Category - Travel

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.

How to Teach Children about Global Ministry and Goodwill

Often times I hear the argument from people as to why we should bother helping people in our own countries when there are so many people struggling with poverty, healthcare, and other issues in our own nation.

Last I checked, no where in the Bible does it say that we are to only help those who are our neighbors. If we want to single out only those that are in other countries, what’s to say that we shouldn’t start segregating by gender, ethnicity, religion, age, and so on?

I enjoy helping people whether they live under my roof, are in my community, live in my state, have a home in America, or live on the same planet. For me the word “neighbor” isn’t specific to the zip code I live in.

One of the reasons I’m so passionate is because I love helping others. I hope that is evident by posts on volunteer projects with my family, working with a local domestic violence non-profit, and other events/things I don’t need to list out. I don’t help others only because I truly have a heart for others but because God commands us to help one another.

James 2: 14-17 says, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

Sure, we can memorize all the Bible verses in the world, and talk to others about our faith, but if we’re not putting God’s love and grace into action how are we truly reaching others?

How are we teaching our children about global ministry and goodwill??

Teaching our children about other countries and their needs whether they are preschool age or in college, we can all learn new things about what life is like around the world. In the Five-Day Experience your family can enjoy learning about Kenya. By taking 15 minutes a day, sitting down as a family, and participating in this devotional you’re offering your family chances to openly discuss, pray about, and grow a heart for neighbors in other countries.

I love this experience because it gives families personal stories of real people living in Kenya, fun facts about the country and then ties it in with a compelling bible verse. There’s also a student version available for bible studies and student groups.

How can we apply what we are learning?

One organization, Awana Clubs International, encourages families {and non-families alike} to help their neighbors by putting their faith into action. Right now in Kenya, Awana is reaching 122,000 kids, creating life-long disciples that will help transform their slums, neighborhoods, villages and cities. As you’ve seen in the news, Kenya is a place that needs hope, the hope of the Gospel, and that’s where you come in.

Through their current project, Not the End, you can purchase limited edition t-shirts for $15, where more than 40% of each purchase goes to helping fund training and further the reach of ministry in Kenya. To “sweeten the deal”, Crossway publishing company is donating a Bible for each shirt sold.

Not the End Awana Social Media Graphic

For many of these children, this Bible will be first one they may have owned. What’s even more incredible, if a person, family or organization sells or buys 30 shirts, their name will be entered into a drawing from which five people and a guest each will be selected to travel with Awana to Kenya in 2014 to minister in the slums of Kibera, do service work in an orphanage and distribute Bibles.

Buy your Not the End shirt HERE and change the world. Also make sure you follow We are Not the End on Facebook, Twitter and when you buy your shirt make sure to hashtag #wearenottheend

Not The End MommyB

 

 

I received a Not the End T-shirt and marketing materials and was asked to write about this project. I gladly agreed. My family and I love supporting great causes and if you see it posted on my blog it’s something that I stand behind or think you should know about. Thank you for reading and sharing!

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.

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

SEAL1003P_ParentLogo2

 

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.

New Products and Programs from CVS/pharmacy Headquarters

If you follow my Instagram, Facebook or Twitter feeds, you know that at the end of September, I had the opportunity to visit CVS/pharmacy headquarters once again this year and sit in on informational sessions, and enjoy some great branded events, with some amazing bloggers.

CVS/pharmacy Bloggers

If you missed last year’s trip report head HERE. It’s been a busy month and I learned so much about great new products and programs that CVS/pharmacy is or will be rolling out. In this post you’ll see highlights of my visit and learn about these products and programs for yourself. In the meantime, make sure you’re subscribed to my blog by putting your email address in the appropriate box in the sidebar, that way you won’t miss my upcoming CVS/pharmacy product and program posts.

Whats Your DealFirst I’ll start with myWeekly ads and deals. Since this is something I mentioned to you in my post: CVS/pharmacy Announces myWeekly Ad Customized Savings I won’t go over all the details {if you want those click on the link I just mentioned}. But I will tell you that for those of us who aren’t hardcore couponers, this is perfect for the shopper in us who wants to save on things we are already planning on purchasing without having to spend hours of hard work getting that deal. Kudos to CVS/pharmacy for making it easy for shoppers like us to save!

Check out this funny, celeb-filled video showcasing a few different myWeekly ad suggestions. What’s Your Deal??? 

Joan Rivers cracks me up!

For the health-minded side of CVS/pharmacy, I enjoyed trying to decipher what was a health FACT and MYTH out of the health statements we were given by the CVS MinuteClinic crew. I actually learned a good bit of new information about MinuteClinic including:

  • Available in over 650 clinics in more than 25 states
  • Holds a 95% patient satisfaction rate
  • Staffed by Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants who are able to treat, diagnose, and prescribe medication.
  • No appointments needed and services are available evenings and weekends
  • Known for acute services, but provide wellness services, physical screenings and more.

MinuteClinic Myth vs Fact MommyB.jpg

{Pictured above is Christine Young, I heart her, go check out her blog From Diapers to Dating}

I love how convenient MinuteClinic is, especially being a busy mom with two little girls. Sometimes I want my kiddos to get feeling better right away. We love our physician, but illness doesn’t always work on our doctor’s office timelines. Can I get an amen?!?

