TRAVEL | Top Family #SundayFunday Activities To Do In @BaltimoreMD #MyBmore

Dear Baltimore, I ❤ You. You may be misunderstood sometimes but anyone who has ever visited will discover that you have a whole lot of heart.

Recently, I was there to cover the Chesapeake Crab and Beer Festival and spent a ‘Sunday Funday‘ in the heart of Charm City at The Inner Harbor/Downtown Baltimore. It is a one stop place for family fun and a great city to travel this summer. Growing up here always makes it so surreal to return with my daughter and its beautiful to see her learn more about the city where her Mom and Dad where born.

Today, I am sharing my Top Family Sunday Funday Activities To Do In Baltimore,MD ! I am grateful to Visit Baltimore who provided passes to these attractions which allowed for me to review the experiences to be shared with you. Special thanks to BRIO Tuscan Grille for hosting my #HeighPartyof3. Hope you are inspired to visit this family friendly city soon! ❤

1. MARYLAND SCIENCE CENTER

We started our Sunday Funday skipping up the steps of the Maryland Science Center yelling, “Let’s Science!” Science is fun,factual and actual! If you agree, then check out the Maryland Science Center where there are so many cool things to do,learn and see! This attraction is known for its major exhibits that focus on dinosaurs, earth science,the human body and space exploration. With three floors of hands-on exhibits, the Davis Planetarium and IMAX Theater, families really could spend a whole day here.

2. INNER HARBOR

One of my fondest memories growing up in BMORE is strolling and hanging out at the Inner Harbor. Now I get to do it with my daughter and show her the beauty of Baltimore’s waterfront. The Inner Harbor is the heart of downtown and many of the top attractions, as well as hotels and restaurants, are located here.

3. SUNDAY BRUNCH AT BRIO

Baltimore was voted America’s Hottest Food Cities on the Coast and has so many great dining options. We chose to experience the flavor of tuscany at a restaurant conveniently across the street from the Inner Harbor. Page 66 of the Visit Baltimore Summer-Fall 2018 guide led us to BRIO tuscan grille. It’s a delicious family-friendly restaurant that offers weekend brunch,lunch & dinner. We started off with two refreshing Brunch Beverages: White Peach Sangria & Italian Mule and for Starters: Bruschetta Sampler. I absolutley loved the presentation of the sampler as well as the fresh ingredients used and combination of flavors. My daughter ordered pasta of the kids menu, my husband customized a veggie omelette and I enjoyed a Strawberry and Chicken Salad with Balsamic Vinegarette. Save room for dessert and get the BRIO TRIO. You won’t be disappointed by the food or the great service here!

4. RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT! Baltimore

So our daughter has a love/hate relationship with Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Sometimes she is freaked out by the weird displays, other times she finds the unusual items funny. We had a really good time going thru the Mirror Maze as a family and finding our way out to enjoy more of Baltimore. Our daughter left saying “I love Ripley’s now, I’m not afraid anymore. It’s so much fun!”

The Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium offers unique fun!

5.PORT DISCOVERY CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

My cousin and I are both in our 40’s with young girls under the age of 7. We wanted to meet up at a place where the girls could play and our families could catch up. Port Discovery Children’s Museum, voted one of the ten best childrem’s museum, proved to be a fun spot for us all! Make sure you get your kiddos to see the Dinosaurs Land of Fire and Ice exhibit before it ends on September 9th. Port Discovery is a great place for kids to enjoy interactive exhibits and creative play!

There is really a diverse array of attractions for you to enjoy with family and friends in Baltimore. I would recommend a long weekend up to a week to enjoy Baltimore’s attractions museums, tours and historical sites. The next time you are looking for a city with things to do and places to enjoy a ‘Sunday Funday’, consider planning a vacation to Baltimore for the entire family! Read more of my family fun ideas to enjoy this summer in Charm City>>>here and watch this video to see more ways to have fun and explore BALTIMORE!

Have you ever visited Baltimore? What was your favorite family friendly attraction?

Looking for the Best Sips & Sushi in #Atlanta that the whole family can enjoy? Check out @TheCowfishATL Sushi*Burger*Bar #TheCowfish

Atlanta has become one of the great food cities of the world in the last 15 years. Name a cuisine and odds are you will find it there! Because my family and I are traveling foodies, one of our things to do is to seek out good food wherever we go. Sometimes it is best to revisit a place where you have dined before because the food, service and quality is consistent. That place for us is The Cowfish.

My daughter, fondly referred to as #outandaboutAva, is always ‘heads over heels’ to dine at The Cowfish. They currently have 5 locations, including this one at Perimeter Mall in Atlanta. She enjoys the fun yard games on the outside as much as we enjoy the Sushi, Burger, Bar on the inside!

DINING ROOM VIBE

Although there is outside patio seating, my family and I had dinner in their casual dining room. We sat at a booth that gave us a view of the beautiful aquarium behind the bar. There is also a smaller one by the hostess stand which has a sole yellow cowfish swimming in it! My little one was amazed at it’s peculiar shape and unique look. That is not the only unique thing about this restaurant. I think The Cowfish has some of the Best Sushi and Sips on their menu, which is why we came here for dinner. But first this Mom & Dad need…..

DRINKS

It was almost 84 degrees outside so we were ready for a few cocktails. I tried a Sake sampler, which offered both cold and warm sake pours. The Fuji Apple cold sake was my absolute favorite! I loved the presentation on a board with each name. Matter of fact I loved it so much I ordered a bottle of the Fuji Apple! Hubby is a bourbon/scotch man so he ordered one of the handcrafted cocktails which they called a “new fashioned”. SobeSavvy Tip: Enjoy half off Martinis every Tuesday and discover your favorite Martini on the menu!

MENU

We started off with an appetizer of Blackened Tuna Nachos. Seared tuna slices on Wonton Chips over their crab Rangoon dip. It was delicious and enough to share with my #HeighPartyof3.

My soon to be 7 year old ordered the grilled chicken kids entrée. It came with fries and edamame and is served in a bento box. Also included is a fun cowfish tatoo and rice crispy treat with a swedish fish on top for dessert!

Hubby ordered from their “Burgushi” section. The Cowfish finds ways to merge a tasty burger with fresh sushi in different dishes. His Fusion Specialty Bento Box came with a mini burger, a sushi roll, fries and Thai cucumbers. I must admit I was picking off his plate, I mean bento box as I enjoyed the variety of his dish.

I ordered “The Prime Time” Filet and Lobster Roll which is a creative and tasty sushi roll version of the classic Surf & Turf. Guests can order strictly sushi or strictly burgers from other areas of the menu, but The Cowfish offers the best of both worlds!

DESSERT

Thinking of dining here soon? I have just one piece of advice SAVE 👏ROOM👏 FOR 👏 DESSERT! We split a very BIG slice of their Chef Dave’s Not Factory Made Cheesecake. This creamy, almond coconut cheescake is beyond good and everyone enjoyed it!

See what else we enjoyed here on my Instagram post:

Here are some fun things coming up at The Cowfish in Atlanta:

• Offering half priced Skinny Gonzales Margaritas on Cinco de Mayo

• Offering complimentary chocolate dipped strawberries on Mother’s Day

Be sure to stay up to date

Visit The Cowfish at www.thecowfish.com

Follow on Twitter: @The_Cowfish

Instagram: thecowfishsbb

Facebook: @thecowfishatl

Thanks again to our friends at The Cowfish in Atlanta for hosting our dining experience. My daughter left with big smiles and lots of fun, foodie Spring Break memories.

#outandaboutAva visits The Cowfish in Atlanta for a fun, family-friendly dining experience | SobeSavvy.com

Recap of the #Easter Festivites at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta @MO_Atlanta #EventsbyMo #EasterBrunch #Atlanta

Yesterday my family and I attended the Easter Festivites event at the fab Mandarin Oriental in Atlanta. Last week I wrote about what to expect there on Easter Sunday and as always, they delivered on their promises. It was a warm and beautiful spring day in Atlanta for Easter. Picture perfect for my family to spend the afternoon with Floppy the Bunny, who was a special guest at the Mandarin Oriental.

