Tree Lightings & Light Displays 2016 – YEG + Area

Tree Lightings

Beaumont – Brighten Up Beaumont

Friday, November 25, 6pm-8pm, fireworks at 8:30pm  More info here

Edmonton – Holiday Light Up

November 12 4pm -7pm  More info here

Fort Saskatchewan – Holiday Lights Up Celebration

Friday, November 25, 5pm-7pm More info here

Sherwood Park – Celebration of Lights

Saturday, November 19, 3pm-5pm More info here

Spruce Grove – Christmas in Central Park

Saturday, November 26, 2:30pm-5:30pm  More info here

St. Albert – Snowflake Festival

Friday, November 25, 6:30pm-9pm  More info here 

Stony Plain – Christmas Light Up

Thursday, November 17, 6:30pm  More info here

Light Displays

Alberta Legislature Grounds – December 1 – 23  More info here

Candy Cane Lane – December 9 – January 1  More info here

Enchanted Forest, Fort Saskatchewan – November 25 – January 7  More info here

Leduc Country Lights – December 1 – January 1  More info here

Luminaria, Devon Botanical Gardens – December 2-4 More info here

Zoominescence, A Festival of Light, Edmonton Valley Zoo – December 9-18th More info here




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Day 31: Trick or Treat

Growing up, I would go out for hours with my cousins on Halloween, coming home with a garbage bag or two of candy that I would keep stashed in my room for months! My girls are still learning the ropes of trick or treating and love getting out in the neighbourhood, but after 45 minutes – an hour, the “it’s too cold” or “the bag is too heavy” comments start coming out.

They picked out their costumes a few weeks ago and have been eagerly awaiting the chance to wear them out.  They wore them around the house when they first got them, but tonight we completed the looks with tights, make up and hair color.

Day 31: Trick or Treat

Day 31: Trick or Treat

An article had popped up in my social media earlier in the day about the history of Halloween, so after we got home and sorted out the treats, I read it to them. They have asked before if witches are real so we also had a discussion on Wicca and people that practice it. The Day of the Dead has also been discussed frequently as well, as Kai is a big fan of the movie The Book of Life. It’s always interesting to learn the meaning behind the holidays that are celebrated here and around the world.

You can find the complete list of my 31 Days here on my landing page, Days of Learning Through Unschooling. Also, be sure to check out other awesome bloggers and their series at Write 31 Days

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Day 30: Movies and More Minecraft

With the rainy weather last week and our moods a little down, the girls haven’t had the chance in a few days to burn off their extra energy.  On Day 30, they got out of the house for the afternoon with their dad before he heads out of town for work again, and I had a chance to get the house straightened up before another busy month starts. 

They went to West Edmonton Mall, one of the largest malls in the world, for an afternoon of fun including lunch, an indoor playground and a trip to the movies to see Storks. They had a full but fantastic time at the mall and enjoyed their quality time with their dad while he was home. 

When they got home after supper, they were so wore out from all the excitement, they just wanted down time with their tablet before bed.  Chloe’s been working on a few new buildings in one of her Minecraft worlds, including a restaurant, an arena, and a re-creation of our house.  She sat down in the evening and gave me a tour of a few of her buildings.  She loves adding detail to her designs – rooftop gardens, pastures for animals, and lanterns and flowers for home decor. 

Day 30: Movies and More Minecraft

Day 30: Movies and More Minecraft

Day 30: Movies and More Minecraft

One final post in my Write 31 Days challenge but you can see all my post here for my 31 Days of Learning Through Unschooling

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Day 29: From Muggle to Gryffindor

I was just starting university when the Harry Potter books, and then the movies a few years later, started coming out.  It wasn’t really my thing at the time and till this date, I have not read any of the books or seen any of the movies.  Well that changed on Day 29. 

We have had tickets to the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry put on by the Let’s Talk Science organization at the University of Alberta since they were release at the start of October and the girls were excited about a day of  fun science! With the Harry Potter theme to the event, I figured it was a good time to introduce the girls to the story. We watched the first movie in the morning and discussed the characters and elements of a story. When is was over, we got ready for the afternoon session at the university.  

