Best 5 Things to See & Do in Lake Geneva with Kids

My visit to Lake Geneva was complimentary, however all opinions are my own. Nestled between Milwaukee and Chicago is the summer destination town of Lake Geneva. Full of quaint homes, shimmering waters, friendly locals, a vibrant downtown and lots of family-friendly things to do, Lake Geneva has long been a point of interest for those from Chicago. Traveling from Minneapolis the boys and I recently made our first visit to this pocket of Wisconsin.  We were eager to discover all the town had to offer and we were not disappointed. We conveniently stayed at The Cove of Lake Geneva … [Read more...]

Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

This fall we took a late season hike to Nerstrand Big Woods State Park. With all the fall leaves crunching at our feet rather than dangling from the tree tops, the woods seemed almost eerie. The park is best suited for hiking as there is not a ton of additional offerings, though there are camping spaces.  The highlight of the trip was a visit to the Hidden Falls. I'm not sure why this place is named Hidden Falls, as they the area didn't seem so hidden to me. I'm sure there is a story of some sort to provide an explanation.  While our visit lacked the beautiful fall colors … [Read more...]

14 Best Things to Do at Honey Creek Resort State Park

My visit to HoneyCreek Resort State Park was complimentary, however all opinions are my own. I've lived in the state of Minnesota for 16 years. During this time my exploration of Iowa has been fairly limited. Yes, we made a short trip to Decorah to embrace all things Norske. And we also visited Burr Oak so I could visit the lesser-known Laura Ingalls Wilder site. I've also been camping at Pikes Peak State Park, along the Mississippi River, which is a must-see destination during the fall. But my recent visit to Honey Creek State Park Resort was my first true adventure into Southern Iowa. … [Read more...]

Kailua Beach: Best Beach on Oahu

While visiting Oahu we were blessed to be able to stay with family in Kailua. Staying in a home in a residential part of the island made our Hawaii experience so much more authentic and relaxed. We did visit the bustle of Waikiki Beach {I’ll highlight that part of the trip in a different post}, but I don’t recommend staying in that area. Not surprisingly Waikiki Beach is the tourist part of Hawaii. Instead everyday we were able to visit the much more local Kailua Beach with a short ten-minute walk. Prior to my trip to Hawaii I had been swimming in the ocean once in San Diego. I … [Read more...]

Likeke Falls Hike with Young Kids

I had grand visions of sharing in succession all of the sights from our Hawaii trip in April 2015. I started out strong with this Favorite Moments post and even showcased the beautiful Byodo-In Temple.  And then that's where my posts ended. Nevertheless, I'm back this week to continue sharing the sights of Oahu. Our first day on the island included the amazing visit to Byodo-In Temple and continued with an easy hike along the Old Pali Road to Likeke Falls. With my brother-in-law as our guide he started to educate us on part of the local history related to our hike. The Old Pali Road … [Read more...]

Overview of Epcot from a Minnesota Perspective

I received tickets in exchange for this post, however all opinions are my own. This April my family made the trek to Florida for the traditional Disney World experience. My boys were the perfect age for this sort of adventure at 11, 8, and 6 years old. We had previously visited Disneyland a number of years ago, but this was our first time at the Florida half of the Disney phenomenon.  First on our list of places to explore was Epcot. Ever since I was a kid I looked forward to visiting this destination that features countries from around the world. My love of geography and … [Read more...]

Best 5 Things to Do at Legoland, Florida

I received complimentary tickets in exchange for this post, all opinions are my own.  A couple of weeks ago our family made the quintessential spring break visit to Florida. Our agenda included theme parks, sun, palm trees, outdoor swimming pools- all the things that Minnesota doesn't have in April. High on my boys priority list of places to visit was Legoland, Florida. Like any boy mom I feel as though Legos have taken over my home at any given moment. It's not surprising that a theme park dedicated to this toy would be a must-see.  Based upon our experience I've … [Read more...]

Minnesota Winter Adventures with Ice Castles

I received complimentary tickets to the Ice Castle, however all opinions are my own. It's the brutal part of winter here in Minnesota. February means cold, brittle, icy, and frozen to those of us that live in this area. This is just the reality of our environment. But living in Minnesota has certain advantages, because for the second year in a row my family has braved the cold for a winter adventure-- Ice Castles.  I don't entirely understand how they craft this monstrous creation. Obviously, it's a lot of water mixed with a lot of cold weather. There is sort of a sweet … [Read more...]

