Tag Archives: Family Fun

6 Fun Ways To Celebrate Earth Day With Your Family


Earth Day is Saturday! Do you have any special plans to celebrate our planet with your family? If you don’t, I have some great ideas to share. Earth Day is a special day to stress the importance of giving back to the planet we live on. Teach your children to respect and nurture the Earth and you will be making a difference not only in the next generation but our planet as well.

Go on a Litter Walk

Grab some trash bags and gloves and set off around your neighborhood cleaning up the trash that is around. Explain to your kids how littering like this is dangerous to wildlife. As you pass your neighbors encourage them to join in. Before you know it, you will have a parade of trash pickers and as they say; many hands makes the load lighter.

Plant a Garden

Nothing shows your kids where their food comes from better than planting a garden. From seeds or seedlings, they will see the entire process. Let them help with tending and caring for the garden all season. By the time of your last harvest, you will have some very experienced gardeners.

If if is too cold yet to plant by you, plan out your garden with your kids. You can start getting your garden ready by cleaning up last years plant remains, leaves, sticks and other debris. Then break up the soil. You should pick a soil test kit up and test your soil to see what nutrients it is lacking. The better your soil, the better your garden.

If you don’t have land to plant a garden, plant some container gardens or vertical gardens. There are some great ideas for maximizing your space on sites like Pinterest, so check it out.

Plant a Tree

This is a lot of fun, take a ride down to your local nursery and pick out a tree or shrub. Then go home and plant it together. Again, enlist your children to take part in the planting and care of the tree. Explain how the plants and trees give us something we need to live…oxygen.

Start a Habitat Garden

Did you know that our population of pollinators is dwindling? It is, and our food supply depends on bees and butterflies to thrive. Do your part by researching the types of plants you need to create a habitat garden.

The Monarchs main food source in the Milkweed plant but along with that you can plant native grasses, butterfly bushes, bee balm and so much more. There are also butterfly houses and feeders as well as bee houses you can add to help our pollinators. We visited a butterfly house last year with our kids and learned so much.

Start Composting

Do you compost? If not you should. It will not only cut down on your organic household garbage, it will enrich the soil in your garden. It is not hard and you have a lot of options.

There are countertop compost bins you can use to collect your daily vegetable peels, banana skins, egg shells, coffee grounds etc. Then you can take them out to a compost bin or drum. They have nice units you can buy that make it super easy or your can put up some wire fencing and make a bin of your own. You can read more about the process HERE.

Go For a Family Hike:

See the beauty of our planet by taking a family hike. It is good exercise for the body, mind and soul. Pack along a picnic lunch and make a day of it. There are resources for your state where you can find recommendations for great trails. Go somewhere new, you might be surprised at the beauty you find and did not know existed in your state.

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day?



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Filed under Family, Family Fun, Gardening, Holiday, Home & Garden, Outdoor Fun

Discover The Experience of Skytop Lodge

Skytop Lodge

My family and I recently returned from Skytop Lodge and I cannot say enough about the awesome days we spent there. Skytop Lodge is a stunning piece of history that sits upon 5,500 majestic acres atop the picturesque Pocono mountains.

Although this resort is only a 1.5-hour drive from our home in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York, I never heard of it before this summer. Even though I have traveled to the Poconos more times than I can count, this was an entirely different experience. From the moment we arrived, until the moment we left, we could not look at the old world charm of the stone lodge without being in awe.

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Vacationing at Skytop means taking a step back in time. While they have all the modern conveniences we have come to rely on, it is the 4 pm afternoon tea time you look forward too.

Tea time is served in the main lobby or Pine Room and features an assortment of large, fresh-baked cookies, ice-cold lemonade and an assortment of teas. Once you have made your selections you can choose to enjoy your treats in the main lobby or as we did sitting in rocking chairs on the porch overlooking the grounds.

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My boys loved the little chipmunk that decided to join us for tea and cookies. He was very polite and ate a small piece of whatever cookie you gave him.

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Downstairs the arcade really takes you back to a time when families were unplugged and played games of ping-pong or went to the malt shop AKA the Tea Room where you will find an old-fashioned luncheonette counter reminiscent of an old-time soda fountain. Order up an egg cream or one of the “World’s Greatest Milk Shakes.”

