theCityKids

Once upon a time there were four rabbits...

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In this whimsical and heartwarming adaptation of a classic story, the cast of “Peter Rabbit and Me” invite the audience back in time to an English garden estate in the late nineteenth century where an imaginative little girl dreams of a magical world with talking animals and playful adventures. 

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this timeless tale, a young Beatrix, played beautifully by sixth-grader Piper Murphy, dreams of a world that is less rigid than her Victorian nursery.  While her brother Bertrum prepares to depart for boarding school, Beatrix is busy imagining Peter Rabbit and his siblings Flopsy and Mopsy. Peter Rabbit is a thrill-seeker, and despite the warnings from Mother Rabbit he sneaks into the curmudgeon Mr. McGregor’s garden.  Avoiding a few close encounters, Peter makes it home safely, but not before getting a taste of adventure and the delicious vegetables Mr. McGregor’s garden has to offer.

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The Tale of Peter Rabbit, written by Beatrix Potter, has been a long favorite of children, and the IRT’s adaptation, by Aurand Harris, is sure to be a crowd pleaser with both children and adults. The children in the audience sit on the floor and become the vegetables of the garden. They are frequently nibbled on and pointed at by the actors, which holds them captive.  Children explode in giggles as Mr. McGregor chases the mischievous Peter Rabbit throughout the garden. They gasp and cover their mouths as Peter Rabbit poses as a scarecrow, and they shout “that way” and squirm in anticipation as Peter Rabbit gets caught on the gate, in danger of becoming rabbit soup.  Children are even invited to sing-along with the mouse as he tries to distract the old farmer.

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While the children are mesmerized, the adults will be impressed by the poise of the young cast. Five of the seven primary cast members are children, yet they act with such grace and composure that it’s hard to believe they aren’t professionals. And while the play itself will surely invoke some nostalgia, watching the joy of the children in the audience is entertaining in and of itself.

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If you love literature; if you appreciate a classical tale of adolescent rebellion, adventure and imagination; if you like to watch your children giggle as they experience a story coming to life before them, then this should make it on to your must-do Holiday list!

 

What: “Peter Rabbit and Me”

When: November 21-December 20

Where: Indiana Repertory Theatre, Cabaret theater

Why: Holiday fun for the whole family!

 

Best for ages 4 and up, but use parental judgement for younger children.

The show runs approximately 55 minutes

Tickets are $20 for chairs, $15 for adult floor, and $8 child and student floor

 

 

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Birthday It Up At The Urban Chalkboard

A question that gets asked a lot by our members is, "Where is a good place to have a birthday party for my kid?".

I was asking that same question back in March when it came time to celebrate my daughter's second birthday.

My home was out of the question, but I could not think of a place that would cater to children ages 0-9, their parents & the rest of the extended family.

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You see, birthdays in our family, are not taken lightly. Each of us gets that one day a year to celebrate life, create memories and eat as much cake as you want. It is a tradition that the whole family gets wrapped up in, which meant, they were all coming to town for this party!

When I asked my fellow moms where to have this party I got some of the usual suspects, but then The Urban Chalkboard was mentioned. It was an "A Ha" moment because my daughter LOVES The Urban Chalkboard. I was not sure if they even offered birthday parties, so I gave the owners a call and found out they did. 

Best Idea Ever = Birthday at The Urban Chalkboard

{{{If you have never heard of The Urban Chalkboard you can check out our sweet post right here}}}

I was delighted to find out that I would not have to decorate, clean, make goodie bags, snacks or bake anything. ALL of this was going to be provided along with activities and entertainment to keep the entire family happy.

I was actually excited to attend the party and make some memories with my tot! Owner Jessica gave me a list of party ideas and themes and made it super simple to come up with a unique birthday celebration.

My daughter's favorite cartoon is Angelina Ballerina so Jessica created a party just for her that incorporated her favorite character. 

