I am on a mission to get my kids lives back to some sort of new normal that does not steal their childhood from the fun and activities and memories they deserve. So I searched for local SWFL businesses that are doing their part by practicing social distancing and extra cleaning precautions while allowing parents a healthy environment to bring kids for not only fun but to help keep their minds and bodies active! The Golisano Children's Museum of Naples is definitely a place to take the kids for some fun out of the house! Updated precautions do require everyone to wear a mask and for all visitors to book a ticket in advance due to capacity limits.
If you have young kids and have not visited Golisano’s Children’s Museum of Naples (C’MON) then you need to plan a trip soon. Not only because it is a great place for kids to be kids but they have created a safe space to play during this pandemic. My youngest daughter has fallen in love with this interactive museum designed to make learning fun.
The museum has so many sections from a grocery store to a restaurant for excellent pretend play. Other areas give you a fun lesson on weather and the seasons while other areas give the kids a chance to get creative with art or building. With all the activity stations, this can provide a full morning or afternoon of entertainment for the family.
My daughters did not want to leave the grocery store and restaurant areas because it made them feel like a grown ups running their own business! My son loved the building area the most, where he could use real tools to nail and screw things together.
This 38,000 sq.ft. interactive Golisano Children's Museum of Naples (C'mon) is an incredible place where families can play, learn and dream together. Every day is a new discovery with interactive exhibits, programs and activities.
Looking for places to go with your kids that allows them some play time outside of the house, a little social interaction and lots of fun while also maintaining social distancing, increased sanitation and a safe environment to be kids....well here are three local SWFL spots that I am certain your kids will love (because mine do). And they each have implemented new safety precautions to help us feel safe to enjoy life after quarantine.
Kid's Gym: We Rock the Spectrum
address: Harbour Plaza: 17640 Tamiami Trail South, Suite 309, Fort Myers, Florida 33908
We Rock the Spectrum Fort Myers is an indoor playground that provides children with a fun and motivational environment to help them in the areas of strength, movement, sensory processing, communication, positive behavior modification, social interactions, and self-care skills. Their unique equipment assists all children in their neurological growth and development. Read all about our recent visit to WRTS Fort Myers HERE with updates on the new rules and precautions that the We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gym is taking to help prevent the spread of COVID19.
Sky Zone Fort Myers
address: 14181 S Tamiami Trail #140, Fort Myers, FL 33912
Sky Zone always guarantees a fun time for my kids and gives them a chance to really run off the energy that have stored up from being inside so much lately. With reduced capacity, extra safety precautions and increased sanitation, this is another top choice for some active play that will make them excited to get off the electronics. Physical activity is so important and I am sure your kids are like mine - they have been lacking the opportunity to be active these days. Read all about our recent visits to Sky Zone Fort Myers HERE with updates on the new rules and precautions that Sky Zone is taking to help prevent the spread of COVID19.
C'MON: Golisano Children's Museum of Naples
address: 15080 Livingston Road, Naples, FL 34109
My kids have always loved the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples. So, we were happy to see them open during this uncertain time. The museum is a brain-building powerhouse and Southwest Florida’s first museum devoted for children and families to learn through play. With hands-on exhibit galleries, the accessible museum invites visitors of all ages to journey through the swamps of the Everglades, weave through a maze, climb a two-story banyan tree, or experiment with the water play station.
Read all about our recent visit to C'MON HERE with updates on the new rules and precautions that the Children's Museum of Naples is taking to help prevent the spread of COVID19.
I am on a mission to get my kids lives back to some sort of new mortal that does not steal their childhood from the fun and activities and memories they deserve. So I searched for local SWFL businesses that are doing their part by practicing social distancing and extra cleaning precautions while allowing parents a healthy environment to bring kids for not only fun but to help keep their minds and bodies active! We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gym is one of the perfect places I found. Adutls are required to wear face mask at all times, capacity is limited so you must reserve your play session online in advance and all guests must sanitize their hands upon entering.
We Rock the Spectrum (WRTS) Kids Gym of Fort Myers is committed to providing a safe, nurturing, and fun environment to foster learning, exploration and safe sensory experiences. Through their nonprofit My Brother Rocks The Spectrum Foundation, they provide social skills groups and activities for children across the spectrum.
It provides children with a fun and motivational environment to help them in the areas of strength, movement, sensory processing, communication, positive behavior modification, social interactions, and self-care skills. Our unique equipment assists all children in their neurological growth and development.. I think that WRTS is an amazing example of helping all children grow and develop by providing an all inclusive environment.
