This week I went to a super special event. It was Activation Day for my friend Elizabeth’s brand new non-profit, Activation ReACT. My friend has a heart to help and has long dreamed of creating this non-profit that is finally a reality. We were so excited to celebrate with her at the press conference at Diggerland USA, her very first official partner.
After listening to her vision and a little about the park we were let loose to play and discover—and this frugal foodie mom forgot to pack one for the road. One what? LUNCH! Along with sharing a little about Activation ReACT and Diggerland USA, I am creating a list of handy pack it to go lunches so we don’t get caught hungry and out of (frugal) luck on the road again.
Elizabeth started Activation ReACT to provide a way for all of us, from young and old to help when there are environmental disasters around our country. It can be so easy to feel helpless when we see a disaster occur, such as wildfires, earthquakes, tornados, and hurricanes. We sit glued to our TVs, oftentimes wishing we could help. Now Elizabeth has created a tangible and easy way that we can put that desire into action, even when we are too far away to be on the ground, in action. Check out ways you can get involved and be an Activation ReACT hero.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect of Diggerland USA. It kind of looked like it was going to appeal more to my boys and maybe geared to a little younger than them. I was wrong. I think my husband has as much fun as the kids did and my daughter definitely loved it. Diggerland created a world where kids can learn to operate heavy machinery in a safe and fun way. Who gets to say they’ve driven a backhoe? My 6 year old can.
With stationary rides, a few amusement park rides, a rock climbing wall, and ropes course (no extra cost), there is something to keep almost the whole family occupied. Most rides and attractions require kids be 36 inches or taller so it may not be quite so fun for the youngest in the bunch but above that height there is a day full of fun to be had—even for the teenagers, as evidenced by my friend Beth’s post. The ticket cost is definitely worth it if you are taking a construction loving kid.
There were a few glitches with one or two of the rides, like the little cars. That one is small wonder with the way kids drive. Oy! I think I have a few gray hairs from watching. There are also lines to contend with on some of the rides younger kids drive since they take a little longer. Overall though, the rides are quick moving and the staff is very friendly. There are also many benches and tables with umbrellas to shade you, which is especially nice for little ones whose legs tire easily. An added plus is that the parking is free.
Lunch Ideas for Kids on the Go
We didn’t buy lunch at Diggerland. I usually don’t buy concessions more than I need to because, quite frankly, they usually are overpriced for lower quality food. With that in mind I can’t fill you in on the best and worst of Diggerland USA’s concessions and food options. However, I did make a huge fail. Unlike most days I was not prepared. We got up, rushed out the door, and on the road, grabbing breakfast on the go and failing to prepare lunch. I briefly thought of grabbing the peanut butter and loaf of bread but nixed that idea as we would be in a park with many children, some of whom may be allergic to peanuts. Peanut butter is a ghastly beast at getting stuck on everything so I play it safe. My guess is that I partially didn’t worry too much about lunch because I wasn’t sure we would be there more than a few hours.
You may be thinking it just isn’t worth the long trek to the car for a lunch break but Diggerland USA is designed in a way that you don’t have to walk super far to get to the parking lot. You cannot bring food or drinks in but since you get a wristband at entry it’s an easy in and out for lunchtime.
Think again. At 3 PM we finally headed out of the park and that is when the kids realized they were “staaaarving”. With no lunch or snacks in the car we headed for a restaurant. Next time I intend to be prepared, using this list of lunch ideas for kids on the go.
- Jarlsberg minis and crackers
- Hummus and veggie sticks
- Pita, hummus, and cucumber slices
- Lunch meat and cheese roll ups
- Jelly and cream cheese sandwiches
- Lunch meat sandwiches
- Go-gurts (I love the Stoneyfield organic option)
- Cheese sticks
- Allergy Friendly Sweet and Salty Trail Mix
- Tortilla Chips with small containers of salsa or queso
- Granola bars – these homemade granola bars are favorites
- Fruit – grapes, orange slices, cherries, apple slices soaked in orange juice or bananas
**TIP for cold lunches: Pack lunches with a small ice pack or frozen water bottle to keep lunch cold until it’s time to eat.