Stock-Up for a Road Trip at Jewel-Osco #AHugeSale

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AHugeSale #CollectiveBias #JewelOsco

Heading our for a road trip can be a hectic time. You’ve got to make sure you have your itinerary ready, you’ve packed everything you need, and, most importantly, you’ve got the car loaded with all of your favorite snacks. My family takes road trips fairly often, and there’s always a tantrum when a favorite snack is forgotten.


Here are some tips on packing some snacks for your next family road trip:

1.) Keep it simple and easy. Any snacks you take should be just as appetizing as they are portable and transport-resistant. Snacks like salsa or dip would probably be impractical to take in the car. Granola bars, trail mix and crackers are great road trip-ready snacks to take on the road.

2.) Balance out the junk food. You don’t have to skip the junk food completely –  a vacation is the perfect time to splurge – but try to incorporate more than just candy and junk. So limit the sugar and try some fruit and veggies to keep yourself well-nourished.

3.) Stay hydrated. Be sure to take plenty of water and Gatorade to keep hydrated. Water and Gatorade will keep you hydrated and are better for you than other sugar-filled drinks you’d pick up at a gas station.


Beginning 7/29 through 8/11, Jewel-Osco is having a huge Anniversary Sale. Lots of great items to be purchased! I actually stocked up for my upcoming road trip at Jewel-Osco and picked up some fruit, Pepsi, Gatorade, and my family’s favorite – Doritos! We’ll be in the car for awhile, so I probably should’ve picked up two bags!


You don’t want to miss out on the savings during the Jewel-Osco Anniversary Sale. Pop in today and save on everything your family loves, from snacks and drinks to cookout classics and more.


Jewel-Osco is having a huge Anniversary Sale, but you can be sure to check out what great deals are available at Albertsons, Safeway, or Amigos too!

Albertsons Anniversary_ Promotional Post Graphic_V1

Jewel-Osco is my go-to grocer. Shop the HUGE Anniversary sale and stock up on your favorite brands 7/29-8/11. I’d love to hear how your family will stock up!


Planning a Family Road Trip to Sheboygan, WI!


I am so excited about all the traveling my family plans to do this year. Family travel is so important to me (and I’m slowly starting to convince my husband of this too) and there’s no better education you can give your kids than out on the road. We have been blessed this year with a long trip planned, and a few Midwest road trips up our sleeve too. One destination that I can’t wait to see is the Blue Harbor Resort & Spa in Sheboygan, WI. Living in the Chicago area, I’ve traveled to Wisconsin many, many times with my family, both as a kid and as an adult with my own family. But I can honestly say that I’ve never spent any time in Sheboygan – and it’s only about 2 and a half hours from Chicago!


Blue Harbor Resort & Spa is the #1 resort on Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan coast. With stunning beachfront and water views, Blue Harbor Resort features 182 suites, 64 villas, more than 17,000 square feet of meeting and event space, a 54,000 square-foot indoor waterpark entertainment area including a mini glow golf course, a full service spa, three restaurants, and recreation amenities including watersports and access to the Bull golf course. This award winning resort is located just two hours north in nearby and scenic Sheboygan, WI, known as the “Malibu of the Midwest.”


To book a stay, visit or call 866.701.BLUE. Thoughts from Her readers can receive FREE Water Park Passes and savings up to 30% OFF with this exclusive Blue Harbor Resort coupon:

Disclosure: My family will receive a complimentary one-night stay in exchange for this post.

Day Trip: Madison Children’s Museum in Wisconsin

My family loves to visit children’s museums. I’ve tried to visit all the ones near me and we always seek one out when we’re on vacation. In Illinois alone, we’ve been to the one in Oak Lawn, Rockford, Naperville, Champaign, and Glenview. We hope to hit them all in the coming years too! This time, we decided to venture a couple of hours away from home to visit the Madison Children’s Museum in Madison, WI. It’s only a little over two hours from my house – and it’s totally worth the drive.

