Okay, so the coolest but simplest thing in Coeur d’Alene to do with kids has to be the Mudgy and Millie trail!
Does anyone know Wee Sing? I’ve had all kinds of Wee Sing products for my kids over the years. Turns out the co creator of Wee Sing, Susan Nipp, lives in Coeur d’Alene and loves Coeur d’Alene and came up with the idea for a cute children’s book while hiking through the forest overlooking the city.
This book is about a moose named Mudgy and a mouse named Millie. They are swimming in the lake and then they decide to play hide and seek. Mudgy Moose counts first. While he’s closing his eyes to count Millie Mouse climbs onto his antlers and hides there. Mudgy ends up walking all over Coeur d’Alene looking for Millie. He ends up back at the lake (but a different part of the lake) and goes for a drink of water. When he leans toward the water for a drink he sees his reflection, with Millie Mouse hanging from his antlers! Millie tumbles onto his nose and they look at each other and laugh and laugh.
It’s a super cute book, one I’d recommend even if you don’t live in Coeur d’Alene! My kids were smiling the entire time I read it. Especially Payson and Ember since it’s perfectly in their age range. Ember was just beaming with happiness through the story.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, aren’t I?
So I’d heard about Mudgy and Millie when we very first moved to Coeur d’Alene, when we still lived in the hotel actually. We’d gone on a walk at Tubb’s Hill by the lake our first week in Idaho and came across a statue of a moose and a mouse. We didn’t know Mudgy and Millie at the time but we thought the statue was cute.
Actually, here’s a photo from that first week:
Don’t judge the bad picture, it was almost totally dark when I took that with our point and shoot 😉
So I think I heard about the Mudgy and Millie book from the library the first time we went (also while still living in the hotel!) and made a mental note to do the trail as soon as I had my crap together in our new life. Turns out it took me three friggin’ months to get my crap together after moving here. haha!
So I forget who and when they decided to make the trail interactive with the book but they did by having Terry Lee make sculptures of Mudgy and Millie and put them around the city and near the lake in all the places Mudgy stopped when he was looking for Millie. At each sculpture there’s a big sign with information and a trail map and a page from the book! It’s just SO neat, you guys!!
And with ALL of that explanation over with, want to come on our journey with us? In photos anyway 🙂
We started at the library because we wanted to get a Mudgy and Millie book and they sell them there.
I told the kids the whole point of our adventure was to see all the cool things in Coeur d’Alene so any time they wanted a photo with something or to stop and spend time looking at something to just say so and we would. And they did 🙂
The first thing they stopped at was this statue of a construction worker. The plaque was a dedication and thank you to all the men, soldiers and construction workers and anyone else involved with building our great country. The kids took this very literally when we talked about it and even hugged the statue shouting, “Thank you so much for building this cool place for us!”
The first stop was where Mudgy Moose met some hikers finishing up the hike at the lake. This was the first statue we visited and the kids were super excited. They loved seeing a page out of the book printed on the sign and flipping the book open to find the same page!
Oh and as we were walking up I told them that I hoped Millie Mouse had a finger to her lips motioning, “Shhh!” because that’s what she did in the book when Mudgy talked to people and sure enough, she was and the kids were tickled!
Next we walked over to downtown Coeur d’Alene! We stopped for a photo by this cool wall because it was cool. haha
It was a beautiful day! We’d meant to leave earlier in the day so it was sorta cool out but with five kids we are always leaving at least an hour later than we planned. This day we left two hours later than we planned and it was a little warm by then. Not unbearable though. The highest temperature it got was only 79.
We stopped at a shop called Shenanigans when we saw their ice cream sign 🙂
It was really, really good ice cream! I got the kids a single scoop each for $3.25. Everett and I got baby cones for $1 each. One of my kids (who will remain nameless) wasn’t entirely happy in the shop when I wouldn’t let her/him get the bigger, more expensive cone.
