Stroll into Halloween: A Family Friendly Guide of Local October Events

If the Autumnal Equinox had you like…

…then you’ve already decked out your house in fall and Halloween decor, bought pumpkin flavored everything, and have your turtlenecks, booties and scarfs queued up for the slightest sign of wind chill.

The cooler temps and shorter days don’t mean that you and your young family need to be cooped up to enjoy this special time of year. Quite the opposite. In fact, throughout the month of October, there are tons of activities in celebration of pumpkins, candy, and things that go bump in the night. Read on to find out about some of the local family and stroller friendly events in the month of October.   

Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch (Valley Center, CA)  

15954 Woods Valley Rd, Valley Center, CA 92082

All Month Long

It wouldn’t be fall without a good ol’ fashioned pumpkin patch outing. There are many to choose from but Bates Nut Farm’s truly has it all: hayrides, a straw maze, petting zoo and pony rides, food trucks, live music, and of course, pumpkins of all sizes! Spend a day with the whole family basking in some of these seasonal traditions at a venue that’s been doing this for over fifty years!

Kids Free October Safari Park (Escondido, CA)

15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027

All Month Long

Throughout the month of October, kids ages 11 and younger get free admission (with an adult) at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. It’s not the only place where kids get in free during the month of October in San Diego. The San Diego Zoo, Legoland, Birch Aquarium, and museums across the county are dropping kids’ fees for a whole month. The Safari Park is promising lots of special activities during the weekends, and the free admission includes its Africa Tram! While this isn’t a Halloween-themed offer, you have to admit, it is quite a treat!

Legoland’s Brick-or-Treat (Carlsbad, CA)

1 Legoland Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008

10/6/18 – 10/31/18

Not only is Legoland taking part in the Kids Free October offer, but the theme park is also celebrating Halloween season with the return of its annual Brick or Treat event. This year, the event is taking place even more days (9 days to be exact) beginning October 6. What is Brick or Treat exactly? It’s a time when the Lego-themed park transforms for Halloween with a trick-or-treating trail and scavenger hunt, kid-friendly spooky entertainment, music and fireworks, and more surprises.

Breakfast with the Littlest Pumpkin (San Marcos, CA)

3 Civic Center Drive, San Marcos, California 92069

10/13/2018, 7:30 AM – 11 AM

Enjoy a pancake breakfast at the San Marcos Community Center and play fun carnival games. Halloween costumes are encouraged so it’s the perfect opportunity to get more photo opps with your cutie pie in their costume! One night isn’t enough.

Pumpkin Plunge (Carlsbad, CA)

6565 Alicante Road Carlsbad, CA  92009

10/20/18, 5 PM – 9 PM

Who said the end of summer means our swimsuits have to go in storage for a whole year? One perk of San Diego living? Halloween events can take place in community pools! The Alga Norte Aquatic Center in Carlsbad is hosting its annual Pumpkin Plunge! For one day, the aquatic center transforms for some Halloween fun with pool activities and games with prizes, floating obstacles, and Key Logs. Not interested in getting wet and wild? Dry activities include a pumpkin themed bounce house, Floating Pumpkin Patch where every child will get to lasso and keep a pumpkin, ring toss, and a photo op. To top it off, the evening ends with a movie showing (Boxtrolls, rated PG) on a giant outdoor movie screen. Dinner and snacks available at the event!

Not So Scary Estuary (Solana Beach, CA)

2710 Manchester Avenue, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA 92007

10/28/18, 10 AM – 3 PM

Looking to get in touch with nature and have an educational experience in costume? Have a howling good time this Halloween season at the 7th Annual Not-So-Scary Estuary Family Discovery Day at the San Elijo Nature Center. This year’s theme is Changing Climate and will include performances about sea level rise, a zero-waste activity and animal meet and greets. Kids who come in costume will be invited to join the parade with prizes awarded. With all that and more inside the Nature Center and outside along the loop trail, this is sure to be a fun-filled day of memories for you and your family.

Dia de los Muertos (Oceanside, CA)

4050 Mission Avenue, Oceanside, CA 92057

10/28/18, 10 AM – 4 PM

The San Luis Rey Mission comes alive to celebrate Dia de los Muertos at a free family-friendly event that includes live entertainment, carnival rides, alter displays and a classic car show. The event includes tons of craft activities and carnival rides for your kids. And you definitely won’t want to miss out on the over 90 vendors and amazing traditional food available at this community event.

