Well, happy holidays GoMomGo readers!
What are some of your December must-do's in Lane County?
My troupe always heads to the "Snowfall" at 5th Street Market and sees the Hosanna Holiday Adventures production of Narnia. Mingled in with some cookie exchanges, caroling, Advent traditions, and more, Oregon is a quintessential place to spend the holidays.
And this year we were invited to start a new tradition in Cottage Grove!
The Village Green Resort is a hotel and meeting venue just 25 miles south of Eugene. They host public events throughout the year and are a popular choice for wedding and corporate events.
But at Christmas time, they take it up a notch!
A 14-acre garden adorned with over 300,000 lights.
Take your own photos with Santa with a very minimal (if any) line.
Ambience complete with strolling carolers, fire pits, and holiday music.
German food to comfort and gluhwein, cocoa, or cider to sip.
I really appreciated the special touches throughout the resort.
If the cold became too much to bare at any point, the Village Green offers a Family Loft within the hotel to play games, write letters to Santa, and sip on a hot beverage.
And be sure to check out the artisan market with local vendors!
My favorite things were exploring the tunnel of lights with my family...
...and taking in the talented choir! Here they are inside the Village Green lobby.
The best deal is to make a night of it and purchase one of their overnight packages which includes event tickets for all, food and beverage, keepsake mugs, and breakfast. Starts at $84. The hotel features a restaurant and lounge too!
Heard of #mealprepmonday?
It is the answer to preventing Thursday night drive-thru suppers or forty dollar delivery pizza. You experience what it is like to have a sous chef in your own kitchen. And you JUST FEEL BETTER, because you save money, time, and are eating nutritiously.
As a mother of three boys (with one under three months!), my week is altogether more harmonious when I reserve just a little time for meal prep on Sunday or Monday. It’s my Sous Chef Day, where I prep enough ingredients in advance so that I breeze through my weeknight dinner menu. Sure, scheduling and preparing for meal prep day is somewhat of a pain, but I am certain that one hour of prep one day per week saves me hours of time later.
Remember our last post on the new Whole Foods store in Eugene and how they are here to serve families?
Whole Foods in Eugene is partnering with GoMomGo once again to offer a $50 gift card giveaway to one of our readers and to inspire five weeknight dinners that are quick, healthful, and affordable.
Here’s how the Eugene store can help with #mealprepmonday –
The Meat Department.
The happy butchers are there to work for you!
Our menu this week includes chopped bacon…so I asked them to chop it to reduce my prep time in the kitchen.
They assured me that they can and will prepare anything in the meat counter in any way that you ask.
Discount Days. Coupons. Sales.
Try to shop on a Monday and you will score $3 off your rotisserie chicken.
Additionally, download the Whole Foods app and peruse the coupons and current sales. They currently have a $5 off $20 of produce coupon available.
And don’t forget to check the Whole Deal paper coupon booklet, available in the store.
Freebies. If you are bringing the kiddos, stop by the Customer Service Desk for a free snack.
365 Brand Items. Look for their private Whole Foods or 365 label on all sorts of products – Whole Foods has these high quality products manufactured by reputable companies so they can offer them at a lower price.
A Whole Foods-Inspired
Here in Lane County we have a host of October-ish things to anticipate.
One is the gem of a farm we have in
For instance, long after other farms close for the season, Detering remains open.
Detering has a story.
Siblings Greig and Becky are the 3rd generation of Deterring’s to run the family farm. They’re committed to maintaining the values that their red-suspender-wearing father Roger passionately instilled…celebrating the seasons, providing affordable, family memories, and teaching children where their food comes from. Becky says, “I love the feeling of the fall here at Detering. And we all look forward to the field trips we host all season.”
And this is THE TIME of the year to visit! They kick off Apple Daze this weekend and continue through October (8am-7pm on Saturdays, 8am-6pm on Sundays).
