Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Where Did We Go Wednesday? Noah's Ark Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells

This is our 2nd year of going to Noah's Ark in Wisconsin Dells and meeting up with some family there. Noah's Ark is dubbed "America's Largest Waterpark" although, after looking at a post about best waterparks in the world I have to wonder if it is bigger than the ones in Florida. It may have been the largest at one point and is probably still the largest in the Midwest, but not sure if it is still the largest in America anymore. Regardless, it is so much fun and there is only one ride (the Scorpion) that my son can't go on because they have a minimum weight. This year he wanted to be "really brave" and go on everything and did go on a couple that he was too scared to go on this year. He was really proud of himself.

I don't have any pictures from inside the park because we choose not to carry anything around with us, which prevents anything from getting lost, forgotten or stolen. And this year we all had aqua socks so we didn't have to go to the shoe corrals after every ride. I highly recommend having water shoes to make things easier and more efficient. I heard someone ask about wearing their Keen sandals on the rides and they said it depended upon the ride and some they may be asked to take off.

Another thing I recommend is paying the extra $3 for premium parking (only if you can get there before they open so you can get a close spot). That $3 makes it easier to go out to eat snacks and meals at your vehicle which will save you a lot of money from having to buy it inside the park. Plus the entrance for the premium parking is right by the bathroom and is in a central location allowing you to choose which of the 4 major areas of the park you are going to as the other entrance (regular parking) bring your in to one of the major areas and you have to do more walking when you want to come/go to your vehicle.

It has been a fun trip to meet family there for a weekend vacation and gives my kids the opportunity to create some memories with family in the summer. To save some money, I had signed up for the newsletter from Noah's Ark and bought BOGO tickets (good any day of the season) in the spring. Read about last year's trip to Noah's Ark here.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp

"I loved it!!!! I definitely want to do this again next year."

That was the quote from my son when I picked him up after the last day of soccer camp. I had the unique opportunity of allowing him to go to camp for free in exchange for providing a review on my blog.

My son loves soccer. It was something he really wanted to play and he played summer and fall soccer last year in one town and then this past year he did spring soccer in a different town and then summer and will do fall soccer in the same town as last year. There is just something about soccer that he gravitates toward and when I told him I had the opportunity for him to take this camp that was half a day, 3 hours a day, he was very excited about it.

He had a week break from Summer soccer and then it was back on the field again for this British Soccer Camp in a completely different town then the two he has done soccer in before.

 It was a great camp for building both skills and character. The camp does lots and lots of drills of various kinds but they also play games against each other. This particular Camp had 15 participants ranging in age from 6 to 12 with most of them being six seven or eight years of age.

On the first day of camp when they start playing games against each other they are split into teams. My son was on Team Brazil. Because there wasn't an even number of participants there had to be one team with only three players and the rest had four, his was that team but they didn't let themselves be defeated by having a smaller number. Coach Oli told them about the World Cup and how they would be playing for their own World Cup but they didn't earn points just on winning games they also earned it by showing good character and good sportsmanship having good Hustle and participating in the extra activities he asked them to do at home.

The other activities they were asked to do was to learn more about there team countries period on one day they were asked to come up with three different
facts to share with the group. And another day they were asked to bring or make their team country flag. These were optional activities but help them score more points for their World Cup status. It also gave them the opportunity to learn more about other parts of the world that play soccer.

During this 3-hour can they had the opportunity to take multiple water breaks which was much needed on the first 3 days that was temperature in the 80s and relatively high humidity those days. Then about two hours into Camp they would take a 15 minute break to have a snack that they brought.

The first day of camp was a bit of chilly and drizzle weather but they still play and kids just dress appropriately for the weather. They only cancel or delay Camp is if there is lightning. The last day of camp could not have had more perfect weather with temps between 65 +72 during the duration of the camp.

