My grandfather's hometown <3
All joking aside, this is really cool.
My grandfather's hometown <3
The little trending thing on the side of my feed highlights Jessica Simpson and Gwyneth Paltrow being spotted in bikinis. My first thought wasn't of their bodies (or the objectification of the same), but that I'm so jealous that they are somewhere where the weather is appropriate for bikinis.
I guess that makes me less feminist and more vacationist ;)
We recently went to LEGOLAND Florida, and stayed at the amazing new LEGOLAND Hotel. It was beyond fun-- brickloads of fun, if you will ;)
Here's some insider info that you'll want to know before you head there for your vacation (it's mostly good!). Proceed with caution if you'd rather be surprised (although knowing ahead of time can maximize the fun of a few of the features).
You may have heard about the 4 different themes-- Pirate, Adventure, Kingdom, and Friends-- you can choose from when booking your room at the new LEGOLAND Hotel. They are amazing. I'm not listing them in my 'insider-info' of special features because there's nothing secret about sleeping in a private room at a hotel. But don't doubt for a second that they're special! I dare to say that this room blew our Disney hotel room out of the water (gasp, gasp! I know, but read on.)
If you've never visited LEGOLAND Hotel (and most people haven't since it just opened in May), I bet you didn't know these things:
Minifigures: Mini.figures.every.where. And what's better than Minifigures?! You can build your own custom Minifigure in the Minifigure Market, or purchase packets at various locations. BUT, even better than buying a Minifigure is TRADING a Minifigure! You can trade any Minifigure-- a miscellaneous mix that you brought from home, or a newly-purchased figure-- with any Model Citizen (LEGOLAND employee) on-site. They HAVE to trade you, even if it is their most favorite Mini ever!
Bonus: Visit the giftshop in the Hotel. The attendant has a whole case of Minifigures to choose from!
Small print: You can only trade a complete figure-- body, legs, head, hair/hat. Accessories are 'extra'. Depending on how generous your MC is, they may require you to trade accessory for accessory, or may give you the accessory that's on their Mini.
The Pool: The LEGOLAND Hotel has many cool features, including a beach-type entrance so kids can easily and gradually make their way into the water. The deep end is only 3 feet deep, making hesitant kids (and parents) more at ease.
Bonus: You can build your own pool toys with foam LEGO bricks IN the pool!
Small print: Nothing negative here! Be sure to check pool hours, but I think you'll find it's open past even vacation bedtimes.
The Elevator: When is an elevator not just an elevator? When it's a disco dance party! You step in to a seemingly-normal elevator, a little Muzak playing in the background, but when the doors close, you instantly become a dancing queen, full with disco lights and music!
Bonus: Um, you need more than a DISCO ELEVATOR?!
Small print: This may get slightly annoying after the first, or fifteenth time...if you're a party pooper! Speaking of poopers...
The Toilet: I know what you're thinking, who takes a picture of a toilet?! But look closely (don't worry, it's clean). They know that little kids will be staying here, and accommodate for their tiny hineys with a smaller seat that can be lowered over the main seat.
Bonus: Your kid can poop in comfort.
Small print: It's your responsibility to make sure your own kid doesn't fall in. And wiping. Wiping is all you.
The Whoopie Cushion: In the corner of the lobby, there is a whoopie cushion built into the floor. I repeat, there is a whoopie cushion built into the floor. When you step on it, it makes the appropriate (or inappropriate as the case may be) noise! A guy in a hazmat suit, via a quote bubble, asks, "Hey! Was that you?"
Bonus: Kids-- and some fart-joke-inclined adults-- find this hilarious!
Small print: If you're in a battle to avoid potty-humor, just walk around it.
The Prices: The prices of the LEGO sets in the giftshop match the prices at Target. No resort upcharge!
Bonus: You don't have to smuggle in sets from home, or say no to a small vacation souvenir set!
Small print: I obviously didn't check every package, so buyer beware.
The LEGO Club: There's a small (but more than ample) room next to the Skyline Lounge. Your kids can go build, play, read LEGO Club magazine, or watch a movie (The LEGO Movie was on while we were there, duh) while you wait for your food to arrive.
