Posts Tagged ‘Activity’

Feb 20 2020

Penguins Winter Family Puzzle

Every year we typically do a puzzle during the winter. This year “Penguins” was the puzzle of choice!  I enjoy doing the puzzle, but if it stays out for a really long period of time it starts bothering me so usually we try to do it in a timely manner. The various members of the family can walk by and put in a puzzle piece here and there. Also, during family movie time the puzzle gets some more work done on it. Once we finish we will leave it out for a few days, take a photo of the puzzle then we donate it. Does your family have a winter activity you do together at home?

Oct 13 2019

Kit Carson County Carousel (Burlington, CO)

Kit Carson County Carousel Wooden Token

This is the second time we have visited the Kit Carson Carousel. It sits on the edge of the Kit Carson County fairgrounds in the small town of Burlington, Colorado. The first time we visited the carousel we were driving Interstate 70 from Colorado to Kansas to visit family.  We were looking for a good place to stop for a little bit and stretch our legs.  It was such a neat place to visit we told other family members about it and the next time we were driving through we stopped to share the experience with them!

The carousel was #6 of the 74 carousels made by Philadelphia Toboggan Company.  It was made in 1905 for the Elitch Gardens amusement park and was used until 1927.  In 1928 Kit Carson County purchased the carousel for $1,200 (the price included shipping).

The carousel animals are stationary with three animals per row.  The original Wurlitzer band organ has been restored and plays music when the carousel is in motion. The carousel is inside a 12 sided framed building on the edge of the fair grounds with a museum and small gift shop beside it.  It is the only antique carousel that still has the original paint on both the panels and animals. Most modern carousel go approximately 8 mph, however, the Kit Carson one goes a whopping 12 mph.

The carousel has quite an interesting history. During the Great Depression the carousel spent several years in storage. They local town stored grain inside the building that housed the carousel. At one point 3 of the animals were stolen and later found in another state. It was designated a National Historic Site in 1978 and National Historic Landmark in 1987.

If you are in the area or driving through on I70 we would encourage you to stop and explore this neat carousel. It only costs 25 cents to ride the carousel and $1 to visit the museum.

Riding the Kit Carson County Carousel

Flowers at the Kit Carson Carousel

Going for another ride on the carousel!

All smiles!

Kit Carson Carousel building

Other side of the wooden token!

Sep 08 2016

Family Fun at the Alaska SeaLife Center (Seward, Alaska)


Gorgeous animal, not as elegant moving on land, but amazing swimmer in the water!

We were able to visit the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska before cruising out of the port.  The Alaska SeaLife Center is located at 301 Railway Avenue, Seward, AK 99664.  It is only a couple miles from the port terminal and the city bus comes by the terminal every 5 to 10 minutes will take you to a number of places around the city of Seward (with the Alaska SeaLife Center being one of those stops).  The Alaska SeaLife Center is part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums so if you are a member of one in your area you will be able to get into the center at a reduced rate.  We are part of our local Greenville Zoo which allowed us to have 50% per persons admission ticket which was a huge blessing and savings

The Alaska SeaLife Center was a lot of fun!  The kids loved seeing a variety of different marine life and the exhibits were very interactive and educational.  You could get fairly close to the animals and they even had a touch tank.  WARNING the  touch tank water is freezing cold so you won’t be able to keep you hand in it for very long. I thought my hands were going to go numb before I had a chance to touch each of the different marine critters in the tank.  They had several interactive talks with the animals.  We got to watch them feed, train, and care for several of the animals.  The animals were content and were showing off for the guests.

It was a cool and misty day when we arrived at Seward that day.  The Alaska SeaLife Center was a great task to do on a rainy day.  There are a couple of places you can go outside, but you can see the majority of the center from inside.  It is a wonderful place for anyone that enjoys animals, marine animals, and the opportunity to learn more about the native critters that can be found in Alaska.  Thankful for an opportunity to visit the SeaLife Center.  It was a hit with our kids.  There are also plenty of places for adults to sit down and relax as well.  It is a great activity for the whole family.  The girls loved personalities of the birds exhibits, the way the HUGE octopus spread out across the glass in front of them, the Artic Seals performed tricks for treats, that the touch tank was ice cold, that the fish and other animals were very active, and that the Sea Lion loved rubbing its belly on the glass window right in front of them.  It was a wonderful place to visit while we were in Seward.


 Brina and Karlie in the boat at the Alaska SeaLife Center


Beautifully colored starfish.  He was waving at us!  Even the starfish were active while we are the center!


Small yet beautifully colored bird


Taking a swim around the pool!


Coming by to say “HELLO”!


SeaLIfe workers checking the seals out and giving them treats.


Performing tricks


Enjoying the swim


Playing around in the pool


Doing a dance for us!


Beautiful and fast!


Watching him swim underwater from a viewing window at the bottom of his tank! Fascinating!


Showing off and diving right in front of us


He obviously was having a grand time!


Loved watching them glide so smoothly through the water


The Sea Lion rubbing his belly up against the glass in front of us.  He did it several times!  The kids thought it was hilarious!


Huge male octopus!


He was very active while we were there too


He decided to spread himself out across the front glass of his tank!


 He was very big, pretty sure I would not be excited about running into him in the ocean!  So neat to see!

Alaska, Wildlife Conservatory, SeaLife Center, Zaandam, New Holland Cruise, Cruise,

Relaxing in the water with his nose out and the rest of his body just floating in the water!


Diving directly in front of us!  Really loved how the  animals were very interactive with their audience!


Camouflaged ray….


VERY COLD touch tank!!!


The freezing water was not stopping our kids from checking out the animals in the touch tank!


Beautiful and showing off for us!


He hung out near us, watching us move around the bird exhibit!


Karlie all smiles as Brina soaks in all the birds zooming around the exhibit


Brina loving time with these beautiful Alaskan animals!


Keeping one eye on us as he watches the other birds….just in case!

Sep 11 2015

Flashback Friday: NICU Graduation Celebration

Such goofs - Brina and Karliec

Ready for the NICU Graduation Celebration

Today’s Flashback Friday goes back to September 2005 when the girls went to their NICU Graduation Celebration.  It is hard to believe they are now 7 months old.  We are thankful for all the doctors and nurses that helped our family during the time when the girls were staying in the NICU.  They took good care of our babies and we learned a lot from them during their stay.  It was a great event to celebrate.  Glad the girls were still growing and healthy.

Flashback Friday - Brina and Karlie looking pretty in their outfits from Aunt Mary, Uncle Rick and Laurelc

Relaxing while we pack up the diaper bag and get everything ready to head out.  The super cute dresses are from my Aunt Mary Ann, Uncle Rick, and cousins Renelle & Laurel in Colorado!  Thanks guys, they are adorable!

Karlie getting her face painted at the NICU Graduate Partyc

 Karlie’s 1st Face Painting experience.  She was not too sure about a stranger touching and putting stuff on her face even though the rest of us were right there.

Karlie unsure about this whole face painting experiencec

Karlie made it through the face painting, but was not happy with us at the end.  She was not a big fan of it.  Her legs were kicking, arms waving, and was about to burst into tears to let us know that she was not impressed with this whole face painting adventure.  A little TLC and snuggle calmed her down quickly and she was fine for the rest of the event.

Daddy holding Brina still so she could get her face paintedc

 Brina getting her face painted for the 1st time at the NICU Graduation Celebration.  She didn’t seem to mind it at all.

Brina getting her face painted at the NICU Graduate Partyc

 Brina was relaxed and just let her paint her face.  She figured Daddy was there it must be okay.

Karlie with her face painted from the NICU Graduate partyc

Karlie is all smiles now.  She doesn’t even remember that her face is painted with a smiley face.

Brina was constantly sucking on her dress today, maybe a different texture, who knowsc

For some reason Brina loved chewing on this dress.  Must of tasted good or had an appealing texture.

Brina smiling with her face painted from the NICU Graduate Partyc

Brina talking and happy even though her pink heart is completely smeared all over her face from her fun NICU celebration adventure earlier that day!

Karlie happy and smilingc

 Karlie is glad to be back home again.  Her smiley face stayed on for several hours after we arrived back home.

