Four Little Monsters Blog
The adventures of a Mom and her monsters.
Four Little Monsters is your source for family friendly event, product  and travel reviews in Mid-Atlantic USA. We find fun wherever we go, even right here at home.
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Summer Star Gazing Guide for Kids & Families

by EJ on 06/20/14


Photo Credit: www.fourlittlemonsters.com
Our most recent visit to The Franklin Institute got my monsters' curious brains whirling again, specifically, in the direction of the night sky. We had the opportunity to visit the museum's Planetarium, showing To Space & Back, which taught us how technology developed for use in space, has transformed the way we live on Earth. After the show, the kids came home with a renewed adoration for the night sky so we got busy putting together a plan for exploring the stars and the universe above. Here's our guide to summer star gazing from our family to yours:


Begin with eyes upward, right after sunset. 

After dinner is over and the wiggles are out, step outside after the sun goes down. Although it's darkest past midnight, there's still plenty to see in the summer night sky just after the sun sets. This is an opportune time to set up the camping chairs in the back yard and look up. Have the kids - and yourself - focus on breathing, relaxing and looking upward. Take turns pointing out what you see. Mercury is fading fast and should no longer be visibly by the 23rd of June, but Jupiter, Mars and Saturn should be highly visible for the entire month.

Jupiter, cream- colored and the brightest dot in the whole sky at this time, will appear in the western sky, while Saturn and Mars will appear in the Southern end. Saturn shines the least bright of the two, a gold color, while Mars, more reddish-brown, shines brightest.

Photo Credit: www.fourlittlemonsters.com

Excite the kids with super cool star-gazing gear.

Any dedicated star gazer will appreciate the gift of magnification. If your child has a summer birthday, that's the perfect excuse to invest in a kid-friendly telescope or a great pair of binoculars.

Locate constellations for great story telling sessions.

Kids love a good story and there's no better time to brush up on your mythology than under a summer night sky. Mythological legends often tie together heroes, enemies, enchanted animals and terrible monsters. Sounds like a Disney movie, right? Pull up a mythology story website on the tablet and start reading out loud! There are hundreds of stories in the stars. The kids can find specific constellations in the sky that go along with the story you choose.

Grab a constellation guide and a space-themed reading list at Scholastic.com/Summer.

Encourage a love of astronomy outside your back yard. Visit a State Park or star gazing program.

Photo Credit: www.fourlittlemonsters.com
Here in Delaware, several State Parks offer star gazing programs and meteor shower viewings throughout the seasons, appropriate for beginners and advanced star gazers. You can also visit an observatory, like the one at Delaware Aerospace Education Foundation, for more star gazing programs and opportunities that are kid-friendly.

If you've got news or info about a great family-friendly star gazing event or program in the Mid-Atlantic area, please share by leaving a comment below!

 

Krispy Kreme Grand Opening in New Castle, DE, WIN free doughnuts for a year!

by EJ on 06/19/14

Come celebrate the grand opening of Krispy Kreme’s New Castle, Delaware location at 114 N. DuPont Highway on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 starting at 6:00 AM. Located directly in front of the New Castle Farmers Market, the location will offer more than 15 varieties of Krispy Kreme’s beloved doughnuts, including the signature hot Original Glazed®, 6 varieties of fresh baked bagels, as well as a complete selection of Krispy Kreme Chillers®, espresso beverages and Krispy Kreme Signature Coffee Blends. The new location will also feature a full-service 24 hour drive thru, outdoor seating and free Wi-Fi.


"It’s a sweet kick off to the long holiday weekend, “ said Keith Morgan, CEO, “The residents of New Castle have been incredibly enthusiastic throughout the process, and we can’t wait to bring the joy of Krispy Kreme back to Delaware!

All are welcome to participate in the grand opening festivities and if you get in line early, you could win free doughnuts for an entire year! Prizes will include:
  • One free dozen Original Glazed® doughnuts every week for a year to the first customer in line.
  • One free dozen Original Glazed® doughnuts every month for a year to the next 99 customers in line.
(Prizes for the first 100 people in line are available only to fans 10 years of age and older.)
  • Additional prizes will be given out at random throughout the day. Prizes will include t-shirts and other Krispy Kreme merchandise.

