4 Holiday Packages at the Kingsmill Resort & Spa

November 13th, 2014 by Hilarey Wojtowicz No comments »

The Kingsmill Resort & Spa during the holidays in Williamsburg, VirginiaAs the holiday season begins, families looking for festive events should visit Williamsburg, Virginia. Besides the colonial villages all dressed in lights and holiday colors, resorts in the area are offering special packages for families who really want to celebrate together. This season, book one of these four holiday packages at the Kingsmill Resort & Spa for a magical, mini-vacation with kids.

Christmas Town
Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Christmas Town is a sight to see this season. Book the Christmas Town package and enjoy overnight accommodations, multi-day tickets to Christmas Town, breakfast for each guest, each morning, and complimentary transportation to and from Busch Gardens and other Williamsburg locations. Guests can also take advantage of the resort’s onsite amenities like the fitness center and indoor pool. Rates start from $261 per night, for two adults and one child. Package available for stays Nov. 20 to Dec. 31, 2014. Room upgrades are available starting from $40 more per night.

Let someone else trim the turkey this year by booking the Thanksgiving package at the Kingsmill Resort & Spa. Package includes a two-night stay in a resort guestroom, a breakfast buffet daily for all guests, a Thanksgiving buffet on Thursday, Nov. 27, and complimentary shuttle service to and from Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Colonial Williamsburg on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. Rates start from $365 per night for a family of four. Package available for a two-night stay, Nov. 25 to Dec. 1, 2014. Additional nights may be added and room upgrades are available starting from $40 more per night.

Fireworks in Williamsburg
See the sky light up during your stay with the Fireworks in Williamsburg package. Package includes a two-night stay in a one-bedroom suite, a breakfast buffet daily for all guests, a 2 p.m. late check-out on Sunday and/or Monday and complimentary shuttle service to and from Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Colonial Williamsburg on Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday. Stay on Dec. 7 and enjoy the Grand Illumination at Colonial Williamsburg, with musical performances and a spectacular fireworks display. Rates start from $219 per night for a family of four. Package available from Dec. 5-9, 2014. Two-night minimum stay required.

Holiday Traditions
Open presents under the tree at the Kingsmill Resort & Spa this year when you book the Holiday Traditions package. Package includes a two-night stay in a two-bedroom suite, a breakfast buffet daily for all guests, Christmas stockings, a decorated tree with lights, milk and cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve, a Christmas buffet dinner for all guests and complimentary shuttle service to and from Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Colonial Williamsburg on Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday. Rates start from $602 per night for a family of four. Package available from Dec. 23-27, 2014. Two-night minimum stay required.

Offer based on availability. Additional restrictions and blackout dates may apply.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz

The London Pass for Families

November 12th, 2014 by Hilarey Wojtowicz No comments »

London Tower BridgeIf your family plans to visit London any time soon, there’s really only one way to see all of the sights: the London Pass. Many cities around the world offer attraction passes like this and purchasing one for each member of your family helps make your trip easy. The budget-friendly pass offers access to all of the main attractions in London, like the Zoo, Westminster Abbey and more. Purchase it prior to your vacation and save time and energy when sightseeing.

What’s Included
The London Pass offers guests free access to more than 60 attractions in London. Family-friendly and must-see attractions that the pass grants you access to include the Tower of London, the National Portrait Gallery, the ZLS London Zoo, Kensington Palace, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Westminster Abbey, Thames River Cruises, Tower Bridge and more.

Additional perks of the pass include free shopping and restaurant discounts and benefits and a free, colorful guidebook that is available in seven languages. The guidebook includes information about each attraction, directions to each attraction, opening and closing times, and tips on how to make the most of your visit.

Purchase the pass for one, two, three or six days, in order to make the most of your trip to London. Prices vary per pass length, but all save families time and money. With the pass, you can skip the lines to most attractions and you save money by not paying the per-person-per-attraction fee to each one.

Pass Prices
The London Pass for one day is 47 Pounds (about $75) per adult and 31 Pounds (about $49) per child, ages 5 to 15; children age 4 and under are free.

One adult and one child who purchase the London Pass for one day can save at least 122 Pounds or $193 just by visiting the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Kensington Palace, ZLS London Zoo, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the London Bridge and by taking a Thames River Cruise during their stay.

For more information and to purchase your London Pass, head to visitlondon.gttix.com now.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz

U.S. Memorials That Honor Veterans

November 11th, 2014 by Hilarey Wojtowicz No comments »

American flags waving in the windVeterans Day became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938 and every year we honor military and service members, both current and retired, with parades, services, events and activities. This year – and for years to come – visit memorial attractions like these around the country with your kids in order to teach them more about the history of those who have fought and those who are currently fighting to protect our nation.

American Revolution
The Freedom Trail in Boston takes families through famous areas that were involved in the American Revolution in the late 1700s. See the Paul Revere House, the U.S.S. Constitution, and the Old State House. There are 16 official sites on the trail and all are within walking distance of one another. Follow the trail with kids and teach them more about the history of the U.S.

