Monday, August 14, 2017

8/14/17: Franklin Park Zoo Fun

We have always loved visiting the Franklin Park Zoo.  There is so much to do and see and every time we visit there is something new.  There is a little train ride around the Zoo, lots of cool animals, a carousel, food options, a butterfly landing, camel rides, and an awesome playground.  I especially love the gorillas and the red panda.  They are so cool to watch.
The red panda is a favorite of mine.  You can see the red panda right as you enter the zoo on the right in the new Nature's Neighborhoods which is the new Children's Zoo.
Here is Lauren pretending she is a Red Panda climbing some bamboo.
This area is so cool.  It is beautiful and newly built.  It has four biome-based live animal exhibits and experience zones.
Here is Lauren showing off her dance moves.
So pretty and clean!
I love this tree with a little play area for kids.  It looks like a bird nest in the tree.
Climbing up in to the tree.
It is so pretty in this area.
Here is Lauren hanging with the prairie dogs.
Another one of the highlights for us is seeing the gorillas.  Here you can see the little baby gorilla.  There were at least two babies that we saw and they were so cute playing.
This guy is like what are you looking at?
This gorilla is relaxing.
They are always so close to the glass and I love to sit there and watch them.
The Zebras are super close.
I love this guy!
Here are the kids being silly.
They also have an amazing playground.  I believe it was built in the last couple of years.
The kids could spend so much time playing here.
Here is Lauren coming down the slide.
Giving me a pose.
There is a barnyard area.
Here are some cool tigers.  The white one is so beautiful.
There is so much to do and see!  Make sure to visit the Franklin Park Zoo!
Disclosure:  I was provided with four passes to the Franklin Park Zoo for review purposes.  No other compensation was received and as always all opinions are my own.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

8/13/17: A Day of Play at Great Wolf Lodge

Recently I was invited to Great Wolf Lodge New England in Fitchburg, MA for a "Day of Play".  There is so much to do there without even entering the water park.  We were able to try out their enhanced MagiQuest, Northern Lights Arcade, and Howlin' Timbers Play Park and we had a blast!
We started out with MagiQuest that had an upgrade the beginning of August and is the first Great Wolf Lodge to have a dragon to being your adventure!
His eyes light up and he even breathes smoke.
Right as you enter the Lodge to the left is the MagiQuest center where you can get your wand.  The great thing about these wands is that they are tracked to the nickname you give yourself and can be reused when you return.  Your Quest will continue where you left off.  The current Quest can take 4-6 hours to play.
They have recently added more stations throughout the Lodge making it easier to check where you are on your Quest.  You are also given a map at the start plus there are many people around the Lodge to help you as you go if you have questions.
By waving your wand at different items you uncover items as you go and are given Quests to pick up items in different areas of the resort.
There are lots of cool things to encounter as you go.
The girls had lots of fun on the journey and have more play time to continue on when they return.
Next we headed to a lunch with the General Manager who told us about the Lodge and the recent changes.  They also added Oliver's Mining Company to mine for gems.  More about that later.  We also heard about all the cool things they do for the holidays, I personally can't wait to return and see the display for Christmas time!  We even got a special surprise with a visit from Wiley!
Lauren even took a selfie with Wiley to add to her collection.
Next we got to explore more of the Lodge.  We headed to the Northern Lights Arcade where Lauren was on a roll with the claw game!  She won twice!
There are lots of fun games for the kids and of course a station to look up your tickets and get prizes.  Everything is tracked on your Paw Points card so no worry about carrying tokens or tickets around.
We then headed over to Howlin' Timbers Play Park.  The kids loved climbing on Howlers Peak Ropes Course.  At first Lauren was a little worried but one of the people working there went up and showed her what would happen if she slipped and gave her the confidence to go out on the ropes.  Then I couldn't get her to stop.  
You can stay on for a while, if there is a line they will call you back to let more people go on.
Some paths are easier than others.  Lauren tried every path by the time she was done as she came down and then went back up.
She was all smiles and loving it.
What I liked about this ropes course is that you don't have to worry about unclipping and clipping back up, you just continuously go attached to the top.
This was one of the tougher paths she tried.
If your child is smaller there is a kiddie version so they can climb too, just closer to the ground.
We had the Howlin' Timbers Play ark Pass which is $34.99 and includes all five attractions:  Howlers Park Ropes Courses (unlimited), Rustic Ridge Climbing Wall (unlimited), Oliver's Mining Co. (one time), Howl in One Mini Golf (one time), and Ten Paw Alley (one time).  Here is Lauren on the Rustic Ridge Climbing Wall.\
There are three different walls to climb and Lauren tried them all.
Here is another one.
Here is the third one.  She did so awesome climbing these!
Here she is with her friend climbing up on either side.
Then we did Oliver's Mining Co. where you get to pan for gems.  This is a new addition to Great Wolf Lodge.
You pick out a bag and pour that in little by little in to your little panning tray.
Then lower the tray in to the water to get out all the sand and reveal your treasures.
The girls were so excited by what they found!
Here is Lauren showing me one of her favorites.  You put them all in a small plastic bag to take home.
Next up we tried our hand at some bowling.
It is a small little alley set, but there are four alleys to play on and it tracks your score electronically.
Last but not least we did some mini golf.
It is a super cute indoor mini golf.
It is such an adorable course.
Here is some video of the fun we had.
The girls had a howling good time!
Of course there is an awesome water park too.  You can see some pictures in my previous post about it.  There is a Kids Spa called Scooops.  It is so adorable.  I love the ice cream decor.  Girls can have their nails done and more.  There are all different packages.  They even have a basic package for only $9.99 where the child gets a tiara, sash, lotion, hair scent and lip gloss application.  Just enough to feel pretty.
This is what one of the standard family rooms looks like.  I love the wood decor.  All rooms also have a microwave and fridge.
They also have Family Themed Suites.  Look at how adorable these bunk beds are for the kids.  This is partitioned off from the room.
The remaining part of the theme suite.
Plenty of places to get food.  There is a restaurant, a bar, Dunkin Donuts, a dessert shop, and pizza spot.
We had such a great time and we can't wait to return!
Twitter:  @greatwolflodge #GWLNewEngland
Disclosure:  I was invited as media to the Great Wolf Lodge New England's Day of Play.  I did receive a bag with promotional items.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.