It seems that even though my husband and I are HUGE bookworms, our 8 year old daughter struggles to share our enthusiasm sometimes. It's not that she doesn't like to read, because when she's into a book, she enjoys it. It's that she's an 8 year old who feel like she has better things to do, and gets lazy about reading.
Her school uses the Accelerated Reader, or AR, program, to test kids on reading comprehension, and each test rewards kids with points that accumulate throughout the year. The school sets a certain goal for each grade (The 3rd grade goal is 35 points for the school year, which in my opinion is really low, but I think it's so that it is achievable for all the kids. Most books are worth 0.5-3.0 points, but the bigger the book, the more points it's worth.) and when the students reach their goal, they get a t-shirt and are entered into book an prize raffles at an end-of-year assembly.
So we've started setting slightly higher goals for my girl, and she gets to choose what rewards she wants. When she reached 100 points, I took her shopping and to lunch at the mall. At 125 points, she got to go to an awesome locally owned paint-your-own-pottery place, called Missus Potts.
So for reaching 150 points, she said she wanted to go somewhere to eat that was fancy. She chose The Cheesecake Factory.
And since her earning 150 points coincided with the most awesome Doctor Who craft boutique ever hosted by Whimsic Alley in Los Angeles (brought to my attention by my good friend Kit, owner of Kit's Designs, who was vending there), I decided to take her to the Cheesecake Factory at The Grove in LA, about a mile from Whimsic Alley.
|My girl and me, in our Disney-Who mashup shirts. |
Mine is Rapunzel and the TARDIS, and hers is Merida and the TARDIS.
They're Karen Hallion shirts. Karen Hallion shirts are cool.
Also notice the TARDIS necklace, made by Kit's designs...
Even though we're still trying to instill that love of reading in our daughter, she's already a lover of all things geeky, especially Doctor Who and Harry Potter.
And, oh my, this store is HEAVEN for us nerdy types!
|Geeky T's! Love me some Firefly!|
You walk in, and it's like you're walking into Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter series.
It. Is. AMAZING!
There are all kinds of small shops inside, like a "robes" shop with clothes...
And a wand shop...
|The wand chooses you....|
|She's been chosen.|
And shops themed after Game of Thrones and Sherlock and Doctor Who.
Then you walk through a T.A.R.D.I.S. door, and IT'S BIGGER ON THE INSIDE you guys!! It leads into the great hall, which is a large banquet room that looks like the Great Hall from Hogwarts, and is available to rent for parties and such. They even have a Yule Ball at Christmas, and a Time Lords Ball.
And even though the place was super busy, partly because of the Doctor Who boutique/craft fair going on, and partly because people just like to shop there, the staff are all super friendly, and knowledgeable, and just really cool.
|Mommy in the phone booth....|
|Calling The Doctor...|
This is the kind of place worth taking a road trip to LA for, even if it's just for the day.
|Ready for flying lessons!|
|About to get a running start onto Platform 9 3/4!|
And if you do get a chance to go to Whimsic Alley, check out the little cookie bakery right next door called Milk Jar. Best cookies ever, served with farm fresh milk, in a milk bottle-shaped jar no less! You can even choose whatever 2 cookies you want (and they are huge!) and they will make you a custom ice cream sandwich with their own homemade ice cream.
Talk about a fantastic day trip, making sweet memories with my girl who is growing up way too fast.
We'll so be going back!!