Trendy Mom Reviews
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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Two Ways to Catch Geckos to Get Them Out of the House #DIY #Pest


How to Catch Geckos to Get Them Out of the House #DIY #Pest
If you live in the south, you have probably come across an adorable gecko that just isn't quite as cute once it gets into your house.  They are f-a-s-t!  Here are two easy ways to catch a gecko and remove it from your house.

Method 1: Catch and Release the Gecko
Supplies:
  • 1 glass jar or glass
  • 1 piece of paper
Directions
1. Place the glass jar over the gecko.

2. Slide a piece of paper between the wall and jar.  

3. Take the gecko outside to release it


Method 2: Glue trap (this will hurt the gecko)
Supplies:
  • 1 glue trap
  • 1 broom or other small item to chase the gecko toward the glue trap
1. Place a glue trap on the floor.

2. Simply chase the gecko to the glue trap using the broom or other small item.

We personally use the glue traps below. The following is an Amazon Affiliate link.

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Our Experience at Hawaiian Falls in The Colony #DFW #TheColony #WaterParks

If you follow regularly, you know that we love Hawaiian Falls Water Parks in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro. They provide great environments to escape the heat and enjoy time together as a family!  In today's post, we'll share personal photos and our experience at the Hawaiian Falls location in The Colony. This location is a great staycation destination for everyone in the DFW metro because it feels like it is a world away!

The fun begins as soon as you enter! This location is packed with trendy food options, plenty of seating, and of course a walkway that leads to the park. Let me start with a few photos of water slides and the Lazy River.  We visited with friends. The teens instantly went for the water slides, while my 5-year old and I went for the Lazy River!


The Lazy River area is beautiful!  The luscious landscaping is gorgeous and makes you feel like you are in a tropical resort. I won't ruin the surprises, but I will tell you that I appreciate the beauty of this area and my son appreciates the fun opportunity to cruise around the cool water.


After the Lazy River, we found a really cool water walkway.  My son had a blast walking through this refreshing area.  I have to admit that I had fun too!



The next area that we visited was the main splash pad area that is packed with surprises for little ones. My son spent hours in this area and had a blast - pun intended!  I met other moms in this area that have season passes and said that they visit often because it's a fun way to let their children exercise and have fun together!  If you buy a season pass, you receive early admission to the park and have the opportunity to meet other moms that are regulars.


After the splash area, we headed to my favorite part of the water park - the wave pool!  My son and I had fun bouncing around in the wave pool as he practiced swimming.  I'm not sure why, but my son is much more willing to practice swimming if he is in a wave pool as opposed to a regular pool.  If you have a little one that doesn't like swim lessons, you may want to try taking them to the wave pool in case they are like my son.  He seems to turn into a little fish when they bring on the waves!


Aside from the water attractions, Hawaiian Falls offers meals, snacks, and drinks.  They offer a generous amount of seating for families and group events.  There are options to sit near the pool, near the snack buildings, and under shade.  It's a family-friendly park that is perfect for meals together. They offer individual meals, snacks, and drinks for purchase. My son will tell you that the pizza is his favorite! You'll even find great season meal and drink offers here


You can't beat the season pass for unlimited drinks. It's just $19.99 for the entire summer! Click here to get in on this trendy deal. They make it easy to get your refills too. You receive a new drink wristband on every visit. There are three locations within Hawaiian Falls in The Colony to get refills. A photo of one of the Refill Stations is shown below.


Finally, I want to add that Hawaiian Falls provides free parking. I appreciate that there are never hidden fees for our visits and everything is reasonably priced.

We love visiting Hawaiian Falls locations as a family. We have created many great family memories here and our weekly visits have become a wonderful part of my son's childhood memories. I will always remember him splashing in the splash areas, pretending to be a fish as I pull him around in the wave pool, lots of giggles in the Lazy River, and meals and snacks in the shade.

Do you have any family staycation traditions?

Learn More
Visit the website for Hawaiian Falls in The Colony.


