Reviews & Photos
July 01 2015
1 family found this helpful
Crayola Experience Orlando
8001 S Orange Blossom Trail,
"Create, Play and Have Fun at the Crayola Experience in Florida"
Have you ever wanted to bring your drawings to life, wondered how Crayola Crayons were made or create your very own puzzle? Well you can do all of that and more at the Crayola Experience in Orlando, Florida.
My boys and I had a blast interacting with all of the 25 hands on activities during our visit. Here are our 3 favorite activities. Mine was the Wrap It Up! experience. I chose my favorite crayon color, created my very own label with my name and a super cool picture, then wrapped it up and now have a crayon that is completely unique to me. Melt & Mold was a favorite for my oldest, age 9. He was able to pick out his favorite color then choose from several different molds to create a crayon that was perfectly shaped for him. He chose the shark mold. He placed his crayon in the oven then watched it drip and dry into a shark. I’ve got it say it was super cool! My youngest, age 7, really enjoyed making his very own puzzle. He liked it so much that he made two! He drew a picture that he loved on thick, white cardboard then placed it into the puzzle making machine and with the crank of the device had his very own puzzle. He was amazed by the entire process.
We have our favorites, but each of the interactive exhibits were so much fun! Here is a quick list of what you can experience.
Wrap It Up! - I mentioned this above. Here you can create your very own Crayola Label.
Crayon Factory - Learn about the crayon making process.
Be A Star - Create a coloring page that you and your family can “star” in. We had fun here.
Modeling Madness - Create models out of model magic. You choose your fave color from the vending machine and then create!
Art Alive! - My oldest really liked this. Here you can create a picture on what looks like an iPad and then it comes to life on a huge wall. It is pretty cool!
Toddler Town - My boys aren’t toddlers but they had a blast playing on the huge light brite. There is also a playground area for the little ones.
Doodle in the Dark - Create your very own neon masterpiece.
Color Playground - Fun two-story playground with a fast slide. This kids loved this playground, they did not want to leave it.
Scribble Square - You can color on everything here. Cars, trees, the ground all of it!
Color Magic - Here I colored a fairy and she came to life on the screen. I was also able to email my creation to myself. It was pretty neat.
YouDesgin - This was fun. We colored our pictures then they came to life on a huge screen. So, I colored a car, placed it on the table and then it drove around on the wall/screen.
Drip Art - Here we twirled a piece of thick paper while melted crayons dripped onto it to create a pretty cool piece of art.
Melt & Mold - This was a favorite of ours. Here you can melt crayons into your favorite mold to create a fun and unique character. You can choose from a ring, shark, car and more.
Puzzle It! - Another one of our favorites. Here you can create your very own puzzle.
Paint Palette, Meltdown, Stomp & Play and Rainbow Rain are other interactive experiences that you will find at the Crayola Experience.
Each of the 25 Crayola Experiences were fascinating. I liked that my boys were able to have fun and learn about the history of Crayola as well as what goes into making the crayons that they use everyday. I liked that they were not just playing but that they were also creating and finding new ways to be creative with their crayons. I highly recommend a visit to the Crayola Experience in Orlando you and your family will have a great time together!
Purchase your tickets online for a discount.
They were thinking of us when they built their restrooms. They are nice and big. They also have a family restroom and a decent sized nursing mothers room.
Lockers are available if needed.
There is a cafe so you can have lunch and snacks if you would like.
There is a store inside of the experience and outside of it so bring some extra spending money.
There are group rates for parties, schools and such so give them a call or check their website if you will be visiting with a large group.
Disclosure: This review is my own and based on a complimentary media visit to the Crayola Experience in Orlando, Florida.
May 15 2015
1 family found this helpful
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
249 Windward Passage,
"Immerse Yourself in the Dolphin Tale Movies"
Visiting the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida was such a treat for my boys, ages 9 and 7. They loved the Dolphin Tale movies so having the opportunity to meet Winter and Hope in real life was an amazing experience.
