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family fun

Literary Road Trip: Foxwoods Casino & Resort

Foxwoods Casino and Resort is located about an hour north of us, which makes it perfect for a quick road trip getaway. Thank you to Foxwoods for hosting us last month!

We stayed in a one bedroom deluxe room with two double beds that sleeps 4. We found the room to be spacious even with the four of us in it.  The rooms and hallways were always very clean and whenever we asked a staff member a question (like finding our way around – the place is huge!) they were always very helpful and polite. I was particularly taken by the sophisticated colors and the Native American accents shown throughout the hotel, casino and resort. It felt very luxurious and well appointed.  An added bonus was looking at all the beautiful holiday decor since we went right around the Christmas holiday.

Our room was located in the beautiful Fox Tower.  With the blanket of light snow far below, the views from this height were very impressive. We could have stayed in our room all day enjoying the views.  The views at sunset were incredible!

While Foxwoods doesn’t have on-site child care, they do offer activities for kids, along with familiy-friendly shows, on-site casinos and adult-themed entertainment.  Also, did you know they are second on the list of top ten largest casinos in the U.S.?  The giant Foxwoods Resort complex currently boasts a whopping 344,000 square feet of casino space, 4,800 slot machines, and 280 table games (including poker tables).  They also have a 20-lane bowling alley, golf course, museum, zip line, outdoor trails, an outlet shopping mall, swimming pools, spas, an arcade with dozens of kid-friendly games and dozens of family-friendly restaurants.

My husband and I aren’t huge gamblers, but we took turns exploring the gaming area for a bit while one of us stayed with the kids.  During our stay we also had the opportunity to take advantage of the kid-friendly activities.  The kids were so excited to get up close and personal with live reindeer, feed them and take photos with Santa.

Since we had some last minute holiday shopping to finish we also did some shopping at Tanger Outlets.  Tanger Outlets offers everything from high end shops to affordable stores you know well.  Mixed in with the shops are also many restaurants to choose from.

Bring on the Books!
Of course our road trip wouldn’t have been complete without books!  There is a nearby public library just minutes away from Foxwoods (Preston Public Library), but we opted to go to Bank Square Books in Mystic, CT instead.  It’s located directly across the street from the famous Mystic Pizza from the popular movie.  I had been wanting to check out that book store for a while so this trip was the perfect opportunity.

Overall, I was pleased with Bank Square Books.  It’s a cute and quaint store with a nice selection of both children’s and adult books along with other novelty items.  I purchased a book for the kids as a Christmas gift – one we didn’t own yet: Green Pants by Kenneth Kraegel.

The thing we like most about Foxwoods is everything is in one location.  If we didn’t go off-site to visit the book store, we wouldn’t have had to go outside at all.  Foxwoods is a unique and diverse experience for families to explore.  No matter what your interests, Foxwoods is fun and worth the trip for the whole family.  Be sure to check out some of their upcoming family-friendly events taking place soon!

Riverdance – Bring the family to go watch this amazing show!

New England Patriots Cheerleading Auditions – Have you ever wanted to see cheerleading auditions for a professional football team take place?  Well this is your chance to do it for FREE!!!  Great for sports and cheerleading fans!  A fun, free, family-friendly event!

Piff the Magic Dragon – Go see the break out star from season 10 of NBC’s ‘America’s Got Talent’, Piff the Magic Dragon!

Super Hero Kids Week!
4/7/2018 – 4/15/2018
It’s time to take a break from saving the world and celebrate Super Hero Kids Week! This is the best time for kids to unleash their inner super hero and for Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods to unleash it’s savings for all! We are celebrating this 9 day event by hosting all sorts of free super hero themed activities. Meet your favorite heroes and participate in the scavenger hunt for prizes and much more!  For easiest access to Tanger Outlets park at the Fox Tower garage.

Family Fun Day with Mystic Aquarium- APRIL 14TH
Join Tanger Outlets and The Mystic Aquarium on Saturday, April 14, 2018 for a fun, interactive family event from 12 – 4 PM near Sketchers. Kids can learn about Dinosaurs and see LIVE tree fogs in a simulated habitat! Touch a real fossil and see ancient artifacts. Families can enter to win an encounter with live animals at Mystic Aquarium.

