THE PREMIER PARENTING MAGAZINE FOR CENTRAL ALABAMA
FOR PLANNING A GREAT BIRTHDAY PARTY
BLENDED BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS
BIG BIRTHDAY PARTY ISSUE
SMASH CAKES A BIRTHDAY SMASH
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HOOVER Grab a blanket, your family and friends and head on out to Veteran’s Park in Hoover for a free, family-friendly film every Friday night starting June 2nd. Come out early and enjoy fun kid’s activities! Picnic with food & drinks available from Little Caesars.
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For complete movie line up visit WBRC.com Visit Alagasco’s Facebook page for weekly chances to win The Good Heat VIP seat package! Follow us on Twitter for any weather updates affecting a movie @BYMovieParties Like us at www.facebook.com/freefridayflicks Movies start at dusk. FREE! Rain date: July 28
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Happy Birthday, from Birmingham Parent! It’s another year of our big birthday party issue, and we hope it will be helpful to you, a “keeper” you can use throughout the year for your child’s party, team party, church party, school party and more! But don’t miss the other great stories this issue – including our Destination Guide that features Chicago, Dollywood and New Orleans. We’ve also got great health stories, and a profile of Easterseals ambassador Noah Humphreys. Next month, we’ll be highlighting our annual 2017 Family Favorites winners as well as preschools, daycares and mothers’ day outs throughout the area. Don’t miss it! Remember you can always see issues you may have missed by visiting www.birminghamparent.com and clicking on “past issues” up at the top! Be sure to check out the new Virtual Celebrations Expo on our website for even more party information. In the spirit of a great party, we’re giving YOU a chance to win some great gifts this month! Go to www.birminghamparent.com to win one of these great prizes! Deadline to enter is June 30, 2017, midnight. Good luck! • A $250 party from Ultra Blast Laser Combat Center, good for one event and up to 40 games! www.lasercombatcenter.com • A party from McWane Science Center for up to 30 guests! This party gives you all day admission to adventure halls, cake, drink, ice cream and side items in a party room at the museum, as well as free parking and a host to help! www.mcwane.org
P.O. Box 326 (add 800 Hwy. 52 E. for pkg) Helena, AL 35080 205-987-7700 205-987-7600 FAX www.birminghamparent.com
editorial Publishers David & Carol Evans Editor Carol Muse Evans Associate Editor Lori Chandler Pruitt Office Assistants Bethany Adams Hunley, Kate Hankins Calendar Lori Chandler Pruitt Contributors Dr. Vivian Friedman, Cindy Richards, Emily Reed, Stephanie Rodda, Denise Yearian, Dr. Corey Hartman, Dr. John Keriotis, Charles Ghigna
sales Account Executives Kayla Fricks, Brittani Ellison, Amy Phillips Webmaster Digital Doo-Wop
• A $220 party at Sky Zone in Hoover for 10 guests. www.skyzone.com/hoover
art & production
• A party at the newly relocated Pelham Pump it Up. www.pumpitupparty.com/pelham-al
Art Director Hilary Moreno
That’s four great opportunities to win a fantastic party from one of our wonderful advertisers and Birmingham Parent!
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Happy birthday, and Happy Summer, Carol Muse Evans Publisher/editor email@example.com
ABOUT THE EDITORS: Carol Muse Evans is the publisher/editor/owner of Birmingham Parent magazine, a publication she and her husband David began in 2004. The Birmingham, Alabamabased parenting publication attracts more than 60,000 readers monthly in a four-county area and receives 10,000 hits per month on its website. The magazine has a 20,000+ print circulation, plus several thousand in readership of the digital edition online. It is the only independently audited free publication in our area. Evans is an award-winning writer and editor who has also has written for several other publications as a freelance writer since the late 80s. She is a graduate of Auburn University in journalism and is a graduate of Scottsboro High School. She is married with two grown children and lives in Alabaster. She is a member of the National Federation of Press Women, Alabama Media Professionals and Southeastern Advertisers and Publishers Association (SAPA). Evans also serves on the board of directors of Childcare Resources. Lori Chandler Pruitt is associate editor of Birmingham Parent, where she is responsible for the calendar and editorial editing. She also is a freelancer for Business Alabama magazine and has written/edited for several other publications. This award-winning writer and editor is a graduate of the University of Alabama in news/editorial and Hueytown High School. She is married with two children. 4 | birminghamparent | june 2017
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BIRMINGHAM PARENT IS A PUBLICATION OF EVANS PUBLISHING, LLC. Publishers: Carol Muse Evans, David K. Evans Sr. Birmingham Parent (EIN20-0694149) is published monthly by Evans Publishing LLC. www.birminghamparent. com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Birmingham Parent is © 2017 by Evans Publishing LLC. Family Connections Media ©2017 by Evans Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Editorial submissions are welcome. For back issues, please send a self-addressed 10” x 13” envelope with $4 for postage and handling.
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table of contents PHOTO BY VISUAL ARTS BY JESSICA
THE PREMIER PARENTING MAGAZINE FOR CENTRAL ALABAMA
SMASH! Here’s Help Selecting the Right Birthday Cake for the Milestone Moment
20 16 23
FOR PLANNING A GREAT BIRTHDAY PARTY
BLENDED BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS
BIG BIRTHDAY PARTY ISSUE,
SMASH CAKES A BIRTHDAY SMASH 12
departments Note: 04 Editor’s Happy Birthday from Birmingham Parent
Parenting with Dr. Friedman
8 Short Stuff 0 09 School News Skin is 28 Healthy Beyond Beautiful: Cancer Fighting Foods
ULTIMATE BIRTHDAY PARTY GUIDE SPONSORED BY
Birthdays in Birmingham Celebrates 20 Years
29 Birmingham Heart Walk Set
Birthday Celebrations with Blended Families
2017 41 June Calendar of Events
20 10 Tips: Planning Your
Child’s Birthday Party
23 Birmingham Parent’s
Poetry Party: An Introduction to Haiku
Ultimate Birthday Party Guide
A Clear View: Why are our Children Becoming More Nearsighted?
Special Needs: Easterseals Ambassador Noah Humphreys
31 Infant CPR Kids Save Lives Through Training and Confidence
ON THE COVER: Penn, age 12 months, a Birmingham native, had his smash cake party in photos. PHOTO BY VISUAL ARTS BY JESSICA, www.visualartsbyjessica.com
DESTINATION GUIDE 32 CHICAGO 34 DOLLYWOOD 36 NEW ORLEANS
Parenting with Dr. Friedman
My 9- and 12-year-old children and I will be moving to a new home in another state in two weeks. We are moving so that I can marry the man whom I have been
dating for two years. I waited for school to end before moving so that my children would not have their academic and social life disrupted mid-year. Yet, they are not happy about the move and are feeling grumpy. Is there anything I can do to make this acceptable to them?
Your children are dealing with many life changes at once. With the move, they are losing their friends, their home, their school and all their familiar surroundings and routines. On top of this, they are losing the exclusive relationship they had with their mother for some years since the divorce or death. They are gaining a relationship with a man you have chosen, but they did not ask for. While these changes and relationships may all work out just fine in time, your children are in a state of upheaval right now. You have been thoughtful in timing the move with a break in the school year. It is very hard for children to switch schools mid-year. Yet even with the summer move, your children must say goodbye to old friends and face the stresses of meeting new ones. You might want to acknowledge their emotional pain and their need to say goodbye. They might enjoy having a farewell party with a few friends. At the party put up a sheet of poster board or purchase a special stuffed animal for their friends to sign. This will give them something from home to take with them. They can put it in their new room to bridge the gap in time before they make new friends at school in August. Be especially careful in packing things that have special meaning to your children. To prevent additional emotional trauma, make sure that the teddy bear given to your 12-year-old by her best friend is not packed in the same box with the Clorox. Of course, in the larger scheme of life, this kind of trauma is not on the same scale as losing a family member in a tsunami, but at this time, it is a sensitive issue for your daughter.
While acknowledging your children’s sadness at leaving, help them to look forward to their new home. Take them to see the new house and the new town in advance of the move if possible. If a visit is not possible, provide photographs for them to see. Be sensitive to the issue of creating a new family. Ask your soon-to-be husband to become a friend to your children before he becomes a disciplinarian. Children only tolerate discipline from those to whom they are attached. The stepdad’s role in discipline can come after there is bonding. Studies suggest that, on the average, it takes about two years for blended families to feel like one. Preparation for the change, time to say goodbye, and time to adjust to the marriage of their mom and the addition of a stepdad are what your children need now. Be sensitive to the reasons for their grumpiness but do not allow outright rudeness. Give them space and time to adjust and spend one-on-one time with them. With time, attention and love, things tend to work out. Vivian K. Friedman Ph. D. is a child and family psychologist at UAB, Department of Psychiatry. Send questions for response in this column to Viviankf@gmail.com. No personal replies are sent.
