Labor Day Parade

Our town has hosted the states largest Labor Day Parade for as long as I can remember.  This parade was a huge deal when I was little whether I was in it or watching it, so I’ve made it part of our family traditions since the boys were tiny.  For the last couple years the boys have been in the parade.  First for Cub Scouts, then last year  all of us (except Johnny, he was in it for Scouts) were in it for baseball, though Timmy could have also been in it for Scouts AND football.  This year Johnny decided to skip being IN it so he could watch it and collect candy!  But Timmy was in the parade for the first time as part of marching band!  Again he could have also been in it for Student Council, Scouts OR football.  (Type A kid much? Maybe a little.)

So without further a due rambling….

labor day parade 2013 cheering

After dropping off Timmy at his stop for band we had a LITTLE bit of a wait for the parade.  So Bryan was a tad happy to finally see it coming!!

labor day parade 2013 johnny

 

With almost 100 entries there was lots to see. And much candy to be caught.  Here are just a few of my favorite things:

Shriners…

labor day parade 2013 shrine car labor day parade 2013 shriner plane labor day parade 2013 shriner car

 

Old cars…

 

labor day parade 2013 old cars

 

And the fire trucks, new and old…

labor day parade 2013 fire truck labor day parade 2013 old fire truck

 

labor day parade 2013 old fire engine

 

But the best part of all was, of course, this guy…

labor day parade 2013 timmy marching band 3labor day parade 2013 timmy marching band 2

Kalahari Resorts Summer Splash Giveaway

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Have you experienced the family fun of Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells?  It’s not too late for one last summer splash at Kalahari!

Are you ready to get away with your family to Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells?  They have so much to do you’ll never need to leave.  From the waterparks, indoors AND outdoors, to the indoor theme park to the fabulous restaurants and even the chance to get a photo with a live baby kangaroo or tiger.  Our family had a great time earlier this year when we visited Kalahari Resorts.

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Enter now to win a Summer Splash Pack including 4 waterpark passes*!

 

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Seadog Chicago Fireworks Cruise

During my trip downtown Chicago last month I had the pleasure of taking an amazing fireworks cruise courtesy of Seadog Chicago and Madame Deals.

seadog cruise chicago skyline madame deals

The view from Seadog’s dock on Navy Pier was beautiful as we boarded.  I don’t think I will ever get tired of the Chicago skyline at night. It is truly breath taking.

Seadog cruises in a speedboat so you will be warned that you could get wet.  Thankfully we were out on a calm night and I think they went easy on us so we stayed completely dry.

seadog cruise blogging friends madame deals

I loved spending the evening with good friends. We chose to stay put in our seats but you are able to get up and move around.  And to my surprise there IS a bathroom on board.

seadog cruise chicago fireworks madame deals

And I have never seen fireworks from ON the lake but I LOVED seeing the colors reflecting off the water in addition to lighting up the sky.

seadog cruise blogging friends jake madame deals

Paula of FrostedFingers.com, me, Jake from Seadog, Sara of SensiblySara.com and Samantha of ThePeanutsGang.com

I had such a great time on Seadog Chicago fireworks cruise, thank you Jake and Seadog!!!

My Beautiful Chicago in Photos

Last month I had the chance to take in the sites of my beautiful Chicago as a ‘tourist’ and I simply can’t get over how incredible it really is.  chicago lake michigan beach shore view from signature room john hancock center

The amazing view of the Chicago lake shore looking north from the Signature Room of the John Hancock Center.
chicago lake michigan view from skydeck willis tower
The gorgeous view of the lake looking east from Skydeck Chicago inside Willis Tower.
gorgeous chicago river view

The Chicago River couldn’t be more beautiful at night!
beautiful Chicago
Looking down the Chicago River towards Trump Tower from the Sheraton Chicago.
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Chicago skyline is breathtaking at night. (View from Navy Pier looking west toward downtown.)

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View of the Chicago skyline from the museum campus.