Disclaimer: We received a media rate for our stay at Foxwoods.  As always all opinions are honest and my own.

Your turn: Are you planning an upcoming literary road trip?  I’d love to hear about your experience and where you’re planning to go!  Feel free to share in the comments.


Literary Road Trip Series: Mohegan Sun, A Kid-Friendly Casino Resort

Disclaimer: We are thrilled to partner with Mohegan Sun for literary road trip series.  We received a discounted hotel stay and meals in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Although casinos are commonly known as adult playgrounds, I was surprised to learn that places like Mohegan Sun offer a variety of activities and options for families with children.

Kids will immediately love arriving into the lobby area of either the Earth or Sky Tower with the check-in desks surrounded by beautiful sculptures.  We went during the holiday season so we had the opportunity to enjoy all of the amazing, festive décor.

Upon checking into our hotel room, we were thrilled to learn that Mohegan Sun is all about providing a family-friendly destination experience that truly offers something for everyone. For those who enjoy shopping and eating there are plenty of shops and restaurants with fine and casual dining options.

Visitors looking for an escape will find the ELEMIS and Mandara spas as well as an 18-hole golf course, fitness center and indoor pools.  And for those who just want to play and try their luck at winning, of course there are plenty of action-packed gaming floors to choose from.  Oh, and did I mention kids eat FREE at some restaurants like Chick-fil-A every Tuesday evening?  Also, kids ages 6 and under eat free at the Mohegan Sun buffet restaurant every day!

There are also plenty of live entertainment venues for kids, families and adults. Best of all, Mohegan Sun offers a Kids Quest hourly care play center for children, and a Cyber Quest arcade for family-friendly fun!  This was a complete game changer for me since we didn’t have someone else with us to watch the kids.  I was completely sold!  It was such a treat to bring them to a safe place like Kids Quest for a couple of hours while we had the opportunity to explore the casino floor. (We didn’t win big, but we had fun while being kid-free!)

Of course, we toured Kids Quest first to make sure it was indeed safe and some place we felt comfortable leaving our kids at since they had never been there before.  Kids Quest not only has a fully trained and capable staff, it’s also packed with lots of stuff to keep kids occupied for hours on end.  There are iPad stations, PlayStation stations, video games, rock wall, a stage for karaoke and imaginative play, art supplies, an area for tiny tots & babies, a sports zone and so much more!  Kids Quest is for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old.

Mohegan Sun also has their own book store called Spin Street which has a small selection of fiction and nonfiction books for adults (no picture books for kids), videos and other novelty items like t-shirts.

Display of fiction and nonfiction books inside the Spin Street book store

Display of books and novelty items inside the Spin Street book store

In addition to checking out Spin Street book store we also ventured out to two local libraries: Gales Ferry Library and Bill Library.  Bill Library is closer to Mohegan Sun and Gales Ferry Library is located about 10 – 15 minutes away from Bill Library.  Both libraries were very charming and quaint with a nice selection of recent and older books for children, teens and adults.  The kids enjoyed playing with the toys in the children’s section of Bill Library, but they were fast asleep by the time we arrived at the Gales Ferry Library.

Gales Ferry Library located in Gales Ferry, CT

    “The road to knowledge begins with the turn of a page.”

If you’re thinking of taking a family trip to Mohegan Sun I’d highly recommend it!  Bring the kids to enjoy the arcade or some of the many other kid-friendly activities they have going on at different times of the year.  We’ll definitely be returning more often to visit with or without the kids!

Your turn: Do you think casinos resorts are for adults only?  Feel free to share in the comments.

Book Reviews

We Are in an ART-ivity: Paper Sculpture Activity + Meeting Mo Willems!

Disclaimer: We love Mo Willems books and are so excited to be sponsored by Disney-Hyperion for the #ReadMo Ambassador program!

We Are in an ART-ivity Book! by Mo Willems
Released September 5th, 2017
Recommended for ages 4- 8

About the Book

Drawing! Coloring! Sculpting! Gaming! Puzzling! LOLing! It’s all here in the first-ever Elephant & Piggie ART-ivity book.

