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Holland in Iowa ~ Pella Tulip Time Festival

It’s almost time for the Pella Tulip Time Festival, coming up May 2-5, 2019.  We went several years ago with our homeschool group and had such a fabulous time. The scenery is fantastic and the events are a lot fun. I’m really looking forward to going back soon! Here’s a post I wrote after our first trip and I am rerunning it to convince you that you NEED to go to Tulip Time Pella this year!

pella iowa information windwill

Who knew Holland is only 2 hours away? I have found memories of Girl Scout trips to the Netherlands I took when I was in grade school. We always drove to Holland from Germany on an enormous tour bus. Keukenhof Tulip Gardens, the Anne Frank House, canals cruises in Amsterdam, and of course a visit to an old time village with a windmill, cheese, Delft pottery, and wooden shoes – these were the activities that filled our days. I was in grade school so I haven’t experienced Netherlands as an adult, but I have a lot of great memories of trips there.

pella tulip festival

Holland in Iowa ~ Pella Tulip Time Festival

We’ve been living in Iowa for 6 years now (NINE YEARS NOW!) and I’ve heard about the Pella Tulip Festival  – but we’ve never been before. I mean, how could it compare the real, live deal? I guess I can be kind of a snot sometimes… If it’s not as good as the real thing, why go? Sometimes I’m sad that I can’t provide my own children the experiences I had when I was little. Exploring Europe as a child is something I really treasure but isn’t exactly feasible right now.

tractors at Pella Tulip Time

But when our home school group organized a trip to Tulip Time in Pella, I jumped at the chance. And this past Thursday, our whole family loaded up and made the two hour trek to Pella to see what all the hub-bub was about. I’m so glad we went! It might not have been the real deal, but it was awesome and we all had a great time.

pella tulip festival

The Vermeer Mill was built in in 2002 by Dutch craftsmen.

The Vermeer Mill is a working flour mill and it was a lot of fun talking to the millers who were as interested to hear about how I grind my flour as I was to learn how they grind theirs!

pella tulip festival

Huge Klompen

The kids had a great time trying on the Klompen – or wooden clogs. We also watched craftsmen making them ~ an amazing sight! And these pictures of my kids three years ago make me smile. I have a fourth child who needs to try on these Klompen now too!

pella tulip festival

Wyatt Earp House

We toured the Wyatt Earp house – boyhood home of none other than Wyatt Earp. And later we met “him” on the street. I had no idea he lived in Iowa and Ben was thrilled to meet him and pose for a picture.

horse drawn carriage Pella Tulip Time

Dutch Volks Parade

But my favorite part of the day was the Dutch Volks Parade. It looked like most of the “Pella-cans” donned traditional Dutch dress and came out for the parade. It was so much fun to see such a very well orchestrated parade with all ages of people dressed in traditional Dutch clothing. I loved watching the kids especially. No expense was spared for this parade, let me tell you! We loved it.

kids pushing old fashioned strollers pella tulip time

I highly recommend Pella Tulip Days. The only sad thing was the lack of tulips. Our non-existent winter coupled with a very early spring meant tulips in March instead of May {2015 tulips are blooming now, in mid April}. I would have loved to see all of the tulips. Oh well ~ it gives us an excuse to go back next year! 🙂

washing the street pella tulip time

Have you been to Pella Tulip Time? What are you waiting for?

Looking for more fun places to visit in Iowa? Here are a few places to consider:

Wild Cat Den

Figge Art Museum

I-80 Trucking Museum

American Gothic House Museum

dutch float

Printable Road Trip Games for Kids & Easy to Make Activities

The key to smooth car travel is lots of road trip games for kids. Enjoy this list of fun ways to keep your kids occupied in the car without resorting to electronics!printable road trip games for kids

Welcome! If you’re reading this post, chances are you’ve got a road trip coming up. Driving everywhere is one of the only ways we can afford to travel with six people in our family. The kids and I especially, log a lot of travel miles in my car. I know you will love the selection of road trip activities we’ve put together for you.

