Top 10 Things To Do in Batumi With Kids

Top 10 Things To Do in Batumi With Kids

*This post contains affiliate links. Batumi with kids

Are you looking for an awesome beach vacation with a giant dose of culture and post-Soviet vibe thrown in? Have you heard of Batumi, Georgia? We just took an amazing trip to explore this up and coming city and had an awesome time! It’s true we have connections to Georgia (the country, not the state) because my husband grew up there and has a bunch of family still living there. We wanted a fun place to take the kids, along with his mother and niece, for a family-bonding vacation everyone would enjoy.

Batumi was the perfect spot for our vacation and has a lot to offer for kids. We had a clean fast train out from the capital and back, and a great flat experience with Airbnb. For Americans, the exchange rate was about 2.4 GEL or Georgian lari to the dollar so great for us, although not fabulous for native Georgians! We heard a ton of languages around, Russian, Azeri, Georgian, English. My mother-in-law got to relive some of her youth, and her grandchildren were introduced to her past. It was perfect.

Batumi with kids pin

Our Top 10 Things To Do in Batumi With Kids

1. The Batumi Boulevard

Overhead Batumi Boulevard

The Batumi Boulevard was a great place to go to walk, stare out at the sea, and let the kids run. So often on a vacation kids need space to just get out and run around, and this was a scenic, calming place for Mom at the same time. The Boulevard runs North and South along the Black Sea so on one side you have a view of the sea,

Palm tree along Boulevard

and on the other, you have restaurants, hotels, buildings, and art.

Lower Boulevard

The Boulevard includes the larger walkway, and next to it the small red road for biking. Another awesome thing is that there are bikes (1 to 6 seaters) you can rent at several locations along the way. So, of course, the kids get tired, and if they’re old enough you can just grab one of these 4 seaters and pedal your way down enjoying the view.

Warning: We saw a lot of foreign tourists biking with selfie sticks filming themselves as they pedaled. Beware of traffic and people not always paying attention!

Highlights

While I enjoyed the sea view and palm trees, my son’s favorite part was his chocolate ice cream cone. And admittedly yes, we got ice cream several times! The Boulevard has so much for all the senses. First, we just walked, ate some ice cream, and then used the random exercise equipment. Then, we pondered the art sculptures, sat under a gazebo staring out at the sea, and listened to the traditional Georgian songs of the street musicians. The kids ran, laughed, ate more ice cream, then collapsed on benches because they were so tired and “could not go a step further”. It’s a great place.

Georgian musicians

2. The Ferris Wheel (or in Georgian: “Eshmakis borbali” = the devil’s wheel)

Ferris wheel panoramic

Who doesn’t love a ferris wheel?! The ferris wheel is a fabulous way to get some great views of the city and the Black Sea and definitely makes our top 10 for Batumi with kids. My daughter was initially scared to death of the thing because it looked so high. But actually, it goes around slowly, and the seats are in a circle with bars around them, not with your legs dangling. Also, it never truly stops so you get on and off as it continues to turn.

Harbor view from ferris wheel

Go buy a ticket at the little ticket booth for 3 GEL a person. If you miss the ticket booth and try to buy some as you get on you’ll just get yelled at in Russian (well that’s me since I have blond hair and most Georgians assume I’m Russian) to go back to the ticket booth.  Don’t forget your camera, and enjoy the ride!

City view from ferris wheel

BONUS! Just next to the ferris wheel is the famous Ali and Nino statue that moves continuously to tell the story of the two individuals from the book of the same name. It’s a good resting spot, AND there’s a fairly clean public bathroom near it as well. It’s 50 tetri and so worth it!

Ali and Nino statue

3. The Dolphinarium

I’ve been to many sea lion shows at zoos around the United States but never to a dolphin show. Doesn’t just saying the word “Dolphinarium” sound like something unavoidable in Batumi with kids? Going into the show, I really didn’t know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised.

Dolphins throw trainer

The Dolphin Show was fun and upbeat from beginning to end (it lasted about 45 minutes total with the dolphins performing). There was music throughout the entire show paired with each dance or trick of the dolphins. Also, the announcer was pretty amazing going from Georgian to English to Russian pretty seamlessly, excited and engaged in the program. Everything was clean and professional, and you could tell the dolphin trainers loved working with their intelligent dolphin friends.

Dancing dolphins

My entire family loved it, 4 up to 73-year-old, and there were smiles throughout. It was also a fun mix of locals and tourists as we sat by some Russians, but there was a local elementary class just up a balcony to our left. At 15 GEL a person (under 4 free) it was a great time. You should visit too!

Dolphin jump feature

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 4. The Boulevard Beach (the northern section)

Batumi rock beachBeach umbrellas

What’s the first thing you notice? It’s the rocks, right? Yes, it’s a rock beach, and can be hard on the feet (so bring sandals!), but it’s great for Batumi with kids! The kids play in the sand all the time, and beautiful, colored rocks are a novelty.  Both my kids made rock collections, towers, practiced skipping rocks and had a blast. The other thing that won the day? The sea life. There were little jellyfish everywhere and dolphins playing in the distance. We went from screams of fright to joy every two seconds. Loved it.

