Escape The Cold At KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort {Giveaway & Coupon Code}

keylime cove resort

(Disclosure: My family received a complimentary stay at the resort but all thoughts are my own.)

It’s been cold and snowy here in Chicago and I’m really ready for warmer weather. Last weekend we took an hour and a half drive North to Gurnee and escaped to the warmth of KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort.

Once inside we immediately felt like we were in Florida. The main hall was decorated to look like a street and it hinted at the fun we were going to have during our stay.

At check-in we learned that KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark is conveniently cashless. We received a Smart Band® RFID wristband which was our room key and also allowed us to charge everything back to our room just by the swipe of our wrists. The wristbands can be used for vending machines, token dispensers in the arcade, lockers, restaurants, spa, gift shops, and concessions at KeyLime Cove. I loved that we didn’t have to carry cash or worry about losing our room key.

After we checked in and headed to our room which continued the tropical theme. I thought it was nice that the sleeping area and the “living” area were separated by a sliding door because it created different living spaces.

Once we put everything in our room, the boys were begging to go to the waterpark. KeyLime Cove Resort’s Lost Paradise waterpark features 65,000 square feet of indoor fun. They have a wave pool, water slides, lazy river, and a great kid’s area.

I really love that the waterpark opens at 9am on weekends because my kids wake up really early and it is so hard to wait three or four hours for the park to open like at some places we’ve been. As far as safety goes, I thought the lifeguards were very aware of what was going on at all times and none of them looked “checked out” while doing there job. There was also plenty of seating in the water park.

The resort features a lot of other fun activities outside of the water park. I loved that there was a kid’s daily “Fun-tivities Guide” to tell us what was happening each day. The guide features new activities almost hourly during the day where children can participate in a kids’ parade, decorate a cookie, do a scavenger hunt, listen to a story, or do a craft. These activities are free! The boys did one where they colored a sports visor to wear. There is also a large arcade for kids of all ages.

Adults have a lot of options at the resort. Looking to relax? The resort has a spa with all sorts of services offered. Like to shop? Check out one of the unique shops to find the perfect gift for a friend.

While at KeyLime Cove you are bound to get hungry. There are many delicious options. While there we enjoyed a breakfast buffet at D.W. Anderson’s. The buffet featured an omelet station and a waffle station. I’m not really a fan of buffets but really loved this one because the food was freshly cooked and didn’t seem like it had been sitting there a while. The buffet even had blintzes which Sinisa loved and you don’t normally see at buffets. While at the water park we lunch from their Sharky’s Big Bites snack area. Dinner at The Crazy Toucan also exceeded my expectations. I enjoyed a strawberry colada with cheesy crab logs. Crab is my favorite food and this mixture of crab and cheese on toasted bread was amazing. They also had a large variety of choices for the kids. We headed to Island Temptations for dessert where candy, ice cream, coffee and more is available.

Overall, we had a great time at KeyLime Cove Resort. We stayed one night and enjoyed the waterpark the day before our stay and the day after which was perfect for my young kids. Then we headed home in this…

It was nice escaping reality for a bit :) Do you want to take a mini-vacation like my family did? Check out the great deal below!

 GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a $50 KeyLime Cove gift card

HOW TO ENTER:

Tell me why you want to win

EARN AN EXTRA ENTRY:

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Giveaway ends March 1, 2014 at 11:59pm Central time. Must be 21 or over and a US resident to enter.

Top Ten Games For Preschoolers

top 10 games

I’m  excited to be joining in with a great group of bloggers for a special Top Ten Holiday Gift Ideas series. Please join us as we share our favorite books, games, building toys, pretend play toys, crafting supplies or kits, and stocking stuffers! Each participating blog will create their own unique list each week for each of the categories so be sure to stop by each of the links at the bottom of this post.

Here are 10 of my favorite games for preschoolers. Some of these games the kids in my preschool classroom enjoyed playing, some my own kids play, and some I have received for review in the past years.