The event had many references to Harry Potter, and with it fresh in their minds, they made the connections easily.  They watched science demonstrations, saw snakes and other reptiles, spiders and owls, had a chance to try science experiments first hand and took part in crafts including coloring ties and making wands. 

Day 29: From Muggle to Gryffindor

Day 29: From Muggle to Gryffindor

It was our first time at this free event and it was such a wonderful experience! The volunteers and organizers did an amazing job of bringing cool science to children!

Day 29: From Muggle to Gryffindor

Day 29: From Muggle to Gryffindor

With only a few days left, check out my complete list or 31 Days of Learning Through Unschooling


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Day 28: Getting Crafty

The week had lots of ups and downs but with Friday and Day 28 now here, I was looking forward to fun weekend activities and hopefully a little bit of rest.  It was a rainy day but we ran a few errands in the afternoon, including a first time visit to the Resuse Centre to look for craft supplies.

I have a collection of toilet paper rolls I save for crafts and I saw a cute craft earlier in the month from Danya Banya that would be fun and easy to do for Halloween. Soon as the girls seen it, it was an immediate yes.  I try to have a stash of googly eyes on hand but I needed yarn to complete the project. We picked up yarn and a few books at the Reuse Centre and talked about reduce, reuse and recycle and how everyday items can be reused for cool projects. 

Day 28: Getting Crafty

We whipped these creatures up in 30 minutes before bedtime!  They had fun picking their monster’s attributes and even tried the glue gun for the first time. We could of used yarn or pipe cleaners for the hair, but they wanted feathers like in the original so we will pick those up to complete the piece.

Day 28: Getting Crafty

Join us for the final few days of 31 Days of Learning Through Unschooling

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Day 27: Prepping Pumpkins

The weirdness of the week continues.  I  don’t know if it’s the weather, or the early darkness creeping in, but we all seem to be a bit off this week.  

The girls continue to pretend play lots throughout the day and Chloe has been busy building new things in Minecraft this week.  We still have a few Halloween crafts planned for the next few days but Day 27 was the perfect day for pumpkin carving.  Before we got to carving, we took a few minutes to measure and compare the pumpkins.

Day 27: Prepping Pumpkins

Kaiana is a sensory seeker and loves to get messy.  She frequently comes to me me covered in marker, loves getting dirty outside and every painting experience usually turns into finger painting.  But when it comes to pumpkins, she’s not a fan of the goop inside.  I scooped it off the walls of the pumpkin for her and gave her a set of tongs to pull it out. Chloe on the other hand, who needs to wash up after playing in a little bit of sand, was elbow deep scooping and flinging pumpkin innards. 

Day 27: Prepping Pumpkins

They both had ideas for what they wanted their pumpkins to look like.  Chloe choose a cat (like she does every year), and Kai wanted a spooky face. They both drew it out on paper first and then used a washable marker to draw their idea  on their pumpkin. We worked on the carving part together and they were both so happy with the finished products! 

Day 27: Prepping Pumpkins

Day 27: Prepping Pumpkins

With only a few days left, you can check out my full list of 31 Day of Learning Through  Unschoooling here

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Day 26: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

It’s been an odd week.  I had big intentions and a few extra things planned but my motivation has been lacking lately and some activities were postponed due to wet and muddy conditions.  Extra “life” stuff this week like booking appointments and a busier day job has also slowed me down a bit. But we still have many learning opportunities each day due to natural kid curiosity! 

We collected our potion ingredients a few days ago, and a clear weather day allowed us to go outside to make the potions for our 2nd Annual Witches’ Cauldron. They love experimenting with the food dyes, stirring, scooping and suctioning out water, and using the nature items for their brew.  

Day 26: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

Once they finished with the items collected on our nature walk, they started looking around the yard for bits to add.  Grass was pulled, sand was scooped, and then they raided my herbs to add a few more sprigs! Kai asked for a stick (luckily we have a pile of them in our yard acquired from nature walks) to use as her wand and made up spells. 

Day 26: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

Follow my 31 Days of Learning Through Unschooling all October long. 

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Day 25: Mr. Bones Returns

Day 25 was a rainy fall day with no big plans on the schedule.  Kai was still recovering from falling sick on Monday so we laid low around home most of the day.  We did however run out in the afternoon to get a few groceries. 