This luxury haven had so many special Easter events wrapped in a few hours. But first we ate. Ate very well actually. We were seated in their bright dining room looking out at their English Garden courtyard. They had every imaginable food choices at station after station. Omelette station, Assorted Pastries,Salads,Charcuterie & Cheeses, a Carving station and chilled Seafood Station featuring an Easter Egg Ice Sculpture in the center of jumbo shrimp, raw oysters, crab legs and claws.

An enormous ice Easter Egg along with a roaming Easter Bunny are just some of the whimsical touches that could be found everywhere. My 6 year old stated she wanted to eat fast so she could start on their incredible dessert station! When is the last time you’ve seen a macaron Ferris Wheel?

We also loved the Champagne Cart making the rounds serving premium brunch cocktails tableside. The servers were on their “A” game. That is standard for the Mandarin Oriental but it allowed us to relax and simply be taken care of.

The English Garden was where the Easter Egg Hunt and Petting Zoo took place. All the kids seemed to have fun looking for the eggs as well as petting the adorabe sheep. It was a toss up deciding who had more fun, the kids or us parents watching!

There were so many awesome Easter memory made at this beautiful luxury hotel. Watch this video for more highlights of the Easter Festivities at Mandarin Hotel Atlanta and see why we are #MOFoodies + #FansofMo!

Thanks to our friends at Mandarin Oriental Atlanta for hosting my #HeighPartyof3 for Easter. It was truly an experience we will never forget!

MANDARIN ORIENTAL ATLANTA

3376 PEACHTREE RD. NE

ATLANTA, GA 30326

#TravelTuesday Review @BigBusDC #DC #BigBusTours #FamilyTravel 

Have you ever been on an open top, double decker tour bus? They are so much fun when visiting a city and you want to see as many sites as you can in a short time! This Labor Day weekend, my family and I took one for the first time in Washington DC aboard the hop-on hop-off sightseeing BIG BUS.

When we visited Arlington, VA earlier in the year, we didn’t get a chance to use our vouchers due to Mother Nature not being on our side. However, this weekend the weather was picture perfect for our visit to the nation’s capital. 

BIG BUS Tours Washington DC

No matter if you are a DC native or this is your first time (or you’re return visitor like me), BIG BUS Washington DC is a great way to take advantage of exploring attractions, museums and more at your own pace! Here are some of the reasons a ride on the BIG BUS should be on your ‘Things to do in DC‘ list: 

  • Unlimited Rides for 1 or 2 days.
  • Fantastic Photo Ops & Amazing Views
  • Hop Off and On at Any Stop
  • Live-guided or recorded Commentary (free headphones are provided)
  • Family-Friendly (kids under 5 yrs old travel free, age 5-15 yrs pay reduced fare)

    There are 3 Day Tour loops: Red, Blue, Yellow that will take you all around the District. You can even transfer between the routes, just be sure to know the last departure times. SobeSavvy Tip: Download the Free BIG BUS App for an interactive city guide map route planner and more >>>>here

    My #HeighPartyof3 chose the “Red Loop”, which has 22 stops and is the official tour of the National Mall including the National Memorials and Monuments. Take a look of some of what my husband, our daughter #outandaboutAva and I experienced during our tour : 

    BIG BUS Washington DC ‘Red Loop’ Stop 1- Union Station

    BIG BUS Washington DC ‘Red Loop’ Stop 2- US Capitol

    Inside Air & Space Museum | BIG BUS Washington DC ‘Red Loop’ Stop 4

    BIG BUS Washington DC ‘Red Loop’ Stop 5- Smithsonian Castle

    BIG BUS Washington DC ‘Red Loop’ Stop 6- Washington Monument West

    BIG BUS Washington DC ‘Red Loop’ Stop 7- Bureau of Engraving

    BIG BUS Washington DC ‘Red Loop’ Stop 8- Jefferson Memorial

    BIG BUS Washington DC ‘Red Loop’ Stop 10- Lincoln Memorial South

    BIG BUS Washington DC ‘Red Loop’ Stop 13- African American History & Culture Museum

    BIG BUS Washington DC ‘Red Loop’ Stop 19- Madame Tussauds

    There are options to complete your sightseeing experience by creating a combo and adding on extras such as top attractions like Madame Tussauds to further your Washington, DC experience. We enjoyed seeing not only seeing historical figures and celebrities in wax but also joining all 45 commanders in-cheifs in the U.S. Presidents Gallery. Check out my >>>Youtube video <<< recaping some of the fun at STOP 19 of the ‘Red Loop’, Madame Tussauds + see more photos via fun slideshow>> here.

