There is something so special about getting cozy with your family during the holiday season. Picking a holiday movie to enjoy is a family tradition that helps our family celebrate the joys of the holidays. We watch a lot of holiday movies through December but we have a few family favorites that always make our list. These holiday family movies are classics in our home. They connect us and fill us with the holiday spirit all month long.
One of my best tips for visiting Walt Disney World is to plan a rest day. A rest day gives you a chance to move at a slower pace and recharge after a full day at the parks. Planning a rest day at Walt Disney World doesn’t mean there is nothing to do. You could actually spend a week at Walt Disney World and not even step foot in a park. Read more for my 12 favorite ways to spend a rest day at Walt Disney World.
Now that I have three kids in school our mornings have gotten so hectic. Our lives are busier and we are juggling more responsibilities as each kid gets older. One of the biggest challenges in the mornings is packing school lunches. I partnered with Stonyfield® Organic YoKids® yogurt to help encourage the kids to put together their lunches and create less chaos in the morning.
Fall is the perfect time to connect as a family as we start the new school year and there are so many family friendly Halloween events to chose from. This year we spent the weekend visiting Hershey, Pa to attend the Hersheypark in the Dark Halloween celebration.
Give me coffee and good conversation and I am a happy girl. Give me Fair Trade Ground Coffee that taste delicious and I am a very happy girl! Now that all my kids are in school full time I have more time to plan coffee mornings with my friends. Typically our mornings include coffee, conversation, and a few treats. It is a great way to connect with my mom friends and enjoy some conversation. When GlobeIn reached out to me to share their amazing products, I knew that I wanted to learn more and that they would be a great fit for my coffee with friends mornings.
This post is sponsored by GlobeIn. All opinions are honest and my own. You can read more on my disclosure page.
As a mom of school-age kids we have a lot of snacks in the house and I am always trying to find fun ways to teach kids healthy eating habits. My kids are always hungry and it is important for me to help teach them healthy eating habits. To do this, I like to give them the tools to make healthy choices. I believe the best way to teach is through fun hands-on experiences. I like to get my kids involved in the process and give them an opportunity to guide their learning. Over the weekend we had an opportunity to learn more about healthy eating habits and how to make good choices.
We have been planning a visit to Orlando in August for over a year and I was so excited to learn that Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party was going to have a few dates in August. At first I wasn’t sure we would enjoy a Halloween party in the summer but I knew the chances of us visiting in September or October were pretty slim. With that in mind we booked our first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
Planning an Orlando Theme Park vacation is fun and exciting but all the fun and excitement can add up for your budget. One of the biggest challenges I find when taking my family to Orlando is how to stick to a budget and save money. I am always looking for Orlando family vacation saving tips. For our latest Orlando vacation, I used Undercover Tourist to help me plan and help me save. I can’t believe I didn’t start using it sooner!
Parenting is not easy. It is the biggest job and everyday you are faced with ups and downs of navigating your child through life. As my children are getting older their challenges are changing. From learning to walk to gaining independence, each stage has been a learning process for them as well as me. I’ve learned to be the person that is always there for them no matter what. As I continue to grow and learn with my child I have learned to celebrate every moment with them-the good ones and the not so good ones, to help teach my kids to persevere no matter what challenges they face.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Dosh. All opinions and ideas are my own.
Back to school time is a fresh start. It is exciting and fun, but it can also be busy and chaotic. As busy as we get I make it a priority to plan special back to school family time. This can be as simple as snack time without any distractions or a fun night out. The goal is to make whatever you do family focused so you can stay connected and enjoy some quality family time
You know it is a great family friendly destination when your kids say “we want to go again”…before your day is done. On our visit to Hidden Valley Animal Adventure that is what happened. The kids loved it! Nestled among beautiful landscape in Varysburg, New York, you will find Hidden Valley Animal Adventure. A unique and family fun animal experience where you can feed water buffalo and get close with a camel. My family was invited to visit and we were so happy we did. It went beyond my expectations and it is a great place for families.
Making Fastpass+ Magic Kingdom reservations can seem overwhelming because there are so many options. With a little planning and research you can be prepared for your Fastpass+ Magic Kingdom reservations and start having a magical Disney day.