Enjoy the list and let me know what you liked most or would most like to see!

Printable Road Trip Games for Kids

Free Printables for Road Trip Activities

One thing I really like to do is print out a lot of fun activities for my kids and then put them on a clipboard. I make one for each kid so they don’t have to fight over one. These are my go-to websites for finding fun, printable games:

Travel Games for Kids – Moritz Fine Designs

Travel Scavenger Hunt for Tweens & Teens – Meander & Coast

Free Printables ~ Road Trips Games – The Organised Housewife

More Road Trip Travel Printables – The Mad House

DIY games and activities for road trips

Road Trip Scavenger Hunt {Printable} – Double the Batch

100 Would you rather questions for kids – The Measured Mom

The License plate Game {Geography} – Makeovers & Motherhood

If you’re a crafty mom, you might really like some of these NEXT ideas – they can help amuse your kiddos and keep the “Are we there yet questions” to a minimum!

DIY Road Trip Activities



If you’ve got a little time to prepare for your upcoming road trip, I really recommend making a few of these road trip activities. They take a little more time to prepare than simply printing out from your computer, but they are cute and educational too! Your kids will really enjoy them.

Creative activities for road trips

 Are We There Yet? – Repeat – The Via Colony

Pull Ball Magnets {aka Magnetic Pom Poms} – Mama Jenn

DIY Convenience for Road Trips

Crayon Roll Tutorial – The Pleated Poppy

Travel Memory Game – Kids Activity Blog

Road Trip Activity Bags – The Nerd’s Wife

DIY games and activities for road trips

Felt Mr/Mrs. Potate Head and Boy/Girl Dress Up Set – The Dagenais Daily

Truck Spotting – National Post

We’re heading out next week for our Spring Break in Florida! The links in this post will help us all have a pleasant 20-hour drive. What’s your best tip for surviving long road trips with your kids? 

If you liked this post on Fun Road Trip Games for kids, you will like these posts too:

Top 11 Secrets for planning a Disney Vacation on a Budget

25 Things to Keep in the Car for Ultimate Summer Fun

5 Easy Tips for a Clean Car even if your Kids are Slobs 

 

Road-trip Activities for Keeping Kids Occupied in the Car

An Afternoon at Sarasota Bayfront Park Florida

I recently spent an afternoon at the Sarasota Bayfront Park with great friends thanks. Sarasota Bayfront Park is a fun afternoon destination with your family, or on your own.

sarasota-bayfront-park

An Afternoon at Sarasota Bayfront Park

Many thanks to #DriveMitsubishi who loaned me a 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage so I could get to Sarasota to see my lovely friends!

From tiki bars to playgrounds, Sarasota Bayfront Park is a lot of fun to visit. It’s got great views of the city, million dollar yachts to drool over and dream about, and a fun lunch destination. Almost every time we go to Sarasota, we spent an hour or more hanging out at this park.

Sarasota Marina at Bayfront Park

Bayfront Park is a great place to oogle the yachts at the Marina. There are always some for sale and it’s fun to guess how much they might cost and day dream about what we could do if we were rich enough to actually own one.

walking-around-bayfront-park-in-sarasota

It’s also a great place to hunt for sea-life creatures. There’s always something fun to see – a school of fish, fun shells, and birds.

bayfront-marina-park-sarasota

The kids love to walk on the edge which makes me a little nervous. I walked right off a pier when I was 9 or 10 and plunged into the North Sea between Germany and Denmark because I wanted a better look at the yacht at the end. Luckily, a grown-up friend was nearby and he was able to yank me out after jumping in to save me. I still get a little worked up over that memory.

sarasota-bay-sailboats

olympic-wannabees-at-sarasota-bayfront-park

dolphin-fountain-at-bayfront-park

The sailboats are beautiful to watch and it’s relaxing to walk around the loop looking at the fountains and sculptures. The bronze “Olympic Wannabees” Sculpture and Dolphin Fountain are so pretty. There’s also a fun park for the kids to play on.

nature-at-bayfront-park

No kid can stay out of the fun trees. 🙂 They are irresistible.

olearys-tiki-bar-grill

And of course, I highly recommend heading to this park when you’re hungry. O’Leary’s Tiki Bar is the perfect spot to grab a drink and a bite to eat. We enjoyed listening to live music and watching the water. Super fun!