Everett was in love with ice cream! It was the first time he’d had any and I was wondering how he’d react. I held the cone out to him and without a second of hesitation he took it and started slurping away. He LoVeD it! I asked him, “Do you like ice cream?” and he smiled huge and nodded cheerfully. SO CUTE!
He ate it in the funniest way! He held it upside down!
He’d been eating it like that for a couple minutes and wouldn’t you know that the very few seconds I take to snap some pictures this happens: (good timing!)
I put his ice cream back together, cleaned him up a bit, and gave it back to him and he was excited again and surprisingly to me he shared lovingly with Ember when she asked! It was just the very cutest.
The kids saw this dandelion sculpture on the way to the next stop and I told them to just look and not climb on it and guess what they did? We had to stop and have a talk about how kids who don’t listen to their mom will not get to do the rest of the trail 😉
The trail map says to walk around the marina and past the resort to get to the next place. So we did.
The kids were mesmorized by how deep the water under the docks were. I told them if they wanted to bend over for a look they needed to be sitting next to me. Legs and bums touching the ground.
Even with those rules, which they followed, it was nerve wracking looking back and forth between the older four who were free of the stroller (my kids are dare devils, I don’t trust them to not just randomly do some crazy action and fall in!) I said let’s move along after a few minutes.
There was this floating stage that my kids desperately wanted to walk and preform on. I told them they could walk calmly to the center and only the center. So they walked calmly out and then immediately one kid went straight to the opposite edge to look over. I had to yell from where I was, “Stop, stay in the center!” and the people eating on the deck above looked at us. Luckily they seemed far more interested in watching Ember’s poses than looking at me and my camera!
So I’m not entirely sure where we were supposed to go on that marina but we ended up at a dead end. An area gated off and locked. The trail map is extremely difficult to read (no street names or really any detailed information) so I just took us up and through the resort to get to the next spot. We stopped in the resort gift shop so I could buy an umbrella to cover Everett with. He wasn’t close to being sunburned but I don’t even like my babies to tan at all (and I didn’t have any of my organic sunscreen since I lost it in the move, need to buy more) so anyway, yeah. The resort.
We also bought some crackers and beef jerky at the gift shop (wait, is ice cream not a decent lunch?!) and ate those at the next Mudgy and Millie stop on Independence Point.
Independence Point is actually the last stop but we had already been there and I knew my kids would prefer our last stop to be City Park so they could spend time playing.
We were pretty darn sweaty by this time since we’d been out for 3 hours and 45 minutes (including our time in the library and stops around town) so we cooled off at the outdoor showers. (Don’t worry, we had lots of bottles of water I’d brought so we were hydrated!)
My kids were obsessed with all the sculptures around town. Next time we go downtown I’m going to sit them down before we leave the house and tell them that they can’t climb on the statues and sculptures! This particular sculpture was for sale. Only $45,000!
That ice cream shop we went to earlier in the day had toys as well. My kids of course found the stuffed animal section and begged, and begged, and begged, and BEGGED for toys. I answered the exact same each time any one of them asked if they could have a toy, “Of course. For Christmas.”
BUT Brooke’s birthday is in a week and a half so I did get her two small stuffed animals she wanted. She snuck them out of the bag to play with them a little bit while I took the picture of the other kids on the sculpture.
On the walk back to the library, where our car was parked, we took the route that goes through the downtown.
And when we spotted The Honeypeeps Sweet Shop we couldn’t resist going in to peek around. I told myself not to buy anything but we totally did.
And lucky we did take the route back to our car through the downtown because we finally found the Mudgy and Millie statue we’d been looking for. We had been very close to it the first time we walked downtown but had turned back around just before getting to where it is!
And finally we were back at the library!
The kids had spotted the Mudgy and Millie sculpture here when we first left the library and I’d asked them if they wanted to see this one first or last and they chose last. And I’m glad they did because this pretty grass area was a nice ending place 🙂
Here is the stuff we bought while on our adventure. I had planned on only spending money buying the Mudgy and Millie book. Ummmm, yeah, that didn’t happen.