Of course most of the bloggers at the event were women, not all, but most, and we were pampered with some amazing Salma Hayek Nuance beauty products. If you haven’t heard of her line Nuance you are truly missing out my friend.Salma Hayek Nuance CVS

Nuance products are specially formulated with natural, exotic ingredients that have stood the test of time. It’s said that a number of ingredients used in Nuance products were the same used by Salma’s very own grandmother.

This year, Salma Hayek’s Nuance launched a few new products including: Nuance Salma Hayek Hair Care with rich ingredients like flax seed to strengthen and protect hair, and Nuance Salma Hayek Skincare including cleansers, BB Cream and more with each item under a $19.99 price point. Love beauty at a bargain!

Last but not least, on this fun media trip, we were treated to Christmas with CVS/pharmacy. Not only was the ambiance set for holiday celebrations, but we enjoyed a yummy Christmas morning breakfast complete with gingerbread lattes and peppermint mochas. Normally I’m not one for celebrating holidays too soon, but with the Christmas tree {and for those of you who celebrate Hannukah, the minora}, stockings, and Christmas lights really got me excited for the holidays to be here already.

CVS Christmas Holiday Gifts MommyB

We were also able to soak in the experience by doing a White Elephant swap of some of CVS/pharmacy’s soon-to-be “hot holiday gift” items. We also got to preview products that will be on “his” “hers” “kids” and other family members’ lists this Christmas and I got some great ideas for family and friends of my own.

CVS/pharmacy has even put together a few lists to get you started and help you out with shopping for those awesome people in your life you’d like to gift this Christmas season: Holiday Shopping at CVS/pharmacy.

I want to thank each of you who read my blog for your support. If you weren’t stopping by, reading my posts, commenting on Facebook, and entering giveaways I wouldn’t be able to work from home doing something I truly enjoy.

 

Thanks also to CVS/pharmacy for an amazing media event, lots of product samples to try out and tell my readers about, and of course the inside scoop on CVS/pharmacy’s newest products and programs coming out.

 

I was not compensated for this post. I did receive a trip to CVS/pharmacy headquarters for this event and work closely with the brand throughout the year on non-paid and paid projects. Any opinions in this post are my own. My family have been brand-loyal to CVS/pharmacies long before I was a blogger. Your opinions may vary.

Newest, Innovative Products from Target & Pampers {Giveaway}

This is a sponsored post, about products and brands we love.

 

If you’ve read some of my previous posts you know that DaddyB and I are done having our own children {although adoption is never out of the picture} and I have a lot of friends who are having their second or third babies lately. As a opinionated mom {no kidding}, I love sharing my thoughts on baby products and best brands. I also love buying my favorite brands for other moms in hopes they’ll share the same love of the products with me, if they don’t already.

Two brands you may hear me talk about a lot are Target {because we practically live there}, and Pampers {although no one in our house currently wears them}. I have been a longtime fan of Pampers diapers, training pants, and wipes and ALWAYS recommend the brand, so it was a great fit for me to be able to share some exciting new, innovative products from Target and some cool news about Pampers with you.

I love that Target is now carrying some really cool brands like 3 Sprouts, Trend Lab, and Aden + Anais for Target. These three lines are really cool, fresh, and great quality products. I’m partial to elephants and each of these lines carry fabric featuring adorable pachyderms:

 Target Brands

 I also love finding new products that just weren’t around when my girls were little, and stumbled on the KidCo GoPod Activity Seat. How awesome! We loved our daughter’s activity seat, but it was so big and bulky that we didn’t really want to travel with it, but this seat makes it a breeze to go to grandma’s house or bring to the babysitter’s. I would definitely have loved one of these and will be putting it on my list of baby shower gifts to give.

GoPod Activity Center

Target also carries my favorite brand of diapers, Pampers. I used to be so sad that back in our baby days Pampers Swaddlers only went to size 2, then they moved up and believe it or not, Pampers Swaddlers now go up through size 5!!! Although Swaddlers were my all-time favorite, I did also like Pampers Cruisers and they are also, new and improved with more absorbent materials and an even better fit for babies on-the-go.

Not only are these awesome diapers, but they’re even better when you can get a reward for buying them.

Target is celebrating these new Pampers innovations with two exciting offers:

  • Now through October 26th, 2013 receive a free $15 Target gift card with the purchase of 2 Pampers Giant Packs at Target
  • Then, from 10/27 – 11/2, receive a free $10 Target gift card with the purchase of 2 Pampers Super Packs at Target

Not only that, but  one lucky MommyB Knows Best winner will receive a special prize pack (valued at over $95) that includes: 

  • $50 Target Gift Card
  • Pampers Wipes (56ct)
  • aden + anais for Target Zooaroo Swaddle Wraps (4pk)
  • Skip Hop Zoo Malamine Kids & Toddler Tableware Set

Target Pampers Giveaway

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

This is a sponsored post in conjunction with Target and Pampers brands. My family has been long-time customers of both brands and we fully stand behind the products and brands that are represented here. Your opinions may differ.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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:

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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.