Showing posts with label Vacation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vacation. 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.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Leaving Kids Behind...

When we went to Hawaii we had to leave 3 of our 4 kids with loved ones. Of course this is the longest I have ever left any of my kids behind. I was so worried. I typed up every little thing about each kids favorites, foods, and routines. I was mostly worried about my 2 year old. What would my kids do with out me for a whole week?
Turns out it was more like what will I do with out my kids for a whole week?! Everything we did I couldn't help but think how my kids would love it. They were just fine with out mom. Now there were a few things I did to make this a lot easier, besides leaving them with family that I trust completely.
I wrapped presents for each kid for each day I was gone. I labeled each one for each kid and each day of the week. Of course they had little reminders about being good on them. Granted I bought all the items at the dollar store. Some of them were a package of 6 bubbles for a dollar wrapped individually for each kid.

The kids loved them! The "sitter" had to set a time each day to open them, otherwise they tried to get into them first thing each morning. I had in my mind that they would get opened at a time of desperation each day, but it worked out better this way.
The kids really enjoyed having something special from their mom and dad every day, and the "sitter" appreciated something that was time consuming.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Fun & Free Factory Tours

I knew I needed to have busy days during our spring break. So I planned on going to the Sweets Candy Factory Tour in Salt Lake City. I have wanted to go for a while and decided to just do it. We went with friends from the neighborhood and had fun, even though I spent half my attention on my kids and keeping them behind the yellow lines. What my other half saw was fascinating. They literally have millions of taffy and huge bags of sugar. The kids each got to pick out some taffy in there gift shop where they have some good deals on candy.
So this made me think of other tours I have been to.
1. I've been to a Hershey factory tour. I went when there was one in Oakdale, Ca. Now the only tour is in Hershey, PA. See here for more info. They have a few fun Hershey's stores now. We have been to the one in New York and Niagara Falls. My kids loved them.
2. One of my favorites was the Jelly Belly Tour.  The Jelly Belly Factory is in Fairfield, Ca and lasts about 40 minutes. I think my oldest was a baby when we went and I would love to do this again with all of them one day. Click here for more information.
3. Another favorite was the Lousiville Slugger Museum. Now this one is not free but still is at the top of the list. If you are ever in Louisville this is a must see! I'm not even a huge baseball know it all or fan and I loved it!
4. Ethel M. Chocolate Factory tour is fun to do if your in Vegas and want some family friendly activities. Click here for this tour info.
5. Hammonds Candies is in Denver and fascinating as well. I took the kids to this after Adrianna was born. It is really short, but still free and fun if in the area. Here is there link on when they do tours.
6. Another neat one was the Harley Davidson vehicle & power trains factory tour. We tried going to this once when they were closed for a week, so be sure to view there website when they are open here. The second time we were near there I couldn't pass it up! This one was very fascinating, but the tour is not kid friendly. They can be in welcome area and shop but not on the tour. There are 2 tours, a short free tour and a more elaborate one that costs money.
7. I've been to both Federal Reserves. I went to the Denver one growing up with my family, and the one in Kansas City, Missouri with my kids. I thought they were fascinating. Click here for more info.
Bonus- This isn't really a factory tour but cool none the less. We went to the Moon Marble Co. and saw how they make marbles. Plus their gift shop is so cool!
Some more I am hoping to see in the future:
Mrs Cavanaughs -SLC, UT
Crayola - Easton, PA
Hallmark Visitors Center- Kansas City, MO
Tabasco- Avery Island, LA
AT&T Ball Park Tours- San Francisco, CA
Tillamook Cheese- Tillamook, OR
Mrs. Grossman's Stickers- Petaluma, CA  

Saturday, December 11, 2010

NYC Superstars

Now that I finally got to go to place I have wanted to visit since my best friend growing up went, I too can be a New York Superstar. We had so much fun going to Little Italy, Chinatown, Staten Island, the Museum of Natural History, Central Park, Ground Zero, Times Square and so much more.
We even took the kids to see The Lion King, which was amazing. I really wanted to see Kristen Chenoweth in Promises, Promises but oh well. Another time another day.
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Monday, August 2, 2010

Casa Bonita Baby

So we left good old "Happy Valley" early. Like 5 am early thinking the kids would sleep (yeah right!) We decided to stop in Denver which was only about 8 hours out. We needed to eat and stretch anyways.
As a little girl I remember getting to go eat at this place called Casa Bonita. We got to choose where we wanted to eat on our birthdays and we usually chose that or McDonald's. That was a luxury to me growing up. Casa Bonita is a Mexican restaurant with awful food, all you can eat free sopapillas and great entertainment. It was EXACTLY as I remember it. Kadan loved the the cowboy skit where the he got shot into the water and Yesenia was a little nervous when the gorilla came running by our table. We still ended up eating food elsewhere afterwords.
It was nice letting my kids now have some of their own memories of a place I have so many at as well.