War of 1812
Although Fort Mackinac dates back to the American Revolution, it also played a part in the War of 1812 when the British captured it. It was returned to the U.S. after the war and is now home to demonstrations and tours, which families will surely find interesting. The Mackinac Island memorial has hands-on displays and interactive games that kids will enjoy, as well.

American Civil War
The American Civil War involved numerous towns, cities and states. A few commemorative sites to see include the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the historic ships that reside in Baltimore’s harbor and Fort Delaware State Park, which is home to a former Union Civil War Prison. All sites are filled with history and information that will teach kids while honoring those who fought in the war.

World War I
Your children may learn about World War I in their history books, but taking them to see sites like the Indiana War Memorial in Indianapolis and the National World War I Museum in Kansas City will offer first-hand looks into history. The former has artifacts like gas masks on display and the latter is home to Liberty Memorial – a 217-foot tower that honors WWI veterans, as well as amazing views of the city.

World War II
The 1941 attacks on Pearl Harbor will never be forgotten and families should see the Pearl Harbor Memorial Museum and Visitor Center and the USS Arizona Memorial – both of which are in Oahu, Hawaii. If you can’t make it to the islands, visit the Palm Springs Air Museum in Palm Springs, California, for a look at WWII aircraft carriers, plus other educational exhibits.

Korean War
The Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C. honors those who served in the 1953 war. The Memorial pays homage to all of those who were wounded, went missing or were killed. Statues of 19 soldiers stand near the Pool of Remembrance and will really catch the attention of children and teens, who should know the history of the Korean War.

Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was and is a controversial topic for many, but families and children can learn about those who fought by visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The site is humbling and a powerful reminder of the soldiers who risked their lives in the Vietnam War.

September 11
Children may not be old enough to remember or even know what really happened on September 11, 2001, but many are still haunted by the sites of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers falling on that day not-so-many years ago. To honor those military soldiers, firefighters, police officers, emergency squads and so many others involved in the New York City terrorist attacks, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum is now home to every name of every person who died that day, as well as a museum with artifacts, like a portion of the stairs from the World Trade Center.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz

Sesame Street Celebrates 45th Birthday

November 10th, 2014 by Hilarey Wojtowicz No comments »

Little girl with Grover from Sesame StreetElmo, Big Bird, Grover and all of your other favorite Sesame Street characters are joining the Count von Count as he counts up to 45 in honor of the show’s 45th birthday today! Families can celebrate this year or next by visiting one of these theme parks, attractions or exhibits with kids.

Sesame Place
The theme park dedicated to the show, located outside of Philadelphia, is, of course, the first place families can expect to celebrate the anniversary with all of their favorite characters. Before the end of the year, enjoy the Very Furry Christmas event, from Nov. 22 to Dec. 31, 2014, or ring in the New Year with The Count’s Countdown to New Year’s Celebration and the New Year’s Eve Fireworks on Dec. 31, 2014. Special shows, music, attractions and dining events are available for guests of all ages. Reservations are required for all events and rates vary.

New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Check out the “Somebody Come and Play” exhibit dedicated to the TV show at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts now through Jan. 31, 2015. Families can see and learn how episodes of Sesame Street were created. See behind-the-scenes footage, show highlights, international versions of the show and more. A child-friendly area is perfect for little ones, with Sesame Street books, art projects, games and more. The New York City exhibit opens at noon, Monday through Saturday, and is closed Sunday. Admission is free.

Sesame Street Safari of Fun
Visit Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and fly with Grover, eat with Elmo or Splash with Bert and Ernie in the park’s kid-friendly Sesame Street Safari of Fun area. Sign up for a lunch event with Elmo and friends for a memorable dining experience during your day of fun at the park. The lunch experience is an additional $22 per person and park admission is required. Busch Gardens Tampa is open year-round.

Sesame Street Bay of Play
SeaWorld San Diego’s Sesame Street Bay of Play offers rides, games, water play areas and events all centered on the TV show. Kids can spin with Abby, fly with Elmo, rock with Oscar and more. See the Sunny Days Celebration show and stick around – many of the characters will pose for pictures with kids afterwards! SeaWorld San Diego is open year-round.

Sesame Street Forest of Fun
Although currently closed for the season, visit Busch Gardens Williamsburg in the spring for the park’s Sesame Street Forest of Fun area. Kids and families can enjoy rides and games with their favorite characters, as well as water play areas and the Sunny Days Celebration show. Be sure to get a photo with your favorite character! The park is open seasonally.