THE GYM SIDE
From the Zipline and trampoline to the swings and jungle gym, my kids were hard to pull away from all the contraptions testing their abilities. I found all the activities on this side of the playcenter to be a great way for kids to build their skills in a safe way, allowing them to take risks while having a "safety net" to learn and build strength. They said it was hard to pick ttheir absolute favorite thing, but ultimately I think the zipline won!
The Imagination Side
I call this the imagination side because it has so many creative imaginative play centers set up that can create endless of creative play scenarios. From a diner and grocery store to a vet and doctor's office, my kids came up with some very imaginative stories while we were there. There is also a toddler area for the weee little ones, as you can see mine are too big for that area, but reflecting back on when they were babies, it would have been a nice area to have new toys to play with.
Birthday Parties Too!
If you are looking for a unique and fun location for a kids birthday, you will want to consider We Rock the Spectrum of Fort Myers. They offer birthday party packages that are designed for the specific needs of the birthday kid and family. Whether your child has special needs and requires our “Rock Unique” package, or your child just wants to play on our zip line and trampoline and have fun, we’ve got an option that will work for your family. Our mission is to create a safe and fun experience for all children.They will even help guide you through the entire party planning process and plan for party favors, birthday cakes (even gluten free), birthday activities, arts & crafts, and more! At We Rock the Spectrum, the fun never has to stop! If your kiddo needs a break from our play equipment, they can calm down in the calming area, or take a break to do some arts & crafts or play dress-up.
They have it all!
Meet the Local Owners!
Vandana (Vee) Patel is a local mom and owner of We Rock the Spectrum Fort Myers Kids Gym.. Her husband of 15 years Ankur along with their two wonderful kids, Aman (9) and Zara (6) are the local family who brought this inclusive indoor playcenter to SWFL!
"Our kids are the inspiration and motivation behind bringing We Rock the Spectrum to the Southwest Florida community, " says Patel. " Zara was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome (AS) in 2016, a rare neuro-genetic disorder which exhibit symptoms such as developmental delays, no speech or minimal speech, seizures, sleep disorders, frequent laughter, excitable personality, and walking/balance disorders. Aman and Zara love playing with each other and we always struggled finding a place outside our home where both can play together. After taking Zara to various therapies over the past 3 years, I had the opportunity to meet parents with kids of all abilities. Zara has progressed tremendously because of early intervention, so it was then I realized the need for a safe and inclusive environment for all kids to play and have fun together, all while understanding the behaviors that come hand–in–hand with developmental challenges"
Working with kids has always been Vee's passion, so it made sense when she came across the We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym Franchise. After visiting the Boca Raton location, it was love at first sight for her. She is very grateful that she was able to bring a sensory-based gym in SWFL for all kids of all abilities to play together, to learn from each other and reach their highest potential.
Housewives in the City SWFL is geared towards
bringing visibility to local small women businesses.
Ladies, it is a difficult time for many - but guess what?---- We are all in this together!.
We all have different lives, different goals and different challenges. But we all seek success. And if you knew you could easily help out a fellow #supportivewoman I hope you are the kind of woman who would do it. if you you thought "of course, I would help if I could." Well guess what...here is how you can help out local small women businesses....ant the best part - it is EASY and FREE! So I challenge you to do the follwoing four things at least once a week (daily would be terrific).
Four free, simple things to do to help local small businesses!
1. Write a review Did you have a positive experience with a local small businees? Love the food? Favorite local boutique? Express it on their reviews! Yelp, google reviews and FB reviews are so helpful for small businesses. Sharing your experience verbally for the public to see will mean more than you can imagine. Testimonials are important for any business and truly make a difference to in helping small businesses stand out from the crowd!
2. Follow, like, comment and share their social media accounts
The more the merrier! It takes one click and helps build an audience for that business and give them credibility within the industry. Most of the time you’ll receive first news of deals by following your favorite brands + businesses. See something good on their feed? Share it! Many small businesses have new product or offer deals. Did you know a simple share widens the online exposure for that business! It lets a new audience see their company. Share words of encouragement or genuine compliments on their social posts. This helps boost engagement and lets more people see their posts.
3. Recommend them to a friend: Word of mouth brings the best customers.
Who do you know that would be an ideal customer for some of your favorite local businesses? Tag your friends and family on the posts you see. Or send them a quick message telling them about the business.
4. Attend Girl's Night Out social
The monthly events give local women businesses a chance to showcase their products and services in a social setting while giving you a chance to learn about something new, make new connections and gather some positive inspiration.
Did you know, Housewives in the City Fort Lauderdale is a small business ran by a woman?
So I'd love if you try out the above steps to help me:
Follow my Housewives pages on Instagram and Facebook
Write a review of my events on my Biz Profile Facebook
Let's connect personally too on Instagram and be my official facebook friend!
