We had a very fun and exciting summer and visited many great places. Toward the end of August we went to Lake Placid. Even though we live in New York State, we had never been to Lake Placid. Living in the Catskill Mountains, I was under the impression that the Adirondack Mountains were more or less the same. Living on a lake myself, I just never felt an urgency to travel up that way. I am so glad we did though because it is so very different.
I was truly amazed at how traveling a few hours in my home state brought us to a place that we were in awe of. As my husband and I started getting closer to Lake Placid we were so moved by the beauty of the majestic mountains. I think as we get older, we appreciate the beautiful landscape of our great country more and more. My husband had me snapping photos on the highway. Don’t worry I was not the one driving.
We made our way through the shop lined streets of town to The Mirror Lake Inn. Family owned since the 1930’s this resort has been owned and operated by Ed and Lisa Weibrecht since 1976. Their son Andrew’s Olympic medals hang behind the front desk. The Inn overlooks Mirror Lake and every room has a lake view. There are always freshly baked chocolate chip cookies in the lobby along with coffee and tea.
The staff at the Mirror Lake Inn were so nice. Sandy Caligiore the PR Representative for the resort made sure everything was set up and ready for our arrival and helped us plan our getaway. The staff was there to assist us with anything we needed and were always around to greet us with a smile. We were so grateful for the warm welcome, luxurious accommodations and world-class dining they provided for us during our stay.
Our room was comfortable with a nice sitting area overlooking the lake. Waiting in our room for us was a nice fruit, cheese and cookie plate and 4 Saratoga sparkling waters.
We had dinner at the Taste Bistro our first night and it was fabulous. The menu is full of comfort foods infused with French, German and Italian elements. We started with their signature Fried Brussels Sprouts served with fresh lemon and sea salt. Our boys had the Kilcoyne Farms Burger which is of a half-pound of local beef served on a house-made kaiser roll with house smoked bacon, caramelized sweet onion, lettuce, tomato and NY sharp cheddar cheese.
I had the marinated and Seared Tenderloin Beef Tips served with mashed potatoes, farm vegetables and balsamic onions. My husband had the Kilcoyne Farms Pot Roast made from pasture-raised local beef, caramelized root vegetables, and local potatoes. The atmosphere, food and service was astounding. The boys had Shirley Temples and my husband and I had fresh lemonade. We even shared some chocolate cheesecake with fresh berries for dessert.
The boys wanted to swim in the indoor pool so we made our way down to the pool inside them main Inn on the lower level. It was nice and warm and had a very large whirlpool tub and large pool with a waterfall and bridge feature. There were nice chairs and lounges around to relax on as well as loads of soft fluffy towels for drying off.
They were pretty exhausted after swimming and we made our way up to our room where they promptly fell asleep. In the morning we had the Adirondack Breakfast Buffet at The View restaurant and it was so good. A very nice assortment of eggs or omelets cooked to order, french toast, bacon, sausage, cereals, fruit, yogurt and so much more.
After breakfast we had to go to Plattsburgh to get a battery charger for my camera. I have never left a charger home and this was a first. I could have kicked myself but we had to make the drive since there was nothing available any closer. When we returned we went down to the lake and the boys swam and then collected rocks that we are going to put in a jar as a memento.
After that we had a dinner reservation at The View restaurant, a 17 time winner of the Wine Spectator’s Dining Guide Award.
My husband and I had the Prime Beef Filet grilled and finished with Maldon sea salt, potato pavé, baby vegetables, glazed cipollini onions, tarragon butter and pinot noir reduction. The filet was exceptional, my husband said it was the best he has every had and I have to agree.
We both had Cappuccino and Cheesecake for dessert and the kids had Ice Cream.
After dinner we all went swimming in the indoor pool.
After the lake, the boys decided it was time to go to the outdoor pool, so we ventured up and spent some fun time in there. There are plenty of lounges, tables and chairs around the pool and the view of the lake from the pool is beautiful. It is very peaceful and serene all around.
