Archive for the 'Activities' Category

4 Reasons to love Farmhouse Kitchen at Hampstead

August 28th, 2009 categories: Activities, Montgomery
inside Farmhouse Kitchen in the Town of Hampstead in Montgomery, AL, is a gem of a restaurant. We knew it had a good chance of being cool simply because it's part of this unique East Montgomery development, but what about the food? We ate dinner there last night and it exceeded our expectations.  Here are 4 reasons we love Farmhouse Kitchen: service1) Staff - This has to be #1 on our list because the service and hospitality were excellent.   We ate as part of a large group, but the servers and staff took care of our every need with ease.  I even got a hug when we left!  It's not contrived hospitality - it's the real deal. 2) Food - We tried the shrimp and grits, and it was fabulous.  Easily one of the best renditions of this dish we've had.  The skillet cornbread that's brought to the table before the meal was fought over, and the homemade vanilla ice cream on top of our pecan pie was far better than any we've made in our own ice cream churn.
salad

Fresh tomato, cucumber and onion with vinaigrette

Shrimp and Grits in a HUGE bowl

Shrimp and Grits in a HUGE bowl

dessert

Chocolate cake

3)  Atmosphere - Open and casual, you would not mind bringing your kids for lunch or dinner.  The decor is simple and comfortable, but not hokey or contrived to be "country."  It serves a purpose and does not get in the way of the experience (which is the food). High Street 34)  Location - If you haven't been to Hampstead, head south on Taylor Road and take a tour.  We had fun walking the main street and enjoying the architecture before the rest of our group arrived. It's definitely an escape from the strip mall experience.  We both commented that it would be fun to live in Hampstead and have a great place to eat within walking distance. Forget chain restaurant, greasy, "country" cooking.  Farmhouse Kitchen is more like eating at your grandmother's. And the service is just as good! For a menu and hours of operation, click here.

Fun, Free (or almost) and Cool: Entertain Your Kids in Montgomery, AL

June 24th, 2009 categories: Activities, Montgomery
It's already scorching in Montgomery, AL. It's the second day of summer. How does a family survive? Here are a few ideas for free (or very cheap) ways to keep your kids entertained this summer while NOT suffering a heatstroke. img_0039Public Libraries: Where are they and what special events are going on?  Here's a link to library summer events next week. Check back with local branches for more activities. Storytellers, singers, art - sounds fun. Kids' movies at The Capri: Every Thursday and Friday at 10 am and 1 pm, you can take your kids for just $1 a ticket.  Click here for their summer schedule, and get there a little early because it fills up quickly. img_0029Kids' movies at the Rave: Similar to the Capri, but FREE!  Click here for the summer roster.  They're showing free kids' movies every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 am for eight weeks this summer.  Like The Capri, no reservations are taken, so show up early to get a seat. Artworks Gallery at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts: Air conditioned, fun, room to wiggle - all good things in 100 degree weather.  There is a box for donations at the front door of the museum, but there is no entrance fee. It's a large, interactive space for kids to explore art with their families.  You can spend hours . . . click here for more info. Riverwalk Splashpad: Located in the Riverwalk amphitheater park in downtown Montgomery, the splashpad is (for lack of better terminology) a large play area with water shooting out of the ground.  Like a big fountain.  Although this is not an air conditioned venue, it's wet and FREE, and anyone can use it (although sometimes it's closed for private parties.  Open until 7 pm everyday.  Click here for address and phone number. I'm sure there are some I have overlooked, so feel free to add to the list by commenting below.  Good luck staying cool and saving money this summer!

Lemonade Stand In East Montgomery’s Sturbridge Tastes Like Summer

June 1st, 2009 categories: Activities, Montgomery, Neighborhoods
I have a great home for sale in Sturbridge.  I took my real estate assistant over there to put out some more flyers today and encountered my first lemonade stand of the summer: lemonade-stand I wasn't surprised to see one here. Sturbridge is a great neighborhood in east Montgomery, one with an apple pie, American feel.  Kids ride their bikes around there.  Moms power walk. Teens play ultimate frisbee in the "green space." What I was surprised about was how good the lemonade was.  It was actually like a limonada - sort of a blended, Icee consistency, with just the right amount of sweet and sour.  Worth every bit of the 75 cents and 25 cent tip.  What's up? Do the kids in Sturbridge have some sort of secret recipe? I will return to that one. Even though I am one of the cheapest humans alive, I will always stop at a kids' lemonade stand.  It is free enterprise in action. It fires me up that capitalism is alive and well, no bailouts in the lemonade stand industry, no sir. While I'm on the subject, let me point out one more great reason to stop a lemonade stands: Make A Stand - Montgomery's own Pat & Elizabeth Adams are involved with this effort to bring awareness and raise money to fight pediatric brain cancer.

Swim Safely In Montgomery, AL

March 18th, 2009 categories: Activities, Montgomery

swimmer-black-and-whiteIt's time to begin planning kids' summer activities, and swimming lessons always rank high on that list in Montgomery, AL.  The Montgomery YMCA always offers lessons - some at neighborhood pools and some on their property - so here's a link to their pool/lesson schedule.