Make Plans to Attend the Upcoming Events to Meet Other Local, Supportive, Possitive Women
Facebook is the best place to stay up to date with the event dates, locations, and details. Check out what is on the calendar right now: see the event schedule
Below are just a few of the small local businesses that have showcased over the past two years at the Southwest Florida Housewives in the City events.
A single moment can spark a revolution, collective actions can transform laws, creative expression can change attitudes and an invention can alter the course of history. It’s these threads that weave together to propel a movement — even in the face of obstacles. TOGETHER is how we do it.
"Strength lies in differences, not in similarities."
What is diversity? Sometimes it’s what you see such as gender, skin color and physical abilities. But it can also be what you don’t see like religion, ethnicity, personality, beliefs and values. A person’s value is not related to their race, possessions, personal choices, financial standings or opinions. You are valuable because you are you.
And what really makes a ‘community’ is the fact that it values the dissimilarities in people. The idea of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each person is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. Our differences define us, allow us to make unique contributions to our group...to our society.
Now is the time to embrace this diversity. The message to spread love and understanding are more important than ever in our day and time. The history of intolerance is a long and brutal one where people who don’t fit a criteria and set of expectations are not treated the same.
We don’t need everyone to be the exact same carbon copy of one another. We should instead embrace and celebrate how special and different we already are. I look forward to the future of this group of women. I look forward to our future events. I look forward to us listening anf learning from one another. I look forward to seeing you.
big hugs to you all,
With Spring Break next month and Summer Break fast approaching, I start planning places to go that will not only be fun but allow my kids a chance to burn off some of that built up energy. Stepping away from electronics and getting out of the house to enjoy something active is not only healthy for the kids, it can provide some mental sanity for mom and dad, while making bedtime a breeze! I asked my kids the top three places they wanted to go during their school break to run off some energy and here is what they said: “Sky Zone, Lakes Park and their favorite local beach.”
My kids can literally play for hours at Sky Zone; so the all day pass is perfect for our family. From jumping on the trampolines, competing with one another on the ninja warrior course and warp wall and battling it out with a friendly jousting match they wear themselves out to the point that they need some downtime on the silks before jumping some more. If you are looking for a way to get your kids active while having a days worth of fun, this is the place to go!
Planning an active day outside is easy to do if you are going to Lakes Park. Just pack a picnic lunch, wear comfy shoes and bring the swimsuits, towels and sunscreen! We love to walk the trails, look for alligators & butterflies, eat in one of the many shaded spots, work up a sweat on the awesome train playground then cool off at the splash pad. It truly is a fun and exhausting day for the entire family!
The Beach at Bowditch Point
The beach is always a good idea for enjoying fresh air, getting some great exercise and soaking up the beautiful Florida life. We love this Fort Myers beach spot because there is a ton of beach to run around, lots of shallow water to play in plus some walking trails. Personally, I think Bowditch Point Park is a great beach day for those with little kids. Parking is typically easy to snag, the bathrooms are nice, lots of nearby shaded areas to rest in and not crowded compared to most other beach spots. Plus the panoramic bay views are especially beautiful at sunset.
Kids are sure to build up some energy when staying home this school break. These locations are sure to tire out your kid and induce a good night’s sleep. Give them a try!
Can you honestly say that you love yourself? It is so easy to focus on your faults and dwell on ones own insecurities instead of the things about themselves that they are happy with. Doing this can cause you to dislike yourself.
You may also be too busy focusing on others around you and not focusing on loving yourself. This may seem more important to some than others, but self-love is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Being in love with yourself provides you with self-confidence, self-worth and it will generally help you feel more positive. Today, on valentine's, take time to think about not only why you love others but what is so wonderful about yourself!
SHARE YOUR LOVE WITH YOURSELF!!!
This "cold" weather lately has me dreaming of pool days. So I startedf thinking of all my favorite hotel pools in Florida and decided to share my list!
Not all pools are created equal– some have full service cabanas for a day of pampered attention, some have massive waterfalls with hidden slides and some are wrapped with a beautiful lazy river. Florida is full of fantastic hotel pools because they are all enjoyable year-round. To me, in order for a hotel pool to be awesome it needs to meet the needs of every age group- here is a handful of my family’s favorite hotel pools that we visit frequent! Keep in mind that all of these pools require that you be a guest of the hotel (or purchase a day pass)---so no sneaking in!
Universal’s Cabana Bay
Address: 6550 Adventure Way, Orlando, Fl 32819
By far, my kids favorite hotel pool and my wallets favorite. This reasonably priced resort has two spectacular pools that you will want to skip the theme parks for. The cabana rentals have a great price tag! At the Cabana Courtyard, there is a tower waterslide, kids splash pad, and sandy play yard full of outside games.The Lazy River Courtyard features a zero entry pool with a sandy beach as well as a lazy river with waterfalls and water canons. Both pools have their own poolside bar.