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Hawaiian Falls is Open for 2015! #DFW #Travel #WaterParks #Roanoke


Hawaiian Falls water parks are among the trendiest summer destinations in the Texas, including locations near us in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro.  You can't beat the opportunity to cool off at their trendy locations in Roanoke, The Colony, Garland, Manfield, Pflugerville, Waco, and White Settlement. Their parks are packed with water attractions for family members of all ages. In today's post, we'll share photos from our recent visit to the Roanoke location.

The trendy location in Roanoke is the closest Hawaiian Falls to our house. If you live in Southlake, Westlake, Flower Mound, or other nearby towns, we definitely recommend visiting and possibly even purchasing a season pass for your family members.  It's such a great deal! For instance, the season passes are $99.99 per family member which comes out to less than $5 per visit if you visit weekly throughout the summer.  They also have other great deals for unlimited drinks all summer or meal plans. They offer free parking, so you don't have to worry about hidden charges.  It's a great deal! Visit here for more details. You may even luck out and occasionally find specials on their website.

The collage below shows a few personal photos from the water park. You'll notice the iconic Pineapple bucket at the top of the slide area.  This makes the area extra fun as everyone gets splashed!  On the bottom, you'll notice the talking Tiki that also spits water.  My son always nervously walks past it and giggles when it notices him.  The mushroom in the splash pad was my son's favorite area two years ago.  It's great for toddlers and he still loves it at 5-years old.   We have many great memories from these areas of the water park!  We call these photos "good childhood"!

The next collage shows views around the Lazy River. My son would spend all day circling this trendy Lazy River if we let him. It's a nice set up because they have beautiful landscaping around the Lazy River.  They offer plenty of seating near the entrance.


Finally, my little one is too small for the "big slides", but we have friends with teenagers that love them!  While we play in the areas for younger children, the teens never seem to tire of going on the larger slides over-and-over-and-over again!  It's a great way to cool off in the Texas heat.


Personally, the wave pool is my favorite area.  If you have a little one, they offer life jackets that you can borrow at no cost. My son always takes advantage of this and has fun with a life jacket as he practices swimming in the waves with me. Again, it's nice to have a fun activity together on a hot Texas day!


Learn More
Visit Hawaiian Falls Roanoke to learn more!
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10 Ideas for Summer Play Dates with 5 and 6 Year Olds #PlayLikeHasbro


My son is home from school for the summer and is at an age where nothing is more exciting than playing with friends.  It's a strange feeling to go from his toddler and preschool ages where Mommy was #1 to this older age where playing with friends completely rocks his world.  Whether it is calmly playing with Play-Doh or running around with Nerf Super Soaker Zombie Strike Deadshot Water Blasters, the kids have fun creating childhood memories together. In today's post, I'll share 10 ideas for summer play dates that are sure to entertain children and help them to create amazing childhood memories.  You'll notice throughout the post that I incorporated many trendy Hasbro brand toys that are popular.  Follow hashtag #PlayLikeHasbro on social media to read posts by other bloggers that are similarly featuring trendy Hasbro toys.  I love following this hashtag to learn creative ideas for play time!

10 Ideas for Summer Play Dates
1. Marvel Avengers Hulk Gamma Grip Fists.  One of the most iconic childhood memories for many little boys is Hulk Hands!  My husband still remembers pretending to be the Incredible Hulk when he was a child, so it is fun to see our son take after him. The Marvel Avengers Hulk Gamma Grip Fists have provided HOURS of entertainment for my son and his friends.  These are good quality and the boys love them. It's one of the first toys that they run to grab on play dates!



2. Treasure Hunt with Fairy Garden Supplies. Visit a craft store to pick up small gems, seashells, or other fairy garden supplies. Hide the supplies around the house or yard for the children to find. Give each child a small cup or basket to collect the supplies.  When they are done, provide them each with a small box so that they are able to use the supplies to create a fairy garden.