Summer Happenings and Discounted Admission at Penn Museum, Philly

by EJ on 06/19/14


Penn Museum of Philly, PA is offering discounted general admission this summer. All July and August, save 1/3 off general admission and pay only $10. As always, kids under 6 are free. Through Labor Day, active military families are also free. "Summer is an ideal time to visit a great museum, and discover something new about the world," said Julian Siggers, Ph.D., the Museum's Williams Director. "Penn Museum has the world renowned collection to do just that - and some great summer programming, in the gardens and inside, to appeal to all ages."

  • Summer Nights Wednesday evening concert series. A diverse line up of music, a laid back outdoor vibe, as the Museum stays open. Optional gallery tours between sets! 5:00 to 8:00 pm, through September 3.
  • Summer Wonder Family Programs. International, interactive, and fun. Wednesdays at 11:00 am in July. (air-conditioned)
  • Unearthed in the Archives. Fridays at 2 pm. Join archivist Alessandro Pezzati and staff as they pull out a gem from the Museum’s archives—and bring Museum stories to life (air-conditioned)
  • Award-winning outdoor gardens. Penn Museum’s lush urban gardens feature sculptures and fountains by Alexander Stirling Calder, places to sit or eat, even a reflective koi pool.
  • In the Artifact Lab: Conserving Egyptian Mummies. Conservators at work open their windows twice a day to chat with visitors (air-conditioned gallery and workspace)
  • Free bottled water at the admission desks, while supplies last
  • Take a break with ice cold, fresh squeezed lemonade, just $2, or free with $7 lunch entrée, every day in the Pepper Mill Café.
When you go, keep in mind that while some galleries are air-conditioned, some are not. "We like to have a sense of humor and we hope our visitors do, too. That's why, in those un-air-conditioned spaces, we invite you to join our fans," said Dr. Siggers.

  

NEW Exhibits at The Franklin Institute: Your Brain, Circus! Science Under the Big Top & More, Review

by EJ on 06/11/14

This Saturday, June 14th, The Franklin Institute unveils the largest expansion in the kid-friendly science museum's history, the 53,000-square-foot Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion and four new exhibits: Your Brain, Circus! Science Under the Big Top, 101 Inventions That Changed the World, and National Geographic's Ocean Soul. Like the museum's expansion, the party is going to be huge. "This is the beginning of a new era in the history of The Franklin Institute," said Troy M. Collins, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Programs and Business Development, "The goal of this day is to host a fun-filled, high-energy, highly visible public celebration... Our hope is to create long-lasting experiences that greatly outline opening day."

All visitors paying regular admission will have access to all four new exhibits and even better, the first five hundred guests will receive FREE admission. In celebration of all things new, further festivities include an "explosive" ribbon cutting ceremony, a public display of over eighty rarely viewed artifacts normally held in the TFI vault, commemorative giveaways, live music, magic and mentalist performances, jugglers and stilt walkers, tight rope walking, face painting and food carts featuring classic circus fare like hot dogs, cotton candy, lemonade and caramel corn.

A Preview of Your Brain, with kids in tow.

Earlier this week, the monsters and I met with Jayatri Das, (a fellow Penn Stater!) Chief Bio-scientist and Lead Developer of the Your Brain exhibit. With her guidance, the kids and I explored, climbed and interacted with the entire exhibit prior to this weekend's grand opening. Right from the start, we were taken by surprise by the super innovative and exciting interactive experiences offered by Your Brain.

Upon entering Your Brain, our silhouettes were captured on a huge video screen where scaled images of our brains and nervous systems were superimposed over our "shadows". As the kids moved and danced, their brains and nervous systems moved along with those shadows. Then we were confronted with a real human brain to view from every angle - in a case, don't worry! Then, we got to feel a pretend brain, to get a sense of what a real brain might feel like.