Elephant & Piggie are joined by a new face too: Art Vaark. Art the aardvark introduces Elephant, Piggie (and kids) to an incredible span of artistic styles: a “banana” still life; a color-by-number Piggie “Scream” painting; a scrap-paper collage (for which you earn an official “Collage Diploma”); and so much more.

Created by the same team behind Don’t Let the Pigeon Finish This Activity Book!, this fun-filled, hands-on book features an interactive narrative that invites kids into an exciting, original Elephant & Piggie adventure!


We’ve been working our way through our ART-ivity book one activity at a time for the past few weeks.  I like the variety it offers: drawing, coloring, games, puzzles and more.  The coloring projects have been great for helping to strengthen fine motor skills and the drawing projects are helping the kids to be more creative even if some of their drawings don’t look exactly like the picture in the book.  That’s ok, right?  That’s what art is all about!

Although this book is recommended for ages 4 to 8, I’d probably recommend if for ages 5 and up simply because some of the activities require slightly more advanced skills (draw a self portrait, cut and paste, mazes, puzzles) than a typical four year-old can handle independently.  Depending on each child’s abilities, adult supervision may be necessary while working on some of the activities in this book.

I love organization so I really LOVE the index in this book that lists various art masterpieces that inspired some of the crafts listed in the book.  The index tells you the name of the artwork, the artist who created it along with the year it was created and where you can find it.  This in itself would make for a great open art discussion with older readers or perhaps inspire you to take a field trip to see one of the art exhibits in person.

The book also has a handy pocket where kids can store all of the art projects and perforated pages that makes it easy to take out of the book.  Helpful icons are displayed on pages throughout the book at the bottom of each page to help kids know what’s needed for each art project.  For example: there is an icon of a pencil, crayons, tape, scissors, paper, etc.  Once the art-ivity book has been completed, there is a certificate for children to write their name(s) on.

Meeting Mo Willems + An ART-ivity!

Last weekend I decided to take our ART-ivity book with us on a field trip to the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA.  We attended the Inspiration Day at the Carle event and guess who was there?  Mr. Mo Willems himself!  Even though I only chatted with him for a brief moment he was just as funny and as personable as you would expect.  I was more excited than the kids were to meet him!

In addition to meeting Mo and having him sign our books, we also created our own paper sculptures in the art studio. My daughter even got creative and turned her paper sculpture into a piece of wearable art!  Check out some of the highlights below.

Shhhh…little artists at work!

Inspiration Day at the Carle with Mo Willems and art-ivities!

Finished paper sculpture #1

Finished paper sculpture #2 – it’s wearable art!

Finished paper sculpture #3 (by Mom)

Mo Willems and Bryan Collier


About the Author

Mo Willems (, a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions, for Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity. The celebrated Elephant & Piggie early-reader series has been awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal on two occasions (for There Is a Bird on Your Head! and Are You Ready to Play Outside?) as well as garnering five Geisel Honors (for We Are in a Book!, I Broke My Trunk!, Let’s Go for a Drive!, A Big Guy Took My Ball! and Waiting Is Not Easy!).

Connect with Disney Books!
Visit the Official Website
Follow Disney-Hyperion on Twitter
Check out Disney Books on Facebook and Instagram

Your turn: What are some of your favorite types of art projects to do with kids?  Have you ever met Mo Willems or any other author/illustrator?  Feel free to share in the comments.

family fun

Literary Road Trip Series: Legoland Discovery Center Westchester, NY

Disclaimer: My family was provided complimentary tickets to facilitate this review.  As always, all opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way.

Over the years, LEGO bricks have changed very little.  According to LEGO, you can mix bricks made more than 30 years ago with ones in your child’s current collection and-CLICK!-they’d snap together as though not a day had passed.  How neat is that?

Interesting facts: In Latin, the word “lego” means “I build” or “I assemble”.  The interesting thing is LEGO inventor, Ole Kirk Christiansen didn’t know that when he came up with the name.  When Ole Kirk was deciding the new name for the now famous LEGO brand back in 1934, he took the Danish words for “play” and “well” – leg and godt – and combined them into the new name we know today, LEGO.

Our Road Trip Begins!
Last summer our family embarked upon an annual tradition of visiting a family-friendly destination followed by checking out either a local independent book store or library afterwards.  It was such a hit we decided to do it again and hopefully keep it as an annual tradition.  The first stop in our road trip series this year was LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Westchester, NY.

