Khan Academy Launches Pixar In A Box

 

 

Khan Academy launches Pixar in a Box, a behind-the-scenes look at

Pixar Animation Studios’ creative process

Free online curriculum shows how Pixar filmmakers use science, technology, engineering, art and math to create movie magic 

 

Have you ever wondered how the creative process works at Pixar? Khan Academy has launched Pixar in a Box – a new online resource that explores the academic concepts behind Pixar Animation Studios’ creative process.

Khan Academy Pixar in A Box

This free resource is available to students of all ages, and through a series of video lessons, interactive exercises, and hands-on activities, students will discover how the academic concepts they learn in school enable Pixar filmmakers to create new worlds, animate unique characters and tell stories through animation.

“Our mission at Khan Academy is a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere,” said Sal Khan, Founder and CEO of the not-for-profit Khan Academy. “Sparking student interest in math and other academic fields is a key part of that, and we’re delighted to collaborate with Pixar to achieve this goal. Pixar in a Box gives students a new way to engage with key academic concepts and see how creative these concepts can be.”

Khan Academy Pixar in A Box

Students can access Pixar in a Box and learn:

· How combinatorics are used to create crowds, like the swarm of robots in WALLŸE.

· How parabolas are used to model environments, like the forest in Brave.

· How weighted averages are used to create characters, like Buzz Lightyear and Woody.

· How linear and cubic interpolation are used to animate characters.

· How trigonometry is used to create the worlds in which Pixar stories take place.

· How simultaneous equations are used to paint all of Pixar’s images.

“Learning makes us beginners again,” said Ed Catmull, President of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios.  “In my experience, creativity involves missteps and imperfections, which is one more reason it is important for every one of us to keep learning – in order to remain flexible and keep our brains nimble.   By working with Khan Academy on Pixar in a Box, we hope to encourage the excitement of learning and creative thinking for middle and high school students and to provide the tools to do it.”

Khan Academy Pixar in A Box

“For years, we’ve heard from teachers at every grade level interested in creating animation-based curricula,” said Elyse Klaidman, Director, Pixar University and Archives.  “We’ve wanted to provide free online resources for them, and Pixar in a Box makes that dream a reality. We hope that it not only gives students a behind-the-scenes look at how our movies are made but also gets them excited about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) concepts.”

I can’t wait to show Zoe Khan Academy’s Pixar in a Box program! I think that she is going to absolutely flip her lid!!!

All Pixar in a Box resources are available free of charge at PixarInABox.org. The site will be updated as additional lessons become available.

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Bass Pro Shops Orlando Family Summer Camp

Bass Pro Shop Orlando Summer Camp

The Family Summer Camp is winding down at Bass Pro Shops; but don’t you worry- you still have time to participate! The Family Summer Camp is going on through Sunday, July 26th, with workshops being held on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday! The best part is all activities, workshops, and crafts are FREE!

The kids workshops are just under 30 minutes each, and they include a class, a handout with questions, a scavenger hunt in store, games and a coloring sheet, and you receive a pin for participating. There are 9 workshops in all. They also have a lanyard, while supplies last.

Workshop schedule: 

Tuesday

12 pm Bird Watching

1 pm Fishing

2 pm Archery

3 pm Kayaking

4 pm Backyard Adventures

Thursday

12 pm Archery

1 pm Shooting & Hunting

2 pm Travel Safety

3 pm Water Safety

4 pm Camping

Saturday

12 pm Fishing

1 pm Water Safety

2 pm Shooting & Hunting

3 pm Kayaking

4 pm Bird Watching

Sunday

12 pm Shooting & Hunting

1 pm Archery

2 pm Travel Safety

3 pm Camping

4 pm Backyard Adventure

 

In addition to the workshops they have an Archery Range, Casting Buckets, and a Daisy BB Gun Range (Some age restrictions apply) from noon until 5 pm.

We love the staff at the Orlando location. Even though he is a little bit too little for some of their activities on his own, they are really great and get on his level to help him.

