Ski season in Colorado is now longer than ever. With 17” of fresh snow just last week, Breckenridge Ski Resort has extended its ski and snowboard season through the first two weekends in June. Meanwhile, Keystone Resort recently announced a capital improvement proposal to upgrade snowmaking, which could allow the resort to open for the season as early as October. So, that only leaves three months to fill with non-skiing fun. Fortunately, there is still tons of Colorado family fun on offer—at the resorts and beyond—all summer long!
We have written extensively about how much we love skiing in Colorado (check out 5 Things I Learned Skiing at Breckenridge and our Ultimate Guide to Keystone Resort with Kids). But, guess what? We love visiting Breckenridge and Keystone Resort in the summer, too. With festivals, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and snow tubing, your family will have a blast. Here are some of the fun activities and events you can expect this summer, while counting the days until you can ski again.
Epic Discovery at Breckenridge: A Mountain of Summer Fun
This summer, enjoy mountain fun at Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Epic Discovery, offering a combination of family-friendly and thrill-seeking outdoor activities.
The summer fun starts at Peak 8 Base Camp, accessible by the free BreckConnect Gondola in town, where you can try the Gold Runner Coaster and Alpine Slides. From there, take a scenic ride on the Colorado SuperChair to Alpine Camp and find the Expedition Zipline Tour, Gold Summit Climbing Wall, and the Alpineer Challenge Course. There’s something for everyone.
Take a Ski Run Trail Ride with Breckenridge Stables
From mid-May (weather-permitting) to September, families can enjoy a scenic trail ride between Peaks 9 and 10 on the Tenmile Range above Breckenridge. Melting snow is cleared off ski slopes, and Breckenridge Stables brings some of their 100 horses to Peak 9 for the start of four months of trail rides. All ages and abilities are welcome to join a 90-minute trail ride up the mountain. It’s a unique way to explore the Rockies.
Historic Hike with the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance
Join a local expert to explore the history of Breckenridge. A historical hike with the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance is a great way to sneak in a little educational fun. My family enjoyed the relaxed 90-minute Iowa Hill Gold Miners Hike, and learned quite a bit about life as a Colorado prospector in the 1800s as we trekked up the mountain. Many mining artifacts are displayed on the hillside, and our expert guide, Ronnie, did an excellent job of explaining the various techniques used for gold panning during our 1.5-mile hike. It is now illegal to pan for gold in the national historic mining district in Breckenridge, but Ronnie sure did tempt us by mentioning that only 20% of the gold in Colorado has been discovered.
Summer at Keystone: Festival Season
Summers are for festivals at Keystone Resort. Make your plans to visit during one of these great events: Keystone Bacon & Bourbon Festival (June 22-23); Keystone Wine and Jazz Festival (July 13-14); River Run Village Art Festival (July 27-28); Keystone Bluegrass and Beer Festival (August 3-4); Mountain Town Music Festival (August 17); Keystone Oktoberfest (August 31) and Taste of Keystone (September 1).
Stars and Guitars – Kidtopia’s Signature Summer Event
Returning for its second season, Kidtopia’s Stars and Guitars event offers four days of free family fun. From July 4-7, enjoy live outdoor music, daily activities, and lodging discounts. The special Kidtopia Stars and Stripes Party will highlight the event with a barbecue, bounce houses, face painting, Kidtopia Kidzfest, and a special concert. My family visited Keystone last year for the 4th of July weekend and we loved all of the free activities happening around Lakeside Village. Also at Keystone Lake, there is a small beach area and water sports, including stand up paddle board kayaking. My boys and I rented paddle boats. While there, don’t miss the chance to dine at the Bighorn Bistro and Bar!
Mountain Biking at Keystone Resort
Last summer at Keystone Resort, we gave mountain biking a try and it was the experience of a lifetime. It was a challenging, hot and sweaty pursuit, but such a thrilling adventure to ride bikes down the side of the mountain. My boys–ages 10, 12, and 16–and I loved our Keystone Bike Academy family lesson, led by a certified mountain biking instructor. We spent the morning learning basic skills—like how to stand while riding the bike—before graduating to the Skills Park. There, we got to try navigating moguls, rock gardens, berms, and boardwalks at the base of the mountain. After three hours of instruction, our instructor took us up the mountain by ski lift and helped us navigate the extensive Keystone Bike Park trails. If you go, I highly recommend booking a lesson. Mountain biking is more difficult than you might expect, but the scenery is glorious.