Unlike the LEGOLAND outdoor amusement park in Florida, LEGOLAND Westchester Discovery Center has a wide range of indoor educational and interactive experiences for children (and grown-ups).  There are hands-on play areas, a 4D cinema, master classes led by Master Model Builders, two LEGO amusement rides and MINILAND — the venue’s signature re-creation of famous landmark locations and buildings throughout Westchester County and New York City, made entirely out of more than 1 million LEGO bricks.

The MINILAND creations are amazing and so detailed.  We were told by an employee it took a team of 20 expert Lego model builders six months to complete – wow!  LEGO lovers will see replicas of: Grand Central Terminal, The Empire State Building, The Chrysler Building, The Statue of Liberty, Met Life Stadium, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Central Park and more.  Children will also be mesmerized by the exciting interactive features that include lights, sounds and moving parts.

Upon entering we received a brief factory overview and learned how LEGOS are made from plastic.  First, the plastic is mixed, then heated and finally molded into different colorful bricks.  After that we headed over to the first of two indoor rides, The Kingdom Quest, an interactive laser ride complete with blasters to blast the “bad guys” in order to help save the princess.  We also took a spin on the other ride called Merlin’s Apprentice.

Next, we headed over to the Build & Test Zone where we built our own race cars with different LEGO pieces and wheels.  Once our cars were assembled we enjoyed racing them down the speed test tracks.  Finally, we checked out some of the other exhibits and play pit areas before heading over to the cinema to watch a 10-15 minute 4D animated LEGO movie.

Although they do have a cafe on-site, there weren’t too many options to choose from so we just opted for a light snack which consisted of chips and bottled water.  Since LEGOLAND is located inside of a shopping center you might be better off having lunch at one of the nearby restaurants.  That’s what we ended up doing.  It’s also worth mentioning that outside food isn’t permitted to bring in.

Of course we had to visit the gift shop before we left to purchase some souvenirs.  The shop is stacked with popular LEGO sets, Duplo bricks, and some apparel (hats, t-shirts and watches).  The kids got their own LEGO sets which they have thoroughly been enjoying playing with since they received them.  Oh, and don’t forget to bring your parking ticket to the gift shop in order to get it validated.  Parking isn’t free, but with the validation it comes up to $1.75 for LEGOLAND attendees.

If you’re in the Connecticut, New York or other surrounding areas I’d definitely recommend visiting LEGOLAND Discovery Center.  Especially if you or your kids love playing with LEGOs like mine do.  It’s a nice and clean family-friendly destination to hang out at with your family for a few hours.  There’s a variety of STEM related activities to keep the kids busy and lots of different seating options for grown-ups to sit down while the kids play and explore. Also, bonus points for it being indoors!  That means you can enjoy LEGOLAND all year round without having to worry about the weather.  It’s heated in the winter and cool during the summer months – win, win!

Connect with LEGOLAND Discovery Center!
Website | Instagram | Facebook

Surrounding Local Bookstore or Library

There is a independent bookstore located about 5 minutes away from LEGOLAND Discovery Center called Womrath Bookshop.  They have a great selection of children’s and adult books as well as some novelty items.

Yonkers, NY has three different public library branches to choose from.  We ended up going to the Grinton I. Will Branch located about 10 minutes away from LEGOLAND.  I didn’t know there were three branches to choose from so maybe one of the other two branches are located a bit closer to LEGOLAND.  In any event, the branch we visited was clean and organized with a cute play area in the children’s section.  They also have beautiful murals decorating their walls throughout the library.

There’s a book for that!

Looking to pair this outing with a children’s book?  Check out The Inventors of LEGO Toys by Erin Hagar.  It’s part of the Awesome Minds early chapter book series for kids!

Your turn: Have you visited LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Westchester, NY or any other LEGOLAND?  Feel free to share in the comments.

family fun

Literary Road Trip Series: Launch Trampoline Park + A Giveaway!

Disclaimer :: Launch Trampoline Park sponsored this post and allowed our family to enjoy a complimentary experience. The information and opinions — including the sore muscles — are completely my own.

