Category - Venues

Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium to Open February 20, 2014 at Concord Mills

I am a member of the Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Parents Council.

SEALIFE

A public event and celebration is planned to kick-off UK-based Merlin Entertainments’ 100th attraction and introduce 5,000 sea creatures to the region’s visitors.

Today, Merlin Entertainments announces that its newest aquarium attraction will open on Feb. 20, 2014, at Concord Mills in Concord, NC. Specifically designed to educate and engage kids and the young at heart, the 36,000-sq-ft aquarium will bring visitors face-to-face with the underwater world.

More than twenty displays will feature 5,000 amazing creatures, including sharks, stingrays, an octopus, seahorses, jellyfish and thousands of colorful fish. (Visit the top creature list here: http://www.visitsealife.com/charlotte-concord/explore-our-creatures/)

The grand opening festivities for the public as well as regional and state tourism officials begin at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 20 with a ribbon cutting, welcome speeches, the unveiling of the custom mural painted by area children, and a celebration of Merlin’s 100th attraction. Doors to the aquarium open to the public at noon.

Visitors to Sea Life Charlotte-Concord can expect:
A 180° ocean tunnel that allows visitors to see sharks, rays and other fish swim right over their heads
An interactive touchpool (touch a crab without fear of pinching!)
Seahorses in the mangrove (learn which parent carries the babies)
The highly intelligent Giant Pacific octopus, the largest octopus species in the world
Educational talks and creature feedings throughout the day
A kids’ quiz trail to keep kids engaged and learning throughout the attraction
A presentation video theatre to learn more about marine conservation
A children’s soft play area to enjoy at the end of the experience
At Sea Life Charlotte-Concord, visitors will travel from the fresh waters of the Catawba River in the Blue Ridge Mountains to the salt waters of the Atlantic Ocean and beyond in about an hour.

SeaLife CharlotteConcord SeaLife

Ticket information
Regular admission tickets cost $21 for adults and $17 for kids ages 12 and under. Kids ages 2 and under are free. Through Feb. 19, tickets are only $16 for all ages if purchased in advance, online: http://www.visitsealife.com/charlotte-concord/buy-tickets/. Annual Passes, offering unlimited entry to the aquarium for 12 months, are also on sale for special rates through Feb. 19. An Individual Annual Pass is $50. The Family Annual Pass (for four) is $192; additional family members are $45 each. Annual Pass holders are invited to attend a sneak peek of the aquarium Feb. 15-16.

Visiting Sea Life Charlotte-Concord
Hours are daily 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. Sea Life Charlotte-Concord is located at 8111 Concord Mills Blvd., Concord, NC 28027 at Concord Mills. Look for parking on the backside of the mall at Entrance 7. For more information, visit:
http://www.visitsealife.com/charlotte-concord/
https://www.facebook.com/SEALIFECharlotteConcord
https://www.facebook.com/SEALIFECharlotteConcord https://twitter.com/SEALIFECC

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I am a member of the Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Parent Council and receive admission and product in return for covering events. 

Win a Trip to the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl with Public Storage®

 Thank you Public Storage® for sponsoring this post.

 

Public Storage® announces their participation in this year’s 125th Rose Parade by hosting a grand giveaway!

Public Storage Rose Bowl Giveaway

This is Public Storage’s first year entering a float in the famous Rose Parade and they are excited to share this experience with you and your family!

Public Storage Rose Bowl 2014 PinWith the Public Storage® Score Sweet Seats Sweepstakes, each week, 100 Public Storage® fans have the chance to win a 2014 limited edition, commemorative Public Storage® Rose Parade Pin {remember this is the 125th Rose Parade and Public Storage’s first year, so this will definitely be a collectors item!} But there’s more!!! One lucky fan could win the Grand Prize of an all-expenses paid trip for 2 to Pasadena, California to see the Rose Parade, attend the Rose Bowl pre-game VIP Tailgating Party and the Rose Bowl Game.

For more details and enter the sweepstakes. Head over to the Score Sweet Seats page on  the Public Storage Facebook page, give their page a “like” and fill out the short sweepstakes entry form for a chance to win awesome Rose Parade and Rose Bowl prizes. {Sweepstakes ends December 4, 2013.}

If you’ve ever watched a Rose Parade you know it’s a great way to ring in the New Year and is fun and appropriate for all ages. Whether you watch from home, or attend the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl be sure to look for Public Storage’s “Adventures in Space” themed float and stay tuned to find out how it fits into the Rose Parade’s, “Dreams  Come True” theme this year!

PublicStorageLogo

Since 1972 Public Storage® has been treating your stuff like it’s their stuff. Whether you’re packing up for a family move, or just want to store your extra baby gear, Public Storage® has affordable prices and services that your family can appreciate.

