DSC_6549Ever heard of Mudgy the Moose? Neither had we. That is, we hadn’t heard of him until we started looking up ideas for things to do together as a family in Coeur d’Alene and discovered the lovable book about Mudgy, by Susan Nipp.

Mudgy is a (fictional, of course) moose who lives in Coeur d’Alene. He has a mouse friend named Millie. One day the two friends decide to play a game of hide-n-seek with one another wherein Millie agrees to hide first. Millie decides to hide in Mudgy’s antlers which, naturally, makes it rather impossible for Mudgy to discover her whereabouts. Eventually Millie is spotted, but not until Mudgy has traveled all over downtown Coeur d’Alene trying to find her.

Enter: tourists.

Susan Nipp wrote the story of Mudgy and then the City of Coeur d’Alene Parks Department and, more precisely, internationally acclaimed sculptor and native Terry Lee, created five bronze statues of Mudgy which which were then placed in various locations around the downtown area. You can pick up a map in town (or download it here) to discover where the five statues are then head out to explore the area with your children!

This is brilliant and we absolutely loved our experiences while looking for Mudgy with our kids.

We loved hunting for Mudgy and Millie over the 2 1/4 mile city trail. Our children range in age between 2 and 7 and each of them were excited to discover the Mudgy statues and were enthusiastic about finding them all (and in being the first one to spot them). Furthermore, their parents were thrilled to have a reason to walk the downtown area and have a chance to get to know the city a little bit without any complaints of sore feet or weariness. (We love walking new-to-us places, but asking the 2 year old tot to do the same can have somewhat unpredictable results.)

This trail is brilliantly (I know I keep using that word but it fits!) spread out to take you through the downtown shopping district where we took breaks by stopping in at Shenanigan’s Toy Emporium & Sweet Shop (where we picked up a bag or two of salt water taffy, including some sugar free flavors!), and Figpickles Toy Emporium (which is hands down the best toy store that we have ever been to in our entire lives). I took a picture of the children’s picture book section because I thought it was so imaginative and magically put together.

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We picked up a copy of Mudgy & Millie to take home as a souvenir at Figpickles and have enjoyed reading it several times over and reminiscing over our family vacation to Couer d’Alene. One more thing to note in regards to Figpickles is that they have a small children’s carousel (seats 3 at a time) in the back of the store which our kids enjoyed riding. As we had made a purchase, the kids rode for free.

Of course, no children’s vacation can be considered complete without a trip to a local park. Couer d’Alene boasts two extremely nice play structures which our children enjoyed equally well. City Park is the larger of the two and is tucked away into a wooded area and surrounded by a lovely walking trail. It overlooks the lake, boasts a strip of beach for you to play in some sand if you like, and overall feels very safe and clean.

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The entire tour of Coeur d’Alene in search of Mudgy and Millie took us the better part of a morning. We started out around 9 a.m. and finished close to the noon hour. That included plenty of time for a leisurely stroll, a little bit of shopping, and the ability to familiarize one’s self with the town. This outing held plenty of appeal for our children. We thoroughly recommend your grabbing a Mudgy & Millie map and heading off to explore!

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Just a little side note: if the name of Mudgy’s creator, Susan Nipp, sounds familiar it might be because she is the co-creator of  Wee Sing. How cool is that?

If you are planning a trip to Coeur d’Alene, might we suggest a few additional things for you to check out?