Donley’s Wild West Town Was A Rootin’ Tootin’ Good Time

 

Wild West Town

Donley’s Wild West Town hosted our family for a day of frontier fun earlier this summer and we had a great time.  I really wasn’t sure what to expect since we’ve never been there before but it sounded like some thing the boys would enjoy so we headed off to check it out.  Now first of all, Union, IL is a bit of a trek from us and would be for a lot of the Chicago suburbs.  If it’s too far for a day trip there IS camping at a KOA grounds right next to Donley’s!  But with a drive just a little over an hour and fifteen minutes we simply headed out early and made a full day of it.

When we got there we each received a punch card to be used for the special rides such as the small roller coaster and pony rides as well as the games/activities such as sling shot and pop gun shooting gallery.  On the punch card is two punches per ride/game but you can use the punches in basically any combination you want.  For instance if you don’t enjoy the archery game, you can use your archery punches for some extra runs on the roller coaster.  The only exception to this is the pony rides which you may only use two punches for per card.

Each of the boys seemed to have a different favorite activity, all though they all tried them all.  Timmy spent a ton of time in the sling shot shooting gallery, Johnny was addicted to panning for gold and Bryan may have gone on an extra pony ride or two courtesy of my punch card.

I was honestly surprised by how long it took us to finish up all their cards.  But we did also stop for lunch and we enjoyed many of the unlimited activities that are also included in your ticket price including the museum, the merry go round, the hand cars, the carousel, the tomahawk throw and the Wild West show!

We spent an entire day enjoying Donley’s Wild West Town and I think we will definitely go back.  I would recommend Donley’s to families of elementary school aged kids.  I think my boys 5, 9 and 10 years old were the perfect ages.  Some of the things would be probably not be appreciated (ie would be uncool) by older kids and there isn’t much to do for little little ones.

Donley’s Wild West Town is located in McHenry County at the intersection of Route 20 & S. Union Road, 3 miles south of the Village of Union at 8512 S. Union Rd. The park is daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on May 18 through August 23 (except May 20) and on Saturdays and Sundays from August 24 through October 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $15. For more information call 815.923.9000 or go to www.wildwesttown.com.

donley's wild west town union il horseback riding

 

donley's wild west town union il panning mining digging gold 2

donley's wild west town union il panning mining digging gold

donley's wild west town union il tomahawl throw

 

You’ll be happy to hear that the bathroom facilities are fabulous…..

donley's wild west town union il johnny outhousedonley's wild west town union il bryan outhouse

donley's wild west town union il timmy outhousedonley's wild west town union il lisa outhouse

 

 

donley's wild west town union il shooting gallery sling shots boys fun

donley's wild west town union il horse drawn carriage boys and i

donley's wild west town union il shooting gallery guns boys fun

 

As an added bonus (for me at least) I got to spend some time with a good friend of mine while the boys ran around!

donley's wild west town mom and more cher and i union il

Cher from MomandMore.com and I

Save Up to $12 off Admission at Volo Auto Museum

In exchange for sharing this promotion, my family will receive complimentary admission.

Have you been to the Volo Auto Museum? We pass by it regularly and I’ve been thinking about stopping as it sounds like something the boys might like. But the more I read about it, the more excited I am to go check it out!

logo Volo Auto Museum is not just for car lovers or men, its fun for the whole family!  36 acres, mostly all indoors and includes fifty thousand square feet of antiques and gifts, a life like military combat zone, Betty’s Diner featuring decor which includes Elvis Presley’s autographed guitar, PeeWee Hermans Bicycle and more.  Plus over 300 restored collector automobiles from the early teens through today. 

 

The largest collection of famous Hollywood TV and movie cars like the Batmobile, Ecto 1 from Ghostbusters and numerous others.  New for 2013 is the Cars in Wonderland Exhibit; it has all your favorite childhood cars from the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine to Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater from CARS all surrounded by movie-like setting from your favorite Disney and Looney Tunes Cartoons, such as Beauty and the Beast, Litter Mermaid, Coyote and Road Runner and others. 

