Archive for Holidays

03 Dec 2014

Christmas in NYC

4 Comments Family Travel, Holidays, New York City, Travel, Travel Tuesday

A weekend in pictures. Must visit places. Best if you sit back and enjoy New York City while you are here.

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For great travel deals to NYC click HERE!

23 Nov 2014

How To Have a Snowy Holiday in Florida

No Comments Adventures, Family Travel, Florida, Holidays, Kids, Uncategorized

Dreaming of a white Christmas…in Florida? Long shot, right? Well, maybe not…

Moving down to Florida from Wisconsin when I turned 13 was devastating to me during the holidays. It wasn’t Thanksgiving with 80 degrees and lots of sunshine. It surely didn’t feel like Christmas in shorts either. I have never truly adjusted to not having a white Christmas in Florida, but with kids, this is the only holiday they know, so it’s up to me and Chance to make it “feel” like Christmas this time of year. I have mastered a few tricks that work for us to get the kids in the holiday spirit.

Finding The Typical Christmas Memories

While there is typically a slight chill in the air, it’s the snow, the ice skating, the hot chocolate, the cookies, the carolers and of course the Christmas trees and music that give kids (and grown ups) a sense of holiday happiness. For me, this is the first year that Christmas actually felt like Christmas. It has always been difficult to feel like it is “the season” when it’s 80 degrees outside. But this is what my kids know. They didn’t grow up with snowbanks to climb at school, snow days or a white Christmas. I have learned to adapt, but I hope that the snowy holidays I can show them will get them in the spirit too!

So what if I REALLY wanted them to experience what a Snowy Holiday in Florida? I have just found the answer.

1. Experience Kissimmee. Just go. You won’t regret it.

Last year, was my first time visiting Kissimmee and we had really just stumbled upon all that Kissimmee had to offer. We only went to the Gaylord Palms, but now that we know there is so much more is happening, we are sure to make this an annually trip (or trips) to experience a fun day, night or weekend that will become our snowy holiday tradition each year.

2. Spend an evening (or a few nights) at Gaylord Palms

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My parents were down from Chicago in November last year and we decided to stay at the Gaylord Palms Resort. We had never been so we were all so excited! I had heard about ICE! but didn’t know what to expect there either. We had the time of our life and experienced Christmas like never before. We had such an amazing time with all they had going on for Christmas that it’s now a tradition that we go back each November or December, even if just for the day (but a few days is so much better!)

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So much happens each year on their property. Decorations, the show, the ICE! exhibit, Gingy’s House, seeing Santa are reasons to come over and enjoy a holiday get away. The show…THE SHOW. In their lobby each night is a free show that rivals any holiday show I have paid for. Combine aerialist, music- the Luminscent band, the Orlando Ballet plus all their holiday light on display and what you have is wrapped up into the best 30 minute holiday show you’ll ever see. It happens nightly in their atrium and is a show you must see. The music is heavenly and the visuals that accompany the show are just stunning. Did I mention it’s free? If you are only there for an evening, pay the valet fee, come in for dinner at one of their amazing restaurants and grab a seat at the show. Then head over to the ICE! exhibit and head home for the night. If you are staying, be sure to check out the Florida Buzz Report for some great deals at the Gaylord Palms.

And what exactly is this ICE! exhibit I’m speaking of? Each year, over 2 million pounds of ice is hand carved and put on display where spectators are able to marvel at the intricate sculptures carved by the

3. Visit Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Of course Mickey knows how to throw a Christmas party! And what a Christmas party it is! The lights, the decorations, the shows, the Christmas parade and the Cinderella’s castle! This year, the show blended a Frozen theme with their show and the lighting of the castle was actually Elsa icing the castle. Olaf, Anna and more Frozen cast members were on hand to help Elsa let her powers go! Pure magic! Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party does require an extra ticket to attend. You can enter the park at 4pm and stay past midnight. There are only a select few weekends that this happens and once tickets are gone, that’s it. In addition to being open for later hours, because there is only a certain number of people who are able to attend each night, the lines are definitely shorter as there isn’t a great number of people inside the park. We had an amazing time at Magic Kingdom and will definitely be back to celebrate the holidays with Mickey.

For more information on Walt Disney World Mickey’s very Merry Christmas Park visit the Trekaroo blog.

4. Stop by Celebration for a Snowy Night

Just outside of Disney World itself is the town that Disney built. You might not even know it’s there. Celebrate in Celebration as kids will play with faux snow, ice skate (on synethtic ice in 80 degree weather) or have a holiday dinner at the Columbia restaurant. Each night, starting at 6pm, the town square in Celebration becomes a place for carolers and families looking to celebrate the season. Take pictures in front of their Christmas tree for your holiday card or just stroll around the quaint shops complete with whimsical Christmas window decorations. Time seems to stand still here and maybe it will for you too while you celebrate the season.

