has introduced a program called Dine and Play, allowing you to dine as a family. The wait staff will serve the children as soon as their meals are prepared. Youth Counselors arrive at the restaurants at 9 PM to whisk them away for play time while the adults can enjoy a more leisurely meal.
• On 7 night cruises, there will be two formal/semi formal dinners. You will see some people dressed in Tuxes and evening gowns. Most wear cocktail dresses and suits. On other nights, the dress attire for the dining rooms is resort or business casual. No shorts or jeans are permitted in the restaurants.
• For those who prefer a less formal option to dining, the buffet at Topsider (Beach Blanket on the Wonder) is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as counter services options, and 24 hour room service.
• On seven day cruises and longer, Character Dining Experiences are available for breakfast one day while at sea.

7. Staterooms
DCL boasts larger staterooms than other cruise line.

• The Split Bath option offers a room with a toilet and sink, then a second room with shower and sink. This is a blessing for families!
• For storing suitcases after you unpack, make sure the suitcases can slide under the beds. If you can, put smaller suitcases inside larger ones.
• The hair dryer that is provided in the bathroom resembles a leaf blower rather than a hair dryer. Also, the electrical sockets in the bathrooms are not equipped to handle a hair dryer, only a men’s electric razor. If you bring your personal hair dryer, bring along an extension cord. It will not work in the bathroom, but there is a desk area with electrical sockets and a mirror on the wall where you can do your hair. Because of the large plug that hair dryers have and the location of the electrical sockets, you will need the electrical extension cord to plug the dryer in. Curling irons and other hair appliances that have regular plugs will have no problem plugging in at the desk area.
• Consider purchasing a travel bag that unzips and hangs on a shower curtain or a door hook for bathroom items. If you do not have one of these bags, bring along an over-the-door shoe holder. The shoe pockets can be used to hold medicine bottles, bathroom items, and such.
• Bring along a pop up, mesh laundry hamper. They pack flat and can be used for dirties during the cruise. Laundry facilities are available onboard.
• If you or a member of your travel party has a tendency to get motion sickness, request a cabin on a lower deck in the middle of the ship.

8. Ports of Call
Our cruise went to the Western Caribbean with stops in Key West, FL, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel, Mexico.

• DCL offers a wide variety of port excursions to meet the activity level and interest of all cruisers. Port excursions include fun in the sun on the beaches; sightseeing and guided tours; water sports excursions such as snorkeling or Scuba diving adventures, boating, and swimming with the dolphins experiences; and adventure and sports excursions such as fishing trips, and biking adventures.
• In 2010, cruises are available to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Europe and the Mediterranean. In addition, Adventures by Disney has partnered up with Disney Cruise Line to offer an enhanced selection of onboard activities and privately guided port experiences that will immerse you in the culture and sights of the Mediterranean region.
• 2011 brings even greater excitement with the Maiden Voyage of Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, The Disney Dream. DCL will sail to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Transatlantic, Europe, Mediterranean, Alaska, Mexican Riviera, and the Panama Canal.

9. Castaway Cay
An exclusive to Disney Cruise Line is their private island, Castaway Cay.

• The crowning glory is the actual ship from the Pirates of the Caribbean Movie anchored off shore!
• There are separate beaches for families, teens, and adults.
• Spa services are available at Serenity Bay, the adult only beach.
• The Kids Activities are moved onto the beach with games and fun at Scuttles Cove.
• DCL offers a full assortment to water sports and activities, including snorkeling off the beach, jet skis, stingray encounters, boating, and bike rentals.

Whether traveling with your family, extended family and multigenerational groups, or an adult-only vacation, Disney’s Cruise Line offers cruises to fit everyone!

Contact Martha Nichols at or 336-671-1995 for more information or a free quote for travel to Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line®, Disneyland® Resort, Adventures By Disney, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, or Disney’s Hilton Head Resort.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Smarty Scoop on Weekend Events

By Katie M

It's consignment season, Smarties! Sales are officially starting. If you haven't read our latest guest blog by Consigning Chrissy herself, be sure to catch up on all the tips to make your season a success! Chrissy started a web site called where she provides readers with everything they need to know about area consignment sales. It's a must-read for all you consignment junkies. She also has a blog where she provides more great tips and insights for moms and shoppers.

Below is a list of some local consignment sales, as well as other events happening around the Triad. For a more complete list on consignment sales, be sure to visit Chrissy's web site. Happy shopping, and have a great weekend!

WeeRuns Consignment Sale
Accepting Consignments February 28 - March 15.
Sale Dates: March 19 from 5:30-9:00 PM, March 20 from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, March 21 from 1:00 - 5:00 PM (most items will be half price). Click link above for more information and to register to consign or help. Helpers and consignors are invited to shop early. Contact Lynn Lilley at 971-9602 if you have any questions. Children's spring and summer clothes are being accepted as well as toys, equipment, furniture and maternity clothes. All equipment and toys are checked for recalls so be rest assured that we only sell items that are safe for children.

Kids Clothing Spring/Summer Clothing Sale at Messiah Moravian Preschool
Friday, February 26 9am-1pm and 6-8pm, Saturday, February 27 9am-12pm (red tags only-1/2 price)
Messiah Moravian Preschool, 1401 N Peace Haven Road, W-S

KidShare Spring & Summer Sale
February 26-28, 2010
Neil Bolton Home & Garden Building (same location), LJVM/Dixie Classic Fairgrounds, W-S
All Consignors registered after January 31, 2010 will receive 60%. All Volunteers are invited to shop the pre-sale, which will be Thursday, February 25 from 5-8pm.
If you would like to register to be a Consignor or Volunteer, please e-mail us at or call 336-705-1577. For more details, click link above.

Children's Boutique Resale
February 26-27, 2010
Friday 9am-2pm
Saturday 9am-2pm
Consignor Clothing Drop off Wednesday, the 24th from 9am-2pm and 4-7pm
Come visit the Triad's only boutique consignment sale! The Spring 2010 sale location is 1214-C Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC. (formerly If It's Paper) Read more about it in our blog here!

Half-Price Friday Nights
Friday, February 26, 5–8pm
Greensboro Children's Museum, 220 N. Church St., GSO
Another fun Friday evening where the museum will be welcoming everyone from 5-8pm at the discounted rate of $3 per person. This is also "Bring Dad to Play" night where the museum will offer activities especially for dads.

The Snowy Day & A Whistle for Willie
Saturday, February 27 at 2 p.m.
Greensboro Children's Museum, 220 N. Church St., GSO
Children from Caldcleugh Multicultural Arts Center present, Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day and A Whistle for Willie. Free with museum admission, $6.