Make sure you check out Public Storage online: PublicStorage.com and on their Facebook page: facebook.com/publicstorage

 

This is a sponsored post, however any opinions expressed in this post are my own, honest thoughts. Your opinions may vary.

Family Getaway: Tweetsie Railroad Review

Thank you Tweetsie for media admission for this review.

Looking for fun weekend activities with your family? I strongly encourage you to take the beautiful trip through the Blue Ridge Mountains and have the time of your life at  North Carolina’s first amusement park: Tweetsie Railroad.

My family and I (kids ages 2 and 5 years) were able to spend an entire day compliments of Tweetsie enjoying a variety of attractions. Tweetsie is a very family friendly attraction that is celebrating their 55th season, and has something for every age group.We enjoyed a delicious lunch, in a cute themed restaurant, for a fair price, while we scoped out Tweetsie’s four major areas, Miner’s Mountain, Main Street, Country Fair, and Tweetsie Junction.

Tweetsie Park Map

 

We pushed the stroller to up to the Country Fair, which, truth-be-told, was quite a workout, so that our girls could enjoy the fun carnival-style rides {there were only a few rides that our 2 year-old was not able to go on}. They loved the carousel but really wanted to ride the chair lift to Miner’s Mountain. This is what mommy thought of the ride:

 

Tweetsie Chair Lift Mom

 

If you are a scaredy cat  fearful of heights like me, Tweetsie so kindly offers a very uneventful bus ride up to Miner’s Mountain as well. Also if you take the bus vs. the chair lift you can bring the stroller up the mountain with you. Not surprisingly at all, the other members of my family wanted to ride the chair lift again…and again.

Once we safely arrived at the top, we enjoyed feeding various breeds of animals at the Deer Park, and watching the wonderful live entertainment, including the clog dancers, hilarious magic show, and Hopper and Porter’s™ Musical Celebration. The girls also rode a few more rides, and watching people pan for gold. We did our own “gem mining” at one of the many shops, filling our gem bag as full as we could get with beautifully colored stones – a great souvenir.

Tweetsie Gem Mine Family MommyB

 

Believe it or not, that’s not all Tweetsie has to offer. Of course Tweetsie Railroad wouldn’t be famous if it weren’t for their amazing steam engine, Number 12 that gives train rides throughout the day, lasting for three-miles and stopping every so often for the engineer to fill up with coal and water. PARENT TIP: If this train is a little too loud for your smaller children {or the big ones}, there’s a smaller train on top of Miner’s Mountain that features a mouse-filled, musical, neon-colored, tunnel that will make the kids giggle and dance.

Before you leave, make sure you stop by all the fantastic shops around the park, mostly featured on Main Street, each one carries different items anywhere from snacks, to clothing, handmade gifts, and of course Tweetsie gear. Our girls loved their sparkly cowgirl hats, and said, “yee-haw” the entire ride home to Charlotte, or at least until they fell asleep in the car, being a cowgirl all day is tiring work!

Reader Kelly H reflects on her time spent at the park as a child and how she’s making Tweetsie a part of her own children’s memories: “Going to Tweetsie Railroad, as a child, remains one of my most vivid memories. Riding the train anticipating the Cowboy/Indian fight, meeting Fred Kirby, and being “in jail”..great times. I have enjoyed making new memories with my four children there also.”

Here are a few more pictures from my family’s trip, and our amazing time at the beautiful Tweetsie Railroad.

 

Tweetsie Collage

 

To get the family even more excited for a visit to Tweetsie I strongly encourage you to check out their amazing website: http://tweetsie.com/ that answers any questions you may have, features great photos of their hottest attractions, and also has some fun games and facts for you and the kiddos too.

Prices are well worth the cost considering there is so much to do. We are planning another trip very soon, not to mention that the Blue Ridge Mountain area has a lot of other sites and attractions to offer. I would definitely recommend making a weekend trip of it. {Tweetsie’s website also has discount offers for partnering businesses in their area.}

Tweetsie Tickets MommyB

 

General Admission tickets are: Adults $35, Children 3-12 $22 and Children age 2 and under- Free. If you enter the park after 3:00pm you get to use your ticket for the following day as well. *Some restrictions apply. {Pretty cool if you ask me!} Head to Tweetsie Railroad’s website or Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Tweetsie to find out more information on group rates and senior pricing.

Have you ever been to Tweetsie Railroad? What’s your favorite part?

Or Are you considering a trip? Let us know if you have any questions. Thanks for reading!!!

 

Thank you to Tweetsie Railroad for great customer service, a clean park, and our complimentary admission tickets. All thoughts and opinions are honest and based on our own experiences, your experience may vary.

Guide to Myrtle Beach in the Fall

Thank to VisitMyrtleBeach.com for hosting our trip and the following businesses for their great hospitality.

