Guys. This summer. Really with the weather?? I don't know about your kids, but mine are about to crawl up the walls. Some fervent prayer for sunshine is happening in the Roman household these days--about to have a family prayer circle to address the matter. Or a Sunshine Dance. Is that a thing? We might be doing a Sunshine Dance ritual later to blow off some of this extra energy.
Because we live in the Land of Unpredictable Weather (we've all heard the saying "If you don't like the weather in Pensacola, wait ten minutes"), the final segment in our Pensacola Summer Survival Guide will involve yet more indoor (with a few outdoor) activities so you always have a Plan B when Plan A is decimated by the weather. The activities in today's post are all Low-Cost activities (all under $10) that we usually plan/budget for once a week. Once again, all are listed in alphabetical order to prevent favoritism (just like when I list off my kids).
Blue Wahoos Games: Ever since the Maritime Ballpark was built several years ago, Blue Wahoos games have become a staple tradition for Pensacola families. Tickets usually run around $10 depending on the night, seating, and who is playing, so this is an outing we probably would only do every month or every two months. There are regularly scheduled fireworks displays after games, and they host a fun Kid's Club with prizes and a birthday message to your child put on their videoboard during games. They also run regular promotions during games, including a variety of food selections and prize packs. Throughout the summer the Maritime Park hosts Free Movie Nights at the ampitheather behind the stadium, as well as Blues on the Bay Concerts. See game schedules and purchase tickets here.
Bowling: I considered listing this in our "Free Activities" post since it is technically free, at least the kids games are free, but when it comes down to it, you do have to take some cost into consideration. While the kids bowl free, parents will have to pay for their games if they choose to play, and shoe rentals are not included (shoes are usually around $3 per child). Alley staff will happily put up bumpers, and provide a ball ramp if you have really little ones. All in all, a great way to spend a couple hours! Be aware that sometimes there are early morning bowling leagues or summer kids camps that take up all the lanes, so call ahead! Sign up for two free daytime games per day, per child, through the summer through Kids Bowl Free-- participating locations include:
Dreamland Skate Center: The Kids Skate Free program at Dreamland Skate Center, located at 2607 E. Olive Road, 32514, is very similar to the Kids Bowl Free program--kids 12 and under receive 2 free skate sessions per week throughout the summer. Initial set up fee of $4, and skate rental fees still apply. Hours for free skate sessions are also very specific, so always check the calendar before heading over to skate. Sign up for Kids Skate fFree at Dreamland Skate Center here!
Mama Latte Coffee Shop: This unique little coffee shop located in the heart of Milton at 5412 Stewart Street is not just any coffee shop--it's a coffee shop geared towards moms! They provide a child-friendly environment complete with high chairs and a kids play area. Definitely worth the drive if you're in Pensacola and looking for an environment where you can drink your coffee, not in your pajamas, WITH your kiddos! (and you can take the kids to visit nearby Carpenter's Park before or after your latte.)
Movies: Last week, in our Free Indoor Activities guide, I shared information about area theaters hosting free movies throughout the summer. Here are a couple of not-free but lower-cost options.
Pensacola Children's Museum: Located at 115 E. Zaragoza Street, this charming facility in the heart of Old Seville, Downtown Pensacola, could potentially distract your child/ren all day long. Tons of fun, hands-on activities and displays--as well as regularly scheduled activities including storytelling and guided learning. Tickets are good for 7 days, and include access to the rest of the Historic Pensacola Complex. Tickets are $4 for children ages 3-14, and $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and FREE if you have an active UWF Nautilus Card, or EBT Card with valid ID. See more information here.
Pensacola Kid's Place: Located at 875 E. Nine Mile Road, This is the PERFECT place for play dates, letting the kids roam free (well in sight) and literally lounging for hours. Mainly aimed at smaller kids (I would say 5 and under) the Pensacola Kid's Place boasts a great climber and slide set up with a ball pit (which is very clean I might add) a well as puzzles, blocks, and other toys, in a smaller space so that you can see your child at all times from the comfort of your Adirondack. Normal admission is $10 per child (adults are free) and they regularly run specials, so watch their Facebook page for discounted entry days. (And then stop into Maynard's Donuts, two doors down--you won't regret it. I should really have stock in the place by now.)
