Category Archives: Weekend

Wilderness Resort – The Waterparks

If you’ve been around here for any amount of time, you know that Mason LOVES water! We took his first swimming lessons just shy of 6 months old and going to the swimming pool, beach, and playing in his backyard pool are the highlights of his summer. We’re also lucky enough to live within driving distance of the waterpark capital of the world – Wisconsin Dells! We recently spent a whirlwind three days in Wisconsin Dells and despite the sub-zero temperatures, Wilderness Resort had us floating, sliding, swimming, and splashing to our hearts content! Which makes sense because they just happen to be America’s largest waterpark resort!

Wilderness Resort has over 500,000 square feet dedicated to just waterparks alone and four of these parks (over 200,000 square feet) are completely indoors and ready for play even in the dead of winter! Unlike other vacations where you’re worried how you’ll possibly be able to keep the preschooler entertained, I was worried we wouldn’t possibly have time to play everywhere we wanted to play!

With four completely different indoor waterparks, we had a hard time choosing what we wanted to do. SuperDad wanted to do the wave pool (America’s biggest indoor wave pool, at that!), I had my eye on some slides (like the Hurricane and the Black Hole) and I wanted to make sure that Mason got plenty of time in the areas just designed for kids his age as well as family raft rides, of which there was several!

We started out our wet and wild vacation at Klondike Kavern. It was here Mason fell in love with the dumping bucket. Every five minutes or so, a chime would ding and over 750 gallons of water would dump from a giant bucket. Standing under that gush of water was Mason’s nirvana and he could have done that for several hours a day had we let him!

Wilderness Resort Bucket Dump
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We hit up some family tube slides and SuperDad and I took turns playing with Mason while we went down some solo slides too. Every single slide was fun and added to the “let’s do that again later!” list. Then we headed over to the Wild WaterDome and played in the wave pool for a LONG time. Mason and I shared a double tube and SuperDad got his own tube and was responsible for pushing us back out into the deeper water as the crazy crashing waves pushed us back to dry land. We had a great time as a family laughing and hanging on tight as waves big and small crashed against our tubes. I was also totally in love with the 100% windowed roof (aka dome) There was sunshine on my skin for the first time in 5 months despite the extreme temperatures outside. It was glorious! In the end, the only thing that got us out of the wave pool was our hungry tummies!

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The next day, we hit up the “Wild West” which is the biggest of the four indoor waterparks. The presence of another dumping bucket made Mason super happy, as well as his chance to do another family raft ride with us. He loved being able to go on a big slide with Mom & Dad and we loved the quick lines and the opportunity to do something where all three of us could participate. I waited in line for the much anticipated Black Hole slide and it didn’t disappoint. You guys, this was the FASTEST waterslide I’ve ever been on and quite frankly, I could have went down it another twenty times had the rest of the family not been waiting for me! Then Mason and I played on the Ransack Ridge Play and Spray Structure and did some smaller slides while SuperDad hit up the body slides. So. Much. Fun. We ended up back at Klondike Kavern and I went on the Hurricane slide that I’d heard so much about. I had never been on anything like it and it definitely lived up to the hype!

On our third day, we attended the rubber ducky races at the Lazy River and then hit up all of our favorites from the first two days. We spent a ton of time crashing the waves in the Wild WaterDome and doing family raft slides and watching Mason get 750 gallons of water dumped on him over and over and over. We also took several laps around the Lazy River and Mason felt like a super Big Kid getting to ride his own tube around the tame, but relaxing, river.

We never made it over to Cubby’s Cove despite our best intentions, but I’m sure Mason would have loved all the Mason-sized slides, geysers, and spray guns! We also never remembered the bumper boats when we had our swimsuits on so they’re definitely on our to-do list for our next visit!

I loved that there was something for every age at each of the parks. Mason was more than thrilled to play in the youngest child areas in each park or go down some of the bigger slides with us and we were more than thrilled to have a great selection of tamer and more adventurous slides, as well as have stuff that we could do both with and without Mason. The provided life jackets and life guards at every turn helped give a real feeling of safety and security and allowed us to give Mason a bit more freedom, which gave him a bit more confidence to do things he might not have normally tried. And really, fun waterpark or not, that right there is always a parenting win!

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We also loved that the waterparks were open to resort guests only. While we intentionally went on a Sunday-Tuesday so there would be fewer people there, the fact that they don’t open up their waterparks to everyone who walks in really helps keep the traffic down and the lines for the slides a lot shorter than they are at other waterparks we’ve been to. And, yeah, as a mother of a 4 year old (and a slightly impatient person myself), less time waiting in line and more time playing is always a customer service win to me!

I was initially worried about the walk between waterparks being too much for a (nearly) four year old but the hallways were well heated and once we figured out the best route between locations, it was a snap getting around the resort. While it sounds strange, Wilderness Resort’s awesome towel service (which let us trade our wet towels in for dry ones at any moment) made things a lot less stressful too! We’d get fresh dry towels anytime we had to walk anywhere and turn in our wet ones when it was time to play again. This made it so handy to not have to worry about where our towels were and we never had to deal with wrapping a chilly kid up in a soggy towel. A total win if you ask me!