3. Jurassic World Chomping Dino Head Hand Puppet.  The release of the latest Jurassic World movie makes this toy particularly trendy, but it's also a toy that will be popular for a long time.  This trendy Jurassic World Chomping Dino Head Hand Puppet lets the children pretend to be their favorite dinosaur!  Personally, we visit the Perot Museum of Natural History once a month and the boys love the dinosaurs.  It's funny to see them integrate educational comments and entertainment into their play with this trendy hand puppet.  Let me tell you that this also integrates well with games that use Hulk Hands since they love toys that go on their hands!


  
4. Nerf Super Soaker Zombie Strike Deadshot Water Blaster.  Here in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro, it is extremely hot. These trendy Nerf Super Soaker products provide a great way to cool off. We have three of the Nerf Super Soaker Zombie Strike Deadshot Water Blasters - one for each family member!  We have a blast with them - pun intended!  They squirt up to 30 feet away and the water tank lights up for nighttime missions. My son loves our family time together with these trendy toys.  In addition, they are popular for play dates. My son and his friends get plenty of exercise as they play with these outdoors.  It's fun for us moms to watch because they giggle so much!



5. Science Experiments. My son and his friends are so curious about the world around them.  We often visit our local library to check out Science Kits.  Check your local library to ask whether they offer Science Kits. Our library has 100+ Science Kits that come with instructions and supplies.  




6. Playskool Heroes Super Hero Adventures 4-in-1 Helicarrier Playset.  Avengers are hot right now! This trendy Playskool Heroes Super Hero Adventures 4-in-1 Helicarrier Playset is awesome for play dates because it has so many features and lets children take their battles to the sky! My son and his friends are 5 and 6 years old. This toy is so perfect for their big imaginations! They spend hours playing with this toy.  They even integrate it into battles that save The Littlest Petshop toys that I'll discuss shortly.



7. Make Your Own Pizzas.   Pick up supplies to make mini pizzas and let the kids help out in the kitchen.  Most 5 and 6 year old children love to help with baking!  Make it fun by setting up the supplies before the play date so that they are ready to get in on the action as soon as everyone arrives.


   
8. Pet Pawsabilities.  The Littlest Pet Shop is popular with our son and all of his friends. They are so adorable and have such an extensive line of characters. The Littlest Pet Shop Pawsabilities offers a lot of fun because the physical toys also morph into virtual characters through a fun iPad app. My son and his friends really get into the characters and have a lot of fun!



9. Play-Doh My Little Pony Cutie Mark Creators. The My Little Pony line of characters was extremely popular with the children at my son's preschool.  There was a long phase where the children pretended to be different characters from My Little Pony.  As soon as I saw the trendy Play-Doh My Little Pony Cutie Mark Creators sets, I knew that they would be a hit for play dates! These are a lot of fun because there are so many opportunities to be creative. Plus, the set uses Play-Doh, so they are able to use it over-and-over again.   I plan to buy some more of these sets to drop off at his school because I know how much the children loved Play-Doh and My Little Pony.


10. Make Your Own Ice Cream with an Ice Cream Ball.  There are many different brands that offer ice cream balls. They are easy to use as you fill one compartment with ice and ice cream salts and then a second compartment with ice cream ingredients such as cream, sugar, vanilla, and your favorite mix-ins.  The process takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes depending on your recipe.  This is always a play date hit because the children love to help with the recipe, roll the ice cream ball around, and then enjoying their ice cream!



Do you have tips for summer play dates with 5 and 6 year olds?

Learn More
The toys featured here are available on Hasbro.com.  Also, follow #PlayLikeHasbro for other fun ideas related to children and toys!
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Thursday, July 2, 2015

How to Stage Your Kitchen Pantry When Your House is On the Market in Less than One Hour


We recently had a staging expert visit our house to provide tips for staging. I was enthusiastic to hear her recommendations because we wanted to make our house sparkle and look as good as possible.  Well, one comment that she gave was that we should organize all of our drawers and cabinets because people sometimes open doors or drawers when they look at houses.   Our pantry was not a happy vision.  Here is the before photo.  It's kind of a hybrid food-storage/random-storage mess with half eaten boxes of Moon Pies, decorative baskets that I  use for photos, an abnormally large supply of foam plates that were left over from a party and more.  Yeah.... a mess.