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The halls are peppered with photos and artwork of the Lodge and the many events that have taken place there since 1928. The dog shows, sled races, golf tournaments, tennis matches and so much more. All around you will find pieces from the rich history of this historic resort.

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Climb the stairs of the Lodge all the way to the Skytop Observation Post  which was used for spotting and reporting enemy aircraft during WWII.  It was manned around the clock by volunteer staff, guests, cottagers and townspeople. for the duration of the war. The observation tower has views of Skytop’s 5,500 acres as well as the Delaware Water Gap and beyond. It is a great place to take photos and just imagine what it must have been like to be a lookout during the war.

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Spending time out in nature is something I think a person should do every day, whether it is a morning walk, having coffee admiring the birds in the feeders or a challenging hike, it is good for your mind, body and soul! Skytop has trails throughout the estate property that let you embark and gaze upon the peace and beauty of nature at its finest.

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All kinds of trails are available, guided tours, self-guided tours, trails suitable for strollers and trails that are much more challenging. They take you to crystal clear waterfalls, pristine lakes, mountain vistas, ancient forests and more.

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The forests are alive with all kinds of wildlife, downstairs there is chart where people list what they saw that day. While we were there, someone spotted a black bear on hole 11 on the golf course, a family of otter swimming under one of the falls and so much more. Beyond that there are blueberries and huckleberries galore.

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Downstairs in the lodge there are wildlife exhibits of live snakes and turtles, booklets about wildlife and guides you can take if you are brave enough to venture off on one of the trails yourself.

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One of the highlights of our time at Skytop was the time we spent with their naturalist Rick Koval. Rick took us on a tour of the butterfly house and a guided tour of falls. The butterfly house is new and you can take a tour where you will learn all kinds of interesting facts about butterflies and get to feed them. It is utterly informative and absolutely amazing. There are many great photo opportunities too! Check out the caterpillar that looks like he is smiling in the collage below.

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The hike with Rick was a real treat. After your first hike with him, you will be scanning the activities’ sheet to see when the next walk or hike with him is.  Rick kept parents and kids engaged with his wealth of knowledge about the trees, flowers and wildlife found in the northeast Pennsylvania region and hands-on learning and tasting along the way. Who knew sassafras smelled and tasted like Fruit Loops?

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He showed us some of the most poisonous mushrooms, we did not taste test those but took his word for it. We all got hands on with nature and wildlife like the adorable newts we met along the way. The highlight was the beautiful waterfall we all stopped to admire and as we reach the end of our hike we immediately wanted to know when and where the next one was.

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After a nice hike it was time to hit the pool. Choose the outdoor or indoor pool or do both since they are connected. Relax and unwind on a chaise while your kids and maybe your husband if he is like mine, cannonball to their hearts desire. Then swim laps in the lap lane of the indoor pool. There is a kiddie pool and large hot tub for adults to soothe sore muscles in.

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There are plenty of choices for dining. In the morning there is complimentary coffee and tea in the lobby along with fresh fruit and some fresh-baked goodies. If you are looking for a full breakfast, you can eat at the Windsor Dining Room.

The Windsor Dining Room serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their cuisine is innovative and supports local farmers and ranchers. Everything is served in a classic setting. Be aware that no jeans, t-shirts, hats or shorts are permitted. On Saturday evenings, jackets are required for men. Ladies and children are also required to wear proper attire.

We really enjoyed the Tap Room, it is more casual and nice for families. They serve a full menu of traditional pub fare including lunch, sandwiches and dinner. I had a BBQ brisket sandwich that was so good my husband could not wait until I said I was too full to finish it! There serve large portions and the food is amazing.

The Inn-Between Deli is conveniently located in the Inn at Skytop between golf holes 9 and 10. The deli serves a light sandwich and salad menu. We found the Inn-Between Deli to be very convenient when we were at the lake and beach with our kids.

Also located at the Inn is the Lakeview Dining Room. Enjoy your meal in a relaxed setting overlooking one of Skytop’s lakes and award-winning golf course. The menu is extensive and offers something for everyone. Jackets are not required but jeans, t-shirts, hats or pool attire is not permitted. The front desk staff can assist with any questions about dining options and make reservations for you.

At night enjoy a marshmallow roast around the campfire or have fun playing Bingo with the other guests, movies are also shown in the afternoon and evenings. There is even a Camp in the Clouds for kids and so many other activities.