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  • Each guest went home with a bag of goodies that included a Day Pass and Tote Bag from The Urban Chalkboard

  • The Angelina Ballerina book read to the kids was gifted to the birthday girl and signed by all of her favorite TUC staff members.

  • Adult guests were smitten bottomless cups of freshly brewed coffee and time to chat while the kids played away.

  • Did I mention that I did not have to clean up!!!
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What did I enjoy most about this party? I was in attendance, in the moment & enjoying the time with my daughter.

Hopefully she remembers that too. She played and enjoyed the day while in her element; sharing the time with her favorite people. 

Thankful that was all made possible by simply letting Indy's only play cafe, The Urban Chalkboard, to make the day special.

Find out more about The Urban Chalkboard:

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452 E Carmel Dr
Carmel, IN 46032
(317) 815-5711

***disclaimer: Michelle was offered a special rate in exchange for a blog post about her daughters birthday party***
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The Potty Training War Wages On…
I just realized that my one year anniversary of beginning potty training with my daughter Annabelle just passed in late April and I’m amazed at how fast the calendar months flew by. Notice I say it’s the anniversary of the beginning of potty training, and not when we potty train-ED. 

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We didn’t have the magical 3-day experience that I’ve heard about from fairies in faraway lands. Nope. Because God blessed me with a pretty good amount of patience, he gave me a toddler that didn’t want to get it for like six freaking months. I died a slow death, along with my patience. 

Let's not even talk about nighttime potty training. 

OK, fine, I'm embarrassed to admit that we just moved Annabelle out of nighttime Pull-Ups about a month ago, just shy of the one year mark. I read that nighttime training can take longer, like even a year, so I honestly just sort of got used to the Pull-Ups and didn't try to phase them out sooner. The Internet gave me a year so I took it.
"At our recent 18-month checkup I asked my pediatrician when I should start potty-training my son, and he wrote me a prescription for a chill pill." 

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I almost can’t even talk about my potty training experience with Annabelle without wanting to curl up into the fetal position on a cold floor. I mean, at the risk of giving TMI, Annabelle tested every patient cell in my body with the whole pooping in her panties thing. And naturally she would time her #2’s as we’re walking out the door running late to something. I actually started to take it personally. WHY DOES SHE HATE ME SO MUCH?

Thank God we’ve made it through the storm, for the most part, and I lived to tell the tale. It’s O-V-E-R, I’m FREE! No more potty training for a while…. Er, at least I thought.

Potty training round two (shoot me now)

A couple weeks ago a fellow mom posted a pic on Facebook of her son potty training at 20 months and I literally started to choke on my wine. This can’t be happening already. My son is 18 months and it just dawned on me that we have entered into the potty training window. 

No! There’s NO. EFFING. WAY I’m ready for round two. My heart can’t take it. She has planted the seed in my head. I wasn’t even THINKING about potty training and now it’s on the mother freaking brain. 

At our recent 18 month checkup I asked my pediatrician when I should start potty training my son and he wrote me a prescription for a chill pill. He said boys take longer to potty train than girls, so I should wait until like 2 ½ or 3 before I start. Oh good, permission to avoid it for a while longer, thank you GOD!

I mean, part of the reason I was shocked at the 20 month old potty training is because I couldn’t even imagine my son getting it this early. Was her son a prodigy? He must be.

And then my mind was blown the other day when my son ran into the bathroom and said; “I want potty! I want potty!” 

Excuse me?

Come again? 

Did I hear you say you wanted to KILL ME?

So of course I sat him on the potty for a few days and got nothing but giggles. Ok, he’s not ready. But then, he did the unthinkable before bath time, HE PEED IN THE POTTY! OMG, He’s a prodigy, too! He’s the smartest baby in all the land! 

And then he did it again the next day before bath! And then he did it AGAIN on the third day at the Children’s Museum – a public bathroom with no potty seat cover!! Smartest. Baby. Ever.

And then… well and then he totally stopped peeing in the potty. 