Photo Courtesy of The Franklin Institute
We could have spent hours in the Neural Climb, a brilliant and towering playroom for the kids - and adults who care to brave the height of the 18-foot-tall structure. The kids climbed the neural network maze while lights and sounds were triggered from below as we stepped on floor panels. Bursts of light and real sounds of neurons firing represented electrical and chemical signals in the brain. When a neuron fired, my middle daughter screamed from somewhere in the maze, followed by a ton of laughter, of course.


The Neural Climb isn't your ordinary playroom.

The maze itself consists of forty-five climbing discs and 45,000 feet of cable. Standing at eighteen feet tall, the all-glass maze features 112 light fixtures and sixteen speakers. It's the people's movement and energy throughout this room that triggers sounds and lights - representing the inner workings of the brain.

Further sections of the Your Brain exhibit included the Build a Network table, where my oldest son immersed himself in the touch-screen tabletop, manipulating and rotating different images of neurons to build connections in the brain. On the other side of that particular room, two of my kids busied themselves spinning and firing off a model neuron, blasting out ping pong ball neurotransmitters. Much of the exhibit is super kid-friendly - as in, just plain fun - while demonstrating important information about the brain, how it works and how we perceive the world using our brains.

Photo courtesy of The Franklin Institute
The kids learned how the brain can "construct" faces pretty much out of anything. They practiced building faces out of totally random inanimate objects on a Velcro wall, tested their level of fear, engaged in experiences that confused their vision - prepare to get a little dizzy if you dare - confused their touch and their sensitivity. I played a game of virtual tennis, drove a virtual car, both experiences demonstrating facets of attention. The activities available literally went on and on. Despite our more personal preview prior to the grand opening of this exhibit, I felt like there was still so much more we could have experienced if we'd just had more time - and maybe some naps - naps were definitely needed for certain little monsters.

Circus! Science Under the Big Top was a whirlwind of color, sights, sounds and fun. The monsters ran off in all different directions, drawn too by the authentic scent of cotton candy and popcorn at a make-believe (but very convincing) circus food cart. My daughter practiced balancing on a wire while holding a real high wire balancing pole. My son roared back at a painted lion. We examined all kinds of circus animal feces and took turns guessing what animal each pile belonged to. Nice, right?

Of course, no visit to The Franklin Institute would be complete without charging through The Giant Heart a few dozen times. We totally did that. The best moment of all, however, was when my six year old, who loves all things space and astronomy, declared in the opening moments of his very first Planetarium visit, "This is better than Cosmos!" Sorry, Neil deGrasse Tyson, we do love you. In fact, he walked around most of the astronomy and space exhibit with his mouth agape. "It's beautiful!" he cried adoringly to the USA space suit. The Franklin Institute makes science accessible at the kid level and beyond. Jam packed with interactive exhibits, live science demonstrations, an IMAX theater, a Planetarium and so much more, The Franklin Institute is an amazingly fun immersion in science of all kinds and absolutely can't be missed.

Disclosure: Four Little Monsters Blog received an exclusive preview of The Franklin Institute's new exhibit Your Brain and Circus! Science Under the Big Top in exchange for this review. All opinions belong to the blogger.


 

ScoreBig, 60% Savings on concert, sports tickets and more, no fees, REVIEW

by EJ on 05/12/14

Ever since the Queen and Adam Lambert summer tour was announced, I've been hot on the trail of a pair of tickets for this show. I'm desperate to be at this show. Desperate, I tell you! The stars seemed to align in my favor when the folks over at ScoreBig reached out to me regarding their website, which provides affordable tickets to all kinds of venues and events like concerts, sports games, plays and live theater, attractions, Broadway and more. Sure enough, they've got tickets to the show that I want, at several venues. Of course, I have been on pins and needles waiting for them to add the Philadelphia date that I so desperately want, which is the closest to home. I've waited it out for two weeks and with no Philly date yet listed, it looks like I might be headed to Atlantic City instead... which could end up being more incredible than I'd originally planned so what the heck - I'm going for it. Adam Lambert and Queen, people! It's going to be epic.

