RGV Pumpkin Patches 2019

It’s that time of the year again! Fall is here which means it’s time for those memorable pumpkin patch photos and  FALL FUN with the kiddos!  Time to get those fall photos.

Here is a list of the 2019  pumpkin patches open to the public Valley Wide and some are already OPEN!

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1) St. Mark United Methodist Church

301 W Pecan and 2nd St.
McAllen, TX
Opens Sept 29- October 31st  
Monday-Saturday: 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Sunday: 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM

 

2) First United Methodist  Church

 3707 W. University Dr. and Mon Mack
Edinburg, TX
Now Open–


Trunk-or-Treat will be on October 31st!!!

 

3) First United Methodist Church

 321 E. Harrison Ave.
Harlingen, TX
Opens October 10th- 31st
Hours are: Monday- Friday 8:00AM-12:00 PM  and  4:00PM-8:00PM
  Saturdays 8:00 AM-8:00PM and Sunday 12:00PM-8:00PM
 

4) First United Methodist Church

1225 Boca Chica Blvd.
Brownsville, TX
Opens October 13th- 31st
Hours: Everyday from 12:00pm-8:00pm
 
 
 
5)  Pumpkin Patch At Dean Porter
       501 E. RinggoldSt
      Brownsville, TX

Dates of Operation: October 25-29
October 25: 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.

October 26-29: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

 

6) The Pond at T-Ranch

 25492 N FM 2556
  La Feria, TX

Dates of Operation: October 4- November 3
Friday: 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM 
Saturday-Sunday: 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00-8:00 PM

 

7) Maddies’ Pumpkin Patch Mcallen

    6712 N. Bentsen Rd.,McAllen, TX

Dates of Operation: September 14 – December 1
Monday-Friday: 3:00 PM  – Sunset
Saturday-Sunday: 10:00 AM – Sunset

 

8). Grace Heritage Ranch

27539 Old Alice Rd., Lyford, TX 

Dates of Operation: Saturdays, September 28 – October 26

Saturdays from 10am to 8pm

 

9). Maddies Pumpkin Patch and Mini Farmhouse Weslaco

1107 E. 12 1/2 Mile, Weslaco, TX

Dates of Operation: September 14 – December 1
Monday-Friday: 3:00 PM  – Sunset
Saturday-Sunday: 10:00 AM – Sunse
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10) Maddies Pumpkin Patch and Little Red Barn,  Mission, TX

10310 N. Conway Ave., Mission, TX

Dates of Operation: September 14 – December 1
Monday-Friday: 3:00 PM  – Sunset
Saturday-Sunday: 10:00 AM – Sunset

 

Know of any other pumpkin patches email us rgv@tots-tweens to add to the list !

 

 

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Kids Eat Free or Cheap..

Kids Eat Free ( or Cheap) in the Valley..

Kids Eat Free or Cheap Everyday:

Texadelphia Mcallen : Kids eat for $1. One $1 kids meal per adult meal purchased .

IHop: EveryDay 4pm-10pm: Dine in Only. Drinks not included. Some restrictions apply

Golden Corral: Children 3 and under eat FREE from the buffet with the purchase of an adult meal.

Kid Eat Free on Mondays:

Cowboy Chicken: Kids Eat Free with a purchase on an adult entree.

Buffalo Wings & Rings: Kids Eat FREE with a purchase of an adult meal.

Kids Eat Free on Tuesdays:

Main Event: Kids Eat Free

Kids Eat Free on Wednesdays:

Luby’s: One Free Kids meal with a purchase of an adult meal. Only at participating locations. Call your local Luby’s for more information. Dine in Only

Kids Eat Free on Saturdays:

Luby’s: One Free Kids meal with a purchase of an adult meal. Only at participating locations. Call your local Luby’s for more information. Dine in Only

Know of any other Kid Friendly restaurants that offer Kids Eat Free specials of for Cheap? Email us to rgv@tots-tweens.com to add them to our list.

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5 Kid-Tested Tips for Healthy Eating

Some of my fondest childhood memories involve healthy eating, but then again, so do some of my worst memories.  So how do you get your kids to remember eating their veggies as a good memory instead of the traumatizing them for life?

Bad childhood memory time…please don’t serve Lima beans straight out of a can on a regular basis or mounds of steamed brussels sprouts the size of golf balls. Why not?  Because of you do this I can almost guarantee that all of your efforts to get your kids to eat healthy will be in vain.  Think about it, even if they manage to stomach them now, of all the vegetables you will serve them in their lifetime these bad experiences will probably be what stands out in their minds when they are adults, making them shy away from nutritional powerhouses like brussels sprouts in the future.

