Kids, Seattle Area Attractions, Travel

Fall Memories at Maris Farms Review in Pictures

I was given VIP access to Maris Farms in Buckley, Wa

Fall Memories at Maris Farms Review in Pictures

If you live in Pierce County Washington then Maris Farms is a fall name turned tradition for many families. I know friends and family all over the state who are aware of Maris Farms and we had our first visit this weekend and I have 1 word: IMPRESSIVE!

We moved to this county last year (moved back actually), yet we have never made a visit to Maris Farms before. Usually there is a neighborhood farm near our home that we will visit because it is close and local. Had I experienced Maris Farms earlier it would have been a tradition for all of the boys, not just the youngest now. Anthony brought a friend because a farm visit is better with a buddy!

Maris Farms Map

I want you to experience Maris Farms with me! So, I have created this post full of photos that still doesn’t do the well-organized farm any justice. These pictures are only half of the experience you get.

See the map that Anthony is holding above? Below is a list of all of the events and stations around the farm to experience. That’s a lot! Now the green are everyday events and the ones in orange are weekend only events so the weekend is a great way to experience it all especially coming later so you are here for the evening Haunted Woods, but the weekdays are quieter and still offer plenty!

No surprise money due once inside except for 5 of the weekend events that have a $ sign after it. Let’s take a little tour….

Barnyard Ball Zone. There are 2 of these around the farm! How great would this be in your own backyard!

Barnyard Football

First! Look at the top of the Rat Rollers photo…that’s the Farm up there with a lot of the events. This is another area below near the pumpkin patch. There are plenty of wheelbarrows to go around so you aren’t lugging your pumpkins that far at all.

Barrel roll

The wait for a Bounce House jump is always the longest wait!

bounce

That’s a mechanical bull! No kidding! This is weekends only.

bull ride

This is one of 3 large walls showing the history of their corn maze designs!

history of corn maze

Dad joins in on the Rubber Duck Races!

duck race

I leaned over the sheep barn wall to snap this. At night this turns into the entrance for the Haunted Woods walk. This is weekends only starting at 7pm and extra $.

Haunted

How old were you when you ate a hot dog on a farm watching a pig race happen? Anthony was 10! Races are weekends only.

hot dog break

This is called the Jump Pillow and I want one! There is the other Barnyard Ball Zone in the background I told you about!

jump pillow

This is the Paintball Gallery or as the boys call it, the Zombie Paintball! Weekends Only and extra $.

zombie paintball

The Trout Catch and Release Fishing was a blast. None of us caught a fish, but several around us did. Weekends only.

catch and release fish

Check this out…a Goat Walk! Bring quarters because you can vend food and hoist it up to them in little buckets on a rope.

goat walk

Everyhere you turn they have fit little activities on the walk like this Color Change maze. Why not?

color maze

What is a Mineshaft Slide we wondered as we came up to this area?

mineshaft slide

That’s a Mineshaft slide!

slide

Ever ride a Monster Truck by a pumpkin field. You can at Maris Farms. This one costs an extra $10 and weeknds only.

monster truck

Sheep! Pigs! Pheasants! and….kittens! Yes, we watched kittens play in the Animal Barn

sheep

Have you taken a Speleo Kave challenge? No worries, I still have no idea what this is. The boys, however came out hollering that was the most fun so far! Something about climbing in and maneuvering between narrow paths and coming out the ground.

speloe kave

The 10 year olds declined the Cow Train, but how adorable!

train

How did they think of these spots of fun? Seriously! The Black Mamba

tunnel

Another blast, literally! Anthony is cannon shooting the Apple Blaster. This is a weekend only event and extra $.

Now these boys are Human Foos-Ball players!

If you haven’t ended a day on a farm in the fall on a Bee Line Zip Line, you have not lived in boy glory!

zipline

Maris Farms events not pictured or mentioned

  • 2018 Corn Maze (I know…we had to go to a dinner). We had no idea we should have given ourselves so much time.
  • Hayride
  • Slide Tower
  • Tire Mountain
  • Spider Web
  • Corn Hole
  • Corn Room (the toddlers were living it up in here)
  • Sunken Tractor
  • Tetherball (in more than one area of the farm)
  • Baby Ball Zone
  • Pedal Trikes Course
  • Tube Sliders
  • Live Honey Bees
  • Cow Roping (not real ones, silly!)
  • Tug O War
  • Digger Dell (weekends)
  • Live Duck Races (weekend)
  • Pumpkin Princess Story Time (weekend)
  • Face Painting (weekend)
  • Hot Seat Escape (like a mini escape room-weekends)
  • Glass Pumpkins (weekends and extra $)
  • Flashlight Maze (weekends and extra $)
  • “Boo!”Rides (weekends and extra $)
Maris Farms is located at

25001 Sumner Buckley Hwy, Buckley, WA 98321

For Hours and Dates: Click Here
Kids, Money Saver, Promotions, Reviews, Reviews by Anthony, Seattle Area Attractions, 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!

 

 

Parenting, Seattle Area Attractions, 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. There are many great beaches on the Oregon coast!

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.