Category Archives for "Travel"

September 27, 2013

Disney On Ice: 100 Years of Magic

Disney On Ice is Fun For The Whole Family

disney on ice 2

Our family goes to the Disney on Ice shows at least once a year. I remember going myself as a child and have always enjoyed taking my own kids. The shows are a great way to experience the magic of Disney without traveling. Each show features the characters you love and the music from the motion pictures. My husband doesn’t even complain about going with us and that is why we are so excited for the newest show to come to the Metro Detroit Area. From October 16-20,2013- The Palace of Auburn Hills will be showcasing 100 Years of Magic. Continue reading

September 27, 2013

Disney On Ice: Princesses & Heroes

Disney On Ice

disney on ice

Disney On Ice: Princesses & Heroes is coming to Charlottesville this October and I’m so excited to bring my kids to the show. For sure they will have a blast watching their favorite characters come to life. Watching Disney on Ice shows is a wonderful way of bonding with the whole family and making long lasting memories that kids will cherish forever.

Enter a world where heroes and hearts prevail. Join Ariel as she yearns to explore the world above the waves and Prince Eric breaks Ursula’s slithering spell to reclaim his one true love. See Prince Philip defeat the evil Malificent as she transforms herself into a fire-breathing dragon in a race against time to rescue Sleeping Beauty’s Aurora. Be there to discover a whole new world with Jasmine and Aladdin. And, watch in awe as the dreams of Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Rapunzel, and Tiana all come true. High flying jumps, daring acrobatics, breathtaking skating and lovable Disney friends are just a wish away! There’s even a special appearance by Disney newest princess Rapunzel!

Watch at Disney On Ice: Princesses & Heroes at John Paul Jones Arena on Charlottesville, VA from October 10-13, 2013.

Get your Disney On Ice: Princesses & Heroes Tickets now!

Check out MadameDeals Halloween page for fun Halloween recipes, decors, crafts and more!

Make sure to check out MadameDeals Contest Page for awesome prizes!

Check out great holiday shopping ideas, visit our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide.

June 20, 2013

Partying with Friends at Blogher with SeaDog Cruises

Fireworks with Friends and SeaDog Cruises


This summer at BlogHer, most of the Madame Deals Team will meet up in person. We will be joining a group of fellow bloggers and kicking off our stay with a Fireworks Cruise on SeaDog Cruises. We are all excited because for some of us this is our first time at BlogHer and for me personally I have only spent 1 day in my life in Chicago. So we are starting off our few days together with a Bang!

SeaDog Cruises aren’t just for groups. Check out all the ways you can make splash and a bang in Chicago.

SeaDog offers four exciting ways to see and experience Chicago from the water:

Lakefront Speedboat Tour
This 30-minute cruise along the shoreline offers a descriptive tour of Chicago’s famous skyline, while playing your favorite music.
Extreme Thrill Ride
This cruise is perfect for the dare-devil in you! This 30-minute ride features splash down stops, 180-degree turns, slalom runs and more.
River and Lake Architectural Tour
Enjoy historic views of Chicago’s famous landmarks and neighborhoods during this 75-minute cruise on both Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.
Lakefront Fireworks Cruise
Enjoy front-row seats to the spectacular fireworks display aboard our Lakefront Fireworks Cruise! Cruise along Lake Michigan with an exciting speedboat ride paired with an informative tour of the Chicago skyline, then end the evening with a dazzling fireworks show and top-40 hits playing in the background! The open aired vessel allows for panoramic views, providing a perfect view. The Seadog Fireworks Cruise is available on Wednesdays and Saturdays, running from Memorial Day – Labor Day.


For more information check out SeaDog Cruises – Chicago!


Cedar Point Review

 Cedar Point Offers Something for Everyone

I hadn’t been to Cedar Point since I was a teenager so when I got the opportunity to go last weekend, I was excited as the kids. I was a little worried because neither of my kids have been on roller coasters before and I didn’t want to hear the whole time how bored they were. I reassured them there were other types of rides but my husband and I secretly talked about how we were going to get them on at least one coaster before the weekend was over.

I am proud to say that they did ride the roller coasters and liked most of  them. My daughter even went on some big ones with just her dad , I wasn’t feeling well after lunch. She deemed her favorite ride to be the Iron Dragon with the Mine Ride a close second. My son and husband road the The GateKeeper (Cedar Point’s Newest Roller Coaster) and couldn’t stop talking about it all day.

