The Parenting Place, located at 201 Franklin Street in Sparta, room 116, was sprinkled with sunshine, glitter, giggles and everything rainbow and green, for Friday’s Saint Patrick’s Day Family Fun Night. In the first event of its kind, since before the pandemic, families enjoyed a fun, safe and colorful way to celebrate, with food, games, arts and crafts, and a chance to play with friends, both old and new. “I wasn’t sure if anyone would come,” said Cara Anderson, of the Parenting Place.
But the doorbell kept ringing, as more and more families streamed in for the unique Family Fun Night. A quick glance over the sign-up sheet, at the end of the night, showed that at least 60 were in attendance, not counting those who forgot to sign in. At the height of the event, there were families playing in every nook and cranny, from the puppet stage to the play kitchen, the shamrock table to the race car floor, and more.
For this event, and throughout the year, there are areas to play with young children of varying developmental stages, from ages 0-3, and older siblings are also welcomed to come along. Big kids had fun helping, playing, and hanging out in the room next door, where guests could enjoy eating a rainbow cake, complete with a pot of gold, at the end. Kids also had a chance to build with sticks and marshmallows, do a scavenger hunt and enjoy a balloon toss.
This event was planned back in December. The date was chosen because, “It was a Friday, a no-school day, and St Patrick’s Day,” explained Cara Anderson.
“I saw a Parenting Place Booklet in La Crosse, and marked my calendar with their fun events, including this one,” said Maggie, mom of three.
Kaiyla Endres, also a mom of three, expressed her gratitude: “There aren’t really very many family-friendly events like this, on Saint Patrick’s Day. This is great!”
The Parenting Place plans to host more Family Fun Nights, like this one. The next Family Fun Night will likely be in May. Families can find more information, by following the Sparta Parenting Place on social media, or by picking up Parenting Place flyers that are distributed around La Crosse, Tomah and Sparta. They may also physically visit The Parenting Place.
The Parenting Place thanked the community and everyone who could come, for making the night a success. They also wanted to remind families that The Parenting Place offers a range of activities and services, from day care provider certifications to diaper donations, group and on-on-one parenting support, Friday parent chat groups-with childcare provided, muscles in motion on Wednesday evenings, open play on Mondays, and more.
They are open, in both Tomah and Sparta, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and are closed on Saturday and Sunday. In Tomah, they are located at 310 Elizabeth Street. Both places can be reached by phone, at 800-873-1768.
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