Samples of apple cider and apple cobbler. Live music. Free corn maze and hay bale maze. Play area. Face painting.
apple launcher, feeding the barn animals, and a tractor ride out to the u-pick orchard (kids are actually free for that one, adults are $1).
join the Apple Daze Kickoff with pumpkin carving demonstrations and giveaways.
bring a decorated or carved pumpkin and receive free Apple Blaster tickets!
come dressed in your Halloween costumes for FREE apple blaster tickets and PRIZES for best costume!
My family happens to be regulars at Detering. Recently, we tramped through the mazes, hit up the sample tables, launched a dozen apples and played. But the highlight was definitely picking apples… once we aggressively interviewed the staff for their recommendations.
After all, Detering has over 30 apple varietals!
Melrose and the Jonagolds.
Grab this handy chart at the farm to get an idea of what kind of apples to get for your dish or sauce. U-pick vary around 72 cents/pound.
Also available for picking:
pears, tomatoes, peppers and flowers.
Now, go! Enjoy!
Tell them GoMomGo sent you!
May I recommend Nearby Nature?
My son and I went to visit and get a feel for their summer day camps. This is the part of the Learnscape, which encompasses fruit trees, herbs, native plants, and vegetables.
Each class has one paid adult instructor, one adult volunteer, and one teen volunteer. There are a max of 12 kids per camp. There is currently plenty of room in the preschool camps while the elementary age camps are filling up fast.
Visit their calendar to read about all of Nearby Nature's offerings!
Recently my 6-year old son and I were invited to check out a brand new business, AllStar Rock Foundation, in downtown Eugene.
Caitlin Johnson, their daughter, is AllStar’s bass instructor. She is a bubbly, enthusiastic, generous soul who is so excited for the opportunity to teach Eugene her beloved instrument. She has played with some serious musicians – most recently having played bass for Dalton Rapattoni’s band, Flyaway Hero. Rapattoni is the most current third place winner from American Idol. She was sweet enough to help my three year-old with bass scales…
Last fall when he turned 6, we began a quest for a martial arts studio in Eugene – hoping to find a fun, natural way for him to learn to discipline his body. No one in my family has trained in martial arts before so we were uncertain of what to look for. After visiting a few places, we still felt unsure. I’m seriously so glad we took a chance on one more place.
The kids are quickly taught that they are teammates and are there to assist each other. There is an intentional balance of play, instruction and drills. I also noticed the coaches were grown adults rather than high school or junior students. It is abundantly clear that MMA’s coaches understand child development and how to work with each age level to help them succeed.
I knew in our first visit that we had found our place, and as I was thanking Coach Adam following class, my son ran up to me – as if on cue – and declared, “MOM! I pick this place!!”
After several months of watching my son develop his skills, grow in confidence and just have fun in his 2x week MMA regimen, I was a bit jealous. The office manager, Holly, encouraged me to try the women’s kickfit class – so I have officially been training at MMA too. You know the kind of exercise that hurts so good? This is women’s kickfit at MMA. Coach Shannon crafts a workout that balances strength and cardio all while learning self-defense skills.
GoMomGo: What are some of the long-term benefits of a student training in Jeet Kune Do and Gracie Jiu Jitsu? What other training styles do students learn and how do they differ?
Coach Adam: McKenzie Martial Arts is a self-defense school. We are the only school teaching both Bruce Lee's contemporary Jeet Kune Do and Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Everything we teach is 100% intended for, and applicable to real life street defense and bully defense. We are grateful that there are traditional studios in our community that carry on the time-honored customs of Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Kung Fu, etc. but what we teach at MMA is fighting concepts. Everyone that leaves our school will be able to realistically defend themselves regardless of their age, size or ability.
GoMomGo: Your motto is "keep it playful." Can you explain that?
Coach Adam: This is an amazing motto that comes from our Gracie Jiu Jitsu family. It truly embodies the lifestyle and attitude at McKenzie Martial Arts. There is a certain level of intensity and seriousness that is inherent with self-defense and combat sports. Most people can easily match this intensity and "KeepitReal", but we want to instill in our students a training philosophy that will keep you on the mats for a lifetime. Life is serious, "KeepitPlayful" is a good reminder to us all to have fun and stay safe!