Even myself who pretty much loves eating every fruit or vegetable still struggle when I get to lima beans and ugh steamed whole Brussels sprouts really…can I get a side of cheese sauce with that.  The smell of Brussel sprouts steaming alone is enough to clear the table.  Try a fresh shredded brussels sprout and apple salad or even sautéed chopped brussels sprouts with onions and garlic as a sandwich topping instead.

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My husband liking his Brussel sprout salad….30 years later and a Sauteed Brussel Sprout Sandwich mmm…

So what else can you do to make healthy eating a good childhood memory?  The following 5 tips are what worked for my parents when they were raising me and what has worked for me so far with my kids, check them out.

1.  Get cooking…..together.

My best childhood memories are set in the kitchen, cooking with my grandma.  Not that everything she taught me to cook was “healthy” but it sure was fun.  All kids want to “help.” Yes, I know 6 year olds may not seem like the best helpers, especially after they spill a pitcher of fresh squeezed juice all over the floor, but that is just part of being a parent.  When learning about food and healthy eating it is important to know what goes into your meals. What better way to teach kids what is in their meal than by having them help prepare it.  Kids are more likely to taste something new if they had a hand in making it because not only are they are proud of their creation but they are curious.  A few ways my son helps me in the kitchen are…

  • gathering ingredients from the pantry and refrigerator.
  • washing the produce.
  • chopping soft foods (such as mushrooms) with a butter knife.
  • mixing and measuring.
  • layering ingredients (sandwiches, pizza, lasagna…pretty much anything that has to be assembled in layers).
  • pressing the button (on the blender, toaster, food processor, juicer, etc) with adult supervision of course.
  • setting the table.
  • and my favorite, cleaning-up.

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My oldest son “helping” make fresh squeezed juice

2.  Serve the rainbow.

You hear this over and over but what does it mean? No you don’t have to spend hours making your food look like perfectly sculpted rainbows, animals and such. Just add a splash of color to each meal. How do you do this?

  • Serve a side of fruit or veggies.
  • Add finely chopped veggies to family favorites.  (Put some avocado or diced tomatoes next to your quesadilla.)
  • Use a variety of fruits and vegetables. (After a while even favorites get boring, you can only eat broccoli so many ways in a week.)
  • Make burgers.  After-all, eating burgers and fries is not the unhealthy mistake most people make, scarfing down greasy take out on a regular basis is the mistake.  Burgers should be layered with color green guacamole and lettuce, purple onions, and juicy red tomatoes, and surrounded by crispy baked sweet potato fries.

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Dinner and some lovely rainbow chard at the farmer’s market

3.  Take your kids shopping.

Who loves going grocery shopping?….Um not me. But for some reason picking, counting and weighing produce is fun, to my son. That is probably because he doesn’t notice the 1,000 other people trying to get to the tomatoes on Sunday evening at HEB. Yeah, I go to the grocery store and not everything in my house is organic because really I do have a life and driving to 20 different places to buy the things on my list is just not realistic.

The goal is to know what to buy when you are at the store, if it comes in a box with a long list of ingredients you don’t understand….it is probably not the healthiest choice.  You should shop for ingredients to make meals; not packaged meals.  Frozen veggies are a better substitute for fresh than canned veggies.  For one, they just come out looking better plus they don’t have as many preservatives.

Make it a goal to go to the local farmer’s market (as a family) at least once a month, taste what the vendors are offering, and buy a couple of your fresh seasonal favorites.  Click here for a listing of RGV Farmer’s Markets.

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Fresh cherry tomatoes and serrano peppers.

4.  Make eating a family affair.

Who really likes eating alone, come on, that is just sad and you know it. Even if it is just me and my 11 month old at home and he is not hungry but it is lunch time for mama, guess who is going to sit in his high chair and have a bowl of diced fruit. Yeah it may mean your meal is not very peaceful and that you will slip on a slobbery piece of apple when you stand up but seriously they are so cute even when they are a mess. Make a goal for how many times you will eat as a family this week.

Teach older kids how to set the table and and enjoy mealtime conversation without the TV blaring. Yeah, it may take some time before your 6 year old learns how to eat with his mouth closed and not to speak with a jaw full of spaghetti; but this is the time to teach them.

