Pensacola With Kids | Weekly Roundup | March 20 – March 27

Here is your Weekly Round Up! **** If you know of an event we should add to the list, please leave us a comment! Have a fun week exploring Pensacola with your family! More events will be added as they are found, created or updated. As always, I recommend that you follow the links for more information and call ahead to confirm. Event information often changes.

 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Kids Day Out Cooking Class, Pensacola Cooks Kitchen, 9 am (ages 6 – 9) and 1 pm (ages 10 – 14)

Pensacola Village & Children’s Museum

Animal Encounters AL. Gulf Coast Zoo

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Meet a Keeper Animal Talks”

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Hands on Animal Encounters

IMAX movies @ The Naval Aviation Museum

Animal Encounters, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Destin

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 

Kids Day Out Cooking Class, Pensacola Cooks Kitchen, 9 am (ages 6 – 9) and 1 pm (ages 10 – 14)

Story Sprouts, Ever’man Educational Center, 10 am – 12 pm

 

Market in the Breeze, Gulf Breeze Community Center, 4 pm

Pensacola Village & Children’s Museum

Animal Encounters AL. Gulf Coast Zoo

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Meet a Keeper Animal Talks”

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Hands on Animal Encounters

IMAX movies @ The Naval Aviation Museum

Animal Encounters, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Destin

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Kids Day Out Cooking Class, Pensacola Cooks Kitchen, 9 am (ages 6 – 9) and 1 pm (ages 10 – 14)

Pensacola Village & Children’s Museum

Animal Encounters AL. Gulf Coast Zoo

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Meet a Keeper Animal Talks”

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Hands on Animal Encounters

IMAX movies @ The Naval Aviation Museum

Animal Encounters, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Destin

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Kids Day Out Cooking Class, Pensacola Cooks Kitchen, 9 am (ages 6 – 9) and 1 pm (ages 10 – 14)

Cooking with Kids, Ever’man Educational Center, Noon – 1 pm

Pensacola Village & Children’s Museum

Animal Encounters AL. Gulf Coast Zoo

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Meet a Keeper Animal Talks”

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Hands on Animal Encounters

IMAX movies @ The Naval Aviation Museum

Animal Encounters, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Destin

Friday, March 24, 2017

 

Kids Day Out Cooking Class, Pensacola Cooks Kitchen, 9 am (ages 6 – 9) and 1 pm (ages 10 – 14)

Pensacola Village & Children’s Museum

Animal Encounters AL. Gulf Coast Zoo

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Meet a Keeper Animal Talks”

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Hands on Animal Encounters

IMAX movies @ The Naval Aviation Museum

Animal Encounters, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Destin

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Ciclovia Pensacola Open Streets, Palafox & Main Streets – Downtown Pensacola, 9 am – 2 pm

Flora-Bama’s Beach Run/Walk for America’s Warriors, Flora-Bama Lounge & Oyster Bar, 7:30 am

FREE Beginner and Intermediate Ukulele Class, Blues Angel Music, 9:30 am – 11:00 am

Create Your Own Little Golden Book, Storytime at Barnes & Noble, 11 am

Parent’s Night Out at Mojo Elite Gymnastics, 6 pm – 10 pm

Pensacola Village & Children’s Museum

Animal Encounters AL. Gulf Coast Zoo

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Meet a Keeper Animal Talks”

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Hands on Animal Encounters

IMAX movies @ The Naval Aviation Museum

Animal Encounters, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Destin

Ghost Hunt at the Pensacola Lighthouse Museum, 7:30 pm

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Pensacola Village & Children’s Museum

Animal Encounters AL. Gulf Coast Zoo

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Meet a Keeper Animal Talks”

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Hands on Animal Encounters

IMAX movies @ The Naval Aviation Museum

Animal Encounters, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Destin

Pensacola With Kids | Weekly Round Up | March 3 – March 12

Here is your Weekly Round Up! **** If you know of an event we should add to the list, please leave us a comment! Have a fun week exploring Pensacola with your family! More events will be added as they are found, created or updated. As always, I recommend that you follow the links for more information and call ahead to confirm. Event information often changes.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Preschool Art & Storytime, Pensacola Museum of Art, 10 am – 11 am

Hot Pink Weekend Kick Off Gala {Breast Cancer Research Foundation Pensacola}, Seville Quarter, 6 pm

Pensacola Village & Children’s Museum

Animal Encounters AL. Gulf Coast Zoo

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Meet a Keeper Animal Talks”