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Even though in our first few days we had quite a bit of rain it was not constant and in the times of clearing we still were able to do so much. The last couple of days the weather was beautiful and while we did not believe the place could be more beautiful it was. Every time we went about we discovered something new and yet there was still so much we have not experienced.

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Besides The Lodge there are other choices for accommodations on the property like the Inn at Skytop, The Cottages and the Stream Side Cottages. We chose the Lodge because we wanted the full, rich experience that only staying in the Lodge can provide.

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The Lodge guest rooms were newly renovated in 2015 and the inspiration for their design was Skytop’s history, traditions and the natural beauty of the Pocono Mountains. Incorporating that rich history with today’s modern conveniences led to the three signature designs of the Lodge guest rooms: Water, Garden and Mountain. There are also individually designed suites inspired by Skytop historical figures.

Our Garden theme room was gorgeous with a view overlooking the gardens, outdoor pool and the butterfly house.

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Three dormer windows let in the natural light and let us peer down on everything below. In the closet were 2 large umbrellas, 2 handcrafted walking sticks and 2 luxurious robes. Waiting for us when we arrived was a plate of fruit and cheese along with flatbread crackers and a note from the staff.  The housekeeping service was excellent and made sure we did not want for anything.

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The valets were so accommodating and friendly it really was like coming home every time we came back from an activity, hike or trip into town. Shay at the front desk is a real treasure and always had a smile on his face, upon check in he remembered speaking to me the night before and went above and beyond to make sure everything was perfect for our stay. Christy, director of group sales worked her magic to make sure we had everything we needed. The smiles were genuine as was the desire to really help guests have the best possible experience.

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Down by the Inn, a short walk from the Lodge is a lake with a beach area. There is a large inflatable island of fun out in the lake that my kids just loved. There is a sandy beach area that is filled with lounge chairs, tables, beach umbrellas and more.

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Nothing is overlooked at Skytop, the pool area has stacks and stacks of soft, fluffy, cabana striped beach towels. Down by the lake there are sand toys galore kids can use as well as more stacks of soft, fluffy towels. There are ample lounges, chairs and tables at both pools and on the beach. In the pool area they have fun noodles, diving rings, balls and other pool toys.

The grounds are impeccable and off the porch you will find a nice large playground for kids, a lawn chess set, a kid size golf course and so much more. All kinds of lawn games are available like crochet, volleyball, badminton, lawn bowling and more. If you are the competitive type, there are tournaments you can take part in.

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If you are a golfer, you will love the award-winning golf course with spectacular views and the ability to see a variety of wildlife as you are teeing off.

Among the beautiful perennial flowers the gorgeous butterflies and birds. A white gazebo adorned with flower boxes filled with vibrant, red and white geraniums awaits. Take a seat in one of the comfortable rocking chairs and spend some time listening to the calls of area birds like the Northern Cardinal.

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The SkyLites Activity Newsletter informs you about all the different activities happening each week. There are daily activities, 7 days a week and an activities desk to register for the things you want to do.

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For the adventurous, the Adventure Center has a 3-hour treetop adventure course with challenging obstacles including elevated bridgeways connecting tree platforms, logs hanging from ropes to walk across, ladders, a cargo net and 7 different zip lines. This is not for the little ones, you must be a height of at least 5’11” with your hands above your head and must have a waist size of less than 41″ to participate. Other activities include paintball, rock wall climbing, archery and more.

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Skytop Stables in on the property and you can take a western style wilderness ride to the top of the west rim tail for a picture perfect view of the property. The horses are well-natured and there are professional guides to make sure everyone has a great experience.  Pony rides are available and you can also go on a hay ride.

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If you are in need of pampering, look no further than the Skyview Spa. The Spa offers a wide selection of stimulating, healing, and innovative spa services that will leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on the world.

Bring your dancing shoes because every Saturday night following a tradition from the early 1940’s, children and adults of all ages celebrate the tradition of the Grand March accompanied by the Doug Smith Orchestra. An elimination dance is held right before the Grand March.

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Shuttles are available to take guests to different activities and hiking trails from the North Porch.  A beautiful gift shop will let you take home memories in the form of a beautiful pottery mug, silver-plated Christmas Ornament of the Lodge, Skytop logo clothing and more.

