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Spring FUN Break

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Stone Mountain Park, Spring Break 2011.

The wonderful PR department at Stone Mountain, including Marti and Jeanine invited my family out to experience the Spring Fun Break at Stone Mountain.

Listed in Frommer’s 500 Places to Visit with Your Kids Before They Grow Up and cited by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as one of “35 Natural Wonders in Georgia You Must See… we just knew we had to check out all the fun the park had in store for this perfect weather in Atlanta for the week of Spring Break.

Upon arriving we decided to get out Adventure Passes, $27 Adults/$21 Children 3-11 (tax not included)Includes all of the SFB activities and other popular attractions such as Sky Hike, Journey to the Center of the Earth 4D Adventure®, Summit Skyride, Scenic Railroad, mini-golf, Antebellum Plantation & Farmyard, The Great Barn and Memorial Hall.

We posed for a few pictures with the staff photographers and headed for Sky Hike.  Sky Hike is a trek through the treetops on one of the nation’s largest family adventure courses.  While secured to the patented overhead safety system, you get decide where you go on the course and how far up you go!

Rob, Aleena and Dorian were all tall enough to explore this family fun experience.  The got their harnesses on and headed up.  Braeden and I decided to follow along one of the overlook areas and cheer them on.

I was scared for Dorian a few times as he had to cross over above me on a small rope. He kept looking back to see if Daddy was close by and would get nervous. I was right below him and would re-assure him he was doing great. A really nice man, obviously a dad himself, started to cheer him on.  “Come on big guy, you can do it! You are almost there!”  My heart melted, looking at the little burst of coll confidence he got, he zipped right over the next stop and waited for his dad, very proudly.  I too was proud.  It was so great for him to experience that moment of achieving something you doubted yourself in doing.

As a walked back I heard Aleena, who had made her way on the course alone, “Mommy, Mommy, I did it!! I did it all by myself!!!” Again, I was so proud.

I think that the SKY HIKE is an absolute must do with your family. Build confidence and allow your kids to feel proud of themselves. I guarantee you will feel proud too. If you live in Atlanta, you forget how many amazing things there are to do here. Stone Mountain is definitely one of them!

Listen as Jeanine tells us about the amazing things Stone Mountain park has for your family!

After the Sky Hike, we walked over to Memorial Hall to meet Jeanine and Steve Carroll, the Director of Business Development at Full Spectrum.  Full Spectrum puts on the most famous Lasershow in the U.S.

Steve was a pleasure to meet and talk to about this new show they have coming up.  Through spring break you will be watching last years show. Which was fun but I couldn’t help but think about this new show. Coming to the park Memorial Day weekend, Mountainvision makes its debut! Watch as we talk to Steve about this and he explains all about the technology that goes into it.

 

After leaving Steve, Jeanine took us over to see the baby animals. Wildlife Wonders’ Animal Babies. Meet and greet some of Georgia’s cutest and cuddliest. From fawns and bunnies to a joey kangaroo, our animal experts are happy to introduce you to some sweet and adorable animal babies.  We were lucky enough to go in after a show and sit with Melissa.  She told us all about the show, the animals and the North Georgia Zoo, which I never even knew even existed.

Watch here as Melissa explains the show, the Zoo she works at and then surprises us with two baby kangaroos!

 

After the baby animals we decided to go visit Miss Katie’s restaurant.  Southern style home cooking at its best.  We enjoyed a great talk with our server Cat.  She was excellent in the knowledge of what makes Miss Katie’s famous.  First, the food.  Friend Chicken and Fried Catfish,  two of the all time best sellers.  Also, the famous roll throwing!!  Yes, when they bring out the hot fresh rolls, they throw them at you!  It is very different and actually quite fun for the family.  Listen as Cat explains it all to us here:

 

Up next on our Family Fun day, Ride the Ducks!  The Duck vehicles are 1940’s era Army DUKWs, converted into comfortable open-air vehicles.  The first half of your ride is on land.  Our driver, Connie told us some history of the park and some funny stories. All the while we were listening to every child in that vehicle quack their duck bills that they all received.  It was comical at times and at other times a bit much, but at least all the kids where having fun!

The vehicle went right up to the lake and plunged in! We spent about 20 minutes in the water, quacking at ducks and taking turns driving the boat!  It was definitely fun.  This is one of those attractions that you should definitely do at least once!

 

There is so much to do at Stone Mountain Park you almost need 2 days at least.  We had a hard time fitting everything in and still did not get to see everything!

We made our way close to the mountain to get ready for the Lasershow.  Before we took our seat we felt a good old fashion game of mini golf was in demand.  Yes, it was.  It was great to play mini golf with my little ones.  I remembered playing with my parents and being in awe of how good they were.  This time around, I was the mom and I knew what I was doing.  :)  Dorian and I both got whole in ones!!!

 

With the fun of mini golf behind us, we took our seats on some rocks and got ready for the show.  While we waited, my children actually entertained everyone gathered around with some pretty impressive dances. ;)  They were clearly amped up and ready to see the show.

The show was just like I remembered.  Music and fireworks accompanied the laser display.  Watching the show, I couldn’t help but think how amazing it will be to see the new one this year.

Leaving the park as the last fireworks went off, we all felt good.  We had a successful family fun day and everyone left happy.  That says a lot.