Read Across America
Saturday, Feb. 27 from 9 - 11 am
All Target locations nationwide
Free storytime featuring Dr. Seuss

Hearthside Tours
Sunday, February 28 from 2-4 p.m.
Reynolda House Museum of American Art, 2250 Reynolda Road, W-S
Join us for a behind-the-scenes view of Reynolda in the dead of winter. We will visit ten fireplaces, the original coal chute, furnace rooms, and other areas of the historic house normally closed to the general public, including kitchens, laundry and mechanical rooms, the squash court, and areas below the swimming pool. Members/students, $10; non-members, $15.

Mt Tabor United Methodist Church Clothing Exchange
3543 Robinhood Road, W-S
Receiving: Mon March 1: 9:30-1 and 6-7:45 pm, Tues March 2: 9:30-1 and 6-7:45pm
Sale: Thurs March 4: 9-1 and 4-8pm, Fri March 5: 9-1, Sat March 6: 8-12
Red tag items ½ price Sat morning!
Click link above for more information.

Dewey's Bakery - Free Lemonade Cake Square Day!
Monday, March 1
If you have never had one of these delicious cake squares, now is your chance! You know spring is around the corner when Dewey's pink lemonade cake squares return! Stop by on Monday because they are giving away a free cake square all day long to each customer!

What did we forget? Add your event below!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake

By Guest Blogger, Heather Bjork

“Let Them Eat Cake” ~ Marie Antoinette

Who doesn’t love a good cake??? I’ll never forget when my son was turning five and I asked him what he wanted to do for his party. His response, “I don’t know.” I asked him how many kids he’d like to invite. His response, “I’m not sure.” Then his face brightened and he looked at me and asked, “Mom, can I get one of those cool Star Wars cakes for my birthday?” I agreed and one of my most vivid memories from that party to this day was how the party guests’ tongues had turned black from eating the black frosting!

So many choices….what flavor? What theme? How large? Cupcakes or sheet cake? Flavor of cake? Flavor of frosting? Filling or not? Ice cream or traditional? I have avoided cupcakes at most parties because of my friends that are teachers that will tell you that with cupcakes, so many kids just lick the frosting off and never even touch the cake part of the cupcake.

The basic cake options are: white, marble and chocolate. The basic frosting choices are butter cream or whipped cream (I am personally partial to the sugary taste that is the butter cream.). However you can also get your cake filled with coconut, strawberry, berry bream or lemon (Lowe’s Foods) or get an ice cream or frozen yogurt cake (Beriyo, Carvel, or Baskin-Robbins). You can also get some unique fillings and flavors when you choose to have a custom cake, which we will discuss more below.

To make life a little easier for all of us busy parents, I did some research & collected pricing on traditional cakes from different resources around the Triad.

Least expensive traditional cake: Food Lion ($ 13.99 for 1/4 sheet, $ 24.99 for 1/2 sheet), Wal-Mart SuperCenter ($ 14.48 for 1/4 sheet, $ 24.48 for 1/2 sheet), and the best bang for your buck was Costco ($16.99 for 1/2 sheet)

*** You can save an additional $ 2 off the price by either ordering or picking up your cake on a Thursday at Food Lion.***
Least expensive ice cream cake: Beriyo ($ 21.99 feeds 10-15 or $ 32.99 feeds 18-25)

It would be a wise idea with ice cream cakes to look at the sizes yourself. Several of the cakes had a range of 5-8 pieces in terms of how many people it would feed. Being Italian, I tend to err on serving slightly larger pieces than smaller pieces so I usually err on having slightly more pieces than I think I will need. Frequently some siblings will show up that was not included in your child count so the extra cake comes in handy when this occurs.

Now we'll move on to the oh-so-delicious custom and specialty cakes. If you really want an exotic cake, you can choose from an array of tantalizing flavors at Maxie B’s in Greensboro, where they offer cakes broken into the following categories: chocolate layer cakes, pound cakes, fruity cakes, caramel cakes or seasonal selections. You've also got Dewey's in Winston-Salem, where you may want to order their famous pink lemonade cake! We also love Ketchie Creek in Mocksville for some of the most unique and delectable cakes around. One more favorite is Delicious Bakery in Greensboro. The name says it all.

Another option to consider is to hire an independent cake designer. Marisa Schaefer (, 336-516-4845) services the Burlington and Greensboro areas. She bakes and decorates delicious cakes with any theme of your choosing, at affordable prices. Allison Green (336-692-2558, in Winston-Salem, can also whip up anything your mind can imagine! You'll love the photos on her website. If you are closer to the High Point/Trinity area, call Karen Harris, owner of The Icing on the Cake, Custom Cake Designs. (
336.861.9259) She makes cakes for all occasions (baby showers, anniversaries, holidays, birthdays, bridal showers, weddings etc.) as well as goodies for all holidays!

There are many other individuals that you can find under the “cake decorator” listing in the White Pages. You can also leave any of your recommendations in the comment section below.

The plus side to ordering a custom cake is that you can usually bring a napkin or invitation that the decorator can use to create a unique cake.

Regardless of what you choose, don’t forget the candles, matches, a knife, serving piece and your paper products. To capture the moment, I usually ask a friend to take pictures while I bring the cake out. That frees me to handle what needs to be done while knowing that the moments I want to capture (my child blowing out the candles, the faces of the excited guests, etc.) are preserved and not left to chance. Always bring extra batteries for your camera and/or camcorder just in case. Then be sure to take a few minutes, have a seat & enjoy some delicious birthday cake!

Submitted by Heather Bjork, mother of two children (son Kieran & daughter Kendra), who loves to eat cake!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Smarty Find: Johnnie b

By Rachel H

When I want to treat my family to fun, unique clothes, I love mini Boden for my kids, and Boden for myself. It is quality clothing that truly lasts. It is high-end, so do not plan on getting a bargain, but definitely plan on a garment you will love ...

If you have ordered from mini Boden or Boden before, you will be excited to know that your teens can now enjoy these clothes, too! Boden has just released a new collection for teens called Johnnie b. Check it out here!

Good news is that the entire Boden collection is on sale right now "Buy 4 items and get the lowest priced one for $1.00." Plus, you can always find great deals in their SALE section online. (Truth be told - I don't think I have ever paid full-price for this clothing because I always wait for the item to go on sale!)

Gotta cool Smarty Find we can feature on TSP? Email us any time at!


