Hiking with Kids in Minnesota: Lebanon Hills

 Minneapolis and the surrounding suburbs are full of great places to explore with children.  Our family just moved into the Minneapolis/St. Paul area in June of 2014 {from the Rochester, MN area}  and we've had lots of fun exploring all the local parks. Lebanon Hills Regional Park is a great place for families. We've visited this beautiful area a few times and every visit I'm stunned by it's size.  Surrounded by Eagan and Apple Valley this park is right in the middle of the south metro. You gotta love Minnesota for creating such an expansive park in the midst of the city … [Read more...]

Hiking with Kids in Minnesota: Whitetail Woods Park

Dakota County has a new park. A new huge park.  How does this happen? I can't say that I have any idea, but I'm sure it's a complicated process. My understanding is that is has taken years to make Whitetail Woods Regional Park a reality.  I didn't even realize that new parks were still being created. Most parks have been around for a minimum of twenty years, it seems. Most have been around for much, much longer. I have to cheer a little bit for good ol' Minnesota once again.  A new park within 45 minutes to downtown Minneapolis. For sure, it's a good … [Read more...]

Top 5 Family-Friendly Memberships in the Twin Cities Metro

Since moving closer to the Twin Cities metro area this summer, my boys have been reveling in all the family fun destinations the area contains.  We lived in southeast Minnesota area prior to our move, so it's not as though the Minneapolis/St. Paul was a mystery to us. But our close proximity to so many fun places is a little overwhelming.  As we started to visit various museums and attractions this summer, it quickly became apparent that it made sense to purchase a membership.  Typically in as little as two or three visits a year, the membership will have paid for itself. … [Read more...]

Understanding the Dedication Behind Bigelow Tea

I was not compensated directly for this post, however I do have a professional connection to Bigelow Tea through my employer Collective Bias.  All opinions are my own.  #AmericasTea #CollectiveBias #cbias During this season of transition to colder temperatures and changing colors, there is a quiet comfort that comes from enjoying a warm cup of tea.  My favorite way to sip Bigelow Tea is by witnessing the morning light descend upon the autumn colors that I can view outside my windows.  I need to see open spaces to clear my mind and make me feel at ease. Luckily there … [Read more...]

Summer Sparkles & Junior Adventures

This post has been created as part of my partnership with Popsicle,  all opinions are my own. Boys are busy.  When my little guys are at home there is a constant stream of movement and activity.  It's harnessing that energy into a forward moving, positive momentum that is my task.  How do I attempt to do that? With plenty of summer activities, of course!  There is no epic summer vacation this year (because of our recent move), instead we are having what I refer to as "junior adventures".   Luckily we now live in an area that has a plethora of new sights to … [Read more...]

Summer Fun Awaits at Noah’s Ark Waterpark in the Wisconsin Dells!

I have been compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.  This past weekend we made the trek to Noah's Ark Waterpark in the Wisconsin Dells for a day of water and sun-induced fun.  As I mentioned in my previous post my little fellas were VERY excited to explore the park and enjoy the rides available for their respective ages.  We were fortunate to experience a beautiful day with sunny skies that were not too scorching.  As I expected the park and all it's possibilities was entirely overwhelming for my guys.  We settled ourselves in a shaded cabana next to … [Read more...]

Cirque du Soleil AMALUNA Review

  This review is by Father Geek for The Mama Report.     When I was young, I visited the circus. It was a visual feast for my young eyes. Lions, tigers, clowns, and stunts that were as breathtaking as they were impossible to fathom. But that was when I was a child, and I now view the world through the eyes of a skeptic. Being older and - depending on your point of view - wiser, a traditional circus does not excite. I've seen tigers, I've seen bears, and as far as clowns and three rings go, I could do without both. That is why I was both surprised and enthralled with how much … [Read more...]

