will1494's Passport


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07 July 2012

Icon_superoo_orangeSuperoo '12, '13, '14, '16

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About Me & My Family

Hi! I'm Amanda and I have a high energy husband and two spirited young boys. We try to incorporate adventure into each day. We go to various beaches, zoos, parks and on road trips as often as we can. I have been to 31 of the United States (including living in Alaska), Canada from Ontario - westward, Mexico, and Costa Rica. I'm a total bird nerd, so you'll find me hauling around guides, binos, and checklists, ranging around anywhere I might find a new bird for my life list!
Our Family's Travel Personality
adventurous, curious, rowdy, relaxed, simple, independent, energetic, spontaneous, easy_going, scheduled
We Just Got Back From
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
Disney World, South Dakota, Southeast Alaska
A Place We'd Love To Visit
Peru, Jamaica, New Zealand, Guatemala, Madagascar, Malayasia, Bali, the Virgin Islands, Thailand, the Blue Corn Islands
Favorite Vacation Memory
When my son thought the giant rock faces of Mt. Rushmore was Thomas the Train! He was about three at the time.
Worst Travel Moment With My Kids:
Any moment that involved puking in nice hotels. It happens more than one might anticipate!
Websites I Like:
Outside Magazine Field Guide to Parenting Outside Lonely Planet natgeo.com NPS.gov and....trekaroo!

Easter Activities & Egg Hunts Across Minnesota 2015

I think almost all kiddos love Easter egg hunts! Heck, I love Easter  egg hunts and I am well into adulthood! Be it a bright plastic egg with a chocolate morsel inside, a pastel egg with a nickel, or a real chicken egg, dyed and decorated, Easter eggs are fun to find! Here is a list of some of the places that you'll find egg hunts in MN -- this list is not all-encompassing, but more of a highlight reel. Updated for 2014


72nd Ave. W & Grand Ave.
Duluth, Minnesota

Easter EGG-stravaganza! Saturday, April 4th Easter Bunny photos, Games; Easter egg hunt, treats Animal Egg-enrichment schedule - see zoo site.

reviewed on: January 11 2013

"A really wild time for the family!"
Really great indoor exhibits and hands on areas for kids. Pretty cool learning animals from cockroaches to rabbits and birds. We are excited to see the zoo grow and expand. The primates are always a favorite!

The Zoo has a ton of great events and activities (both daily and annual) like Boo at the Zoo, Run Like an Animal, and many daily enrichment activities to enjoy.

What we loved:

• We really enjoyed the Boo at the Zoo event -- perfect for toddlers and younger kids, lots of candy, fun zoo activities (like petting alligators!) It is crowded inside at the start of the event, but as you move out to the grounds it's really easy walking.
• Really accessible to strollers and we loved that we didn’t have to take the costume off to go trick-or-treating like you do if you drive to different venues—it’s ALL in one spot!
• Traffic directors to help pedestrians get to the zoo safely
• Lots of vendors and ‘trick-or-treat’ stops along the grounds as you looked at animals
• Zoo bag to collect candy in, in case you forgot your own  
• Super reasonable food vendors on-site, so you can do lunch while you’re there, since the event encompasses lunch time
• Kids are worn out by the end of the day and sleep like champs!
• Great photo opportunities throughout the day

What we didn’t love:

• Parking is a ZOO too. You have to park about 8 blocks away, so plan for walking. You can try the main parking lot, but we didn’t see any point! There are also blocks of residential areas that do not allow parking, so check!
• Enrichments were scheduled so that if you have a napping child, you can’t hit them all. We’d have loved to have seen more, but schedule just didn’t allow. This won’t be an issue for older kiddos, but for toddlers it’s a long day to try to do it all.

This is a place that we will frequent year-around. The Griggs Learning Center is great for kids to have hands-on opportunities with several different critters--mammals, birds, insects, and reptiles!

Tip: If you want your child to be able to touch animals, don't expect it on a high-traffic event day. Also, have them choose the animal that they most want to pet, since staff can not take out all of the animals in the room for a few seconds each (due to stress on the animal) so kids need to find their faves and spend some time learning and enjoying those animals.

Disclosure: We were hosted at the LS Zoo during Boo at the Zoo to scope out the fun. We were not compensated in any other way and we really enjoyed our time.