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Hands on Animal Encounters

IMAX movies @ The Naval Aviation Museum

Animal Encounters, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Destin

My Fair Lady, Pensacola Little Theater, Multiple Shows

Pensacola Ice Flyers Game, Pensacola Bay Center, 7:05 pm

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Hot Pink Weekend Golf Tournament, Marcus Pointe Golf Club, 7 am

Bayou Hills Run (10K, 5K and Kids Run), Bayview Park, 7:30 am

Tinker Tots, Pensacola MESS Hall, 9 am

Science Discovery Workshop (Grades 1 – 3), Pensacola MESS Hall, 1 pm

Maker Studio, Pensacola MESS Hall, 3 pm

Riverwalk Arts Festival, Milton, 10 am – 5 pm

Pensacola Cooks Kitchen’s Cooking Demonstration Show and Youth Culinary Art Experience , The Imogene Theatre in Milton {during The 29th Annual Riverwalk Arts Festival}, 6 pm

Gulf Coast Renaissance Fair, Pensacola Interstate Fair, All Day

29th Annual Lumberjack Festival, Pensacola State College – Milton Campus, 8 am – 4 pm

Hot Pink Weekend Bowling Tournament, Deluna Lanes, 2 pm

Hot Pink Weekend Fashion Show, Pensacola Country Club, 7 pm

Relay for Life Food Rally (Pensacola Cooks Kitchen), Plaza de Luna, TBD

Barnes & Noble Storytime, Good Night, Good Night Construction Site, 11 am

Parent’s Night Out at Mojo Elite Gymnastics, 6 pm – 10 pm

AKC Dog Show, Equestrian Center, 8:30 am – 4 pm

Pensacola Village & Children’s Museum

Animal Encounters AL. Gulf Coast Zoo

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Meet a Keeper Animal Talks”

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Hands on Animal Encounters

IMAX movies @ The Naval Aviation Museum

Animal Encounters, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Destin

My Fair Lady, Pensacola Little Theater, Multiple Shows

Pensacola Ice Flyers Game, Pensacola Bay Center, 7:05 pm

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Run Pink 5K, Hot Pink Weekend, Seville Quarter (in front), 2 pm

Gulf Coast Renaissance Fair, Pensacola Interstate Fair, All Day

Annual Dr. Seuss Celebration with Read Across America, Barnes & Noble, 1 pm

Riverwalk Arts Festival, Milton, 10 am – 5 pm

AKC Dog Show, Equestrian Center, 8:30 am – 4 pm

Pensacola Village & Children’s Museum

Animal Encounters AL. Gulf Coast Zoo

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Meet a Keeper Animal Talks”

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Hands on Animal Encounters

IMAX movies @ The Naval Aviation Museum

Animal Encounters, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Destin

My Fair Lady, Pensacola Little Theater, Multiple Shows

Monday, March 6, 2017

Pensacola Village & Children’s Museum

Animal Encounters AL. Gulf Coast Zoo

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Meet a Keeper Animal Talks”

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Hands on Animal Encounters

IMAX movies @ The Naval Aviation Museum

Animal Encounters, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Destin

Auditions for Charlotte’s Web, Pensacola Little Theater, 6:30 pm

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

Story Sprouts, Ever’man Educational Center, 10 am – 12 pm

Free Admission to the Pensacola Museum of Art, 10 am – 5 pm

Market in the Breeze, Gulf Breeze Community Center, 4 pm

Pensacola Village & Children’s Museum

Animal Encounters AL. Gulf Coast Zoo

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Meet a Keeper Animal Talks”

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Hands on Animal Encounters

IMAX movies @ The Naval Aviation Museum

Animal Encounters, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Destin

Auditions for Charlotte’s Web, Pensacola Little Theater, 6:30 pm

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Pensacola Village & Children’s Museum

Animal Encounters AL. Gulf Coast Zoo

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Meet a Keeper Animal Talks”

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Hands on Animal Encounters

IMAX movies @ The Naval Aviation Museum

Animal Encounters, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Destin

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Gravedigger Meet & Greet, Harley – Davidson, 3 pm – 7 pm

Pensacola Village & Children’s Museum

Animal Encounters AL. Gulf Coast Zoo

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Meet a Keeper Animal Talks”

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Hands on Animal Encounters

IMAX movies @ The Naval Aviation Museum

Animal Encounters, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Destin

Friday, March 10, 2017

Monster Jam Meet & Greet, Central Credit Union – 9 mile Road, 4 pm – 7 pm

Pensacola Sports Junior College Tennis Event, Roger Scott Athletic Complex, 8 am – 5 pm