Have you ever considered visiting Myrtle Beach in the Fall? Think about it, no crazy traffic during summer holidays, not to mention shorter lines and waits at well-known attractions. Imagine being able to go your favorite Myrtle Beach restaurants and venues not having to worry about masses of people.

While you may not be taking a dip in the water (unless of course it’s an indoor heated pool), consider visiting the beautiful beaches with a cool crisp breeze instead of the hot sun beating down on you. Don’t get me wrong I love summer and all that comes with it, but I think there is something to be said for the beach during Fall.

While Myrtle Beach may not be the obvious choice for a Fall family trip, it’s a great place to visit, and has something for everyone in the family. With plenty of indoor attractions and outside activities we are always entertained. Here are a few of our favorite places and things to Stay, Eat, and Play at in Myrtle Beach that are perfect for a Fall visit.

Where to Stay Eat Play Myrtle Beach in the Fall.jpg

STAY AT MYRTLE BEACH

Eat, stay, and play at Springmaid Beach Resort. If you want to stay oceanfront when you head to Myrtle Beach Springmaid is the perfect location. This resort offers several lodging choices including a pet-friendly choice. All of the buildings are steps from the sandy beaches and gorgeous waves.

Springmaid Beach Resort also has its own pier with fishing, shops, and an amazing view. Admission to the pier is free if you are a registered guest at the resort. We enjoyed the fact that they had several pools and had a choice of indoor and outdoor swimming while we were there.

The staff at Springmaid was super helpful and the newly renovated room that we stayed in was large enough for our family of four. We loved that our balcony faced the beautiful resort grounds and of course the ocean. It was so cool to watch the sun set from our very own balcony patio.

We weren’t huge fans of the breakfast buffet, although they did have a lot of different foods to choose from. I think if we liked eggs though we would have been in heaven because the omelet bar and Chef Ray are very well-known.

Check out Springmaid Beach Resort’s website for more information, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter too.

Springmaid Beach Resort.jpg

 

EAT AT MYRTLE BEACH

Of course while you’re in town you’ll want to find places to satisfy your hunger. While there are many, many, many, many, places at Myrtle Beach to cover that basic need, there were a couple that we visited that we really enjoyed and wanted to share with you.

Lunch at Myrtle Beach

While searching through our Visit Myrtle Beach guide we found several yummy looking lunch spots and settled on Ultimate California Pizza. We had never been before and the menu sounded great, plus both of our girls love pizza. The restaurant was clean and the decor was fun and upbeat. The service at the location we visited was great and the food was amazing.

The menu and choices at this restaurant are almost endless, even the children’s menu had quite a few items on it, so there’s definitely something for everyone in your family. I like that I could get the girls personal pizzas with a whole wheat crust, but wish they offered a side of fruit at no extra cost for the kid’s meals. My Moon Doggie pizza was loaded with toppings and super delicious. DaddyB ended up getting a salad but wishing he ordered the pizza too!

I would definitely recommend Ultimate California Pizza locations in Myrtle Beach for a fun dine-in experience. For menu, locations, and pricing check out their website.

Ultimate California Pizza Collage.jpg

 

Dinner at Myrtle Beach

When we chose to dine at Angelo’s Steak & Pasta restaurant, little did we know this was more than a standout eatery. This restaurant is filled with friends, family, great food, and a whole lot of heart. Owners Angelo and Angela Antonucci know the value of giving back to others through their continued success.

Upon our entrance I quickly noticed several photos of animals and information on a missionary who is supported in part by efforts from Angelo’s Steak & Pasta restaurant. While we were visiting we had the pleasure of meeting a local balloon artist who was raising money for an upcoming missions trip. Not only did we get the girls a couple of cute kitty cat balloons but were able to donate to a great cause.

Throughout our meal we received amazing, friendly service not only from our server but the entire staff. The girls loved their meals, but I think DaddyB and I were blown away by our entrees. From a recommendation by our waiter Chris, I ordered the Chicken Marsala that was sweet and unique in a great way, the portions were HUGE and although I wish I could have fit every bite in my stomach there was just no way. DaddyB proclaimed that his ribeye was the best steak that he has EVER had, no joke. I kid you not, he probably talked about the steak for weeks after our visit. Not only that but we were able to try out an in-house rum cake that was very tasty.

If you get a chance to visit Angelo’s Steak & Pasta’s new location, you’ll be sure to have a memorable family meal in a beautiful facility. I can definitely see why Angelo’s is a longtime favorite of locals and visitors alike for many years. Please support this great establishment by checking out their website and following them on Facebook, but even more importantly, visiting their restaurant.

