Save $100 on family-friendly Hawaii vacations with Pleasant Holidays

HILTON HAWAIIAN VILLAGE
HILTON HAWAIIAN VILLAGE

I just learned that US Family Guide has partnered with Pleasant Holidays, a leading provider of package vacations. They are based in the U.S. and have great deals on family vacations worldwide – Hawaii, contiguous United States, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Costa Rica, Europe, Tahiti, Fiji and more. They can also book complete cruise vacations with airfare, on-board accommodations, and pre- and post-cruise hotel stays for vacations where everyone can relax and enjoy.

Pleasant Holidays is new to US Family Guide, but has been partnering with hotels and resorts for more than 55 years to get great offers you cannot book anywhere else. When you are planning to explore close to home or farther afield, make them your one-stop-shop for everything you need: flights, accommodations, car rentals, ground transfers, exciting activities and tours, and travel protection coverage to protect your travel investment (because if parenthood has taught us one thing, it is to expect the unexpected). And unlike some other online travel providers, they have in-destination customer assistance should you need it.

They currently have a great deal on Hawaii vacations that saves you $100 per booking. Select from 26 hotels and resorts on the four most popular islands: Oahu, Maui, Kauai and island of Hawaii. Explore the exciting sights of Oahu, including world-famous Waikiki Beach and historic Pearl Harbor. Watch the sun rise from the slopes of a dormant volcano on Maui. Snorkel, hike, kayak, surf, experience Polynesian culture and more. This deal is valid on new vacations booked by 10/30/16 for select travel through 6/30/17 that include round trip airfare from the continental United States and a stay of five nights or longer at a participating hotel or resort. The $100 savings is per booking and taken at time of booking – no waiting! For more information or reservations visit www.PleasantHolidays.com, call 1-800-837-5154 or contact your travel agent.

Reasons to Bring the Family to the Ohio Renaissance Festival

One of our family’s favorite surprise adventures last year was visiting the 2015 Ohio Renaissance Festival.

Forget your cares and step back in time to this 30-acre re-created 16th Century English village and enjoy over 400 years of fun in a single day! The festival offers something for everyone featuring nearly 100 shows daily on 11 stages, over 135 unique arts and crafts shops, hearty food and drink, games of skill and human-powered rides to amuse all ages.

Over 150 costumed characters welcome you to the village! Rub elbows with Royalty as you cheer your favorite knight to victory in the thrilling Full-armored Tournament Joust. Welcoming you to a festive day in the village are dueling swordsmen, rowdy pirates, nobles, peasants, and daring jugglers. The sprawling landscape is dotted with hundreds of unique shops in the Medieval Marketplace featuring many one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted items. See time-honored crafts of glassblowing, stone carving, blacksmithing, leather tooling, boot making, and more demonstrated. The air is filled with the scents and smells of the foods of the Renaissance period. Feast like Royalty on juicy, giant roasted turkey legs, fresh baked bread bowls overflowing with soups and stews, fish ‘n chips, steak-on-a-stake, succulent roasted corn on the cob and a wide variety of the finest ales and wines. There’s something for everyone’s taste buds!

The food was quite honestly terrific!

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Visitors of all ages will be amused by the games of skill and human-powered rides. Try your hand at archery and see if you’re a modern-day Robin Hood, or climb the castle tower and rescue the lovely damsel in distress.

Everything from live entertainment to dressing up fit perfectly into our three young boys lives! They loved the Ohio Renaissance Festival and the reason we will be returning again for 2016!

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Ohio Renaissance Festival Discounts

Get $4 off Adult and $2 off Child tickets by using Promo Code “castle” when purchasing on our secure website at www.renfestival.com. Tickets good any day of the 2016 season (Saturdays, Sundays, and Labor Day Sept 3 – Oct 23). Online discount only. Not good with any other offers.

Review: Orchid Mania (Cleveland Botanical Gardens)

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Have you checked out Orchid Mania (Cleveland Botanical Gardens)? This once a year event highlights the beauty of the orchid family of flora, bringing hundreds of orchid variety on display throughout the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.

Over the years, I have tried my greenthumb at a variety of plants. Sometimes my work resulted in the direct result of less oxygen creating species on this planet, resulting in the demise of the species. However, with several years of experience tending to plants and flora, I have become rather good at nursing a plant back into a beautiful species. No where is that more apparent than in the orchid variety of flora.

After getting my first couple orchids, they lost their flowers as all do. However, their leafy greens continued to flourish, and despite my wife telling me I should throw them out, I have managed to bring them all back into gorgeous blooms at least once per year.

Orchids take a good deal of patience and the right conditions to get them to flower again. Fortunately, I keep our orchids, now numbering a half dozen at indirect light windows, water once per week with a good soaking, and give periodic fertilizer and repotting when necessary.

So I had a big urge to visit the Cleveland Botanical Gardens Orchid Mania display for many years. This year when Orchid Mania appeared on Groupon, I knew our family had to take advantage of the offer. For only $20, I got our entire family into the event (I actually saved 20% on top of that with the weekly promo code).

Get your discounted tickets to Orchid Mania.

Our family had been to the Botanical Gardens a handful of times; however, in order to use the Groupon, it has to be used on a Wednesday evening, giving you a different view of the property at night.

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After enjoying the large variety of orchid blooms in the lobby and main hallway, we opted to enjoy a quick healthy bite to eat at the Botanical Gardens Cafe, offering fresh salad, fruit, yogurt, and sandwich offerings. The food was fantastic and healthy all at the same time.

Once darkness had set in, we went into the main atrium. Having the environment dimly lit created a whole new experience for all of us. The dark allowed us to see all the plants and few animal habitats in a new “light.” While you may not have been able to see the orchids in all of their glory, if you looked closely, there were many hidden gems to be discovered.

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I love seeing all the many variety of orchids on display, and it inspires me to keep on with the hard work on the promise of a gorgeous annual bloom.

While there were other kids at the facility for Orchid Mania, it appears to be more of a date night or girls night out event. There is a small play area towards the end on the upper level, giving the kids a chance to escape for putting up with dads staring at plants.