You know that feeling you get when you have a crush on someone? The one where you’re weak at the knees and you can’t think of anything else? You spend your days dreaming about your future life together instead of doing that Excel report you’re supposed to be working on? You know the feeling?

Well, we have that exact feeling about a colour. Yep, we have a big old crush on the colour blush! The light and feminine hue is really the perfect alternative to any neutral that you might already have in your wardrobe as it pairs so nicely with so many other colours. Black, navy, grey, white and olive green? Tick, tick, tick, tick!

Not only is blush taking the fashion world by storm, but we are seeing it in homewares and interior design as well. Soft pink front doors, blush velvet lounges and quilts are adorning humble abodes everywhere, and quite frankly, we can’t get enough.

We’ve rounded up our favourite ways to style this stunning shade below.


We don’t have to tell you that parenting is hard, do we? Rewarding and amazing? Absolutely! But it’s still a whole lot of work for all mums, dads and carers out there.

It doesn’t help either that there’s soooo much information out there for parents. A lot of it can be overwhelming, some of it misleading and some can just be so dated that we don’t know what to do!

Enter the game-changing app called Kiindred, founded and created by two gorgeous Aussie mummas and friends, Emmy Samtani and Alicia Yelavich. Following the birth of their first children they both saw first hand just how outdated and one-size-fits-all support and information could be for the modern-day parent. The app solves all these problems and is divided into four genius sections – Newsfeed, Trends, Events and Chat. Of course, our personal favourite is the Petite Trends section, where you can shop the most adorable little outfits and products for your kiddies straight from the app. Brilliant!

We sat down and chatted to both Emmy and Alicia about Kiindred, what they can’t live without each day and their funniest parenting fails (which are hilarious).

We both met around 3 years ago when working on the same client during fashion week – it was for a premium alcohol brand.
We are a little bit ying and yang. Emmy is very much the creative, focusing on product while Alicia is more on the sales and marketing side. As we have been working in the startup world with kiindred, it sees us both moving across everything – it’s a little bit of a juggling act!
Both our skillsets mesh quite well for what we are trying to achieve through the kiindred dream.

We found out we were pregnant around the same time and that we lived in the same hood quite close by.
Typical of us, a maternity leave coffee date turned into a brain storming session. We started airing our frustrations on how outdated the parenting space was and how hard it was to find guidance/ support when you needed it most. We quickly realized that there was a huge gap in the new parenting market. So it was literally a coffee date that realised the kiindred dream – code named ‘Project Mumma’ at the time.

There are loads of parenting books that already exist. These are jam packed with endless amounts of information but there’s the problem! There’s no denying these can be a valuable resource but who has time to trawl through endless amounts of information. It is the same for Doctor Google and all the online forums or Facebook groups. Why couldn’t we just have the information at our finger tips, when we needed it most. We spent many a night feeding our little ones, phone in hand whilst trying to navigate information online. An app would allow us to control and serve the information to the users right when they needed it most via a simple newsfeed.

Inspiration and guidance to make those early days of parenting so much easier and enjoyable. We want to take the guess work out of things that you should know as a parent. We called on the experts across a range of categories, to get those key tips and advice and then worked quite closely with them to ensure it could be delivered in bite-sized pieces, based on a baby’s age – right when they need it most.


E – The Daily Rhythms. Our Mothercraft Expert helped guide me through the development stages with my first born. I remember thinking she was worth her weight in gold – so to have her rhythms and easy to follow sleep/feeding and awake times accessible to our community is invaluable. I still refer to them on a daily basis the second time around.

A – I have an addiction to Petite Trends – shopping the feed that is! I love how we have handpicked some of the most beautiful brands and products, and a lot of them are businesses also ran by mums themselves. Most products have been inspired from an experience of a parent and also realizing a gap in the market for something they needed.


It goes without saying we are all for routine at kiindred HQ. With 2 babies each and a new business, we couldn’t get through each day without having some form of structure in place. The kids really thrive off it too – predictability is a good thing especially for toddlers. The babies now know what to expect too and we can juggle bed/bath routine like no one’s business!


E – Our lovely Food + Nutrition Expert gave me some breastfeeding tonic to help with my milk supply. After a rough night, one babe on my hip and another tugging at my leg, I decided to quickly down the herbs before racing out the door. I realised almost immediately I had just taken half a bottle (75 mls) of the most awful tasting stuff, rather than 7.5mls. Yes there was a decimal point. The lesson is – don’t self-medicate when sleep deprived.