Eating together also means eating the same food together. I know lots of parents who let their kids eat first because their food is ready first….because what they serve themselves is different than what they serve their kids….sorry guys but this is not cool. It is just more work for you now and more importantly, in the long run because bad habits are hard to break. Growing up if I said I wanted frozen chicken nuggets instead of wherever was cooking, it would not have been received favorably because my mom and dad were not short order cooks. Plus, if you want your kid to eat a variety of foods and have a sophisticated palette….serve them real food that you want to eat too and eat it together.

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My two little boys at the dinner table

5.  Be a food role-model.

Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to go on a strict diet.  A healthy relationship with food is beneficial for every member of the family. Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too….just not at every meal. So what could you do?

  • Model eating a well-balanced diet throughout the day.
  • Choose fresh local foods when you can.
  • Make good restaurant choices
  • Enjoy meal time as family time.
  • Plan your meals. Not that you have to stick to a rigid plan but having an idea of what you are going to cook saves a lot of shopping time and money spent on things that sit in the pantry unused before getting sent to the food bank before it is too late.
  • Educate yourself.  For you this may mean learning about the food pyramid on choosemyplate.gov, taking a cooking class  at the McAllen Culinary Academy or making a new recipe board on Pinterest.  Whatever you do, take some time to reflect on your eating habits and make a couple healthy goals for you and your family.

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Orange Cranberry Muffins and Breakfast crepes are oh so sweet!

Check out my food blog and follow me on Instagram for more of my healthy eating ideas.

 Enjoy!

Audrey Cisneros

www.chileylimon.com

www.theimaginaryshop.com

 

P.S. Don’t forget to check out the McAllen Culinary Academy

2900 N 10th St McAllen TX 78501

(956) 683-0021

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Nuzzle Hug my New BFF

NuzzleHUG large taupe D-H cup

Nuzzle Hug I love this product. I dealt with major engorgement issues so I used it both hot and cold. Being able to remove the individual breast pads helped too so I could have one in the freezer if I needed it. The size of each pad is really perfect too, I had engorgement up into my underarms and the pads gave great coverage.

NuzzlePODs worn123 RBG-01

The warmth on my neck was also such a relief!  You forget how heavy a newborn can seem in those first few days of constant carrying.  Cuddled up on the sofa with a cold glass of water and the nuzzle hug warming my breasts and neck, best feeling of relief!  Overall it’s a great product!

Review by: Monica Black

BellyView 4d/3d Ultrasound

 

1NuzzleHUG_Taupe Large D-H cup2

Winner of the 2014  Preferred Choice and  Top Choice Award!!!

Nuzzle Hug is available at http://nuzzlemom.com/index.php/shop/. Pricing starts at 49.99.

Another great product we found at the ABC Kids Expo!

 

Lulu Hanke

www.tots-tweens.com

 

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KeepSakes with Traditions!

Ifamily KC and  Tots-Tweens  attended the  ABC Kids Expo  in Las Vegas for the 2nd time!  We attended one of the largest shows for juvenile products in one place. Over 1 million square feet for back to back products and it some was AWESOME! Here are 2 great keepsake books kids and parents will enjoy

Help your kiddos with their FEARS:

Kids will always be afraid of something and why not help them cope with their fears with The Magnificent Sprinkles! Winner of the 2014 Creative Child Magazine Product of the year award and 2014  Creative Child Magazine Media award! The Sprinkles NEA, CAZI, SAM and LACI are each blessed with a special power that helps children to be brave and strong. With a spin and a song, the Magnificent Sprinkles bring comfort and joy to you! Now Available on Amazon!

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For the Holiday Season:

A must for all families that LOVE tradition! Heartfelt Letters from Santa To You.  Winner of the Mom’s Choice Awards! Take milk and cookies to the next level and get feedback from the kiddos! Take a peak on what the author’s has to say Letters From Santa.

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Awesome books to start a traditions and spend quality time with the kiddos! Stay Tuned for your chance to WIN one of these Keep Sakes!