Throughout our three days there, we got a chance to see parts of the (empty and snow covered) waterparks outside through the windows. They looked like so much fun and Mason frequently asked “Can we go down THAT slide?!” With four MORE huge outdoor waterparks and several walk up dining and drinking establishments in each waterpark, I have no idea how or why anyone would ever leave the waterpark area in the summer!

If you’re trying to figure out a fun winter OR summer getaway for your family (or just as a couple?) we give six thumbs up to Wilderness Resort and their amazing waterparks!

Disclaimer: Wilderness Resort gave us 1 night of lodging in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are entirely my own and not influenced by this exchange in any way.

Catch the Moment #9 :: Project 365

We were away on vacation for a mere 3 days and wow did it throw my blogging schedule off!

Thursday, February 27
Today we registered Mason for 4k. I had thought this was going to be a big to-do, but we basically turned in our paperwork and Mason played in both of his potential classrooms.
4k Registration

Friday, February 28
Slow news day. Haven’t taken a picture of Katze lately.
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Saturday, March 1
Joe and Charly got a new shipment of Bully Sticks. They were very excited.
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Sunday, March 2

Mason hunted for Scaredy Squirrel while we waited to check into the resort.
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Monday, March 3
What Mason and Daddy do while Mommy looked for deals at the Outlet Mall
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Tuesday, March 4
This bucket dumped over a thousand gallons of water every two minutes or so. It was Mason’s favorite thing of the whole vacation.
Wilderness Resort Bucket Dump

Wilderness Resort Bucket Aftermath

Wednesday, March 5
Joe was happy to get home from his slumber party and sleep in his own our bed
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If you do a “photo a day” project, be sure to join the fun and link up with us here:

Nurse Loves Farmer

 

Our Upcoming Vacation :: Wilderness Resort, Wisconsin Dells

I’m so excited that we’re finally getting away from the endless snow and humdrum of staring at the walls and heading to WISCONSIN DELLS!

No, it’s not exactly outdoor waterpark weather and there will still be several feet of snow there, BUT, we’re going to have an awesome wonderful fun filled three days that not many places can compete with.

How? Enter Wilderness Resort.

Wilderness Logo

This place has FOUR indoor water parks. FOUR. Not just one, not two, but FOUR. Not only are they home of America’s largest indoor wave pool, but they also have thrill slides, family raft rides, and slides for every age range from young toddler to the elderly! They’ve thought of EVERYTHING from pool basketball, lily pad challenges, tube slides, zero depth spray parks, a multi-level kids play area, a lazy river, and basically every water feature you can imagine.

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I would be over the moon about just the water parks, but there is so much MORE than that to do!

We will also be able to:

Play lazer tag!

Play mini-golf in any of the THREE indoor courses!
Wild Buccaneer Mini Golf Course
(Um, a pirate themed golf course? Color Mr. Mason MIND BLOWN)

Ride bumper boats!

Do a ropes course 30 feet above the ground!

Pretend we’re stealing a diamond and go through the lazer mazewrlazer

Eat at any of the five one-site restaurants!

Go on a carriage ride!

Play at an arcade!

And so much more!

I honestly don’t think we’re going to be able to do all the stuff available in just three days, but we’re going to try! Wilderness Resort, we will be seeing you soon! And blogger friends, get ready for PICTURE OVERLOAD! I can’t wait!!

**All pictures on this post are property of Wilderness Hotel & Resort. All excitement expressed in this post is mine entirely and was not bought in any way**

Train Show 2014

Every year, the model train show comes to our local mall. I’ve been going since I was a little kid and I was thrilled when Mason showed interest in trains, if only because I wanted to pass on my childhood tradition. This is the third year we’ve went together and I was really sad when he was less than enthused about going this year. Then I got to thinking and he seems to be… over trains. He very rarely plays with his toy trains (Thomas and Friends just went to the basement), he never watches train shows any more, and he isn’t even impressed to hear the train whistle blow at night anymore. Not wanting to see the model trains seemed to be the final blow and this this momma was a little bummed.

We decided to go anyway since there isn’t much else to do when it’s -20ยบ out and when we got to the train show and he LIT UP. He was absolutely thrilled and had a wonderful time. It was so much fun. Whew.

For the first 1/2 a lap, he rode on Daddy’s shoulders, “oohing” and “ahhing” and telling us where to go and what to stop and look at. trainshow1

His favorite displays were of course, all construction/logging related.
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This has been my favorite display since I was a litle girl. I remember I use to be just MESMERIZED by the tiny intricate rides as a kid.
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After a while, we got to the shorter displays and he was able to get down off SuperDad’s shoulders and still be able to see the trains.
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His absolute FAVORITE part of the train show…

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Do you see what it is? A John Deere train hauling John Deere tractors and implements. Mason’s favorite train? Go figure!
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The squealing and cries of “AWESOME!” seemed to be well appreciated by the display operators and other train enthusiasts. So cute LOL
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Desite his dragging his heels about now wanting to go, I’m SO glad we did.