 

 

Last, but definitely not least, our favorite parts are the crafts, they are from noon-2 pm (although ours usually has them through 5 pm!) For the final week, (Tuesday the 21st, Thursday the 23rd, Saturday the 25th & Sunday the 26th) they will be making a lady bug clip magnet.

 This is the bee wind chime that he made on the first week!

Make sure you stop in to see the activities if you are in the area.  They are a lot of fun and very informative!  See their website for more details!

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Making The Perfect Treat For A Paddington Movie Night

Marmalade Pawprint Cookies Paddington Movie Night Paddington the Bear Having a Family Movie Night is one of our favorite ways to slow down and decompress after a busy week of being On the Go, and to get ready for the release of Paddington the movie on April 28th I thought I’d make a fun treat inspired by a movie that we really enjoyed!

From the beloved novels by Michael Bond and producer David Heyman, Paddington tells the story of the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear who travels to the city in search of a home.

httpv://youtu.be/XINqh87wXKg

These Marmalade Pawprint Cookies are SUPER easy to make and fun for the whole family, and if you are looking for fun ideas for your own Paddington Party you can find tons of fun printables and more here and also on the Paddington Party Pinterest Board.

Marmalade Pawprint Cookie Recipe (Yield 30)

Perfect for a Paddington Movie Night

Ingredients:
1 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cup Softened Unsalted Butter
2/3 Cup Sugar (Plus more for rolling)
1 Large Egg
1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1/3 Cup Sweet Orange Marmalade

1/3 Cup Powdered/Confectioners Sugar

Tools:

Mixing Bowls

Mixer (Not necessary, but it makes mixing the dough easier)

Baking Sheets

Parchment Paper or Silicone Mats

Cooling Racks

Sifter (Not necessary, but it does make spreading the Confectioners Sugar easier)

Storage Container

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F

  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.

  4. In another bowl, whip the butter and the sugar with a hand-held mixer until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until just combined.

  5. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing just until incorporated.

  6. Place dough in the refrigerator to cool for 1 hour.

  7. Scoop the dough into 1-inch balls with a cookie or ice cream scoop and roll in sugar.

  8. Place about 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

  9. Press a thumbprint into the center of each ball, about 1/2-inch deep. Fill each indentation with about 3/4 teaspoon jam.

  10. Bake cookies until the edges are golden, about 15 minutes. (For even color, rotate the pans from top to bottom about halfway through baking.)

  11. Cool cookies on the baking sheets.

  12. Once the Cookies have cooled completely, place them into your storage container for up to 5 days.

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#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

I really enjoy finding recipes for treats that are super easy and super fun, and this #DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats recipe is a twist on an old favorite!

These Mickey Pretzel Treats are a great mix of sweet and salty, and are a crowd pleaser

The most expensive part of these treats are the Hershey’s Kisses and M&M’s, however I like to shop the after holiday sales to scoop them up at half off!

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats Recipe (Yield 60)

Ingredients:

1 – Bag of Pretzels (I used Snyders of Hanover Pretzel Snaps, but you can use whatever shape of pretzel you would like)

2 – 11 oz Bags of Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolate

2 – 1.77 oz Tubes M&M’s Minis

1 – 12.6 oz Bag of M&M’s Milk Chocolate

Tools:

1 – Baking Sheet

2 – Small Bowls

1 – Medium Bowl

1 – Storage Container

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 300° F

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

 

2.Place each size of M&M’s into their own small bowl

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

3. Unwrap all of the Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolate (This is extremely time consuming and no fun…you’ve been warned)

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

4. On the Baking Sheet, line up all of your pretzels and place a Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolate on top of each pretzel

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

5. Put the Baking Sheet into the oven for 3 minutes

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

6. When you pull the pretzels and kisses out, the chocolate should be shiny & smooth and you can depress the tip of the Kiss easily with your finger. If the chocolate has cracks in it or looks dry, you are going to want to start over at Step 4.

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

7. Place a regular sized M&M’s on each pretzel by depressing it into the Hershey’s Kiss. If you find that it doesn’t easily go into the Kiss, put the Baking Sheet back into the oven until you can depress the tip of the Kiss easily with your finger.

