Category - Venues

Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium To Host 100 Kids to Celebrate 100th Attraction Giveaway

The new Sea Life Aquarium at Concord Mills will provide 100 tickets to local children in celebration of being the 100th attraction to open under UK-based Merlin Entertainments.

This outreach initiative was created through Merlin’s Magic Wand, the company’s charity that provides magical days out for seriously ill, disabled or disadvantaged children at Merlin attractions worldwide. This year, Merlin will work with local organizations in more than 22 countries to provide 10,000 kids with tickets to visit their 100 attractions.
 
Sea Life Charlotte-Concord has partnered with local organizations including Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte (RMH), The Sandbox and Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Children’s Hospital to provide tickets to children in their care. Each of these Charlotte area organizations helps families with a child who has been diagnosed with cancer or a life-altering illness by providing them with basic necessities, suitable housing or medical care.

TicketPresentation
 
“We are always thrilled to partner with organizations who are passionate about children,” said Mona Johnson-Gibson, Executive Director of RMH of Charlotte. “Sea Life is a great way for our families to take a break and have some fun!”

RonaldMcDonald
Sea Life’s mascot Sharky visited with some of the kids at Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte today for a special ticket presentation. He made an earlier appearance at Ronald McDonald House in April.
 
“The entire Sea Life team is excited to be able to provide so many amazing children with a fun day away to just be kids,” said Jack Stevenson, Marketing Manger at Sea Life Charlotte-Concord. “We look forward to sharing our underwater journey with them very soon.”
 
About Sea Life Charlotte-Concord
Sea Life Charlotte-Concord is a one-story, 26,000-square-foot indoor aquarium with another 10,000 square feet planned for future expansion. This one-of-a-kind attraction will allow visitors to experience the magical world beneath our seas with marine habitats, displays, and close encounters with over 5,000 sea creatures. Sea Life provides a glimpse of the diversity of marine life while also playing an active role in animal and environmental conservation. Visitors will see strong evidence of Sea Life’s Breed, Rescue and Protect activities around the world, including new projects developed locally.
 
Sea Life is the world’s largest aquarium chain with over 45 attractions around the world. Sea Life Charlotte-Concord is the sixth Sea Life aquarium launched in the U.S. and is located at Concord Mills, 8111 Concord Mills Blvd. in Concord, NC. For more information, visit www.visitsealife.com/charlotte-concord.

In honor of the tickets being given away to some great charities in Charlotte, here’s your chance to win 4 General Admission tickets to Sea Life Charlotte-Concord.

Enter here:

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SEA LIFE Generic Logo AW (Holding CMYK 100-80-0-20)

 

 

I am a member of the Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Parent Council. I receive complimentary admission however I am not paid for my opinions or work.

Tips for Visiting the Georgia Aquarium {Giveaway}

Planning your summer trips and family vacations? Might I suggest a trip to Atlanta, Georgia to visit to the world’s second largest aquarium, Georgia Aquarium.

Tips for Visiting Georgia Aquarium MommyB Collage

Daddy B, Miss A, Lil’ C, and I were able to make a weekend trip down to Atlanta thanks to the Georgia Aquarium and Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Downtown. We had heard from some of YOU and friends how amazing the aquarium was, and are happy to confirm all of the rave reviews were spot on. We really enjoyed our visit and would love to go back again soon.

For those of you thinking of making a visit to the Georgia Aquarium here are some tips:

Tips for Visiting Georgia Aquarium MommyB

Take your time.

If you are visiting Georgia for attractions other than the aquarium I would highly recommend setting aside an entire day (times vary depending on the day of the week), to enjoy the aquarium.

Get to events/shows early.

Especially on weekends, the shows and special events fill up quickly, if you don’t like large crowds or want to be proactive plan your schedule around the shows giving about a 15-30 minute leeway at least.

 

Eat meals at off times.

You’d be surprised at how many people were in the cafeteria (which has some really yummy/healthy options too) right at noon for lunch. If you plan accordingly you can miss the mad rush, find a table, enjoy your meal, and end up enjoying the aquarium while everyone else is eating.

Take lots of pictures and video.

With many of the animals and fish being species we don’t often see, be sure to take lots of pictures and video to commemorate your trip and reminisce in the memories. Sometimes we get caught up in seeing the sites but forget to document it too.

