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Nicole Symonds

South River, New Jersey

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Holmdel Park

44 Longstreet Road, Holmdel, New Jersey

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  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Tweens (9-12)
Visited: 2013-03-01 | Submitted: 2013-03-19 13:56:23.0 | I traveled with little kids (3-5) and tweens (9-12)

Park, Playground & Living Farm

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We frequent Holmdel park and particularly Longstreet Farm as a family. The park is expansive with hills for rolling and sledding. A small stocked lake that offers fishing and skating. The Pond Shelter offers tables and a large fireplace to warm up. There are multiple trails for hiking and biking as well as a number of playgrounds. My boy 3 & 4 LOVE the farm. We go every spring in aniticipation of the babies, pigs, lambs, chicks and sometimes a calve. There are often free activities, sheep shearing, blacksmith demonstrations but there is always work taking place on the farm. Recently, there has been cooking taking place in the farm house kitchen everytime we have gone. They have had hot cider, homemade pretzels and graham crackers. My boys love to explore the farm and always love to swing on the swing in front of the farm house.

Tips for Families

Pack a picnic and make a day of it. Walk around the lake, roll down the hill and end with the farm. The building at the farm entrance will have daily happenings posted, such as milking the cow or plowing a field so you can plan to see the farmers in action. Bring your bikes or scooters and let them burn off some energy at the getting to the lower level playground. Head up to the Hill Top playground with the large pendulum swing and climbing structure.

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Great Wolf Lodge Scotrun

1 Great Wolf Drive, Scotrun, Pennsylvania

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Average user rating (22 Reviews)

My overall rating

My ratings by kids age

  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Tweens (9-12)

My detailed rating

  • Cleanliness
  • Customer Service
  • Comfort
  • Location
  • Value
  • Pool
  • On-site/nearby restaurants
  • Other kids' amenities

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$275

avg/night

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Visited: 2013-02-01 | Submitted: 2013-03-04 16:21:29.0 | I traveled with little kids (3-5) and tweens (9-12)