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

8. Place two M&M’s Minis on top of each of the regular M&M’s to make Mickey’s ears. I found that when I kept the regular sized M&M’s in rows by color that it was easier to place the matching color of M&M’s Minis.

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats All together

9. Once your Mickey Pretzel Treats and the Baking Sheet have reached room temperature, place the sheet into the refrigerator for the chocolate to set for 30 minutes.

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

10. Once the Mickey Pretzel Treats have cooled completely, place them into your storage container. Mickey Pretzel Treats can be placed in the refrigerator for up to a week.

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treats

I hope that you enjoy this #DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treat as much as we do! Below you will find a download of the recipe that you can print out.

#DisneySide Mickey Pretzel Treat Recipe

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AAA Offering Free Car Seats To Help Florida Families

With new car seat laws taking effect January 1, 2015, Florida AAA offices are helping Florida families out by giving out a limited number of new car seats as a way to increase the awareness of a new law that requires children under age six to be in a car seat or booster seat.

AAA Florida Car SeatAAA Florida will be giving out the free booster seats members and non-members every Friday in January, and to qualify for this offer the seat has to be for a child who is at least four years old between the height of 50-57 inches who weighs 40-60 pounds.

You will need to make an appointment by calling your local AAA office (you can click here to find a location). It is also important to note that your child must be present at your appointment, because they will be weighed and measured prior to you receiving the car seat.

This offer is only open as long as the car seats at each location last, so make sure that you call in as soon as you can!

I checked with the Orlando Office on Sand Lake Road earlier this morning, and they have 60 car seats that are available.

I absolutely applaud AAA for having such a commitment to the safety of children in Florida!!!

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SeaWorld Orlando Free Preschool Pass

SeaWorld Orlando Busch Gardens Tampa Preschool Pass

SeaWorld Orlando Offers Free Pass for Preschoolers

Children five and younger can enjoy all of 2015 at SeaWorld Orlando for FREE

SeaWorld Orlando is celebrating the new year and families with young kids with a limited-time offer. Children five and younger can explore SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa for FREE throughout 2015 with the return of the Preschool Pass.

Starting today, guests can register for the pass online and get their kids ready for all of the excitement, thrills and inspiring shows that only SeaWorld and Busch Gardens can provide.

Kids will love being kids at Shamu’s Happy Harbor®, a play area that features fun for all, including:

SeaWorld Orlando Busch Gardens Tampa Preschool Pass

  • Shamu Express® – the park’s first family-oriented roller coaster reaching speeds of 26 mph
  • Jazzy Jellies – a jellyfish-themed ride that lifts and spins families to heights of 30 feet
  • Sea Carousel – a classical marine-themed masterpiece topped by a 45-foot-wide pink octopus
  • A variety of other kid-sized attractions to keep the little ones moving and shaking

And at Busch Gardens, experience kid-sized attractions and exciting encounters, including:

Madagascar Live SeaWorld Orlando Busch Gardens Tampa Preschool Pass

  • Busch Gardens’ Sesame Street® Safari of Fun – a family-friendly African adventure filled with kid-size rides and cool water fun
  • Madagascar Live – kids can join the adventure with King Julien and his friends during this live show
  • Treetop Trails at Jungala® – older kids can explore and climb nets, bridges and tubes in this multi-level maze, while the younger set can play in the water area inside this 3-story family play area

Sign up today for the SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Preschool Pass!

The Free SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Preschool Pass is an exclusive online offer, available at SeaWorldOrlando.com. It is exclusively for Florida residents ages five and younger and is valid for unlimited admission – with no blackout dates – through Dec. 31, 2015, at SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. The Preschool Pass does not include parking or Pass Member discounts or benefits.

Busch Gardens Wild Days Featuring Jack Hanna SeaWorld Orlando Busch Gardens Tampa Preschool Pass

Another great reason to get a free Preschool Pass for the little ones is that all of SeaWorld’s 2015 events are included! The year kicks off with Wild Days, an immersive event that connects kids to the wild and wonderful world we all share; followed by the all-new Praise Wave, a series that makes the park come alive with the hottest names in Christian music. And don’t forget about family favorites Halloween Spooktacular and SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, also included with a Preschool Pass!

