Family Fun Reviews Archives - My Sweet Sanity
Family Fun Reviews

Dancing is the Best Medicine with Just Dance: Disney Party 2

by Jennifer Wieland
Just Dance: Disney Party 2 is now available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U systems.

 My daughter loves to dance! You can always find her listening to some new song and making up a dance routine to go along with it. Since she loves to dance so much she is a HUGE fan of the Just Dance video game franchise.She also just so happens to be a lover of all things Disney, so the Just Dance: Disney Party 2 game was something she really wanted.

Just Dance: Disney Party 2 is now available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U systems.

One day last week my daughter came home from school cranky and in a bad mood. That’s just not like her. She is usually very bubbly and excited to tell me all about her day. Then I noticed her nose was a little runny and I realized that the ups and downs of our weather temps had set off her allergies again.

Just Dance: Disney Party 2 is now available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U systems.

 

Once I showed her the surprise I had in store for her, the Just Dance: Disney Party 2 game she perked up pretty darn quick! We’re talking jumping up and down and squealing while begging to play immediately.

Just Dance: Disney Party 2 is now available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U systems.

Moving, grooving and twirling to the moves of the game were most definitely a hit with my daughter! Just Dance: Disney Party 2 features more than 20 tracks from the hottest Disney Channel hits, with songs from movies like “Descendants” and “Teen Beach 2” as well as shows like “Girl Meets World” and “Liv and Maddie.”

Just Dance: Disney Party 2 is now available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U systems.

 

She’s been through all of the songs and dances but her two favorite ones are Better in Stereo from “Liv and Maddie” and Can You Feel It? from “Austin & Ally”. I have to confess that even I have been getting my groove on with her playing this game.

Just Dance: Disney Party 2 is now available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U systems.

Just Dance: Disney Party 2 is now available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U systems.

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 


Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Musical in Chicago

by Jennifer Wieland
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Musical
I have received tickets to attend this event with my family. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

If you’re like me you grew up watching and singing along with Alvin and the Chipmunks and their little, female counterparts the Chipettes. Now, with the resurgence of these lovable little characters there have been new movies, shows and music for our kids to fall in love with too. There’s now even an ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE MUSICAL to go see. This weekend your favorite chipmunk trio will be heading to the Rosemont Theater for two days of performances packed with music, fun and humor the whole entire family can enjoy in the ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE MUSICAL.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Musical

 

The Chicago performances are Friday, November 20 at 2 p.m. and Saturday, November 21 at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tickets ($25  $75) are on sale now and available at ticketmaster.com, or by calling (866) 448-7849. For groups of 10 or more, visit www.grouptix.net or call (773) 327-3778 for discounted tickets. Not in Chicago? Don’t worry there are still plenty of cities left on the tour in the U.S. and Canada. To find one near you head here. 

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE MUSICAL is filled with the music and excitement of a live rock concert as the Chipmunks perform hits by One Direction, Maroon 5, Carly Rae Jepsen, Elvis Presley and more. A brand new original song, “Are You Ready for Chipmunks?,” is also included in the high-energy show and is available to listen to at People.com.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Musical

The Chipmunks will only be in town for two days! Don’t miss your chance to share this with your kids!


Fashion Outlets of Chicago – A Girl’s Shopping Dream

by Jennifer Wieland
Fashion Outlets of Chicago - A Girl's Shopping Dream

 

 

I recently got an invite to come and check out the Fashion Outlets of Chicago, an award-winning 530,000 square-foot shopping center that’s complete with 130 designer outlets, an eye-catching contemporary art collection and high-end amenities that will leave you asking where has this shopping experience been all of my life?

Fashion Outlets of Chicago - A Girl's Shopping Dream

Walking in there is no dull and drab decorations that are standard fare at most shopping outlets. There are bright, bold and vivid displays of color and pattern found throughout to grab your attention and take your trip from just shopping to an extended visual feast. Fashion Outlets of Chicago Children's Wing

The shopping has something for everyone. From kid’s stores to high-end retailers you will find just what you are looking for at great prices. The layout of Fashion Outlets of Chicago is also unique in that they took families into consideration. Busy parents can make shopping easier by parking by and entering the mall at the children’s wing. That’s right, they have a children’s wing that has family friendly retailers that include the Disney Outlet, Oshkosh B-gosh, Stride Rite and the Gymboree Outlet to name a few. This way families can pop in and get what they need for the kids without having to trudge through an entire mall to go to a handful of stores.