Skip shows if you have sensitive children.

Both of our girls are a little sensitive to things that seem to be scary including movies, bugs, large animals. While I understand not all children are affected there are some things for parents of sensitive children to be aware of.

In Deepo’s Undersea 3D Wonder Show certain children may be bothered by 3d (the film or the glasses), air blowing under seats, and non-harmful objects falling from the ceiling. If your child has a sensory processing disorder or is sensitive in this manner you may want to skip this attraction, however if your child loves movies and doesn’t mind the sensory features this is a great, wholesome video even though there is some commercialism (Home Depot), there are lots of laughs and learning showcased.

Georgia Aquarium Deepo Review MommyB

In Georgia Aquarium’s other large attraction; AT&T Dolphin Tales show, your family gets to watch a live dolphin show with a pirate tale. This show is held in an amphitheater type setting so if someone in your family is claustrophobic or afraid of heights you may want to skip out. Also we loved the dolphins so much that they canceled out the “bad guys” aka dead fish pirate ship/bad pirates, but the girls did mention how that part of the show bothered them. If your children do not like “bad guys” in movies/shows you may want to consider skipping this attraction.

Allow yourself to be amazed.

With the media and accessibility that we have these days it’s often hard for us to fully realize the wonders of the world. Try to remember these are real creatures and animals that you have the privilege of seeing up close. Encourage your children (and yourself) to learn at least 5 new things about sea life.

Amazing Georgia Aquarium Pics MommyB

Look for discounts.

Often times you can find attraction discounts with memberships you are a part of, or if you are a credit card holder, be sure to check also with travel bureaus for discounts to attractions. Georgia Aquarium is also offering an amazing Southern Hospitality Discount for residents of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida. Visitors receive discounted admission of $29.95 +tax when they show a valid ID verifying residency at the ticket window only, now through June 13, 2014.

Enter to win tickets.

My last piece of advice for visiting the Georgia Aquarium is to enter to win your family a 4 pack of Total Tickets with a Behind-the-Scenes Tour, and a 1 Day Parking Voucher. How awesome is that?!?! If it’s not a great fit for you feel free to enter to win for someone else or tell your friends/family about this giveaway and all of the great things Georgia Aquarium has in store for families.

Enter here to win:

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Plan your trip.

Start your planning by checking out information on the Georgia Aquarium website. The site offers hours of operation, parking information, ticket package details and is sure to get your family excited about the trip!

 

 

My family and I were invited to Georgia and the Georgia Aquarium. We were not compensated for a review nor did we pay for admission or lodging. Thank you to Georgia Aquarium and Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Atlanta for hosting us.

10 Things I Heart in Spring

10-Things-I-Heart-Spring

I decided that I would not write about Spring on my blog until it finally felt like Spring here in Charlotte, NC, however today, it’s going to be up in the 80s so I’m not sure if I’m allowed to write this considering the summer-like weather we are having. Then again, how can I not share with you things I’m hearting this Spring?!?!

Disneyland in the Spring MommyB
1. Traveling – Although we’re in the midst of packing for our move in June, we have been traveling a lot this Spring. We had the opportunity to visit Disneyland in California, where the weather was amazing and we had a BLAST! And we just returned from an amazing trip to Georgia where we visited the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola (I’ll have trip reports on both soon!) Where have you traveled this Spring or where are you traveling to?

Build-a-Bear Spring2. New friends – We have been making lots of new friends this Spring! We recently started going to story hour at the church we’ve been attending and making new friends there AND in stuffed friend news, we got a new Spring Build-A-Bear friend who is an ADORABLE Soft & Sweet Lamb ($18) She has fluffy white fur that’s perfect for cuddling. Our little lamb is all dressed up for Spring and tea parties AND at Build-A-Bear you can also add scents so your furry friends smell oh-so-sweet, how cool is that?!?

3. Outside Fun – We are blessed to have a nice, flat, and decent size backyard so lately we’ve been spending a lot of time outside. If it’s nice out I’ll let Miss A do her homework outside and of course lots of chalk, bubbles, running, scooters/bikes, and water table play. How about you??