Madison Children's Museum

Let’s be honest – any kid would love a trip to a children’s museum. Some of the exhibits at the Madison Children’s Museum, though, make this one of our favorites. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Controlling the water.

Madison Children's Museum_Water

Climbing the Wildernest.

Madison Children's Museum_Wildernest

And running across the Wildernest.

Madison Children's Museum_Wildernest3

Transporting the veggies at the Wildernest.

Madison Children's Museum_Wildernest_Veggies

Painting on the windows at the Art Studio.

Madison Children's Museum_Painting

Rearranging the magnets on the refrigerator.

Madison Children's Museum_Magnets

Admiring the sculpture on the Rooftop Ramble.

Madison Children's Museum_Rooftop Ramble_Sculpture

Climbing the hay bales on the Rooftop Ramble.

Madison Children's Museum_Rooftop Ramble

Ahoy matey! Hoisting the pirate flag.

Madison Children's Museum_Pirate Flag

Nice view of the Capitol Building from the Rooftop Ramble.

Madison Children's Museum_Capitol Building

And no children’s museum visit would be complete without a trip to the train table. Notice the building in the center?

Madison Children's Museum_Train

As you can see, there’s lots of fun to be had at the Madison Children’s Museum in Wisconsin. They are open Tues – Sun 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. plus the last Monday of each month. As of April 2014, admission for both adults & children is $7.95.

When’s the last time your kids enjoyed a children’s museum?

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Kid-Friendly Shows at the Staerkel Planetarium in Champaign, IL #visitchampaign

My son is obsessed with our solar system.  He’s four now, but has been able to recite the planets (in order) since he was about 26 months old.  (Totally not a brag, but it is what it is. He is SO smart!) So, what better activity for my astronomer-in-training than a trip to the William M. Staerkel Planetarium?

Staerkel Planetarium-Kids

Photo By: Staerkel Planetarium Facebook

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I was a bit nervous to take him to a planetarium show because I wasn’t sure he’d be able to sit still through the whole thing.  I’ve never even taken him to the movies before so this would be our first “movie” experience together.  We had tickets to the “Santa’s Secret Star” show on a Saturday so I was banking on it being kid-friendly.  Thankfully, it was! (Please check show descriptions before visiting with young kids. Not all shows are recommended for children.)

Staerkel Planetarium-Seating

The Good:  The planetarium theater itself was beautiful.  Located on the Parkland College campus, the planetarium’s state-of-the-art digital projection system, operated by the (nicest) planetarium director, Dave Leake, proved to be breathtaking.  His storytelling held my son’s attention the entire time – and I’m sure seeing Santa up in the sky didn’t hurt either!

Staerkel Planetarium-Dave Leake

The Bad:  At the time of our visit, campus construction blocked the front entrance of the planetarium, making it a bit difficult to navigate our way inside. Construction should be 100% now so you shouldn’t have any issues driving and finding parking.

Overall:  We loved the kid-friendly show at the William M. Staerkel Planetarium, and would certainly return for another show!

Staerkel Planetarium-Planets

The Staerkel Planetarium is open August through May on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:00 and 8:00 PM (barring college closure for holidays). A variety of show types are presented. Check the calendar to find out the current schedule of offerings. Tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for kids 2-12. Special discounts are available for double-header shows.(Pricing verified February 2015 – check the website for updated information.)

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Disclosure: My family received complimentary admission in order to facilitate this review and I was not required to state a particular point of view. All opinions are 100% my own.

Have Fun Learning about Science at the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum in Champaign, IL

If you’ve read my blog for awhile, you’d know that my family loves to visit children’s museums. We’ve been to quite a few and always seek one out when we’re on vacation. In Illinois alone, we’ve been to the one in Oak Lawn, Rockford, Naperville, and Glenview. We hope to hit them all in the coming years too!

