Summer Fun at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Disclosure: Busch Gardens Williamsburg provided my family with complimentary park tickets in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own. 

This summer, I have been on a mission to have as much fun as I can with my kids before they go back to school in a few weeks. We’ve done all kinds of fun activities in our home and our neighborhood, like going to the pool, lots of playing with our friends, and coffee/smoothie dates, just to name a few.

But the most fun we’ve had this summer is during our trip to Busch Gardens Williamsburg!

summer-fun-at-busch-gardens-williamsburg

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a theme park that is divided into 6 European-themed villages (England/Scotland, Germany, Ireland, France, New France, and Italy), with fun rides, exciting shows, animal displays, plus fun shops and delicious food.

My kids were so excited to be going to Busch Gardens Williamsburg that they had a hard time going to sleep the night before our visit, and woke up bright and early the day of our trip. We wanted to be there right at the park opening, so we headed in about 30 minutes early. Parking our car was easy, and a tram with a friendly (and funny) driver picked us up right away and drove us to the front door.

Once inside, we found this:

height-check-for-kidsIn the England village, there is a height check station, where you can get your children measured for rides. This was such a brilliant idea to my husband and me….there is nothing worse than your child getting excited about a certain ride, then finding out that they are too short to ride it. After they are measured, the kids are fitted with a color-coded bracelet, making it easy to figure out which rides they can and cannot ride in advance. A valuable time (and tear) saver in my opinion!

After checking out the amazing Clydesdale horses, sheep and collies in the Highland Stables, we headed over to the Loch Ness Monster roller coaster. My husband rode, while the kids and I waited for Germany to open. It was such a treat to walk across the beautiful waterway to the KinderKarussel, where we all had a fun ride on a beautiful old carousel.

One of the things that I greatly appreciated as we toured Busch Gardens Williamsburg was the sheer beauty of the park. Every area was impeccably landscaped with pretty flowers and shrubs. The walking areas were free of trash and chewing gum, and music played around each corner.

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 Look how gorgeous this waterfall and fountain are!

After riding a few more rides, including the Verbolten and the Autobahn, we decided to head back to England for some lunch. It was hard to decide what to eat, with the many delicious choices available, but the fish and chips won out with us.

england-busch-gardens After lunch, we headed to our favorite village at Busch Gardens Williamsburg…Ireland!

ireland-in-busch-gardensMy husband and I went to Ireland on our honeymoon, and just loved it. It is so much fun to be able to sort of revisit that beautiful country at the village in Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

The first thing we did was to go see the Celtic Fyre show, which was a very entertaining show of Irish music and dance. My son and I then went on the Europe in the Air ride, while the others went shopping at Emerald Isle Gifts. If there is one thing to do at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, it is Europe in the Air…you get to pretend that you are flying over all of Europe, seeing beautiful German castles, snowy mountains in the Alps, and of course, the green hills of Ireland.

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We were also treated to some live Irish music out in the courtyard! So fun!

On our way to the villages of France and New France (aka, Canada), we stopped to visit the wolves and bald eagles that live at the park.

bald-eagles-at-busch-gardensMost, if not all, of the eagles at the park are rescues…birds that were injured in some way and cannot live on their own in the wild. It was so cool to see the rare eagles up close…they really are magnificent birds!

In New France, we stopped to ride a few more rides, and we got to watch a candle being carved at the Candle Carvers shop. After dipping a candle into many different colors of wax, the artist then carved it into a beautiful design, which allowed the layers of color to appear. My kids loved it!

At the end of our visit, we caught the steam train from Caribou Station back to England, where we had a treat of ice cream and a few more minutes of pretending to be in Europe…

fun-at-busch-gardens

It was a great day of summer family fun!

If you are thinking of taking your own trip to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, here are a few tips to make your day even better:

  • Grab a map of the park when you enter…you can find show times and bathrooms quickly and easily.
  • Make sure to visit the height check station to measure your kids for rides.
  • The villages open at different times, so make note of which ones are available on your park map before walking to an area that is closed.
  • Outside food and drink is not allowed inside the park, however, there are picnic areas (with tables) in the parking lots for those who would like to bring their own meals.

We can’t wait for our next trip to Busch Gardens Williamsburg!

Menu Plan Monday

Happy Monday everyone! It’s looking like a Cook’s Country week around here at dinnertime this week…I’ve got a stack of old issues in my kitchen, with some recipes that I’ve been wanting to try for a while. With our CSA share last week, I’ve got all the ingredients ready in my fridge!

We get our CSA share on Wednesdays, and we won’t find out what we’re getting until Monday nights, so for now, I’m just putting down “veggies” next to the main courses for later in the week.

Menu Plan Monday

Here’s what’s on the menu at our house this week:

Monday: Southwestern Layered Beef Casserole, simple sauteed chard

Tuesday: Skillet Ziti with sausage and summer squash, homemade bread

Wednesday: Skillet Chicken and Rice, veggies

Thursday: Homemade pizza, veggies

Friday: Breakfast for dinner…eggs, homemade biscuits, fruit

Saturday: Corn Chowder, tomato and cucumber salad, homemade bread

Sunday: Eat Out

What’s on the menu at your place this week?

If you need some more inspiration for your own weekly menu, head over to Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday link-up!

