Family Fun Halloween Weekend at Cedar Point

I have passed Cedar Point several times in my life while playing on a traveling softball team growing up, but we never had time to stop and visit! So when my family and I got the opportunity to check out Cedar Point, I was more than excited! We live 4 hours away from Sandusky Ohio, so I knew I would need to be prepared for just about anything.

We packed our rental car and headed out at 7am sharp on Saturday! Our girls were so excited that we were getting to go to Cedar Point, they couldn’t keep still most of the way! My hubby was unable to come, so it was a girls day out, just myself, our 3 girls and my mom! But we are already making plans to head back next year so that he can go- since we loved it so much! Once we arrived our girls mouths just dropped! I honestly could not believe how big this place was! We visit Kings Island all the time, a Cincinnati local amusement park, but Cedar Point is so much larger!

I was so excited to see all the Halloween decorations, every spot of the park was decorated in some way! There were tons of tombstones, ghosts, pumpkins, skeletons and zombies! But I have to say my favorite was the Micheal Jackson and zombie display.

 

With more than 70 rides, not including the water park, you will need more than 1 day to visit! We did get to ride a few rides before the down pour came and then several more after it stopped. We were warned by friends and family that it can get windy and cold since it is right off the water, but we were not really prepared for the 4 hours of rain! But it was nice to get to see all the shops and food places that Cedar Point has to offer while we waited for the rain to stop. We got to taste their very delicious pumpkin cookies, caramel apples and hot apple cider, which I had never tried until then and now love it! Yummy!!

 

 

We checked out all the family friendly Halloween fun that Cedar Point has to offer like:

  • Charlie Brown’s Funtime Frolics
  • Sideshow – A Carnival of Magic
  • Gypsy FortuneTellers
  • The GoodTime Ghouls – A Halloween Hubaloo!
  • Monster Midway Invasion Celebration
  • Peanuts™ Halloween Show & Costume Contest
  • Monster Under My Bed
  • Skeleton Crew

You can stay until dark and check out their scary Halloween Weekend that is more for the older kids and adults rather than the youngsters! We left before it all started but I heard it is a great scare!!

I was the only one that wanted to ride the Top Thrill Dragster, even after seeing it in person I still wanted to ride! Going 0 to 120 mph in just a few seconds, blasting 420 feet in the air and arriving back in just 17 seconds seemed like something I could handle!! Although I did not get to ride it due to the rain, it is first on my list when we head back in the spring! We rode MaxAir, Skyhawk, Antique cars, and the Ferris Wheel just to mention a few!

There is even a mobile app that you can use to navigate through the park! Our 4 year old is a pro at the Kings Island app so we just handed the phone to her and let her navigate us through the park! She can tell you where every ride is and how tall you have to be to ride each ride. It actually has been a great addition to our trips!

Parking is $15-$25

One Day Cedar Point – Regular
Online: $44.99 / Gate: $54.99 / You Save $10

Sunday 4-Pack Special
Buy four or more tickets online and the price drops to just $35 each
Valid any one of the following Sundays:  October 14, 21 or 28
Available online only:  $35.00 each

Friday / Sunday Starlight Ticket
$35.99 / Valid Fridays after 6 p.m. or Sundays after 4 p.m.(October 7 after 5 p.m.)

Saturday Starlight Ticket
$42.99 / Valid every Saturday during Halloweekends after 5 p.m.

Pay Once Visit Twice
Online: $82.99 /You Save $26.99

If you are looking to stay for the weekend or even the week, there are many places to stay near Cedar Point! They have their own hotel, cabins and even campgrounds to stay at while visiting! Plus grab a discount ticket when you stay at any of these locations! Hope you can make it up to visit Cedar Point some time soon to check out this great family fun park!

I received admission tickets for myself and my family from Cedar Fair to visit. This post in 100% my own opinion!

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48 Hour Special at Great Wolf Lodge, $159 a Night- HURRY!!!

Great Wolf Lodge just released a HOT deal that you won’t want to miss! Now through October 5 at 11am, you can book overnight stays for just $159! Select rooms and nights are available, book now as they are filling up very quickly!

Great Wolf Lodge – Cincinnati/Mason

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Save 20% off Holiday Inn

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Kings Island- Our Summer Vacation Spot!

For Christmas last year our girls received passes to our local amusement park Kings Island. Located in Mason Ohio, about 25 minutes north of Cincinnati. We have visited a few times here and there over that past 10+ years, but with small children, we just never felt that we could go. With a now 11, 8 and 4 year old we thought this would be a great time to grab our Gold passes and spend the summer riding rides, eating junk food and getting wet at the new water park! We did just that and more!

