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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blue Marble Bookstore Presents: Mama on a Budget: Your Guide to the Fort Thomas Recreation Easter Egg Hunt

This Saturday is Fort Thomas’ annual Hunger Games Spring Egg Hunt sponsored by the Fort Thomas Recreation Department.  This year, Knox is in the 4-6 age category which is wonderful because he had perfectly mastered the 1-3 category after last years’ two-egg, three-meltdown showing.   This is no fault of the event; it is a wonderful event, tons of fun, great community, and executed well.  I think this is the fault of me as a parent for not instilling in him that killer instinct needed to get an egg or two out of the 14,000 that will be strewn throughout Tower Park at noon.  Granted, there will likely be 35,000 kids so hopefully “may the odds be ever in your favor”, as they say.  For those of you with outgoing children, never fear, you’ll barely be able to carry your basket full of eggs.  For those of you with, well, more reserved children like mine, below is your guide to surviving the “reaping”:

1.     Do not stand in front of the fire trucks– You’ll arrive at a quarter to noon, in plenty of time to line-up, completely forgetting that some people show up at 4:00 am (a week earlier).  However, one spot where you can stand at the front of the line is wide open and you think, “This is too good to be true!  Crowds are eight-deep everywhere else but if I just stand here by the fire truck, my kid is first.”  This seems like a good idea but until your child is knocked to the ground with the sound of 1,000 sirens (actually just one, but it is a loud one) as the fire truck signals the start of the hunt.  By the time he has recovered and stopped crying, not only are all the eggs gone but so too are the people and the Rec department is prepping for the Pumpkin Walk!
2.     Bring your own Basket- This may seem obvious but when you arrive you need a basket to collect the 3 eggs you find. An empty Fort Thomas Coffee cup worked, but not quite as well.
3.     Maybe bring your own eggs- The Hunt will last approximately 2.3 seconds at which point in time your child will look up at you and think what just happened? If you’re able to toss a few eggs in the woods to keep your kids busy for a few more minutes, it’s well worth it. Although, make sure to box out any other similarly disappointed children!  This is no time to worry about “the village” that it takes to raise someone else’s kid, after all. 
4.     Bring friends- This is something you don’t want to experience alone.  No therapist will believe you when you tell them your child was trampled by a throng of candy-starved 3 year olds so you’ll need eyewitnesses.  Plus, maybe your friends can push a couple egg-hoggers out of the way and grab an egg or two for your little one.
5.     Walk don’t drive- Parking is always a nightmare. I find that we typically are walking from our front driveway anyways so you should just leave the car and walk up.  And did I mention that we live past St. Catherine’s?  Yeah, still walk!
6.     Brush your kids up on their ninja skills- You think I am kidding? I’m pretty sure a 4 year old almost took me out last year; now imagine the damage a 6-year old could do!  I’m wearing my soccer shin-guards for sure.
7.     Do not visit the Easter bunny- I thought this would be a win-win for everyone. A consolation prize of sorts.  “Hey, I know you didn’t get any eggs but you can pose for a picture with a stranger.”  Shy kids always like that, right?  Last year, mine asked why he could see a person inside of the mask of the bunny.  I told him that the Easter Bunny ate little children that didn’t participate in the egg hunt so he could have enough energy to leave Easter eggs all over the world.  So, that could be why Knox didn’t want to sit on his lap, come to think of it. 

In all seriousness, this is one of my favorite events.  Fort Thomas does such an exceptional job with keeping up community traditions ranging from parades to pumpkin walks to this awesome all-community egg hunt.  It takes an army of volunteers to plan the event, stuff eggs, execute the event, and make sure that we as families have a fun and memorable time.  It is a lot to take in for young ones due to the crowds so be sure to prep them on what to expect, but it is a time well worth having.  I expect to see everyone there this Saturday and if you see my son on the bottom of a pile of egg-hunting children, he is strategically plotting his next move!  I’m sure he’ll be fine, right?

The Spring Egg Hunt is this Saturday April 19th, at 12pm at Tower Park.  1-3 year olds by the Mess Hall, 4-6 Year olds on the Baseball Field, 7-8 Year Olds on the Main play area. 14,000 eggs - 900 prizes- Face Painting-Refreshments- Pictures with the Bunny.  See you all there!

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