In this makeover, I spent just under an hour to make a store front kitchen pantry.



My first task was to pitch items that we didn't need.  OK, that was gross, embarrassing, and all kinds of emotions.  Why is there Hamburger Helper that expired last year in here?  How did my son's Legos end up in here? My husband spilled dried beans behind some of the boxes and didn't clean it up! How long has it been like that?  Yeah, total grossness. 

I spent a $75 budget for supplies to organize the pantry.  The $75 didn't stretch very far when I visited a nearby store even with my 10% off coupon, so I did compromise a bit on what I purchased. I would probably shop around more in case I could find a better deal, but I was working on a short deadline since our house was going live the next day and saving money by shopping around didn't fit into the equation. However, I was happy overall with the supplies and style.  I chose a combination of canvas bins where half have the same print and the other half are cream colored with silver handles on the sides.  I mixed-and-matched sizes to fit the random items in the pantry.

The final look is below.  I think that I did a great job considering that this took less than an hour to organize and only spent $75 on supplies.


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Recipe: Baked Ranch Chicken Stuffed with Quinoa #Recipes

Recipe: Baked Ranch Chicken Stuffed with Quinoa 
When I think of summer recipes, I often think of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing because we love fresh veggies dipped in their famous dressing. However, we also love working Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing into recipes such as baked chicken. The dressing is a great substitute for eggs and adds a fantastic flavor. I receive many complements on the recipe below. Personally, I purchase Hidden Valley Dressings at our local Walmart. Let me share this recipe and then a coupon for you to pick up your favorite variety of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing at Walmart.

Ingredients
  • 4 large chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup of Hidden Valley Roasted Garlic Ranch Dressing
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice
  • 2 Tablespoons of Hidden Valley Roasted Garlic Ranch Dressing
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees.

2. Mix the cooked quinoa, cooked brown rice, and 2 Tablespoons of Hidden Valley Roasted Garlic Ranch Dressing until the dressing is thoroughly distributed. Set aside.


3. Trim the fat from each chicken breast and slice lengthwise to create a pocket to stuff the quinoa and brown rice mixture. Stuff 1/4 cup of the quinoa and brown rice mixture into each chicken breast.


4. Add the 1/2 cup of Hidden Valley Roasted Garlic Ranch Dressing to a shallow dish and dip each chicken breast into the Hidden Valley Roasted Garlic Ranch Dressing to coat thoroughly.



5. Add the 1 cup of bread crumbs to a shallow dish. Coat each chicken breast in bread crumbs and then place on a greased cookie sheet.



8. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.



9. Allow to cool and serve with fresh broccoli, carrots, and extra Hidden Valley Roasted Garlic Ranch Dressing for a well-balanced and flavorful meal.



Trendy Savings
A big thanks to DataRank and Walmart for providing the coupon below for us to share with our readers. Click here to save $1 on Hidden Valley Flavored Dressing!

This is a sponsored post with DataRank and Walmart. All opinions are honest and our own.
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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

My Experience from a "Picky Eaters" Class: 5 Tips for Teaching Your Child to Eat Healthy #Nutrition

When my son was younger, we struggled with his diet because he was a picky eater.  In today's post, I'll share our experience attending a "picky eaters" course (spoiler alert: it was awful!), tips that finally worked for us, and then information about trendy Shamrock Farms milk in different flavors that are available at Walmart. We'll also share information about an awesome Shamrock Farms sweepstakes.

My experience at a "picky eaters" classes

We attended classes for "picky eaters" for our son when he was a toddler. Let me tell you that the classes were a nightmare and did more damage than good for us. The concept of getting a bunch of picky eaters together to try to convince them to eat different foods didn't work out for the kids in the class that we attended.  One child would say, "Ewwww", and the others quickly repeated this. Even if the teacher pretended like green beans were flutes or filled with magic treasure, the kids saw right through it and refused to eat the green beans.  We eventually stopped attending the class because the kids were such a bad influence on each other.  Instead, we collected advice from family, friends, and a nutritionist.  Let me share the tips that worked for us.