Best Places to Eat in the Wisconsin Dells

I received compensation for the creation of this post, all opinions are my own. Our family made two trips to the Wisconsin Dells area this summer. It’s such a fun family destination and is an easy trip from the Minneapolis area. Even though we have visited this location a number of times there are still new and exciting places to explore. We have yet to attend the Tommy Barlett show, but it’s high on my list of must-sees for our next trip. With regards to eating-out we have some definite family favorites in the area, but in our recent trips we’ve also explored new places. It’s that mix … [Read more...]

A Family-Friendly Adventure with Wizard Quest in the Wisconsin Dells

I have received compensation for this post, all opinions are my own.  Solve the puzzle to free the wizards. Ultimately this is the heart of Wizard Quest. Of course included in this experience are secret rooms, clues, mystery, a ball pit, and magical worlds. Why didn’t they have something like this when I was a kid? My boys have no idea how lucky they are to experience such an amazing family-friendly place. Wizard Quest is family fun at it’s best. Using your brain instead of your brawn, every science and book-loving family is inclined to enjoy Wizard Quest. Last year we … [Read more...]

Rides, Slides, Spills, & Thrills: Noah’s Ark Waterpark

I received compensation for this post, all opinions are my own. My two older son's have summer birthdays and will turn eleven and eight respectively.  I occurred to me the other day that my time with them is starting to essentially countdown. Yes, I have lots of years left with them at home. Yes, counting down can be somewhat dramatic. But to a mom sometimes each birthday can be a year closer to them moving out. It's important during these years to have experiences and memories that will last a lifetime. For my boys Noah's Ark is a destination that incites cheers and … [Read more...]

A World Full of Play at the MN Children’s Museum & a Giveaway

This post was created as a part of my ambassadorship with the Minnesota Children's Museum.  My children live to play. One of my five-year-old son’s favorite pastimes is to fight imaginary bad guys. They could be robots. They could be monsters. I have a hard time determining exactly “who” these guys are all the time. But what I do know is that he considers it an awful day if he doesn’t have the opportunity to play this imaginary game. At the heart of the MN Children’s Museum is a commitment to encouraging play. It seems so simple, right? Children love to play. But in today’s … [Read more...]

Behold the Mysterious at Ripley’s Believe It or Not in the Wisconsin Dells

I have been compensated for this content, all opinions are my own. Ripley's is the stuff of little boys’ dreams. Full of mystery, amazing artifacts, historical items, and even just plain gross things, I’ve never been to a place quite like this. Ripley’s claims to have everything odd, weird, and unbelievable, this is certainly true. Last summer we visited the Ripley’s Believe It or Not site in the Wisconsin Dells for the first time. It was so much fun. I can’t deny I was as dazzled as the kids. I had never been to a place like this before. The museum is divided into different galleries … [Read more...]

Exploring Byodo-In Temple, Kahaluu, O’ahu, Hawaii

At first glance Byodo-In Temple appears to be a magical, imaginary place. Surely nothing this beautiful and idyllic can be for real. Yet within the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park exists this otherworldly place.  Byodo-In Temple was our first destination on O'ahu and was well worth the visit. It doesn't take very long to walk around the grounds, but the beautiful colors and construction add to the allure of this tropical area.  Created in 1968 to honor Japanese immigrants in Hawaii, this temple is a smaller replica of a temple in Uji, Japan.  With … [Read more...]

Top 5 Moments in Oahu

If you follow me via Instagram you might have noticed my family recently traveled to Hawaii. It was an epic adventure to say the least. My brother-in-law and family live in Kailua a few blocks from the beach and our trip was guided by their knowledge of the area. I’ll be creating a series of posts to provide further detail on our experience. Without a doubt, Oahu was a unlike any other place I’ve visited. Hawaii is distinct and wonderful. There is much to see and do. Our eight days were jammed packed full of activities {thanks for all the planning Tracy!} to maximize our time on the … [Read more...]