Trampoline parks have been popping up all around the Northeast thanks to Ty Law, a retired NFL cornerback who was a three-time Super Bowl Champion with the New England Patriots.  Ty Law had the idea to start the Launch franchises in New England a few years ago because it provided an opportunity to manage a business remotely and with great returns, according to the Launch website.  Today, there are Launch Trampoline parks in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.  There are plans to continue to expand to other states around the country as well.

My kids love bouncing on trampolines so naturally we jumped at the chance to go to Launch Trampoline Park in Hartford, CT. This was not the first time the kids and I went to Launch, but it was first-time experience for my husband.

After signing our safety waivers and putting our shoes and personal belongings in a cubby, we entered the trampoline park.  First stop: The Foam Pit! Who can resist? (Yes, even I jumped in a time or two. However, I quickly realized it is much easier for two and three year olds to climb out than a thirty-something mama.)

Launch Trampoline Park

Next, we headed over to the Kid’s Court. This is the perfect roomy spot for little ones to run and jump and get out that energy with others of their own size. The Kid’s Court is one-fourth of the size of the Main Court and is reserved for children under 42 inches tall.  This space is great because it keeps the littles, who may not have the best balance or jumping skills, from getting injured or scared.  Launch also offers “Toddler Time” so if you have little kids, look for that and other programs on the website for more information.

The next area we checked out was the slam dunk basketball. There are two hoops at the base of the trampolines and plenty of balls to slam dunk.  Basketball lovers and older kids will think this attraction is a dream!  You can run on a trampoline track to jump for a slam dunk on a basketball hoop.

As you can imagine, all that jumping really worked up an appetite. The Launch Café offers foods like hot dogs, pizza, snacks and drinks.  One thing to note:  Eating here along with the cost of jumping can get a little expensive.  Therefore, parents may want to plan their visit so it doesn’t include a full meal.  We decided to purchase a couple of bottles of water and a quick snack for the kids before exploring the Launch arcade.  In the arcade kids can play games and win tickets to put towards a prize.

I think the highlight of the trampoline park for the kids was seeing Joey, Launch Trampoline Park’s hip hoppin’ kangaroo.  You will see Joey at Launch birthday parties, sporting events, road races, and charity events.

Launch Trampoline Park offers so much fun!  In addition to the stations mentioned above, guests can try a larger wall-to-wall trampoline arena, trampoline dodgeball court and fitness classes.  If you’re looking for a perfect spot for a birthday party for those energetic kiddos, I think Launch is a great choice.  They offer a variety of different birthday party packages and allow groups to rent the facility for private parties and events.  They also have some awesome programs including: summer reading, Toddler Time, home school time, field trips, teen nights, and special needs night.

Before heading back home we decided to visit the Hartford Public Library since we were so close by and hadn’t been there in a while.  Going to the library was a nice (and free) way for the kids to calm down after all that bouncing off the walls – literally.  The kids enjoyed playing in the children’s area for a bit while I browsed the shelves looking for some new books to read for the week ahead.

A fun-filled afternoon of jumping, laughing, running and reading made for an easy bedtime. Goodbye, pre-school energy. Hello, rest and relaxation!

Back-to-School Promotion!
Right now Launch is offering a back-to-school promotion that runs through Friday September 2nd.  Any student who purchases an hour jump receives a free 1/2 hour. (Must be used same day)  “Relieve back to school stress and take your kids to bounce off the walls at Launch!”For more information, check out Launch Trampoline Park and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


The Giveaway!
Want to win a family 4-pack of tickets to Launch Trampoline Park in Hartford, CT? (A $56 value)  Our friends at Launch Trampoline Park were gracious enough to sponsor this contest.  Enter our giveaway below for your chance to win.  Hurry – ends Tuesday, September 6, 2016.  Good luck!

Launch Trampoline Park Family 4-Pack Giveaway

family fun

Literary Road Trip Series: Our Trip to Edaville USA!

Disclaimer:  We received complimentary passes to go to Edaville USA in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

My family and I recently had the opportunity to go to Edaville USA in Carver, Massachusetts.  Since it’s about a 2.5 hour drive, we decided to spend the weekend in the area which turned out to be a great idea given the 4th of July holiday traffic.