A – Being a little too lenient with ‘nappy free’ time. I left my son Arlo nappy free in his room when he was around 10 months of age so I could finish doing my makeup… he had done a number 2 and decided it would look beautiful painted all over his gorgeous books and cot. Lesson learned.

Is this a trick question? Running a business and having kiddies under the age of 3 really doesn’t allow much time for ourselves.

E – Working on something you are passionate about can become quite addictive. I‘ve tried to not be too hard on myself with juggling the kids and launching a business – there is only so much you can fit into each day! I’ve made a promise to myself to start blocking out time in the diary post launch and take a little more time-out sans kids or work to clear my head and exercise.

– I have the kids a few days a week and work any second I have so getting some time out is super tricky. I have though just discovered an app (love a good app!) that helps me get 5 mins peace and quiet to reflect on the day. This is a really nice way to detach from the world for a moment, reflect on the day and appreciate what has now past and what’s next.

E–  1. Water. Being a breastfeeding mumma and getting less the amount of desired sleep, I find this is a necessity. I recently bought myself a new bottle when my intake was low to remind me of how much I should be drinking – it instantly makes you feel better when you are well hydrated.
2. My Mumma. Whether she is babysitting, doing my laundry or on the phone as a sounding board, she has been a huge support for me since having my babies and with the launch of kiindred.
3. My Phone. It’s sad but true – we’re launching an app after all! It barely leaves my side though as I am guilty of tracking every single milestone by taking pictures of my little ones. They are such great memories to have.

A – 1. My Aesop skincare. It smells THAT good. When you are getting up 3 times a night you can wake up feeling pretty blah. I find smothering on some Aesop really helps give me a pick me up, and leaves me smelling like I have left a day-spa.
2. My husband. He keeps me very balanced. No matter the day he has had, he comes in with a smile and we chat. Communication is so important, especially in the first stages of becoming a parent.
3. My Mum & Dad. They are a HUGE support and I couldn’t work, have kids and be a mum without them. Blessed.

We just love this story of two friends being total boss babes and taking over the parenting world one app at a time.
You can download Kiindred from the app store here.

Best Vacation Spots in Florida

A vacation to Florida is always a great choice for a getaway with your family. Lots of families have done the Disney World trip and it is after-all the most magical place on Earth. If you are wanting to explore more of the sunshine state, then check out of the list of the best vacation spots in Florida.

We have picked a few spots that you and your family are sure to love!

Best Vacation Spots in Florida

Best Vacation Spots in Florida:


Marco Island:

Some friends of ours got married in Marco Island several years ago, and before their wedding, I had never heard of the spot before. It is a quiet little town with a big personality. High-quality hotels like the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort and Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa just to name a few choices. When your kids need a change of pace from the beach, why not take a dolphin cruise at The Dolphin Explorer?

Something to keep in mind about a visit to Marco Island is that because it is a quiet town, there isn’t an over abundance of touristy things to do. If your kids are water lovers they will be just fine.

Cocoa Beach Pier - Best Vacation Spots in Florida

Cocoa Beach:

This spot in the sunshine state has a lot more for your family to get into, beyond just the beach! The hotel variety ranges from Hampton Inn to a Four Points by Sheraton and everything in between.  If you have a space lover in your family you should consider visiting Kennedy Space Center, our whole family LOVED it! If you are up for a little friendly family competition then the Andretti Thrill Park is a great choice! The Cocoa Beach Pier is also a great place to hang out as a family!

Port Charlotte

Port Charlotte:

Is located along the Florida Gulf coast and is a great place for a quiet getaway with the family. There are several different hotels to choose from like the Country Inn and Suites and Days Inn. Hop aboard a boat from the Peace River Boat Tour company and take in the area sites.

Like Marco Island, this area is also a quiet area so it might be better for older kids.

Navarre Beach

On a trip to Navarre Beach, you won’t find an over abundance of shops selling beach towels and hermit crabs, actually, you won’t find any in Navarre. What you will find is pure beach, with unobstructed views of the blue water. Grab a few girlfriends and head South to get away from screaming kids and piles of bills. You can read about our time in Navarre, here.

St Augustine

St. Augustine:

We have written about it before, but what can we say? We love this town! Check our post about it here.  St. Augustine has gorgeous beaches, tons of Spanish/American history, and amazing local restaurants.



DisneyYes, Disney and Universal Studios are in Orlando, but so are some other pretty awesome destinations as well. Legoland is about 45 minutes outside of Orlando and is a whole amusement park and just this year they added a resort! Seaworld is also another great stop for your family. Discovery Cove has been on our bucket list for years, if you haven’t heard about it chances are you will add it soon. You get to get up close and personal with the dolphins! Just be sure to make your reservations early! There are many hotels and condo rentals in the area that you can choose from.