Fashion Outlets of Chicago Food Court

Another advantage to the children’s wing is that it is right next to the food court. The food court is a bright and clean area that is inviting and filled with a good selection of food options. Chicago Burger Company, Chicken Now, China Max, DJ’s Taco Bar, Freshii, Haagen-Dazs, Little Tokyo, Maoz Vegetarian, Sbarro, South Philly Steak and Fries and Wetzel’s Pretzels round out the food fare in the food court. The food court also houses a family-friendly area in the back where kids can ride on some coin operated ride on machines. 

Fashion Outlets of Chicago Sweet Treats

Regular food court fare not going to cut it? Do you need something sweeter or with a jolt of caffeine to see you through an in-depth shopping trip? Never fear, Fashion Outlets of Chicago has you covered with three candy stores. Lindt Chocolates, Godiva Chocolatier and Lolli and Pops can cater to any sweet tooth you may have. If caffeine is your thing you can grab a drink at Starbucks or the only Lindt Bar in the country. That’s right cover your sweet tooth and your need for caffeine with a drink made with Lindt Truffles. Fashion Outlets of Chicago Concierge Service

The Fashion Outlets of Chicago takes customer service to a whole new level with their Concierge Services. No basic customer service here. No, they go above and beyond by making restaurant reservations, checking coats and their “Text Concierge” program which allows shoppers to text representatives questions. Since the Fashion Outlets of Chicago is right by O’Hare airport visitors who are on a layover can pass the time shopping and dining. Through a partnership with Go Airport Express you can access shuttles between the airport’s terminals and Fashion Outlets of Chicago. The shuttles also work to transport the center’s shoppers to and from downtown Chicago hotels. TSA-certified BAGS Inc. has partnered with Fashion Outlets of Chicago so that travelers have luggage held, print out boarding passes and even get your bags checked for your flight on site at the center. Did you just fly in from overseas and want to kick off your trip by doing some shopping or grabbing a bite? No problem there, international travelers can use the currency exchange and translation services. 

Ready to do some fall shopping or maybe you need a girl’s day out. Then visit the Fashion Outlets of Chicago website for more information on stores, hours and services or use the “Text Concierge” service and ask a representative any questions you may have at 847-957-4600.

 

 


Hallmark Northpole Toys – Add New Holiday Traditions

by Jennifer Wieland
Hallmark Northpole - Once Upon a Christmas book & Follow Me, Santa Snowflake #NorthPoleFun #CollectiveBias
This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

I think most people would agree that Christmas time is a magical time of joy, happiness and family traditions. Ask any family that celebrates Christmas and they can all tell you at least one tradition that their family follows every single year to make their holiday season that much more special. Some people have very specific ways they decorate their trees, others love to sing carols, some write letters to Santa or watch a favorite movie and the list goes on and on from there. This year Hallmark is trying to help you add to your traditions with some fun toys based off of the new movie they have coming out called Northpole. On November 1st Walmart will be carrying an exclusive line of  toys from Northpole brought to you by Hallmark so you can add some new traditions this year.

 It may be the end of October but like many other children Christmas is already on my kids’ minds. So when I received some the Once Upon a Northpole Christmas book, the Find Me, Santa Snowflake and the Northpole Communicator my group was excited. These will definitely fit nicely into our Christmas traditions and add a new one too.

Hallmark Northpole - Once Upon a Christmas book & Follow Me, Santa Snowflake #NorthPoleFun #CollectiveBias

Every year we spend an evening decorating the tree, waiting to turn the lights on until everything has been placed. We love adding new ornaments to our tree each year and the Find Me, Santa Snowflake is going to be a perfect addition this year. With a press of a button it lights up changing colors to let Santa know where you are. There is even a spot to write your name(s) on it so Santa knows just who he looking for.

Hallmark Northpole - Once Upon a Christmas book #NorthPoleFun #CollectiveBias

We follow-up our tree decorating with some Christmas stories and carols to really get everyone into the Christmas spirit. This year we will be adding the Once Upon a Northpole Christmas to the mix. My seven-year old has already been practicing reading it so he can do a good job when we decorate the tree.

Hallmark Northpole - Northpole Communicator #NorthPoleFun #CollectiveBias

This year we get to add an exciting new tradition that I have to tell you my kids are ridiculously excited about! We have a Northpole Communicator and starting December 1st we will get to talk to the Northpole. They can reach us and we can reach them as well. Each day leading up to Christmas this will happen and my daughter keeps checking in with the Northpole to see if it’s time. This one is going to be loads of fun for us and I just love anything that makes the kids giddy at Christmas!