Orpheum Children's Science Museum-Exterior Signage

On our last trip to the Champaign-Urbana area, my entire family visited the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum and we had a good time.  We dropped by on a Sunday afternoon about 10 minutes before the museum officially opened at noon.  A birthday party was just wrapping up while we waited for opening time.   It’s obvious that the museum used to be a theater and we loved the architecture and some of the original details inside.  The museum isn’t very large, but it is situated on 2 levels with various exhibits that incorporate a fun way to learn about science.

The Good

My son had a great time at some of the exhibits at the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum.  Some of his favorites were the train table (of course…it was so hard to pry him away from the train table), the water table (again, a favorite among many kids – but this table was different in that it had different sized plastic pieces that you could configure to control water flow), and a sand table with purple sand!

Orpheun Children's Science Museum-Train Table

Kids love the train table!

Orpheum Children's Science Museum-Water Table

Cool water table!

Orpheum Children's Science Museum-Purple Sand

Purple sand play was awesome!

My teenage daughter and I really enjoyed the Momentum Machine on the lower level.  A small spinning circle teaches angular momentum –  just like you see the figure skaters do on the ice.  You kick off with one leg, hold your leg out to the side, then slowly bring your leg back to your other leg.  You’ll start spinning faster and faster!  We were so dizzy but kept trying it out over and over again!

Orpheum Children's Science Museum-Momentum

During the summer months, the outdoor courtyard features a dinosaur dig area where kids can excavate dinosaur bones from the large sand pit. There were many opportunities at the museum to teach your kids a science lesson.  My son, while only a toddler, had lots of “Why?” questions for us about different exhibits – thank goodness my husband was there to answer many of his science-related questions.

Orpheum Children's Science Museum-Vet Area

Vet area

The Bad

The museum was a tad bit on the small side, and we couldn’t get some of the exhibits on the second level to work – due to missing pieces and such. That didn’t deter us from trying everything though!


The Orpheum Children’s Science Museum is a great way to spend a few hours.  Children will benefit from the many science lessons found throughout the museum – and they’ll have tons of fun doing it!  Admission is only $5 per person (as of January 2015, please check website for details), so it’s an inexpensive educational outing for the kids!

Orpheum Children's Science Museum-Mirrors

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Disclosure: My family received complimentary admission in order to facilitate this review and I was not required to state a particular point of view. All opinions are 100% my own.

Let Out Your Inner Rock Star at the Rhythm! Discovery Center in Indianapolis #VisitIndy

Rhythm Discovery Center


If you’re visiting Indy and are looking for something totally awesome to do indoors, I hope Rhythm! Discovery Center is on your list.  Rhythm! Discovery Center is THE place to be to let your inner rock star out – and have loads of fun doing it too!  We visited Rhythm! Discovery Center on our last trip to Indy, and my son still  has not stopped talking about it.


I hadn’t heard much about Rhythm! Discovery Center before my visit, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I had no idea that this place is totally interactive.  What kid wouldn’t have a good time here?!?!  My 3-year-old had a blast and, I’m not gonna lie – I totally did too!  Percussion, percussion, percussion.  Instruments made of wood, skin, and metal.  We tried them all!


We must’ve banged on every drum, shaken every tambourine, and played every xylophone in the place!


We really loved the interactive tribal-like circle featuring the many percussion instruments created right at home by The Leedy Drum Company, a company that began in Indiana.


Their Interactive Area was also a lot of fun – I can see many field trips having a good ol’ loud time here.  So many instruments to choose from.  Believe me, my son tried them all!


Probably our favorite parts of the museum were the sound-proof rooms that allowed you to play a real drum set and be as loud as you wanted to be – we felt like rock stars!


Handy Tip: Visit this museum late in the day.  We arrived about an hour and a half before closing and had the entire museum to ourselves.  I’m sure it’s very noisy (and migraine-inducing) at peak times.

Rhythm! Discovery Center is located at 110 W. Washington Street, Suite A (in the basement), in Indianapolis, IN.  Admission prices (as of January 2015) are $10 for adults, $6 for kids 6 and up, kids 5 and under are FREE!