Photos Credit: Heartfelt Letters From Santa To You, The Sprinkles

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World Down Syndrome Day

By: Etta V. Rivera Mom Squad Member

By: Etta V. Rivera
Mom Squad Member

We celebrate our loved ones who have Down Syndrome, along with everyone else who share this super power! Our special someone is my Brother-in-Law. His name is Joshua, 12 years old and is so full of smiles, love, laughter and life! There is this wonderful group here in the Valley called “Rio Grande Valley Down Syndrome Association”. They put together this wonderful event for us.The 3rd Annual World Down Syndrome Day Event, where we celebrated by a balloon release at 6:30 pm. Watching all the blue and yellow balloons leave the hands of all those every special kids was a wonderful moment. Everyone was smiling and laughing…they were all so excited to see the balloons fly up into the sky!! After that was pictures, some yummy hot dogs, chicken, nachos and playing on the playground at the West side Park in McAllen. To be able to see Joshua running around, taking pictures with all his friends and having so much fun was amazing! It is so nice to see everyone get together to celebrate such truly amazing superheros!The Rio Grande Valley Down Syndrome Association has a group on Facebook where you can find all type of events around the Valley, updates, support and so much more. I just want to say Thank you to RGVDSA!! It was a GREAT event and we can’t wait to do it again next year!

 

Etta Rivera

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WINSday GiveAway!!!

Napinol

Enter to win this Natural Dual Purpose Ointment!

To enter visit  our Face Book page and enter our  WINSday contest!! Here is another product we found @ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas and it can be yours!! Simply visit us www.facebook.com/RGVTotsTweens… find the WINSday GiveAway #1 post and Comment and Like the post to Enter. Winner will be announced on MONDAY!

 

NapiNol :  Booty Balm & Beyond is a patented dual-purpose ointment that’s made with the safety and purity of only
5 all-natural ingredients. Booty Balm & Beyond has a smooth, elegant feel, with the pleasant scent of natural vanilla. And it’s cloth-diaper safe. This product is great for Baby’s Bottoms, Mommies Boobies and it can used ANYWHERE you need it! For more info and see other NapiNol products visit www.napinolnurserytherapies.com or visit them at www.facebook.com/NapiNolOrganic!

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ABC Kids Expo

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RGV Tots-Tweens was honored to have representatives attending the annual ABC Kids Expo ( www.abcshow.com) that took place in Las Vegas. The ABC Kids Expo had nearly 1,000,000 sq. ft of expo space showcasing the latest and greatest products for children including toys, gear, strollers, bath time accessories, clothing, and more.  Manufacturers  and reps from all over the globe attended with over 1,000 exhibitors from 66 countries.  There were over 3,600 booths filled with exciting new products for your family!

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We are thrilled to bring RGV parents the details and scoop and our favorite finds.  We’ve already started with some awesome “Enter-to-Wins” !

Here are some the neat products we have given AWAY!

“I’ m the Daddy” t-shirts from www.DaddyScrubs.com

Daddy Scrubs

Tooth Fairy Kits from www.BabyToothAlbum.com

Tooth Fairy

Innovative  juice box drink holder “My Drinky” from www.inchbug.com

My Drinky

Baby Monitor “Always in View” by Infanttech! www.infanttech.com

Infanttech

Awesome Stylish Diaper Bag from Ju-Ju Bee ( www.ju-ju-be.com)

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Sippy Grab Koalalabels- ( www.kiddaroocrew.com)

Koalalabels

Baby’s 1st TOOTHBRUSH! ( www.babybuddy.com)

Baby's First Tooth Brush

  Stay tuned to our RGV Tots-Tweens Face Book Page  and blog over the next several weeks for more items that will help you entertain and care for the kiddos.  We love being able to gather these products and resources for you in order to make life easier. We thank our colleagues at IFamily KC ( www.ifamilykc.com)  for attending with us!  As members of Kids & Family Media (www.KidsandFamilyMedia.com) we make it priority to be on the look out, in our markets and across the world, for the newest items to help you navigate parenting.  Please be sure to visit the web sites and face book pages for each product to learn more.  AND, be sure to stay connected with RGV Tots-Tweens ( www.tots-tweens.com) so you don’t miss out on more upcoming Enter-to-Win contests for some awesome new products!

 

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Valentine’s Day Guide for Kids

Valentine’s Day is great opportunity to show appreciation for the people we love. Even when we’re young, this day revolves around heart shaped candies and glittery notes covered with stickers passed from desk to desk. This is a guide for parents to help their children express their love and friendship on this special day.

Food: Surprise your child with valentine food art! If there’s one thing they love more than food, it’s playing with it. Click the links below to direct you to a variety of Valentine’s Day treats that perfect for the heart shaped holiday (healthy too!).

Heart Shaped Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

Valentine Calzone Bites

Fruity Smoothie (pink of course!)

Valentine’s Day Cup-a-Cakes

And many more… follow the arrows on the site to continue your search.

Valentine's Day Guide 1Valentine's Day Guide 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arts & Crafts: The links below will direct you to a handful of Valentine inspired craft ideas for kids. Whether you plan an after school activity or organize and incorporate this hands-on art into your class lesson (for teachers), they will be fully entertained. Step by step instructions and material list included in the link.