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Skytop truly is a hidden jewel atop the Pocono Mountains just beckoning to be discovered. Spending time at Skytop is not a vacation it is more than that, it is an extraordinary experience that I feel blessed to have discovered. I know why people return every year to Skytop, it is the perfect blend of past and present where you will create memories to last a lifetime. I know we will be back, next time with the whole family!

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If you would like to make reservations at Skytop you can right on their website You can also stay in the loop with them on Facebook and Instagram. If you have any questions please ask in the comments and let me know if you have experienced Skytop, I would love to hear all about it.


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Filed under Attractions, Family, Family Fun, Nature, Reviews, Summer, Travel

Save During Lemonade Days at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom

Here in New York, the last day of school is tomorrow. If you are thinking about fun family trips to take with your kids, Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, PA is a great choice! Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom has been bringing thrills and fun to visitors for 132 years. If you like roller coasters the historic ThunderHawk that originally opened as “The Coaster” back in 1924 has been refurbished for the 2016 season. The ThunderHawk has all new trains and is totally repainted to resemble the original design. The outline of the classic wooden roller coaster is outlined in bright, white lights to remind riders of timeless American wooden roller coasters of days past.

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Don’t despair if you are not a thrill rider because Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom truly has something for everyone. Whether you come for water slides to seek relief from the summer heat, love the thrill rides, want to try your hand at games of chance or skill,  live events, Dinosaurs Alive or kid’s rides and fun in Planet Snoopy, you will find it!

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Our family just spent Father’s Day there and we had a blast!  If you have little ones, KidsFest is taking place in Planet Snoopy on Saturdays and Sundays from June 17- 26 from 11 am- 5 pm. There are lots of fun activities like craft stations, science demonstrations, a petting zoo and special character opportunities. Our kids loved the trivia contest where they each got a Dorney Park mini fan after answering some fun questions about the Peanuts Gang and Dorney Park. Schroeder also had a sing-a-long and Lucy, Charlie Brown and Linus were there donned in their camp attire! There are plenty of character photo opts too!

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Planet Snoopy is full of fun rides like the Kite Eating Tree, Snoopy’s Moon Bounce, Peanuts Road Rally, Woodstock’s Express and much more! Woodstock’s Express is a runaway train kid’s coaster that our kids just loved!

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This June Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom wants everyone to feel like a kid so everyone pays the kids price for tickets and a portion of online ticket sales goes to the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and the fight against childhood cancer. Now you can spend the day riding heart-racing coasters and waterslides, knowing there’s a heartwarming cause behind all the fun.

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If you do take a trip to Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom by June 30th, share your photos online with the hashtag #OneDorneySmileAtATime and Dorney Park will donate $1 to help make an impact on those children battling who are battling cancer.  Now that is a great reason to capture and share those smiles!

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You can learn all about the events going on at Dorney Park HERE! Keep up with Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you have any questions, please ask me in the comments. If you do go to Dorney Park, let me know how you liked it in the comments too!

 

 

This post is sponsored by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company in conjunction with Blog Meets Brand, and I have been compensated for my participation. As always my words and opinions are my own.”

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Filed under Attractions, Family, Family Fun, kids, Review, Sale, Travel

We Had A Howling Good Time At Great Wolf Lodge!

Great Wolf Lodge Collage

If you are looking for a fun filled family getaway, get ready to have a howling good time at Great Wolf Lodge. Located in the scenic Pocono Mountains of  Pennsylvania this resort features a never ending array of activities that will delight parents and kids alike.

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From the moment we checked in, we were greeted with smiling, helpful staff who went above and beyond in every way possible to make our stay perfect in every way. The kids were given Wolf Passes upon check in that were able to be redeemed for all kinds of things inside the resort as well as activities like the Ropes Challenge.

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The water park was very clean and had ample seating around the attractions. There were cabanas that could be rented as well. There is pool side wait staff if you want to order drinks. Unlike other water parks you can bring food and drinks into this water park.  That is very nice, especially if you have a family member with special dietary needs.

The Big Foot Pass was a favorite of my son Ethan as well as my husband. They navigated their way across a pool holding onto cargo nets above or braving it and not holding anything as they jump onto giant floating lily pads. A great way to build dexterity and strength while having fun! Videos for this will be on our YouTube Channel soon.

