Summer Fun In New York With the Family

There is a lot to do in New York with the kids this summer, no matter what your interests are. From waterparks to Broadway shows, indoor or outdoor activities, you and your crew will find much to do in the Empire State.

When it’s hot, but you still want want to be outdoors, why not consider a water park? Splish Splash Waterpark is a great place to spend the day as a family in the heat of the summer. Waterparks should be high on the summer “to do” list, and this is one of the best spots in the area.  There are lots of options for kids of all ages, with smaller splash or wade pools for smaller kids (scaled down pools and slides, little swings, spray parks, etc) in several varieties so that everyone can have fun and enjoy themselves. The bigger the kid, the more places they can play- but of they are too big, they can’t play in the small kid areas, so that the little ones don’t have to worry about being trampled.  Some favorites were Mutiny Bay, which puts your family in brightly colored boats, letting riders use water-spray “cannons” to blast other boats while those outside the ride can blast those inside the boats- and get sprayed themselves. Abyss Tube Slides were a favorite with all the kids, twisting and and turning your way down the enclosed slides. So was Bootleggers run, which holds up to four at a time in a tandem raft.  “Climb aboard a four-man raft that actually goes uphill with new generation hydromagnetic technology. It flies like a roller coaster without rails. So much fun, it just may be illegal!”says the park.  It really did seem as much like a roller coaster as it did like a tube ride, it was very cool. There are also favorites like wave pools and “lazy rivers”, and so much more.  Head over to SplishSplash.com and get your tickets soon, summer will be over before you know it.

luna park

 

Coney Island, a “must” for locals and tourists alike, is a great place to beat the summer heat, or at least lean into it somewhat gracefully. A go to spot for generations, each season changing slightly, adding more rides, keeping new and fresh while still appealing to the nostalgia of days past. Just steps from the boardwalk, there is a beach with a clean shore and big open ocean.  For the animal lovers, there is the New York Aquarium just a little ways down, which also has a wonderful seal show that should not be missed.  For the adventurous types, there are big thrill rides at Luna Park which include 7 roller coasters like the classic wooden Coney Island Cyclone.  For the littler park goers, there are tons of attractions and rides at Luna Park like the Happy Swing and Magic Bikes. This year, Luna Park has also opened new rides Cozmo Jet and Coney Clipper, so even if you have been before, there is a great excuse to go again.
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Get Outdoors And Play This Summer

It’s beautiful outside these days, and we are spending as much time outdoors as humanly possible. If you are looking to get outside and play, here are some fun options.

spinner swing

A fun twist on the tire tree swing, the Super Spinner® is a “UFO shaped” (according to my 10 year old) disk swing that lets one or more kids (and even a parent) take a ride. It comes with “adjustable double-braided ropes and weather-resistant clips are designed for a safer, more comfortable ride” according to the manufacturer. Super Spinner can be suspended to swing and spin from trees, play sets, a porch beam or a secure structural beam wherever works for your family.

There are two sizes of Super Spinner currently available. The original Super Spinner is sized one or two little kids, and can hold up to 200 pounds. It is available in green, blue, red, purple, pink or  yellow. If you want a larger size, the Super Duper Spinner lets more kids and adults ride, and can hold up to 650 pounds. That size is available in hunter green alone.  Get yours for $49.99 – $89.99 at stores like Amazon or Target.

pool float

Heading to the pool? Grab a fun float and head out. Intex makes a really fantastic assortment of floats your family is sure to love- my kids love the Intex Inflatable Mega Unicorn this year- they are, in fact, mildly obsessed. They have brought it to friends’ houses, and all the kids have had a fun time floating about the pool on the very colorful, very magical, large floating unicorn. You’d think this is mostly girls, right? Wrong. The boys love it as well, and so do mom and dad. My partner and I like to have our turn as well- although in all honesty, that rarely happens.Intex’s mega-sized, oversized pool floats are a lot of fun, more durable then many, and worth the price at $29.99.  Mega Unicorn and also the new Peacock design are newly available this year. You can also get Mega Swan, Mega Flamingo, and Mega Duck Island Floats. Tough choices- you might end up with more then one of these floaties.
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Create a Family Holiday Tale of Two Cities – Birmingham to Andalusia

It’s always fun to travel abroad with little ones, however it can be just as challenging as it is exciting. Whether you live in Birmingham or this is just the first leg of your holiday, the one thing you may want to make easier on yourself is getting the kids safely to the airport. If you are encumbered with luggage and kids, parking far from your concourse makes it almost too stressful to make it worth taking such an extended holiday.

