Have a Howling Good Time at @GreatWolfLodge in PA

pic5

Great Wolf Lodge is a terrific place to take your kids to year round, not in the least because your hotel was also your waterpark, restaurant, activity center, and more. All I had to do was park the car and bring in the luggage and we were good to go.
The  huge indoor waterpark is reserved for guests only, guaranteeing that you will never have to wait on a long line.

20151128_190119

Making it “snow” from the decorated ceilings at Great Wolf Lodge

Once you arrive, you are greeted and checked in by friendly staff, and you make your way to your room.  It is decorated for the season right now, and so pretty.  From the minute you walk in, the ceiling to the floors are decked out for the season. Even the characters are wearing their holiday best as they meet the kids and walk around the resort.

P1030879

Great Wolf hosts its annual Snowland celebration for guests from November 28th to January 3rd, where they turn the resort into a winter wonderland complete with indoor snow showers, spectacular decorations, visits from Santa Clause, “Polar Wolf” Walks, North Pole Letter Depot, a Great Clock Tower Howl-iday Show, and more.

P1030880

New this year, Great Wolf Lodge will introduce special Snowland Suites complete with twinkling garland, decorated tree, oversized snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, and a plush blanket and Great Wold Lodge book to take home with you. To up the holiday ante, Wiley and Violet the Wolf will also be hand delivering cookies to each suite booked.  My boy got a milk and cookie delivery from Oliver, and he was so excited.  We’ve never met Oliver before, and my son couldn’t have been happier to see him. He stayed for some hugs, too, and let mom take a few photos- what a nice holiday critter.

Poconos

Families are also invited to celebrate the magic of the season by dining inside the world’s only life-size, dine-in gingerbread house. Featuring more than 5,000 candies, 600 pounds of gingerbread dough and 1,320 pounds of sugar, each house will be baked, iced and candied to perfection, providing the setting for a memorable holiday feast. The appetizing walls of the lodge-baked abode have as much heart as taste as the proceeds for each meal go to charity.  I’m not sure how much this costs, but give them a call and see- you for sure need an RSVP to do this one.

In addition, your family can try the all-new interactive game, Clubhouse Crew, partake in various Snowland-themed activities, and enjoy a $50 credit to explore the lodge at your leisure.

Holiday Trips

Mailing his letter to Santa


(more…)

Holiday Trains in Strasburg, PA

Celebrate the holiday season as the Choo Choo Barn transforms Traintown USA to bring the magic of Christmas to its gigantic model train display. Homes, businesses and attractions along the tracks have decked their halls to share the holiday spirit with the public from November 29 to January 5, 2014.

1 2 12 188

As 22 moving trains travel the massive, 1,700 sq. ft. model train extravaganza, visitors can search for the 52 hidden Santas and watch as Santa’s sleigh flies above the 150 hand-built animations that delight spectators. Enjoy the holiday decorations throughout the display including holiday lights and the snow-covered landscape. Plus, take a close look at the zoo animals in Traintown to see how they’re celebrating the season.

1 2 12 205

The Choo Choo Barn is located along Route 741 East in Strasburg, PA. The display is open daily from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., now through January 5, 2014. (Display closed November 27, 28, December 25 and Jan. 1) Admission price is $7 for adults and $4 for children ages 3-11. For more information and to learn about group rates, please call (717) 687-7911 or visit www.choochoobarn.com. For more details and updates on the 2013 season, check out Choo Choo Barn on Facebook: www.facebook.com/choochoobarn.

pic4

The Night Before Christmas Train returns to Strasburg Rail Road this holiday season, giving families a one-of-a-kind Christmas celebration. This nighttime train ride recreates the excitement and anticipation of Christmas Eve and the spirit of giving. Departing Friday evenings in December at 7 p.m.

Dressed in PJs or holiday best, children snuggle onboard with their families enjoying milk and cookies and the warmth of the potbelly stoves. As the train travels, readers dressed in a Victorian nightshirt and cap delight the children with the holiday classic, The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore.

1 2 12 118

At the station, the fun continues with more old time holiday storybook readings in the quaint, heated Caboose (stationary). Families can also enjoy the Tinsel Trolley ride (a self-propelled motor car), a warm, fun trip down the tracks, all included in the ticket price. The Night Before Christmas Train runs December 6, 13 and 20 at 7 p.m. (For families wanting to meet Santa aboard the train, Santa’s Paradise Express will chug along the tracks November 29-30, December 1, 7-8, 14-15, 21 and 22, 2013.)
(more…)

The Amish Village Holiday Tradition Tour

pic7

Christmastime reminds many of warm hugs and holiday cheer, but did you know the Amish don’t offer Christmas hugs; instead choosing handshakes since they prefer not to show affection? During The Amish Village’s newly unveiled Amish Holiday Tradition Tour, learn intriguing facts about Amish holiday traditions and the reasons behind these customs.