60 East Broadway
Bloomington, Minnesota

SATURDAY, MARCH 14th Rockin' with the Easter Bunny @ the Hard Rock Cafe PHOTOS with the Easter Bunny: (see MOA website for Easter Bunny Hours) Souvenir photos with the Easter Bunny for purchase, kids get a treat. SATURDAY, MARCH 14 - SUNDAY, APRIL 5 SUNDAYS - FRIDAYS: 11 A.M. - 7 P.M. SATURDAYS: 10 A.M. - 8 P.M. EASTER SUNDAY: 11 A.M. - 3 P.M. WEST MARKET SQUARE Children will get special Peeps treat.

reviewed on: January 03 2013

"Fun way to spend a day!"
Mall of America® is the country’s biggest mall. It’s an international travel destination. We decided to spend some time there for a day while also seeing a few attractions within its walls. We had planned on dining at one of the popular restaurants and taking in the sites. It sounds dorky, but our biggest tip for seeing MOA is to try to plan our your visit if you only have a day to spend there – getting lost and being indecisive can eat up valuable time that could have been salvaged with a little more structure.

We were able to shuttle to MOA from the Radisson, which simplified the logistics so much. I would deem the walk between the two places a no-go with kids especially, though very short in distance, it is not very pedestrian friendly. If you stay at a hotel and do take advantage of the shuttle, make sure you know where and when your pick up is!

Being country bumpkins (at least in comparison to navigating the Twin Cities and the Mall) we spent a few minutes of our day retracing steps from wrong turns and checking the map when we really just wanted to get somewhere. Sometimes walking is the goal of ones’ visit and there are signs for the Mayo Clinic Mile all around the Mall, directing ‘Mall Stars’ walkers to the route that has been mapped out for distance (one mile, 5k and 10k.) We used a simple umbrella stroller to get around with our almost two-year old and it was a lifesaver. We thought about a framed backpack carrier, but there was just so much for our son to ‘take in’ that he was happy riding.

The site is great for people watching – I didn’t spend any time actually shopping, only looking at all the incredible stores that the Mall® houses! We did have a goal of seeing The LEGO® Store, but time got away on us and our boy actually ended up crashing after all of the fun at SEA Life Minnesota Aquarium and Nickelodeon Universe®. We admittedly spent the most time at those two attractions, but I’d say after seeing storefront after storefront, it would have been boring for our toddler had we just window-shopped all day. For those that like specialty stores though – this place is for you!

One favorite among the children in other families throughout the whole day was the American Girl® store. There were so many red bags with the stores’ name on the front that would undoubtedly hold the coveted dolls within. The store is located inside Nickelodeon Universe. Moose Mountain Adventure Golf is on the second level adjacent to Nickelodeon Universe and is another great way to have some multi-aged family fun.

Toddler Tuesdays® were a surprise to our family! We saw so many ‘stroller families’ during our time at the Mall! I never considered MOA a family destination for kids under 10 – but, they cater to the younger tykes at least one day each week! We visited on a Saturday but I would love to go back and experience a Tuesday there with my son!

Check out the MOA webpage and figure out what special events are being featured for the month and what restaurants you have to choose from. There are also seasonal variations in the hours of operation, so pay close attention to that while planning.

MOA does offer locker and stroller rentals at many of the main entrances. The Mall was quietest between 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. (which is when we recommend seeing and enjoying Nickelodeon Universe.) I would recommend planning your visit for this timeframe. As the lunch hour approached, the Mall® became busier and more crowded. It wasn’t at all overwhelming in any one area except the food court, which is where we ended up eating (eat and run to keep our toddler napping and happy!) We had to wait in long lines and chose from fairly common cuisine. I had my heart set on Bubba Gump Shrimp, but we’ll have to save that for next time.

If we didn’t have tickets for Nickelodeon Universe and SEA Life™, we wouldn’t likely visit MOA because our family isn’t that into shopping or just walking around a mall for the day so it wouldn't hold our interest long. We might try to plan on a Tuesday if we plan another trip, just to check out what they have going on for the toddlers.  But, for those that love to shop, have variety in cuisine and stores, or just enjoys walking in 70 degree temperature-controlled climate all year, then you’d love MOA!


240 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, Minnesota

Outdoor egg hunt on the lawn, April 4th BYOB! (Bring your own Basket!) $6 per person, $2 discount for MHS members Children ages 2-7 can look for eggs according to age range from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (all kids must be accompanied by an adult) *Reservations Recommended* Outdoor event, dress accordingly!

27251 State Highway 30
Hayfield, Minnesota

Easter egg hunts for children, Farm animals are present. April 4th 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Easter Egg Hunt! 507-272-7465


2727 US Hwy 169 S
Grand Rapids, Minnesota

MEMBERS ONLY - free to members exclusive event. Separate egg hunting areas for little ones and bigger kids. March 28th from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. Cupcakes, easter bunny, egg hunt, crafts & playing at the museum! Really fun event! Egg hunt starts at 9:15 sharp!

reviewed on: July 25 2012

"Fun Gadgets Geared toward preschoolers "
The Children's Discovery Museum in Grand Rapids, MN is a large facility full of fun for a room overun with preschoolers. I recently visited with my preschool class (about 20 kiddos, aged 3-5 years old.) Some of the activities were a little too advanced for the 3-5 year old age (like a light-up map and activities with lots to read) but there were also lots of pre-K aged attractions. A popular favorite was a water table (though the children didn't understand the concept behind locks and dams) they did have a great time puddling in the water.