Unconditional Surrender Sculpture

unconditional-surrender-sarasota-sailor-statue

Not directly at Bayfront Park, but nearby, is the “Unconditional Surrender Sculpture – which is definitely something you’ll want to gawk at for a few minutes if you find yourself in Sarasota.  I’m sure you recognize it, right?!

#DriveMitsubishi

One of the really fun things about being a blogger is the neat opportunities I get! To make this trip possible, I was excited to test drive the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage. Since it’s a compact car, it wouldn’t work well for my large 6 person family, but it was a lot of fun to drive from Orlando to Bradenton so I could make this trip. My kids and husband were very jealous that I got to visit with our family friends for a quick visit. It’s not often that entire families like each other as well as we all do, but in this case everyone likes everyone. All eight kids and four adults get along famously. And I’m so thankful that Drive Mitsubishi made our quick visit possible.

The 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage

#DriveMitsubishi Sarasota Bayfront

  • Starting at $12,995, the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage is an amazingly affordable new car! An average of 40 mpg on the highway make it very fuel efficient for a non-hybrid vehicle and affordable to drive as well as buy.

drivemitsubishi

  • The 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage has received multiple awards in the mini-compact class: “Best All-Around Performance” and “Best Environmental Performance,” and provides excellent safety features, a great amount space for passengers, and a lot of cargo space in the back. And I can tell you from experience that the cell phone charger is located in the glove box. 🙂

The 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage

Many thanks to #DriveMitsubishi and our great friends for a fun day wandering around Sarasota Bayfront Park. It was quite a nice change enjoying the day with someone else’s kids, instead of my own. If you’re heading to Sarasota, make sure to head out to the Bayfront Park for an entertaining afternoon.

Sarasota Bayfront Park & Marina - fun place to spend the afternoon with your family or on your on.

100+ Summer Boredom Buster Ideas for Kids

If you need ideas for keeping the kids busy for the remainder of summer vacation, you’ll want to check out this list of 100+ summer boredom buster ideas for kids!

100 Summer Boredom Busters - Ideas for Kids

100+ Summer Boredom Buster Ideas for Kids

It’s officially the middle of the summer in my neck of the woods, and I’ve heard a lot of parents complaining that their kids need to go back to school. I’m not sure if it’s because the kids are fighting, bored, or just ornery, but my kids are driving me nuts too. That means it’s time to get creative and find fun things for them to do to occupy the last few weeks of summer vacation. That’s why we’ve put this list of fun art projects, outdoor activities, cooking, and other learning endeavors you can do with your kids. Hopefully, this list will help you find fun things to do for the rest of the summer with your kids, no matter their age.

Art Projects

Art projects are a lot of fun when the weather is warm and you can kick the kids outside to get messy and creative. If you’d also like indoor art projects, though, we’ve got you covered there too!

Summer Boredom Buster Ideas for Kids

Squirt Gun Canvas Art – SimplifyLiveLove

Glowing Camping Craft for Kids – Buggy and Buddy

Puffy Paint Ice Cream Cone Craft for Kids – Crafty Morning

Summer Boredom Buster Ideas for Kids

DIY: Sidewalk Chalk “Pops” – Project Nursery

10 Ways to Use Sidewalk Chalk – Castleview Academy

DIY Nature Paint Brushes for Kids – Apple Green Cottage

Add a weekly field trip day!

  • Head to a berry patch and pick your own berries. Find a list of Pick Your Own Farms by state here.
  • Find new museums to visit.
  • Make a goal to hit all of the parks and pools in your local area.
  • Head to a country road and stop and pick flowers.

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