Smarty Party Idea – The Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem

By Guest Blogger, Catherine Koufman

When my friend and I discussed celebrating our daughters' birthdays together, we had a hard time thinking of a good place to have their party. Since they have January birthdays, that knocked out the idea of a park or anything outside. In addition, since most of the kids were two year olds, we felt pretty limited as far as places that would be suitable for their age group. So, when I heard that the Children's Museum was available for birthday parties, I knew it would be the perfect place.

If you have ever been to the Children's Museum of Winston-Salem, then you know how much there is to do and see. The museum has many hands on displays and interactive exhibits for children of all ages. A few of the exhibits are rotating, so there is always something new and different for children to explore. It's a great place to escape to when you are having one of those "cabin fever" kind of days that we all know about all too well lately.

As the kids arrived to the party, they were taken upstairs to the party room where we could greet everyone. For the first 30-45 minutes all the kids had free time to explore the museum. When we were ready to have everyone gather together, the museum had a staff member make an announcement so that our guests knew to head back to the party room.

The room was perfect. It had a sink, counter space and a refrigerator/ freezer for you to use. They will have tables for you to accommodate the number of children that are in your party and a staff member will be there to assist you in any way that you may need them. You have the choice of bringing your own food, supplies, and decorations, or they will provide a cake, juice and paper products for you.

I also thought it was great that the museum gives you the option of having a themed birthday party of pirates, princesses, Mrs. Cottontail, or penguins. They will provide a cake, juice, and paper products that go with your theme if this is the route you decide to go.

After the children enjoy cake and snacks, it is up to you how you would like to spend the remainder of your time. Since most of our kids were pretty young, we chose to keep it simple and let everyone enjoy the rest of the time playing in the museum on their own after having our snack. However, they do offer a 30 minute story time and craft session that one of their staff members will do with the children.

We were very happy with everything that the museum had to offer. It's a wonderful place for you to have your child's next birthday party.

Great news for all our Triad Smarty Pants readers – the museum is offering 10% off your party when you mention that you read this blog or saw them in our Birthday Party Directory. Call 336-723-9111 or visit their website at for more details or to book your child’s next party!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

How We Do It Series: Making Time for Yourself

By Jenny & Tracy, Charlotte Smarty Pants

To work or not to work is a choice all new moms are faced with. Everyone has different circumstances that drive them to that decision. As the two Smarty Pants bloggers who did decide to go back to work, we thought we’d team up to share our perspectives and tips on “How We Do It”. We’re not here to say if one way is better than the other but we do think it's possible to have it all, or close to it anyway… it’s just a matter of finding the right balance, asking for help when you need it, and prioritizing. Here is our third blog in our series. Please visit our other two past blogs: Redefining Our Priorities, and Flexibility at Work. So here is our third blog on Making Time for Yourself...

Jenny Says:

As I have mentioned before on CSP, I work a four day work week. But that wasn't always the case. When I went back to work after my first, I went back full time. And it was hard at first, but I got back into a groove quickly. Then when Zoe was about 18 months old, Brent started traveling weekly and I again found it very difficult to keep everything together. I approached my boss with the idea of working four days a week. I came fully prepared to support this proposal. I assured him that my work would not suffer. My goal has been to make sure that this works for both my employer and myself.

My original intent of having my Friday’s off was to join my stay at home friends in playgroups and outings.. I quickly found that I was trying to do too much in one day. Instead, I have changed my approach to this day. I now plan one outing with the girls and just me, versus trying to coordinate with others. I work to get prepared for the weekend, so that when Saturday comes around, I can be wide open for my family and friends. I typically use my Fridays to run errands, go to dr. appointments, prepare for the weekend and get quality time with my girls.

It has been a wonderful situtation for me. I realize that everyone has different work situtations, but here some advice and realities for a reduced schedule at work:

I still work on my days off and evenings. I have remote access so I am able to be productive out of the office. I have fewer hours in the office, so I have less time to socialize. My priority is to be a productive as I can while I am in the office. Plan your time wisely and you can get it done. Don’t be hard on yourself; you can't do it all, all of the time. Sometimes something has to give. I am amazed by the full-time moms who seem to have it all worked out. I know it can be done, but I have found that having one day off at work really works for me.

Tracy Says:

The decision to work is not an either work full time OR be a mom situation for me. It’s really important to find the right balance between having a fulfilling career as well as being the best mom I can be. Therefore I need to have a job that affords me the ability to also be a great mom. I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t miss out on any of those special moments because I had to work. I am very lucky to have found that kind of job – my boss is super supportive of anything I need to do during work hours that involves my son, whether it is enjoying lunch with him, volunteering at his school, taking him to the doctor, or working from home when I need to. I’m also able to enjoy the special activities that his school does specifically for the kids and parents like family picnics and social events or the performance of a class play. That is not to say I don’t make up my work at other times, like after Jake goes to bed, getting in to work early or working through lunch. Like I said – it’s a balancing act! It was also important for us to choose a daycare that is close to work so that we can easily pop over there during the day.

One tip of advice that I would recommend to working moms is this: Don’t be afraid to have a frank discussion with your boss on your needs and expectations as a working mom. This was really hard for me at first because I felt like I had more to prove coming back to work. I didn’t want to feel like anyone thought I was taking advantage of the situation. But the truth is, it wouldn’t be worth it for me to be in a job where I wasn’t happy and send my son to daycare. And if I knew upfront that my manager was not okay with it, then that becomes my decision if that is the right job for me and my family. So I felt much better having had the conversation with my boss and therefore knew where he stood on things and I wouldn’t have to feel as guilty for leaving early or ducking out for an hour. However – that’s certainly not to say that you don’t still have to get your job done and done well, otherwise you will risk being perceived as a slacker. I just think it’s possible to do both as long as you lay the appropriate ground work with your manager.Tracy Says:

The time I spend with my family is undoubtedly very special and important to me. However, I know that if I don’t also find time for myself – either alone or with girlfriends – that has a huge impact on my overall sense of self and well-being. So I try very hard to find these nuggets of time and make the most of them. It also gives my son and husband quality one on one time to spend together … so really, it’s a win/win for everyone!

Unfortunately, I have found that I am much more selective now in the things I do. My weekday evening activities are fairly limited, but there are a few I put on the calendar and make a priority … and more importantly, my husband also respects those as important to me and never objects to “Jake-duty” on those evenings. I try and do one monthly neighborhood girl’s night and a monthly supper club. I also use my lunch time for catching up with friends so I don’t impede on family time in the evenings.