Uncle Sandy's Macaw Bird Park: Located at 9513 N Palafox St, Pensacola, FL 32534, this charming little place is an awesome way to spend a couple hours. Uncle Sandy's is a non-profit organization parrot rescue that allows the public time to interact with and get to know the birds. Admission is *cash only*, $5.00 per person 13 years of age and up, $2.00 per child from 7 to 13 years of age. Children under 6 years of age are free! Group admission rates are also available. Check their website for updates on hours.
Well that's it for our Pensacola Summer Survival Guide, folks. I really do hope that our compilation of activities helps you survive the summer--let us know how it goes! And please let me know if I missed anything. I am happy to include additional activities that maybe I forgot or just didn't know about!
Previous Post: Pensacola Summer Survival Guide, Part 1: Water Play!
Previous Post: Pensacola Summer Survival Guide, Part 2: Free Indoor Activities
As a mother and a doula, I am used to taking care of others, to pouring my heart and soul into other people’s experiences and needs. When you are so used to tending to others, it can be incredibly difficult to recognize when you need to be tended to.
Almost exactly a year ago, I heard about Rebecca Thompson’s work through a good friend and fellow birth worker, Jen Chendea. I was very interested in the topic of Healing Stories as I felt it would be a great addition of knowledge for my own work. I was not prepared when Jen asked me if I would be open to demonstrating the process of a Healing Story through telling the story of my fourth birth with my new little six-week-old daughter. At first I was reluctant—but why would I be reluctant? I had experienced a great—albeit difficult—empowering birth with a doula of my own and a fantastic team surrounding me.. How could I possibly benefit from something like this? But then I agreed—as a favor, I suppose, to Jen and the other attendees since no one else had stepped up to the plate.
The first part of Rebecca’s talk was an explanation of the process and what can be gained from it. When the second part—the part I would be participating in—came up, it was honestly uncomfortable. Being surrounded by a group of people, some of whom I knew, others who were complete strangers, getting ready to share things I didn’t really want to share made me realize there were things under the surface of my birth experience that needed to be tended to.
The process of telling Emmaleigh’s and my story involved telling our birth story from my perspective to the people surrounding me, and then again TO the baby as if she was an adult and could comprehend and process all of the emotions and thoughts surrounding the process. Emmaleigh lay on my stomach during this time, and was given access to breastfeed. But the storytelling included her processing what I was saying through her actions—which involved her making her own way up my belly to my breasts. This process is called a "breast crawl" and is something that any baby will automatically do from birth if given the chance. The idea behind giving a baby the opportunity to do the breast crawl is that the physiological response that comes from this physical activity--and the reward at the end, the breasts--helps the baby transition to life outside the womb and integrate the experience of birth. Basically, it helps the baby blend the lines between the womb and the world.
This sounds strange at first, but it was amazing to watch her physical cues coincide with the parts of the story I was telling. You wouldn't think a six-week-old would be capable of communicating much through anything other than crying, but it was clear as she wriggled her way up my belly, that she was listening and responding to our story. As I told it, she told it through her motions. And when I got to the hard part of our story—about an intervention I didn’t want—she responded with her own frustration, crying and frantic. And as soon as I acknowledged how frustrating it had to have been for her (I had never thought about how SHE felt about her birth!) she immediately calmed and latched herself on to my breast and began nursing.
I was shocked at the emotions I had not processed about the circumstances surrounding my birth and how simply telling our story helped integrate those emotions. I am used to being a support person on a birth team, not the person needing support. I suddenly realized that I had never seen my own birth from the eyes of the mother giving birth. I had analyzed it from every possible direction but my own. And being surrounded by a group of supportive, compassionate listeners made me realize it was absolutely necessary that I attend to myself before I could possibly expect to care for another mother.
When I first heard about Rebecca Thompson’s work, I thought it would only help those who had traumatic birth or life experiences—I never imagined it would be helpful in my circumstance. Thankfully I was wrong and now know how deeply birth, no matter how benign it seems, can impact a mother, a child, a partner or even a whole family.
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