Kid’s DIY Dr. Who costume for Halloween

This year Little J wanted to go trick or treating as the 10th doctor from Dr. Who. I tried to persuade him to go as the 11th doctor, the Matt Smith version, but no, he wanted to be the 10 doctor, David Tennant. I don’t have anything against Tennant, but the Smith costume would have looked soooooo cute with the bowtie and boots! Tennant is still awesome though, so I was thrilled to put together this kid’s Dr. Who Halloween costume for Little J. I’ve had a few people ask where we got his costume from, so I thought I’d break down all the pieces. I bought almost everything on Amazon, and please note, I’m using affiliate links below.

The coat:

I looked around for a kid’s trench coat, but it was hard to find one that was brown and for a boy. The coats meant for girls weren’t cut the way I needed. They were shorter and flowed out like an empire waist. So on the advice of a friend, I bought a kid’s lab coat on Amazon with the plan to dye it tan. I bought the Aeromax Jr. Lab Coat in 3/4 length in the Child, 4-6 size. Little J is on the smaller size for a 4 year old, so I figured it would be a bit big for him (it was), but I needed the coat to be long since that’s part of the entire Dr. Who look.

When it arrived, the length was perfect for Dr. Who, but the sleeves were too long, and the coat was a little wide. I cut the ends of the sleeves off by a couple of inches and sewed a new hem on them to make the sleeves shorter. I also gathered in the sides of the coat a little bit under the arms and sewed a new inside seam just for a few inches under the arms. This probably didn’t need to be done though; I don’t think anyone would have noticed one way or another. I used a sewing machine for all of that, but really it was such little sewing that it could have easily been done by hand. I also replaced the white buttons on the coat with brown buttons (the fabric dye didn’t affect the white button color at all, so they had to change).

Finally, I dyed the lab coat with Rit Liquid Dye. I tried the Camel color first, and that really wasn’t dark enough, so I dyed it again with a Rit Dye Powder in Dark Brown. This was the first time I’d ever dyed fabric, but it was pretty easy. You can find the dye at Walmart, Harris Teeter and Amazon. I bought a large plastic bucket from Lowe’s to dye the coat in and just followed the directions. The end result wasn’t a perfect color match for Dr. Who, but we were happy with it. More importantly, Little J was happy!

The suit:

I spent a lot of time online looking at a brown pinstriped suit and a blue pinstriped suit. The 10th Doctor wore both. This brown pinstriped suit looked amazing, but the size we needed wasn’t available for Amazon Prime shipping. I was worried we wouldn’t get it in time, so I started focusing on a blue pinstriped 3-piece suit and a 2-piece version of the same blue suit. Because of the cost, I ended up getting the Spring Notion 2-piece version, and it worked out well. Although the 2-piece had a vest, not a suit jacket, I don’t think the overall Dr. Who look suffered because of it, especially with a coat over all of the costume.

I bought Little J this French Toast boy’s long sleeved white shirt and this French Toast adjustable tie in burgundy (size 4-7). At this point, you can probably tell this wasn’t a cheap costume, and that’s true. One of my justifications though is that he now has a nice church outfit! He’ll be wearing his “costume” minus the coat on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

The shoes:

This part was easy. We had a pair of orange Chucks for him that we’d bought earlier this year at a Converse outlet store. They were still a little big as he’s meant to grow into them, but he fit them well enough that we could pull them out for this costume. Dr. Who actually wears cream or red Converse shoes, but the orange still really did the trick.

The accessories:

The 10th Doctor would not be the 10th Doctor without his sonic screwdriver, so that’s what we bought. Last of all, the Doctor needs his TARDIS, so I bought Little J a TARDIS tote bag to haul his candy in.

The hair:

For the hair, I literally just let my son grow his hair out for two months and used lots of gel in it and messed it up! If he had different color hair or it were shorter, I probably would have bought him a wig. And that was it! We had a few people who had no idea who Little J was dressed up like. We got Harry Potter, a lawyer, and vague “little gentleman.” But for the dozen or so times someone recognized him as Dr. Who? Totally worth the effort!!!

kids dr who collage

Did you make your little one’s costume this year? Did you make your own?

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A Family Outing: Port Discovery Children’s Museum

A few Saturdays ago, we visited the Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore for the first time. It’s not the cheapest place to visit. Besides the entrance fee, you have to pay for parking.

Ticket prices vary. As of September 2016, general admission costs $14.95 for ages 2 and up, but they have specials. For example, military personnel receive $2 off general admission for themselves and up to 4 guests. Also, if you have an IKEA Family Card, you can get 50% off one general admission ticket.

If you park in the Harbor Park Garage, which is next to the museum, ask the staff in the museum to give you a discount card to reduce your parking price to $15. I did check on Parking Panda the day before, and I found cheaper garages, but they were a further walk to the museum. Drivers in Baltimore (actually, pretty much anywhere in Maryland) do not stop for pedestrians, even when they’re in crosswalks and even though it’s the law, so I did not want to walk any further with Little J than I had to!

We started on the top floor of the museum and worked our way down. The Wonders of Water play area (closed Tuesdays for maintenance) and Tiny’s Diner were probably Little J’s favorite places to play.

