Kid Friendly Archives - My Sweet Sanity
Kid Friendly

Rage of the Gargoyles a Virtual Reality Experience at Six Flags

by Jennifer Wieland
Six Flags Great America Rage of the Gargoyles Virtual Reality Roller Coaster #RageoftheGargoyles #ad
Thanks to Six Flags Great America for inviting us out to try Rage of the Gargoyles!
Six Flags Great America Rage of the Gargoyles Virtual Reality Roller Coaster #RageoftheGargoyles #ad

Photo courtesy of Six Flags Great America.

I am a huge roller coaster fan! The speed, the drops, the loops and the feeling of weightlessness make for a fun and intense experience! Six Flags Great America has decided to amp up one of their long-standing roller coasters, the Demon, with Rage of the Gargoyles a Virtual Reality experience.

Six Flags Great America Rage of the Gargoyles Virtual Reality Roller Coaster #RageoftheGargoyles #ad

Photo courtesy of Six Flags Great America.

The Demon was one of the first roller coasters I ever rode. It has all the loops, drops, speed and corkscrews that make a ride intense. The Demon is celebrating its 40th birthday this year and as an older coaster though so there are newer coasters that are faster and have higher drops now. So how do you take that and make it more intense to keep up with other rides? Why you add the option of a Virtual Reality headset and a fun and interactive virtual reality game called Rage of the Gargoyles. Rage of the Gargoyles is the world’s first fully integrated-integrated Virtual Reality gaming coaster experience featuring Samsung Gear

Six Flags Great America Rage of the Gargoyles Virtual Reality Roller Coaster #RageoftheGargoyles #ad

Photo courtesy of Six Flags Great America.

In Rage of the Gargoyles you are a pilot in a helicopter and have to destroy the gargoyles coming at you from all different directions before they can attack. At first all you need to do to shoot is move your head to aim and take fire as the ride progresses you need to tap the side of virtual reality goggles to fire. That means letting go with at least one hand which may be easier said than done for some.

Six Flags Great America Rage of the Gargoyles Virtual Reality Roller Coaster #RageoftheGargoyles #ad

Photo courtesy of Six Flags Great America.

If you are under the age of thirteen or just not a fan of Virtual Reality you can still ride the Demon. You can see in our video below that my son and nephew were to young for headsets and rode the ride the traditional way while my niece and I tried out the new Rage of the Gargoyles Virtual Reality experience.

 
 
  

Are you a fan of roller coasters? Would you be willing to ride one without being able to see where you are going?

 

 

 


Save Big on a San Diego Beach Family Vacation This October

by Jennifer Wieland
Save Big on a San Diego Beach Family Vacation This October!#KidsFreeSD #ad

 

I know summer is winding down and most of us are in back-to-school mode. Just because the summer is winding down though doesn’t mean there’s not still a chance to fit in a fall San Diego beach family vacation. Plus, I’m going to share with you how to stretch your dollar farther with five ways to save big in San Diego with kids.

Save Big on a San Diego Beach Family Vacation This October!#KidsFreeSD #ad

San Diego is a great family vacation destination! I know when I went with my family growing up that it was one of our all time favorite trips. From the beautiful sites, great weather, the ocean and other family fun activities we all found so many things to enjoy. Now, after a trip I went on to San Diego last year for the blog I realized once again how much I love it there and want to take the kids there to enjoy too.

Save Big on a San Diego Beach Family Vacation This October! #KidsFreeSD #adHit the Beach

You can’t go to San Diego and not hit visit th beach! The beach is a great way to relax, unwind and have some fun with the family all while being completely free! If your like me then free is definitely in your budget! Save Big on a San Diego Beach Family Vacation This October! #KidsFreeSD #ad

Museum Free Days

The San Diego Museum Council invites kids to explore San Diego’s diverse museums – for Free! From October 1-31, children ages 12 and under receive free admission with a paid adult (limit 2) at more than 40 museums! Save Big on a San Diego Beach Family Vacation This October!#KidsFreeSD #ad

Free Kids Admission at Sea World & the San Diego Zoo in October

Two of San Diego’s most popular family attractions just get better this October!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Sea World – Kids FREE Single-Day Admission, Kids FREE Dolphin & Beluga Interaction Programs, Kids Eat for FREE at Breakfast & Dine With Shamu — SeaWorld San Diego only Save Big on a San Diego Beach Family Vacation This October!#KidsFreeSD #ad

