Browsing Category

travel

0 In family/ travel

A Weekend Getaway for the kids to New Jersey

Weekend getaway for the kids to New Jersey
Disclosure – I received tickets to Diggerland and Legoland in exchange for this honest review.

After a long year in quarantine, we wanted to take the kids somewhere special and fun. We recently took a little weekend trip to New Jersey and the kids had a blast! We stopped at Diggerland, Legoland, and Nickelodeon Universe. I’m sharing all of our stops and some tips to help you plan your trip.

We split the weekend up in two days, doing Diggerland on Saturday and then Sunday we did Legoland and Nickelodeon Universe since they’re both in the American Dream Mall.

 

Diggerland USA – East Berlin, New Jersey

Diggerland USA

Our first stop was Diggerland USA. A place where it’s totally appropriate for kids to operate heavy machinery. A few things that are worth noting – We went on a Saturday and were there for 11am which is when their website says the park opens. We were able to get our tickets and get in however, the rides, attractions, don’t actually open until noon. So we waited for an hour which was a little tough with two excited kids who just wanted to explore. So my tip would be, plan to arrive at noon, otherwise, you’ll sit around. My suggestion would be pack a little lunch and have a tailgate party in the parking lot until they open.

Trip to Diggerland USA in New Jersey

Secondly, most of the rides require children to be 36 inches tall, which was perfect for our oldest, but with the exception of 2 rides, there wasn’t much our 2 year old could do so I would plan accordingly.

Diggerland USA

There is also a waterpark as well so if you’re going in the warmer months, bring your bathing suits and towels!

 

Legoland Indoor Discovery Center – in the American Dream Mall East Rutherford, New Jersey

Legoland Indoor Discover Center NJ

This was our favorite part of the entire trip! Legoland is located right in the American Dream Mall near the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ, closest to Parking lot A on the first level. One important distinction is that this is not the same as Legoland. Legoland is an outdoor theme park which we plan to hit up in the future. Legoland Indoor Discovery Center is an indoor playground perfect for ages 3-10 years old. As soon as we entered Legoland, we hopped on the Imagination Express, a train ride through different lego worlds where you have the ability to partake in a simulated video game. The kids had a blast.

I think the one thing that captivated us adults was MiniLand, a New York City replica made completely out of legos featuring various famous NYC attractions such as Rockefeller Center, Central Park, Coney Island and the kids favorite – the NY Islanders hockey rink.

Legoland indoor discovery center NJ

Other attractions include a 4D Lego movie, areas throughout the for building with legos and character meet and greets.

Legoland Indoor Discovery Center NJ

Also next door to Legoland is the New Jersey SEA LIFE Aquarium which featured over 10 tanks and an area where kids can actually be hands on with the sea life.

Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park – in the American Dream Mall East Rutherford, NJ

Right after we finished at Legoland and the SEA LIFE Aquarium, we hit stopped and got something to eat inside the mall and then walked over to Nickelodeon Universe. Buy your tickets online and you will be given a block of time to visit.

Nickelodeon Universe is an indoor amusement park featuring rides and attractions based off of popular Nickelodeon shows. There was something for all ages, thrill rides and big rollercoasters, to smaller rides for younger kids and families. Rick and I were hit with nostalgia seeing the shows from when we were younger such as Rugrats, Ren & Stimpy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Nickelodeon Universe American Dream Mall

The kids enjoyed the rides with their favorite characters such as Blues Clues, Paw Patrol and Blaze and the Monster Machines.

Nickelodeon Universe American Dream

 

There’s a little spot for toddlers where they can play in Adventure Bay and climb on all of their favorite pups vehicles. Mav’s day was made!

Nickelodeon Universe American Dream

 

Overall we had a great time as a family! The kids had a blast and it was nice to have a little sense of normalcy after a crazy year.

 

For more travel, check out our Family Vacation to Rhode Island.

0 In travel

Our Family Vacation in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Vacation

We just came back from our family vacation to Rhode Island. This was our second time going and this time we went with a toddler and 6 week old in tow. Are we crazy? Maybe, but we had a great time. Today I’m sharing all about our family vacation in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island is a quaint little state in New England best known for it’s beaches (it’s called the Ocean State for a reason) and historic charm. It’s filled with beautiful coastal views and has lots of fun activities for families.

Where we stay

We rent a house in Bonnet Shores, which is a quiet residential neighborhood in Narragansett. Bonnet Shores has it’s own private beach for the neighborhood community and is my favorite beach in all of Rhode Island. Although there isn’t any parking which is one of the reasons why the beach is so quiet. But most homes in the neighborhood are a short walk or bike ride to the beach. I love all of the gorgeous homes in the neighborhood with the cedar shake siding and lined with bushes of hydrangeas. It’s our dream to own a home there one day.

Rhode Island Vacation

Find me at the beach

We hit up the beach in Narragansett almost every day. The Narragansett town beach is a public beach so it is a little busier but there are more amenities for the kids. Dude had a blast playing in the sand and riding the waves.