The girls especially liked the dress up closet that the Children's Discovery Museum offers, along with the area there to "play house" and grocery shop. The boys loved the camping simulation and crawling in and out of the tent that was set up.

In a separate visit, I took my 2 year old son to the Easter Party and discovered that smaller kiddos can have a blast too! There is just so much room for them to run and play! The egg hunt was scheduled from 9-11, but we were there at 8:45. They didn't start the hunt until 9:15, so it was hard for a toddler to wait that long, BUT the parents that came at about 9:45 searched the whole place and there wasn't an egg to be found. So, if you're going to the egg hunt, GO EARLY! He loved the maze and dinosaur fossil puzzle. The locks and dams area was drained, so it was a dry exploration table. The Easter Bunny was there (but her ponytail was hanging out in back so it was a little hokey) and there were lots of crafts and snacks.

There was plenty of room to run around and burn off some steam, and there was also a table setting area for all of us to have our lunch. The only down-side I found was that the museum has a very sterile feel to it--not vibrant and energetic like I would have hoped for in a museum for little ones--mainly due to the concrete floors I think. The walls are mostly stark white, other than a few murals. There are also a few areas that have cords exposed--so as a Helicopter Mom it was a little worrisome-- but otherwise we had a great experience with the friendly staff and wide range of activities.


3900 W Superior St
Duluth, Minnesota

Visit with the Easter Bunny on April 2 & 3! Crafts, face painting, Easter Egg Hunt and live animals. Free event with photos for $4.00.!! Friday 2PM-7PM & Saturday, 9AM-2PM in the Skyline Room. Free event. Photos are $4.00 Dates 4/2/2010 to 4/3/2010


11000 Craguns Drive
Brainerd, Minnesota

April 3-5, 2015 Create a family tradition of old-fashioned Easter fun, togetherness and holiday magic in this special spring vacation package. Friday welcome reception, Cragun’s Dinner Buffet and bingo Bonfire & marshmallow roasting, horse drawn trolley rides, planned family activities. D.J./Karaoke in the Bear Trap Lounge Sunday Easter Breakfast Buffet, non-denominational Church Service and pictures with the Easter Bunny. Starting at $139 Per Night - Fireplace Room

25022 County Road 41
Starbuck, Minnesota

Sat. April 4th 12:30pm- 3pm. Join our 6th annual Easter Egg Hunt presented by Friends of Glacial Lakes State Park! There are also games and activities at the Group Camp Shelter before and after the egg hunt. The naturalist will be on site with a nature cart. Children are divided into three groups for the egg hunt: Pre-school, grades k-3, and grades 4-6. Some eggs contain prize slips. Hot cocoa and treats will be served at the Group Camp Shelter after the egg hunt. Last year approx. 3,000 eggs were hidden. Make sure you arrive early to get your permit as the egg hunt will start promptly at 2pm. A MN state Park vehicle permit is required to attend this event, and can be purchased at the park for $5/day or $25 for an annual permit.


2400 London Road
Duluth, Minnesota

For hotel guests: Easter Activities at the Edge! April 3 & 4, 2015 Easter activities include: Easter Bunny Egg Hunt Arts & Crafts

reviewed on: July 08 2012

"Edgewater Park & Hotel"
I was disappointed by the room in the detached part of the grounds. But, the waterpark was fun. I have heard that the hotel rooms that are in the main building are much better and then you don't have to venture into the cold air when you're done swimming! Keep that in mind when booking!

I was put in a detached motel room and it was a little rundown. It faced Hwy 61, so it was loud on a Friday night. Otherwise, it wasn't too bad.

You get complimentary drink tokens with a room, but you must make sure you know the hours of the tiki bar or they are no good to you. We really enjoyed the island theme of the decor and the activities. There is an outdoor hottub which is a thrill in Minnesota anytime of the year!

The park itself was great--could be a little cleaner but it was relatively clean for such a large indoor affair. It had a lot of great activities for kiddos and adults--maybe a few things for those under two years to enjoy a bit with mom and dad. Great for toddlers and young children.

Even as adults, we had a good time. The lazy river is always a hit with the whole family. There are party specials as well as other promotions and it's a very popular hotel in the area.