Clearwater/St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg/Clearwater is the only destination in America with two beaches in the Top 10 of TripAdvisor’s 2015 Traveler’s Choice Awards of the Top U.S. Beaches, which is based on millions of traveler reviews. If you want activities, resorts and colorful drinks with tiny umbrellas in them, Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach have you covered.

Sea GroveSea Grove Beach

My sister and her family rave about Sea Grove. Seagrove is a mile-and-a-half beach that encircles a small cove and lures visitors with its beauty and serenity. Named for the thick grove of windswept trees that surround it, Seagrove still maintains the same green canopy of oaks, magnolias, hickories and sand pines that came to define it a half a century ago.

Crystal River

We recently visited the little town of Crystal River, the town might be small but there are tons of things to do, and it is the perfect spot for families! Not to mention that it is the manatee capital of the world. You can read about our time in Crystal River here.

The winners in the ‘Best Florida Beach’ contest category for USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice are as follows:

1. Gulf Islands National Seashore – Pensacola
2. Clearwater Beach – Clearwater
3. Siesta Beach – Siesta Key
4. Playalinda – Titusville
5. Pass-a-Grille Beach – St. Petersburg
6. Caladesi Island State Park – Dunedin
7. St. Joseph Peninsula State Park – Port St. Joe
8. Fort de Soto Park – Tierra Verde
9. Henderson Beach State Park – Destin
10.Lovers Key State Park – Ft. Myers


Best Vacation Spots in Florida

One Comment

  • C. Lee

    July 22, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    This is a great list but you forgot to come visit me! We’re right outside of Tampa and while you’re here, be sure to check out Busch Gardens and MOSI.


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6 Free things to do in Fort Lauderdale

Many people think of Fort Lauderdale as a place to park their car and catch their cruise ship. While this is true, there is a lot of fun to be had while you are in town.

Many of them are free! If you are anything like us, we would tell you that free fun is the best fun, especially if you are just passing through on your way to your next destination.

We’ve put together a list of 6 Free Things to do in Fort Lauderdale

Hit the beach!

The Fort Lauderdale beach is free for the public to use and for the most part it is fairly calm. The sand stretches for miles and even though that many people visit, there is more than enough room for everyone. Just a note, parking can be tricky, so get there early and spend the day making sandcastles with your kids!

Fort Lauderdale beach

Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale

The Riverwalk features tons of museums, gardens and a performing arts center. While the museums and performing arts center might not be free, the time spent in this beautiful area certainly is, plus the people watching is awesome!

Volunteer Park

I am quite sure that once my kids get older, they won’t be as enamored with “new to them” playgrounds, but for now, they are happier than anyone visiting a playground they haven’t explored before. If you can tear your kiddos away from the play structure, there are family hikes to be had and ducks to feed!

Bonnet House Museum and Gardens

Visit the home of the Bonnet’s, the original landowners of a large majority of the area. Take a peek at their amazing home and breathtaking gardens. All for free!

Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum

If your family is anything like mine, you might find it hard to pull them away from a spot with lots of antique cars but it might just be the perfect place to spend a rainy day or seek shelter from the sun.

Anne Kolb Nature Center

So this is a mostly free attraction. On weekdays, admission is free that changes on the weekends, admission then becomes $1.50 per person. Which is still a very affordable it isn’t technically free. With over 1,500 miles of marshland to explore, there is something for everyone in your family to enjoy.

Have you visited Fort Lauderdale before? What was your favorite low-cost attraction?

6 Free things to do in Fort Lauderdale

6 Easter basket ideas that aren’t candy

I know, I know. The Reeses and Cadbury Eggs are a staple in Easter baskets but by the time we get home from both sets of grandparents and whatever egg hunt we come across in our travels, we are more than set on candy.

I don’t know about you all, but I can’t take any more candy coming into our house. Don’t get me wrong, I love it but can I tell you a secret?

We still have Halloween candy that hasn’t been eaten. My kids are excited to collect it at Halloween, just like they are at Easter. But, all of this candy around the house not getting eaten by my children means it is around tempting me. That had got to stop!

Read on to see 6 Easter basket ideas that aren’t candy


Here is a run down of some of the things that I grabbed to put into the Easter basket.


My kids are never happier than when I bring a fresh container of bubbles home. They don’t have to be fancy by any stretch of the imagination, just plain old bubbles. They keep my kids busy for hours…even my older kids. You can grab these at the dollar store and no one would be the wiser!

