Family Travel | Fun Tips For Your Mountain Weekend Winter Vacay in Asheville, NC


In our home, we try to apply this rule Long Weekends = Family Vacay
..and since we all had MLK Day off Monday + our daughter had no school on Tuesday due to a teacher workday,Β 
it was the perfect reason to take a roadtrip and enjoy a change of scenery! This time we made plans to drive to Asheville, NC.

From Raleigh, NC it took us about 4 hours to arrive. Our 9 year old was so excited to have a mountain vacay and so were we! Although this is not our first time visiting AVL, it has been quite a few years and she doesn’t remember much. Our experience will be different, new memories will be made and a balance of fun and relaxtion is always on the agenda.
If you are planning a family trip to Asheville, NC this winter, take a look at our family vacay experience featuring some kid-friendly and family fun tips for you to enjoy!



Arrive | Saturday


SEE & SIP: We made a pit stop in Black Mountain, NC to see the Roberta Flack Mural located on the side of the Black Mountain Brewing building. I am a big fan of her music and was excited to see how they paid homage to this African American female artist! While there, make sure to have one of their unique beers that are brewed daily and see why this area is known for it’s craft beer culture and breweries. For the kids, they have chips and a food truck on the outside patio to grab snacks from.Β 

SobeSavvy Tip: If you are bringing the family pet along, no worries… friendly dogs in leashes are allowed!


EAT: We were ready to eat lunch when we arrived to Asheville and Itto Ramen Bar & Tapas fit the bill because the menu offers something for the whole family. We started with some tasty tapas (my kid loved the Itto gyoza dumplings and Itto Buns were perfect for my family of 3 because you get 3 to an order). If you enjoy sushi, the Yellowtail Jalapeno is a must try! Want something deliciously fried: order the Crab Rangoon or Takoyaki Balls!


Also on the menu are salads, cocktails/drink menu, wine, beer, sake, desserts as well as signature ramen. It was nice to warm up with a bowl of ramen that features broth that has been cooked for 7 to 9 hours!
They make 3 vats of broth daily that make 300 broth bowls. If your kid loves slurping up noodles like ours, then you must try their house-made ramen. I tried the Itto House Special Ramen, which is brothless but still full of amazing flavors! I am still dreaming about how good that dish is.
There are many gluten free and vegan options on the menu and they are proudly serving local fresh veggies, pork from Hickory Gap Farms and local beer also. My husband and I ordered from the Itto cocktails menu and made a toast to celebrate our safe arrival to Asheville and this amazing dining experience at Itto Ramen Bar & Tapas.





STAY: After hearing about our friends and their 2 kids stay at the Asheville Cottages, I knew it would have the right mix of rustic & luxury that my family would be satisfied with. Wifi for the hubby, a fire pit to make s’mores for the kid and a private hot tub for me! Our vacation rental cabin exceeded our expectations and we felt right at home. We stayed in The Chestnut, which is one of their 1 bedroom cottages. Overall, it was clean, cozy, and comfortable. We loved the location and surrounding views of the woods. Having a full kitchen along with a gas grill on the back deck allowed us to enjoy making meals together just like we would at home. A few things I don’t have at home that I wish I did now that I’ve experienced it here are the King -sized Select Comfort Sleep Number Bed and heated bathroom floors/toilet seat/towel rack. With so many extras, I most definitely would recommend Asheville Cottages for your next stay!


SobeSavvy Tip: Before you go, we shopped for a few hot tub accessories on Amazon to bring with us like this hot tub light that changes colors and some inflatable drink holders !

https://www.instagram.com/p/CKPeOOBgDQX/?igshid=9iynztbgzvna


Sunday Funday


SEE:Β  Located in Downtown Asheville, the Asheville Art Museum showcases 20th/21st century American Art along with a concentration on work with significance to the Southeast. After learning of it’s 24+ million expansion in 2019, this museum was on my must see list!Β  From the glass facade to The Oculus, which features a 15 foot viewing window and all the amazing art, photography, crafts and glass being housed here amongst the galleries, there is so much to see!Β  We spent our time looking at the various artworks in 10 different Exhibitions and learning about it’s Collection. Did you know that the Asheville Art Museum is a collecting institution and serves all 24 counties in Western NC? You can explore this museum both in person and virtually via their website!

SobeSavvy Tip: Families, make sure to take advantage of the programs and some of the fun activities available for kids while there. We printed their downloadable coloring sheets and note cards for the whole family to enjoy!



SobeSavvy Tip: CafΓ© access is free for Members or included with Museum admission. Members get a 10 percent discount with code AAMMember.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CKUGJi9nmnl/?igshid=q9ztcov8f038

DO: Add Hummingbird Candle Co. to your must do list when you visit Asheville for a unique candle-making experience. Shop and/or book an Interactive Candle Making Experience, with over 32 Scents to choose from using products that are earth-friendly. It’s the perfect Family (for kids age 7+) or Couples Date Night, Girls Night or Me Time fun anytime!
SobeSavvy Tip: Join the Insider Group for an Exclusive First Look at ALL of their NEW Items and Sales! You’ll receive 10% off your First Purchase TOO!

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CKKYNNvnXg6/?igshid=1cpfw4wawj4ms

Depart | Monday

READ: During our stay, I got to relax, relate and read! Here is a book recommendation to pick up before your next trip to Asheville: πŸ“—EVEN AS WE BREATHE, the 1st novel published by a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, is partially set in Asheville,NC during WWII and tackles difficult social/cultural/ethnic divides.
Author Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle has definitely written a fictional page- turner and is a wonderful writer! I started reading this book before plusΒ  during our trip and it was the perfect vacation read.