Make Travelling Easy with Birmingham Airport Park and Fly

Perhaps you should take advantage of the hotel park and fly Birmingham Airport service that makes it easy for you to get everyone and everything to the flight safely. According to birminghamparking.com, you should arrive the day before your flight, stay at a Birmingham Airport hotel and leave the rest to the park and fly service. It’s amazing just how easy they make it for families travelling with children!

What to Do in Family Friendly Andalusia

When visiting the autonomous community in the South of Spain, it isn’t so much what to do but rather where to go. Spain is known for its fun-loving atmosphere and so you’ll find the historical region as the perfect part of the country to enjoy a family friendly holiday. Whether you choose to stay in the area’s capital of Seville or one of the other amazing cities such as Cordoba or Granada, you will find an amazing number of things to do and see that are truly family friendly.
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In a New York State of Mind

Looking to spend some time in The Big Apple with the family? Here are some great places to visit while you are there.

LEGO’s are fun for kids of all ages, and the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in NY is a great place to spend the day for LEGO lovers of all ages.  The adventure begins by learning how Lego bricks are made and a kiddie-version of the history of  little plastic bricks. After this interesting introduction, its time to ride some rides and visit some attractions. The first ride (one that brings you into the main area) is a sit down guided laser shooting tour, where you save the castle by defeating tons of baddies. After your victory, you head into a mini-brick version of New York City and the LEGOLAND area. Push buttons for lights and sounds, and well as mini-animations. The details are pretty amazing, and the spoofs will keep everyone giggling. Fans will find quite a few “Easter Eggs” as they walk around the town.

There are also a bunch of other attractions to check out, like the racing course where you build your own racecar to pit against everyone else- there are several tracks to choose from. There is also a magic couch ride where you jaunt around on a flying couch. Really.  You move it up and down by pedaling, and it goes around in a circle. Make sure you check out the 4D movie, a must for all LEGO Movie fans. Of course, there are tons of LEGO to build, Masterclasses to take (and you can take your creations with you for a fee), and obstacle courses to try out. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester is located at 39 Fitzgerald Street, Yonkers, NY 10710
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Ways to involve your family in your exercise routine

As parents, we all intrinsically know how important daily exercise is. After all, for many of us, we’ve been hearing about exercise’s importance for nearly all of our lives. Despite knowing how important it is, many parents will admit that their daily exercise routine is the first thing to fall to the wayside when life gets busy, tough, and challenging, and as parents, we can all relate that life is rarely not tough.

Isn’t that wild? We all know how important exercise is to our health, but at the end of the day, we’d rather do things for our families and homes than do something positive for our health and livelihood. It often isn’t until we have a major health scare or emergency that we get our acts together and try to reverse years, if not decades, of neglected health.

Probably the singular reason that more parents cite than any other, regarding why they don’t regularly participate in an exercise routine more days than not, is time. We all have the same number of hours available to us in any given day — 24 — yet many of us can’t seem to manage to “find the time” to exercise, even when we know it can make a huge difference for our health.

What’s a parent to do, then?

My solution, I think, is the best one I’ve encountered and one that will benefit everyone in your family, not just you.

What is it, you may be wondering? It’s simple, really: exercise with your family. Involve your partner and children in your exercise routine more often than not. Doing so will not only confer health benefits for you, but it’ll also do the same for the rest of your family, and exercise — in whatever manifestation it takes — can be an excellent way to secure some quality time with your family.

Below, I’ll describe in more detail some additional guidelines that can help you involve your family in your exercise routine. Really, it’s a win-win solution, if you think about it: not only will you finally be able to actually take care of yourself and your own health, but you’ll still be spending quality time with your family and, in the process, model for them positive and healthy behaviors that they can later emulate.