Super Wings

Super Wings

These characters from the popular TV show on Sprout were made into toys. Even though these are from a show for younger children, my 8-year-old really enjoyed using his imagination with these toys. They transform from planes to the characters from the show.

Sidewalk Chalk

Another item that you can pick up at the dollar store is sidewalk chalk. We tend to have all of the neighborhood kids congregate at our house when the weather is nice enough to play outside. For some reason, when the sidewalk chalk comes out everyone stops and takes the time to draw.



My kids have been begging for these for a long time. They are stuffed animals that can be ‘flipped over’ and turned into to different animal. They come as stuffed animals, or in a smaller size that is plastic and are small enough to fit into Easter eggs.

Jump Rope

I threw this into the Easter basket because I discovered that my oldest had no clue how to jump rope. Is this not a skill that they teach in PE anymore? Anyway, I digress. I put one of these in the basket to help with that skill he is lacking!



I suggest these because they are in what looks like bigger Easter eggs. So they would be good for hiding during an Easter egg hunt. Inside you will find cute animals, they come with a name, birthdate, and info about what they like. To my youngest’s delight, one of the animals shared his birthday so he thought that was really cool.

Tell us, what non-candy items do you put in your Easter baskets? Do you think you will try any of these ideas?

A Stay at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

My family and I were fortunate enough to stay at Disney’s Beach Club Resort on our most recent trip to Walt Disney world. If you followed along with our trip last year you’ll remember that we stayed at the Grand Floridian and left feeling underwhelmed by the property.

This was not the case with the Beach Club. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the property.

The Rooms at the Beach Club

A room at Disney's Beach Club

The rooms at the Beach Club are a casual formal, is that even a thing?

I dare say the rooms are as nice as the rooms at the Grand Floridian without the formality.

Our room faced a garden area and had a small, very small balcony. The bathroom is set up in such a way that the vanity is separate from the shower and toilet area. Which is nice for a family (or anyone) traveling together, because it allows for lots of things to be happening at once.

Best pool on Disney Property

The pool at Disney's Beach Club

If you dig hard enough, chances are you’d find a message board or a Disney lovers thread about the best pools on Disney property, and I’d dare wager that you’d find Beach Club’s pool at the top of that list.

The pool is complete with a pirate ship slide, a lazy river, and my favorite feature, a sandy bottom area.

If your kiddos aren’t strong swimmers (like my kids) but want to be in the water, you will be rejoicing that this is a feature. The sand is built up in such a way that the depth goes from just ankle deep to 3 feet deep.

My kids loved being able to dig in the sand and having a bit more freedom and we loved not having to be on top of them the entire time they were in the pool.

Plus, it is just a pretty pool!

How to have the best summer ever even if you don’t travel

Summer is upon us and visions of an epic family vacation are just a thing of your dreams. Maybe your family took their big trip last Summer or perhaps the budget just isn’t flexible enough to get out of town.

Summer is magical for kids, and for mommas that don’t have to call their kids in from playing with their friends to do homework.

We have always said that fun doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. In fact, we listed a fantastic free thing in each state to do with kids. Things for Small Kids to do in all 50 States!

While we talk about traveling a lot we are also home a lot with our families. We have listed some of our favorite summertime activities.

Catch a cheap movie:

I am a bit of a different person when it comes to movies, I don’t go very often mainly because I don’t want to have to take out a second mortgage to be able to afford a movie.

In the summer, Regal Cinemas offers a fantastic deal that even a cheapo like myself can get behind.

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, two movies are shown for $1. You can likely gather up enough to take the entire family just from cleaning out the couch cousins.

You can find the nearest location participating on the official website.

Visit your local dollar store:

The day after school was out, one of my friends and I took a trip, with kids in tow to our local Five Below, if you don’t have a Five Below in your town think of it as a ‘classy’ dollar store. They always have an abundance of great finds like outdoor toys but I always pop in for stocking stuffers and Easter Bunny candy as well.

We spent 30 dollars and got 4 different types of outdoor games and it will last our kids all summer. Our kids play together nearly every day.  The best part is that because we are around each other enough living just a few houses away, that we were able to make a community purchase.

Explore one of your own city’s tourist attractions

Just because you aren’t getting out of town for summer doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take advantage of the fantastic things to do in your own town. In the summer months, my town (Louisville, Kentucky) offers what is called a Cultural Pass. It is free for school-aged children and it offers the opportunity to visit some of our local attractions free of charge.

Even if your community doesn’t offer something like that, look at the website for your local museum, zoo or water park and find out if they are offering discount days. If they aren’t, why not start a family savings jar and plan for the adventures that you would like to take right in your own hometown.

