Disney · kids · summer · summer activities · toddlerhood · toddlers

Summer Playdays

Disney Summer Play Days

Since we first moved here in 2014, we have been attending the Disney Summer Play Days.  My good friend, Robin, (who at the time was my new friend), introduced me to this awesome annual event held at the Disney Store.

In the past, we had to be very organized and call our local store ahead of time to see what time the Play Days event would be held each day.  However, this year they have made the event time 3pm, across the board. (I would still call your local store to confirm, just to be safe! )

Every year, the Summer Play Days event hosts different activities ranging from trivia challenges, art activities, and audience participation.  The prizes have also differed each year; our first year the kids received a lanyard and earned pins.  Last year it was tsum tsum charm wristbands and this year it is embroidered character patches!

 

The Summer Playdays event officially kicked off on June 10th, but don’t worry! There’s still time to jump in on the fun!

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Nothing like Summer Play Days with our Peeps! (my girls never look at the camera lol)

Visit the Disney Store for more information.

This is a fun, free event that’s offered daily and is a nice excuse to get out of the house on a weekly basis.  Note; though the event is offered daily, it is not necessary to attend daily.  Each new badge is released on Wednesdays, however, they will continue to handout the same badge until the following Wednesday’s release (or until supplies run out).  While you’re there, you can peruse the Disney Store summer deals (there’s usually good sales! And the clearance area always has some good and inexpensive finds!).

Enjoy!

N

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camping · kids · parenting · toddlers

Our Great Camping Adventure

A couple of months ago, my husband surprised me with this amazing Vegas weekend getaway for my birthday complete with tickets to incredibly shows; including Le Reve and Cirque’s Zumanity.  Naturally, I wanted to do something special for his birthday.  I remembered that he’d been talking about wanting to go camping and realized this would be the perfect way to celebrate his birthday during the long Labor Day weekend.  Specially since we hadn’t been able to go camping since 2008! 

In order to try to make the experience as seamless as possible, I made sure to book our reservation for Saturday through Monday back in July.  I also researched and chose more of a “resort” campground; “resort” in this context referring to access to bathrooms, port-a-potties, showers, a cafe/general store on site, and park patrol.  Since it was our first time camping with the kiddos, I felt more at ease knowing we were only a few miles outside of the nearest major city and that there was a payphone on site.

The campground I chose was Camp Williams in Azusa and for our purposes, it was PERFECT.  Even in holiday traffic it was only an hour drive from where we live, it had friendly staff, each spot was only a few feet from the creek and had a picnic table, a patrol circulated the campground regularly, you can only enter the campground by checking in and receiving the access code at the main gate (which made us feel safe), and had token-operated showers, bathrooms, and port-a-potties throughout.  The campground also featured a small cafe and general store.  Unfortunately, the cafe wasn’t open while we were there, but even still, I was able to replenish our ice by purchasing ice from the store and even bought a few additional drinks and treats.  They even lent us jumper cables when one of our car’s battery’s died! As I mentioned; very friendly and helpful staff indeed!

For being our first camping experience with the kids, we had a pretty pleasant experience.

Upon arrival, the kids immediately wanted to get in the creek:

They even made instant friends with some fellow Campers!

E & the munchkin gathering rocks to build their own dam

Even Melisey got in on the water action; a rare occurrence!

The Birthday Guy!     

As you can see, Camp Williams is also pet friendly which made the trip that much more special to us since our poor puppy hardly ever gets to come along on our trips these days!
The creek was a big hit; I specially appreciated how shallow it was so that the girls could play without me worrying too much; our baby G was particularly fond of rock collecting:

On our second day we decided to go exploring and found a trail.  It was quite an adventure as some of the trail was covered by dried tree branches and twigs but well worth the mini hike!

Our fearless explorer and her sidekick ready to embark on our exploration

“Treacherous” crossings! lol

Lots of beautiful scenery

We found a Teepee!
Someone spent a great deal of time on this…

My explorers!

Our puppy spotted a lizard!

Proud Papa leading his pack

That’s right; this momma hikes with a baby! 

Our lil’ camper enjoying her books on her sleeping bag

We opted to bring our 4Moms pack n’ play and it made all the difference!

Deep conversations in the creek…
Nature brings out so many smiles!
Playing a competitive game of Loteria!
Baby G and E love camping!

Pensive by the creek…

This was one of my favorite things about camping; watching my 4 year old just sit quietly by the creek as she sang, or just contemplated nature as she tossed pebbles in the water….No electronic devices…Just her and her thoughts.  It was a beautiful thing to behold.

Home sweet home for the weekend

The munchkin and Dad even spotted a snake!

One of the things that I feel helped a great deal was that I was extremely OCD about being overly prepared where the kiddos were concerned.  A few of the things that I packed that made our lives easier were:

1. Portable potty for Alexcia (we bought Potette Plus when we began potty training her for on-the-go and it has been so useful since!).  We also brought extra bags for the potty with us.
2. Baby wipes & Toddler flushable wipes
3. A large container of Wet One’s for hand-washing/disinfecting purposes.
4. Horizon travel milks (I wasn’t sure how easily accessible water would be for washing so I opted to not use sippy cups all weekend and just buy individual milks).
5.  Baby/Toddler Snacks: Gerber Yogurt melts, Gerber puffs, Gerber Ravioli meals, Gerber lil’ crunchies, etc.
6. Gatorade bottles, water bottles, and a box of Honest kids juice
7. First-Aid kit containing fun band-aids and neosporin as well as a cold pack
8. Bug Spray and Sunscreen.

There’s so much more we brought with us but these are the things that made our lives easier where the wee ones were concerned.  We also brought plenty of board games suitable for all ages and played Loteria, The Good Dinosaur Memory game (which our munchkin kicked our butts in!), my husband and nice E played an intense game of chess, and a silly late night game of Brain Games (which was hilarious; let’s just say it has a very apt way of making you feel completely moronic.)  And of course, lets not forget the smores! Tragically, to my great heartbreak, it turned out our munchkin did not like smores.  However, we were happy to have introduced her to this great camping tradition and that she at least tried it (thought I did question if she was in fact my kid….)

Overall, I’d venture to say it was a very successful trip and we are excited for our next camping adventure!

If you had any doubts about camping with littles: this picture says it all…

 Have you camped with your little ones? I’d love to hear some of your experiences and tips!