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We spent great family time in Crooked Creek swimming in single or double tubes as well as free swimming. There is a gentle current but don’t be fooled in thinking this is a calm lazy river! You are bound to get soaked by the overflowing buckets that seem to know just when to empty their water onto your head! It is all great fun, even when you get soaked!

Speaking of soaked, Fort Mackenzie is a water tree house with multiple levels of splash-crazy fun! Interactive water toys and kid activated splash features line the way to the Totem Tower Body Slides! Listen for the bell and then take cover if you can because that means the gigantic bucket on top is ready to tip and when it does…you are going to get drenched!

 

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 The Slap Tail Pond Wave Pool is fun for all. A beach like shallow entrance  leading up to a max depth of 5 feet allows you to walk out and play in the waves. The waves roll in and out giving you some calm water time before then next batch of waves comes rolling in.
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Our family enjoyed an awesome breakfast buffet with choices of  farm fresh eggs, apple wood smoked bacon, signature wolf waffles, organic yogurts, granolas, made-to-order omelettes, fresh fruits, berries and much more at The Loose Moose Family KitchenSeasonal family lunches roll out lighter fare, and dinners overflow with entrées inspired by world cuisine. Of course no vacation is complete without dessert and they have a simply splendiferous variety of desserts.

 

On the water park level there is the Hungry Like A Wolf   which is just what we were after staying  until closing at the Water Park. A large pizza and a bottle of ice tea hit the spot! Crowd pleasers like Brooklyn style, hand-stretched pizza, savory Italian and meatball Parmesan sandwiches, garlic cheese bread and freshly made salads fill the menu. You can call ahead and make make meal time a snap with easy pick-up.

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There is a Starbucks on the 2nd floor and for convenient poolside dining choose Grizzly Jack’s Bar & Grill or Buckets Incredible Cravables. Have a Sweet Tooth? Whether you want fudge, ice cream, cake, cupcakes or cookies, Bear Paw Sweets & Eats is the place!

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The staff in the stores and attractions are very friendly and helpful. Our kids loved redeeming their wolf pass in the Creation Station where they could choose to make their very own Great Wolf Lodge Character. There are lots of outfits and clothing choices for these critters that really makes creating their new friend super fun!  They were also able to activate a Clubhouse Crew game to play with their new friend and when they helped Sammy Squirrel find her nuts they were able to return to the  for a prize!

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We had a full-immersion 4-D thrill ride at the Howlywood XD Theater.  After choosing our movie we were taken to our seats to strap in for a multi-sensory adventure that we will never forget as we traveled along a haunted mine! The motion enhanced chair, glasses and special effects transported us to a totally different dimension.howlywood-1-img9463-800x533

Next we embarked on some dazzling mini golf at the Howl At The Moon Glow Golf indoor course. The kids had a blast putting and swinging along a nature-themed filled challenging course of black light illuminated fun!

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For fun with something bigger than a golf ball we headed off to Ten Paw Alley for some exciting bowling fun!

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Howlers Peak Ropes Course can elevate your family adventure to a whole new level. When you are ready to come down there is the Raccoon Lagoon Play Park to roast marshmallows or play a giant game of checkers.

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The Northern Lights Arcade lets you get your game on in a big way! This  gigantic arcade is filled with fun things to do for kids of all ages. All kinds of driving games, air hockey, basketball and much more provide some game fun for everyone! Our kids were able to redeem some of their tickets for adorable crock charms of the Great Wolf Lodge logo and characters.GWL 35

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Our kids were busy with something the entire stay and said it was the best water park resort they have ever been to! They wanted to know if people could live here  and before we left wanted to know when we could come back!

Have you been to Great Wolf Lodge? If you have or are planning a trip please let me know in the comments. If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments and I will answer to the best of my ability! Visit YouTube to see our video compilation of our experience HERE! More Videos will be posted soon. Also check out the videos and photos posted on Instagram.

Stay in the loop with Great Wolf Lodge on their website, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

 

 

Although we were provided with a media trip and sponsored perks my words and views are 100% my own.

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Filed under Attractions, Entertainment, Family, Family Fun, Review, Travel

Discover Aquatopia-The Largest Indoor Waterpark in the Northeast!

If you live in the northeast or will be visiting soon and are looking for family fun destinations, we have you covered! Camelback Resort Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark  is located in Tannersville, Pennsylvania in the picturesque Pocono Mountains. This resort features Aquatopia, the largest indoor waterpark in the Northeast that opened in 2015. The waterpark is awesome!