In my hunt for the best seats at the best prices, I've found that ScoreBig is incredibly easy to use. The site allows you to search easily, listing the events closest to your location first. You can search by event type, date or location. ScoreBig guarantees that you save on each and every ticket without ever paying a single transaction fee and they offer free delivery, something that other tickets sites don't always offer.

When choosing tickets, you can narrow down your seating area but not your exact seats. ScoreBig promises that your seats will be together and in the area that you choose, rated in stars (Ex: 4 star seating area vs. 1 star seating area). This allows the ticket providers some flexibility to provide great deals on seats. In fact, 40% of tickets go unsold for many events each year, even events that are supposedly "sold out". That's were BigScore comes in, grabbing up those tickets for you to score.

There are two ways to buy at BigScore. One way is to purchase tickets at their fixed listed price. Second, buyers can actually make offers that are lower than the listed price and receive instant feedback as to whether or not their offer was accepted. I've been rejected a few times so far on the seats I want but I'll be trying again this week with a different offer.

Head-quarted in Los Angeles, CA, ScoreBig was founded in 2009 and was recently named by Forbes as one of America's Most Promising Companies and by Billboard as one of the ten best start-ups of 2012.

Disclaimer: Four Little Monsters Blog received a super awesome ScoreBig promotion code for the purpose of this review. All opinions belong to the blogger.

 

Crayola's Creativity Design-A-Charm Contest Accepting Entries Until May 21st, 2014, Charm It! Jewelry for Girls, Review & Giveaway

by EJ on 05/06/14

Is your child artistic, creative and a designer in the making? CHARM IT! by IntenCity and Crayola are on the hunt for a guest designer and kids up to age fourteen are eligible to enter. Through May 21st, kids can submit their original artwork for the chance to see it become the newest charm in the CHARM IT! collection. The winning charm design will be sold in specialty stores as well as GAP Kids and Nordstrom, where the CHARM IT! collections are already available.

Wait - there's more! In addition to a guest designer, the twelve top submissions will win $100 gift certificates for use at the CHARM IT! website, as well as a donation made in their names to the Art Start organization. 

For official rules and to download the entry form, head over to www.shopcharm-it.com/contest

Is Your Daughter a CHARM IT! Girl? Accessorize with CHARM IT! Jewelry!

CHARM IT! bracelets and necklaces are fun, colorful and creative. They're the perfect accessory for girls who want to show off their personality, favorite hobbies, activities and interests. It can grow with them as they change and add or trade out new charms. There are an assortment of bracelet and necklace styles available.


We had a blast choosing charms for our nine year old, who was totally surprised to receive a bracelet that reflected her uniqueness. She's a paleontologist in the making, so of course we chose a dinosaur. The microphone charm was perfect for her love of the stage and performance. Her passion for all things art and
creating is reflected in the art easel and paint charms. She's an avid reader so we also included the book worm charm. Since she's consistently on the honor roll and impressing us with her smarts, we also chose the A + charm. She loved the collection we put together and she immediately set out showing off her bracelet to all her friends. 

The bracelet itself is chunky and fun, with a ton of color and a ton of space to easily fit more charms. The charms fit along the bracelet with little key chain hooks, which are holding up very well as she wears it around. The charms are solid, well made and many of them have crystals and glitter accents. We're going to have so much fun adding to this collection as she grows.

High IntenCity was founded to inspire girls to express their individuality through creativity. SInce 1993, IntenCity has been creating fun fashion jewelry for girls worldwide. The CHARM IT! brand debuted in 2000, with the original, detachable charm jewelry line.

Discount Code for CHARM IT! Jewelry

Through May 21st, save 25% on your online purchase, using promo code CHARMLOVE25.

WIN A CHARM IT! Gift Set at Four Little Monsters Blog

One lucky reader will win a CHARM IT! Design-A-Charm gift set including five past winning charms of their choice.

Disclaimer: Four Little Monsters Blog received a Charm It! Bracelet and charm set for the purpose of this review. All opinions belong to the blogger.