The aquarium is home to several animals and fun, educational exhibits. A few of our favorite exhibits were Winter Zone, Stingray Beach and Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure.
Winter Zone is the place to be if you want to meet the famous Winter and Hope. You will have the opportunity to watch the dolphins swim around during your entire visit, but, hang out around this zone if you would like to watch one of Winter’s therapy sessions. When asked about the therapy schedule we were told that it changes all that time to keep Winter from getting into a “rut”. They did make an announcement before starting so when you visit be sure to listen for that. Watching her train is pretty amazing and one of the main events that sets this aquarium apart from others. There are two viewing areas. You can watch Winter from the Winter Zone or walk down the stairs to Shipwreck Alley where you will receive an underwater showing. Both are amazing! Seeing an animal, a dolphin, swimming with a prosthetic is just awe-inspiring.
Stingray Beach was another favorite for my boys. At this animal encounter we were able to pet the stingray while having all of our questions answered by the helpful and kind aquarium staff. Visitors can also feed the stingray and learn from a presentation during scheduled times. There is just something about having the opportunity to get wet while petting sea creatures that excites children!
Included with your aquarium ticket is a tour of Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure. A free trolley is available for those who would like to get an insider's experience of the movie. There were many exhibits displaying and explaining the props that were used during filming. The hurricane exhibit was one that I enjoyed the most. It was not a hurricane machine. You actually walk through parts of the set used during the hurricane scene in Dolphin Tale. I’ve got to say it was pretty amazing! In fact, we walked through it twice.
When visiting Clearwater, Florida you and your family should definitely make the time to visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. There you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the Dolphin Tale movies and create a deeper understanding for both yourself and children of what goes into rescuing and keeping our sea animals safe.
Disclosure: This review is my own and based on a complimentary visit to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, Florida.
May 15 2015
1 family found this helpful
Sand Glo Villas
19316 Gulf Blvd.,
Indian Shores, Florida
"Your Beachside Home Away From Home"
Sand Glo Villas located in Indian Shores, Florida is your beachside home away from home with a beautifully serene view and vibe. This beachside gated community consists of 6 villas, each of which have nice sized kitchens,spacious floor plans and friendly neighbors.
Check-in was super relaxed and easy. Sand Glo Villas does not have a check-in office so when we arrived we just gave Kat a call, she let us know which room was ours, that it was ready for us and that we could go on up!
My family of four, which includes my two boys ages 7 and 9, enjoyed a stay in the two Bedroom Gulf Front Villa (#6). It was a large villa with plenty of room for us to spread out, relax and enjoy the unobstructed view of the Gulf of Mexico. The villa included two bedrooms, two full sized bathrooms, a nice sized kitchen, dining and living area and a nice sized deck. The kitchen was stocked with everything we needed during our stay, except for food, of course. Laminate and tile flooring was installed throughout which made cleaning up after the kid’s sandy feet a breeze. A table and chairs on the back deck provided us with the perfect spot to enjoy a cup of coffee and the arrival of new day. Because we were literally right on the beach the boys were able to go outside and play in the sugary white sand while my husband and I tidied things up a bit before enjoying the beach ourselves. Our bedroom overlooked the Gulf so the loveseat located right next to our windows made for a relaxing place to say goodbye to the sun and settle in for the evening.
Sand Glo Villas have several amenities for you to enjoy during your stay. First of all there is the beach. It just doesn’t get any better than that. Then there is the free kayak, beach towels, chairs, umbrellas and beach toys that guests are welcome to use at their leisure. There are cookies on Mondays and breakfast on Sundays. A washer and dryer are available for use for about $1.25 a load. There is an outside shower, a swing and grill. Fishing from the beach is a must so when you are ready to cook your catch the outdoor grill comes in handy!
Villa rates starts at about $125. Oh, and Sand Glo is pet friendly so if you want to bring Fido you can with prior approval and a $50 pet fee. You and your family really could just spend all day at the beach fishing, shelling, birding or just chilling but if you would like to visit a few attractions then there are plenty for you to see. Just check Sand Glo’s website for all the details and fun things to do. Everyone is treated like family at Sand Glo it is the perfect place for you and your kiddos to unwind, connect and just enjoy each other’s company.
