Have your ice cream for breakfast and Super Bowl too

The Children’s Museum Missoula is hosting its fifth annual Ice Cream for Breakfast this Sunday, Feb. 1., and don’t worry, there’s plenty of time to eat ice cream AND catch the Super Bowl kick-off. If you’re into that sort of thing.

Ice cream will be served from 9 a.m. t0 11 a.m. at the Wilma Theatre downtown. There will be a complete ice cream buffet, including waffles and bacon. There will also be Mismo Gymnastics on hand to offer tumbling and Childbloom Guitar music provided. For quieter morning types, a family-friendly movie will be playing in the small theater.

While the children’s museum is always happy to accept donations, this event is 100 percent free and open to all families, thanks to the sponsorship of these fine local businesses: The Wilma Theatre, ZillaState, Mismo Gymnastics, Childbloom Guitar, Zoo City Apparel, Black Coffee Roasting Company, Scotty’s Table, Posh Chocolat and Big Dipper Ice Cream.

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Free admission to Children’s Museum this Friday

The weather in Missoula looks … iffy … today. It’s supposed to be sunnier, but colder, by the weekend. But who knows for sure?

If you’re looking for a bad-weather contingency plan, take note that the Children’s Museum is offering free admission this Friday.

As usual, the water table, dinosaur dig, treehouse, dentist/doctor room and tons of other great exhibits will be available for kiddos to explore. Also, for those who don’t have work or school in the late morning, there’s a taekwondo class taught by Master Corbin starting at 11 a.m.


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Free admission to Children’s Museum on Valentine’s Day

Do you and your kids heart the Children’s Museum?

Well, the Children’s Museum hearts you too!

On Valentine’s Day – that’s Friday, Feb. 14 – the museum is offering free admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition to enjoying its regular programs, kiddos can make a valentine while they’re visiting.

Thank the  Plum Creek Foundation for sponsoring this lovely event.

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Ice Cream for Breakfast. Why not?

Here’s a short list of desserts I’ve served my kids for breakfast:

Cake. Pie. Milkshakes.

What’s the difference between those and a donut? Nothing that I can see. Just this morning in the Missoulian newsroom we were talking about wanting chocolate for breakfast. Not even on anything. Just … chocolate.

One thing I’ve never served for the morning meal is straight-up ice cream. I guess you could count the milkshake, but that had a banana in it, just so you know.

There’s an opportunity to cross ice cream off the list of non-breakfast foods coming up on Sunday, Feb. 2. That’s the day the Children’s Museum Missoula and Families First is hosting its fourth annual Ice Cream for Breakfast event, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Billed as a “community-wide family fun event for a celebration of all things Ice Cream,” those who turn out will get to enjoy not only an ice cream buffet stocked with sundae toppings, but pancakes and bacon besides.

The thoughtful folks at Families First understand that all that sugar intake has to be burned off somehow, so they’re bringing in Mismo to offer some gymnastics and the Whizpops to offer some live music to dance to.

Or, practice keeping quiet and still while watching a family friendly movie in the little theater.

Thanks to the generosity of a host of sponsors, the even is free and open to all families.

Those sponsors are: The Wilma Theatre, Rocky Mountain Development Group, ZillaState, Mismo Gymnastics, The Whizpops, Black Coffee Roasting Company, Scotty’s Table, and Big Dipper Ice Cream.


Wednesday got you down? Then look forward to Moscow Monday

Ugh. Some weeks, Hump Day seems like a bigger hump to get over than others.

This week’s Wednesday follows Tuesday’s elections, and at the newspaper where I work, Election Day is always exciting – and always sets up the next day to be a bit of a drag.

I like to liven up my draggy days by scheduling multiple appointments for family members and pets! Because there’s nothing like driving two kids to different office settings around town for several hours after school to brighten up everyone’s attitude.

But maybe you do it differently. That’s cool.

Now, those who get through the work week by looking forward to the weekend might want to look even further ahead – to Monday. Recently the Montgomery Distillery started hosting what it calls Moscow Mondays, from 12 to 8 pm. And this next Monday – Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11 – a dollar from every cocktail sold during its Moscow Monday hours will go to the Children’s Museum and Families First. I hear there’s even going to be some Play Store items and other prizes given away.

Interested parents can check it out at 129 W. Front in downtown Missoula.

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Halloween bashes abound in Missoula

I’ve taken several running starts at trying to list all the Halloween events for children in Missoula this year, and so far haven’t been able to clear the hurdle.

There is just too much going on. Where do I even start?

One of my favorites is the annual Halloween Bash at the Families First Children’s Museum. It doubles as a fundraiser for the museum, and it’s now heading into its ninth year.

For only 5 bucks a person, kids and their families can enjoy five hours of Halloween-themed activities. This year’s bash will take place on Sunday, Oct. 30, from noon to 5 p.m.