On the last day of camp the kids received their Camp t-shirts that are included in the fee. They also received a poster that had comments from the coach on the back side with ideas of what they can work on and what they did well at an additional General comments from the coach. On the first day of camp they received they're British soccer camp soccer ball and brought that with them to Camp every day.

When you register online through Challenger sports at least 45 days in advance you have the opportunity to get a jersey for the cost of just shipping and handling which was $7.95. I did buy one for my son and he was the only child who had one but the coach had the same Jersey and so every night I had to wash that Jersey so that my son could wear to Camp so he would match his coach who he looked up to as a role model.

There was the opportunity to add on a half-day goalie Camp after the morning soccer camp which I opted not to do because I thought 3 hours might already be enough for my son but after this year we have now talked about that we might pay that additional small fee to have him do the goalie camp and learn how to be a better goalie. He has been a timid goalie in the past but he gained some confidence in being a goalie during this camp and I can only imagine if he has spent more time practicing goalie skills how much he would have improved.

The skills of the kids at the camp ranged greatly from kids who had never really done soccer before two kids who had a fair amount of experience in soccer.

Because the smaller number of kids on a team it meant they couldn't separate into offense and defense like he did during his soccer games in spring and summer. Each kid had to play both offense and defense and run the field the entire time unless they were the goalie. Since my son's team only had three people on it if he was on the field it meant he had to work very hard and had plenty of opportunity to make cool shots, which he did and he was very pleased to be experiencing what it was like to be successful on the offense.

This year he had tended to gravitate towards wanting to play defense most often and does a good job at at but he gravitates towards that because he feels successful there. This Camp really made him think about the positions differently and experience them differently. And because the teams were smaller and they had to play the entire field the fields were about half the size then they would have been when he plays soccer on the school teams.

I do plan to look for Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp to sign him up in the future. If you want to find out which communities are hosting them you can find it on the Challenger sports website.

Next year he may just try goalie Camp as well. I am not sure if the opportunity will be there for me to review this Camp again but I know there is a possibility that I can sign up to be a coach post and then the your child gets to attend the camp for an $80 discount (will cover about half the price of a half day camp.)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Where Did We Go Wednesday? Caribbean Club Resort

This year on our summer trip to meet some family in Wisconsin Dells we stayed at the Caribbean Club resort in Wisconsin Dells. We were heading to the Dells to go to Noah's Ark Waterpark as our feature event.

This Resort seems to have individually owned condos that the resort will rent out and take care of for the owners or in our case we found one that was privately owned and managed through what you see in the interior pictures for mine is what our property owner has done and updated. I had read some reviews on TripAdvisor that some of the condos there are more dated. I highly suggest checking out vacation rental by owner and see what they have on there. This one was unit number 108.
The resort itself features a sand beach on Lake Delton which my kids enjoyed because as much as they get to swim they don't always get to play in the sand as much since they swim in pools a lot. On the property there is an indoor pool and hot tub and sauna in doors. There is also a outdoor pool with a waterfall and slide and children's Splash area with swings.

The resort does have docks that are available first come first serve so if you are renting a Motorcraft or bringing your own you could have a place to put it.

Since these are condos they have full kitchens, which is why we rented a condo because we wanted to be able to make many of our meals there which is a lot easier with traveling with kids.

Last year we had rented a cabin at a different Resort but that wasn't available so this year I went in search of another place and found this. A huge draw to this place is that it isn't overrun with people like some of the other hotels and Resorts have that are.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Simple Deviled Eggs

Simple Deviled Eggs Recipe

1 dozen eggs, boiled and peeled
1/3 C mayo
salt, to taste
dried dill


  • Boil and peel eggs
  • Half eggs and separate white and yolks, put yolks in a bowl
  • Using a mixer, blend together yolks and mayo, add in whatever salt you need to your liking
  • Spoon yolk mixture in to white halves
  • Sprinkle with paprika and dill, is desired
  • Enjoy
The paprika and dill add a bit of flavor but is more of a eye appealing feature.

