#FamilyFun | 5 Reasons To See UniverSoul Circus @UniverSoulCirc | March 20-31,2019 in #RaleighNC

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to attend opening night as a blogger in the Raleigh/Durham area. All opinions are 100% my own.

Hey Raleigh, NC, Get ready for the triumphant return of America’s No. 1 Circus! Universoul Circus is back, now in its 26th year, to give you live family entertainment extravaganza! If you have never been before, or maybe you are a returning fan like me, I am here to share 5 Reasons To See Universoul Circus with your family and friends!

1. DIVERSITY

FACT: There are 13+ Countries Represented at UniverSoul Circus! Enjoy one-of-a-kind performances from around the world – all coming together as one under a single ring big top. Led by Ringmaster Lucky from South Africa and his long time Sidekick Zeke, the 2019 edition of UniverSoul Circus features contortionists from Guinea, Skaters from Cuba, Daredevil Motorcyclists from the United States, a High Wire Act from Colombia and Gabon, Trampoline Acrobats from Cuba and Ethiopia, Teeterboard Drillers from Mongolia, Solo Trapeze from Brazil, Trick Rescue Pooches from Colombia and Russia, a Cossack Horse Act from Kazakhstan, Cuba, Guinea and Mexico, Fresh the Clownsss from the United States, and many more surprises!

Teeterboard Drillers from Mongolia | Photo Credit: UniverSoul Circus

2. SIGHTS

UniverSoul Circus is rated as one of the top two circuses in America along with Cirque du Soleil and one of the reasons is because of all the exciting and electrifying acts! This once in a lifetime thrill-a-minute spectacle comes at you like a high-speed rollercoaster! If you like thrills and live entertainment, UniverSoul Circus has all of that!

Daredevil Motorcyclists from the United States | Photo Credit: UniverSoul Circus

3. SOUNDS

Celebrating 26 amazing years in 2019, UniverSoul Circus is a highly interactive combination of circus arts, theater, and music that spans genres including Pop, Classic R&B, Latin, Hip Hop, Jazz and Gospel. It embraces and celebrates the unique and familiar aspects of pop culture globally by bringing them center stage with a cast of international performers. FACT: There are over 11+ Performing Acts!

Photo Credit | UniverSoul Circus

4. SOUL

Celebrated around the world for spreading a soulful dose of unity, inclusion and diversity under its red and yellow striped big top, UniverSoul Circus was created in 1994 by a man named Cedric Walker who had a vision of creating a circus with an inclusive, jovial and soulful atmosphere. Participants are immersed into a global dimension, drawing multicultural, multinational, and multigenerational bonding through performance art for all people to enjoy and be entertained.

5. FAMILY-FRIENDLY FUN

The last time my family and I attended was the Summer of 2017 and we had so much fun! [You can read my 2017 recap>>>here]. UniverSoul’s fresh approach to family friendly live entertainment has garnered it a coveted spot as one of Ticketmaster’s top ten most requested family events. When people ask me how is it? I simply say it’s a good time for all ages and encourage them to see for themselves why UniverSoul Circus is the #BestCircusEver!

Me and my family at UniverSoul Circus, 2017

*SobeSavvyGiveaway: I hosted a flash giveaway on Instagram and the winner(s) are…drum roll..Congrats to Meka H. and Kiara R. of Raleigh,NC

GET TICKETS on sale now via: www.ticketmaster.com

CONNECT:

@universoulcircus (Instagram)

@universoulcirc (Twitter)

www.facebook.com/universoulcir

www.youtube.com/universoulcircus

*Be sure to visit website to signup and become an insider and get updates for your city tour stop/dates at: www.universoulcircus.com

FOLLOW my highlights from opening night on Instagram @SobeSavvy and check out my video recap on YouTube! >> https://youtu.be/iZ_6pQQdtkU

RALEIGH:

Wednesday, March 20 thru Sunday March 31, 2019

Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek

3801 Rock Quarry Rd

Raleigh, NC 27610

* Next City >>Newark,NJ on 4/3/19

HAVE YOU BEEN TO UNIVERSOUL CIRCUS BEFORE? WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT? Let me know in the comments below! See you under the Big Top!🎪

Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds takes you on a Musical Adventure thru March 24 @RLT1936 #ThreeLittleBirdsRLT

Tonight is opening night of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds, presented by Raleigh Little Theatre. Join Ziggy and Nansi on a worldly adventure, enlivened by the fantastic songs of renowned Reggae artist, BobMarley. If you’re visiting Raleigh,NC, this is one musical you don’t want to miss. Now thru March 24, you can take your family to see Jamaica come to life and enjoy a night of theatre!

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It's #openingweekend of Bob Marley's Three Little Birds, @RLT1936! Take your family on a trip to Jamaica and join Ziggy & Nansi on a worldly adventure, enlivened by the music of #Reggae artist, #BobMarley. Now playing in #Raleigh #NC thru March 24! • Our favorite part was the interaction between cast and audience and the message to encourage children to explore the world beyond the tv [something we've always done with #outandaboutAva] Read more about this amazing production, #ontheblog, SobeSavvy.com! There was so many of my fave songs in this play. What's YOUR favorite Bob Marley song? • #musicaltheatre #ThreeLittleBirdsRLT #familyseries #familyfun #theatre #performingarts #SobeSavvy #soNCsavvy #lifestyleblogger #raleighblogger

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ABOUT THE PLAY

Meet Ziggy, a shy boy who would rather stay at home and watch television than explore the island of Jamaica. Over the course of his onstage journey, with some help from his friend Nansi, he realizes that the real adventures can be found outside, amid the birds and jungles and beaches. The wonderful music of Bob Marley helps bring their wordly adventure to life!

