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

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

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


Field Trips For All! Win A Sony Camera

Field trips are a great way for kids to gain memorable, hands on learning experiences outside of the classroom. It’s disappointing to see school budgets being cut, and field trips slowly just going away.

In support of a new program, Field Trips For All, Lunchables will be hosting  free-admission to the Orlando Science Center for the first 1,000 people this Saturday, May 1.  The campaign aims to help 50 deserving classrooms across the country go on educational and inspiring field trip adventures.

Nominate a classroom! Anyone can nominate a 1st – 8th grade classroom to win a field trip through June 1 on the Lunchables website.

To capture those “oh so special field trip moments,” the folks at Lunchables have provided The Mamma Mia Blog with a Sony DSC-W220 Digital Camera with 12.1 Mega Pixel, 4x optical zoom and rechargeable battery to giveaway. I’ll announce the winner Friday afternoon (April 30)…. So hurry up and enter!

How to Enter:
Post a comment about a field trip memory from your youth. I’ll start because I just can’t help myself.
Bonus Entries:
Follow @mammamiafl on Twitter and post a comment saying so.
Retweet this contest on Twitter
Fine print: Contest valid for U.S. residents only

Mia discovering dinosaur bones at the Orlando Science Center

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Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways, Orlando 272 Comments

PLAYGROUND Music & Arts Fest

It’s Monday, and already I’m thinking about the weekend. Make plans now to head to the PLAYGROUND Music & Arts Fest on Sunday, April 18. Last year was a blast, and I’m sure this year will be even bigger and better! PS~ It’s FREE!

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando, PLAYGROUND 1 Comment

Foto Friday: Another Happy Place in Orlando

I wrote awhile ago about a Central Florida book store that I considered to be one of my “happy places.” I’ve now added another locale to my list of “happy places.”

Mia and I take ballet on Saturday mornings at the Russian Ballet of Orlando. I take an adult class in the studio next to her little ballerina class. Fun stuff. It so happens that the studio is directly across the street from the Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar.

Mia loves this place mostly because she likes to call me a Funky Monkey, but also because it’s a cool atmosphere and the food/drinks are awesome. There’s a variety of vegan and non-vegan breakfast and lunch foods and yummy coffee and juice drinks. Come join us on Saturday!

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Posted on by Amanda in Foto Friday, Orlando 3 Comments

V-day Mini-Sessions By Erica Clements… This Weekend!

Ditch the Dora Valentine cards this year and let Erica Clements, Orlando Photographer create an original Valentine from your child.

Erica has a few Valentine’s mini-sessions left for this weekend (Saturday, January 30 and Sunday, January 31) that include:

  • 15 minute studio session
  • Online ordering gallery
  • 8X10 print
  • Set of 50 cards and envelopes
  • $37.50 per additional child, but includes an additional pack of cards

The package price is $75. And, of course there’s a special deal for Mamma Mia readers… You will receive an additional 10% off any prints you order outside of the Valentine’s Day mini session package.

Space is extremely limited so email Erica ASAP.

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Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways, Orlando Leave a comment

Calling Central Florida Babies!

Hey Central Florida! babytalk magazine is holding an open casting call Saturday, December 19 at LuLu Belle Baby Boutique in Baldwin Park from 10 am – 12 pm. They are looking for baby boys and girls 3 to 18 months who love the camera! Do not miss it!

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando 6 Comments

Erica Clements Photography

I have never been a fan of the portrait sessions where the photog instantly transports your little one to a snowy meadow or autumn forest by whipping down a backdrop. When Mia was born I convinced myself I would not succumb to the snowy meadow syndrome and instead attempt for the natural environment photos.

I was introduced to local Orlando photographer Erica Clements a year ago. Erica was able to step in and take charge of my quest for “non portrait portraits.” She wowed us with our holiday photo last year and again this year. We are downtown living folks so it only made sense to capture our natural craziness in the landscape of downtown Orlando.

Zoolander, I mean Mia, really took charge of this shoot with her poses and facial expressions. We all had a great time being ourselves and letting Erica capture these amazing “non portrait portraits.”

Check out more of Erica’s fabulous work  www.ericaclements.com

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando 2 Comments

Halloween in Central Florida

Looking for some goulish fun this weekend in Central Florida? Gather up your favorite goblins and check out these cool happenings around town.

Sea World Halloween Spooktacular
Enjoy an ocean of fun! Trick-or-treat for goodies, meet amazing sea creatures, catch silly and spooky shows and more. The little goblins can follow their special Spooktacular maps to 15 different treasure stations, get funky with the interactive ice DJ and even meet Count Von Elmo at the Sesame Street Halloween show! Kids are encouraged to come in costume. Dates for this week include the 30 and 31 beginning at noon. Spooktacular is included with park admission. Did I mention FL residents can pay for a day and come back for the rest of the year!