My hubby had 2 weeks of vacation this year, one in February and one again in October, so a summer vacation was out of the question! So we planned our summer with FREE movies at the theater, FREE bowling days, park visits, swimming at grandma’s and craft activities at home. We threw in a few days that we thought we would head to Kings Island, but by summer ends we realized that we had visited Kings Island 21 times! So needless to say our girls had fun!

With more than 50 rides and attractions in the main park and more than 30 water rides, it’s hard not to have a good time! There is something for everyone! My new favorite has to be Wind Seeker and Diamond Back. Our 2 oldest girls love Diamond Back now that they are both tall enough to ride it! Our 4 year old loves Boo Blasters and my hubby loves anything that doesn’t make him sick!!!

Our family favorite Soak City water ride is the Zoom Flume. The line was always really long for this so until a couple weeks ago we had not rode it. But we just happened to snag a day that rain was heading in and the lines started dwindling so we jumped in and rode it right as it started to sprinkle. It was great! Everyone in our family was tall enough to ride it, which make it even better, but it was like riding a raft down a twisting river! This weekend is the last weekend that Soak City will be open for this season!

Planet Snoopy is of course our 4 years old favorite part of the park, even if our big kids won’t admit they love it as well! She not only gets to ride most every ride, she gets to see all the fun characters from the Peanuts Gang!

With rides like Surf Dog, Woodstock Express, The Great Pumpkin Coaster, Linus Launcher and many more, any little one will have fun riding these larger than life attractions!

The only attraction so far that we have not had a chance to visit is the Dinosaurs Alive! It has more that 60 life like dinosaurs on 12+ acres of forest, you get a up close picture of how dinosaurs move, eat and interacted! It is an additional $5 per person to visit this attraction!

There is even a mobile app that you can use to navigate through the park! Our 4 year old is a pro at this app! She can tell you where every ride is and how tall you have to be to ride each ride. It actually has been a great addition to our trips! With our 4 year old only being 43 inches, there are a lot of rides she can not ride just yet. So she gets to man the navigation through the park to keep her busy when our older girls are riding something she is too small for. She even tells people standing next to us all about the ride we are waiting in line for from this app! She thinks she is their spokes person apparently!

Don’t forget to Register your Kings Island pass to earn great FREEbies and deals at Fun Perks. Just for registering our Gold Passes we received FREE drink wrist bracelets- we were able to get FREE drinks the entire day. The more you shop at Kings Island the more perks you receive and it is FREE to register! Do remember to use all of your perks for this season since they do not roll over season to season!

Tips To Know When Visiting:

  • Grab a Cup of Water- Kings Island offers guests a FREE cup of ice water at any food service location during your visit.
  • You Can Leave & Come Back- If you prefer to visit Kings Island and then head out for lunch or back to your hotel or home for a nap (we did this a few times with little ones) then you are more than welcome to! Be sure to get your hand stamped when you leave for re-admittance for the same day!
  • Don’t Bring Your Own Food- You are not permitted to bring food and drinks into the park. There are several great places to eat at the park but with a family of 5, it was a little expensive. But remember they offer FREE water and allow you to leave if you need to, to go out to eat.
  • Bring Your Dog- Don’t want to leave Fido at home while at the park? Stop by the Pet Care Center at the front gate entrance and pay $20. Enjoy the park while Kings Island Pet Care Center tends to your dog!
  • Want to Smoke- There are designated area’s throughout the park to allow you to take a smoke break if you want. This also allows those of us that don’t smoke to have a smoke free experience.
  • Child Safety- There are several services that Kings Island offers to help those parents with small children. Parent Swap- allows only 1 parent to have to stand in line for themselves and a small child. Keeping the little ones happy with the other parent without everyone having to stand in long lines. You will need to stop by the Guest Service Center to get a Parent Swap Pass.  They also have Kid Track- a service to help reconnect a lost child with their parent quickly! Stop by the Guest Service Center for full detail.
  • Get Your Child Measured- There are several height measurement stations through out the park. This Kings Island employee will measure your child and place a bracelet on their wrist announcing their height. This is great for those little ones that are just above the next level of height requirements. This bracelet will get them through the line quicker. It allows the employee running that attraction to quickly know how tall the child is without having to stop loading others and measure your child!
  • Rain Rain Go Away- If you visit Kings Island and it begins to rain, find shelter until it passes. Kings Island does not offer refunds or another ticket for bad weather!
  • Lockers Are Available- If you are heading to the Soak City especially you will most likely have a bag full of items with you that you may not want to tote around all day. They have several size lockers to accommodate your belongs. Soak City lockers do offer a discount if you use the lockers after 5pm!
  • In A Hurry, Grab A Fast Lane Pass- Kings Island does offer a Fast Lane pass for select attractions for an additional fee. We have never purchased one, so I honestly have no idea how expensive they are. But if you are short on time and want to by pass long lines then it may be worth the extra cash!
  • Stay Near By- There are several hotels to stay at that are literally walking distance from the park. Great Wolf Lodge has it’s very own walking path directly to Kings Island.
  • Enjoy Your Visit- Even though we have been 21 times already this year, we still have a great time each visit. There are always things that we just don’t get to and plan to accomplish it on our next visit. These trips with your family will be memories your little ones will remember their whole lives if you make it a fun trip! So head to Kings Island for some old fashion family fun!

