Where to Play: #Atlanta Must Do Family Fun Attractions #puppetryATL @CTRPuppetryArts & @LDCatlanta  

Disclaimer: We received complimentary passes to visit these 2 attractions in order to facilitate review, however the opinions are 100% my own.

This past Friday may have been ‘Good Friday’ but we turned it into a Great Friday by visiting two of Atlanta’s family fun attractions: Center for Puppetry Arts and LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta! Both of these attractions are kid friendly, educational, full of family fun and a must do when visiting Atlanta, GA.

Center for Puppetry Arts

The Center for Puppetry Arts has alot to explore and a whole lot to admire. I learned so much about the craftmanship and the passion behind making a puppet. Everyone’s childhood history involves being entertained by a puppet. Whether its Sesame Street….

…the Muppets,with our favorite couple Miss Piggy & Kermit…

..or any of the projects Jim Henson was involved in, we all learned at an early age that puppetry like love is universal. 

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Now thru May 28, Pete the Cat will be playing at the Center. Be sure to request all-inclusive tickets which will provide admission to the show, access to the Worlds of Puppetry Museum and ability to attend the Create-A-Puppet Workshop to craft your own Pete the Cat hand puppet! It was nice to be able to see the interactive show based on the books my daughter loves as well as create a keepsake afterwards to take home. 

Our favorite thing that we did was create our own puppet show. My family and I pretended to go live on tv with the hand puppet of our choice and let our imagination wonder! Hmm, I wonder if PBS is hiring?

Located in Midtown, the Center for Puppetry Arts should be a part of your family vacation memories your next visit to Atlanta.

Center for Puppetry Arts

  • 1404 Spring St. NW at 18th
  • Atlanta, GA 30309-2820 USA


LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta

A family visit to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center was recommended as a family fun attraction during our stay at the Mandarin Oriental because it is conveniently located nearby in the fashionable Phipps Plaza shopping mall.

Legos are those little plastic, colorful, play things that are beloved all over the world. We knew a visit to this attraction would definitely appeal to our 5 year old!

While legos and building opportunities are everywhere here, they have different areas dedicated to specific themes. Their “miniland” area had lego mock ups of construction projects and the space program. They also have 2 rides; Merlin’s Apprentice and Kingdom Quest laser ride. We also took turns getting on a specially calibrated scale that converts your weight to how many lego bricks it would take to weigh that much! However Daddy and daughter mostly enjoyed connecting and discovering what they could build together.

When it was time for a break we took in a show at their incredible Lego 4D Cinema where you are immersed {literally} into the story of the screen. You may get snowed or rained on in the theatre! 

My daughter also had great fun using the karaoke machine. If you get hungry they have a neat little Cafe where you can get snacks and Icee’s. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta is truly fun for the whole family! It brought out the little Big Kid in us all. 

LEGOLAND Discovery Center 

Phipps Plaza, 3500 Peachtree Rd.

Atlanta, GA 30326

Where to Enjoy a Luxury Family Getaway ~Mandarin Oriental Atlanta @MO_Atlanta #FanofMO 

I have been fortunate enough to have had quite a few experiences traveling the globe and staying in some of the world’s premier hotels. Whether for business or pleasure, most were renowned for their “luxury” and grandeur. However, my most recent stay at the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta was the first luxury family travel experience shared with our daughter. As a kindergartner celebrating her first Spring Break, I thought we’d stay at this 5 star hotel known for its beautiful rooms, superb restaurant and elegant spa. We were quite pleased with how this property combined luxury with great service while keeping the littlest guests in mind.

CHECK IN

The moment we arrived at this 580 ft tall skyscraper in Buckhead, we immediately felt part of the #MOfamily. When we pulled up to their valet service, no one asked us did we need help with our luggage, they simply just took over the task. I found that predicting needs is what sets them apart from the rest. The intimate check in area was friendly and efficient. Upon arriving, a special welcome awaited our daughter along with a ‘Passport’ that had a fun scavenger hunt inside. This allowed us to tour the hotel to find clues as well as admire the ppst modern architecture and beautiful decor, such as the white and black marble floors throughout the lobby area!

A warm welcome always makes a great first impression. Our little one received a MiniMO stuffed Panda and slippers along with some bath products to make her stay more comfortable. Also awaiting for us was a beautiful array of delicious sweets to enjoy. These special children’s amenities and treats were a pleasant surprise! 