He says he wants potty, but when I pull his pants down he arches his back and tries to stand up, landing his feet in the toilet a couple times. UGH. What is happening here? Is he over it already? I don’t want to turn him off of potty training by pushing him too soon. 

When seeking advice on the matter I get varying degrees of opinions. Some will say he’s too young, just let him do it when he’s ready. And boys take way longer than girls. If that’s the case and Leo is going to take longer than Annabelle he’ll be going to Kindergarten in Huggies. 

Or you’ll get the no nonsense moms who say since he’s expressed an interest I need to lose the diapers NOW and go cave man style for the next 3 days, never leaving the house until he gets it. 



"Call me lazy, but I don't want to have a toddler running around diaperless for three days while we lock ourselves indoors." 


The other day I was telling a new friend about my potty training woes and how Leo has had a few potty successes. She said both her boys were trained cave man style by 2 years old and it’s B.S. that boys take longer, and her friends that don’t PT their kids until 3 just don’t want to deal with the mess any sooner. They’re essentially lazy, that was the takeaway I got. I sank in my chair as I one thousand percent identified with her lazy friends. And dear God, why did I divulge to her that Annabelle had been in Pull Ups for nearly a year? Her eyes popped out of her head and I felt the cold chill of mommy judgement washing over me. My ears pinned back as I explained how it’s all the Internet’s fault for telling me to give it a year. 

Call me lazy, but I don’t want to have a toddler running around diaper-less for three days while we lock ourselves indoors. Perhaps this is the best method. Perhaps the feeling of shit and piss going down your legs as a 2 year old is the best lesson in potty training quickly. I don’t know, but I do know that seeing a pile of poo on my couch scares me shitless (ha!) and I don’t want to deal. Maybe I’m doing it all wrong by not pushing too hard. But honestly, all I’m praying for is that my kid turns out to be a potty training prodigy that just PT’s himself. Wouldn’t that be wonderful, moms? I think that’s something we can all agree on…
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My toddler dressed me. {An experiment in self control.}
A few weeks ago, our CityMoms were all abuzz about the article "I let my toddler dress me for a week - Here's what happened"originally published by Babble. We applauded momma Summer for abandoning her worries and letting young Rockwell dictate her style of dress, shoes and even hair. So when CityMom Brandi said hey, I want to do that! well, we were all ears. Here are the details of her adventure.

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First, meet Brandi. She is a sweet mom of {WOW} six, a wonderfully creative personality, plus it's hard not to be around her without a smile on your face. And in case you can't tell from the photo, Brandi's hair is pink. A beautifully rosy shade of pink that fits her better than anyone we know. 

So why are you taking on this experiment Brandi? 

"I thought it would be a fun experience for my daughter Violet and I. She was up for the challenge and looked forward to designing my style! She is definitely my fashion forward diva." Here are the details on their week of stylin' adventure:


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Day 1:


This was Monday... our first day of the experiment, and she actually went a little easy on me. I was nervous!


Violet picked jeans for me... thank heavens. 


My husband had oral surgery so she said she wanted me to be comfortable to help take care of him {how considerate!}. 


The red boots in this outfit made me feel fabulous and confident. 

Day 2:

Tuesday: Violet picked this dress because it had polka dots and she liked the spots. 


Then she selected the pink scarf to match the pink boots. 


The sweater.... well, she loves purple! This was her favorite outfit of the week. 


We discovered I should have cleaned out my clothes before we did this experiment! We had several things in size 28 and I wear a size 12 now! Made me appreciate what I do have.
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Day 3:

According to Violet this outfit with the grey skirt is "fabulous!" Imagine that in a shrill sing song voice because she felt I needed a song to go along with the day and the outfit. 


I had black rhinestone boots and black leggings. She really wanted to do fishnets but it was a chilly day and we felt my legs would freeze. We made this tie dye tank top during a camping trip and it she wanted me to wear it because it reminded her of that time. The sweater was her gift to me to wear when we went out of the house so I didn't freeze. 



