Family Recreation: Community Cleanup

Family recreation can be both fun and beneficial to your community. Indeed, family activities that teach your children to enjoy being good members of the community are important. One of the things that you can do as a family is to do a neighborhood cleanup. This will help your children see the value of contributing to the community, and it can give you some quality time together.

Cleaning up the Neighborhood
In many neighborhoods, trash can be seen. This trash creates an unsightly mess and is a blight on the beauty of the neighborhood. By cleaning up the neighborhood as a family, you can teach your children important lessons about community involvement, being good to the environment and family togetherness.

Some tips for cleaning up the neighborhood include:

  • Wear appropriate shoes and clothing for the weather. Right now, in the fall, is a great time to clean things up. Do it before the snow falls. But it may mean that a light jacket and some thin gloves are needed.
  • Bring two bags: One for regular trash and one for recyclable trash. Teach your children that recycling is important, and teach them which materials go in which bag. You can sort the recyclables later.
  • Everybody work together: Make sure the parents do work as well. It is your chance to set a good example, and the kids have more fun if the parents are helping.
  • Consider making it a neighborhood effort: You do not have to do all the work alone. Coordinate a neighborhood cleanup party. You can get to know your neighbors as well as spend time together as a family. You can even have treats and games when you finish.

There are many opportunities to make family recreation a learning experience as well as something that is fun. When you engage in a neighborhood cleanup, the lessons you impart are lasting and so are the memories that you make!

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Coolest Skateparks: Louisville, Kentucky

The Louisville Extreme Park is located just east of the downtown area of Louisville, Kentucky near the intersection of Franklin Street and Clay Street. It offers about 40,000 square feet of skating terrain including a bowl park, a street park and a few vert features. If you live in, or will be visiting the Louisville area, make plans to bring your skateboarding shoes , gear and boards to the LEP.

Louisville Extreme Park – The Basics
The Louisville Extreme Park opened back in April of 2002. It is a free public park that is open to skaters, BMXers and in-line skaters 24 hours a day. This park is owned by the City of Louisville, and it is maintained by the Metro Parks Department.

When exploring what this park has to offer keep your eyes open for the skill level postings. These signs will help you select features that you will be able to safely negotiate. Each section of the park is rated as a beginners’ area, an intermediate area or an advanced area.

As mentioned earlier, the Louisville Extreme Park is broken up into three different skating areas. The bowl park is excellent. It has two 11-foot bowls, two eight-foot bowls, two four-foot bowls and a six-foot bowl. Near the bowl park is a stellar 24-foot full pipe. The street course is fully stocked with great skating features such as ledges, rails, lines and fun boxes. Finally, there is a 12-foot wooden vert ramp with an excellent 13-foot-long extension.

Louisville Extreme Park – Rules
This is a very open park as far as rules go. You can use the park any time you want. The only time the park is closed is during extreme or hazardous weather conditions. There are no age restrictions and generally no supervision. The only rules that you will need to follow include: no smoking, drinking or eating inside the fenced area; no tagging; and you need to wear helmets and padding. If you have an accident inside the park and need help, there is an emergency call box on-site that you can use.

Family Recreation: Trunk or Treating

Trick or treating is a long-standing tradition for many. However, some parents are becoming increasingly wary of sending their children out into the night to gather candy. One fun way to mix it up, as far as trick or treating is concerned, is to organize a neighborhood trunk or treat.

Trunk or treat
This is basically a neighborhood party where everyone can bring their cars, park and pass out candy. Whole families come. This can be arranged at the end of a cul-de-sac, at a neighborhood park or at a community building. (In some cases, a local firehouse or a church might provide a location for the trunk or treat.) Games, like bobbing for apples and other Halloween themed activities, can be played, and you can have neighbors bring decorated pumpkins.

At our neighborhood’s trunk or treat, there are often donuts and hot chocolate or cider as refreshments. It’s a fun and safe environment for children, and it can give adults a chance to mingle and get to know each other – and figure out whose kids your children have been playing with.

