September, 2009 – Fun Family Things to Do



Mommy Moments


 By Krista MartinelliKrista Martinelli


Fun Family Things to do . . . on a Budget!


So what can you do for a dollar these days? Ordinarily not very much! But if you head up to Palm Beach Gardens and take your children to the Playmobil Fun Park, you can play all day for just a dollar! You might recognize the excellent name in the world of toy manufacturing, Playmobil, which is a German company. My German friend Andrea says that she grew up playing with Playmobil toys, as do many European kids and many American kids too. Playmobil built a few “FunParks” around the world as a unique marketing strategy, so kids can test out the toys and the company can showcase their line of products. There are only two Playmobil FunParks in the United States, one in New Jersey and one right here in Palm Beach Gardens. Whether your young child enjoys playing out a pirate scene, imagining how a fire rescue would be handled or playing with princesses in castles, they have the characters and the space to do it at Playmobil FunPark. With almost 20,000 square feet of playing space, children have plenty of room to play!


When we entered the Playmobil castle to meet up with friends, I overheard a couple of

Young children like Livy can play for hours at Playmobil.
Young children can play for hours at Playmobil, just for $1.
mothers commenting about how clean it is inside. “Spotless,” they were commenting, not something you hear from Moms very often.  I also saw several families who packed a lunch and took advantage of the picnic tables in the back of the castle. There’s a microwave too, very convenient. It’s set up, so that you can comfortably spend a few hours or even a whole day, if you’d like to.



A wide variety of Playmobil sets capture every child’s attention; there’s something for everyone. My kids (who are two and four years old) seem to gravitate toward the circus sets and the Noah’s Ark area most often. I have also seen little boys who are quite happy staying about five feet from the entrance, where all the trucks are. We attended a very nice birthday party for our 3-year-old friend Olivia at Playmobil a couple of months ago. A good mix of “play time” and coming together time for singing, dancing and having birthday cake!


Home Depot's Workshop for Kids . . . comes with orange smocks & supplies, all for free
Home Depot’s Workshop for Kids . . . comes with orange smocks & supplies, all for free
Another family fun thing to do that we discovered recently is the FREE kids’ workshop at Home Depot, which happens the first Saturday of every month. We stumbled upon it while getting a few things for my garden on a Saturday. The Home Depot staff was very inviting and before we knew it, we were being whisked away to the kids’ workshop area! Both kids (who are two and four) got their own orange Home Depot smocks to wear. We were given two kits to build wooden birdhouses and all the tools we needed, plus work benches to get it done. Our kids loved getting the rare opportunity to hammer with “real hammers” (under close supervision, of course, and with a lot of help). When we were finished with our birdhouses, the kids received pins and certificates of completion. Now we’ve marked our calendar to make sure we don’t miss any of these Home Depot workshops!By the way, I think that the kids’ workshops end at noon, so call or stop by your local Home Depot to confirm.


Here’s another fun affordable thing to do with kids that we discovered last month – eat at Denny’s on a Tuesday night!  Kids eat free on Tuesday nights and, in some locations, on Saturday nights too. I had completely forgotten about Denny’s, perhaps simply because there are so many of them. In South Florida, it seems that you come across a Denny’s as often as a Walgreen’s or a nail salon. But lo and behold, now that we have kids, this is one of the best places to go for dinner! They have a super-fun kids’ menu with coloring, things to do and very kid-friendly items to order. Just consider these side dishes: apple dunkers, tumbling vanilla, high-diving veggies, fishing goldfish crackers, game-on grapes, home plate mashed potatoes, jump-shot Jell-o, finish line fries and vegetable of the day. Even the pickiest of young eaters can really order something that they are guaranteed to eat, like Mac & Cheese with grapes.



Denny's Drink Cups for Two
Denny’s Drink Cups for Two





My kids also enjoyed these alien-looking drink cups that come with two straws and with two different drinks inside. Listen to these refreshing summer beverages: Blueberry Pomegranate Smash, Four Berry Fizz, Strawberry Mango Pucker and Cherry Cherry Limeade. We tried and liked all four!  By the way, if you visit Coupon, you can find a list of all of the local restaurants and the days that “kids eat free.”


Now here’s one more cool FREE thing to, but I found out about too late for this summer. You just visit and you can register at their website to receive two FREE games of bowling for each child, every day for the whole summer. Now that’s a lot of free bowling!  It’s a little funky – they email you a week of printable coupons each week. But my neighbor who has four children had success in using these coupons throughout the summer, so we know it’s for real!


Last but not least, please remember to check out our AW Coupons page!  These are all special offers from terrific LOCAL businesses, just for our Around Wellington readers. Thanks to you, our readers, and don’t forget that is a “spam-free zone”; we never share our subscriber list.


Krista Martinelli is the editor of She’s the mother of a four year old girl and a two year old boy. She plays with the kids by day and works by night.  Sleeping is a rarity!