Monthly Archives: December 2011

Camel’s Back Park

OK – so it feels a little strange writing about parks in late December.  I’m as disappointed as anyone about the lack of snow for our winter sports.  However, why not take advantage of this warm weather to enjoy some area parks, the river, biking or fishing.

 As long as the trails aren’t wet, Camel’s Back park is a fantastic place to work off some of your post holiday indulgences.  Most adults and kids alike love the ‘hill’ at the park and the challenge to climb it.  The best part of the park is that it offers so much.  You can enjoy biking trails along the perimeter that lead you down 9th street to additional trails, plus hiking trails are accessible all over the North side of the park.  The kids can enjoy the great play equipment on the flat portion to the West.  If you’re a tennis fan, there are tennis courts available.  AND there is a huge portion of flat grassy area for people to play games like flag football, ultimate frisbee, soccer, lacrosse, or whatever other impromptu game that we don’t usually have the luxury of playing outdoors in late December.   Another bonus…It’s free!

I don’t know about you, but  I’m signing off early today to hit the greenbelt and throw a line in the water.

The "hill" at Camel's Back


Low Stress Friends/Family Time

This is a crazy busy time of year.  It seems like there are so many really neat activities you can go to with your family and friends but a lot of them cost money.  One of our favorite ways to enjoy family and friends and save our money is to play games at home.

Super easy if you invite friends over and everyone brings a dish and their favorite beverage. You can even do a theme night for your food.

Games can vary but some of our favorites are games that young children as well as adults enjoy.  Here are some ideas:

1.  Mess with your neighbor:  Need a deck of cards and three chips or coins per person.  Everyone gets one card and they do not show their card.  You do not want to be the lowest card.  Ace low and King high.   You can trade your card with your neighbor to the left or keep you card.  Dealer trades with the deck.  Kings are flipped over and no one can trade with you.  Object of the game is to “not be the lowest card”.   Everyone flips their card and the lowest card “pays” the pot one chip or coin.  When you are out of your chips you are out of the game.

2.  Ship Captain Crew: Need Dice.  Rules:

3.  Left Right Center:  Need Dice With L, R, and C on them.  Rules:

4.  Thirty One:  Need a Deck of Cards.  This is not just a game for adults.  Rules:

5.  Spoons:  Need a deck of cards and spoons (one less than total number of people playing).  Rules:

These are just a few of the fun game that you can make an expensive evening of.

Fun Board Games:  Catch Phrase, Mad Gab, Cranium, Outburst

Do you have a game your family loves?

We would also like to know where all the good Christmas Lights are in Boise and Meridian.  Let me know if you have seen some great displays.



Idaho Botanical Garden Winter Garden aGlow

I am hoping that my family gets healthy this week so we don’t miss going to the Botanical Garden Winter Garden aGlow before Christmas.  I guess the good news is that it is open until January 8 so we can still make it a post Christmas activity.  So beautiful and an awesome outing.

If you have never been to the Botanical Garden during the holidays, you are missing a great family experience.  They have over 250,000 lights and they are truly amazing.  During December they have special visits from Santa and Prancer.  There is also a Holiday Express Model train through the end of the month.  Don’t worry about getting hungry…there are food vendors to feed you and there are hot drinks to warm you. 

Mondays are carpool nights and a whole carload gains entry for $20.00 (6 person maximum) which is a great deal. 

Click the link below for more information on hours and special December visits:

Sakura Japanese Restaurant

Do you need a break from shopping and the hectic holiday rush?  Sakura Japanese Restaurant at the corner of Chinden and Eagle road is a great rest stop.  The staff is fantastic and always make you feel at home.  They roll sushi at a station right beside the tables plus they have tepanyaki grills that are always fun for the entire family.  I personally am new to the sushi scene and am a little bit conservative on what I order.  There are many items on the menu that I have no idea what they are, but just ask your waiter or waitress and they will explain.  I love their lunch specials and lean a little more towards the tepanyaki side of the menu but I have many friends that are “regulars” in ordering sushi because it’s so great.  Check out the menu on their website:

Take a Break from Shopping with a Stroll near Bown Crossing

Driving around this week-end reminded me of how crazy the traffic and stores are for the rest of December until Christmas.  Everywhere I go I get asked if I’m ready for Christmas.  Hmm…that is a loaded question and the answer is Yes and No.  For some reason, I’m not stressed even though I am further behind than I ever have been since having children.

What I love doing more than anything this time of year, is grabbing some time and getting away from the commercialism to enjoy family and friends and the simple gift of time.

If you don’t have time to get out-of-town, you can still take a break from it all by heading to the greenbelt and the Boise River.  A great spot on the river is the Bown Crossing area.  There is a foot traffic portion of the greenbelt as well as a bike portion.  It is brisk but so beautiful and you sometimes get blessed with seeing wildlife.

So after you have shopped at many of the great downtown stores AND the Bown Crossing stores, park your car and relax with your family or friends by taking a walk.  You can top your walk off with lunch or snacks at one of the establishments at Bown Crossing.  Sounds like the perfect stress reducer to me!

To get to Bown Crossing take the I-84 connector or Broadway Ave to ParkcenterBlvd.  Go to the end of the street until you pass Riverside Elementary.

Deer at Bown Crossing

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

I was just told about this great production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  The play is done entirely by children.  I plan on taking my girls to it, but didn’t want to wait to write about it since it will almost be over by the time we can go.  One of my friends that attended the play said it was awesome.  Here are some details:

November 18 – December 17, 2011

‘The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, steal, swear, and hit little kids. So no one is prepared when this family invades church one Sunday and decides to take over the annual Christmas pageant. The Herdmans have never heard the Christmas story before. Their interpretation of the tale has a lot of people up in arms. But it will make this year’s pageant the most unusual anyone has seen and, just possibly, the best one ever’.

It is based on a book.  The Herdman children tell the story of Christmas even though some of them have rarely, if ever been to church.  It is a great humorous read with some life lessons thrown in too.