Thursday, August 24, 2017

Hungry Caterpillar Show Event

We were invited to a wonderful event yesterday and we all had a blast. The event was for "The Hungry Caterpillar Show". The show is coming to NYC so we got a sneak peek and I have to tell you it is cute, even my older critters were excited for the show. The show has over 75 puppets and is super colorful.  Check them out here

So a little background on what it took to get to event. I took the whole crew on the Express bus BY MYSELF from the BX to NYC. I left two hours before event start time and I was still a hot sweaty mess by the time we arrived. The trip was itself was not bad, thank god for express bus, Gameboys and NAPTIME, lol. So we got on the 12 o clock bus and I pulled out the Gameboys quickly. We waited about 20 mins (the longest 20 mins ever) so they were getting antsy and BORED, of course. So the Gameboys were a cause for excitement when we were all comfy in our seats. Even my smallest critter has one, hand me down from big bros but she has one. She was getting cranky and frustrated over her game selection, Big Hero 6 so I suggested a cuddle and a nap and she actually accepted. YUP score one for MOM. This made the ride much more pleasant, there was a smaller baby on the bus who was a little fussy too so I was thankful my "baby" was quiet. Side note, the Express bus now has the option to charge your phone Yup Docking Station so pack your charger.
Once we got off the bus on 42nd and 5th Ave, same spot as the lady with the small baby. A older woman actually helped this young mom of one off the bus with her huge stroller. Mom Tip, when you are getting on public transportation travel with a stroller that YOU can handle with your bag and baby or babies. If was such a pleasant surprise to see others helping each other but you should not count on this, EVER. We had our Kmart special umbrella stroller, which hubby refers to it as Straight Gorilla Warfare style, LOL. The stroller is lightweight, no canopy or basket under it is just a frame and cloth for baby to sit. It worked out for us since my older critters can actually help me now. My oldest was in charge of the stroller while we got on and off the bus. So I had help just kinda built in, wink wink. So off the bus to walk to 11th Ave from 5th Ave. We grabbed $3 hots dogs (YES $3, should have bought them from home) and started to walk. I was trying to pack light but I did bring drinks for all of us EVEN myself. YAY. Mom Tip always have some cash on hand so you can carry less stuff.
Back to event, we checking in and had to wait like five mins which gave me a chance to dry off and chat with JustABxMom. We went in last, which is kind of funny now because we entered last and were the last ones to leave, LOL. We took some pics with the big colorful sign, below. My middle critter was not excited at all about event. He was under to impress event meant SCHOOL. He turned it around really quickly when he saw ice cream, gift and his favorite JUICE.

There was so many fun things to do at this sneak peek event, we started by coloring in Hungry Caterpillar headband hats, then moved on to the good stuff ICE CREAM, Smoothies, water & Juice. They had Vanilla or Cookies and Cream, 2 favorites at our house. They had face painting too which took a little bit for my crew to warm up to but they ended up visiting this station 2x. My little one didn't want anything to do with face or body painting so I got one on my arm to show her it was cool but she still declined which was OK she was still having fun. The nice artist gave her some GLITTER so we were very happy after that. They all got a gift of their choice to take home. They all picked the Hungry Caterpillar which was OK because NO fighting over which one belongs to which critter when we are back home.

This event at the Gotham West Market was definitely worth the bit of stress and sweat to get there.My hubby always says the hardest part is getting there so this mantra now plays in my head constantly when I am talking myself out of doing something new. I feel like if we all help each other we would be more prone to try new, fun and exciting things. So next time you can try to help someone out with a tip or a helping hand.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Great Wolf Lodge - Indoor WaterPark in the Poconos

So we have been to this location twice and the second time we stayed longer so it was def a lot more fun and we saw so much more. It is def nicer to stay here for 2 nights instead of one.

First time around we were just about the water park and that was it. The second time we actually discovered an additional floor, yes I know they didn't just build it but we had never set foot on it during our first stay. They have a lot of the extra activities (like 4d movie and magic quest stops) and more rooms on this level.The fun and easy part about our stays is that you only need your wristband. It is your room key, access to the water park and you can charge items to your room with it too. Don't worry you can select who has charging privileges and room key access.

At GWL they are all about celebration and I love that. You get ears for the kids if you are celebrating a birthday and the ears are super cute but for adult heads hurt after a while so put them on take a pic and remove, you will thank me later. My mini even got a free scoop of ice cream which was a real treat. Check out the spoons they give out with the ice cream, they give you a surprise which is really "cool" for the kids. Please know that little littles like 3 and under do not need a wristband for the park sooooo if they get one for their birthday scoop wait until the end to cash this in because they cut the wristband off. My mini loves to be like her big bros so since they need wristbands this would have cause a BIG upset. Thank GOD we did this cash in right before we left.

Since we are a family of five we are always on a budget. We always book the most economic room, yup people the cheapest one. We don't spend a lot of time in the room so it would be super cute and nice to have a "themed" suite but the cost does not make it worth it. My critters found fun things to do in the "cheap" basic room with 2 queen beds and a pull out sofabed option. Pictured below is our oldest in his favorite place in the room. So if we get a free upgrade to a themed suite I would def take that in a heartbeat but until then we will stick to the basic family room that will hold all of us. Prices for rooms on web are based on 4 people so the room can hold 6 but you will be charged extra.

