Holidays Archives - Dadstractions

Halloween Is Here, Time To Scare The Kids

Oct 16, 13 Halloween Is Here, Time To Scare The Kids

Posted by in Halloween

My wife and I love Halloween. We sometimes fall behind with decorating the house, and we don’t always dress up, but we love ghosts, ghouls, monsters and zombies – all the things that go bump in the night and provide the small little rush of anxiety, exhilaration and excitement. Naturally, we want to pass that love of Halloween along to our kids because, scaring kids out of their minds is fun! We recently took a family trip to the Lorain County Metroparks Halloween Fair. Our original intention was to arrive at 5pm, walk the Haunted Trail during “family friendly” hours, eat some carnival food, play a few games and call it a night before the trail turned “scary” after 7pm. After we went down the “family friendly” trail during daylight hours, my wife and I decided to see if the kids would like to try it when it changed to “scary”. Both kids insisted that they would not be scared and that we could stay and do the trail again later. We proceeded to eat a super-healthy meal of hamburgers, corn dogs, Italian sausage and french fries from many a questionable food stand. Afterward, the kids danced around to the jams of DJ Starship Joe and we got a few carnival games in before getting in the huge line for the Haunted Trail. The trail was pitch black except for rope lights along the edges so you could see where the trail ended and the forest began. Along the trail were miniature haunted houses which were absolutely pitch black at night. There was a lot of screaming from scared teenagers and the staff of the haunted trail; a lot of popping out of dark corners and screaming to startle guests.  For the most part the staff would see the younger kids and take it easy on them, not giving them the full treatment but still enough startle and scream to get a jump out of them. Miraculously, we made it through the trail without any...

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Everybody Loves A Parade, Right?

Jun 18, 13 Everybody Loves A Parade, Right?

Posted by in Father's Day, Kids

Well, maybe some more than others. I’ve never really been a big parade person (or a circus person for that matter). There’s just something about standing around, sometimes for hours, just to see a few lame floats go by.  I could be spending that time doing something more impressive, like watching paint dry or grass grow. I don’t even attend St. Patrick’s Day parades, and there is usually a promise of inebriation after that parade! I grew up in a town that boasts the second largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the country, and still I didn’t go. The only parade that I ever felt halfway paid off for waiting/anticipation vs. spectacle would be the Wald Disney Electric Light Parade in the Magic Kingdom, and even THAT wasn’t super impressive to me. Still, apparently, kids LOVE parades. There is a parade our town has every Father’s Day weekend. The Avon Heritage Duct Tape Parade and Festival – sponsored by Duck brand duct tape (yes, this is as odd as it sounds). I moved here about seven years ago and have yet to go to parade. My wife and the kids have been to it a few times but I always just waved goodbye to them as they left for the parade and relished the two or more hours I had to myself. But this year I turned over a new leaf and, in an attempt being more involved with my kids, I purposefully attended a parade. This was the tenth anniversary of the Duct Tape parade and the theme was “Decades of Duct Tape”. One would assume that to participate in a duct tape parade, one would have to have a float made of duct tape, or clothing made of duct tape… or maybe just carry a roll of duct tape, but one would be mistaken. True, most groups participating in the parade had floats or clothes decorated in duct tape, but there were more than a few that didn’t. Seriously, IF YOU ARE GOING...

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The Long Weekend Blues

May 28, 13 The Long Weekend Blues

Posted by in General, Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend went by entirely too fast. My parents were in town since Wednesday to see my daughter graduate from Pre-K.  They stuck around for the long weekend and entertained and watched their grandchildren, which was a big help to the wife and I. My parents took the kids to some local attractions; Artist For A Day, Great Lakes Science Center and The Cleveland Botanical Garden.  I’ve tried to persuade my mother to write a guest post for BEaLittleWeird to cover their adventures. I’m grateful for whenever my parents can get out to our house. They live six hours away and it’s not always an easy trip. But, when they do come out, they are always gracious enough to let Kim and I go out and enjoy the free babysitting. Plus, you know, I get to see my parents; they get to see their grandchildren; and all that mushy stuff… I got out to see Iron Man 3 this weekend, as well as Star Trek Into Darkness. We had a cookout and I smoked the first pork butt of the season. After my parents left on Sunday we had some friends over to watch the first few episodes of Arrested Development Season 4. And Monday was a “the whole family stayed in pajamas and hung out” kind of day. Wow, we haven’t been that kind of lazy in a long time (Don’t judge)! I frequently felt the need to remind the children that “this isn’t an everyday thing, but it’s nice to do once in a while.” And, as I write this, the kids are in bed for the night and the wife and I are enjoying a copy of “Behind The Candelabra” that a friend recorded for me and let me borrow. I hope you all enjoyed the long weekend. Now, back to reality. Feel free to leave a comment and share how you spent your Memorial Day holiday weekend.     Share...

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Kringle’s Inventionasium – A not-so-ordinary Christmas village.

Dec 24, 12 Kringle’s Inventionasium – A not-so-ordinary Christmas village.

Posted by in Christmas

Last night my family went to a “Christmas Village” gimmick called “Kringle’s Inventionasium” in downtown Cleveland, OH.  My wife heard about it from a co-worker who said it was a lot of fun so we decided to give it a whirl.  We checked it out online, made our reservations and bought our tickets. This is what awaited us when we arrived. This dapper gentleman’s name is Eyesly. He’s Mr. Kringle’s eye for detail.  Ah, good old-fashioned nightmare fuel right there.  (Side note, we walked into one of the rooms in the Inventionasium to find Eyesly sitting on a child-sized chair, playing a miniature piano.  It was quite possibly one of the creepiest things I’ve ever seen but I wasn’t quick enough with the camera to capture what would assuredly be my Christmas card picture for next year). Anyway…  Kringle’s Inventionasium is a modern Cleveland tradition. It’s been running for the past six years and broke their own attendance record this year. There’s a reason it’s growing to be so popular – it’s not your run-of-the-mill Christmas Village.  There are actors and interactive elements throughout the walk-through.  Here’s our experience: At the beginning of the walk-through the kids are given lab coats and introduced to a tour guide. Our tour guide was “Professor Glitch”. Glitch talk to the kids about the wonderment of using their imagination and how important it is to use it all the time. The walk-through consists of multiple stops at invention centers where the kids are asked to create something.  The first stop was using the their imaginations to create toys out of a “memory” foam.   Then the kids were shown a bunch of “creature pieces” and instructed to make the craziest creature they could. After that was the “snow making” laboratory where we were all shown how to make snow. And then there was a toy making station where the kids were given access to modular toy pieces and told to create a wacky toy. Finally, there was the visit with the big guy himself....

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Trimming the tree – 2012

Dec 09, 12 Trimming the tree – 2012

Posted by in Christmas, Family, Holidays

Well, we finally got around to decorating the tree this year.  It’s been up for a week or two but with my work schedule and my wife’s work schedule, we  had a hard time getting together with the kids for a few hours in order to get the job done. We had a good time like we usually do: drinking hot chocolate, listening to Christmas music (I believe my wife had “She and Him” streaming over Google Music most of the time. As you can see from some of these pictures, most of our tree is subsidized by Disney (since the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney).  Most of my Star Wars ornaments were gifts from my wife over the years.  A good deal of the them are plug-in ornaments and when I plug the tree each night, there’s a cacophony of “pew-pews”, Darth Vader breathing heavy, and Luke whining about needing to go to Toshi Station to pick up some power converters. So, now, we get to enjoy the tree, in all its Disney-fied glory, and watch the monorail circle ’round and ’round until the batteries die.     Share...

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