Have a water fight:

Water balloons, water guns, and even the hose can provide hours of cheap entertainment. Heck, getting sprayed by a water gun is almost a welcomed experience when you are in the throes of the dog days of summer!
These extras don’t have to cost a lot, we snagged an 8 pack of mini water guns at our local grocery store for $3.99.

Bonus points if you join in with the kiddos!

Take advantage of summer reading programs:

I don’t know about your kiddos but mine are very motivated by prizes. Our library offers a reading program with a bag full of prizes (think tickets to local events) when they have read a pre-specified number of books.

Additionally, there are national chains having their own summer reading programs. Check out some below:

Barns and Noble 
Half Price Books
Scholastic Summer Reading Program

Get away in your own town:

Even if you can’t get out of town for a trip to the beach, why not get away from your house for just one night? Find a hotel with reasonable rates and a great indoor pool and let your kids have a ball. Even if the hotel you visit is just down the road, sometimes getting away for a nice can help you feel like you are in a totally different town.

We want to know, if the timing isn’t right for a summer getaway, what do you and your family do to make the most of your time together?

Get away for the weekend to Hamilton County, Indiana

One of the things that my family enjoys doing the most is getting out of town for the weekend. Don’t get me wrong, we take longer trips but there is something so refreshing about getting away, recharging and then heading home for a new week.

Enter Hamilton County, Indiana.

Located just about 2 1/2 hours from our home in Louisville, Kentucky, it proved to be the perfect escape that my family and I needed.

Hamilton County, Indiana is a suburb of Indianapolis, it has the convenience of city life without the chaos of a large city.

It is comprised of several towns but we spent the bulk of our time in Noblesville, Carmel, and Fishers.

Things to do in Hamilton County

Go on a trail ride.

We started our adventure in my happy place, a horse barn. I grew up riding and showing horses, so any chance I get to share my first love with my kids, I take.

K-Trails Equestrian Adventures is a new company in town, offering trail rides, pony rides and even overnight boarding for personal horses.

The thing that struck me the most about the facility was how clean it was, it was instantly evident that the horses were extremely well cared for and loved.

I was traveling alone with my 6 and 8-year-old boys. Something to note is that kids younger than 7 aren’t able to go out on the trails, instead, they get to have some one on one time with an instructor and a pony. Surprisingly, my little guy didn’t seem to care one bit about the fact that his brother went out on the trails.

Since I needed to stay behind with my 6-year-old, I was worried that my older son would be apprehensive about going without me. He had a guide riding in front and a guide behind him and I could tell that he was instantly at ease. They chatted with him and even let him choose from 2 horses. The smile on that child’s face was as big as I have ever seen it.

By the time we were leaving, my little guy asked if we thought he could take home the pony that he rode.


Archery in Hamilton County Indiana

The Koteewi Sport & Target Archery Center is located right next to the K-Trails Equestrian Center and offers rental bows from compound like what my boys and I used to everything in between.

This center is state of the art and offers an area for basic target practice and another area for 3D shooting. Think dinosaurs and zombies. Archery is something that my family and I got into last year and we take any opportunity to go target shooting together.

Conner Praire

Conner Praire

We’ve written about Conner Praire before, in fact, you can read a small overview in this post. I had heard a lot about Conner Praire but hadn’t ever been there before.

While we were in town there was a special event happening at Conner Praire called the Curiosity Fair. There were various vendors set up around the property letting kiddos get hands on at the exhibits featured during the fair.

My kiddos were enthralled by the treehouse area of Conner Praire, spending upwards of an hour exploring the 4 story structure.Treehouse

Perhaps the most interesting part of the property for me personally was the Lenape Indian Camp, there is a trading post that I thought was set up just as an example, but the man working shared that Indians still come to trade goods. I was shocked, I had no idea that the trading post was used for anything but just educational purposes.

Also on the property is a large, tethered hot air balloon that for an additional fee offers rides. We were scheduled to ride while we were there but it wasn’t operating due to the curiosity fair.

During our visit, we certainly didn’t have enough time to explore the elements of Conner Praire that are the staples, however, my children have assured me that we will make a return trip in the very near future.

Where to Eat in Hamilton County Indiana

Big Dogs Smoke House

get the fantastic ribs at big dogs smoke house

My oldest child proclaimed the ribs at Big Dogs, ‘the best he has ever had.’ Let me tell you, he is a connoisseur of ribs, so if he says they are the best you’d better take him at his word!