A guided tour of an original 1840 Amish Farmhouse offers an insider’s look at authentic Amish life in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, while showing how centuries-old heritage and religious beliefs influence how the Amish celebrate the holidays today. Additional seasonal decorations are displayed inside the Amish one-room schoolhouse. During the tour, guests are welcomed with regional favorite treats of pretzels and hot cider. Traditional Christmas gifts and holiday items are available for purchase while visitors sample delicious seasonal Amish delights.
(more…)

Why You Should Want To #VisitLancaster

When it’s time to get away, scenic Lancaster, PA is one of our favorite places to go. There is plenty to do, see, and eat in this family friendly environment. Here are some great places to visit in Lancaster, one of our favorite places to spend time as a family (and sure to be one of yours, as well).

lancaster PAThe Strasburg Railroad is the home to many restored trains from around the USA. Many train fanatics call this site the best historic railroad in America for visitors, and for good reason. Recognized as one of the most significant historic railroads in the USA, the Strasburg Railroad has acquired historic trains from all over the country, and recently celebrated operating for 50 years as a tourist railroad It is one of the remaining stations where you and your family can ride the refurbished trains and steam engines. This station is large, restored, and maintained beautifully- a source of pride for the local people.

strasburg railroadEvery time we visit, we truly sense the enjoyment that the conductors and employees have for their jobs- it shines though as they take their time with every child, posing for photos and answering train trivia with a smile. As you ride the beautifully restored trains through Amish country, learning about steam railroading, agriculture, Amish culture and Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, enjoy your family and your little ones, and let worries slip away. They are little for only so long, and riding in a “real” train is going to be a real delight. There was a “vintage baseball” game being played while we visited last weekend, where olde-time dressed players used old rules, terms, and equipments to play the game. It was very enjoyable to watch, and their wives came in full period clothing as well. There are other special events going on regularly at the Strasburg railroad. Check out the calendar and plan for your favorites.

pic 3Strasburg Rail Road is pleased to offer an all-new Summer Fun Pass, a value-packed ticket option for individuals and families who want more bang for their buck! The Summer Fun Pass is valid from May 25 – September 2 and includes unlimited steam train and fun extra rides.

At just $35 per person for ages 3 and older, this pass will pay for itself in just three visits, one of the best offerings from Lancaster County attractions. The Summer Fun Pass admission option also includes a 10% retail discount at the Strasburg Rail Road gift shops and access to member-only specials throughout the season.
(more…)

Meet Me at @SesamePlace #ThemePark

One of my son’s highlights has been his recent trip to Sesame Place in Buck’s County, PA. I grew up with Sesame Street, and as a teacher I love the educational, social, and cultural values it helps to instill. As a parent- I love it, too! There are versions of Sesame Street all over the world- from Russia to Mexico. Something about knowing that this sweet, educational show unites kids globally (literally) really touches me- and even more so now that I myself am a mom, teacher, and travel enthusiast. You can’t see the world until you go out and experience it- start young, and make a little global citizen. But I digress!

We had so much fun at the theme park, there are all sorts of fun rides- and for once, they are ALL aimed at little ones.

One of Little Man’s favorite rides was the Flyin’ Fish, which had Elmo faced fish of all kinds- with a unique Sesame twist, of course. After all, what is a catfish without ears and whiskers? LOL Kids can press a button in the ride, and make it rise up and down as it spins (slowly).

(more…)

Strasburg Rail Road – Santa and Night Before Christmas Train

Does your little one (or big one, or husband?) love trains as much as mine does? If they do, then you will want to make sure that at some point, you take the time to visit the Strasburg Railroad.
Recognized as one of the most significant historic railroads in the USA, the Strasburg Railroad has acquired historic trains from all over the country, and recently celebrated operating for 50 years as a tourist railroad.

It is in a beautiful location, with lovely views and rolling landscapes. You will feel as though you stepped back in time from the minute you arrive- from the sharply dressed conductors and train operators, to the ticket sales window where you will purchase your passes, all decorated for the holidays.

Jolly Old St. Nick is at Strasburg Rail Road Saturdays and Sundays through December 16 for the holiday tradition: Santa’s Paradise Express. Families will relax on the 45-minute ride as Santa, his helper and musicians stroll from car-to-car, greeting and entertaining children of all ages. After the train ride, children are treated to storybook readings of holiday classics. Children ages 3 to 11 also receive a gift from Santa and his helper. Carolers will tour each train car singing much loved holiday classics.

Also on site is the Cagney Steam Train (a mini train), the Tinsel Trolly- the oldest operating in the USA, have a holiday book read to them in a heated (sedentary) car, and give your kids a go on the little Cranky Cars and wear them out before your ride home or to the hotel.

(more…)

Meet Me at @SesamePlace #ThemePark

One of my son’s summer highlights has been his trip to Sesame Place in Buck’s County, PA. I grew up with Sesame Street, and as a teacher I love the educational, social, and cultural values it helps to instill. As a parent- I love it, too! There are versions of Sesame Street all over the world- from Russia to Mexico. Something about knowing that this sweet, educational show unites kids globally (literally) really touches me- and even more so now that I myself am a mom, teacher, and travel enthusiast. You can’t see the world until you go out and experience it- start young, and make a little global citizen. But I digress!

We had so much fun at the theme park, there are all sorts of fun rides- and for once, they are ALL aimed at little ones.

Do my feet match Big Bird’s?

One of Little Man’s favorite rides was the Flyin’ Fish, which had Elmo faced fish of all kinds- with a unique Sesame twist, of course. After all, what is a catfish without ears and whiskers? LOL Kids can press a button in the ride, and make it rise up and down as it spins (slowly).
(more…)

Dutch Wonderland- Save in PA #ThemePark

A Kingdom For Kids! It’s not just a slogan — it’s a commitment to young children and their families that beyond our castle walls is a place just for them called A Kingdom For Kids!, where family fun is proclaimed by royal decree. Since opening on May, 20, 1963, Dutch Wonderland has consistently been recognized as a premier family amusement park and has been voted one of the Top 5 Best Kid’s Park in the World by Amusement Today magazine. Having your birthday party, other celebrations, family outing, and Scouting events at Dutch Wonderland is easy with catered options, picnic lunch boxes, and cabana rentals. With attractions like ChooChoo Charlie, Frog Hopper, Dragon’s Lair, Duke’s Lagoon and so much more, Dutch Wonderland is a favorite amongst children of all ages!
(more…)