Great time at Great Wolf - Can't wait to go back

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So let me start by saying I WON this trip at a church Tricky Tray so our room was free but, would be so willing to pay and go again!!. I also have 2 boys (ages 4 & 2) with multiple food allergies - always a travel challenge. So we went on a Holiday Weekend (Presidents Day) and it appeared to be fairly full. Our check in was pleasant and uneventful. Our room was not yet ready (check in is at 4pm) we arrived at 3 and while in the lobby deciding who was changing with which of the children I received a text they room as ready and the room #. They allow you to come early, 1pm and stay late 9pm so you can make full use of the waterpark on the day you arrive and day you depart. We love the fact that the adult wristbands were the room key and could allow you to charge things throughout the resort. No need to carry ANYTHING!! Although big, we did not find the resort to be overwhelming. The majority of the activities are in a central location. So where to start next - The Waterpark - plently of things for every guest. Our children are swimmers and love the water, my 2 year old loved the pool area for toddlers. It is a zero depth entry so he can walk right in!! There were several slides, some sprayers and play areas and his favorite - basketball! Both my 2 and 4 year olds loved Fort Mackenzie, with sprays of water coming out of the floor and lots of climbing they had a ball. They were also able to use the larger body slides in that area. My 4 year old was able, with a parent to ride on all but 2 slides. He loved every minute of it!! For my 10 year old we brought our 11 year old niece. The girls were able to go through the waterpark themselves and I felt comfortable that they were safe and contained. We found a table each day so they had a place to come back to but from the table we were able to watch them head up the stairs to the slides over and over and over!! Dinning - as I mentioned this usually poses some problems. I have to say after a Disney vacation our experiences elsewhere have not been good - that is until Great Wolf. They took the food allergies very seriously and even though we were eating at a buffet, the chef came out and worked with us and our boys to find things they could and would eat. All of their food was prepared seperately in the kitchen so not to cross contaminate. We had no reactions!! Not even at the Snack Bar in the Waterpark - they called the Chef again and prepared our food seperately!! (For those who deal with food allergies they were really working to make sure we were taken care of). So buffets, no my favorite but, they were well stocked and turning over very quickly. They had a really great selection for everyone in the family from the chicken fingers and pizza the kids love to steak, chicken marsala and a fantastic thai style salmon. There were salads, soups, sandwiches, peel and eat shrimp, clams and other seafood options, a pasta station and a great array of choices. Oh and wonderful deserts! The prices were resort appropriate ~$22 p/adult $12 p/kid and 3 and under ate free. The breakfast buffet was much of the same, great variety, an omlet station, pancakes, french toast, blintzes, breakfast meats, hot cereal, cold cereal, fruits, danish and pastry - they again had a section - designed to please the kids with breakfast pizza, french toast sticks etc. Prices ~$13 p/adult & $8 kids over 4. The other activities..... we did not do anything much other than the waterpark because we couldn't get oyur kids out of the water but they have MagiQuest. $25 buys you a wand which can be used all over the resort to explore an enchanted kingdom with you imagination. There are locations all over that come to life or react to the wand. The Cub Club, has activities and crafts for they kids, all for a nominal charge except for coloring. This was not a drop off facility so parents be prepared to stay. There was color a pillowcase, a mug, a t-shirt all between $8-15. There was a story book that your childs photo can be added to but I did not see the pricing. I believe they also offer story time and activities but you may need to check with them daily for thier schedule. There was mini golf $5p/person p/game and Ten Pin alley bowling at approx. the same price. There is an arcade which we didn't venture into (the 2 yr old hates the noise). We did see the Great Clock Tower Show in the lobby and attend Story Time. Both are daily free activities. Other free activities the weekend we were there were: The Wake Up Wolf Walk - a walking wildlife adventure through the resort. Character meet & greet. Face painintg, Character Trivia, Bingo, Floor Memory Game and a Dance Party. For the activities they offered 2 packages a Paw Pass for $64.99 (Value $101.94): it included: One MagiQuest game and a classic wand and topper One animal at the Great Wold Stuffing Station One Story Explorer Adventure Great Wold Lodge Kandy Kup from the Buckhorn Exchange One game for Ten Paw Alley 20 tokes for the Northern Lights Aracade Pup Pass for $64.99 (Value $78.47): it included: One animal at the Great Wold Stuffing Station (outfit included) One Story Explorer Adventure One "Color Your Own" item at Cub Club (tee shirt or Pillow case) 20 tokes for the Northern Lights Aracade One small ice crean cone at Bear Paw Sweets & Eats There are also spas for kids and adults - the kids spa is ice cream themed and pricey $79.99 for a mani/pedi combo. I didn't look at the adult spa as I can't leave the boys. Oh - the room! We had a standard Family Suite with a balcony. We had 6 people and it was very comfortable. The room was very clean. I thought the toilet and shower area could have been a little brighter and I would bring a small nightlight next time as it was kind of an all or nothing with the lights. There is a "hiberation time" as the MagiQuest has children running all through the resort. When we had gone to our room just prior to dinner (7/7:30) I was concerned that when we would be putting the boys to bed it would be too loud but at 9 is was really quite quiet. The room had a small refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker (though there is a Starbucks in the lobby) and hair dryer. We are definetly planning to go back. We may try next winter when the boys are 3 & 5 and hit a local ski/tubing mountain as well.

Tips for Families

They allow you to come early, 1pm and stay late 9pm so you can make full use of the waterpark on the day you arrive and day you depart. - How do you beat this!! Pack a waterpack bag - no need for towels - but bring flip flops and cover-ups. Chairs and tables are at a premium in the waterpark. We used ours all day but, the people who took up 5 chairs and a table next to us - we saw just once. Please be considerate. $10 for the locker for the day - we packed a "go" bag and spent the day we departed in the waterpark. This is clearly NOT A CHEAP TRIP but, 2 days waterpark admission for 6 and overnight accomodations - it is probably in line with what you would pay. We never entered a shop and did not use the other activies, so it can be done. We only did free activities and could have brought our own food - we did bring plently of fruit and snacks and I didn splurg on Starbucks in the morning. I would think that between the room and meals it would easily add up to over $1000 for 4 people for 2 nights - before the other activities. There are other dinning options locally, a recent addition to this area. In your room they have a book with some listed. Red Robin is close, there is a Subway, Longhorns, sushi, indian, some diners and a couple of them deliver. There was also a well priced pizza package, they offer a pizza take out window.


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There are local ski resorts. Jack Frost/Big Boulder or Camelback both within 10 minutes.

