Family * Travel * Food

Give the Gift of Fun With LEGOLAND® Florida Resort Deals From Black Friday - Cyber Monday

This holiday shopping season, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort is giving thanks to fans with an awesome assortment of deals and discounts starting on Black Friday (Friday, Nov. 25) and continuing through Cyber Monday (Monday, Nov. 28).

Brick FridayThat’s right — instead of one can’t-miss deal on each of the traditional days for extraordinary savings, the place #BuiltForKids is launching multiple, simultaneous offers on the day we’ve dubbed Brick Friday. Give the gift of fun with savings on everything from multiple-use tickets to annual passes, and stays at the popular LEGOLAND Hotel and the eagerly awaited LEGOLAND Beach Retreat.

Here’s what’s in store:

Visit twice and the second day is free!

Purchase a theme park ticket for the low price of $71 (plus tax) to enjoy all the festive fun of our annual holiday party, Christmas Bricktacular, then come back for free to “become the ninja” when the all-new LEGO® NINJAGO® World opens Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017!

This exclusive ticket only can be purchased online and cannot be combined with other offers or transferred to existing reservations. The first theme park visit must occur Dec. 17-18, 24-31, and the second visit must occur between Jan. 1 and April 6, 2017. Admission to LEGOLAND Water Park is not included. Maximum six tickets per purchase.

Get an Awesomer Annual Pass at the Awesome Pass price!

Purchase an Awesomer Annual Pass (valued at $149 plus tax) for the Awesome Annual Pass price of $99 plus tax — a $50 savings! Benefits include a year of unlimited admission to LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park, LEGOLAND Water Park, The Coca-Cola Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds Orlando, SEA LIFE Aquarium Orlando, and Atlanta’s LEGOLAND Discovery Center.

You also get free parking, a collector’s edition welcome kit, early access to LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park, a 10 percent discount on theme park dining, retail purchases, stays at LEGOLAND Hotel and the all-new LEGOLAND Beach Retreat, VIP Experiences, Premium Upgrades and Premium Play Bands, plus $15 off theme park tickets for up to six guests.

The special $99 price is only available online and is valid only for new annual pass purchases and cannot be combined with other offers. Maximum six Awesomer Annual Passes per purchase. Please note that passes must be activated in person at the theme park within 60 days of purchase.

Annual passholders save big at LEGOLAND Hotel and LEGOLAND Beach Retreat!

Current annual passholders can save 30 percent off a stay at the “Five-Gazillion-Star” LEGOLAND Hotel, including all room types and themes, and the whimsical bungalows at LEGOLAND Beach Retreat, which is set to open in mid-2017. This unbeatable deal is valid for LEGOLAND Hotel stays from Jan. 1 through April 6, 2017, and for LEGOLAND Beach Retreat stays from June 1 through Sept. 3, 2017.

These discounts cannot be combined with other offers or transferred to existing reservations. An active annual pass must be presented at check-in to receive the discounted rate.

Stay awhile and save!

Meanwhile, through the end of December, non-passholders can take 20 percent off an exclusive room-and-ticket package for stays at LEGOLAND Hotel and LEGOLAND Beach Retreat.

Each package requires a minimum two-night stay and includes a two-day ticket to LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park per person, with the second day free! Admission to LEGOLAND Water Park is sold separately.

Stays at both accommodations include a buffet breakfast each morning for all guests listed on the reservation (not including check-in day) and exclusive early access to the theme park.

The 20 percent discount is available for LEGOLAND Hotel packages from Jan. 2 through May 26, 2017, and for LEGOLAND Beach Retreat packages from June 1 through Sept. 3, 2017. Be sure to check the resort’s operating calendar online before booking as the theme park is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays during select seasons.

The fine print:

To be among the first to participate in these incredible deals, sign up now at Everyone signed up as of Thursday, Nov. 24 will receive an email with links to the eligible offers starting Friday, Nov. 25.

All offers are subject to limited availability and may sell out. Note that due to fraud protections, the same credit card cannot be used more than once within a 24-hour period, so shop wisely!

For more information about visiting LEGOLAND Florida Resort, including savings on advance purchase of admission tickets, multi-tier annual passes, special events, educational programs, services for guests with disabilities, VIP Experiences, Premium Upgrades, military discounts, on-site accommodations and much more, visit


Where Do The Smart Families Go When They Visit The UK?

Little old England. It’s a place that many of us want to visit at some point if we haven’t been already. But where should we go once we reach the island’s shores? After all, there are so many places to see and things to do crammed into such as tiny space. Here’s where the smart families go when they visit the UK.


Why do so many visitors flock to Yorkshire each year? Well, there really is no place like in on Earth. Yorkshire is an area renowned for its strong identity and culture. This is a place where you’ll find some of the best restaurants and attractions in the country. In fact, there are more Michelin-starred restaurants per head here than in any other part of the country.

The great thing about Yorkshire is that it is full of wide open spaces and even a couple of wildernesses. North Yorkshire is far from the hustle and bustle of life in the South East. If you visit, make sure you go to the North York Moors. Here you’ll experience what it truly means to traverse an English wilderness. The Moors themselves are all but deserted. To the south, you’ll find little market towns, like Pickering and Malton. And you can stop off her for a classic pub lunch or fish and chips. The perfect finish to a family adventure.

photo credit
If you prefer, you can swap the bleak beauty of the Moors, for the lush, sweeping valleys of the Dales. The Dales are about fifty miles to the West of the Moors. Yet this is a landscape with an utterly different feel and character. It’s also the home of Wensleydale cheese. There’s a good lad, Gromit!


Blackpool has been drawing in the crowds for well over a hundred years now. And the coastal seaside town is still going strong as the UK’s most famous family resort. Blackpool tourism is fuelled by a combination of the beach, the attractions, and the rides. The seafront is littered with arcades and amusements for all the family. Many Brits make a habit of going to Blackpool every year because there is nothing quite like it. It’s a must-visit on any whistlestop tour of the UK.

But Blackpool isn’t just about getting an adrenaline fix or a tan. It is also a town that knows how to put on a show. Every year thousands of people flock to see shows on everything from magic to hypnotism. There is something for everybody in your family.

photo credit
Lake District 

The Lake District is the UK’s finest exhibition of natural beauty. Here you’ll find the country’s biggest lakes and tallest mountains. But you’ll also find a charm and at atmosphere which is verging on the magical. The Lake District, a couple of hours drive north of Blackpool, covers an area about twice the size of London. Packed into this small space are thousands of hotels and pubs, waiting to meet the needs of tourists.

This is the type of place that you go if you’re a family that loves adventure. Here you’ll find some of the best walking in the whole of Britain. You can walk around any one of a dozen lakes, including Windermere and Derwentwater. Or you can climb a mountain trail, what the Brits call footpaths, for stunning views. The best views can be had from the top of Catbells near Derwentwater and the Old Man near Coniston.

photo credit
The Lake District was a place that inspired the famous eighteenth-century poet, William Wordsworth. The grandeur of the lakes inspired Wordsworth to put its majesty into words. Now there’s a museum in the small town of Cockermouth, dedicated to his legacy.


If you want a UK beach holiday, Suffolk is the place to go. It’s far enough from London to avoid the crowds. And it hosts some of the UK’s finest seaside towns. There are no doubt, places in the world with better weather. But if you want to go to beaches with real history and charm, you can’t beat Suffolk. Frinton is a popular destination on the Suffolk coast. At this old Quaker town, you’ll find a sandy beach with a long promenade. There is a fish and chip shop, of course. And plenty of space to park. Go further up the coast, and you’ll end up at Southwold. This has a stony beach. But it’s an area famous for its amber jewelry.

photo credit
Finally, you can visit the Broads. Here’s a place where the family can get up close with nature. It’s one of the UK’s richest areas of wildlife. Here you can get up close with hundreds of rare species.


