TODAY IS:Tuesday, October 25, 2016  WE ARE Open Wed - Sunday

Family Dinners Have Positive Impact on Kids


With Thanksgiving upon us, food becomes a frequent topic of discussion. What should you make? How long do you bake the turkey again? What is Aunt Ruth’s favorite pie? Regardless of what is made, the time together giving thanks and talking amongst each other as a family is an important time for many and can result in lasting memories.

Family Dinners Aren’t Just for Thanksgiving

Research shows that finding time in the hectic school/work week for regular family dinners can have some rewarding benefits. In fact, there is a direct link between the frequency of family dinners and the quality of a child-parent relationship. The study found that compared to teens who have infrequent family dinners, teens who have frequent family dinners are:

  • One-and-a-half times more likely to say their parents know a great deal or a fair amount about what’s really going on in their lives.
  • Five times less likely to say their parents know very little or nothing at all about what’s really going on in their lives.
  • Almost one-and-a-half times likelier to say they have an excellent relationship with their mother.
  • One-and-a-half times likelier to say they have an excellent relationship with their father.

It is important to set the precedent early in life with younger children, so that traditions and expectations are established by the time the teen years are reached. So start having family dinners as soon as you can as parents. And make sure to put those smart phones and tablets down! Your children are so much more important than whatever is happening online.

As you look around the table this Thanksgiving, take notice of the smiles and conversation happening and think about trying to have a smaller scale version of that dinner more frequently. It could be better for the whole family.

Save $20 Off 2016 Season Passes


Looking for the perfect gift for the kids (or kids at heart) this holiday season? How about Season Passes to Funderland, for all year long fun! Buy now and save $20 off the regular price (regularly priced at $79.95). In addition to unlimited rides during 2016, Season Pass Holders also get great perks including:

  • 10% discount on food and Birthday Party Packages.
  • Half priced weekday wristbands for 1 friend (exclusions apply)
  • Season Pass Holder only event & specials
  • Discounts on food and beverages & more!

Visit our Season Pass page for more details or call 916-456-0131 to purchase today! You can also enter to win our current giveaway until 11/19/15 where you could win 4 Season Passes & more!

Enter to Win Our Thanksgiveaway


Time for turkey, stuffing, family and friends! Our Thanksgiveaway is back so don’t miss it! One winner will receive 4 Funderland Season Passes for the upcoming 2016 season PLUS a $150 Raley’s gift card to help you prepare the perfect Thanksgiving feast!

How to Enter:

  • Visit our Facebook page*

  • Complete your entry by noon on 11/19/15

  • After you submit your form, you’ll have the opportunity to share the giveaway with your Facebook friends and receive 1 bonus entry for every friend who enters!

Thanksgiveaway Prize Package Includes:

  • $150 Raley’s Gift Card

  • 4 2016 Funderland Season Passes (valued at over $300)


*No Facebook account required to enter. Just click here to go straight to entry form.

Spooktacular Halloween Event


Join us for a frightfully fun weekend during our annual Spooktacular Halloween, Saturday & Sunday Oct. 24 & 25 from 10am – 5pm. Always a family favorite, we’re bringing back trick-or-treating* at 12 different candy stations, costume contests (see below for times), plus a pumpkin patch, magic show, and photo ops with The Snow Queen and Spiderman! All NEW this year is our amazing Hay Maze, which is open through the month of October. RSVP here and share this event with your friends! We can’t wait to celebrate in spooktacular style with your family this year!

Don’t Forget!

Bring a new toy or art supplies for River Oak Center for Children and get FREE tickets (number of FREE tickets depends upon value of item donated).

Daily Schedule

  • 11:30 am – Costume Contest
  • 12:15 pm – Meet the Snow Queen & Spiderman
  • 1:30 pm – Magical Magician
  • 2:15 pm – Costume Contest
  • 3:00 pm – Meet the Snow Queen & Spiderman
  • 4:15 pm – Costume Contest

*Trick-or-treating is $3 per trick-or-treater

Enter to Win Our Fun for Fall Giveaway!


It’s finally Fall! What better way to celebrate than to enjoy an outing to Funderland together? One winner will receive a $100 Target gift card for some cozy scarves, hats, or boots for the family and a Fall Family Fun Pack for 6 that includes VIP Passes and tickets to Trick-or-Treat at our Spooktacular event happening Oct. 24 & 25 from 10am – 5pm! Time to get toasty and have some fun for Fall!

How to Enter:

Visit our Facebook page*
Complete your entry by noon on 10/20/15
After you submit your form, you’ll have the opportunity to share the giveaway with your Facebook friends and receive 1 bonus entry for every friend who enters!

fun for fall giveaway

Fun for Fall Giveaway Prize Package Includes:

$100 Target Gift Card (for all your cozy Fall necessities)
Funderland Fall Family Fun Pack

  • 6 VIP Passes ($120)
  • 6 Meal Vouchers (up to $54)
  • 6 Hot Chocolate Vouchers ($15)
  • 6 Tickets to Trick-or-Treat at Spooktacular Event ($18)

*No Facebook account required to enter. Just click here to go straight to entry form. (add link)

Good luck & happy Fall!