Sand Glo Villas is a member of the Superior Small Lodging Association which means you can be assured of high standards of cleanliness, amenities and service.
Redington Shores Bait & Tackle is a great place to get your bait. They know what’s biting and where the good fishing spots are for the time of day you will be fishing.
Indian Shores Coffee Company is just a few steps from Sand Glo. They serve up some great coffee and fun!
Publix is a great place for you to stock up on your food for the week.
Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf is a fun and unique course located within walking distance of the villas. You can feed alligators in between your swings!
Disclosure: This review is my own and based on a complimentary stay at Sand Glo Villas in Indian Shores, Florida.
May 14 2015
1 family found this helpful
Ebb Tide Waterfront Resort
621 Bay Esplanade,
"Slow Down and Enjoy the Florida Life"
Stepping into Ebb Tide Waterfront Resort in Clearwater Beach, Florida is like stepping back in time to when life was slower and conversations between neighbors flowed like the ocean’s tide. The sparkling blue water of the resort pool and the deep blue waters of Mandalay Bay will greet you and your family as you enter the lobby. Books, couches and lounging chairs are sprinkled throughout the lobby and pool deck. Fishermen and their wives may occupy a few chairs while laughing and sharing a few drinks during your stay.
Checking in to Ebb Tide was effortless during my visit. Marysia greeted myself and my family, walked us up to our suite, told us everything we needed to know about the property, shared a few insider tips about the city and then let us know that she was just a phone call away.
Our suite was extremely large. We enjoyed the Manatee 2 - Waterfront Two Bedroom/Two Bathroom Unit on the Second Floor. It was about 1,000 sf and the perfect size for my family of 4 which includes two boys, ages 9 and 7. The outside walls of the living area contained windows all around so we had a great view of the bay and the pool below. Both bedrooms had several windows which allowed for more great views of the bay. The kitchen and eating area were huge and fully equipped. I loved it and so did the kiddos!
The resort offered several amenities. One of our favorites was the fishing dock. The boys and my husband spent several hours catching fish from it. There were holders for your fishing poles, chairs, lights and a cleaning station for your fish. The pool was nice as it was raised up a bit so that you could watch the bay while lounging poolside. Pool toys and beach toys were available for guests to use as well. An assortment of books were available in the lobby as was a washer and dryer.
The beach is located just a few blocks from the resort so if you prefer spending your days at the beach then that is totally doable!
Ebb Tide Resort is a quiet, relaxed community that you and your family are sure to enjoy. It’s location is perfect as you are close to the hustle and bustle of downtown Clearwater Beach as well as the quiet outskirts. So, you have the option to experience both depending on your mood.
Ebb Tide Resort in Clearwater Beach, Florida is a member of the Superior Small Lodging Association which means you can be assured of high standards of cleanliness, amenities and service.
Pick up the Florida Info. Guide & Where to Dine magazine as it contains coupons, some unique information about the city and games you and your family can enjoy while in Clearwater Beach.
The Clearwater Aquarium is right up the road. Be sure to visit Winter and Hope during your stay.
At dusk vendors sell their wares at Pier60. It’s a neat experience that you’re sure to enjoy.
Disclosure: This review is my own and based on a complimentary stay at Ebb Tide Resort in Clearwater Beach, Florida.
May 07 2015
0 families found this helpful
Hella Restaurant and Bakery
785 Dodecanese Blvd,
"Delicious Greek Baked Goods and Coffees"
During a quick trip to the sponge docks in Tarpon Springs, Florida we decided to enjoy a Greek snack at Hella's. There were so many delicious treats to choose from and loud Greek conversations surrounding us at the bakery. My boys enjoyed chocolate desserts while hubs and I ordered Greek coffee and a dipple. It was a yummy and fun experience.