4. Spring Cleaning – I know this sounds soooo strange, but I really do love organizing and cleaning, even though these days I don’t have quite as much time as I’d like to do either. Luckily, the move gives me a great excuse to do a little bit of both. I’ve been trying out a few new cleaning products including some Method products and Nature’s Kloth.

We try to be a little more eco-friendly here and there and both of these products help. We’ve been using Nature’s Kloth instead of a sponge and replacing the way we clean with paper towels to create less waste. I love that it’s eco-friendly (biodegradable, washable over 300 times, made from cotton and plant fiber, and more) and is great for many uses inside and outside the house. I definitely feel better about cleaning when there isn’t a huge pile of used papertowels in my trash.

5. Healthy Kiddos – I am super thankful for healthy kiddos. Lately we’ve been pretty healthy especially considering that we’ve been flying and traveling a lot. We have a lot of friends who have not been so fortunate this Spring. For those uncomfortable fevers and painful colds and aches we give our girls Children’s Advil. For Lil’ C who does not do well with any sort of pain, this does the trick for us. I love that they have so many flavors (and dye-free versions) too since she doesn’t care for most medicine flavors. Plus, they have some fun activities and tips for parents on how to stay healthy.

Garden Lites Collage

We also love that our girls like healthy foods like Garden Lites. Miss A surprisingly enjoyed these gluten-Free, veggie muffins. They’re high in fiber, and low in fat. Miss A’s favorite flavor was: Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip. They have loads more flavors and come in a box of 4 with an SRP of $3.99.

Lee Fashion Spring Capris

6. Spring Clothes!! – I love a good infinity scarf, especially the beautiful chevron one that one of my friends gave me for my birthday, but I really enjoy wearing comfy Spring clothes. I love wearing adorable maxi and sun dresses because they are so flowy and comfortable.

I am also loving the new Lee Spring collection that features bermuda shorts and capris that are comfortable while being dressy at the same time. If I need to dress up an outfit some of their capris and shorts come with adorable, fashionable belts as well. Here are a few of my other favorites from their collection:

Lee Spring Collection

 

7. Parties – I always love a good get-together and with the girls’ birthdays, holidays and end of school coming for us, Spring is always filled with fun parties and celebrations. We’ll have a small birthday get together for Miss A {since we went to Disneyland the girls aren’t getting their usual HUGE parties}, a class party for the end of the year {here’s an end of the year gift idea}, and loads of friends birthday parties.

Iesodo Video8. Good Message Movies – We were sent a couple of videos from Iesodo (pronounced Ya-Sa-Doe) that retells Bible stories with animated animals, mainly birds. My girls LOVED the videos and have been singing the catchy songs every day since we’ve watched them. We love sharing these videos with our friends because we know the language and content are appropriate for all viewers. Even if you have no religious affiliation, but want your children to learn good values, these videos promote wholesome character traits and morals and is good for children of any age.

9. Pasta Salad – Of course you can eat pasta salad anytime of year, but this is the season pasta salads shine! I really love cold, crisp salads with lots of veggies. What’s your favorite pasta salad recipe?

B girls with Genevive Goings Choo Choo Soul at Disneyland

10. Meeting Amazing People – Not that this is necessarily a Spring thing, but since we went to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, we were able to meet some pretty amazing people. One of our favorites though was Genevieve Goings from Choo Choo Soul with Genevieve.

Miss A says her favorite person/character she met the entire stay was Genevieve and we met a lot of people/characters so that says a lot. Of course we fell in love with Genevieve on Disney/Disney Junior with her Choo Choo Soul songs and realized she did more music for Disney as well as a round up of songs from Disney classic movies.

We’re excited to hear that her first Independent Children’s Album for pre-schoolers is called “Do You Know?” and releases June 3, with the first single “My Telephone Number Is” available NOW on iTunes.The album focuses on learning key fundamentals with Genevieve’s unique brand of “Kids Music with Soul.” I got an exclusive preview of the songs on her new album and wow!

My girls love to dance and sing and they get that from their mommy, this is one album you will not be able to contain the dancing. Our favorite songs are: “My Telephone Number Is” {great for helping your child learn your phone number, a MUST}, “Inside Voice” {which is rockin’ and rowdy in the best possible way and teaches kids when and where to use their inside/outside voice} and surprisingly, “Gotta Do My Business” {a potty song with swagger}.