 

Volo Auto Museum is more than a car museum, its memories and education for all ages!

 

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My Readers can save up to $12 off Admission at Volo Auto Museum with coupon- http://www.usfamilycoupons.com/coupon.php?bid=11249&dealid=1319®ionid=75

 

Check out the First-Ever Swashbuckler Weekend at Bristol Renaissance Faire, July 13-14

 

Thanks to the Bristol Renaissance Faire for hosting my family as part of media weekend!DSCN0401

The Bristol Renaissance Faire is battening down the hatches for its first-ever Swashbuckler Weekend, July 13-14. Boasting an incomparable booty of music, merriment, and at least a modicum of mayhem, the weekend will also mark the Bristol debut of the Iron Hill Vagabonds, an acoustic music duo that’s been attracting attention on the national Renaissance faire circuit.

            Bristol fans won’t want to miss the season’s only appearances of Doktor Kaboom, with his side-splittingly funny scientific diversions, and folk-madrigal singing sensations DeCantus. Other limited engagement appearances slated for the weekend include the Bristol premiere of the Jamila Lotus Bellydance Carnivale, and the second in a three-weekend-only engagement of Celtic rock phenomenon Tartanic.

            Named “#1 Renaissance Faire in the Country” in 2012, the Bristol Renaissance Faire is located on 30 wooded acres, just west of I-94’s Russell Road exit, near Kenosha, Wis. Open rain or shine, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., every Saturday and Sunday through Sep. 2, and on Labor Day Monday, Sep. 3, tickets are $19.95 for adults and $9.50 for children, ages 5 to 12. For additional information, visit renfair.com or call (847) 395-7773.

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My family and I attended opening weekend and had a fabulous time.  It was a warm and humid day so we were sweaty but thankfully we were filled in on wht appears to be a lil known secret of the Faire, the Friends of the Faire Garden where members have access to unlimited water and Gatorade, shady areas to sit and private bathrooms.  Membership can be purchased via a daily pass ($5 for anyone over 12, free for kids under) or a season pass (sorry I didn’t get the price).  This was a huge savings for us on water and we were able to enjoy the faire longer knowing we wouldn’t wind up dehydrated.

If you’re on a budget, you can also pack a lunch and return to your car as re-entry is easy with a hand stamp.  Also discounts can typically be found online.  Friends enjoyed the current discount by purchasing tickets from Walgreens.

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  Overall the Faire is a full sensory experience, with characters of the time at every turn, stores selling costumes, swords, candies and so many beautiful items with a renaissance feel.  There are rides and tons of shows going on constantly so it’s perfect for families or for date night!

But by far my boys favorite thing are the knights you will find in the jousting arena.  If you’ve visited before, you might be delighted (as I was) to find that the joust will surprise and entertain you all over again!DSCN0422 DSCN0438

The Bristol Renaissance Faire is battening down the hatches for its first-ever Swashbuckler Weekend, July 13-14. Boasting an incomparable booty of music, merriment, and at least a modicum of mayhem, the weekend will also mark the Bristol debut of the Iron Hill Vagabonds, an acoustic music duo that’s been attracting attention on the national Renaissance faire circuit.

            Bristol fans won’t want to miss the season’s only appearances of Doktor Kaboom, with his side-splittingly funny scientific diversions, and folk-madrigal singing sensations DeCantus. Other limited engagement appearances slated for the weekend include the Bristol premiere of the Jamila Lotus Bellydance Carnivale, and the second in a three-weekend-only engagement of Celtic rock phenomenon Tartanic.

            Named “#1 Renaissance Faire in the Country” in 2012, the Bristol Renaissance Faire is located on 30 wooded acres, just west of I-94’s Russell Road exit, near Kenosha, Wis. Open rain or shine, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., every Saturday and Sunday through Sep. 2, and on Labor Day Monday, Sep. 3, tickets are $19.95 for adults and $9.50 for children, ages 5 to 12. For additional information, visit renfair.com or call (847) 395-7773.