Day 4:

The white top was one I didn't even know I had! Violet said it looked like my mother-in-law's dishes from Holland. She loved the top because of that. 


The jeans were boyfriend cut and no socks with the ballet slippers... she said I looked like I was ready to go to the beach... then she sighed and said, "I love the beach." So that day I was the beach for her.


Just a little side note: The jeans were new. This experiment really made me realize how little clothing I had for my newly-slimmed body.
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Day 5:

The Neon Orange Shirt Day or NOSD as I'll now remember it... The picture truly doesn't give it justice on how bright it is:


On Friday Violet chose a neon orange shirt with the black thermal under hoodie with jeans. She picked this when we went for tea {notice her sweet tea dress}. She thought my outfit made me look like a grown up. She gave me socks this day because I complained enough the day before! They have hearts and stars on them. 


What did you learn from this experiment? Would you do it again?
I learned that people aren't surprised anymore of my antics! No really, it was definitely difficult to do in the winter. We are going to try it this summer. It was a lot of fun and now my 12 year old wants a week so I will have 2 weeks of fabulous. I learned as I have lost weight I have kept clothing for mere emotional reasons and not for any other purpose. I had clothing that needed to move on and I struggled with that. I went into it with an open mind but fishnets in subzero degree weather had to be stopped and practicality over ruled some of her decisions once I explained to her the temperature. Hopefully summer will bring some amazingly unusual outfits!
Thank you Brandi - and to your fashionista Violet - for letting us follow along! 
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CityMom Report: Wee Wednesdays at the IMA
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Event: Wee Wednesdays preschool program at the Indianapolis Museum Of Art
Reported by: CityMom Kristi
Date/Time: Every Wednesday at 10am
Location: Indianapolis Museum Of Art
Cost: $5 per member child; $8 non-members
Recommended ages: 12 months+
What is this program?  
Wee Wednesdays at the IMA has quickly become one of our favorite activities in the city.  Every time we go we discover something new that we love about the museum.  When you arrive, you are greeted by one of the staff members who runs the program.  They give your child a blue or yellow apron and a name tag.  Each time we are on our way to the museum my toddler tells me she can’t wait to put on the blue apron!  Afterwards everyone makes their way upstairs to the Star Studio Classroom where the Art Hunt instructions are given and each child picks out an animal that they get to carry with them around the museum.  The children love to sing the song that accompanies the Art Hunt, which starts out with, “We are going on an art hunt, an art hunt, an art hunt, we are going on an art hunt, where should we go?”  

We then make our way to different galleries throughout the museum where the children are shown a picture of a piece of art from that particular gallery.  They have to then point and say I found it when they see it.  At the third and final piece of art, we all sit down and enjoy a story that is read by one of the program staff members.  Each week has a theme and the story is always connected to that theme.  Once the Art Hunt is over we make our way back to the classroom where the children and parents get to participate in a hands on art project.  We love every part of the hour long program but the art project is definitely our favorite!  

Any special tips to offer other moms who are interested in attending? 
  1. Based on my experience I do think ages 2-5 suits the activity the best.  I thought about going before my toddler turned 2 and am happy we did not.  They would still get a little something out of the Art Hunt and story but the art project is definitely suited for 2 and above.    
  2. When we go I also bring my 6 month old, usually in a stroller.  So far this has worked very well and the museum staff are very accommodating when it comes to us bringing a stroller through the galleries. If you have thought about going but decided not to because you also have a younger child with you, I would rethink that decision and go!  
  3. Last but not least, register for this program as soon as the dates are announced!  It sells out very quickly and you definitely do NOT want to miss this one!  
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Gallery tour during Wee Wednesday program
MORE INFORMATION: The weekly Wee Wednesdays program takes place in the Star Studio Classroom at the Indianapolis Museum Of Art {located at 4000 Michigan Road, Indianapolis; 317-955-2339}. Due to the popularity of this program, registration is required. Visit imamuseum.org/familyactivities/wee-wednesdays for details. 
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5 Must-Have Items For Baby
The plethora of baby gadgets has grown tremendously since I had Alexa. Now that I'm 20 weeks pregnant - and with a BOY! - the search for what we need is on. And with so many new "must-haves" on the market, I turned to my momma tribe theCityMoms and asked: 
What are your must haves for baby? 