JUNE 5-AUGUST 4 ENTERING KINDERGARTEN THROUGH 8TH GRADE
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Blue Cross and Blue Shield Awards Grants to Address Childhood Obesity In our commitment to help prevent childhood obesity, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama’s Be Healthy School Grant Program is awarding $250,000 in grants to 26 schools statewide enrolling students in grades K through sixth for the 2017 - 2018 school year. The grants are for the implementation of school-based health and wellness programs, emphasizing increased exercise, nutrition education and parental involvement during the school year. More than 12,200 students will benefit from the program. Each school is receiving a grant up to $10,000. Since 2012, Blue Cross has awarded over $1,019,800 in 114 Be Healthy School Grants statewide impacting more than 57,500 students. Congratulations to the following local area schools receiving grants for the 2017-2018 school year(others in the state also received awards):
PHOTO COURTESY OF HAND IN PAW
Hand in Paw Launches Trauma and Grief Response Program Hand in Paw, a local animal-assisted therapy organization, has formally launched a community service to send its most experienced volunteers to provide emotional support and comfort in the aftermath of tragedies. For 21 years, Hand in Paw’s volunteer handler and animal therapy teams have improved the health and well-being of people in need, serving in cancer centers, domestic violence shelters, counseling offices, palliative care units, youth group homes and more. Thanks to a partnership with Samford University’s Department of Social Work, Hand in Paw has prepared its therapy teams to act as calming agents who decrease stress and offer a pause from the situation. Hand in Paw teams do not provide counseling; they serve under the direction of the onsite staff, who can utilize them as powerful tools to offer positive distractions from worry or open the lines of communication. Rebeccah Carroll, who is pursuing a master of social work in Samford’s School of Public Health, developed the program, trained volunteers and raised community awareness of the service while serving a two-semester internship at Hand in Paw. “I found that I truly have a passion for trauma and crisis interventions and treatments,” Carroll says. “During my internship, I found that Hand in Paw has been responding to trauma and grief situations for many years, but our volunteers wanted formal training in this area. I am thrilled to see the excitement from our volunteers and our community as we launch it, and I am eager to see how the program will benefit our community during difficult situations.” Laura Cardwell, Hand in Paw executive director, says the program’s goal is to provide a soothing encounter with anyone who has experienced a lifechanging event. “Thanks to Rebeccah Carroll, this new program will help Hand in Paw provide a vital service to the well-being of our community,” Cardwell says. Schools, nonprofit agencies, and other community organizations can request the program by calling Emily Cheatwood, Hand in Paw program director, at 205-322-5144 x156. The program is free of charge and subject to availability. For more information about Hand in Paw, visit www.handinpaw.org. 8 | birminghamparent | june 2017
School Buhl Elementary Cahaba Elementary Clay Elementary Fayetteville High School Greenwood Elementary Huntington Place Indian Valley Elementary Jasper Intermediate School Martha Gaskins Elementary Montevallo Elementary Pelham Oaks Elementary Robinson Elementary Valley Jr. High
City County Tuscaloosa Tuscaloosa Trussville Jefferson Clay Jefferson Sylacauga Talladega Bessemer Jefferson Northport Tuscaloosa Sylacauga Talladega Jasper Walker Birmingham Jefferson Montevallo Shelby Pelham Shelby Birmingham Jefferson Jasper Walker
Area Seniors Awarded Trussville Chamber Scholarships Two Hewitt-Trussville High School seniors are the recipients of scholarships from the Trussville Area Chamber of Commerce (TACC). The announcements were made at Awards Day held at Hewitt-Trussville High School on Friday, April 28. The scholarships were presented to Grace Ann Lambert and Caroline Royston. Lambert will attend Auburn University in the fall and will study kinesiology. Among her community service activities are volunteering at Jessie’s Place and at Sunrise Ridge Nursing Home, volunteering with HTHS Special Olympics, reading to first graders at Magnolia Elementary, and altar service at Holy Infant of Prague Church. Royston will attend Jacksonville State University this fall to become a physical therapist. Her community service activities include Bible study leader and children’s camp counselor, youth worship band leader, and volunteering with Toys for Tots, food bank, Lovelady Center, Firehouse Shelter, Chalkville Boys and Girls Club, and Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The Trussville Area Chamber of Commerce is a proud supporter of Trussville City Schools. Each year, the chamber presents scholarships to deserving high school seniors. The $1,000 scholarships are renewable for up to four years if recipients maintain a ‘B’ or better average.
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Where all the dental needs of your child can be met under one roof!
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ULTIMATE BIRTHDAY PARTY GUIDE
BIRTHDAYS IN BIRMINGHAM CELEBRATES 20 YEARS Twenty years ago, Mona Fawal was planning her son’s birthday party, and that search led her to start a business, Birthdays in Birmingham. This year, the business is celebrating its 20th anniversary. “I was new to the Birmingham area and had been doing some research for his birthday party,” Fawal recalls. “While at my daughter’s gymnastics class, I heard a mother saying they were bored with the same old birthdays. I started spewing a bunch of stuff from my research. That’s when my friends said, ‘You should write a book’.” In 1997, the first edition of “Birthdays in Birmingham,” a party planning directory book for Birmingham, was published. Fawal would go on to puliblsh, revise and update two more times. And, she took her party knowledge online in 2003 with www.birthdaysinbirmingham.com. “The whole idea is for parents to go to one place and gather all the information, then decide what they want,” she says. What’s changed in the last 20 years? Fawal says so many businesses today want you to go 10 | birminghamparent | june 2017
By Carol Muse Evans
online and book your party. “I’m even finding it more difficult to be in touch on a personal level with the appropriate business contacts – everything is online,” she says. What are the biggest trends today? Fawal says there are more businesses and parties focused around physical activity. While the site started with children’s birthday parties, it can be used for other events as well. You can find disc jockeys for weddings, caterers for corporate lunches and limousines for prom. The website allows parents to look up places to go, entertainment options, party supplies and rentals, and even has a section for coupons and specials. “My favorite thing about doing Birthdays in Birmingham, besides getting thank you e-mails from parents, has been that I have stayed true to my original concept. From the very beginning in 1997, my goal was to help parents by giving them the many birthday party options we have in Birmingham. I can still say the same today,” Fawal says.
BIRTHDAY PARTY CHECKLIST Invitations Decorations Games Favors Cake Snacks and Drinks
Carol Muse Evans is publisher and editor of Birmingham Parent.
Party Supplies (plates, cups, candles, etc.)
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1701 Valley View Dr | Birmingham, AL 35209 205.933.1409 | firstname.lastname@example.org birminghamparent.com | 11
ULTIMATE BIRTHDAY PARTY GUIDE
James and Jacob Hauth celebrated their first birthdays with a Dr. Seuss themed party. Photo by Lane Weichman Photography
A BIRTHDAY SMASH! By Emily Reed
Here’s help selecting the right birthday cake for the milestone moment 12 | birminghamparent | june 2017
While the concept of having a cake at a birthday celebration for any age is nothing new, having a smash cake – a smaller-sized cake – for a first birthday is gaining in popularity. “A smash cake is a term for a cake that is a smaller version of a regular cake,” says cake decorator Kelly Taylor of Magic Muffins Bakery in Cahaba Heights. “Our smash cakes are two layers of cake with one layer of filling. They are designed for first birthday parties for the child to smash his or her face into the cake.” While the flavors and decorations for a smash cake range to meet personal preferences for each family, the goal of documenting the baby’s first taste of cake is universal. “I feel like cake smashes have been a rite of passage for a while,” says Birmingham-based photographer Lane Weichman of Lane Weichman Photography. “I am sure most of us even smashed cake at our first birthdays. Over the last few years though, it has become super popular. A lot of times it is the baby’s first taste of cake, so getting to be able to photograph it is so much fun.”
Both Weichman, and Birmingham photographer Amy Pate of Amy P Photography, began offering “smash cake” photo sessions between three to four years ago, and average between three to six smash cake photo shoots a month. While the photo shoots typically involve a particular outfit, prop and cake, the main purpose is for the photographer to document the baby’s milestone of turning one through eating his or her first taste of cake. These photo sessions are typically taken before or after the child’s first birthday celebration. “The hardest part of a cake smash photo shoot is when the baby will not have anything to do with the cake, and we have tried everything,” Pate says. “I will tell the parents to put some puffs or Goldfish crackers down in the cake and the babies almost always will pick them out and eat them, which is when I get my eating shot.” Both photographers admit many babies want nothing to do with the cake, or will often only stay focused on eating the cake for a short time, so parents should be prepared for a lot of nudging to eat the cake for a successful photo shoot. “One of the hardest parts is when the parents get super excited about their baby’s cake smash and the baby wants nothing to do with it,” Weichman says. “It is totally out of your control how they are going to react, but I still think the experience is so much fun to photograph.” Jamie Battles decided to schedule a cake smash shoot for her daughter, Haleyann, due to wanting to document her first taste of cake in a stress-free environment. “My husband and I decided that we wanted to have a smash cake photo shoot because we weren’t sure how our daughter would do with her smash cake at her first birthday party being that there were 40-plus people attending,” Battles says. Ashley Adams of McCalla selected an “UNO” theme for her son Gibson’s first birthday party. “We used UNO cards, primary colors, and had a taco bar,” Adams says. “The smash cake fit right in with the theme. Another cute touch was a time capsule jar, where the guests were able to write messages to Gibson in the future, when he turns ‘veintiuno,’ or 21.” Adams said one of the most enjoyable experiences of the first birthday process was seeing her son react to his birthday. “All the mixed emotions from laughter, curiosity, to the tears that came on when the excitement of the day snuck up on him,” Adams says. “A child’s first birthday is more so an accomplishment for the parents to be able to look at your significant other and say, ‘we did this, we survived our first year as parents.’” Marta Hammonds of Alabaster planned her daughter Macy’s first birthday party in April, as well as having a smash cake photo session taken. She says she learned during the process to not procrastinate, and to place a plastic tablecloth to go underneath the baby while they are smashing the cake.
Photo by Lane Weichman Photography
continued on page 14 birminghamparent.com | 13
ULTIMATE BIRTHDAY PARTY GUIDE
continued from page 13
Don’t Stress Many moms agree that the key to a successful first birthday party, and smash cake photo shoot is not to stress, but to enjoy the process. “Don’t get overwhelmed with the idea of having to ‘go all out,’” says Angie Hauth who planned a first birthday party for her twin sons, James and Jacob Hauth. “I knew I would be less stressed and more relaxed with a small party with family at our home, and in the end the babies were happy because they were surrounded by faces they knew and loved.” While planning her son’s first birthday celebration, Ashley Horn realized the best plan was to pick a theme and stick with it, while also planning early. “I advise to keep it simple, and definitely have additional cake for your guests or cupcakes,” Horn says. Emily Reed is a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom to her son, Tobias.