SHOP: Ladies, (and all those who like to save & shop) I was happy to discover the Asheville Outlets were just minutes away from where we were staying. After we checked out of our cottage at 11am, we headed there to see what bargains we could find.Β Β  I got a belted puffer coat with faux fur hood on clearance at Banana Republic orig $189.99 for just $25‼️ Old Navy had something for the whole fam and our kid loved her new combat boots from Famous Footwear. There were so many quality brands to shop from but so little time (since we were departing from Asheville). However, it will be at the top of my list our next trip here!


SobeSavvy Tip: Make sure to check out these coupons from the Asheville Outlets for extra shopping savings!


Honor MLK: Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said ” We know that to bring justice, love and friendship, we must build strong communities that foster these things.”
We learned via Facebook that the Burton Street Peace Gardens, where they have an area of art dedicated to
Dr. King, would be a good place to visit to see how they honor his words and legacy, while supporting the community.

Before you go, check out ExploreAsheville.com for some insight ahead of your trip. You can find the latest roundups and newsy tidbits with updated information for the current world we live inΒ here.


This winter family vacay was enjoyed by all! From the joy our daughter had just being in the mountains, to my husband spending so much time in the hot tub that I nicknamed him Jacuzzi Joe to me having fun remaking this ” Let It Snow ” video, we truly enjoyed our time in Asheville, NC.

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Top 5 Easy Meals For Kids To Make

Top 5 Easy Meals For Kids to Make | SobeSavvy.com & @outandaboutAva

Moms/Dads, raise your hand if being in quarantine and cooking all the meals has gotten old πŸ™‹πŸ½β€β™€οΈ? So when our daughter, fondly referred to on the blog as @outandaboutAva showed an interest in creating dishes and sharing her meals online..we said go ‘head girl, get your cook on! She wanted to make Tik Tok videos showing off her kitchen skills and came up with a name for her cooking show: Ava Brings The Flava! She has so much fun doing these videos and we just love supporting her. One of our friends has even sent her some customized cooking utensils for her recent 9th birthday to keep encouraging this hobby of hers. Needless to say..Ava was so surprised and happy to receive this gift.

I am more than happy to sit back and let her make her own meals as long as she doesn’t burn down the house. So far, so good y’all! Ava has really grown in the kitchen and used these Covid-19 times to hone her skills while social distancing at home. These are the Top 5 Meals Easy Meals For Kids to Make presented by our 9 year old foodie/cook Ava!

Breakfast

Recipe: Ava-cado Toast

Lunch

Recipe: Pizza Piadina

Snack

Recipe: ChickPea Salad

Dinner

Recipe: Pesto Salmon

Dessert

Recipe: Mango Creamsicle

Which one of the recipes above have you made or would like to try? If you’d like to follow more of my girl’s cooking journey, follow along here:

TikTok: @leslieissobesavvy

IG: @outandaboutAva, @SobeSavvy

Hashtag: #AvaxFlava

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CE-1w54hThU/?igshid=1s1fef6hkytn0

Does your kid like to cook or do you have an easy recipe that my daughter should try next? Please share below and thanks for reading!

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Kid-Friendly Ideas For Festive Family Fun In Raleigh NC

Hello December! We’ve officially kicked off our holiday season in our home and ready to spread some cheer. The Christmas tree is up, we’ve already started drinking eggnog and Motown Christmas songs are on repeat on Spotify. My #HeighPartyof3 (which consists of my spouse, our daughter and me) are in the Heigh-liday spirit {get itπŸ˜‰} and have began some of the holiday traditions that we enjoy.Β So today I am sharing my list of Kid-Friendly Ideas for Festive Family Fun In Raleigh,NC ~


πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

HOLIDAY PERFORMANCES


πŸŽ„ RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL


𝙍π™ͺ𝙙𝙀𝙑π™₯𝙝 π™©π™π™š π™π™šπ™™-π™‰π™€π™¨π™šπ™™ π™π™šπ™žπ™£π™™π™šπ™šπ™§: π™π™π™š π™ˆπ™ͺπ™¨π™žπ™˜π™–π™‘, is now playing at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts until DEC 24th in downtown Raleigh. My family has enjoyed this live performance for the last few years now and it just keeps getting better! They’ve even added something new this holiday season to the beloved TV classic.
See all of your fave characters: Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon CorneliusΒ and, of course, Rudolph, as they sing and dance their way to your heartsΒ while teaching kids of all ages to celebrate what makes you different because its your special superpower!πŸ’ͺ🏽❀ πŸŽ‰

SobeSavvy Tip: The fun continues in the lobby with great photo ops next to larger than life inflatables and cool photo props. Get your kids face painted before the show or shop for some holiday gifts during intermission!


πŸŽ„ CINDERELLA


Continuing my list of Kid-Friendly Ideas for Festive Famiy Fun in Raleigh, it wouldn’t be the holiday season without Raleigh Little Theatre’s Cinderella! Celebrating its 36th year, Cinderella runs December 6 – 22.
This amazing production has
* a sparkle of magic ✨
*Β  a delightful blend of comedy and romance πŸ’‘
* elegant scenery and costumes πŸ‘—
* outstanding singing & dancing πŸ•ΊπŸΌπŸ’ƒ
….and great actors to bring this timeless story to life! We loved all the modern updates and twists that were added to this classic tale, plus there is some audience interaction that everyone enjoyed!Β  Make plans to see #RLTCinderella for the holidays and
Get your tickets today!