Avista Resort In Myrtle Beach Review

If you are planning a trip to the beach on the east coast, I have the perfect place to suggest. Avista Resort (part of the Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts family) is located in what I call the perfect area of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It is the perfect combination of slower-paced along with a splash of the touristy feel. The property is beautiful and offers ocean front living along with so many great amenities. The check-in process is super simple and they offer advance check-in online to make things even quicker. You can count on a courteous welcome from a staff that goes above and beyond to make sure you are happy. You know the old saying about first impressions being everything? Yeah, they have that down. Once you are checked in, you are handed your keys, parking pass(es) and basic information about the resort offerings. Parking is located across the street in a stand-alone parking garage. Honestly, it is no problem at all and is a quick hop, skip and a jump away.

You can stay in 1, 2 or 3 bedroom condos all fully furnished and equipped with a full kitchen, washer/dryer and more. It's like staying at home which is perfect for larger families. The units are spacious and offer magnificent views of the ocean. We stayed there during a busy time to celebrate our little guy's 8th birthday. The layout of the building actually made you feel like there was no crowd. One of the number one things that we liked was the security. It has all indoor entry and the way the units are laid out, it is very private. Also, very clean. There are 3 elevators which made it easier to get around. It was fun talking to different people on the elevator rides.

The nice thing about the Avista is that you really don't have to leave the property during your stay. With a full kitchen including microwave, stove, oven, and dishwasher, you can prepare meals there at your leisure.

If you don't want to cook, you can head down to the Just Off Main restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We had the breakfast buffet and can't stop thinking about how well the staff treated us. It felt like we were the ONLY guests there. The food exceeded our expectations and to my surprise, the coffee did as well. The staff checked on us to make sure we satisfied and never short on beverages or anything else. This was one of the best dining experiences we have ever had.

The Avista has the most gorgeous pool deck I've seen. We stayed way up on the 16th floor and overlooked the outdoor pools. You really don't appreciate the beauty of it until you walk down there. I liked the fact that there was a staff member down there at all times making sure the space was clean and inviting. We loved that there was an indoor pool, lazy river and hot tub since it did rain while we were there. They kept the pool towels well stocked and the area was large enough to make it not feel crowded. We really enjoyed it, especially the birthday boy.

We had easy access to the beach where we enjoyed exploring as well as some family shenanigans. I'm 100% sure that time at the ocean will take away all your troubles. It renews your soul. I think every person I made eye contact with had a smile on their face. Beach = Therapy.

One of our favorite amenities was the Tree Top Lounge located on the 4th floor. On our walk that way, we passed a fully equipped gym. It was far from the one treadmill, one elliptical set-up that most resorts offer. The space could easily accommodate multiple guests at once. Back to the lounge... this spot was perfect for a quick 21+ date. My husband and I snuck down there for a few cocktails and conversation. It was great! They have music, a pool table and plenty of seating available. They have a strict 21 and over policy which we saw it being enforced first hand. The drinks were everything and they were so reasonably priced at just $5 each. The bartender Louise aka "Weezie" came over to our table and made conversation with us. Again, we felt like the only guests in the room.

Let's talk about the bedrooms. Each room was tastefully decorated and offered ample space and storage. The bathrooms were well stocked with towels and basic toiletries, and were sparkling clean. As a matter of fact, everything about the Avista was clean and well maintained. Our son claimed the sofa bed and enjoys having his own space. I think he also loves having his own TV and access to free movie rentals. I think he watched 3 movies during our stay. Another great perk, especially if it's raining. One of those make-it-or-break-it things when it comes to staying at any hotel or resort is how comfortably we sleep. The beds were so comfy and the pillows were too. I usually travel with my own personal pillow and forgot it this time. Now I know not to bother bringing one next time. Part of a comfortable rest is also determined by noise. We heard none of that. No doors slamming, no elevator sounds, no loud music or talking. It was so quiet and peaceful. Our next door neighbors had 5 kids under 8 including a newborn and toddler, and you would never have known.

The Avista Resort is hands down the best place we have ever stayed in Myrtle Beach. We are already planning our next vacation there and look forward to going back. We are officially spoiled and can't imagine staying anywhere else. We all agreed that this was the most relaxing and enjoyable beach trip ever. We made great memories and look forward to many more in the future. This location is so close to many restaurants, attractions, shopping and more.