I’m a Verizon Mom! Conquering my New Galaxy Tablet #VZWVoices #Mom

“Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Moms Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.” I know what you are thinking. Did she really get a new Galaxy Tablet with service? Give me a break! First of all~ yes, I did. Second of all~ I do realize I'm incredibly privileged. Thirdly~ HELP! Confession: I've been a user of the other popular tablet device.  I'm sure you know which one I'm referring to. This is my first foray into the android world.  I've been hearing amazing things about … [Read more...]

Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota

Visiting the four heads (as we like to call it) is a must see for our family when visiting the Rapid City area.  There are so many other tempting cheesy things to do in the area, but at this point Mt. Rushmore remains at the top of our list.  These images carved into the mountain are amazing, the hike is fun, and now we have a few visits under our belt making it an official tradition.  Every time we visit this area we confirm that we ought to make this a destination within itself, rather than just a passing one night.  Luckily the trip is only a day drive, so hopefully at … [Read more...]

Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming

As we drove off the interstate to purposefully visit Devils Tower, I was under the impression we might be almost the only visitors to this distinctive rock on a somewhat early morning.  Um, yeah that was sooooooo not the case.  Devils Tower was busy.  Extremely busy.  Who knew?! Apparently it is a must see destination for many others as well.  And while most of us took the pleasant paved trail there were a few who garnered harnesses to actually scale the tower itself, a feat no one in my family will ever be allowed to attempt:)   One more destination on … [Read more...]

Little Bighorn Battlefield, National Monument, Montana

I had the opportunity to visit the Little Bighorn Battlefield when I was a kid and it left a strong impression upon me.   The land is undisturbed here.  Ever since my first visit I have determined this is one of the best places to witness history.  There is almost no need for re-creation.  Looking out into the distant rolling, grassy land it doesn't take much imagination to picture Native Americans riding across the plains.  This place has a distinctive feel and I highly encourage travelers to make this remote trip. Next on our cross country trip?  Devils Tower! … [Read more...]

Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman, Montana

One of our favorite stops on the trail to the West is a visit to the Museum of the Rockies.  With dinosaurs a plenty my six year old paleontologist in training is in a state of bliss.  My boys did not exhibit sophisticated, refined museum behavior.  No, instead we were the crazed, overwhelmed family running around shouting with delight at all the dinosaur bones:) And even though the dinosaurs are amazing, this museum has much more than just that.  We also had a great time at the pioneer farm (pictured below), the planetarium, and the kid's area.   Next destination … [Read more...]

Lake Crescent & Marymere Falls, Olympic National Park, Washington

Lake Crescent could be one of the bluest lakes I've ever seen.  It was amazing.  While we didn't go out on the lake, we did manage to walk out on the dock and even twenty feet from the shore the water was still crystal clear blue.  After having a lovely lunch at the Lake Crescent Lodge, we took off on a nice hike to Marymere Falls.   Next our jump to The Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana! … [Read more...]

Enjoy the Outdoors this Summer! July is National Park & Recreation Month #ParkRecLuv

I have been compensated for this post, all opinions are my own. In Minnesota it is best to make the most of the summer weather while you can.  Inevitably, the bright sunny weather isn't sure to last.  As the mom of three little boys who have a lot of energy, parks are a great way for my little guys to let off some steam. July is officially national park and recreation month, but I encourage everyone to embrace the love of the outdoors while you can.  The kids are not at school and many parents take more vacation time making it a perfect opportunity to share the experience together. Plus … [Read more...]

Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park, Washington

After leaving La Push next on our agenda was Port Angeles.  I was a little hesitant to take the twisty drive up to Hurricane Ridge, but my fears of falling over the side of a mountain where worth it once we reached our destination.  With views of Canada and the surrounding mountain tops we literally plowed through the snow along the trail.  I think my kids didn't realize that it is not natural to have snow in July, but being this high up in the mountains even with temperatures in 70's there was still a hefty dose of snow. Next on our trip, Lake Cascade and Marymere … [Read more...]