How to Keep Your Children Entertained During the Winter

Winter is coming – and I am not only saying that as an excuse to randomly quote the famous line from the Game of Thrones series. I am saying it because, as the bad weather comes upon us, there are fewer and fewer things that our kids can do. Or at least that is the impression we have, because they stop being able to spend as much time outdoors as they did over the summer or when the weather was better.

But the bad weather and winter itself don’t have to be mean that your kids will spend all day long inside playing video games or watching TV all day long, getting bored and out of shape. On the contrary, there are a ton of things that you can do inside and keeping your children entertained during the winter will prove to be not so difficult if you put some energy into it. And since you’re reading this article, you are definitely ready to do it!

Of course, I will start by telling you what we do here in our family – things that have worked nicely over the years and kept the kids happy. They are growing older and we have to come up with new ideas, but this is one of the challenges of parenting, and this is something that we absolutely love doing. There are many things that people know – which I consider common sense things and I won’t share them here – but some really work in our case and they’re definitely worth sharing!

So here are a few suggestions of my own on how to keep your children entertained during the winter:

1. As soon as fall hits, we start spending as much time as possible outside gathering fallen leaves. We try to get as many colors and shapes as possible and stockpile a ton of leaves. These will be extremely useful during the winter, but they also keep the kids entertained when collecting them. It’s slowly becoming a favorite activity, allowing the little ones explore the world, make decisions and then see their choices turned into entertainment later on (as we paint the leaves, glue them onto pieces of paper and create funny characters and use them to build mini forts or houses for fairies).

2. We consider winter to be a great season for expressing one’s creativity, so we use everything that we have on hand: from paper mache to drawing, painting, building (Lego or anything else), our home becomes a workshop for their creativity and they absolutely love it.

3. It’s also a good time to help them socialize while keeping a closer eye on them. We like hosting parties (nothing fancy at all, it’s basically just kids coming over to play). Let them spend as much time as possible in the company of their friends, and they will absolutely love it!

In our case, it’s getting a bit difficult because two groups are formed, since our daughter is 7 and our son is 5 and they usually prefer doing different things, but eventually the groups join forces and play together. It’s a joy to watch the young ones interact and learn together!

4. Family bonding time is also increased during the winter. Although I’m not usually the kind of parent that enjoys encouraging their children to watch TV (since I want them to be as active as possible), I can’t ignore the bonding time that it offers. Since during the winter we like just being lazy on the couch watching a family-friendly movie, we get the kids close, tuck them in and watch the movie together. It’s absolutely beautiful and we all love it, so one day per week is reserved to watching a movie. It’s easier as they grow older, since they actually start to show interest in these movies. Love it to bits and I’ll miss it so much when they’ll grow older!

In case you want some more actual ideas and all sorts of great suggestions, you can check out a couple of articles that are filled with activity ideas that you can perform with your kids during the winter: this article of Artful Parent (my favorite) lists 89 activities for kids, while Buzzfeed comes with some interesting suggestions of their own in their article.

So don’t let the bad weather keep you bored and upset. There are a ton of things that you can do, things that will prove not to only keep the kids busy and entertained, but the adults as well!

Wilson Reportedly Loses Le Bleu Expansion worth $1 Million

I’m not planning to normally talk about this type of news as I want the blog to be a great resource for parents in the region, but this is something that can potentially affect the next generations as well as our own. I say that because a $1 million investment in the area is definitely something big. And unfortunately, it seems that it’s not going to happen anymore.

I am talking about the planned Le Bleu expansion in Wilson which apparently has been canceled, according to reports from our local news blog, Wilson Times.

Apparently, the company did not manage to get safety approvals from the officials and therefore decided to look for options elsewhere and they found them in Fayetteville.

It seems that this will not have any effect on their existing distribution site at 3010 Meteor Drive, which will continue operations normally. However, the planned expansion to bottle water in Wilson – a project estimated at $1 million which would’ve generated at least 11 new jobs, seems to have been canned.

However, judging from the comments generated by this article, it seems that there was more than red tape and bureaucracy that stayed in the way of this business going through.