I still have yet to find a way to make time for exercise??? Yes – I try to get some cardio in by chasing after Jake on his bike, or a brisk walk through the mall but the reality unfortunately is that that’s the one thing I really miss! Ok … maybe I don’t really miss it, but I know its something I should make a better effort to incorporate into my life. I tried taking the stairs every day in my parking deck, but that only lasted a couple months!

Jenny Says:

I have a tendency to feel guilty for taking time for myself. Like Tracy, I have become more selective. I take my girls on walks with me so that I can get exercise. I try to meet my girlfriends at the pool or park so that I can see my friends and be with the girls. My time with Zoe and Annie is so precious that I want to make every minute count. My husband often reminds me to take time for myself. He knows that when given the choice, I choose to be with the kids over friends or just myself. He encourages me to get in my “girl time.” I find that after taking the time, I am more engaged with my children and we have more fun. So we can’t feel guilty for thinking about ourselves every once in while. In the end, our families will appreciate our refreshed state of mind for having done so. We also need to remember the importance of taking care of ourselves. Jen P. wrote about this in earlier posts, but we aren’t doing our families any good if we are not taking care of ourselves. Every mom (whether stay at home or working) should try to put herself first or at least second every once in awhile, don’t you think?

So, you know the drill – share your thoughts on this topic and let us know how you find time for yourself in the midst of our busy, busy lives!

For the working mom's out there, let us know how you strive for balance between a career and being mom. Thanks!


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Smarty Mom: Jamie Marlowe

By Katie M

Happy Smarty Mom, Saturday. Today I am proud to introduce a cool "chick" who also ranks as a Smarty Mom. Meet Jamie Marlowe, co-founder/co-president and CFO of Charity Chicks. You may remember our past post on Charity Chicks when they first launched. Well, Jamie is thrilled to announce they now have just about doubled their membership with more than 185 "chicks" to date.

Jamie and her husband, Brian, have two adorable children: Jake (9) and Emily Scott (4). They have lived in the Triad for 11 years. Besides being a stay-at-home mom and mompreneur, Jamie likes to challenge herself (like teach spin classes) and do things outside her comfort zone. She is passionate about volunteering and giving back to the community, as evidenced with her role in Charity Chicks, the non-profit organization she started with her dear friend, Casey Bomar.

So, let's get to know Jamie a little bit more!

We are so excited about your success with Charity Chicks. Tell us a little bit more about it.
We are thrilled by the positive response we have received in the community. Charity Chicks chooses one organization annually to focus all of its fundraising and volunteer efforts towards. Our first charity is the Community Care Center. It is the largest free clinic in NC. It provides medical and dental services to the uninsured poor in our area. We look forward to writing them a big check at the end of this year with the help of all the fundraising efforts of our members!

Where did get your inspiration to start Charity Chicks?
Casey and I talked often about starting an organization. We are both very busy with our families and other activities, so we understood the importance of allowing membership flexibility. We researched other organizations, decided upon what we thought would be a good structure and before we knew it we received our non-profit status and Charity Chicks was well on its way!

How and why did you choose to focus on the Community Care Center?
We heard through a dear friend about the Community Care Center (in Winston-Salem). We visited the clinic and recognized right away that it would be a good fit for Charity Chicks. We believe that giving of your time and giving of your money are equally important. Organizations that we work with must offer volunteer opportunities as well as have a need for fundraising. Casey and I chose the first organization, but the 2011 charity will be voted on by all the members of Charity Chicks.

What has been your greatest reward, and biggest challenge, with Charity Chicks?
My greatest reward is in knowing I have played a part in helping other women make a difference in their community. Our greatest challenge is that this is all new territory. We are learning as we go!

How do you balance your time with Charity Chicks with being a mom?
I balance my time as a mother very well everyday…not! I wish that were true. Just like most mothers, I try hard but some days are better than others. It is important to me that my children grow up knowing the importance of giving back to others, so hopefully a frozen pizza for dinner on a particularly busy day isn’t that big of a deal.

What smarty tips can you give other moms who want to start a business?
Follow your passion. You can’t go wrong if you are passionate about what you do!

Ok, now on to the fun stuff!

Favorite place to get a good deal on kids clothes?
The Children’s Place & Target

Favorite place to splurge on kids clothes?
Gazoodles (in Winston-Salem)

What is your favorite family activity?
We love to make a big breakfast together on the weekends. We enjoy playing board games, riding bikes, & going to movies.

Favorite “mommy-time” activity?
Meeting a friend for coffee, dinner or shopping.

Best place to eat lunch and/or dinner with the kids?
Wild Wing Café and The Loop

Favorite date place?
Old Fourth Street Filling Station patio or Firebirds

Funniest thing your kid(s) has ever said?
This summer, my daughter said, “This is the life!” while floating on her back in the pool. I cracked up!

Favorite park in the Triad?
Tanglewood. We love the train and the ducks.

Mini-van or SUV?

Best thing about raising a family in the Triad?
Winston-Salem is the perfect size town to me. Not too big and not too small.

Best kept secret in the Triad?
Village Tavern makes the best top shelf margarita in town

Best birthday party you have attended?
My friend Kristen’s son turned 5 last year. She took pictures of him from each one of his previous parties, had them blown up in black & white and had them hung throughout the party space. She also had fun activities that represented each of his previous party themes. It was great fun!

Best book you’ve ever read?
The funniest book was Me Talk Pretty One Day. I also loved The Secret Life of Bees.

What’s your favorite thing about Triad Smarty Pants?
Always has great information. I love the highlights of weekend events.

I could not live without my... family and sadly, my cell phone.

I wish someone had told me sooner about... the pumpkin spice doughnuts at Krispy Kreme. How many years did I miss out on those delicious treats?!

Great answers and tips, Jamie! Thanks for all that you do with Charity Chicks and our community. Congrats on your success, and keep us posted on the latest with Charity Chicks!

Do you know a Smarty Mom or Dad? Introduce us! We'd love to meet them and run their profile. Email us at


Friday, February 19, 2010

Toddler Beds: I Just Don’t Get It!

By Katie M

We just crossed a major milestone in our house this past month and that’s getting rid of our crib. It makes me so sad. We’ve had it as a regular piece of furniture for six years and parting with it makes for a big reality check that I no longer have babies – I have kids! But, it was a necessary step as my son just turned three (yes, we held onto it as long as possible), and he was more than ready for a “big boy bed.” The transition was great, albeit we had many talks (a.k.a. threats) that big boys don’t get out of their bed in the middle of the night. And keeping the crib in the room the past few weeks has proved good leverage in case he did decide to slink out. He was psyched for the big move and has been very good about it, and we’re excited to switch his room from a nursery to a boy’s room.

