Today I loaded up my children and our two house guests – Holland, 10, and Roman, 9, and headed to Jungle Jim’s in Fairlfield, Ohio. This 35-40 minute drive allowed us to travel the world in about 90 minutes. We visited Asia, Italy, Holland, Mexico, England, Germany and much more. We even saw Elvis and the singing Campbell’s soup can! The kids were super excited to see the Prize-winning restrooms that look like port-o-lets on the outside.
Before heading out, the kids teamed up and picked a dessert recipe. We then made a list of ingredients for each team knowing that when we got there they would search for their ingredients. Roman and Andi chose to make Italian lemon tiramisu and Joey and Holland decided to make a raspberry delight.
Holland and Roman had never been to Jungle Jim’s so they were excited when we pulled out front. They loved the waterfalls and characters out front. We were all disappointed though when we couldn’t find a handicap parking spot (Read Catching Up to see why we need a handicap spot) and discovered that most of the cars in those spots did not have handicap tags or stickers. I ended up dropping the four kids, ranging from 9 to 13, off in front of the store; parking the car and meeting back up with them. I actually counted on my way to the store and saw at least a dozen cars without tags in handicap spots. That was very upsetting to my 10-year-old who needs a walker and it made me think that the author of People I’d Like to Punch In the Throat should give those people a good punch!
Once inside, we started our hunt. It would be easy to spend hours in there with the incredible wine section, olive bar, cheese counter, bakery, pet area, produce department and so much more. In addition to featuring all the different countries, there is a garden area, bank, post office and cell phone store.
I allowed each kid to pick one fruit they had never tried. I believe we ended up with a banana mango, star fruit, some weird thing none of us can remember the name of and the dragon fruit. Each child was also given $2 to buy some type of candy or treat. The girls combined their money and the girls did the same. The girls picked Italian chocolate, I chose an orange German chocolate and the boys… well they picked gum balls.
We couldn’t find certain ingredients so we asked a worker in the isle near the olive bar. She didn’t know and told us to ask at the olive bar. The woman at the bar didn’t know and told us to go to the bakery. Now remember, this is not a small store and my son is using a walker. So we went to the bakery where we were able to find one item and told us what area the other item might be in. After asking the fourth employee we saw, we found the item. I do wish the customer service would have been better. We did have a map but it just labeled the departments.
On our way to the checkout we found bananas dipped in chocolate ice cream. I bought a box of 5 for $2.99 and it was completely worth it! They were so good and it was a nice cold treat to enjoy on the way home. I also grabbed a nice bone for puppy. She was very happy!
Our bill was about $90. I was a little shocked by this. We are making two desserts and just picked up a couple other items. We did have to get things like sugar, flour and vanilla extract, which definitely cost more there than they would have at Kroger. As soon as we got home, the kids started making their desserts. It was fun to watch them work together and enjoy cooking.
This is definitely an activity I would do again with the kids. However, next time, I will pick basic items up at the local grocery store and just purchase the unique items at Jungle Jim’s. I would also like to do the tour, which cost $5 each.
Overall, it was a fun activity for the kids and a great way to spend the day. Big thanks to Stockpiling Moms and Family Friendly Cincinnati for the idea. What unique activities do you do with the kids in the summer?