Saturday, July 11, 2009

"You know what your problem is, it's that you haven't seen enough movies - all of life's riddles are answered in the movies." Steve Martin

Ever since I saw E.T., I've been hooked on movies. I love to watch movies with my kids at the cheap seats and indulge in a little buttered popcorn and rootbeer once in a while. There's nothing like watching monsters and aliens fighting against each other to take your mind off your troubles. If you're looking for affordable ways to see the movies this summer, or you're interested to know what is out there, take a look at what I've put together and let me know what you would add to this list. (I've left off the big name theaters because I figured we all know about those already).

Free Summer Movies at Overland Park Cinemas, click here for details. The next free summer movie will be Kung Fu Panda. They also have free movies on Wednesday mornings showing Adventures in Odyssey, click here for more info.

The Reel Theatres in Nampa now has a 3D theater. They offer their 3D movies at an amazing low price of $4.00. Tuesday and Midnights are only $3.00 They are currently showing Monsters vs Aliens in 3D. My husband took the older kids to this a few weeks ago and they had a great time. Click here for more info.

On Monday and Tuesdays mornings, the Northgate and Ontario Reel Theaters are offering "Summer Kid Movies" for only 2.00. They are currently showing The Tale of Desperaux. Click here to see what's showing after that.

AMAZING DEAL! On Wednesday and Thursday mornings, the Country Club on Overland and Nampa Reel Theaters are offering "Family Days in the Summer" for only 1.00 admission to their CURRENTLY playing G or PG rated movie. Right now you can see Monsters vs Aliens or Race to Witch Mountain for one dollar. They also have great prices on popcorn and drinks. Click here and here for details.

Meridian's "Cable One Movie Night." Join your friends and neighbors every Friday night for a free movie under the stars at Settler's Park. Friday July 17, beginning at dusk, they will be showing Journey to the Center of the Earth and passing out 3D glasses to the first 2000 guests. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and bug spray. Click here for upcoming movies every Friday night until August 28.

Boise's "Movies Under the Stars." This isn't just a movie night, it's been designed as an event. Beginning at 7 pm, the Boise Park and Rec department will be organizing games and things for kids to do between the ages of 6 -12. You are invited to come and bring your picnic dinner or enjoy food from the different vendors that will be on hand. Parking is free at the park or across the street at the library. On Saturday night, July 18, they will be showing Kung Fu Panda. The movie will begin at dusk and will be shown on a large inflatable screen. The next movie at Julia Davis Park won't be until August 22nd when they show The Wizard of Oz. Click here for more details.

And if you like watching movies under the stars, but you prefer doing so in the comfort of your car, check out the Parma Vu Drive In. It's about 40 minutes from Boise. Currently playing is Imagine That at 9:45 and Night at the Museum at 11:30.

For the more cultured types who are looking for independent and foreign films there is The Flicks. I also love the Egyptian Theatre. They not only show movies in this historical theater, they host concerts and various special events.

And if you just feel like staying home, there is always Netflix.

For more information about our local movie theaters, check out the Idaho

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Take a Hike

The weather has been cooler lately so the kids and I decided it was time for a hike. I got on the fabulous Ridge to Rivers website to search out which hike would be best for us. We settled on a hike up to Table Rock. The kids are familiar with Table Rock since we made the drive to the top last fall.

So Tuesday morning we put on our hiking shoes and headed for the trailhe
ad behind the Old Penitentiary. (Another trailhead can also be found across from the Warm Springs Golf Course
parking lot). We pulled into the parking lot of the penitentiary and guess who we saw getting off of their bikes? My aunt Irene and uncle Paul. Wow! What a coincidence to run into them. They had the same idea that morning to hike Table Rock. They waited for me to put sunscreen on the kids and then we all hiked together. The boy and the baby made it about half way until they were ready to turn around. Poor boy had a really bad stomachache and said, "Ow, ew, ow, ew" the whole way down. My aunt and uncle and the girl kept going until they made it to the top. They snapped some great pictures and had a great time. I was so glad they were there.

There is a kiosk at the base of the trail that shows you a map of all the different routes to the top. Some are more difficult than others. The Ridge to Rivers website has a link to family friendly hikes that is very informative. Give them a call if you have any questions. To get to the Idaho Penitentiary parking lot follow these directions. The kiosk and trail markers will show you where to go from there.

What to know before you go: Go on a cool day or in the early morning. There is no shade on the trail and it gets very hot. Take your cell phone for emergencies. Bring water and wear sunscreen and a hat. Wear hiking boots or good shoes. The hike took us about 2 hours, but we are went at a snail's pace. Have fun. Enjoy being in nature and taking in some beautiful views of the valley.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Free lunch program for those who need it

Are you worried about how you're going to afford to feed your children this summer?  Have your children been receiving free or reduced lunches at their school?  Then you'll be happy to hear about the Summer Feed Program.  It's awesome. (Thanks to Smullin Family for telling us about it in her comment last month. I had never heard about it before but now we're hooked). We've been going every day for the last two weeks. What a wonderful service! Free lunches for kids are handed out at schools and local parks to help keep children from low-income families (that would be us) fed this summer. Children ages 1 to 18 are handed a free lunch and a free milk.  The program ends on July 31st, so click on the links to find your nearest location and go check it out.  **If you are not a low income family, please do not take advantage of the free summer lunch program.   It is intended for those who need it and I would hate to see this program taken away from those who really benefit from it.
Click here to see locations for Boise School District.
Click here to see locations for Meridian School District.
Also, the Idaho Food Bank is participating.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Meridian's most popular park

Settler's Park is Meridian's most popular park. There's a lot of amenities such as a splash pad, adventure island playground, climbing boulders, interactive sound garden, large fishing pond, ball fields, and concessions. This year they added more seating, shade umbrellas, tennis courts, and really cool horseshoe pits.

The first time we went to Settler's Park I didn't have a fun experience. There were TONS of people there and with so much for the kids to do, it was difficult to keep an eye on them. I was by myself and it seemed like everyone there was with five of their best friends. So I felt really dumb. It was also very hot and there was no shade and no place to sit.

That was last year. This year I was happy to see that they added some tables and benches and shade umbrellas. We've avoided the crowds this year by going in the morning at 11:00 am or in the evening at 8pm. And we've met friends there. It's been great.

Things to know before you go: Wear your swim suit because you're going to want to get wet. They turn the water on at 11 am. Speaking of water, do not let your kids drink the water as they play in the splash pad. Last year (or was it the year before?) it was rumored that they found crypto in the water and lots of people got sick. Keep dirty diapers and kids with diarrhea away from the water.

Also, the ground gets very hot, especially under the climbing boulders and play equipment. I would suggest they wear sandals that can get wet so they can go back and forth between the play areas and the splash pad without burning their feet. Bring an umbrella and a chair if you are going during a busy time of day. Bring money for snacks and drinks. Don't forget your camera. Have fun!

Check out this link for more information.