Here were their recommendations: 
 
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*this post contains affiliate links which may pay a small commission if clicked on**

1. ERGO BABY SWADDLER. With Alexa we used the {I'll just say it:semi-complicated} Miracle Baby Blanket but the hands-down favorite among CityMoms was this option from Ergo. Looks like there are pockets for arms, a wrap between baby's legs for proper separation {making it comfortable and safer for my little guy's hips}, and a pocket to cover up the legs. I'm definitely adding this to my registry: Nothing is better than a baby who will sleep!


2. BOON PULP SILICONE FEEDER. Even though solids will be months away, our CityMoms said this was a must-get. I'm hearing it's super easy to use and easy to clean so that's a win-win for me. It dispenses food through the little holes in the silicone so we can use it to feed him OR soothe gums during teething. 


3. BLOOMING BABY BATHER. I remember those baths in the first few weeks after having Alexa. It's so hard as a new mom to hear your baby cry, especially when you know you're doing something good for them like just trying to get them clean. I looked into this after hearing it was worth looking at. The website claims it's made from 'incredibly soft, plush materials' and looks like it would be a soft and cozy spot for the little man... Kind of also wishing they made these in adult size.   

4. ERGO BABY 4 POSITIONS 360. Back to ERGO: I have the regular Ergo Baby carrier and a couple of wraps so maybe I'm pre-disposed to love this brand. They became a regular part of our 'system' when Alexa became colicky and wouldn't let me put her down. This carrier offers four different options including a front outward-facing option. It also seems like this carrier gives our moms the ability to not only safely and comfortably forward-face baby once big enough but also turn inward if they become over-stimulated or need to be held closer. Big plus and sweet for moms who like structured carriers but want more options. On the registry it goes.   

5. NOSEFREIDA SNOTSUCKER. All right. This sounded awful. But the moms using it were adamant on this being a must-have. And while it isn't new to many, it was new to me and sounds like a lifesaver for babies as congested as Alexa was. An alternative to the horrible green hospital-like bulbs, this requires mom to extract mucus from baby's nose by sucking on an end of tubing. I'm promised it isn't as gross as it sounds and highly - and quickly! - effective. Remembering the late nights when Alexa would wake stuffed up and barely able to breathe from her nose, I add this to the registry as well.  

So tell me: What do you think? Are these products part of YOUR nursery must-haves? If not, then tell me in the comments what is!
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One, two, tie your shoe...
We're at a point in my family's growth where some of the bigger milestones have passed: Eat solids. Learn to walk. Be potty trained. Sleep through the night... well, my 7-year-old ALMOST has that one down. But the big goal at home lately has been learning how to tie our shoes. So imagine the excitement when we discovered that Nordstrom at the Fashion Mall hosts a monthly Kids Shoe-Tying Clinic! zHero.png
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The clinic {which sounds well, clinical, but is actually quite casual!} takes place every 3rd Saturday of the month before the store opens. And because we wanted to share the fun, we snagged a few spots for our fellow CityMoms families to enjoy along with us.

Upon arrival, the Nordstrom Kids Shoe Department employees measured each child's feet and had moms jot down addresses on a postcard. "We mail these postcards to you in 3 months to remind you it may be time to size up," Department Manager Adele informed me... that's her below in the scarf!