    Where to Buy BIG BUS Tickets

    • From any uniformed BIG BUS staff
    • www.bigbustours.com
    • The BIG BUS mobile app
    • On the bus at any BIG BUS stop
    • Your hotel
    • By phone : 1-877-333-8689

    I hope to check out the other routes as well as try their night tour which offers an illuminated look at the Capital’s world-famous memorials and monuments. BIG BUS Tours are also in other US Cities like Miami, New York, Las Vegas and more. My family and I really enjoyed the BIG BUS Tour and hope you are inspired to take one soon!

    #HeighPartyof3 loves to explore & have fun ~ Thanks for the memories BIG BUS Tours !

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    Family Travel Guide #ArlingtonVA | @StayArlington Where to Stay, Eat, Play

    Arlington, Va has long been known mainly just for it’s proximity to the nation’s capital. Well I am here to share that Arlington is a awesome destination all on it’s own. With a population of 1/4 million people, Arlington is a gem well worth exploring because it packs a lot of excitement,charm accessibility and affordability into one small area. My family and I, aka #HeighPartyof3, went on a roadtrip to Arlington,VA and here is our weekend family travel guide! 

    Where to Stay

    Hyatt Place Arlington/Courthouse Plaza  

    Savvy Tip: Arlington is home to more than 40 hotels offering rates up to 20 percent less than those in downtown Washington,D.C.

    Arlington has many options when it comes to accomodations. At the suggestion of Stay Arlington, we stayed at the brand new Hyatt Place in the Courthouse district. In my opinion this eight-story hotel property is located in an awesome area for walking and exploring Arlington on foot or the metro 2 blocks away. Hyatt Place Arlington is perfect for families as well as business and leisure travelers as it has everything one needs for a comfortable stay. The guestrooms are spacious and allowed us to rest easy after driving up for 4 hrs from Raleigh.

    With inviting spaces to connect, meet, socialize, eat and drink, this innovative hotel is truly designed around the modern traveler.Speaking of eats and drinks, this hotel offers a Grand and Go case in the lobby where you can get sandwiches and salads 24/7 as well as order from a gallery menu.So whether getting in late or early you will never go hungry here. Be sure to check out the drink menu if you are in the mood for ‘satisfying sips’ for a night cap.Since it was St.Patricks Day (well evening) when we arrived, I decided to drink green and ordered me an apple martini. CHEERS~It was great!

    During our stay, we enjoyed their complimentary A.M.Skillet breakfast which has a build your own yogurt station and hot egg and waffle options presented in what else but a skillet ! My little girl enjoyed putting almonds and granola in her oatmeal. For some of our visit, #outandaboutAva got a lil stomach bug. Thanks to the kind and helpful staff at Hyatt Place Arlington for making some customized chamomile/mint tea to help her feel better! We all loved the Hyatt Place as our home away from home.

    What to Do

    Explore~  We stayed in the vibrant Courthouse district which is within walking distance to a variety of shopping, entertainment and restaurant options. Just across the river from nation’s Capital, Arlington boasts the neighborly, small-town community vibe with all the amenities and conveniences of major urban centers.In addition to its many historical attractions, Arlington is just minutes to the National Mall and other regional attractions. Here are some of the places we explored:

    Arlington Farmers Market

    Since 1979, residents and visitors alike have enjoyed the weekend Arlington Farmers Market. All things produce and much more can be found in this local gem of a market.

    Rocky Run Park

    We actually happened upon Rocky Run Park. Set in a quiet residential street, this park has something for everyone. Extensive kids jungle gym activities and basketball courts and multi use turf fields. Great spot for letting the little {and big} kids burn off some steam and have fun.

