Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bunny Breakfast and the Bunny Train

We drove through a blizzard to eat pancakes with the Easter Bunny.

That's the short version of this story.

I searched online to try to find an egg hunt to take the kids to. Most are this upcoming Saturday, the day before Easter. We have a birthday party to attend that conflicts with those egg hunts. I finally found one up in Arvada, a town about 10 miles north of us. It wasn't just an egg hunt, either. For $5/person, they have a "Bunny Breakfast," games, pictures with the Easter Bunny (which you take yourself), and a ride on the Bunny Express train. After that, they host an egg hunt at a nearby park. Andrew's great-aunt and -uncle live in Arvada, so we invited Andrew's parents and them to join us.

Well, last night, it started to snow. This morning, we woke up to about 10" of snow on the ground. And it was still coming down! Oliver was so excited to ride on the "bunny train," so we made what was probably a stupid choice and decided to still go. Everyone else cancelled due to weather. We bundled the kids up. Jo wore my favorite cold weather dress of hers instead of the cute, summery dress I'd planned on her wearing for Easter. Oliver wore his nice sweater from Uncle Andy and Aunt Erin. I'd already had it in a box to put up in the attic until next winter, but I dug it out. We put extra snacks and blankets in the car (just in case) and set out to the Bunny Breakfast.

We went to the wrong place! The address that printed on our ticket was the main rec center in Arvada. As it turns out, that's just the place that billed us. So, after driving 40 minutes in a snow storm, we were redirected a few blocks east at the Community Recreation Center. The kids were mad about getting into the car, which put them in a bit of a foul mood for Bunny Breakfast. But, finally, finally, we made it to the Bunny Breakfast.

For $5 a person, I was amazed at what all was included! It might not have been worth risking life and limb, but it was worth $5! We each got a plate of scrambled eggs and pancakes. There was sausage available, too. The kids had orange juice, and Andrew and I had coffee.

Jo and Oliver both loved the pancakes.

Each kid was given a little treat bag. They'd go around to a bunch of tables to play cute little games, like bunny ring toss and bowling. They were given a little prize from each game. Oliver wasn't interested in the games until he realized he got candy from participating.

Here is frog jump, where kids were supposed to get the plastic frogs to jump into the "pond."

Here are the kids bowling. Oliver rolled the first ball and knocked down most of the pins. When his second ball missed, he ran down the "lane" and knocked the last two over.

Joanna didn't want to give up her bowling ball.

Joanna also didn't want to give up her basketball at the basketball game. When we left the games, she kept repeating, "Ball. Ball. Ball. Ball. Ball? Ball."

His favorite part of the event was the Bunny Express train. Another woman there told me it's usually outside. Because of the weather, they set it up indoors this year. The train engineer pulled kids in the train through hallways. It was hilarious. Because there were so many kids and the train only held 4 kids at a time, each ride was just a single loop. The first two times Oliver rode the train, he cried when it stopped. The kid loves trains. Seriously, you can take Oliver on a tropical vacation to the beach, and his favorite part is the train ride at the airport.

Once he realized he could watch the other kids go by and then get back in line again, he stopped crying when the train stopped. He also stopped freaking out at the hand stamp the kids got when they boarded the train.

Before too long, a woman stepped up on a little stage and made two announcements. First, she said the egg hunt would have to be cancelled. I don't think anyone was surprised. Then, she let us know the Easter Bunny was coming! She asked everyone to sing "Here Comes Peter Cottontail." Imagine my surprise when Oliver didn't have a meltdown over the whole room erupting in song!

Here's Happy Jo waiting in line for the Easter Bunny!

I wasn't sure how the Easter Bunny would go over. To agree to sit on Santa's lap, Oliver had to visit Santa a handful of times first. The Easter Bunny was different. Oliver wanted to see him. We stood in line, and Oliver let the Easter Bunny pick him up and set him on the Bunny's lap. Jo was not so brave.

When we'd eaten, played games, visited the bunny, and ridden the train a handful of times, we decided to head back out into the snowy world. The Easter Bunny also left at that time, and Oliver cried and cried because he wanted to say goodbye to the Easter Bunny.

So, Bunny Breakfast included a lot of tears for us. I wouldn't say it was perfect, but, as a whole, I was really pleased with the event. It probably wasn't worth a drive in blizzard conditions, but it was absolutely worth $5!

Most of the kids at the event ranged in age from about 2-6, as you might expect. Kids under 2 were free, but they still had to be registered because they count as a person toward their maximum capacity. There were a few babies and a few very young toddlers like Jo. They couldn't do much in the way of activities, but they looked very cute in their Easter outfits. There were a few older kids there, too, who might have been about 8 or 9 or so. Many of the games seemed better for the older kids, like the very miniature putt-putt golf. The people who hosted the games were good with the little kids, though. One man let our kids set the rings on the bunny for ring toss. One young man who ran the basketball game let our kids walk up and "dunk" the balls in instead of throwing them. All the kids were obviously having fun. It was a good community event, and we left feeling happy. It's definitely something we'd make an effort to go to again!

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