It’s fall y’all! Even though it doesn’t feel like it when I get into my car mid-afternoon and it reads 100 degrees. I don’t know about you, but I am sooooo over this lingering summer heat! So this New Yorker is going to fake it till we make it! We’re officially in “fall in South Florida mode” here in our home, and you could be too!
I’ve lived locally for quite some time and had never been to Butterfly World in South Florida until recently.
With approximately 20,000 butterflies on display and over 150 species, it is a site to see!
Butterfly World in South Florida
The butterflies were absolutely lovely and there were so many of them! So many different colors and various sizes from as little as your thumb to as big as both of your hands! With the main exhibit created like a rain forest, it’s hard not to get lost among the mist and foliage and of course the magical butterflies that encircle you.
Luckily, there are promotions and coupons for entry, which makes the cost much easier on the wallet. (Plus, children under two are FREE!)
But, why pay for something that your baby won’t remember?
It’s true that little ones do not typically begin making memories until about two or three years old, but as parents we can provide them with experiences.
How about creating a DIY book titled “Our First Trip to Butterfly World?”
You can do this with just about anything that you would like your child to remember…that first trip to the petting zoo or a summer road trip. All you need are some brochures, magazine pictures, real photos or printed images from the computer.
You can place the pictures in a cheap 4×6 album or in plastic baggies (which you must staple and tape the edges), add some text and “poof” there’s your memory book!
No need to upload photos and send away for a book that you’re nervous about your little one tearing up– these types of books are durable, memorable and cheap!
Click here for a step by step guide to make an easy memory book: http://www.pinterest.com/EmbracingEd/
We are great at taking photos with our phones and posting the pics to social media, but whatever happens to those pictures? Do they ever become concrete or are they just a memory saved to a SIM card?
Children learn and grow from the experiences we provide them. Can you think of an experience that you would like to have made a memory book for? Comment below!
Tips for visiting Butterfly World in in South Florida:
Go early to avoid the heat. Doors open at 9 am.
I used my stroller, but it would be much easier wearing a baby carrier, only because of the many doors between exhibits.
Sunscreen is a MUST for you and your little one. The exhibits are quite shady and screened in, but I actually burned a little bit.
Don’t forget to look for coupons or promotions, otherwise it can be a pricey outing.
How can I describe the Green Cay Nature Center???
It’s a walk… Okay, it’s a long walk.
But, this place is a Nature Lover’s Dream!!
There are few places in South Florida that give me the feeling that I’m completely off the grid, without the off-the-grid travel time.
If you are looking to tire out the kids with a wonderful walk, THIS is the place for you!
When you are looking for a space to clear your head, THIS is the place for you!
If you’re just looking for a beautiful backdrop for some pictures while learning a little about nature, then THIS is also the place for you!
The Green Cay Nature Center has something to please everyone. This gem overlooks 100 acres of constructed wetland, it features 1.5 miles of elevated boardwalk.
Along the boardwalk there are interpretive educational signs about the habitat to help make this a learning experience
If you have boys like I do, then you are going to LOVE the open space. They felt free to roam (safely) ahead of me.
That is, until this city slicker (me) realized there were actual gators in the water…
“Off the rails!”
Seriously, if I so much as hear a lizard rustling in a bush my NY heart skips a beat! Needless to say, we kept them close the rest of the way. I’m still learning!
There’s no shortage of spectacular views here, its a photographer’s dream…
Now, we did brave this place on a hot summer day. So about a gallon of sunblock was required!
I would recommend waiting to go until summer is over at least, you know like February?? Good job Florida!
The boys loved stopping at all of the signs and learning about what wildlife lived in that region, then searching high and low on a scavenger hunt of sorts to try and spot them.
There was even a little spot for us to stop and have a snack and get hydrated.
“No, you cannot feed the gators!” Gulp!
The Nature Center inside is a welcome air conditioned break with lots of cool and informative exhibits. We hit this on the way back for a well deserved break.
Although the Green Cay Nature Center exhibits are closed Sunday – Tuesday (Open from 9AM-3PM Wed – Sat), the boardwalk is open daily from 7AM – sunset. Awesome sunsets in the summertime!
