Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts

At Home Summer Fun - The Summer of COVID

Image from Sunshine Whispers DIY Summer Camp

I don't know about life in your house, but it doesn't quite feel like the same summer were used to for my family.  Typically the end of the school year is met with a celebration and time to start heading to beaches, theme parks, and pools.  Things are starting to reopen around the country, but life is far from back to normal.  With phrases like "safer at home" being the norm now, here's a wrap up post of fun things to do around the house with your kids if your usual summer plans are derailed.

Do-It-Yourself Summer Camp

Summer camps seem to be all over the place this year with some having their programs cancelled and others operating with new guidelines in place.  We're kind of in a hybrid situation in our household.  Our summer camp / daycare option isn't cancelled, but we're not super keen on sending the kids if we don't have to do so.  And right now, working from home is still a reality so we've got the kids at home - at least to start the summer.  That means that we're looking for LOTS to keep them entertained.  Here are some links that you may enjoy if you're planning your own "summer camp" at home:

  • DIY Summer Camp Printables - My friend Sara who has a Facebook group you can find called Kid Friendly Maryland has designed a "Summer Camp Bundle" printable that you can purchase and download to create your own themed summer camp weeks.  Her outlines and ideas included make it super easy to customize for your family.  (Affiliate Link)

  • At Home Play from Port Discovery - My friends over at Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore have been providing fun content throughout this stay-at-home time including science experiments, readings, family activities and more.  Check out ALL of the fun they have for FREE here.

  • Have a Movie Inspired Day - I created a Pirate Day for our boys back in March when all of this started and put together ideas in a post.  I see more of this in our future and already have a Toy Story day planned soon that I'll share!

What to Watch

There are so many great things to watch right now for families and some new releases bypassed theaters and came out in recent weeks that you may have missed.  Here are some of my favorites we've been watching lately that you may also want to check out:

Image Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

  • Disney+ Roundup - Did you know that Disney+ is home to not only fun, but also educational content?  Check out some of my favorites we've been tuning into for a little taste of both over the past several weeks.

  • Sonic The Hedgehog - This movie has consistently been at the top of Digital Entertainment Guide's list of most viewed movies each week.  It's easy to see why!  With appeal to parents who grew up playing Sonic on our SEGA Genesis systems to the kids who will enjoy the action and humor, there's something for everyone in this film.

  • SCOOB! - My boys LOVED this movie. . .and they weren't Scooby Doo people to begin with.  There's a great overarching lesson on friendship and lots of comedic action along the way!

  • Think Like a Dog - So this movie isn't getting the respect it deserves in my opinion.  I haven't seen much advertising this like the direct to streaming releases of Trolls and SCOOB!, but this is a new movie from Lionsgate and again was a big hit with our boys.  The concept of being able to communicate with your dog is something I think every kid (and some adults) dream of and, with lots of heartwarming family moments along the way, this movie is a true feel-good option.

Bring a Vacation Destination to You

If you're a little hesitant to venture out, why not bring a vacation destination to you?  During COVID-19 closures, family vacation destinations were quick to share many ways to bring the fun to you.  Here are two of my favorites that I found:

  • Hershey, PA - Roller coasters in your living room?  Why not! Check out Hersheypark's famed roller coasters, relax with some sweet coloring pages, and try a recipe for Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Brownies. . .yeah, they're as good as they sound!  

  • Great Wolf Lodge - We loved visiting Great Wolf Lodge last year and I was excited to see them bringing some fun family activities to your house including their popular Yoga Tails! 

With so many things to enjoy at home, summer just got a lot brighter!  Enjoy!


Top Tips to Beat the Mid-Atlantic Heat AND a New Giveaway!

Summer has certainly set in throughout the Mid-Atlantic and temperatures are rising fast!  No need to fear though, your Mid-Atlantic Moms team is here with our favorite ways to beat the heat this summer.  Keep reading through our tips too, because we have an AWESOME family giveaway opportunity to share with you as well!
Learn more about Duke's Lagoon at Dutch Wonderland!