Medusa jellyfish

5. Europe Square

Europe Square, golden fleeceEurope Square, bikes

Europe Square is what it says and probably the most European-looking location in Georgia. It’s fun for the adults to look around at the architecture, take pictures, and have a coffee. The kids loved the water jumping fountain in the middle and thought the statue of Medea with the Golden Fleece was “super-awesome”. The Astronomical Clock was impressive, and the kids were in the mood to explore and thought it was pretty cool. There’s also some well-tended plants, flowers, and of course palm trees to enjoy as you walk around. It won’t take you too long to walk around but don’t miss this square!

Astronomical clockEurope Square, fountain

6. Sarpi Beach and Turkish border

There’s just something about the beach and cafés at the border at Sarpi I love. It’s about 15 km from Batumi, but you see a lot more Turkish influence in that short distance. We even heard the Muslim call to prayer from the Turkish side. Again, we met with a multi-cultural mix of people (Georgians, Russians, Turks, Azeris), which was great for the kids to see and interact with. My daughter and niece played with some Russian girls for awhile, and to me, that’s a huge educational piece in friendship, understanding, and differences.

Sarpi beach

It’s a little crazy right at the border, but you usually have the beach with only a few other tourists. It gets a lot busier in August and September, but since we were there in June we had a huge section of beach just to ourselves. In addition, we stopped at a fun, open café-type area with lots of tables and umbrellas just before the border. We all got penovani khatchapuri (the cheese bread with puff pastry) and a drink. There are convenient pay toilets close by too, look for the WC sign. Pay toilets mean they’re much cleaner, and it’s not all that expensive. Also, did I mention it’s gorgeous?? I love the views you get around this area of the beach.

Turkish border at Sarpi

Here’s the border crossing. Note the Georgian and Turkish flags.

Sarpi beach with towels

 

7. Alphabetic Tower

Alphabetic towerThe Alphabetic Tower is located near the Ferris Wheel at the northern end of the Boulevard in Miracles Park. It’s an impressive structure made to look like a DNA helix covered in the letters of the Georgian alphabet. Yes, the Georgian language has its own unique alphabet with 33 letters that are not Cyrillic or Latin, but Georgian! You can ride up to the observation level or even eat at the restaurant, although we didn’t do that at the time. You get some great views of the city through the glass. We enjoyed the outside more and the playful tone of the architecture!

8. Gonio Fortress

Gonio Fortress

The Gonio Fortress is a Roman fortification within what was Colchis. You know, Jason and the Argonauts, the Golden Fleece and all that!? Awesomeness. It is also believed to be the resting place of the Apostle Matthew, although that has not been officially verified. History buffs, you need to visit this place. If you’re bringing kids make it a morning stop on your way to the beaches and border at Sarpi so you can rest on the beach in the afternoon. My kids basically said, “A castle! Cool!” It’s a fun place ponder the history and people who’ve been in this region of the world.

Fountain

9. Batumi Dancing Fountains

First of all, we happened to stumble upon the dancing fountains during the day, after a small meltdown by the four-year-old. The fountains have some fun bridges that go over them near the spouting water. Kids from all around were running and laughing and trying to touch the water.

Dancing fountain bridge

I didn’t get great pictures, but the day fountain-chasing was a much-needed break. The night show is set to music and lights and is a fun evening when you’re wandering about between the Boulevard and the city. This is a great pick when visiting Batumi with kids.

10. Laguna and Atcharuli Khatchapuri

Okay. So in the country of Georgia, I would say the most popular food people eat on a daily basis is khatchapuri. Khatchapuri is basically cheese bread, and there are many ways of preparing it in which the regions all over Georgia specialize. Batumi is in Adjara, know for their Atcharuli khatchapuri. Oh my yes. This is the kind you’ll see looks like a bread boat filled with cheese, large pats of butter, and an egg broken in on top at the last minute. Just take a look.

Atcharuli khatchapuri

My family just sat staring at the things in awe for a moment, and then remembered proper Atcharuli khatchapuri protocol. First, your boat is brought out to you piping hot with the butter and egg just placed on top. Second, you take your fork and mix it all up inside the boat, pulling out the sides and middle bread even, and mixing it all up to cook the egg. Next, dig in, breaking of the sides of bread and dipping them in the middle as you go. Last, beg for a Borjomi (Georgian sparkling mineral water traditionally used to settle stomachs).

Mixed Atcharuli khatchapuri

I’m drooling just staring at the pictures. Let me tell you, the stuff is amazing. I only got about a third of mine down it was so filling, but my husband cleaned his plate! We went to eat at a place called “Laguna”, recommended to us both by locals and tourists as the BEST Atcharuli khatchapuri in Batumi, THEREFORE the world. I can definitely say it’s the best I’ve ever had, and I’ve had it quite a few times. If you are in Batumi this is a MUST – GO, GO! get yourself a bread boat of this gooey, cheesy, buttery goodness.