Preschool Art & Storytime, Pensacola Museum of Art, 10 am – 11 am

Pensacola Village & Children’s Museum

Animal Encounters AL. Gulf Coast Zoo

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Meet a Keeper Animal Talks”

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Hands on Animal Encounters

IMAX movies @ The Naval Aviation Museum

Animal Encounters, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Destin

Saturday, March 11, 2017

MONSTER JAM, Pensacola Bay Center, 1 pm & 7 pm

Barnes & Noble Storytime, Dance, 11 am

Costume Character: Clifford, Barnes & Noble, 11 am

The LEGO Batman Movie Event (finale), Barnes & Noble, 2 pm

Parent’s Night Out at Mojo Elite Gymnastics, 6 pm – 10 pm

WSRE PBS Kids & Family Day, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, 10 am – 2 pm

Pensacola Village & Children’s Museum

Animal Encounters AL. Gulf Coast Zoo

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Meet a Keeper Animal Talks”

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Hands on Animal Encounters

IMAX movies @ The Naval Aviation Museum

Animal Encounters, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Destin

Sunday, March 12, 2017

 

MONSTER JAM, Pensacola Bay Center, 1 pm

American Girl club: Kit, Barnes & Noble, 2 pm

Pensacola Village & Children’s Museum

Animal Encounters AL. Gulf Coast Zoo

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Meet a Keeper Animal Talks”

Gulf Breeze Zoo “Hands on Animal Encounters

IMAX movies @ The Naval Aviation Museum

Animal Encounters, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Destin

2016 Easter Egg Hunt RoundUp

2016 Easter Egg Hunts

When are you going to post the Easter Egg Hunts?” This is the number one question I have been asked for the past three weeks!  There are still several details missing from this list and a few of them are unconfirmed!  I will update the list as the information comes available. Check, double check and triple check the information by following the links before you go to the egg hunt.  Also, read to the end of the post for our tips for attending a community egg hunt. **Updated March 17 at 10:33 am***

Egga-Wahooza

  • Where:  Community Maritime Park
  • Where: March 26, 2pm
  • Egg Hunt Info:  Registration begins at 1pm  Ages 0-5th grade  Over 50,000 eggs!
  • Cost:  Free
  • Sponsor:  Marcus Pointe Baptist Church and Pensacola With Kids will be there with activities, games and prizes

GBUMC Egg Hunts

  • Where:  Sunset Kid’s Park on Shoreline Dr in Gulf Breeze
  • When: March 26, 10 am
  • Egg Hunt Info:  Bring your  family and invite your friends for an EGGciting morning at one of  two Easter Egg Hunts. One will take place at Sunset Kid’s Park at Shoreline Park.  Egg Hunt will start at 10 am so grab your Easter Basket and don’t miss some EGGcellent family fun.
  • Sponsor: GB Methodist Church

Play Pensacola Easter Egg Hunt

  • Where:  Roger Scott Athletic Complex
  • When: March 19th 10am-1pm
  • Egg Hunt Info:  Mark your calendars because the Easter Bunny is coming to town! Join us for a day of FUN with Easter Egg Hunts, music, carnival games, face painting, bubble stations, inflatable bouncers, and get your picture taken with the Easter Bunny. Easter Egg Hunt Schedule: 10:30AM Stroller-2YR Olds 10:50AM 3-4 YR Olds 11:10AM 5-6 YR Olds 11:30AM 7-9 YR Olds 11:50AM 10-12 YR Olds
  • Cost: Free
  • Additional Activities:  The Easter bunny and friends, games, bounces houses, a giant inflatable slide, a bubble station, face painting and much more!
  • Sponsor:  City of Pensacola and Play Pensacola