Ziggy-Jireh Ijeoma and Nansi- Seanna Osborne |Photographer- Jeannine Borzello

“It’s really teaching our kids that no matter what their troubles or fears, there’s still a little bit of sunshine out there. It’s up to the parents and the village, the Bible will tell you. You have to surround yourself with good people so you can grow into great people. I think the lyrics, the music, and performance will entertain everybody, young and old,” said Cedella Marley on the show’s message in an article by the Wall Street Journal.

SPECIAL DATES

Enjoy fresh milk & cookies after the Thursday, March 14 show of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds provided by Insomnia Cookies!

Enjoy the sounds of Jamrock in between Saturday, March 16 performances. Jamrock was founded in 1995 through the desire of a few Jamaicans to hear authentic music, featuring true “yard style” reggae rhythms, reggae standards, and an authentic Jamaican sound.

On Saturday, March 30 at 1 pm, RLT will present a sensory-friendly performance of “Three Little Birds.” A sensory-friendly performance is modified for families and friends with children or adults who have difficulty with sensitivity. Sensory-friendly seating is general admission allowing individuals extra space if needed.

The Cast of Three Little Birds | Photographer- Jeannine Borzello

REVIEW

I am seeing the show on Saturday, March 9th at 5pm with my husband and our 7 year old daughter, #outandaboutAva. I am so excited to review this production because we got married in Jamica in 1999 and I am a huge Bob Marley fan. When our daughter was a newborn and my husband had to travel for work, I was a stay at home Mom who relied on the songs of Bob Marley to get me thru the day. Songs like “No Woman No Cry“, “Is This Love” and “Three Little Birds” helped me to remember to …don’t worry about a thing, because every little thing is gonna be alright!

Cedella- India Williams and Ziggy-Jireh Ijeoma | Photographer- Jeannine Borzello

Me and my #HeighPartyof3 loved the play. This one hour play had such a special vibe and awesome message. Go outside and see the world around you no matter where you reside. I also loved the live music, the dance and the brief Jamaican history lesson that weaved together all the cultures that make up Jamaica. The creative storytelling was full of fun and the set was simply beautiful.

The Cast of Three Little Birds | Photographer- Jeannine Borzello

“Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds” is on stage March 8 –24. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 919-821-3111, Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m., or by visiting the theatre’s website at www.raleighlittletheatre.org.

WHICH BOB MARLEY SONG IS YOUR FAVORITE?

Raleigh Little Theatre

301 Pogue Street

Raleigh, NC

5 #FamilyFun Tips For Your Visit To SEA LIFE Charlotte – Concord Aquarium @SEALIFECC

Disclaimer: Although complimentary tickets were provided to facilitate this review, the opinions are 100% my own.

Family Fun Visit to SEA LIFE | SobeSavvy.com


SEA LIFE is the international aquarium chain that has over 50 locations throughout America, Europe, Australia and Asia. It is literally the world’s biggest aquarium brand. Lucky for us they have one right here in North Carolina. We recently enjoyed a Sunday Funday visit to their Charlotte/Concord, NC location and had a blast! Planning to go to this must see attraction soon?

Here are my 5 Family Fun Tips For Your Visit To SEA LIFE Charlotte – Concord Aquarium:

1. It’s GREAT LOCATION allows you to plan a day at SEA LIFE and surrounding activities. SEA LIFE is located at the popular Concord Mills shopping complex. This makes it very easy to start or end your day here prior or post seeing a movie at AMC theatres, dining or shopping at this huge mall! The best entrance is at entry 7 next to The Speedpark at Concord Mills.
2. SEA LIFE is FUN-SIZED and perfect for kids. Some aquariums are so vast that it is impossible to actually see or do everything in one visit. The layout of this aquarium allows parents to enjoy it without feeling overwhelmed. Kids can explore the entire place in one visit and stay excited for the entire time. There are cool spaces for kids to crawl under to get a closer look at the marine life.  The whole family can walk thru the 180 degree Ocean Tunnel for an even closer look. It’s a great way to feel like you are underwater without getting wet!
3. Everyone will LEARN MORE when they explore SEA LIFE. Conservation & Education is important and SEA LIFE’s mission is to Breed, Rescue and Protect. This attraction wants visitors to be amazed at the natural marine world and protect it for future generations to enjoy! There are fun facts and reminders all around the aquarium to teach us more about the sea animals and the many ways we can help.
4. There is plenty of HANDS-ON FUN! SEA LIFE has all sorts of interactive things for kids to participate in. Every child gets a free explorer book to log stamps in for a chance to win a “fin-tastic” prize!  Our daughter had fun hunting for the dive stations to find her stamps and she really enjoyed seeing what a real starfish feels like at the Touchpool.
5. Ever wondered how they keep the sharks from eating the other fish in the tank? Want to know how they get an aquarium to fit in a mall? Find that out and more when you take the SEA LIFE’s Behind The Scenes tour. We had a chance to see what it takes to maintain the animals health and keep the water clean and purified at all times. We got to admire the beauty of the marine life by looking at the tanks from up above with exclusive access to another level inside SEA LIFE. There is just something mesmorizing about how these sea creatures effortlessly glide in the water. Our tour guide Stacy did a fantasric job at sharing his knowledge with us during the tour.

So many of my Mom friends did not know that there was an aquarium so close to Charlotte. From Raleigh,NC it was aprox 2+ hours away. It is directly off of 85, so it’s easily accessible coming or going from the Queen City. Be sure to add SEA LIFE on your family fun itinerary during your next  visit! WATCH my video for an inside look at SEA LIFE and more from our fun-filled experience. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdjkCi4rrks&feature=youtu.be

•HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO SEA LIFE ?

REVIEW | ‘A Motown Christmas’ Cary Arts Center in @TownofCary 12/28-12/30/18 #CaryNC #FamilyFun

🎶 Candles burnin’ low

Lots of mistletoe

Lots of snow and ice

Everywhere we go
Choirs singin’ carols
Right outside my door

All these things and more
(All these things and more)
Whoa, that’s what Christmas means to me my love 🎶

In my home, Christmas just ain’t Christmas until we start playing ‘A Motown Christmas’ cd, which is a compilation album featuring christmas music sung by some of the greatest artists to ever come out of Motown. The album came out in 1973 (the year I was born) and its music can still be heard and enjoyed today during the holidays. The lyrics above are from Stevie Wonder’s ‘What Christmas Means To Meis one of my favorites! In fact, the whole album is a family favorite. That’s why when I learned that ‘A Motown Christmas‘, a musical review presented by Li V Mahob Productions and the Town of Cary, was coming to the Cary Arts Center I had to make plans to see it! I even hosted a giveaway for 1 winner & guest to enjoy opening night on Friday 12/28 at 8pm.

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GIVEAWAY | Who's ready to #WinItWednesday ? 🙋‍♀️ ENTER to WIN 2 Tickets to opening night of Nate Jacobs' A Motown Christmas at the Cary Arts Center on Dec.28, 8pm. ❤ LIKE this post 😘 FOLLOW @SobeSavvy 🎶 COMMENT your fave Motown Christmas song or any holiday carol 😉 BONUS entry by tagging friend in seperate comment GOOD LUCK! Winner chosen by random.org on Wed 12/26 at noon. ——— Ring in the holidays with The Triangle's most gifted singers/musicians and experience a night full of soul and holiday joy! Featuring Christmas and holiday songs by Motown’s most celebrated artists like The Supremes, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye as well as the sounds of your favorite traditional carols. Under the music direction of Ronzel Bell, the direction of Deb Royals-Mizerk and choreography by Darian Moore, this show offers audiences a unique holiday experience for the whole family! Admission is $20+. #AMotownChristmas GET TIX : bit.ly/2roMeLt

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I went to the Saturday 12/29 3pm show with my husband, our daughter and my mother, who came from out of town to see this show! We thought it was FANTASTIC! Their renditions of so many Motown classics were incredibly good. The groups were paired to best utilize their vocal similiarities to the originals. There was plenty of hand clapping and foot stomping to go along with superb storytelling. We got a bit of history lesson to start the show of how this production came to be along with the humble beginnings of Motown. There was no better combination than the festive Motown Sound and the gospel of love. The whole family can celebrate the joys of the holidays at this exciting, family fun musical event.

About the Show

This musical revue showcases original Christmas and holiday songs by Motown’s most celebrated artists like The Supremes, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye as well as the sounds of your favorite traditional carols. Under the music direction of Ronzel Bell, the direction of Deb Royals-Mizerk and choreography by Darian Moore, this show offers audiences a unique holiday experience full of soul, holiday joy and a message of Love.

The Cast
This show has one intermission and runs approximately 2 hours, but as the saying goes..time flies when you are having fun! The cast, which features some of the Triangle’s most gifted singers and musicians, did an amazing job of entertaining the audience. They kept us dancing and singing along in our seats without missing a beat!

Buy Tickets

There is still time to get tickets for the last show on Sunday 12/30 at 3pm. Tickets available through etix or The Cary Theater Box Office, 122 East Chatham Street, Cary NC

Adult 18+: $24

Senior 55+/Student/Child: $22

Military: $22

Group of 10+: $20

For more information contact: (919) 462-2051

Motown music is cross generational bringing joy and wonderful memories. Christmas time with a Motown influence uplifts us all! Nate Jacobs’ A Motown Christmas is a great way to say goodbye to the holidays and hello to the New Year. I definitely think this is a show worth seeing with the whole family!

Moses T. Alexander Greene , Producer of ‘A Motown Christmas’ and the Director of African American Cultural Center at NC State University with #outandaboutAva

•HAVE YOU SEEN ‘A MOTOWN CHRISTMAS’ MUSICAL REVUE? •WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOTOWN CHRISTMAS SONG?

Cary Arts Center

101 Dry Ave.

Cary, NC 27511

@CarolinaBallet Presents The Nutcracker Review + Giveaway! Win 2 Tix 12/29 @DPAC #NC #FamilyFun #Arts

On Sunday December 16, SobeSavvy.com celebrated the 18th annual performance of Carolina Ballet’s The Nutcracker presented by PNC with magic sponsored by WRAL-TV. This family friendly show, performed at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium has become a Mommy & Me tradition for us. We both love performing arts and enjoyed seeing magic combined with ballet in this wonderful show featuring Tchaikovsky’s incredible music. Choreographed by Robert Weiss, Carolina Ballet presents The Nutcracker is not only “Magical.Magnificent.Mysterious”, but Unique because it features grand illusions by world renowned magician Rick Thomas as well as a live music by the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle!