HOW TO HAVE A SMASHING SUCCESS: -Plan to have additional cake or cupcakes for guests attending the birthday celebration as babies are likely to dig deep once they get their first taste of cake. -Prepare in advance that any food coloring in cake icing might stain clothing. -Be aware of any food allergies your baby might have before deciding on a flavor of cake to serve. -Many bakeries require advance notice between 24 hours to one week for ordering. -Some bakeries offer special promotions for smash cakes, so call ahead for pricing. -Print any pictures of designs for cakes to present to both photographers and bakers to give them a better idea of the party theme. Photo by Lane Weichman Photography
14 | birminghamparent | june 2017
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All photos courtesy of Stephanie Rodda
BIRTHDAY PARTY GUIDE
WITH BLENDED FAMILIES By Stephanie Rodda
Birthdays are a time for families and friends to gather together and celebrate life. When it is a child who is being celebrated, extended family members are often included and the party becomes even more memorable. But what about blended families? Who is to be included? What are the boundaries? How do we explain such issues to the child who is involved? Blended families, like all families, come in various sizes and shapes. Sometimes birth parents are divorced and step-parents become an important part of the child’s life. Sometimes children are adopted or even being fostered. In that case, there may be birth 16 | birminghamparent | june 2017
parents to consider and possibly include. There are some practical guidelines to consider as you decide. When it comes to how birthdays and other special days are celebrated, there are a number of factors that weigh in, such as schedules, distance, and perhaps most importantly, how well the parents get along. “Animosity is never good for children,” says Dr. Vivian Friedman, a child and family psychologist at UAB’s Department of Psychiatry. “Even if the parents can get along for the two hours of a party, the child may be on edge, fearing that trouble might erupt at any moment. If parents get along, it is fine for them to celebrate together. If not, they can celebrate separately. “You can successfully celebrate either together or alone. Except for very young children, they understand that their parents are not together any more. Children of divorce sometimes brag to their friends that they get two parties and two sets of Christmas presents. It is the parents’ attitude, not the number of celebrations that matter.” Jordan Boswell, whose parents divorced when she was a young child, recalls that separate birthday celebrations were all she ever really knew. Each set of parents had their own style of making her feel special and loved. While her mom’s family usually met for a traditional birthday dinner and gifts, her dad’s family chose to have creative themed parties. “I always felt it was normal. I was 3 when my parents divorced, so I don’t remember anything different.”
It was at her high school graduation that she first wanted and asked everyone to be together at one time, and it went well. This was a great relief and simplified matters when it came time to begin celebrating the birthdays of her own son. “Being a parent is the biggest challenge and greatest reward. I always want the best for my kids. When my son’s first birthday approached, I didn’t think twice about inviting both sides,” Boswell says. As a stepmom, Leigh Hunt enjoys time spent with her stepdaughter, Hannah. “Being step-mom, or “MamaLeigh” as she calls me, to Hannah is such a special blessing. She’s my only little girl! I don’t find myself being concerned with any type of competition with her mom. She only has one mom and she only has one stepmom. Both are important roles. A kid can’t be loved too much.”
Right: Jordan Boswell’s son Ty with his divorced and remarried grandparents. Left: Stephanie Rodda with some of her children and foster grandchildren.
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ULTIMATE BIRTHDAY PARTY GUIDE
One is of Jordan’s entire extended and blended family.
Hunt says the families usually alternate years for birthdays. “If it’s not “our year,” we just celebrate the weekend before or after. We don’t really worry about duplicating gifts. After all, she has two homes.” As an adoptive mom, I sometimes face similar decisions. Including the birth family is not always a viable solution in our case, for a variety of reasons. Most of my seven adopted children did not come to me as newborns. Some of them have no baby pictures at all. I can’t tell them much about the day they were born. What I find is best for us is to do is to focus on what we can do. We have birth certificates with the time of day they were born, their weight and length, and even the location. We can search the internet to learn what the weather was on that day in history. Perhaps we can even visit the area where they were born or the hospital. But most important is that we choose to celebrate the present day and the life of our child rather than the particulars of a day from the past. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. When traditional ways of celebrating aren’t possible, create new traditions. In my house, we treat the birthday boy or girl with special privileges. They have no chores, they get to choose the menu for the whole day (even if it is Pop-Tarts for breakfast). They choose the movie we will watch together as a family. They are king or queen for the day, and they take great delight in being so. I believe that families are living, breathing, and constantly growing. I believe that because of this, sometimes they can experience growing pains. I believe that families can become unsettled and uncomfortable. But they don’t have to stay that way. We can choose to celebrate the uniqueness of our families and focus on the child that we are celebrating. We can be flexible, refuse to be competitive, and keep stress levels down on a day where joy should rule. What better way to say Happy Birthday? Stephanie Rodda is a Birmingham freelance writer and mom of a blended family by adoption. 18 | birminghamparent | june 2017
Leigh Hunt and her stepdaughter, Hannah with a princess cake.
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ULTIMATE BIRTHDAY PARTY GUIDE
PLANNING YOUR CHILD’S BIRTHDAY PARTY By Denise Yearian
Birthdays are milestones that mark another year of growing, another year of change. But for many parents, these milestones are more like millstones when faced with the daunting task of putting together their child’s birthday party. Following are 10 tips to help: 1. Get your child’s input. Several weeks before your child’s birthday, ask him how he would like to celebrate. Give him parameters based on your time, budget and preferences. Discuss his interests and determine if the party can be centered on one of these. 2. Consider the options. One way to host a party with your child’s interest is to have the event at home. Should you decide to choose this route, you’ll have two options: do it yourself or hire outside help. If you have the time and desire to give the party yourself, the possibilities are unlimited. 3. Make a manageable guest list. The recommended number of children will depend upon whether the party will be held inside or outdoors. If the weather is nice and you’d like to have it outside, you can easily invite 15 guests. However, if the party is indoors, limit it to no more than 10 children. Some experts suggest using a formula of 1 to 1½ children per your child’s age. For example, if your child is 4 years old, invite 4 to 6 friends; if 8 years old, have 8 to 12 guests. The key is to keep it manageable. 20 | birminghamparent | june 2017
4. Time it right. Unless the party is a sleepover, keep it to two or three hours (1½ hours for children 4 years and younger). Make a list of activities you are planning and the approximate length of time each one will take. Remember that a well-planned party allows for both quiet and active play. Guests should be given time to warm up to the setting, release energy during the party, and calm down before heading home. Since the children will be arriving at slightly different times, plan a simple but flexible activity to keep them busy and free you to welcome other arriving guests. 5. Decide on activities. When selecting games, consider the number of children, their ages, and whether the games will be held inside or outdoors. Choose ones that are easy to explain, fun to play, and will involve all the children. Cooperative games are best because they take the spotlight off any one child and focus on the team as a whole. What’s most important is to be flexible. If the children aren’t enjoying themselves, stop, and move on to something else. And always plan more activities than you need. 6. Go for kid-fun grub. When serving food, stick with kid-friendly basics – sandwiches, pizza, veggie strips and pretzels. If you want to make it festive, cut the sandwiches into interesting shapes, or turn the pizza into a clown face with pepperoni eyes, a cherry tomato nose and a strip of green pepper for the mouth. The cake can be special, too, by allowing the children to ice and decorate their own cupcake.
7. Ease up on decor. Simple decorations can go a long way. A few helium balloons and crepe paper can make any room look festive. Choose party favors that are fun, but inexpensive such as a toy related to the party theme or a bag filled with a blend of fun-to-eat but healthy treats. For those wishing to spend a bit more, an activity such as painting t-shirts or planting flowers in pots is fun. Most importantly, be flexible, creative and stay within your budget. 8. Ask for helping hands. If you are giving the party by yourself, get help on the big day. An extra pair of hands (or two or three!) is essential no matter what age the children are. As you prepare a guest list, ask a few close friends or relatives to come and help. If there are no willing volunteers, hire a teen. Chances are she needs the money and would enjoy the event. 9. Pick a party entertainer. If you want to hire a party entertainer, get references from family and friends. Also, check local resources or contact a party retail center and ask for referrals. Once you have a few names, call the entertainer and ask the following:What services do you offer? • What ages do you typically cater to? • Can the party be tailored to a particular theme? • What exactly do you take care of (games, activities, refreshments, cake, invitations, decorations, party favors)? • How long do the parties run? • How much do you charge? • What am I expected to do? • Can I get references? • Do you have an upcoming public event? (Since entertainers are often called upon for special library, festival, and fund-raising events, this would be a good opportunity for you and your child to go watch them in action). 10. Find a facility. If you would prefer to have the party at a local business, call to see if they offer packaged events based on your child’s interest. Because every establishment’s offering is a bit different, get specifics: • How long do parties run? • What activities are included? • Do you provide food and refreshments? • Free refills on drinks? • Is a cake provided? • What is the minimum/maximum number of children? • Does a staff member host the party (or do you)? • What is the cost? • Is a deposit required? Before making the final decision, stop by the facility and watch a party underway. How smoothly is it run? Is the facility safe? Is it clean? Are the bathrooms easily accessible? Are the guests enjoying themselves? Is the host or hostess friendly and good with kids? Do the guests have plenty of time to enjoy the activities, or are they rushed from one event to another? Does the food look appealing? By taking the time to stop by, you’ll learn a lot more about the place than if you just make a phone call. Above all, remember that because your child’s birthday comes only once a year, it deserves recognition. Whatever you choose, make it special. You are, after all, celebrating a milestone – another year of growth, another year of change.
