Rain, and Random Tours

Ah, nothing like a cleansing rain in the summertime.  Was anyone else finding themselves irritable this afternoon, when it started to rain, and it was still hot and sticky?  I’d been sure that the rain was going to mean sweet release from all of that humidity, and then. . . it wasn’t.  So frustrating.  When it finally began to pour and cool off while I was cooking dinner an hour or two later,  I could barely restrain myself from pounding the counter and shrieking “Yes!  Yes!”  a la Sally/Meg Ryan.  Oh, rain, rain, you are so good.  I think I love you.

I don’t share a lot of face shots of the girls, but this is from–wow!–five summers ago, so they’re entirely different kids now.  Clearly the girls enjoy a good summer rain as much as I do.

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J had an exciting field trip to Hannaford today as part of camp.  She learned about vegetables and came trotting home with a Guiding Stars bag.   On another day of camp, M went to Petsmart, where she had the chance to hold a gerbil, a lizard, a parrot, and a frog.  She just said no to the ferret.

All of which reminded me that, if you’ve got young kids, say toddler to young elementary school, you can arrange visits to all sorts of local businesses for fun.  With various moms’ groups or our nursery school, we’ve taken tours of Price Chopper (look at the lobsters!  walk in the big freezer!), Panera (make your own loaf of bread!  sample some cocoa!), Coldstone Creamery (see how they make waffle cones!), and the airport (see firetrucks & airplanes! and you’ll still see me walking around with my PABA-ful official water bottle).  Unlike many outings to museums or orchards, these are generally absolutely free!  Now, it will vary from location to location and manager to manager, but many clever managers know that sucking up to a bunch of parents for an hour or two during the slow period before the lunchtime rush pays untold dividends in good karma and profits later.  So next time you’re looking for something entertaining to do with a group, give a business a call & see if you can arrange a little visit.  If it’s food-oriented, you might want to ask about food choices ahead of time.  Case in point:  J and her group did so well on their “nutrition test” that they won a prize:  a big bakery cake.  Couldn’t they have gone with berries or something?

Of course the granddaddy free tour of them all is no longer available–did anyone ever take the Krause’s Candy tour?  It was super-fun, offered two days a year I think, with activities,  sample after sample, and the occasional prize basket. I remember that one year one of the girls balked at putting on the hair net, which was absolutely required for entrance.  And I was standing there at the door thinking to myself, “For the love of all that is good and holy, child, do not keep me from the free chocolate.  Verily you shall know my wrath!”    Fortunately for all concerned she bowed to the intense peer pressure before I had to go all Crazy Mommy on her.  Anyway, I think that the tour was so popular that it just got to be too much for them.  Still, every July, I mourn its passing.  But I suppose it’s just as well if I’m going to grouse about nutrition, right?

Anyone else been on a tour of a business with kids that they’d recommend?


  1. Thanks for these great ideas! A few years ago we had a special invite from a friend to go with them on a tour of Krause’s. It was amazing. We saw/learned so much and came home with a ton of chocolate.

  2. Yeah, Krause’s was so fun. Part of me is hoping that a reader knows another place that does it that I haven’t heard about yet. . . .

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