Friday, July 28, 2017

What are these weird creatures? Pine Sawfly Caterpillars

Well, I will tell you what they are -- they are caterpillars for a Pine Sawfly! My kids noticed them on this pine bush by our house and they are destructive buggers. They had already eaten away a few branches inside, so we had not noticed them before. After doing some research I found out they will eat away at pine and end up killing it if you don't kill them first and you need to kill them as caterpillars so they don't turn in to a Sawfly and lay eggs causing an bigger problem and more destruction.

Now the problem is that they are pretty resistant (from my research) and you need to be sure you pick an insecticide that kills WASPS! They belong to the same family as the wasp. So, forget about an insecticide that kills flies or caterpillars, it must say that it will kill wasps. As long as you know this and use that, you should be good. These were pretty killed as soon as I sprayed them. I don't typically spray for insects because they are part of the food hierarchy and beneficial to something, but this was going to kill my nice big pine bushes and I wasn't going to stand for that.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Where Did We Go Wednesday? Granddad's Bluff in Lacrosse, WI

I haven't yet told you about our hike to the top of the Bluffs at Devil's State Park but this isn't it. This is Grandad's Bluff in Lacrosse Wisconsin. I think the fact that this was A drive up Bluff with a short walk was very appealing to my family after spending a strenuous day had Devil's Lake State Park followed by a full day of water slides at Noah's Ark Waterpark.

This was only about 10 minutes out of our way off of the interstate to go check it out. I was very impressed with the facilities up there they had full bathrooms, not Vault toilets for porta potties. There is also this very nice Stone Pavilion that had fireplaces on each end of it. On this day it was warm so no one was using the fireplace but I thought this would be a wonderful place to go during the Fall colors in August and look at the colors Over Lacrosse as well as areas of both Minnesota and Iowa that you can see. Lots of beautiful wild flowers are planted here as well. It is worth a drive to come check it out.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Super Easy Chocolate Banana Muffins

These muffins are so super easy, that my 7 year old son made them for breakfast for us recently. They only need 2 ingredients!!! A box of chocolate cake mix and 4 medium bananas.

Super Easy Chocolate Banana Muffins
1 box chocolate cake mix
4 medium bananas, mashed


  • Preheat oven to 350 degree
  • Mash bananas
  • Pour in cake mix (only the mix, not other ingredients listed on the back)
  • Mix together bananas and cake mix until blended
  • Scoop batter in to 18 muffin tins
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Enjoy!

These will be more dense than cupcakes, but still very tasty. Allow to cool before removing from the muffin tin. This is the perfect beginner recipe for a child because there is no measuring involved but they still get a chance to read a recipe and follow instructions and use kitchen tools. A perfect start to learning some life skills in the kitchen.

Friday, July 21, 2017 Has Amazon Promo Codes! with Amazon Coupons & Coupon Codes

Did you know Groupon has Amazon Promo Codes and Coupons?

I didn't, but I do now.

Amazon is something I use often, VERY OFTEN. My husband may even tell you, too often. We have Prime, so I primarily shop for things that have Prime Shipping and we use Amazon Prime to find movies and shows to watch. Sometimes I will even remember to check what books are FREE downloads each month. Recently, I was able to download and borrow The Handmaid's Tale through the Prime Lending Library to read for FREE and it is our book club pick this month (FYI - it is still available.

What I didn't know about and use is the 156 Coupons for Amazon available on Groupon. Not just coupons, but also other discounts and promotions I didn't know were available You better believe I will be checking Groupon more often now to find out what discounts are available on Amazon. 