GoMomGo: MMA consistently has been voted top martial arts studio by the Register Guard...what do you suppose are some of the reasons MMA stands out?
Coach Adam: We are excited to announce that we were just again voted the 2016 top Martial Arts Studio in Lane County! We have been honored with this award every year since we have opened our doors and are humbled each time by this amazing community recognition. We believe that we stand out from other martial arts schools because of our realistic and contemporary approach. We truly have a unique system that appeals to much of our community.
GoMomGo: Anything else you'd want families who are new to martial arts to know?
Coach Adam: McKenzie Martial Arts is truly dedicated to empowering our community. We believe that the stronger we are as individuals, the stronger we are as a whole. We hope that everyone has a chance at some point to come "KeepitPlayful" with us!
Thanks, Adam! So great to hear all about McKenzie Martial Arts!
Current MMA Schedule.
Also, visit their FAQ page for more helpful info.
CURRENT STUDENTS – mention you read the GoMomGo article and get 10% off in the pro shop through May 21.
Be sure to check out MMA's awesome summer camps, too. They have an early bird discount through June 20. Such a perfect way to get your kids moving & learning this summer!
My little guy hummed the Star Wars theme song the whole way there. He is the kid who uses the Force to open the automatic sliding doors at Target (moms of little boys -- you know what I'm talking about). So I was quite appreciative of the Star Wars-y ambience, complete with music and a video, upon arrival.
We were greeted by Joe, one of B4K instructors in Lane County. B4K is a franchised business with a local chapter in Lane County, recently started by Zach Smith and his mother.
Zach said, “I originally found Bricks 4 Kidz while looking for cool education programs for kids. I've always been very passionate about helping people improve their lives. Bricks 4 Kidz looked like the perfect opportunity to offer something fun and educational to make a positive impact in the community. I showed it to my mom and she fell in love with the idea too.”
B4K classes provide an extraordinary atmosphere for boys and girls, where they learn, build, and play with Lego bricks. Zach said, “I really wish I had something like this when I was a kid. It's very inspiring watching the fun and excitement among the kids while they build creativitiy and learn things that help get them ready for the real world. The kids and the teachers have a blast together which makes it very rewarding.”
Learn more here about B4K. In addition to spring break and summer camps, they also do a daily after-school program at a number of local schools. Check the list here.
I appreciate how B4K does not use Lego themed sets (which are no small cost and are NEVER on sale) and teaches kids concepts to use their imagination with the basic, classic Lego bricks. I also appreciate Joe’s thoughtful, conscientious instruction. He emphasized play and kept encouraging kids they could do these challenging projects on their own – even when the kids were stumped. They perservered and made it through a very tough project!
B4K wants GoMomGo readers to know that the program is the perfect combination of fun and educational. The hands-on building helps engage kids. In the after school classes B4K teaches concepts of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) which gives kids valuable concepts and skills that will help them later in life. They work in teams and learn to share and work together.
Zach and B4K are happy to offer a summer camp discount to GoMomGo readers. Please call 541-600-6614, mention GoMomGo and receive $25 off a summer camp!
Summer is coming soon! Make sure you check our summer camp page to start planning and stay tuned for our next Summer Camp feature with Old School Eugene!
This month we are featuring The Dancing Weasel Toy Store as our business of the month. You can read interview from mother-daughter owners here, and now get a first hand report of what a visit to their store is like!
Getting there and basic info:
Whenever I hear a business is downtown, I hesitate before bringing my two-year old along. I assume the trip will include a half-hour or so of cruising the one-way streets while trying to dodge metered parking and then tweaking my back as I wrangle my toddler down a busy sidewalk…but The Dancing Weasel has their own private, easily accessible and safe lot. A relief!
Monday-Saturday: 10am to 5:30pm, Sunday: 11am to 5pm
30 E. 17th Ave., Eugene, Oregon 97401
(Between Willamette and Oak, right across the street from Brails Restaurant.)