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Denise Yearian is the former editor of two parenting magazines and the mother of three children and four grandchildren.
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ULTIMATE ANTIQUE FIRE TRUCK PARTY 205-478-6082 www.doodleshomemadesorbetsandices.com Fire Truck & Frozen Treats BACKYARD MOVIE PARTIES 205-595-3549 www.backyardmovieparties.com Backyard Movie Parties will bring the big-screen to your party or event. We bring everything needed to host a movie, game night or sports viewing party. We do all the work, you have all the fun. BIRMINGHAM DANCE THEATRE 100 Olde Towne Rd., Suite 100 Vestavia Hills, AL 35216 205-822-3012 www.BDTdance.com BDT is proud to host dance themed birthday parties for girls & boys of any age! We take care of everything while you sit back & enjoy! BIRMINGHAM ZOO 2630 Cahaba Rd. Birmingham, AL 35223 205-879-0409 ext. 257 www.birminghamzoo.com The Birmingham Zoo is a great party idea! With over 950 animals, a carousel, playground and train rides, we have the best party entertainment in town!
BIRTHDAYS IN BIRMINGHAM www.birthdaysinbirmingham.com Birmingham’s local birthday party resource since 1997. A collection of businesses who provide a birthday party service for children’s parties. CHILDREN’S HANDS-ON MUSEUM of Tuscaloosa 2213 University Blvd. Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 205-349-4235, ext. 24 www.chomonline.org Enjoy our fabulous, colorful Party Palace...the best party place designed just for children! CHOM, where children Explore, Create and Discover every time they visit. COYOTE DRIVE IN 6200 Grand River Pkwy. Leeds, AL 35094 205- 208-1414 www.coyotedrive-in.com/leeds/ The ultimate party spot. Drive-In Movie Theater & Sports Canteen. Mini-Golf and Kids Playground. Party packages available. Contact us for more info. FACE PAINTING FAIRY 205-527-2134 www.facebook.com/ Thefacepaintingfairy/ I am available soon for your parties, festivals
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and events. Email me at thefacepaintingfairy@yahoo. com or call! HEAD OVER HEELS GYMNASTICS 500 Caldwell Mill Trace Birmingham, AL 35242 205-981-2720 www.headoverheelsgyms.com Parents love our no-hassle birthday celebrations! Festivities include activities in the gym, food & drinks in the party area with party favors for all participants! HEART OF DIXIE RAILROAD MUSEUM 1919 Ninth St. Calera, AL 35040 www.hodrm.org 205-668-3435 Come enjoy exciting Saturday train rides, seasonal special events, train-themed birthday parties and educational field trips. JAC’S PARTY RENTALS 205-217-1816 firstname.lastname@example.org
Party Rental for all of your get togethers. Birthday parties, Schools and Preschools functions and fundraisers, Church Fellowships ~anytime you just wanna have fun. JACOB’S CORNER 105 Plaza Circle Alabaster, AL 35007 205-406-8000 www.jacobscornerevents.com Whatever the reason or the season, we have the perfect location for your special event! Ideal for Weddings, Birthdays, Celebrations and Photo opportunities. MCWANE SCIENCE CENTER 200 19th St. N. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-714-8414 www.mcwane.org Celebrate your special day in an unforgettable way! Enjoy a private party with admission to all four floors. McWane Science Center has birthday parties down to a science! birminghamparent.com | 23
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ry stationa a in y t r r pa ceive Host youe railcar and re hour g e vinta ets for a on gh 10 tick train ride throu y Saturda countr yside! the Mention this ad when you book your birthday party to receive a BONUS TICKET as our gift to you!
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OAK MOUNTAIN LANES 300 Bowling Lane Pelham, AL 35124 205.403.7466 www.oakmountainlanes.com Picture your child bowling with their friends, listening to great music, enjoying fresh hot pizza and having the best birthday party ever. All you bring is the Cake!! OFF THE WALL 7001 Crestwood Blvd., Suite 616 Birmingham , AL 35210 205-545-9932 www.offthewallfamilyfun.com We host AWESOME Birthday Parties! Some of the activities we offer: Jungle gym, ball pits, tunnels, slides, bouncehouses, obstacle course, toddler area, video games. PUMP IT UP PELHAM 101 Cahaba Valley Pkwy. W. Pelham, Alabama, AL 35124 205-663-4646 email@example.com www.pumpitupparty.com/ pelham-al We’ll make your party epic with huge inflatable indoor playgrounds, games galore, and even a blow-up birthday throne. Unleash your inner party animal with Pump It Up! SKY ZONE HOOVER 1694 Montgomery Hwy. Suite 210 Hoover, AL 35216 205-637-JUMP www.skyzone.com/hoover Make your birthday party the best one ever with wallto-wall trampolines, private party rooms, and designated party hosts at Sky Zone. Have fun and fly safe. SPARE TIME TRUSSVILLE 3600 Roosevelt Blvd. Trussville, AL 35235 205-655-4500 www.sparetimeentertainment.com At Spare Time, FUN brings out something unique in all of us! Bowling - Games – Laser Tag - Food – Fun. Birthday Parties for kids of all ages! TUMBLE BUS 256-207-5496 www.tumblebusal.com Like Us on Facebook.
24 | birminghamparent | june 2017
We love to help children celebrate a Birthday or special event Our parties are an hour long, and structured to keep children engaged. We come to you. ULTRA BLAST LASER COMBAT CENTER 157 Resource Center Pkwy., Ste. 107 Birmingham, AL 35242 205-968-1740 www.lasercombatcenter.com Ultra Blast is Birmingham’s newest and largest Laser Tag venue. With 4 private birthday party rooms, a new arcade, an observation deck, and snack bar. VULCAN PARK 1701 Valley View Dr. Birmingham, AL 35209 205-933-1409 www.visitvulcan.com Host your Birthday Party at Vulcan Park! And come to our Big Birthday Bash on June 4th as we celebrate the Big Guy’s 113th Birthday with fun family activities. WISHES & WONDERS ORGANIZATION Party Planners 205-202-5495 www.facebook.com/ Wishesandwonders2015/ We offer water rides, moonwalks, Ferris wheel, trackless train, carousel, dunking booth, horses, petting zoo, cotton candy machine, popcorn machine, nachos machine, sno-cone machine….sooo much more!! YOGURT MOUNTAIN The Ultimate Dessert Destination Cahaba Village, Trussville, Hoover, Gardendale, Alabaster www.yogurtmountain.com Birthday parties, off-site catering, church & school groups, daycares, field trips, civic groups. Party and catering packages available with Ice cream, Italian ice, sorbet, frozen yogurt, nondairy, all natural and 60+ toppings.
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Easterseals Ambassador Noah Humphreys is the Face of Progress, Success By Carol Muse Evans
His glowing little face and smile is one you see a lot when you see anything about Easterseals of the Birmingham Area. It’s because Noah Humphreys, age 7, was chosen by Easterseals in November 2016 to be their ambassador for 2017, and he does it all with a smile on his face and willingness to talk to just about anyone. “Noah was chosen based on his progress at Easterseals along with the support system provided by his parents,” says Karon Grubbs, director of marketing and development at Easterseals of the Birmingham Area. 26 | birminghamparent | june 2017
“Noah was born with a heart defect that caused his oxygen saturation to be very low, even when he was ‘well,’” says his mom, Cheryl Humphreys. When Noah turned one, it was clear he wasn’t meeting many of the milestones, his mom explains, and before he turned two, he had issues that led to seeing a neurologist, who diagnosed myoclonic seizures. Noah then stayed in early intervention till he was age 3, yet was still behind the curve, so to speak, his mom recalls. Despite several procedures, Noah had to have heart surgery in 2014. And even after surgery, some of his delays seemed worse, Cheryl says. That’s when they discovered and started learning about Sensory Processing Disorder. “In hindsight, it was always present with Noah,” Cheryl says. “But his surgery exacerbated the condition….we later learned occupational therapy could help Noah and put him on a successful path for life. “Easterseals is important to us and to Noah’s future as he works to improve, and in some cases deal with his Sensory Processing Disorder (often mistaken for autism).” Noah, a first grader, was presented a medal as the ambassador for 2017 in November 2017 and has since made appearances at events and fundraisers for Easterseals. His outgoing personality and great social skills has made him a good ambassador, his mom points out. “We are fortunate that we have a great school system that is so knowledgeable about Noah and Sensory Processing Disorder,” Cheryl says. “They have tried to make him successful in the classroom.” Doug Marshall, advisory board member with Easterseals – Birmingham area and CFO of Alabama Family Trust, is also Noah’s neighbor. The very social little boy talks to Marshall often and has named a toy after Marshall – “Mr. Doug.” Noah is just one of the many success stories at Easterseals of the Birmingham Area. His work as ambassador gives other parents hope for success, too. For more information, visit www. Eastersealsbham.org.
Carol Muse Evans is publisher/editor of Birmingham Parent. Photo courtesy of Cheryl Humphreys and Easterseals of the Birmingham Area
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KNOW YOUR NUMBERS Untreated hypertension can cause serious health consequences or death
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Reduce salt intake Eat more fruits and vegetables Don’t smoke Be physically active Maintain a healthy body weight Monitor blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol
birminghamparent.com | 27
healthy skin is beyond beautiful sponsored by
Cancer Fighting Foods: What to Eat to Protect Your Skin By Dr. Corey Hartman
Have you ever wondered exactly how and why skin cancer begins? Well, when the sun instigates the formation of free radicals in the skin, it can set off a series of reactions in our cells that cause their development to go awry. As these abnormal cells accumulate in the skin, cancer sets in. We know that while protecting yourself from the sun can prevent the formation of free radicals, your diet can make an impact as well. As skilled specialists, we recommend you add the following foods to your regular mealtimes and snacks as a proactive measure to help keep UV-damage at bay.