Here’s an idea of what to expect: A ghouly ghost craft project, spooky story time with musicial guests “The Unknowns,” a creepy crawly show provided by Animal Wonders, a dissection demonstration by SpectrUM, freaky fishing, mummy mountain slide, a treasure dig, and of course games and a glow-in-the-dark dance room. And more.

Kids are encouraged to come in costume.

For more information about the bash or the Families First Children’s Museum, call 541-PLAY, email info@FamiliesFirstMontana.org, or come on down to the museum at 225 W. Front Street.

And for more information about local Halloween events, well, I’ll do my best to post them as I find out about them. But don’t wait on me! If you know about a particularly cool and kid-friendly Halloween party, go ahead and drop me a note or tell readers about it yourself in the comments.

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Oh, the horror! Halloween is coming!

Halloween approaches like a Night of the Living Dead zombie – slowly but relentlessly. No matter how fast I run, it will inevitably catch up to me.

Adding to my mounting dread this year, my daughter has chosen to dress up as a tooth, and it sounds like my mother-in-law will not be making Willow’s costume this year, like she has in years past. This means I have to make it. A tooth costume is not something you can just buy at a store (and for pity’s sake, if anyone spots a tooth costume at a Missoula store PLEASE TELL ME).

Naturally, this is something I would like to put off for as long as possible. But even if I could ignore the cobwebs and tiny spiders draped across my desk at work, or the piles of handmade Halloween decorations Willow keeps bringing home from school, my e-mail inbox is practically dripping with Halloween event notices too cute to ignore.

Will I have my daughter’s costume ready in time for the 8th annual Halloween Bash at the Children’s Museum this Saturday? For $5 per person, the lineup of activities includes pumpkin face-drawing, a Halloween art project, fun in a “bat cave,” a costume parade, Spooky Story Time Theater, Creepy Crawly Show with Animal Wonders, and lots, lots more.

That’s at the Children’s Museum at 225 West Front Street. For more information, call Families First, which runs the museum, at 541-PLAY.

Another fun shindig near and dear to my animal-lovin’ heart is the annual Pet-O-Ween celebration sponsored by Quality Supply. This year’s slate of events takes place next Saturday, Oct. 30, with registration starting at 10 a.m. and costume judging starting at 11 a.m.

That’s pets AND kids, by the way. Dress ’em both up (if your child is 12 years old or younger, that is) and enter them each in their own costume contest. The entry fee is $4, and in return you get a free goody bag. The kids costume contest grand prize is a $50 gift card.The pet costume contest grand prize is a year’s supply of Nutro dog or cat food.

But even if you don’t win anything, you get a year’s worth of adorable looking at all those dogs dressed up like policemen and cats dressed up like jailbirds licking the faces of toddlers dressed up like ice cream cones. It’s ridiculously cute, I tell ya.

Almost makes me want to get started on that tooth costume.

– MM

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This one’s for dads

The Children’s Museum in Missoula regularly hosts a “dad’s night” that invites fathers to spend an evening socializing with other fathers – and let their kids mingle, too.

And if that’s not enough incentive, take note that it’s a totally free event – and food is provided.

The e-mail from Families First promises plenty of “interactive entertainment and good old fashioned playtime,” with food from Mackenzie River Pizza Co. and entertainment provided by Tangled Tones Music Studio’s Matt Nord and Caleb Van Gelder.

But you have to sign up before you show up. The next Dad’s Night is tomorrow night (Thursday) from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and word is that there are still a few slots open. Call 541-7529 to register to attend. The Children’s Museum is located at 225 West Front Street.

Any moms needing a night off might want to make sure this info makes its way into the hands of the dads in their lives.

– Missoula Mom

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Families First offers timely vacation advice

Well, whaddaya know? No sooner had I solicited tips on traveling with kids than Families First came through with its Parenting Tip of the Week, via its regular electronic newsletter, “What’s happening at the Children’s Museum”:

Parenting Tip of the Week

Going on family vacation this summer? Young kids benefit from extra reminders about what is happening next; this will help compensate for the huge change in familiarity and routine.
‘We are going to eat lunch in the park and then go on a short hike to the waterfall.’
‘Tonight we are staying in this campground/motel and in the morning we will pack up and move to a new spot.’
Also, kids from 0 to 100 benefit from a little extra rest time when on vacation – we call it the ‘family nap.’ Let kids know that after they rest there is an activity to look forward to so they have some incentive to temporarily slow down. A little extra reading before hand is quite helpful.

~courtesy of Families First Parent Educator
~Parent Helpline 1-800-346-ABCD or 406-721-7690″

Sign up for the newsletter at the Families First Web site, which also has lots of links to info about the local, totally awesome, Children’s Museum.

– Missoula Mom

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