Bonus: There are shelves for displaying their masterpieces! So fun! (No guarantee someone else won't take your creation apart, but it's cool in the moment.)
Small print: Watch your children, obvi. Our kids are 7.5 and 9, and there's only one entrance/exit to the room-- which we were in direct sight of-- so we felt comfortable. Use your best judgement.
The Treasure Hunt: As you explore your room (and there's a lot to explore), you'll find what looks like a safe. In our Pirate-themed room, it looked like a wooden crate, guarded by the most adorable monkey ever (seriously, I wish I could buy a set that built that monkey). Atop the crate will be a clue card. The kids answer the questions treasure-hunt style until they are able to figure out the combination to unlock the crate. It is the coolest thing ever.
Bonus: This is completely kid-level mystery-solving here. You can unpack or help yourself to a cup of coffee (in-room Keurig!) while they search.
Small print: Unless you don't like a few minutes of unassisted fun, or free stuff, this is perfect.
Extra bonus-- Want to see the loot? SPOILER ALERT! Click here to see what we unlocked (items may vary).
Pretty awesome right?
I can't stop myself from listing more and more! They truly thought of everything. Couple more quick things-- Check out the BRICKS buffet (may or may not be worth it for you), and the Master Builder classes (we missed it because we got back from the park in late afternoon and they fill quickly).
Just so that I don't sound like too much of a LEGO cheerleader, one quick negative-- My husband called it 'a capacity problem', and it's likely just due to being a brand new hotel. They ran out of fries at dinner. When we sat down to dinner (about 6:15, so not afterhours by any means), the waitress alerted us that they had run out of fries. LEGO sad face. The next morning during our (complimentary!!) breakfast, they ran out of coffee.
Everyone knows: When on vacation, kids need fries with their dinner, and parents need coffee with their breakfast! Hopefully they'll get the hang of the crowds soon (or maybe it was an unlucky isolated incident?). Either way, it wouldn't deter me from going back again.
As I said, there is so much more! I could go on and on, but I want to leave some surprises for you!
Are you heading to LEGOLAND soon? Use this coupon (or contact me).
Have you been to LEGOLAND, FL or LEGOLAND Hotel? Share your experiences!
As always, the conversation is much heartier on Facebook. Join us!
All opinions and insights are my own. I am not a LEGO representative. We did not receive anything free in return for the review-- at least nothing that YOU won't also receive as a guest!
And suddenly, divorce rates for tourists everywhere begin to rise inexplicably...
Say you're someone who does not wear a lot of makeup and does not travel a lot. How many makeup bags should you have? Probably not a dozen, huh?
Fun and educational is a tricky combination for children’s books—but it’s always great when it can successfully be achieved.
The Larry Gets Lost book series is just that. It is a fun story housed in a citywide tour of the US. We started in our hometown of Philadelphia and it did not disappoint!
We found historical locations like Congress Hall and the Betsy Ross House (my 7-yr-old was appalled at the suggestion that the story of Ross sewing the first American flag may not be historically accurate!) all the way to more contemporary sites like LOVE park and the Rocky statue. Each comes with a description that is factual but fun, all while Larry wanders around the city…
Next up for us is Larry Gets Lost in Prehistoric Times, but with over a dozen Larry titles, you can choose from a whole list of locations! Which will you read first?
Larry Gets Lost was illustrated by John Skewes, and co-written by Skewes and various authors.
A friend is going to be flying with her two small children (not babies) soon. What are your suggestions for keeping kids still and occupied for several hours, while magically hovering in the air?
I can't get past the thought of sending my 8- and 10-yr-olds on a plane by themselves. But what do you think of this policy?
Traveling with a baby this summer? Firecracker Mama lists her essentials, and one more must-have: trust.
What have your travel experiences been?
Travel families-- help out a friend:
"I'm starting to have some serious anxiety about my kinda sorta wild monkey baby, whose now 8 months old, on my lap for 5 hours on a plane. Does anyone have any tips for keeping her busy/ semi quiet/ diaper changing/ me peeing??"
Who has traveled with a baby? What worked for you?
With a love of children and a passion for reading and writing, Kelly decided to share her experiences with others through the pages of the Crib Notes book and site.
Join me on Influenster: www.influenster.com/r/1290177J