Laguna

Conclusion

This is longer than my normal post, but Batumi is such a fun, different, amazing place to visit, it warrants more than the norm. There are so many other places around this city I could have included, but I tried to stick to those that were enjoyed most by my kids. Several people told us to check out the Botanic Gardens, but I didn’t include them in this list because the four-year-old is not a hiker who enjoys the ups and downs and meandering trails to see plants. It may be perfect for your visit though!

I have so many good memories of this place and fun times with the family. If you’re heading to Batumi with kids definitely look up some of these places before you go. Or, if you’re traveling without kids look them up anyway! You won’t regret it.

Aba hey! Kargat iqavi.  Me at the beach

What are some of your most memorable travels as a kid?

I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Batumi things to do

Spring Book List: What I’m Reading

Spring Book List: What I’m Reading

This page contains affiliate links. Spring Book List: What I’m Reading

The family leaves the country in a few days, and I’m in complete list-making, near panic mode. This, and the kids being home all the time made me a little behind this week. So, this post is a fun one, just a book list of what I’ve read and enjoyed lately. I love to read, and I always have. I’ve lined our basement with bookshelves of all sorts of things I cannot bear to give away. Are you the same? What sorts of books do you like to read? I enjoy a variety of genres, but most of what I read leads back to history or culture even if that culture is imagined or unknown.

Unfortunately, lately I haven’t had as much time as I would have liked to devote to this pastime, but I managed some good ones in March and April I’d like to share! So without further ado…

Here’s my spring book list, or what I’m reading

A Gentleman in Moscow

by Amor Towles

Count Alexander Rostov is found guilty of being an aristocrat in Moscow, post-Russian Revolution. The only reason he’s not sentenced to death is a poem he published seeming to support the cause of the common man. Therefore, he is not shot but given life in the Metropol Hotel across from the Kremlin. The government puts him on house arrest and not allowed to leave the hotel.

This is a remarkable story about a man and his interactions with the people who come and go in the Metropol Hotel. The book brilliantly transitions through years of his life and the people who come and go in a fascinating story. The author pulls you in and creates a likable character with interesting relationships in a difficult time. Mr. Towles shows great talent weaving the story in the limited setting. Truly, this is a book I could not put down and enjoyed immensely.

On a scale from 1 – 5 stars I give it a 5-star rating.

***** Go pick it up today or order from Amazon here!

We Were the Lucky Ones

by Georgia Hunter

This is the story of a Polish Jewish family during World War II. From the different points of view of the family members and they’re spread all over Europe and the world, you get an amazing perspective of what it was like for them during that time period. One brother is in France and at the beginning of the war and can’t get home to Poland. Another brother and his wife are sent to work in Siberia. The parents and sisters stay in Poland and go through the unbelievable with an amazing sense of optimism and determination for their family to be together again.

This is a powerful book and better than any history book on the experience of Jewish people during World War II. What makes it all the more amazing and makes a huge impact is the fact it’s based on a true story. The author of the book has researched, spoken to family members, been to these locations, and created an amazing piece of work in taking down her family story. The writing takes you back to that time and almost makes it feel like you are there with them.

This is one of the best books I’ve read in years and one that stays with you. It may not be a beach read, but I highly recommend reading it for your own education.

On a scale from 1 – 5 stars I give it a 5-star rating.

***** I would give it more if I could. See it here.

How to Make YOU Time in Your Mom Calendar

Do you love reading but have trouble finding the time? Those Mom demands can be pretty intense!
Read about it here!

The Wise Man’s Fear

by Patrick Rothfuss

This is the second book in what is supposed to be a three-part trilogy entitled The Kingkiller Chronicles. In the first book, The Name of the Wind, the author introduces us to Kvothe. He is a hero, a villain, we are unsure what stories we can trust. The first book gives us his upbringing, the story of his family, him living as a wild child on the streets, and his entrance into the University. We hear about this as he tells his story to Chronicler, the king’s scribe.

In The Wise Man’s Fear, Kvothe continues to tell his tale to Chronicler. This time we get part of his University story, violent feud with another student named Ambrose, and his time away from University life. He trains, becomes a warrior, a man, and makes some dangerous connections.

If you’re a Sci-Fi Fantasy fan this may be the series for you. In fact, you’ve probably already read it. I love Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time and most anything written by Brandon Sanderson. Because of those interests, my brother and several other friends (all male) recommended this series to me as an amazing must-read. The writing is good, great descriptions and world building. It took me awhile, but once I go into The Wise Man’s Fear I really felt for Kvothe and felt invested in his life, friends, and world. I dove into the second book but had a lot of distractions along the way with kids and busy schedules, etc. I had a hard time staying interested as I had in the first, but that could be due to many things.

Most Sci-Fi Fantasy fans I know who’ve read it give it 5 stars hands down.

On a scale from 1 – 5 stars I give it a 4-star rating.