Green Tea. While I was a resident at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, our department conducted research on the polyphenols in green tea and found that they protect our skin from the damage done by UV rays, reducing the changes made to our DNA by free radicals. There is also evidence that green tea can inhibit the multiplying of melanoma cells throughout the body. Vitamins C & E. Studies have shown that antioxidants obtained through Vitamin C and Vitamin E offer protection from skin cancer by interacting with free radicals and neutralizing them. We recommend carrots, bell peppers, citrus fruits, tomatoes, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, broccoli, berries, sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach and avocado.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids. In addition to boosting your immunity to sun damage, Omega-3s also slow the buildup of plaque inside blood vessels and curb joint pain from arthritis. We advise our patients to obtain these goods fats by eating salmon, trout, edamame, walnuts or an omega-3 fish oil supplement. Organic, non-modified foods. Limit how much processed meat you eat and choose whole grains instead of refined grains. Focus on fruits and vegetables grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or genetically modified organisms. Our research has shown that pesticides and trans fatty acids stimulate changes in the body that allow for the development of many different kinds of cancer.
Skin Wellness Center of Alabama will be providing great dermatologic info each month for Birmingham Parent. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. No personal replies will be sent.
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2/13/17 10:23 AM
Birmingham Heart Walk Set to Raise Thousands for Local Heart Research and Educational Programs
The American Heart Association’s Birmingham Heart Walk is Saturday, June 24. The event will be held at Uptown at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex with festivities beginning at 8 a.m. and the walk beginning at 8:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the community. People can sign up to raise funds at BirminghamHeartWalk.org. The Birmingham Heart Walk raises funds and awareness for the No. 1 and No. 3 killers of Alabamians – heart disease and stroke, respectively. The Birmingham Heart Walk is nationally sponsored by Subway and locally by HealthSouth, Medical West, Medical Properties Trust and Grandview Medical. Studies have shown walking is the single most effective form of exercise to achieve heart health. The benefits of walking and moderate physical activity for as little as 30 minutes each day can help reduce the risk of heart disease. The Birmingham Heart Walk features a 5K/1 mile route around Uptown. Participants can run or walk the course, and it is suitable for all ages. Activities include: • Exercise demonstrations • Memorial wall honoring loved ones affected by heart disease • Red and white caps for heart disease and stroke survivors, presented by Medical Properties Trust
Photo courtesy of American Heart Association
The American Heart Association anticipates 7,000-8,000 people to attend this year’s Birmingham Heart Walk
• Stroke information presented by HealthSouth • Hands-only CPR training • Sugary drink demonstrations that show the dangers of added sugars in a person’s diet • Kids zone with games, face painting & balloon animals • Health screenings done by Medical West • Company photos and a community photo booth, presented by Sims Architectural Studio
• Lifestyle Change Award for a community member taking steps to change their heart health outcomes and influence others to do the same, presented by New Balance Birmingham • Tips on how to reduce sodium and control weight loss presented by Brookwood Baptist Health • Route mile markers with heart health tips, presented by Motion Industries
• Hydration station to keep cool, presented by UAB Medicine
• Starting and Finish race line, presented by Hibbett Sports
• Eat street with healthy snacks, presented by Cabaniss, Johnston, Dumas & O’Neal
• Free Subway sandwiches from our national sponsor, Subway
BIRMINGHAM PARENT’S 2017
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• Inspirational stories of survivors at the Faces of Heart tent, presented by Grandview Medical
Great products and services, after school activities, sports, education, camps and more for the special needs community!
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a clear view
Why are our Children Becoming More Nearsighted? By Dr. John Keriotis
Our children are becoming more nearsighted at an alarming rate, and it is threatening the health of their eyes. A National Eye Institute study found that the prevalence of nearsightedness increased an astonishing 66 percent for those aged 12-54 in the US since 1972. Nearsightedness, or myopia, is a condition where the eye grows too long for its focusing system. This causes light to focus in front of the retina causing blurred vision. Typically, the earlier it begins, the worse the vision becomes because the eye continues to grow longer and longer during adolescence. Why should we care? Nearsightedness is more than the inconvenience of blurred vision. It increases our children’s risk of medical eye problems like retinal detachments, cataracts and glaucoma. As with any disease process, there are many theories as to why this is occurring but, it is extremely complex with many factors contributing in ways that we still
don’t completely understand. The first and most obvious culprit is genetics. The likelihood of a child being nearsighted increases significantly depending whether either or both parents are nearsighted. But, the increase in nearsightedness is occurring much too rapidly to be explained by genetics alone. Lifestyle changes in the young, like increased near work due to the use of cell phones, iPads, and video games have been implicated and are being closely looked at as to their effects on the progression of nearsightedness. The good news is the days of doing nothing to help your child’s eyes are over. The science of nearsightedness control has grown tremendously in recent years, and there are now three proven ways to effectively control the progression of nearsightedness. Special daytime and nighttime contact lenses are available, as well as prescription eye drops used at bedtime to
I WISH I HAD DONE MORE TO STOP MY CHILD’S EYES FROM GETTING WORSE. Finally, you can do something to stop your child’s lenses from getting thicker and thicker.
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slow the progression of nearsightedness. Be sure and choose an eye doctor who is experienced in each method when deciding which is the best for your child. If you are concerned about your child’s worsening vision, call The Center for Nearsightedness Control at ClearView Family EyeCare, 205-979-3937 or visit www. nothickglasses.com. Courtesy of ClearView Family EyeCare
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baby and me
Infant CPR Kits Save Lives Through Training and Confidence Self-instructional CPR kits are a proven method to provide parents with the knowledge and skills needed to resuscitate an infant in case of an emergency. The UAB Women and Infants Center hands out more than 1,500 infant CPR kits each year to help save the lives of infants who are born prematurely or with congenital heart disease or are admitted for respiratory distress and/or neonatal abstinence syndrome. These infants are at higher risk of respiratory and cardiac arrest in their first year of life, with bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation serving as a major predictor of resuscitation outcome. The kit allows parents to practice CPR on an infant, as well as teach family and friends who will be caring for the infant how to perform CPR. Once an infant in the UAB Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is stable, the care team shifts its focus to parent education and patient care. Educating the parents
of infants on how to perform CPR gives them confidence, a “can do” attitude, and the willingness to step forward and save an infant’s life. As part of this program, the nursing staff teaches parents how to perform CPR in a comfortable, informal setting. Parent care classes at UAB also help prepare new parents for the unthinkable, such as their infant going into cardiac arrest. UAB nurses then send families whose infant has a high risk of respiratory or cardiac arrest home with an educational infant CPR kit that consists of a mini baby mannequin with lungs for practice, a 22-minute how-to DVD and written instructions on performing CPR on an infant. The kits can be used as practice or to teach others who will be caring for the infant how to perform CPR in case of an emergency. The center is launching a fundraising campaign to raise money to help educate
families on how to perform infant CPR in case of an emergency at home and provide the infant CPR kits, which retail for $39.99, complimentary when leaving the hospital. “In order for UAB to continue to hand out these infant CPR kits at no charge to patients, we need support from donors,” says Elicia Jacob, DNP, director of Nursing for UAB Women and Infants Services. “Through our educational classes and these CPR kits, we hope to give parents and caretakers confidence to perform CPR on their infant in case of an emergency.” To make a gift to the UAB Infant CPR Kit fund, visit http://c-fund.us/bnx.
Door Prizes! Giveaways!
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Entertainment! Single Mothers Empowerment Conference, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization
McWane Science Center 200 19th Street North B’ham, AL 35203
Dr. Stephanie Yates
Saturday, June 24, 2017 8:00am - 3:00pm
Register Online Now!
Anthony D. Sparks Anthony Sparks
www.singlemothersempowerment.org Tickets: $30 in advance $35 at the door
*Childcare for first 50 online registrants
Door Prizes Lunch Vendors Entertainment ..and much more! Angela Abdur-RaSheed
Conference sponsors include: Single Mothers Empowerment Conference, Inc., ADPH Office of Women's Health, Birmingham Parent, America's First Federal Credit Union, T-Mobile, Nova Essence Medi-Spa, Harmony M.D., Purple Onion – Pelham birminghamparent.com | 31
PHOTO COURTESY CITY OF CHICAGO
Family Friendly and Free Things to Do with Kids in
CHICAGO By Cindy Richards
PHOTO COURTESY RANVESTEL PHOTOGRAPHIC
32 | birminghamparent | june 2017
Sitting on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago is as famous for its gorgeous skyline as it is for the frigid winds that blow in off the lake in the wintertime. But those chilly winds turn into cooling breezes in the summer when the Windy City is blessed with sunny skies and a ton of neighborhood festivals and free, family-friendly things to do. I’ve lived in Chicago my entire life and raised my kids here swimming in the chilly waters of Lake Michigan, marveling at the wonders of the Museum of Science and Industry, exploring the city’s vibrant neighborhoods and more. Sadly, these days my city is more likely to make the news for its high murder rate. But don’t let the news about the violence in a few areas of the city keep you from visiting. There’s so much here for families. Millennium Park, the city’s lakefront jewel, is the center of free family fun in the summer. The Family Fun Festival offers free performances and activities for little ones every day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. On hot summer days, bring a towel and the kids’ bathing suits to play in the waters of the Crown Fountain. You can play, too! The main stage at the park offers a summer full of free entertainment, from movies on the gigantic screen to free concerts. There’s even more free music at neighboring Grant Park.