This unassuming restaurant is located in Cicero, Indiana. The fun interior provided something to occupy the time while waiting for the feast that had just been ordered.

I ordered the brisket and had a similar reaction to my food that my son did with his ribs. It was flavorful and tender all at the same time.

Big Dogs totally warrants a return trip!

Woody’s Library Restaurant

Woody's Library Restaurant

When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is find new and different local restaurants.

Located in the former library in Carmel, this eatery is lined with books and gives off a cozy vibe that one thinks of when curling up with a good book in the library.

I think I enjoyed the desert options the best, due to their size. Quite often I want something sweet to eat but don’t want a large dessert portion. Woody’s offers dessert ‘bites’ on their menu. Enough to satisfy your taste buds without the overwhelming portion.

Rosie’s Place

Rosie's Place Noblesville

We stopped in Rosie’s Place for breakfast. It is a quaint little spot in Noblesville, seems to be extremely popular, as evidenced upon arrival. The line for a table was out of the door. The best part is that in addition to the fantastic breakfast that we had we grabbed some freshly baked goodies (cookies, cinnamon rolls, lemon bars, oh my) to take home with us. We were so full from breakfast that we ended up not needing lunch that afternoon.

Where to stay in Hamilton County, Indiana

Choice Hotels has a relatively new name in their lineup, Cambria Suites. Stop what you are doing right now and find a location near you and book a stay. Seriously.

Stop what you are doing right now and find a location near you and book a stay. Seriously.

Cambria Suites in Hamilton Indiana

Our biggest issue when staying at a hotel with our kids is the lack of space, the parents just want to chill out and the kids seem to have endless energy.

The Cambria brand offers spacious suites that allow for personal space. This is key after having a lot of togetherness!

What’s more, it offers a luxury feel, without the luxury price tag, clocking in at just over $100 a night.

Cambria Suites in Hamilton Indiana

There is a market just off the lobby offering salads and made to order food with a full bar. While room service isn’t offered, there is an option to call down to order your food in advance and it will be ready and waiting for you to take back to the comfort of your room.

Additionally, there is a full breakfast buffet and the option to order off of the menu for breakfast. There is an additional fee but it is an affordable $9 for the buffet.

I am serious when I say, upon checking in I immediately started searching for the additional locations once we got settled, I really liked it that much.

Hamilton County, Indiana is a great spot to head when your family needs to get away, but you can’t or don’t want to get too terribly far from home!

A guide to Hamilton County Indiana

My family and I were guests of Hamilton County Indiana, but our opinions are our own.

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What to Expect at Holiday World and Splashin Safari Theme Park

If you have never heard of Santa Claus, Indiana, you might assume it is a town where it is Christmas all year long. And while that is somewhat true with all of its Santa themed museums and shops, you should know that there is another part of Santa Claus, Indiana that is a summer hot spot.

Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari Theme Park is in Santa Claus, Indiana, and it offers far more than just Santa statues and Christmas Trees to gaze at!

About Holiday World and Spashin’ Safari

Characters at Holiday World

Holiday World is no newbie to family fun. It originally opened in 1946 offering Americans one of the first theme parks in the country. It boasts the two rollercoasters, The Raven and The Legend, both of which have been voted as some of the best rollercoasters in the world. Aside from these rides, the parks are also equipped with dozens of kiddie rides, thrill rides, carnival games, a lazy river, water slides, splash pads, jungle gyms, and so much more. The park rates their rides as “child” to “mild” to “wild” as far as thrill level, so you can choose your rides accordingly.

Navigating Holiday World

In Holiday World’s themed sections you will find no shortage of fun. These sections include Thanksgiving, 4th Of July, Christmas, and Halloween. Each section has rides and games based on the theme of that section. Walking through you will feel like each holiday is being celebrated, with everything being themed from the décor to the music being played. Live shows and acts, musical numbers, and character performances are performed in each section at no additional charge and are arranged to suit the theme of the area as well.

Free Sunscreen and Soft Drinks at Holiday World

Free Sunscreen at Holiday World

One of the first things you may notice upon entering is the cleanliness of the park. The employees at Holiday World and Splashin Safari strive at keeping the park sparkling and welcoming. You will notice very pleasant demeanors in all the employees in the way they interact with guests and see to their happiness and comfort. Guest comfort is a high priority at the park, and you can tell by the offering of free soft drinks and sunscreen. You will find these free soft drink and sunscreen stations all over the park, allowing you to help yourself as needed. There is also an abundance of clean restrooms, making it easy to access them no matter where you are and avoid any long lines.