Well, you should click this link and see all of them for yourself, but some of them I was interested in are:

  • Save $10 off $50 on Warehouse Deals
  • 10-cent Movie Rentals on Amazon
  • $35 Off a New Kindle
  • $10 Off Your First Amazon Restaurant Deal
  • $10 Off Shave Club Gift Card
  • 50% Off Amazon Prime for Students

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Where Did We Go Wednesday? RBNC Macro Invertebrates Class

Did you know that many nature centers offer a variety of classes for kids, adults, and Families? We used to be able to get more of the classes in when we were not as busy but as the kids grow older their schedules get busier. This class was a macroinvertebrate class at the river bend Nature Center in Faribault Minnesota.

It was quite an interesting class and we discovered many creepy things living in the pond.  they look even creepier when you look at them under microscopes.

Usually classes there are very low-cost or possibly even free. I encourage you to check them out and see what is available to you. Ours changes whenever we get different interns, so each year it might be different classes. Also oftentimes nature centers offer day camps so that might be an option to help round out your child summer especially if they are starting to complain of boredom.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

FREE EMOJI Movie Event at MOA

THE EMOJI MOVIE Truck Tour is making its way to Minneapolis! Join us as we celebrate the upcoming release of THE EMOJI MOVIE with Hi-5 & Gene, characters from the upcoming film. The Emoji Movie glass truck activation will be at Mall of America on Thursday, July 13 from 2pm-8pm in the North Lot for a day of fun activities including a boomerang photo booth in the ball pit, corn hole games, a selfie station, giveaways and more! THE EMOJI MOVIE hits theaters July 28. #EmojiMovie

Where Did We Go Wednesday? Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam was day 3 on our road trip vacation that took us to Death Valley, Las Vegas, and a lot of different places in Arizona. My husband and I have been here before but this was my kids first time going here.

Going to Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon had us feeling a bit like we were part of National Lampoon's Vacation.

Hoover Dam it's just one of those places that you go to even if you aren't there for a very long time because it is too dang hot to be outside. It is a place that does inspire awe.

Just one two bit if you are entering from Nevada there is a pay parking ramp but in the hot sun it is probably worth it. We did pay for parking but if you drive across Hoover Dam into Arizona there is lots that are free to park in there but you may have a bit of a ways to walk.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Where Did We Go Wednesday? RAD Zoo in Owatonna, MN

 We have a family pass to the RAD Zoo, so we get there at least a half dozen times a year. This time we got a family pass that allows us to bring a guest with us each time. So, far we have only taken advantage of that once, but I hope we use this benefit a couple of times this summer.

Every time we go there is always something new to see and possibly hold. We have been members since they first opened, so there is a lot we have learned and experienced since they opened.

If you want to see more pictures and read more about our trips there:

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: July 4th Colors at the Cabin

These are pictures from last year on the 4th of July of the sunset, the campfire "Mystical" colors, and the fireworks we bought and lit.

Friday, June 16, 2017

She Is..... Women in the Outdoors Weekend at Eagle Bluff

I believe I have talked about going to the She Is..... Women in the Outdoors Weekend at Eagle Bluff in Lanesboro, MN on this blog before. What maybe I haven't told you before is that this is an event that is open to any women that want to sign up and go to it. I have gone four years in a row now and plan to continue going. This weekend isn't advertised and only spread through word-of-mouth. I had found out about it from another friend who moved away before I could go with her for the first time but I went with the friend that had initially invited her and had been going since this weekend started almost 15 years ago. Over the last 4 years I have had a variety of friends who have joined us and have met a number of new people. Every year when you go there you see a lot of the same familiar faces. There is also a fall weekend, this is the spring one.

I have only ever gone to this spring event. It is held at Eagle Bluff in Lanesboro Minnesota and it is a wonderful facility. 