There is a spa downstairs for full pampering as well as a gift shop where I picked up a Mirror Lake mug to reflect on our time spent there whenever I enjoy my coffee or tea. Our days at The Mirror Lake Inn were truly a grand experience that we cannot wait to repeat very soon. Next time we want to go with all of our kids to make some great memories!
Let me know if you have ever visited The Mirror Lake Inn or Lake Placid? If not, is it a destination you are considering? Feel free to answer in the comments, I love to read your thoughts. You can book a reservation on their website or connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 Kitchen. Seasonal 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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
For fun with something bigger than a golf ball we headed off to Ten Paw Alley for some exciting bowling fun!
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.
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.
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.
Although we were provided with a media trip and sponsored perks my words and views are 100% my own.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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.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.
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.
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.
The busiest travel day of the year is almost upon us. As people make plans to take trains, plains and automobiles to visit family and friends for Thanksgiving, I thought I would share a product I recently found that might make your trip a little more comfy. If you have a long journey then the Enzo Comfort Travel Pillow will be your best friend.
This travel pillow comes in its own travel bag and since it is memory foam it can be squished and fit in tight places and emerge from the travel bag as good as new. This pillow is contoured and very substantial so it will support your head and neck helping to alleviate pain and stiffness if you have to take a nap during your journey. The memory foam will allow it to fit to your needs for maximum comfort.
This travel pillow has a luxurious velour red cover that is so comfy and soft. The cover unzips and is removable so you can wash it. The unique design of this pillow gives you the maximum lower neck support which is so important. There is a snap closure on the front that keeps the pillow securely in place. It is a nice memory foam with cooling gel so you will not get sweaty or uncomfortable wearing it.
You can purchase this pillow right on Amazon. It comes with a money back guarantee and a 2 year warranty. I know mine is going with me when I travel.
I received a Enzo Travel Pillow to facilitate my review. As always my words and opinions are 100% my own. pmee59edb1290ec2ae2dd85a795ae9e8f4
If you are in the New York, New Jersey or Connecticut area or plan to be traveling in that area you need to check out Crystal Springs Resort. The Crystal Springs Resort is the perfect destination for your summer staycation that you will never want to leave! I was so surprised that just a little over an hour from our home was an oasis of lush landscape filled with gardens, spectacular pools, trails, activities, golf courses, spas, fine dining and more.
We recently stayed at the Grand Cascades Lodge, the highlight of the three unique upscale lodging properties of Crystal Springs Resort, located in Sussex County, N.J. We were amazed from the moment we arrived. We were immediately greeted by a young attendant who looked just like a young Ricky Schroeder and had a personality to match! His smile and friendly demeanor put us right at ease as he guided us to the lobby to check in.
Walking through the front doors to the front desk was amazing this lodge is rustic elegance at its best. Large leather couches and chairs surround a gas fireplace that was roaring even in July and had people sitting nearby reading the paper or their tablets. The front desk staff were very attentive and quickly assigned our one bedroom suite with fireplace and deck . Our luggage was loaded onto a cart by an attendant who escorted us up ot our home away from home. The free valet parking gave us one less thing to worry about and allowed us to go right up to our room to get settled.
This suite had a full gourmet kitchen with an eat at counter and the dining area featured a large round table with plenty of chairs. A closet in the kitchen had a stack-able washer and dryer which was so convenient. The huge bathroom with jet tub and shower, double sinks and loads of fluffy towels had a door off the main living area as well as one from the bedroom.
The bedroom had a huge king size bed, full length cheval mirror, TV, huge closet and seating to make us feel right at home. The living room featured sleeper couch, love seat, flat screen TV, grandfather clock, gas fireplace that ignites in a second with a switch on the wall and a door leading to a deck area with large table and four large, thickly cushioned patio chairs. There was a built in desk with free high speed internet connection between the dining and living area. Everything was beautifully decorated and family friendly just perfect for any family staycation.
We took advantage of the free turn down service that lets guests choose from a selection of times for staff to come in and turn down your beds, get the sleeper sofa set up and put chocolates on your pillow. The staff was gracious and accommodating to our every need, providing laundry soap and even a shaving kit when my husband realized he forgot his.