My daughter, fondly referred to as #outandaboutAva, first saw this perfomance in 2016 when she was 5 years old. Now that she is 7 and has read The Nutcracker story, seen the Disney movie: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, and learned the music in school, she was so excited to see this holiday classic! Carolina Ballet does an outstanding job working with the children from ballet schools across the Triangle as well as their own, The School of Carolina Ballet to perform this magical tale of holiday adventure based on a novel by E.T.A. Hoffman. The Nutcracker is one of the most recognizable scores in the ballet repertoire and definitely a performance the whole family should see because it appeals to the child in everyone!

What is The Nutcracker about?

This enchanting tale, in which toys come to life and treats dance with delight, follows young Clara and her prince as they journey to the Land Of Sweets. It begins when young Clara receives a nutcracker from her godfather, a wizardly toymaker named Drosselmeyer. Sneaking downstairs to see the toy after everyone else has gone to bed, she suddenly finds herself caught in the middle of a pitched battle between the toys and an army of mice. After saving the nutcracker with a well-thrown shoe to the Mouse King’s head, Clara and her now-living prince venture into the Land of Snow and the Land of Sweets to celebrate. Throughout their adventures, Tchaikovsky’s dazzling inventiveness propels the dances of nimble flowers and regal fairy queens. The “Waltz of the Snowflakes” floats weightlessly whereas the “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy” tiptoes to the haunting, music-box chimes of a celesta. A medley of exotic national dances—including a Spanish bolero and Russian Trepak—add to the phantasmagoric celebration before the whole dream ends, as all dreams must.

When and Where is it playing?

Dates: December 14, 2018 – December 23, 2018 at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Raleigh at 3401 Atlantic Ave., Raleigh, NC 27604

Dates: December 29, 2018 – December 30, 2018 at DPAC- Durham Performing Arts Center in Downtown Durham at 123 Vivian St., Durhan, NC 27701

*See website>> CarolinaBallet.com or call 919.719.0900 for dates/times/prices

SobeSavvy Tip: Before/After the show or during intermission, you can get some holiday shopping done at The Nutcracker Boutique. You’ll find a variety of things like ornaments, socks or even a nutcracker of your very home to take home to be apart of your family traditions for years to come!

Enter to WIN 2 Tickets !!

Carolina Ballet presents The Nutcracker and SobeSavvy.com have teamed up to share a #SobeSavvygiveaway with you and give one winner a holiday memory that you will never forget!

Enter for a chance to be awed by the magic and choreography of Carolina Ballet and win (2) tickets to Carolina Ballet: The Nutcracker at DPAC on Sat 12/29 at 7pm.

To Enter:

💥 Like this post

💥 Leave comment below why you’d like to go

💥💥 Bonus entry if you leave comment on the Instagram post below + Follow @SobeSavvy

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❄GIVEAWAY❄ How about a #SobeSavvyGiveaway to go with this #NCsnowday !! Enter to win (2) tickets to @carolinaballet : The Nutcracker at @dpacnc on Sat 12/29 at 7pm. . Enjoy this holiday classic story set to Tchaikovsky's score, featuring a live symphony orchestra, magical illusions, magnificent sets & costumes. It is a family tradition of ours that I am happy to share with one lucky winner! ❄ . . To Enter: 💥 Like this post + 💥 Follow @SobeSavvy +💥 Tag a friend who would enjoy a journey to the Land of Sweets = (1) entry ….tag more friends for more entries 💥💥 Bonus entry if you leave comment on upcoming 12/17 blog post of recap of The Nutcracker ..stay tuned! Winner will be chosen at random on Dec.19, 2018 at 12pm EST. Good Luck! ———————– #SobeSavvy #CarolinaBallet #TheNutcracker #Giveaway #DPAC #Wralsnow #ncwx #winterfun #snowfun #snow #snowday #ncsnow #ncsnow2018 #ballet #performingarts #RaleighNC #DurhamNC #RaleighBlogger #NCBlogger #LifestyleBlogger

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Winner will be chosen by random.org on Dec.19, 2018 at noon.

Good Luck!

Update: Contest Closed. Congrats to Valerie Contreras, @hellominimama ! Have a wonderful time!

5 Years of Holiday Cheer! Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer The Musical is here @DECRALEIGH #RudolphRaleigh #familyfun

🎶You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen
Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen
But do you recall
The most famous reindeer of all🎶 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer..

We all know and love the song that goes along with the animated television story of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”! Now is your chance to fall in love all over again with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer The Musical, in it’s 5th year is now playing at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts inside the A.J.Fletcher Opera Theater to see this all time favorite holiday classic brought to life on stage!

Before seeing the show, SobeSavvy.com was invited to a special Blogger Party to celebrate it’s 5th year anniversary! If you saw my IG instastories @SobeSavvy, then you saw how much fun we had prior to the show! If not, be sure to check out my you tube video below.

There is actually a chance for all guests to enjoy lobby festivities before seeing the show. I recommend arriving early so you can:

SHOP for adorable gifts and plush toys for your little one or find the perfect Christmas gift!