5 Tips for Teaching Your Child to Eat Healthy

1. Place a variety of foods on your child's plate at each meal.  Include foods that have different colors and textures. The exposure helps some children to feel more comfortable over time.  Our nutritionist told us that we were making progress when our son started to pick up the food and touch it even if he didn't eat it.  It took weeks, but he eventually decided to try eating different food items.
2. Chop food into tiny pieces. Personally, we made progress by serving our son smaller pieces.
3. Limit unhealthy snacks.  Many children would eat candy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if they were allowed! However, teaching them moderation is important for their development and relationship with food.
4. Stay away from unhealthy drinks.  Avoid or limit sodas and fruit-like juices. Instead, offer milk, water, or real fruit juice that is watered down.  For instance, we keep milk at home or if we are on-the-go, we purchase individual size Shamrock Farms milk from Walmart.  My son will do almost anything for these protein-packed milks. They come in regular, chocolate, and strawberry at Walmart.
5. Lead by example.  Be sure that you set an example by eating healthy yourself. 

Enter for a Chance to Win!

To celebrate the expanded distribution of their trendy milk, Shamrock Farms wants to help one lucky family start the school year right. Roxie’s Ultimate Back-To-School sweepstakes offers one winner a mega-shopping spree worth nearly $5,000 ($4,999). Trendy prizes include Walmart gift cards to help stock up on school supplies, groceries and a new wardrobe. The sweepstakes is open to people ages 18 and older, no purchase necessary and open until August 20, 2015. To enter, visit here!
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Monday, June 29, 2015

10 Tips for Traveling to SeaWorld San Antonio with a 5 Year Old #AdventureCon15 #WildsSide15


As a SeaWorld Wild Side Ambassador, I have the opportunity to attend special events throughout the year.  I recently attended AdventureCon, an annual conference for bloggers that is held at SeaWorld San Antonio.  This conference is unique because families are invited and they provide a program that incorporates everyone into the experience. In today's post, I thought that it would be fun to share 10 Tips for Traveling to SeaWorld San Antonio with a 5 Year Old!  I will also share highlights from our experience at AdventureCon. 

10 Tips for Traveling to SeaWorld San Antonio with a 5 Year Old
  1. Start the trip before you leave the house. One of the best parts of our vacation started before we even left our house. We created a countdown and visited the SeaWorld San Antonio website every evening before bedtime. Their site is great because it is packed with information, photos, and even videos!
  2. Stay at a nearby hotel with a free shuttle that goes between the hotel and SeaWorld. Personally, we stayed at the Marriott Courtyard SeaWorld/Westover Hills hotel and enjoyed the complementary shuttle.  Read about our experience at the hotel here.
  3. Have a plan for your child if they get lost and write your name and cell phone number on their wrist.  I only have one child and it seems exponentially harder to keep track of more children during peak hours at the park.  Always have a plan for what your child should do if they get lost. Also, write your cell phone number on their wrist in case they get lost. If you are visiting Aquatica, consider investing in a waterproof bracelet that has this information.
  4. Purchase a Quick Queue pass because it's age appropriate for 5 year old children to be impatient and this will make your trip more fun.  Personally, we always have a great time when we visit SeaWorld. However, that "great" time changes to "fantastic" when we have Quick Queue passes, especially on hot summer days.  We used a Quick Queue pass this weekend and zoomed through the lines on trendy rides such as Rio Loco, Atlantis, and the Shamu Express. The Quick Queue prices start at just $15/person.
  5. Bring a swim suit. The Sesame Street Bay of Play and the water attractions in Aquatica are perfect for 5 year old children. My son could have played in the Sesame Street Bay of Play all day long if we let him!
  6. Bring sunscreen.  You may think that you'll just stay for a few hours with your little one, but I swear that SeaWorld creates a time warp.  We have so much fun and lose track of time. We always want to stay longer!  Bring sunscreen because you will probably want to stay for the entire day!
  7. Stay hydrated. Many 5 year old children struggle with impulse control.  They may want to run from one ride or exhibit to the next.  Personally, my son won't stop to drink unless you require him to take a break.  Be careful to keep your child hydrated.  You are allowed to bring water bottles in or they provide complementary cups of water at many of the restaurants around the park. SeaWorld also offers special cups that you purchase for approximately $10 and then you are able to get refills throughout the park for free on the day of purchase or just 99-cents on other days throughout the season.  The refill stations are super easy to find and are spread throughout the park.
  8. Schedule a tour. SeaWorld is primarily about education through fun and entertaininment. Take advantage of a small group tour where your little one is able to ask questions. For instance, we attended a Penguin tour where my son was mesmerized with animals. The tour guide was knowledgeable and friendly.  We really liked that our son was able to ask questions.  It was fun for him to learn about animals in real life instead of only relying on books. Click here to read more about the tours.
  9. Feed animals.  Personal connections shape children, especially 5 year old children.  Our son had the opportunity to feed sea lions at the new Sea Lion exhibit.  We taught him to make eye contact with the animal and then toss the food in order to make a connection. This was an amazing experience for him that complements his books about sea lions.
  10. Get to shows early for your seats. The shows at SeaWorld are amazing!  Make sure that you arrive early for a good seat.  As a bonus, arriving early at a show gives you extra time to enjoy snacks and drinks while you wait.
Do you have tips for visiting SeaWorld San Antonio with a 5 year old?