Hallmark Northpole - Northpole Communicator #NorthPoleFun #CollectiveBias

Are you a Hallmark fan? Maybe you just want to add some new and fun holiday traditions to your season this year with #NorthPoleFun? Enter below and you can win a Hallmark Northpole gift pack!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 


Our Day Out With Thomas Trip

by Jennifer Wieland
Day Out With Thomas: The Thrill of the Ride Tour 2014

This weekend we had the chance to attend the Day Out with Thomas Event at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois. The kids were so excited about going to this and as the day approached the excitement level grew and grew. My ten-year old Luke is a hardcore Thomas fan and has been since he was little. For him going to this was a dream come true. He is Autistic as I mentioned here on the blog before and through Thomas he has learned to express and read emotions better. He will gladly talk for hours to anyone willing to listen to him all about Thomas and all his steamy and diesel friends. This has been a great help in him learning to communicate with others. My seven-year old and five-year old children also like Thomas thanks to their big brother. So on Saturday the kids happily loaded into the car and we drove out to Union to meet Thomas face to face and take a ride on him for the first time ever!
Day Out With Thomas: The Thrill of the Ride Tour 2014

We got stuck behind a car accident on our way out to Union, Illinois which was already 1.5 hours drive from our house but ended up being longer due to the car accident ahead of us. When we finally arrived at the Illinois Railway Museum we had half an hour before our scheduled train ride on Thomas so we headed straight over to get in line.

Day Out with Thomas: The Thrill of the Ride Tour 2014

It was a good thing we did go right over to the Thomas line because we were able to get in line for the first car directly behind Thomas. I have to commend the Illinois Railway Museum for how easy it was to locate everything. There was clear signage showing you where to go for what and all of the tents with activities and such were clearly labeled.

Day Out with Thomas: The Thrill of the Ride Tour 2014

I have to admit that when my 10-year-old saw Thomas he was nervous. His anxiety kicked in a bit until we were seated and the train began to move. While on the train each of the kids received a Junior Conductor certificate from the train conductors. They do also take family photos that you can purchase on the train.

Day Out with Thomas: The Thrill of the Ride Tour 2014

After the train ride we spotted this great banner that had Thomas, Percy and Rosie. These are the trains that each of my kids like best so it was fun to get a picture of them next to their favorite train. There were several different banners perfect for photos throughout the event.

Day Out with Thomas: The Thrill of the Ride Tour 2014

We then headed over to the tents. In one of the tents you were able to hear stories and watch videos and in the next tent you were able to get all sorts of tattoos of Thomas and his friends, color and play with some of the Mega Blocks and Trackmaster Thomas toys.

Day Out with Thomas: The Thrill of the Ride Tour 2014

The absolute favorite tent was the Gift Shop tent. It was filled with tons of Thomas merchandise! They had a huge selection of Thomas Wooden Railway toys and had many clothing and home items that were specific to Day Out with Thomas or that I had never come across at any stores.

There was another tent that had a magician performing and another one that had a really large model train setup inside of it. The kids and I were all fascinated by that one. So much so that I totally forgot to snap some pictures. My son already has the Lionel Thomas model train and now wants two other ones as well.

Day Out with Thomas: The Thrill of the Ride Tour 2014

All in all it was a great day with lots of entertainment and everyone had a great time. There were plenty of food and drink vendors on hand to help beat the hot, humid weather and all were reasonably priced. If you have a little Thomas fan in your house and want something fun for the whole family to do then be sure to snag your tickets to Day Out with Thomas: The Thrill of the Ride Tour 2014. Thomas will be here in Illinois still this weekend so head here to get your tickets. Don’t worry though if you aren’t in Illinois, Thomas is still going to be traveling the country and there are plenty of other cities he will be chugging into. To find out if he will be in a city near you and to order tickets head here

 

 


Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm Review

by Jennifer Wieland
Siegel's Cottonwood Farm

I received four tickets to Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions in this review are solely mine though.

My family and I recently had the chance to visit Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm in Crest Hill, IL. The land there has been farmed by the Siegel family for four generations and they have been doing this since 1909. With your paid general admission to the farm you get access to over 20 different attractions. We went for the Pumpkin Fest and this is a rare chance to go to a working farm and pick your pumpkin right form the vine. 