Pine Forest United Methodist Church Easter Eggstravaganza

  • Where: Pine Forest United Methodist Church, 2800 Wilde Lake Blvd., Pensacola, FL 32526
  • When: March 26, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
  • Egg Hunt Info: Free with food, games, crafts, bounce house, egg hunt and more at Pine Forest United Methodist Church, 2800 Wilde Lake Blvd., Pensacola, FL 32526
  • Sponsor:  Pine First United Methodist Church

https://www.facebook.com/events/625595330921586/

Easter Egg Hunt @ Bellingrath Gardens

  • Where: The Great Lawn
  • When: March 19, 9 am
    • Age 3 and under: A continuous Easter Egg Hunt from 9 – 10:30 AM.
    • Ages 4 – 6: Easter Egg Hunt from 10 – 10:15 AM.
    • Ages 7 – 11: Easter Egg Hunt from 10:15 – 10:30 AM.
  • Egg Hunt Info: Join us for some “eggstra” special Easter fun! On March 19, Bellingrath will host its annual Easter Egg Hunt on the Great Lawn. Thousands of Easter eggs will decorate the luxurious lawn for children to scurry and collect. There will be special hunts for different age groups as well as prizes, candy and activities, which makes this a perfect event for your entire family.
  • Cost:  The Easter Egg Hunt is open to the public. Admission is free for members. Regular Gardens admission of $13.00 for adults and $7.50 for children ages 5-12 will be charged. Children ages 4 and under are always admitted free.
  • Families are also invited to join us for the 3rd Annual Breakfast with the Easter Bunny in the Magnolia Café from 8 – 9 AM. Make your reservations to join us for pancakes, sausages, fruit and beverages. Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny will be visiting guests at their tables throughout the breakfast. Breakfast will be $10.00 for adults, $8.00 for children ages 5-12 and $5.00 for children 4 and under. Be sure to make your reservations early as seating is limited.
  • Sponsor: Bellingrath Gardens

Easter Egg Egg-StravaganZoo

  • Where:  Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge Zoological Park.
  • When: Saturday, March 19th, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Egg Hunt Info:  The 2nd annual Easter Extravaganzoo will be presented on Saturday, March 28, at the ECWR Zoological Park. Celebrate the season and enjoy a spring day of fun from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM with arts and crafts, flower planting, a meet and greet with the Easter Bunny, and more! Guests will be able to decorate eggs for some of their favorite zoo animals, and there will be Easter egg hunts at 11:00 AM (ages 8-12), 11:15 AM (ages 0-3), and 11:40 (ages 4-7)! Visitors are encouraged to bring their own baskets and cameras.
  • Cost: Activities are free (while supplies last) with a regular-priced zoo admission. Adults – $8, Children ages 2-10 – $5, Children under 2 – Free
  • Additional Activities: Easter Egg Hunts, Create a Craft, Plant a Flower, Decorate and egg for a zoo animal, Meet the Easter Bunny, Bring your own baskets and cameras!
  • Sponsor: Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge Zoological Park

Easter Buffet and Egg Hunt

  • Where: Perdido Beach Resort
  • When:  March 28th,  11:30-2:30
  • Egg Hunt Schedule:  Easter Bunny will visit  from 11:30- 2:30 and Egg hunt @ 12:30
  • Cost:  Buffet starts @ The Easter Buffet is $32.95/adult in the Grand Ballroom or $39.95/adult in Voyagers Restaurant. 5&under Free
  • Additional Activities: N/A
  • Sponsor:  Perdido Beach Resort

Easter Egg Hunt on the Beach

  • Where: Lu Lu’s Beach, Orange Beach
  • When:  March 28th, 2 pm (Easter Sunday)
  • Egg Hunt Info:  LuLu’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Easter day at 2:00pm. Come meet the Easter Bunny and have fun looking for Easter Eggs filled with surprises on LuLu’s Beach! Easter Egg Hunt is separated by ages for fair hunting for all!
  • Cost: Free
  • Additional Activities: Meet the Easter Bunny
  • Sponsored by: Lu Lu’s

The Wharf in Orange Beach

  • Where: The Wharf, Orange Beach
  • When:  March 27th, 11 am
  • Egg Hunt Info: The Wharf in Orange Beach is hosting an Easter egg hunt, with over 2,500 eggs, at 11 a.m. Saturday for children ages 10 and under. Activities on the marina lawn will include a bouncy houses, and giant color sheets, among other things. The entertainment complex is located at the base of the Foley Beach Express at Canal Road. For more information, call 251-224-1000
  • Cost: Free
  • Additional Activities: Activities on the marina lawn will include a bouncy houses, and giant color sheets, among other things
  • Sponsored by: The Wharf
  • Where: Sam’s Fun City
  • When: March 26, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
  • Cost: $15.00
  • Additional Activities: Hop on down to Sam’s Fun City for the 15th Annual Easter Eggstravaganza event, Pensacola’s most FUN Easter Celebration! General Admission for this gated event is just $15.00 plus tax per person. Come and enjoy a morning of unlimited Park Rides and Special Attractions, Easter Eggs Hunts, our signature All-You-Care-To-Enjoy Pizza Buffet, and more!
  • Host: Sam’s Fun City
  • Where: Wales West
  • When: Through March 26…Closed Easter Sunday
  • Cost: $15 per person
  • Additional Activities: Steam train ride, Easter Bunny visit, egg hunts, free snacks, bounce house, pony rides, petting zoo and more
  • Host: Wales West Light Railway