Karlie and Brina having fun with their new toys from the NICU Party-they actually won one of the door prizesc

Karlie and Brina are very lucky girls.  During the NICU Graduation Celebration they won a door prize for some toy blocks and shapes.  They are playing with their new toys now.   They have no clue they won anything, but were happy to play with the new toys.  So exciting!!!

May 29 2015

Fun Around Town: Big Celebrity Cats at Hollywild Animal Park (Wellford, SC)


“Mandela” the white lion!

Our family had a great time at Hollywild Animal Park.  Upon entering the park I was given a packet with a very nice “Welcome” letter from Kim along with a map, her business card, a bracelet for each of us to wear, and other park information. The workers from the Safari Bus driver to the Creature Feature Show to the Gift Shop Clerk and the various ones we encountered throughout our journey through the park were always willing to answer any questions we had along the way (most of the questions were the kids asking about various animals).  It was a wonderful activity to do with the family.

As I have mentioned in a couple other posts several of the animals that reside at Hollywild have been stars in Movies, Commercials, Print Ads, Sport Events, TV Shows, events, and much more.  The animals seemed friendly, content, and interactive with the people passing through the park.

It was great that even the lions were up and active while we were at Hollywild!  Usually at the zoo and other places you don’t often see the lions moving or playing around too much in their pens.  The white lion paused while moving around so we were able to get some shots of him, but the brown lion didn’t ever stop moving for a good picture.

We ended our trip through the park about the time they were getting ready to close.  The workers were starting to feed the animals their dinners so that was pretty cool to watch some of the animals munching down on one of their favorites treats.

For more information about our adventure at Hollywild you can check out our other blog posts:


He looks very serious!


He hears the worker getting his dinner meal ready and started pacing.


On the move!


Relaxing on his rock


Look at the length of those whiskers!


Peaceful and relaxing


Beautiful tiger


Love how his tail is sitting on the rock below him.  He was curious about us watching him though!


Those eyes are looking directly at us!


Siberian Tigers – he looked so serious, but colorful up on the rock.  Not an animal I would want to meet in the wild though he looks amazing.  Featured in the following:

  • Movie – Man Hunter
  • Movie – Betsy’s Wedding
  • Movie – Reversal of Fortune
  • Movie – Price of Tides
  • Movie – The Real McCoy
  • TV Ad Campaign – Land Rover
  • Gallery Portraits – Valerie Shaff Photography
  • Countless live appearances at special events


Cougars were out and walking around.  These cougars featured in following:

  • Commercials – Lincoln-Mercury (1983 to 1991)
  • Movie – Date With an Angel
  • TV Program – Rescue 911
  • Movie – Reversal of Fortune
  • Movie – Last of the Mohicans
  • Movie – Miracle on the Mountain
  • Commercial(s) – Coca-Cola


Black Leopard was busy eating its dinner time treat.  Not sure what it is, but fresh meat of some kind.  Seeing it’s eyes watching us through the grass gives me goose bumps.  The leopards were featured in the following:

  • Calendar – Great Cats
  • Print Ad Campaign – Kemdura Paper
  • Audiovisual Production – Leslie Advertising
  • Score Boards – Carolina Panther
  • Caesar, a Black Panther, has been a star in the National Football League for the Carolina Panthers


The white tiger just finished his dinner and is taking a walk around his pen.


So pretty!

Hollywild Animal Park Coupon Discount (Free Child’s Admission):

  • Print off the coupon for Free Child’s Admission with purchase of an Adult Admission and bring it to the park with youLimit one per family. $8 Value. This coupon is valid during our Park Season which is open Weekends in March, Daily April through Labor Day, and Weekends from Labor Day through the end of October. Please visit our website for seasonal hours prior to your visit. Coupon not valid during our Holiday Lights Safari Benefit.  Expires: 10/24/2015.

A special thanks to U.S. Family Guide and Hollywild Animal Park for offering a special discount to our readers.  Any specific product information was provided by Hollywild Animal Park and U.S. Family Guide, however, the opinions expressed in this post are our own.  We did receive tickets so our family could visit and share our experience.