San Diego Zoo – Maximum 10 children free per each supervising adult at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park Valid for children 11 and under. Coupon not required for free kids entry. Save Big on a San Diego Beach Family Vacation This October!#KidsFreeSD #ad

Travel a Scenic Route via Amtrak Train

Kids love trains and this October Amtrak is making it easy to see the sites in San Diego with free kids fares.On the Pacific Surfliner, one child ages 2-12 rides free with each adult rail fare purchased for travel to and from Oceanside, Solana Beach, Old Town San Diego and San Diego Downtown station. You can travel from San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Fullerton, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine and San Juan Capistrano. On the train, your family can relax, enjoy the views and have a bite. And with free Wi-Fi®, connect your mobile device and get the latest Kids Free offers.

Save Big on a San Diego Beach Family Vacation This October!#KidsFreeSD #ad

Stay at a Hotel or Resort Where Kids Eat Free

Food expenses are often one of the costliest components to a vacation. Being able to cut out some costs with hotels that offer kids eat free options is a great way to save money on food and have more funds to use on sightseeing and souvenirs.

Save Big on a San Diego Beach Family Vacation This October!#KidsFreeSD #ad

Visit the SanDiego.org website and learn all you need to know to plan the perfect San Diego beach family vacation for your family this October!

 

 

 


St. Louis – My Five Favorite Things to Do

by Jennifer Wieland
St. Louis - My Five Favorite Things to Do #FunnestFamily


 

I bet for a lot of people out there St. Louis has never popped into your head as a must visit place when planning your family vacations. Not there is anything wrong with St. Louis but more often than not I think people plan trips to Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Orlando when thinking about family fun. Oh sure, sometimes other locations in the United States might pop into your head but is St. Louis one of them? If it’s not it should be because St. Louis is a vacation spot that guarantees family fun with great things to do.

Living in the Chicagoland area most of my life I have been to St. Louis. It’s a pretty standard road trip that most people here do at least once. My first time was as a kid with my parents. It was so much fun and we made so many fabulous memories on that trip that I actually remember more about that trip than I do about some pricey well-known trips that we went on. I’m such a fan of St. Louis that I’m going to let you in on a little secret…. Are you ready? It’s where my husband and I went for our honeymoon. Not surprisingly to me it’s on my list of places to take the kids this summer as well.

I know what your thinking? What could possibly make St. Louis so great? St. Louis is a city that is rich in history, food and culture so it has options that will appeal to everyone in your family. 

St. Louis - My Five Favorite Things to Do #FunnestFamily

My Five Favorite Things to Do in St. Louis

Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tours & Gifts

I bet you’re thinking how is this a family thing and I bet you did this on your honeymoon. Actually we had planned on making this a stop on our honeymoon but honestly, it was our honeymoon and there just wasn’t time. Nope, this is one of my all-time favorite vacation memories from my childhood! My parents wanted to go which was odd to us as kids because neither of my parents were drinkers. We did the tour and my parents found it fascinating, my siblings and I were mildly interested… and then we saw the horses! Clydesdale horses are an awesome sight to behold and will have children and adults oohing and aahing alike. I picked out a stuffed Clydesdale horse in the gift shop and that toy spent years with me!

Meramec Caverns

The Meramec Caverns are so fascinating! The tours are interesting and educational. You’re budding geologists or kids in general will find it interesting and bring all that science stuff from school to life. With ties to the Civil War and a famous outlaw the tour is definitely a must while visiting St. Louis. The temperature is cool inside though since they are caverns so bring a jacket. 

The Cathedral Basilica

Catholic or not anyone can appreciate the beauty of architecture and one of the largest mosaic collections in the western hemisphere. The beauty, detail and design that make the heart of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis will leave you breathless. This is one of those places that anyone who is a fan of art and design will appreciate and love. 

Endangered Wolf Center

There are zoos all over this country and while they interesting and educational the Endangered Wolf Center in St. Louis focuses on specific species of animals form around the world that are facing extinction. They strive to help preserve and grow the numbers for these animals and to educate the world about them. With the ability to “adopt” a wolf or a pack it’s a great way to teach kids about endangered animals and to let them help save a species.