**** See it here. Or The Name of the Wind here.

Sanditon: Jane Austen’s Last Novel Completed

by Jane Austen and Another Lady

Sanditon is the last unfinished novel by Jane Austen, 12 chapters written the year of her death, 1817. It gives us a delightful and sensible heroine, Charlotte Heywood, and takes our setting to the seaside of what the locals hope to be an up and coming resort town. All of our normal story points are in place for a Jane Austen novel, displaying people’s character traits and flaws to the extreme. Charlotte meets and interacts with the circle in the town of Sanditon: the beautiful Miss Brereton, the pedantic and inaccurate ridiculous Sir Edward, Mr. Parker, the hypochondriac Parker sisters, the witty and wealthy eligible Sidney Parker, and a whole cast more.

I will not give away the ending; however, I thoroughly enjoyed the story development, elaboration, and ending completed by “Another Lady”. The transition between writers is quite seamless and is a great read for those craving more Jane Austen. Moreover, this paperback edition, again I will say finished quite agreeably by “Another Lady”, is one of my favorites to read just as summer approaches. It is light-hearted, funny, and a fun study of character.

Sanditon makes me laugh, cry, and cheer for our heroine. I read it almost once a year. Therefore:

On a scale from 1 – 5 stars it gets a 5-star rating.

***** Buy it on Amazon here!

That’s what I’m reading, now what are you reading?

So, there you go! These are the books I’ve read lately, actually some of the best I’ve read in a long time. Pick one out that appeals to you and escape with it for a little while. My schedule is so crazy I have to practically mark time on my calendar to get reading in, or often it just cuts into sleeping time. But it’s necessary! Learn new things and embrace new stories and characters. It’s worth a book-hangover now and then.

What books are you reading? I’m getting a list ready for summer, and I’d love to look at your ideas. In the comments please let me know your summer reading favorites or suggestions! Have fun!

Educational Gifts For Kids: Green Kid Crafts

Educational Gifts For Kids: Green Kid Crafts

This post contains affiliate links. Educational Gifts For Kids: Green Kid Crafts.

Green kid crafts pin

Are you struggling to find fun, original, educational gifts for the kid in your life? We just had our first experience with Green Kid Crafts, and it already has my kids begging for more. There is so much packed into the little green box it’s a great choice for any child.

Review of Green Kid Crafts

First of all, let me be clear, in no way shape or form am I a science mom or have ever had much interest in science. I studied history, geography, French, international studies, etc. in college. I believe took astronomy and geology for my two required college science courses because they looked the most interesting.

However, I think this is part of the reason why I love Green Kid Crafts. First, there is a ton to learn about and explore. These are activities my kids love (especially my son) I would never have put together on my own. Also, it was so nice to have everything required for the experiment or activity right there on hand with clear directions, multiple options, and great thought-provoking questions for the kids to consider.

As a disclosure, we were sent a free sample box to review to be an affiliate for Green Kid Crafts. Now, you can choose to be an affiliate for so many things out there. There are certainly many options for monthly subscription kid themes. I have to say this is my favorite of all the monthly subscription boxes out there we’ve received. Why? Because there is simply so much to do. In addition, both the 4-year-old and the 8-year-old thought it was awesome!

If you’re in need of a creative and fun educational gift for a child, try out Green Kid Crafts and share an experience. It’s not just a toy to sit in the corner and gather dust.

What is Green Kid Crafts?

Green Kid Crafts is a monthly subscription for discovery boxes for kids 3-10 years old. They focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), providing opportunities to spark the imagination and trigger those higher thinking questions and skills. Each box has a different theme; the one we were sent is titled “Outer Space”.

Firstly, as stated, the kits are geared toward kids 3-10 years of age. The younger ones will need more help and guidance in reading the directions and doing the activity than the older ones. Actually, I found I had to almost work with the older child more to get her to slow down, do things in order, and make observations. A lot depends on the personality of your child!

Alien with Green Kid Crafts preview

From their own website, Green Kid Crafts describes their product as:

Developed by teachers, crafty moms and STEAM experts (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) to support key developmental skills for kids ages 3-10, our products celebrate creativity with craft projects and activate thinking, questioning, inquiring, and original creation as we guide children through fun science experiments.

Who would enjoy Green Kid Crafts as a fun, educational gift?

Firstly, as stated, the kits are geared toward kids 3-10 years of age. The younger ones will need more help and guidance in reading the directions and doing the activity than the older ones. Actually, I found I had to almost work with the older child more to get her to slow down, do things in order, and make observations. A lot depends on the personality of your child!

Green kid crafts balloon experiment

These are fun and accessible for any kid. However, I think those who would especially enjoy it would be those who may already have an interest in science, discovery, and a patience and determination to figure out how things work. You know those kids who at age 2 were trying take apart the door knob, turning it back and forth, and testing the locks? You can practically see the gears in their heads working as they try to figure out the why does it do this? My son and my brother were both this way at a young age, and my brother ended up an engineer so there you go!