Brock Agee, which is apparently the CEO at LeBleu Central Distributors, Inc. (I say “apparently” because you never know in the online world of Facebook – even though based on my judgement the profile seems to be real), had some comments to make. He answered:

“This project was an absolute disaster, based on the anti-business attitude of everyone involved in this project from economic development, the inspections office and the Mayor himself.

Le Bleu has bottling equipment in the US and several other countries and we have never encountered such an unwillingness to work with a business to bring over $1,000,000 of investment and new jobs to an area. We were forced to pull this project to another location.”

This comes as a response to Wilson Economic Development Executive Director Jennifer Lantz, who said – according to the Wilson Times – that the inspectors couldn’t give the required approvals without drawings from the company.

However, Mr. Agee has a different side of the story, stating the following:

“Le Bleu provided engineered drawings 4 times to the inspections office stamped by an engineer. We were willing to comply with every upgrade to the building required for this project. These drawings cost my small company over $6,500. Jennifer Lantz says safety is their primary concern, what was unsafe? We were willing to do all request by the inspectors who repeatedly held up this project Never issuing us a permit.”

So, as it always happens in this type of occasion, there are two sides of the story. It’s up for the higher ranked people to sort this out and, no matter who is right and who is wrong, I personally consider this a loss for all the people in Wilson. Indeed a $1 million investment is always welcome and 11 new jobs at $15 per hour are still better than no extra jobs.

But deals fall all the time for all sorts of reasons. This is life.

List of Elementary Schools in Wilson County, NC

There is a total of 14 elementary schools available to parents residing in Wilson County, North Carolina. All these schools are safe and are fully staffed with teachers who love kids and will educate them to the highest degree.

The costs are also generally very low, yet the schools are generally in a really good condition and offer everything there’s needed for the kids to be safe, entertained and, most important, ready to learn a lot of useful things.

Below we have a complete list of elementary schools available in Wilson County, with some extra details about each of these schools. Remember that most of them have that “small town” vibe to them. Some consider this a con, but I consider it a pro because kids are in a cosier place, almost like in a family and not a school. But there are options, no matter what type of structure you prefer and you can check them all out below.

So without further ado, here are the elementary schools in Wilson County, North Carolina, listed in alphabetical order:

Barnes Elementary School
Official website
Address: 1913 Martin Luther King, Jr. Pkwy. East Wilson, NC 27893
School Hours: 8AM – 3PM
School on map:

Official philosophy and goals: “The staff and students at B.O. Barnes Elementary School believe the atmosphere of expectancy is the breeding ground for student academic success. Our school strives to promote academic excellence in all students regardless of race, economic status and/or background. Barnes Elementary also takes great pride in endless possibilities with team effort. We can and will develop productive citizens from our students with the spirit of expectancy and determination. Our goal is enforcing academics to the fullest and instilling good character traits in our students.”

Elm City Elementary School
Official website
Address: 5544 Lake Wilson Road Elm City, NC 27822
School Hours: 8AM – 3PM
School on map:

Official mission:

“- To help students become independent thinkers and doers
– To provide successful experiences which encourage each student to achieve his or her highest potential
– To instill worthwhile values which create responsible citizens
– To prepare students for challenges in today’s technological world.”

Gardners Elementary School
Official website
Address: 5404 NC Highway 42 East, Elm City NC 27822
School Hours: 8AM – 3PM
School on map:

Official mission statement: “The mission of Gardners Elementary School is to provide positive educational experiences that enable all students to achieve maximum potential and become responsible, contributing members of society and lifelong learners.”

Hearne Elementary School
Official website
Address: 300 W. Gold St., Wilson NC 27893
School Hours: 8AM – 3PM
School on map:

This is the oldest school in operation in Wilson County. It was initially known as Maplewood School, but later on the name was changed after former teacher Margaret Hearne. It’s also the first school in the district to host a Spanish Immersion program.