Summer vacation is almost here in the Northeast and it is around this time that I start thinking about what we will do for the summer. A few years back I started planning a camp mom summer schedule. I like to plan our summer activities to keep us active and busy. “Camp Mom” is the way we pack it all in for the summer. We do everything we can and break out of our routine. Setting up my camp mom summer schedule helps us enjoy time together and be a local tourist.
Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BlueLizardSummer #CollectiveBias
Summer vacation is almost here and that means we are busy packing in the fun activities that we like to experience around our home. The weather is unpredictable and we often try to fit a lot of activities in one day. Last weekend we were really busy and I was quickly reminded of the importance of keeping my family safe in the sun. Our long winters mean we often forget about applying sunscreen and have to get back into the routine of it. Sun safety is so important to my family. This summer I am using these 5 tips to help keep my family safe in the sun.
We were all excited for our Pittsburgh family weekend. I was happy to wake up to sun and warmer weather. We had a full day of 2 museums and a Pirates baseball game and I was happy the weather was holding out for us. This is Part 2 of our Pittsburgh Family Weekend. Start with Pittsburgh Family Weekend(Part 1).
We love spending time in Pittsburgh, PA because it has great family friendly attractions and it holds a special place in our hearts. We lived in Pittsburgh for 5 years and have had many great memories there. Last week we took a long weekend and enjoyed a Pittsburgh family weekend.
Kennywood amusement park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania offers a glimpse back to the old days of amusement parks as well as cutting edge attractions that are great for the entire family. Opening in 1898 Kennywood is one of the oldest amusement parks in the USA. It’s nostalgic charm makes Kennywood great for families. With so many fun attractions this is our can’t miss list of family fun at Kennywood.
Traveling with your kids can be amazing. Your kids will appreciate art and history. Your family will smile and laugh and create memories that will last forever. There will be no fights between siblings, no fights between my husband and I. We will all be happy the entire week. Have I sold you on taking a family vacation?
On my recent visit to the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, NY I was able to spend some one-on-one time with my son. Seneca Park Zoo is a great place for a few hours of quality time. I cherish the moments that I get to spend with my kids, especially as they get older. Time is going so fast and the one-on-one play dates are a great way to connect.
In early March we spent a week in Orlando. Orlando is my happy place because I love theme parks. I love the excellent entertainment and attractions. I always end up packing a lot of fun into the trip and this visit was no different. Our Orlando itinerary included 3 hotel stays, relaxed at 3 pools and visited 3 theme parks. It was busy but as always our Orlando itinerary was full of magic, fun, and excitement.
If you are anything like me you have a long list of summer travel plans. There is always a theme park to visit or a national park to discover. The challenge is finding a way to stay within your family budget and still get to experience family travel adventures. I am so excited to share the easy way I’m saving more money for family vacations this year!
Are you looking to find the best places to take photos at Universal Orlando? Universal Orlando has so many awesome places to pose for pictures. On our last visit we tried to do them all but I am sure there are many more I need to add to our next visit. I came up with 10 unique photo-ops at Universal Orlando Resort that my family loved and are great for all ages. Find them and start capturing your amazing Universal Orlando vacation.
Walt Disney World may be in the middle of Florida but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some island life. ‘Ohana Character Dining at Walt Disney World is a family style character dining experience located at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. It has a Hawaiian theme and focuses around the Lilo & Stich movie. I was so happy we added this to our Disney vacation. We loved it and had a great time enjoying the food and meeting the characters at ‘Ohana.
Universal Orlando Resort is a great place for thrills and attractions but you can meet a lot of fun characters at Universal Orlando as well. The characters at Universal Orlando are engaging and you can often meet them without a long wait. They have family favorites for young and old. We had a blast meeting all the charcters. If you are planning a visit to Universal Orlando be sure to add character meet and greets into your plans.
Family vacations can get expensive and if you are like me you have to figure out ways to save money to make it happen. I love to travel but my budget does not always allow for the amount of travel I would like to do. To make some of the little trips happen and still be able to do our big trips I like to find fun ways to be as frugal as possible. This allows us to take an extra weekend trip or day trip. I try to make it fun for the family too! Use my tips to help you save money on your family vacation.