“GHOST THE MUSICAL” Plays Chicago’s Oriental Theatre Jan. 7-19, 2014

THE TIMELESS FANTASY ABOUT THE POWER OF LOVE 

      

Playing Chicago’s Oriental Theatre
 January 7 – 19, 2014

 

CHICAGO (June 24, 2013) – Broadway In Chicago is thrilled to announce that the new Broadway and West End musical GHOST THE MUSICAL will play Chicago’s Oriental Theatre (24 West Randolph) from Jan. 7 – 19, 2014. Relive the iconic and magical moments from the Oscar-winning movie Ghost in a brand-new Broadway musical.  Ghost The Musical breathes glorious new life into a timeless love story.

Ghost The Musical is directed by Tony Award-winner Matthew Warchus (God of Carnage, The Norman Conquests, Boeing-Boeing) and created by a team of Grammy and Academy Award-winners, including an original score by Dave Stewart (half of the multi-Grammy Award-winning Eurythmics) and Glen Ballard (Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror, Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill).  GHOST THE MUSICAL features a book by Bruce Joel Rubin (Ghost, Jacob’s Ladder, The Time Traveler’s Wife) who has adapted his Academy Award-winning original screenplay for the stage.  This brand new score also includes the iconic song “Unchained Melody,” famously performed in the film by The Righteous Brothers.

Set in modern day New York City, GHOST THE MUSICAL is a timeless fantasy about the power of love.  Walking back to their apartment one night after a romantic dinner, Sam and Molly are mugged, leaving Sam dead on a dark street.  Sam is trapped as a ghost between this world and the next and unable to leave Molly, who he learns is in grave danger. With the help of a phony storefront psychic, Sam tries to communicate with Molly in the hopes of saving and protecting her.

GHOST The Musical has been enjoyed by over 500,000 people worldwide and has been nominated for numerous awards including five Olivier Awards and three Tony Awards.  The Associated Press calls GHOST The Musical “Eye-poppingly brilliant” while Variety assures the audience will experience “A limitless array of dazzling effects.”  Newsday promises that GHOST The Musical is “Unlike anything seen on stage before” and the Daily Telegraph says that GHOST The Musical “Will keep you gasping!”

Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Film in 1990, Ghost became a blockbuster hit and an instant classic, winning numerous awards worldwide.  The film starred Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Tony Goldwyn and Whoopi Goldberg and was directed by Jerry Zucker.  Bruce Joel Rubin’s script won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and Whoopi Goldberg won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of psychic Oda Mae Brown.

TICKET INFORMATION
GHOST THE MUSICAL is part of the Broadway In Chicago 2014 Spring Season.  Group tickets for 10 or more are now on sale by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710. Individual tickets for GHOST THE MUSICAL will go on sale at a later date.  For more information, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com or www.ghostthemusical.com.

See Chicago with Seadog

Chicago is MY kind of town! Ok, so I’m really not a city girl.  The suburbs are more my speed. Literally, I can’t handle city traffic.  But I can’t imagine living somewhere else because I LOVE having the easy access to Chicago.  And if you spend much time near the water ways of Chicago (which you WILL do if you do much walking around the heart of downtown) you are very likely to catch site of a Seadog boat!  I’ve never been on one of their cruises but they always look like they are a blast when they go cruisin on by!  Which is why I’m super excited to check them out next month while I’m downtown for Blogher’13!  Thanks to Seadog and Madame Deals I will get to enjoy an evening with fellow bloggers on a Fireworks Seadog Cruise!

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Are you ready for an entertaining cruise experience along Chicago’s scenic lakefront?

Come out to Navy Pier and let Seadog show you the city April-October, weather permitting.