This year I took classes and beekeeping, rock climbing, Forest Fascination which is taught by a Native American Woman who is the plant lady for their tribe and teaches all of us about how the use all kinds of plants in nature whether it be for food or medicine and how they respect and give back to the Earth. Finally comma the fourth class I took was shotgun. This one was way out of my comfort zone but I wanted to experience it and ask lots of questions because my daughter will be going there for camp this summer for their firearm safety certification camp and we'll be firing both shotguns and rifles while she is there.
We do have a variety of other add-on classes that are optional to take in the evening or an optional Saturday morning yoga which that one I did take. Even though I would much rather sleep in, it feels really good to get up on Saturday morning and stretch everything out before we begin the day.
I can't begin to fully explain to you how empowering it feels to be at these classes. They instruct them in a way that everyone feels comfortable and explain how to do everything safely and correctly even if you have done it a hundred times. 
There is a variety of classes to sign up for this is what I got this year. So if you are reading this and this is something you are interested in then go to the Facebook page and request information so that you get on the email list. The date has been set for the fall weekend. I don't know that I can make it to that one as swim team short course meet season has started. And if you know me personally, let me know that you are interested and I will try to remember to send you the registration when we get it, usually the first week in February. I don't want to bother people about if they want to go or not. I know what kind of fun you are missing out on, but until you get there you don't know what you're missing. Plus it is probably the most reasonably cost women's weekend you will ever have. This year it was $195 for early registration and that includes all of my classes, all of the food, and lodging.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Where Did We Go Wednesday? Faribault Water Park

I told getting season pass oftentimes other places like outdoor water parks have season passes as well. We do not have a season pass to this water park but I do like to be able to take the kids to a few different water parks to play throughout the summer.. this one in Faribault, MN is one that offers season passes. We went to this particular Waterpark for two reasons. The first reason is that our city pool didn't open up until the next day and it was 90 degrees out and we wanted to be wet. The second reason was that when I signed my kids up for the Faribault Public Library reading program they were each given a pass to go to this water park for free period so comma I only had to pay for my admission and snacks while we were there. They had a ton of fun and as it turned out there was several other families from swim team who were there to enjoy the day. It seems like all our little fishies want to be in the water as much as possible.

I wanted to make a couple of comments on the picture that you see above there for those that know us personally they may wonder what is going on in one of the pictures. My daughter has been wanting to hug her brother more often maybe because she wants hugs or maybe because she knows he doesn't want hugs and when I asked them to stand together closely so I could get a picture she took that opportunity to hug him and he was throwing his arms up in disbelief. Also you should look at my son's funky new goggles that he has to use at the water parks this summer. They are pretty creepy when they catch the sun right. These are the ones he will use for the summer at water parks and the outdoor pool, they have different goggles that they use for swim team.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Kids Under 16 Fish FREE in MInnesota

Did you know that kids under 16 can fish for FREE in Minnesota? They do have to follow the rules and regulations for fishing, but they do not need a fishing license. If you kid(s) are 16-17 years old, a yearly fishing license has a nominal fee of $5 (THAT'S IT!) 

So, this coming Father's Day weekend - take your kids fishing.  You are bound to create some lasting memories with your kids.

If you remember, I mentioned last week that you can fish for free in MN State Parks and some parks have free fishing kits to use. You just have to catch the fish!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Collect Shells on the Beach for Free Pendants

Are you taking a summer trip that will bring you to the beach? Consider looking for some shells on the beach that have a hole on the top. You can easily turn these in to pendants (or earrings if you find similar sized ones). What a wonderful momento of your trip and the shells were free to pick up. Be sure to clean and sanitize your shells before using them. Or you can use them to make some thrifty gifts for others.

Friday, June 9, 2017

My Son's Summer To Do List

My son took a different approach than what my daughter did and put some things on his list that he know we are planning to do. His list isn't as long, but when he did his list he drew a picture for each one as well and made it in to a book and each To Do Item was one page in the book. When I made it up for the blog, I decided to just make one list up. I am not sure how he decided on this hours of allotment for tablet, reading, and play time. I am thinking they are relatively arbitrary, but we'll go with them. I wonder if I should tell him how fast he will burn through his tablet time. LOL!