So, when we were ready to cross this step off our parental “To Do” list, we immediately started to plan for what kind of bed would make the most sense. And I have to say, I am still curious as to why parents purchase toddler beds.

If you did purchase a toddler bed for your child and you love it, then that is great. But the question I am posing in this blog is why would purchase a toddler bed (which can be a pretty big investment) for something you use for such a short time? I know, I know…to each their own…but I’d still love to know how you came to your decision.

Here’s why. For us, the main reason for not purchasing a toddler bed was our budget. Jen P of Charlotte Smarty Pants wrote a great blog on toddler beds vs. crib tents (a whole ‘nother topic in itself) and offered a website for good deals on decent toddler beds. But the average price for these beds starts at $100 – and most are much, much more.

With that price in mind, we decided to move our children directly into twin beds (beds they will, hopefully, stay in until they are 18!) with a bedrail until they are old enough to ensure they won’t roll out of bed. We also held off on using the box spring for both our children so they are sleeping pretty low to the floor; we just added the box spring to my daughter's bed a few months ago and she's almost six.

So essentially we spent more than the cost of a typical toddler bed, but our thinking is that we won’t have to purchase another bed in a few years. We’re thinking this is it until they move out for college! Seriously!

Are we crazy and cheap? I hope not! I spent 15+ years in the same twin bed in my parents’ home growing up. Was I ok? I think so! And I also think I was on the same mattress and box spring all those years. Is that crazy? That makes for another blog because I’ve been told by someone that you need to purchase new mattresses and box springs for your beds every FIVE years. Ok, to me, that’s a little crazy!

The other reason we opted to go directly to a twin bed is décor. I am the kind of person who likes to finish the look of the room (at least get close) when I buy furniture. When we purchased both of our children’s beds, that meant we immediately had to buy super cute comforters, coordinating sheets and pillows, and curtains (although the house we purchased came with super cute curtains that we matched the bedding to). If we bought a toddler bed (and in our case, but not our choice, they would most likely be replicas of Lighting McQueen or Barbie Fairytopia), the décor would also need to be updated in a few short years.

Another option I wished I had the opportunity to explore – one that I think is fabulous – is the convertible crib! You know – the kind of crib that can turn into a toddler bed? I wish we had one of those, but – again our budget won over desire with that argument. We bought our crib hoping we’d have more than one baby sleep in it – and we weren’t sure what the timing would be. So, to turn it into a toddler bed would only make sense for our last baby.

So when it comes to toddler beds, for us it wasn’t a viable option. Perhaps our children would be upset if they knew there were other options out there versus their boring twin beds. But we did our research, and I still question the necessity of – or desire of – a toddler bed.

For those of you out there who defend your toddler bed purchase, please prove me wrong! Add your comments below!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Smarty Summer Camp Directory

By Rachel H

It's here, it's here, it's here! Each member of the Smarty Pants Team is dancing a jig in our homes this morning because we are so pumped to have this fabulous Camp Directory to share with you today. We took the advice of our readers and used the following criteria for putting this directory together:

~ Not too many camps where the choices get overwhelming
~ A good mix of camps from all over the Triad
~ Options of half-day, full-day and overnight camps
~ Camp options for ALL age ranges (babies to teens)
~ A mix of arts-based camps, sport camps, dance camps, and educational camps
~ Smarty Approved - which means each camp below was recommended by a local mom

We took your comments, went to work, and are thrilled to present this list of sponsors below. Many of these camps are offering discounts to Triad Smarty Pants readers, so be sure to tell them you saw this listing. You can access each camps' website by clicking on its name. And be sure to keep checking back by clicking the white Summer Camps button on our site - we have other camps interested in participating, and will be adding more options to this directory over the next few weeks.

No matter which camps you choose to have your children attend this summer, we hope your kids will create memories of Summer 2010 that will last a lifetime!

On to the good stuff ...

Academy of Dance Arts, Inc. - The Academy of Dance Arts, Inc. is in its 63rd year of operation and has touched the lives of thousands of families in the Winston-Salem community. This summer the Academy will offer weekly dance camps for ages 3 to 12+ beginning July 5. Prices are either $60 or $75 depending on the class. Each class ends with a performance for families in the studio. Camp themes include Sugar Plum, Disney, Angelina Ballerina, Disney Classics, Pop Disney, So You Think You Can Dance? (covering ballet, jazz, hip hop, and lyrical), Ballet Technique, Pointe, and Rhythm Tap. Call (336) 724-9041 for more details.

Burlington Academy of Dance & Arts - Summer Session 2010 - Offering camps, classes, and intensives in KinderMotions, Tap, Ballet, Contemporary, Turns/Leaps/Flexibility as well as BADA Style Master Classes with leading choreographers! This is a great chance to try our programs without the long-term commitment. We have a variety of dance disciplines, so your children can see if they are ready for the structure of classes. Your children will be able to stay in shape, explore their creative side, work on dance technique, strengthen areas of weakness and continue building flexibility and strength. Discounts available! Plus, receive a $10 discount for mentioning the Triad Smarty Pants website! 336.584.6727

Burlington Day School/The Elon School Summer Enrichment Programs - Want your son or daughter to have a GREAT TIME this summer but still LEARN? As Alamance County’s only independent schools, Burlington Day School and The Elon School offer summer programs that continue/enhance your child’s learning through enriching yet fun classes. Our programs have traditional offerings, (full day camp, tutoring), or perhaps you would like to try something different – like beading, Shakespeare, scuba or green livin’ – through classes that develop new skills and knowledge. There is something for all ages! Programs will be held at both campuses. Ages 3 - adult. Offered weekly Monday – Friday. Session Dates: June 7 – August 13, Contact for more info:,

Camp Hanes - For more than 80 years, YMCA Camp Hanes has operated as a safe, fun, overnight camp located at the base of Sauratown Mountain in King, North Carolina. Campers live and play at our “400 Acre Memory Maker” where they learn and develop the core character values of Honesty, Caring, Respect, Responsibility, and Faith. Side by side with well-trained, safe, enthusiastic and supportive staff, campers learn a sense of accomplishment through developing skills at activities like archery, high ropes, teambuilding and arts and crafts. Campers live in community where an emphasis on making and being friends helps create a sense of belonging. Triad Smarty Pants readers will receive a $50 discount when you register and mention this ad. 336.983.3131

Camp Hollymont is a residential camp for girls ages 6-15. Camp Hollymont is surrounded by the beautiful Western North Carolina mountains. Campers live in dorm-style housing and enjoy beautiful grounds, an air-conditioned dining hall, and an athletic complex with a large indoor pool. Choose from daily activities (skills) such as horseback riding, swimming, tennis, archery, sewing, cooking, arts & crafts, drama, soccer, dance, and more! Night activities include theme nights, talent shows, scavenger hunts, etc. Elective off-campus trips include whitewater rafting, waterskiing, campouts, and more! Please visit our website above for an application or to register online. Mention this ad and receive a $20 gift certificate towards the camp store.