Snow tubing in July? So much fun! Ride the Keystone ski lift up nearly 12,000 feet to the top of the mountain, and slide down groomed lanes of snow. The tubes go fast and you can ask for a spin. My boys loved it. There were lots of happy screams, and a few lost hats. Once you reach the bottom of the lanes, hop aboard a fully enclosed magic carpet and be whisked back up to the top for another run. When you’re all worn out, walk to the mountaintop Overlook Grill for lunch. The views can not be beat!
This will require a little driving, but I highly recommend making the time to try a scenic half-day rafting excursion on the Arkansas River with Performance Tours Rafting in Buena Vista. Rafting season starts as early as May, when the water is still freezing cold. Our guide gave us the opportunity to jump in the river, but my son who took her up on it immediately regretted his decision. I vote for staying in the raft and just enjoying the incredible scenery.
Do you visit Colorado in the summer? We’d love to hear about your favorite adventures. Let us know in the comments!
One of our favorite cities in Texas, San Antonio, is a fantastic location for a weekend stay with the family. Filled with tons of fun activities, culture, history, & good food, here is your itinerary for 3 Days in San Antonio with Kids.
San Antonio is easily one of my favorite places to visit in Texas with my children. The city itself has 2 major theme parks – Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Sea World San Antonio – and is filled with great, family-friendly activities. Mix in a little bit of Texas history and culture and you have the perfect place to take the kids.
Quite honestly, there is so much to experience and do in San Antonio, you could stay an entire week and not get bored. But if you have a long weekend, we found some fun places that are must sees when visiting San Antonio with Kids.
San Antonio with Kids: Day 1
We recommend staying downtown in a hotel on the Riverwalk when vacationing San Antonio. The Riverwalk is lush and green and quiet – you almost feel like you are on vacation in a tropical forest than in the bustling downtown of a major city. With so much to do in the downtown area, it just makes sense to park your car, as most attractions are within walking distance. We recently stayed at the Hotel Contessa along the Riverwalk and found it to be a great place to stay with the family. It’s right on the cool & shaded Riverwalk and we ate breakfast each morning on the patio – it was lovely.
San Antonio with Kids – Stop #1: Bus Tour
When you first arrive in a city, we always recommend a narrated bus tour to familiarize yourself with where you are & what attractions may interest you. I also love to learn the history of a city. There are several bus tours to choose from, including the Alamo Trolley or City Sightseeing Tours San Antonio. Most all have the same route and you can hop on and off to see the sites. We recommend hopping off at Market Square, the largest Mexican market outside of Mexico. You can grab a bite to eat, a frozen margarita, and do a bit of shopping at El Mercado. If you have older kids and are looking for a bit different type of tour, then check out the San Antonio Bike Tours or Segway Tours.
San Antonio with Kids – Stop #2: Buckhorn Saloon & Museum
After lunch, pop over to the Buckhorn Saloon & Museum to see over hall of horns and over 500 species of wildlife. While there, make sure to walk through Ranger Town in the Texas Ranger Museum – a recreation of old San Antonio. Or if you are wanting to learn more Texas history, the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures is a terrific museum that walks you through all the different cultures that helped to form our state. What we like the most about it are the docents that bring the history to life.
San Antonio with Kids – Stop #3: Dinner on the Riverwalk
As I mentioned, the Riverwalk is such a beautiful part of downtown that I can’t recommend enough having dinner on a patio along the river. Stroll along and take a look at the menus, picking restaurant that sounds good – we really like Rita’s on the River or Cafe Ole. Make sure to request a song from the traveling mariachi band.
San Antonio with Kids – Stop #4: Rio San Antonio Cruises
After dining on the banks, watching all the quiet riverboats drift by, it’s your turn for a Riverboat tour. Rio San Antonio Cruises feature a 30-40 minute narrated historic tour of the river. It’s great fun for all ages as you get to see gargoyles, Marriage Island, and trees that grow out of walls.
San Antonio with Kids: Day 2
San Antonio with Kids – Stop #1: Alamo: The Price of Freedom
Start your day with a bit of history, leaning about Texas Independence and how the Alamo played an important part of that. We always recommend watching the IMAX movie, Alamo: The Price of Freedom at the Rivercenter Mall (located on the Riverwalk, less than 2 blocks from the Alamo). This is 45 minute movie that depicts the battle and tells the story before you see the actual shrine. I think it provides great context, especially for those who didn’t learn about it in school – and ensures you understand the importance of this historic building. I recommend the movie for kids 7 and up. The Alamo itself has a brief movie, though not as entertaining, if you don’t have time.