Delaware Brain Tumor Walk 2014: Funding Research, Raising Awareness, Sharing Memories and Celebrating Survivors

by EJ on 04/24/14

National Brain Tumor Society, the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to finding better treatments and a cure for people living with brain tumors, hosts the Delaware Brain Tumor Walk on April 26th at the Riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware. The Brain Tumor Walk, which aims to connect brain tumor survivors, patients, family, friends and caregivers, uses proceeds to fund brain tumor research and raise awareness. Participants can walk as individuals, create a team or join an already existing team. Last year, the walk raised almost $200,000.

At this moment, nearly 700,000 people in the United States are living with a brain tumor. 69,000 more are expected to be diagnosed this year and over 4,000 of those will be children. “Only one out of three adults diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor today will be alive in five years. More so than any other cancer, brain tumors can have life-altering psychological, cognitive, behavioral, and physical effects. And yet, despite these facts, brain tumor research remains grossly underfunded,” says N. Paul TonThat, chief executive officer of the National Brain Tumor Society. “Every dollar pledged from the Delaware Brain Tumor Walk allows us to continue funding vital research to accelerate the discovery of new scientific breakthroughs and the availability of more treatments for this disease.” 

Karen O'Brien, mother of three and wife of Chris O'Brien who was diagnosed with an Astrocytoma grade II brain tumor in 2008, has been involved in the Delaware Brain Tumor Walk since 2009 to support her family and others affected by this disease. Her husband, whose brain tumor was removed, was subsequently diagnosed with a GBM IV and passed away eleven months later. This year Karen is again walking with Team Irish, in memory of her husband. Describing her family's journey from diagnosis to treatment, to loss several years later, Karen explains that, "The cancer diagnosis really made us closer and made us realize how short our time here is. My kids were not sure how things were going to end and how soon but they spent time with their Dad and always let him know how much they loved him. Since he passed we have had some rough times and some good times... We are all growing and changing but never forgetting." The Delaware Brain Tumor Walk has become an important and inspiring event for the O'Brien family and friends. Karen says, "As we walk many of us will tell some stories about him and others will share good memories. It really makes me feel a sense of belonging knowing others know how I feel."

The Delaware Brain Tumor Walk is this Saturday, April 26th at Dravo Plaza in Wilmington, DE at 10 am. For more information on the Delaware Brain Tumor Walk, please visit http://events.braintumor.org/delaware-brain-tumor-walk/. If you can't make the walk, you can still donate to a participant or team.

Family Fun Day Toy Drive at Delaware Children's Museum

by EJ on 04/21/14


On April 26th, Kohls Associates Volunteers from Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, participating in their fifth annual National Go Green initiative, will partner with Second Chance Toys to gather at the Delaware Children's Museum for a huge toy drive to benefit underprivileged children. In an effort to both keep toys out of landfills and to help children in need, nearly 5000 toys will be gathered and displayed in front of the museum.

The Delaware community is invited to share in the family fun and bring their gently used toys for further donation. The toys will be moved in 1800 GOT JUNK trucks to their various drop off locations. In addition to the toy display, families can enjoy outdoor face painting, a DJ, coloring activities and explore the museum indoors. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
 

Sweet Peas In A Pod, Pea Pod Jewelry by Kelli O, Mother's Day, Review & Giveaway

by EJ on 04/08/14

If you're looking for something truly spectacular for Mom this year, then look no further than Sweet Peas In A Pod, jewelry by Kelli O. Totally forget the huge chain jewelry stores and support this small business with amazing craftsmanship and charm. I instantly fell in love with these stunning pea pod necklaces on Facebook and couldn't wait to share them with my Four Little Monsters community.

As a proud Mom of five, I couldn't wait to own one of these Pea Pod necklaces. They're the perfect mixture of elegant and cute. I'm going to treasure mine forever.

I received two versions of the Pea Pod necklace, one in alternating pink and green (for my order of girls and boys) and a second in their birth stone colors. Both came on a sturdy sterling silver 18'' chain. Kelli was fabulous to work with when deciding on the designs for both necklaces and super communicative. There were so many samples to browse on the Sweet Peas In A Pod facebook page. When I asked for alternating pink and green pearls and a specific charm to go with my necklace, Kelli accommodated my requests immediately.

