Friday, August 19, 2016

The Monsters check out the new Nintendo 3DS XL

We Had a Super (Mario) Time at the 3DS Be a Kid for a Day Event

Zoe Monster was practically born a gamer, and more specifically a Nintendo gamer. This is the kid that beat Kirby games completely when she was just five years-old. Nowadays, you can find her glued to the Wii U playing Super Smash Brothers. Needless to say, she was pretty psyched when I told her we got invited to the Nintendo 3DS "Be a kid for a day event" at the South Shore Plaza. The event celebrated the release of the new 3DS XL system and aimed to get all members of the family to get out there and be a kid again for the day.

We started out the night having some pizza at California Pizza Kitchen and playing Nintendo trivia (do you know Mario's original name...I didn't!) All the kids in attendance got their own 3DS XL for the night to try out with a bunch of the newest games. For the first time in history, parents were encouraging their kids to play video games at dinner! We then got to learn about the new system. The XL has a lot of great features including the ability to browse the internet and watch movies on Netflix, a better camera that works in lower light, and the ability to still play games from your old DS systems. It also has more power in general, and improved performance means faster loading times, so you spend more time playing and less time waiting for content to load. The system retails for just under $200.

Yo Kai watching pizza

Look at the screen size!

Loving life!

It's Luigi-Lea!

Just some of the games we got to play

After dinner, the real fun began. We got to play in a Nintendo paradise! There were various gaming stations set up so that kids (and adults) could try all the latest games on the new system. There was a scavenger hunt where if kids played each of the games set up, they received a sticker on a game card. Filling up all the sticker spots meant a try at a Nintendo claw machine and also the opportunity to play on the big stage in a tournament round. The girls had an absolute blast and Zoe even found a new favorite game she is already begging us for: Yo-Kai Watch.

My favorite picture...Lea beats a level!

In the zone

The queen of the jungle, Zoe Kong!

Working hard

Having so much fun!

Even dad was a kid for the day!

Zoe's first Nintendo love

Battle of the sisters

Did she catch them all?

The event was an absolute blast. The 3DS tour still has a few spots left this summer, so check the calendar to see if one is coming near you. You can check out even more fun from these events by following the hashtag #3DSKidForADay on all social media networks. As for me, I definitely know that the bulk of presents under our tree this Christmas are going to be coming from Nintendo!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Cirque Éloize: Saloon at Foxwoods is a Wild Good Time!

Tonight, we had the pleasure of taking the Monsters to Foxwoods. And while they may not be old enough to gamble, we still had an amazing night because Foxwoods offers premiere family entertainment too, like the show we saw: Cirque Éloize: Saloon. The show was, in a word, breathtaking. I was absolutely blown away by the spectacle and pure talent of the entire cast. The show takes place as America is expanding in the wild wild west. The Saloon doors swing open to reveal a colorful cast of individuals, each with a tale to tell.

Photo credit: Cirque Eloize
You get to see love stories unfold before your eyes all to the tune of authentic folk music. The live band was absolutely awesome, but even more amazing was that many of them doubled as acrobats too! I promise you, the stunts in this show are going to leave your jaw on the floor (especially the duel scene which manages to be even more terrifying than a traditional sundown gun faceoff.) The cast got a rousing standing ovation at our performance, and it was well deserved.

If you have never gone to a show at Foxwoods, the Fox Theater has no bad seats. No matter where you are, you will feel like you are part of the saloon. The show plays through the 21st. so get your tickets today!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Birthday Fun at Edaville!

Lea Monster is lucky enough to have the highly coveted summer birthday. For her special day, the world is her oyster and she can have her pick of any great birthday party. This year, we decided to celebrate the big "5" at Edaville. Did you know that Edaville offers birthday parties? We decided to do the traditional party, but the park also offers Dino and Thomas themed events as well.

Our party included the following:
  • Admission for ten guests, including the birthday child
  • Print-at-home invitations
  • Exclusive use of the Discovery Forest Party Room for two hours
  • Themed party host for two hours
  • Basic Party Plates, Cups, and Napkins
  • Ten slices of pizza and lemonade for the ten party guests
  • One package of birthday candles
  • Enchanted forest party area with a visit from Oliver the Owl
  • Ten tokens for the arcade for each party guest
  • VIP lanyards for each party guest
  • Special Birthday Child Gifts from Edaville USA
  • One “I had my birthday party at Edaville USA!” tee shirt
  • One Edaville USA “Birthday VIP” Lanyard
  • Fifteen tokens to the arcade
  • One $5 Voucher to spend at Knapford Station in Thomas Land
So much stuff! Our party hostess was fantastic and we enjoyed some fun upstairs where there are several small rides before venturing out to the park. Although you only have the party room for two hours, you can use your tickets for full day admission and really make an event out of your child's special day.