Flower Bouquet (that never dies!)

Woven Heart Basket
Perfect for carrying and delivering your valentines!

Captive Heart
Pretty pink keepsake with note inside—great gift for Grandma!

Jolly Lollies
Silly lollipops in the shape of mustaches and puckered lips—sure to make the kids giggle.

 

Fun Facts about Valentine’s Day:

  • In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They would wear this name pinned onto their sleeves for one week for everyone to see. This was the origin of the expression “to wear your heart on your sleeve.”
  • 15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.
  • More than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine’s Day.
  • 189 million stems of roses are sold in the U.S. on Valentine’s Day.
  •  Approximately one billion Valentines are sent out worldwide each year according to estimates by the U.S. Greeting Card Association. That’s second only to Christmas.
  •  Every Valentine’s Day, the Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet.

 

Sources:
http://www.sheknows.com/holidays-and-seasons/articles/807655/

http://spoonful.com/crafts

http://www.parenting.com/gallery/easy-valentines-day-recipes

 

 

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10 Ways to Stay Connected

Family Bonding

 

  1. The good and the bad. How was school? Good. Sound familiar? They’re growing up and it’s hard to pry information out of them about their day… especially when you go about it with a question like that (no offense). Try going about it in a different way. Ask them to share one good and one bad thing that happened throughout their day. Share and exchange stories. This will allow them to open up and connect with you… and hey! Maybe you’ll even have some expert personal advice in your back pocket from grade school.
  2. And tonight, the kids cook! Once they hit the appropriate age where you trust them with the stove and a spatula, decide on one night of the week where they cook dinner. Not only will this give you the chance to kick your feet up while they slave away in the kitchen, but they’ll start learning at a young age. Preparing a delicious meal is a quality everyone loves, why not get a head start? Good luck 😉
  3. One on one. How are you supposed to get to know your children if you do not treat them as individuals? Yes, they may have siblings to interact with but parent bonding is important to them too. Set aside time to do an activity of their choice on your own with each child. They’ll appreciate this time together more than you think.
  4. Share a “joke of the day”. Who doesn’t love a good knock-knock joke? And from sending them to a school full of children all day, there’s a big chance they’ll come home with a few up their sleeve. The dinner table may not be the ideal time, but find time to make each other laugh before bed time.
  5. Family nights. Decide on a night you can declare “family night” that works with everyone’s schedule. At the beginning of the week, discuss an activity that the children are dying to do and plan a reasonable game plan. Movies, bowling, pizza and the arcade, etc. This will motivate the children to behave and help out around the house in order to participate in all the fun.
  6. Family traditions. Even as an adult, people hold onto and pass on a variety of family traditions. Holiday traditions, silly sayings, even the bar of the soap in your mouth. These are precious memories that remind us of our roots, and are ultimately irreplaceable.
  7.   In print. That’s a phrase you don’t hear too often. With everything around us revolving around technology these days, it is sad to say all of these memories are digitally stored. But what is the good in that? Yes, they can’t be lost… but they also can’t be seen (hidden in folders on your desktop). Make it a point to print out the occasional picture for your children. If they are visual, creative children, maybe they will find scrapbooking a fun idea. Either way, waking up to a framed picture on your nightstand, of the ones who love you, is never a bad idea.
  8.   Explore new things... As a family! Discovering new things with each other will contribute to the family bonding and better your relationships. Even something as inexpensive as hiking will open up their eyes to something new. And the fresh air won’t kill you 😉
  9. Eat together as a family. Family dinners are the ideal scenario, but we all know life gets in the way. Between jobs, chorus concerts, and after school sports, it may not always be the best time. Give breakfast a try! Eating a meal together at least twice a week will draw the family in as one, connecting and grounding you as a family in between all of the chaos, even if it is for just a short about of time.
  10. Don’t forget to be thankful. In pictures and movies, families may seem picture perfect, but in reality; the ups and downs are inevitable. With every complaint that pops into your head (child or parent perspective), accompany the negative with something you are thankful for. The list is endless, yet unfortunately, we tend to forget. Sure… your son’s room is constantly cluttered but look at the bright side! He’s involved and passionate about a handful of hobbies.

10 ways to stay connected 1

 

10 ways to stay connected 2

Sources:
http://www.canadianliving.com/moms/family_life/

http://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/parenting/essentials/making-memories/

 

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