Kids, Money Saver, Promotions, Reviews, Reviews by Anthony, Summer, Tips and Tricks, Travel

How To Experience Great Wolf Lodge in Under 24 Hours

I was provided Paw Passes in exchange for this feature. I attended GWL on my own and opinions are my own

On the last day of school we hoped into the car and joined friends for a night at the Grand Mound, Wa. Great Wolf Lodge to celebrate the start of summer. It was the best way to celebrate with these new fifth grade boys. We have been before and this time was a bit different and actually the most fun we have had. The difference is that we had Paw Passes and we crushed our stay in less than 24 hours!

When you reserve your stay (or at check in) you have 3 play options to choose from which is a fantastic way to save in more ways than one! I’ll explain…..

For the littles, the Pup Pass is a great start and for the older boys the Paw or Wolf passes are best. Have you ever been to Great Wold Lodge and seen families with these large paws around their necks? These families know how to save and I wish I had discovered or really jumped on board sooner. We checked in and the passes were waiting for us and so was our room at 1:30 – bonus! We were able to go grab all our bags and go upstairs right away to change and head to the water area. After some swim time we changed and grabbed the passes to begin some indoor fun!

Here is the back of the Paw Pass $79.99 (saves over $32 in activities). First we sent the boys to do a quest. They have done this before and even have wands so they chose toppers and played MagiQuest. Because we bought the pass I didn’t have to bring any cash downstairs-it is all pre-paid and off they were running the halls. Us adults went upstairs to get dinner ready.

After dinner they wanted to have some arcade time and they got a game card with 20 points loaded because of the Paw Pass (that’s about $5 free pre-loaded). We added some more cash and off they went. They actually played day 1 and day 2 and were able to save the tickets on their cards from day 1 and combine when we left for their prizes.

After dinner and arcade they wanted to check more off of their Paw Pass list so off to the candy shop where they got to fill an entire cup with any of the bulk candy on the wall. Then next door was Oliver’s Mining Experience where they got to mine for gems. At this point I still have not spent any money besides the extra I put on his arcade card.

One more item to check off for the night…. Creation Station characters! There were many to choose form and Anthony chose Oliver. The game was down you play with after creating your stuffie so they offered us a free backpack and GWL character tee. 

Up to the room to munch on their candy and rest and then at 8pm was a BINGO game downstairs. We played a few games and all 3 boys managed to come away with wins. They pick lots of winners each round so winning is common and they got husky pups.

That was day one! They crashed right away and woke up wanting more water fun. The best time to hit the water park is right when it opens in the morning. A quick run to Starbucks downstairs (Amen to a Starbucks inside), made them waffles and to the waterslides where it is quiet in the morning with no waterslide lines. They had many rounds of slides with little lines. Once it came close to checkout we went upstairs to change but we still have a Paw Pass item and arcade points to spend.

At Great Wolf Lodge you check out at 11 but do not have to leave. Come back in and have some more fun! We completed our last Paw Pass experience in the gift shop where the boys chose a bracelet and got to engrave a name on it. Anthony wanted one for his puppy’s kennel so he chose pink and put Maya’s name on it. He traded in his arcade tickets for a Spiderman character and them homebound! The boys (and us gals) were beat!

The only item on the Paw Pass we did not do was the glitter tattoo ($8 value) because none of the boys were into it but the little girls in the Creation Station the boys offered it too were so excited. The crew allowed the boys to donate their tattoo item to these little girls we saw inside so it got used.

How the Paw Pass really saves!

When you arrive your room and any passes have been paid for if you chose them at purchase time. What I found is that I would spend so much more at GWL without passes and there are 2 reasons for this. The cost of the Pup, Paw and Wolf Passes save you an average of $30 because you bundled and pre-paid for activities in a package. When we don’t have a pass, we also don’t have a plan. There is so much to do and it all costs money.

With the pass the boys are so focused on getting all they can off their passes they aren’t constantly asking for money here and there. No, they didn’t golf or play both Quest games and they would want to do it all normally but these passes were a way to confine them and they never asked to do above and beyond. They had enough going on to keep them occupied. The passes save right away and give your kids a range to stay within.