As you may know, this summer the kids and I have been traveling to different literary destinations (mixed in with a little family fun).  While Edaville has little to do with books or reading, it certainly covers the family fun component.  This amusement park allows you to enter a world of imagination and wonder where both the young – and the young at heart – can discover the magic of Thomas & Friends.


Thomas Land theme park covers 11.5 acres within Edaville USA, bringing the Island of Sodor to life in a lush New England landscape. Families can visit iconic destinations including Knapford Station and Tidmouth Sheds and enjoy 11 themed rides featuring favorite characters like Cranky the Crane, Harold the Helicopter, and more!  Edaville also offers special events throughout the year, including Hello Kitty, Curious George, Pete the Cat, Superheroes & Princesses, Pumpkins AGLOW just to name a few.  It’s the perfect family-friendly destination for your train loving kiddos!

When we arrived at the park we were expecting it to be packed since it was a holiday weekend.  However, we were pleasantly surprised to see it wasn’t too crowded at all.  We found a parking spot fairly quickly right in the front three rows.  As soon as we enter the park, there is a carousel ride off to your left so expect your kids to want to ride like mine did.  Also in the park entrance there is a huge pond where kids can try to catch their own fish.  Currently, there is another portion of the front entrance that is under construction.  It looks like it’s going to be really cute once it’s completed.  We saw a sign posted on the way out that said it will be a Charles Dickens Village opening just in time for the Christmas holiday season!


There was also little to no wait time for each of the rides which was great because my kids are very impatient when it comes to waiting.  A majority of the rides are for kids, but there are some that my husband and I went on like the free fall which is always a fun time.  I love that everything in this park is clean & bright and the characters are instantly recognizable.  The kids loved seeing Gordon, James, Emily, and Percy all hanging out at Tidmouth Shed.

The kids said their favorite part of the park was seeing Thomas the Train up close and personal.  Oh yeah, and I can’t forget the dinosaurs in Dino Land!  After walking around the entire park, my husband and I enjoyed going on the ride around the amusement park which lasted about 15-20 minutes.  The ride was just the right amount of time we needed to rest our tired feet before heading back out into the park with the kids again.


For lunch we ate at the on-site Dockside Diner.  They had a variety of options to choose from like fresh salads, sandwiches personal sized pizzas and hot dogs.  On our way out of the park, I took a quick peek inside the gift shop.  I saw several trains & sets plus a host of other items sure to excite and entertain any train or Thomas enthusiast!

Edaville is such a fun and family-friendly amusement park.  We can’t wait to go back next summer to enjoy the upcoming Pirate Adventure attraction, Charles Dickens Village and water rides!

After leaving the park we attempted to visit the Carver Public Library, but it closed early since it was Saturday.  It looks like a really nice library from the outside.


We also tried looking for some local book stores in the area, but couldn’t find one.  Therefore, when we opted for exploring the sights around the hotel we stayed at in Plymouth, MA which was just a short 25 minute drive from Edaville.  I was delighted to see the replication of the Mayflower II ship was located directly across the street from our hotel at Pilgrim Memorial State Park pier.

The Mayflower II is a full-scale reproduction of the tall ship that brought the Pilgrims to Plymouth in 1620. Costumed role-players tell you about their perilous journey across the Atlantic, while modern guides speak about the fascinating history of Mayflower and Mayflower II.

We also saw the nation’s oldest continuously operating public museum, Pilgrim Hall Museum.  The museum has an impressive collection of Pilgrim possessions telling the story of brave and determined men and women building lives and homes for themselves and their children in a new world.  So interesting!

Overall, we had an amazing weekend in Massachusetts exploring Edaville and Plymouth! Put Edaville USA on your list of family-friendly destinations to visit this summer with your little readers and train enthusiasts!

Connect with Edaville USA!  (for more information and current promotions)
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Your turn:  Have you ever visited Edaville USA?  Feel free to share in the comments.

family fun

Literary Road Trip Series: We’re Going to Edaville USA!

Our Literary Road Trip Series continues with an upcoming trip to Carver, MA to go to Edaville USA!  Edaville is a family-friendly amusement park and is the home of three adventures: Thomas Land, Dino Land (Seasonal), Christmas Festival of Lights (Seasonal), including over 90 rides & attractions.  It’s also a Top 3 winner for Best New Amusement Park Attractions as chosen by readers of USA Today & 10 Best!