San Antonio with Kids – Stop #2: The Alamo (FREE)
The Alamo is always a Must See for everyone visiting – even if you have seen it before. We Texans are very proud of the Shrine, as it helped share the great state of Texas. And it’s important for me for people to understand it’s so much more than a silly part of Pee-Wee Herman’s Big Adventure. I recently wrote on the 5 Things You Must See at The Alamo, which gives you much more insight on a visit there.
San Antonio with Kids – Stop #3: Louis Tussaud’s Wax Works & Ripley’s Museums
After the Alamo, we like to have a little fun. Across the street and wildly popular with the kids, are a few fun museums: Louis Tussaud’s Wax Works features over 200 life-like wax figures like Madonna, Oprah, Superman, & even the cast of Harry Potter. Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium (my kid’s favorite) has fun, interactive displays that bring out the kid in you. We played in the Hall of Illusions for a long time.
If you like to be frightened, check out the Ripley’s Haunted Adventure – a haunted house with live actors & special effects. The Guinness World Records has several themed galleries with interactive exhibits as well. All of these museums are fun & light hearted and my kids (15, 13, & 7 years old) really enjoy them. Look for admission discounts at combined museums online or in hotel brochures.
San Antonio with Kids – Stop #4: Schilo’s Deli
Just a few blocks away is one of my favorite German Deli’s, Schilo’s Delicatessen . My mom introduced me to this spot as a child, and we always try to fit it in when we visit. Schilo’s has a traditional German menu – schtznil, potato pancakes, and braughtwurst, as well as a great Deli menu to custom make your own sandwiches. And you can’t visit without trying their homemade root beer – some of the best I have ever tasted.
San Antonio with Kids – Stop #5: Yanaguana Garden (FREE)
Let the kids burn off some steam at San Antonio’s coolest new playground. Yanaguana Garden is a family-friendly, 4.1 acre park that features the coolest climbing structures & swings we have ever seen. There are ping png tables, chess boards, a splash pad and more. My kids (even the big kids) loved this park and wanted to stay for a long time. It has plenty of shade and lots of seating for parents to get a bit of rest too. It is located in Hemisfair Plaza (which is currently undergoing a big makeover).
San Antonio with Kids – Stop #6: Tower of Americas
We love to go up to the top of the Tower of Americas when we visit San Antonio, as it is just such a fun view of the city. This last trip, we went right at 8:00 pm and we were able to catch the sunset from the top. My children loved it! The Tower of Americas also has a 4D movie that allows you to fly over the entire state – lots of fun!
San Antonio with Kids – Stop #7: The Saga
Finish your day with this Must Do – San Antonio The Saga at San Fernando Cathedral. This projected light & music show was fantastic, all three of my children were fascinated. The 24-minute show is by French artist, Xavier De Richemont and tells the story of San Antonio from it’s beginning to today. It shows each Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday at 9:00, 9:30, & 10:00 PM. We arrived about 10 minutes before it started on a Tuesday and had no problem finding seats.
San Antonio with Kids: Day 3
San Antonio with Kids – Stop #1: Breakfast at Lulu’s Bakery
If you like unique dining experiences when you are traveling, then you have to add LuLu’s Bakery in downtown San Antonio to your itinerary. A little cafe, you would not give this nondescript restaurant a second glance, unless someone told you about the cinnamon roll….the Big-As-Your-Head Cinnamon Rolls. My kids loved ordering this monster roll, which was just as fluffy & sweet as you would want it to be.
San Antonio with Kids – Stop #2: Doseum
Fueled on pure sugar, the next best place to take the kids is to San Antonio’s new children’s museum, the Doseum. My kids are big fan’s of museums that have a lot of hands-on-exhibits and all of them – the 7 to the 15 year old – agreed that this was one of the best they had ever visited. My kids climbed the treehouse, swam in the river, built airplanes & flew them in variety of ways, and spent almost 2 hours completing the entire spy academy. My older kids were a little hesitant being taken to a “children’s museum” but neither wanted to leave. In fact, they both recommend it to several of their friends already.
San Antonio with Kids – Stop #3: Pearl Brewery
Depending on how much time you spend at the Doseum, head on over to the Pearl Brewery for a late lunch or early dinner. I remember visiting the brewery as a kid back when it was just a restaurant/bar and was amazed at how well this area has been developed. You can enjoy a variety of unique restaurants and shops or just sit along the quiet banks of the San Antonio river. On weekends, there is a Farmer’s Market, live bands and other fun events happening.