As much as we loved the roller coasters and fast rides it was nice to slow down and visit Snoopy and the Charlie Brown Gang. Cedar Point offers 3 separate areas for kids with so many rides that will make them think Cedar Point is just for them. You do need to watch the height limits because some rides do require an adult ride with those that are too small and others require a child under a certain height for those over that height to ride. I “Paid It Forward” and helped a pregnant mom whose twins were too short to ride alone. I Squeezed in the little nest (thanks to my recent weight loss I was able to fit) and we went on a twirly adventure. My daughter rode on her own and enjoyed watching me get spun in circles. I still think I am dizzy from it.

The view of the beach from the boardwalk was awesome and something I didn’t realize you could leave the park to enjoy. (As I said I hadn’t been there since I was a teenager.) They also have Challenge Park with Go Karts, Miniature Golf, Rip Cord and the Sky Scraper. (all available for an additional charge.) You can also find Soak City just outside Cedar Point. Soak City has its own admission cost but they offer discounts when you stay at a resort or visit Cedar Point.

The food options are endless at Cedar Point from restaurants and food stands inside the park to restaurants on the property outside of Cedar Point. We settled on Famous Dave’s over on Bay Harbour for dinner and I was extremely pleased and impressed. This was my first time eating at Famous Dave’s and we settled on the “Feast for Two” for our family of 4 and we left with a box of leftovers. It was by far the best Barbeque I have had and everyone was pleased. I was also impressed with the price because we all at the “Feast for Two” and it cost $39.99.

Before we even left my children were already talking about our next visit and we plan to visit again before the summer is over. There was something truly for everyone and who doesn’t love starting your day off with a picture of Snoopy and the Gang.


Start planning your next vacation and check out all the deals available at Cedar Point!

Looking fora place to stay while at Cedar Point check out Castaway Bay and read my review.

May 2, 2013

Traveling with Kids Tips

Traveling with Kids Tips

When I was little I remember our family taking “long” trips to my grandparents’ house —2 hours away. Now, I think nothing of our 50 mile one way weekly trip “into town” to grocery shop! My number one tip when traveling with kids is to CHECK YOUR ATTITUDE! As parents our attitude toward traveling will make a tremendous difference in the reaction of our children. When we are going on an adventure then everyone gets excited, if we are just doing our daily routine (homeschooling, nap, snacks, etc.) in the car that is a bit different but not a problem. However, if we grumble and fuss, then the “kick the dog” syndrome sets in and no one is happy!Continue reading

March 30, 2013

Waterpark Vacations: Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio Review

Step into a Tropical Paradise at Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio

Everyone wants to go on vacation to a Tropical Paradise but unfortunately not everyone’s budget can support such a vacation. So the question becomes how do you escape the winter blues and not break the bank. I found the easy solution to be a vacation at an indoor waterpark. I am located in Michigan so there are a few options to pick from but not every waterpark is created equal in features, comfort or price. I have visited Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio in the past ,but it has been over 5 years, so I was excited when I got the chance to go back.

Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio is a waterpark resort (in short a hotel with an indoor waterpark.) It is located near Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. Castaway Bay has the Tropical Vacation theme from the hotel rooms to the waterpark. It is also always 82* at Castaway Bay.  I know the first time I went, I was concerned about what my husband and I were going to do while the kids played. We learned really fast it is just as much fun for us to play with them. This time was no exception, I even had to lecture my husband , after an hour,  about squirting people from the Lookout Tower. Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio is not just about the waterpark though. They have an arcade, which is the perfect place to dry out when you are done at the waterpark for the day. Several restaurant/cafe food options are also available which provide you with meal options without leaving the resort. Their is also the Castaway Bay Spa, which is a full service spa in Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio, which has services for both men and women. Don’t worry about all the relaxation going away when you are done because after you receive your “spa” services they have a hot tub and pool for “spa” guests only to use. Talk about a nice relaxing mini-“mom”cation while dad and the kids take turns ride Paradise Plunge. You can shop for Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio souvenirs at Nick Knacks or pick up a bathing suit (if you forgot one) and clothing at Pearl’s Swimwear.

The Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio waterpark is unique compared to other indoor waterpark resorts because it has a Wave Pool and The Grotto (which is an indoor/outdoor hot tub). Once you walk into the waterpark you feel like you are at your beach destination. It is open and spacious, yet you don’t have to walk too far between attractions if you have more than one child. I tend to worry about my children going off on their own but here I do not worry. Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio issues guests wristbands with a number that corresponds to your registration. You are scanned going in and there is an attendant at the doors at all times when the waterpark is open. You also walk back past that same attendant when you leave so I can relax and let them have a little freedom while I recharge on my own.

Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio is staffed with trained lifeguards who are part of  Ellis & Associates National Pool & Waterpark Lifeguard Training Program (NPWLTP). {Check out more information here regarding the lifeguards —->>Castaway Bay Lifeguards}. I was competent in their lifeguards abilities based on the number of staff and the care in which they carried themselves while doing their jobs. I was further assured when I watched them preform numerous “SPOT” Drills during our stay. Such drills involved them throwing a doll in an area of water, having someone do the dead man’s float in the wave pool, and even sneaking a doll down the water slide to pop out at the end. Each and every drill I witnessed was an example of quick reflexes that have obviously been taught during their training. The lifeguards, at Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio, didn’t stop to take off their clothes or hats but instead blew their whistle as an alert as they were diving/jumping in to assist the person in distress. They did it effortlessly and without hesitation. I only wish that my heart returned to a normal rhythm as quickly as they responded.

We each have our own favorites at Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio by the one place we all love to go in is The Grotto.  Children are allowed in as long as they are accompanied by an adult. My kids love that fact because many waterparks (and our local gym) don’t allow children in the hot tubs.  know some adults may not like this but they do require the child be with an adult and do hold a strict no horse-play policy. The Grotto goes outside and it felt refreshing to be sitting in a hot tub with the cold air in my face. The kids love the steam that rises up and one time it was snowing while we were there.

Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio  also offers family activities thru out the day that include the following: Meet and Greet the Peanut’s Gang, Castaway Arts and Crafts, Caribbean Games with Peanut’s Gang, Karaoke, Dance Party, Peanut’s Family Movie, Face Painting and Balloon Animals. These activities happen at different times during the day and all the information is included in a copy of that day’s Island Times.

We enjoyed dinner at TGI Friday’s which is attached to the end of the resort. I had received a 20% off coupon that week in an email from TGI Friday’s so I couldn’t pass up a chance to save while not having to leave the resort. If you are looking for something different, there are a few other options at Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio. You can order Room Service, Get pizza or snack items from Big Daddy’s Snack Shack, or enjoy a sandwich and sweet treats at Ebb and Eddy’s. They also offer a Breakfast Buffet in the morning at Mango Mike’s. I honestly don’t eat out for breakfast and instead brought pop tarts and had dinner leftovers warmed up in the microwave in our room.

Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio offers several room options from 2 double beds to 2 room suites that sleep 8. They also have rooms that look out over the bay and have enclosed balconies in order to enjoy some fresh air and check out the view. Every room has a private deck or balcony, remote-control television, free wireless internet, microwave, mini-refrigerator and coffee maker. Also, many rooms have access to adjoining rooms,which are perfect for extended families or large groups.

I have to say our getaway was short but at Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio , just because you checked out doesn’t mean you have to leave. You are welcome to stay and enjoy the waterpark for the remainder of your checkout day. They even have a shower/changing area in the bathroom where you can get cleaned up and dressed before heading home.

Since Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio offers specials and promotions all year round it is real easy to take a mini-getaway for a reasonable price. I am looking forward to the next time we go back because I am going to treat myself to The Spa at Castaway Bay (which is on my Top 10 List of Reasons to go to Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio).


10 Reasons To Go To Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio

  1. The Grotto – Indoor/Outdoor Hot Tub
  2. Refrigerator and Microwave in your room(means you can pack snacks and drinks to save money.)
  3. Great Specials/Deals
  4. Friendly Service
  5. Clean Rooms with Bath and Body Works soap and shampoo
  6. Castaway Bay Spa for grown-ups
  7. Restaurants on-site (you don’t have to leave for anything)
  8. Fun activities for kids every day. (Examples: Meet and Greet with Snoopy and Friends, Movie night, Castaway Club, and more)
  9. Arcade Fun to help you “dry” out
  10. Play in the waterpark Before and After your check-in/out times for FREE. (Showers available in locker rooms so you can shower before you head home.)



Check out Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio on  Facebook  and online at!


Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio makes us Happy!!

 Disclosure: My stay at Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio was  donated to MadameDeals by Castaway Bay/Cedar Point for review as part of their blogger program.  The views in this post are 100% my own and have not been influenced in any way by the sponsor. The item was not a payment for any favorable opinions.

Topic: Castaway Bay Sandusky Ohio