From Mid-Atlantic Mom Rachel (@prettyinbabyfood)While I am not really a hot weather kind of individual it seems like where I live it keeps getting hotter every summer. Haha! Usually we cool off in our own pool, but this year that wasn’t an option. Before school let out we would get out of the heat by going to the local library, but with school out for the summer the Library has been pretty busy. Haha! So, we have been trying to go to some water parks. Like Mid-Atlantic mom Kristi, we love to go to Duke's Lagoon at Dutch Wonderland, and to keep cool while walking around the park in the heat we LOVE to pack our rechargeable stroller fan and cooling towels. These two items have been a lifesaver on many occasions. They are great for any indoor/outdoor occasion where it will be hot. Our stroller fan can rotate to cool whoever is in the stroller, or the person pushing the stroller. The cooling towels can be used for hours once wet. Above all when out and about in the heat stay hydrated. Lots of water!

From Mid-Atlantic Mom Kristen (@genymama) - My favorite ways to beat the heat? I like taking my girls to the local pool club/splash pad, beach or water park! I also enjoy cool treats like ice cream or frozen yogurt while strolling on the boardwalk, (and an iced adult-beverage when we’re at a BBQ!) On super hot days nothing beats the cool, air conditioned rooms of a children’s museum! Loads of energy can be burned without anyone getting sunburned!

From Mid-Atlantic Mom Kristi (@dsnyrunrgrl) - Our family has become huge fans of beating the heat at water parks.  At 4 and 7, both of my boys love splashing, swimming, and sliding their ways to summer fun.  Many theme parks now have water parks as part of their attractions. It means one extra bag to pack of swimming clothes, but those water play areas can be really refreshing on a summer day!  One of our favorite spots at a theme park is Duke’s Lagoon at Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA. All of the attractions are perfectly sized for little ones to enjoy so no worries about bringing floaties or dangerous water depths for parents!  If it’s too hot to even go outside, a stay at an indoor water park resort like Great Wolf Lodge might be just the ticket! If you’re looking for us, we’ll be racing down the water slides!

Click here to learn more about Port Discovery!

And speaking of keeping cool, indoor activities are another great option to beat the heat - like Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore! Which brings me to our giveaway I mentioned earlier! I am so excited to share that we have a family 4-pack of tickets to Port Discovery Children's Museum that will be going to one lucky winner!!! Wanna win??? It's super easy!

  • Like the video and comment "I want to go to Port Discovery!"
  • You can even earn a bonus entry for each person you tag in the comments.
  • Giveaway entry period opens July 4th and closes at 9PM on Sunday, July 7th
  • Winner will be announced after the entry period closes!
So don't wait! Head over to Instagram and follow these simple directions. Don't forget, Port Discovery just opened some brand new exhibits in June so it's a perfect time to go and visit this great destination to enjoy a fun day with your kids! Good luck and stay cool this summer!

Celebrate the 4th in Walt Disney World

4th of July is a busy travel time as families are in the middle of summer and many parents are enjoying a long weekend home from work.  If you're lucky enough to be in Walt Disney World for the holiday, there are several ways to celebrate the birth of America on vacation.

All-American Eats - Nothing says American food more than hot dogs, corn dogs, and ice cream.  Lucky for Disney guests, you'll be able to find all of the above together on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disney's Magic Kingdom.  Casey's Corner is a quick service eatery located at the end of Main Street closest to the castle and has hot dogs and corn dogs with baseball themed decor.  Right across the street, you'll find The Plaza.  While the restaurant is table service, there is also a counter service ice cream shop attached where you can pick up a cone or a sundae.  These treats are the perfect food and the perfect location for the Festival of Fantasy Parade that runs everyday in Magic Kingdom at 3PM.

All-American Attractions - Inside Magic Kingdom, guests can have an experience fit for a president at the Hall of Presidents.  This indoor show features each of the U.S. presidents talking about their time in office using audio-animatronic technology.  If your day in the parks takes you to Epcot, you can also brush up on your U.S. History by visiting the American Adventure.  Join Mark Twain and Ben Franklin as they take you on a journey through U.S. History using music and some familiar faces.  As a former U.S. History teacher I love any chance to highlight history lessons to my kids, but one added perk with both of these shows - they are in air-conditioned theaters!  