For parents, this is a quick and easy way to enjoy active learning with your children. You get to participate and see them discover and get excited learning about the world around them. I personally love the fact I didn’t have to go figure out a bunch of experiments and activities and gather all the supplies!

Need more fun activities to do with kids?

Many of these awesome ideas are great for any season!
Read it here!

What I like about Green Kid Crafts

  • The kits are pre-packaged and ready to go with nearly everything you need. The only things we needed for our “Outer Space” kit were a little cooking oil and dishwashing liquid.
  • Plenty of supplies. We were able to do the experiments multiple times for both my son and daughter. (You can also order extra in your kits for siblings)
  • A variety of activities. We learned not just about one topic but many. Included in our box we had a Planetarium Kit, Space Sand Kit, and a Rocket Balloon Kit.
  • Each kit of the three we received in our box has multiple experiments and discovery opportunities.
  • Excellent directions and thought-provoking questions to help kids explore.
  • The different kits take a good amount of time to complete. I would not recommend doing them all at once but space them out during the month for kids to really enjoy and think about.
  • STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) focused. Great for getting kids exciting about learning and experimenting outside of school.
  • Promotes key developmental skills.
  • Educational and fun for adults helping kids as well. Granted, I’m not a scientist, but the space sand was fascinating to learn about!
  • New learning theme each month.
  • Earth-friendly materials are used. The supplies chosen can be composted, recycled and/or reused whenever possible.

Practical details and how to get it

There are several options for boxes and subscriptions. You can order a one-time box and renew it every month or get a 3, 6, or 12-month subscription, which is totally awesome, and I wouldn’t mind being given to me as a gift myself! See this link for current prices and options: Give the gift of creativity with Green Kid Crafts!

The child in your life will get their own exciting package in the mail every month with endless opportunities for discovery, imagination, and fun. What kid does not like to get something in the mail? They fight over just holding it on the way home from the mailbox at our house!

In conclusion and my opinion

I’ve said a lot of good things about this product and company, and our experiences so far are very favorable. I really like the idea of encouraging the growth of the “whole child” and the focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). Moreover, as a person who has never really had much interest in science for myself, I found myself getting excited about the experiments with the kids. The only con I can think of to mention was that the air pump for the balloons didn’t work as well as I would have liked, and that was not a problem as I could blow them up myself.

With my own eyes, I saw them learning new things about materials, jet propulsion, and the night sky. Their faces lit up with excitement and enthusiasm for learning with very little effort on my part. This would make a wonderful gift from any grandparent, friend, relative, or whoever.

What are your favorite science experiments you remember doing as a child? Post them in the comments!

I think my most memorable was when my science teacher had us do a bug collection with 25 different species. I felt like I was collecting bugs forever! A close second most memorable was when the squid ink exploded all over me during a dissection…ack! I still can picture that table and middle school classroom!

30 Nut-Free Snacks For A Long-Haul Flight

30 Nut-Free Snacks For A Long-Haul Flight

This post contains affiliate links. 30 Nut-Free Snacks For A Long-Haul Flight

My family, including our 4-year-old and 8-year-old, is preparing for some intense travel this summer. I think I’ve mentioned before, I’m a planner so even though it’s a few weeks away I’m in full panic list-making mode. My current focus is food and snacks, yes snacks. When you have three long flights, including two lengthy layovers one-way, and a child with a serious allergy, snacks are a major issue. Therefore, I’ve been collecting ideas and possibilities and came up with this list of 30 nut-free snacks for a long-haul flight.

Where are you going that requires over 24 hours of travel time each way?

We’ll be traveling to the beautiful country of Georgia and landing in the capital of Tbilisi. My husband is from a town just a couple hours west of Tbilisi so we’ll be visiting family and acting the tourist as we head to Batumi, a rather fabulous city on the Black Sea. If you’re ready for some amazing food, wine, beaches, culture, and welcoming people, this is the place for you.

Comments from the children about Batumi:

“Mommy, what is a dolphinarium? They have one. I want to go there.”

“So Mommy. Do I have to get in the water? I don’t want to swim in the sea, but I can make a sand castle, right?”

“Do you think we’ll see some jellyfish?”

Yes, traveling with kids is always an adventure and an education. I love being there when they experience new things for the first time and see their eyes widen in excitement before they start bouncing up and down. However, for Mom, safety is always one of my major worries on any trip.  You know, right up there on the top of the list is food safety when traveling abroad, especially when a child has a major food allergy.

Why should I be concerned if my snacks have peanuts in them on the airplane?

First of all, my child does not have a peanut allergy, but she does have another allergy that can be equally as deadly. Personally, I do not understand how anyone can justify bringing peanuts or any nuts on an enclosed airplane. One would hope the airlines and anyone who feels their need for a bag of peanuts on an airplane is no problem has never had close contact with someone with a life-threatening allergy.