Camp Merriwood - Quality, summer camp programming. Highly-screened and trained college-age counselors. Emotionally and physically safe, healthy, and positive camp environment. The structured day allows campers to bump their comfort zone and experience new things. Emphasis on the camper-counselor relationship and small groups. The camp week includes: Team building activities, Skills Classes, Cabin v/s Cabin Games, Music and Bible Class times, Aquatics, Paddle Boats, Campfires, Hayride, Climbing Wall, and Nature Hikes. Skills Classes include Archery, Riflery, Canoeing, Derby Car making, High Ropes Course, Crafts, Drama, Outdoor cooking, Model rocketry, and Geo-tracking. (Activities depend on age group.) High camper return rate! Forever memories. Located in Clemmons, NC. 336.766.5151,

Camp Play Ball at the Jerry Long YMCA – We are offering this specialized sports camp to teach, train and enhance sportsmanship and athletic ability. Each camper experiences creative skill development, thrilling competition and, of course, they will have fun! Sessions include All Sports, Soccer, Golf, Tennis, Football, and Baseball and are offered June 14-August 20. These camps are for ages 5-12 and will run Monday-Friday from 8am – noon. We also offer a Future Stars All-Sports Camp for ages 3-5. All camps are $90 Members, $135 Non-Members. Visit for a complete listing of camp dates and sessions. For more information or to sign up, contact Bradley Willard at or call 721-2000.

Camp Tekoa is a summer camp and conference center located in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina, near Hendersonville. Tekoa is owned and operated by the Western NC Conference of the United Methodist Church. Tekoa offers a wide variety of summer resident and day camps for boys and girls. These include elementary day camp, and resident camps for elementary, middle school and high school students. Tekoa also offers Adventure camps for middle and high school students. Our adventure camps include, Water Adventure, Survivor, Mountain Biking, High School Ultimate Challenge and High School Expedition. $30.00 discount for week long and $15.00 discount for day camp and mini camp if you register online by March 1, 2010, pay in full at the time of registration, and have paperwork back to camp postmarked within 3 weeks of the day you registered. 828.692.6516

Canterbury Summer Programs - Our program is entering its eleventh year of providing adventurous, educational camps to the children of Greensboro. We are excited to continue to offer camps to a variety of age groups (Pre-Kindergarten through 8th Grade) with a broad array of topics. For the first time ever our camps will be structured around three engaging tiers: “Cougar Camp,” “Venture Out,” and “Athletics.” Each tier offers unique opportunities for exploration and fun! Join us for time-travel, dinosaur digging, printmaking, robotics programming, rock climbing, camping, cricket, basketball, and much, much more! Contact us at (336) 288-2007, ext. 138 or at

Cash Lovell Stables Summer Camps -
For three generations, Cash Lovell Stables has taught horse lovers of all ages to safely enjoy riding and caring for horses. From our family-centered, family-run, climate-controlled facility, children ride daily under the tutelage of our university-educated instructors and staff. In addition, children learn grooming, tacking, feeding, basic veterinary care and hoof care, as well as driving a horse to a carriage – and so much more! Ever covered a pony in whipped cream? Or dressed him up in feather boas for a costume contest?? At Cash Lovell Stables, this and so much more is just part of a day’s camp fun! Day camps running all summer, for ages 3 & Up, $275 - $500, depending on the camp. Mention this ad and recieve $10 off! Located at 2210 Darwick Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27127. 336.971.9388 or 336.784.6385

Centenary Weekday School Summer Sizzlers - Summer is a special time for children. Turn summer into a time of exploring, discovering, learning new skills, making friends, and having fun! Join us at CWS in Greensboro for one of our summer sizzlers camps. Each week the curriculum focuses on a unique theme that introduces preschoolers to the exciting world of education. Every adventure includes art, music, outdoor play, games, snacks, and story time that directly reflects a theme of the week. Six different three day camps to choose from and each camp runs from 9am-1pm. Open for children ages 2-6. June 6th-8th, June 15th-17th, June 22nd-24th, July 13th-15th, July 20th-22nd, July 27th-29th

Child Enrichment at First United Methodist Church - Summertime is FUN time at Child Enrichment! Summer session is open to children ages 4 months - rising 1st graders. They will enjoy arts and crafts, water days, field trips, Kids in Motion, Little Light Shine, participate in the High Point Library summer reading program, and much more!! Offered June 8th-July 29th, Tuesdays-Thursdays. 9am-12pm. Cost is only $50.00 per week or $165.00 per month. Registration begins March 2nd, 2010. There is a registration fee of $30.00 per family. Located at 512 North Main Street, High Point, NC 27260. Please call 889-3103 with any questions or visit our website above.

Children's Museum of Winston Salem Come over to the Children's Museum of Winston-Salem this summer for Camp Imagination 2010! We are offering some returning favorite camps this year like "101 Uses of a Cardboard Box" and our very popular "Opera Camp." Plus we are introducing brand new camps like "Our Musical Earth" and "Big Bang Boom Rock Star Camp!" We offer half day camps for age 4 - rising Kindergartners and full day options for grades 1st - 4th. Please visit our website above for more details and to register. Mention Triad Smarty Pants and receive $10 off each camp you register for. For additional information call 336.723.9111 (ext. 208).

The Creative Learning Center for Very Young Children - Adjacent to the UNC School of the Arts campus in W-S, we offer two week long, 1/2 day (9-12:00, Lunch Bunch optional) summer camp programs for your 3-5 year old to enjoy. You're invited to enroll in one or both programs, and encouraged to visit our Open House on Sunday, March 7, 3-6:00 p.m. where we will answer questions about our school year program and accept applications for camp and school. Camp: $25 one time registration, $125 per week. July 19-23 will be "Arts in Action" where we will walk to UNCSA for a dance class, meet a guest musician, and create our own art all while having fun in a developmentally appropriate setting for your imaginative child. July 26-30 will be "Farm & Frolic" where children will meet farm animals, garden, do farm related projects, and end the week with a farm party celebration.