Edaville USA offers special events throughout the year, including Hello Kitty, Curious George, Pete the Cat, Superheroes & Princesses, Pumpkins AGLOW and so much more!  This amusement park allows you to enter a world of imagination and wonder where both the young – and the young at heart – can discover the magic of Thomas & Friends. Thomas Land theme park covers 11.5 acres within Edaville USA, bringing the Island of Sodor to life in a lush New England landscape. Families can visit iconic destinations including Knapford Station and Tidmouth Sheds and enjoy 11 themed rides featuring favorite characters like Cranky the Crane, Harold the Helicopter, and more!  The perfect family-friendly destination for your train loving kiddos!

While we’re in Carver, MA we also plan to check out their local library (time permitting), find a local book store or some other popular literary attraction.  I’m sure we’ll have a great time exploring the town after we experience all that Edaville USA has to offer!

Connect with Edaville USA!  (for more information and current promotions)
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Your turn: Have you and your family ever been to Edaville USA?  What should we check out while we’re in town?  Feel free to share in the comments!

family fun

Literary Road Trip Series: Springfield Museums

Summer is officially here! What is summer if not a time for adventure, exploration, and traveling to new and different places!  This summer the kids and I (along with some friends and maybe “the husband”) intend to hit the road and go on some literary-themed and kid-friendly road trips.

A few months ago, I compiled a list of places in the Northeast where we can get our book shopping and literary geekiness on thrown in with some family and kid-friendly fun!  This summer, we’ll be embarking on a literary pilgrimage of sorts.  I hope to offer my kids a unique, inspiring and educational summer vacation.  We’ll be visiting various museums, libraries and centers for children’s literature.  Whether your family will be hitting the road this summer, or whether you’re staying close to home, I hope this literary road trip series will inspire you and your kids kids to do some exploring in your own area.

SpringfieldMuseumsWe kicked off our road trip series with a visit to the Springfield Museums.  Located in the heart of downtown Springfield, Massachusetts, the Springfield Museums offers access to four world-class museums and the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, all for one admission price.  What a great deal!

The four museums are as follows: George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, Springfield Science Museum, Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts and Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History.  There is also a museum store which has a fabulous range of children’s books, educational kits and toys available for purchase. You’re bound to find a gem (or two) to take home.

The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum will be a brand new addition coming to the Springfield Museums!  It will include an interactive, bilingual museum for children and families that brings the stories of Ted Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) to life. Visitors will encounter three-dimensional characters and scenes from his books as they explore Ted’s childhood in Springfield, Massachusetts. This colorful exhibition aims to make reading and learning fun for visitors of all ages and will open in 2017.

We only ended up exploring two out of the four museums which seemed to be the most kid-friendly ones.  First, we went to the Springfield Science Museum which has an Exploration Center of touchable displays, the oldest operating planetarium in the United States, an extensive collection of stuffed and mounted animals, dinosaur exhibits, and the African Hall, through which you can take an interactive tour.

Next, we went to The Museum of Springfield History which tells the story of the town’s manufacturing heritage. Did you know that Springfield was home to the former Indian Motorcycle Company?  The museum has a rich and beautiful collection of Indian bikes and memorabilia on display throughout.

Afterwards, we headed over to the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden.  The garden includes an array of bronze statues depicting scenes from Theodor Geisel’s famously whimsical children’s books.  The statues include a four-foot-tall Lorax, one of his most popular creations and the elephant from Horton Hears a Who.

The kids really enjoyed seeing all the animals and exhibits at the museum, playing in the interactive kid’s play area and running around in the sculpture garden.  One of my friends and her son accompanied us too – we had a ball!  Before heading home, we went to the on-site cafe to grab a bite to eat and ended up having an impromptu picnic lunch outside on a blanket.  What a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

If you’re ever in the area, I’d highly recommend going on a literary road trip to Springfield, MA, the home city of Dr. Seuss.  Make the Springfield Museums one of your first stops with your little readers!

What bookish adventures can you and your little readers go on in your area this summer? Please leave your thoughts in the comments as we embark on our own summer literary adventure!