And just like that, your 3 days in San Antonio fly by. But look at all you have accomplished – history, culture, fun, & great food. There is something for everyone in a visit to San Antonio with kids.
Looking for family fun in snowy Colorado? Keystone Resort Kidtopia Festivals has got you covered! Having already received more than seven feet of snow this season, Keystone is a winter wonderland, where kids of all ages can delight in playing in the mountains. Located in Summit County, Colorado—75 miles west of Denver—Keystone boasts more than 3,000 acres of skiable terrain. But that’s not all! Keystone Resort also hosts a full schedule of fun Kidtopia events for families. There is daily programming, much of it free, and Kidtopia festivals, too!
Keystone Resort Kidtopia Festivals: Kidtopia Culinary Festival, February 8-15, 2019
The entire family can play together at the Kidtopia Culinary Festival. Enjoy hands-on events, like Play With Your Food Parties, Cookie Time, and a Unicorn Party. Celebrity chefs Nicholas Hornbostel and Cricket Azima will lead cooking demonstrations for your young foodies. Kids can make a snowman snow cone, cook waffle towers, and drink cocoa by the fire.
Keystone Resort Kidtopia Festivals: Kidtopia Music Experience, March 1-10, 2019
Or, head to Keystone Resort this spring for a week-long festival of live outdoor music performances. In between skiing and snowboarding, look out for music-themed daily Kidtopia fun, a mountaintop snow fort, a village parade, fireworks, and more! Be sure not to miss the kooky Koo Koo Kanga Roo, who will headline the Snow Pants Dance Party on March 9. A full lineup of events can be found at KeystoneResort.com.
Book through Keystone and Kids Ski Free
While there, don’t have so much Kidtopia fun that you forget to ski! Keystone’s long-standing Kids Ski Free offer has been providing kids with free lift tickets since 2012. Kids 12 and younger receive free lift tickets for the duration of your visit, with any stay of two or more nights booked through Keystone. Accommodation rates begin at $139 a night. Lodging options include hotel rooms and family-sized condos.
Ready to Plan Your Trip?
We love Keystone Resort, so we have lots of tips to help you plan for your next trip! Check out these posts, and feel free to leave a comment with questions:
November 2 – December 30 A drive-thru Christmas Light Park is located just 15 minutes north of San Antonio on I-35. With over 1 million lights and 100 displays & animations, the one mile drive thru park is seen from the comfort of your own vehicle.
Holiday Events in San Antonio: SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration
November 17 – January 6 See San Antonio’s favorite park get dressed up for the Holidays with special decorations, Holiday-themed shows, hot cocoa, Santa Claus and more! Our favorite is SnowWorld, where you can have a snowball fight & go sledding….in Texas! Christmas Celebration is included with the park admission.
November 17 – December 31 The Zoo Lights is a nighttime holiday tradition for the whole family! Stroll under hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights while you sip hot cocoa, roast s’mores and enjoy an all-new light show. Plus, visit Santa and tell him what’s on your Christmas wish list. Also, new this year is the ice skating rink and camel rides.
November 17 – January 6 The University comes alive with millions of twinkling lights with a big production & candlelight processional on November 17. Lights across campus will remain on through January 6.
This classic tale comes to life with Ballet San Antonio and the San Antonio Symphony. It’s the perfect family traditional Christmas show. Get your tickets now. If you miss these performances, you can see the Moscow Ballet perform The Great Russian Nutcracker at the end of the month at The Majestic too.
Holiday Events in San Antonio: Ford Holiday River Parade & Lightning Ceremony
November 23- January 6 Christmas in San Antonio would not be complete with out time spent seeing the River Walk dressed in twinkly lights. And the River Parade is such a fun event to kick-start the season off. If you miss the parade, make sure to come down and enjoy nightly River Boat Caroling thru December 21.
Holiday Events in San Antonio: A Wonderland Christmas
November 23 – December 23 On Weekend nights leading up to Christmas, head to Morgan’s Wonderland for a special twinkly-lights & music show, a petting zoo, Santa Claus, and more. The week before Christmas, the event is every evening Thursday-Tuesday.