Overall, the Green Cay Nature Center was a total score for our family. Any time that we can slow things down and take time to just enjoy the simple things like a walk with your family, is time well spent. In these busy times, where it seems social demands have a larger stake in our everyday lives, it’s great to just “disconnect” in order to “reconnect” with what really matters.
Being out in nature at the Green Cay Nature Center without any (wait for it, wait for it…) battery-operated devices gives you the opportunity to truly reflect on what is important to you (you folks know me so well). Plus, research proves it’s great at relieving stress and good for the “crunchy” mind/body & soul!
Until next time…
Modern Boca Crunchy Mom
My two boys and I recently visited The Boynton Beach Schoolhouse Museum & Learning Center. My sons just LOVE this museum because their Train Exhibit is second to none. Any #trainobsessed youngin’ is bound to be impressed!
I’m getting ahead of myself here…
Let’s start up front. This is where you are graciously greeted by the lighthouse manager, Hannibal Pierce. Some of the little ones may be a bit intimidated. It took a few visits for my boys to warm up to him.
He is a wealth of knowledge on all things concerning Boynton Beach, including where its name originated.
We hit the Boynton Beach Schoolhouse Museum first floor exhibits to learn all about farm life. The boys were able to milk the cows and drive the tractor. This is while they are learning all about fresh farm produce and its benefits. (My hippie heart skips a beat!)
Lo and behold, we always spend a large bulk of our time at the awesome Train Exhibit.
Equipped with all the “bells and whistles” (pun intended), there is a station where you may purchase your tickets and climb aboard! Needless to say, this is where the action happens.
The kiddies are able to shovel coal, greet passengers and even ring the bell! The train table is where the fun is. All the kids scramble to take their place at the table. And, all the “helicopter” parents claim their spot to keep a watchful eye on their tots.
I say this with love, I too was once a “hovercraft” myself, but I’ve now since been reformed.
Fun fact: The term “Helicopter Parent” was actually coined by the (in)famous Dr. Haim Ginott, child psychologist. He is also the author of “Between Parent & Child,” a book that reads like a parents’ love letter to children. It encourages Mom and Dad to communicate with their kids on a platform of mutual respect and dignity. He’s sort of the “Godfather” of the “gentle”, “conscious” or “human” style of parenting that is growing in the natural community today. You can find more on that topic HERE.
The Boynton Beach Schoolhouse Museum fun isn’t over yet though. There’s more to be had upstairs!
Upstairs is filled with more enjoyment for kids and parents alike. There is a tube maze for the little ones to run and play and learn all about amphibians. There are comfy seats for parents too. There’s also plenty of sailing fun at the boat exhibit and even a puzzle/sensory area for the really tiny tots.
Across the way on the second floor is a grocery store, gas station, post office and doctor’s office ready for imaginative play.
This is usually a big hit, but on this day, the boys were ready for lunch!
There is no eating or drinking in the Boynton Beach Schoolhouse Museum, so we headed to the “Stage” area outside. My kids were happy to pause and have a snack. There are plenty of cool spaces, benches or picnic tables in the surrounding parks around the museum. But, who can eat while looking at this????
We usually end our museum visit with a good time at the Kids Kingdom Playground with lots more imaginative and playful fun.
Growing up in today’s “tech age”, there are plenty of kid zones and play places that have battery operated toys, TV’s and even video games. Not to take away from the fun at any of these locations, but with the current over-saturation of “device-led play” and the addiction to said devices (said the mommy blogger…), it’s refreshing to find “plug free” zones where the possibilities are endless and imagination can run wild.
My goal at #CampMom this past summer has been to find as many of these natural playscapes as possible. It can be a bit tricky as it gets unbearably hot in the South Florida sun! But, places like The Schoolhouse Museum and their affordable Family Member Package make that possible. A membership purchased at the Schoolhouse Museum will also get you into a list of “sister” museums nearby such as:
• Boca Children’s Museum, Boca Raton
• Explorations V Children’s Museum, Lakeland
• My Jewish Discovery Place Children’s Museum, Plantation
Hopefully we will see you there next time!