 

Why BabyFest is the Easiest Parenting Decision You’ll Have to Make

It takes a village to raise a child, so the proverb goes. If you have been a parent for more than a minute, you would probably agree.

Parenting is hard. It’s difficulty often lies in the constant decision making that goes along with the territory. By some estimates, the average adult makes some 35,000 decisions per day. Adulting while parenting must increase that amount tenfold. From the moment you get that first positive pregnancy test, you have to be ready to make decisions regarding everything from prenatal testing to birth plans.

When it comes to preparing for labor, do you go with Hypnobabies, the Bradley Method, or are the classes offered at the hospital sufficient?

Do you want a more natural birth experience? Do you choose a birth center, or home birth? Can you still give birth in a hospital and get a comparable experience?

Should you get a doula? What does a doula do anyways?

What about saving the placenta? Should you try encapsulation? Is it safe? Did you know there are other ways to consume the placenta?

What is your opinion about delayed clamping, skin-to-skin, antibiotic eye ointment, and circumcision?

Are you interested in cord banking?

Once the baby arrives and you’re on your own, will you go with disposables or cloth?

Cloth? Okay, will you use all-in-one’s, prefolds, or inserts?

Will you wear your baby? Sling, wrap or carrier?

What about your stroller? There are like 1,000 to choose from at Target alone. They surely must be different from one another and have their own special feature, right? Why do they all look the same?

Don’t even get us started on car seats.

What will you do if you experience trouble breastfeeding? Do you know how to contact a lactation specialist? If you need to supplement, will you use donor milk or formula?

Did you get your breast pump already? Did you know your insurance should cover it? Why do you even need a breast pump? When do you start pumping? Do you even NEED to pump?

Trying to breastfeed but can’t get comfortable? Let’s get a nursing pillow…but which one?

When your baby is ready for solids (Wait, when is baby really ready for solids?), do you go with purées or baby-led weaning?

When it comes to self-soothing tools, pacifier or not? What about a lovie? To swaddle or not to swaddle?

Time for sleep training? Will you Ferber or Sleep Lady Shuffle? Why is everyone saying NO to cry it out? Why is everyone ELSE telling you to do cry it out?

Overwhelmed yet? Do you even know what everything referenced above is? Even if you do, you aren’t out of the clear. The decisions don’t end there.

Our generation of parents is both blessed and cursed with the endless amount of choice there is out there. Yelp doesn’t always cut it, and how much time do you really have to read and sift through Amazon reviews before clicking your wallet away? Furthermore, by now, you probably are well aware that the combination of baby plus Internet is a rabbit hole you DO NOT want to go down.

Sure, part of parenting is trial and error, but what about that village we mentioned in the beginning? Aren’t the people in your village there to help save some of that wasted “trial and error” time? Can’t we learn from their mistakes?

What does your village look like? Does it include your parents, partner, closest friends, siblings, cousins, and other neighborhood moms? Sure, they and more of your extended family are all vital parts of that ecosystem.

But why not also your local birth center, lactation specialists, yoga instructors, midwives, baby-wearing specialists, car seat experts, sleep coach, doulas and more? Imagine how amazing and functional that village looks.

This is why Baby Fest descends upon Babies in Bloom each year. Whether you are a new parent, just learned you are expecting, have a second (third or fourth on the way), or are an extended family member looking for a way to help some soon-to-be parents find their footing, the opportunity to explore all things BABY in one location over a six-hour period cannot be beat. As an attendant, you also get the added peace of mind in knowing that every product, expert, and service there is vetted by the Babies in Bloom team, and has received their seal of approval.

Doctors go to medical conferences. Teachers go to professional development seminars. Why shouldn’t parents attend their own expo to get up to speed on the latest and greatest resources, merchandise and services for their families?

Still not convinced? We hear there will be food trucks, prizes, and Babies in Bloom will be donating proceeds from the event to a great cause.

Expand your village Saturday, April 14. For more info, visit: http://www.babies-in-bloom.com/babyfest/

October Free-ness!

There’s a lot to love about October:

You’ve got the school run nailed by now. #pro

You get to dress your little ones up outrageously cute for most of the month – and yourself too!

You get to eat your kids Halloween candy once they go to bed (go on, admit it!)

There’s pumpkin spiced lattes in the world again. Oooh and pumpkin pie! Lots of lots of pie! Mmmmm.