The Gateway Arch

Driving to St. Louis from Chicago as a kid I remember how excited I was when my siblings and I kept asking are we there yet, are we there yet every so often to have my parents point to the Gateway Arch from across the river and say yes. Seeing the Gateway Arch from there was absolutely amazing but then we went there and I remember standing below and looking up with my mouth hanging open. Then it got even better! We went up into the arch! This is definitely a must and with its 50th anniversary they’ve been working on making it even better!

Enter the #FunnestFamily Contest

Now are you ready for some St. Louis fun with your family? How about a chance to win a St. Louis getaway with your family? Then it’s time for you to enter the #FunnestFamily Contest! Your family could win a weekend of nonstop fun in St. Louis. To Enter, share your family’s funnest picture or video with #FunnestFamily on Instagram, Twitter or the Explore St. Louis Facebook page. Contest ends 6/30/16. One entry per person. For more information on prizing, view the official rules and regulations.

 

 


Rosemont| It’s All Here

by Jennifer Wieland
MB Financial Park fun for the whole family! #Rosemont #MBFInancialPark #ItsAllHere
I was part of a media event invited to experience all that Rosemont has to offer visitors. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

Just northwest of Chicago is the town of Rosemont and it just so happens to be neighbors with O’Hare International Airport, one of the largest airports in the world. Rosemont sees guests from all over the world and locals as well. As a result they have strived to turn Rosemont into a place with something to entertain and delight everyone and they have achieved it with great success because it’s all here in Rosemont. The town is now celebrating its 60th birthday and it is home to the MB Financial Park, which is home to 13 venues featuring international cuisine, nightlife, live music and comedy, state-of-the-art film and bowling venues and so much more. Across the street from that is Fashion Outlets of Chicago. This indoor outlet mall houses high-end stores and amenities along with a stunning contemporary art collection. Rosemont is also home to Loews Chicago O’Hare, a gorgeous, world-class hotel.

MB Financial Park fun for the whole family! #Rosemont #MBFInancialPark #ItsAllHere

The Loews Chicago O’Hare is a decadent and contemporary hotel. What sets it apart from its competitors is the vast display of art throughout the first floor of the building. After speaking with the general manager, I learned that this specific Loews hotel has a n agreement with a local art studio. The hotel displays and advertises the art for sale from the art studio. This is a mutually beneficial arrangement since the artists get exposure to their work and the hotel improves its aesthetics. 

Loews Chicago O'Hare - #Rosemont It's All Here! #VisitRosemont #LoewsHotels

One of the great restaurants in MB FInancial Park is Hofbräuhaus Chicago. This classic Bavarian bier hall brings more than 400 years of beer brewing and dining expertise to the Chicagoland area. The German themed restaurant is home to a German micro-brewery and beer hall. Guests are offered in-house brewed beers along with a huge selection of both domestic and imported beer options.

 

Hoftbrauhaus Chicago Image by Leigh Loftus Copyright 2013 Leigh Loftus www.thinkleigh.com

Hoftbrauhaus Chicago
Image by Leigh Loftus
Copyright 2013 Leigh Loftus
www.thinkleigh.com

The restaurant flies in its pretzels from a bakery overseas and then bakes them fresh for each order. The staff is outfitted in fun German based Oktoberfest garments and the restaurant and staff provide for a lively outing full of genuine German cheer. 

Hofbrauhaus Chicago - Rosemont, It's all here! #MBFinancialPark #Hofbrauhaus #visitRosemont

Hoftbrauhaus Chicago
Image by Leigh Loftus
Copyright 2013 Leigh Loftus
www.thinkleigh.com

The Fashion Outlets of Chicago is a shopping mecca that draws in locals and world travelers alike. From whimsical candy shops to high-end clothing stores this two-story mall will thrill and delight everyone. With more than 130 outlet stores there will be something there for everyone.

Fashion Outlets of Chicago #Rosemont #FOCShopping

It’s convenient indoor parking garage helps protect visitors from the elements. The artwork throughout the mall is eye-catching and a delight of form and color.Fashion Outlets of Chicago #Rosemont #FOCShopping

For more information on these and the numerous other dining, hotel and entertainment options that Rosemont has to offer visit Rosemont.com.