Pricing is incredibly awesome, too. Sweet pea necklaces start at $16 with one pea included. Each additional pea is $2 and additional charms are $2.50. Shipping is $4, USA.

Pea Pod necklaces by Sweet Peas In A Pod can hold up to seven peas and if more are needed (after all, there are plenty of us Moms of many out there), then you can do more than one pea pod on one chain.

If you're looking for something other than a necklace, you can also order them as earrings, key chains, pins and bracelets. Colors are pretty limitless for the peas themselves, although I prefer the opalescent look of the pearls, myself. If you're looking for birthstones, Kelli offers genuine birth stone peas as well.

At the moment, there isn't a traditional website for online ordering but you can easily message Kelli via email or on the company facebook page for a quick response. However, Kelli is looking to expand and offer her jewelry on a traditional website so let's help spread the word! Visit her Kickstarter campaign HERE and support her company's growth. You can also help spread the word by sharing this post, sharing on facebook and entering the giveaway below! 

Enter to WIN a custom Pea Pod Necklace by Sweet Peas In A Pod

That's right! We've partnered with Sweet Peas In A Pod to give away a custom Pea Pod necklace of your custom combo of colors or birthstones -- just in time for Mother's Day! Enter using the Rafflecopter below, good luck and Happy Mother's Day!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Teaching Preschoolers Not To Steal, Parenting A Preschooler

by EJ on 04/03/14

When it comes to our youngest son, AJ, the past few weeks... *ahem*, months... have been a tad frustrating. He has developed quite the knack for trouble. He's always been the do-as-he-pleases, defiant child but lately, every waking moment (and moments where I'm not awake but he is.... say, at 4 am...) seems riddled with his trouble. Whether he's filling up his brother's dresser drawers with water, smashing a bar of soap into the bristles of a hair brush, breaking his siblings' toys, pulling down the curtains, or attempting to take food and drink out of the refrigerator for the fifteenth time in a minute, he just loves to do what he wants, when he wants and as many times as he wants, no matter how many time-outs ensue.

Don't get me wrong, this little troublemaker is as charming as they come. He knows that he merely has to make a funny face or cross his eyes at me to make me giggle. His snuggles are simply the best. His face beams with delight when I draw him an airplane, a school bus or a vacuum. (Yes, he is obsessed with vacuums. Take him to the vacuum department at Wal-Mart and he is one happy dude). I've taught him right and wrong, just as I have with his older siblings. I've taught him boundaries. The troublesome behaviors continue. At his age, he's just not getting most of it - or doesn't want to just yet. Several times over the past few months, I've asked myself in tears, "What the heck am I doing wrong? He just won't behave!"

I knew it wouldn't be long before the notes started coming home from school. Sure enough, I got the first one yesterday. Apparently, he's stealing toy cars from school and attempting to take them home. This actually made me laugh out loud because he literally hides a car or an airplane toy of his own in his backpack every morning before hopping on the bus. Sometimes I catch him and sometimes I'm too busy with shoes, jackets and lunch boxes and four kids scrambling for their buses to remember to check. Knowing that AJ tries to take his own toys to school every day, I realized that he wasn't stealing toys from school out of malice. He literally just thinks everything is his. It's all the same to him. If it's a car, he likes it - a lot. Therefore, he wants it. Obviously, this way of thinking isn't going to do him any favors as he grows up. So the teaching and learning continues...While I have not figured out how to get him to stop smashing bars of soap into hair brushes or how to stop climbing the shelves in his bedroom, I know that teaching him not to steal will be easier.

Why do preschoolers steal and what can a parent do about it?

Preschoolers may steal out of impulse, peer pressure or to seek attention. In fact, the word "stealing" likely doesn't mean anything to most preschoolers. Children under the age of four do not yet grasp the concepts of "mine" and "yours". I know my son is incredibly impulsive and his stealing of toys cars at school likely stems from this. I like that. I'll have that.