Angelo's Steak& Pasta Restaurant Collage.jpg

PLAY AT MYRTLE BEACH

The Skywheel at Myrtle Beach offers up fully enclosed, temperature-controlled gondolas. Plus, shorter days equal earlier sunsets, equal amazing views!! My family and I were blessed to experience the VIP gondola that Skywheel offers and enjoyed the comfortable leather seating, and the unique view that the glass floor gave us. We rode at night and the lights both on and around the Skywheel were incredible. The ride was long enough for us to get a great view of Myrtle Beach and some fun pictures and videos to remember our experience by as well.

This activity was definitely one that I would like to make sure we do every time we visit Myrtle Beach. For a family with children ages 3 and up, who aren’t fearful of heights, I would say this is a must-do while visiting Myrtle Beach.

Skywheel Myrtle Beach is open year-round {except Thanksgiving and Christmas day} from 11 am and currently closes at 10pm Sun-Thurs and 11pm Fri-Sat.

Children 2 and under receive a complimentary Angel Ticket, ticket prices for children and adults range from $9 to $13 depending on age. Skywheel Myrtle Beach also offers Senior Citizen and Military discounts. To purchase tickets, check out VIP ticket prices, and see great video and images of the Skywheel in Myrtle Beach, head to their website: myrtlebeachskywheel.com and follow them on Facebook and Twitter too.

 Skywheel Myrtle Beach.jpg

 

If you are anything like DaddyB and me, you may have a preconceived notion that anything with the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not name attached to it is weird, grotesque, or scary. When it comes to Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, that notion is a complete misconception. I’m so glad that we asked our friends and readers’ input on whether or not this aquarium was safe for us to visit with our timid little girls.

While we just missed the last showing of the mermaids and I know the girls would have loved that experience, there was plenty to see, and experience.

We had an amazing time checking out the exhibits. We loved visiting Ray Bay where we saw a variety of really cool manta rays and stingrays.  The girls were a little intimidated by Dangerous Reef tunnel. Once DaddyB and I assured them how awesome and not scary it was we were able to walk {or ride the moving walkway} through the underwater tunnel and see sharks and other ocean life swim overhead.

The girls also loved the hands-on experience that the Discovery Center offered. They were able to see some water creatures up close and personal. While none of us picked up a horseshoe crab {we let the other visitors do that}, we were able to learn a lot about them from the very knowledgeable staff on hand.

Ripley’s Aquarium Myrtle Beach is definitely a destination you and your family can spend all day at. They also have a snack bar and some really great deals in their gift shop. We purchased an adorable pink manta ray and a beautiful, sparkly mermaid that the girls picked out at a great price.

We would definitely recommend Ripley’s Aquarium if you are visiting Myrtle Beach any time of the year. For ticket information and to see other Ripley’s attractions head to their website, follow on Facebook and Twitter too.

Ripley's Aquarium Myrtle Beach Collage.jpg

 

You may not think of visiting the Children’s Museum of South Carolina when you’re headed to the beach, but if you are looking for family friendly play areas in the Fall or really any time of year.  The museum is not only educational, but it’s a lot of fun for the whole family.

We had the pleasure of visiting the museum during our Visit Myrtle Beach trip, and enjoyed our hours of play there. Don’t expect to be wowed by a million-dollar facility, rather expect to be impressed by the creative exhibits and the museum’s desire to grow.

The girls loved putting on a puppet show for us, playing sock hockey, pretending to be news anchors {I liked this activity too}, pretending to be medical and dental staff, of course practicing their skills on mommy and daddy, and so much more. The creativity that was pouring out of them was so inspiring.

Coming from Charlotte and being spoiled with amazing children’s museums who have great financial backing, it definitely touched my heart to see the Children’s Museum of South Carolina and physically see their needs for visitors and donors.

The staff that worked there were very kind and welcomed us, the facilities, while not new, were clean and open for the kids to safely explore. I implore you, if you live in the Myrtle Beach area, consider visiting or donating so other families can have a great learning experience and if you’re just visiting don’t be fooled by the outside facade of the building, inside are memories waiting to be had.

Visit the Children’s Museum of South Carolina’s website, Facebook page, and Twitter for more information on admission, Fall hours, and how you can help them continue helping children learn and be creative.

Children's Museum South Carolina Collage MommyB

 

If you have older children while visiting Myrtle Beach this Fall, one great place to visit is WonderWorks. You may have driven past a WonderWorks in the past and just never known its name, but it’s pretty hard to miss, just look for an upside down building.

WonderWorks Myrtle Beach is located alongside other great activities and attractions at the Broadway at the Beach section of Myrtle Beach. Aside from being in a great location, there is plenty of parking, and this attraction offers indoor and outdoor dining even if you do not purchase tickets for a visit.