This post was not sponsored by Kings Island or Cedar Fair in any way. This post in 100% my own opinion to help inform you of a local attraction that my family loves!

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Hit The Bowling Alley During Your Staycation

Our girls love to go bowling and what better way to go than for FREE! Check out how Katie at Cincinnati Cents used FREE bowling to keep their summer staycation on budget!

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Melissa & Doug Trunki Just $30 each

We are planning our vacation for October and I came across these super cute Melissa & Doug Trunki for around $30! How cute are these things! They have several designs to choose from, so this way no fighting over who has which one!

With Subscribe & Save, if you do not want to continue your subscription, you can just cancel it once your first shipment arrives. To snag savings on shipping, take advantage of FREE Super Saver Shipping for orders over $25 or be an Amazon Mom or an Amazon Prime Member and get FREE Two-Day Shipping.

Don’t forget to check out my other Amazon Deals for more savings.

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Frugal Travel Tips: Create a Kids Travel Kit

Kids’ Travel Kit- Guest Post from Emily at Peppy Socks!

It is summer! YAY! Summer means fun road trip adventures for many of us. If your toddler is like mine, the iPad and movies last ten minutes if we are lucky. So it takes a little extra preparation to make sure he is entertained in the car (switching out toys what seems like every two minutes). Before running to the store to buy new toys, I decided to find all the possible “toys” I could around the house to add to the car travel kit. Below is a list of some items….FYI: the straws were a HUGE hit!

WARNING – your backseat might be a bit messy when you arrive and it is possible you may have a child covered in band-aids with straws coming out their ears, BUT I bet they will be well entertained and a happy little traveler!

•Straws

•Band-Aids

•Cookie sheet and magnets

•Plastic cup(s) and small ball(s)

•Post-its

•Stickers with wax paper or empty plastic drink container

•Sock puppets

•Pipe cleaners

•Plastic Easter Eggs

•Sunglasses

•Old set of keys

•Any small toy still in package

•SNACKS, SNACKS, and more SNACKS!

The mission of Peppy Socks is to give back while providing fun, colorful, inspirational socks that make people smile.

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Staycation Idea: Hit Your Local Parks

Even though we are taking vacation in October this year, we still are planning a staycation in August to help break up the summer a little. Check out how Cincinnati Cents is Hitting the Parks for her latest staycation!

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7 Staycation Ideas: Travel on a Budget


When planning a staycation make sure that you treat that week just as if you were really on vacation and not at home to do your everyday tasks. Bills should be paid the week before, don’t answer the house phone, stop the mail at the post office, etc. This way you and your family will feel as if you are really on a vacation, even if you are staying home. Camp in the back yard if you have to, just make sure that they daily grind does not interfere with your staycation. Also charge your camera and make sure to take plenty of pictures and videos.

Here are a few ideas that our family will use this summer during our staycations!!

Take a Tour- Contact your local fire department, police department, post office or even a local large company to see if they offer tours of their facilities. This is a great way for your family to see the inside of local government offices or business’ and see how they run things. The added plus, most of these are FREE, but you will need to plan in advance. Most of these places only have tours certain times of the month, so you will need to call or visit their website to find out dates and times of their tours.

Night In- Plan one night of your staycation as a night in. You can make it a movie night, family cooking night, play board games, craft night, any themed night will be fun for the whole family. Just make sure that you make that night jammed packed with activities. You are staying home but you want the family to stay interested in that evenings activities, so plan for food, decorations and many activities. Craft nights can be alot of fun as well and you can use items that you already have laying around the house. We have made toothbrush bracelets, scrapbook pages, herb can planters and so much more. Be creative or even check websites to get ideas. The kids will love whatever you decide to make, they will enjoy spending time together making fun stuff!!