It’s sort of like me saying, “Here is some iocane powder I’ve instantly dissolved into our drinking water. It is odorless, tasteless, and one of the more deadly poisons known to man. I’m not affected by it because I’ve ingested it in small amounts and have built up an immunity to it. I like the idea of it. Therefore, it is my right to put it in our water supply. Anyone who is poisoned by it will just have to deal with it or go live in another town.”

Be aware of allergies on an airplane

Does this make sense in any way, shape, or form? No, of course not, but for some reason, the idea of eating a bunch of nuts on an airplane and breathing them on your neighbor and the rest of the occupants of the plane as the air moves around the cabin does not even cross most minds. It is not as if you can turn a life-threatening allergy on or off with the flip of a switch. Moreover, the insensitivity, ignorance, or insistence of those not affected is simply a dangerous form of discrimination. I could go on and on with this topic, but we’d better stop there and look at some nut-free snack choices.

Have you prepped your home for while you're on vacation?

Read through my homeowner’s travel prep checklist to make sure you’ve covered it all!
Read it here!

30 Nut-Free Snacks For A Long-Haul Flight

This is a good list including many of the options we like to use for snacks. These are nut-free options great for aiplanes, school snacks, or any child with a nut allergy. However, please, please, PLEASE double-check labels before eating if there is an allergy present. Sometimes company do change procedures and they can then produce items on the same equipment or in the same facility as nuts. I hope you try some new ones out. The pink titles and pictures of the items link to Amazon in case you want more information. Enjoy!

 

  1. Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks. My kids love most Annie’s snacks, but not all are nut-free or not made in a facility with other nuts. Be sure to check your labels! 
  2. Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. Always a classic and sure to distract kids for a few minutes.
  3. Enjoy Life Not Nuts! Mountain Mambo Seed and Fruit Mix, Gluten, Dairy, Nut & Soy Free. I absolutely love this brand. Not only do the snacks taste good, but they are marketed as gluten, dairy, nut, and soy free. These are perfect nut-free snacks for a long-haul flight, and healthy too! 
  4. Enjoy Life Not Nuts! Beach Bash Nut Free Seed and Fruit Mix, Gluten, Dairy, Nut & Soy Free. Bonus! Another flavor! 
  5. Don’t Go Nuts Nut-Free Organic Snack Bars, Whitewater Chomp. Try the Blueberry Blast and Boogie Board Bash flavors as well! 
  6. Enjoy Life Baked Chewy 1 Ounce Bars, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free & Soy Free. Again, try out the different flavors to find your favorites.
  7. Newtons Fruit Chewy Cookies, Fig. 
  8. Nature’s Bakery Whole Wheat Fig Bar, Raspberry. These are so good! I love to eat these as an afternoon snack. 
  9. Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Cereal Bars. 
  10. Black Forest Organic Gummy Bears Candy. Try the Black Forest Organic Fruit Snacks too
  11. Annie’s Organic Variety Pack, Cheddar Bunnies and Bunny Graham Crackers Snack Packs. 
  12. GoGo squeeZ Applesauce On The Go, Apple Berry, 3.2 Ounce Pouches. These are great because they’re healthy fruit and at 3.2 ounces just under your 3.4-ounce airport limit.
  13. Little Duck Organics Tiny Fruits + Veggie.
  14. Triscuit Crackers, Original. 
  15. Nature Valley Cinnamon Granola Crunch. My husband loves Nature Valley granola bars, but the usually have peanuts and other nuts listed in the allergen information. We recently found this granola crunch with the only warning being for soy and love it. It’s a great snack or fun to put on yogurt for breakfast. 
  16. Trader Joe’s Jumbo Raisin Medley. Raisins are a great snack on the go! I have found some of the major brands producing the individual serving boxes are produced in the same facility or on shared equipment with nuts. So, check your labels carefully! This is why I usually end up buying the store brand of raisins, and as an added bonus they’re cheaper! Now, this jumbo raisin medley is something different and just rather yummy so that’s why it’s made the list.
  17. Brothers-ALL-Natural Fruit Crisps.
  18. Made in Nature Organic and Unsulfured Tree Ripened Dried Apricots. Apricots can be tricky! When you buy a bag be sure they’re not packaged in a facility with peanuts or tree nuts.
  19. Oreo Sandwich Cookies Variety Pack.
  20. Rold Gold Tiny Twists Pretzels.
  21. Enjoy Life Plentils Single-Serve Variety Pack.
  22. MySuperCookies Organic Whole Grain Cookies. 
  23. Plum Kids Organic Fruit Mashups, Mixed Berry.
  24. Mott’s Unsweetened Strawberry Applesauce. 
  25. Skeeter Nut Free Mini Cookies, Variety Pack.
  26. Made Good Granola Minis Chocolate Chip.
  27. Cascadian Farm Organic Granola Bars, Chocolate Chip Chewy Granola Bars.
  28. Stretch Island Fruit Leather.
  29. CLIF KID ZFRUIT – Organic Fruit Snack – Strawberry.
  30. SunRype Apple Blueberry Pomegranate Fruitsource 100% Fruit Bar. 

