Weekly family rail, with summer fun suggestions, a review of “Earth,” an easy carrot snack recipe and more.
Tip of the Week
Here are four affordable ways to treat your family this summer all for less than $10 per person.
- Italian vacation: If a trip to Italy is out of the question, stop by your local gelato shop to be momentarily transported to another place by the frozen dessert's fresh, intense flavor. Italians consider gelato part of everyday life -- partly because of its nutritional value (it's made with natural ingredients and contains fewer calories and less fat than other frozen desserts) and partly because it's frequently enjoyed with friends and family in the comfortable, inviting atmosphere of the neighborhood gelateria. Visit www.whygelato.com to find a gelato shop in your area.
- Monopolize on fun: It's no surprise that the promise of fame and fortune made “Monopoly” an instant favorite when the game debuted at the height of the Great Depression -- and that fantasy certainly hasn't lost its appeal in today's economy. Pack a picnic and take your next trip on the Reading Railroad to a local park, where you can add a bit of fresh air and sunshine to your list of assets. Check out your local parks and recreation department's Web site for parks near you.
- Dog days of summer: You're not the only one who likes to get outside and play when the weather's nice. A trip to the dog park provides a great opportunity for you to meet fellow dog lovers while your pooch gets some exercise. In addition, some cities even have Fido-friendly dog bars where you can grab a drink and hang out with your two-legged friends while your four-legged pal plays with his canine buddies. For dog-friendly spots in your city, go to www.dogster.com.
- Fore! Few things say summer fun like a round of miniature golf, so hit the links and see who's more skilled at navigating their ball through windmills and waterfalls. If you'd prefer to show off your long game, take the competition to the driving range to decide once and for all who owns the longest-drive and closest-to-the-pin bragging rights. Go to www.golflink.com for a list of miniature golf courses and driving ranges in your area.
Family Screening Room
Synopsis: “Earth,” narrated by James Earl Jones, tells the story of three animal families and their amazing journey across the planet we all call home. “Earth” combines action, unimaginable scale and impossible locations by capturing the most intimate moments of our planet’s wildest and most elusive creatures. Directors Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield, the team behind “Planet Earth,” combine forces again to bring this epic adventure to the big screen.
Violence/scary rating: 4
Sexual-content rating: 1
Profanity rating: 1
Drugs/alcohol rating: 1
Family Time rating: 2. If you or your kids have seen “Planet Earth” and enjoyed it, you’ll love this. The only negative is several violent fight scenes – but nothing unusual for nature shows.
(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
“Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa: Rain or Shine,” by Erica Silverman (author) and Betsy Lewin (illustrator)
In this fourth book in the popular series, Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa are ready for rainy-day adventures -- or are they? Cocoa's not so sure he wants to get wet, and thunder can be a little frightening. But whatever the weather, these cowpoke pals are sticking together. With snappy text and silly illustrations, Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa are as feisty as ever. So pull on your slicker for a little stormy weather and a lot of splashy fun.
Did You Know
According to FamiliesInCrisis.net, family violence costs the nation $5 billion to $10 billion annually in medical expenses, police and court costs, shelters and foster care, sick leave, absenteeism, increased insurance premiums and non-productivity.
Kids Kitchen: Quick Honey Carrots
1 (1-lb.) bag baby carrots
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Toss together all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high for 6 to 7 minutes. Makes 4 servings. (MyRecipes.com)
GateHouse News Service