I love when kids music is both appropriate and enjoyable and Genevieve definitely accomplishes that with the album. I can’t wait to buy a copy for our family and give one away on the site along with a few other goodies! In honor of Spring, I’m giving away a $25 Build-A-Bear gift card, 2 copies of Iesodo DVDs (Faith and Love) and once it’s available on June 3rd, a copy of Genevive Goings’ new album.

Enter here to win!!

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This is not a compensated post, however I did receive samples of some of the above products/brands and chose to tell you about them. All opinions expressed in the post are my own honest thoughts.

Tips for Trying Sushi for the First Time and Experiencing New Things at The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Charlotte

DaddyB and I were invited to check out The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar in the SouthPark area of Charlotte, NC last weekend. Yes, you heard right, we had a date night. Though in the past there have been years between our dates out of the house now that we have an amazing babysitter and the girls are older we really enjoy a great night out.

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Restaurant Review MommyB

This was a very interesting visit for us as DaddyB has never tried sushi, ever, and I am allergic to shellfish so have to be selective about what I can and cannot eat. We were excited for the challenge and fully embraced it and had confidence that a restaurant loved by so many in the area would not disappoint.

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Charlotte Review MommyB

When we first walked into The Cowfish we noticed the fun atmosphere immediately as familiar music from our young adulthood played, and conversation filled the room. Once we were sat at our table we were able to soak in the eclectic hints of decor in the room. I personally loved the giant sized bento box:

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Charlotte MommyB

Be forewarned, the menu at The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar is HUGE, both literally and in content of menu items. If you’re someone who takes a long time to order you may want to check out their menu ahead of time online. Our waiter Brandon however, really knew the menu and was able to tell us quickly about items and was amazing at answering all of our many questions about ingredient dishes, and his recommendations.

We shared delicious truffle fries {a must order}, but when it came to our entrees we decided to try a little bit of both worlds that The Cowfish offers. As I mentioned DaddyB has never tried sushi at all so he got the famous Fusion Specialty Bento Box that includes sushi, a mini burger, and awesome sides including my favorite thai cucumbers. I decided to go with a diner favorite The Deliverance Roll – Southern Style Bar-B-Q-shi, which included delicious bbq pulled pork, a really cool potato wrap and was topped with bacon coleslaw.

The Cowfish Restaurant Charlotte MommyB

If you’ve never eaten sushi, here are a few tips for trying sushi for the first time:

1. Start with a “beginner roll”. Consider starting with a roll that doesn’t include raw fish like the California Roll {Daddy B started his meal with an intermediate roll and liked it, but wasn’t ready for the texture.}

2. Choose a roll that offers a tempura {light batter} or a flavorful drizzle to enhance the flavor of the roll.

3. Consider a fusion restaurant like The Cowfish, that offers familiar ingredients alongside new ingredients. This will give more confidence in experiencing new foods.

Speaking of experiencing new foods, this truly was our night for doing just that! Not only did DaddyB try sushi for the first time, but we were also able to sample some of the unique ingredients that The Cowfish has to offer. Check this out, we had flavor infused Masago {fish eggs}, with wasabi, citrus, soy, and sriracha. {My favorite was the citrus flavor.} We also got a “sneak peek” at the newest wasabi-infused micro greens. I must say this was one of the coolest things I’ve eaten in a while. They taste like micro greens at first but then as you chew a burst of the wasabi flavor comes out. I’d love to see this paired with a dish.

New Foods at The Cowfish Charlotte MommyB

Our experience at The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar was filled with fun, new experiences, unique and tasty food. If I had to change anything about our night out I would have loved my food to be a little hotter {I like my food on the warmer side of the spectrum (ask DaddyB, he thinks I’m funny)}. Other than that, seriously the ambiance, outstanding service, and price of our date night were just as sweet as our yummy fortune cookie-crusted dessert.

Thanks The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Charlotte MommyB

Have you ever had fusion sushi before??? What are your favorite sushi dishes?

This is not a compensated post, we received a complimentary meal in order to give our honest thoughts on the restaurant, services, and food offerings. These are our opinions based on the above experience, however your experiences may vary.