Niagara Falls is something everyone should see once in their life. It will take your breath away. Growing up in Buffalo we visited often. It always brings back great childhood memories and I was so excited to take my kids. Niagara Falls is also home to the Maid of the Mist, which in my opinion everyone should experience at least once. It is a family favorite and should be on your family travel bucket list.
We were so excited to stay at the LEGOLAND Florida Hotel on our last two visits to Florida. It is about a 45 minute drive from Orlando but we always make the drive because we love the park and the hotel. The minute you pull into the resort you can’t help but be excited. With its bright color exterior and dragon at the entrance the LEGOLAND Florida Resort Hotel is perfect for families.
The snow is still melting but I have summer on my mind. I love summer time and it is not only because of the weather. I love the longer evenings and the time we get to spend as a family. My planning kicks in and the list of family activities I want to do starts to grow! If you are like me you are ready for summer too! I like to do a little planning ahead to get myself organized for our busy summer by sticking to this essential list for an epic family fun summer. With a little planning you can get it all done and relax with your family during this busy season.
Family traditions are so important to me. Some of them are big like annual vacation but some of them are small. We do special things as a family throughout the year to bond and connect. One of our favorite family traditions are Mystery Days. Mystery Days are basically a full day of fun activities. The best part is that they are a mystery!! Every stop is a surprise for the kids. My husband and I plan the itinerary and don’t give any hints. Mystery Days are so great because they are an easy family tradition that you can start this year.
When you walk into Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen at Universal Orlando Resort you walk into magic. From the outside, you see the smoke stacks and its steam punk factory look. As you enter the smell of sweets and the staff welcomes you. Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen is restaurant theming at its best.
Do you love taking vacations but dread the packing process? There is so much to do. From things at home to take care of to all the packing, it can become a huge process just to get your family out the door. We are always on the go and having a way to organize it has helped my sanity and made me a more relaxed mom. I have put together the 8 planning tips you need for your next family vacation to help keep you organized and excited for your next family adventure.
The Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa in Orlando, Florida is a family friendly destination that has something for everyone. With its close proximity to world class theme parks and day trips to the coast there is so much to do. It is so important to have a place where the entire family can recharge and relax. My family was so happy to find this at the Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa.
Every year I am excited for what new attractions will be at my favorite theme parks. This year we are planning a few visits to Orlando, Florida and I wanted to share my 2017 theme park bucket list. Some of these attractions have already opened and others will be opening later this year.
There is a reason we visit Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach every time we visit Myrtle Beach. It is awesome. Evey time we visit we see something new and fun. I love that there are hands on experiences as well as exhibits that will entertain the entire family. When you visit be sure to include these 5 can’t miss experiences at Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach.
When we are traveling we like to use our devices to keep the kids busy during long drives or flights. We have Kindle Fires but most of these apps are available across different devices. I’m excited to have my daughter guest post with me to share with you our family favorite apps to play when travelling.
Myrtle Beach is an amazing family fun destination. It has beautiful beaches, entertainment, and so many mini-golf courses I can’t keep up. Our first visit was when my daughter was 2.5 months old and we have continued the tradition of our visits as our family has grown. We love visiting Myrtle Beach with our family and the memories our stays have given us are priceless. Read on for my Ultimate Family Guide to Myrtle Beach and start planning an incredible beach vacation.
We love doing weekend getaways to connect as a family because they take less planning and can be put together quickly. Pittsburgh, PA is one of our favorite weekend getaways because there are so many things to do in Pittsburgh with kids. They have great indoor and outdoor activities, amusement parks, and zoos and museums. The are so many family things to do in Pittsburgh and that is why we visit year after year.
Finding on-site Disney resorts on a budget can be a challenge for larger families. Most think a stay on-site at Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida is out of reach. This may not always be the case. If you do a little research and planning staying on-site at Disney can happen. Here are my 5 best on-site Disney resorts on a budget for families of 5(or more).