Official mission: “Our mission is to improve academic achievement for all students and to ensure that all students graduate from high school prepared for college, careers, and life”

Jones Elementary School
Official website
Address: 4028 Highway 42 West, Wilson NC 27893
School Hours: 8AM – 3PM
School on map:

Mission statement & Vision: “Jones Elementary School students and staff will become lifelong learners through rigorous and relevant instruction. We envision Jones Elementary School as a safe, nuturing environment dedicated to preparing all students for their future.”

Lee Woodard Elementary School
Official website
Address: 103 Church St., Black Creek NC 27813
School Hours: 8AM – 3PM
School on map:

About the school: “At Lee Woodard Elementary we strive to provide a nurturing and safe learning environment that promotes academic excellence and good citizenship. Students from Lee Woodard will attend Speight Middle School and Beddingfield High School.”

Lucama Elementary School
Official website
Address: 6260 Blalock Road, Lucama NC 27851
School Hours: 8AM – 3PM
School on map:

Official mission statement: “The mission of Lucama School, a positive, safe, professional community-supported school, is to build relationships and provide a respectful, creative environment by accepting and embracing all people and providing a variety of opportunities for each child to experience success.”

New Hope Elementary School
Official website
Address: 4826 Packhouse Road, Wilson NC 27896
School Hours: 8AM – 3PM
School on map:

Rock Ridge Elementary School
Official website
Address: 6605 Rock Ridge School Road, Wilson NC 27893
School Hours: 8AM – 3PM
School on map:

Official vision: “We believe that the future of Wilson County rests upon an informed and educated citizenry that is resilient and adaptable to a changing world. Our vision requires us to provide appropriate facilities, support services, and learning resources for all students. We must hire the most qualified teachers, administrators, and support staff members to prepare graduates to enter that citizenry as leaders and life-long learners. Our students, the living messages of the future, represent our commitment to supporting a high quality of living in Wilson County.”

Stantonsburg Elementary School
Official website
Address: 409 S. Main St., Stantonsburg NC 27883
School Hours: 8AM – 3PM
School on map:

Vick Elementary School
Official website
Address: 504 Carroll St., Wilson NC 27893
School Hours: 8AM – 3PM
School on map:

Vinson-Bynum Elementary School
Official website
Address: 1601 Tarboro St. SW, Wilson NC 27893
School Hours: 8AM – 3PM
School on map:

Wells Elementary School
Official website
Address: 1400 N. Grove Street, Wilson NC 27893
School Hours: 8AM – 3PM
School on map:

Winstead Elementary School
Official website
Address: 1713 Downing St. SW, Wilson NC 27893
School Hours: 8AM – 3PM
School on map:

Official mission statement: “To provide a positive, safe community supported school and establish a successful learning environment for all students by embracing meaningful relationships.”

The list is complete, but I am still working to gather all the data about the schools in the county. Check back soon for all the details, but I think that what I have offered still gives you enough to make an educated decision or research a bit more for the perfect school for your kids!

If you already have your kids enrolled at one of the schools listed above, please share your opinion in the comment section below: it will surely help other parents a lot!

Best Activities for Kids in Wilson, North Carolina

If you’re planning a visit to Wilson County, NC, chances are that you’re heading for Wilson. That’s the main city in the area and that’s where most of the fun activities for families will happen.

In today’s article, I will guide you through the top things to do in Wilson, NC – things that kids will definitely enjoy. But as adults, we love them too – even though some of them are becoming the norm for somebody living here.

But without further ado, let’s check out the best of the best our county has to offer in terms of activities with kids in Wilson, North Carolina!

1. Whirligig Park

Although not complete yet, it’s still worth a visit! And even in its current state, it can provide entertainments for little and older ones. Right now, you can check out some of the items which have been restored, but also visit the warehouse where the restoration magic is happening and experience it first hand. Really fun to watch!

Narrowing the line between art and science (and I would add entertainment), this is a must visit if you’re spending some time in Wilson with your family. Learn more about the park on its official page here. You can visit Whirligig Park Mon-Fri between 9AM – 8PM (no admission charge), although for the art outside, you can just pop up anytime you feel like seeing something cool!