    Arlington National Cemetery

    We decided to visit the hollowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery, our nation’s shrine to honor those who have served our country. Both beautiful and peaceful, the cemetery is a place to pay homage anf remember those who sacrificed. We enjoyed exploring the impressive landscape and saw many moving experiences like: the Eternal Flame, President Kennedy and Family and Medgar W.Evers grave. If you are looking for a particular place of interest, use the ANC Explorer app available on the cemetery’s website, on-site kiosks or through online app stores. To see more of my photos from our visit to Arlington National Cemetery, see here.

    National Mall

    One of the perks of staying in Arlington is that you can visit The National Mall, the Smithsonian museums and other places in our Nation’s Capital because they are all just minutes away on Metro. Since we drive up, we just crossed the Potomac River in less than 10 mins to see the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Albert Einstein Memorial and the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. A must see!

    #PhotoswithAlbert 

    National Harbor Capital Wheel

    If you happen to visit Arlington by car like we did, you will learn that its location ‘inside the Beltway’ (I-495 and I-95) makes it easily accessible from many routes. There is plenty of on-street and private parking options. About 20 mins away is the National Harbor , where we were invited to visit their family fun regional attraction, the Capital Wheel. If you have a sense of adventure, take this ride up to the sky to see the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) landscape for miles around!

    Where to Eat

    Bayou Bakery 

    In the mood for Louisiana-style favorites, coffees and desserts? Stop by Bayou Bakery. Owned by New Orleans-born chef David Guas who hosts The Travel Channel’s “American Grilled”, Bayou has brought authentic cajun cuisine to Northern Virginia. 

    We had some delicious beignets and coffee as a mid morning snack. The place was bustling with families and couples alike. Their living room atmosphere, full of casual charm and vintage Southern character, makes this place a welcoming eatery for breakfast or lunch.

    Earl’s Sandwiches

    I first learned about Earl’s when looking up what restaurants were close to the hotel. With great reviews on their Facebook page, I knew the location at 2605 Wilson Blvd would be a wonderful place to feature as a must go to lunch spot. There are 2 locations (Clarendon,Ballston) in Arlington where you can get you one of Earl’s delicious sandwiches.

    Owner Stephen Dugan(as seen in photo above) was there making sandwiches and taking orders himself! He shared that after being in business for 11 years, his customers love their homemade sandwiches, salads and soups made without the hassle. Looking for a Gluten Free meal? No worries. Any sandwich can be made into a salad for no additional cost. Breakfast sandwiches are served all day and they offer a catering menu too. We ordered 2 items from their monthly Fab Four menu: lump crab cake sandwich (deliciously grilled and served on a sesame seed bun), fish and fries (all served together on one sandwich-yum!) and we all drooled over my daughter’s grilled chicken breast sandwich, shown here. My daughter said it was not good..it was FANTASTIC! Everything was delicious, fresh and tasty. 

    Kona Grill

    Located in Rosslyn, one of Arlington’s urban villages, Kona Grill is one of the 500 restaurant options available in Arlington that offers diverse cuisine and a delightful epicurean experience. Known for their variety of amazing appetizers, mouthwatering entrees, fresh sushi and creative cocktail creations, I knew Kona Grill would be the perfect dinner option for us as a family. They also offer a kids menu and there’s a beautiful aquarium in the center of the restaurant that my daughter loved. This place is popular so make reservations and go early if have a little one. I will be sharing my full review as my #FoodieFriday feature. Stay tuned!

    With plenty of “National History.Local Flavor”, our stay in Arlington was indeed memorable. We look forward to returning when it’s warmer as there is some shopping I did not get to do at their infamous Fashion Centre at Pentagon City and more fun to be had!  

    We did do some online shopping prior to our trip with SunglassWarehouse.com and partnered with them to show you how we travel in style.I’ll be sharing more about this brand that offers classic sunglass styles at affordable prices in a future Fashion Friday post. Since our roadtrip took us to Arlington, VA & Washington DC, I thought it would be fun to style their (from left to right) Canoe driving sunglasses for me, Arlington for Him (very apropo don’t ya think) and Lincoln (for my lil one and Mr. President himself..lol)

    Until next time..Happy Travels!