~ Happy the Squirrel

Introducing The New Hay Maze + Our After School Special Returns


We’re so excited for Fall, we just had to share some of our favorite reasons why! In addition to the weather cooling down, making for a more comfortable outdoor experience at the park, we also have a brand new addition to the park! For the month of October, we will have our new Hay Maze up for your family to enjoy! Plus, our always popular After School Special is back now through Oct. 30. If that wasn’t enough, our annual Spooktacular event returns Saturday & Sunday Oct. 25 & 25. More information about our Spooktacular weekend will be coming soon, so stay tuned!

Happy’s Hay Maze

  • Your kids will love winding through and exploring our new Hay Maze. This seasonal attraction is a true Fall treat and fun for kids of all ages!

After School Special

  • Visit the park anytime after 3pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Friday, and purchase an unlimited ride wristband for half off! Perfect for a quick after school play date, and also a great way for the kids to get rid of that extra energy before dinner time.

Helping Children Choose Honesty


“Honesty is the best policy,” said Benjamin Franklin. It’s definitely one of the top characteristics we want to develop in our children. And sometimes it’s easier said than done! Here are some strategies for helping your children choose honesty.

Model Honesty

It begins with us as parents. Our children are watching us daily and imitating our behavior. They will listen to what we tell them, but more importantly, they will copy our actions, even if they contradict what we’ve said. Think about times when you’ve been dishonest while your children are watching and listening. Have you told somebody that you can’t come over because you’re going somewhere else, but you’re really not? Have you made up an excuse for being late? Have you purchased something for your child and told them not tell the other parent about it?

Stop and think about the ways you model honesty (or dishonesty) throughout the day and make an effort to always show honesty to your children. Point out the times that you wanted to be dishonest, but chose honesty anyway. Share stories from your childhood of how being honest or dishonest impacted you.

Praise Honesty

Rewarding children for choosing the right kind of behavior helps reinforce it. Sometimes we overly focus on “catching” our children doing the wrong things and forget to praise them for doing the right things. By really watching for those times when your child chooses honesty and talking to them about it, you’ll be encouraging them with the positive attention.

Watch and listen as your children go through the day. Try to “catch” the moments when they are honest, especially when you know they struggled to be honest. Praise them for making a good choice.

Explain that Perfection is not Expected

One of the reasons that children are tempted to be dishonest is that they are afraid of disappointing their parents. If they get the sense that perfection is expected, or that parents will think less of them for messing up, they may choose to be dishonest rather than upset a parent.

Explain to your children that while you expect them to make good choices, you do not expect perfection. None of us are perfect! Let them know that you love them no matter what and that you know they will make mistakes. Continually let your children know that they can tell you anything and you’ll help them to be less fearful of being honest with you.

Allow Consequences for Dishonesty

Children learn by having consequences for making poor choices. Some consequences occur naturally, like getting caught in a lie and losing a friend because of it. Other times, we need to give our children appropriate consequences for dishonesty. By having consequences, we help train our children to avoid the poor choices and that honesty is the better way to go.

Those consequences will be different for each child and in each family, but should be something unpleasant or some sort of sacrifice. You can even let your older child have some input (within reason) on what they think would be an appropriate consequence.

Helping your child choose honesty now will help them make better choices in the future. By helping them with their choices, we show them how much we love them and have their best interests at heart.

Play Your CARDs Right: Teaching Children to be Caring, Authentic, Responsible, and Determined


Teaching Children to be Caring, Authentic, Responsible, and Determined

As parents, there are many characteristics and morals we want to teach our kids. But sometimes it can be hard to explain and reiterate those virtues through the years. To help your family out, just remember to Play Your CARDs Right!

C is for Caring

Fostering a caring attitude is to encourage your child to be loving, empathetic, understanding, and thoughtful. For most kids, this is learned from watching how you interact with them. To further help kids see it in action outside of the house, try being conscientious of when strangers are kind to each other, and point it out to your children. For example, when you see someone offer their place in line to a pregnant mommy, you might try telling your child, “Wow, did you see how that nice man offered his place in line to that mommy? That was so kind of him.”

A is for Authentic

Authenticity is about being honest and truthful, without being rude and inconsiderate. It’s important that your children learn to express their thoughts and feelings, but not at the expense of someone else’s hurt feelings. It’s also about letting your kids express themselves, and we know that can be in a variety of ways! If your daughter wants to wear cowgirl boots with her tutu, maybe just let her do it! Remember, childhood is all about discovering the world around you and how you fit into that world!

R is for Responsible

Responsibility – it’s one of the hardest things to teach kids! It’s so easy to take care of everything around the house instead of delegating tasks to the kiddos, because, let’s face it, we’re just faster/better at it! But doing so deters your kids from learning to be responsible for themselves, their belongings, and their surroundings. Responsibility stems from respect and pride in ownership. Here are several great age-appropriate chore lists to help your family get started with delegating responsibilities.