Sesame Street Celebrations at Beaches Resorts
If you can make it to the Caribbean this year, stay at a Beaches Resort and enjoy special Sesame Street amenities, activities and events. Families can enjoy complimentary events like the Sesame Street Carnival Celebration Parade or can upgrade their all-inclusive package to include other memorable experiences, like having kids be tucked into bed by Cookie Monster, taking photos with Abby, Elmo and others, eating breakfast with all of the Sesame Street characters, making crafts with Oscar and more.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz

Celebrate the Season at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

November 9th, 2014 by Hilarey Wojtowicz No comments »

Exterior view of the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess at nightSnow may not be in the forecast for Phoenix and Scottsdale often, but the holiday season is still in full swing at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. The resort’s annual Christmas at the Princess festival kicks off Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, and guests can expect magical lights, ice skating, train rides and more.

Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
Nov. 20, 2014
Start your holiday season with the resort’s tree lighting ceremony at 6:45 p.m. and then enjoy ice skating, twinkling light displays and the Princess Express Train.

Desert Ice Skating Rink
Nov. 20, 2014, to Feb. 1, 2015
Arizona might be warm, but the ice is cold and ready for skaters starting Nov. 20, 2014. Enjoy afternoon and evening sessions for $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Skate rentals will be available for $5 each. Fire pits, S’mores and blankets will also be available on the sidelines during the sessions for guests to keep warm.

Lagoon Lights
Nov. 20, 2014, to Jan. 4, 2015
The light display is bigger than ever with more than two million lights spread across 130 trees, menorahs, arches, 3D giant reindeers, a 20-foot snowman, 14-foot poinsettias and more. There will be a pirate ship, teddy bears, toy soldiers, Santa Claus and a candy cane forest, too. The area can be seen via the Princess Express Train.

Princess Express Train
Nov. 20, 2014, to Jan. 4, 2015
Enjoy complimentary rides through Lagoon Lights every night via the Princess Express Train. Open to all ages, guests on the train are greeted by falling snow and singing carolers on weekends, too.

Christmas Carousel
Nov. 20, 2014, to Jan. 4, 2015
Ride galloping glitter horses on the new Christmas Carousel. Rides will be offered nightly to guests of all ages and are complimentary.

Santa’s Workshop
Nov. 28 to Dec. 20, 2014
Take photos with Santa on Friday and Saturday evenings in his workshop in the La Hacienda Plaza. Photos are $10 each and will be available from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturdays, from Nov. 28 to Dec. 20, 2014.

Christmas at the Princess is open to the public. Parking is $30 per car for self-parking and $40 per car for valet after 5 p.m. Valet is complimentary when dining at any of the resort’s restaurants. All activities are complimentary, except for ice skating, photos with Santa, shopping and dining.

For an even better experience, book the Magical Memories Package and enjoy a festive family getaway in honor of the holidays.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz

How to Save at Hershey’s Christmas Candylane

November 8th, 2014 by Hilarey Wojtowicz No comments »

Hershey's Christmas CandylaneThe holidays really come to life in Hershey when its annual Christmas Candylane and Sweet Lights kicks off for the season in November each year. There’s so much for families to do during the event that it can add up and not seem so sweet. Rather than worry about breaking the bank before Christmas, save with these tips and tricks before your visit to Hershey with your family this holiday season.

Purchase an admission package. Rather than pay for each event and activity separately, purchase combination tickets for Christmas Candylane, dining options, games and more.

The Ride, Dine and Play package includes one Christmas Candylane ticket, one meal voucher, and one single game voucher at the Goblet Toss for just $22.80 per person. The Snack Pack package offers the same, but with a snack voucher instead of a meal voucher, for just $17 per person.

Buy the day before. Plan on seeing the Christmas Candylane the next day? Buy your ticket on that current day no more than 2.5 hours before closing and receive free admission to the park for the remainder that day. If the park closes at 8 p.m., purchase your next-day ticket and get free admission from 5:30 p.m. until closing. If the park closes at 10 or 11 p.m., purchase your next-day ticket and get free admission from 7:30 p.m. until closing. That’s at least 2.5 hours of free time in the park!

Add the Sweet Lights to your order. Purchase your admission tickets to the Hershey Sweet Lights in conjunction with your Christmas Candylane order and pay just $18 for the second attraction.

See it twice. If you’re planning a weekend in Hershey, don’t cram the Christmas Candylane into just one day. Purchase a regular price ticket for your first day and keep it. Present it at the Ticketing Services Building the next day and pay just $7 for admission to Christmas Candylane for that day.

Find a Giant Food store near you. Buy your Christmas Candylane tickets at a participating Giant Food Store and receive a discount on general admission rates. Giant Food Stores are located throughout Pennsylvania.

Go as a group. Get your friends and family all together for a big, sweet visit to Hershey and purchase your tickets as a group. You can save up to 40 percent off admission the Christmas Candylane. Offer valid for groups of 20 or more people.

Hershey’s Christmas Candylane opens at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, and runs through Dec. 31, 2014. Parking is $8 per car, per day. The Hershey Sweet Lights opens at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, and runs through Jan. 1, 2015.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz