Travels with Children

The adventures I embark upon with my four young children.

Book stores and farm shows and skating, oh my!

I had to run some errands in New Ulm on a Saturday.  Normally I try to avoid shopping on Saturdays, especially with the kids in tow, but when we’re out of milk, a trip to the store is necessary.  And if I’m taking the kids to a store, I’m most certainly going to do something else with them along the way.

We started out in downtown New Ulm by ducking into Bookshelves and Coffeecups, at 123 N Minnesota, and swapping out some old books for some that were new-to-us.  This is something I like to do on occasions when I’m in New Ulm.  There’s a great selection of used books in the store, and once in a while I treat myself to a Chai Latte while we’re there. 

From the bookstore, we walked two blocks to Subway, on the corner of Center and Minnesota, for lunch.  The walk took a little longer than expected because the stroller was missing from the trunk of our vehicle and the 2-year-old had to walk.  Fortunately for us, the sidewalks weren’t busy so my chain of children didn’t get in the way of anyone.  We spent most of the walk back teaching my four-year-old how to pronounce the word “Glockenspiel” as we heard bells.

Then we were off to the New Ulm Civic Center  for the Farm-City Hub Club’s annual farm show.  The kids enjoy the farm show, because along with the usual booths from local businesses that may or may not be agriculture-oriented, the local Runnings Farm & Fleet store always has baby animals on display.  The kids love to look at, and sometimes hold, the baby chicks, ducklings, rabbits, and more.

From the upper level of the civic center, the kids had spotted people ice skating in the other half of the building.  Smart or not, I asked the kids if they wanted to try skating.  (Keep in mind that I was outnumbered 4 to 1, none of the kids have been on skates before, and I haven’t skated in 20 years or more.  Did I mention that I was outnumbered?)  For just under $20 we paid our entrance fee and rented skates, and after the 20 minutes it took me to lace up five pair, we hit the ice.

It was a blast!  They had little walker-type frames that the kids could hang onto as they skated.  At first it was pretty slow going, but it didn’t take long before the three older kids were trying to go fast, skate on one foot, turn in circles, and even go a few feet without the walker.  The little one wasn’t much of a fan of the walker, but her balance was pretty good, and mine was better than expected, so I held both of her hands and she skated along with me.  The ice even succeeded in helping defy the laws of gravity and friction so that sometimes she did the footwork and pulled me along behind her.

We had so much fun.  I only had two regrets:  1) that I didn’t have my camera along, and 2) that my husband wasn’t there to enjoy it with us.  (I had asked if he wanted to join us for the day, but he decied to go to a meeting and enjoy a nice free meal instead.)  I had fun watching the kids have fun.  We skated for about an hour before I dragged them away, and I actually enjoyed listening to them argue about who had the most fun.

After a quick stop for groceries, we headed for home, and my five-year-old lasted until the next morning before asking if we could go back again, this time with Dad.



  BookMama wrote @

You know, every time I read a new post on your blog, the first thing that comes to mind is “Boy, that sounds like fun!” Between this and the sledding (which sounded simply perfect), I’d say you’ve had some great winter fun.

  minnemom wrote @

The winter has been so long and cold here this year, so it’s been nice to find a few fun “winter” things to do.

I just can’t let the kids get too good at skating because I can’t afford to have them play hockey. 😉

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