It is best to hold a trunk or treat early in the evening, before it gets too dark or cold. However, children should still dress appropriately for the weather. On the other hand, if the trunk or treat is held inside, a jacket will not obscure the costumes . This can only be done, of course, if you have access to some sort of community center.

A trunk or treat is a great way for you to get together with your neighbors and enjoy the Halloween spirit. In our neighborhood, even the adults dress up for our festive event, which feels like a party. However, there are some caveats: PG-rated costumes ( no sexy maids at our party), and masks cannot completely cover the face.

With a little advance planning and organization, you can make Halloween an entire-family event – and share it with your neighbors.

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Death Defying Climbs: The Haunted Wopsononock Mountain

Mountains get classified as dangerous for a number of reasons, not the least of which are their height and extreme weather conditions. Some climbing destinations are formed from the eruptions of active or dormant volcanoes or contain such hazards as buried landmines or large falling rocks.

Pennsylvania’s Wopsononock Mountain holds the distinction, however, of being a peak that serves as the home for a famous ghost. According to the web site Pennsylvania Mountains of Attractions, an apparition known as the “The White Lady” occasionally appears on Wopsononock, which also is affectionately called “Wopsy Mountain.”

Local legends vary slightly on what the beautiful ghost is looking for and why she’s hanging around this particular mountain. One variation of the story says that her husband was killed while traveling on the treacherous mountain road. Other people believe that the White Lady is seeking her baby, which reportedly was thrown from a horse-drawn carriage near the dangerous curve called Devil’s Elbow.

Though this tale sounds like something you’d hear around the campfire at summer camp, some drivers claim that they gave a ride to an attractive woman who was standing near Devil’s Elbow on Wopsy Mountain Road. The White Lady always disappears, though, before the car leaves the mountain.

Even if you don’t believe in ghosts or the supernatural, Wopsononock, which is a part of the Allegheny Mountain Range, is a great vacation spot for families and climbing enthusiasts. At the top lies Wopsy Lookout, which gives visitors a breathtaking, panoramic view on a clear day. If you pack your camera in a Mountainsmith Beacon bag , it’ll stay safe and secure as you look for the White Lady.

Wopsy Lookout also has the notorious reputation of being a “Lover’s Leap.” It’s difficult to tell if couples actually have jumped off the edge of the cliff or if this is just another part of the Wopsy Mountain legend.

Wopsononock doesn’t offer a lot of great climbing opportunities, but the legend of the White Lady makes it an attractive place to head, especially for aspiring ghost hunters.


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Meals For The Family: Spooky Servings!

Halloween is right around the corner. For kids, it’s like Christmas in October. What’s not to love? It’s a night of sweet indulgences, but parents may feel a bit different. Obviously, you want your children to have fun, but you don’t want them to ingest a year’s supply of sugar in one night. What can you do to help cut their sugar intake, while still keeping Halloween fun? The answer lies in serving a healthy, yet festive dinner before the evening begins.

Personal Monster Pizzas
Serves 4

  • 4 prepared individual pizza crusts
  • 1 cup of pizza sauce
  • 2 cups of 2 percent, shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 green peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • ¼ cup of stuffed green olive slices
  • ½ cup of sliced mushrooms

1. Place the pizza crusts on a baking sheet and top with sauce and cheese.
2. Let your kids decorate the pizzas to create their own monster. Peppers and onions can be used to create hair. Cherry tomatoes can create a mouth. Olive slices make great eyes and mushrooms make a great nose.
3. Bake the pizza according to the pizza crust directions.

Bloody Bat Salad
Serves 4

  • 8 cups of salad mix
  • 4 slices of cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices of turkey
  • 4 slices of ham
  • ½ pound of strawberries
  • ½ pound of strawberries, sliced
  • Fresh cracked pepper, to taste

1. Place the salad mix in a festive bowl.
2. Cut the cheese and meat using a bat shaped cookie cutter.
3. Puree the whole strawberries and season with pepper.
4. Top the salad with the seasoned strawberry puree, sliced strawberries, cheese and meat.

This festive meal helps curb a little ghoul’s appetite so that they eat fewer cupcakes and candy. This way, you’ll enjoy Halloween just as much as they do. After they’ve gone to bed, reward yourself for being a health conscious parent by watching a few scary movies.