SobeSavvy Tip: Stay after the show and get a chance to meet The Fairy Godmothet or snap a pic with King Darling! There’s also merchandise available to buy for your little prince or princess in the lobby. Plus, RLT is collaborating with WRAL and accepting donations for Coats For The Children.


***SAVE THE DATE & GET TIX NOW for these upcoming shows at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts:

β€’ DEC 13th and 14th Holidays with the North Carolina Symphony |HOLIDAY POPS features the holiday songs everyone knows and loves at Meymandi Concert Hall. With falling snow, hot chocolate, carolers, and an audience sing-along, this festive concert is the perfect holiday tradition. Audiences are invited to come early to meet Santa!

Β 

β€’ DEC 18th – 29th ‘The Nutcracker’ Carolina Ballet | From the moment the curtain rises, the magic of this Holiday classic is mesmerizing. Take a journey to a land of whimsical characters featuring magical illusions, magnificent sets, and beautiful costumes. Listen as a live symphony orchestra plays Tchaikovsky’s famed score.Β The NutcrackerΒ is the perfect story ballet for the young and young at heart.


πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

HOLIDAY EATS & SWEETS

πŸŽ„ SANTA BRUNCH at STIR

If you saw my Instagram story/post this past weekend, then perhaps you caught me and my Heigh Party of 3 hanging with ole Saint Nick aka Santa at STIR, located in North Hills. BRUNCH WITH SANTA at STIR is a recurring event happening every Sunday in December and is on my list of Kid-Friendly Ideas For Festive Family Fun In Raleigh because of the good food and intimate moments with Santa. Saint Nick works the room like a pro and is so kind to take photos with everyone. Enjoy $1 Mimosas πŸ₯‚ + a buffet bar filled with goodness is included with your entree! My daughter loves their avocado toast customized to her liking and I am all about the fresh seafood selections like Oysters and Shrimp & Grits! Santa was quite jolly and dapper in his suit, so get ready for your close-up with ole Saint Nick! Just take a look at these photos to see some tasty highlights at STIR! πŸŽ…πŸ½

SobeSavvy Tip: While at the brunch, take advantage of the Gift Card Sale! Give $50 or more and get 20% at STIR for yourself! 🎁


πŸŽ„ DUNKIN Holiday Treats


Do you like to ride around and see neighborhood Christmas lights while listening to holiday tunes? We do and we like to enjoy it while sipping on a warm beverage and eating snacks. So we stopped in our local Dunkin for some holiday treats. My daughter and I both had hot chocolate and their newΒ Holiday Brownie Crumble Donut, which features a vanilla frosted yeast ring donut dipped in brownie crumbles and drizzled with dark green icing. My husband enjoyed the eggnog latte with a yummy glazed donut. I think we may break tradition of leaving Santa cookies this year and give him a plate full of donuts with coffee on the side from Dunkin!

SobeSavvy Tip: Download the Dunkin app, earn DD perks and skip the line if order on the app before you go! Not sure what to get someone this holiday season, check out some of the cool merch offered by Dunkin inside the store and online or a DD gift card is always a great idea!


πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

Holiday Movies


πŸŽ„ ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE RALEIGH


Going to the movies is always a good idea for a family date. Make plans to see a feature film or catch one of the holiday themed films now showing at ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE RALEIGH. This is our go to theater for movies because of the Alamo Family program. The perks for parents with kids are great and you have the ability to watch a movie and eat/drink at the most comfy seats.

SobeSavvy Tip: Gift cards make perfect stocking stuffers. Give the the gift of Alamo, which is good for tickets, food, drinks and merchandise!


πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

There are so many fun things to do with kids in Raleigh and throughout the Triangle this holiday season. This is just a bit of what we like to do but take a look at Visit Raleigh, Facebook, Eventbrite, and Carolina Parent for more Kid-Friendly Ideas for Festive Family Fun In Raleigh, NC!

What festive family fun do you plan to have this holiday? πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ½πŸŽ
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Recap of #TheLionKing Family Party at @AlamoRaleigh + Alamo Kids Camp August 2019 Lineup @alamodrafthouse

One of our favorite family fun activities is going to the movies. So when we learned that Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Raleigh was hosting a family party for THE LION KING, we could not wait to go on this family movie date to see my all-time favorite Disney Movie! If you asked my husband he would tell you how I watched it all day, every day, 3 times a day with my daughter when she was born. Prior to her being born, I have always loved the movie but becoming a mother to my own cub (we are both Leos/team August babies) gave me my own circle of life moment. I even gave her a Lion King themed birthday party when she turned 3 and she stll loves her Simba plush doll that she got as a gift back then. Now she is almost 8 and we could not wait to celebrate with Alamo Drafthouse.