Easter Eggstravaganza

  • Where: Crown Church  9600 N Palafox
  • When: March 26, 10 am
  • Egg Hunt Info: On March 26th Crown Church will be having our annual Easter Eggstravaganza! This event holds fun for the entire family. There will be an egg hunt with 15,000 candy filled eggs, free hotdogs, ice-cream, pizza, and popcorn. In addition there will also be inflatables, games  for all ages and a dunking booth. The event is totally FREE, so bring the whole family and enjoy! The fun begins at 10:00!
  • Cost: FREE
  • Additional Activities: Food, games, bounce houses, face painting
  • Host: Crown Church

Things to Know Before You Go:

  • Check, recheck and triple check the dates and times to make sure they are still correct when the egg hunt gets closer.  As I always say, this information comes from word of mouth, press releases and flyers I see around town.  The information is not always correct and I am human and make mistakes sometimes (although I try not to do it very often!).  Follow the link and be sure to contact the number available to confirm the time.
  • Bring a basket or bag of your own.
  • Arrive early.  A friend of mine went to a hunt two years ago at the John R. Jones park.  The egg hunt was over in less than 3 minutes.  There were hundreds (probably thousands) of eggs picked up and her two children got a whopping 3 eggs between the two of them.  They were young and were just thrilled with the excitement of it all so luckily they weren’t disappointed.  However, if they had arrived 30 seconds later we would have missed the whole thing.
  • Just in case your little one doesn’t get too many eggs:  Hide a couple of prefilled eggs in your car before you go.  Now that my son is a year older, I foresee some serious disappointment if he only gets one egg.  I would throw a couple in the car and have them hunt for them when we were all finished.  Of course, in my car every day is an egg hunt except you never know what you might find!  HA!

Do you know of any other egg hunts that the community is invited to?  If so, leave a comment in this post with the information.  Any names or numbers not in an official capacity will be deleted for safety reasons.

Corn and Hay Mazes in Pensacola & Surrounding Areas (2011)

*This is our 2011 list.  See the updated 2012 list of Corn and Hay Mazes in Pensacola and Surrounding Areas.

October already?  Am I the only one saying this?  It seems like the kids just started school the other day and now it is time to start looking for Halloween costumes and holiday decorations.  One of our favorite things to do in October is visit the corn and hay mazes in the area.  We usually try to visit one a weekend.  The kids absolutely love it and my oldest has gotten quite good at getting out of the maze!

Be sure to follow the links or phone ahead of time to confirm dates and times.  Most of the corn mazes take cash or check only so be sure to check before you go.  They are listed in alphabetical order.

Beaver Creek Maze, Baker, Florida – Beaver Creek Maze offers a corn maze, a hay bale maze for the younger kids, and a pumpkin patch.  Beaver Creek Maze is open Saturdays 9 – 5 and Sundays 11 – 5 during the month of October. Admission is free for children 3 and under and $5.00 for everyone else.  They are located at 278 Dusty Trail in Baker, Florida and their phone number is 850-537-1981.

Dixon Primary’s Haystackular, Pace, Florida – Haystackular is the largest hay bale maze constructed in Northwest Florida!  There is a maze, food for sale, hay ride and more.  Haystackular is open during the month of October on Fridays from 4pm to 9pm, Saturdays from 12pm to 9pm, and Sundays from 12pm to 6pm.  Admission is $5 and some activities have an additional cost associated with them.  They are located at the field across from Dixon Primary in Pace.

Magnolia Corn Maze, Magnolia Springs, Alabama – Magnolia Corn Maze offers the maze, corn cannon, cow train, hayride, petting zoo, pony rides and more.  Magnolia Corn Maze is open during the month of October on Fridays from 5pm to 9pm, Saturdays 11am to 9pm, and Sundays 12pm to 5pm.  Admission is $10 and there are other activities with some additional cost associated with them.  They are located on CR49 in Magnolia Springs.  Directions are available on the website.  Their phone number is 251-605-7216.