Creative Palooza Summer Camp - Creative Palooza is an arts-based summer camp designed to spark your child’s imagination. The program is offered to rising kindergartners through sixth graders, and operates a full-day schedule with flexible drop-off /pick-up options. Curriculum includes Art, Computer Lab, Drama, Spanish and American Sign Language. Camp operates June 14th through August 20th. Creative Palooza is sponsored by First Christian Church, 2320 Country Club Road, Winston Salem. Get more details at our website above, or contact Sue Halford at 336-970-5102. Cost is $135/week or $40/day plus registration fee. We will waive our normal registration fee of $25.00 for those who mention this ad on TSP!

Eagle’s Nest is a magical place that encourages wonder and helps children grow through meaningful experiences. Campers discover what it means to belong: from rocks and rivers, to forests and friends. Children participate in a variety of self-selected activities, including wilderness adventures (backpacking, climbing, canoeing, gardening), arts (songwriting, musical theatre, darkroom photography, blacksmithing) and athletics (horseback riding, Ultimate Frisbee, archery). In addition to learning skills in their chosen activities, campers experience the joy of being independent and making friends in a fun, safe and vibrant camp community. Located in the mountains of western North Carolina. 1, 2 and 3-week sessions available. 828.877.4349

EMFexplorers Camp - Eastern Music Festival and Music Academy of North Carolina present a NEW EMFexplorers Day Camp specifically designed for 9 and 10-year-olds − Backstage Pass: The Making of Music! With backstage access to professional musicians and exclusive performances, participants explore current music genres and professions, including movie and video game music, jazz and blues, Americana, classical music, and composition. Each student composes and performs music, creates an individual recording in a professional studio, experiences an orchestra rehearsal, and participates in a Q & A session with a conductor. One Session: July 19-23 (9am-Noon). Located in Greensboro, NC. When registering, mention for a special gift. 336.333.7450 x28,

EMFkids Camp- Eastern Music Festival presents EMFkids Day Camps: Introducing Young People to the Symphony Orchestra for children ages 4-8! Participants receive a top-notch introduction to classical music through hands-on learning. Instructors from Music Academy of North Carolina provide a kid-friendly and creative approach to music through instrument demonstrations, rehearsal visits, singing, and an introduction to melody, harmony, and rhythm. Each participant is given two tickets to an EMF orchestral performance during the week of the camp. Session 1: July 5-9, 9am-Noon, Ages 4 & 5. Session 2: July 12-16, 9am-Noon, Ages 6-8. Located in Greensboro, NC. When registering, mention for a special gift. 336.333.7450 x28,

Greensboro Ballet
Greensboro Ballet offers week-long themed camps for 3-6 year olds in Greensboro and Summerfield. Camps are offered starting in June and ending in August. Some camps are collaborative camps with the Center for Visual Artists, making them full day camps. We also have open classes for ages 7+ and a dance intensive in August for the more serious dancer aged 13+. For more info, visit the website above or email 336.333.7480

Greensboro Day School - Enjoy a magical summer at Greensboro Day School. Our campus sizzles with excitement during the summer! Summer 2010 offers some tried and true favorites, such as Wes Miller’s Basketball Camp, PS-1st grade Learning Camps, and amazing drama camps. Come join us for new camps too: DIY camp, Once Upon a Time Art, and Golf Camp, just to name a few! If your camper is an artist, athlete, actor, or academic, know we have something for everyone – ages 4 and up. Online registration will be available in March. Visit our website above for complete details.

kidZart Children’s Renaissance Center SUMMER CAMP
No “summer of a thousand field trips” here! kidZart provides REAL programming for summer vacation & puts together the most original, fun, exciting, new & different summer camp experience possible! This summer our popular Chess, Gardening, & “Cool Treats” Camps return! We will also offer Krafty Kidz, Detectives, BrainWorx, and many other Camps. (All Day Camps includes breakfast, lunch & PM snack - $105.00/week) Our 1/2 day "Mini-camps©" will include Horseback, Swim, Tennis, Clay Creations, Photography, Girly-girly Spa, “Art’s Parts”, and more... (prices vary) kidZart will begin taking Registration on April 5, 2010. All Day Supply Fee - $45.00, but mention TriadSmartyPants & take $10.00 off! Please contact us for availability, spaces fill up quickly! 2211 Edgewood Avenue Burlington, NC 27215 336.585.1170

Knollwood Baptist Church Preschool - There are few camp choices for young children since many camps expect campers to be out of diapers, but Knollwood’s Summer Fun (located in W-S)is for children from three months to rising first graders. Summer Fun is staffed by the preschool teachers, so children are well supervised. Campers enjoy art, reading, science, snack, and music, plus plenty of outdoor play and socialization. Each week follows a different theme, like Digging Up Dinosaurs and Happy Birthday, America. Summer Fun is a great option for prospective students, longtime students, and children who just need a fun and loving summer camp. June 21–24, June 28–July 1, July 12–July 15, and July 19–July 22. Summer Fun is from 9–1pm. Lunch is provided on Thursdays. Sign-ups start in April.

Mt. Tabor Preschool “Summer Fun” - Ages: 2 (by August 31, 2010) through Rising Kindergartners are invited to attend a week of Summer Fun at a fantastic preschool. Our experienced, ENTHUSIASTIC staff will provide fun-filled activities including story time, arts and crafts, outdoor play and water play. Camps are offered Monday-Thursday June 21-24, July 19-22, or July 26-29 from 9:30-12:30pm. Cost of each week is $85. Children bring a lunch and drink daily. Snack provided by the Preschool. Registration is open to public beginning April 12, 2010. Unfortunately we are not able to accommodate children with food allergies requiring the use of an Epi-Pen. 3543 Robinhood Road Winston-Salem, NC 27106, 336.760.2326

Oakview UMC Preschool - This summer, let your child explore their world while learning through our FUN, hands-on academic center. Oakview UMC Summer Camp has been providing enriching, educational and entertaining summer programs for infants through rising 4th graders since 2003. Camp runs for 6 weeks with a different weekly theme and fun day. Campers will enjoy activities such as water day, bike day, movie day, Kids in Motion, and carnival day. A free, catered hot lunch is served daily. Camp is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from June 15th – July 22nd; 9:00 am – 11:55 am. Come join in on the fun!!! Located at 321 Oakview Road, High Point, NC 27265. info@oakviewumcpreschool, 336-841-4018

