Park City, Utah Skiing With The Family

It's been awhile since the entire family went west, but it was time! I had a few snickers when I announced our plans to embark on a ski adventure with the entire family to Park City, Utah during the Sundance Film Festival. But, then again places that people don't Read more

10 Reasons Everything Is Awesome at the LEGOLAND Hotel

Our five-year-old's birthday wish was to spend the night at the new Florida LEGOLAND® Hotel. And quite honestly, I was pretty pumped to check it out myself. We took advantage of the Florida resident rate (35% off) and were set. There are always extra deals and promos here. I Read more

The Newest Vacation Rental in Orlando

I'm so excited to share my most recent article in PLAYGROUND magazine. Friends from my hometown in Pennsylvania have created the most amazing vacation rental space here in Orlando. Click through to read about the inspiration behind this awesome home and how you can book your stay.   Follow our family Read more

Family Getaway Postcard Inn St. Pete Beach

A few weeks ago, our family, along with two other Orlando families,ventured to St. Pete beach on the Gulf Coast to celebrate a little friend's 8th birthday at the Postcard Inn. I was attracted to the aesthetics of this trendy spot since it was transformed from a Travelodge in Read more

Best Play Spots in Paris

It's almost three weeks since we returned from Europe, and I've finally sifted through my photos. I felt like my first post should talk about the fun playgrounds/parks in Paris. What an awesome experience to see the girls jumping right into the mix at playgrounds many miles from their Read more

Orlando

10 Reasons Everything Is Awesome at the LEGOLAND Hotel

Our five-year-old’s birthday wish was to spend the night at the new Florida LEGOLAND® Hotel. And quite honestly, I was pretty pumped to check it out myself. We took advantage of the Florida resident rate (35% off) and were set. There are always extra deals and promos here. I do a lot of linking in my travel posts so that you can hop direct to the spot to learn more!

LEGOLAND HOTEL

We planned for an early arrival on check in day so we could take advantage of onsite hotel activities. Day two we planned to spend at the park

Typically when I get overly excited about something, it doesn’t necessarily deliver. This instance was different. I was definitely excited and there was no let down involved. Hooray!

Here are the 10 reasons we think everything is awesome at the LEGOLAND Hotel Florida.

  1. Imagination is Everywhere – The 5-story, 152 room resort immerses guests of all ages in creativity. More than two million Lego bricks make up over 2,000 Lego models throughout the hotel.The center of the lobby and the lobby play area have giant bins full of Legos inviting kids to play at every turn.
  2. Friendly Staff -Every hotel staff member we encountered was genuinely happy to be part of the LEGOLAND team and went above and beyond to make our birthday girl feel special. Everyone had tips and advice to share too!
  3. Early Park Entrance – As a hotel guest, you get access to LEGOLAND a half hour earlier than the general public. It might not seem like a lot of time, but you can fit a lot of rides in before the parkingLEGOLAND HOTELlot fills and tickets are purchased by non-hotel guests. The park entrance is just steps from the hotel. No monorail, bus or transport needed!
  4. Hotel Fun – We signed up for a free class with a LEGOLAND Master Builder. The intimate classroom was perfect and the kids were all given a set of Legos to build with. They followed along with the Master Builder and created their own koala. There was also a Lego building competition later in the day and a Lego pajama party at 8 pm. The lobby boasts a casual bar area (tables to relax at nearby the kids areas) with a tasty drink and food selection.
  5. Accommodations – I cannot rave enough about this. The standard room, which you can select one of three standard themes, sleeps five and kids have their own enclave with bunk beds, trundle and their own television already set up to play the LEGO Movie. Themes include Pirate, Adventure and Kingdom. There are also Lego Friends Suites, which are considerably more expensive, but sleep more and are in high demand.
  6. Scavenger Hunt – The kids loved the in-room scavenger hunt. They had to figure the numbers to the code on the treasure box where goodies and Legos were waiting for them. 
  7. Disco Elevator – We couldn’t help but dance in the Disco elevator when the light started flashing LEGOLAND HOTELand YMCA or Dancing Queen began to play. We were on the second floor, but there was really no chance we’d be taking the stairs.
  8. Floating Legos – The pool, which is definitely smaller than the big resort pools in the Orlando area, is stocked full of large floating Legos meant for building anything your heart desires. This put a whole new spin on pool time and I don’t know where else you’d get a similar experience. While the pool was small in comparison, it did not appear to be overly crowded.
  9. S’mores – At 7 pm, the hotel offered family packs of S’mores to take to the camp fire near Lake Lake Eloise. A Legoland staff member assisted us near the lake and we had a fun family S’mores adventure before settling in for the night. Packs were $10 for a family 4-pack (which fed our group of five with leftovers).
  10. Breakfast – Now as someone who spends the majority of her day planning on how to promote fruits and veggies to families, I have to say Bricks restaurant is top notch. It’s evident Fresh from Florida is a LEGOLAND partner as you notice fresh mango and strawberry smoothies, tri-color potatoes, made to order omlettes and more. This is not your typical hotel buffet breakfast. The kids were energized and ready for the day ahead.