These are all great reasons to love October. BUT, the biggest reason we adore October is, it’s KIDS FREE SAN DIEGO month! That means FREE admission to some of the biggest attractions in San Diego throughout the whole of October for your biggest kids – from the San Diego Zoo to the USS Midway Museum.

We don’t know about you, but after a packed summer of fun, and with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas costs looming, this free-ness is sweet music to our ears! You can download your free entry coupon here.

As well as all of these amazing offers, here are some of our favorite FREE family things to do a little closer to home in North County.

  • Firstly, if you don’t already, pick up a copy of Family Magazine next time you are at Babies in Bloom. It doesn’t cost a dime and it’s your new secret mom fun weapon. It is LOADED with events each and every month – a lot of which are free – so get planning!
  • October is prime tide pool season – the tides are often negative or below sea level meaning MUCH more to see! Your little explorers could kill hours on a tide pool adventure. Add a home-made picnic and you have yourself a cheap day out! Check out the best spots in North County here.
  • It’s easy to take the beach for granted when you live so close to it, but why not re-brand a day at the beach. Plan a beach treasure hunt at your local! You can bury colorful ping pong balls, small toys etc and give the big kids clues and directions from the comfort of your beach chair! Just don’t bury any important toys in case you lose them… you know, the kind that will lead to a code red melt-down if lost at sea!
  • If you love babies in Halloween costumes, you’ll love dogs in fancy dress! You and your little people will be all smiles, laughs and ‘awwwwws’ at the FREE Howl-o-Ween Doggie Costume Contest & Parade at Bates Nut Farm on October 29th. batesnutfarm.biz
  • Look out for FREE seasonal kids’ crafts at your local stores – Lakeshore Learning Store for example offers free crafts for ages 3 & up throughout October (702 Center Dr., San Marcos).

And of course, there’s always us at Babies in Bloom. We’re conscious of family budgets all year round, so we like to offer free and low cost services to parents looking for support! Check out our wide range of classes and support groups here and make us part of your Fall plans!

Happy October-ing! And happy saving!

 

World Breastfeeding Week 2017 Has a Theme We Can All Get Behind

While the physical act of breastfeeding typically involves just two people – mom and baby – (or more if you are tandem feeding, go mama!), many who have successfully been through this journey will tell you about the importance of others.

Even when breastfeeding comes easy, it’s hard. Understatement of the year!! It’s exhausting. And when it doesn’t come easy, it’s stressful AND exhausting. You can feel robbed of all those perfect breastfeeding images that you nursed in your head while pregnant. Cue the Friend’s intro music….’So no one told you life was gonna be this way’ (clap, clap, clap, clap, clap).

But true to the Friend’s tune, there are people that can be THERE FOR YOU! Your partner, your midwife, your peers, your local community – and even your boss – can all have a supporting role to play in helping you give your baby the best start in life.  For many moms, this idea of teamwork and the realization that it’s not just ‘all on them’ is a welcome relief.

Shouting about available breastfeeding support is one of our favorite past times, so we’re thrilled to see that this year’s theme of World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August 2017) is all about ‘working together.’ It will focus on partnerships that help protect, promote and support breastfeeding, those who help moms find their true allies- and find their feet.

We recognize the role that we can play and the responsibility we have here in North County to make a difference – our doors, our arms, our ears and our hearts are always open to those who need it! You can find support (and new friends) at our Breastfeeding 101 classes, where we talk about common, problems, techniques and positioning, as well as our Lactation Lounge every Tuesday and Friday. The Lactation Lounge is a free support group with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant who answers your questions (no question is a stupid question btw!), provides encouragement and promotes confidence. We’re here to remind you not just how amazing your body is, but how amazing a job you are already doing with your little one.

We also offer one-on-one customizable sessions with a certified lactation consultant, as well as a Breastfeeding for Working Mothers class which will help you plan and prepare for your return to work. For all of our classes, feel free to bring your partners – it’s important for them to educate themselves about how they can best support you through this experience.

You can also find support via our online community – the Babies in Bloom Lactation Lounge on Facebook – a judgement free zone and closed group where you can ask for advice on things that are troubling you.

Please share this post during World Breastfeeding Week and beyond – let’s make it our mission to let our friends and family in North County know where we are and that we are always there for them, through the good, the bad and the leakiest of times. Let’s make some noise, gain some attention and widen our pool of supporters. Because together, we will make that difference.