Fantastic Food at Holiday World

Gluten Free Options at Holiday World

You have many dining options when it comes to eating at Holiday World and Splashin Safari. You can enjoy gluten free options and options for those with dietary needs. You can enjoy traditional fair food like cotton candy and funnel cakes. A rare treat found at Holiday World and Splashin Safari is the ever famous Dole Whip, a pineapple ice cream treat not served in many other parks. Along with your Dole Whip, you can enjoy burgers, hot dogs, pretzels, nachos, corn dogs, and numerous other treats to fuel you through your day. Should you want a sweet treat, head to Mrs. Claus’s Kitchen where taffy, fudge, and sweet beverages are waiting for you!

Take a break while in the park

If you are ready for a break there are plenty of areas to rest areas, benches, stores to browse, pavilions to relax under, or shows to enjoy in the shade. You are also free to get your hand stamped and leave the park if you wish to leave and rest and return later. This is a wonderful option for families with young children to have.

You will find that Holiday World and Splashin Safari is an ideal getaway for families with children. The accommodations the park offers help families feel truly comfortable and welcome.

Splashin’ Safari

Splashin' Safari

Once you have done all there is to enjoy at Holiday World, you can simply walk over to Splashin’ Safari which is connected to the park. Here you will find the lazy river, numerous water slides, a splash pad, and other water-themed attractions. There are several play areas for the kids here so if your child isn’t a fan of pools, the splash pads/splash grounds may be more ideal. You will still find all the sunscreen, beverage, and dining options in this section of the park, as well as free flotation vests for younger children.

6 Kid Friendly Attractions in St. Augustine

 I don’t care if you are 82 or 6, you are going to enjoy this museum if you like learning about pirates.They have a variety of real artifacts, some of which include pottery and sword handles that been dug up in St. Augustine, a real treasure chest, one of the few remaining genuine Jolly Rogers, and treasure from around the world. The museum also boasts a plethora of interactive exhibits, which include two computerize areas focusing on famous pirates and their lives or areas of the world that had pirate activity. Other exhibits were more physical and interactive, some that were a hit with us were:

  1. The Scavenger Hunt. When you start the museum, they give you a paper to do a scavenger hunt! As you go throughout the museum, you look for drawers with skull and crossbones and after collecting the list, you turn in your filled our treasure map for treasure (“the treasure” is a plastic jewel, but it’s still fun)! The kids adored this and it really gets them looking throughout the museum.
  2. Lift a real gold bar and musket. Dad thought this was the coolest thing. The gold bar is in an enclosed box and you get to lift it through this claw contraction. We were so surprised by the weight. The same with the musket rifle, it’s a lot heavier than it looks!
  3. Learn about the different types of knots. In a replica ship, you have an area about knot tying. So test your skill and see how many ship knots can you tie!
  4. Guess the smells. There are boxes where you sniff and guess what the smell is such as leather or fruit. The kids thought these were fun to guess.

This museum was a good price of only around $15 for adults and it’s worth the time and the money. It was engaging and entertaining for everyone, we loved it!


Sea Serpent Tours

  • Sea Serpent Tours – This was by far one of my favorite activities in St. Augustine. Their website ( is wonderfully mobile friendly – you can book a tour right from your phone! I especially liked that I could even choose my date and time based on which tour I wanted to take.

    Now, it can be confusing to get there. It is tempting to turn right too early to go to the boat ramp, but you need to go down the road a little further. There’s a small sign for Sea Serpent Tours on the big sign, so it will be easy to spot once you get there. When you get to the park, you will see how beautiful the area is! There are quite a few picnic tables for a picnic before or after the airboat ride, which I wish we did.

    Sea Serpent Tours has a tiny house where you sign the paperwork, enjoy the local views, and wait for the air boat. The air boat seats 6 – plenty of room for our family of four. The seats are also padded bench seating and we were thankful that we didn’t feel squashed.

    The airboat captain completely made the trip. He was nice, funny, knowledgeable, experienced, and helpful! He had a wide variety of facts to give us and was wonderful about slowing down and letting us take in the unique wildlife when we saw something.

    Bonus Tips:
    1. Be sure to wear sunscreen. You are out on a boat for two hours, so you will want that extra protection.
    2. Make sure your hat can strap on. The airboat goes fast during some parts and you will want to hang onto your hat tight! If you are worried about little hands losing their hats, then you might want to invest in some hats that strap under the chin.
    3. Bring water bottles. You will get thirsty, so bring a few water bottles for the family. If you get hungry, you are allowed to eat little snacks as well.
    4. Don’t forget a tip. You want to show some gratitude for a good job, right?