Our Experience at SeaWorld AdventureCon
Now that I have shared my 10 tips for visiting SeaWorld San Antonio with a 5 year old, let me share some photos from our personal visit to SeaWorld and AdventureCon. As I mentioned earlier, AventureCon is a family-friendly conference for bloggers. They have an amazing conference with great information for bloggers that is mixed with family-friendly activities such as special tours at SeaWorld and pool parties at the hotel.  In the remainder of this post, I'll share the agenda and personal photos from our experience.

We drove from the Dallas/Fort Worth metro to SeaWorld.  Specifically, we drove from Denton to San Antonio, mainly on the I-35W and I-35S. It is well known that there is often congestion on these routes, but we left super early on a Friday morning and didn't have any problems. On the other hand, we stayed late on Sunday and it took a bit longer to drive home. Still, it wasn't too bad and we quickly made up time on the way back since our son slept most of the way and we didn't take as many bathroom breaks.


We arrived at the Marriott Courtyard SeaWorld/Westover Hills on Friday afternoon.  We were greeted by an enthusiastic staff and even a goody bag that put a big smile on my son's face!


We also found more surprises that put a smile on my husband's face in our room - vouchers for complementary drinks at the Waves bar and Starbucks.  


After we settled into our room, we went to SeaWorld's Aquatica for a few hours to enjoy the amazing wave pool, water slides, beautiful aviary, and stingray pool. Our favorite part of Aquatica was Roa's Aviary. We had fun in this unique environment where we could swim and bird watch!


We also enjoyed petting the sting rays. My son said that they felt slippery. One of our Instagram followers posted a comment to share that her children say that the sting rays feel like wet bologna. That made me laugh!


We returned to our room and found a surprise - milk and warm cookies!  This hotel really aims to please.  It was our third surprise in just one day.


After enjoying the milk and warm cookies, we showered and then headed down to the lobby to the AdventureCon registration.  We were surprised with yet another surprise - a gift bag with Sesame Street Bay of Play toys, souvenir cups that we could refill in the park, and SeaWorld gear, including a hat and sunglasses.  


You'll want to search hashtag #SWGlass on social media for photos of other AdventureCon participants wearing their trendy SeaWorld hat and glasses!  


We enjoyed delicious appetizers at the pool as we chatted with other bloggers.  Nothing is better than good food and fun people to hang out with!


Shortly into the gathering, Shamu arrived! The children loved it!


Everyone in our family went to bed with smiles on their faces and we had memories to treasure!

The next day included separate tracks. I attended talks for bloggers all day with an amazing lineup of speakers that shared their knowledge and experience about how they make money with their blog, how they are successful on various platforms such as YouTube, how to manage different types of crisis situations, and inspirational stories.  It was amazing to meet so many talented Texas women that are generous and supportive!  It was certainly worth attending because I learned many things on a personal level, including tech tips and specific ideas for better managing my personal schedule. I also made wonderful friends! For instance, the photo below was taken by one of the conference organizers and includes many of the bloggers and families!