Connect with Rhythm! Discovery Center

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Disclosure: My family was invited to visit Indianapolis by the Indianapolis CVB, Visit Indy, and were provided with complimentary admission to many attractions and a hotel stay.  I was not compensated for this post.  I was not asked to provide a particular point of view, and all opinions expressed are my own.

Boutique Chic at the Aloft Hotel in Charlotte, NC

When I think of booking a stay at a hotel, I’m not going to lie – the large chains are usually the first names I think of.  I guess I’d just always do what I know.  So imagine how surprised I was to find out that the boutique hotel that I stayed at in Charlotte, NC – the Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne – was actually owned by Starwood Hotels!  I’m an SPG Member, so this news was especially exciting for me.


Photo by: Starwood Hotels

The hotel itself is actually quite pretty.  The neighborhood nearby is mostly office buildings and such, but the hotel’s relative proximity to family-friendly venues like the Carowinds Theme Park and Water Park make it a great place for families to stay.  Plus, they’re pet-friendly too!


One of the things I liked best about the Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne Hotel is the cozy atmosphere you can see the second you walk in.  Couches to lounge on near the fireplace and a pool table with a shelf full of lots of board games, makes it a good option for families staying in the area.



The news ticker is a nice touch too.


Complimentary coffee and on-the-go dining with Re:Fuel were great for a quick breakfast in the morning.  And if you’re craving a snack in the middle of the night, Re:Fuel is open 24 hours so you can get your snack on at anytime.



I also visited the gym while staying at the Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne.  Easy access and a nice selection of machines and weights made getting a workout in a breeze.


Photo by: Starwood Hotels

The rooms were, much like the rest of the hotel, very modern – which I liked.  This hotel also considers itself a “green” hotel  with lots of eco-friendly features.

A few things I didn’t like:

  • There are no drawers at this hotel.  Just a curtain with organization boxes.  Guess that’s where you could put your clothes.
  • While you can grab a quick bite at Re:Fuel anytime, there are no other options for room service so you’ll have to venture out for food.
  • If your room is near the elevator, you will hear it.  You can also hear people’s conversations out in the hall.  If you’re traveling with kids, it’s likely the entire floor will hear you.
  • The air conditioning unit is a wall unit and it is pretty loud.

Overall though, I enjoyed the Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne hotel and would definitely stay again if I was in the area.  Next time, I’ll be sure to bring my swimsuit to enjoy their gorgeous pool!

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Winter Getaway: Wisconsin Dells’ Wilderness Resort


If you’re anything like me, you’re already missing the warm weather and dreaming about your next escape.  While we haven’t had any heavy snowfall…yet…in the Chicago area, the chilly temperatures already have me getting a little stir-crazy and thinking about where I want to go next.  At the moment, that dream contains water, bathing suits, and family fun.  It’s a recurring dream, really, and I can’t wait to get away.  But with the holidays literally around the corner, I know I don’t want to stray too far from my home base.  I need a destination within driving distance – and a vacation that won’t break the bank!

Wilderness Lodge_Exterior

Located in Wisconsin Dells, approximately 200 miles from Chicago (about a 3-hour drive), the Wilderness Resort, offers everything I am looking for – and then some!  From multiple waterparks and restaurants, to an arcade and laser tag, this hotel has it all – it’s like an entire city located on one property.  I promise, you will never find yourself with nothing to do.  In fact, you never even have to leave the resort!

Wilderness Lodge_Territory

A few months ago, my family had the pleasure of staying at the Wilderness Resort and I can already tell you that we are eager to return.  My four-year-old (who is not one for rides or fast movements, by the way) had an absolute blast at the resort’s many water parks.  The Wild WaterDome, for instance, was one of our faves.  A 70,000-square-foot indoor waterpark that features a see-though-roof (very cool to catch some of the sun’s rays even when it was too cold to swim outside) that bathes the entire park in natural light and actually allows guests to tan all year long! The Great Wave, also known as America’s largest indoor wave pool, was probably where we spent most of our time.  Just seeing my son’s huge smile whenever the wave hit him was probably worth the trip for me.