If you like the list idea, check out these free printables I made up 3 years ago, there are 4 to choose from.

4 Summer Goals Printables

Thursday, June 8, 2017

My Daughter's Summer To Do List

I asked both of my kids to come up with a list of things they wanted to do this summer. I didn't give them a specific number or items and I didn't give them any direction on what to write. Today I thought I would share what my daughter wrote. I found it interesting that she pretty much picked things that were not already on our calendar and definitely had her own ideas of things she also wants to do.

In the past we have used these lists I created, but now that they are older I want them to help come up with ideas.

100 Things To Do This Summer

102 Things To Do This Summer

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Where Did We Go Wednesday? Medford City Pool

It is that time of year again. School is out and the community pool is open. I am sure that many of you have community pools in your area or it might be a water park near you that is outdoors. Whatever it is I encourage you to check out season pass options. For this pool I have to take the kids 12 times throughout the entire summer to have it paid for and that is without their dad coming with us. If he is able to come with us then we get our money's worth even sooner. Each year the kids seem to get busier lives and we don't get there as often but last year we would have paid 150%of a season pass rate if we paid individually each time. I do really like the fact that I don't have to have cash on me every time we go. I know that all of the area pools and waterparks have Season Pass rates and many people get them. In the long run it will save you money and gives the kids something to do all summer and gives them the opportunity to be active and keep them off of their tablets 4 at least a little while. My kids are little fish and love to swim and are on swim team but that doesn't stop us from getting a pool membership and going here often. Going to the pool is there time to play in the water and not just swim laps.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

FREE Outdoor Music Entertainment at Bernw Wood Fired Pizza

Starting June 7th (TOMORROW!) and continuing on Wednesdays nights through August 30th you can head out to Berne, MN and take in some FREE outdoor musical entertainment from 2-3 bands per evening while enjoying wood fired pizza that is made on site there.

Remember to bring your chairs or a blanket to sit on and some beverages and side dishes. There may be limited availability of other food and beverages for purchase, beside the pizza. Definitely buy the pizza. It is delicious!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Adults Fish FREE in Minnesota June 9-11

This coming weekend is Family Fun Take a Kid Fishing Weekend and  residents of Minnesota 16 and older can fish for free for 3 days, June 9-11 if they are fishing with a kid 15 and younger, who do not need a fishing licence. So, take the whole family out fishing for free sometime this weekend. You have 3 days to choose from, or go fishing all 3 days!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Bicycle Service is Now a Benefit of AAA

AAA Banner

Do you have AAA?
Do you read the monthly magazine?

If not, you really should. It reminds members of all the perks that are included with your membership and informs us of any new service that is included. I was excited to read in the May/June 2017 issue that AAA Bicycle Assistance is not a service included. As a Plus member, I can get safe transport of myself and my bike for up to 100 miles, which is the same as what I would get if I need automobile towed.

Plus, you can get 10% off  regular priced clothing, accessories and service parts at Erik's Bike Store, and 10% off any purchase of $20+ at Varsity Bike and Transit.

This is all very good info to know as we are in MN bike season!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

FREE Bike Helmet for Kids at Safe Kids Safety Safari

Mark your calendar for Tuesday, June 13th from 10am - 1pm for the Safe Kids Safety Safari that is presented by the Minnesota Safety Council and Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation. There will be lots of fun, games and learning and each child can get a new bicycle helmet (while supplies last).

The event will take place at Como Zoo, so why not explore this awesome free zoo while you are there (donations appreciated!)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Where Did We Go Wednesday? Crayola Experience

I had the opportunity to go along with my son on his field trip to the Crayola Experience at the Mall of America last week. Crayola Experience only gives so many chaperone passes and I was not picked to be one of those but they allowed additional chaperones to come along for $9 a piece which is a bargain when you consider that the cost of admission is $19.99 a person. My sons admission was covered by the school so I didn't have to pay for that so for two of us to go for that price to check it out is a good deal. I really wanted to see what it was like because my kids have been asking to go but considering that it would cost $60 for me to take both of them I wanted to be sure it was worth the cost because $60 sure can buy a lot of crayons. Just to note you can buy a season pass which is unlimited admission for $29.99 per person or $99.99 per family. The next time we go, and there will be a next time we will be buying a season pass. Unlike other season passes we get this is a for-profit company so our season pass is not tax-deductible.

