HIKING IN HOCKING HILLS STATE PARK

One of my family’s favorite ways to spend a day is hiking and photographing in the Hocking Hills State Park.  We have visited so many times and it seems there is always something new to see and so much beauty soak up.  Which area to hike in is left totally up to what kind of challenge you are willing to take on and there are some fantastic options for families with even small children.

Hiking in Hocking Hills State Park 

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Ash Cave, which is a really large recessed cave/cliff area, is one great option.  We have been able to visit this cave since my children were toddlers because of the ease of access. It has a flat paved path that leads to a sandy cave bottom that my kids have always loved. For this visit though, we chose to enjoy Old Man’s Cave and Rock House.

My children are getting older which makes me more confident in their ability to maneuver stairs, bridges, and their ability to stay on and navigate somewhat rugged trails. This also makes the activity of hiking in Hocking Hills State Park more feasible. The Upper Falls part of Old Man’s Cave isn’t far from the parking area and it’s quite picturesque with a stone bridge and waterfall.  It’s easy to see why this is the park’s most popular area.  We spent a lot of time photographing and exploring the waterfalls and natural formations of Old Man’s Cave. There was a tunnel (my kids loved it!) and lots of stairs on the rest of the hike to the lower falls and on through it’s course.  This trail would have made me nervous with smaller kids because there were a couple of areas with steep drop-offs.

It rained just before we arrived which created a nice steamy foggy atmosphere and everything was so fresh and green. I was glad I packed ponchos and that the kids and I had on hiking sandals. Hiking sandals are great for kids because they are comfy and my little ones like to stomp around in the water. The sandals dry quickly and make for a decent grip on the slippery parts of our path. I was also glad I packed the bug repellent too because it was the perfect humid weather for mosquitoes.

The sun poked back through the clouds by the time we made it back to the car. We found a picnic table and ate our packed lunch while watching birds and squirrels in the trees around us. Such a lovely scenic place! Then we were off to Rock House. This trail loop was pretty short but definitely felt more like serious hiking with some steep ups and downs. It was well worth it because we all loved the beautiful sandstone cave.

 

We will definitely be returning soon for a new adventure and to enjoy more of the beautiful things at this amazing park. If you haven’t already, try hiking in Hocking Hills State Park! It’s a wonderful way to spend the day with your family!

BUILDING SKYSCRAPERS AT LEGOLAND

We celebrated our big boy’s 8th birthday this summer. This was one year that we didn’t have to ask over and over again what he would like to do to celebrate. He had planned it out 3-4 months in advance… Legoland! We invited a few of his close friends, along with his two siblings and grandparents, and set out on our latest exciting adventure building skyscrapers at Legoland!

Building Skyscrapers at Legoland

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I’d never visited Legoland before but I was looking forward it. It was a bucket list family outing that we had trouble finding time to actually go and do. Planning it for a birthday celebration was the perfect solution. Upon walking up to Legoland in Schaumburg, IL, you are immediately greeted by a giant giraffe named Lela. You have to walk under her body to enter the building. After getting your tickets, you have the option of standing in front of a green screen and taking a photo that will be available for purchase at the end of your time there or moving on to the first exhibit.

The first exhibit is a small lego version of the city of Chicago that includes Navy Pier with boats and the ferris wheel, skyscrapers, concerts in the park, the Chicago Theatre, construction sites, and more. The kids had a fun time pointing out places they recognized. Just before leaving that area, President Obama makes himself available for family photos and selfie shots (lego-inspired, of course).

At the entrance of the Jungle Expedition, Indiana Jones welcomes you to come explore large life-like tigers, monkeys, hippos, and snakes. It’s a little dark in there, so little ones may need a hand to squeeze. A room with a BIG lego table just begging to be touched and played with is just on the other side of the jungle. Tall building structures take up the middle part of the table while small chairs and hundreds (if not thousands) of lego pieces are supplied to let the imagination run free.

Legoland also has a movie theater with a 4D feature showing for all it’s guests. The movie was about 15-20 minutes, but was pretty entertaining… especially when watching the kids almost jump out of their seats as animals seem to escape the screen. I totally laughed a couple times. lol!

There is an indoor playground complete with climbing tunnels, water play area, and rides! Here is one of the two rides that are at Legoland and what I like about them the most is that parents can get on too! Totally not ashamed. I fully embrace the inner kid in me as often as I’m allowed.  Besides, it was fun! Also in the playground section are snacks and seating if you need a little break.

 

We had a wonderful time building skyscrapers at Legoland.. and watching the cool movie and going on rides and seeing cities built out of legos AND building some awesome structures of our own. Both of my two younger children are already planning their birthday parties at Legoland. I guess we’ll be heading that way again – very soon.

Interested in checking out Legoland for yourself? Visit their Legoland Discovery Center website to find a location near you!

CHEESECAKE FACTORY GIVEAWAY

Some of the most wonderful conversations and relationships flourish over a delicious meal. It is for this reason that we have decided to make a Cheesecake Factory Giveaway available for you! We hope that this $25 gift card gets you out of the house and helps towards creating new memories and fun conversations with your family!

This is just a simple way for us to say “Thank You” to our subscribers. So, if you’re interested in subscribing, enter your name and email address in the box below.

This giveaway deadline is July 22, 2015

Thanks for joining our adventure!

~ Happy Wednesday!

 * Winner will be chosen at random on July 22, 2015 and must respond within 48 hours or new winner will be chosen. Must live in the United States.