Cedar Point Amusement Park

For the last few years, my daughter has begged us to take her to Cedar Point. If you are not familiar with Cedar Point, it is an amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. The last few summers, it didn’t really work with our schedule to plan a day there. I knew I wanted to take here there. Growing up, I loved roller coasters and I knew she would like them too. We were able to finally plan a trip there last weekend!

*This post may contain affiliate links*

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Image via Chrissy Detary

A few days before we took the kids to Cedar Point, a friend of mine texted me to let me know that the amusement park had a fantastic deal going on…buy one ticket get one ticket free! If you have that is not a fan of most rides and roller coasters, like we do, this is the deal to take advantage of. Despite not riding many rides, our son had a fun day at the park. Hindsight being 20/20, we should have gotten that child the food plan. He would have taken FULL advantage of it!

Getting Ready for Cedar Point

The last time I was at Cedar Point, was over 15 years ago. A lot has changed since then. Since we are relatively close, we planned on driving up the morning of and driving home after the park closed. However, after doing that, I would highly recommend getting a hotel room near the park. It was a long, tiring drive home after many many hours at the park, in the hot sun. There are many hotel rooms near the park and, after reading a little on their website, it looks like if you stay at certain hotels, you can get into the park early! Well worth it!

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Things We Packed

Back in the day, when you went to Cedar Point, you always made sure to have a bunch of quarters with you for the lockers. Not anymore! Now you pay one fee for the entire day and you can come and go as many times as you need to. It was perfect for us. We packed a backpack and stuffed it in the locker at the front of the park. The things we took are:

  • Motrin and Tylenol (I have knee issues and we weren’t sure how my knee would hold up walking all day)
  • Sunscreen
  • Power Bankcedar point to charge our phones
  • Long sleeve shirts

As I said, we went to the locker multiple times and it really worked out well for us. The locker cost $15 for the day. I may be old school on a lot of things, but I liked that you could come and go as many times as you needed!

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Rides, Rides, and More Rides!

This was our kids first trip to an amusement park. While our son was not overly enthused about roller coasters and most rides, our daughter was beside herself to be there. The first ride we went on was the Raptor. Back in the day, that was my absolute FAVORITE roller coaster. I was excited to take Bella on it. She was nervous, but had so much fun! She couldn’t wait to go on my rides!

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We went to Cedar Point on a Saturday. It was crazy busy. Being the only day we had available, whatever the ride waits were, we had to just deal with it. However, in talking to a few people that go to the park all the time, they recommended that our next visit be on a Tuesday or Wednesday, as those days seem to be less crowded. Despite the crowds, we still went on everything we wanted to and had a blast. While the Raptor was originally my favorite roller coaster at the park, my new favorite is the Rougarou!

Non-Roller Coaster People

As I mentioned, my son is not fond of roller coasters. Cedar Point has so much to offer for non-roller coaster people! Zack and Bella had fun on several of the “carnival” type rides like the Matterhorn. They also have bumper cars and several areas for smaller children. There is definitely something for everyone at Cedar Point! Not to mention, the people watching is always fun! Both my son and I are total people watchers!

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Cedar Point is definitely a place we will be visiting again. Not only did we have fun (even those of us that didn’t ride much), but they also have Chick Fil-A! For this Michigan gal, I was very excited to be able to enjoy one of my favorite places for dinner! One tip…purchase the souvenir cup. The cup was around $15, but you could refill the cup every 15 minutes! It was definitely worth it. Plus, if I am not mistaken, when we visit Kings Island later in the summer, I believe we can take the cup there for $1 refills!

Have you been to Cedar Point before?

Planning a Date Night in Downtown Detroit

What is your ideal date night? Do you got out to dinner and a movie or bowling? Is it something you do weekly or once a month? A date night is a great way for a husband and wife to reconnect with one another. We sometimes get so stuck in our routines with the kids and their activities that date nights either no longer happen or we fall into the traditional dinner and a movie. Let’s face it…a dinner out without the kids bickering or asking for a phone to play is a welcomed thing, but we need to spice it up. See new things and new places…like downtown Detroit!

Living 30 minutes outside of Detroit gives us a whole slew of amazing things we could do on a date night. After spending the afternoon on Google and checking out all the different things we could do in downtown Detroit, I’ve come up with a list of things I would like to do on our next date day. Notice I said “day”…I want an entire day…not just a night or an afternoon. There’s too much to do! Here’s what I would like to do…

*This post is a partnered post. All opinions and stories are my own. 