 

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Nordstrom employees help demonstrate two methods during the Shoe Tying Clinic.
As the clinic kicked off, Adele and her staff gathered the kids on the floor around a huge pile of Converse shoes. These would become the practice shoes. The staff patiently explained a technique, demonstrated it to the group a few times and then took turns going from child-to-child for individual help. Practicing at home was encouraged many times, as we knew kids likely weren't going to walk away from this having mastered shoe-tying in one morning. Thankfully the instruction was easy enough to follow for all our little learners. 

 

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Hunter, manager Adele and Emerson show off their smiles
At the conclusion of class, each child received an award, a balloon, a goodie bag complete with fun swag from TOMS shoes + a coupon for a free cookie with the Nordstrom eBar.

I was a little surprised that Nordstrom doesn't include a coupon of any sort in their goodie bags - afterall moms with wallets are a powerful thing and an extra incentive to purchase is never a bad idea! - but it was a wonderful way to spend our Saturday morning + help push us toward our next milestone.

MORE INFORMATION: Kids Shoe-Tying Clinics are offered free each 3rd Saturday of each month. RSVPs are required. Call 317-810-9809 to reserve your spot for the next one and let them know theCityMoms sent you! 
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CityMom Report: Kids Koncerts in Carmel
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Event:  January Kids Koncert featuring Ruditoonz 
Reported By:  CityMom Kristen
Date:   Monday, January 27, 2015
Location:   Monon Community Center, Carmel
Cost:   FREE
Recommended ages: All

Did you like it? Tell us about your experience. Yes! The performer {Ruditoonz} was very engaging and great with kids. The songs were really catchy. The Monon Center arranged the room so that there was a large dance area in the center of the chairs. They invited the kids to come up and sing/dance with him.  My kids aren't the type to do this 
but he was entertaining enough that they both got out of their seats. There were even a few songs that had some easy movements to go along with it. It was clean, laid-back and started on time {thank you!}. 

Any special tips for next time?  We got there about 10 minutes prior to the start and it was already packed. So I'd recommend you arrive early if you'd like to sit up front. They also seemed to be okay with having snacks and drinks in the room. The performer mentioned he had CDs available but we didn't bring cash with us so I'd recommend having some available in case your children really like the music and want to take it home!

MORE INFORMATION: The monthly Winter Kids Koncert series - sponsored by the Carmel Clay Parks Department - takes place on the final Friday of the month at the Monon Community Center {located at 1235 Carmel Park Drive East}. Featured performers: 2/23: Island Breeze Duo, 3/30: Kid Kazooey and 4/27: Jump and Hop. Visit www.carmelclayparks.com for details.  
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Photos courtesy of our 2014 visit to the Kids Koncerts at the Monon Community Center - and we still love them a year later!
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RUN, don't walk to The Urban Chalkboard
It's a buzz we've heard for weeks {scratch that, MONTHS} on our CityMoms message boards:
"WHEN IS THE URBAN CHALKBOARD OPENING?"
And if you've never heard of The Urban Chalkboard, missed the buzz yourself from your friends or completely overlooked the teaser sign on Carmel Drive just west of Keystone, let us be the ones to tell you:

THIS IS OFFICIALLY YOUR NEW FAVORITE STOP. 
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theCityMoms received the ultimate honor of visiting The Urban Chalkboard last week to help 'test drive' their facility and provide feedback on improvements before the official public opening. And we're thrilled to share these sneak preview photos with you! 

So how do we describe it? Well, let's see: It's a cafe packed to the gills with healthy goodies.
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Wait no, that's not the selling point. They have staff members with more energy than a roomful of kindergarteners.
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Wait, that's not it either. Let me try again:

The Urban Chalkboard is a new, learning-based play cafe located in Carmel. What may appear at first glance as a modernly-outfitted spot for coffee, mom chat and kiddo play is much more. {Although the Orla Kiely-bedecked wallpaper is enough to make you go home and rethink your own home decor.} 