For those of you who prefer a smaller, more private setting, I want to share two additional sources with you.   Carole Anne Redding and Karen Lee offer swimming lessons in private pools for very reasonable fees.  They are both teachers during the school year, and have been teaching swimming in the summers for years.  We've used both of these ladies in the past and they are excellent with kids.

Here's how to contact them:

Karen Lee has a new website this year:  See Me Swim.  All registration information is there on her website, plus she has a picture gallery, her credentials, and information about adult swim lessons.

Carole Anne Redding teaches 4, two-week sessions, with 8 classes per session beginning May 4.  All of Carole Anne's classes are taught at a private pool near The Waters.  She has has been teaching lessons for over 20 years.

Carole Anne  can be reached at (334) 213-7341 or email her at [email protected]

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If you've had a positive swimming lesson experience with these ladies, or someone I haven't mentioned, please add to the conversation and comment below. Let's get these kids swimming safely!

Snow in Montgomery, AL – 2 Years in a Row!

March 2nd, 2009 categories: Activities, Montgomery
My kids are getting spoiled by all this winter weather - two mornings of snow in two years is cause for celebration in Montgomery!  Last year it snowed one morning in February, and this Sunday (March 1, 2009) it snowed all morning long.  This might be the third time we've seen snow in ten years. Since it is such a rarity around here, I thought I'd share a few of our pics.
Walking out the front door.

Walking out the front door.

This is a LOT of snow for Montgomery!

This is a LOT of snow for Montgomery!

Looking across the back yard.

Looking across the back yard.

The entrance to Lochshire was pretty.

The entrance to Lochshire was pretty.

Homes covered with snow in the Lochshire neighborhood.

Homes covered with snow in the Lochshire neighborhood.

Video Tour of the Montgomery Zoo

January 26th, 2009 categories: Activities, Montgomery
We love the Montgomery Zoo.  It really is a gem.  It's not just a petting zoo - it is the real deal with monkeys, elephants, giraffes, lions, and a rhino. There's a new bald eagle exhibit, plus a river otter and (separate) alligator area under construction.  Very cool. You can make a morning, afternoon, or all day event of it, and everyone needs a nap when you get home! Check out my video of our trip last week. [viddler id=a663161d&w=437&h=370]

Inside the Booth: We Cast Our Vote in East Montgomery, AL

November 4th, 2008 categories: Activities, Montgomery
We came prepared (video games, books, snacks), but it took only 13 minutes to cast our vote for President this morning.  Turnout at St. James Methodist Church in East Montgomery was steady, but the line moved quickly.  Neighbors from Deer Creek, Glynwood, Wynlakes, Wyndridge, and Eastern Forest were treated to homemade cookies and bottled water as they exited the building. We were prepared to "stick it out" as our patriotic duty and civic lesson for our kids, but there was hardly enough time to delve into the division of powers lecture.  In. Out. Done. Oh - don't forget to go by Starbucks for free coffee for voters.  And check out the video I shot below:

St. James UMC Scores with Upward Soccer in East Montgomery

September 23rd, 2008 categories: Activities, Montgomery
I drove by the new soccer fields at Saint James United Methodist Church yesterday and took some pictures so you can see the newest sports venue for kids in East Montgomery.  In what was previously a big pasture behind the church, there are now soccer fields, bleachers, and a covered pavilion.  Looks nice!

The fall season in underway (practice started in August), and the location is great for residents of Pike Road and east Montgomery -although anyone from any part of town can play there.  If you're not familiar with the Upward sports concept, click here to learn more from the national website.  Upward sports are also offered at Frazer UMC.  The Montgomery YMCA offers soccer and many other sports as well.

It’s Fun to Play at the Montgomery, AL YMCA

September 11th, 2008 categories: Activities, Montgomery
YMCA Soccer Good GameThe Y's are great in Montgomery.  Spread all around town, they have excellent facilities and high participation from all ages.  That's where people go.  From someone who did not grow up with an active YMCA program, this is a marvel - great fitness and entertainment for the whole family (year round) for a really cheap cost! YMCA Montgomery SpinningFor moms with young children, they have child care.  For working parents, there's after-school care.  My personal favorite is the heated indoor swimming area - a great change of pace from the regular February activity! The exercise classes are top notch, as are the personal trainers - should you be so inclined.  The fellowship with other families is an added bonus. YMCA Montgomery Google MapIn east Montgomery alone, there are Y's located on Bell Road, Atlanta Highway, and at The Waters. It's hard to get too far from one. Click here for a larger version of this map. There are sports programs - soccer, t-ball, baseball, football, volleyball, gymnastics, tennis, wrestling, track, cheerleading, swimming, etc., and their website says over 10,000 kids in Montgomery participated in sports through the Y.   Non-members can play sports, but Y members get a 50% cut in registration fees.  Even for small families, that discount will almost pay for the monthly membership cost. It's a great deal.  I had no idea.

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