We were there for 3 hours on the field trip and managed to get around to all but one area. Some of the areas we had to rush through because we wanted to try to get as many as possible. I am not sure I could even pick out what my favorite area was. There is a lot to do here. You end up leaving with many projects but there are still even more areas that are just physical play or they are a digital type of area.

In the picture above you can see the crayon ring I made. That is in one of the areas and you get to choose between three different wax Creations, one of which is a ring. In that same picture you can see my son is watching his crayon drip and melt into his creation.

This next picture is a good example of some of the large motor skill play areas as well as digital areas. Same with the bottom picture which is two pictures of my son and I in a digital area where it appears like crayon wax is dripping over us. 

There is a couple of shows to watch while you are there. They are live shows. One of them shows how a crayon is made from start to finish and at the end they give them a red crayon which is what they are demonstrating being made. The other show was demonstrating the scientific properties of silly putty. Both shows are performed at various times throughout the day. So you are sure to be able to find one of them that fits into your schedule.

Besides getting a red crayon from the one show there is also another area where you get to name your own crayon can you pick out what color you want and put whatever name on it you want. So between the crayon mold, the show and the name your own crayon area you will leave with three crayons.

There is also a puzzle making station and a painting station and a hot wax Spin Art station and a hot wax painting station. You will leave with projects from all of those if you do them. There is also a station for Model Magic clay that you can do. This station as well as the crayon naming station take one token each period we were given a token for each one for each person when we arrived. They do have a station where you can buy more tokens that is by the Model Magic dispenser. The Model Magic dispenser gives you one color of Model Magic clay / token. Tokens were two for a dollar.

There is also two big play areas with slides and tunnels and monkey bars that kids can play in one is geared towards younger kids and one is towards older kids. There is also area where there is a huge Lite-Brite to play with. The number of digital areas is probably about a half-dozen of them. I didn't do those as much because there is only so many stations and we had so many kids that were wanting to play that the adults just watched in these areas

There is a Café there and they do serve a variety of food but we had brought bunches. I'm not sure if they allow you to normally carry in food or if they only allow this for school groups.

I am sure I am missing telling you about some area or private we got to create but as you can see there is quite a bit to do to fill your time.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Junior Naturalist Program at MN State Parks

Patches you can collect through the Junior Park Naturalist program: prairie, hardwoods and pinelands naturalist.

This summer, help your kids become Junior Park Naturalist through the free program at the MN State Parks. The program runs all year long, but why not start this summer and help them earn all 3 badges and fill out their 3 free activity booklets. It will certainly be something they won't forget.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Paper Plate Patriotic "Banner"

Aren't these just so cute! There are four of us in our family and we each made our own design to hang up at the cabin. All you need is one paper plate for every 2 you want to make. Cute them in half and have fun painting. We made these while at the cabin and while we are there we like to get crafty but don't have quite the arsenal of craft supplies there like we do at home, so fun and simple things with minimal supplies is definitely something we can do while we are there. Try these out!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon

I can't believe I didn't tell you about this Indoor Triathlon after I completed it in January. Yes, it's been a while but it was the second one I had ever done and I didn't want to forget about it. I was looking at posts I had in draft mode and realized I dropped the ball on publishing this one. Sometimes, I wish Blogger would send me notifications about "On This Day" like FB does so I be reminded of what I wrote about each day over the last 8 years. Yes, it had been about 8 years now, which is crazy. What is crazier is that I started blogging on a personal blog ever longer ago. I don't post on there that much, maybe a few times a year.