Holiday Events in San Antonio: A Charlie Brown Christmas Majestic Theatre December 20-24 The Magik Theatre returns with the 4th annual production of A Charlie Brown Christmas! The classic animated television special comes to life in this faithful stage adaptation, in which Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts Gang discover the true meaning of Christmas. When Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism he sees among everyone during the Christmas season, Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas pageant. Charlie Brown accepts, but this proves to be a frustrating endeavor. When an attempt to restore the proper holiday spirit with a forlorn little Christmas fir tree fails, he needs Linus’ help to discover the real meaning of Christmas.
Holiday Events in San Antonio: Santa’s Railroad Wonderland
This “holiday-themed multimedia spectacular of lasers, light effects, and 3D animation choreographed to your favorite holiday carols” sounds amazing! Only 1 performance for the public (the other is for students), so make sure you catch it.
Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean International’s Symphony of the Seas bid Europe adieu and set sail for her new, permanent home in Miami, Florida. Lucky us! American families can now enjoy seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries aboard this incredible ship, which was recently featured on TIME magazine’s “World’s Greatest Places” list. Truly, Symphony of the Seas boasts next level entertainment and experiences that make for an unforgettable family vacation.
Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas
If there is one thing my family can agree on, it’s that we love cruising. Over the past few years, we’ve been skiing, mountain biking, and intercontinental traveling, but cruising remains my kids’ top choice for vacation every time. So, when offered the chance to take a preview cruise on the Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas, from Miami to Nassau, The Bahamas, I didn’t hesitate. I knew the kids and I would love it. And, spoiler alert, we did!
Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas is a floating kid paradise. My two youngest children were delighted to be included on the mini-cruise adventure from Miami to Nassau. Two days didn’t allow nearly enough to discover all the ship’s entertainment and experiences, but we sure tried! We rose early and stayed up late — seeing shows, swimming, and climbing all over the ship. All that in between delectable meals and endless free soft serve ice cream! We were happy campers.
Symphony of the Seas: Where to Play
When asked what my 10-year-old son liked best about Symphony of the Seas, he said, “That’s hard. I liked everything. But I especially liked the Abyss.” The Ultimate Abyss — a 10-story slide — is the tallest slide at sea. It’s not for the faint of heart. Riders are given a mat to sit on as they enter the mouth of the Abyss on the top deck of the ship, then zip down a dark, spiraling tube slide to the bottom. My adventurous tween couldn’t get enough.
My five-year-old daughter was most excited by all the water activities. Minutes after boarding Symphony of the Seas, she had changed into her bathing suit and was begging to check out the pools. It was nice and warm in Miami, even in November, so she splashed and played until the sun set. While she and I hung out by the kid pool, my son took off for the larger multistory waterslides: Cyclone, Typhoon and Supercell. He had to try them all at least once before dinner.
Our second day on the ship, the adventures continued. We checked out the FlowRider surf simulators, 40-foot tall rock-climbing walls, zip line (82 feet above an open-air atrium), carousel, basketball court, and even played a round of mini golf. But did this wear out the children? Of course not! They were begging for more.
Symphony of the Seas: What to Watch
One thing that surprised me was that my children asked repeatedly to go to the Adventure Ocean kids clubs. We had stopped by the fun play areas earlier, and they couldn’t wait to go back, without Mom. So, after dinner the first night, we headed over there early enough to catch a blacklight musical puppet show (with bubbles) together as a family. It was very silly; the kids loved it.
Then, I checked both kids in to their clubs: Aquanauts for the five-year-old and Voyagers for the 10-year-old. Adventure Ocean programming is free for all guests until 10 p.m. My kids told me to go away and not hurry back. They were eager to play, craft, and meet some new friends. So, off I went to check out some shows alone!
The kids loved Adventure Ocean so much, they went both nights. That left me enough time to watch the ice-skating show 1977, the musical Hairspray, and HiRO, an acrobatic aqua show with diving, high flying aerialists, and pyrotechnics. It was fun to have a little adult time after a day full of play. And when I went back to pick up the kids? They didn’t want to leave.
Symphony of the Seas: Where to Eat
In between our many adventures, we ate! We dined at fancy restaurants, snacked on slices at Sorrento’s Pizza, tried Mexican street fare from El Loco Fresh by the pool, and had breakfast in Central Park. Symphony of the Seas has seven unique “neighborhoods” and each has its own bistros, bars, and shops to explore.
My favorite spot was Central Park, an open-air space mid-ship with more than 20,000 living plants and trees. My kids loved the Boardwalk, home of the Sugar Beach candy and ice cream shop, face painting, caricature artists, a carousel, arcade, and more.