D is for Determined

If you’ve ever played sports or a musical instrument, you know that this is key to success. But it’s more than just learning to be good at something. It’s more about being perseverant and steadfast, even when facing defeat and setbacks. This is an extremely valuable lesson for kids to learn as it is a lesson learned well into adulthood.

As you might have guessed, the best way to teach these characteristics to your kids is to demonstrate them yourself. Sometimes that’s easier said than done. So get your kids on board with this new “game” and you’ll all help keep each other accountable for playing your CARDs right!

Enter to Win Our Back to School Giveaway


Summer is not quite over, but it’s time to think about heading back to school! We want to help get you off to a great start this Back to School season by giving one winner school supplies from Target, supplies for the classroom from Lakeshore Learning, and a Funderland Family 4-Pack to enjoy!

How to Enter:

  • Visit our Facebook page*
  • Complete your entry by noon on 8/18/15
  • After you submit your form, you’ll have the opportunity to share the giveaway with your Facebook friends and receive 1 bonus entry for every friend who enters!

Back to School Prize Package Includes:

  • $100 Target Gift Card for your school supplies
  • $100 Lakeshore Learning Gift Card for the classroom of your choice
  • Funderland Family 4-Pack with VIP passes, meal & cotton candy vouchers

*No Facebook account required to enter. Just click here to go straight to entry form.

Good luck!

 ~ Happy the Squirrel

5 Strong and Healthy Summer Habits


Sometimes we think of Summer as a time for our children to relax and take it easy, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t keep our kids healthy and strong at the same time! Use the rest of Summer to help your kids learn healthy habits they can continue through the school year and beyond. They’ll be stronger and feel good about their accomplishments. Here are 5 strong & healthy summer habits to work on now:

Play to be Strong

Encourage your children to play outside every day to get a dose of sunshine and fresh air. Get them away from screen time for a while to run, jump, swim, and more. Give them strength challenges in their games to sneak in exercise:

  • Who can hang from the playground high bar the longest?
  • Who can swim across the pool the fastest?
  • Can you beat yesterday’s time running across the yard?

Eat Healthy Snacks

Help your children get used to healthier choices for their snacks and gradually move away from the packaged snacks that they might be used to. Give them plenty of choices at home and make them fun. They’ll start making healthier choices on their own before you know it! Here are some fun snack ideas:

  • Fruit Kabobs:
    • Layer chunks of different kinds of fruit on skewers
    • Let children choose fruits and make their own kabobs
  • Mystery Veggie Dip Game:
    • Give carrot, celery, and jicama sticks to dip in 3 different dips (hummus, salad dressing, salsa, etc.) making sure one is a child favorite
    • Let kids be blindfolded while you mix up dips
    • They have to take a bite no matter which kind of dip they get each time
  • Cheese Cube Mosaic:
    • Cube different kinds of cheeses and meats
    • Let kids use cubes to create a mosaic on their plate
    • They have to eat all the pieces they use

Take on New Chores

Chores can help children stay strong and healthy, too. Use this time to evaluate what chores your children are doing and add in a new and challenging chore – one that they may have to work at a while in order to become successful and get a sense of pride from accomplishing. Here are some chore ideas for a variety of ages:

  • Clean up spills and dirt
  • Carry in and put away groceries
  • Take trash out
  • Weed, rake, mow or do other appropriate yardwork

Exercise Your Brain

You don’t just need school work to keep your brain strong. You can play games to exercise your brain! Help your children find new games and hobbies that will keep their brains sharp and ready for a new school year. Here are some fun game ideas:

  • Get a new puzzle:
    • Make it challenging enough that the children need to work together to complete it
  • Make a raised salt painting:
    • Use glue bottle to squeeze and create design on thick paper or cardboard
    • Shake salt over to coat top of glue
    • Using brush, dab watercolor paints carefully on salt globs and watch paint spread
    • Dry overnight
  • Create an obstacle course: 
    • Let children use props from around the house to set up obstacle course
    • It could involve climbing over things, running while keeping cotton in a spoon, changing doll clothes, dressing up in a costume, and more
    • Time each child that goes through to see who can do it the fastest

Enjoy Family Fun

Spending time together as family strengthens bonds and renews that feeling of a safe and healthy family environment. Plan out some days when the whole family can do something fun together. Here are some inexpensive family fun ideas:

  • A morning at Funderland:
    • With no admission to get in and the ability to bring your own food into the park, you have control over how much you spend on rides
    • After getting in a few rides, step out the front gate and go enjoy Land Park
  • Nature Walk:
    • Find a nearby trail that isn’t too difficult for children and plan a hike and picnic
    • Take supplies in backpacks
    • Create a list of items for each family member to check off as they discover them – certain colors of leaves, rock shapes, other hikers, and more
  • Family Talent Show:
    • Let each family member come up with something that they want to “perform” for everybody else
    • Plan far enough ahead to give time to practice
    • Enjoy the performances – maybe even film it and watch again later

We hope all of you have a strong and healthy Summer! What new habits are you going to try?