Meanwhile, my family visited the new Sea Lion Stadium and fed sea lions.  This completely rocked my son's world!  He raves about his "sea lion friend" that he fed.  My family then spent the day in SeaWorld and Aquatica.  One of their favorite memories from the day is that they used their Quick Queue passes to skip the line on a few rides, including Atlantis. The photo below shows their faces as the ride dropped them quickly!  The photo is a professional photo by SeaWorld.  They gave "Photo Key" passes to AdventureCon participants which was awesome.  There are photographers throughout the park and then some of the rides have cameras. You simply let them scan your Photo Key and they add the photos to your account.  You have full access to download the photos and do whatever you want with them. They also sell nice optional prints and frames.


Another favorite memory was their time at the wave pool at Aquatica. My son would spend the entire day there if he could!


At the end of the day, the bloggers and families met up to watch the Sea Lion High show. This show was awesome.  If you want to get wet, you will certainly be splashed if you sit in the Splash Zones. I won't spoil the secrets of where the splashes come from, but trust me, you will get wet if you sit in those seats!  If you don't want to get wet, there are also plenty of dry area seats. The show was awesome with the talented Sea Lions and then the Walrus Professor at the end. My son was mesmerized.  It was a unique experience.


After the show, we enjoyed dinner in the park for an hour and visited the Dolphin Walk. This is a brand new attraction. The beautiful walk is educational with signs throughout the area that teach you about dolphins.


The walk is also special because there are many animals and flowers along the way. I'll show you a photo of a tortoise, but will leave the other animals as a surprise for you because it's amazing to turn the corner and see the exhibits!


The end of the trail leads you to the dolphins. It's truly amazing to see them up close!

We then took the complementary shuttle back to the hotel.


The pool party at the hotel was awesome. They had tons of great snacks, music, and friends to play with in the splash pad and pool. It was a night to remember!


Our final day of the conference was family oriented. We had the opportunity to meet a trainer at Beluga Stadium. We learned about dolphins and beluga whales.  My son soaked up the knowledge. It was fun to see him learn so much outside of school and books.


We then attended a tour of the Penguin and Puffin habitats.  This was a lot of fun because our tour guide was awesome. He seemed to know everything!  The children loved the tour and asked tough questions that made me laugh. He was a pro! He knew it all. My personal favorite part of the tour was learning about Project Puffin and SeaWorld's conservation efforts.


After the tour of the penguins and puffins, we visited another area with more animals.  The tour guide let us wander around and told us to call him over if we had questions.  As the mom of a 5 year old, I loved having someone to answer my son's 101 questions!  The tour guide even knew the answers to all of my son's questions about armadillos!


On the way out of the park, we stopped at Sweet Treats to stock up on snacks and drinks for the road.  Sweet Treats is located just next to the exit gates and has the best desserts!  I always get the chocolate chip cookie dipped in chocolate. 


The rest of my family will tell you that the cupcakes are the best. I know that it is hard to convince a child that it is time to leave SeaWorld, but we have found that letting our son select a treat at Sweet Treats helps to ease that pain.


In summary, SeaWorld's AdventureCon  was an amazing experience for my personal development as a blogger and also a fantastic family-friendly event that left us with memories that we will treasure. If you have the opportunity to attend this conference in the future, I definitely recommend it because the organizers are perfectionists that go over-and-above.  Seriously, I mentioned above that there were FIVE surprises on the first day that we arrived.  I sincerely felt like they invested in us as bloggers because the program was informative and helpful for everyone from new to experienced bloggers. It was also nice that our family was invited and treated so well.  I hope to attend again next year!

Do you attend family-friendly conferences or events that help you to grow professionally while also providing fun opportunities for your family?

Disclosure: We are grateful to SeaWorld for providing us with this experience. We received complementary passes to AdventureCon. All opinions are honest and our own.
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