OUR ROOM

Our first room located on the 6th Floor had an issue with the Air Conditioning unit. Maintenance arrived in a few minutes. After a quick assessment they determined it may take a bit of time to repair. The room phone rang. It was the front desk. They apologized profusely for the situation and advised we would be immediately moved and upgraded to one of their Mandarin Terrace Rooms on the 15th floor. This room had a private balcony which overlooked the Buckhead skyline. The staff took control of what could have been a negative experience and not only solved it but enhanced the positive.  Click here to see our video tour of this elegant and spacious room. My favorite feature in the room was the smooth white marble bathroom with deep soaking tub, walk in shower and vanity area with flat screen tv. Our daughter really enjoyed bath time watching her favorite cartoons and I enjoyed winding down each day by turning bath time into my own city sanctuary! 

DINING

After a great night’s sleep, which included turn down service-another sign of the high caliber property that the Mandarin Oriental is, we woke up just in time for room service to deliver our breakfast. It was delightful. The American Breakfast offered a variety of delicious breakfast favorites. The Brioche French Toast with chocolate chips is definitely a 5 yr old’s dream! We enjoyed the meal and it was a great way to start off the day.

We also dined in their sophisticated restaurant and enjoyed breakfast there on our final day. I laughed when I was about to ask my waiter for more cream but he magically appeared before I could ask…he was holding more cream..There is that predicting needs thing again! The Cafe & Bar and its inviting surroundings not only offers a tasty breakfast menu but dinner, lunch and Sunday brunch. French Press Coffee, Freshly Squeezed Juice, Belgium Waffles, and Shrimp & Grits are just some of the modern American cuisine menu items you can find on their menu. High quality, locally and flavorful ingredients were used to prepare our meal and without a doubt turned us into #MOfoodies!

THE SPA at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta

Winner of the Best of Atlanta Awards by Atlanta Magazine, Dec 2016 for Best Spa Package (Splurge) , The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta is a wellness oasis and a great treat for anyone needing some relaxation. I had a spa appointment for an Oriental Essence massage on our final day but prior to my indulgent treatment, we enjoyed their 60 foot lap indoor pool. 

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental offers a range of treatments, sauna, steam room, vitality pool access, a spa boutique, fitness center and more. The minimum age requirement for Spa and Fitness center access is 18 yrs old, however the pool is available to all guests. With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day around the corner, I highly recommend treating someone to the gift of luxury & wellness by gifting them a Mandarin Oriental gift card! They won’t be disappointed. 

AMENITIES & OFFERS

While I received my massage, hubby and daughter wanted to check out Lenox Mall & Phipps Plaza nearby. While he was going to retrieve the car, the doorman advised them for such a close drive they should take the Mandarin Oriental’s house car. Ahmad the driver pulled up in their Tesla sedan and off they went. They simply called him when they were ready to return and he promptly picked them back up and delivered them back to the property. Very nice indeed.

The Mandarin Oriental Atlanta has a variety of offers for those planning a luxury retreat. From May 1-October 31, 2017 check out their Family Field Trip package which encourages family travelers to explore Atlanta’s great outdoors.  We checked out some indoor family fun attractions: Center for Puppetry Arts & Legoland Discover Center (which is conveniently close to the hotel and a must do). Stay tuned as I share my review of these Atlanta kid friendly places this week.

I hope you enjoyed reading about some of our favorite moments staying at The Mandarin Oriental Atlanta and are inspired to ‘Experience MO’ yourself with family.  At check out, #outandaboutAva received a concierge gift for completing her scanvenger hunt and answering correctly. Luxury they do very well. Service they do even better. We are definitely #MoFans aka Fans of Mo and hope you will consider becoming one too!

The Mandarin Oriental Atlanta 

3376 Peachtree Road NE

Atlanta GA 30326

Website: http://www.mandarinoriental.com/atlanta

What To Do in #Atlanta for #FamilyDate Night Fun ? @MedievalTimes for Everyone !

My family and I are visiting Atlanta during our daughters very first official spring break and decided to step back in time for a family fun filled Sunday dinner.

All the way back to Medieval Times! This spectacular dinner theatre in Gwinett County features Jousting, horsemanship & falconry plus a 4-course utensil-free meal served in a castle-like ancient arena.

Upon entry their expansive lobby area is bustling with all sorts of activities. You can take pictures with characters who are straight out of King Arthur ! There is a crackling fire and a huge bar where you can grab a drink prior to the show. We ended up with a cocktail called the “Dragon Slayer”. It came served in a specialty cup that we can keep for years as a conversation piece.

Once we entered the competition arena things really got interesting. It was a surreal atmosphere. The “stage” is a custom made sunken equestrian course with sand. The knights performed all sorts of competitions and games like pluck the ring and horse relay racing !

While enjoying the show we were served a set menu of roasted chicken ,corn, potatoes and corn on the cobb. No forks or knives allowed. Eat like the knights of old.WITH YOUR HANDS !!