 

 


Wisconsin Dells Fun at Wizard Quest or Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

by Jennifer Wieland
Lots of family fun to be had at Wizard Quest and Ripley's Believe It or Not in Wisconsin Dells! #discount #wisdells #savings
I received passes in order to facilitate my review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

 

For many Chicagoans heading to Wisconsin Dells for a vacation or quick weekend getaway is a common thing. The drive is fairly short for a road trip (about 2.5 – 3.5 hours depending on where you are) so it’s very doable with kids. There are also a ton of fun places to visit there. Many people automatically think of all of the water parks (both indoor and outdoor) since it is the water park capital of the world but there is so much more fun to be had than just that! Two of my family’s favorite places to visit is Wizard Quest and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! We just came back from visiting both last weekend and my kids are still talking about both of them.

Visiting Wizard Quest was a first for us. The kids were on the fence about going since we weren’t sure what to expect. I’m kind of a fantasy geek so I was excited. 

Lots of family fun to be had at Wizard Quest and Ripley's Believe It or Not in Wisconsin Dells! #discount #wisdells #savings

Once we got there though and headed through the portal they became very intrigued and started to get into it. 

Lots of family fun to be had at Wizard Quest and Ripley's Believe It or Not in Wisconsin Dells! #discount #wisdells #savings

I won’t spoil it for you but I will tell you that slides, secret passages and racing against a clock to free four wizards as a family team was so much FUN! There are three levels you can pick to play and bonus things to find as well. 

Lots of family fun to be had at Wizard Quest and Ripley's Believe It or Not in Wisconsin Dells! #discount #wisdells #savings

Wizard Quest was honestly one of the best times I have ever had with my three youngest kids. We were laughing and running around together trying to get everything we needed.

Rip logo orange stack

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Wisconsin Dells was someplace I went to as a kid and took my older kids to but hadn’t been there in more than a decade. For my three youngest kids this was a first time trip for them. 

Lots of family fun to be had at Wizard Quest and Ripley's Believe It or Not in Wisconsin Dells! #discount #wisdells #savings

My kids were fascinated, disturbed, grossed out and freaked out many times through the exhibits. My 8-year-old son thought it was highly entertaining. The kids all liked that once again there were secret passages that led to hidden chambers and exhibits. 

Lots of family fun to be had at Wizard Quest and Ripley's Believe It or Not in Wisconsin Dells! #discount #wisdells #savings

Learning about ancient torture devices, vampires and bizarre animals and people was highly fascinating! I now know how shrunken heads are made. Not quite a life skill but interesting. 

Lots of family fun to be had at Wizard Quest and Ripley's Believe It or Not in Wisconsin Dells! #discount #wisdells #savings

Are you heading to Wisconsin Dells? Do you want to know how you can save money on these two attractions?

My readers can receive a 10% discount with the promo code SWEETSANITY10 when you buy your tickets online at www.wizardquest.com or www.ripleysdells.com.  To save even more you can buy the Downtown Dells Discovery Pass, where you can receive the biggest discount on Wizard Quest/Ripley’s Believe It or Not combo passes.

 


Ripley’s Believe It or Not Plus Wisconsin Dells Savings

by Jennifer Wieland
Ripley's Believe It or Not Plus Wisconsin Dells Savings #ad #travel #discount

 

Leaderboard

My family spends a great deal of time traveling to Wisconsin Dells for mini vacations throughout the year. My parents own a vacation home there so lodging is always free. That means we can spend our funds on fun things to do with the kids and let me tell you, if you’ve never been to Wisconsin Dells there are tons of things to do there with kids. If you head to downtown Wisconsin Dells you’ll see Ripley’s Believe it or Not and Wizard Quest.

Ripley's

rbn

Discover the world’s oddities at Ripley’s Believe It or Not in the Wisconsin Dells. Featuring three floors with 11 amazing galleries, you will experience puzzling illusions as you examine the large eclectic collection of odd and interesting things you will never see anywhere else. Become an explorer and survive the curse of King Tut as you travel the dark cavernous tunnels of his Egyptian temple. Continue your exploration and unveil objects hidden throughout the museum and decide for yourself if you Believe it or Not!
Wizard QuestWQ
Wizard Quest is the cutting edge fusion of a story driven computer game and a 13,000 square foot magical wonderland. It is packed with secret passageways, physical obstacles, endearing illusions and over the top artistry.