Valentine’s day is a week away. Typically, I give the kids chocolates and we write valentine’s to each other. Some years my husband and I go out but most years we spend time together as a family. This year I want to do something different. This Valentine’s Day we decided to share the love through our community.
Parents are often surprised that I enjoy taking family road trips with my husband and 3 kids. I do really love them. There is no better way to discover a new destination then driving through a city or town. If you do a little prep and planning the drive can become part of the vacation and are often some of the best parts of the trip. Here are eight of my favorite family road trip tips that have helped me get through 10+ hours in the car with the family and can help you plan a successful family road trip.
If you ask people their opinion on staying on-site at Walt Disney World or off-site you will get a dozen different opinions. Some think it is too expensive. Some think it is too much Disney. I think it is the perfect choice for your family if you are spending most of your vacation at the parks. The perks of staying on-site at Walt Disney World are numerous and can fit into any family budget.
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We are in need of some serious quality family time lately. When we are travelling we always have a great time and it feels so good to be connected. Sadly we can’t travel year round. There is school and work. We end up getting into a routine and life becomes busy. Our weekends are full of chores and obligations. Unless we plan something, we end up sitting around doing house chores or playing on electronics. I was inspired by a recent article and put together 52 ideas for quality family time to help me schedule our weekends with a better family focus.
My daughter turned nine this week. Nine is an age when character birthdays are almost over but you still want to have a fun birthday party. This year I wanted to keep it small so she invited a few friends over for an Ultimate Ice Cream Sundae Party. It was easy and fun to plan and the girls had a great time.
Disclosure: I received product from Oriental Trading Company in exchange for this review. As always my opinions are authentic and honest. You can read more of my Disclosure.
It is no secret that I love planning vacations. Planning your vacation creates excitement and quality family time before you starts your travels. I love to plan family fun activities to countdown to vacation. We do countdown to vacation calendars, research our destinations together, and create special activities for our trip. Countdown activities create family time and excitement for the trip and brings us closer as a family.
On our last visit to Walt Disney World we had the opportunity to participate in the Jedi Training Academy at Disney Hollywood Studios. It is open to all visitors at Disney Hollywood Studios with an admission ticket. This was one of my kids favorite activities from our visit to Disney World and they are still talking about it. If you have a Star Wars fan in the family I highly suggest you add Jedi Training Academy to your must see list. It is a mix of show and interactive experience that your entire family will enjoy!
I have to let you in on a little secret. I don’t cook. Ever. My husband does most of the meal cooking and shopping and I do the kids lunches and snacks. This year one of my goals is to try new things and not be afraid to fail. I felt that this would be a perfect time to face my fear of cooking. With that in mind, last week I started a 3-day adventure of a kitchen rookie
Toronto is a great place to visit for families. It is a huge city with so many fun things to do. There is something for everyone. I have visited more times than I can count and I still have lots of things I’ve never discovered. Here is my list of best places to visit in Toronto for families as well 5 attractions on my Toronto family bucket list.
The thought of spending an entire week on the beach makes me so happy. I love having a house to make our own for the week and the comfort of home while on vacation. For most people it seems like an out of reach dream but I am here to tell you with some planning and tricks I can show you how to afford a beach house(even on a budget) for your next vacation. Read on and get ready to enjoy your morning coffee while watching the sun rise.
New Year’s Eve is all about celebrating with my family. The days of going out are gone for me and I love our new family traditions spent making it a special night with my husband and kids. Last year we almost made it to midnight. This year we are going to use this list of New Year’s Eve family activities and try to make it!
Rochester has the Strong Museum of Play, Dinosaur BBQ and garbage plates. Now we have The Waffle Factory. Located outside of Rochester, NY in Webster, The Waffle Factory offers all types of waffle creations imaginable. It was a HUGE hit with my family!!
The weather is getting cold! I mean really cold…and snowy. It is a perfect time to have a fun and easy family activity night. I am not the best crafter but I love the peace and calmness that drawing and coloring brings the family. I had an opportunity to review doodletopia fairies by Christopher Hart. Hart shares his artistic talent and helps make it easy and fun to inspire creative fairy and castle pictures for everyone in your family.