Field Day- Plan a day of obstacle courses, water balloon tosses, pie eating contests or anything that your whole family can do outside as if they were in a field day event. You can do as much or as little as you want. Ask your kids what type of games they want to play at your field day. Hit up your local dollar store and get all the items you need for your event. You can even invite neighbors to join in on the fun and split the cost on supplies. Make sure to have a few prizes or ribbons so the little ones can have a souvenir from the day.

Use Your Passes- Do you have passes to your local YMCA, amusement parks or zoo? Spend the day at each of them. Our local YMCA has a indoor pool but if we drive to the YMCA that is about 15 minutes away they have a huge outdoor pool with slides. We are going to take one day and go to the “beach”. We do not go to this YMCA that much so they love using the slides and being outside. Bring a lunch and plan to spend the whole day.

Eat Out- Plan a few nights to eat out at your favorite local restaurants, just as if you would if you were on vacation. I know this can get expensive, especially if you have more than 1 child. So make sure you go out to eat the nights that restaurants offer Kids Eat FREE nights. Also check out places like Restaurant.com, Groupons.com or just do a search online for B1G1 coupons for local restaurants. We are a family of 5 and without coupons or Kids Eat FREE nights, our budget would not allow us to eat out as much as we get to. So plan ahead and find the deals before your leave the house.

Catch a Movie at the Theater- As a family of 5, we do not get to see too many movies at the theater. Not just because of the cost for all of us to go but we still have one that is almost 2. So sitting still and being quiet are not things that she quite gets just yet. So we normally just rent movies. But one of our local movie theaters offers FREE family movies every Tuesday and Wednesday morning during the summer. With the theater being filled with other families that most likely have 2 year old that scream as well, I won’t feel as bad if she starts talking during the middle of the movie. Plus it is FREE, so if we have to get up and leave a little early, we are not out anything.

Tour Your City for FREE- There are so many things to do in your local city that are FREE. If you live in a smaller city and have a larger city near you, take a trip and visit all the great things they have to offer. We live near Cincinnati which has just about everything. We can stop by the Eden Park and check out the great scenery of Cincinnati. We can check out Fountain Square, The Cincinnati Art Museum, Krohns Conservatory and much more. There are a few other things that may cost a few dollars per person to get in but are so worth it. Things like the Reds Hall of Fame ($5-$8 per person), SummerFair at Coney Island ($10 adults, kids 12 and under FREE) or The Cincinnati Museum Center ($6-$12 per person). Learn about your city and site see!!

So there are a few ideas of things to do for your staycation. I can go on and on forever with ideas to make your staycation a big hit. Don’t forget to check when your local fairs and carnivals as well. They are something that the whole family can do and they are usually pretty inexpensive. The best thing to do when planning your staycation is to find things that you know your family will enjoy and have fun with. Keeping them interested the whole week and making them feel as if they are on a real vacation is the key to having a successful staycation. Whether you visit your local sports team, library, your local farm or your local parks; just have fun and spend time with your family!!

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Register for 1+1 for FREE Night at Park Inn by Radisson Hotels


Register for 1+1 and be eligible to receive 15,000 bonus Gold Points® – enough for a FREE night at select Park Inn by Radisson hotels around the world.

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Frugal Travel Tips: 12 Tips To Save on Food While Traveling

We have been planning our vacation for this October for a few months now and with a tight budget I have been keeping a list of ideas to help our family save while eating out on vacation. Most people spend $1000′s of dollars on vacation with nothing to show for it. There are many travel expenses that can be reduced and even eliminated with a little planning- food being one of the biggest expenses! Here are some tips we use while on vacation to save on our food budget:

  • Sign Up for Deal Alerts- A few weeks before you head out, do a little research and find local restaurants near  where you are staying. Restaurants are always sending coupons via email to entice you to stop by their place. Coupons for FREE appetizers, FREE desserts and even $$ off coupons.
  • Kids Eat FREE Nights- While you are signing up for the deal alerts above, check out if there are restaurants in the area that offer Kids Eat FREE Nights. Some locations may even let you combine a Kids eat FREE Night with a FREE appetizer coupon, making for one very inexpensive night out!
  • Make a Menu Plan- If you are like me you are already planning meals for your family each week, vacations shouldn’t be any different. Check the stores in the area where you plan to stay and see what they have on sale and plan your meal in accordance. Create a shopping list and take your coupons- this may be a bit of a hassle to have to go to the grocery while on vacation but it will help you save in the long run. Combine sales from the grocery with Kids Eat FREE Nights and restaurant coupons to make the most of your food budget.
  • Purchase a Entertainment Books or Online Restaurant Vouchers- Buying an Entertainment Book or Restaurant vouchers from places like Groupon or Living Social near your destination can help you save 50% to 70% off regular price.
  • Meal Plans at Hotels or Attraction- Check with your hotel or local attractions to see if they offer any meal deals. Some places offer FREE or discounted meals just for booking your hotel stay or purchasing attraction tickets.
  • Pack a Cooler- We plan to drive to our destination so having a cooler for our road trip is a must. But it goes further than that. We keep our cooler in the car during our entire vacation. This way we always have cold drinks and snacks available, no stopping at the closest convenience store or a fast food joint to grab a quick snack. Why pay $2-$3 for a drink when we have a stockpile of drinks that I picked up for less than a $1.
  • Continental Breakfast- Before you book that hotel, see if they offer a FREE continental breakfast. With our family of 5 we can easily spend $25-$35 eating breakfast, multiply that by 7 days and we could drop $245 just to eat breakfast.
  • Find Buffets- Although some buffet prices may not be the least expensive, it will be the best bang for your buck. All you can eat for a set price is great for those finicky eaters, giving them a whole bunch of choices, as well as for those kiddos that seem to have a bottomless pit. Our oldest daughter is fairly thin and you would think she never eats. But there are days that she out eats me and is a close competitor with my hubby and she is only 11! This is a great way to let her eat til she is completely busting at the seams!!!
  • Bring Your Own Appliances- If you are a coffee drinker bring your coffee maker. Want to have a home cooked meal without the kitchen, bring a crock-pot. There are many appliances that you can bring to help save while on vacation.
  • Ask for A Mini Fridge and an Ice Machine- Make sure when you book your hotel, you ask to get a mini fridge and make sure they have an ice machine. Keeping milk for breakfast, lunch meats for quick sandwiches or yogurts for a snack will save you quite a bit with a mini fridge. We keep the cooler full of ice and drinks, so getting a hotel with an ice machine will keep you from buying bags of ice, which can get quite expensive.
  • Ask Your Hotel for a Travel Guide- In the past we have received several travel guides that were filled with coupons and specials for area attractions and restaurants.
  • Skip The Convenience Stores & Rest Stop for Food- The food and drinks at these places are expensive and if you are driving to your destination, just pack those items that you have in your stockpile in the car. Why pay $1.50 for a Gatorade when you picked them up at a Kroger sale for .50!

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6 Tips To Flying With Kiddos

Are you flying this summer for vacation with the kiddos? Check our some great tips to flying with kids from The Coupon Challenge!

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Join Alamo Insiders for FREE &and Save 10% or More


Summer vacations are just around the corner, and Alamo is offering exclusive deals when you sign up to be an Alamo Insider! Join FREE today and from now on the best deals come to you. Plus, you can bank on special privileges like a 10% or more member discount on every rental, and self-service kiosks that get you on the road to vacation faster than ever. Whether your next escape is one week or months away, Alamo’s got exclusive deals for you

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2 Unusual Frugal Spending Ways to Save Money on Family Vacations

Family vacations demand one of the biggest crunches of expenditures out of your savings. Although it may seem worth it in the end, still wouldn’t it give you an added joy to know that you can enjoy all that you want and without compromising anything, only if you make an attempt to save some bucks on this trip? How, you ask?

Well, acquaint yourself with the tips given below to know how you can make family vacations an affordable affair, instead of a strain on your planned budget:

Be a local – The easiest eating out or accommodation option on a vacation is to book rooms with a major hotel chain, and when you’re clueless about where to eat, simply land at the nearest restaurant chain you can find.  It may be news for you to know that these overpriced restaurants are often not even half-as-good as the locally owned hotels.

Not only do you save a lot by eating at these locally-operated hotels but you also get to know so much about the place and get the wholesome feel of the authentic culture of the place you’re visiting.

To find the local bed and breakfasts, and hotels along with major attractions of the town, you should check out the Chamber of Commerce website of the place you plan to visit.

Try Out Your Automobile Club Membership for Some Discounts – Use your AAA to get more than just hotel discounts. Make use of your membership for breaks on tickets to major attractions, rental cars, and a lot more. Drop by at the AAA office and ask them what ll deals they have on offer for your chosen destination. Once you’re there, do pick up a few good quality maps, all for free.

In case your state’s automobile association provides a magazine, you may find some advertised specials and coupons in their classifieds section.

With the economy of the country having survived through a real bad hit, it’s our responsibility as American citizen to keep a check on our spending ways. And what better way to adapt to a healthy financial lifestyle than take on the frugal living ideas to live a debt-free life. Check your annual free credit reports every year and make sure you stand in a bright financial light.

Guest Post: Brenda Lyttle believes in finding ways to enjoy frugal living and recommends that you stay within your means and keep a check on your free credit reports online.

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