After our cake, we spent a fantastic afternoon in the park. It was awesome seeing the Monsters ride all the rides with their cousins and friends. This is one birthday I will never forget!

If you are looking for a magical birthday, check out Edaville!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Summer Bucket List: Candia Springs Adventure Park

The dog days of summer are fast approaching, but I am determined to make the most of every last day before the Monsters head back to school. One place I cannot wait to visit is Candia Springs Adventure Park. This brand new park in Candia, New Hampshire is sister parks with Whale's Tale Water Park which the Monsters loved! Candia Springs Adventure Park offers activities for everyone. In addition to the four water slides and small pool, Candia Springs offers an adventure challenge course with different obstacles as well as ziplines with an offroad tour. Basically, this place has Zoe's name written all over it. I mean, just look how awesome this looks:

Awesome ropes course

Can't wait to try off roading!

The water park sounds amazing too. There is so much to do like:
  • Plummet Speed Slides Shoot down one of two 40’ vertical drop speed slides!
  • Twister A 272’ long, body slide so amazing it will transport you back in line for another ride.
  • Vortex A 246’ long enclosed body slide that will shoot you through twists and turns.
  • Ziptide A 25,000 gallon swimming pool to cool off upon re-entry.
  • The Reef Hang out by a spring fed swimming hole. Bring a chair, your umbrella, or just a beach towel and enjoy the fresh water with over 2,000 square feet of sandy beach.
  • Adventure Bay New England’s largest spray ground filled with 5,000 square feet of interactive water toys designed for our explorers to feel young and refreshed while discovering a brand new world.
I will be checking out the park this month and bringing you back full coverage of our day. The park is open through November 13, so you still have plenty of time to check it out for yourself too. Full hours and ticketing information can be found on their website. Stay tuned for a Monster takeover at Candia Springs!

Our Magical Day at Story Land

Some traditions you just can tell will be the ones you remember as a parent. For me, the times I will remember the Monsters having so much fun every year are our visits to Story Land in New Hampshire. There is something just so special about the park. Maybe it is the fact that it truly is catering to smaller children so the park doesn't get flooded with teenagers and adults. Maybe it's all the small details all around the park that bring the slogan "where fantasy lives" to fruition.

So much happiness!

The cutest Dunkin ever

Having a whale of a time...
Whatever it is, I love our trips here. As you can see, we had an amazing day!

I can't believe it, but my little Lea was actually tall enough (and brave enough) to ride the Roar-O-Saurus this year! The newest coaster, designed and built for Story Land’s unique natural setting, is the only wooden roller coaster of its kind in northern New England. The coaster has a lift height of 40 feet,  sends riders soaring down a first drop of 38.5 feet, and provides riders 12 unique airtime moments! This was definitely a highlight of the day.

I also always love the character meet and greets. We were lucky enough to stumble upon Red Riding Hood and Cinderella and her Prince Charming before we even entered the park this year and they spent time chatting up the Monsters.

The Royal Couple

All in all, we had a great trip. I hope to be spending all my summers enjoying the Monsters' favorite New Hampshire place: Story Land.

Friday, July 22, 2016

We had a Wet and Wild Time at Water Country!

You may have seen our recent Water Country giveaway, but I wanted to take a moment to tell you about our recent trip. You can see a little bit of it for yourself in the video recap below.

We managed to time our trip perfectly so that we were at the park on the hottest day of the summer so far. Even though the park was definitely very busy, it didn't feel crowded at all and none of our waits for the bigger slides felt too long.

Let's have some fun!

Since the Monsters are still relatively small and just figuring out the swimming thing, we mostly rode the family tubes, lazy river, and the awesome kids areas. That being said, Zoe did try out the triple giant slides this year which are tube free, and she loved it!

Our favorite kids area in the park comes with its own slides!

She loved it!

Until next time...

We spent hours in the hot summer sun playing together as a family and it was awesome. July and August are prime Water Country season, so make sure to get your tickets!