We took Miss A and Lil C who are currently 6 and 3 years old and realized right from the moment we entered WonderWorks that it’s better for older children at least school age and up if not a little older. If you have a child who has any sensory issues it would be a complete overload for them, however if you have a child who loves to move from one activity to the next but who is also patient enough to wait since this is a VERY hands-on attraction, this is the perfect spot that offers a lot of variety.

WonderWorks did have a lot of cool interactive games and learning opportunities, but we visited on a holiday weekend so there was a lot of waiting or passing on exhibits because of the crowd, which makes it a better location for Fall since crowds will be smaller.

For more information on WonderWorks Myrtle Beach check out their website, Facebook page, and Twitter.

 WonderWorks Collage MommyB.jpg

 

If you have a true nature loving family, you will want to visit Brookgreen Gardens. Having a child who is afraid of bugs {and for good reason with her allergic reactions} and a beautiful, but very buggy nature excursion was not a great fit for us. However we did manage to have some fun, and escape the bug bites during our short visit.

When we arrived at Brookgreen Gardens we realized just how expansive the entire grounds are. I would recommend stopping at the Welcome Center upon arrival and figuring out where you’d like to visit first. We enjoyed the children’s play area that had a storybook theme and the mini on site farm.

Fall Hours for Brookgreen Gardens are 9:30am to 5:00pm now through December 1st and the park is open 7 days a week. The park offers several special events and programs throughout the year for visitors and members.

To check them out head to Brookgreen Gardens website, and visit their Facebook and Twitter pages while you are at it.

Brookgreen Gardens Collage MommyB.jpg

 

Since it’s not too cold in Myrtle Beach in the Fall for outdoor activities, mini golf is still a family favorite for this vacation destination. We enjoyed golfing at Captain Hooks Adventure, one of many mini golf locations run by the Myrtle Beach Family Golf group.

We played at night because it was a little warmer during our visit, but in the Fall you’ll have a variety of times throughout the day where the weather is comfortable for the whole family. This course has two alternate paths you can take. We were directed to the children’s course that was a little less “scary” than the Lost Boys path.

captainhooksadventuregolf

During our game we were able to hear Tinker Bell and look for Peter Pan, so not only was it a fun mini golf game, but it was a neat experience as well. The girls wanted to bypass the Hook’s pirate ship hole because of the life-size Hook statue, but other than that all four of us had a blast. 3 of us even got a hole in one on different holes!!

I love that Myrtle Beach Family Golf has locations scattered throughout different areas of Myrtle Beach with different themes. Check out each location by visiting their website.

 

Visit Myrtle Beach in the Fall

MommyB Visit Myrtle Beach Bloggy ButtonWhether you’re coming for the beautiful resorts, delicious food, or the fun activities that Myrtle Beach has to offer, it’s a great family friendly location you’ll want to visit this Fall season. Make sure you head to VisitMyrtleBeach.com
to learn more about the great businesses and services listed above and more great places to stay, eat, and play in South Carolina. Don’t forget to check out their website for coupons and find them on Facebook and Twitter too!

For awesome Fall deals on your Myrtle Beach trip head here: visitmyrtlebeach.com/hotels/deals/fall/

Have you ever visited Myrtle Beach? Where are your favorite spots to stay? eat? and play??

 

 

 

 

The opinions and thoughts in this post are our own honest opinions based on the experiences we were able to enjoy through the hospitality of the above businesses and services. Your opinions may vary.

Carowinds’ The Great Pumpkin Fest { Giveaway }

Looking for a fun way to celebrate Fall with your family and little ones in tow?? We love heading to Carowinds each Fall for age appropriate family fun.

This year’s theme for Carowinds Fall festivities is: The Great Pumpkin Fest.

The Great Pumpkin Fest Carowinds Charlotte

The best part is that you don’t need an additional ticket. All of The Great Pumpkin Fest activities are included with the price of daytime admission to Carowinds.

The park is open from 10a-5:30p, and The Great Pumpkin Fest starts at 12:00 Noon and runs through 5:00pm then the park transforms for Scarowinds as the evening begins.

The Great Pumpkin Fest Fun Includes a few of our favorite like:

• Hay Bale Maze Little ones can make their way through the fun path of hay

• Foam Zone Jump into a pile o bubbles, nothing but good clean fun!

• Mumpkin Patch A free mini pumpkin to decorate and take home with you!

• Peter the talking Pumpkin Talk to the keeper of the pumpkin patch, tell him

• Trick or Treating Practicing at stations throughout Planet Snoopy from 2-4 pm.

• Costume Parade Show off the costume parade starts at 4 in front of the Gr8 Sk8 and ends at Peanuts Showplace Stage with a dance party!