The show culminated with a hollywood worthy showdown of what can only be called a “knight fight”. Swords and swinging hammers were everywhere while the actors played stuntmen with flips and falls. The audience went wild and cheered. The King and his daughter ruled the show from their royal perch. 
In addition to general admission, they also offer knighting ceremonies, upgrade packages such as king’s royalty (additional $22 per person), royalty (additional $18 per person) and celebration (additional $12 per person).
SobeSavvy Tip : Go anytime during the months of March and April and take advantage of their special spring break rates by following this link and use discount code ” SB17″.

If you ever want to do something unique to do on your next visit to Atlanta make sure you take the whole family to have dinner and a show at medieval Times.

#WellnessWednesday & #BirthdayDeals @ExhaleSpa #MidtownAtl #ManiPedi Bar ! 

August is a busy month for us here at SobeSavvy.com..not only is #outandaboutAva turning 5, but I am celebrating my birthday today! Birthdays are a special time of year to celebrate and I like to celebrate myself by doing something for my health. Getting pampered is the ideal birthday gift for me. So to get the party started , I scheduled a Luxe Spa manicure and pedicure at Exhale Spa in Midtown Atlanta.

Located at 1065 Peachtree St, Atlanta, GA inside the Loews Hotel, this location is the only one in Atlanta that has a mani-pedi bar! I arrived early to make sure to relax in the zen lounge (they have warm neck pillows and tea available to help you restore*detox*revive.) 

Nail Tech, Cassandra has been with Exhale for 5 years and was very good at what she does. After selecting my nail polish (a vegan polish called Pink Perfection) and choosing my scrub from a choice of 4 fragrances, I was escorted to the pedicure area. It’s in a very comfortable setting complete with a flat screen tv and leather massage chairs. Besides the quality products used what makes this a luxe experience is the hot stone massage on my legs and feet! It was unlike any mani-pedi experience I’ve ever had. 

Savvy Tip: Exhale has a very special birthday offer during your birthday month. You can enjoy 50% of a 60 minute spa therapy and 20% off your next purchase at their wellbeing boutique. Use Promo code: bday 50 and book your appointment here !

When considering a gift to yourself or someone else,  give the gift of wellness from Exhale! They offer a unique balance of fitness classes and spa therapies – unlike any other gym or spa I’ve been to! They offer a wide variety of spa therapies — from customizable facials and relaxing massages to healing acupuncture and so much more — they truly offer everything you could need for a restorative and rejuvenating day at the spa. Their huge variety of fitness classes — with everything from barre to cardio to yoga — all emphasize the core, transforming your body and balancing your mind. Think of it as your one-stop fitness shop. I shared at the beginning of the year, why I love to come to Exhale. Read more here .

Overall, Exhale just makes me feel amazing, and I think you’ll love it too! Hannah Beth Millman , Manager of Guest Experience and her staff really go out of their way to make you feel special not just on your birthday but everyday! Check them out here: http://mbsy.co/fHpq6 and get ready to have a wonderful wellness experience unlike any other. 

End results: My nails were polished to “pink perfection” and I love them ! 

#TravelTuesday Tip: Visit #Atlanta #FamilyFun #Attractions & Save with @CityPass ! #CityPass

If you are planning to travel to Atlanta and want to have an amazing experience at some of the best attractions at a huge savings, get a CityPASS. For more than 15 years, CityPASS has been the premier product for savvy travelers who want to visit a destination’s most popular sights while enjoying significant discounts.

You can save 43% on 5 Admission tickets to all the iconic spots Atlanta has to offer. That is such a great deal that we here at SobeSavvy.com couldn’t wait to share with you how easy it was to use and how much fun we had using Atlanta CityPass for the following attractions: 

Fernbank Museum of Natural History-Here is where our journey with CityPass began.I simply showed an email voucher along with my ID and received the CityPASS booklet with tickets to attractions, insider tips and information as well as a map and coupons. We chose this attraction because I knew our almost 5 year old would enjoy the exhibits here that cover the world’s largest dinosaurs, nature, natural history and more! Our CityPass also included ticket to see an IMAX film (which is not included with a regular admission ticket). That was a pleasant surprise savings bonus! It’s located just minutes from Midtown and offers free parking. Be sure to check out FernbankMuseum.org/Summer to see what upcoming daily activities and Family Fun events they have for you and your family to enjoy! Here are some pictures from our fun-filled morning at the museum!