Symphony of the Seas: Where to Sleep
If you’re like us, you won’t spend much time in your cabin, but you’ll still want one with a view! We loved our balcony stateroom. With two twin beds that pulled apart, plus a couch with trundle bed, there was plenty of room for the three of us. The room also had a nice walk-in closet and decent sized bathroom. It felt more like we were in a hotel than on a ship. But, waking up to the sunrise over the water made it infinitely better.
If you really want to splurge, check out the 1,346-square-foot Ultimate Family Suite that accommodates eight guests across two bedrooms. This luxurious suite boasts a slide from the kids’ only room to the living room below, an air hockey table, a LEGO building wall, a pool table, video games, a popcorn machine, and a full-size whirlpool. Nice!
Symphony of the Seas: Where to Visit
Ready to start daydreaming about your next vacation on Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Symphony of the Seas? Visit the website and get planning! Caribbean itineraries are available now, and Symphony of the Seas will soon add visits to the cruise line’s new private island destination in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, opening May 2019. You are in for a treat.
Disclosure: Heidi and her family were invited on a press tour of Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas. We were not compensated for this article. All opinions are our own.
Penfold Theatre Company presents A Christmas Carol Classic Radiocast from November 29 – December 29, 2018 at Old Settlers Hall at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock, Texas.
After putting their signature spin on holiday stories from the golden age of film, the players of the fictional KPNF radio station are reaching further back in time to recreate Dickens’ cherished masterpiece like you’ve never seen it before. Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchet, the Spirits and dozens of others are brought to life by a small company of virtuosic voice actors and live foley sound effects reminiscent of “A Prairie Home Companion”. Together, they tell the stirring story of an ice-hearted miser who is given a last shot at redemption one miraculous Christmas Eve night!
What makes this holiday performance so unique? The play, performed by 4-5 very talented actors, is a radio show – complete with really fun sound effects. Standing in front of microphones the entire performance, the actors all play a few different roles each and it is so fun to see them all change characters right in front of you, complete with fantastic facial expressions. Last year, they did such a fantastic job of storytelling, that you got lost in the story with them. You completely forget there are microphones in front of them and begin to “see” the story unfold.
The sound effects – glass breaking, dishes clinking, taxi cab horn tooting, shoes running, and more – enhance the story and performance.
Personally, I think we are blessed as a community to have this level of talent in Round Rock. I am excited to see A Christmas Carol and I hope you are too. Instead of getting so busy this season, I encourage you to book a date to see this show – take a date, take your kids (perfect for 5 and up), a group of friends, your mom – support this local performing arts company because they are fantastic.
Performances are Thursday – Saturday evenings at 8:00 pm, with 2 matinees on Saturdays. There will be no performance from December 23-26. The last show will be performed through December 29, 2018.
We need to support Penfold Theatre as a community – they are working so hard to bring amazing shows like this to us, that it would be a shame for them to not pack the house at every performance.
Lone Star Christmas has returned to Gaylord Texan Resort, delighting guests of all ages with Texas-sized decorations and boundless holiday cheer. Read on to discover the festive fun Christmas at Gaylord Texan has in store for families this year, and how R We There Yet Mom readers can save 40% on tickets to ICE!
Christmas at Gaylord Texan: Lone Star Christmas
Whether visiting Gaylord Texan for the day, or spending the night, you are in for a treat! Now through January 1, 2019, the resort’s four-acre glass atrium is filled to the brim with 15,000 ornaments, a 54-foot-tall Christmas tree, model trains, and larger-than-life toys. Two million twinkling lights have been hung with care, carols are playing, and lobby fires are all aglow. The magic of the season is alive and well at this sprawling resort in Grapevine, the Christmas Capital of Texas!
Christmas at Gaylord Texan: Family Fun
If you’ve never been to the Gaylord Texan, prepare to be blown away by the sheer amount of holiday activities on offer. Families can enjoy a character breakfast with Rudolph, gingerbread house decorating with the Gingerbread Man, and photos with Santa. Then, there’s ice skating, snow tubing, and snowball throwing. Plus, a Christmas Carousel, Holiday Escape Rooms, scavenger hunt, and cookies with Mrs. Claus. After all that, there’s still the Gaylord Texan’s signature winter event: ICE!
Christmas at Gaylord Texan: ICE!