The Avista Resort is located at 300 N. Ocean Boulevard North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582. Phone: (855) 710-4941. You can easily book online and if you need to make any changes, and one of their friendly staff members will get you set up with no problem. If you want an ocean view from the master suite, make sure you look at the map of each condo or call in to ask. You can follow Avista Resort on Facebook and Twitter for promotions and updates.

I received a small discount to stay at the Avista Resort and all opinions are my own as always. Even if I paid full price, my opinions would be the same.

To a Cultured Land — Interesting Educational Family Days out in the UK

A family holiday to the UK can be one of the most memorable yet educational adventures children can experience. Packed with history, culture, wildlife and fun, the UK is the perfect destination for American families abroad. Not only are there loads of kid-friendly activities, but everyone speaks English, making family travel that much easier. Here are a few of the best family-friendly days out on a UK holiday.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
With attractions that cover 800 years of naval history, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is located in the larger HMNB (Her Majesty’s Naval Base) Portsmouth, a fully functioning port for the British navy. The Historic dockyard is an enthralling day out for families since it’s a maritime museum featuring educational exhibits including the raised wreck of the Tudor carrack Mary Rose, the HMS Warrior (from 1860) and HMS M33 which was a WWI monitor. The museum is one of the world’s most renowned maritime museums and children will love seeing relics from the adventurous seafaring days of yore.

Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is the largest, oldest occupied castle in the world and is — to this day — an official royal residence. The castle is open to visitors and offers free audio tours for families, narrated by such colorful castle residents as Gilbert the Grotesque, Tipu Tiger and Cyril, a Page of the Back Stairs. As well as guided tours, there are loads of family activity trails to explore, shops, and a regular schedule of insightful programs throughout the year.

Sutton Hoo
This Suffolk gem in the east of England is an ancient Anglo-Saxon burial ground covering 91 hectares overlooking the Deben estuary. The site has a fascinating archaeological history and seamlessly melds contemporary children’s fun with ancient historical exhibitions. There are woodland walks, an adventure playground, tracker packs and activity trails to keep the whole family engaged and entertained for an educational day out.

Family travel can be expensive and the exchange rates are rarely in favor of anyone coming into the UK. To make the most of a UK holiday, take public transport wherever possible, search for discounts prior to arrival and bring pack lunches, because the UK is best appreciated over a civilized picnic in a quaint location.


Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts "Mother’s Day Girlfriend Getaway Package"

My family will be headed away to Grande Shores Resort in Myrtle Beach very soon for a much needed getaway. I wanted to share the latest promotion from Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts.

Spring is finally here! The sun is shining and the flowers are blooming, which means Mother's Day is right around the corner.  Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts is offering the ultimate "Mother's Day Girlfriend Getaway" package including oceanfront accommodations, shopping and dining on the world-famous Grand Strand.

Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts (MBSR) – operator of the area’s premier oceanfront condo-hotel and vacation rental properties – announces the “Mother’s Day Girlfriend Getaway Package” featuring oceanfront accommodations, daily breakfast, dinner and a Tanger Outlet coupon book.

Starting at $279, the ultimate vacation for mom includes two nights in an oceanview room at any MBSR property, a daily Southern breakfast buffet for two, dinner for two at one of the resort’s acclaimed onsite restaurants, as well as a welcome wine and fruit basket. The package also includes a coupon book valued at up to $1,300 in savings to the area’s premier shopping center, Tanger Outlets.

Rates are based on double occupancy in a one-bedroom suite over Mother’s Day weekend. Price includes all taxes and resort fees. Additional nights and guests can be added. Package is available May – December 2014.

Myrtle Beach is within a half-day’s drive of population centers like Washington D.C., Raleigh, Charlotte and Atlanta. Moreover, Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) is conveniently located to all Seaside properties. Serviced by Delta, Continental, Spirit Airlines and US Airways, it features daily, nonstop flights to over 25 destinations including Philadelphia, Baltimore, Newark and Chicago.

All lodging options provide easy access to dining, shopping, sugar sand beaches and other area attractions on the world-famous Grand Strand.