Zoo Atlanta – We headed here in the afternoon for some family fun with the little one who enjoys learning about animals! There are over 1500 animals here but we could not wait to see Bamboo Besties Mei Lun & Mei Huan. Those two young giant pandas are so cute and playful.They are twin sisters and are the only twin pandas in the world! We checked out the petting zoo, the playground and thanks to CityPASS we did not have to pay extra for the train ride and carousel. A memorable moment was getting a chance to see the zookeeper feed the elephants and learning about their conservation. Enjoy these photos from our animal adventures at Zoo Atlanta!

Georgia Aquarium –  We got expedited entry thanks to CityPASS (Who doesn’t like feeling like VIP?! ) into one of Atlanta’s most famous attractions. This massive aquarium and its 6 unique galleries is a must-see for its spectacular aquatic sights from sea lions at Sun Trust Pier 225, giant whale sharks, manta rays,beluga whales and dolphins! 

Georgia Aquarium invites all to come and see more aquatic life than any aquarium in North America ! Take a look at a few pics from our “Funbelivable” experience:

The CityPASS is valid for 9 days after first use but we were only in Atlanta for a brief 48 hours and only got to 3 out of 5 places on our to do list of attractions. Reduced admission is also available for World of Coca-Cola, Inside CNN Studio Tour, Center for Civil and Human Rights(instead of Zoo Atlanta) and College Football Hall of Fame (instead of Fernbank Museum).

There is so much family fun to be had there, just let CityPASS be your guide! 

It’s 2016,Resolve to #TravelforReal ! #TravelTuesday Feature @Loews_Hotels #LoewsAtlanta #SaltwoodAtl

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January 1, 2016 began a New Year in which one of my resolutions was to travel more. A road trip to the city of Atlanta with a stay at the Loews Atlanta Hotel seemed like a great place to begin.
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Upon entering the hotel lobby, which was still looking festive from the holidays, I immediately knew this was going to be a chic and cozy hotel stay. My family and I were greeted with a warm smile and hot apple cider. Our bell captain , Kahn was very welcoming and insured us that we would enjoy our stay. Our room was on the 22nd floor overlooking Midtown Atlanta, which is according to Wikipedia” is the second largest business district in the city of Atlanta, situated between the commercial and financial districts of Downtown to the south and Buckhead to the north.”

Our spacious corner room had views of the midtown skyline in 3 directions. Besides the Loews literally being one of the quietest hotels I have ever stayed at, it was also one of the most comfortable. Bedding, pillows and the Keurig coffee machine all made for a very enjoyable stay

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Prior to our arrival, I corresponded with Jonathan Vendrick, the VIP/Concierge Manager for the Loews Atlanta Hotel who was beyond helpful with advising what attractions our 4 yr old would enjoy.

Already on our agenda was Lego Land (see article here) and the Children’s Museum ( read more here).
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After a long day of travel and sightseeing, it is great to have a hotel that has a restaurant and a spa on the premises. Loews encourages guests to “Add a little well being to their stay” and I took them up on their offer by visiting Exhale Spa while there! Take a look at my feature of their spa here.

Our first dinner of the year was enjoyed at their restaurant, Saltwood. The restaurant specializes in the lost food art of Charcuterie. Chef picked specialty cuts of pork meats and cheeses. We also enjoyed fried Oysters and their succulent fried chicken with homemade gravy. Their whole fish was a favorite at the table also. Stylish space and unique offerings are to be found at Saltwood.

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Needless to say, my little one and I enjoyed our home away from home at the Loews. Their quality, customer service,attentiveness and attention to detail made this a memorable family travel experience and a great way to start the new year in comfort. Until next time….
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New Year, New Fun at the Newly Renovated @ChildMuseumATL #childrensmuseumATL with #OutandAboutAva ~ #Familyfun Recap by #SobeSavvy .com

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” I wanna have some fun”…with those 5 words expressed by my 4 yr old, we were off the to The Children’s Museum of Atlanta. Located adjacent to Centennial Park downtown. According to their website, it was founded in 1988 as a “Museum Without Walls” and opened to the public in 2003. True to that initial vision it is indeed a grand open space with not a wall in site.

They recently reopened after a 8.2 million dollar renovation that added a 3,000-square-foot mezzanine level. That level emphasizes STEM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math education), with new interactive exhibits. My little one enjoyed some one on one interaction with friendly and knowledgeable staff members on that level. She actually saw her own fingerprint under a digital microscope and used a huge tablet computer that animates all of the body systems. I don’t know who loved the “piano stairs” more..me or her !!

Downstairs it is all about open play and learn. Gravity and pulley exhibits rule. They even had a mini supermarket for her to do some grocery shopping !

There is a elevated stage area for performances and storytellers. All and all a great way to spend the afternoon. Treat your kids and yourself to a fun learning trip and go to the Children’s Museum of Atlanta where fun and games provide education to your child’s day!
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