Not So Much – Things I Don’t Like and Their Replacements

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I have a nagging cough and went to the doctor to find out that I had a severe ear infection and was on the verge of a double ear infection, blerg. With the help of some medicine and much needed rest I am feeling better, but that also meant less time to work.

Today I’m starting a new kind of post, a lot of people ask me why I don’t write more about things I don’t like. There are actually a lot of products, and things in general that I’m not a huge fan of, but usually I don’t take the time to write them because I enjoy writing about the things I DO like more and would rather give them the spotlight on my website. But since you asked, straight up, here are a few things that I have to say, “Not So Much” to, but also what I do like {I can’t help myself}:

Not So Much MommyB

Reverie pillow – This pillow is said to be one of the more comfortable pillows and while it’s great that it’s hypoallergenic and has some neat features, the most important feature, comfort, was lacking. Both DaddyB and I found the pillow to be much too firm for us even after weeks of use. If you like a REALLY firm pillow though this will be right up your alley. What I DO like however is sleep, luckily I’ve been able to get a little more of that than I’m used to with this cold.

Paperwork – For those of you who may not know, we are moving (staying in the greater Charlotte and surrounding area), but we are excited to look for a new house, however this means lots of paperwork for loan approval and also it’s tax season so making sure we have receipts, logging into accounts, and getting all of our ducks in a row has certainly been tedious. Lucky for me DaddyB has been in charge of the paperwork and staying up late to get things taken care of. So the great side to all this paperwork is that God has an awesome new neighborhood and home in store for us and I have much appreciation for my husband through this experience.

Discovery Place’s 101 Inventions Exhibit –  While we did have fun in the hands-on section (although I would have loved more of this) of this new exhibit at Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC, we felt that our girls (almost ages 4 and 7) were a little too young for the content (birth control, sperm) and there were parts of the exhibit that scared Lil’ C (darkness and music). DaddyB did enjoy the exhibit, but feels like he didn’t get as much info in the time we had as he wanted. I know a few people who took children and did NOT enjoy their experience, one mom even asked for her money back. Because this exhibit is not included in museum admission I would personally say skip this one. I do however like Discovery Place museums. When we left the 101 Inventions exhibit my girls had a BLAST, like usual, in the rest of the museum testing out science and math skills, playing tug-of-war with DaddyB, and I must say in defense of Discovery Place, we’ve been to a couple other exhibits in the past that we have loved.

Discovery Place 101 Inventions Review MommyB

Toxic things – For this I’m lumping in things and people. I’m super guilty of putting things in my body that aren’t healthy {maybe you can relate}, and lately have been studying more homeopathic styles of living and also Ph Balance with the help of some friends. Often times I know and can feel the acidity or “hot” nature of my body after I ingest something and can see that there are easy fixes, I’m excited to post some things here that may help you out too. As for toxic people, a while ago I mentioned this being my year of intentional living and making changes for the better, I can say that I’ve been more mindful in my relationships and growing the ones I see that are healthy, supportive, and uplifting for me and leaving behind some that were toxic and still present themselves to be toxic. Choosing what’s best for myself and my family to grow closer to God and become more like Christ means leaving things that can’t be changed behind.

Cancer – Unfortunately it feels like this season of life that I’m going through right now is riddled with illness. Recently, Heaven gained an angel in Super Carter, whose family is amazing and was very close in age to Lil’ C. And since I’ve learned of friends that I went to school, both high school and college with that have family members who, too, are dealing with cancer. While I know it’s not always an immediate comfort, my family and these families have chosen to turn to God to give them strength to get through each day. I am constantly encouraged by attitude and faith that these people have.

 

While I know this was a VERY interesting mix of things I am not loving right now it’s all from my heart, the good and bad.

What are some things that you’re not a fan of right now? What are you replacing that bad thing with or what good can come out of it?

 

I received a samples and admission to some of the above mentioned products and events. This in no way affects the opinions expressed in this post. All thoughts expressed are my own, yours may vary.

North America’s Leading Children and Maternity Consignment Event – Just Between Friends Franchise

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Just Between Friends.

Have you ever thought about running a business of your very own? Being able to set your own hours? Helping your neighborhood and community? Making some extra cash for your family?