Each nook and cranny of the space has been strategically planned out by owners Tonya Bergeson-Dana and Jessica Beer. With 2 PhDs in child development under their belts, they claim kids will be having so much fun that they 'won't notice they're learning and developing important cognitive, emotional, social and motor skills!'
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What will kids find to do? Tons like:
  • A kitchen area for imaginative play
  • Large table for arts and crafts
  • A miniature house to climb in and out of or commandeer as their own 
  • Train tracks to build
  • Blocks to architect
  • An infant-focused playscape 

 

 

 

 


Then there are teepees, tents, chalkboard areas for budding artists and sticky walls for fun puzzle play like what Thomas, Grant and Hunter enjoyed below:
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A grand and windowed studio space lines the play cafe and provides a perfect spot for TUC's weekly classes. Our crew was treated to a special kids yoga program with instructor Victoria, a performer with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra who incorporates music into her practice. Classes will be available at an extra cost.

For right now yoga is the solo class offered, but keep checking their website as new ones become available.
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Drop-in crafts are available daily, as is a kids book club which meets under the large tree in the Library corner. TUC is blessed to have local educator and actor Craig on staff, who treated our CityKids to a fun story during our visit. All daily programs are published on the large chalkboard wall you see pictured below. 
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And yes, there are table and chair sets lining the entire play area, perfect for moms to take a much-needed break OR observe their little ones at play. {Wi-fi is available for moms needing to knock out a little work!}
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Did I mention the staff? Let me do it again. The staff is amazing. Their willingness to jump in and guide kids at play was incredible AND made us want to take them home with us {Craig, consider yourself on alert!}. Don't call them babysitters: Their role is much more impactful and engaging while kids play. 
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In all, our statement above stands. This will be your new favorite stop. Just don't wait too long to visit or else you'll really be missing out. 

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MORE INFORMATIONThe Urban Chalkboard is located at 452 E. Carmel Dr, Carmel, 46032. Phone: 317.815.5711. Admission costs are $8/day for the first child, and $6/day for each additional child. Monthly memberships are also available but at the time of our visit, final pricing was still TBD. Members receive 10% off classes and cafe purchases. Visit www.theurbanchalkboard.com for more details and let them know theCityMoms sent you!  
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Abundant Holiday Traditions
If the calendar didn’t tip you off, the chilly air, holiday tunes playing in retail stores, and the return of Starbuck’s Peppermint Mocha Latte all confirm: the holiday season is upon us.
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For many members of theCityMoms, however, the holidays are more than sugary coffee drinks and endless renditions of Jingle Bells; this is the time of year for special traditions that bring family together and create lasting memories.
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There are unique local events that are on the must-do list. CityMom Michelle and her family go to Christmas At The Zoo every year. 


Many tCM members take a carriage ride around downtown to look at the lights, or just drive around neighborhoods to admire decorated homes.


Indy with Kids always has a comprehensive list of the best light displays all over Indy and beyond. Check out the site before heading out on your light display hunt!
Some traditions take place in the comfort of the home. Marcie’s family bakes cookies every holiday season and exchanges ornaments with family.
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At Julia’s home, Santa leaves Christmas stockings on the kids’ beds in the middle of the night, and she is planning to “wrap the kids’ bedroom door in red tissue paper so they will get to break out to Christmas morning." 
Food is another central theme for holiday traditions, and isn’t all about the turkey. 
Julia’s husband is of Polish decent, so her mother-in-law always cooks a Polish dinner for Christmas Eve, including pierogi, sauerkraut and smoked pork chops. 
For Christi, “by this time, we are all over the turkey/ham big dinners.”  Instead, they order pizza for Christmas Eve dinner.
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For some families, the holiday season is all about giving back and nurturing a generous spirit in their children. Several tCM families plan on volunteering on Christmas Day, in the hopes of giving a better Christmas to others. Sarah says, “This year our kids are old enough to understand about giving back, and we are going [toHunger Inc, a local food pantry,] to help out.”
No matter how you celebrate this season, you are creating treasured memories that make this time of year special for your family. Warm wishes for a happy holiday season!
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