Deals, Kids, Non-seasonal, Seattle Area Attractions, Travel

Great Wolf Lodge Birthday Experience with Friends

The birthday party! It comes around every year for your child and is such an exciting time for them. Anthony is our youngest so for over 2 decades planning birthdays are a Sluka event! They get presents, hand us wish lists and even have friends over to celebrate.

For the first time ever with all 3 boys, Anthony came to me with a special request, “Mom? I really want to take friends to Great Wolf Lodge for my (11th) birthday in May!” Wow, son that can add up! “But, Mom I am asking for an experience and I want this instead of a big party AND instead of presents”. I actually thought this was a fantastic idea!

An experience instead of gifts and party….

We stayed in a Family Suite with an outdoor balcony which is considered a standard room at Great Wolf Lodge, They also have premium and themes rooms too. This is not our first time staying in their Family Suite and every time we go, this little nook between the beds and the couch area is a favorite spot for the boys.

We arrive about 4 and our room is ready so we unload, fuel up with snacks before heading to the water park. Anthony brought 3 friends with him on this trip. Going to Great Wolf Lodge with a buddy or sibling is a must! The Family Suite fits 6 with the sofa pull out. So, one room gets 6 people into the Water Park.

2 of the boys have never rode the Tornado Waterslide before so Anthony made sure to take them there first. All of these boys have been to Great Wolf Lodge before, but not been on some of the larger waterslides. One of them never went on it again-lol!

The fun part is waiting at the bottom to catch some fun shots as they exit the tunnels. Below is the other larger waterslide called Carbon River. Most attractions have names native to the area and we live 1 1/2 hours away from Great Wold Lodge on the (real) Carbon River.

Once they rode the waterslides several times, they head to the Chinook Cove for some water basketball and Big Foot Pass pads.

Notice my son used the ropes on the Big Foot Pass and his friend did a fast crawl across the pads!

Once they were swim(ed) out and we ate some dinner, it was time for a game of Shadow Quest. I bought all 4 boys Paw Passes and that allowed them several indoor activities at a bundled price. They got to choose a wand and for the boys who already owned and brought a wand (they are reusable for next visit) those boys got to choose fun toppers.

Choose your topper carefully, each one does different perks to up your Shadow Quest game. The game and wand/topper come with the Wolf/Paw Pass package. They wear their Paw Passes around their neck so they can have access to their activities.

Anthony’s topper he chose gives him game hints, so he stopped at one of the kiosks for a hint…..

Once you successfully find the next stop on your hunt, your symbol lights up as you point your wand. The wand activates several stations and fun animations around the hotel. This is a great game before bed because it has them running all over for several floors!

As the kids run around playing Shadow Quest, my husband and I hear music and find a dance party in the lobby and a Mai Tai station! Our Mai Tai was delicious and comes in a light up souvenier cup.

What I love about Great Wolf Lodge is that for birthdays there are a lot of fun options you can add to your stay. There is a birthday package that includes a door poster and balloons with extras as well as other packages that can include cupcakes and even pizza.

When you check out you don’t have to leave. You do need to vacate your room by 11am and get your bags in your car, but your entrance into the waterpark and other attractions lasts until closing.

2 days of swimming and Paw Pass completed! Time to go home!

We are home now, the friends are dropped off and my son is still beaming. By far, the best present he asked for in his 11 years was a Great Wolf Lodge birthday experience with friends and the memories will last a lifetime!

For tips and hacks you will want to use when visiting Great Wolf Lodge, visit this recent post.

2018 Holiday Gifts, Deals, Money Saver, Reviews, Toy Reviews

Destiny 2: Forsaken Legendary Collection Video Game

Destiny 2: Forsaken Legendary Collection

2018 Holiday Gift Guide Feature: Destiny 2: Forsaken Legendary Collection

Are there video games on any of your wish lists for the family? Chances are someone on your lists wants video games especially the tweens, teens and young adults. I recently gifted a family friend an extra code for Destiny 2 and this code was for the Legendary Collection. My son (Anthony) is 10 and typically shares the video game reviews as  I allow him to play certain T-Teen games but this is a fresh opinion from a college-age player for my readers. Anthony has this game, but not the collection so I wanted to feature why buying the Legendary Collection is the best way to gift this game.

Destiny 2: Forsaken is a fast paced first person shooter providing a fun yet challenging experience. Allowing you to play solo or with other players creating different scenarios. The game itself has characteristics of an rpg (role playing game) but is set in a universe filled with other players, making the game feel a little more lively.

Getting the legendary collection is best because it expands the universe that’s already long to begin with, adding even more hours to the story. The legendary collection also provides equipment and weapons for your character that would be unavailable in the base game.

Shopping for Destiny 2: Foresaken Legendary Collection video game

Available at Best Buy  for around $59.99 on PlayStation®4, Xbox One and PC

Need more gift ideas? Visit the 2018 Holiday Gift Guide!

Comment: I was sent product so that my feature can be authentic and my own original thoughts for you. I am a Best Buy Associate and I may be compensated for your purchase through my links.