As moms, often times we want something in addition to being a mom and turn to jobs outside the home. As a blogger, most of the time I work from home, but there are opportunities for me to attend media events and work with the community, much like owning your own franchise with Just Between Friends Franchise {JBF}, North America’s leading children’s and maternity consignment event. I get to be mommy first and work at my own pace and as much or little as I want, and I really enjoy what each job, {different in it’s own rite}, brings me.

Shopper 25

With the opportunity to turn your passion for helping other families save money, and wanting to step into a role of business owner for whatever reason it may be, Just Between Friends may be the perfect fit for you to become a business owner.

Some benefits to running your own business:

  • Make your own hours – if your children have sports or extracurricular activities that you can’t miss you can plan your working hours and event hours around your family’s needs.
  • Know your customer base – living in the area that you are hosting your consignment events gives you a great advantage of knowing what the best dates for sales will be and how to promote your sales.
  • Help families save money – JBF helps more than half a million families save and earn money every single year and you will be a big part of that!
  • Make extra income for your family – supplement income, save up for vacations that you might not have been able to go on before, or start or build on your family savings.
  • Work with others – Should you decide to run a business with friends, you’ll be working together to help create a successful business and enjoying that relationship that may be stronger

The Today Show calls it “the hottest ticket in town” and you could be the person or people who bring this to your area. Check out this video to hear more about the Just Between Friends consignment franchise.

 

Just Between Friends currently has 138 franchises in 28 states and Canada and expanding. That’s where you come in. JBF is looking a mom, or several moms to be the first to bring this super-successful event to area where there aren’t any.

At this point you may be wondering how it all works:

• Local moms/families/friends run the consignment event twice a year – spring and fall (a few ambitious owners may add in a holiday sale or summer event if they decide to)

• Families in your community sign up as consignors and sell the new and gently-used items their children have outgrown (or never used)

• Consignors earn 60 to 70 percent of the price of their sold items

• Other families shop the sales event and generally save more than 50 to 90% off of retail prices

Because JBF is part of a franchise, you have all the tools you’ll need to help you succeed at your fingertips and a great support system to help you build this business. That means you still have the flexibility to put your family first AND enjoy your passion AND help others. JBF is great for any “mompreneur” who is interested in owning a business that will help earn extra money without taking long hours from your family every week.

JBF Franchise Owners WantedHere’s how you can get started:

– The Franchise Fee is $14,900 in the United States and $16,900 in Canada

– The total investment is between $25,000 to $30,000

– Traits of a successful franchisee include:

  • Experience in sales and/or marketing
  • Outgoing personality
  • Goal-driven with a “get-it-done” mindset
  • Management experience is a plus

If you or someone you might know may be interested learn more about Just Between Friends franchise opportunities here:

Click here to fill out a franchise application online

Click here for more information on franchise opportunities

Let’s not keep this a secret Just Between Friends.

 

 

 

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Just Between Friends. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own. I love empowering families and helping others save and enjoy being a working mom, and wanted to share this information. Your opinions may vary.

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Review

I am a member of the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Parent Council and receive admission to cover media events.

SEA LIFE Aquarium Charlotte-Concord North Carolina Review MommyB

Being on the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Parent Council I’ve had lots of opportunities to check out the progress of Charlotte, North Carolina’s newest, family-friendly attraction. I must say when I heard SEA LIFE was coming to our area I was thrilled, and after visiting with my family earlier this week, I can still say I’m thrilled.

Overall we enjoyed our visit, learned lots of exciting facts about the sea life that we saw, and had fun doing it.

Some fun things you want to know about SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord:

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Kids Love Learning Review MommyB

They make learning fun.

When you arrive, children receive a passport which is their, ticket to learning about the world under water. This passport encourages children to engage in the very interactive displays around the aquarium and they even get rewarded at the end if they get all of their stamps at the, “Dive Stations“.

All around the aquarium are signs pointing out cool facts about individual tanks and exhibits. My girls loved trying to figure out how many species of manta rays SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord had {we won’t give away the answer.}

This is one of the most interactive aquariums I have seen. Not only can children touch and explore Caribbean Hermit Crabs, Pencil Urchin, and varieties of starfish {to mention a few}, but there are ipads located at exhibits so that children can learn even more details about what they are looking at. We really enjoyed the Cabarrus River exhibit and learning about the underwater life that’s in our very own “backyard”.