Corning, New York is a great place for a weekend getaway for families. It is a little under a 2 hour drive from Rochester, NY and there are a lot of activities to fill your day and relax with your family. With two amazing museums and a great shopping and dining district, Corning is a great place to getaway with the family for the weekend.
Have you ever thought about visiting the Corning Museum of Glass with Kids? I’ve always wanted to but I wasn’t sure if it was kid friendly. I had also heard great things about their glass making classes. We decided to give it a try and planned a last minute weekend getaway to Corning, NY. I booked a Sandblasting class and planned on spending the day exploring the museum. Early Saturday morning we surprised the kids with a weekend getaway and some much needed quality family time.
For this months edition of family approved books I am sharing our list of family approved Christmas books. In our house it is all about Christmas and we love reading our favorite holiday books. These are the books that we have read year after year. They are part of our traditions. Did your favorites make the list?
There are so many holiday activities for families in Rochester. I love it! From light displays, to fun activities for the kids, to teaching children the giving spirit. There is more to do then days in the month! I love planning our activities and I use our 25 day Christmas Countdown to plan lots of fun activities for the family throughout the month. Here are my BEST holiday activities for families in Rochester.
This year I want to share fun Holiday Gifts for Kids that you can really use. I want the gifts to be thoughtful, fun, affordable, and last through the year. This year I want to minimize the stuff and buy gifts that have a better purpose. I look around my house and see many “I need that” Christmas gifts that haven’t been used since 2015. This year I want it to be different. I want gifts that my kids will enjoy throughout the year. Take a peek at what my kids are getting under the tree. (Shhhh…don’t tell them!)
Most Disney films come with a lesson, but nothing as powerful as the lessons from Disney’s Moana. I have been waiting for this movie to open ever since I saw the first trailer over the summer. I knew there was something special about it. Moana’s character resonated with me as a mom and incorporates the lessons I want for my children.
What does Mom really want this holiday season? It’s a tough question. Most moms go out and buy what they want. Some even go as far as wrapping it and putting it under the tree. What is on your Moms holiday gift list? See what is on my holiday wish list and surprise your mom with a little something under the tree that I know she will love!!
I love celebrating the holidays. Often it can be stressful and overwhelming but I try to focus on spending time with family and creating family memories and family traditions. I do this by using my Christmas Countdown Calendar. This is a calendar full of Christmas countdown activities. Before you stop reading and think another thing to add to your “to-do list”, check out how easy and fun the Christmas countdown ideas really are. You will be surprised at how simple they can be and will start enjoying the holiday season with your family.
I love finding the perfect holiday gift for my husband. The problem is it is not always easy. My husband and I spend time searching online for great gifts for the kids but we often forget about each other. I am so happy that I discovered JORD Wood Watches. This year I am ready to wow him!
November is a great month to teach thankfulness to our kids. It is a simple act, but sometimes it is the simple things that have a big impact. During the month of November I do easy and practical activities to help teach thankfulness to my kids.
We all know that reading to your kids is so important. I love snuggling up with my kids and a good book. I have to be honest, there are times when it is not always easy. It can be a challenge to find books the kids like… that I like too. Have you ever felt that way? Reading should be a fun way to connect as a family. I want to make it easy for parents to find great quality books that the entire family can enjoy. This is my first post in a new monthly reading series where I will share our favorite books that are family approved!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase an item I will receive an affiliate commission. All of my opinions are always authentic and honest.
Hersheypark Christmas Candylane is a MUST DO if you live within 4-6 hours of Hershey, PA. Even if you don’t you should add it to you bucket list! Hersheypark holidays is a great way to start celebrate with your family. We went in November of 2015 and it was a great way to welcome in the holidays.
I love to create family traditions! They are the memories I go back to in my own childhood and the moments I want my children to remember. Family Movie Night in our house has become a family tradition. It is a fun way to spend time together after a long week of school and work. Sometimes I plan themed nights and others we pick a movie and snuggle on the couch. We all look forward to enjoying family movie night after a long week.
Fall is my favorite time of year. One of the many perks of living in NY state is that there are so many fall activities to start fall family traditions… and the weather is the best. Everything around is colorful. I love it! Now is a perfect time to start planning your family fall activities and spend your weekends starting a few fall family traditions.