We went on a weekday afternoon when the kids had a half day so it was not crowded when we went. This worked out well for my group. They did not have to wait in long lines to get a turn at something. I know the weekends are much busier but even with that there is so much to do at Siegel’s that your kids will enjoy it.

Siegel's Cottonwood Farm

We started our visit at the petting zoo. My kids love animals and this petting zoo did not disappoint. It had way more than the usual goats, llamas and sheep. There were chicks, chickens, pig, cow, bull and ducks. There was even one wily, little baby goat who kept managing to escape the cage, much to the delight of all the kids there that day.

Siegel's Cottonwood Farm

They have a lot of animatronics at the farm which engages and entertains the children. My kids being the tech junkies they are loved all of them because robotic things are cool. There were plenty of physical activities for little ones to burn off energy on. From bounce houses, to giant slides, to climb on spider webs and more. The rides were fun and they had things geared toward kids of all ages. This included two train rides. One for very small children and one for bigger kids and adults. There was also the hayrack ride which was nice. The kids absolutely loved the kid’s corn maze that featured the story Spookley the Square Pumpkin. The kids loved having to find the next page of the story by going down the correct path. I like that my early readers were getting some practice in while having fun. There is a much larger corn maze but for that one children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Siegel's Cottonwood Farm

My only complaints about Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm was that the extra activities that were not included were not marked as such. There were two large bounce pillow like contraptions that kids were on and my kids decided to run up to it like other kids were doing. They were all stopped and told they needed to pay. There was a teenage kid there with a box who gave two different prices which were high considering all of the other bounce items were free. There was no posted sign with pricing. My other issue was that the Spookley corn maze was rather muddy and we hadn’t had any rain when we visited. It was so muddy in fact that my umbrella stroller was a casualty of it. We lost a wheel and I had to pitch the whole thing while we were still there.

Siegel's Cottonwood Farm

Overall this is a fun family activity that I would recommend . Food and drinks can be purchased and if you go on the weekend they have even more activities available. If you do not want to pick your own pumpkin form the field they have ones available in tons of sizes for you to grab at the checkout or in other various locations.

Be sure to check out the exclusive coupon available to US Family Guide and My Sweet Sanity readers here.

 

 


Exploration Station Review

by Jennifer Wieland
Exploration Station Collage

I received four passes to Exploration Station for the purpose of review from US Family Guide & Exploration Station. However, all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.

This past weekend my kids and I were invited for a visit to the Exploration Station in Bourbonnais, IL. This is a children’s museum that is run by the park district in a 10,000 square foot facility on the grounds of Perry Farm Park. When you arrive for your visit the front counter already lets you know that this is going to be fun for the whole family. The front desk is a train and while mom or dad are paying for entry the kids can climb into the engine or caboose and start their hands-on play. My children love trains so this was a big treat for them.

Front Desk

The museum had so many fun exhibits that I had kids running in different directions constantly. This is not a bad thing though. It means the museum does a great job engaging both boys and girls and children of all ages. The museum has a good variety of exhibits and my kids all had their favorites. My four-year-old daughter loved the Shop-A-Lot Market and Paleontology Center. My six-year-old son’s favorites were the Wreck Resort Car Care Center and the Art Area. My 9-year-old son absolutely loved the Medieval Castle Room and the Illumination Room. Honestly, I agree with him too. Those were my favorites as well. We had fun writing things and drawing pictures for each other in the Illumination Room and the Medieval Castle Room was very detailed. It was a multi-level castle complete with dungeon, dress-up, concerto hall, fishing pond and dragon. All of the kids enjoyed the Live Animal Room and I like that the hallways and exhibits all contained educational information too.

The cost to visit the museum is very reasonable. They do have membership options available and birthday party packages. They do have a small display to purchase souvenirs and they were all VERY reasonably priced. My daughter got a stuffed unicorn and a princess ring and the boys each got a foam sword and our total was under $13. Be sure to print the buy one admission get one 50% off coupon.

Exploration Station Collage

My kids had such a good time we are going to head back in a week to go to the Sleepy Hollow Village they are having for Halloween. It is running this weekend and next and you can buy tickets for a Sleepy Hollow re-enactment and haunted hayride. My kids were excited to hear all about this and to get another chance to visit the museum again. There is more information on the Special Events Page.

The kids cleaningI had to include this picture. This is the first time they have all cleaned simultaneously.


Top
Theme by Selim Alvele | Copyright 2017 My Sweet Sanity | Powered by WordPress | 84 queries in 0.517 seconds.
WordPress Backup