These are just a few ways our girls were soaking in learning about God’s awesome underwater creations.

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Kid Friendly Review MommyB

They cater to kids.

Talk about kid-friendly, first off, the aquarium is open and spacious and gives you the opportunity to spend as much or as little time at each exhibit as you like. Everything is kid-level. We appreciate that the attractions have viewing windows that are easily accessible to smaller children so they don’t miss out on any of the fishy-fun.

Nothing that I noticed was scary or too loud for little ones. I personally think that preschoolers to grandparents would love SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord because it has something for everyone. Aside from the awesome exhibits and tanks full of amazing underwater creatures, SEA LIFE also has a coloring area and climb-and-play station at the end of your visit.

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Cares and Educates Review MommyB

They care about the world.

It’s very apparent as you walk around the exhibits that SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord takes great pride in educating not only about the species of sea and freshwater life, but also in educating attraction goers on the environmental status and concerns that some of the sea life featured face.

We learned how seahorses are used in Chinese medicine even today, and that more than 70 million sharks are killed for their fins every year, not to mention many more, heartbreaking facts. We even got to vote on what species we want SEA LIFE to focus their donation efforts on at the end of the exhibit.

I know it’s not always smiles and rainbows talking about how not-so-great things happen in our world, but very important to educate our children as to why this is wrong {age appropriate discussions of course}. I’m very thankful that SEA LIFE doesn’t shy away from these issues and wants to help prevent them.

Now that you’ve heard about our experience, check it out for yourself!! Be sure to check out my other post on SEA LIFE for more details: SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Announces Opening

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium Visit Details:

LOCATION
Concord Mills
8111 Concord Mills Blvd, Concord, NC 28027

VISIT LENGTH
On average, guests will spend 60-90 minutes in the attraction.

REGULAR HOURS
• Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
• Sunday 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
• Last admission is 2 hours before closing each day

TICKET PRICES
• Pre-Opening General Admission Special: $16, all ages {ages 2 and under free}

• Pre-Opening Annual Pass Special (12 Months Unlimited Entry):
-$50, individual
-$192, family of 4
-$45, additional family member

• Special group rates available for schools and other groups

CONNECT
• Website: www.VisitSEALIFE.com/Charlotte-Concord
• Facebook: www.facebook/SEALIFECharlotteConcord
• Twitter: @SEALIFECC
• Instagram: instagram.com/SEALIFECC
• YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/SEALIFECC

Thank you to the amazing staff at Spark PR, Jack Stevenson, Marketing Manager of SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium for showing us around and David Cochran, Displays Curator of SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord, Sydney {who was super informative} at the touch and feel tank, not to mention all of the great people behind the scenes of our visit.

 

As a member of the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Parent Council I receive admission in return for writing about events and reviewing the aquarium. As always, any opinions expressed in this post are the honest thoughts of myself and my family. Your opinions may vary.

Tips for Attending Ringling Bros. Circus

My family and I were given the opportunity to attend the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus in Charlotte again this year. Last year I took Miss A and a friend and her mom joined us. Check out that post here: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Experience.

This year’s performance definitely followed suit. I love that they change the themes as they travel and that while we knew we could expect to see amazing performances, incredible animals, and lots of laughter and smiles, we were still in awe of the show.

When I asked my family what their favorite parts of the show were they listed off some of my favorites too. Unicycling basketball players, boys versus girls, tigers and elephants, the cool Ringmaster (Johnathan Lee Iverson), the awesome acrobatics, {especially the spinning wheels in the second half of the show}, and hilarious clowns. So pretty much the entire show was a hit between the four of us.

Here are some photos from our Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey experience last night:

 Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey Built to Amaze Collage MommyB

Since we’ve been to a couple of different shows at Time Warner Cable Arena and a couple of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey performances I wanted to offer a few tips for those of you attending whether it’s your first time or not.

1. Ask TWC Arena employees. 

Often times going to an event at TWC Arena can be confusing, whether you’ve been to a show before or not. Depending on how organized the event is you may have one or several questions. Whether you’re wondering what line you need to be in, where the Will Call line actually starts, where the restroom is, how long the show is or whatever it may be. TWC Arena employees are always friendly and helpful and more than willing to answer questions for event attendees.