Anyways, I diverge......I finished exactly where I expected to and how I finished last time -- right in the middle. I am not terribly fast, but I am not terribly slow. I'm just an average person, in so many ways. LOL! I had 3 friends who did it with me. One of them was the friends I did my 1st Indoor Triathlon with and for the other 2 this was their first.

So, what I can remember about my race is that we were at the Lakeville location and I would totally not choose this location again because the pool was not conducive to a race. Seriously, it was 3 feet deep, which means it was super wavy as every one is swimming their laps and was a slow pool. Ugh. I am already a slow swimmer, I didn't need this. Plus they stuck 2 in a lane at a time and I was stuck on the wall side, which is not as easy to side stroke so I tried to do freestyle as much as I could.

I definitely made up time and points on the bike. I had been going to spin classes regularly, so I was very well prepared for this. My only complaint is they started the clock and then came around and started our distances, so unless you were one of the first couple of people they started you didn't get credit for all of your distance, so that sucked because I lost a couple of minutes of distance and I was cruising!

The run was so much better than last time. I felt better prepared with understanding how my body would feel during the transition and ran at the pace I wanted. Only bummer was that I accidently hit the reset button (who puts an automatic reset button right next to the speed buttons? Stupid.) and my time/distance was wiped. Luckily I had looked at it right before it happened because I was making myself up my speed every certain distance, but then it took 30 seconds to get everything cleared and started and then another 10-15 seconds to get back up to speed on a treadmill. Ugh. When you are doing 60 minute race and you lose 3 minutes of distance, which is 5% it does make a difference.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Kids Skate FREE All Summer!

Last week I told you about a program where kids can bowl for free all summer long, and today I am telling you about a program where kids can skate for FREE all summer long. However, in MN there are only 2 skating rinks that participate. They are located in Woodbury and St. Louis Park. Although in our neighboring state of Wisconsin there are 7 locations.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Save $5 on MN State Park Permits

Do you have a Minnesota Zoo Pass?

If so, you already know you get 50% off admission and many zoos across the U.S. 

But did you know that now you can get $5 off your $25 MN State Parks permit.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Basket Hurdles Balloon Obstacle Race

Making these hurdles are fun and easy! You just need 2 laundry baskets per hurdle and some kind of dowel or stick or broom handle to stick through the slats.

To play the water balloon obstacle race, you first need to fill up a bunch of water balloons and get a tablespoon (used to carry water balloons) for each person.

The object of the game is to get the most water balloons in the basket at the end by going over the hurdles. You can assign each player a balloon color in order to easily count at the end of the race. You could also set a timer so they are forced to run over the hurdles, making it a harder race than if they are allowed to walk it.

Have fun!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Where Did We Go Wednesday? Valleyfair

Did you hear?
Valleyfair just opened for the season!!!!

We went about 10 days ago for the season passholder preview day, but it just opened this past weekend for everyone. We got season passes to Valleyfair last year and it worked out well for us. If you only go 2 times it has paid for itself, but go more than that and it's basically free. 

This year we did not go on the new ride, North Star. None of us are thrilled about spinning in a circle up so high. But I did get my daughter to go on 2 more roller coasters with me, the Renegade and the Corkscrew. Last year she went on only two other roller coaster rides, Mad Mouse and High Roller. She is slowly but surely, trying them all out. Plus there is a smaller roller coaster that both kids will go on called, Cosmic Coaster. My son went on High Roller last year and hated it and won't go on again, too scary for him yet. He did go on Mad Mouse and likes that one, so I guess he has some he liked. He likes a lot of the spinning rides, he doesn't get motion sickness as easily as the rest of us do. I can't wait for the waterpark to open up, that is where we spent a handful of days this summer and will again this summer. 

In the fall, we go there for Valleyscare. That was a lot of fun and is included in our season pass too.