Some tips to involve your family in your exercise routine include the following:

Keep it simple. When you’re exercising with your family, don’t overthink it. In fact, don’t even think of it as exercise, per se. Instead, think of it as “play.” Think back to your own childhood and all the games you used to play with your friends or on the playground at school. Easy, pick-up games like basketball, soccer, tag, or simply playing on the monkey bars or climbing on the playground equipment can be a great workout. Your kids will love that you’re actually playing with them and aren’t simply scrolling mindlessly on your phone, and as an added bonus, you’ll be doing something positive for your health.
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When Your Kid is Having a Public Meltdown #GroceryHero #ad @Walmart

This might seem like a strange photo- but he wouldn’t stop crying until I gave him this carrot and that potato. We’ve all had those moments where our children are little beasties in public- and where we will do ANYTHING to make it stop and just get out of wherever we are in one piece.  What can we do to make shopping easier with little kids?

Impatient leg swinging from the shopping cart seat is often followed by a litany of Mom, Mommy, and MOM! Even when I respond there are times that my little one just doesn’t stop. Then there are the forceful kicks to emphasize his impatience. Maybe you avoid those dangerous little feet, maybe you wind up with a dirty shoe scuffing up your white shirt. Or maybe you share my experience… a day when those scuff marks were more than just dirt.

I confess that I don’t love all things poop related and blown out diapers and clothing. What, you know someone who does? Diaper days were not my favorite. So that day between the tantrum throwing toddler in a store I visit regularly, what I can only figure was dog poop (please?) transferred from his shoe all over my embroidered white shirt, and an otherwise too stressful week- there was a scene of epic proportions. I was almost in tears myself by the end of the shopping trip. And of course- THE LOOKS you get from other shoppers, ugh.

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5 Easy Steps to Potty Training Your Puppy

Are you one of the many people who perceive puppy potty training difficult—or even impossible? It’s actually easier than you think.

Today we’re going to give you advice straight from a professional puppy trainer on how to potty train a puppy from as young as 6 weeks old. So whether you’re a breeder who wants to sell ready-trained puppies, or a new dog owner; these tips will help you and your puppy succeed.

Develop a Routine

Routine is by far the most important factor in getting your puppy trained fast. There are three routine steps to take into consideration:

  • A feeding routine
  • A potty routine
  • A sleeping routine

Let’s look at each one more closely.

A Feeding Routine

Ensure that you feed your puppy at the same time every day. Your puppy will start expecting to be fed at that time each day, which will automatically prompt a potty routine.

Avoid leaving food out for your puppy for it to eat whenever it feels like it. If it isn’t hungry, take the food up and feed it again at the next interval. A great way to create a feeding routine is to feed your puppy once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

Take your puppy outside about 15 – 20 minutes after its meals to do its business outside. With repetition your puppy will be potty trained within a matter of days.

A Potty Routine

Apart from its normal feeding & sleeping routine, take your puppy outside at the same time each day. You’ll soon start learning how often your puppy needs to go outside to potty, so set designated times for it to do so. three or four times in the middle of each day should be sufficient—depending on how much it eats and drinks.
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Healthy Humane Menu Plus a Giveaway!

With all of the garbage that is put in our food today, it is important to be conscientious about where your food is coming from. Not only that – but where your meat is raised is a BIG deal. By buying welfare-certified animal products, or more plant-based products, you send a strong message to food companies that you care about the treatment of farm animals. Most of the nearly 9 billion animals raised for meat, milk, and eggs in the US are suffering in inhumane factory farms. I know – it is disgusting and sad to even think about it. But where DOES your meat come from?

A normal medium size family spends hundreds of dollars each month on things like chicken, beef, and sausage. As consumers, most of us do not realize just how powerful we are. As a group, we have the power to make something a success or even push to have something inhumane pulled from the shelves. But it takes us as one collective to actually get it done.

ASPCA Healthy and Humane

It is time to put a STOP to these inhuman conditions and we, as consumers, can fully harness the power of our collective purchases and demand better lives for farm animals with the Shop With Your Heart initiative launched by the ASPCA. This initiative gives consumers the resources to recognize, locate and demand meaningfully welfare-certified meat, eggs and dairy products as well as plant-based alternatives.

Here are five simple ways to become a more aware and welfare-conscious consumer when shopping for your family’s groceries.

  1. Eat Seasonally – Eating foods in season means that you’re able to buy from a more local economy and avoid having your food ship from other countries. This means fresher foods picked at peak ripeness too!
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