Thursday, February 28, 2013

2/28/13: Win 2 Tickets to Story Land in Glen, NH

CONTEST CLOSED:  Congratulations to Elaine for winning!
Story Land in Glen, NH is a "must visit" if you have young kids.  We have been taking my kids there since my son was one and they both look forward to going every year.  You can check out all my Story Land posts here
Read on to Win 2 tickets!
 We love taking a picture with Humpty Dumpty. 
There are so many great rides and even little kids can ride and feel like big kids.  Here was a picture when the kids were younger.
 The other picture that you must take is in the Pumpkin Coach.  I love it.
There are so many fun rides for kids and it is such a beautiful area of New Hampshire to visit.  Plus you can also see a lot of characters.  They even have character dinners.  We bumped in to this cool scarecrow too.
 Duke is a newer character at Story Land.  Twice a day he has a dance party with kids which is adorable.
There are so many beautiful areas at Story Land, go check it out!
Disclosure: I received a family four pack of tickets for Story Land to promote it. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was received.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

2/27/12: Disney on Ice Worlds of Fantasy Giveaway and Discount Code

We love going to Disney On Ice every year.  Worlds of Fantasy is coming to DCU Center in Worcester, MA on April 25-28, 2013 and you can win 4 tickets to the show!  When we were recently at Monster Jam we saw many advertisements for this show and my son was super excited as he loves Cars!  I have to admit I love Cars also and who doesn't want to see them driving on ice?
Rev up for non-stop fun with four of your favorite Disney stories at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy. Thrill to high-speed stunts as Lightning McQueen, Mater and the crew of Disney/Pixar's Cars race across the ice. Dive into The Little Mermaid's enchanting undersea kingdom and enter the mystical world of Pixie Hollow with Tinker Bell and the Disney Fairies as they reveal the magic that lies within! The toys are back in town with heroic action when Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie, and the Toy Story gang escape from the rambunctious tots of Sunnyside Daycare and race for home, in their most daring adventure ever! From wheels to waves, playtime to pixie dust, your family's favorite Disney moments come to life at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy with dazzling skating, special effects and beloved characters certain to create a lifetime of memories.
Discount of $5:
Go To: Ticketmaster
Use Code: FORMOM
Valid on Friday 7 p.m. and Saturday 7 p.m. only
Not valid on premium seating or kids tickets. No double discounts. Tickets subject to availability.
Here is a preview of the show:
We love Tinker Bell!
    Ticket Prices: $55.00 Rinkside- $40.00 VIP- $26.00 Show Times: Thursday, April 25 7:00 p.m. Friday, April 26 7:00 p.m. Saturday, April 27 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. Sunday, April 28 1:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m.
Disclosure:  I was provided 4 tickets for my family.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.
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Sunday, February 24, 2013