Hear Charli’s 60 second review in this video clip!

Sometimes…. the best adventures are right in your backyard! Follow our family adventures live on Instagram and Twitter!

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This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Disney on Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic

I have never been nor ever will I ever be a seasoned ice skater, but my girls and I do love to revel at the talents put forth at each and every Disney on Ice show. We wouldn’t miss it!

Disney on Ice Orlando Giveaway!

Disney on Ice Orlando Ticket Giveaway

The ice skating spectacular is coming to the Amway Center in Orlando from September 4-6, 2015 for six performances.

Audiences will be a part of the magic at this year’s  Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt. Mickey Mouse will lead a parade of more than 50 beloved characters starring Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and featuring an ensemble of Disney Princesses including Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel, Snow White and Tiana. The wintry wonderland of Disney’s Frozen also comes to life with Anna, Elsa, and the hilarious Olaf, as they discover that true love is the greatest magic of all. Exciting moments from Disney•Pixar’s Finding Nemo, Disney’s Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast will leave the whole family with memories to last a lifetime (promise).

I have a family four pack to give away! Woo Hoo! This is for either the Friday, Sept. 4  7 pm show or the Saturday, Sept. 5  11 am show.

How to Enter:

  • Leave a comment below letting the world know your favorite Disney character.
  • Extra entry for tweeting out the giveaway – Enter now to win a family 4-pack to @DisneyonIce in Orlando from @amandamkeefer & The Mamma Mia Blog! #Orlando #Giveaway
  • Extra entry for liking Disney on Ice on Facebook – leave a comment letting me know you did.

 

Winner announced August 17!

If you don’t win, no worries. You can use this discount code to get $5 off tickets – MOMS5. Not valid on VIP or Rink Side seating.  Hurry for the best available seats! Code expires September 3, 2015.

Sometimes…. the best adventures are right in your backyard! Follow our family adventures live on Instagram and Twitter!

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We are being provided with 4 tickets to this show in exchange for spreading the word. All opinions are those of The Mamma Mia Blog.

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando 22 Comments

Summer Kick Off At Enchanted Evenings Waldorf Orlando

Enchanted Evenings Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Enchanted Evenings Waldorf Astoria Orlando

If you are looking for a fun Orlando family staycation or are visiting the area this summer, you must check out Enchanted Evenings at Waldorf Astoria Orlando.

We kicked off our summer again this year at the Waldorf. The entire crew was over the top excited to not only count down to end of school, but count down to Waldorf weekend 2015. (It’s now a tradition)

Our absolute favorite thing about the Waldorf is the pool area that features lawn games and cozy places to lounge. All summer during Enchanted Evenings, there are special activities at the pool like scavenger hunts, lawn games, derby car building and racing, fun fireside stories next to the humungous fire pit, smore’s night and Kids Club Astoria After Dark. The zero entry pool is awesome and Aquamarine has a great selection of food (for everyone in the family) and cocktails.

The new texting concierge service is now my favorite perk at the Waldorf. Sitting poolside with a question about dinner and all I had to do was text the concierge!

Enchanted Evenings Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Mamma Mia Blog Kicks off Summer!

