Looney Tunes Love

It happened so fast. He didn’t know what hit him. Or was it a she? He, she, it, who or whatever donned the Sylvester costume at Six Flags Great America last Saturday; you have this mom’s heartfelt thanks. Thank you for rebounding so quickly when my overzealous 6-year-old tackled you like a rag doll. I didn’t realize you would be so short. Thank you for embracing my daughter in your furry arms with extra enthusiasm after she screamed: “Sylvester, I drove three HOURS to hug you!” I didn’t realize you could hear so well through all that fluff. Thank you … Continue reading

When Lady Luck is Not On Your Side

During a recent trip to Six Flags Great America my 7-year-old was inundated by gamers calling out for players to press their luck at various activities. The teen workers enthusiastically described the thrills of the ring toss, basketball throw and balloon pop, and then waved humongous stuffed prizes in the faces of kids who stopped and sized up their chances. After unsuccessfully trying her hand at an array of games, my daughter begged me for more money to fund her pursuit of a large stuffed Scooby-Doo. When I told her that I didn’t have any more money she frowned and … Continue reading

The Best Laid Plans

What’s that they say about the best laid plans often going awry? I’d bet anything that a parent came up with that one. It was probably a mom traveling with kids. A mom on vacation desperately trying to squeeze a million activities into a single day in order to make her children happy, but finding that the universe, and the kids, had other ideas on how the day should unfold. Sound familiar? It does to me. A few days ago my 6-year-old daughter and I took a summer road trip to Six Flags Great America, so that she could be … Continue reading

Ways to Save on a Six Flags Staycation

It’s never a good day when travelers are actually excited to see gas prices hovering near $4. Three dollars and 89 cents for a gallon of unleaded–SCORE!! While the cost of gas has fallen slightly in the last couple weeks, from its highest levels since July 2008, Americans are still paying nearly a dollar more per gallon than a year ago. As a result, families from coast-to-coast continue to restructure their summer vacation plans in order to preserve their household budgets, and still have fun in the sun. That goes double for clans living in and around Chicago. According to … Continue reading

Serious Summer Screams

With the price of gas draining the wallets of drivers from coast-to-coast, travel experts are predicting that many families will be sticking close to home this summer. This comes as good news to theme parks that are located near several major cities. For example, Six Flags Great America practically straddles the states of Wisconsin and Illinois. Located in Gurnee, Illinois, its close proximity to Milwaukee and Chicago make it an easy and affordable day trip for tens of thousands of summer travelers, including my own family. However, Great America is not the only amusement park situated in a convenient locale. … Continue reading

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

It’s been a year of firsts for my first-born: First year of full-day school, first bus ride, first spin on a roller coaster, first time riding a two-wheeler, and the first time reading a chapter book from start to finish without a single bit of help. Continuing my week-long series of super summer reads, today I am sharing a title that will forever hold a special place in my 6-year-old’s heart: The Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery. I suppose it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that a book about a retired search-and-rescue dog named Jonathon Joseph Tully … Continue reading

Calendar of the Year

I’m more J.Crew than JWoww, which is probably why I love, love Minted.com’s super fab new photo calendars. The company, which embraces innovative indie designs, recently released a line of photo-licious 2011 calendars that are 100 percent customizable. Which means conservative yet trendy (okay, wannabe trendy) moms like me can now covet calendars the way they do holiday cards. I know what you’re thinking: Photo calendars as Christmas gifts… ho, ho, ho-hum. Not this year. Believe me; if there is anyone, who is hair-triggered to place her kid’s adorable mug on a mug, mouse pad, tote bag or calendar, it’s … Continue reading

Have a Merry Minted Christmas

I don’t drink, but walking into Target or Wal-Mart right now makes me want to run home and pour myself a boot of something stronger than beer. Tis the season for breakouts and breakdowns. Seriously. Have you been to the mall recently? Retailers have dumped their Halloween costumes and candy; bypassed Thanksgiving paraphernalia; and are shoving Santa down customers’ collective throats. Fa-la-la-la. We’re not even 85 hours into November and I already feel my inner Christmas Grinch bubbling up from the bowels of my being. How can I feel so behind on Christmas preparations when I still have buckets of … Continue reading

Halloween Travel: Something for Everyone

This week is prime scaring time for Halloween lovers the world over. The second week in October is traditionally when most venues open their haunted houses and other spooktacular attractions to shrieking guests. While some major theme parks kicked off their fright fests and horror nights at the beginning of the month, the vast majority of smaller organizations waited until this week to debuted their ghoulish thrills and chills. If you are looking to feel the tingle of terror this month or you simply want your kids to make the most of their expensive costumes, then consider these varied Halloween … Continue reading

Halloween Happenings for Kids

(My daughter pretending she is Sylvester the Cat attacking Tweety Bird at Six Flags Great America’s Scare-Free Fright Fest Zone.) My six-year-old is a cream puff when it comes to Halloween spooks and scares. She refuses to walk near store aisles that contain Halloween decorations, which makes trips to Wal-Mart and Target sheer horror this time of year. However, she is not alone. The world is filled with kids, who love getting candy at Halloween, but despise getting freaked out by the gory sights that are trademarks of the haunted holiday. Fortunately, there are a number of not-so spooky Halloween … Continue reading