For additional information and reservations: Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts, 888.571.4104

About Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts

Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts is a collection of six oceanfront and ocean view condo-hotels in North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Avista Resort, Prince Resort, Horizon at 77th, Grande Shores, Seaside and the Towers at North Myrtle Beach all provide the comforts of full-service resort hotels with the space and luxury of condominiums.

Each property features modern décor that reflects a coastal lifestyle and breathtaking views of the pristine northern region of the world-famous Grand Strand. Elegant yet affordable, units are spacious one to three bedrooms with fully-equipped kitchens, washer / dryer, and private balconies. Most hotels have fitness centers, an array of indoor and outdoor pools, on-site dining and access to world-class beaches.

For additional information: Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts, 888.571.4104

Top 5 Fishing Piers of the Carolinas

Here are five of the best in the region:

North Myrtle Beach, S.C. – Cherry Grove Fishing Pier
The 985-foot Cherry Grove Fishing is one of the most popular family fishing and sightseeing destinations on the South Carolina coast. The pier is adjacent to the beautiful art-deco Prince Resort and has a fully equipped bait and tackle shop.

Nags Head, N.C. – Jennette’s Pier
The oldest on the Outer Banks, Jennette's Pier was destroyed by Hurricane Isabel in 2003 but was rebuilt by the NC Aquariums as an all-concrete, 1,000-foot-long educational ocean pier offering educational programs and even fishing classes.

Beaufort, S.C. – Paradise Fishing Pier on Hunting Island
Located on Hunting Island in South Carolina’s most popular state park, the pier extends 1,120 feet into the Fripp Inlet. With five miles of pristine South Carolina beaches, a publicly accessible historic lighthouse and over 200 campsites the island is the premier Palmetto destination.

Hatteras Island, N.C. – Avon Fishing Pier
The 600 foot long Avon Pier offers some of the best redfish fishing in the world. Golfers will love the pier's golf center with an 18-hole par-3 course on the premises!

Folly Beach, S.C. – Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier
Stretching 1,045 feet off the coast, the Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier is the second-longest East Coast pier extending directly into the Atlantic Ocean. The 23-foot high pier, offers amazing fishing in the Folly Beach surf, spectacular views and a variety of fishing tournaments, special events and dining.


Could You Win Your Family Holiday This Year?

Times are tight for most families, with budgets being squeezed to pay ever increasing grocery, utilities and petrol bills. Add to that reductions in tax credits and child benefits for some and it’s easy to see why luxuries like a family holiday are having to fall by the wayside.

If you know you can’t afford to get away this year, why not try a different tactic and give winning your family holiday a go? What have you got to lose? Search online competition forums or keep your eyes peeled at the supermarket, when reading magazines or when watching the TV, and take every chance you get to win your family a great break.

For example, when you’re buying your loo roll this month, look out for special packs of Cushelle. Cushelle and Butlins have teamed up to give away three UK breaks, at the Bognor Regis Butlins resort. The lucky winners can check in two adults and two children to the brand new Wave Hotel, for a super exciting staycation at Butlins – for free!

If you have older children, between the ages of 8 and 14, the new Wave Hotel is ideal, as everything about it has been designed with hard to please teens and pre-teens in mind, including quirky submarine style rooms with the latest gadgets for tech savvy kids – including iPod docks, Freeview, and individual DVD players for each bed, saving on squabbles over what to watch!

The hotel is also the first Butlins hotel to boast a high-tech Games Port, where families can play interactive games together. In addition, there’s a kindle and iPod library for guests to use, and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, so the kids can still check Facebook, tweet and chat to their friends back home.

To enter, all you have to do is get yourself a Cushelle barcode from special packs (everyone needs loo roll, right?) and fill out a simple form online, but don’t stop there! Keep seeking out summer holiday competitions – after all, the more you enter the more chance you have of winning your family holiday this year!


Fun in the Sun in Malta

When we think of Malta, we probably think of history and the St Georges Cross but there’s so much more to this beautiful country. Holidays in Malta can be fun, fascinating and exhilarating for all the family.