So, what did we pay for inside the park? We brought our own food so no meal money was spent. We did pass by a bar where the boys were so excited to see Italian Sodas only I read it better to see they were Red Bull Italian Sodas so the guy at the bar told them he could make them sprite Italian Sodas and charged us $3.10 each. Deal! I gave my son $20 to add to his arcade card. I got coffee at Starbucks that my friend actually bought me, but still an expense for us. That’s it! $80 passes plus an extra $25. Know what I have dropped without a plan or pass inside before? At least twice as much! I am very proud how little after checkin we got away with and it makes it much more enticing to get back again soon. Oh and our stay was a Groupon deal so we still saved a ton on the room.

Our suggestion for Great Wolf Lodge

As we stood in line at the top of the waterslides we can see the Rope’s Course outside. It is a bit pricey but fun. Then my friend asks why GWL doesn’t offer a Teen Pass? There are many teens roaming and that would be fantastic. We figured maybe they can have some rope time. They can trade things like mining, bracelets and stuffed animal creation for more arcade points, slices of pizza, Ice Cream scoop, T-Shirt or water bottle from gift shop. They can maybe redeem for a room dedicated for teens (that would be fun to offer) for a movie or perhaps GWL swim area stays open a half hour longer and uses that as teen time for a small fee or free with a Teen Pass. We thought about our boys getting older and still having a blast but they won’t be into stuffed animals anymore so there is plenty that could be available for a pass for them. Maybe?

Visit Great Wolf Lodge and choose the Pass package that fits each of your family members!

 

 

Car Talk, Healthy Living, Home, Natural Products, Reviews, Travel

Gurunanda Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser For Car

I have partnered with Gurunanda for the feature. Samples were sent and opinions are my own

Gurunanda Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser For Car

How much do you love your essential oils? If you are like me you love using oils. Everyone has their preferred way to use oils. Many rely on them for healing, some may use them to make household cleaners and beauty products and my preferred usage is to fill my home with pleasant aromas (I’m a Mom of boys, so….)

Gurunanda has many essential oils and diffusers and now they have some portable diffusers so you’re oils can leave you pleasant aroma wherever you go. The Gurunanda Ultrasonic Essential OIl Diffuser for the Car is more than just a unit that can fit in your car’s cup holder. It comes with a USB cord as well as a plug for the cigarette lighter unit of your car.

I see this essential oil diffuser as useful in a hotel room, in the RV and even at your personal work space. I have USB ports on my laptop so when traveling or at my home office I can plug in right near me and burn some lavender or peppermint if I have a headache or stomach aches. It has the ultrasonic mist so it is great for healing.

More Features include:

  • Water Capacity: 55 ml
  • No wick required
  • Overheating protection.
  • Auto shut off when water is low
  • Compatible with most laptops or USB wall/car outlets, cable included
  • ETL certified

Modes of Operation

    • Continuous mode – Mist lasts up to 4 hours.
    • Intermittent mode – Mist lasts up to 8 hours.

While visiting Gurunanda to learn more, see their new Essential Oils Roll Ons! I actually own a few roll ons and the Gurunanda Jasmine Kiss is by far my favorite scent. Every time my eye catches the bottle even if I’m just at home with no plans, I stop to open it and swipe my wrists or neck to just have the scent near me.

Comment with Gurunanda on their website and follow on Facebook and Instagram

Buy It at Gurunanda.com or on Amazon: Gurunanda Ultrasonic Essential OIl Diffuser for the Car \ Gurunanda Essential Oils Roll Ons

Education, Healthy Living, Parenting, Travel

Staying Active – Avid4Adventure Summer Camps for Kids

I have partnered with Avid4Adventure Summer Camps via US Family Guide for feature

Staying Active - Avid4Adventure Summer Camps for Kids

Attention California and Colorado parents! Did you know about the day camps at Avid4Adventure? In these camps, your pre-K-11th graders of all levels will learn to climb, paddle, bike, hike and thrive in the outdoors. With help from their time-tested curriculum and insanely experienced instructors, they give campers solid skills and character-shaping confidence.

This is a great way to truly embrace the outdoors with smiles and pride lasting for long after camp is over. Just take a look…

Avid4Adventure Summer Camp locations

  • Colorado Day camp locations in Boulder, Golden, Highlands Ranch, Denver, Lafayette, Castle Rock and Colorado Springs. Overnight camps in Bailey and Evergreen, Colorado.
  • California Day camp locations in Burlingame, Campbell, Cupertino, Mill Valley, Moraga, Oakland, Palo Alto and Walnut Creek. Overnight camp locations in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado.

www.avid4.com

Sign up today to SAVE

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Jan 9th – Feb 28th: Early Bird, $25 off per session for Day Camps and $70 for Overnight Camps. All and any registrants can use code EARLYBIRD to get this discount Learn more and sign up at www.avid4.com or call 800-977-9873

Parenting, Travel

Visiting the Oregon Coast – Seaside, Oregon

Visiting the Oregon Coast - Seaside, Oregon

This New Years we took a drive to the Oregon coast and stayed in Seaside. It has been many years since I have been to Seaside and we know it is plenty entertaining for our son. The weather was gorgeous for heading into January and Seaside is located less than 20 miles from Astoria, Or which is a fun town to stay and shop in and Seaside is also about 7 miles from Cannon Beach which is a gorgeous beach town.

Staying in Seaside, Oregon

We chose one of the several hotels located along the river and only blocks from the ocean. Broadway is the main stretch of Seaside where you find the arcade, shops, restaurants and even a summer fun center with activities so staying on the ocean side of the river and close to Broadway is best. The Comfort Inn was where we chose and the staff were all so fun and pleasant. Not just one staff member, but all of them!

pool hotel

The Comfort Inn on Broadway has a pool, hot tub, sauna room and free hot breakfast. The breakfast had a ton of options like waffles, eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, cereals, breads, yogurt and much more. They kept a couple beverage items out all day to stop and and grab if needed. They also put fresh baked cookies in the lobby every afternoon!

Eating in Seaside, Oregon

If you drive to Seaside for a few days you won’t only eat in Seaside. With Cannon Beach and Astoria nearby there are several good eating options. However, with all of our stops over 3 days our favorite was Dundees in Seaside on the main Broadway and walking distance to many hotels. The staff is great and they have TV’s for the games and are family friendly. I had nachos and my husband ordered a pizza. We also had beers and mixed drink. Anthony ordered spaghetti and meatballs off the menu. Warning! The Nachos can easily feed 2 if you add meat!

We did go over New Years so hours of eateries were shortened. But when my son had a late night ice cream craving, the Dairy Queen 1 block over from Broadway was open late to serve. They were closing and loaded up his brownie sundae for him and offered him a bag of fries they were going to dump so he was a satisfied 9 year old.

We spent Sunday watching the Seahawks game at the Public Coast Brewery in Cannon Beach, Oregon. If you love unique brewed beers, they have many and are delicious. If you are not a beer drinker, their root beer is amazing! It was family friendly, order as you walk in and fast service.

What to do in Seaside, Oregon

Besides staring at the ocean? For the adults, there is shopping and good eateries. Located between about 6 pubs within a 30 mile radius you’ll eat well and enjoy some good Northwest beers.

For the kids, Funland about 2 blocks up from the beach is the hot spot! It is a huge arcade attached to a pizza place that has good food. It is called Fultanno’s Pizza and is a hit spot for lunch and dinner while the kids play. It is a ticket arcade so kids can earn fun prizes.

With the beach at my back, I took this shot of Broadway in Seaside. A long street of shops, food, hotels and fun!

In the summer, there is an indoor activity center across form the arcade with mini golf, bumper cars and more. There is no shortage in ice cream and candy shops and there are even swings and bathrooms on the beach.

It is also a pet-friendly beach and town! I think everyone in Seaside brought their dog on vacation with them. There is a dog around every corner and everyone stops to talk dog and owner with each other. With our new puppy, Maya she was in heaven and we got to meet and chat with so many other dog owners on our walks.