What can I do with 30 nut-free snacks for a long-haul flight?

Pick out a few of these nut-free snacks for a long-haul flight and pop them in a Ziploc bag with each family member’s name for their carry-on. This will divide the load, and you can decide exactly how much you’ll need. My examples in the pictures may look excessive, but when your travel time is over 24 hours without any certainty of nut-free options, a mom likes to play it safe.

Happy Travels!

I hope your travels lead you to exotic, educational, and enjoyable locales! Take some time away and come back to daily life refreshed and a better person. But above all please don’t forget to be kind! Think about the lives of those around you on the airplane, at the beach, and serving you at the restaurant. Be thoughtful and respectful of the locals of the places you visit and the other people around you, and make no mistake, your kids will take note. They will copy what you do, and the world will be a better place because of it.

Where are you vacationing this summer? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Give me some good places to start imagining future travels!

*Iocane powder is not a real poison. It is a reference from the film ‘The Princess Bride.’

Kid-Prepared Mother’s Day Brunch Menu

Kid-Prepared Mother’s Day Brunch Menu

This page contains affiliate links. Mother’s Day brunch menu.

Do you need a Mother’s Day brunch menu for the kids in your life to make a memorable impression for Mom or Grandma? This is my go to quick brunch for women’s events like baby showers, a ladies get together, a book club, or any fun gathering. It is a proven formula, and I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t enjoyed it. So for some pampering and a show of appreciation for all Mom does in our lives, give her a rest and make something she will love.

Test your patience Mom day

Today was one of those mornings for me. The 4-year-old was happy and looking forward to “Z” day at school and then bam! We forget the backpack. Now, do you really need a backpack for a 2 and a half hour preschool class? Not really, but it’s a fun thing to carry around and put our “jobs” in before going home. The child completely lost it and would not go in the building without his backpack. Did I have a million things to do while he was in preschool? Yes.

We had a talk next to the car trying to be reasonable and explain how he wouldn’t need it, and Mommy would bring it at the end of school. No luck, and the kid is stubborn. So amid the screams, running back to the car multiple times, I admit to myself. It’s a test your patience Mom day. We all have them. So people! Plan something nice for the Mom in your life and show some gratitude to the person who navigated you or others through the childhood fits, trials, stubbornness, and growth.

Why should kids prepare a Mother’s Day brunch menu?

Mother’s Day is an awesome opportunity to do something nice for some of the most important people in kids’ young lives. Instead of buying something and wrapping it up and telling the kids what Mom or Grandma is getting, give them a part. Make them invest some of themselves in the effort. Yes, it will take more time, patience, and clean-up, but the smiles of pride and joy as they present Mom with a homemade breakfast or brunch on a tray or at a family party is well worth it.

My kids love to be involved in cooking and preparing gifts for others. Their faces light up, and of course the four-year-old states, “Yes! I can do it myself for Grandma!”

Mother's Day brunch menu

This year use a Mother’s Day brunch menu for kids to treat Mom, Grandma, or that special person in their lives to a little luxury and pampering.

Make Mom a Fresh Carrot Orange Mango Smoothie!

Carrot smoothies

Get the recipe here!

Mother’s Day brunch menu

Kid-prepared Mother’s Day brunch menu

Yogurt, fruit, and granola parfaits

Yogurt parfait side view

To begin, our menu includes some simple, healthy, pretty, and oh so tasty ingredients to give Mom some energy for the day. Presentation is a huge part of making food enjoyable so embrace the aesthetics while choosing the best foods at the same time. Who can resist a beautiful yogurt parfait with fresh fruit and granola?

This is a fun thing for kids to prepare. First, gather the ingredients. You’ll, of course, need yogurt in one or more flavors. We like vanilla when adding fruit to it, but if Mom likes blueberry or coconut Greek yogurt, go with her preference! Also, cut up your fresh fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, mangos, or whatever you want. Next, take a bag of a favorite granola and begin layering. Start with a layer of granola, then fruit, then yogurt. Depending on the size of your glasses you can repeat this process 2, 3, 4 or more times! Lastly, top with a sprinkling of granola and the main fruits in the parfait.

Yogurt parfait close-up

Scones (home-made or store-bought)

Along with the parfait, you can include a little indulgence. I absolutely love fruit scones but rarely make them. Choose whatever flavor Mom or Grandma love, and if you have time help the kids make them from scratch. However, you don’t have time, buy some at the store but have the little ones take them out of the package and place them just right on pretty plates.

Order a scone recipe book from Amazon here: Scones: The Ultimate Recipe Guide

Quiche

Then, add a little savory to the menu with a dainty Quiche Lorraine or whatever flavor Mom likes. Quiche is not really that difficult to do, and if you buy a pre-made crust in the pan it’s a simple matter of whisking together 5 eggs, 3/4 cup cream (or milk), and 2 cups flavoring ingredients (such as spinach and gruyère cheese or ham and cheddar cheese), then pouring it into the shell to bake for 45-50 min. For a good printable recipe click on the link here.


