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Welcome to Your Weekend: End of School-Year Life

School in Rockdale County and around the country is beginning to wind down. I have three children attending three different schools, so we are having plenty of fun with end-of-the-year picnics, ice cream parties, awards ceremonies and appreciation gifts for our fabulous teachers. This time of year brings mixed feelings for me. On one hand, I LOVE having my kids home for summer. They are my joy! We swim, eat outside, play in the sandbox, watch a lot of movies and generally just take a good kid break. On the other hand, it is the end of my school-year life. During my school-year life, I get my outside-job work done, go to the store with no children hanging on the buggy, clean the house, get the laundry washed and folded, do the dishes, and on a really special day, sit down (or walk around the house) with a cup of coffee.... all before the first child gets home from school. Summer means those days are a changin'. During the summer break I am an all-day child entertainer, argument breaker upper, toy putter backer, snack fixer, sunscreen slatherer, boo-boo kisser and teen carpooler. Although my job description changes during the summer months, I wouldn't have it any other way. I know in the blink of an eye these guys will be grown and I will be wishing I was spraying bug spray on little legs or grilling outside with a bunch of high schoolers. So when you see the tired parent in the grocery store with five sunburned kids in her buggy, sounds of voices begging for Captain Crunch, and Goldfish crackers flying everywhere, just give her a smile. She may need a little summer encouragement. And what will get us through these last couple weeks of school? Local activities! Let's venture out into the community and have some fun this weekend. Love a great Disney show? Head over to Gwinnett Center for a spectacular night of Disney characters on ice. If you want to get outside in the beautiful weather this weekend, try Suwanee Arts in the Park or Play Day at Adair Park. Arts in the Park provides art demonstrations, food and live music for adults and plenty of activities for the kids. Play day offers a fun-filled day of fitness and nutrition education along with sports and games for the whole family. And if you want to kick your fitness and fun up a notch, register for the Battlefrog Series Obstacle Course at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers. Designed by Navy SEALs, these obstacle courses provide a fun challenge for its participants. Children as young as 4 can play too!

Disney on Ice: Worlds of Fantasy
Friday-Sunday, May 15-17 various times
Cost: $25-95
Experience a magical Disney fantasy live on ice! Thrill to high-speed stunts as Lightning McQueen, Mater and the crew of Cars race across the ice! Dive into The Little Mermaid's enchanting undersea kingdom and enter the mystical world of Pixie Hollow as they reveal the magic that lies within. See Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie and the Toy Story gang escape from the rambunctious tots of Sunnyside Daycare and race for home, in their most daring adventure ever. The whole family will enjoy this magical performance with their Disney favorites.

Suwanee Arts in the Park
Saturday, May 16, 10 a.m.
Cost: Free
Join us for the 5th annual Arts in the Park. Festival-goers will enjoy music and art activities for kids and art enthusiasts will have the opportunity to see live art demos all day long. Situated at the beautiful Suwanee Town Center surrounded by upscale retail shops and restaurants, the festival complements a day of shopping for the whole family. The Chalk Walk Competition and live music will take place at the end of the festival.

Play Day at Adair Park
Sunday, May 17, 1 p.m.
Play Day is a free, fun-filled day of sports, fitness, nutrition, education, arts, and sustainable initiatives where local coaches and organizations come together to facilitate activities, drills and games for various sports. Everyone is invited to join the fun!

Battlefrog Series Obstacle Course
Saturday, May 16, 8 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Cost: $25 and up
This obstacle race series designed by U.S. Navy Seals is fun and fitness for the family. Come to the Georgia International Horse Park where ages 4 and up can run 3 distances, run more than 25 obstacles, see Navy Seal demonstrations and enjoy one unbelievable day!