To help teach the wrongs of stealing, parents should take some immediate steps to guide the child in he right direction. Stealing should be addressed immediately, and rather than overreacting, parents should explain values such as honesty and sensitivity and have the child return the belonging.  Returning the object right away, with an apology included, will help convey ownership as well as honesty and sensitivity to the child.

A great way to turn stealing into a teachable moment is to first, correct the child's wishful ownership. Say, you wish the toy car was yours - but who does it really belong to? Lead the child to developing the answer him or herself. Then have them return the belonging.

Don't expect immediate results. If I've learned anything as a Mom of many kiddos, it takes time to develop certain values in children. Stealing in preschool is just another bump in the road that will need some consistent smoothing out. In the meantime, I'll be scrubbing crayon-drawn monsters off the walls, rehanging curtains and emptying out dresser drawers full of water - again... and again... and again... and again.
  
     

Phantom of the Opera at The Academy of Music through April 12th, 50% OFF PROMO

by EJ on 04/02/14


Now, through April 12th at The Academy of Music in Philly, see the breathtaking and powerful musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Phantom of the Opera. Save 50% off of select performances using promo code "RAOUL".

Visit The Academy of Music now and grab those tickets!

 

The Original Harlem Globetrotters in Philly, PA, Review

by EJ on 03/12/14


The monsters and I jumped at the opportunity to check out The Original Harlem Globetrotters at Wells Fargo Center in Philly, PA for the 2014 Fans Rule World Tour. For eighty eight years, The Harlem Globetrotters have been entertaining families while innovating the game of basketball. We'd heard a ton of great things about the show and my two boys were thrilled to check out their first basketball game, especially one that promised special tricks, great athleticism, music and comedic entertainment.

We arrived early and spent some time wandering the halls of the Wells Fargo Center, taking pictures with Flyers Hockey gear and trophies, which is my littlest man's favorite sport. They really have a great selection of historical sports pieces on display throughout the main hall.

Once the show started, my boys got pretty excited. They quickly found themselves surrounded by food and snacks of all kinds: snow cones, popcorn, cotton candy, pretzels, pizza, fries, chicken fingers, frozen yogurt, buffalo wings and more. Though expensive, the Wells Fargo Center has an enormous selection of food and snacks to suit any kids' desire.

The previous night, their grandfather dazzled the boys with stories of when he saw the Harlem Globetrotters many years ago. They expected quite a lot of fun. Unfortunately, however, the boys' excitement dwindled some as the show seemed to become somewhat disorganized early on. There were many great moments but there was a lot of filler. We were pretty close to the court, but not close enough to understand everything that Handles (from Harrisburg, PA, WOOT!), the Globetrotter with the microphone for most of the show, was saying throughout the event. His interactions with the referee and the audience were pretty fun but without being able to hear everything, it became hard for the boys to stay interested in the show.

I think it's so important to expose kids to team sports and athletics. The Harlem Globetrotters, despite a little disappointment with this year's tour, are incredibly talented. My boys recognized that and near the end of the show, my six year old started getting into the music and clapping for the tricks and points scored. It took him a while to get to that point, but he did get there and that was a great moment to see him involving himself in the show.  

The best and most inspirational part of the show was Kevin Grow, aka KG3, a recent high school graduate with Downs Syndrome, who signed with both the 76ers and the Globetrotters with "ceremonial contracts". Grow, the former team manager for his school's basketball team for four years, knocked down four three-pointers, hit a buzzer-beater and tallied 14 points during the last two games of the season. Globetrotter Handles reached out to the audience at the close of the show, reminding children that their dreams could come true, no matter what. I just loved that message.

Disclaimer: Four Little Monsters received admission to The Original Harlem Globetrotters event at Wells Fargo Center for the purpose of this review. All opinions are honest and belong to the blogger.

 

The Delaware Children's Museum, Spring Events & TRIPLE 4-TICKET GIVEAWAY @DEChildrensMuse

by EJ on 03/07/14


The Delaware Children's Museum, located on the Wilmington Riverfront in Delaware, is an amazingly interactive center for kids and their families. The DCM provides an environment that stimulates and encourages young minds to learn through exploration, creation and building and play.