Seward Farms, Lucedale, Mississippi – This corn maze is probably the furthest away but it came highly recommended last year so I thought that I would keep it on the list in case you were headed that direction!  Seward Farms offers a corn maze, pig races, hayride, farm animals, corn cannon, jumping “pillow”, and more.  Seward Farms is open Saturdays, Sept. 24-Nov. 5, from 10 am to 9 pm.  They are closed Sundays.  Admission prices begin at $12.  They are located at 10836 Tanner Williams Road in Lucedale, Mississippi.

Sweet Season Farms, Milton, Florida – Sweet Season Farms offers the corn maze, haybale maze, cow train, playground, corn cannon and more.  Sweet Season Farms is open October 1-November 6th on Saturdays from 9am to 5pm and Sundays from 1pm to 5pm.  Admission is $5 and there are additional activities available at an additional cost.  They are located at 2260 Horn Road in Milton and their phone number is 850-675-3573.  

Did we miss any fall mazes?  If we did, please leave us a comment or send us an email and we will add it to our list!  Also, last year we shared information for Maizing Family Fun Farm but their website has not been updated this year.  If you have any info as to whether they are open this year, please let us know!

Reflections on the Waves at Waterville, USA

My pal Dianna mentioned she was headed to Waterville, USA in Gulf Shores, AL for an afternoon of fun in the sun and I was thrilled when she said that she would do a guest post.  We haven’t been to Waterville yet and though we intended to make it this summer, it will have to wait until next summer.  I love Dianna’s tips on how to survive a day at a big waterpark!  Even though school starts Monday, Waterville will be open on the weekends until the end of September (9/24).  Be sure to check the calendar for dates and times before you go!

The Hayden Trio decided to take advantage of the first sunny day in weeks and embark on a journey to Gulf Shores, Alabama for our first experience at Waterville, USA.  We hadn’t been to a water park in years, and decided to take the plunge with our three-year-old, Cautious C.   Overall our 3 hour stay was a mixed bag of fun and less fun mostly because of some oversights, mistakes, and lack of information.   To ensure that your experience is better than ours, I have compiled a list of tips in the form of do’s and don’ts for your trip to Waterville. 

  • Do pack water shoes.   Again, I have not been to a water park in years and do not remember needing shoes.  But for Waterville in July, foot protection against the hot pavers is a big plus, especially for little ones.  Cautious C is sensitive, but even we bigger Haydens ended up with scalded soles at the end of our day. 
  • Do not pack food or drink (but you can get away with a juice box).  We packed two waters and a juice in our bag for our fun day, and were promptly asked to take them back to the car when the park attendant searched our bags.  Since the car was parked in the back 40, we ended up throwing away our perfectly good waters.  When I pushed about bringing the juice box, they did bend on that rule. 
  • Don’t avoid the parks in July.  Though it was a beautiful day and fairly crowded, the lines moved rapidly and there was plenty of room on the lazy river and in the wave pool. 
  • Do park near the arcade (right below the biggest hill of the roller coaster) and buy your wristbands there.  We avoided the long lines at the entrance and waited only minutes in the air-conditioned arcade for our wristbands.  Plus it gave me an opportunity to buy the tickets while the hubby entertained Cautious C by walking around the video games. 
  • Do use the clean restrooms in the arcade before you enter the water park.  It is obvious that bathrooms in a water park are going to be wet.  But if it grosses you out to put your bare feet on a wet bathroom floor, the dry arcade is your best bet. 
  • Do print a map from the Waterville website before you go.  I know it’s a water park and you’re not going to run around with a wet map all day, but it would have really helped to have a map to get our bearings at first.  There are no signs directing you to things like inner tubes and the beginning of the lazy river.  It doesn’t take long to figure it out, but when you have a little one whose feet are burning, not having to backtrack at the beginning really helps. 
  • Don’t expect to be able to go down slides together (except for inner tube slides).  After making a climb up Rainbow Falls with Cautious C, being told we could not accompany him down the slide, and then having to walk all the way down the crowded steps, it is a lesson I will not soon forget.  Cautious C has gone down slides before, but needs a little help to get comfortable at the beginning.  Needless to say, he never went down any of those slides. 
  • Do not bring a life jacket.  Waterville provides all types of life jackets in good condition free of charge. 
  • Do nab a yellow tube anywhere you can get it.  From my previous water park experiences, I thought tubes and flotation devices were organized in separate areas for each attraction.  However, even the Waterville employee told us that we might have to look several places for an inner tube.  There was no real pattern to the distribution and collection of inner tubes, and they seemed to simply flow without boundaries all over the park.   If you intend to ride a tube ride, get on the lazy river, or float in the wave pool, get your yellow tubes wherever you see ‘em.  We got ours around one of the lazy river exits and held on to it for the other tube attractions.  
  • Do not wear a shirt over your swimsuit and don’t feel subconscious about it.  There were signs everywhere that directed slide riders not to wear shirts down the water slides.  If you wear a shirt because you want to hide something, don’t.  Even at the beach I have never seen the range of body types and “get-ups” that I saw at Waterville.  There is no reason to wear anything more than a swimsuit.  It’s July for goodness sake! 