 

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There is a lot to do for kids of nearly every age. The lifeguards are very attentive and collisions in slides are avoided as they pay extremely close attention to make sure the first rider is out completely before allowing another rider down the slide.

Penguin Play Bay is an area that even the youngest kids can enjoy! Multiple swings, small slides,  water activities and of course some shallow water to splash and play in provide hours of tyke size enjoyment.

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Kartrite’s Quest is a large area that offers fun for kids 40″ and above. Prepare to be soaked as a large bucket on top dumps water on unsuspecting guests below. Kids have so much to do in Kartrite’s Quest! They can splash, slide, play basketball, test their coordination and so much more!

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There are many slides throughout this area that vary in size from pint size to ultra grande! Small open and tube slides are great for kids to start out on. When they have their slide groove totally on, they can go up the stairs and ride any or all of the 3 large slides atop the quest! Out ‘N Back Trek & Silkroad Runner Slide are 2 of the larger slides for kids and adults alike.  Then there is the Lava Luge Bowl Slide that shoots riders out into a large bowl area.  We rode all these slides and had a blast!

There is a pool area where the water is a max depth of 3’6″ and features the Ally-Oop Lagoon. The lagoon has several basketball hoops on the wall and multiple balls so everyone can try their hand at some water hoops. There is a large artificial tree in the center of this pool that separates the sections. Off to the other side is the Croc-O-Nile Crossing. A series of floating platforms along with an overhead climbing type rope ladder that kids can hold onto as they make their way from platform to platform tests their coordination and navigation skills. If they do fall in they have to start over and cannot climb on a platform from the water.

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The Great Ka-Na-Gawa Wavepool is a large pool that turns into a wave pool intermittently with the sound of a loud fog horn.

 

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Children regardless of how well they swim need to wear a life vest if they are under 42″. There are life vests available for all ages supplied by the lodge. This policy was not enforced until our last day and our little guy was so upset when he was told he had to wear a vest based on his size alone. He was upset since he had been in the pool the entire stay without one and knows how to swim very well. This same situation played out many times with many other kids during that day.  It would be best if all lifeguards followed the same procedures so the kids don’t get upset. I think  there should be some type of water test for children who may be short but are good swimmers to allow them to go without the vest.

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The waves are very fun and the wavepool was one of our family’s favorite things. We spent many hours in that pool.  The lifeguards on duty at the wavepool  are very attentive and constantly scanning the water for anyone in trouble. Our kids had a blast in that wave pool and never tired of it. There are clear round tubes guests can use in the wavepool to sit in or hold onto. Guests are also able to just stand or free swim.

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The Lost River was another favorite spot. There is a  current that guides you around in a single tube, double tube or you can free swim it. Cascading waterfalls at certain points will get you wet if you don’t navigate away from them.

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The Venus Slydetrap is a 608ft. raft ride for 3-6 people. This is what we considered a family ride but our little guys were hesitant to ride and so we had to skip this. It looked really fun and I was disappointed not to be able to try it.

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My husband and 9-year-old went on some of the free-falling slides-The Paradise Plunge and the Skydive Plummet that looked very intense. They had a blast but they were not for the faint of heart!

The Bombora Flowrider  is an action packed surfing simulator. Guests can surf or Boogie Board and show off their amazing skills to the people who gather to watch. My husband gave some Boogie Boarding a try! There are lessons available in the morning and after closing. The waterpark is open until 9 pm.


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Mystic Springs is an indoor/outdoor warm spa lagoon with hydrotherapy jets. You can enter indoors and proceed to go into the outdoor section even in winter.  The hot tub can be used by everyone and is not just 18 or older. This may or may not pose issues for you. The issues we saw were some youngish teenagers  that were making out in there. There is also no lifeguard in the hot tube area and it is to be used at your own risk.

There are cabanas that you can rent if you so choose. Towels are provided but they are small. There are lockers and changing rooms. There are plenty of chairs, tables and lounge chairs around all of the attractions.  There is food available, but it is the typical chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, fries, pretzel type stuff.  Absolutely no food or drinks are allowed in. GoPro and similar action  cameras are not allowed to be used on the rides.