Wilderness Lodge_Wave Pool

There are also plenty of life vests at the First Aid Station that kept the “Helicopter Mom” in me happy.

Wilderness Lodge_Life Vests

The other water parks at the resort offer plenty to do for the whole family – from lazy rivers to fast-paced slides – but we loved the Bonanza Bluff at Klondike Kavern best.  Wilderness also offers 4 outdoor waterparks during the summer months, but we visited off-season so we didn’t get to experience those.  Just another reason for us to return!

Wilderness Lodge_Klondike Kavern

Wilderness Lodge_Klondike Kavern2

Family-friendly amenities don’t stop at the waterparks either.  The Wilderness Resort offers so many things to do – there’s never a dull moment here!  Their indoor amenities are fantastic!  You can ride go-karts indoors, play laser tag, complete a sky ropes course, ride bumper boats, try your hand at mini golf, or spend hours playing games at the arcade.

Wilderness Lodge_Go Karts

Our room, while located a bit far from all the water park amenities, was another hit with my family.  For one, it was HUGE.  There was a separate seating area (with a sink and counter) from the bedroom that really came in handy when my son was ready for bed.  My husband was still able to catch up with all the sports channels, causing minimal noise, allowing my little one to fall asleep quickly.

Wilderness Lodge_Room

Wilderness Lodge_Seating Area

I also have to give a HUGE shout-out to one of Wilderness Resort’s employees at Tommyknockers Lounge – Madison.  We had the most positive interaction with her, and my four-year-old was immediately smitten.  She was so sweet to my son, and I would definitely like to publicly thank her (and tell her that we still use her name when we want to get him to do something.) Thanks, Madison!

Wilderness Lodge_Madison

Overall, our stay at the Wilderness Resort was really great.  My family loves the year-round fun that the resort allows – and kids adore the many water parks this hotel offers.  I urge you to check out this resort if you’re in town – you won’t be disappointed!  Better yet, if you’re looking for a spot to ring in the New Year, Wilderness could be just what you’re looking for.  Wilderness Resort is offering a guest-exclusive New Year’s Eve Party that will provide some serious fun with music, dancing, party favors, laser lights two ballrooms with DJs playing popular hits! There will even be a midnight balloon drop in one of the ballrooms. The cost for this fun event is $12 in advance ($15 at the door) for adults 21 and over (includes two drink tickets. IDs are required). It is $7 in advance ($8 at the door) for kids ages 3-20 (and this fee includes punch).  A great price for what looks to be a super-fun event!

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Top 5 Things to Do in Indianapolis with Kids #VisitIndy

This summer, I had the pleasure of visiting Indianapolis with my family.  Considering I live in the Chicago area – and it’s only a 3-hour drive from the Windy City – I’m surprised that I’ve never ventured to Indy before.  Little did I know that Indy had so much to offer families visiting the area.  From parks and museums to festivals and fantastic food, Indy has it all!  I broke it down to my family’s Top 5 Things to Do in Indianapolis with Kids – do you have a favorite spot that I’m missing?

Top 5 Things to Do in Indianapolis with Kids

5. Indianapolis Firefighter’s Museum

Firefighters Museum_Indy

This small museum is sure to please any fire truck enthusiast in your household.  The upstairs is designed like a real, working fire house and you’re introduced to everything from the beds the firefighter’s sleep in, to the uniforms that they wear, and the equipment they use.  Located in the trendy Mass Ave. Arts District, there’s plenty to see if you take a stroll afterwards.  Have some froyo right across the street at YoguLatte.  Their coconut mocha latte is delish!

4. Indianapolis Zoo

Indianapolis Zoo

The Indianapolis Zoo is a must-see in Indy.  Their new International Orangutan Exhibit was completed this summer, and a new aerial cable ride (not yet open when we visited, but check the park for current availability) will allow guests to view the animals like never before.  We saw orangutans climbing the structure and they are mesmerizing to watch.  The zoo’s Dolphin Adventure Pavilion is gorgeous too and their interactive dolphin show is very entertaining.