Bundle up to experience favorite scenes from the 1964 television classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer hand-carved from two million pounds of ice. This year, Gaylord Texan’s ICE! event is bigger than ever before. Artisans from China worked for months on perfecting room after room of colorful (and adorable) ice masterpieces.
The rooms of ICE! are kept chilled to a brisk nine degrees. Guests are given giant blue parkas with hoods to wear while walking through the exhibit, but it’s a good idea to bring your own gloves and winter hats along, too. (Maybe even hand warmers!)
The artistry is breathtaking and some ICE! sculptures are even interactive. Kids love climbing the glass-like steps of two-story ice slides and zipping through tunnels, over and over until their noses turn pink from the cold.
At the end of the exhibit, it’s tempting to turn around and experience the beauty of ICE! all over again. But, chances are you’ll be ready to warm up with some hot chocolate before tackling your next winter adventure. Buy a cup with marshmallows, then continue on through the convention center to give snow tubing a try!
Christmas at Gaylord Texan: Save on ICE! Tickets
R We There Yet Mom readers can save 40% on ICE! tickets on select dates in November and December 2018. To purchase your tickets, visit ChristmasatGaylordTexan.com and enter the promo code RWETHEREYET.
Want more information on Lone Star Christmas at Gaylord Texan Resort and Conference Center? Head over here.
Every year from mid-November through early January Gaylord Texan Resort hosts Lone Star Christmas, a festive celebration like no other. With oversized decorations, millions of holiday lights, towering Christmas trees, live entertainment, and the main attraction: ICE!
ICE! at Gaylord Texan Resort
Hand-carved by master ice artisans from Harbin, China, ICE! is an interactive frozen fantasy world which is kept at a chilly nine degrees. Featuring scenes from the 1964 TV classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, you’ll see the story come to life with brilliantly colored panoramas of hand-carved ice sculptures and multi-story ice slides for visitors to enjoy. It’s all part of the Gaylord’s Lone Star Christmas.
Lone Star Christmas
You and your family will marvel at more than two million holiday lights and acres of magnificent decorations, plus fun holiday activities. Entertainment and events throughout the resort range from visits and photos with Santa, holiday kids’ trains and character breakfasts, to attractions like snow tubing, ice skating, and scavenger hunts. The full lineup of events may be found on the resort’s holiday website.
Save on ICE! Tickets
R We There Yet Mom readers can save 40% on ICE! tickets on select dates in November and December 2018. To purchase your tickets, visit ChristmasatGaylordTexan.com and enter the promo code RWETHEREYET.
Want to bring more meaning to your family’s holiday season? Want to give back, but not quite sure how?
Join Generation SERVE on November 17, 2018 to celebrate the impact that families can have on their communities through a day of giving and service.
Austin Families Give Back: Family Volunteer Day 2018 is an opportunity for children and the adults in their lives to learn more about what Austin nonprofits need and how we can help. In addition to having the chance to perform hands-on service activities at this FREE, city-wide event, attendees will receive a Holiday Resource Guide full of ways to support Austin charities throughout the season of giving.
All Austin families are invited to attend Austin Families Give Back. Pre-registration is required, and online registration wis open now. Shifts are available between 10:30am and 4:30pm. Please note that although children of all ages are welcome to attend, service activities are designed for children ages 3 and up.
Here is one families’ experience with Austin Families Give Back:
A NEW TRADITION BEGINS AT AUSTIN FAMILIES GIVE BACK
By Erin Barber
When I was introduced to Generation SERVE by a colleague last fall, I was delighted to learn about an organization that shared my values about youth empowerment and community service, but I wasn’t really sure where to start. Fortunately, the Generation SERVE team was preparing for their first Austin Families Give Back event, and I signed up for a shift for our family to participate! It felt right to begin our holiday season spending time together in service to others.
Our experience at Austin Families Give Back was awesome! It was a service fair full of hands-on activities, a learning event about the needs in our community, AND an opportunity to explore my children’s interests through a different lens. They were exposed to 30 nonprofit organizations and eight different service areas all in one day – What would they be drawn to? What activities would resonate the most with them? Our oldest son wants to be in motion. He likes helping in ways that involve moving, sorting, and making things. He made bird feeders, packed rice for people in need, and filled sensory stress balls to help children. Our younger son prefers to connect. He wants to know others and offer support – for both people and animals. He was energized by discussing the activities with other children and volunteers at all of the stations. I walked out of the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex, where the event was held, proud of our work together as a family and confident we’d just established a new tradition.