Hakuna Matata 🦁 Y'all ! My #HeighPartyof3 ..Then (2014) & Now (2019) at The Lion Kiing Family Party at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh

Hakuna Matata 🦁 Y’all! #HeighPartyof3 Then (2014) & Now (2019) at The Lion King Family Party at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh

Family Party |The Lion King

What is a “family party”? It’s a fun and super-unique way for kids to partake in games/activities before seeing the movie. There was no better way as a family to celebrate the biggest Disney live-action remake than with Alamo, where you can enjoy dining while watching the movie in the comfort of your seat. The party begins at 9:45am in the Video Vortex lobby, with screening at 10:30am. They had a karaoke setup along with some arts and crafts stations. I enjoyed getting on the mic and singing “Hakuna Matata” and my daughter loved decorating a crown for her King Dad. The party was such a fun experience and we enjoyed The Lion King movie! Check out my photos I shared on Facebook>>here and Instagram ‡️ to see some of what we did at the party, plus follow on Facebook facebook.com/AlamoDrafthouse to see when the next #AlamoParty event is in your city!

Alamo Kids Camp

Alamo Kids Camp

Alamo Kids Camp | Photos provided by Alamo Drafthouse

Did you know that during the summer, Alamo is hosting Alamo Kids Camp, where families can choose the price they pay to see their favorite family-friendly films on the big screen and give back to the local community all at the same time! Guests choose their ticket price of $1, $3 or $5, with all of the ticket sales donated to local nonprofits designated by each Alamo Drafthouse location. Since 2015, the Alamo Kids Camp program has sent nearly $500,000 back into local communities, with more than $150,000 raised last summer alone!

Alamo Kids Camp movies are shown daily, Monday through Friday, during matinee hours. Most Alamo Kids Camp screenings are for kids ages 3 and up, but some locations are All Ages. Check drafthouse.com/family for all things #AlamoFamily – local policies, full Alamo Kids Camp schedules, fun activities, and more!
ALAMO KIDS CAMP Summer 2019 Lineup for August

β€’THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER
β€’CASPER
β€’THE LEGO MOVIE
β€’TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES
πŸŽ‰ More August fun at Alamo Drafthouse….
β€’THE IRON GIANT Movie Party
Per Alamo: “This is one of the greatest movies ever made, and you’ve gotta come to this interactive 20th anniversary celebration.

ALAMO KIDS CLUB

In addition to Alamo Kids Camp, kids between the ages of 3 and 13 can join Alamo Kids Club. Members of Alamo Kids Club receive a sticker each time they see a film at Alamo Drafthouse and earn prizes such as free snacks, plush toys, and more as they collect more stickers. To join, visit the theater box office or ask a server for an Alamo Kids Club prize book. Then visit drafthouse.com/family to register the book.

Here are more ways to stay in the know and get info about Alamo Drafthouse, follow:
Alamo Family drafthouse.com/familyGo for yourself and see why Alamo was voted:

“One of the 10 Best Theaters in the World” – CNN International
“Coolest Movie Theater in the World” – Wired.com

“Best Theater in America” – Entertainment Weekly

#outandaboutAva and her Mom, Leslie of SobeSavvy.com

Thanks again to our friends at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh for hosting me and my #HeighPartyof3 family+ baby Simba on behalf of SobeSavvy.com!

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Have you ever been to the movies with or without kids at Alamo Drafthouse? What movie from the Kids Camp lineup would you go see in August? Let me know in the comments below!

Plan a Day of Learning Fun and Play at Port Discovery Children’s Museum @portdiscovery in Baltimore, MD

Plan a Day of Learning Fun and Play at Port Discovery Children's Museum @portdiscovery in Baltimore, MD | Visit Recap by SobeSavvy.com

Looking for a place for your kids to learn and play when visiting Baltimore, MD? Port Discovery Children’s Museum, located just steps away from the Inner Harbor/ Downtown Baltimore, is an ideal attraction for your child (up to age 10) to have fun! Our last visit was in 2018 and I added it to my list of Top Family Fun attractions in Baltimore. I learned that Port Discovery went under recent renovations on June 14, 2019 and opened its doors for the public to experience its updated amenities, new exhibits and more! Take a look at how my 7 year old daughter and her cousin of the same age enjoyed their playdate at Port Discovery.

Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore MD | Visit Recap July 2019 | SobeSavvy.com

Guest Amenities

* Museum’s Lobby

Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore MD | July 2019 Visit Recap -Museum Lobby| SobeSavvy.com

As soon as we walked into the bright and colorful lobby, we felt welcomed and the kids were ready to explore. There was a timeless quote by Mr Rogers on the wall that left a great first impression and reading it was the perfect beginning to our visit.

Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore MD | July 2019 Visit Recap -Mr Rogers quote| SobeSavvy.com

* Free private lockers

Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore MD | July 2019 Visit Recap -free lockers | SobeSavvy.com

Free private lockers were available to store our personal belongings during your visit. This is the perfect place to store kids’ lunch/snacks or backpacks.

Two NEW Exhibits

* The Port

Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore MD | July 2019 Visit Recap -The Port| SobeSavvy.com

The Port is a total immersive experience. Ava and her cousin learned about navigation on the bridge, loaded cargo on a conveyor belt and had a chance to catch the cargo up top. It is simply a delightful way for kids to work as a team or solo.

Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore MD | July 2019 Visit Recap -The Port| SobeSavvy.com

* Sky Climber

Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore MD | July 2019 Visit Recap -SkyClimber| SobeSavvy.com

This new “shoes off” exhibit is a multi-story climbing adventure that ends at a long slide back to the ground level. Children get to utilize their physicality while having a great time!There is even The Overlook area where they played on swings and enjoyed the view from the top.

Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore MD | July 2019 Visit Recap -The Overlook| SobeSavvy.com

Interactive Fun

Tiny’s Diner

Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore MD | July 2019 Visit Recap -Tiny's Diner | SobeSavvy.com

This make believe diner allowed them to play everything from cashier, cook and waiter. Realistic “meals” can be served with beverages and dessert. Booth and counter service is available. Tips not required!

Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore MD | July 2019 Visit Recap -Tiny's Diner| SobeSavvy.com

* Wonders of Water

Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore MD | July 2019 Visit Recap -Wonders of Water| SobeSavvy.com

Kids love water and this area shows why. Kids can make a huge “body bubble”, seal up leaky pipes and even use a squeegee to clean the windows. They learned about cause and effect while getting wet at the same time!

Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore MD | July 2019 Visit Recap -wonders of water| SobeSavvy.com

Exploration Experiences

* BGE Studio Workshop

Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore MD | July 2019 Visit Recap -BGE Studio Workshop| SobeSavvy.com

This arts and crafts area allow kids to express themselves in many ways. Painting and chalk writing are just a few neat activities available here.

Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore MD | July 2019 Visit Recap -BGE Studio Workshop| SobeSavvy.com

* Adventure Expeditions

Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore MD | July 2019 Visit Recap -Adventure Expeditions| SobeSavvy.com

Travel back in time to learn about ancient Egypt. Inside this exhibit, there are chambers with hidden surprises around every corner. My daughter and niece really thought this exhibit was cool because you could look inside this xray box and discover what lies inside of different items.

Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore MD | July 2019 Visit Recap -Adventure Expeditions| SobeSavvy.com

**SobeSavvy Tip: Port Discovery Children’s Museum has a Gift Shop that is filled with educational books, gifts and goodies! You can stop in for cool finds without even paying admission to the museum.

Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore MD | July 2019 Visit Recap -gift shop | SobeSavvy.com

Here are some links to help you as you plan your visit:

https://www.portdiscovery.org/play/exhibits-experiences

https://www.portdiscovery.org/visit/plan-your-visit

https://www.portdiscovery.org/visit/month-port-discovery

Connect with Port Discovery Children’s Museum! ‡️

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

πŸ‘€ WATCH MY YOUTUBE VIDEO RECAP OF OUR DAY OF FUN ‡️

As you can see there is so much learning fun under one roof at Port Discovery. This place allows them to learn, explore and be creative and burn of some steam while using S.T.E.M skills. It is the perfect way to spend a hot, summer day indoor with kids!

Fun awaits behind those doors…what are you waiting for?!?!

Have you seen the πŸ†•οΈ exhibits at Port Discovery Children’s Museum?

PORT DISCOVERY CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

35 Market Pl

Baltimore, MD 21202

#TRAVEL | Visit #WilmingtonNC & Island Beaches to Enjoy Nature and Discover What’s In Bloom🌹

TRAVEL | Visit Wilmington NC & Island Beaches to Enjoy Nature and Discover What’s In Bloom! Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

You all know the saying ..”April Showers Bring May Flowers“,well my #HeighPartyof3 decided to put the theory to the test and headed to Wilmington NC & Island Beaches to discover What’s In Bloom! In the past, we have visited during the summer as a fun, “Family Travel” destination and also spent a “Daycation” in Wilmington NC & Island Beaches because for us it’s just a 2 hour roadtrip from Raleigh, NC.

This was our first time traveling to Wilmington NC in the Spring and I thought instead of flowers as a gift for Mother’s Day, why not experience botanical gardens and more in this beautiful city! With just 24 hours to explore, there is so much to get outside and do here. Take a look at our weekend itinerary filled with nature-theme activities the whole family can enjoy!

DAY 1 Arrive Saturday

Wilmington + Wrightsville Beach

Before you explore, make your first stop at the main Visitor Information Center, located at 505 Nutt Street in Downtown Wilmington. It opens on Saturday at 9am and is open daily except for Thanksgiving/Christmas. You can get any questions answered by staff, pick up maps, guides and vacation coupons!

Pick up an Official Visitors Guide and more at the main Visitor Information Center | SobeSavvy.com

Take a self-guided walking tour at Airlie Gardens , a 67 acre historical garden in Wilmington. We took advantage of the complimentary tram ride and learned so much about the lush gardens and its rich history. Go and see a 468 yr old Airlie Oak, Azaleas, and the Butterfly House. Learn about Minnie Evans, an African American woman who was a domestic who sold her artwork at Airlie. She once said ” God has some 600 shades of green, and He dressed the world with them.” She died in 1987 and local artists created the Bottle Chapel, a memorial sculpture garden, in 2004 in her honor. It was such an amazing sight to see!

Walk thru Airlie Gardens and learn about history while enjoying nature | SobeSavvy.com

All that walking will surely work up an appetite! Sweet & Savory CafΓ© is close by and offers a Saturday Brunch. This farm to fork restaurant in Wilmington is known for its variety of menu choices and fresh baked goods at their bakery.

Dine at Sweet and Savory for Saturday Brunch for a variety of Farm to Fork dishes | SobeSavvy.com

SobeSavvy Tip: Short on time or rather have a quick bite to go? Grab something at Port City Java. I enjoyed an iced coffee for a caffeine boost before our next activity!

Port City Java uses the Japanese Iced Coffee method for a more flavorful,bright,complex brew and its oh so good| SobeSavvy.com

We checked in at the Hampton Inn Wilmington/Downtown and got changed into our bathing suits for some fun in the sun at Wrightsville Beach, located just 15 mins away from Downtown Wilmington. It’s a spacious, clean beach with clear blue waters and is one of the most environmentally friendly beaches in the state. We collected shells to take home as a souvenir and our daughter played by the shore until it was time for dinner at Oceanic Restaurant attached to Crystal Pier. *Be sure to check back here for my #FoodieFriday review of our dining experience at this restaurant. Wrightsville Beach is a walkable beach town with the beauty of nature all around!

Play, Relax and Start a Seashell Collection at Wrightsville Beach | SobeSavvy.com

The Arboretum at New Hanover County closes at 8pm which made it a great last stop of our day. It happened to be prom night and many people were there to capture the perfect photo. Visit the 7 acres of nature trails and gardens, which include a Japanese tea house, gazebo, children’s cottage, ability garden and water garden for FREE!

See the beauty of blooms for free at The Arboretum at New Hanover County | SobeSavvy.com

DAY 2 Depart Sunday

Kure Beach+ Carolina Beach

Sunday,Mother’s Day..all I want to do is sleep in but when you have a six year old daughter who’s motto is ‘Carpe Diem’, you get up early and seize the day! We enjoyed brunch with a view in Wrightsville Beach at Bluewater Waterfront Grill (which you can see a few of my photos here + stay tuned for my #FoodieFriday feature) before our visit to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher in Kure Beach. It’s worth the short drive from Wilmington to see more than 2500 animals and the 2 special exhibits: Dinosaurs! and Butterfly Bungalow. The cherry on top of our Sunday Funday at the Aquarium was when one of the butterflies landed right on my husband’s hand! My whole family had a fin-tastic time at this attraction learning just how much animals and nature are connected to each other.

Visit the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher to be inspired by nature and all its wonder | SobeSavvy.com

We did not plan to have another beach day but our daughter’s pleas and the call of the ocean breeze encouraged us to stop at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. It is right down the road from the Aquarium so it really was a convenient stop. This public beach is great for bird watchers because alot of nature is unspoiled here.

Kure Beach is a pure and natural playground for beach goers, bird watchers and nature lovers | SobeSavvy.com

Did you know that one of the only places in the world where you can see the Venus flytrap growing in its native environment is at Carolina Beach State Park? See the rare Venus Flytraps for FREE and learn about one of the world’s most unique carnivorous plants!

Head to the Carolina Beach State Park for a tour along the Flytrap Trail | SobeSavvy.com

SobeSavvy Tip: Ranger-Guided tours of the park’s Venus flytrap trail are available Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10am. I recommend the guided tour, as the flytraps can be hard to find on your own. Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes with socks for this guided tour. Insect repellent is highly recommended as are long pants. You can always change back into shorts and sandals in the park’s visitor center bathrooms. The hikes meet at the flytrap trail head and depart promptly at 10am so be sure to arrive in time to park and meet. If you gey hungry after hiking the nature trails, go a half a mile to dine at Michael’s Seafood and enjoy fresh seafood dishes like loaded oysters and snow crab legs!

Dine at Michael’s Seafood, conveniently close to Carolina Beach State Park | SobeSavvy.com

Thank you to Wilmington and Beaches CVB and the attractions who welcomed my family and I to experience nature-theme activities and feature them in my 24 hour itinerary. I hope you and your family will review this travel guide and take the opportunity to visit Wilmington NC & Island Beaches soon to see What’s In Bloom!

Enjoy Royal #FamilyFun at @MedievalTimes + Special #SpringBreak Savings now thru April 30th!

Parents have you heard? Medieval Times is ready to entertain you and your little ones for Spring Break and I am excited to share some discounts and events that are going on at the castle!

Use this CODE: SB18 (Adults $38.95, Kids & Students $30.95) and get ready to have some Royal Family Fun during your Spring Break! *The kid and student pricing is open to all students including those in college. Ends April 30, 2018.

My #HeighPartyof3 were hosted to Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament in Atlanta, located in Sugarloaf Mills mall and let me tell you our family date night was a “KNIGHT to remember”! It was the perfect place to celebrate and kickstart #outandaboutAva’s Spring Break week.

We have experienced the excitement of the live show at Medieval Times before but thought it would be fun to upgrade this visit to the Royalty Package (over $20 retail value). For only $12 additional per person, add this package and receive the following:

  • Priority Castle Access
  • VIP Seating
  • Priority Seating Access
  • Cheering Banner
  • VIP Lanyard

If you have never been to Medieval Times before, here is what you can expect:

* An 11th century-style castle complete with a King, his Princess, six armor-clad Knights on valiant horses and more!

* A live show on a β€œstage”, which is a custom made sunken equestrian course with sand.

* Amazing Knights who perform all sorts of competitions and games like pluck the ring and horse relay racing.

* A hollywood worthy showdown of what can only be called a β€œknight fight”. Swords and swinging hammers were everywhere while the actors played stuntmen with flips and falls.

* Entertainment provided by various acts. Our favorite is the Falcon!

* A feast to enjoy during the show. We were served a set menu of garlic bread, tomato soup, roasted chicken,potatoes and corn on the cobb. No forks or knives allowed. Eat like the knights of old. WITH YOUR HANDS! Dessert and select beverages are also included. A full-service bar is also available.

* Be prepared to be addressed as my Lady or my Lord from your server. Our server provided excellent customer service and addressed any special needs that we had.

* If you yell loud enough for the Knight, you may get a flower like my daughter did!

SobeSavvy Tip: Party like a Prince or Princess on your birthday for FREE when you sign up for the birthday club >>HERE !!

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

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Suite 517 Lawrenceville,GA β€’30043

Top 3 Reasons to Visit @NCZoo this Fall! #FamilyFun #NCZoo #VisitNC

Leslie Heigh, Founder of SobeSavvy.com and daughter, #outandaboutAva enjoy their first visit to the NC Zoo

The North Carolina Zoo has been on our list of family fun things to do since we moved here a couple of years ago. It is located in Asheboro, NC., which is just a short one and half hour ride from Raleigh, making this the perfect place to spend a Sunday Funday with my husband and our 6 yr old daughter. Take a peek at our visit to the zoo on YouTube here. We had a blast!

North Carolina Zoo | Grab a map ~Get ready to explore! 

Before you go, know that this zoo is HUGE! This conservation park has 500 acres to explore making North Carolina Zoo the World’s Largest Zoo. The map showed us that there were two areas to see- North America and Africa and it was suggested that it would take two to three hours to tour each region. In total, your trip to the zoo could be 4 to 6 hours of fun! We did not see everything, but that’s ok since we do plan to return in the spring when the zoo hours are longer and the seasonal attractions are open daily from April-October. The Park is open all year except for Christmas Day.

North Carolina Zoo | The World’s Largest Zoo!

Besides the obvious reasons of lesser crowds and cooler weather, here are my Top 3 Reasons to Visit NC Zoo this Fall ~

  • Gorgeous Fall Foliage and over 52,000 plants throughout the zoo!Not only am I an animal lover but I love nature. The autumn leaves were a sight to see when we arrived at the zoo! I was really impressed with the upkeep of the grounds and enjoyed the beautiful environment. With hiking trails thru swamp-like areas, streams, prairies, gardens, and grasslands, North Carolina Zoo in the Fall is such a scenic experience.

    North Carolina Zoo | Tropical Plants – Aviary

North Carolina Zoo| 52,000 plants throughout the 500 acre conservation park

  • Discover more than 1,600 animals ..and maybe take a selfie with one! This zoo has major animal habitats and you can find animal feeding schedules posted on the website, at the plazas or even at the animal habitats. Meet the keepers and find out about conservation efforts. This zoo’s mission is to help protect animals around the world and a visit here supports efforts to save endangered species. There are such a variety of animals here that you are sure to see your favorite! 

    North Carolina Zoo | Elephants

    North Carolina Zoo | Giraffes & Zebras 

  • Learn and Play ..all in one day! This zoo is definitely kid-friendly and educational, which makes this a great activity to do in the Fall because your child may reflect on this for school assignments. With a dedicated Kidzone and playground, there were many opportunities for my 6 year old to enjoy just being a kid. Inside the Forest Aviary, we enjoyed stopping by the cart and learning about birds. Did you know that birds bones are hollow?! It’s one of the reasons they can fly and we can not. There were many interactive areas, hands-on activities and informative fun for everyone! Check out more photos on my Facebook page.

    North Carolina Zoo | #outandaboutAva enjoys Playdoo fun in the KidZone

    North Carolina Zoo | Stop by the NC Zoo Smart Cart

​SobeSavvy Tip: In celebration of Veterans Day, NC Zoo is offering Veterans & Military free admission Nov. 10-12.

Be sure to visit NCZoo.org for a complete listing of family-friendly weekend activities and find out how to become a member of the NC Zoo Society! We had so much fun and look forward to more future trips. Tell me…

Have you ever been to the NC ZOO? 

NORTH CAROLINA ZOO

4401 Zoo Pkwy

Asheboro, NC 27205

Top 6 #FamilyFun Activities to do this Summer in #Baltimore | #FamilyTravel #VisitBaltimore #MyBmore

Today on the blog, I am sharing #MYBmore TOP 6 Family Fun activities everyone should add to their child’s Summer Break list of things to do in Baltimore! This past weekend my #HeighPartyof3 drove the easy 5 hr ride to Downtown Harbor East and stayed at one of our favorite hotels, Hyatt Place. One of the reasons I was there was to cover the 4th Annual Chesapeake Crab and Beer Festival (be sure to check out my photo recap>>>here) but to also take #outandaboutAva to some museums and attractions in Baltimore. Here is my list of TOP 6 Family Fun Activites :

  1. See an Orioles Basesball Game -Orioles Park at CAMDEN YARDSA summertime visit to Baltimore would not be complete without a visit to the undisputed best ballpark in the nation! Oriole Park at Camden Yards is celebrating their 25th anniversary. We joined others to take in a game on an absolute beautiful evening. It was my little one’s very first MLB game and she loved it. Camden Yards is designed where there is not a bad seat in the house. She was also able to get up and close to the field pre game to watch the players stretch and interact with their fans. A night to remember for all.
  2. Learn and Play at Port Discovery Childrens MuseumBaltimore’s Port Discovery Children’s Museum is an expansive building dedicated to kids. They play and learn. Sometimes at the same time. This place has so many things to do, it can fill up an entire afternoon. From a faux diner called Tiny’s where the little ones can serve you lunch items {albeit plastic of course} to jungle gyms and a whole area dedicated to solving the mystery of what happened to a missing family, this place is amazing. My daughter enjoyed the Oasis room where she could sit quietly and read.There is plenty of hands on exhibits and interactive areas that the kids will simply love. A must stop for any families visiting with children. When you arrive grab your map at the front desk, arms in and let fun begin!
  3. Eat,Drink and Be Royal at MEDIEVAL TIMES Dinner & TournamentGo back in time to King Arthur’s day and visit the Medieval Times castle for a Dinner and Show you will never forget!  This attraction is not in Downtown Baltimore, but in Arundel Mills Mall (aprox 30 mins away by car).  Along with a medieval dinner (that you eat with your hands only),…we enjoyed entertainment like jousting,horse dancing and a real Falcon soaring above our heads to do a stunt!  This is all entertwined with a storyline the narrator explains.Medieval Times is great place to take someone who proclaims that they have seen it all. A mix between a Broadway show and Polo…Nothing compares to this experience. My daughter and her Grandma truly enjoyed their ‘Knight’ out! 
  4. Take a Joy Ride thru History at B&O RAILROAD MUSEUMDid you know that Baltimore is the home for modern commercial Railroading? The B&O railroad, which operated from 1828 to 1987, had many people skeptical {and scared} of this “new” technology. That didn’t last long as the B&O proved sucesseful in (per it’s motto)”Linking 13 Great States with the Nation”. We learned all about the rich history at the B&0 Railroad Museum while enjoying the impressive collection of vintage trains. We even took an actual 1.5 mile ride on an original section of the line! The museum does an excellent job telling the story of the railroad, which mirrors the story of America itself. Children can enjoy a hunt to collect stamps at stations throughout the museum in a little passport booklet which they turn in at the end for a free present at the gift shop! They also have a kid play area and rides outside which makes this a fun informative museum the entire family will love. I made a YouTube video full of highlights from our visit. Watch it here and Enjoy! SobeSavvy Tip: Check out this special circus themed event ‘Under The Big Top’ happening Now thru June 30 For more info visit www.borail.org.             

5. Take a cruise aboard the ‘Fearless’ and become a pirate for the day with URBAN PIRATES 

A day at the world famous Inner Harbor demands that one gets out on the water. We chose to take a trip back in time with a company called “Urban Pirates”. Based out of the Ann Street Pier in the Fells Point area, Urban Pirates takes visitors on a 90 min trip around the Harbor on a vintage looking ..well pirate ship. We didn’t know what to expect when we boarded along with other families. We were given official pirate names with tags and some pirate attire to wear for our voyage. https://www.instagram.com/p/BVu67NbBU55/ 

Once out on the open water, the crew did a great job of entertaining all of us (and especially the kids) with songs, dances and all sorts of seafaring games. We even had an attempted sea hijack that we all thwarted with their water cannons! I don’t want to give away too much but let’s just say be prepared for a great experience unlike any other.

6. Discover close to 20,000 animals at NATIONAL AQUARIUM The National Aquarium with its unique spiral floor plan, it’s huge rain forest in the rooftop, the diverse species of fish plus sharks and dolphins make it THE aquarium to visit. We chose to go early on Sunday morning and it paid off for being less crowded since this is Baltimore’s most popular attraction. 

The close encounters of being able to touch horseshoe crabs and a real moon jellyfish in the Living Seashore exhibit made the experience that much more real. This aquarium is a crown jewel for both kids and adults alike and we always look forward to learning something new with each visit.

Now that you know “Where to Play” your next visit to Charm City, be sure to check back here on Friday when I’ll be sharing “Where to Eat” and “Where to Stay” in Baltimore. Also check out www.baltimore.org for any information you need to plan your trip.

Check out my fun photo video recap of these listed attractions : https://youtu.be/8lWvmmN9LRs

Top 4 Reasons @ZoesKitchen is a great kid-friendly, #dinnerdate spot for healthy food ! #LiveMed #ZoesKitchen

If you haven’t heard,  ZoΓ«s Kitchen serves amazingly fresh food, full of goodness for the whole family. That’s why whenever we have the chance to go on a family dinner date, ZoΓ«s Kitchen is our top choice. Recently while on staycation in North Hills, we enjoyed an early dinner at this popular eatery. Here are the Top 5 Reasons why ZoΓ«s Kitchen is a great kid-friendly dinner date spot for healthy food:

  1. Serves Mediteranean food that is delicious and nutritious. It’s flavorful and heart healthy, which makes Moms/Dads happy to enjoy with their little ones. 
  2. Lots of seating with bright decor both inside and out makes for a great casual and comfortable dining experience.
  3. Adult beverages..yes, please! Beer and wine are served. Fresh squeezed limeade is available too along with soft drinks and tea.
  4. A variety of flavorful menu options ranging from starters, soups, salads, sandwiches, fresh sides kabobs, desserts and a reasonably priced LIVE MED kids menu for ages 12 and under. Our daughter loves the shrimp kabob entree and 1 side for just $5.99!

I recommend trying the Rosemary Ham & Mozzarella Piadina. It’s a flatbread sandwich that will transport your tastebuds to Italy! I enjoyed it with a side of braised white beans. 

There are locations in 20 states, with 17 restaurants in North Carolina alone! You can order online for take out or dine in. They also cater and offer party nenu ideas and other information at http://www.zoeskitchen.com 

I hope the next time you find yourself hungry with kids and want to go out to a healthy, tasty dining spot that is casual and family-friendly, you will consider ZoΓ«s Kitchen!

ZoΓ«s Kitchen
141 -112 Park at North Hills St

Raleigh,NC 27609