SNAP photos with the larger than life characters from the special including Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster and of course, Rudolph!

POSE for the camera at the step and repeat and capture a picture from your memorable night out!

My husband and I grew up watching this all time favorite cartoon special every single year at Christmas time. So to experience it with our daughter and see it come live on stage is such a joy! We all had fun taking a trip to Christmas Town all the way to the North Pole to Santa’s workshop. We watched the story unfold and enjoyed seeing Rudolph grow from a young buck who went thru adversity to a deer who became a leader necause he never stopped believing in himself. So what his nose was different. You Glow Rudolph!

Kids of all ages were in the audience to experience the wonder that this story truly is. My girl enjoyed this at 7 years old as much as she did when we went to see Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer The Musical in 2016, when she was age 5! There was plenty of dancing and singing. The audience was invited to sing-a-long with the lyrics to ‘Silver and Gold’. This musical truly brought the warm feelings of the holidays to our hearts. The last scene actually had REAL snow falling on the audience. The kids and adults alike were delighted!

Now thru Dec 24, grab your family, young and old to see the greatest Christmas tale ever told! Come dressed in your holiday pjs or wear a Santa’s hat to this family fun show filled with singing, dancing and great acting! Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and Rudolph are all ready to entertain you! Buy your tickets now to Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer The Musical. It is the absolute must do for this holiday season !!

Watch highlights from the Blogger Party celebrating the 5th Year Anniversary of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer The Musical!

Thanks again for inviting SobeSavvy.com to the event and performance. For more info on how you can get tickets to the show, go to dukeenergycenterraleigh.com.

Happy Holidays!🎄

#FamilyTravel | Where to Play, Eat, Stay for the Holidays in Charlotte, NC #CLT

Thanksgiving Weekend 2018 has ended but not without making memories in Charlotte,NC. Me and my #HeighPartyof3 drove 2.5 hours to kick off our holiday season in the Queen City and had such a great time! I wanted to share some of the highlights from our visit to inspire other families who may be traveling there soon. Check out my Family Travel Guide|Where to Play,Eat,Stay for the Holidays in Charlotte,NC.

PLAY

Discovery Place & IMAX| website

Discovery Place, located in Charlotte’s Uptown area, is a wonderful hands on learning complex about technology, nature and science. Spread out over 3 floors, families can spend the day here exploring and having fun. Watch an IMAX feature, Touch a Starfish, Create Art with a hot glue gun, and Dance while learning how the muscles move in your body! There is plenty to see and do like looking at our skin cells under a microscope, crossing a rope bridge in the rainforest, playing the secret scents game and so much more! Discovery Place lets kids of all ages experience learning thru play. It is a great way to spend a fun day! To see more, watch youtube video>>here.

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Visiting #Charlotte #NC for the holidays? Take the whole family to @discoveryplace and discover something new! Swipe 🔙 and get inspired to learn more of the wonders of science, technology and nature. Plus, check out my #instastories as we explore three floors of fun for everyone from interactive displays, a rainforest, an @imax 3D theater and more! We ❤ science and had a blast! Have you ever been to Discovery Place? What did you discover? . . . #SobeSavvy #lifestyleblogger #NCblogger #familyblogger #fun #familyfun #family #clt #discoveryplacescience #Heighpartyof3 #museum #outandaboutAva #science #stem #stemlearning #travelblogger #play #thingstodoinCharlotte #learningisfun #Ilovescience #girlmom #dadanddaughter #nature #technology

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Speedway Christmas at Charlotte Motor Speedway | website

Charlotte Speedway is the annual home to “Speedway Christmas”. Every year thousands and thousands of lights takeover the infield and stands at this iconic racing venue. We got a chance to actually drive on the racetrack which my husband loved! Tune in to their own radio station and listen to Christmas tunes as you take a slow drive for a few miles. We enjoyed partaking in the tradition of seeing the unique sights and creativity used for the dozens of displays. Guests can stop at their Christmas Village for snacks, rides and shopping. Speedway Christmas is a seasonal, holiday event held at Charlotte Speedway. So pack the family up in the car and have your chance to drive on the speedway to see holiday lights! Pay one price per vehicle and sit back, sing Christmas Carols and Enjoy! Take a look at my youtube video and enjoy some of light displays at Speedway Christmas!

SobeSavvy Tip: It is recommended that visitors come in early in the season as the lines tend to get longer the closer they get to Christmas. Also going on a Thursday or Sunday night is best as the Village is open and movies are shown on the Speedway TV. On Dec.9 bring 5 Food Lion brand non-perishable food items and get $10 off admission!

EAT

Piedmont Social House | website

Looking for a place that has great food, a tap room, games and a 12 lane bowling alley? Then head to Piedmont Social House, located in the popular Ayrsley neighborhood of Charlotte. It is a one stop destination for an afternoon or evening of food,drinks and fun! The atmosphere here is energetic and lively. It is a great spot for groups or a fun date night. There is something for everyone in the family. The service was good and so were their Chicken and Waffles! Just feast your eyes on it here:

SobeSavvy Tip: Now through December 31 they have a special Gift Card Promotion. Buy a $50 Gift Card and receive a $10 Bonus Card! Just ake a look at my photos featuring good food and good vibes from our dining experience at Piedmont Social House >>here and you’ll want to give or get a gift card to this restaurant!