We’ve built on this momentum in family volunteering over the last year. We volunteer nearly every month through Generation SERVE – bagging groceries, sorting diapers, tending community gardens, cleaning graffiti, and event reading to kittens! I appreciate the meaningful conversations we have as we plan our volunteering and reflect on our work. I’ve seen our boys grow in their understanding of the range of needs in Austin and the action they can take.
Further, I’ve come to appreciate the team at Generation SERVE and their nonprofit partners in the community. Their commitment to inspiring a passion for youth volunteerism and community leadership is reflected through the thoughtfulness that they put into each event and volunteer activity. I’m privileged to support these efforts as a Family Sponsor, and now as a Board Member.
With national Family Volunteer Day nearly upon us, I’m excited for our family to participate again in Austin Families Give Back! It is truly a joy to kick off the holiday season together with giving and service. I hope to see you and your family there!
We love Schlitterbahn Water Park in New Braunfles, Texas and try to go at least once or twice in the summer time! If you haven’t been yet (or even if you have), here are 10 Tips for Schlitterbahn to making it the best day!
Schlitterbahn is unlike any other waterpark out there. It have inventive water rides, including uphill water coasters, and some of the longest water rides we have even been on. That said, to make it an awesome day at Schlitterbahn, it’s good to be prepared with a few helpful tips.
We went last week, and though I have been many times, I still was able to pick up some tips I wanted to share with you for your next trip!
10 Tips for Schlitterbahn Water Park
Tips for Schlitterbahn #1: Get to the parks right when they open and start at Schlitterbahn East. We arrived a little before 10:00 am and pulled right into the parking lot. They had not opened the gates so we had a chance to apply sunblock. We like to go to Surfenburg to start to catch lines when they are small – especially for the Master Blaster & WolfPack, which tend to become hour-long waits later in the day.
Tips for Schlitterbahn #2: Grab a table in the shade when you first arrive and set up base camp. Great thing is there’s lots of shade all over Schlitterbahn! There are lockers available, but we tend to just leave our stuff out – no one has ever messed with it. A base camp makes it easier to find everyone and have a meeting place.
Tips for Schlitterbahn #3: Don’t leave your little ones at home! There are so many fun kid-sized slides for them all over the park! I have taken my youngest to Schlitterbahn since he was 2 and I have always found something for him to play on. From Pirate Ships with soft slides to water structures that spray, it has helped build his confidence to try the bigger stuff with his siblings. Take a look at an article I wrote last year about why you should take toddlers to Schlitterbahn.
Tips for Schlitterbahn#4: No need to bring a puddle jumper or water wings for the little ones! They provide life jackets and tubes for all sizes!
Tips for Schlitterbahn #5: Bring a cooler filled with food to eat on all day!! Eat healthy and save money by pack a cooler full of drinks and food. Here are some ideas of what to take:
homemade sandwichs (make them ahead of time)
individual chips/snacks (saves wet hands getting into the chip bag)
cut up fruit
drinks in cans or plastic bottles (no glass or alcohol)
homemade desserts (rice krispie treats are a favorite)
paper plates, napkins, utensils
Tips for Schlitterbahn#6: Check out the Cabanas you can rent at Surfenburg! They have private areas to relax away from the crowds at all of the parks now. So this may not be a tip- more of an FYI – Had I known about them, I would have reserved one in advance. It’s perfect for big parties or families!
Tips for Schlitterbahn #7: Spend the morning at Surfenburg & Tubenbach and then head over to Schlitterbahn West in the afternoon. The Original Park has tons of shade trees and the water is cooler because it’s river water. There just seems to be more space to play and longer water rides – perfect place to spend the hot afternoon.
Tips for Schlitterbahn #8: Set a time to all meet back at a central location/ base camp. We learned this valuable lesson when our 2 boys didn’t come back for a few hours. Make sure someone in the group wears a watch and you all set a time to meet.
Tips for Schlitterbahn #9: Sunscreen & Water Shoes are your friends. Lots of sun and lots of walking – protect your skin & your feet!
Tips for Schlitterbahn #10: Make a weekend out if it by staying on property at one of the Treehouses. When you stay at the resort, admission to parks is included for both days for your family and you get the first hour of the park to yourself!
Disclosure: My family and I were invited to visit the water parks and were provided admission. I was not financially compensated for this post. All opinions of the Schlitterbahn are strictly my own based on my experience. This post contains affiliate links.