• SummerDance, the largest outdoor dancing series in the US • The Chicago Air & Water Show (Aug. 19-20), the oldest and largest free air exhibition • Free weekend-long free festivals celebrating gospel (June 2-3), Blues (June 9-11), jazz (Aug. 31-Sept. 3) and other world music genres (Sept. 8-24). • Fireworks every Wednesday and Saturday at Navy Pier, the No. 1 tourist attraction in the Midwest. No visit to Chicago is complete without a family selfie reflected in Anish Kapoor’s famous sculpture, Cloud Gate – best known by its nickname, The Bean. Here are other Chicago must-see attractions: 1. Lincoln Park Zoo. One of the last free zoos in the country, this charming small zoo is the centerpiece of Lincoln Park on the north side of the city along the lakefront. It’s easily reached by bus from downtown, or by taxi. I don’t recommend driving since it can be difficult and expensive to park. 2. Lincoln Park Conservatory. Located just outside the zoo, this small conservatory is home to a beautiful array of blooming plants and flowers. 3. Maggie Daley Park. This 20-acre park built in honor of the city’s former First Lady has a
wonderful play garden. There’s a climbing wall (not free) and, in winter, a skating ribbon (free if you bring your own ice skates). 4. Museum of Science and Industry. It’s filled with interactive exhibits that teach kids (and adults) about science in a way my science teachers never did. Don’t miss the Science of Storms exhibit! The museum is south of downtown in Hyde Park. There is plenty of affordable parking if you want to drive. It’s also easily reached by bus, cab or Uber.
PHOTO COURTESY ADAM ALEXANDER
Summer in Chicago also means the return of some of my favorite free Chicago events:
5. Chicago Children’s Museum. Located at Navy Pier, this is one of the best children’s museums in the world. It’s free on Thursdays from 5-8pm and free to kids ages 15 and under on the first Sunday of the month. 6. Museum Campus. This is home to three of Chicago’s world-class museums: The Field Museum of Natural History, the Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium. The Field is home to Sue, the largest, best-preserved, and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever found. All three museums are worth a visit, but it can get expensive, so consider buying a Chicago CityPASS for discounted admissions. Even better, it can help you can skip the very long lines of people waiting to buy admission for the day. Cindy Richards in the editor-in-chief for TravelingMom. com, the leading online family travel magazine.
Family amenities with you in mind birminghamparent.com | 33
PHOTOS COURTESY OF DOLLYWOOD
Great New Attractions at DOLLYWOOD THIS SUMMER Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, in the Great Smoky Mountains, is always a fun destination for the family, but three new attractions and two new special events make the appeal even greater to get back there this spring/summer season. The new Drop Line at Dollywood is a 200-foot tall free-fall experience that towers over Timber Canyon, giving riders an amazing view of the park before it drops you nearly 20 stories. It’s one of those “stomach in your throat” experiences you won’t want to miss. The Whistle Punk Chaser is a new junior roller coaster that offers younger riders the chance at some thrilling twists and turns. Their parents can ride with them, and then maybe they will be brave enough to ride the award-winning Thunderhead wooden coaster with mom and dad. The TailSpin Racer at Dollywood’s Splash Country – the separate waterpark – offers high-speed AquaTubes to its splashdown finish. Up to six guests can race each other on mats in this ride. These slides are longer than a football field and stand five stories above the park. (check the online calendar for days open, limited for the waterpark.) Two new events are introduced this year and began during spring break – Enra, the Tokyo-based dance company which was on America’s Got Talent in 2015 offers its high-energy multi-media dance, light and video fusion show, and for the first time ever, Dollywood will be open this fall during October to welcome the Great Pumpkin LumiNights alongside the Southern Gospel Jubilee to its Harvest Festival. For more details, hours, days and pricing, visit www.dollywood.com. 34 | birminghamparent | june 2017
Make it a Summer of Discovery at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Adventures for all ages Day Camps Teacher Workshops Summer Excursions 251-861-2141 101 Bienville Blvd.
Established in 1931, The Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport has been welcoming traveler to The Magic City and serving Central Alabama’s gateway to the sky for more than 80 years. Governed by the Birmingham Airport Authority since its establishment in 1986, the airport has evolved into a catalyst for growth and economic development for the entire region. In 2015, Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport served over 2.6 million passengers with four major airlines,
American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines, over 100 daily flights to 25 cities. Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport welcomes families with family friendly amenities to make traveling with your little one, easy and convenient. In BHM, families will find family bathrooms, nursing rooms, and kidzones with children’s television programming. BHM is guided by the principle that COMMUNITY MATTERS, the Birmingham Airport Authority takes pride in working with neighborhood schools, families, and businesses to achieve a safer and more prosperous community in which to live, work, and profit. The Birmingham Airport Authority has several community programs, for more information, visit www.flybirmingham.com
www.disl.org Birmingham Airport www.flybirmingham.com
Dauphin Island, AL
COMING IN BIRMINGHAM PARENT IN
• The 2017 Birmingham Parent’s Family Favorites Award winners announced!
VOICE BY BECKY
The only voice in travel that MATTERS!
• Birmingham Parent’s First Preschool, Daycare and Mother’s Day Out Guide
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birminghamparent.com | 35
NOLA with Kids is TERRIFIC!
By Carol Muse Evans
It’s not often thought of as the most family friendly destination in the southeast, but there’s a lot of great fun to be had in New Orleans with kids of all ages. You just have to do a little research in advance. When you think of the French Quarter, one of the most famous parts of New Orleans, you don’t necessarily think “kids.” However, The French Quarter has great architecture, interesting shopping, horse-drawn carriages for a fun ride through the area, music galore, art, open air markets, great food and more. There’s even a tour of the area for kids called the French QuarTour Kids (www.frenchquarterkidstours.com), great for kids 7 and up, and even tweens and teens. Don’t miss the great Audubon Aquarium of the Americas (http://audubonnatureinstitute.org/aquarium). This popular attraction is right in the middle of everything and indoors, so perfect if you have a rainy or super-hot day. Also, the Audubon Zoo is a fun trek, whether it’s for a few hours or the day. It recently installed a new elephant sculpture (http://audubonnatureinstitute.org/zoo). The Audubon Insectarium, right by the Aquarium, is a fascinating look at the world of insects and the largest museum dedicated to insects in the country (http://audubonnatureinstitute.org/aquarium). A MUST if you are traveling with older children, say age 12 and older, depending on their penchant for the spooky, is a Haunted French Quarter Ghost tour. Ours was Historic New Orleans Tours, and it’s not only a spooky view of the French Quarter, but often a magnificent history lesson brought to life, intertwined with some of the current rich and famous. If you love this, consider a French Quarter Walking Tour too (www.tourneworleans.com/). NOLA is famous for Mardi Gras, and you can still experience the fun of Mardi Gras any time at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World, an attraction great for kids of all ages (www.mardigrasworld.com). Larger-than-life floats and so much color, fun and history are found here. Maybe you can even get some beads. Carol Muse Evans is publisher and editor of Birmingham Parent and last went to New Orleans in September 2016.
WHERE TO STAY: Maison DePuy Hotel www.maisondepuy.com Right in the middle of the French Quarter and within walking distance to everything (or a short taxi or Uber, if needed for the young ones), this historic hotel probably has many tales to tell.
UPCOMING GREAT EVENTS: June 3-4 – Oysterfest, http://nolaoysterfest.org 4th of July Fireworks – crowds gather in Spanish Plaza to enjoy local food vendors and a firework show
MORE TO SEE: Carousel Gardens, a small amusement park in New Orleans City Park Entergy INMAX Theatre Garden District Jackson Square Louisiana Children’s Museum St. Louis Cathedral New Orleans Swamp Tours For more information visit www.neworleansonline.com. 36 | birminghamparent | june 2017
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Early detection of breast and cervical cancer saves lives For more information, call toll-free 1-877-252-3324 adph.org/earlydetection 40 | birminghamparent | june 2017
Calendar sponsored by
JUNE June means summer – the first official day of summer is June 21, library summer reading programs are underway (it’s not too late to sign up!) outdoor fun of all kinds is in full swing, several farmers markets are open for business and lots of other events to keep you busy. On Sunday, June 18 we honor our dads! Join in the fun that summer brings!
PHOTO COURTESY ALBERT L. SCOTT LIBRARY
Come see the Iron Giant Percussion group at the Albert L. Scott Library at 4pm June 5! Also enjoy a do-it-yourself instrument workshop! All ages are invited. 205-664-6822.
Members of the Birmingham Fencing Club will be on hand at the Homewood Public Library June 29 from 6:30-7:15pm to demonstrate the sport of fencing, often called “physical chess.” FREE.
SUMMER ART CAMP
at the Birmingham Museum of Art
ARTSBMA.ORG Art Camp is sponsored by the UAB School of Medicine. birminghamparent.com | 41
The big iron guy turns 113! Let’s help him celebrate! Vulcan Park will host the annual Vulcan’s Birthday Bash that includes lots of family-friendly fun from noon to 4pm Sunday, June 4. Birmingham Parent is a sponsor! www. visitvulcan.com.
Calendar sponsored by
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY JUNE 18
Chelsea Farmers Market 3-6pm, Chelsea City Hall.
The Market at Pepper Place 7am-noon, Pepper Place, 2829 2nd Ave. S. Rain or shine!
Summit Farmers Market 3-7pm, Pottery Barn, The Summit. urbancookhouse.com/ market. Birmingham Barons vs. Chattanooga Lookouts 7:05pm, Regions Park. www.barons.com.
2 FRIDAY Howard Hill Archery Southern Traditional Championship 7am-5pm, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. Three-day event. 205-822-3563, http:// www.howardhillse.com.
Birmingham Barons vs. Chattanooga Lookouts 7:05pm, Regions Park. www.barons.com.