Trick or Treat Safe Zone at Orange County History Center
Visit the Orange County Regional History Center in downtown Orlando on Saturday, October 31 and enjoy three floors of trick or treating, creepy crafts, and games. Don’t miss the haunted maze and other surprises! Festivities begin at 11 am and end at 4 pm. Ages 12 and under welcome and must be accompanied by an adult. Best thing about this event. It’s FREE!!
Central Florida Zoo Boo Bash
Trick-or-treat in the wildest neighborhood in town during the Central Florida Zoo Boo Bash.  It’s a safe, fun, and a not-too-scary event for young and old alike.  Kids are invited to bring goodie bags and wear costumes for trick-or-treat stations and face painting. Take a leap into the Bounce House, visit the Pumpkin Patch for a fun photo, and learn about the myths and realities of some misunderstood animals. The fun begins at 9 am on October 31 and ends at 3 pm.

These are just a few cool Halloween events in Central Florida this weekend. Please comment and let us know if you know of any others! 

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando Leave a comment

Last Minute Labor Day Weekend In Otown

Hopefully you will depart tomorrow on a glorious Labor Day weekend getaway. If you’re like my family, you’ll be enjoying a good old fashion “staycation.” I’ve been perusing the web, harassing on Twitter and asking around to find out what’s going on this weekend in Orlando. Apparently, we won’t be bored! Here are just a few ideas for family fun this weekend.

The NKF Pro Am Surf Festival
This festival taking place at Cocoa Beach Sept. 3-7, attracts amateur and professional competitors from various corners of the world. Be one of the cool spectators relaxing on the beach or participate in activities that include demonstrations, giveaways and music. Visit the website for details and a schedule of events.

Lego Store at Downtown Disney
Specifically for Labor Day weekend, the store is offering their mini build kits. Kids can come from 5 to 7 p.m. and build a complimentary “back to school” Lego set that they can take home! Visitors can take advantage of all the picture spots around the store, including a Lego family, a huge sea serpent and a robot. For $3, visitors can get a personalized Lego block with write and a logo on it in their favorite color.

At the Lego Store, kids can always enjoy the outdoor play area where you can build your own lego model for free. (These blocks have to stay at the store when you are through.) There’s also a race track where kids can build cars and race them against each other… also free of charge. The mini playground is super fun for the kiddos too.

Don’t forget to bring a photo of your best Lego design. You can enter to win the $5,000 best Lego design contest.

Gatorland $9.99 for Florida Residents
Spend a day with the gators this Labor Day! Gatorland is re-introducing its $9.99 admission price for Florida residents — adults and children. If you can’t get there this weekend, the deal is good through the end of September. Don’t miss out on the white alligators, who will only be living at the facility till October.

You’ll be hungry after all this fun! Are you a fan of Chick-Fil-A? Wear your team jersey to any Chick-Fil-A on Monday, Labor Day, and get a free classic sandwich. Good stuff.

Have a great holiday weekend! If you have additional holiday weekend ideas, please comment on this post.

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Posted on by Amanda in Orlando Leave a comment

Parents’ Picks Results Are In!

Extremely excited to announce, Mamma Mia has been selected as Nickelodeon’s Parents’ Picks best local parenting blog in Orlando. A big, big thank you to everyone who voted. Find out who took the blue ribbon in your city, by clicking on the Parents’ Picks badge.

Here are a few other winners in Orlando’s local category:

Best Art Class – Spark! Enrichment Center in Winter Springs
Best Shoe Store – Tiny Toes in Baldwin Park
Best Playground – Lake Eola Park (aka. Mia’s stomping grounds)
Best Dance Class – NYC Dance Ocoee
Best Swim Class – Southwest Aquatics in Windermere

Either I’m publishing a darn good blog, or I missed my calling as a politician. Regardless, keep on reading. I’ll be posting more often and have plans for some cool giveaways.

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Posted on by Amanda in Announcements, Orlando Leave a comment

Orlando Target Family Festival… Read on to Win Tix

I’m in New York this week, missing my Mia of course, but lacking time to write. I figured, why not do something fun, fun, fun that requires little thought on my part…

So… Who wants a family four pack to the week-long Target Family Festival at Loch Haven Park? The festival features national kiddie recording artists and fun activities for the entire family. No better way to spend a summer day in Central Florida with the family. For more details click on the flier posted in this entry.

All you have to do is email marketingasst@orlandorep.com with Mamma Mia Promo in the subject line. Be sure to include your name and contact information. I’ll announce the lucky winner on Thursday.

Please pass this promo on to friends and family! And even if you don’t win, you should still come and hang out with Mia and I this Saturday on opening day!

On another note, it’s the last week to vote for your favorite local blog on Nickelodeon’s Parents Picks web site. We are in the home stretch! Vote Mamma Mia!

(The family four pack includes all Target Family Festival festivities excluding Thoroughly Modern Millie.)

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Posted on by Amanda in Giveaways, Orlando Leave a comment
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