Water Park Fun For Little Ones At Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort

Thanks to Grizzly Jack’s for hosting my family for a weekend stay and for making my Mother’s Day special. All thoughts are my own.

grizzly jack's

A couple weekends ago my mom and I took my three kids to Utica, Illinois for a memorable Mother’s Day weekend celebration at Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort. Grizzly Jack’s is full of fun for families with young children and the perfect place to stay after a day of exploring Starved Rock, a nearby popular outdoor tourist destination. The resort has an indoor water park, miniature golf, an arcade, an ice cream shop, and a playground on the property.

Grizzly Jack's Grand Resort Family Suite

We stayed in a family suite with a balcony and I loved the lodge feel that the room, and really the whole resort, has. The room sleeps six with two queen sized beds and a sleeper sofa. I felt the room was very clean and also spacious which was great since it was my first time traveling with a baby and I brought way more than I needed for a two-day stay. I loved that the room had a refrigerator we could put soda in and a microwave for making popcorn.

Grizzly Jacks Villa

Need a room that fits more than six people? Grizzly Jack’s has a variety of options for larger families and groups including Vacation Villas that sleep up to 9 and Luxury Cabins that sleep up to 18. I think it would be fun to stay in one of the cabins with a group of other families!

kids at water park

Now let’s get to the most important part of any resort (at least in my tweens’ eyes)….the water park! Grand Bear Falls is the resort’s 24,000 square foot indoor waterpark with play zones, slides, wave pool, lazy river, kiddie pool, and hot tub. The water park itself was just remodeled this year.

nana with kids at water park

While the water park is smaller than many we’ve visited in the past, I actually think it’s the perfect size for families with little ones. I liked that it wasn’t too spread out since I like to give my older kids independence but still like to be able to keep my eye on them in the water, especially while they are in the wave pool. Since it wasn’t very crowded I could easily play with my 4 month old in the shallow end of the pool while watching my older boys in the “deep” end jumping around in the waves. I also appreciated that the boys could stand in the deeper end of the pool which they typically can’t do.

lazy river

My family also enjoyed the water park’s lazy river. My boys loved chasing each other around it while my mom and Emma floated around. The lazy river also had a “cyclone” like area that was pretty unique and kids seemed to enjoy swirling around in. There were also water slides the kids went on a few times. One thing they didn’t do for the first time ever? Play in the “kiddie” area called the Ranger Station. Guess they have finally outgrown that part of water parks which kind of makes me sad but I’ll have another one who will love that portion of water parks in just another year or two!

mommy and baby in pool

emma at the water park

One thing that should be noted about the water park is that parents really need to be diligent about watching their children since I felt like the number of lifeguards was pretty low. We went off season while it was slower so maybe that is why, or maybe I’m just used to larger water parks with more lifeguards working, but just wanted you all to be aware. Other than that I thought the water park was nicely remodeled and we loved playing there.

baby on water slide

emma in the water

Another thing I appreciated about the resort was that Jack’s Place, the on-site restaurant, delivered to the water park area so we had barbecue chicken bacon pizza delivered to us to eat while we were taking a swim break. There is also a snack shop adjacent to the water park where people can grab snacks and drinks. I felt like they had a decent amount of tables and chairs as well which was nice because I feel like some other water parks we’ve been to do not have enough seating for everyone so we are usually stuck sharing chairs and balancing food on our laps. Upstairs there is also an ice cream shop for those that have a sweet tooth!

me and my three kids

The resort also had a nice brunch for Mother’s Day with complimentary mimosas, made-to-order omelettes, a carving station, kid-friendly food, and a dessert table (the part Lucas was most excited about). The staff also gave all the moms flowers which I thought was a sweet gesture. I asked how frequently the resort has brunches and they said they often do for holidays. The next one will be on Father’s Day which would be a nice way to celebrate dad! I know my husband is all about food :)

mini golf at Grizzly Jack's

Other than the water park, my kids enjoyed the arcade which has over 60 fun games. Our family also played miniature golf before we left for home. The 18-hole course was really nice though hard to navigate with a stroller. Next to the mini-golf course there is a great playground which the boys wanted to check out but it was cold and rainy so we skipped it. The resort also has family movie night on Friday and Saturday nights which is a nice way to end the day and get kids ready for bedtime after a busy day of fun.

brotherly love

brother and sister

Overall we had a great weekend at Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort! If you are in the Chicagoland area and looking for a short staycation to take with your young children you’ll want to check it out! Book your stay here.

Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort by Starved Rock

Waterpark Fun To End The Summer

Thanks to Raging Waves Waterpark for sponsoring this post.

School starts in a couple weeks here so we are trying to squeeze the last bit of fun out of it as we can. One thing we did this past weekend was head to the waterpark. Surprisingly, it was the first time we’d made it to a waterpark all summer but it’s one of our favorite seasonal activities.

The boys enjoyed the day with their cousins at Raging Waves, the largest waterpark in Illinois. Sitting on 45 acres in Yorkville, the park hosts a huge wave pool, lazy river, 20 waterslides, a kiddie play structure, zero-depth pool, and a sandy beach area.