Discovery Pass
Downton Dells Discovery Pass – Buy our Dells Downtown Discovery Pass online where you can save more than half off the admission of your second attraction!
http://usfamilycoupons.com/coupon.php?regionid=75&bid=12033&dealid=1965 @usfg

BidderPopcorn

 

 

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A Frighteningly Good Time at Six Flags Great America Fright Fest

by Jennifer Wieland

 

I was invited to an event at Six Flags Great America but all thoughts and opinions in this post are 100% my own.

Recently my family and I were invited to attend a behind the scenes look at Six Flags Great America Fright Fest. My two youngest boys have wanted to go to this for years now. They love all things that scare the bejeezus out of me. I am not known for loving anything of the spooky variety. I chalk it up to being a nervous Nelly who also grew up across the street from a famously haunted cemetery. I was game for this though since it was bright and early in the morning and we were getting a chance to see what went into making it all a frighteningly good time at Six Flags Great America Fright Fest. 

Fright Fest

While both of my boys that went with me are into zombies it was fun for them to see all of the people made up for the various areas of the park. The costume work that goes into making Fright Fest so much fun is amazing! They costume area holds over 250 costumes for the cast and crew scare the guests. The makeup trailer boasts 25 makeup artists on staff to take the cast and crew from average Johns and Janes to something that looks like it just escaped a horror movie set. 

A Frighteningly Good Time at Six Flags Great America #FrightFest #NoMercy

We were even given the chance to have ourselves made over into a monster from one of the many talented makeup artists. The boys were a bit leery of that but I went for it. I asked to be made into a zombie. It was amazing how quickly they were able to take me from regular old sweets eating me to a moaning, brain munching fiend. 

A Frighteningly Good Time at Six Flags Great America #FrightFest #NoMercy

This year there is a new haunted house and it is called The Gates of Hell. I wish I could report on this but as the boys and I entered and the doors closed behind us, they decided it really wasn’t necessary. In other words, we all chickened out in my group. 

A Frighteningly Good Time at Six Flags Great America #FrightFest #NoMercy

There was one ride open and it was one of the roller coasters, Vertical Velocity. To many people, like my 11-year-old, going on a roller coaster is one of the most frightening things anyone can do. My 8-year-old though has been dying to go in this particular roller coaster. Lucky, for him he finally hit that lucky height of 54″ and was able to ride on it. I rode with him on it and the wonderful folks at Six Flags were kind enough to record him on it. Watch below to see one of Jackson’s roller coaster adventures.  

 
If you enjoyed that video of Jackson’s Roller Coaster adventures then check out another one below from earlier this year at Six Flags Great America.


 

For more information on the frighteningly, good fun at Six Flags Great America Fright Fest be sure to check out their website

 

 


Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast

by Jennifer Wieland
Emerald Grande at Harborwalk Village - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

 

 

Planning a family trip to Florida’s Emerald Coast will leave your family with memories of sun, surf, sand and a whole lot of fun if you head to these five fun, family friendly places to visit in the Emerald Coast. These five locations will have your meals and entertainment covered. 

Emerald Grande at Harborwalk Village  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

Gulfarium

The Gulfarium  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

The Gulfarium is a marine adventure park that will have not only the kids oohing and aahing but the adults as well.This park is very hands on and you are able to get very close and in some cases touch marine life.

The Gulfarium  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

 

This is a place that any age will delight in. From their silly sea-lion show to the utterly adorable baby dolphin born earlier this year your family will enjoy themselves all while getting in a little education.

The Gulfarium  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

The Gulfarium boasts a whopping 12 interactive encounters that you can add-on to your general admission. This is a great way for any adult or child to get a really unique experience that most people will never be able to enjoy. 

The Gulfarium  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl & Grill 

Uncle Buck's  Fishbowl & Grill  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl & Grill was a very pleasant surprise for me! I wasn’t sure what to expect when I found out I would be going here, a place that’s part of the Bass Pro Shop family.