THE COWFISH Sushi•Burger•Bar | website

With so many restaurant choices around Southpark Mall in Charlotte, it can be hard to find something that is actually different. One in particular that stands out from the rest is The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar. Creative cocktails, innovative sushi rolls and awesome burgers is what ypu can find here. My daughter loves their kids menu choices, which comes with a Cowfish tattoo! Service is excellent and if you can, save room for dessert. See more drool worthy photos from our visit >>here and be sure to dine at The Cowfish when visiting Charlotte.

American Girl Bistro | website

SPECIAL..MAGICAL..MEMORABLE, Those are three words I would use to describe our visit to the American Girl Store/ Bistro. On Sunday, my #Heighpartyof3 enjoyed ‘Holiday Tea’ and each other during this event. Our #outandaboutAva and Luciana got all dolled up in their matching red velvet dresses for the special occasion! It was so darling! Girls got to visit the hot chocolate bar, play with a paper doll craft and we all had a chance to eat savory bites/sweet treats. Check out more photos from the Holiday Tea event>>here to see some of the holiday memories we made at this special in-store experience. With all the attention to the little details for girls and their dolls, it was a visit our daughter will never forget!

SobeSavvy Tip: Save 25% on matching dresses for girls and dolls thru 12/24/18! Find something special to make their season memorable and magical at americangirl.com

STAY


Hampton Inn & Suites Charlotte/SouthPark at Phillips Place| website

The Hampton Inn & Suites was a wonderful place to stay during our Charlotte visit. It is located at The Phillips Place Shops area and is within walking distance to many restaurants and even has a Whole Foods next door. The immense Southpark mall is right down the street. It has a stately lobby and public areas. Large modern and stylish suites awaits visitors. I loved the built in TV vanity mirror feature of our suite. There is complimentary Valet Parking and of course the Hampton Inn breakfast gets you ready for another day tackling the Queen City. Make this your property of choice on your next visit to Charlotte!

Here is an inside look at the Hampton Inn & Suites Charlotte/ SouthPark at Phillips Place:

As you can see, Charlotte is one of those cities in North Carolina that no matter the length or purpose of your visit, there are so many options for families. You can play, eat, stay and have fun along the way!

Planning to visit Charlotte this season? Which one of these places would be on your list?

Orlando 3 Day Vacation- Day 2|Enjoy #FamilyFun at @SEALIFEOrlando @TussaudsOrlando

After a fun filled DAY 1 in Orlando at LEGOLAND and a good dinner/rest at Embassy Suites, it was time to get my #HeighPartyof3 crew ready for DAY 2. When we travel as a family, we love attractions that are located all under one roof. Saves time and just makes traveling with a young child more manageable. Within walking distance from our hotel was the ICON Orlando 360, which has 3 awesome attractions in one complex! Sea Life Orlando Aquarium, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and the huge observation wheel, ICON Orlando are all located at this outdoor entertainment complex. We could actually see the 400 ft tall wheel from our hotel balcony!

Just seeing the ICON Orlando from our hotel room had us ready to explore!

Located on International Drive, ICON Orlando 360 is also home to numerous restaurants and shops in the immediate vicinity. Although we walked there, parking is free inside the garage. It was a great idea to spend our #SundayFunday there and check out the following attractions during our visit:

SEALIFE Orlando Aquarium

SEA LIFE is a unique aquatic attraction in Orlando, Fl. Their mission statement includes their goal to “Rescue, Breed and Protect“. They take in injured sea animals and nurse them back to health to be released if possible. If not, they care for them or find a suitable home at other facilities.

This aquarium is what I like to call “friendly size”. Not too large or two small. Most viewing areas are made into “immersive” experiences. For example, plexiglass is built INWARDS into the tanks where guests can literally almost feel like they are in the water with them. SEA LIFE also has periscope type viewing areas where you crawl under and pop your head up into the middle of the tanks. That was so much fun to do!

Seahorses, Sea Turtles, Sharks..oh my! There was so much to see, discover and learn. Did you know that turtles can live for 50 years or more and take an average of 30 years to reach maturity? Being able to see one up close was amazing! My daughter’s favorite thing was being able to touch a starfish.

I really appreciated reading the educational notes that were found throughout the aquarium. All the major oceans and the Florida Everglades had their own dedicated areas highlighting the sea life in those specific places. We learned about simple ways in which we all can get involved in protecting out oceans. SEA LIFE raises awareness and supports their partner charities in their efforts to protect marine wildlife and habitats across the world. For more info, visit sealifetrust.org.

Watch video of our visit to SEALIFE here:

WHERE TO EAT | We took a meal break between attractions. Lucky for us, both SEA LIFE and Madame Tussauds are just steps away from many restaurant choices. We decided to stroll across the lawn and dine outside on the patio at Uncle Julio’s Mexican.

My family loves mexican food and had our fingers crossed that this was a good decision. BOY WAS IT! Great service, great food and great atmosphere. They make their tortillas on the premise. You can order fresh guacamole tableside. The chips and salsa are homemade. We ordered fajitas and everything was so flavorful,fresh and tasty!

SobeSavvy Tip: Save room for their signature dessert..a chocolate lovers pinata! It is unique and so good. Check it out⤵️

MADAME TUSSAUDS Orlando

Madame Tussauds wax figures are known around the world. My family and I have been to quite a few of their museums. There is always something/someone new to see so we loved getting a chance to go to their location at ICON Orlando 360. Since we are in Florida, welcoming us was Mr. 305 himself, Pitbull!

