Vacation Archives - My Sweet Sanity
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Enjoy Central Park with a Unique Perspective

by Jennifer Wieland
Enjoy Central Park with a Unique Perspective - Central Park Bike Tours

Enjoy Central Park with a Unique Perspective - Central Park Bike Tours

If you’re planning a visit to New York City, you’ll probably be making a stop at Central Park. This amazing National Historic Landmark is one of the most visited urban parks in the entire United States; and for good reason. It is spread out over 843 acres, there’s an abundance of activities to enjoy, and the scenery is beautiful. There is so much to do and see; this amazing park has always had year-round appeal.

Make a Stop at one of the Visitor’s Centers

There are several visitor’s centers throughout the park, including the Dairy Visitor Center and Gift Shop as well as the Columbus Circle Information Kiosk in Merchants’ Gate Plaza. You’ll be able to pick up maps, guides, and get more information on upcoming events.

What to See in Central Park

A popular spot for visitors is the Central Park Zoo. In the courtyard, you’ll find the sea lion pool, and surrounding the pool are benches where you can relax and take in the beauty of the perennial garden. You’ll also find Belvedere Castle, a miniature castle that was built in 1869 and now overlooks the Great Lawn as well as the reservoir and the Ramble.

Of course, you’ll also want to see the Conservatory Garden, Bethesda Fountain, Sheep Meadow, Shakespeare Garden, the Carousel, Strawberry Fields, and Wollman Rink.

Grab a Bite

When you’re ready to grab something to eat, Central Park has 3 full service restaurants as well as several cafes and concession stands, and numerous concession carts throughout the park. At the Loeb Boathouse you can relax and dine with a beautiful view overlooking the lake. The Tavern on the Green offers everything from a Veggie Burger to Organic Scottish Salmon. Another great place to satisfy your hunger is Le Pain Quotidien. They serve a variety of bakery goods as well as organic beverages, salads, and homemade breads. They have a 30 seat dining room, 100 seat open terrace, and a takeout window if you want to grab a bite to take with you.

Take a Tour

While there is certainly an abundance of fun things to do, if you want to make the most out of your visit, be sure to sign up for a guided tour. A company like Bike Rental Central Park offers a variety of Central Park bike tours. With a bike tour, you’ll be able to experience Central Park in a way that you never could on foot. These tours are open for adults as well as children, so you can bring your whole family.

You’ll have an experienced guide to take you to some of the best spots in the park. You’ll be able to see wildlife, classic architecture, famous locations where Hollywood movies were filmed, the Olmsted designed waterfall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Obelisk, and the loch, as well as possible celebrity sightings.

See Central Park by Bike

Of course, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can forego a guided tour and simply rent a bike. With a bike, you’ll be able to take in more of the great sites in the park. However, you choose to see Central Park, it should be one of your must-see stops on your itinerary when you visit New York City.

A visit to Central Park is certainly an experience you won’t want to miss. This vast park can take days to explore by foot, but with a bicycle tour or bike rental, you’ll be able to make the most of your visit.






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 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.



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