3. Rhythm! Discovery Center

Rhythm Discovery Center_Indy

My 3-year-old had a blast at the Rhythm! Discovery Center, and I’m not gonna lie – I totally did too!  We must’ve banged on every drum, shaken every tambourine, and played every xylophone in the place!  Probably our favorite parts of the museum were the sound-proof rooms that allowed you to play a real drum set and be as loud as you wanted to be – we felt like rock stars!  Handy Tip: Visit this museum late in the day.  We arrived about an hour and a half before closing and had the entire museum to ourselves.  I’m sure it’s very noisy (and migraine-inducing) at peak times.

2. Conner Prairie Interactive History Museum

Conner Prairie_Indy

Visiting the Conner Prairie Interactive History Museum was, by far, the highlight of our trip – for me at least.  We also had two teenagers with us, and they would undoubtedly say the same.  The historic aspect drew me in, but there’s so much for kids to experience here too.  For one, their indoor Discovery Station is designed for younger kids and allows plenty of room for free-play, exploring, crafting and climbing.  The Civil War exhibit even has an outdoor splash pad (open Memorial Day through Labor Day) and an indoor play area with a large climbing structure.  All that is really fun for kids, but it’s the people at Conner Prairie that really make this visit worthwhile.  They never break character, and you really feel like you’re living in the 1800’s.  I cannot say enough good things about this place – get there if you can!

1. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Childrens Museum of Indianapolis

What visit to Indy with kids would be complete without a trip to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis?  The almost 500,000-sf facility is the largest children’s museum in the world and is visited by more than 1.2 million people each year.  We love visiting children’s museums and I can honestly say that we experienced things here that we haven’t at any other children’s museum we’ve seen.  Where else can you let your imagination run wild and run a Chinese restaurant , slide down a long Great Wall of China slide, be transported to the land of dinosaurs, or create a colorful sculpture – all in one place?  Only at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

HOTEL BONUS: Indianapolis Marriott North Hotel

Marriott North Indianapolis_Room

Image courtesy of Marriott

Staying at the Indianapolis Marriott North Hotel was a no-brainer for us.  With two teenagers in tow – that had NO interest in visiting some attractions with my preschooler – it was important to me to be located near a place that they would find interest in.  Thank goodness for Keystone at the Crossing, a shopping mall located within walking distance of the hotel!  The hotel itself was great too – friendly staff, clean rooms, and a nice swimming pool are all things I look for that will be sure to please my family, and the Indianapolis Marriott North Hotel did not disappoint.  Be aware, however, that this hotel is located about 25 minutes from the downtown area so plan your excursions accordingly.

GOOD EATS BONUS: Great Restaurants in Indy


I honestly didn’t think I’d be overly-pleased with the food in Indy, but I’m so glad to say that I was wrong.  Breakfast at Café Patachou was one of the highlights of my dining experience with their fresh and healthy food (and fabulous coffee too!), dining outside at Iara’s Italian Restaurant with my whole family was fun – and their portion sizes were huge – we definitely did not leave hungry, Shapiro’s Delicatessen was a delicious surprise, and Arni’s Restaurant probably had the best pizza I’ve ever had – and I’m from Chicago so that’s saying a lot!  You won’t be disappointed with all the restaurant options in Indy!

As you can tell, we had a fabulous weekend in Indy – and I am confident that we will be back.  It would be impossible for me to list all the fun things to do with kids in Indy, and I feel like we just hit the tip of the iceberg on our weekend stay.  I wish we had planned on a weeklong visit – there’s still so much to see.

What about you – have you ever visited Indy?

For more information on the Indianapolis area, connect with Visit Indy!

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Disclosure: My family was invited to visit Indianapolis by the Indianapolis CVB, Visit Indy, and were provided with complimentary admission to many attractions and a hotel stay.  I was not compensated for this post.  I was not asked to provide a particular point of view, and all opinions expressed are my own.

