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Thursday, January 7, 2010

How to celebrate New Year's eve at Disney World for FREE!

How to celebrate New Year's eve at Disney World for FREE!

For New Years eve we made no plans even though we knew we would be in Orlando for my husband's work trip. At the last minute we decided to go out to the Boardwalk Resort at Disney World. This is an area where Disney put in a man made lake and built multiple resorts, restaurants, clubs, stores, a boardwalk,
Disney World Boardwalk resort
and a beach around it. You can walk completely around the area. Other than the parking situation we had an awesome time. Parking is free and then you just walk through one of the resorts and begin your fun.

We started the evening by getting ourselves on the waiting list right away at the Greek restaurant there, Kouzzine by Cat Cora. We didn't make reservations in advance and were not sure if we could get in to eat anywhere. The wait turned out to be only 45 minutes! So to kill time we walked around and enjoyed a juggler performance
Disney World Boardwalk resort
and a magician. Both were very good, because they only have the best at Disney. As the magician was finishing up, the first set of fireworks went off over in Epcot. We had a perfect view of them.

At almost exactly 45 minutes we were sat down to a delicious dinner. Our chef was a fellow Red Raider!! Our kids had a three course dinner complete with ice cream sundaes for only 8.99!  They were wonderful when it came to dealing with my daughter's food allergies. Every single restaurant on Disney property is set up to handle allergy issues.
By the time we had finished dinner there was a DJ set up on the lawn right in front of the Boardwalk Inn. He was playing lots of fun clean music and leading everyone is different dance motions. He had motions to every song he played! Our kids danced like crazy.

Overall it was an awesome evening that I will remember forever.

If we could have made it until midnight we would have had quite the view of the fireworks but our two year old just couldn't make it, so at 11 we caught a bus to try to get back to our car. By midnight we were in downtown Disney. From where we were at near Disney Quest facing the parking lot we could see fireworks going off at two of the parks and behind us at a third park. They went on forever! Icing on the already perfect evening.

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Panama City Beach - Fabulous Family vacation

      Looking for a weekend getaway and with in driving distance of Panama City Beach, FL?  You might want to check it out. The beaches are beautiful. Better than Hawaii beaches in my opinion. Panama City Beach is located in the panhandle of Florida.  This is a great family destination, despite what you may hear. (spring break)
     Even if you are not with in driving distance there is now a new international airport in Panama City Beach that Southwest Airlines flies into! 
There's a big recreation center with a little water park and playground at Frank Brown Park.  The playground is big and has nice white soft sand for the kids to play in.  It's close enough to the beach that even on hot days there is usually a nice breeze coming off the gulf. 

For skating and bowling you can go to Rock it Lanes.  This place in in an older shopping center, but the inside looks very new and clean.  They have a tot time on Friday mornings.  At tot time they can ride around on bikes or scooters and there is a bouncy castle.

There are tons of putt putt golf places. Coconut Creek was the one we always went to because it offers free golf and maze to kids 6 and under. 

Cobra Adventure Park has rides, an arcade, and a large go cart track.  Keep in mind the track is wooden and makes for a bumpy right.

Shipwreck - Island Water Park is a great time.  There is a little bit of everything that you can expect at a waterpark.  I was surprised how fun this was, because driving by it looked tiny.  They have done amazing things with the space they have.

There are many Golf Courses:
Camp Creek Golf Club
Holiday Golf Club (they offer an amazing military discount through the Navy base.  My husband golfed there for $10)
Hombre Golf Club - Adam Brack offers kids lessons at this course. 
Panama City Beach Signal Hill Golf Course
Fox Run Country Club Sandy Creek 

Junior Museum of Bay County 1731 Jenks Ave. Panama City, FL 32405 Designed for children in preschool through middle school. Features an early childhood learning center, human biology and nutrition, natural history and a nature trail.

Zooworld  Again, driving by you would never guess how many animals they actually have there.  For a smaller zoo they have many animals including lions and a giraffe.

Gulf World Marine Park  - This place has a ton of birds.  They do some great shows for the kids.  My kids still talk about the bird tricks we saw there.  You can swim with the dolphins too! 

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