Grocery shopping is always an anxious time for me; I’m always unsure of how it will go. There have been many trips end in meltdowns due to sensory overload or 4 year olds not understanding, “No, you don’t need another stuffy, we bought three this weekend on our road trip.”

So I thought I would try something new this time and ask them to help me prepare the grocery list.  The helped pick their favorite items for breakfast, lunch and supper and we even came up with a new supper that Chloe was willing to try. When we went to the store, they were focused on making sure we got the items on the list, especially the fruit popsicles they were allowed to add on as a treat. We also had frequent discussions on ingredients, as I try to buy packaged food without artificial colors or dyes.  Some of their first choices of items (that they see frequently in commercials) were put back in favor of healthier choices.  

Later on I brought out the Halloween box with decorations from past years.  Mr. Bones, as the kids affectionately call him, has been around for a few years and has helped the girls learn about their bones and anatomy.  Soon as Kai saw him, she started naming body parts! 

Day 25: Mr. Bones Returns

Only a few days left in my 31 Days of Learning Through Unschooling.  Be sure to catch up on all the posts!

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Day 24: Science and Sickness

Day 24 was shaping up to be a long one, but it didn’t go quite according to plan.  

The slight cold that Chloe acquired at the end of last week was pretty well non-existent by Monday morning so we were good to go with a full day at Telus World of Science Edmonton and then onto trampoline class in the evening.  

Chloe had two homeschool programs on the schedule at the science centre – Splish Splash and Make a Sound.  She loved both of them and came bounding out of the classrooms excited to tell us all the cool science stuff they did! Kai and I explored the centre while Chloe was in class but she wasn’t her bubbly self.  She was moving a bit slower and there were a few extra cuddles. She had said she wasn’t feeling well but she still wanted to check everything out, so I just though she was coming down with the cold Chloe had.  When Chloe was done with her classes, we checked out the Angry Birds exhibit and the girls had a blast! A laser maze, slingshots and the ultimate favorite, the zipline kept them busy for quite a while!

 Day 24: Science and Sickness

Day 24: Science and Sickness

By the time we were done at the science centre, we still had a few hours to go before trampoline class, but with it nearing rush hour, it didn’t make sense to go home and then have to make it across the city again in traffic.  So I though a drive through the downtown and an early supper at a restaurant would be a great way to kill the time.  Also by this time, Kai started to get a slight fever, but she was still in good spirits and wanted to continue on with the outing.  

Unfortunately, her stomach thought otherwise.  Soon as the food was sat in front of her, we had a problem! I won’t go into detail, but good thing it was before the supper rush and that I had extra clothes for her in the car.  Let’s just say we didn’t make it to trampoline class. 

She rested at home in my bed watching cartoons.  She had a mild fever but was otherwise content.  After a good night’s sleep she was back to her energetic self by morning.  But it’s days like these – fun learning by day, caring for my kids when they need me most – that I’m so very grateful for my relaxed lifestyle of unschooling and working from home. 

Follow my 31 Days of Learning Through Unschooling all month long. 

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Day 23: Hodgepodge

I was hoping the weekend would bring a little bit of rest and relaxation, but restless nights made for weary days and I just felt off all weekend. But the great thing about unschooling is the leaning doesn’t stop just because I slow down. Their curiosity is never ending and their ideas are always flowing.

Sunday  had a little bit of everything.  There was more playdough creations, and random craft ideas at the table.

Day 23: Hodgepodge

Chloe asked what block letters were and I pulled out one of my favorite books from childhood.  I spent many hours practicing different fonts and working on projects using the cool-to-a-10-year-old designs of the classic The Lettering Book. I hope the girls can get just as much use out of it as I did. 

Day 23: Hodgepodge

The afternoon weather was fairly nice for late October and a new pedestrian bridge had opened up a few days prior. The girls are all over anything “grand opening” so they were down with a visit.  It also gave us a chance to pick up items for our 2nd Annual Witches’ Cauldron!

Day 23: Hodgepodge

Day 23: Hodgepodge

Car rides are always full of questions and leaning and the ride to the park wasn’t an exception.  Kai randomly asked what quiz meant and then they spent the next 10 minutes of the ride quizzing each other with math questions and animal identification.    

Check out my full series of 31 Days of Learning Through Unschooling

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