This is a definite MUST DO!

Art

Rain and Fire in Sedona

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Ange Alex

A rainy day in Sedona? What are we going to do. Everything we have planned is outdoors. I am pretty sure that is why people come to Sedona, for the beautiful OUTDOOR activities, like hiking, biking, Jeep tours, viewing the red rocks and photography. 

What to do, what to do.

Oh, I know. I had the privilege of meeting some great artists that work in fire and glass! The perfect indoor activity when your outdoor plans are washed away!

The Melting Point in Sedona, conveniently located across the street for the Whole Foods (two birds with one stone, yeah!), is a group of artist focusing on creating and teaching others how to create as well.

When we entered the facilities, it was like entering a fine arts gallery. So many beautiful works of glass art. Jordan Ford is the general manager and one of the Artists. He came out of the workshop and told us the rules, then brought us into the fold. 

We were about to become glass blowers! 

Jordan had a love for the natural world from a very early age. He went on to study geology in college but that is when he discovered glass. He currently has Bachelor’s Degrees in both Earth Science/Geology and Visual Arts/Glassblowing.

Jordan says , “It’s the process of blowing glass that drives me. I find the physical act of making glass so overwhelmingly fascinating. I approach most of my work with a consideration for the more classical techniques – it’s the framework that I use as a jumping point for experimentation.”

Not only is Jordan incredibly talented, he is really personable and extremely funny. He made everyone in the room feel at ease and we all often irrupted in bouts of laughter.

Another artist that was helping us is Austin Littenberg. Austin became interested in the art of glass blowing at age 16 after watching a documentary. He spent over 12 years developing his craft and learning the technical precision needed to work at this level.

Austin views the many ways Art presents itself and is in tune with it all, and it shows.

Clearly these two artist love what they do, and I for one am grateful for their expertise and their willingness to show the world their art.

They worked with us to create a beautiful cactus, complete with three flowers, one for each kid, and a Sedona rock like base. We loved the patience they showed and the skill to make us feel at ease. We never felt like  we were about to do something we just couldn’t. It felt like we had been doing this before. That is the measure of a true instructor. 

Our work of art was complete and we left there feeling accomplished and quite honestly, amazing! 

Both Austin and Jordan have remarkable skills but also wonderful comedic timing. They were a absolutely pleasure to meet and I look forward to keeping up with their art in the future.

If you find yourself in Sedona and want to meet some really wonderful people, stop by The Melting Point and say hello! While you’re there, blow some glass!

How could I forget one of them most important things; They have a studio dog! Austin brings his sweet baby girl to work with him and she is an angel! We loved her! Make sure you give her some love when you visit!

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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Legends!

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Behold the living legends! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey brings the unbelievable to Children Of All Ages in an all-new show – – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS. Experience unimaginable family fun as amazing performers from around the globe perform awe-inspiring feats of daring, spectacles of strength and thrills of wonder to summon the mythical and the mysterious visions that have only existed in your imagination and now materialize before your eyes: the Unicorn, Pegasus and a Woolly the Mammoth! Join us for an unforgettable family night of legendary proportions at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS!

Free to all ticketholders, the All Access Pre-show allows circus fans to learn juggling and balancing skills, meet the performers of The Greatest Show On Earth, get autographs, take photos and enter to win a one-of-a-kind Pachyderm Painting.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS SM, playing Amway Center January 14-18, 2016. Save $4 off tickets using promo code 4MOM. Live tweet to us while you are there! @RinglingBros #BestGiftEver  @BackstageBeat

 

 

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NEW Children’s Museum of Atlanta Re-opens December 12!

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Families will soon experience more STEAM-style activities and exhibits when visiting the newly renovated Children’s Museum of Atlanta, which re-opens to the public on Saturday, December 12. This iconic downtown attraction, which has been busy renovating since August of this year, now features targeted science, technology, engineering, arts and math education programming woven through almost every aspect of the enhanced space. Whether children build and shoot their own rocket launcher in the new “Gateway to the World” exhibit or design their dream home in the enhanced “Tools for Solutions” exhibit, the increased focus on STEAM learning enables the Museum to further prepare young children to be problem solvers and lifelong learners.

We got a sneak preview this week and I can honestly say it was the most fun my kids have had in a long time! They amount of things there are to do is mind boggling!

One of our favorite areas was Tools for Solutions – This enhanced, multi-layered zone reaches all ages and explores the science of building through four learning environments: the giant ball machine, Built-It Lab, Construction House and City Blocks. Using six simple machines, visitors can move balls through the Museum’s beloved giant ball machine. Children can also learn how to use real tools and materials in the new Build-It Lab, which will feature building workshops and more. This lab will also house a “Maker Space” to empower young children to harness their own ideas to build inventions and artistic creations. The Construction House, designed to showcase what is “behind the walls,” features a solar panel and incorporates activities on how to attach make-believe wires, connect pipes and insulate walls. City Blocks enables children to create skyscrapers and design the city of the future. Through this revitalized exhibit space, children can hone early and more complex math skills, as they learn the importance of processes and sequencing. They also utilize creativity, social emotional and gross and fine motor skills, while discovering that even the most intricate problems can be solved step-by-step with a solid strategy and through the use of tools.

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