Uncle Buck's  Fishbowl & Grill  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

I have to say that when I walked through the doors and took a look inside it was simply, beautiful! It has all the fun and whimsy that any child or child at heart would look for in a family vacation spot to grab some food and fun. 

Uncle Buck's  Fishbowl & Grill  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

When you enter it’s like being inside a fishbowl with the feel of being in water. It has a full service bar and restaurant along with a bowling alley complete with shark and alligator ball returns. A vast array of fish are suspended from the ceiling to give you the idea of them circling about the fishbowl. 

Uncle Buck's  Fishbowl & Grill  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

Lucy Buffet’s LuLu’s

Lucy Buffet's LuLu's  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

Lucy Buffet’s LuLu’s has been steadily expanding and has finally made its way to Destin, FL. LuLu’s is a fun, open and airy restaurant where you can dine on the beach or indoors. The stage in the middle of the restaurant hosts bands to keep your dinner experience entertaining.

Lucy Buffet's LuLu's  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

Have some kids with you? Don’t worry at all. There is an area on the beach just to keep the kids occupied and having fun. 

Lucy Buffet's LuLu's  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

 

The food and drinks at Lulu’s are phenomenal. As a Midwest girl it was great getting to have unbelievably fresh seafood that made we want to come back again and again. The wait staff is also incredibly nice and helpful which is always a plus with kids. Plus they have rolls of paper towels at each table instead of napkins. You ever dine out with kids? Rolls of paper towels can make or break a meal!

Lucy Buffet's LuLu's  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone Dino Island

Wild Willy's Adventure Zone Dino Island  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

Photo credit: Kari Scott

Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone Dino Island is a place that would have my kids smiling from ear to ear. It would be one of their ideas of a perfect day.

Wild Willy's Adventure Zone Dino Island  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

Photo credit: Kari Scott

Wild Willy’s attractions:

  • Redemption Arcade – Over 65 games to be enjoyed.
  • T-Rex Island Adventure Golf – 18 hole fully animatronic mini golf course.
  • Hatchling Haven Adventure Golf – 9 hole, mini golf course with baby dinosaurs. (No animatronics)
  • Tree Tops Challenge – A 5 level ropes course. 
  • 4D Movie Exxperience – Several different, short movies are shown in 3D with motion and special effects.
  • Raptor’s Revenge – A laser maze that requires concentration and skill.
  • Ptero Jump – Trampoline jumping on a whole new level.
  • Spin-o-Saurus Coaster – A roller coaster with cars that spin in circles.
  • Inflatable Zone – Kids will jump for joy in this dinosaur themed inflatable zone.
  • Boat Battles – Go head to head with others when you take the helm of a remote control Military themed boat.
Wild Willy's Adventure Zone Dino Island  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

Photo credit: Kari Scott

Wild Willy’s Food Options:

  • Salvati’s Pizza Factory – Pizza, wings, paninis and salads are all good and reasonably priced.
  • Yogo Mogos – Frozen yogurt to ensure a sweet end to your outing. 
Wild Willy's Adventure Zone Dino Island  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

Photo credit: Kari Scott

This place definitely has some sort of fun for every family member. I liked that it was clean and well maintained. It even boasted a charging station in case your device’s battery was starting to dwindle. That  way you can make sure you do miss a chance to capture pics of your family fun.

Emerald Grande at Harborwalk Village

Emerald Grande at Harborwalk Village  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

Emerald Grande at Harborwalk Village is the place to stay and play on your visit to the Emerald Coast in Destin, FL. This beautiful resort boasts spacious condos that have multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, living room and kitchen. It makes it easy to leave home behind when you can access the comforts of home all while enjoying the sights and sounds of a new locale. 

Emerald Grande at Harborwalk Village  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

Destin Harbor is a breathtaking site to see while escaping the everyday for some fun and relaxation. Whether you are taking it in from your balcony or while strolling along the Harborwalk Village you will know your vacation has arrived and is waiting for you. 

Emerald Grande at Harborwalk Village  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

Harborwalk Village boasts a plethora of shopping, dining and adventure options. The 30+ stores offer up something for the youngest to oldest of shoppers to enjoy. The dining at one of the nearly 20 food shops, restaurants and bars while enjoying a one of a kind view and briny air will leave you wanting to linger well after your meal. 