Valleydale Farmers Market 8am-noon, Faith Presbyterian Church. valleydalefarmersmarket.com. Indian Springs Village Farmers Market 8am-noon, Indian Springs First Baptist Church. Mt Laurel Market and Craft Fair 8am-noon, Mt Laurel Town Center. Hikes for Tykes 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Join Fresh Air Family and the BBG for a magical walk for preschool children and their families! Activities include scavenger hunts, dinosaur plants and
building fairy houses. Hands-on learning! FREE.
begins! Movie: Sing. BIRMINGHAM PARENT is a sponsor.
HerpFest 2017 10am-3pm, Anniston Museum of Natural History. A festival dedicated to reptiles and amphibians! Admission charged. 256-237-6766, http://annistonmuseum.org.
15th Annual Alabaster CityFest Municipal Park, Alabaster. One of the state’s premier family outdoor music festivals! A full lineup of live music, with headliner Maddie and Tae; food and arts/crafts vendors, kids fest and more. Free public parking, free admission.
Fairy Tale Ball & Festival 5-7pm, Roy Downs Memorial Library, Calera. “Be our Guest!” Rides, dancing, moonwalks, balloon art, face painting, princesses, action characters and more. 205-668-7200. FREE. Birmingham Barons vs. Chattanooga Lookouts 6:30pm, Regions Park. Friday Night Fireworks. www.barons.com. Fox 6 Free Friday Flicks! 6:30pm, Veterans Park, Hoover. Family favorite film series
4 SUNDAY Vulcan’s 113th Birthday Bash! Noon-4pm, Vulcan Park. Family-friendly fun! Admission $8 adults, $6 children. Kids Zone, game room, games, activities, live aircraft, drum circle, live music, bounce house, arts and crafts, food and drink! Free ice cream and cookies! BIRMINGHAM PARENT is a sponsor. www.visitvulcan.com.
PLEASE NOTE: Events may change after publication deadline; please phone ahead to confirm important information. The deadline for submitting calendar items for the July 2017 print issue is June 6. Mail calendar items to: Calendar, Birmingham Parent, P.O. Box 326, Helena, AL 35080; fax to 987-7600; e-mail to calendar@BirminghamParent.com; or enter directly to the online calendar at www.birminghamparent.com. Entries added online after the print deadline will not appear in the print version. Information cannot be accepted over the phone. Birmingham Parent publishes a calendar 11 times a year. January events are included in the December issue. Guidelines: Birmingham Parent’s calendar is intended to be a resource and service to the community and our readers. Events which are open to the public, fundraisers, free classes, etc., are events that may be included in our monthly calendar. We reserve the right to reject any event or listing due to rules or space restrictions. For questions regarding calendar entries, call 987-7700 or e-mail email@example.com. 42 | birminghamparent | june 2017
Calendar sponsored by
Iron Giant Percussion 4pm, Albert L. Scott Library, Alabaster. Also enjoy a DIY instrument workshop! All ages. 205-664-6822.
8 THURSDAY Chelsea Farmers Market 3-6pm, Chelsea City Hall. Summit Farmers Market 3-7pm, Pottery Barn, The Summit. urbancookhouse.com/ market.
9 FRIDAY 21st Annual Down Home Psaltery Festival 8am-5pm, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. Outdoor music workshop. Gate admission $5 adults, $4 seniors, $3 children, 5-under free. 205-4246970, http://davespsaltery.com. Fox 6 Free Friday Flicks! 6:30pm, Veterans Park, Hoover. Family favorite film series begins! Movie: Moana. BIRMINGHAM PARENT is a sponsor. Birmingham Barons vs. Mobile BayBears 7:05pm, Regions Park. www.barons.com. Symphony in the Summer 8pm, Railroad Park. Kick off the summer in musical style! Come enjoy the Alabama Symphony Orchestra under the stars. FREE. www.alabamasymphony.org. Full Life Ahead Family Camp June 9-11, Childrenâ€™s Harbor, Lake Martin. The Full Life Ahead Foundation takes families with teens and young adults who have disAbilities on family weekends! Agendas for teens and young adults; parents enjoy their own educational sessions. Boating, arts and crafts, dance party, putt-putt and more! Cost $30 per person includes meals, accommodations and activities/ programs for the weekend. Registration, information, 205-4396534, www.fulllifeahead.org.
10 SATURDAY The Market at Pepper Place 7am-noon, Pepper Place, 2829 2nd Ave. S. Rain or shine! Valleydale Farmers Market 8am-noon, Faith Presbyterian Church. valleydalefarmersmarket.com.
Indian Springs Village Farmers Market 8am-noon, Indian Springs First Baptist Church. Mt Laurel Market and Craft Fair 8am-noon, Mt Laurel Town Center. 21st Annual Down Home Psaltery Festival 8am-5pm, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park, see June 9. Hikes for Tykes 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Join Fresh Air Family and the BBG for a magical walk for preschool children and their families! Activities include scavenger hunts, dinosaur plants and building fairy houses. Hands-on learning! FREE. Dream Big Family Sleepover 6pm-8am (June 11), McWane Science Center. Design, build and test out feats of engineering genius! Ages 6-older. Admission includes dinner and continental breakfast, museum admission, viewing of Dream Big in IMAX, engineering challenges. Advance reservations required. 205-714-8414. Birmingham Barons vs. Mobile BayBears 6:30pm, Regions Park. www.barons.com. Symphony in the Summer 8pm, Railroad Park. Kick off the summer in musical style! Come enjoy the Alabama Symphony Orchestra under the stars. FREE. www.alabamasymphony.org.
11 SUNDAY Birmingham Barons vs. Mobile BayBears 3pm, Regions Park. Salute to Armed Forces! www.barons.com. Symphony in the Summer 6pm, Railroad Park. Family Fun Day! Family-friendly musical program featuring favorite light classics and pops. FREE. www.alabamasymphony.org.
12 MONDAY Skin & Bones Comedy Circus 10:30am, Albert L. Scott Library, Alabaster. Birmingham Barons vs. Mobile BayBears 11:30am, Regions Park. www.barons.com.
Family Flix 3:30pm, Homewood Library. Take a break from the heat and watch a movie about a koala that creates a singing contest sensation. Refreshments provided! Family Flix Spanish Language Edition 5:30pm, Homewood Library. Take a break from the heat and watch a movie about a koala that creates a singing contest sensation. Refreshments provided! Birmingham Barons vs. Mobile BayBears 7:05pm, Regions Park. www.barons.com.
FLAG DAY Birmingham Barons vs. Jackson Generals 7:05pm, Regions Park. www.barons.com.
15 THURSDAY Chelsea Farmers Market 3-6pm, Chelsea City Hall. Summit Farmers Market 3-7pm, Pottery Barn, The Summit. urbancookhouse.com/ market. Birmingham Barons vs. Jackson Generals 7:05pm, Regions Park. www.barons.com.
16 FRIDAY QuiltFest 10am-5pm, Oak Mountain Middle School. The Birmingham Quilters Guild hosts its biennial two-day quilt show. A judged quilt show features more than 300 quilts made by guild members. Vendor mall, boutique, door prizes and demonstrations. Proceeds from silent auction benefit Meals on Wheels. 205-706-9536, www.bhamquilters.com. World Sea Turtle Day 1-2pm, Anniston Museum of Natural History. Six of the seven species of sea turtles are located off the coasts of the United States. Learn about these beautiful marine reptiles. Program free with paid admission; members free. 256-237-6766, http://annistonmuseum.org. Fox 6 Free Friday Flicks! 6:30pm, Veterans Park, Hoover.
Family favorite film series begins! Movie: The Secret Life of Pets. BIRMINGHAM PARENT is a sponsor. Birmingham Barons vs. Jackson Generals 7:05pm, Regions Park. Friday Night Fireworks. www.barons.com.
17 SATURDAY The Market at Pepper Place 7am-noon, Pepper Place, 2829 2nd Ave. S. Rain or shine! Valleydale Farmers Market 8am-noon, Faith Presbyterian Church. valleydalefarmersmarket.com. Indian Springs Village Farmers Market 8am-noon, Indian Springs First Baptist Church. Mt Laurel Market and Craft Fair 8am-noon, Mt Laurel Town Center. June Trade Days 8am-4pm, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. Two-day outdoor flea market. Admission $5 adults, $4 seniors, $3 children, 5-under free. 205-4775711, www.tannehill.org. Southeastern Outings Canoe and Kayak Trip 9am, Terrapin Creek near Piedmont, AL. Reservations, information, Dan Frederick, 205-631-4680, seoutings@ bellsouth.net. Hikes for Tykes 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Join Fresh Air Family and the BBG for a magical walk for preschool children and their families! Activities include scavenger hunts, dinosaur plants and building fairy houses. Hands-on learning! FREE. QuiltFest 2017 10am-5pm, Oak Mountain Middle School, see June 16. Birmingham Barons vs. Jackson Generals 6:30pm, Regions Park. www.barons.com.
FATHERâ€™S DAY birminghamparent.com | 43
Calendar sponsored by
Southeastern Outings Canoe and Kayak Trip
June Trade Days 8am-4pm, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park, see June 17. Father’s Day at McWane! Noon-6pm, McWane Science Center. To honor fathers everywhere, dads gets in free with the purchase of a child’s admission! www.mcwane.org. Birmingham Barons vs. Mobile BayBears 3pm, Regions Park. www.barons.com.
19 MONDAY Maynard, Magic and Music 4pm, Albert L. Scott Library, Alabaster.
20 TUESDAY Birmingham Sci Café 6-8pm, John’s City Diner. Join other science geeks and novices for an exciting presentation, lively discussion and a little science trivia! www.mcwane.org.
SUMMER BEGINS 22 THURSDAY Chelsea Farmers Market 3-6pm, Chelsea City Hall. Summit Farmers Market 3-7pm, Pottery Barn, The Summit. urbancookhouse.com/ market. 44 | birminghamparent | june 2017
23 FRIDAY Fox 6 Free Friday Flicks! 6:30pm, Veterans Park, Hoover. Family favorite film series begins! Movie: The BFG. BIRMINGHAM PARENT is a sponsor.