Olde Forest Racquet Club - located at 200Pinedale Dr. Elon, NC 27244, Olde Forest has always been a great place to be to enjoy tennis, swimming and sun! We will offer tennis camps for kids during Summer 2010. Weekly camps will be offered, as well as daily camps on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the summer. Check back here or at for dates and times for varying age groups. 336.449.7121

The Piedmont School - Founded in 1982, The Piedmont School is a place where children who are struggling in a traditional educational environment can achieve their learning potential. Students in first through eighth grades attend the school’s full-day and half day programs during the traditional school year. Tutoring and summer programs are also offered. The Piedmont School is a co-educational, non-profit organization dedicated to educating children who have learning differences and/or Attention Deficit(Hyperactivity) Disorder. Centrally located in the Piedmont Triad region, The Piedmont School is 10 minutes from Winston-Salem and Greensboro. Click here for the direct link to our summer school brochure. 336.883.0992

Reynolda House Museum of American Art offers two unique summer programs in July for elementary and middle school students. Using the Museum’s renowned collection of American art as inspiration, students create original artwork during Summer Enrichment and their own writing compositions during Writing Adventures. Students also enjoy time in the Museum, historic house, and education studios. Plus, they are the only visitors allowed to swim in the historic indoor swimming pool! Both programs offer half-day, one-week sessions. Become a member of Reynolda House and save $15 on registration! Located in Winston-Salem, NC. Register by calling 336.758.5599 or download the registration form at

Saint John's Camp Falcon - St. John’s Lutheran Church and School in Winston-Salem invites your child to Camp Falcon. This year’s theme, “Oh the Places We’ll Go,” allows students to explore a Dr. Seuss book each week and use that book to springboard into creative activities in areas such as outdoor/gym games, arts and crafts, dramatic play, and cooking. Sound Biblical teaching, live praise and worship, and exciting field trips are hallmarks of our program. Camp is open to preschoolers through rising 8th graders. Flexible scheduling is available. Visit our website above and click on the Camp Falcon link. Contact Camp Director, Brandi Lovejoy at 336-725-1651 ext. 402 or for more information.

Saint Pius X Summer Camps 2010 - SPX camps is celebrating its 10 Year Anniversary by offering the most exciting day camps for children in rising K-9th grades in the Triad! Join our experienced camp staff for 8 weeks packed with sports, enrichment, art entertainment and science themes sure to delight your child. Choose from basketball, princesses, race cars, pets, painting, cheerleading, all sports, games, cooking and more. Be sure not to miss our annual Little Miss SPX Pageant! Camp hours are 9 am-3 pm. Multiple camp and family discounts provided – the more you buy, the more you save! Extended day care available. Contact Lori Warren at 336-273-9865 for more information. Located at 2200 North Elm Street, Greensboro, NC 27408.

Salem Sports Camp for Kids - Come Soar, Roar, and Score this summer at Salem Sports Camp for Kids. Using the superb athletic facilities of Salem Academy and College, the camp offers half-day, co-educational learning and fun for all skill levels through age-appropriate activities for kids between the ages of 4 to 11. With activities such as swimming, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, archery, and golf, campers learn the fundamentals of both individual and team sports under the expert care of our sports camp staff in a secure, non-competitive environment. Don't miss out on the fun this summer! Three sessions - 8:30am – 1:00pm with snack and lunch provided. Space is limited so register now. Mention Triad Smarty Pants and receive $5 off! 336.721.2732

Sawtooth School for Visual Art - Summer Art Camp at Sawtooth School for Visual Art is a different adventure every week! We’ll “Ride the Orient Express” June 21-25 and then we’ll be “Under the Sea” June 28-7/2. If your child is interested in visiting many different countries, join us for “Travel-Rama” 7/5-7/9. Reading will be celebrated during “Magical Mystery Book Tour” 7/12-7/16. Next up we are on our way to exotic “Amazing Africa” 7/19-7/23. Want to have fun with paint? That’s what we’ll be doing during “Dribble, Splat, Splash” 7/26-7/30. We always end the summer “At the Circus” and you can too 8/2-8/6!

SciWorks Summer SciCamp is a blast! Day Camps for students age 4 thru rising 12th grade offered June 14 – August 20. Every week is different – sign up for one or multiple camps (with discount). These are just a few of the themes: “Me, Myself and I” and “The Bear Facts” for 4-5 year olds. “Rainforest Round-up” and “Blast Off!” for K-1st grade. “To Infinity and Beyond!” and “Science of Super Heroes” for 2-3grade. “Architect Apprentice”, “Wizards Week”, and “Crime Scene Explorers” for 4-6 grade. And, we’ve added a Middle School camp this year from Aug. 9-13th only – “NanoCamp!” – all about the amazing world of Nano Science! Our newest program – “SciWorks 101” (Offered June 14-18 only) is specially designed to give rising 9th thru 12th graders a look at what it’s like to be a museum educator/floor demonstrator. For students considering a career in science or education, this is the summer experience for them! 336.714.7105

Stokes Family YMCA Summer Camp and Teen Camp
Ages K- rising 5th for summer camp, and rising 6th- rising 9th for Teen Camp
YMCA traditional day camp packed full of fun, games, and memory makers! We strive to hire the best staff members for each age group who want to play all day and keep your kids safe while having a blast. Our activities are age appropriate, crazy fun, and guaranteed to keep your child engaged all day! As for teen camp, our activities are geared for those pre teens and teenagers that crave a summer that impacts their life forever! Register your child or teen today for a summer experience they won’t forget!!! Located at 105 Moore Rd. King, NC 27021. Contact for Teens (rising 6th- rising 9th)and for K- rising 5th graders. 336.985.9622

YMCA Day Camps are a great way for your child to spend their summer! The outdoor-based day camp is filled with high energy games, songs, sports, swimming, arts and crafts, archery and much more. Each week is centered on a specific theme and delivered by mature, well-trained, energetic staff to ensure your son or daughter has a summer of fun and a lifetime of memories. The YMCA is committed to supporting working families, and in order to ensure every child has the opportunity to enjoy and benefit from our camps, Financial Assistance is available for those in need.

Readers, keep checking back, as we will be adding a few more camps to this list. Also, if you live in Forsyth County, be sure to pick up the March issue of Forsyth Family Magazine to see more camps offered in your area!