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Hilton Suites Oceanfront Ocean City

3200 North Baltimore Avenue, Ocean City, Maryland

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KID-FRIENDLY AMENITIES

  • Smoke-free property
  • On-site restaurant(s)
  • Kids' menu in restaurant
  • Refrigerator in room
  • Microwave in room
  • Kitchenette or kitchen in room
  • Outdoor pool


Average user rating (35 Reviews)

My overall rating

My ratings by kids age

  • Tots (0-2)
  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Tweens (9-12)

My detailed rating

  • Cleanliness
  • Customer Service
  • Comfort
  • Location
  • Value
  • Pool
  • On-site/nearby restaurants
  • Other kids' amenities

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$69

avg/night

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Visited: 2011-08-01 | Submitted: 2012-12-31 14:10:16.0 | I traveled with tots (0-2), little kids (3-5) and tweens (9-12)

Great family hotel

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Great beachfront location. Roomy family suites. We have stayed in this property twice, 5 days in June of 2010 and 8 days in August of 2011. The second stay we had a room that opened onto the children's pool deck - best choice EVER!! The hotel has activities for kids, a Starbucks, good poolside menu and 2 restaurants. There is a great deli/liquor store up the street and many walkable activities , restaurants and shopping. We liked being away from the boardwalk and the drive and parking were never and issue. The hotel even modified childrens activities when we had a rainy evening and added a movie and craft.

Tips for Families

Our room on the 10th floor was fine but our room on the pool deck was wonderful with the kids!! The bath is very deep - I wore my swimsuit and got in with my boys (3 & 18 months). There is a FULL kitchen - bring dishsoap etc. We had breakfast in the room several times and were able to use dinner left overs for lunch. If you leave the dishes prior to the room being cleaned they do them too!(Found out by accident) - We did have to request additional vacuuming after a very sandy beach day and they were wonderful and quick!


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Doubletree Guest Suites Walt Disney Lake Buena Vista

2305 Hotel Plaza Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

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Average user rating (1 Reviews)

My overall rating

My ratings by kids age

  • Tots (0-2)
  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Tweens (9-12)

My detailed rating

  • Cleanliness
  • Customer Service
  • Comfort
  • Location
  • Value
  • Pool
  • On-site/nearby restaurants
  • Other kids' amenities

From

$89

avg/night

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Visited: 2012-09-01 | Submitted: 2012-12-31 13:56:07.0 | I traveled with tots (0-2), little kids (3-5) and tweens (9-12)

Downtown Disney Hotel - Fine

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I be really honest - we stayed here on Hilton Honor Points for FREE - I am a big proponent of staying inside WDW with kids. Traveling with 3 children, 2 of whom have food allergies, a suite and an in room refrigerator are a must. We had some initial issues, no safe in the room and refrigerator did not work but we were moved quickly and the room was fine. The front desk staff was always helpful and pleasant. I have had much better cleaning service and the restaurant on site was too pricey for breakfast and they did not know how to assist with food allergies AT ALL. The property was clean and the transportation to the parks ran well although I wish the bus stop and smoking area were not the same place. The pool and playground were small but plenty for our family. The Disney Store in the lobby as well as the little convenience store were good and being able to walk to the supermarket and Downtown Disney was nice. The buses only ran to Downtown in the evening - which I didn't understand but we took a taxi - very reasonable and walked and it was about 10 by foot with a toddler and a stroller.

Tips for Families

We also used Orlando Stroller Rental - great find - for about $100 for 8 days we had a great double stroller and Main Gate Taxi to and from the airport. Walk to the mall area - McDonalds, Pizza Uno and other places for a cheap eat.


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Value
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Sesame Place

100 Sesame Pl., Langhorne, Pennsylvania

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Average user rating (12 Reviews)

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My ratings by kids age

  • Tots (0-2)
  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Tweens (9-12)
Visited: 2012-12-01 | Submitted: 2012-12-27 02:59:03.0 | I traveled with tots (0-2), little kids (3-5) and tweens (9-12)

A Very Furry Christmas

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Although cold, it was a wonderful day and my 2 year old got to meet Ernie!! The decorations are beautiful and the low-key rides are perfect. Because the rides are family friendly my very tall (5'2") 10 year old was able to ride with her brothers. The Christmas theme shows and parade were wonderful!!

Tips for Families

It's only open 1-8 for the holiday event - get there for park opening so you have the opportunity to see all of the shows and do the late parade - lit up in the dark

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