Does anyone else have trouble letting yourself allow the child to crack the eggs? Arg. All that salmonella (maybe?)! I’ve had to make a choice to let that anxiety go, she can do it! Moreover, if we get a dropped egg on the floor, a smashed eggshell in the egg mixture, or raw egg all over our hands it can all be fixed, cleaned up, sterilized, or whatever. Sigh. Let it go, let it go…

Mimosas or Orange Juice

Orange juice

Next, we have our Mimosas (mmmm!), simple orange juice, or possibly an Orangina? Decide if you want an adult to take care of the adult beverage portion or have the kids take care of everything with an attractive glass of bright orange juice.

 Coffee or Tea

St. Patrick's Day tea

At a morning brunch, I find coffee a necessary piece of the puzzle for my true enjoyment, but provide tea or coffee or even hot cocoa depending on the tastes of your VIPs.

Mom’s favorite flower in vase

First, don’t eat the flower! Nearing the finishing touches, place a cheerful single or a whole bouquet of flowers in a vase for Grandma or Mom in her favorite flower and color.

Child’s hand-drawn card

Last but certainly not least, don’t forget the kids’ hand-drawn Mother’s Day cards with hand-prints, flowers, squid, bison, or whatever the child is moved to share with Mom. They will be cherished.

Mother and daughter

In closing

To all my hard-working moms out there, I get it! Don’t forget to take a moment out and pamper yourselves! You are amazing and soooo important to those kids and their futures.

So today, the same day we had the meltdown in front of all the other preschool parents in the parking lot, we also had the end of the year program. The child took an interest, got himself dressed in a “church shirt” with suspenders and tie, and actively participated in singing, dancing, and doing motions in a 17 song/rhyme program. Every song he looked at Mom proudly with a big, beautiful smile from ear to ear. Love on your littles while you can and appreciate every day.

The Ultimate Homeowner’s Travel Prep Checklist

The Ultimate Homeowner’s Travel Prep Checklist

This post contains affiliate links. Homeowner’s Travel Prep Checklist

Homeowner's Travel checklist

So you did it! You booked that big vacation for the entire family to go to Provence, to London, or to Florida for three weeks this summer. Of course, you have your itinerary, ideas about where to eat, what to do, where to stay, and all that jazz. You may even already have your suitcases and carry-ons planned. However, have you thought about your house, your home and all that will go on there while you are away?

Use this ultimate homeowner’s travel prep checklist to safeguard your home while you are away.

We all love to prepare for a vacation but can often forget about what will go on at home while we’re gone. Make a thorough plan for while you are gone so you can enjoy your vacation with the peace of mind everything’s been taken care of for you back home.

Homeowner checklist preview

Don’t be surprised or caught in the last minute panic. Of course, I will be in a panic about something, but let’s limit it as much as possible, right? Just enter your email below, and the document will be sent to you to download. Then come along with us as we continue to prep for summer travel!

Need a journal for kids to reflect on your travels?

Get your free kids’ travel journal from Explorer Momma.
Read it here!

Here is my ultimate homeowner’s travel prep checklist

Homeowner's travel prep checklist

When you leave town do you take care of your home necessities?

  1. Stop your mail.
  2. Put a hold on any newspapers.
  3. Find a pet sitter or reserve a pet care location.
  4. Find someone to water plants inside and outside the house.
  5. Give your contact info to a trusted neighbor who can keep an eye on things as they come and go or have a friend or relative check on the house every few days.
  6. Find a house-sitter if necessary.
  7. Make sure the sprinkler system is set.
  8. Change your thermostat settings so your heater/air conditioner isn’t constantly running while no one’s home.
  9. Turn off and/or unplug computers, coffee pots, blenders, or other electronics.
  10. Contact your home security company if you have one to let them know when you’ll be gone.
  11. Schedule or reschedule any lawn care and the bug or pest control as needed.
  12. In winter plan for someone to complete necessary snow-removal.
  13. Cancel dairy or food home deliveries while you’re gone.
  14. Pay all bills due while you’re gone or set them to pay at the appropriate time.
  15. Set timers on outdoor and indoor lights used consistently in the evenings.
  16. Straighten the house and make beds, wash dishes, and unload the dishwasher before you leave so you come home to a calming and welcoming space.
  17. Call credit card companies to let them know where and when you’ll be traveling.
  18. Leave copies of passports and other important documents where someone can locate them for you in an emergency.

Click on the pictures to compare outlet timers and wifi smart plug outlets on Amazon:

There is so much to think about when you’re traveling, especially with kids. As a homeowner, we have to think of all the things we’re leaving behind and still have to take care of while we’re away. Make that house a home for your family and make a plan! Use my homeowner’s travel prep checklist, and limit your risk of utter and complete Home Alone panic while you’re on that airplane to Paris.

Enjoy your travels this summer to the fullest!

Also, I’d love to hear where all you’re traveling! Put a comment in below and let’s get excited about those plans to explore!

Explorer Momma EM

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