Family Life

What I Want My Kindergartener To Know

by Ann-Marie on August 13, 2014

What I Want My Kindergartener To Know


This morning, I watched a big chunk of my heart hop onto the school bus and drive away.

The last kid.

My baby girl.

And I didn’t shed a single tear; well, until I sat down to write this.

Dear Sweet Child of Mine,

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Fake Camping


If you’ve been a reader for a while, you’ve gotten small glimpses of my children. I’ve shared some of their favorite games and books, recipes they’re actually willing to eat, and they’re even in a few pictures now and then.

It’s no joke that parenting is not easy. Like many families, we don’t have a lot of blissful meals together. One child (or all three) hops up when the doorbell rings, someone is complaining about the meal, there are a multitude of interruptions when any of us are trying to speak, and it’s an all-around hot mess.

It’s … chaos.

So when I have friends that have these amazing family vacations and camping trips and make nothing but lasting memories, I either don’t believe them, or I envy them.

Take camping for example. We’re just not ready for The Real Thing. So what did we do instead?

We “fake” camped. [click to continue…]

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Staycation: Frugal Fun in Indianapolis

by Ann-Marie on May 13, 2014

Indianapolis Staycation

You don’t have to go far to enjoy time with your family and friends, and create new experiences and memories!

Here in the Indianapolis area, we have stops for kids of all ages, and kids-at-heart. From world-renowned attractions like the Children’s Museum and Indianapolis Zoo, to smaller but just as fun activities and locales … here are ideas for your family to find frugal fun in Indianapolis for your next “staycation”!

Rhythm Discovery Center

Rhythm Discovery CenterYou know that time when your child says “I want a drum set!” and you’re all “not in this house” because you envision a splitting headache from bang-bam-boom-crash day after day?

Not at this place. Rhythm Discovery Center, in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, is an “interactive” percussion museum, with drums from all over the world, all eras in time, and guess what: Most of them you’re encouraged to play.

You’ll find the world’s largest gong (that’s purely my opinion, but it’s pretty dang big, 8′ in fact), drum kits played by drummers from Rush, Led Zeppelin, Herbie Hancock and Santana to name a few; and our family’s favorite area …

The soundproof rooms:

Rhythm Discovery Center

Rhythm Discovery Center is SO affordable! Adult admission is only $10, kids are $6 and if you have young’ns 5 & under, they’re free! Expect to spend about 1.5-2 hours unless you absolutely cannot drag yourself away from the soundproof rooms. They ARE fun.

Plan your visit to Rhythm Discovery Center here.

Indianapolis Museum of Art

IMA Summer Film SeriesThis is a jewel of a place that I have yet to take my own family to! The Indianapolis Museum of Art is one of the 10 largest art museums in the country!

Enjoy the Summer Nights film series plus take a free family tour. Actually, general admission to IMA is free as well! There is a small fee for special exhibits.

Also not to miss – Art in the Park for make & take themed art projects all summer long each Sunday from 12-4pm (and it’s free!).

Plan your visit to the IMA here.

Indianapolis Indians

Indianapolis Indians

No summer is complete without at least one visit to Victory Field to see the Indianapolis Indians play. I’ve gone since I was a child, back when it was at Bush Stadium. Now we bring our kids – believe it or not Mallory got a foul ball last summer!

While they’re still a bit too young to pay much attention to the game, they love going for the fun pre-game activities and Cracker Jack, and Larry and I love going for the nostalgic atmosphere (he’s always been a baseball fan, just like both our dads) and, well, the beer. Let’s just say our cups overfloweth with Sun King Victory Lager, which you can only get at Victory Field.

Plan your visit to the Indianapolis Indians here. Be sure to check this promotions schedule for the Monday Dollar Menu, 2-for-1 Tuesdays and more frugal fun at the Indianapolis Indians games.

Indianapolis Staycation pinterest



And let’s not forget there are so many free things to do in Indy when you’re staycationing! Here are just a few starters:

  • Hiking, biking and playing at our amazing Indy Parks
  • Garbage trucks, dump trucks and firetrucks oh my! Experience a free Touch-a-Truck event where your kids can climb into these bad boys, talk with their drivers and more. Find this summer’s growing list at Indy With Kids.
  • Movies in the Park at Garfield Park Arts Center, happening the last Saturday in each month from May – August
  • Take in a Farmer’s Market – VisitIndy.com has a few listed here.

Staycation 2013

Read more about ways you can be “cent”sible and save when you’re out & about or from your home!

And if you’re new to Chaos Is Bliss, you might enjoy getting all the best deals in an email update, on Facebook or Twitter!

Photo credit: The most awesome Sara at Solid Gold Eats

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