Rhode Island Vacation

I was a little anxious about taking an infant to the beach but Mav was a champ.  He even dipped his toes in a few times (gotta start ’em early).

Rhode Island Vacation

Travel Tip: In the summer, the Narragansett town beach has movies on the beach every Wednesday night. We headed on down with a few pizzas (and bottles of wine) in tow and watched a few of the volleyball games beforehand.

Rhode Island Vacation

The freshest seafood

If you head down to Point Judith you can charter a fishing boat and head out for a fishing excursion.

Here’s dude with his first fish he caught.

Rhode Island Vacation

There’s also a variety of shops to get freshly caught seafood. We always do a big seafood night to kick off our week.

Rhode Island Vacation

Day Trip to Block Island

We took the ferry over to Block Island for the day. The island has tons of cute shops and restaurants. You can also rent mopeds or bikes and ride around the island.

Rhode Island Vacation

Rhode Island Vacation

Memories to Cherish Forever

This year, my sisters and I surprised my parents with a family photo session.  Thanks to Cait Costa Photography, we were able to get some amazing photos we will truly cherish forever.

Rhode Island Vacation

 

 

If you are planning on heading to the beach with your little ones here are some of my favorite essentials:

 

Beach wagon – to help carry all of your necessities.

Family vacation to Rhode Island

Beach cabana – this was a lifesaver to keep the babe out of the sun and perfect for naps on the beach.

Family vacation in Rhode Island

Inflatable baby pool – This was such a great idea especially when going to the beach with toddlers. It was perfect for when the kids didn’t want to go in the ocean but wanted to cool off.

Our family vacation in Rhode Island

I shared my favorite Amazon bathing suits in my Friday Favorites blog post here

Family Vacation in Rhode Island

 

0 In family/ travel

Dino Roar Valley

Dino Roar Valley

Today we got to visit the brand new Dino Roar Valley in Lake George, NY. We are huge dino fanatics in our house so we were excited to check it out.

Dino Roar Valley

Dino Roar Valley features 20 life size dinosaurs that move and roar as you walk by. The tour is along a beautiful tree-lined pathway. It’s a nice, easy 1/2 mile walk and very stroller friendly. There’s also a spot for the kids to climb into a dino nest, dig for dinosaur fossils and attend a paleontologist workshop. It was a great experience and we had a blast.

Dino Roar Valley

Dino Roar Valley

On our way home we stopped at the Log Jam for lunch and then hit up some of the outlets for some shopping too.

If you’re looking for a little day trip, head up to Lake George and check out Dino Roar Valley. It opens this Memorial Day Weekend. It’s located right next to the Magic Forest where you can ride the ferris wheel and visit the petting zoo as well.

Click here to get your tickets

 

Dino Roar Valley

0 In travel

4 tips for planning your visit to the Ice Castles

ice castles

Last weekend we visited the Ice Castles in Lincoln, New Hampshire. The Ice Castles are man-made using over hundreds of thousands of icicles to create these breathtaking sculptures, archways and tunnels. It was absolutely beautiful, and definitely a must-see with your family in the winter time. I’m sharing some tips for planning for own visit.

ice castles

If you’re not in the northeast, Ice Castles also offers other locations including:

Dillon, CO, Edmonton, AB, Excelsior, MN, Lake Geneva, WI, and Midway, UT.

Here are 4 tips for planning your own visit to the Ice Castles:

1.) Buy tickets online and make reservations ahead of time.

You definitely want to buy your tickets online. You can buy tickets here.  We went at 1pm right when they opened on a weekend and it was super busy.  (I hear going during the weekday is the best if you can swing it). If you go later in the afternoon/evening, they have a really cool light display and light up all the castles.

We also made plans to stay overnight as it was a 4 hour drive for us. We stayed at the Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites in Plymouth. It was an easy 25 minute drive from the castles.

ice castles

2.) Dress warm.

Inside the Ice Castles, it’s 15 degrees cooler than it is outside so dress warm. (One good thing is that it definitely wasn’t as windy once you’re in the castles). Dress the kids in snowpants and other snow gear so that they can get down and explore. They had lots of tunnels and a slide. And be sure to wear boots as it is all ice. (Get my boots here. I have them in wheat/black).

And check out these comfy sweaters on Amazon

ice castles

3.) Hit up the slide first

When you get there, they offer a horse and carriage ride that goes around the castles and the surrounding property.  We did that first and then went inside the castles. They also have a big slide. I recommend doing that first once you’re in as the line is long. And then go and explore. You can stay in as long as you’d like, but once you exit, you can’t go back in.

ice castles

4.) Take lots and lots of pictures

The photo opportunities are endless. They have lots of archways, a couple balconies, and even a little ice couch so bring your camera!

ice castles

ice castles

 

ice castles

ice castles

 

ice castles