The figures are so life like that you will want to take a #MTSelfie with these famous entertainers, politicians and heros in the flesh! My daughter got a kick out of posing with her favorite stars like Serena Williams, Taylor Swift, and Michael Jackson.

My husband enjoyed challenging sporting legends like Tiger Woods, Shaq and Ali.

Madame Tussauds Orlando has a new “Heroes Unite” section featuring some of the most popular Justice League characters. We loved Wonder Woman and Batman. All 3 of us had a chance to join Superman and actually “lift” a helicopter from crashing!

We accepted the fun challenge of taking the #BestSelfieEver with President Obama, MLK, Beyonce and even danced with Justin Beiber before exiting this wonderful museum. Adults love it, kids love it, EVERYONE loves Madame Tussauds! Here’s an inside look from our visit to this must see attraction⤵️

After a full day at ICON Orlando 360, we walked back to the hotel where our daughter enjoyed both the indoor/outdoor pool before going to our 5:30p dinner reservation. More about our Orlando Day 2, part 2 coming soon!

Thanks to SEA LIFE Orlando and Madame Tussauds Orlando for providing complimentary tickets to review both attractions and share my honest opinion with you.

Orlando 3 Day Vacation-Day 1 |Recap @LEGOLANDFlorida + @KidzBop #KBweekend #KBLegoland

Disclaimer: Thanks to LEGOLAND Florida for providing complimentary park passes to facilitate my recap and provide insight to my readers of a day at LEGOLAND Florida!

Long weekends are a great opportunity for families to travel. We decided to get out of town for Veteran’s Day weekend and explore Orlando “minus the Mouse”. That is what my husband called our non-Disney amusement park vacation, but seriously can you visit Orlando with a child and have fun without going to Disney? The answer is YES.

I knew just the theme park to visit to kick off our three day vacation. LEGOLAND Florida! Lucky for us our visit coincided with their “Kidz Bop Weekend”. The very popular tween music band sing and dance to popular hits and our daughter is a big fan!

#outandaboutAva at the Kidz Bop Meet & Greet at LEGOLAND Florida #KBWeekend #KBLegoland

During the Kidz Bop Weekend there were lots of awesome events like a scavenger hunt for music notes, a chance to meet/greet the band and attend their live concert all with the price of admission to Legoland! But before we got started on jamming out with the Kidz Bop Kids at their 5pm show, we got started on our LEGOLAND Florida adventure!

Upon arriving to LEGOLAND Florida, be sure to get a family photo at the entrance!

LEGOLAND ….What is it?

Believe it or not some people have never heard of LEGOLAND. It is a popular vacation destination with 145 acres dedicated to everything LEGO, which is derived from the Danish phrase leg godt, which means “play well“. This amusement park is #BuiltForKids under age 12 and has over 50 rides, shows and attractions. With locations throughout Europe, the Middle East, Japan and in California, the theme park that is located west of Orlando in Lakeland, Florida is closest to us. Although we have visited the Legoland Discovery Center attraction in Atlanta, this was our first trip to the amusement park. We grabbed a map and was on our way to a fun -filled day!

SobeSavvy Tip: In addition to having a map, we downloaded the LEGOLAND FLORIDA official app which proved to be a helpful tool because it saved us time in trying to figure out where something was and when shows started!

LEGOLAND Eats

We came straight from the Orlando’s airport [about 45 mins to an hour drive] to the theme park, so needless to say we were hungry. We decided to fuel up for a fun day at LEGOLAND at Pepper and Roni’s Pizza Stop. You can’t miss it because the pizzamaker made of Lego’s invites you in for some pizza in a semi-authentic Italian accent. My daughter is always in the mood for pizza,but even if you weren’t this guy is so convincing!

#outandaboutAva ‘Say Cheese’ at Pepper and Roni’s Pizza Stop

As for me, I got a turkey and cheese panini kids meal from Panini Grill. The panini sandwiches are made fresh to order and was so yummy. For a sweet cool treat, I recommend Kingdom Cones. Both Panini Grill and Kingdom Cones are near play areas so that we parents can eat while the kids play!

Walking into the Imagination Zone ,where kids can enjoy creative play and families can eat at Panini Grill

LEGOLAND Explore

With so many fun things to do and places to explore like Duplo Valley,

The DUPLO Valley is where kids ages 2-5 yrs old can enjoy the DUPLO Farm,Tractor,Train and Tot Spot. My daughter said she enjoyed reliving her childhood 😂

LEGO Ninjago World,

Great place to hone your Ninja skills!

Miniland USA,

New York,New York, San Francisco,California, Washington DC, Miami Beach,Florida..visit your favorite cities all at once at MINILAND USA

STAR WARS Miniland,

If you are a STAR WARS fan, this is a must see! My hubby loved it!

Heartlake City,

#outandaboutAva loved posing with her favorite characters from Lego friends

Needless to say our 7 yr old daughter was elated to be at this unique amusement park and so were we!