This is to the new mom. The mom that has spit up on her clothes. The mom that has breast milk leaking through her shirt and is wearing the same clothes three days in a row. The mom who hasn’t showered or used the bathroom alone in years. The mom who locks herself in the bathroom crying because nobody told her it would be this hard.
Fall is the best time of the year to get out there and explore the festivals and farms in your neighborhood. I love creating fall family traditions and fall traditions for us means visiting farms and fall festivals. This year we visited Powers Farm Market. The last time we visited was in 2012 and I remembered some of the fun and unique activities they had. I was really excited to take the kids this year.
Hello! Welcome to Five for the Road. My name is Leah. I am so excited to start this blog(thanks for reading!). I have always wanted to be a blogger but had no idea where to start. I would start a blog and then not publish it. I did this 3-4 times since my daughter was born in 2008. That fear inside of me just grew. I was afraid of being judged. Judged as a mom, a wife, a writer. I was so scared to put myself out there. Then in the summer of 2016 something inside me changed. I start discussing the idea of blogging again with my family and friends and everyone was very encouraging. Of course they love me and they support me but they also believed in me and gave me the push I needed. The passion inside me to write and share our story was only growing.
The kids(and I!) were so excited to visit LEGOLAND Florida in late February 2016. We are a Lego family. We love building them and watching the movies and shows. When they built LEGOLAND Florida we knew we had to go the next time we were in Orlando. (They are building one in New York and we are so excited!) If you are thinking about visiting LEGOLAND Florida and have kids that love Legos you will have a blast.
Hershey Chocolate World is a visitors center next to Hersheypark in Hershey, PA. Although calling it that is not giving it enough credit. Hershey Chocolate World is a destination in itself. It has a facotry tour, 4D show, trolley tours, and where else can you buy gigantic candy bars! Visiting Hershey Chocolate World is a candy lovers dream and it is fun for families of all ages.
The Strong Museum of Play is an amazing Children’s museum in Rochester, New York that offers interactive exhibits, a butterfly garden, and the Toy Hall of Fame. It boast the largest collection of toys in the world. We have lived in Rochester for six years now and one of our favorite things to do is spend Friday nights at the Strong Museum of Play. Here is my list of Must Do’s when visiting with your family.
Back to school has finally arrived for most of the country and with it brings the excitement of new teachers, friends, and routine. It also brings lots and lots of paperwork. With 3 kids in school, 3rd, 1st, and preschool, I had to figure out a way to organize all the information coming into the house. After trying a few different ideas I came up with the perfect Family Command Center for my family! Follow the steps to create your own organized family space and make the transition to school that much easier.
Our Myrtle Beach road trip was full of many surprises and all the stops we added really made the trip fun and exciting. Planning a trip to Myrtle Beach is easy because myrtle beach has so many attractions for families. We visit for the week relaxing by the pool and at the beach. This year we added a few days to our itinerary and made it a Myrtle Beach road trip.
Planning your first Walt Disney World visit can be overwhelming. There are so many decisions to be made and dates to remember. I actually love the planning part but it takes a lot of research. For me planning a Walt Disney World vacation is part of the fun of going on a Walt Disney World vacation. Even with all the planning there are always some surprises. Combine heat and exhausted family members, and it could be a disaster. Here are my 6 tips to avoid meltdowns and prepare for your first Walt Disney World visit.
A little outside of the city of Rochester, New York there is a magical fairy trail that is great for families. Tinker Nature Park has family friendly hiking trails in Rochester, NY that wind through green scenery and woods. As you near the end you enter a magical path that is lined with fairy houses. It is a hidden gem in the Rochester area and is a must visit for anyone visiting the area. Pack a picnic and spend the day exploring the magical fairy trails at Tinker Nature Park.
It has been a while since we spent time in Buffalo and Niagara Falls so we decided to plan a quick day trip that was packed with lots of stops. There are so many Buffalo, NY and Niagara Falls family activities it was difficult to fit it all in one day. We decided to spend the day seeing the sites and enjoying some great food along the way.