Disclaimer: We were provided with complimentary tickets to the Springfield Museums in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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Boscov’s Grand Opening Plus an Instagram Giveaway!

There’s a new “kid’ on the block in my neck of the woods in Connecticut.  Boscov’s department store opened its doors to the general public last Thursday, October 8th.

I had the privilege of attending the grand opening of their 44th store with a few other fellow bloggers who were also invited.  This was my very first blogger event so I was super excited to be there and have the opportunity to connect with other local bloggers, see the store, and get a glimpse of what other bloggers experience at these types of events.  Thanks again, Boscov’s for the invite!

Ok, now on to the good stuff…

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If you have never been to a Boscov’s department store, let me tell you 5 reasons why you should totally consider going:

1. They sell books!
Of course, I had to mention books first, right?  Now, before you get your hopes up let me warn you they don’t have a large selection of books available, at least not yet anyway.  However, if you’re a Dr. Seuss fan, they have a nice variety of those types of books.  I also saw some books that would make nice baby shower gifts like the 1940’s classic book Pat the Bunny (one of the best-selling children’s books of all time) which was packaged nicely in a clear box ready for gift-giving.

2. They provide FREE gift wrapping throughout the entire year!
How many times have you gone to a store to buy a gift, and then turn around and go to another store to purchase either a gift bag, wrapping paper or tissue paper?  Too many times, right?  One of the great things about Boscov’s is they offer this service to their customers FREE of charge throughout the entire year, not just during the holidays.  You can take your purchase directly to the gift wrapping counter to have them wrapped and receive quality customer service with a smile.

3. They have activities for children!
One of the many things that makes Boscov’s unique is their commitment to serving local communities.  They have a long history of charitable programs and activities for children and adults. Throughout the year, Boscov’s holds fundraising and awareness events for local community non-profit organizations in their community auditorium.  Some of their events may include: famous entertainers, fashion shows, face painters, balloon artists, and health and wellness classes.

4. They have a candy department in the store!
At Boscov’s they make their own fudge and its served fresh everyday.  They also have a great selection of chocolates, candy and other sweet treats.

5. They have an exceptional bargain section!
I don’t ever recall seeing a bargain section in a department store that actually has good, quality items.  I scored some really great deals in the bargain section like a 2 quart tea kettle for only $2.99!  Most of the items I saw started as low as $1.00 and went up to $9.99 or more.  Get a head start on purchasing your stocking stuffers now!

In addition to all of the wonderful things I’ve mentioned above, Boscov’s also sells everything you’d find in any other department store like: brand-name merchandise including apparel, shoes and accessories for men, women and children, home furnishings, toys, cosmetics, and small appliances.

If you’re one of my local subscribers who lives in Connecticut, I highly recommend stopping by to check out Boscov’s at the Westfield Meriden Mall!  Right now until October 17th they’re having a mega grand opening sale with blockbuster deals.  Plus, there are activities for children and you can register to win some fantastic prizes.  Also, Academy Award Winner Shirley Jones and her son Patrick Cassidy are performing alone or together in the community auditorium.

Other Upcoming Events

Sunday October 25 – Friday October 30
Come out to watch a fashion show with your family and friends!

October 31, 2015
Boscov’s invites you and your family to join us for a day of Free Halloween Fun, make and take crafts, costumes parade, games and more!

Boscov’s currently has locations in: Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Deleware, and Ohio.  Not in one of those states?  Don’t worry, you can take advantage of their great deals by shopping online at

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend this event by Boscov’s public relations and marketing team, however all views and opinions expressed are our own.

Your turn:  Have you ever shopped at Boscov’s before?  Feel free to share in the comments.

My First Instagram Giveaway!
In celebration of the grand opening of the new Boscov’s department store, I’m giving away a selfie stick I purchased from there this past weekend.

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To enter, go to my Instagram page (@hereweeread), find the picture of the selfie stick, and then tag a book loving friend in the comments below the picture. I’ll select a random winner this Thursday morning (10/15) at 6am Eastern time. Sorry, only open to US residents. Prize will ship by the end of this week.  Good luck!

10/16/2015 Update: This giveaway has ended.  The random winner chosen was Instagram user @usbornestagram.  Congratulations!