Emerald Grande at Harborwalk Village  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

No fear of heights or speed? Then take a zip across a zip line or hop on a jet ski. Want something with a slower pace then try Snuba, paddle boarding or quiet ferry ride to Crab Island. If none of those are to your liking, don’t worry. There are nearly 30 attractions and activities that await your family.

Emerald Grande at Harborwalk Village  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

Visiting the Emerald Coast will leave you rested, refreshed, with a smile and many fond memories!

Emerald Grande at Harborwalk Village  - One of Five Fun Family Friendly Places to Visit in the Emerald Coast #emeraldcoasting

 

Have you ever been lucky enough to enjoy a trip to the Emerald Coast? If so what are your favorite places to stay and things do while soaking up the fun and sun?

 

 


Blue Man Group a Sensory Delight for My Autistic Family

by Jennifer Wieland
Blue Man Group a Sensory Delight for My Autistic Family

 

 

Blue Man Group a Sensory Delight for My Autistic Family

Blue Man Group is something I wanted to see and experience since I first heard about it a long time ago. Life was crazy as a single parent to my three older kids and I never got a chance to go. Once I got married, we added to our family right away with my three youngest. With two of them on the Autism Spectrum I thought going to see Blue Man Group would be a pipe dream. Recently though we were invited to a performance and I have to admit that I was leery about taking them but Blue Man Group turned out to be a sensory delight for my Autistic family.

Blue Man Group a Sensory Delight for My Autistic Family

I had no idea that Blue Man Group automatically offers noise reducing headphones to children under the age of six so that the noise is not a problem for them. Did you know though that anyone can request them? That’s right, no matter your age if noise is a sensory issue for you then you can just ask for a pair of the headphones. This will leave you to enjoy the show without the sensory overload. My children absolutely loved the show and surprisingly were not bothered by the noise but we were sitting near the back of the theater so that may have helped.

Blue Man Group a Sensory Delight for My Autistic Family

Blue Man Group National Tour
Credit photo: ©Paul Kolnik
paul@paulkolnik.com
nyc 212-362-7778

The sounds, lights, and silly and fun interactivity of the show had my kids (ages 6-11) laughing and smiling the entire time. I wish I could have taken pictures during the performance not of the show but of my children doubled over with laughter and smiling from ear to ear throughout the show. It was the most I have ever seen my 11-year-old laugh! 

Blue Man Group a Sensory Delight for My Autistic Family

Blue Man Group National Tour
Credit photo: ©Paul Kolnik
paul@paulkolnik.com
nyc 212-362-7778

The kids have asked to go back again but they would like to sit in the front rows where you have to wear protective ponchos. I don’t know how they would do in a regular show that close but luckily for my family and any other Chicagoland Autistic families Blue Man Group has teamed up with Autism Speaks for the Second Annual Autism-Friendly Performance on Sunday, October 4th at the Briar Street Theater. You can head over to http://www.blueman.com/autismspeaks to learn more about this special performance, to purchase tickets or to find the dates of the Autism Speaks performances in a city near you. 

 

 


Top 10 Tech-Free Kid’s Travel Activities at the Dollar Store

by Jennifer Wieland
Top 10 Tech-Free Kid's Travel Activities at the Dollar Store

 

 

 

Check out Top 10 Tech-Free Kid's Travel Activities at the Dollar Store

by Jennifer at Mode


 

Loading up the car, hopping on a train or jetting off to brand new locations is one of the staples of summer. The kids are out of school, the weather is warmer and it’s the perfect time for everyone in the family to reconnect. At least everyone used to reconnect. When my older kids were young there weren’t tablets, laptops and phones owned by everyone in the family. There weren’t TVs in cars to keep little ones entertained on a road trip. Nope, we used good old fashion tech-free things to keep the kids occupied for the sanity of not only the parents but other passengers if you were on plane or train as well. If you want your travels to have little to no tech devices this summer then these top 10 tech-free kid’s travel activities at the dollar store are definitely something you are going to want to get.

The other great thing about these items is that not only will they make your travel time easier but it will also work to keep kids busy at the hotel as well. They make a great way to end the night before bed while you are trying to get the kids to relax and unwind after a day full of fun and excitement.

 


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