Menu Plan Monday

Good morning! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend :)

I didn’t do so well at sticking to my menu plan last week…we ate out a couple of times…so I’ve got a few repeats from last week’s menu for this week.

Menu Plan Monday

We’re so excited to eat some super yummy corn from our CSA with tonight’s dinner, plus, I’m making my roasted veggie recipe this week too:

Monday: Burgers on the grill, corn-on-the cob, fruit

Tuesday: Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, kale

Wednesday: Spaghetti with Italian sausage, roasted summer vegetables

Thursday: Taco Night–seasoned ground beef, refried beans, cheese, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, tortillas and chips, fruit

Friday: Breakfast–waffles, bacon and fruit

Saturday: Chicken and Broccoli stir-fry, rice

Sunday: Eat Out

For more inspiration for your own menu, head over to Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday link-up!

 

good2grow Juices: Healthy Drinks for Kids

Disclosure: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

I think I’m pretty much like every other mom out there…

I like healthy foods for kids.

I like healthy drinks for kids.

I hate cleaning.

Ha! Can any of you relate? Yeah, I thought so :)

So when I was offered the opportunity to try out good2grow juices with my kids, I jumped at it. Why? Well, because not only are these new juices fun, but they are also extremely healthy AND mess-free…a mother’s dream!

healthy-drinks-for-kids

good2grow juice is the best thing I’ve found for my kids in a long time. Not only does this 100% juice brand contain no high-fructose corn syrup or other added sugars or sweeteners, but it is also certified non-GMO and free of artificial colors and flavors.

They come in several different flavors, including fruit and veggie juice blends, which I personally like for those days when I haven’t been so good at having carrot sticks or other veggies for snacking.

The fun part is the reusable character cap…my kids love them! We picked out Dora and Strawberry Shortcake at the store and my kids can’t get enough of them. There are dozens of other kids’ favorites available too, like Hello Kitty, Sponge Bob, Spiderman, and Disney characters.

fun-character-caps

What’s fun for mom is that these special SippaTop™ caps are totally spill-proof! Gone are the days of spilled juice in the car seats or on my freshly-mopped kitchen floor.

good2grow-non-spill-cap

The caps are also dishwasher-safe, so you can throw them in with the dinner dishes and use them the next day. (This part makes me happy because I hate things that are only hand-washable!)

The good2grow bottles are so easy to throw into the car for road trips, a trip to the pool or beach, or in your kids’ lunch boxes. We had them with us this week on our trip out of town…we stored some refills in our hotel room’s mini fridge, and the kids were able to have a healthy drink for breakfast, along with the muffins I packed from home. It was great that I didn’t have to worry about them spilling their juice onto the hotel room’s carpet or furniture!

Fun with good2grow!

After your kids drink their healthy juices, head on over to the StoryStitcher for a fun activity for kids to do with their favorite good2grow character. They can create a story, with the help of a grown-up, and post the video on the site for a chance to win a $5,000 scholarship and free product coupons.

You can also head over to the good2grow website to enter to win a themed birthday party for your child!

What character would your kids like to have on their good2grow juice?

This Week’s Kindle Book Round-Up

Happy Friday! Thanks for sticking with me while my family and I took a short break :) I’ll have pictures of that for you next week, but in the meantime, how about some free Kindle books for the weekend?

Thanks to Shelly at Frugal Family Home for contributing to this list!

Free Kindle eBooks

Fiction

fiction (2)

Roger Ascham and the King’s Lost Girl

Great Expectations

When Danger Calls (Blackthorne, Inc. Book 1)

Owning Treasure

Choices of the Heart: A Christian Romance Novella (The Bradley Sisters Book 1)

Non Fiction

Get Stuff Done: How To Easily Have Self Discipline and Willpower To Achieve Anything And Have Have More Success

Couponing for the Beginner: A Guide to Couponing for the Uninitiated

Duck Dynasty: Guide To Happiness The Inspirational Story Of Family, Faith & Fortune

A Little Bit of Everything For Dummies

Cookbooks

Cookbooks

Bread Made Easy: Delicious and Simple Handmade Artisan Bread (The Art of Baking Series Book 1)

Grain Free Grab-n-Go: Recipes for Portable Meals on the Go!

30 Family Meals To Prepare On Weeknights (Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes – The Easy Weeknight Dinners Collection Book 1)

Italian Ice Recipes: Cool and Refreshing Italian Ice Recipes for Every Occasion (Everyday Recipes)

Slow Cooker Revolution: The Best Slow Cooker Cookbook Ever!: 50 Magical, Quick and Healthy Gourmet Meals

Kids Books

KidsEbooks (1)

My Silly Kitty (Birthday Kitty!)

Children’s Book: First Time At The Pool: Beautifully Illustrated Summer Swimming Book (A Kayleigh Series 4)

The Ridiculous Adventures of Michael Mattingly: The TERRIBLE Monster

Ripley’s RBI 01: Scaly Tale

Minecraft: The Herobrine Files – A Minecraft Novel

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You don’t have to have a Kindle to read these books. You can go here to download a Free Reading App so you can read any Kindle book on your computer, tablet or smartphone.

Amazon has a selection of Kindles here (prices start at just $69)

Please note: Amazon pricing, promotions, and availability are subject to change at ANY time without notice. Please confirm the price before completing your purchase