Beat the Heat at Disney

Beat the Heat at Disney

Want to thrive on your summer Disney trip? Not just survive it? Visiting Walt Disney World in the summer can be hot. REALLY HOT! As in, you can’t spend five minutes outside without sweat dripping down your back hot. Yet you can still have a wonderful time – with a little planning and a little swizzle in your schedule. Read on to learn our tips and tricks! Tip #1: Take a break during the hottest part of the day. This may seem obvious, but it amazes me how many people don’t follow it. When we come back to park refreshed, cooled off and ready to enjoy the evening, I see those people yelling at their kids, mopping the sweat off their faces and looking rundown. Seriously, you’ll have a MUCH better time if you just take a few hours out of the park from about 1:00 – 4:00. If you have little ones, take a nap, older kids may enjoy splashing around in a pool or even just going out for a nice long lunch in an air-conditioned restaurant. On our recent summer trip, we spent a few hours bowling at Splitsville – it was a blast AND we had a great chance to cool off before heading back to the Magic Kingdom. Tip #2: Drink lots of water. Another obvious tip, but easy to forget. Especially when you are in Epcot and the fun drinks around the world are tempting you. Go ahead and try a few, just be sure to drink plenty of water in-between. Often when we start to get cranky, I force everyone to drink...
Disney – Stay Onsite or Offsite?

Disney – Stay Onsite or Offsite?

Which is better? Staying onsite at Disney or offsite? Many years ago, we would spend two to four weeks each June in Orlando and we rarely stayed at the Disney properties. Instead we would hop around from timeshare to timeshare. Now that the kids are older and super busy, a week at a time is about all we can get away for. Due to that, the last few years we’ve stayed almost exclusively at Disney resorts. However this last trip, we had some points we had to use up so we stayed at a nearby resort. This got me thinking about which is better … and I still don’t have a definitive answer. I think it depends upon what amenities are important to you, and what the purpose of your trip is. That being said, here are some pros and cons for both staying onsite and offsite. Pros for Staying at a Disney Property There are some really great reasons for staying onsite, but my all-time favorite reason is that the resorts are amazing. They are so well themed, that you get that “Disney” feel 24/7. If you love Disney, this will be a big plus for you! You’ll also discover little Disney touches throughout your stay. Things like icy-cold fruit infused water in the lobby, Disney pin trading with cast members, hidden Mickey’s galore. If you visit the DVC properties you’ll also find a whole schedule of engaging activities ranging from pool parties to trivia. It can be a lot of fun to spend a resort day just enjoying all these activities. Insider tip: if you enjoy looking...
Bowling and Dinner – Splitsville Style!

Bowling and Dinner – Splitsville Style!

A big thanks to Splitsville for hosting our bowling and dinner! All opinions and pictures are my own. By now, you know I love doing more than just going out to dinner, so bowling and dinner was a great choice! On our latest trip to Disney, we discovered the PERFECT break in the day and way to escape the heat – a visit to Splitsville in Disney Springs. If you’ve ever visited Disney in the summer, it’s hot. I mean REALLY hot. However, for families with kids, sometimes summer is the only option for a Disney vacation. If that’s your situation, taking a break in the afternoon to visit Splitsville will turn an exhausting day into a fantastic memory. For several years now, we’ve walked by Splitsville and talked about how fun it would be to check it out. We even walked in one year and looked around but didn’t take the time to stop and play. What a mistake! Insider tip: We learned from the manager, Don, that Splitsville actually has a few other locations, so even if you aren’t visiting Orlando, you can visit a Splitsville. Current locations include Anaheim, CA, Foxborough, MA, Fredericksburg, VA, Miami, FL and Tampa, FL. Splitsville isn’t just bowling, it’s also great food, live entertainment and good old-fashioned family fun. On our recent visit, we spent several hours bowling, laughing and enjoying an early dinner. Although you don’t have to bowl to visit Splitsville (you can just enjoy dinner or drinks there), it really is a fun family activity. As soon as you walk in, you’ll be greeted at the front counter...
Family Road Trips Tips

Family Road Trips Tips

Road trips are a constant in my life – the majority of our trips are taken in the minivan! Tanya from Traveling Tanya has some excellent tips for your next road trip with young kids. If you have a trip planned in the near future, be sure to take in her words of wisdom … For some, the thought of loading the family into the minivan for a cross country adventure sounds like the trip of a lifetime. Yet others dread the thought of a long road trip. No matter which camp you are in on this issue, an extended amount of time in the car with young children can test even the most patient person! As a mother of teenagers, I’ll admit I’m happy to be beyond the toddler stage. Although raising teenagers creates its own unique challenges! But I can still clearly recall the struggles I experienced in the car when my girls were little. I do have a few tricks up my sleeve (and in the diaper bag) that I am now happy to pass along to other moms with wee ones in tow. My best advice for traveling with young kids: Be prepared and have reasonable expectations. While every child is different and their needs may vary, here are some practical strategies to try on your next road trip with toddlers, preschoolers and beyond. Pit Stops Even though you may want to get to your final destination so your vacation can really begin, kids require frequent stops. Be prepared to stop at least every 2-3 hours. Regular potty breaks and diaper changes are a must...
Why Local Breweries are the Best

Why Local Breweries are the Best

If you’ve followed me for any length of time (especially on Instagram), it’s pretty apparent that I’m a huge fan of local breweries. What’s funny is that aside from sours, I really don’t like beer … So what’s up with that? I’m sharing my top 5 reasons as to why I love local breweries and see if I can’t convince the other non-beer lovers out there to check them out too: The food. In general, I’ve found the food at local breweries to be top-notch. Many of them have the same philosophy with food as they do with beer – keep it local when possible and make it tasty. When the brewery doesn’t have a kitchen, they often offer food trucks, and who doesn’t enjoy a good food truck? The atmosphere. Comfortable seating, friendly bartenders and servers, plenty of board games to play. A few of my favorites even offer outdoor games like cornhole or comfy sofa areas when you just want to enjoy a drink and relax. If you are lucky, they brew the beer on site and you might get a chance to check out the process or learn a bit about their philosophy. The fun. It seems like there is something going on most nights. Trivia, Bingo, Open Mic nights, even craft nights – we’ve enjoyed all of these at several of our local breweries. I’m a fan of not just going out to dinner but doing dinner WITH entertainment. A local brewery will have that covered. The drinks. I’ve only been to one local brewery that didn’t offer something for the non-beer drinker. Many times...

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