Final Note

If you too have a Cautious C, It may not be best to start on the 10 and under play area beneath the huge dumping bucket.  That is where we started and it was a critical mistake because Cautious C does not like surprises.  It took us over an hour to rid him of his anxiety after the huge bucket dumped right on his head as he reached the slides.  We should have started small. 

Overall, Waterville was an interesting and entertaining experience.  If you have a fearless child, then you should have no problems just diving in and having fun.  The Hayden Trio spent over $100 at the park and did little more than we would have at a community pool.  But most of that was due to having Cautious C and making some general mistakes.  Hope that these tips can help make your Waterville trip everything you want it to be! 

Dianna Hayden lives in Cantonment with her husband and 3-year-old. As a family they love to travel, but find that Pensacola and the surrounding areas are hard to beat!

Photos courtesy of nola.agent via Flickr.

7th Annual Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival

Somehow, I completely forgot to post that this event is happening this weekend!  The Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival is one of the events that we will drive to attend.  We aren’t going to make it this weekend (which is why I forgot about it!) but we have been several years in a row and love it.  Our favorite time to go is early in the evening so that we can see the hot air balloons during the day and all lit up at night! 

Be sure to check the schedule before you go!  There are balloon glows, a children’s festival, Disc-Connected K9s, Alligator Alley and more!

Things To Know Before You Go:

  • There are shuttles running from different parking lots, but try to park in the lot right next to the fields.  When we went, we first parked in a school parking lot where we waited thirty minutes for a shuttle that never showed.  I assume it showed later but we didn’t want to wait anymore!  We got back in the car and drove closer to the fields where we got a great parking space near the balloon fields.
  • Pack a cooler for when you get back in the car.  It is hot and you will be glad you have that juice box or water bottle in the car!  NOTE: You CAN NOT bring your cooler to the festival.  It must stay in the car!
  • Wear sunscreen and tennis shoes.  You will be outside the whole time and walking through grassy fields (which were quite muddy two years ago!).
  • Some of the children’s activities are free but there are others are for an additional cost.
  • Visitor parking at the festival grounds is $5 per vehicle.

Day Out with Thomas at Wales West

Today I spent a perfect Mother’s Day with my mother and my two children at the Day Out with Thomas at Wales West Railways located at the Wales West RV Park in Silverhill, Alabama.  Wait a minute…did you say RV park?  Yes, I did!  The RV park has a train track that runs through it and around the it.  They hold events throughout the year that the train lovers in your family would adore! 

Day Out with Thomas is a yearly event where Thomas the Train travels to different depots for visits with children all around the United States and Canada.  At Day Out with Thomas visitors get to take a 20 minute ride on Thomas’s train, meet Sir Topham Hat, and take pictures with Thomas.  There is also an Imagination Station where kids can play with trains, watch Thomas videos and hear Thomas stories. 

Wales West also offers a train ride on their smaller train and a look at the model trains.  There were concession stands where you can purchase treats and drinks. 

We had a great time exploring and although the kids enjoyed the ride on Thomas the Train they much preferred the ride on the smaller train because it seemed much faster to them!  This event would be perfect for your little ones who are in the middle of their Thomas the Train phase! 

Thomas will be at Wales West next weekend before he heads to the next station.  He will be there on May 14th and 15th and tickets are still available.

Wales West offers all sorts of family friendly activities throughout the year like a summer program, 4th of July Fireworks, Pumpkin Patch Express and the Arctic Express, a Christmas train. 

Wales West is located at 13670 Smiley St., Silverhill, Al and the contact number is 888-569-5337.

Disclosure: I received four tickets to Day Out with Thomas.  My opinions are always my own with no outside influence.

Snow in the South – Foley, Alabama – Let it Snow

On December 4th, it will snow in Foley, Alabama!  Well, it won’t really snow but it will be the next best thing!  Let it Snow is a holiday celebration at Foley Heritage Park held on December 4th from 11 to 3.    Admission is free.  There will be snow, games, prizes, food, and entertainment.