Speaking of toddlers, I also don’t sign up to bring him to an unfamiliar store on my first visit. You just never know when the doe-eyed sweet face will turn Incredible Hulk and send his wrath out on a beautifully executed store display.
However, I told myself, this is a toy store for goodness sake, I’m sure they’re familiar with toddlers.
And yes, they were ready for my little Hulk. He innocently plucked a few things from the shelves to check them out before toddling back to the well-planned out play area in the back of the store. There was a large table with toys for him to peruse, books to thumb through, and a couple ride-on toys to try out. He was completely satisfied and mesmerized, and I got to do my own toy shopping for an upcoming birthday party.
Aya was manning the store that day and was full of ideas for my gift. The items they carry come at all sorts of price-points and I was able to get a thoughtful, creative gift for under ten bucks.
AND, they gift-wrap. For FREE.
A few other things I loved about my visit?
- They have NO commercial products in their store. No Elsa. No Avengers. Just well-researched, thoughtful products – some of which you can try out at the store. It’s a very hands-on kind of place.
- They have an ongoing calendar of events and activities that cater to kids and their parents. Story-time, holiday events, music-time, etc. Check out their online calendar for details. They always host a story or music time at 11AM on Thursdays plus lots of special events and sales throughout the year.
- Danita and Aya are awesome and generous and do all sorts of things to help kids in Lane County. They also have agreed to giveaway a few of their products to three GoMomGo readers!
Comment below with your mom super-hero name, and the three winners will be announced MONDAY, May 25.
If you entered in Post I, no need to enter again.
If you win, rush on down to The Dancing Weasel as prizes are first come, first pick, and you have seven days to claim your gift! Gifts are pictured below. Good luck!
It is a lifesaver – especially during these chronically cold and wet days of winter.
You know the giant plastic slides and climbing structures and really cool ride-on toys you wish you owned but don’t have room for and don’t want to spend money on?
WIPG has multitudes of ALL those things. There is a roller coaster, two giant climbing structures, a mini trampoline, see-saw, lots of bouncing, rocking plastic animals and dozens of tricycles, wagons, and cars. There are giant building blocks, tunnels, and buckets of toys, books and puzzles. AND YES, there is an area reserved for babies and walkers complete with exer-saucers and tiny climbing structures.
The cost for WIPG? For your entire family to join for January through June of 2015, it is just $40. Your only other commitment is to help set up or tear down the play area two times a month, to participate in a toy-cleaning once per quarter, and to serve on a committee that requires about an hour of your time each quarter.
That’s it. You can attend WIPG as often as you like, for as long as you like with this great deal!
The WIPG has been meeting at Bethesda Lutheran Church in West Eugene on 4445 Royal Avenue for nearly two decades. The church generously donates a large play space and storage area for WIPG. You do not have to be a member of the church to join WIPG as it is not a religious organization. The relationship between the church and the co-op is just a great example of the caring, generous virtue within our Eugene community.
As enticing as WIPG may be sounding to you right about now, it may also sound a little germ-tastic. But the WIPG maintains a very clean environment by having disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer available, stringently deep-cleaning the toys on a regular basis, and upholding a sick policy.
I am so glad we decided to join almost a year and a half ago. It is where my oldest son perfected his pedaling skills, where my youngest son wore his first Halloween costume, and where I have met many kind, compassionate and creative friends. In the warmer months we find ourselves naturally scheduling meet-ups at nearby parks and farms.
You are invited to try a FREE week!
Just contact Westside Indoor Playground via
the WIPG Facebook page
& mention this post for one FREE week pass
valid January 27-February 28, 2015
Westside Indoor Playground
4445 Royal Avenue, Eugene
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Tuesday and Thursday
January through June 2015
WIPG Facebook page
Christy Rice is a mom to two great boys. They love to explore all that Lane County has to offer. Christy is a superstar at researching & finding awesome picks & deals for GoMomGo! Check out more of her posts here.
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