LEGOLAND Events

For the second year in a row, The KIDZ BOP Kids brought their national concert tour to the place #BuiltForKids during KIDZ BOP Weekend, a music-filled event set for Nov. 10-12 at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort.“KIDZ BOP Live 2018” is the ultimate family concert experience, “sung by kids for kids.” The KIDZ BOP Kids – Billboard Magazine’s No. 1 Kids’ Artist for eight consecutive years (2010-2017) – will headline the new show, performing some of today’s biggest hit songs. After seeing the all-new North American Tour, KIDZ BOP Live 2018, in Raleigh,NC it was such a special treat to be here during the three-day KIDZ BOP Weekend! The KIDZ BOP Kids performed two live concerts each day at LEGOLAND Florida’s KIDZ BOP Stadium, an outdoor venue on the picturesque shore of Lake Eloise.

All activities during KIDZ BOP Weekend, including the concerts and exclusive meet-and-greets with the performers, were included with all forms of theme park admission. No extra ticket required!

Awesome Awaits at LEGOLAND! The Kidz Bop weekend is one she will never forget!

Watch more of our LEGOLAND Florida /Kidz Bop Weekend experience here⤵️

Sometimes we as parents rush along with our daily kids lives and don’t take enough time to just celebrate them being a kid. LEGOLAND is THE place to celebrate your kids and embrace your inner child too! Make plans to visit LEGOLAND Florida because the memories are priceless!

My #HeighPartyof3 at Legoland Florida

WHERE TO STAY |While LEGOLAND does have a resort/hotel accomodations as part of its amusement park, it was sold out for our travel dates. At the end of our long day of travel and play, it was great to check into Embassy Suites by Hilton International Drive-Convention Center. Reasons to stay at Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando International Drive Convention Center /Convention Center when traveling to Orlando: ✔Two-Room Newly Renovated Suites ✔Complimentary Drinks/Snacks at Evening Reception ✔Free Made To Order Breakfast ✔Walking Distance to Dining, Shopping and Entertainment ✔Onsite Full Service Dining at Bar Meets Grill.

My family and I enjoyed the convenience of having a delicious dinner at Bar Meets Grill At Embassy Suites after a full day at the amusement park. This restaurant offers an extensive list of craft beers, cocktails, shareable plates and more! It was all very good and definitely a place I would recommend even if you were not staying at hotel! Just feast your eyes on these pics from our stay.

Thanks again to Legoland and Bar Meets Grill restaurant for hosting us!

Top 25 Ways to have Fall #FamilyFun at @HubbsCornMaze #VisitNCFarms

Disclaimer: Although I received complimentary admission tickets from Hubb’s Farm to share my review with you, the opinions are 100% my own.

Looking for some great family fun to enjoy this season? Check out Hubb’s Farm for the Largest Fall Festival in Eastern NC & 10-Acre Corn Maze! Now open thru Nov.10, a visit to Hubb’s Farm should be on your to do list for Fall traditions that is fun for the whole family!

Last year I went to the 2017 Media Day at Hubb’s Farm and got a taste of what they had to offer. This year, Hubb’s is celebrating 11 years of growing crops of fun! They have added some new attractions like Tin Roof Rally Ball Toss and Themed Character Traits Trail to their amazing list of fun things to enjoy.


Hubb’s Farm is open to the public on weekends but offers educational tours Tues-Fri. Fall tour options include: the Pumpkin Power Tour, Golden Harvest Tour, and Gem Dandy Tour. Fall Home School and Small Group Tours are also available. Parents, teachers and students can enjoy classroom lessons and hands-on learning activities at Hubb’s Farm.

I went during opening weekend and had a blast with my hubby and our 7 yr old daughter #outandaboutAva. Check out YouTube Video here⤵️

There are so many ways to spend a fun filled day there but here is my list!

Top 25 Ways to have Fall Family Fun at Hubb’s Farm

1. Feed the farm animals at Animal Acres (Sat. & Sun., Daytime Only)

2. Make your way thru the Giant “Corn” Maze

3. Enjoy Unlimited Hay Rides

4. Try your skills at Human Foosball

5. Be a sport star at Ball Toss (New)

6. Cool off with tasty Cider Slushies

7. Embrace your inner child at Luke’s House of Corn (Corn Crib)

8. Learn a new joke at the Singing Chicken Show

9. Fun Weekend Themes (like a chance to meet/thank First Responders!)

10. Go up high on the Hubb’s Mountain Rope Climb

11. Go Pumpkin Shopping at the Farm Store

12. Find your way thru the Straw Bale Maze

13. Got a child under age of 3? Head to Toddler Town

14. Play Corn Hole Games

-15. Pick your own pumpkin in the Field of Pumpkins

17. Crawl and Climb your way thru Tire Mountain (Sat. & Sun., Daytime)

18. Say Cheese for the Fun Photo Ops

19. Show off your Steer Roping skills

20. Jump for Joy on the Jump Pillow

21. So fun going down the Giant Slide

22. All aboard the Barrel Train

23. Fly thru the sky on the Mini Zip Lines (up to 100 lbs.)

24. Enjoy a game of Laser Tag

25. Enjoy a ride on Cranky Combine (Sat. and Sun., Daytime Only)

Fall Festival Fun awaits for everyone at Hubb’s Farm. It’s a great place to go and begin to check off everything on your Fall Bucket List! Make plans now to visit the Field of Dreams and see why they are the 2018 Top 25 Corn Mazes in the U.S. and so much more !!!For more info, visit www.hubbsfarmnc.com

Have you ever been to Hubb’s Farm? What’s on your 2018 Fall Bucket List?