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It was not crowded when we went so there were no issues with that. I know from prior reviews they used to have the park open to the public and not just guests of the lodge. When it was open like that, there were reports of it being too crowded which I assume caused them to give the lodge guests exclusive access.

When you exit the waterpark you walk straight into a large arcade and the air condition can be quite a shock. The arcade seemed to have a nice selection of games but our kids are more the kind that want to be the action so they did not play any games. We all kept busy and active in the waterpark during our stay.

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There are several types of rooms to choose from. Rooms with bunk beds and suites are available. The rooms are not well-lit and are very dark. There is no sink in the bathroom but that is very common in these types of resorts. It does make one think what is on the door handle of the bathroom since you cannot wash your hands before coming out. The bathroom is very small and just has the toilet and tub/shower combo. We had a room with 2 queen size beds and a sofa that also opened to a bed. There was no maid service our second day which shocked me since we had been through most of the towels and thought they would replenish them. There was  no turn down service offered.

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The wi-fi is a bit iffy depending on where your room is located. We had to change rooms as the first room we had did not have a wi-fi signal at all. From what I heard many people were unhappy with the wi-fi coverage. Since I have to be able to log on and write, no wi-fi was not acceptable. When we changed rooms they put us near the front desk and we did have a good wi-fi connection.

The staff in the lodge could benefit greatly by some serious customer service training. This is not just my own opinion. Most of the guests we met there admitted the same. At check in, you could hear a bit of arguing among guests and staff as they were told coupon booklets were not valid that clearly showed they were and other issues. The lodge staff was not friendly and cheerful and requests were met with grunts or huffy annoyed breathing complete with eye rolls. That was really annoying and totally uncalled for. However, when you went to the waterpark you forgot that and did not encounter it again until you returned to the main lodge.

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Due to the staff in the lodge we went to eat off the premises. If you want to go out, there are several family and fast food restaurants off site as well as a Shop Rite and Walmart. The rooms have a microwave and small refrigerator with a tiny freezer.  Even with a few more than 2 lumps in this Camel’s back, the waterpark made up for the down side. There are activities you can pay for outside the waterpark like ziplines and other action activities.

We did run into guests who said they got good deals on a room, coupon book and breakfast vouchers on Groupon. If you are planning a trip check out specials. May has a special of buy one night at regular price and get one night at half off. If you have been to Camelback Lodge please share your experience in the comments. If you have any questions for me, leave them in the comments too and I will answer to the best of my ability. You can follow Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

Keep following us as we bring you more great family friendly destinations in the Northeast.

 

Our stay was sponsored by Camelback Resort, my views and words are as always 100% my own.


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Make Family Memories To Last A Lifetime!

There are so many  great family destinations in the Northeast. The Great Escape Lodge & Splashwater Kingdom is nestled in the heart of the Adirondacks, a region brimming with history and natural beauty. The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom, one of America’s favorite and most historic theme parks, originally opened its gates on June 27, 1954, as Storytown USA. It has since expanded from a five-acre nursery rhyme-themed park to include more than 135 rides, shows and attractions, including two full children’s areas to fill your day with fun and memories.
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A visit to The Great Escape includes two parks for the price of one with Splashwater Kingdom, the best there is in outdoor water park fun featuring 12 white water attractions. The history of Storytown combined with the thrills of Six Flags makes The Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom one unforgettable family experience.

Great escape slide
Do you like roller coasters? Official opening of the brand new looping coaster, Greezed Lightnin is May 28th! This coaster will seat riders in “face-off” position and begin to rock forward and backward, pendulum style. Once the train reaches maximum height, guests experience one of the longest suspended hang-times – over 70 feet in the air, upside down. Thrill seekers are then hurled through a series of seven full inversions, both frontward and backward, offering sheer looping mayhem.

The New Revolution Virtual Reality Coaster will land at The Great Escape this summer.  The Great Escape will become home to the Northeast’s first inverting Virtual Reality Coaster Wearing Samsung Gear VR headsets, guests are transported into a realistic 360-degree virtual world perfectly synched to the drops, inverted loops, and powerful twists and turns of the Steamin’ Demon

To add to all the excitement that is happening in the front of the park, behind the scenes they are scheduled to open the doors to Charley’s Saloon, the newly renovated Sports Bar concept in Ghost Town with park opening.