So in case you are worried about being bored when the water park fun is done and everyone looks like a prune, lol. They have a bunch of other things to do that are actually FREE yes if you know me you know that is my favorite word right next to COMPLIMENTARY. They have daily activities that change so one day you can make your own GWL pin and the next you can decorate your wolf ears. We missed the wolf ear decorating but did get to do the pins which was sooo nice. You can color in your fave GWL character and then the activity person helps to make it into a real big pin. I forgot the girls name but she was so friendly with the critters. She let them help with the button pin making machine, pretty cool even for ME.
They have a bedtime story and show as well. Our big guys have introduced little sis to Five Nights at Freddy's so the robots/animatronics of the GWL gang was not their favorite part of bed time. We nicknamed the Big Bear pictured below Grandpa Five Night's at Freddy's, LOL.  We stayed for some of it and the character reading but it is a busy busy time in the lobby so if you want to skip more crowds and noise go to your room and watch the stories on the TV for free. They are very cute and with any luck your littles will fall asleep in their beds watching. #Goals

Tips before you go:
They have life vest but you want to pack your own water shoes and towels or robes. So they have towels to dry off while you are at the water park but you HAVE to leave them at the water park. Yes they have a guy at the door to let you know. This is not fun at all because the water park is a nice comfortable 84 degrees but the SECOND you leave that comfortable temp you step into 65 below zero, that is what it feels like if you did not dry off a bit before exiting. So pack a cover up, hooded towel or even robe for the kids (and yourself) because it will be a LONG walk back to your room. The room temp you can control so I would recommend leaving the temp a little higher before you go so when you come back in your room you are comfortable not still freezing.
The rooms have microwave, coffee maker and empty mini fridge so bring some stuff. My critters like a lot of different snacks and one is a juice monsters so instead or packing about $5 every time they are hungry or thirsty I hit up the dollar store (my mother ship, lol) for microwave popcorn and box Juicy Juice. It will save you the couple of bucks you need to buy a nice souvenir.

We have not done any other the "other" indoor water parks but I think this one, the original one is pretty awesome. Sign up for the emails and try to book during a good sale. They do exists like unicorns but you have to be patience and quick. So start putting $20 away when you can or paying off some of the credit cards because when you book you have to put a deposit (first night room and tax) down, most of the time.

Have a great time and "everybody in". It is def very nice time like the commercial (TV and Radio) say it is. Bring a water camera so you can catch some fun water park pics.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

To Slide or Not to Slide

Our first time at Splish Splash was a great time. We went to celebrate my older sisters birthday.
We had been as a children and always had fun so we were so excited to bring my critters for the first time. It was a surprise for them because I never tell them where we are going.

We were very hungry when we arrived so the first thing we did was eat then we went to explore. Surf city, the close wave pool to the food outlets, was closed so we ventured over to the other one, Kahuna Bay. It was nice to have the kids jumping and playing and just sitting and relaxing in between the waves. Next we discovered the Kiddie Cove and those water slides were fun for us all.

I am all about the family experiences so we went to see which of the water slides were for the whole gang. We were in luck and found two that had the big tubes to seat four at once. I was worried our smallest critter wouldn't be able get on with us all so before I got too excited we stood her near the height requirement and she just made to 36 inches, YAY. We were all ready to go except my two boys. They were whining and complaining the whole walk to the steps. When we finally arrived at the stairway we began to climb and the tears began to flow. They were begging us not to force them on, crying louder and louder with each step. I was getting upset and in my mom voice asked them to stop but nope. Of course the stairs seemed endless, just staircase after staircase.
*Side note we have done a family water style before at Great Wolf Lodge,PA (blog about that coming soon). They did the same thing just a little less crying but as we splashed down they both asked in unison "Can we do that again?" Yes we didn't because I was over it but we did it so I was good.

So although I reminded them of their previous experience they continued to beg and plead that they should not go on. We def picked the worse slide out of the two family ones because the whole thing was in the DARK, yup. The reason I picked this particular one "Hollywood Stunt Show" was because it reminded me of a video game, Joe Danger The Movie 2, they play a lot together. I thought this would be cool, I guess lame mom thinking, lol because it did not work. We all went on the slide and thank god we all survived and they were fine. My middle guy was not letting us off the hook so easy so he continued the drama show even after we were back on dry land. I let him cool off and my sisters and I did the other family slide, Mammoth Rivers with my mini, Girls Only Style. She was soo serious during the ride but after it was done all smiles. So proud of my little tough lady.

Later we saw a awesome bird show and then we were preparing to go. I began to ask if anyone had any last min request for slides or rides and to my jaw dropping surprise my middle guy happily made a request. He actually requested to do the Black Slide again. YUP the Hollywood Stunt Show in the DARK again. I was overwhelmed and honestly one time was enough for me. I had the luxury of doing this ride backwards so it was not my favorite. I took him on the other family slide, Mammoth Rivers, which was a lot nicer since it was not enclosed so there was lots of light. He had a great time on this one but still request the "black slide" so since it was almost closing time the lines were non existent so we did that one and found another one, Dino Falls. Which was so fun he did it 3 times. Yes can you believe this and wait for of the 3 times he took a single tube and yup did it ALL BY HIMSELF. So from full meltdown & non forgiving mode to Master of the water slides.

So although it was tough and very frustrating making them all go on the slide, it made them more open to the experience and the "FUN" of being a kid at a water park. If you think it will benefit them in the long run I say make them do it. I mean that is one of the best parts of being a kid, #fearless after all.