Monster X in Siouxland!

in background, the black treads of a large tire. in foreground, the words "MONSTER X in Siouxland" and "SiouxlandFamilies.com Facebook.com/SiouxlandFamilies"

Monster truck fans, get ready! Monster X is coming to Siouxland in summer 2020, and you won't want to miss out on the fun! Here's what you need to know if you or your kids want to get in on the action:

Siouxland Freedom Park

a close up view of the corner of an American flag is visible in the background. in foreground, the words "Siouxland Freedom Park" and "SiouxlandFamilies.com Facebook.com/SiouxlandFamilies"

Siouxland's most patriotic attraction is under construction, with new features added every time I check! Here's what to expect at Siouxland Freedom Park if you visit in July 2020: 

Visiting Badlands National Park with Kids

In background, a boy in a gray shirt and khaki bucket hat looks at an information panel at Badlands National Park, with rock formations visible in the distance. in front, the words " Visiting Badlands National Park with Kids" and "SiouxlandFamilies.com  Facebook.com/SiouxlandFamilies"

Many attractions, eateries, and other places are closed during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please check with individual businesses to make sure they are open before visiting, and take precautions to avoid spreading disease when possible. 

My family went on a road trip to the Badlands and the Black Hills in late summer 2019, and it was my first time ever going! I know for a lot of people in the Siouxland area, it's a popular vacation spot, and it wasn't hard to see why. If you're like me and you've never been before, or if you have been but maybe stick to the same few places every time and want to know more about the area, read on! I'm excited to share my insights based on our visit!

July 2020 Siouxland Family Events

In background, a light brown and pink inflatable donut float sits atop a bright blue swimming pool. in foreground "Siouxland Kids Events July 2020" and "SiouxlandFamilies.com Facebook.com/SiouxlandFamilies"

Looking for things to do in Sioux City? Every month, I bring you a list of fun events and activities for kids and families in our area. This month, I'm going to do that, but with a special twist in light of the unique times we are living through. While a few in-person events are beginning to be scheduled, many of these events are virtual and/or social distancing friendly, so you can enjoy them from your comfy couch, or dance along in your living room, or go on your own time when no one else is around! I'm also including some silly holidays from the National Day Calendar in addition to the big ones you probably celebrate every year. Don't feel obligated to celebrate them, but if you're looking for some fun things to do to liven up your day at home with kids, maybe they will inspire you!

Siouxland Fourth of July Fireworks & Fun

in background, three large bursts of fireworks appear against a black sky. in foreground, the words "celebrating 4th of July in Siouxland" and "SiouxlandFamilies.com Facebook.com/SiouxlandFamilies"

Fourth of July falls on a Saturday in 2020! While many of the planned celebrations have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is also lots of patriotic fun happening. Here's where you can catch fireworks and celebrate the USA this year: 

Siouxland Coronavirus Cancellations--UPDATED JULY 2020

a pastel watercolor background with the words "COVID-19 in Siouxland: What's OPEN and what's not" and "SiouxlandFamilies.com Facebook.com/SiouxlandFamilies" in foreground



In spring 2020 we saw over 20,000 cases of COVID-19 in Iowa, more than 15,000 in Nebraska, and more than 5000 cases in South Dakota, many of those right here in Siouxland. 
For medical information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC's coronavirus page or Mayo Clinic coronavirus page  

Wow, a lot has changed since I first posted this! When I first started this post, the nearest outbreak of COVID-19 was one family in Omaha! Now, we have seen nearly everything in our tri-state area closed to try to flatten the curve, and the number of cases skyrocketed higher than many people thought possible, yet mercifully lower than many of the projection models. 

I did a major update on this post in June 2020 and a small update in July 2020, and it will now reflect what is re-opening in our area! I will try to keep it up to date, so check back for updates, but I do not run any of these organizations, and I encourage you to seek out their individual websites and social media to confirm closings that affect you. Things are changing quickly, and this will probably be outdated very soon. 

Always Eat After 7pm Book Review Part 4

Tracking Pixel Tracking PixelThis book review post series is sponsored by Always Eat After 7pm: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight. You can find part 1 herepart 2 here, and part 3 here.