I’m giving away 4 tickets to one lucky winner for admission this Saturday, October 5th. Giveaway winner will be announced Thursday, October 3rd and will have to respond to my email to receive ticket information, so please keep a lookout in your inbox! You don’t have to live in Charlotte, to claim so if you’re in the area this weekend feel free to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more information or to purchase your tickets online check out Carowinds.com

SEA LIFE – Charlotte Concord Aquarium Groundbreaking Event

I am a member of the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Parent Council.

Goodbye NASCAR Speedpark and hello SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord. SEA LIFE aquarium will be the newest addition at Concord Mills mall, a Simon Mall located in Concord, North Carolina.

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

This new, family-friendly attraction will be coming to the Charlotte area in Spring 2014 and will host a variety of sea creatures in their 30,000-square-foot, $10 million aquarium, and I can’t be more excited!

SEA LIFE currently has 50 locations, including five in the United States and even more overseas. SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord will feature interactive exhibits and about 30 displays of marine life that will highlight some marine life local to the Carolinas. This attraction will also be able to tout an amazing underwater tunnel, that is sure to appeal to people of all ages and will prove to be not only entertaining, but educational as well.

Here are a couple of artist’s renderings as to what the new SEA LIFE attraction will look like:

harbour copyflat

rockpools copyflat

Other aquariums in the area include N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island and the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, both of which are larger than SEA LIFE will be, but of course not as convenient for those of us living in Charlotte or visiting the area.

As a member of the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Inaugural Parent Council Program, I am excited to have access to exciting news, upcoming events and even offer giveaways to you right here on my blog.

Speaking of which, SEA LIFE will be holding their first event, which will be a family-friendly groundbreaking event at Concord Mills mall on Thursday, September 25th, 2013 with festivities starting at 10:30 am. If you’re able to attend there will be several activities going on during the ceremonies that you and your kiddos won’t want to miss.

City of Concord Mayor J. Scott Padgett and Donna Carpenter, President/CEO of Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau will lead the ceremony.

“The new SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium is going to be a very positive addition to Concord,” remarks Concord Mayor Scott Padgett. “Not only will it have a major impact on tourism by drawing new and repeat visitors to our area, it will also boost our local economy by creating new jobs. We are very pleased to welcome SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord and Merlin Entertainments to our city’s growing roster of outstanding attractions, hotels, shopping and dining options.”

Find out more about SEA LIFE Aquariums & Attractions here: www.visitsealife.com/Charlotte-Concord, follow on Facebook and Concord Mills here: www.simon.com/mall/concord-mills

 

As a member of the Inaugural Parent Council I receive media passes and promotional items from SEA LIFE. All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own. Yours may vary.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Kid’s Ride Reviews

Thank you Busch Gardens Williamsburg for letting us come visit the park.

 

My husband always says he loves the theming and how clean Busch Gardens’ parks are, and after visiting several theme parks this summer, I have to agree. Busch Gardens Williamsburg a great park for the whole family, whether you’re a child or an adult.

Since our girls are age 6 and under, this review focuses mostly on sections of the park that are kid-friendly rides and activities that we enjoyed during our visit.

For a theme park review, and roller coaster ratings by DaddyB check out his posts on Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Sesame Street Forest of Fun MommyB Knows Best

 

If you have little ones you’ll want to head to the Sesame Street Forest of Fun area right away. This area is Sesame Street themed and you’ll not only see Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster and the gang on signs and in ride theming, but they also have regular performances that feature family-friendly songs that will really make you want to dance.

 

Sesame Street Forest of Fun Rides MommyB Knows Best

 

Sesame Street Forest of Fun touts some pretty cool rides including:

  • Bert and Ernie’s Loch Adventure – a fun canoe-type ride through a watery maze. The end of this ride has a criss-cross water stream effect, and my youngest wouldn’t go on for fear of being splashed, but my oldest loved it. I think this is a great ride. Height Requirements: 36″-56″ may ride alone; Walking to 36″ must be accompanied by a supervising companion.
  • Grover’s Alpine Express – is a great first roller coaster when your little one is ready. This ride is short, and fun, has no loops and does not go upside down or in any tunnels. **If it is your first time you may want to sit in the middle for less “air time” and a less thrilling ride. Height Requirements: 41″ to ride alone; 38″-41″ must be accompanied by a supervising companion.
  • Oscar’s Whirly Worms – is definitely a dizzying ride. If you are not one for spinning rides you may want to skip this one, but if that doesn’t bother you or your child this is a really fun ride. Height Requirements: 42″ to ride alone; walking to 42″ must be accompanied by a supervising companion.
  • Prince Elmo’s Spire – is one of the more “calm” rides in this section of the park. Riders are lifted into the air and slowly bounced up and down until they reach the bottom. Height Requirements: 42″ to ride alone; will require an adult for younger kids.