Car Talk, Deals, Education, Money Saver, Tips and Tricks

Finding The Best Car Insurance in Washington Is Full of Surprises…

Trying to find the best car insurance can be a trial. We all know the big car insurance brands: State Farm, Geico, Progressive, Allstate — but after browsing those sites, I’m never sure if I’m actually getting the best deals. So this time I used Clearsurance, and what I found totally caught me by surprise. All those household brands we all see advertised so often? They aren’t ranked very highly. Clearsurance, which is a website that collects reviews from people about their insurance company, uses the data it gathers to create unbiased rankings of car insurance companies, both by state and nationally for 2018. The detailed breakdown helps you compare companies and find coverage that’s actually the best deal for your location and driving history.

Once I got over my surprise, I decided to see what companies other consumers ranked as the best car insurance options in Washington and if my car insurer was rated highly by other consumers. I didn’t even recognize some of the companies that ranked ahead of the giants in car insurance, including my own insurer.

For instance, Amica Mutual, which offers a home ownership discount, was founded in 1907 and ranks as the third best company in all of Washington. Amica Mutual’s 4.46 rating out of 5 on Clearsurance is significantly higher than that of Progressive (4.16) and Allstate (4.1).

Take a look at what companies are ranked as the top 5 car insurers in Washington on Clearsurance:

  1. USAA — 4.68
  2. California Casualty Group — 4.47
  3. Amica Mutual Insurance Company— 4.46
  4. Metromile— 4.45
  5. American National Property & Casualty Company — 4.43

These aren’t the names we typically associate with car insurance. So why are these brands so much better than the big companies we all know? Clearsurance has tons of great information to help you navigate your car insurance coverage, and one of the things I discovered is that companies like Geico and Allstate spend billions of dollars a year on advertisements to become the names we think of when it’s time to buy car insurance or consider switching car insurance. But those advertising dollars have come to from somewhere, and it ends up driving up the cost of our insurance premiums.

 

Why should we be paying more to insure our cars so that our insurer can solicit new business?

For the most part, the companies rated highly in Washington are lesser known than the big names. But the bottom line is, they’re better. These are the companies that other policyholders have found offer fair prices with good customer service and claims handling.

Still, we’re not all eligible for these top insurers, and we don’t all have the same insurance needs. That’s something else Clearsurance understands and helps you navigate. For example, USAA is the best car insurance company for Washingtonians, but it only serves active and former military members and their families. And at a company like Metromile, it offers a multi-car discount. Plus, not all car insurance companies cover high-risk drivers, so if you have a lot of accidents on your record or a DUI, you may not be able to obtain coverage from one of these companies.

What’s a good option for high-risk drivers in Washington?

I did some digging into the car insurance companies that sell in Washington and offer policies to high-risk drivers, often referred to as non-standard drivers. If you’re looking for a cost effective option, The General offers affordable coverage. The General has a rating of 3.68. Consumers seem to believe The General offers cheap prices, but the low rates are reflected in the customer service and handling of claims.

 

Finding the best car insurance for you or your family shouldn’t have to be completely mind-boggling. Once you step outside the buzz of all those big name brands, figuring out which companies actually offer the best customer service at the best price becomes a lot easier, especially if you’ve got Clearsurance on your team.

Deals, Father's Day, Graduation Gift Ideas

Giving the Graduation Gift of Time from My Gift Stop – Promo Code and $300 Giveaway

I have partnered with My Gift Shop for this compensated feature. Any opinions are my own

If we start with the most exciting news, that would be this fantastic giveaway! I have a child in college and I know that it gets costly especially as you send them off to dorm rooms with essentials. On top of room necessities, they want a fresh wardrobe and accessories. We want them to do well, be set up to focus and make their classes. Giving the gift of time and having a promo code to save on luxury brands at My Gift Stop is a great way to set them up to get to class on time when Mom and dad aren’t around to drag them out of bed. So let’s get to all of it starting with the giveaway!

Giveaway rules

• No purchase necessary. • One participant will win a $300 Gift Card to MyGiftStop.com. All other participants will receive a 10% off coupon via email good towards any products. • Open to domestic and international individuals aged 18 and older only; void where prohibited. • Entry closes on Friday June 29th, 2018 at 11:59PM EST • Winner will be selected in random on Monday July 2nd, 2018. • Winner will be notified by email, so be sure to add mygiftstop.com to your safe list. • Prize unclaimed after 48 hours from notification is forfeited and My Gift Stop reserves the right to select another winner. • Winner agrees to allow My Gift Stop to publish his/her name with home city and state as a giveaway winner and to promote future giveaways and promotions. • Participant agrees that his/her email will be added to our email newsletter to receive private sales, new product updates, and other marketing emails. Email is never sold or shared. Participant may unsubscribe from newsletter at any time. ENTER HERE!

The Gift of Time with My Gift Stop

What style is your grad? Whether casual, techy, trendy or a lover of bling you find the best last-minute online gifts offering luxury goods that are dedicated to giving back to society, donating 5% of every sale to the global medical relief nonprofit, Direct Relief. My Gift Stop has watch brands you all know and love including Casio, Luminox, Bulova and more.

How can you know you are getting a great deal at My Gift Stop? If you search a few watches and compare the models to online prices you won’t find prices much lower if at all. I found some same model watches as high as 35% more than the prices at My Gift Stop.

They offer these great prices on brand names to give you a socially responsible gifting experience where you get to gift while they take a percentage of the sale and give back.

My Gift Stop Promo Code

Once you are done browsing gifts for your Grad, don’t forget to enter the promo code: PARENTINGHEALTHY at checkout to save 10% on your order. Make sure you see their entire list of luxury gift items at great prices!