Seadog offers four exciting ways to see and experience Chicago from the water:

Lakefront Speedboat Tour
This 30-minute cruise along the shoreline offers a descriptive tour of Chicago’s famous skyline, while playing your favorite music.
Extreme Thrill Ride
This cruise is perfect for the dare-devil in you! This 30-minute ride features splash down stops, 180-degree turns, slalom runs and more.
River and Lake Architectural Tour
Enjoy historic views of Chicago’s famous landmarks and neighborhoods during this 75-minute cruise on both Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.
Lakefront Fireworks Cruise
Enjoy front-row seats to the spectacular fireworks display aboard our Lakefront Fireworks Cruise! Cruise along Lake Michigan with an exciting speedboat ride paired with an informative tour of the Chicago skyline, then end the evening with a dazzling fireworks show and top-40 hits playing in the background! The open aired vessel allows for panoramic views, providing a perfect view. The Seadog Fireworks Cruise is available on Wednesdays and Saturdays, running from Memorial Day – Labor Day.

Seadog is great for both individuals and groups. We offer customizable group events for up to 450 people.
Seadog also features specific holiday cruises, such as Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Halloween.
Not only can you enjoy a Seadog Cruise, but your dog can as well! Dogs ride for free, space permitting.
For more information, please visit www.seadogcruises.com/chicago/ or call 888-636-7737.

I can’t wait to tell you all about my experience after our cruise!

THE GRAND GENEVA RESORT & SPA ANNOUNCES NEW DATES FOR SUMMER CONCERT SERIES

Grand Geneva is a great resort as it is but visit certain weekend this summer and you can enjoy some great music for free as well.
ggc
The AAA Four-Diamond Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, owned and managed by Marcus Hotels & Resorts, invites guests to revel in the sounds of the season during the second annual installment of the property’s Summer Concert Series. Held outdoors at the resort’s ski chalet, the season-long series offers lawn seating where guests can kick up their heels and enjoy a bevy of up-and-coming musical acts, including:
  • Friday, June 28 – The Eddie Butts Band – a Midwestern favorite that plays a mix of soul, blues, and jazz classics.
  • Friday, July 12 – Geoff Landon & The Wolfpack– Known for their powerful vocals, the band pays homage to today’s top musical acts and award-winning musicians.
  • Saturday, July 13 – Bella Cain – This local country group brings their high-energy act to the Grand Geneva as part of their annual pre-concert event before Wisconsin’s Country Thunder festival. Concert goers will be able to enter for a chance to win sold-out Country Thunder Tickets, Brad Paisley Meet and Greet Tickets, and autographed guitar, and more.*
  • Friday, August 2 – The South of Disorder Band – A suburban Chicago act that transports listeners to the islands with their renditions of classic rock standards from Jimmy Buffet. 
Doors open at 7 p.m. for each Summer Concert Series event, with live entertainment beginning at 7:30 p.m. Each concert will feature a variety of themed-menu offerings and drinks. Concert admission is complimentary for resort guests, and $10 for non-guests.
*For the Bella Cain concert only, doors will open at 6 p.m., with complimentary admission for resort guests, and $8 tickets for non-guests. Country radio station 106.1 will host a live broadcast from 6-8 p.m.; with live entertainment beginning at 9 p.m.
For more information or to reserve accommodations at the Grand Geneva, please call 800.558.3417 or visit www.GrandGeneva.com.
For more information on the latest news and updates from Marcus Hotels & Resorts, please visit: http://media.marcushotels.com.
About Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa is an award-winning all-seasons resort set on 1,300 acres in the legendary southeastern Wisconsin community of Lake Geneva, just 90 minutes from Chicago and 50 minutes from Milwaukee. The property features 355 guest rooms; WELL Spa + Salon; two championship 18-hole golf courses; The Mountain Top, a three-chair/18-run ski and snowboard facility; 62,000 square feet of meeting and convention space; three restaurants; and a 4,100-square-foot executive airport.
Grand Geneva recently completed property-wide renovations, which included improvements to all guest accommodations, the outdoor pool deck and WELL Spa + Salon, and the addition of Embers Terrace, an outdoor fireplace experience. For more information, please visit www.grandgeneva.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter(@Grand_Geneva).
I have not been compensated for this post.