Showing posts with label Adventure. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adventure. Show all posts

Friday, August 22, 2014

Guest Blog Post on Some Fun Road Trips

I am in denial that summer is over. There is still some fun weekends and Labor day weekend to squeeze in some fun adventures. If you want to plan something fun for your family, then today's guest blog post is perfect. Whitney has some fun places to visit all within a 6 hour drive of Salt Lake City.
3 Fun Summer Road Trips You Most Likely Haven’t Enjoyed Yet
Author: Whitney Hollingshead
Utah is home to some pretty incredible natural and manmade attractions. If Utah is also home to your family, you don’t have to venture far to find adventure. This year, however, you may want to consider venturing out into some of the nearby states to explore some unchartered territory. Here are three great family friendly destinations that may be new to your family. All three locations are within a six hour car drive from Salt Lake City.

Destination: Bruneau Dunes State Park, Idaho
Hours from Salt Lake City: 5
What to Do:
Sandboard on the Dunes - bring along your snowsled or rent a sandboard from the visitor’s center at the park. You can also hike on and around the dunes and play in the sand. Keep in mind that the sand will most likely be hot on a hot summer day so plan accordingly. Everyone will be covered in sand afterward, so have a plan to deal with the sand.
Star Gaze at the Observatory - special events at the public observatory in the park offer some great star gazing opportunities. Check out the park events schedule and check the weather forecast.
Camp in the State Park - plan to stay the night and pitch your tent. Your family can enjoy fishing, swimming, hiking, and bird watching. Bring along some kites and make the most of the Idaho wind!
Road Trip Tip: The drive through northern Utah and southern Idaho has little to hold the attention of children. Pack some extra car games, activities, fun music, and even audio books to keep the whole family relaxed and entertained.

Destination: Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Hours from Salt Lake City: 6
What to Visit:
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park - ride up the mountain on the gondola tram. Get your heart racing on one of the thrill rides like the Cliffhanger roller coaster. Take in a 4D movie experience with moving seats and challenge the family to a game of laser tag. You should also check out the cave tours included in some of the ticket packages.
Hanging Lake - take the short, steep, hike beginning in Glenwood Canyon. Hanging Lake was formed by glaciers suspended at the edge of the canyon. This lake boasts stunning waterfalls, a lake full of trout, and crystal clear water.
Glenwood Hot Springs Pool - visit the world’s largest hot springs pool. You can swim in the warm mineral water pool the length of a football field. The kids can enjoy the kiddie pool and two waterslides.
Road Trip Tip: Pack a separate bag to stay in the car at all times. Keep an extra simple change of clothes for each family member, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, and a first aid kit. This will help you be ready for the unexpected while you are out having fun. You should also consider stocking up on simple snacks to eat in the car. Doing so will save you time and money when you need to stop for gasoline.

Destination: Thermopolis, Wyoming
Hours from Salt Lake City: 6
What to Visit:
Wyoming Dinosaur Center - visit the dinosaur museum showcasing over 30 mounted dinosaurs, hundreds of displays and dioramas, and a modern preparation laboratory. You can also tour nearby dig sites and see actual excavation of real dinosaur bones from the ground. Special programs are also offered that allow you and your kids to participate in real fossil digs! These special programs do require signing up in advance.
Star Plunge Pool Complex - Thermopolis is home to the Hot Springs State Park. These hot springs are used to heat the local swimming pools. Take the plunge into one of the indoor or outdoor pools. Test out your tricks on the diving board or head down one of the three fast-paced water slides. The adults can relax in an adults-only sauna and there is also a separate kiddie pool.
Legend Rock Petroglyph Site - Hike to one of the most impressive petroglyph areas in the world. In order to visit the site, you must first obtain a key form the Thermopolis-Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce in Thermopolis.
Road Trip Tip: Make sure your car is in great condition for your trip. Take care of any needed tune ups or repairs. You may want to consider having your tires checked and rotated before you head out as well. If you have been planning to buy a new car for your family, buying one before your big trip might be the perfect time to make the purchase. Be sure to check out online specials from local dealers to see if you can find what you are looking for and stay on budget.
Summer is the perfect time for exploring. Plenty of time is still available to enjoy a short trip to one of these fun destinations. So clear your calendar, pack the car, and take your family on a summer trip they’ll remember forever.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Year of Firsts- Ice Castle



This is my first posting regarding the new series #YearOfFirsts. I was so excited to do my year of firsts, why not start it with a bang? I have always wanted to go to one of those Ice Castles, sure enough this year in Midway, Utah there is one.