The most popular resorts are to the north of Malta, the three fantastic beaches are Mellieħa Bay, Għajn Tuffieħa and Golden Bay, and each offer some fantastic water-sports as well as cafes and snack bars along the shores. Some smaller beaches can be discovered off the beaten track, many are rocky but are well worth visiting for a quieter dip or to discover little rock pools and secluded bays. A must visit is Camino’s Blue Lagoon which can be reached by boat, where azure blue waters and glistening sands can be found - this is a great spot for snorkeling and exploring hidden coves.

With its rich history dating back thousands of years, Malta has a wealth of historical landmarks to explore. The whole family will enjoy visiting museums and learning about the roman ruins and prehistoric temples. Colourful displays and re-enactments are often shown where you can travel back in time, seeing knights in costume come to life with their swords, muskets and canons. It's not to be missed!

Throughout the year Malta comes to life with its many cultural and music festivals. Festival Meditterania is a huge event held on Malta’s neighbouring island of Gozo, which can easily be reached by boat. The island comes to life dominated by music and dancing but also holding educational events, offering the chance to explore historic places on the island and celebrate the culture. Malta’s International Fireworks festival is a spectacular event and a breath-taking experience for the whole family. Held at the end of April, the event takes place over the harbour and commemorates Malta's accession into the European Union that took place on 1st May 2004.

Other popular festivals include the Malta Arts Festival and the Malta Jazz Festival. The fiesta season in Malta is made up of a long series of extended weekends, starting from the end of May right through the entire summer and well into September. During this period villages and towns celebrate the Patron Saints of their churches by feasting over weekends and partying Maltese style!

Families will love the wide range of activities and exhibitions which can be enjoyed, ranging from arts and crafts and museums to horse riding and rock climbing. There really is something for everyone on offer here.

Our mini-vacation to Grande Shores Ocean Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC

My family had the privilege to visit the Grande Shores Ocean Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC for a mini-vacation. I was able to get a special media rate for a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom oceanfront condo. Our first impression when we were driving up to the resort was, "Oh my gosh, we are staying that close to the actual ocean?!" We were all in awe of the sounds, smell and the sea breeze as we pulled up to the check-in parking area. We walked up to the front desk and were greeted by both clerks and was promptly asked if we needed help. The check-in process was fast and easy. The clerk was super friendly and professional. 

We found a good spot to park our car in the parking garage and headed up to our condo on the eleventh floor. It was very clean and nicely decorated. Here is a quick video of what our space looked like (excuse the shaking)

My husband and kids were instantly drawn to the balcony. Our view was incredible and we were lucky to have such a large outdoor space.

I could not get any of them to come inside for dinner! Speaking of dinner, I was thrilled to have a fully-equipped kitchen. If you have been a reader for a while, you would know how much time I spend in the kitchen!

We packed up our food and drinks so that we could fully enjoy our lovely condo and beach/pool time. It was a pleasure to wake up to the sounds of the waves crashing onto the shoreline as my bacon sizzled away. It was a big money and time saver to be able to eat in.
 It really felt like home away from home.
Another thing that I LOVED was the washer and dryer.  This was such a great convenience for me since I wash clothing daily at home anyway. After all, who wants to go home after a fun-filled trip with dirty clothes to wash? Unpacking was a breeze!
Of course, you can't take a trip to the beach without enjoying the actual beach! It was lovely! You had to option of renting umbrellas and chairs (we brought our own). It was very windy during our stay but it did not affect our fun. The kids thoroughly enjoyed playing in the sand and the water. It was hard to get my husband out of the water each time we went out to the beach. He was like a big kid! 
I think I enjoyed watching my family have the time of their lives. We loved getting into the hot tub and lazy river at night. It was so relaxing! 
We made some wonderful memories that we will treasure.
If you are looking for a nice place to stay in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, we highly recommend Grande Shores Ocean Resort. They offer good rates and many hotels and condos to choose from. Of course you can't beat stepping out of the building and right onto the beach! The location was perfect. We had close access to restaurants, shopping and many attractions that Myrtle Beach has to offer.

Stay updated on specials from Grande Shores on Facebook and Twitter. We are already looking at our calendar and planning a return visit!
Shelly, Mom Files

London Festivals with the Family: To Go Or Not To Go?