2. Wilson Botanical Gardens

Open each day since sunrise to sunset, this beautiful botanical garden in Wilson delights visitors with a tree collection, different turf grass species, display gardens as well as bird and butterfly gardens.

This is a great place to go out for a picnic with the family and enjoy the 200+ species of plants the Wilson Botanical Gardens are home for. Admission is free and you can find out more details on the official website of the gardens (here).

3. Model Trains

You don’t have to be a model train fanatic to enjoy the beauty of this place. The piece de resistance is definitely the showroom where you can view an operating model train featuring more than 2,000 train cars and enough track to maneuver 60 locomotive engines. The Antique Barn and Hobby Shop is the place where you can check out these model trains, in a place that’s operating since 1965.

Visit the official page for details on how to get there and in order to find out more about this attraction.

4. Imagination Station

If you want to bring a bit of science to the schedule, the Imagination Station is a must see attraction in Wilson! Located in Historic Downtown Wilson, it is the home of more than 200 displays with tons of activities and fun things to do for the entire family.

Some of my favorites are the Honey Bee Observation Hive and the animal collection, while the little ones will definitely love the curiosity corner as well. For adults, but maybe also for kids grown in the Facebook era, the impressive collection of antique photos could be a great attraction as well. It really manages to get you in the thinking mood regarding the way people used to live in the past.

There are all sorts of events taking place there regularly, so you should keep an eye on their website for the latest news and events.

The Imagination Station in Wilson operates Tuesday-Saturday from 9 to 5, and on Sundays from 1PM to 4 PM. Children under 3 must not pay an entrance fee, but for everybody else, the ticket costs $5.

5. NC Baseball Museum

If your kids enjoy baseball, a visit to the Baseball Museum might be worth it. The museum is open Thursday to Saturday between 10 AM – 4 PM and Sundays between 1 PM – 5 PM. But it’s best to go there on game day and enjoy a baseball game at Fleming Stadium, the home of Wilson Tobacconists (and the place where the museum operates).

If you’re lucky, you can even meet some Wilson’s Hall of Fame players who will be more than happy to sign an autograph for you. Find out more on the museum’s official page here.

6. Wilson Rose Garden

Now this one is obviously an attraction that you shouldn’t miss if you’re in Wilson when the roses are in bloom… but not insanely entertaining otherwise. But you’re really up for a treat if you visit at the right time: there are over 1,000 rose plants there, all looking amazing. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise, since some of the varieties there are American Rose Selections award winners.

There’s also a picnic area for the family and unforgettable memories can be made there. So put this on your “to see” list on 1800 Herring Avenue.

These are the top things to see and do with your family when in Wilson, NC. The list is not as impressive as lists from larger cities are, but I guarantee that you’ll get a really unique feeling from most of these places.

Are other hidden gems in Wilson that should make our list? Let us all know by sharing your comments below!

Welcome to Wilson County Parents!

Hello parents and parents-to-be!

My name is Martha and I decided to launch this blog in order to create a glowing community of parents in Wilson County, North Carolina. The purpose of this website is to gather information and share it with you regarding family events in the area and eventually organize meet-ups for our kids to enjoy great company.

I am currently living in the Northern area of the country, in Elm City. We’re close to the airport and the Tar River Reservoir, but also Lake Wilson and all the great attractions in the area.

I am a young mother of two beautiful children: little Benny is 5 years old and his older sister Jenna is 7. We’re hoping to expand our family as soon as possible, so fingers crossed!

This is the first ever article on this blog and my first real attempt at becoming a real blogger. I played in the past a little bit with Facebook posting and writing on my own WordPress blog for friends and family mostly, so I am not an expert in any way.

But one day I had this vision of creating a community surrounding the Wilson Country area and here I am, jumping head first as always and hoping for the best. There are currently a ton of technical detail that I’m not getting, but I won’t give up too soon. Hopefully this blog will one day become a great resource for families in the area and the gathering point of new – and old – parents.

Thanks for visiting and stay tuned as I have many articles in the pipeline with some lesser known family attractions and tips!

xoxo,
Martha