Image credit

The Eastern Market

If you are a people watcher, then this is the place for you! During peak months, The Eastern Market is filled with over 150 vendors. There you will find a diversity of foods, arts, clothing and other items. I’ve been to The Eastern Market once before and really enjoyed it. The food was absolutely delicious and we went home with a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables for a really good price!

Detroit Water Ice Factory

Friends of mine have been talking about this place all summer long. I’ve been dying to go! Water Ice is similar to Italian Ice, but it has a slightly different consistency and different flavors. I personally want to try Stafford’s Strawberry Lemon! Detroit Water Ice Factory was opened by the author Mitch Albom and it is partnered with Albom’s S.A.Y. Detroit family of charities, the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit, Bedrock Real Estate Services, and Meridian Health. The nice thing about the Detroit Water Ice Factory, besides the water ice,  is that 100% of the profits go to help the needy people of Detroit.

Belle Isle

I haven’t been to Belle Isle since I was a kid! Belle Isle is Michigan’s 102nd state park! The park has a nature zoo, conservatory, golf practice facility, maritime museum, an aquarium, picnic areas and so much more! I would love to go, walk around and just relax while taking in the Detroit and Windsor skyline!

Taqo Detroit

For dinner, I am dying to try Taqo Detroit, an authentic Mexican restaurant. Apparently this restaurant is pretty delicious! If you’re a Tequila drinker, this is where you need to go! They offer over 200 different varieties of Tequila! Not to mention, if you are a money saver like I am, Groupon has a great deal…$18 for $30 worth of food! Can’t beat that!

Greektown Casino or Motor City Casino

To end our evening out, I would like to go to either the Greektown Casino or Motor City Casino. I’m not a huge gambler, but there is something oddly thrilling about the slot machines. I’ve never done it before, but I’d also like to try Blackjack!

So there you have it…there are a few things I would like to do on my date day in downtown Detroit. There is really so many other things that Detroit offers…I could plan SEVERAL date days and still not see it all! Before you head out, be sure to check Groupon for deals!!


Michigan Renaissance Festival 2015

This past weekend, my family and I were given tickets to attend the Michigan Renaissance Festival. I hadn’t been to the festival since I was probably the same age my kids are now (8 and 11). The second we pulled into the parking, the kids were beside themselves with excitement. A lot of people that went to the show dressed up. Zack and Bella have already declared that wen we go back to the Renaissance Festival next year, they are going to dress up. Bella wants to be a female viking!


I received tickets to the Michigan Renaissance Festival for the purpose of this post. All opinions are 100% my own, naturally. This post may contain affiliate links.

One of the things I noticed RIGHT AWAY was how different the festival was from the last time I was there. It was so small when I went as a child. However, the festival now is huge! There are a lot of shops to pick up a wide variety of things from period costumes to swords (which my son was really taken with). They also had a lot of food, especially the ginormous turkey legs that the kids just had to have!

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The turkey legs were as good as they looked! Neither kid was able to finish it!

About the Renaissance Festival

Take a time-travel adventure into the 16th century at the 37th annual Michigan Renaissance Festival! Join our Queen Elizabeth in a jubilee! Inside our turreted gates, visitors enjoy the sights and sounds of a 17-acre village, complete with building reproductions of Renaissance shops, taverns and a magnificent castle. Continuous entertainment takes place on the streets and on 17 themed stages; featuring full-contact armored jousting, comedy and theater shows, music, games, people-powered rides and so much more! Fabulous food and more than 300 artisans displaying their gallery-quality works complete the experience! Join us weekends and Labor day August 22nd thru October 4th! Plus Festival Friday on October 2nd.

There truly is something for everyone at the Renaissance Festival. Zack really enjoyed watching the jousting. I have to admit, that was my favorite part too!


Bella, on the other hand, really enjoyed getting a chance to learn how to use a real whip. For those of you that know my daughter, this probably doesn’t come as a surprise. There is very little this child wouldn’t try at least once!

Each weekend has a theme. This particular weekend was called the “Highland Fling”. There was a bagpipe group their called Tartanic. They were phenomenal. I highly recommend you check them out and if the happen to be in your area, go see their show. It was really good.