We went to this event last year and had so much fun.  The snow is actually big ice blocks that they blow into a fenced off area.  Last year they had separate play times for the different age groups.  The little children got to go first and then they gradually let older children play.  It was pretty icy and once it became a free for all the snow area was pretty chaotic.   

Things to Know Before You Go:

  • Wear tennis shoes or shoes with some sort of grip on them.  After a little while, the ice gets muddy (especially if it stays as warm as it has been!) and slippery.
  • Throw an extra set of clothes in the car so the ride home won’t be a soggy and uncomfortable one.
  • Make a day of it!  The trip from Pensacola to Foley will take a little while so make a day trip of it.  Visit the Train Depot Museum (which is located adjacent to the Let it Snow event), stop at the Tanger Outlets, or watch the Foley Christmas Parade which is the same day.
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Tree Farms in and around Pensacola, Florida

When do you put up your Christmas tree?  Do you put up a fake tree or a real tree?  Does your family head out to a Christmas tree farm to cut down your own?

Here are a few U-pick Christmas tree farms in our surrounding area.  Even if you already have a tree or put up a fake tree, a visit to the farm can be fun for the family.  If there are any farms to add to the list or if any of these are no longer operating, please let us know!  As always, make sure to call ahead before you go.

Fish River Trees – Located in Summerdale, AL; This is the only farm on the list that we have visited.  We had such a great time and we didn’t even go to pick out a tree!  There is a ride around the farm, hot chocolate to purchase, Santa and reindeer to visit.

Whispering Pines Christmas Tree Farm – Located north of Milton; They have staff to help you with your tree purchase.

Country Pine Christmas Tree Farm – Located near Bratt; Enjoy the pond, free cookies and candy canes for the kids, and run around while looking for your tree.

The Christmas Tree Forest – Located in Pensacola; They have both choose and cut and potted trees.

Corn and Hay Mazes

Even if it is only a degree or two cooler, we are loving the fact that it is (sort of) showing signs that fall is upon us.  One of our favorite things to do in the fall is visit the corn mazes around the area.  My son is a maze aficionado.  He loves them and can find the way out like a rat following the smell of the cheese at the end of the maze!  Here are a few of the corn mazes in our area.

As always, we recommend that you follow the links or call ahead for more information and to confirm dates and times.

Sweet Seasons Corn Maze, Milton, Florida – This was probably the most challenging maze that we visited last year.  Sweet Seasons Farm puts on quite a show and you could spend all day visiting.  The Grand Opening is September 25th and they will be open each Saturday and Sunday from then until their closing day, October 31.  Their attractions include the maze, a corn cannon, the cow train, a hayride and a playground.  This year they are adding a mini hay bale maze and you can purchase Scout patches if you finish the maze!  Before you go, make sure you print the coupon!  Read our 2009 review of the Sweet Seasons Corn maze.

Maizing Family Farm, Elberta, AL – We enjoyed this maze last year because we were lucky to be there at a time when it was not crowded so the kids were able to wander through the maze on their own after we went through it together.  Their opening day is October 1 and they will continue through the month until October 31.  Their attractions include the maze, a corn cannon, a playground, tractor drawn wagon rides, and animals.  This year they will also have a sunflower “sea” as well as an ornamental corn and gourd patch.  See our 2009 review of the Maizing Family Farm Corn Maze.

Dixon Primary’s Haystackular, Pace, FL – The PTO of Dixon Primary is putting on the first annual Haystackular Hay Maze.  Opening day will be October 1 and the maze will continue through the month.  There will be different events, fall activities and food available. 

Magnolia Corn Maze, Magnolia Springs, AL –  Opening day is September 25th and the maze will continue through October 31.  There will be different activities including trick or treating, a haunted maze, and a food drive throughout the month.  Other activities include the cow train, corn cannon and games.

Seward Farms, Lucedale, MS – This trip clocks in at about 1-1.5 hours depending on where you live but this corn maze comes recommended by a friend so I wanted to add it to the list.  This appears to be the longest running maze in our area as it opens September 11 and stays open through November 6.  Activities include the maze, Animal Farm Alley, hayrides, a corn cannon, a U-pick Wildflower Patch, and more.   

Did we miss any?  If you know of any other fall mazes, please let us know in the comment section.

Pensacola Family Vacation on raveable