Right now my girls love the movie Frozen. We went and saw it on Christmas Eve, and the girls got the sister dolls for Christmas. I decided to tell them we were going to see Queen Elsa's castle. They were so excited. My 2 year old was a little bummed when Elsa and Anna weren't actually there.

I had planned to go during the weekend, but hadn't had a chance to tell my husband. I was pretty surprised when he came home with tickets to the ice castle, almost like he had read my mind.

One of the tricks to taking kids out to something like this is to be prepared and plan ahead. This is an event outside, best seen at night, up the canyon, and made of ice. It's going to be cold. We made sure to dress our kids in two layers. Long sleeved shirt and short sleeved shirts, as well as tights or pajamas under regular pants. Then I set out a sweatshirt and coat for everyone. When getting together gloves, hats, etc. I like to line them up oldest to youngest. Hats first, then gloves and possibly scarves. Then I put the gloves and things inside their hats. All that goes in a bag (usually with 1 extra pair of mittens and hat) in a grocery bag tied off. That way no one gets into it till it's handed out. Then when we arrive at our destination I hand them out to get suited up. I didn't do snow pants this time around and the kids were fine. However if they are going to be sitting on the ground or on things for pictures a lot I would do snow pants. That way their bums don't get wet.


 
The next important thing is timing, and we timed it just right. We arrived around 4:30, which was perfect. When you arrive , there are 2 lines. One for those who already have tickets and those who don't. GET YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE! The line to purchase when we arrived was approximately a 20 minute wait, when we left around 6:30 it was easily an hour long line. That is not a good way to start out the evening if you have kids especially if you're out in the cold.  4:30 was perfect not only because less people when we arrived but we got the best of both worlds. We got great pictures in the light, and the kids could see better, but then we watched the sun set on the ice. Once the sun goes down you can see all the cool lights behind the ice, making them glow and look very magical. They will stamp your hand for reentrance if you decide to leave and come back.


If you are claustrophobic like I tend to get, I would avoid some of the walkways. There were a few times where I had to calm down and not panic. There are some areas you can walk though that have several ways to walk around, with no clear one direction path. Which is fine, it just means little traffic jams. No better place then in an ice castle to get stuck and enjoy the beauty and patterns all around. If you are claustrophobic then you can potentially panic. It's not enclosed all around, but sometimes lots of people and being stuck not able to go forward or backwards can cause a little worry. I was worried my kids would start to complain at these moments, but they did really well. We would point out cool things like what would happen when the ice from above would drip on other ice. Or how do you think Queen Elsa made that part? What did she sing when she made those stalactites?


Overall we loved it. I almost want to go back with just my husband for a fun date night. I didn't realize they had an outdoor ice rink right next to it. I'm thinking hot cocoa, cuddling to stay warm, holding hands ice skating, and walking through the beautiful ice structure, how fun would that be?

We got awesome pictures, and had a blast starting off our year of firsts. Although this was our first time at an ice structure like this, it's for sure to be a tradition from this point forward.

It's only open till February 28th, so go see it while you still can. 

Queen of Chaos Year of Firsts


Have something you did to start off your year of firsts? Then add my button to your blog post and link it up below. I will check, however, if your post does not have my button I hate to be a meanie but I will delete it. I've already had a few people tell me how excited they are to get idea's from others so please join in on the fun and share your firsts. Want some idea's? Check out my Year of Firsts Page for more idea's. Who knows, maybe I'll even add yours on there, for others to try.
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