    We started the trip with comfortable headsets that gave us a safety briefing and stories about local legends. We drove around the area then went through the river. The captain told us about the local plant and animal life, which sounds boring for kids but it was certainly far from that. He was so entertaining and it makes it all the better that we were lucky to see a lot of the local natives.

    The captain told us about the history of the area and cool facts about everything from the trees to the alligators. Now, because it’s wildlife, you never know what you might or might not see. However, we got to see a baby ‘gator, a large alligator, different types of fish, and a huge manatee! We were especially excited about seeing the manatee feed on the greenery.

    We cruised around and took in the beautiful sights. If you enjoy taking photos, then this is the place to do it. The stories and ghostly tales were also a bit of fun to provide some extra adventure for the kids.

    I would highly recommend this new but absolutely delightful tour!

  • Marineland Dolphin Adventure–  Although it’s a little bit of a drive away from St. Augustine, it is well worth the trip. Especially if you are looking for some dolphin fun. If you haven’t been there in years, it has definitely changed! And you need to go back.

    They are a field site for the preservation and protection of marine life. They have interactive educational tours that teach you about the location (historically the location was for innovative underwater filming for the movie industry) and all of the marine life that they study and assist there.

    Don’t worry, you will definitely see dolphins and learn interesting facts about dolphins, whales, fish, and much more along the way! Did you know that starfish are actually called sea stars? It’s because they aren’t fish at all.

    If you want to spend the extra money, you can even get in the water with the dolphins for a bit, which is an awesome experience I did when I was little; however, we did not do it this trip.

    If you want to learn about the area and marine life, but especially want to be inspired by the awesome creatures that live in the ocean, then you need to plan a trip to Marineland.


Alligator Farm

  • St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park – Technically this is on Anastasia Island, but it’s a short drive away. Also, be sure to pick up one of the coupon pamphlets around town, usually they have a few bucks off. Bonus!

    If you love zoos, then this is the place to go. Obviously, they focus on all types of alligators. We got to learn interesting facts while actually getting to see the astounding variety of alligators and crocodiles, as well as monkeys, birds, snakes, and other creatures.

    The guys were thrilled to pet a baby gator, watch the monkeys swing from the trees, and then watch as the giant alligators lazed about in the hot summer sun. However, their favorite part was watching the biggest gators in the park get fed. Be sure to mark your watches because those are only at certain times of the day; despite the limited viewing, it is quite a sight to see!

    If you or any loved ones are fans of zoos or alligators, then this is the place to go!

  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum – There are two nice things about going to this museum.
    1. You get to see all the crazy exhibits which without a doubt are interesting and entertaining.
    2. You get prime parking.

    Ripley’s Museum is located within a short walking distance of downtown St. Augustine. If you buy a ticket to the museum and put it on the dash of your car, you get to park there for free for the rest of the day. This is especially nice since parking can get expensive fast downtown. Also, here’s another place to get that coupon book for since sometimes Ripley’s will offer a few bucks off their ticket prices.

    If you have never been to a Ripley’s Museum, then you’re in for a fun time. The whole point of this museum is to have wacky, fun, astounding, and interesting exhibits, artifacts, art, and information. You will see everything from a moving replica of a two story erector set Ferris wheel and candy art of famous celebrities to exquisitely ornate ivory sculptures and pictures and stories of the largest man that’s lived.

    Come to expect the unexpected. It is a museum, but kids love the variety and crazy things being shown.

  • Project Swing Playground – This is not a museum, a zoo, or the beach (which their beaches are great for playing and for long walks here), but it’s a playground close to the downtown’s main parking garage.

    It sounds silly to mention a playground, but this one has much, much more than the typical swings and slides. The Project Swing Playground is a 23,000 square foot playground which offers a unique wooden play space complete with tubes, towers, a fort, a space shuttle, and a lighthouse.

    This was newly built when I was growing out of the playground phase, but let’s just say I wish I was a kid again. They’ve kept up this playground pretty well and it is a favorite for kids. It’s almost a reprieve between all of the tours and museums and is a nice stop to let the kids just play. However, it’s still a playground that brings that special fun that you expect when you are in the vacation bubble.

    It’s free to go to, so just check it out. Just be sure to give yourself plenty of time to really play and explore. There’s too much to do for just 15-30 minutes!

    St. Augustine has plenty to do for all ages, from the food scene to the historic forts, it’s a place to keep coming back to every year and you’ll still be finding more to do. We had a fantastic trip and look forward to exploring more in the future!

    Do you have some favorite attractions in St. Augustine? Tell us about them in the comments below.