For more on Celebration and their Snowy Night Celebration visit the Trekaroo blog.

I’ve realized over the years that it’s not just the snow that evokes my Christmas memories, but more about the traditions my kids will remember to bring their childhood to life during the holidays. But yes, because I grew up having a mostly white Christmas, it’s so fun to visit these places that help to bring me back down to memory lane, while creating fun memories for my kids.

Plan your trip to Kissimmee to see these Snowy Holiday events by reading more about them on Trekaroo.com.

For more information on a Snowy Holiday in Kissimmee, here are a few links:

The DadScribe Blog
Fun and Frugal Mom Blog
JonahBonah Blog

Disclaimer: I was hosted by Experience Kissimmee to experience these activities. All opinions are my own.

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14 Feb 2014

Easy DIY Valentines Day Ideas for Kids

No Comments Everyday, Holidays

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19 Dec 2012

Lucky Number 7

3 Comments Adventures, Holidays, Random, Tampa, Wordless Wednesday

I have never really thought of birthdays being special. They are for the kids, but for me, it’s work. The presents, the party, the friends…It’s another birthday that I have to make special for my kids. I love it (and them) but it’s a birthday and that means work for me.

But today, and from now on, I think birthdays are something so much more. They are magical…special and are so important.

Today we are celebrating my daughter’s birthday…her 7th birthday. Lucky number 7.

It’s a random year, not too big of a milestone, but a birthday none the less. And THAT, to any 6 year old turning 7, it means the world.

This year, the meaning of the age 7 has changed for me as well as many others.

My daughter will get to BE 7.

We will not only get to celebrate her 7th birthday but we will get to she her be 7 for another year. She will loose more teeth, she will ride her bike, play with dolls, get better at reading, spelling and math, she will excel in gymnastics, and run and play as free as any 7 year old would do.

She gets to BE 7 and I get to watch her be 7 every day.

***

I usually wake up in order to get a little silence in before the chaos starts. But the silence has not been broken yet this morning. It’s dark, it’s quiet. My house will soon be a buzz with the sounds of life. It can be overwhelming and I get frustrated. I tell (or yell) at them to BE QUIET! I want everyone to be quiet because the baby is sleeping. I want the peace and quiet. I want the crying baby to stop crying. I want my oldest two to stop arguing. I want my 3 year old to stop whining. They get louder. I get louder. But then the sweet sounds come too. They laugh. They giggle. They help each other out. Four kids make noise loud enough to resemble a 24 hour house party when given the chance.

But it’s the silence I crave and the silence I fear. I could not imagine the silence forever. I want to hear “row row row your boat” 4, 578 times…in a row. I want to hear them. I love their sweet little voices and couldn’t imagine not hearing them ever again.

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So today the silence will break as it usually does. I will welcome it. I will welcome all that goes along with my 6 turning 7 year old, and the rest of the crew to celebrate this new day. Because today is a birthday! And day that she will run out of her room screaming “ITS MY BIRTHDAY!” ITS MY BIRTHDAY!” We will celebrate her 7th birthday like it’s 1999, and hug and kiss and smile like it is the best day in the whole world! Why? Because to any 6 year old turning 7, it is.

But for me, I will try to hold back the tears when my bouncing 7 year old enters the rooms and screams with pure joy. I will hug her and thank God that we are special enough to see this day. This is a celebration about a new year and what is to come. The 7th birthday has come for her and she will go on being 7 like she is supposed to. I will take her fresh age of 7 and cherish it as the greatest gift that anyone has given us. To all the parents of 6 year old little babies in Sandy Hook, that will not get to see theirs turing 7, I will think of them and what they will miss. It is not fair. In so many ways, it is just not fair. The memory of what happened will be with me each year I get to see my daughter turn another age.

I think the reason many of my friends and I have come to take this harder than some is because we see 6 and 7 year olds each day. Another Mom put it best when she wrote, we know what 6 is. Because we do.

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Happy 7th birthday to the most amazing daughter…my first little girl, who’s taught me about all the joys that little girls bring to life. I am so excited to see what the next year brings.

15 Dec 2012

Funniest Christmas Card Ever

1 Comment Adventures, Everyday, Holidays, Tampa

I made this on Pic Minkey. Best photo editing software free on the web. Simple. Easy.

The card speaks the truth. Probally what we were all thinking!

17 Mar 2012

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Tampa!

No Comments Adventures, Florida, Holidays, Tampa, Tampa Bay

Thanks to the wonderful City of Tampa and the Tampa Downtown Partnership, we now have a NEW tradition! The Hillsborough River will now be dyed GREEN and there will be a family friendly Mayor’s River O’ Green Fest that will take place at Curtis Hixon Park along the beautiful Tampa Riverwalk.
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