I really like this section of the park, they offer healthier versions of snacks for the kiddos, and also have a fun play area for the little ones or to let the kiddos run off some energy before or after rides. We loved meeting Elmo and Grover and had to head to the souvenir station to buy some adorable Abby Cadabby hats.

As a mom, the only things I would do differently would be to try to keep this section of the park as cool as possible. I noticed the walkways and lines for the rides aren’t covered and there’s little to no shade, which when you’re waiting in line for a while gets pretty hot. If Busch Gardens were to add some awnings or even misting stations close by that would be awesome.

MommyB Tip – If it’s hot out, remember your kiddo’s swimsuit because there’s a great spray ground area they can splash in and cool off.

Another fun kids area that has a lot of rides and activities that the younger ones can enjoy at Busch Gardens Williamsburg is the Land of the Dragons. This kids area is located in the Germany section of the park.

The rides in Land of the Dragons are great for toddlers through ages 6-7 (depending more on height and thrill level of your child.)

 

Land of Dragons Rides Busch Gardens MommyB Knows Best

The rides featured in this dragon-themed section are:

  • Eggery Deggery – is a ferris-wheel like ride that seats riders in a cracked dragon egg. This is a great ride for little ones, and usually has a decent ride time, although when we visited it was a very short ride. {I think that was just poor planning on the ride operator’s part with loading and unloading sequences though, but something that Busch Gardens may want to address.} Height Requirements: 36″-56″ may ride alone; Walking to 36″ must be accompanied by a supervising companion.
  • Flutter Sputter – is a fun flying dragon ride. Riders can choose to fly their dragons up higher in the air or leave them flying low to the ground. {My girls like the option of being able to control that portion of the ride.} Height Requirements: 36″-56″ may ride alone; Walking to 36″ must be accompanied by a supervising companion.
  • Chug-A-Tug – is your typical boat ride. I like the mesh protective walls, and that it is covered. I know so many parks that have rides with extremely hot seats in the summer because of the lack of rides being covered. Height Requirements: Children must be under 56″ to ride. Hand-held infants are not permitted.
  • Bug-A-Dug – is a ride that my girls seriously could have gone on 10 times in a row. This ride takes children on a circular “journey” over some very small hills. I love watching the children who are so excited  to “steer” their bug and wave to mom and dad. Height Requirements: Children must be under 56″ to ride. Hand-held infants are not permitted.

This section of the park is nicely wooded, so there is more shade than other sections of the park. There are also some really cool climbing nets and a tree house that older children may be interested in exploring while the younger ones are riding.

**On days when the park closes at 9, 10 & 11 p.m., Land of Dragons closes at 8 p.m. During shorter days, Land of Dragons stays open until the park closes.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg has a few more children’s rides sprinkled throughout the park but the above sections are the main areas where children’s rides are heavily concentrated.

Also make sure you check out the cool steam train, sky lift {for those not afraid of heights}, the carousel, and the animals they have at the park as well.

For families with children, really this is a great park to visit. Plan to stay all day if possible, and enjoy the entire park, food, attractions, shows and the general beauty of the park.

Sesame Street MommyB Knows Best

DaddyB and I highly recommend taking your family to Busch Gardens Williamsburg and have been fans of the park since we were dating, many, many, many, many years ago.

 

Have you ever been to Busch Gardens Williamsburg? What are your favorite rides? Any tips for parents??

 

To see a complete list of Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s KIDsiderate Attractions head HERE.

Find Busch Gardens Williamsburg and more details about their season, and how to purchase tickets by heading to their Website, Facebook page, and Twitter.

 

My family was provided media tickets for admission to the park in order to give you a comprehensive review including photos and opinions. The thoughts expressed in this post are our own honest opinions , however yours may vary.

#Vlogmom: MommyB on Favorite Theme Parks

#vlogmom

What’s this folks, Jenn did a #vlogmom prompt….yeppers…it’s true, it’s not April Fool’s Day.

This week’s question is: “What’s your favorite theme park?” Check out my answer in this video response:

Check out the other fabulous vlogmom.com member responses and link yours up too:

The Beach Music Festival in Myrtle Beach

Traveling families: I am excited to be heading to Myrtle Beach with my family in September, but for those of you traveling this summer, and more specifically those of you either planning a trip this weekend or if you’re already in town, the City of Myrtle Beach and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce will be celebrating their 75th anniversaries THIS Saturday, July 20, with beach music, cupcakes and more.

Myrtle Beach

The Beach Music Festival aka grand birthday party, will be held Saturday, from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Ocean Boulevard, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues North. All anniversary related events are free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to use the hashtag ‘#myr75’ to follow and join the conversation during the anniversary celebration activities.

Saturday’s events include, The Catalinas performing on the main stage at 5:30 p.m., followed by The Original Drifters at 7:30 p.m. and the Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards at 9:15 p.m.

Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne, both featured in TLC’s hit series “DC Cupcakes” and owners of Georgetown Cupcakes, will attempt a world record by building a giant pyramid with 7,500 of their best cupcakes. Meet the sisters between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. and enjoy their delicious cupcakes starting at 7 p.m.

DC Cupcake

The weekend fun continues on Sunday, July 21, with The Salt Games, presented by Native Sons, at Plyler Park in downtown Myrtle Beach.

For more information on The Salt Games and the entire anniversary weekend, head over to www.visitmyrtlebeach.com

What activity/event would be your favorite??

 

I currently have a working partnership with Visit Myrtle Beach, but this post was written as a way to inform readers and is not a compensated post. Any opinions in this post are my own honest thoughts. Your opinions may vary.

 

Things for Kids to Do at Six Flags Over Georgia

Thank you to Six Flags Over Georgia for accommodating my family in order to obtain information for this blog post.

While we were in Georgia for a blog conference, we decided to stop by Six Flags Over Georgia since it was on the way home. Being that DaddyB is also known as The Coaster Critic of course you can imagine that our girls are also thrill-seekers when it comes to amusement parks too. Although it was a little hot out on the day of our visit, we lathered on the sunscreen and made sure the girls were well hydrated. I had never visited Six Flags Over Georgia, and was excited to see how kid-friendly and family-friendly the park was. If you are looking to visit here are some of the things kids can enjoy at the park, and some things that I think they can improve on.

Six Flags Over Georgia Kids Fun Collage MommyB

Fun kids area – Bugs Bunny World has a very well-rounded blend of rides for the little ones to enjoy. Depending on their height and age, some of them can ride without a parent. Our girls seemed to enjoy all of the rides and although Miss A didn’t get a chance to ride Wile E. Coyote Canyon Blaster {the kid’s roller coaster}, she did enjoy the smaller rides too. The ride operators took care to ensure the children’s safety, and sometimes had to deny admission to children who were too large to safely ride.

Family friendly food – This park definitely has a lot of great options when it comes to family meal time and snacks. From chicken tenders to pizza, really anything kid friendly you can think of they offer. They even have a Johnny Rockets Express, yum! We enjoyed some delicious, refreshing Cold Stone Creamery ice cream during our visit. I loved the pavilions with picnic tables set up for park goers to conveniently use as well.

The park offers a dining pass for Six Flags Season Pass Holders to purchase so they can eat lunch and dinner at the park every time they visit. For more information on their Dining Pass head here: Six Flags Over Georgia Dining Pass

The things I didn’t love so much…

Not super stroller/wheelchair friendly – It was easy to get into the park initially with our stroller {we use a front to back double stroller}, however this park is extremely “hill-y” and hard to maneuver with little children. We’ll just say DaddyB got a really good workout during our visit. I know this isn’t something the park can specifically change, but perhaps there are small changes they can make like designing the paths a different way or creating stroller and wheelchair paths specifically for ease of use. It would certainly make the park day more enjoyable and encourage us to want to stay longer.

Lackluster entertainment – We were able to grab seats for the, “Looney Tunes We Got the Beat” performance in the afternoon. It was nice to sit down, in the shade and prepare to be entertained. Unfortunately, the show was pretty outdated and not as entertaining as I hoped it would be. My girls, who usually love watching similar shows at other parks didn’t really get into the characters {because they have no clue who they are} but hung in through the 20 minutes that the show lasted. I liked that they invited a few children on stage, and the area for the show had plenty of seating, but hope Six Flags Over Georgia considers possibly updating their character choices to reflect newer, more beloved characters and that will in turn reflect the quality of the show.

Looney Tunes We Got the Beat Six Flags Over Georgia MommyB

I also caught bits and pieces of the, “ShenaniGuns! Comedy Wild West Show” and for our family, I didn’t think it was appropriate, a lot of negative talk, name calling {fat, stupid} and some crude kid humor {Bad Boob}. This show is on every hour so when we visit again I would probably just be sure to be in a different area of the park around those times. In my opinion, I’d be okay with Six Flags getting rid of this show entirely, and finding a show that can have fun, wholesome entertainment.

All-in-all this is a beautiful, hill-y, but beautiful park and is well maintained. Six Flags Over Georgia has a lot to offer families in the way of rides, entertainment, and things for kids to do, and will probably be even more fun as our girls get a little older.

Have you ever been to Six Flags Over Georgia? What was your experience? What did you love? What didn’t you like?

This is not a compensated post, however we did receive media passes in order to review this park and amenities. All opinions and thoughts in this post are my own honest words. Your experiences may vary, and if they do I’d love to hear them in a comment below. Thanks for reading!!