Their favorite activity of the day was going on the various waterslides. I was proud of all four of them because they were brave and went on everything they could, from PJ’s Plummet (the 72 foot high body slide) to the Cyclone (a super fast raft ride).

Jacob and Camden’s favorite ride was the Wonambi -the newest ride at the park that sends guests into near-vertical, zero gravity moments.

Lucas and Maddie loved the Boomerang, a raft ride which starts off in a chute before dropping you quickly into a funnel, the most.

All the kids also enjoyed going around in the lazy river, though there was nothing “lazy” about this experience. The kids liked running around the river instead of relaxing on it!

For those with younger kids, they’ll enjoy the Kangaroo Falls play area. This four-story water fort is full of super-soaking fun. Kids can splash down the slides, race across the bridges, and play in the squirting fountains.

Overall, we had a great day and look forward to going back there before they close on Labor Day.

If you haven’t had a day of splashtastic fun at the waterpark, what are you waiting for!?

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

(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:

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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.

Summer Fun At Magic Waters

(Disclosure: I am receiving a family pack of tickets for posting about Magic Waters.)

Hey, Chicago! Looking for something fun to do on a hot summer day this summer? Visit one of the largest water parks in Illinois! Magic Waters is located just off I-90 near Rockford. Experience the Double Dare Drop 75 ft. Speed Slides, Tsunami Bay Wave Pool, Typhoon Terror Adventure Ride and the thrill a minute Splash Blaster Water Coaster Ride. Enter the dark tunnel of the Abyss for lots of twists and turns or relax on the 1,200 ft. Splash Magic River. Have tons of fun at Tiki Island where a 1,000 gallon pineapple water bucket spills to the delight of guests! Coolers welcome or grab lunch at the new Ocho’s Cantina! Luxury cabanas available. Free Parking. Visit magicwaterswaterpark.com for more information.

Water park opens June 8th 2013. Open Daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Mon & Fri 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Special Offers & Events

$12 Buck Bargain Days: Tues, Wed, Thurs during the 2013 season.

Friday Family Fun Nights: June 14 through August 16.

Meet & Greet: Sunday July 14th. Disney band IM5 will be at the park for a Meet and Greet. Go to magicwaterswaterpark.com for details.

Get your season passes now!

This is an exclusive offer brought to you by WindyCityKidsGuide!

Kalahari Resorts {Giveaway!}

I am super excited to share about Kalahari Resorts, a wonderful family destination that I will be working with for the month of December. I’m extra excited because this will be the first vacation that our family has ever taken together!

It might be chilly inside but it’s hot at the Kalahari Resort so pull out that bathing suit and get ready to escape for a little fun! Check this place out:

The Waterpark Slides

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A fantastic place for the little ones to play

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Lazy River

Kalahari Resorts in the Dells has Wisconsin’s Largest Waterpark and includes fun and exciting rides and features for both your tiny tots and older kids.

· Their indoor waterpark recently installed a state-of-the-art Kids Play Zone named Tiko’s Watering Hole. Catered specifically for your tiny tots, this 5,000-square-foot, interactive play area features activities, slides and a 200-foot-long lazy river made just for them.

· The indoor waterpark also features America’s first indoor super loop slides. All three slides present a near 60 foot drop, and the Super Loop Sahara Sidewinder slides takes guests on a 250-plus foot journey from high above the roof of the waterpark to the water below.

· Our Indoor Theme Park has over 100,000 square feet of family fun with a ton of indoor attractions and activities.

· Other popular indoor attractions include:

-The Tanzanian Twister, a 40 mph exciting pipe-style ride
-Victoria Falls, a 84-foot family raft ride for the whole family
-Rippling Rhino, Kalahari’s longest tube slide at 400 feet long

TWITTER PARTY:

Come join us on Twitter tomorrow for a Kalahari Resorts Twitter Party!

December 1, 2012 12:30-1:30pm Central time

Follow @aliciamarie112 and #Kalahari

DISCOUNT:

Want to stay at Kalahari Resorts?

Click here for a great discount code!

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a fantastic prize package from Kalahari Resorts!!!

Package includes:

* 1-night stay in Hut or Desert Style Room

* Complimentary Indoor Theme Park Passes

Please note the terms of the voucher:

Wisconsin Dells location only. NOT VALID: Friday and Saturdays. Blackout dates include November 21-22, 2012, December 21-January 5, 2013, January 20, 2013, February 17, 2013, March 17-31, 2013, April 1-4, 2013, May 26, 2013, June 23 – August 18, 2013, September 1, 2013, and October 13, 2013. Please call (877) 525-2427 for availability. No cash value expires 1 year from date of issue.

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Leave a comment telling me why you want to win

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Like Kalahari Resorts on Facebook

4) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

5) Subscribe to this blog via email {look in upper right hand corner}

Giveaway ends December 20, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. This giveaway is only for the items stated and does not cover any travel, fees, etc. associated with the package.

(Disclosure: I am receiving a package from Kalahari Resorts in exchange for my posts.)