2. Prepare for possible seating issues.

If you’re not one of the many people who arrive at the event an hour or so earlier to wait in line (a good idea, unless you have small children or there is extreme weather {like last night}), prepare yourself for possible seating issues. We tend to arrive early and have no trouble finding our seats and settling in, however last night we not only had issues with people being in our ticket seats, but two other families in our area had the same problem with their seats as well {and they were not the same seat offenders}. Unfortunately if you’re not there when the show starts I assume people think the seats are open rather than staying in their own seats. It is not only stressful for the attendee from TWC but for everyone around. If you do not run early for the event prepare for patience {just in case}.

3. Remember your ticket.

As a policy, TWC Arena asks that you keep your seat ticket on person as you leave your seats for restroom, restaurant, souvenir breaks etc. As a general rule of thumb bring your purse with the tickets with you or put your ticket in your back pocket, especially if your seat isn’t close to an exit. This will save you time and undue stress especially if you have a little one who needs to use the “potty”.

4. Buy the good seats.

I don’t get a commission from any ticket sales and it benefits me in NO way for you to get upgraded tickets, however I have had opportunities to sit in many areas of the arena and for Ringling Bros. my experiences, noticed that my seating placement definitely made a difference. When I sat closer to the “action” I felt more engaged in the show. If you are going to fully enjoy the show, and can afford it, I would highly recommend to improve your experience by buying the best possible seats.

5. Eat before and after you go.

Unless you’re planning to splurge {which I say is great every once and a while}, plan on eating a meal before you head to the performance. We also keep snacks and drinks in the car for after the performance (depending on what time you go). For this event cotton candy was $12+ and lemonade $10 just to give you an idea of what prices look like, and those are just snacks!

Do you have any other tips for attending a TWC Arena event or Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey show?

Do you have any questions about the events? 

Don’t forget to head to Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey website to check out tour dates in Charlotte and other areas and purchase tickets.

 

 

I received complimentary show tickets. My family and I personally like the show and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, we understand that your opinions on the circus may vary. 

Flash Giveaway: Ringling Brothers Tickets – Charlotte

I have a last-minute opportunity to give away tickets to tonights performance, so I’ll cut to the chase so you can enter already!!

ringling

What you’ll win: 4 tickets to Ringling Brothers at Time Warner Cable Arena. Tickets are only good for tonight, Wednesday at 7:00pm. You must come in person to claim the tickets and tickets may not be resold.

Enter here to win, I’ll draw and contact the winner at 2:00pm:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’ll be posting on my thoughts and great photos on Ringling Brothers Built to Amaze! performance tomorrow stay tuned, and check out their tour schedule.

I received complimentary tickets and giveaway tickets to promote the show.

Busch Gardens® and Water Country USA® Offer Free Admission with Free 2-Park Preschool Pass

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Busch Gardens® and Water Country USA®
Celebrate Childhood with this Limited-Time Pass Offer

It’s not too early to start planning a spring break vacation. And a visit to Busch Gardens® and Water Country USA® is more affordable than ever for parents with young children using a Free 2-Park Preschool Pass. Through this online-only offer children ages 3 to 5 can get a preschool pass this spring and enjoy unlimited admission to both Virginia parks through Sept. 1.

Check out our most recent Busch Gardens visit: mommybknowsbest.com/busch-gardens

Land of Dragons Rides Busch Gardens MommyB Knows Best

Busch Gardens offers more than 50 KIDsiderate® attractions, including Sesame Street® Forest of Fun™ and Land of the Dragons®, which are celebrating big anniversaries this spring. Kid-sized roller coasters like Grover’s Alpine Express at Busch Gardens and Water Country USA’s Kritter Korral™ are among the can’t miss kid-friendly attractions waiting for families to enjoy this spring.

Visit www.buschgardens.com/bgwpreschoolpass before May 31 to register for a Free 2-Park Preschool Pass. Proof of the child’s age is required at the time the passes are redeemed and the passes must be redeemed at either park by May 31, 2014. Children ages 2 and younger receive complimentary admission and do not need to register.