Parents who are looking to get away at the spa or the amazing onsite restaurant Bull & Bear can make a reservation through the concierge and automatically get a $50 credit per child for Kids Club Astoria After Dark (which is $75 per child). Now, that’s a hard offer to turn down.

The kids love, love, love Oscar’s for breakfast. This buffet is huge and everything is fresh and pretty much just awesomely delish. There are fresh squeezed juices like carrot orange and melon juices, cheeses, fruits, pastries and an entire hot bar with cooks preparing crepes and omelettes to order.

Our room had a pool view this year and we were able to kick back, relax and enjoy the Disney fireworks display both evenings! I’ve seen those fireworks from many a location and this might be my favorite – on the balcony with a glass of wine surrounded by my family.

Enchanted Evenings runs through September 6 and rates start at $199. A full line up of activities is listed here.

As always, happy travels!

Follow our family travel & food adventures in 2015 live on Instagram and Twitter!

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We were provided with a complimentary stay at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, but all opinions and views shared are my own.

 

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The Newest Vacation Rental in Orlando

I’m so excited to share my most recent article in PLAYGROUND magazine. Friends from my hometown in Pennsylvania have created the most amazing vacation rental space here in Orlando. Click through to read about the inspiration behind this awesome home and how you can book your stay.

Orlando's Newest Vacation Home

Orlando’s Newest Vacation Home

 

Follow our family travel & food adventures in 2015 live on Instagram and Twitter! Happy travels!

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Orlando Staycation Family Favorite Winners

Local parents voted on their fave Orlando staycation spots and the results have been released!  I wrote about the winners in this issue of PLAYGROUND magazine.

Take a look at the top spots from local families who know. From best resort pool to best resort on a budget and best family suite, this list is for locals for sure, but also great info for visitors to Orlando.

Orlando Staycation Picks

Staycation Picks 2014 PLAYGROUND Family Favorite Awards

 

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Celebrate Dogs! Back Again in Orlando

For those of you who follow me on Instagram and Twitter, you know our Boxer, Sam, is part of Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 9.47.37 PMthe family. We are super excited to be attending Celebrate Dogs!, the nation’s largest canine extravaganza, here in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center. The event is here for the fourth year in a row December 13 and 14.

Not only will we be in attendance, but I have a family 4-pack of tickets to give away to a lucky local family! The 4-pack also includes and an American Kennel Club/Eukanuba deluxe goody bag.

Plus, if you follow me on social media, you’ll be able to see the play by play of Sam taking on the agility test on 12/10.

Presented by the American Kennel Club (AKC®) and Eukanuba Dog Foods, this two-day event is open from 8am – 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, with plenty of fun and thousands of dogs for

My only son! Sam.

Sam. Excited for his agility challenge!

the whole family to enjoy.

The full event schedule and details can be found here. Lots of fun activities for dog lovers!

Celebrate Dogs! is also home to one of the world’s premiere dog events, the 2014 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship (AENC), where the nation’s top canine competitors will vie for the coveted Best in Show honor, the title of National Champion and the highest cash prize offered for any AKC Dog Show.

Daytime tickets cost $10.00. Children 12 and under are free. Tickets to the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship evening competition are $25 for all ages.

4 Chances to Win Tix & Prize Pack!

How to enter:

1.) Leave a comment below letting me know your favorite breed of dog.

2.) Tweet about the event and leave a comment letting me know you did – Enter to win 4 tickets to the @AKCdoglovers and @Eukanuba #CelebrateDogs in Orlando http://goo.gl/x3XriX.

3.) Follow the American Kennel Club on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know.

4.) Follow Eukanuba on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know.

I’ll select a winner next Wednesday (12/10) before the big event! Winner must choose to attend either 12/13 or 12/14. Good luck!

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Disclaimer: We were provided with complimentary tickets to the show. All thoughts and opinions on The Mamma Mia Blog and my social media outlets are my own.

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Spooktacular Fun!

We love to visit SeaWorld during Halloween for their annual Spooktacular event. The girls are obsessed with the many creatures of the sea and SeaWorld does a great job tying in trick or treating fun with learning about our world’s oceans.