All in all, I highly recommend the Renaissance Festival! Like I said at the beginning, the kids hadn’t even walked through the gates before announcing they wanted to come back next year! Definitely check out the website, look at the different theme weeks and see which theme interests you most! Oh and…dress up! You don’t have to, but the people that did really looked like they had a blast!

Oh before I forget!!!

My readers save $3 Off Gate Admission! With this Coupon, receive $3 off an Adult Admission or a FREE child ticket with the purchase of an Adult Ticket. Not Valid with any other offers. August 22nd thru October 4th, 10am – 7pm, Rain or Shine! FREE Parking

An Adventure Awaits You with Arm & Hammer

Do you have a summer bucket list? This summer, Arm & Hammer has partnered with Scholastic Parent & Child and they are inspiring families with one heck of a summer bucket list! This list is filled with 25 outdoor adventures, nature crafts and so much more! Pretty cool!

My bucket list this summer included a trip to Northern Michigan. If you’ve never been there, you need to go. It is one of my most favorite places to go. There is truly something for everyone! The kids can climb Sleeping Bear Dunes and roll down the dunes (so much fun)!


Not too far from the Sleeping Bear Dunes is Petoskey, Michigan. This is a fabulous place to go to search for the state rock, the Petoskey stone! My kids could spend hours searching for those rocks! Fun fact for you…the Petoskey Stone is not really a stone! It’s actually a coral that lived bout 350 million years ago! When you are looking for it, you need to look for a rock with circles that appear when it’s wet. The circles have a honeycomb appearance.

As you can imagine, a vacation like this gets the clothes rather dirty. That’s why I keep the Arm & Hammer Clean Scentsations laundry detergent near by. Not only does it have the amazing cleaning power of Arm & Hammer with baking soda, but it also comes in amazing scents like:

  • Sun-Kissed Flowers
  • Twilight
  • Purifying Waters

Each of these scents were inspired by national parks! The new Clean Scentsations has my clothes smelling as good as they look with the freshness of the great outdoors!

What’s Your Adventure?

As I mentioned before, Arm & Hammer partnered with Scholastic Parent & Child. They are giving away one heck of a vacation…a family vacation to Maine’s Acadia National Park! This vacation includes an expert-curated itinerary! All you need to do is share what big adventure you would like to take in 100 words or less to be entered for a chance to win! The first 2,500 people to enter get a free Scholastic book while supplies last! So what are you waiting for…go enter today! #AdventureAwaits


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Arm & Hammer. The opinions and text are all mine.

Fun Staycation Ideas for Kids!

This is a post sponsored by J M Smucker Company for Smucker’s. All opinions and Staycation ideas are always 100% my own.

This summer we did not take a traditional vacation. You know, the kind where you plan it all out, stay in a hotel, etc. Instead, we had a staycation with the kids! I was actually pretty excited about this. We were able to do fun things with the kids that we don’t normally get to do because of our busy schedules. My husband took the week off work and we had a blast.

 Staycation Ideas

The nice thing about a staycation is that the things you do, don’t always have to cost you money! The first thing we decided to do was take the kids to our local roller skating rink. The nice thing about this trip was that we had signed them up for the summer program, “Kids Skate Free” so the only thing we had to pay for was their roller skates!


Other places we went:

  • Dave and Busters
  • Drive-in Movie (saw Fantastic Four and Ant Man)
  • Movie night
  • Picnic
  • Feed the ducks

Out of everything we did, my absolute favorite was the drive-in and the picnic. The nice thing about the picnic was that you bring all of your own food so you aren’t spending any money while you are there! We decided to take Smucker’s Uncrustables, apples, Jif To Go dipping cups, string cheese and pretzels.


One word of advice…if you are planning on taking apple slices to dip in the Jif To Go and you don’t want to cut them ahead of time, actually remember to pack a knife…


You end up with your kid trying to make due and when he can’t do that, he gives up and ends up dipping the string cheese in the peanut butter. The crazy kid thought it tasted good!!

The kids have a blast being outside, running around, eating and laughing at how close the ducks got to us while we ate! And yes…we took bread to feed the ducks! I think the kids were most excited about that!

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My favorite duck caught every single piece of bread in his mouth…kind of like a dog! It was crazy! And yes, I got a picture of it!

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No matter what we chose to do on your staycation, having the right snacks is paramount to having a successful activity! Hungry kids…shoot, who am I kidding, hungry parents AND kids can ruin an activity before you even get started! So…before you plan a staycation, hit up your local Walmart for some awesome #snackation snacks for your next staycation!