During our short stay we ate at the Crystal Tavern an upscale but still family friendly pub for dinner and breakfast. Another great option given the gourmet kitchen, is for families to prepare some of their own meals. The kitchen has everything you need and adequate space to do it. The full size gourmet stove and oven is perfect for whatever you want to cook and the cabinets are appointed with all the dishes, glassware, serving, cooking and baking pieces and accessories you would need. Down the road from the resort, you will find several grocery and department stores for food or whatever else you may need during your stay.
The Grand Cascades Lodge features the 10,000 square foot Biosphere Pool Complex which is a tropical oasis pool with water slide and lagoon feel. It has a smaller pool that connects the inside with the outside and you can swim through a passage and arrive outside in a small pool which you can exit to enter a larger outdoor pool with gorgeous rock waterfall and lush landscaping of beautiful perennials.
A short walk from there, is the Vista 360 pool that has a water slide that younger kids can go on. The slide in the Biosphere has a minimum height of 48″ which our older son just made by the hair on his head but our younger son needed more than some spiked hair to reach 48″. The water slide at the Vista 360 was the perfect option to let the under 48″ crowd play on a super cool water slide that was really appreciated by this mom. The vista is a series of pools that are on different levels with waterfall features and a vortex pool, where a constant circular current of water creates water merry-go-round that kids and adults alike will enjoy.
The outdoor Chef’s Garden is an inspiring outdoor venue that allows guests a truly unique “garden-to-table” al fresco dining experience set amidst beautiful organic vegetables,flowers, herbs and Kittatinny Mountain Range backdrop. Throughout the resort there are dispensers of ice-cold water with lemon always available. You can also get your food and drinks served poolside!
Like to golf? There are 6 award-winning golf courses (Ballyowen, Black Bear, Cascades, Crystal Springs, Minerals,
Wild Turkey) including NJ’s 1 rated Ballyowen! There are 2 luxury spas – Reflections and Elements, voted in top 100 Spas of America offering a variety of services from manicures, pedicures, massages and more! If you want to relax and be pampered you will want to check those out.
The Adventure Center features all kinds of activities like archery, hiking, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, water trampoline and horseback riding in a mountaintop setting with pristine lake. There are available babysitting services and fitness facilities available as well. The concierge at each hotel provides an activity calendar that speaks to all of Crystal Spring’s on site events.
We spent the majority of our time there in the pools that are kids just loved. The water slides were fabulous and they literally wore themselves out on them. During our time there we got to witness a set up for a wedding that was later that afternoon and what a beautiful setting for a wedding! We were told that Winter experience at Crystal Springs is something to experience as well with all kinds of winter activities like snow tubing and skiing.
As a germophobe, I will tell you the rooms are so clean and the hotel is as well. I did not even feel the need to do the extensive checking I normally do, even in 5 star resorts to make sure things were clean. Everything was immaculate. It was such a relaxing time and you may have noticed my absence from the blog for a few days as I totally unplugged.
I really cannot say enough good about this resort and my kids are already asking when we can go back. I know it will not be long, it is definitely on our radar now and we feel blessed that it’s only a stone’s throw from our house. I hope this post filled you with staycation ideas. There are Specials & Packages available too, check out the special discounts and promotions below for Mommy Ramblings’ Blog Readers!
Special Discounts & Promotions For Mommy Ramblings’ Readers:
Stay 2 nights and receive the 2nd night at 50% off
Stay 3 nights and receive the 3rd night free!
Stay mid-week and enjoy up to $225 in resort-wide credit
Stay one night at Grand Cascades or Minerals and receive $50 in resort credit
Stay two nights at Grand Cascades or Minerals and receive $150 resort credit
Stay three nights at Grand Cascades or Minerals and receive $225 in resort credit
Call 844.840.7392 to book your stay just say you saw the discount on Mommy Ramblings Blog to redeem the specials above.
Follow Crystal Springs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up to date discounts, promotions! Have you ever stayed at any of the three Crystal Springs properties? If so, I would love to hear about it, just leave me a message in the comments. If you have any questions you can ask in the comments too!
This post is sponsored by Crystal Springs but as always my words and opinions are 100% my own.