2/24/13: GameTruck and Fish McBites from McDonalds

With school vacation week it is always a challenge to fill all the days with fun activities and not break the bank.  When I was invited to a blogger play date with GameTruck and McDonalds I jumped at the chance to have my kids go and have some fun.  Unfortunately I had to work this day but my husband had just returned from India so I knew it would be fun for him to go with the kids to this event.  I knew this would be an event he would enjoy.  Video Games and McDonalds food, what is not to like?
I heard rave reviews about the Game Truck from my son, daughter and husband.  The truck had Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and Playstation systems with many games.  I know my daughter was playing Little Big Planet.  What a cool birthday party this would be, corporate event or fundraiser.  In fact my husband was talking to me about franchise opportunities in Boston.  He absolutely loved the idea.
More about GameTruck:
GameTruck is the original and longest-running mobile video game theater concept in the country, bringing ultimate video game parties almost anywhere via self-powered, climatecontrolled GameTruck trailers outfitted with as many as eight flat-screen HDTV’s, enhanced sound systems and dozens of the latest multiplayer games. Since it was founded in 2006, GameTruck has grown to 60 franchisees operating 80 GameTruck rigs in 150 territories across 23 states. GameTruck offers a premier party experience for both children and adults in an interactive, multiplayer environment that accommodates 16 or more players. A GameCoach manages each event, promoting fair, interactive play. A standard GameTruck party consists of two hours of play for ages 6 and up; 16-20 players can compete in the truck’s interior. Just like at home, GameTruck parents can look through the library and take out what they deem unacceptable for their kids.
You can find GameTruck online at:
You can follow them on Twitter here: @GameTruckLA
Then they were able to head in to McDonalds and try out the new Fish McBites.  My kids aren't big in to fish however my son gave it an "ok" rating which is very high for him as he is a very picky eater.  My husband said they were really good with the tartar sauce and had flaky fish inside them.  I heard from many other adults that their kids liked them.  Also when I was tweeting about them several people responded that their kids love them.  They also got to play some games there too and came home with some cool Ronald McDonald shirts and little toys.
You can go to the McDonalds Fish McBites website and even create your own little version of their song "Fishy, Fishy" and share it with your friends on Facebook.  It is super cute.  Lauren really loved her shirt.  She wore it all day after the play date.
Here is one of the marketing people from McDonalds talking to the kids about how they like the Fish McBites.
Here is Evan's quick little song while he was at the event.
Check out McDonalds Fish McBites online here: 
You can like McDonalds on Facebook here:
You can follow them on Twitter here: @McDonalds
Disclosure:  My kids were provided with fun game play in the GameTruck and tasty food at McDonalds.  We were also provided with McDonalds Gift Certificates.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

2/23/13: On the Set of the So You Think You Can Dance Boston Auditions

We are a family of dancers.  I have danced since I was young and taught all the way through college.  In fact in college I started a dance club since WPI did not have one and taught jazz for gym credit.  Now I still take tap, my daughter has danced since she was 2 and now takes jazz and tap, and my son is in his second year of hip hop.  I was extremely lucky and thrilled to be able to cover the So You Think You Can Dance Call Back Auditions in Boston today.  There were dancers from many states represented there.  I have been watching the show since it's beginning and would you believe this will be Season 10!  I also have been to the Live Tour Show in 2010 and it was awesome.
I was able to interview the three judges which was such a thrill for me.  Being a dance enthusiast and being a So You Think You Can Dance fan this was a dream come true.  The auditions were amazing to watch and I did get to see several dancers receive tickets to Vegas which was really exciting!  The first judge I was able to speak with was Mary Murphy.  First off, she is stunning.  What a beautiful lady and so personable.  
I asked her about her thoughts on what styles of dance children should take as now there are so many unlike when I was a kid and we primarily took jazz, tap, and ballet.  She highly suggested ballet as it is the foundation for all styles but also talked of her story of how she didn't dance when she was young but started later and was taking modern dance when she found ballroom dancing and decided it was her true passion.  She then went on to be a US Champion Ballroom Dancer.  So you never know what area of dance might inspire you.  Who knows you may get on her Hot Tamale Train, I got to hear her put someone on today during auditions.
Next we got to speak with Nigel Lythgoe who not only is the co-creator of So You Think You Can Dance, he is also the producer and judge.  He is also the executive producer of a little show you may know - American Idol.  He also is the Co-President of the Dizzy Feet Foundation which supports and increases access to dance education.  He also promotes National Dance Day which is the last Saturday in July.  Needless to say he is a busy man.
He spoke to us about how dance was part of his curriculum in school growing up and he wishes it was in more schools now for children to experience.  I spoke to him about the influence of other dance reality shows which will remain nameless.  He explained how he loves to see dance promoted however is not a fan of young children being put in to some of these situations that are portrayed.  He is passionate about dance and making it available to all.  He liked that I take Tap as that was his style of dance.
Last but not least I was able to speak to Adam Shankman.  I love him on the show and I love some of the things he says.  He is hilarious.  I asked him about getting past the "competition/recital" facial expressions and feel while dancing.  He said that all dancers should take some sort of theater classes or something that will loosen them up.  They really need to learn to feel the music and understand the story.  He believes several dancers are told the story behind their music but don't truly feel it and portray it.
 He was twirling around on the stage and you could tell the fans loved him as they were all yelling Adam.
Here is a view of what it feels to be on stage at So You Think You Can Dance at an audition.  I would like to say that what I saw during this live taping of auditions is exactly what you see on the show.  There is no creative editing and the judges respond with feedback after each performance.  The camera people also are capturing responses of the family and friends of the dancer while they are dancing.  We saw one Mother break down crying tears of happiness when her child was given a ticket to Vegas.
Here are the judges looking at you.
They don't looks so scary right?  However they do control your fate and if you will move on to choreography, straight through with a ticket to Vegas or go home.
What amazing people and true inspiration for the Dance Community.  They have built so many stars with their show and continue to do that season after season.  I have seen so many of their dancers go on to movies, TV, Broadway, and choreography.
 They even signed the back of this picture of the kids and I from our last recital.
Nigel looking at our picture.
Nigel giving back my picture signed.
Mary with a heart above her name and Nigel's signatures.
Who knows, maybe some day I will get to go watch Lauren in auditions.  Here she was ready for her first dance recital.
Or maybe Evan will be the one auditioning with hip hop.
What an amazing experience!  
Look out for Season 10 of So You Think You Can Dance coming in May of this year on FOX.
So You Think You Can Dance Website:
Dizzy Feet Foundation Facebook Page:
Dizzy Feet Twitter: @DizzyFeetTweet
Disclosure:  This opportunity was provided to me through Boston Parent Bloggers.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Friday, February 22, 2013