All-American Fireworks - On the 4th of July and the days surrounding the holiday, Wishes gets an overhaul and the nightly fireworks show in Magic Kingdom pays tribute to the United States with patriotic songs.  We also were lucky enough to see the Celebrate the Magic projection show with an American twist as red, white, and blue stars and stripes lit up the castle.  No need to miss out on your holiday fireworks while on vacation in Walt Disney World.

Happy 4th of July everyone!!


5 Ways to the Beat the Heat in Walt Disney World

Crusing Main Street, U.S.A.
July 2013
Walt Disney World in the summertime often gets a bad reputation for being full of heat, humidity, and the frequent afternoon thunderstorms.  Well. . .this is kind of true.  While your Disney trip in the summer does feature some intense weather from time to time, there are plenty of ways to beat the heat and humidity to have fun with your family.  Here are some of my favorite tips:

1.  Order a case (or cases) of water from an online grocer and have them delivered to your hotel.  You can get a case of water for a few dollars instead of paying $2.50 a bottle or using one snack credit in the parks.  Disney lets you bring in soft side coolers, food, and drink.  This is a great way to make sure you have plenty of water to stay hydrated and cool while also not breaking the bank.  Remember that the online grocers have order minimums, but if you're traveling with kids for at least a few day trip, you can certainly fill up on snacks, fresh fruit, and other drinks to keep everyone happy.  I've used Garden Grocer in the past and have been really happy!

Enjoying the water slide at
Port Orleans Riverside
2.  Avoid the parks in the middle of the day by taking a break back at your hotel.  Whether you decide to take a nap in your air conditioned room or cool off in one of the amazing pools, the break will be sure to refresh you so you can stay up for the nighttime activities in the park without tiring out.  I recommend getting to the park at rope drop, head back to your resort after lunch and then return to the parks around dinner.

3.  Indoor rides and shows can be a great way to quickly cool off in the parks when you need a break and don't want to head all the way back to your room.  If you're in Epcot, check out Ellen's Energy Adventure - the total ride takes about 45 minutes where you are seated watching a video and riding through time.  Over in Hollywood Studios, The Great Movie Ride is one where you have a fun ride queue that is inside featuring scenes from some Turner Classic Movie favorites.  And in the Magic Kingdom, shows like Mickey's PhilarMagic and The Country Bears provide both music and a respite from the heat.

Taking a break with Mickey
Ice Cream at Hollywood Studios
4.  What would a trip to any amusement park be without ice cream?  And in Walt Disney World, you can find lots of cool, frozen treats.  If the classic ice cream sandwich or ice cream bar are your favorites, you can find Mickey shaped ice cream throughout the parks.  But perhaps the most famous cool treat in Walt Disney World is the Dole Whip.  If you haven't tried one, you're missing out!  This is a soft serve pineapple creation that can be served simply in a cup or as a float.  Dole Whips are more elusive in the parks than the typical ice cream.  My favorite spot to pick one up is in Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom.

5.  Don't forget to pack up some ways to keep cool and stay safe in the sun from home.  Sunscreen is available throughout all of the Disney parks, but you're going to pay a premium for buying it on vacation compared to what you'll pay at home.  Also, remember to pack spray bottles or personal fans - or better yet the spray bottle with a fan on it!  Again, you can buy one with a picture of Mickey and friends in the parks, but you'll save significantly by buying a generic one at Wal-Mart or Target before heading out on your vacation.  If you have kids using strollers, I also recommend purchasing a stroller fan to help them stay cool.  We bought one on Amazon for less than $15 before our trip with a 5 month old and it was some of the best money I ever spent.  Remember that a cool baby is less likely to be a cranky baby!

And as a bonus tip - if you are traveling with infants or toddlers, don't forget to make use of the baby care centers in each park.  They are perfect for a little rest and relaxation in the middle of the park day and can be a mom and dad's best friend!

Just remember that with a good strategy and some advanced planning, you can make Disney in July not only bearable, but an all around magical vacation!