The summer season is nearly here and with summer comes the opportunity to enjoy festivals. While they’re certainly not everybody’s cup of tea, they can be incredibly exciting, with live music and activities to keep everyone busy throughout the days.

Whether you’re a festival veteran or a complete fledgling, having a family can sometimes affect your ability to enjoy festivals in all their glory, with many people choosing to give up on the idea altogether. It goes without saying that the festival experience changes somewhat when children come along – the idea of being wild, young and free doesn’t necessarily exist anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy them.

 If you’re wondering whether to head to a festival in the capital this summer, you can click here for budget accommodation deals in London so that you and your kids have somewhere comfortable to lay your head.

While some people will be ruling out the concept of a festival with their brood, others may be weighing up the options. What are the pros and cons of taking kids to these summer traditions?

 • The learning experience for your kids is immeasurable
 • Fun-filled for the young ones, in an environment they wouldn’t ordinarily see
 • A chance to appreciate culture, hone their creativity and appreciate child-friendly activities
 • A great opportunity to spend some quality time with the children this summer

 • Inevitable responsibility – you won’t be able to be crazy like you may have done a decade ago!
 • They may mean you miss music you were hoping to see because they clash with the activities your children would like to participate in
 • Early nights to coincide with sleepy ones

Luckily nowadays, it’s not all about taking children to adult-orientated festivals and hoping that they enjoy it. There’s a whole host of child-friendly festivals all over the country which provide a schedule of entertainment that cater for the youngsters too.

Family-friendly festivals offer a great chance for everyone to enjoy some quality time together this summer and a reason to spend a little time away from the creature comforts together. While many may choose to throw themselves into the deep end and camp for the duration of the festival, if you’re a complete festival newbie, it would be more advisable to click here for budget accommodation in London so that you have a fresh pillow to retire too once the festivities are over.

The LolliBop Festival (August 17th – 19th, Regent’s Park) is the ultimate festival for kids. Radiating good vibes, while catering on the most part, towards little ones, it returns for its third year in 2013 and includes the Gruffalo Live, Waybuloo, Mister Maker and Little Angel Theatre. There’s plenty of activities throughout the weekend to keep them busy and provides a superb day out that’s based around them. Take the plunge this summer and start a family tradition of heading to an annual festival. You’ll wonder why it’s taken you this long to realise just how fun-filled and enjoyable they are with the brood in tow.
Shelly, Mom Files

Spend President's Day Weekend at Myrtle Beach with the "Presidential Perks Package"

Just in time for President's Day Weekend: Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts announces its "Presidential Perks Package" featuring two nights in an oceanfront condo on the world-famous Grand Strand at unprecedented rates.  Now is the perfect time to take advantage of a warm-weather beach vacation and enjoy an extended holiday weekend. Just looking at the photo below makes we want to go!

Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts Announces ‘Presidential Perks Package’

Offer Includes Two Nights of Discounted Oceanfront Accommodations
Over President’s Weekend

(NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) – Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts (MBSR) – operator of the area’s premier oceanfront condo-hotel and vacation rental properties – announces the “Presidential Perks Package” featuring oceanfront accommodations and daily breakfast over the extended President’s Day Weekend starting at $172.

The package includes two nights in a one bedroom oceanview condo at Avista, Grande Shores, Horizon at 77th, Prince Resort or Seaside, daily breakfast and a box of the President’s favorite locally made salted caramels.

“The upcoming long holiday weekend is the ideal time for families, couples or girlfriends to take a winter break and enjoy the Grand Strand’s world-famous beaches and area attractions,” says Helen Staton, Director of Reservations for MBSR.

The offer is valid for stays booked February 13-18 and coincides with the Myrtle Beach Marathon and the 12th Annual Kidz Time Festival.

All lodging options provide easy access to dining, shopping, sugar sand beaches and other area attractions on the world-famous Grand Strand. The “Presidential Perks Package” is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of a warm weather winter beach getaway.

Rates are based on double occupancy for a two night stay. Includes taxes, resort and processing fees.