 Memory 

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Elefun Snackin’ Safari

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Candy Land

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Garanimals Paw Print Game

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Fruitominoes

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Raccoon Rumpus

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Don’t Break The Ice

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Go Fish

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Cluck N’ Chuck

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The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game

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Here are more favorite games and puzzles from other bloggers:

Our Favorite Games & Puzzles {Top Ten Holiday Lists} from Something 2 Offer

Top 10 Games & Puzzles for 2-3 Year Olds from Stir the Wonder

Top 10 Lists: Puzzles for under 3 year olds from Powerful Mothering

Games Recommendations for Brainy Kids from Afterschool for Smarty Paints

Top 10 Games and Puzzles on Our Shelf from Creative World of Varya

Top 10 Board Games and Puzzles for Preschoolers from P is for Preschooler

Top 10 Preschool Board Games from Little Bins for Little Hands

Top 10 Games for Preschoolers from Makeovers & Motherhood

Great Midwest Family Vacation Town {Branson, MO}

branson

I recently traveled to Branson, Missouri with a few other bloggers on a trip with US Family Guide courtesy of Branson Lakes Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. What was supposed to be a mom/daughter trip ended up being more of a family trip but in a way I’m glad the boys could come with because that gave me the chance to see how kid-friendly Branson was. I went into the trip thinking Branson was more of a place for adults but I left knowing that it is a perfect family vacation destination.

Branson is quite a drive from the Chicago area but do-able. Leaving in the afternoon meant the kids slept most of the car ride. Once we got to Branson we checked in to Thousand Hills Golf Resort where we were staying for the duration of our trip. The condo we stayed in was beautiful and bigger than my first apartment with a view of the golf course.

Condo at Thousand Hills Golf Resort

We spent our first day at Silver Dollar City. I started the day by riding their new record-breaking ride, Outlaw Run. It’s the first and only double barrel roll on a wood coaster, the only wood coaster to twist upside down three times, the world’s steepest wood coaster, and the second fastest wood coaster in the world. It was an amazing thrill! I spent the rest of the day with my kids riding “kiddie rides”, eating delicious food, and walking around looking at the 125+ booths of crafts during their National Harvest Fest.

Rides at Silver Dollar City

After a day at Silver Dollar City we went back to our hotel room, changed, and headed to Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede for dinner and show. The show was action packed and we loved watching all of the performers including the man who rode 2 horses through a ring of fire and the ostrich race. My boys even got to be part of the show as they chased chickens in the arena while about a thousand people watched.

Ostrich Race at Dixie Stampede

After a good night’s rest we headed to the Hollywood Wax Museum where my mom and the boys posed with wax figures of famous actors and actresses. Some of them looked so real!

My favorite wax celebrity at the Hollywood Wax Museum- so real!

 Our next stop was to The Track Family Fun Parks. With 5 locations spread along the main highway, there is something for everyone at “the tracks”. The boys loved riding Go-Karts by themselves and all of the kiddie rides. My favorite was racing Go-Karts on a couple of the best tracks that I’ve ever been on.

Go-Kart fun at The Track Family Fun Parks

Our evening consisted of a nice dinner cruise on the Showboat Branson Belle. We enjoyed delicious food while watching some great talent. One of the women performing had me amazed when she was playing the violin upside down while doing aerials! The comedian and magician was so good that I’m still trying to figure out how he did one of his last tricks.

Beautiful evening for a cruise on the Showboat Branson Belle

The next day was our last day in Branson. We spent our morning at the Titanic Museum. I found it interesting to learn more about this ship I had only known about from the movie. The boys loved all of the interactive exhibits.

Model ship we saw at the Titanic Museum

Before we left we stopped at the Christmas store and a local shop selling taffy. We had a great time together on our trip. If you are looking for a family-friendly vacation spot I recommend heading to Branson, Missouri. See more fun things to do at ExploreBranson.com!

Pot O’ Gold Craft {For Preschoolers}

st pattys craft pot o gold

Love, love, love this Pot O’ Gold craft that Jacob made! It’s so easy to make and a great way for children to practice their cutting skills.

You’ll need:

3 pieces of construction paper (green, black, yellow)

Tissue paper in rainbow colors (cut into small squares)

Glue Stick

Scissors

Shamrock shaped stickers or foam pieces (optional)

Directions:

1) Adult should draw a large pot shape on black paper and coin sized circles on yellow paper

2) Help child cut out the shapes and glue them on the green paper

3) Talk about colors of the rainbow as child glues one of each colored tissue paper squares on the paper.

4) Add shamrocks shapes if desired