Spooktacular takes place weekends in October! Get all the details here. 

SeaWorld Spooktacular

Bubbles are a must at Spooktacular.

 

SeaWorld Spooktacular

Meeting new friends who wanted to dance

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And another friend who wanted to dance

Follow our family travel & food adventures live on Instagram and Twitter! Happy travels!

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Disney on Ice presents Frozen

Diney on Ice presents Frozen

Disney on Ice presents Frozen

Rumor has it that this show is sold out in Orlando. Don’t believe everything you hear! There are tickets left and those procrastinators out there (like myself) can purchase them for this weekend’s performances.

Unfortunately I don’t have tickets to give away this time around, but ticket prices are really reasonable. There is new availability this week for seats in the upper level starting at $20.

Disney on Ice presents Frozen show schedule for Amway Center:

Thursday, September 4 at 7:00 p.m.

Friday, September 5 at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, September 6 at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, September 7 at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Produced by our friends at Feld Entertainment, Disney on Ice presents Frozen Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt will kick off its world tour in Orlando this week. That makes this show extra special!

We are attending the preview show tomorrow so if you are still on the fence, follow our experience on Instagram or Twitter to get the real time scoop.

You can also follow the show’s producer on Twitter @nicolefeld or @disneyonice or on Facebook for more info.

We were invited to attend the Disney on Ice presents Frozen show as guests of Feld Entertainment. All thoughts and opinions on The Mamma Mia Blog are my own.

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Enchanted Evenings At Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Waldorf Astoria Enchanted Evenings

Waldorf Astoria Pool Entrance

The Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, near Disney, has an unimaginable amount family fun going on this summer during Enchanted Evenings. Enchanted Evenings schedule of events happen every weekend through Labor Day.

We had the chance to stay at the Waldorf Astoria, in a two bedroom suite perfect for families, during the kick-off of Enchanted Evenings. The girls finished school on Wednesday so it was the perfect way to celebrate summer.

Enchanted Evenings at Waldorf had fun poolside activities for the kids including Water Walkers. (Take a look at this video of Mia taking advantage.) She never stopped laughing. Other family friendly activities taking place around the hotel were a Weird Science Ice Cream Social, Regatta Sailboat Decorating, Kids Club Astoria After Dark and Family S’mores Night. The full schedule of events is here.

We spent a lot of time at the zero entry pool, perfect for the girls. I heard several guests raving about the Lime In he Coconut poolside cocktail and had to try it out. This drink was heavenly! Just a five minute walk from the Waldorf pool is the Hilton Bonnet Creek (where there’s another schedule of family activities for Summer Blast) pool and lazy river. I’ll have a post coming ASAP on Hilton Bonnet Creek’s festivities, which you are welcome to enjoy as a guest at Waldorf.

Ice Cream Social Waldorf Astoria

Ice Cream Social Waldorf Astoria

Oscar’s for breakfast was the highlight of our mornings. The breakfast buffet left us full through lunch. I couldn’t get enough of the fresh squeezed juices like – carrot and watermelon. The girls had to be carried away from the pastry display.

Service, in true Waldorf style, was impeccable and even Mia commented on the friendliness of the staff. As a testament to the family fun we had, our 3-yr-old cried in the lobby saying she never wanted to leave.

Summer rates during Enchanted Evenings start at $249. This location is perfect for your Orlando staycation (like us) or families visiting Orlando on summer break.

Follow our family travel & food adventures live on Instagram and Twitter! 

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Waldorf Astoria

The girls in the Waldorf lobby looking out to pool

Enchanted Evenings Waldorf Astoria

Relaxing after a fun filled day! 

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Orlando Parents Vote On Their Local Hotel Favorites

Living in one of the most visited locations in the world means that families living in Orlando have a plethora of options when it comes to a staycation. Readers of PLAYGROUND magazine voted on their top staycation choices in town and I had the pleasure of writing about the results. I was also able to throw a few faves of my own in there. I think it’s a must read for Orlando parents and really any family traveling to Otown. Click below for the full article (pages 32-34)

Staycations in our backyard!

Staycations in our backyard!

Be sure to follow our family travel adventures on Instagram!

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