My monsters just love this museum. It's completely hands-on, interactive and incredibly exciting from room to room. Plus, they offer special programs in their classrooms like their Try Science series.
Kids will explore everything from a huge water table, a thirty foot climbing maze, a room devoted to muscles and mind, an interactive auto shop, train and boat, a kid-sized farmer's market, to an exhibit that introduces banking and saving money. We could - and have - spent all day here. When you're done playing in the interactive rooms and exhibits, you can skip on over to the arts and crafts room and create art, draw on a giant chalk board and play with puzzles. You can read about our fun adventures at the DCM HERE.

Spring Brings NEW Events to the Delaware Children's Museum in Wilmington, DE

This month, the DCM will host Prince & Princess Weekend, March 15th and 16th with special performances of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty by First State Ballet Theatre and the Delaware Children's Theatre. Festivities will include Royal Reading Time and discounts for those who come dressed in their best royal attire.

Now, through April 27th, kids can participate in the DCM Block Party by constructing their own cities and structures out of huge foam blocks and shapes. 

To celebrate in royal fashion, we're giving away THREE SETS of four-pack tickets to The Delaware Children's Museum to three readers of Four Little Monsters Blog. That's right, THREE SETS! Each winner will receive four tickets each, good through October of 2014.


Disclosure: Four Little Monsters Blog has partnered with the Delaware Children's Museum to host this giveaway. 


Delaware Mudtub and the Mighty Wampum, Plays & Players Theatre, 4 ticket GIVEAWAY

by EJ on 02/27/14

Here at Four Little Monsters, we're huge fans of live theater for families. This week, we're excited to introduce to our readers, Plays & Players of Philadelphia. It's one of the oldest theaters in use in the United States, constructed in 1912. How cool is that?

Plays & Players, Philadelphia Local Artists for Youth, recently launched a new annual performance series in order to introduce young people to the magic of theater. This series premiers with Delaware Mudtub and the Mighty Wampum, a story that involves mythic and local animals of the Delaware River and Philadelphia including the blue heron, the red fox, the box turtle and more. The stories are inspired by the once indigenous people of that area, the Lenni-Lenape, who were well known for their wampum beads. 

Performances of Delaware Mudtub and the Mighty Wampum run through March 13th through the 29th on Wednesday through Fridays at 10 am and Saturdays and Sundays at 11 am and 12:30 pm. Tickets are $10-$20.

One lucky reader of Four Little Monsters Blog will win four tickets to the Sunday, March 16th at 2:30 pm performance. Enter below and good luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway

Discount Code & Ticket Giveaway for The Harlem Globetrotters Fans Rule World Tour, March 7th-9th

by EJ on 02/12/14


You don't have to be a basketball fan to be entertained and inspired by The Harlem Globetrotters. An exhibition basketball team, The Harlem Globetrotters includes talented athletes from around the country, riveting audiences with their athleticism, family-friendly comedy and theater. Check out this year's roster. Last year, fans voted on new rules for actual games and preview some of their epic moves. This was such a success that they're doing it again this year in the 2014 "Fans Rule" World Tour.

This March, families can see The Harlem Globetrotters on March 7th through March 9th at three separate venues:

Liacouras Center in Philadelphia (Friday, March 7th at 7 p.m.)
Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, New Jersey (Saturday, March 8th at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.)
Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia (Sunday, March 9th at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m.)

Harlem Globetrotters Online Discount Promo Code for Four Little Monsters Readers

Save money on tickets for the Wells Fargo performance just for being a Four Little Monsters reader. Enter promo code HGMOM to receive $7 off of select price levels. Not valid on P1 or P2.

WIN Tickets to See The Harlem Globetrotters at Wells Fargo Center

One lucky Four Little Monsters reader will win four ticket vouchers good for the Wells Fargo 5 p.m. performance. Enter using Rafflecopter below and good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_popocorn'>popocorn / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_popocorn'>popocorn / 123RF Stock Photo</a>