Mason Meets Llama Llama

For over a year, we read Llama Llama Nighty Night before Mason went to bed. Every single night. Mason enjoys other Llama Llama books as well (his favorite probably being “Llama Llama Time to Share”) and I’m a fan of the big camelid myself. So when I saw that Llama Llama was coming to our local (bigger) library for the 10000 Books Before Kindergarten kick-off, I knew we had to be there!

The library was set up with several activity stations to pass the twenty minutes or so before the guest of honor arrived.

Mason worked on a puzzle
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And worked at the stamping station
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He also checked out the gerbils, which were SUPER exciting this day because they were both awake and out “exercising” (aka running on their wheel)
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Then along came Llama Llama. Mason wasn’t as excited as I expected (and even twenty minutes into the visit asked “When do I get my surprise!?” #fail) but it was still fun.

They played with Playdough
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Llama Llama attempted story time but no one came. LOL
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We had to bribe him into giving Llama Llama the world’s fastest hug. This wasn’t the photo I had envisioned but that’s preschoolers for you I guess.

And then Llama Llama and Mason did a puzzle together.
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Llama Llama had such personality and she made SuperDad and I laugh way harder than she probably should have
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All three puzzles they completed warranted a celebration
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We had a great time meeting Llama Llama and are so happy our library offers such fun programs. Have your kids ever met any literary characters?

Flashback: Giraffe Pool Fun

In continuation of my “There is too much snow, let’s look at fun summer memories instead!” I present to you, the giraffe pool.

I picked this thing up on clearance for $12 in mid-July at Walgreens and we brought it out for our family get together in early August. Despite being much much much smaller than the picture on the front depicted it (the box showed several kids ages 4-8 playing in it and the pool was too small for one 3 year and one 4 year old), Mason and his cousin Chloe had a blast playing in it – mostly going down the slide in crazy positions and then jumping OFF the slide.

I took a zillion pictures but here were some of my favorites that just include Mason (since I’m not posting my niece in a swimsuit online without her parent’s permission….)

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First Time Rollerskating

I grew up rollerskating. We actually had a rollerskating unit in gym class when I was in elementary school! In second grade, I strapped some rollerblades on in my friend’s basement and next thing you knew, we were hitting the roller rink every weekend. While my groups of friends changed throughout the years, the weekly trips to the roller rink lasted basically up until high school.

Today, I took Mason to that very same roller rink for his first time skating. He was beside himself with excitement all morning and by the time we had got there, I had convinced him to try “big kid skates” (aka regular rental skates) as opposed to the plastic Fisher Price skates I had brought with us.

I unfortunately brought my camera but NOT it’s memory card but I’m not sure that would have mattered as I could never get far enough away from Mason to take a decent picture of him anyway LOL

Oh well, mediocre pictures of milestones are better than no pictures at all, right?!

So excited to get started
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Hanging on for dear life
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In between laps around the rink, he tried hard to convince me to dig up change to play alllll the games.
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He conned me into paying $2 more dollars so he could play in the play land. He ran himself ragged and I now wish we could come here just for the playland.
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He then set a world record for hot dog eating in the 3 year old division
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“The shiny floor was a lot more slippery, Mommy!”
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Unlike Cole and his athletic prowess, I don’t see a future in Olympic Rollerskating for Mason. In fact, it’s possible he could try out for a part in Broadway’s production of “Bambi on Ice.” But I’m so proud of him for trying as long as he did and having a good attitude about the number of times he fell down. (And yeah, I ended up totally regretting talking him into NOT using his little kid skates LOL)

The next time we go, I’m going to be prepared to be nickeled and dimed (the frame he’s holding on to was equivalent to the price of admission!) and I’m going to make sure that I have a real camera and a third person to either walk with him or take pictures.

As for Mason? He is already asking if we can go back tomorrow.

Did you grow up rollerskating? Have you taken your kids?

Applefest

On Sunday, we drove nearly three hours to attend Applefest, a weekend festival SuperDad has wanted to go to for like 13 years now (this is the first time he’s ever had that weekend off and been available!)

Being a HUGE festival in a tiny town, it took another 45 minutes to park.

I think it was worth it though

Many marching bands seen, candy caught, craft booths perused, food trucks scouted, and dogs admired.

Food consumed – 1 tray of caramel apple slices, the world’s best piece of apple pie, an apple brat, a cup of hot apple cider, and a jug of cold cider for the road.

Ahh, Applefest, we can’t wait for next year!

Seriously Cute

If you follow me on Instagram (and if not, you should!) you know that SuperDad suprised me with a mini vacation this weekend!

While we were bumming around the LaCrosse area, Mason had a sleepover at Grandma’s and was thrilled to FINALLY be able to ride his tractor.

At first, I felt a little guilty about spending most of Mother’s Day away from the boy who made me a mother, but I woke up to this picture and all was right with the world again.

Breakfast at Grandmas

After all, pancakes at Grandmas followed by a day of riding your tractor beats 4 hours in the car any day, right?!

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend.