3 Orlando Attractions Your Kids Will Love: Coca-Cola Orlando Eye, Sea Life Aquarium and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

Disclosure: I was given free admission to these attractions in exchange for my honest review. As always, the opinions on this blog are 100% my own.

My family recently returned from a trip to Orlando, and because this was our 5th family trip to this destination, we wanted to see some different attractions. So, after some research, we decided to spend a night at The Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive which is in walking distance to the Coca Cola Orlando Eye, the Orlando SEA LIFE Aquarium, and Madame Tussauds wax museum. Below, I am sharing the details of our visits to these attractions.

The night we arrived in Florida, we headed straight to the Orlando Eye because my oldest son wanted to do it at night. It is a 23 minute ride in one of 30 air-conditioned capsules. It's 400 feet high, and my boys loved it!

The 360-degree views really are breathtaking. You can even see nearby theme parks, attractions, downtown Orlando, and Kennedy Space Centre.

Then, on our second morning in Florida, we took a walk over to the SEA LIFE aquarium. My boys loved it! There is a glass tunnel where the marine life (including sharks) swim all around you. There is also a "log book" where the kids complete tasks (like touching a creature in a tide pool) and get stamps. When the log book is completed, the kids can claim a prize.

After the our aquarium adventure, we headed to Madame Tussauds wax museum. The figures are all very impressive and life-like, and the displays are fun and interactive. My boys really enjoyed posing with all the wax figures. I've never seen them so anxious to get their pictures taken!

Check out some of our favourites! Even my husband and I hopped into a few photos.

It's worth noting that you can buy individual tickets to these attractions, or you can bundle them together. You can even add tickets to LEGOland if that is something you are interested in.

Have you and your family every visited these attractions? What did you think?

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Reasons Why "The Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive" is a Great Hotel for Families

Disclosure: I was given a complimentary room in exchange for my truthful review of this hotel. As always, the opinions on this blog are 100% my own.

Recently, my family travelled to Orlando, Florida, and we had the opportunity to stay at"The Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive". Known as "The official hotel of the I-Drive 360", this hotel is conveniently located. Today, I am sharing my review of the hotel, including the reasons I believe it is a great hotel for families.

When we arrived at the hotel, I was greeted with a tray of cookies. How "sweet" is that?

Then, I let the boys tour the room. As a family of 5, it was a special treat to be able to book a family suite. Check out my boys' reactions in this video of our arrival!

The room came equipped with bunk beds, a bean bag chair and an extra TV.

There was also a bed for my youngest and one for my husband and I. My boys were super-excited that there was room for everyone, and no one had to share.

The hotel also has two pools, a lobby bar, a poolside restaurant (Gatorville), and lovely grounds.

It's also worth noting that this hotel is conveniently located in the I-Drive 360 area... which is a very walkable neighbourhood. We took full advantage of our location, and we walked to the CocaCola Orlando Eye, Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, and the Orlando Sea Life Aquarium. My boys loved all three of these attractions, and I will be sharing more about them soon!

So, are you planning a trip to Orlando soon? 

If you are interested in staying at "The Wyndam Orlando Resort International Drive", I have a special booking code you can use to save 30% off their Best Available Rate with NO minimum nights required. You just need to use this link.

If you have any questions about my stay, I'd be happy to answer them. Just leave your questions/comments below, and I will get back to you as soon as possible!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Beauty and the Beast Centrepiece (dollar store craft)

I recently watched the new live action version of Beauty and the Beast, and it renewed my love for this movie and it's wonderful story. I decided to create a little Beauty and the Beast decor using dollar store supplies. This adorable centrepiece is easy and inexpensive to make, and it would be a fantastic centrepiece at a Beauty and the Beast themed party. It would also be perfect for a simple Beauty and the Beast afternoon tea party.

To make this adorable dollar store craft:

1) Use glitter paint to paint a dollar store cork trivet and knob, and let dry completely.
2) Insert a dollar store rose into the cork trivet.
3) Use hot glue to attach the know to the bottom of a dollar store vase.
4) Place the vase over the rose.

Isn't this Beauty and the Beast centrepiece adorable? I love the way it looks sitting on top of a stack of books.

I am absolutely delighted with how this dollar store craft turned out. It really is perfect for a DIY Beauty and the Beast party!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Movie Treat Boxes... made from recycled cereal boxes

In our house, we try to have family movie night every Friday night. It's a highlight of our week where all electronics are banned and we cuddle up on the couch together. It's also a night where we indulge in some movie night treats... because what's a movie night without popcorn, right? But popcorn (and kids) can be messy, so the movie treat boxes I am sharing today are perfect for movie night!

The best part about these movie treat boxes is that they are made from old cereal boxes, and they are reusable. To make your own movie night treat boxes:

1) Cut the top off of a cereal box.

2) Use shelf liner to cover the bottom of the box. (I purchased a big roll at the dollar store. Cut the liner to the right size first, and then slowly insert it and smooth it out.)

3) Apply duct tape to the inside and outside sides of the box.

Isn't this a great idea?

I love that these movie night treat boxes are easy to make and use simple dollar store supplies. They'd be perfect for a movie-themed party too! It's always fun when you can add simple and inexpensive DIY details to parties. If you decide to make a tray or two, let me know how it goes. I plan on make a bunch for our next movie party.

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Whimsical DIY Spring Decor

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best, and today I am sharing a simple idea for whimsical DIY spring decor that you are going to LOVE. Recently I was thinking about how much I enjoy seeing apple blossoms blooming in the spring, and I decided to figure out a way to bring them into my home. I found a broken branch in my yard, I grabbed some supplies from my craft cupboard, and I got to work.

Seriously... all you need are some tree branches, some pink and white pom poms, a vase, and a glue gun. 

I arranged the branches in a vase, and I used a glue gun to attach the pom poms. That's it! VERY little craftiness is required for this DIY project.

Isn't it cute?

I think this is a perfect way to bring a little "springtime" into your home. It's a simple DIY spring decor project that is guaranteed to get you in the mood for the upcoming season. What do you think?

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Simple Coach "Thank you" Gifts... with free printable tags

As a mom, my number one goal is to raise kind and grateful children. Sports play a big role in their loves, and I believe being on teams helps to reinforce lessons in kindness and gratitude. There are many volunteers that help them on their journey, and at the end of a season, I like to make sure that my boys say, "thank you" to their coaches. I get my boys' to make homemade cards and share little treats. Today, I am sharing an adorable coach gift ideas and some free gift tags that you can download and print.

The first thing I do is get my kids to make cards and write notes to their coaches. I could buy cards, but I think handmade cards are more meaningful because the kids need to do the work and come up with thoughtful messages. You can add a gift card if you want, but it isn't necessary.

Then, I put the card in a clear cellophane bag with a pack of MINT gum. You could use actual mints or chocolate mints too... but I thought gum would be good for hockey coaches.

Then, add one of the tags I designed. The "punny" tags says, "Thanks for the encourageMINT".

To download the tags I designed: click on the picture below (that you want to use), right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4X6 photo. There are three tags on each sheet.

I love these inexpensive and fun coach gifts, don't you?

Aren't these little gifts a perfect way to thank your child's volunteer coaches? It's also an excellent way to teach kids the importance of kindness and gratitude. How do you teach this important lesson in your house?

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

NERF Party Games and Activities

My boys love having NERF gun battles, so when it came to picking a party theme for my two youngest boys, it didn't require a lot of discussion. My 10 year old requested an "epic NERF battle", and my 8 year old wanted a "target shooting area". Today, I am sharing the details of all our super-fun NERF party games and activities.

Before the battle started, the kids applied their war paint.

Then, to ensure that everyone was safe, I made them all put on safety glasses.

Then, I set up a NERF gun battlefield. I spray painted some boxes with camo spray paint, I made some obstacles out of mats, I added some pop up tents we had a home, and blew up some orange and blue balloons.

The kids spent most of the party having their battle, but they took out a little time for some of the other games and activities too.

I created a DIY prize punch that they could shoot with their NERF guns. When they hit a prize, they got to keep it.

I also had a "guess the number of candies" station. The kids all made guesses, and the child that guessed closest got to keep the jar of blue and orange jelly beans.

I also made some fantastic shooting target games for the kids. 

To make a spinning target (see photo):

1) Cut four squares from a cardboard tri-fold. (I got mine at the dollar store.) Then, trim the squares in duct tape to make it look more colourful and neat.
2) Turn the four squares into round targets, and decorate with markers.
3) Tape a paper straw and coin to the back of the circles (for weight).
4) Insert a skewer through the straw, and tape the two ends to the tri-fold.

I also stacked plastic cups with army men, and converted another tri-fold by cutting out a rectangle and hanging plastic cups.

All of the NERF party games and activities we had at our party were easy and inexpensive to put together, and the kids all had a fantastic time. If you have a NERF gun fan in your house, you should give them a try!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

PS - Find more NERF party ideas (including party food, FREE party signs and party favours) here.

Follow East Coast Mommy on Facebook for more easy and inexpensive ideas for family fun.

For a closer look, check out the video I made here:

Don't miss any of the fun....