24 SATURDAY The Market at Pepper Place 7am-noon, Pepper Place, 2829 2nd Ave. S. Rain or shine! Valleydale Farmers Market 8am-noon, Faith Presbyterian Church. valleydalefarmersmarket.com. Indian Springs Village Farmers Market 8am-noon, Indian Springs First Baptist Church. Mt Laurel Market and Craft Fair 8am-noon, Mt Laurel Town Center. Ability Academy 2017 8:30am registration, 9:30amnoon, camp, Samford University Seibert Stadium. A football minicamp for people with intellectual disabilities. Fundamentals and more taught by volunteer coaches from college teams and the NFL. $20 registration fee includes camp training, T-shirt, lunch for participant and one caregiver, and photo ops with professional players. Presented
by The Arc of Jefferson County. Register online at www.arcofjeff.org. Southeastern Outings Float, Picnic, Swim 9am, Locust Fork River, Blount County. Easy river floating. Information, Dan Frederick, 205-6314680, firstname.lastname@example.org. Hikes for Tykes 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Join Fresh Air Family and the BBG for a magical walk for preschool children and their families! Activities include scavenger hunts, dinosaur plants and building fairy houses. Hands-on learning! FREE. Creative Expressions Craft Show 10am-4pm, Glen Iris Elementary School. Two-day event spotlights local talent in the Birmingham and surrounding areas. Local crafters, artists and small business entrepreneurs. Music, live performances, demonstrations, games, food, kids activities and more. 205920-1986, www.facebook.com/ emmessskay. FREE.
25 SUNDAY Creative Expressions Craft Show 10am-4pm, Glen Iris Elementary School, see June 24.
28 WEDNESDAY Birmingham Barons vs. Biloxi Shuckers 7:05pm, Regions Park. Peanut-free night. www.barons.com.
29 THURSDAY Chelsea Farmers Market 3-6pm, Chelsea City Hall. Summit Farmers Market 3-7pm, Pottery Barn, The Summit. urbancookhouse.com/ market. The Art of Fencing 6:30-7:15pm, Homewood Public Library. The Birmingham Fencing Club will be on hand to show what the sport of fencing is all about. FREE. Birmingham Barons vs. Biloxi Shuckers 7:05pm, Regions Park. www.barons.com.
30 FRIDAY Fox 6 Free Friday Flicks! 6:30pm, Veterans Park, Hoover. Family favorite film series begins! Movie: The Lego Batman Movie. BIRMINGHAM PARENT is a sponsor. Birmingham Barons vs. Biloxi Shuckers 7:05pm, Regions Park. Friday Night Fireworks. www.barons.com.
Aldridge Botanical Gardens
In-park Special Attractions: Pirates! Set “rail” on the all-new Pirate Red Diamond Express Train Ride at the Zoo! Dozens of life-size, animatronic swashbucklers take over the zoo trains. Through December 31. 2630 Cahaba Road, Birmingham. 205-879-0409, www. birminghamzoo.com
Highway 119, Montevallo. 205-665-3535, www.americanvillage.org
Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum
3530 Lorna Road, Hoover. 205-682-8019, www.aldridgegardens.com
Alabama Wildlife Center 100 Terrace Drive, Pelham. 205663-7930. www.awrc.org
Barber Motorsports Park 6040 Barber Motorsports Parkway, Leeds. 205-298-9040, www.barbermotorsports.com
Birmingham Botanical Gardens 2612 Lane Park Road, Birmingham. 205-414-3900, www. bbgardens.org
Birmingham Children’s Theatre 1001 19th St. North, Birmingham, AL, 35203, 205-458-8181, www. bct123.org
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute 16th St. N., Birmingham. 205328-9696, www.bcri.org
Birmingham Museum of Art 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., Birmingham. 205-2542565, www.artsbma.org
Birmingham Public Libraries Find a library near you! www.bplonline.org
Ride the Father’s Day Limited! Take Dad on a relaxing one-hour train ride through the scenic forests of Shelby County! Father’s ride at ½ regular coach fare when accompanied by one or more of his children in coach class! 11am, 2pm. Saturday, June 18. 1919 Ninth St., Calera. 205-6683435, www.hodrrm.org
Jefferson County Library Cooperative Find a library close to you! www.jclc.org
McWane Science Center Going Places. Planes! Trains! Rockets! Cars! Explore this exhibition and discover the technology of transportation. Fly a plane, ride a hovercraft, learn to fly an airship! Design Zone. Explore the art of design! A highly-interactive exhibition where visitors can explore a variety of creative concepts to learn the tools needed to create a successful design. Through September 4. Ride the Slide. Ride the Energy Slide all summer! Through August 6.
IMAX Movies: Extreme Weather. This movie takes you to the frontlines where few have gone. Travel to the edge of 300-foot-tall glaciers collapsing to massive wildfires and more. Through September 28. Dream Big. Engineering’s impressive impact on our world and our lives. Through April 2018.
Ruffner Mountain Nature Center 1214 81st St. S., Birmingham. 205-833-8264, www.ruffnermountain.org.
Shelby County Public Libraries Find a library near you! www.shelbycounty-al.org
Journey to the South Pacific. Travel to the lush tropical islands of remote West Papua, where life flourishes above and below the sea. Opens June 9. 200 19th St. N., Birmingham. 205-714-8300, www.mcwane.org.
Southern Museum of Flight
Moss Rock Preserve
12632 Confederate Parkway, McCalla. 205-477-5711, www. tannehill.org
Preserve Parkway, Hoover. 205-739-7141, www.hooveral.org.
4343 73rd St. N., Birmingham. 205-833-8226, www.southernmuseumofflight.org
Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park
Oak Mountain State Park 200 Terrace Drive, Pelham. 205-620-2520, www.alapark.com.
1701 Valley View Drive, Birmingham. 205-933-1409, www.vulcanpark.org
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birminghamparent.com | 45
Calendar sponsored by
by Charles Ghigna
haiku AN INTRODUCTION TO
WHAT IS HAIKU? Haiku is a poem of seventeen syllables with only three lines.
JUNE The cricket calls to the meadow, each evening he hears his echo sing.
JULY Beyond fields of rice shadows sway to moonlight’s breeze, lithe bamboo dancers.
AUGUST Listen, the forest waits for summer’s final song, the whippoorwill sings.
SEPTEMBER Shadows bow to the setting sun, pray to the sky for blessings of light.
The first line has five. The second line has seven. The third line has five. Each haiku describes a fleeting moment in Time, a glimpse of Nature.
Artist autumn comes, paints her blush across each tree, drops palette, and leaves.
The sea lion roars across the far horizon, storm clouds stalk the shore.
The Japanese haiku, one of the oldest forms of poetry, teaches us much about the art and craft of poem-making. The entire poem consists of only three short lines, yet the haiku contains all the basic elements of poetry.
Geese fly south pulling over the mountaintops a stone curtain of sky.
A field full of pale parachutes, dandelions adrift in the wind.
The haiku is understated and concise. It is lyrical and dramatic, poignant and precise, personal and universal. Sometimes it is witty. But always it is ethereal and timeless, as meaningful today as it was hundreds of years ago when Basho, Buson, Issa and the other masters of haiku first began exploring its potential as an art form.
The last lullaby, an owl cries out through the pines, the north wind answers.
Ivory butterflies perch on black branches, the dogwood blossoms.
I hope you enjoy some of my samples of haiku. I followed the Japanese tradition of using seasonal imagery to portray the cyclical aspect of Time and Nature.
A sleeping doe stirs beneath her blanket of dawn, a new year rising.
The cherry blossom wakes, stretches, opens herself to the morning sun.
NOW YOU TRY IT! Look around outside. What do you see? A bird? A flower? A sunset? A tree? Each one would make a great haiku — for you! 46 | birminghamparent | june 2017
For more poetry activities, visit the Father Goose website at FatherGoose.com. Want to submit YOUR poems for publication? Parents, here are some magazines that publish poems written by children: http://www.ckmagazine.org • http://www. magicdragonmagazine.com, http://www.cricketmag.com
SATURDAY, AUGUST5th, 10-3 RIVERCHASE GALLERIA
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE KIDS! GREAT VENDORS WITH HEALTH, EXERCISE, EDUCATION, SPORTS, EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES, LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT, AND MORE!
JOE LOCKETT, RADIO HOST FOR WYDE, "LOCK & LEARN," WILL BE GIVING AWAY
1,000 SCHOOL BACKPACKS & SUPPLIES AT 10 A.M. ON AUG. 5 IN THE FOOD COURT, SPECIFICALLY TARGETING SINGLE PARENTS. FIRST COME FIRST SERVED. DON'T MISS IT! TO DONATE, CONTACT
JOELOCKETTSHOW@GMAIL.COM OR 205-821-2222.
Children’s of Alabama
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BEING PART OF HAPPY HEALTHY KIDS FAIR CONTACT 205-987-7700 OR INFO@BIRMINGHAMPARENT.COM
CREATE YOUR EXPERIENCE: DANCE BEAT, SKATE PARK, ROLLERCOASTER, AND MORE.
Design Zone is a highly interactive, hands-on exhibit where visitors can go_FullColor_Horizontal.eps explore a variety of creative concepts to learn the processes and tools needed to create successful design.
DESIGN ZONE PRESENTED BY
200 19TH STREET NORTH — BIRMINGHAM, AL 35203 — WWW.MCWANE.ORG
Published on May 30, 2017
Read the June 2017 issue of Birmingham Parent, or view past issues. This issue includes 10 Tips to Planning Your Child’s Birthday Party, Bir...