 


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Are You Going To LEGO Brick Fest Live This Summer? #BrickFest

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My household contains many LEGO Fans both big and small, so you can imagine how stoked they are to be going to LEGO Brick Fest Live at the Meadowlands in New Jersey this July! This will be our first  Brick Fest Live and so everyone is super excited.  I know the little guys will be in absolute awe!  Cannot wait to capture their faces.  If you have Lego fans in your family and live near the Meadowlands Expo Center or will be traveling there July 10-12, you should check it out!  Lego Lovers will be inspired, educated and entertained with LEGO bricks! They can play with huge attractions built to set your imagination free!  Witness mind-blowing creations made entirely of this timeless toy at Brick Fest Live!

Save on Tickets!

Use Coupon Code: FAMGUIDE5 for $5 off each ticket, Event runs July 10-12 at the Meadowlands Expo Center.  To save on tickets click HERE!

 

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At a Brick Fest Live event, you and your family will take part in lots of hands-on activities. But LEGO itself is a hands-on activity. What will you get when you attend a Brick Fest Live event that differs from your activity at home? We have accumulated a collection of LEGO pieces ready to build with which span many decades of production. Every year, The LEGO Group produces dozens of new elements which have never been made before. Consequently, they also retire many elements and replace some of them with newer versions. Many parts as well as colors are never produced again. Our collection of parts gives you free range of LEGO’s extensive part catalog for an unhindered building experience.

We have seen other LEGO-related events which use a limited selection of LEGO elements in their free-build area. There have even been events with a massive quantity of only one type of piece. While this presents interesting and different challenges for the builder in your life, we find that building with as large a parts selection as we have will present a new and exciting experience for you.

Check out the trailer for LEGO Brick Fest Live Below:

Have you attended a LEGO Brick Fest Live before?  If so I would love it if you shared your experience in the comments.

 


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Make a Painted River Rock Cactus Garden-Fun Craft Idea

If you liked our earlier post where we made candy corn out of river rocks, you will love this new river rock project! Let me show you how easy it is to make this Rock Cactus Garden. This is a fun craft for all ages and best yet, this cactus garden will thrive even if you have two brown thumbs.

When I was gathering river rocks, I looked for shapes that resembled cactus plants. Flat oval or round shapes are best. Choose a variety of sizes. I painted the rocks on both sides with craft paint that you can find in any craft store or in the craft aisle of mass retailers.  Pick a green you like and get to work.  When the green paint dries you can embellish the stones with some accent painting to make them appear more realistic.  Seal the rocks with a Mod Podge or similar sealer.  After the sealer is dry, choose a container to showcase your cactus garden.

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I used clean play sand as my base and packed it tightly in layers.  When the sand reached the top, I arranged the rocks and used decorative stones to cover any sand that was showing.

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The result was a beautiful, bright, non-prickly cactus garden that I placed on the ledge alongside my whirlpool tub. Now, when I am relaxing in the tub, I can look over and smile at the memory of fun summer days at the river and crafting at home.

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So what do you think? If you make one, please share your results.


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Filed under Crafts, DIY, Family Fun, Main Page Post, Mommy Ramblings

Win a 4 Pack of Tickets To Sahara Sam’s Oasis, Indoor Outdoor Water Park!!!

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Can you believe it is almost the middle of May!  For us in the northeast school is winding down and the next 6 weeks or so until it lets out for summer are going to fly.  If you are trying to think of great local places to spend some quality fun time with your family this summer, then you will want to hear, um I mean read this!  Sahara Sam’s Oasis is going to unveil their new $6.5 million outdoor expansion at their grand opening Memorial Day Weekend!    Wait, it gets better — We have a special giveaway for free tickets!!!

To enter just go HERE and Good Luck!!!

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The grand opening of Sahara Sam’s latest expansion project, a two acre outdoor water park, will take place Memorial Day Weekend. The $6.5 million dollar outdoor expansion features a 25 meter leisure pool (The Blue Lagoon), a children’s play zone (Splish-Splash), a full service lounge (The Wipeout Tiki Bar), sand volleyball courts and a 12,000 sq. ft. wave pool (The Rip & Roll). The project also includes an 8,000 sq. ft. building addition featuring new kitchen facilities, restrooms, expanded party facilities, and a recently opened 350 ft. body slide, The Nile Mile.

 

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