For additional information and reservations: Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts, (888) 571.4104

About Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts:

Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts is a collection of six oceanfront and ocean view condo-hotels in North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Avista Resort, Prince Resort, Horizon at 77th, Grande Shores, Seaside and the Towers at North Myrtle Beach all provide the comforts of full-service resort hotels with the space and luxury of condominiums.

Each property features modern décor that reflects a coastal lifestyle and breathtaking views of the pristine northern region of the world-famous Grand Strand. Elegant yet affordable, units are spacious one to three bedrooms with fully-equipped kitchens, washer / dryer, and private balconies. All hotels have fitness centers, an array of indoor and outdoor pools, on-site dining and access to world-class beaches.

For additional information: Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts, (888) 571.4104

Shelly, Mom Files

Our Great Wolf Lodge Experience

We had the great pleasure of experiencing Great Wolf Lodge (Concord, NC) to end our summer off with a splash! Unfortunately, the weather was not the best but it did not stop our adventure. Lucky for us, Great Wolf Lodge has an amazing indoor water park that is kept at a comfortable 84 degrees. Before I go into that, I will start by telling you our first impression when we drove up to the resort.

The entire family fell in love with the beautiful grounds and the enormity of the resort. The gorgeous wolf statues were huge! We were promptly greeted by a gentleman at the front entrance and directed to our parking spot. Then we entered through the front doors and immediately started oohing and ahhing. It was so beautiful inside, almost overwhelming at that! Our experience at the check-in desk was fast and the clerk was extremely professional and helpful. We felt as if we were the only guests on the property with the type of customer service we received. Truly first class!

Once we got our wristbands and room information, we headed up to our Family Suite. What a lovely suite it was! I can't begin to tell you all how clean and pretty the room was. There were so many wonderful details including the signature wolf towel on one of the beds, rustic decor, an in-suite safe, microwave/fridge/iron & ironing board, balcony with table and chairs and one of my favorites... the signature paw print embossed toilet paper. You can absolutely tell how much the resort management and staff care about their guests by how immaculate the property is inside and out. We had an abundance of towels, blankets and extra pillows. The beds were so comfortable and we slept soundly. We were amazed at how quiet it was in our suite since the resort was super busy and packed with so many families. Another great plus is how environmentally friendly the whole facility is by having recycling bins in each suite as well as all over the resort. Even the hair dryer in the room had green standards!

The hubby loved the balcony and enjoyed catching up on some reading and of course, sipping on his Dunkin Donuts coffee. The resort had so many food options to satisfy every family member. Believe me, we tried almost every spot! We had everything from pizza, ice cream, doughnuts, salads and so much more. I think our favorite place was the sweets and bake shop. Hey, we were on vacation!

Although this is not my photograph, I wanted to show you what the indoor water park was like. Truly amazing and everyone had a blast! There was something for every age. The water slides were incredible and the outdoor pool area was very nice and lots of fun! It was almost impossible to get the kids out of the water. Something I noticed was that EVERY lifeguard on duty was very focused and constantly looking around to make sure all the guests were safe. That truly made us feel at ease, especially with a 4 year old that can't swim yet.
The other big highlight of our visit was the Northern Lights Arcade. We ALL had so much fun and I can't remember the last time I laughed that much, non-stop! There were so many other activities but we did not have the time to do everything. We are planning to visit again when it is during the off-season.

Little William loved the story-time at night at the big Clocktower. He was completely mesmerized. He still continues to howl "Great Wolf style", as he likes to put it.
It was hard to get really clear photos with all the crowds and chaos going on but overall, we had the most wonderful experience at Great Wolf Lodge. I truly could go on for hours telling you even more but you need to go check it out for yourself. You and your family would NOT be disappointed! This was the most fun family getaway we have ever been on and we can't wait to do it again!

We want to give a big thank you to the entire Great Wolf Lodge staff for making us feel so welcome and comfortable. There was never a moment that we did not hear "We hope you enjoy your stay". That we did!

Stay connected with Great Wolf Lodge via the web, Facebook and Twitter for discounts and deals. 

I received a discounted rate from Great Wolf Lodge and all thoughts/opinions are 100% my own.
Shelly, Mom Files
Blogger Template Created For Mom Files All Rights Reserved