Zappos is Getting Zpooky!

Here at, we take our holidays very seriously. And every day leading up to Halloween, the office begins to look more and more like a huge spider has been spinning a web and Gargoyles and Huge Bats frighten all those that enter any of the buildings.

Make no mistake, Zappos takes dressing up and decoration seriously. Halloween here will be celebrated next week, and the entire company will dress up. Trust me. You will be amazed. It’s not required, it doesn’t need to be. You’ll see : )

Vacations for the Outdoorsy Type: Wildman Ranch

Some people prefer their vacations to be slow and lazy, with plenty of long naps under the sun and quiet hours spent reading on a porch with a view. Others, however, are drawn toward adventure and activity, which is the perfect combination for a vacation at Wildman Ranch.

Located in Athelstane, WI, this beautiful scenic vacation spot is also the ultimate mecca for sports junkies. ATV trails, whitewater rafting, paintballing, high-ropes courses, snowmobile tours, golf, kayaking and tubing make this place a destination for the vacationer who wants to test his muscles and endurance.

If work has got you down and you need to vent a bit of aggressive energy, this is the best way to let it all out. Your vacation might leave you feeling pleasantly exhausted, and you might have a few sore muscles, but the consequences will be worth it.

This can also be a great outdoor vacation for the family who enjoys being outside together. Kids always squabbling? Give ‘em paintball guns for a few hours and let them work out their differences! And if, by the end of your vacation, you feel you’ve had enough activity, go tubing down a lazy river and let your muscles recuperate.

The Wildman Ranch is built especially for guests, with half-day events designed to give you the most for your money. You can stay in private cabins on the property that are close to the action, and then grab your meals at Bomber’s BBQ.

If you plan to visit the Wildman Ranch on your next vacation (or any outdoor sports venue), make sure you bring along adequate hand protection such as the Bionic Tough Pro gloves . They’ll keep your hands safe when participating in outdoor sports without limiting your flexibility or dexterity.

And with Halloween almost here, make sure you take advantage of the fall specials at Wildman Ranch. There are certainly advantages to vacationing after the top tourist months, and you’ll have more opportunities with less traffic. Of course, you can also wait for winter and visit when snow is on the ground, especially if you love winter sports.

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Celebrity Style: Baby Trends and Boyfriend Jeans

Celebrities aren’t the only people who set the fashion trends in Hollywood. Celebrity kids also make fashion trends just as much as their parents. You will never see a celebrity kid wearing some old shirt from Wal-Mart or the local discount department store. No, celebrity kids wear name brand designer clothing that cost more than all the clothing I have put together. One of the trendiest kids in Hollywood is Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’s daughter Suri. Even at two years old she is making a fashion statement. Suri Cruise has been photographed wearing many different outfits and different designers. One of her favorite designers is Juicy Couture. She was seen wearing a black sundress by Juicy Couture strolling around New York City with her mom.

Another celebrity kid that makes fashion trends in Hollywood is Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale’s son, Kingston. Kingston can be seen wearing tons of different rocker clothes from his mom’s line called L.A.M.B. From his cargo pants to his rocker tees, he sets the trends for little boys in Hollywood. Other celebrity kids that are also high on the fashion trends are Heidi Klum’s three children, Tori Spelling’s son Liam, and all of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s children.

So, what is going on with the actual celebrities in Hollywood? Well it seems like baggy, boyfriend cut jeans are back in style. Both Victoria Beckham and Katie Holmes have been seen wearing their husband’s jeans. Now, no one is going out and telling you to wear your husband’s jeans out of the house, but it seems like the boyfriend cut jeans are an alternative to the skinny jeans. Other celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon and Cameron Diaz have also sported baggier jeans in the past couple weeks. When trying to achieve this celebrity look, make sure that the jeans are not too baggy and that you don’t wear them out for a nice evening or date. Boyfriend jeans are for casual strolls around town. Pair them with a gray t-shirt like Reese Witherspoon did and you have a cute and casual day look.