Cool Down at Millennium Park in Grand Rapids, MI #ExperienceGR

Millennium Park_Entrance

Millennium Park, just a short drive from downtown Grand Rapids, features a 6-acre beach on a lake; a large splash pad; a trail network for walking, running, or biking; a boat rental area (kayaks, canoes, row boats or paddle boats); playground areas; and picnic shelters.

Millennium Park_Playground Entrance

Cool tunnel entrance to one of the playgrounds.

Millennium Park_Playground

Climbing Playground for Older Kids

Entrance to the park and trails is free, but there is a separate admission charge ($4 for ages 16 and up, $2 for kids 3-15) to enter the beach area and splash pad. The beach area has locker rooms, changing areas, a concession stand and picnic tables. You can also pack a lunch to bring along to Millennium Park – perfect for families!

Millennium Park_Beach

I visited the park with my family – my husband and myself, my teenage daughter, my toddler son, and my mom – and, truth be told, my toddler had never been to a beach prior to our visit to Millennium Park. I regret not thinking ahead and bringing along his sand pail from home, but he still enjoyed digging in the sand and walking in the water. He got a kick out of watching the tiny fish scatter when he walked through the water and I wish I had taken him to a beach sooner. My teen, of course, just wanted to lay out and catch some rays.


We also visited the splash park where my son spent most of his time at the water table. There were numerous sprinklers, buckets, and sprayers at the splash pad, but he preferred to splash around at the table. I liked that there were plenty of beach chairs around the perimeter of the splash pad for the adults to sit and watch their kids play, and an employee guarded the entrance to prohibit kids from wandering away.


Bottom line, we enjoyed our time at Millennium Park, a relaxing oasis located just minutes from the heart of Grand Rapids. We’ll definitely be back the next time we’re in town – and next time we’ll be sure to remember the sand pail!

Disclosure: My family received complimentary admission to Millennium Park in order to facilitate this review, and I was not asked to provide a particular point of view. All opinions are 100 % my own.


This review originally appeared on Trekaroo!

Build Your Dream Vacation & Win It with RCI

I think about getting away every, single day.  Visions of traveling dance in my head multiple times a day – all day long.  I dream about strolling through the streets of Rome, sunbathing on a remote beach in Hawaii, ziplining through the lush rainforests of Costa Rica, shopping in London, snorkeling in the Caribbean, and hugging a koala in Australia.  I could seriously go on and on.  Traveling fuels my soul and there’s nothing I would rather do.  Other than traveling with my family, that is.

Typically we go on a few small road trips every year, and I like to plan a big trip every few years.  The planning is half the fun!  So it’s no surprise to me that the vacation planning process alone boosts happiness. Just the anticipation of a vacation boosts happiness for eight weeks!

So if you’ve been dreaming about your dream vacation like I have, you’ve got to try RCI’s vacation builder and enter to Win Your Dream Vacation Sweepstakes.  It’s so easy, and actually fun to do.  Dream It.  Share It.  Win It.


You have to sign up to register, but they only ask for basic information – you don’t have to sign your life away. Smile


First you have to choose what type of vacation your dream vacation is.


For me it was a family vacation.  Because if I’m really dreaming, my family is definitely with me.  Then, you get to chose a destination.


In my wildest dreams I am lounging on the beach in Hawaii.  So Hawaii it is!  From there, you chose your extras.


When I’m on vacation I like not worrying about where we’re going to eat, or how much a cocktail is going to cost.  I love all-inclusive plans!

Then you pick how many people in your family and confirm your choices.


Now all that’s left to do is Share It!  Every share earns you more entries.


Through RCI’s “Win Your Dream Vacation Sweepstakes,” you have the chance to win a dream vacation worth up to $25,000!  A total of 40 vacations will be given away in celebration of RCI’s 40th anniversary.  RCI is the global leader in vacation exchange.

Visit to enter to win until June 18 – and the more you share your dream vacation through social media, the higher your chances of winning.

Happy planning!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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