Always Eat After 7pm Joel Marion is a mostly gray book featuring a chicken sandwich with dark reddish brown bbq sauce and leafy greens with a sesame seed bun



This June, I've been trying out the diet system in Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion and I'm back for my final (for now!) update on how it's going. Based on surprising science, Always Eat After 7 PM debunks popular diet myths and offers an easy-to-follow diet that accelerates fat-burning and allows you to indulge in your most intense food cravings: Eating the majority of your calories at night. So for me, like previous weeks, there's good news and bad news. The bad news is that I didn't lose any weight, at all. The good news is that I do feel healthier, and I know that eating healthier will keep being good for me even if I never lose weight from it, although I hope at some point I will once I am stress-eating less. One of the best habits from the book, in my opinion, is eating berries and cherries when I want a sweet treat instead of candy and baked goods. I really love strawberries and cherries and I definitely feel like that is a habit I can stick with forever! 

Joel Marion says: 

Siouxland Summer Reading Programs

*This post was updated June 2020, and may be edited further as new events and details are released during summer 2020*
in background, leather books in many colors on a wooden bookshelf. in foreground, the words "Siouxland Summer Reading" and "SiouxlandFamilies.com Facebook.com/SiouxlandFamilies"


Summer is a great time to read, and our local Siouxland libraries do a great job of supporting summer reading with fun programs for kids (and sometimes for adults!) and in 2020, are getting creative with offering a variety of options to help families keep reading while also staying healthy. Here are some of the great summer reading programs happening in and around Sioux City for summer 2020:

Always Eat After 7pm Book Review Part 3

Tracking PixelThis book review post series is sponsored by Always Eat After 7pm: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight. You can find part 1 here and part 2 here

chocolate squares with nuts appear on a white plate in this image from Joel Marion's book Always Eat After 7pm
Doesn't this look delicious? This is ON the diet plan!!

This June I've been trying out the diet from Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion and I'm back with my third update on how it's going. Based on surprising science, Always Eat After 7 PM debunks popular diet myths and offers an easy-to-follow diet that accelerates fat-burning and allows you to indulge in your most intense food cravings: Eating the majority of your calories at night. The bad news is that I haven't followed it exactly and I haven't lost any weight yet (I'm sure those two things are related!) The good news is that I am eating healthy and I definitely think I have more energy for playing with my kids! And I have definitely been stress eating, and haven't gained anything from doing so, which I think is a win. 

I really love the recipes in the book, especially the fact that the entrees are so flavorful, like the bbq chicken, and that there are actually desserts that are on the plan, like the delicious chocolately almond bars in the pic above! The meal plan examples are also great so I can see what combination of things actually makes a reasonable portion size.

Visiting Mason City with Kids


*Disclosure: I received free cupcakes from Grandma Sugar's via the kind people at Visit Mason City!*

Have you ever been to Mason City? It's just a few hours away from us, which makes it a perfect weekend getaway for Siouxland Families, and I think it's totally underrated. Mason City is full of opportunities for family fun! Here's what you should know about visiting Mason City, Iowa with kids. 

Always Eat After 7pm Book Review Part 2

Tracking Pixel
This book review post series is sponsored by Always Eat After 7pm: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight

author Joel Marion, a muscular man with short blonde hair smiles while wearing a white athletic shirt against a white background
Author Joel Marion

I posted before about the book, Always Eat After 7pm: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight,  which I am trying to follow to lose weight and healthier. In the book, bestselling author, Joel Marion, is a fitness expert and nutritionist debunking the myths underlying traditional dieting and offers a simple, highly effective weight loss program. Today, I'm back with update #2 to let you know how my attempt to follow along with Joel Marion's system and lose weight is going, and to share more info about the author himself!

Summer 2020 at LaunchPad Children's Museum




I reached out to LaunchPad Children's Museum to find out more about their plans for summer 2020, and found out they have lots of exciting fun in the works for Siouxland kids, including a brand new subscription box program and tentative in-person events later this summer if circumstances allow! Here's what Siouxland parents should know about summer 2020 at LaunchPad Children's Musuem:

June 2020 Siouxland Family Events


In background, three brightly colored plastic kayaks sit in a lilypad filled pond. in foreground, the words "Things to do in Sioux City June 2020" and "SiouxlandFamilies.com Facebook.com/SiouxlandFamilies"

Looking for things to do in Sioux City? Every month, I bring you a list of fun events and activities for kids and families in our area. This month, I'm going to do that, but with a special twist in light of the unique times we are living through. While a few in-person events are beginning to be scheduled, many of these events are virtual and/or social distancing friendly, so you can enjoy them from your comfy couch, or dance along in your living room, or go on your own time when no one else is around! I'm also including some silly holidays from the National Day Calendar in addition to the big ones you probably celebrate every year. Don't feel obligated to celebrate them, but if you're looking for some fun things to do to liven up quarantine with kids, maybe they will inspire you!