Gift Guides, Holiday Gift Guide 2017, Travel

Atlantic Unite™2 Luggage with Link2Go

I have partnered with Atlantic Luggage for feature

Atlantic Unite™2 Luggage with Link2Go

Where to start? This little carry on piece of luggage is all you would want for a day of travel. While I prefer a 21 inch carry on size, this Atlantic Unite ™2 set comes in 3 sizes and 2 colors – blue or black and in 21″, 25″ and 29″ spinners. Let’s examine this fantastic piece of luggage. I am so excited about this. It arrived even better than I anticipated. I can’t wait to travel with mine.

Like all luggage, the first thing I do is grab the handle to tote around. The grip is cushioned and there is a handle on the side as well as a bottom handle cup for that extra grip when lifting onto the security belt or overhead. This leaves a few carry options. For me, I like to extend the handle and the wheels are a spinner style so they spin freely to keep up with your twists and turns as you walk through the crowds and plane aisles.

The design is as durable inside as it is on the outside. With my blue luggage I have a grey liner with blue straps inside. There are 2 pockets in the liner on the inside-each across from each other to hold smaller items.

The back makes good sense flat and padded once you link your luggage pieces. This is because the Unite™2 has the Link2Go feature where you can attach 2 pieces very easily. Traveling heavy or have a child who won’t push their own luggage? This is where the feature comes in handy.

Once the 2 luggage pieces are back to back you will use these side straps to secure the pieces together then be back on your way.

Oh, and there is a USB charging port too. I know!! That is the greatest right? We have to dig for enough items in the airport from ID, boarding passes, kids snacks and now you don’t have to dig for your charger bank. I always grab our chargers and plug them all in the night before travel on the wall where our luggage is sitting and waiting.

Now I can grab those chargers and unzip the inside pocket to store them and once connected we just plug our devices into the side of the luggage and it is charging when needed again. I don’t know who will love this feature more, me or the boys!

[bctt tweet=”Have you seen the @AtlanticLuggage Unite2 luggage? It has a USB charging pot on the side! #travel ” username=”3sonshavei”]

Did the Atlantic Unite™ 2 luggage piece forget anything? I am not thinking so. Once I attach my neck pillow and fill it with clothes I have all I need to travel. OK….so I bring more than clothes and a pillow. I actually bring a whole lot more so it is a good thing I have enough pockets in this luggage to save room in my lap bag during flight.

Visit Atlantic Luggage to see all of their family-friendly and affordable pieces. It makes a great gift idea for families that travel.

Gift Guides, Giveaways

SmartComfort Memory Foam Neck Support Pillow Giveaway

I was provided product for feature

SmartComfort Memory Foam Neck Support Pillow Giveaway

This past July I took my son to NYC for a toy conference and it was a 6.5 hour flight. I packed well except for one mistake. I did not bring a travel pillow or blanket for myself. About 15 minutes into the flight the woman beside me fell a asleep with her head nearly into my space. My son was on the other side of me and had the window to lean on and I sat straight up. My bum hurt and my head was never comfortable enough to be able to fall asleep.

In NYC I bought a neck pillow on the way home at a souvenier shop and it was so flat and useless I used it about the first hour of the flight back then no more. When I was offered the SmartComfort Memory Foam Neck Support Pillow for review I was excited to try what appeared to be a quality travel pillow.

I immediately felt the fantastic quality and the memory foam is so comfortable. It doesn’t lave my neck in an awkward position when I have it on and the fabric is super soft and feels great to lean on. I can easily sit straight up on a plane and comfortably sleep. Having a pinched nerve in my shoulder that gets aggravated frequently it really supports my neck well which helps out my shoulder a ton.

SmartComfort Memory Foam Neck Support Pillow Giveaway

Want to win a Smart Comfort Neck Pillow for yourself? Enter below. Open to US and ages 16+. Ends on 12/22/2017.

Win a SmartComfort Memory Pillow #3