Hyatt Regency Coconut Point
Address: 5001 Coconut Road, Bonita Springs, Florida,34134
There is no lack of water fun at this Hyatt Regency with a lagoon style pool, an adults-only pool a lap pool, a 5,000-square foot Adventure Pool with a140-foot corkscrew slide and a Lazy River complex, featuring three waterslides! The palm-tree lined sun deck offers cabanas, lounge chairs, and a covered pavilion in case you want to escape the sun for some shade.
South Seas Island
Address: 5400 Plantation Rd, Captiva, FL 33924
Enjoy the island life with a pool day at South Seas. There is no better way to enjoy a pool than to also be beachfront! Their three pools, two water slides, luxurious cabanas and tiki bar always creates a fun, memorable day.
Seminole Hard Rock Casino and Hotel
Address: 1 Seminole Way, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314
You will feel like you are in Vegas at this rock star inspired pool. The 4.5 acre lagoon-style heated pool oasis includes a 182 foot high waterslide, waterfalls splashing over mountain rocks, an elevated jetted spa,a hot tub and a poolside restaurant.
LEGOLAND Beach Retreat
Address: 100 Legoland Way, Winter Haven, FL 33884
The newest LEGOLAND resort opened in 2017 with a fantastic beach themed, zero entry pool. The large LEGO® soft bricks floating in the pool are a fun addition. The expansive sandy area is perfect for building sandcastles with a giant play structure for kids to run off some energy. Daily activities like dance parties, bean bag toss and chalk art competitions take place. READ MORE IN MY BLOG "OUR FAMILY PHOTOS AT THE NEW LEGOLAND BEACH RETREAT"
Address: 4441 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140
You can choose to play or relax at one or all of the 11 pools at Fontainebleau on Miami Beach. This luxurious resort offers full-service cabanas and premium amenities from any poolside spot. The entire family will think the outdoor area here makes a fantastic water day from the small dipping pools to the large oasis pool or the interactive children’s waterscape with a slide.
Address: 6000 W Osceola Pkwy, Kissimmee, FL 34746
The heated pool at Gaylord Palms features an Everglades-inspired family water park that includes a zero-entry swimming pool with four slides, a multilevel water-fun tree house and an active lagoon where kid-friendly music and games take place daily. There’s also a South Beach Pool that is adult-only with a serene atmosphere and two hot tubs.
Address: 6001 Destination Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32819
The temperature-controlled swimming pools and lazy river at the Hilton Orlando makes you feel like you are in a paradise located in the middle of a crazy themed park destination. There is over 10,000 square-foot of pool deck with plenty of lounge chairs that guarantee you a spot to relax and enjoy the beautiful sunny weather. If you are with the kids you will enjoy hanging out at the main pool for its zero entry access and the winding waterslide. If this is an adult getaway, some peace and quiet can be found at the adult only pool. READ MORE. HERE IS MY BLOG " 5 REASONS TO STAY AT HILTON ORLANDO"
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MANDY CARTER
Mandy manages the South Florida and SWFL Communities of Housewives In the City as well serving as the South Fl & Southeast Regional Manager. She is mother of two who loves to travel, shop and try new cocktails. In addition to planning events and blogging for Housewives In The City, Mandy Carter is a published writer, working model, freelance marketer at itsmandymichelle.com as well as a family travel columnist & blogger at Acupful.com.
THe first Girl's Night Out of 2020 was in Naples at the new location of Buff City Soaps. This place smells delightful! Swag Bags for the first 50 women were sponsored by Erin of Color Street!
JANUARY FEATURED BUSINESSES
A big component of Girl's Night Out is showcasing and supporting local small women businesses. Below is a list of all this month's featured businesses. Keep these women in mind when skincare, healthcare, clothes, gifts and services. Supporting small businesses really does make a difference and when women support one another great things happen!
Young Living by Kristi
Color Street by Erin
Modera by Karen
MONAT by Valerie and Phylis
Grace and Heart by Becca
HI, I AM MANDY!
I am obsessed with traveling, could eat tacos everyday, can sip wine or shoot whiskey, trying new restaurants gets me excited and my children fill the days with joy, laughter and challenges!
I share fun things to do in and around the Southwest Florida area plus host monthly "Girl's Night Out" events at local businesses and cannot wait to meet all of you! I also do the same thing for the Fort Lauderdale Community!
Aside from Housewives In The City I am a freelance writer, Columnist for Lee Family News , Family Travel Blogger + Influencer and Publisher for a SWFL Church.