2/22/13: Oz The Great and Powerful New Clip

You may know that Disney is coming out with a new movie on March 8th called Oz the Great and Powerful.    It looks like it is going to be amazing like everything else Disney does.
I wanted to share a new video clip with you of Travel by Bubble.
It looks super cool.
More about the movie:
Disney’s fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved wizard character. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great wizard but into a better man as well. “Oz The Great and Powerful” is produced by Joe Roth, with screen story by Mitchell Kapner and screenplay by Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire. Grant Curtis, Palak Patel, Josh Donen and Philip Steuer are serving as executive producers. “Oz The Great and Powerful” opens in U.S. theaters on March 8, 2013. 
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Disclosure:  No compensation was received for this post.  All opinions are my own.

2/22/13: iLearn 'N' Play Learning Tablet, Adventure Explorer or Robbi Giveaway

Are your kids always on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch?  Mine use my iPhone and iPad all the time.  AppStart Learning has turned these devices in to iSchool with the  iLearn 'N' Play Learning Tablet, Adventure Explorer or Robbi.  Read on to see how you can win one.  We received the Learning Tablet but you can pick any of the three toys for your prize, just make sure it works with the device you own.
It was extremely easy to insert the iPad in to the Learning Tablet.  There is a lock button on the back to keep it in place.
We then loaded two free apps specifically for the Learning Tablet on to our iPad.  The first one is practicing writing with a Letterbox app.  Kids use the stylus that looks like a pencil that comes with it.
 I like that they can practice uppercase and lowercase and practice printing and handwriting.  Plus they are using the iPad in a protected case.
When they follow the lines and make the letter properly it alternates between a dog and cat following bones around the letter shape to show them they did it correctly.
This is good for both of my kids to practice their writing skills.
The other app we downloaded was the Letter explorer which allowed them to drive a little car and catch letters to hear their sounds.
 Evan loves cars so he loved this little game.  This can also be used with the Adventure Explorer which looks like a little steering wheel.  
The Adventure Explorer can be used with an iPad, iPhone or iPod.
Here is the Learning Tablet as packaged.
The last is the Robbi which looks like a little robot.  It can be used with an iPhone of iPod and teaches counting, addition/subtraction, colors, shapes and greater than/less than numbers.  
Additional toys and Apps will be rolled out during 2013.  They are sold at Target stores.
Disclosure:  I received the Learning Tablet for review purposes.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.
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