Port Discovery
Little J and Big J building a plumbing system at the Wonders of Water play area. The museum has Crocs (cleaned daily) for people to borrow for this exhibit if they want. They had rain jackets for the kids too.
Port Discovery
Tiny’s Diner has play food, pots, pans, and trays for kids to play with.

Port Discovery
The play food looks realistic!

I felt like the museum did a good job of catering to kids of almost all ages, from crawling infants to upper elementary ages. There were some areas that may appeal to middle school students (like the indoor soccer “stadium”), but I think they’d be a bit old for most of the exhibits.

Port Discovery
In the Adventure Expeditions, you can wander around in 1920’s Egypt, decipher hieroglyphics and more.

The museum also has a quiet room called The Oasis. I think this is a great place for kids who are overwhelmed by all of the busyness in the museum. There’s even a nursing room inside of The Oasis!

Port Discovery
The Oasis has quiet toys, lots of books and places to sit and relax.
Port Discovery
There’s a Nursing Station in The Oasis too! You have to duck down a little to get into it. There are windows between the room and the rest of The Oasis, so moms can nurse their little ones and still keep an eye on older kids.

The pictures in this post were on my iPhone, but once I eventually get picture off my Nikon, I’ll put up another post with more photos. That post will include photos of Tot Trails, which is the more infant-friendly area, and BGE Studio Workshop, the craft area.

Something I really liked about the museum, they don’t let adults in unless the adult is accompanying a child. Also, the adults will have the same wristband code as the child or children. Before you can walk out of the facility with a child, security will match the child’s wrist band with yours.

We spent a few hours there, and Little J still wasn’t able to do everything, so I think it’s feasible to spend an entire day. They don’t sell food there, but they do have a sitting area where you can eat food you brought with you. You can also leave the museum to eat at one of the numerous restaurants within walking distance, and you’ll be allowed back into the museum with your wrist band.

Bottom line- our whole family had fun, and we’d do it again!

What fun places did you visit this summer?

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A Family Outing: Camping at Shenandoah National Park

The View
A view from one of the many lookouts in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Can you believe it’s 2016 already? I feel like this year has flown by. I probably say that every year, but I think the weirdly warm weather we’re having on the East Coast this year makes it feel even less like it’s winter. If you read my last post about camping with kids, then you know we started camping this year. We’ve gone three times- once with just our little family (me, Hubby and Little J) and twice with my SIL, her husband and kids. One of those two times was to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. We went during Labor Day weekend, and unless you have reservations (which go fast, months earlier), I wouldn’t recommend just showing up. That’s what we did, but it was risky. I took Thursday afternoon off from work, and we arrived at the Big Meadows Campground around dusk. We were able to get one of the last 5 spots. The other 4 were gone within 45 mins or so. People get arriving all day Friday and were turned away, because they didn’t have a reservation and there weren’t any first come, first served spots available. So we were lucky.

Tent Stuff
There’s always fun stuff to do around the camp site or nearby. We keep toys and games in the tent too in case of rain!

There are other campgrounds at Shenandoah, and some of them are exclusively first come, first served. Ours was the mostfamily-friendly campground. I say that because it had hot showers, laundry facilities and a camp store down the road with gear and food. Roughing it? Not exactly, but if you have three small kids with and-thistime- two dogs…having some luxuries available seemed like a good idea. We did end up going back and forth to that store at least once a day. We also made a trip down the mountain toWalmart once. That was about a 45 minute or longer drive one way, so I wouldn’t recommend doing that often if you camp at Big Meadows.

The sites themselves seemed nice. They have the typical paved spots with a bit of grass that work for either tents or campers. They also have tent-only sites, and we ended up in one of those spots. Each of the tent-only sites had a metal bear box to put your food inside and out of the reach of animals. To reach the tent-only sites, you have to park your car in a little lot and walk up a short trail to your site. It’s really not far at all -maybe 50 feet- but that makes it inconvenient to keep your cooler and food in your car, hence the bear box.

Outdoorsy Stuff
We had a chance to hike several trails including the famous Appalachian Trail. Bike riding on the path through Big Meadows was a blast too. And, yes, I might be wearing a fanny pack in one of those photos…

We didn’t see any black bears while we were there, but the park rangers and other campers told us about sightings. A park ranger at the visitor center down the road gave a talk about black bears. He said that if you see a black bear, don’t run! That’s the worst thing you can do. Just stand still, and if they get close, then make lots of noise, and it will scare them away. The kids were hopeful the entire weekend that they’d see bears but no such luck. We did see bear scat when we were walking on the Appalachian Trail, and it was interesting to see the berries inside the scat. Apparently the bear had been foraging on plants, which bears like to eat.

We went hiking on quite a few trails and rode our bikes on the paved paths. There was a playground at the nearby lodge that the kids played on a couple of times. There was a restaurant at the lodge at which we ate. I know…definitely not back woods camping. 🙂

There were deer everywhere. They’d even walk by our tents in the middle of the night! We also saw your smaller animals like squirrels, rabbits and lots of birds.

One thing worth noting…Hubby and I have AT&T as a phone carrier, and most places in the park we did NOT get a signal. We did get a signal at the lodge, and there’s also free wi-fi there.

Conclusion- the views at Shenandoah Park were beautiful; we had a great time; and we will definitely be going back!

Note: This is not a sponsored post, and the opinions expressed are my own.

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