SeaWorld Orlando Summer 2014 SeaWorld Orlando Busch Gardens Tampa Preschool Pass

The best deal for the rest of the family is a SeaWorld/Busch Gardens Fun Card which allows unlimited admission to both parks throughout the year at a discounted price of $165.

SeaWorld and Busch Gardens SeaWorld Orlando Busch Gardens Tampa Preschool Pass

 

From soaring on the mighty Manta roller coaster and experiencing the power and grace of killer whales in the One Ocean show, to exploring an underwater journey of sea turtles at TurtleTrek and seeing penguins on the thrilling, chilling adventure of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, there is something for everyone in the family at SeaWorld Orlando.

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Nickelodeon Suites Resorts Preschool Weekend Celebration

Nickelodeon Preschool Celebration Nickelodeon Suites Resort

The Nickelodeon Suites Resort will be celebrating their younger guests during the Nickelodeon Preschool Weekend Celebration featuring Julius Jr. and special Nickelodeon Preschool-themed activities, shows, and character meet & greets around the resort.

This Nickelodeon Preschool Weekend includes activities at Nickelodeon Suites Resort, January 9-11, 2015, for the ultimate Orlando family vacation for all ages!

Nickelodeon Preschool Weekend Celebration includes:

  • Story Time with Dora and her Friends Live Show (Saturday & Sunday)
  • Nickelodeon Preschool episode viewings
  • Self-guided scavenger hunt (daily)
  • Nickelodeon Preschool Giveaway (1 per child)
  • Character* meet & greet opportunities with:
    • Julius Jr.
    • Dora the Explorer, Boots and Diego
    • Milli & Geo from Team Umizoomi
    • Molly & Gil from Bubble Guppies
    • Blue from Blue’s Clues
    • Pablo from the Backyardigans
    • Ming-Ming from Wonder Pets

* Characters listed appear throughout the weekend.

Nickelodeon Suites Resort Nick Hotel Power Rangers Super Megaforce Weekends Nickelodeon Preschool Celebration

For more information, check out Nickelodeon Suites Resort site.

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KaBOOM! Play Together Tour Visits Kissimmee

KaBoom! Play Together Tour 2014

KaBOOM! Play Together Tour Visits Kissimmee 

Free Pop-Up Kids Event – Register Now!
Don’t miss this free family event coming to a city near you

The KaBOOM! Play Together Tour is wrapping up its nation-wide travels in Kissimmee, and this is definitely a family fun event you won’t want to miss!

The secret to rich, rewarding, memorable family time is play! And the KaBOOM! Play Together Tour— powered by Disney Parks— makes family bonding fun and easy. This FREE, state-of-the-art, pop-up play attraction features team-building stations, games that build mental and physical play prowess, and an incredible family-friendly obstacle course. Your entire family will learn how balanced and active play helps children thrive.

Reserve your spot in AnaheimSacramentoSan FranciscoChicagoAtlanta or Kissimmee.

KaBOOM! Play Together Tour

Kissimmee Location Details:

Mill Run Park
1451 Mill Slough Road
KissimmeeFL 34744

Registration will also be available on-site the day of the event.


Parking is free at the park, and drivers also have permission to park their cars at the Cita Con La Vida Church parking lot, just adjacent to Mill Run Park.


For more information about this event, please call 407.935.1412, log on to www.kissimmeeparks.org or follow us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/kissimmeeparks. 

Want to help us run an event? Volunteer at a Play Together Tour stop and receive good vibes, a free t-shirt and lunch on us!

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Celebrate The Magic Summer Fun

 Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

Celebrate the Magic is one of those things that I tend to walk by and take for granted, because it is always ‘there’ when we are trying to find the right spot for Wishes! or the Main Street Electrical parade.

Here is a little bit about Celebrate the Magic if you are like me…

With a little pixie dust from Tinker Bell, watch Cinderella Castle come to life right before your eyes.

 

Witness a spellbinding show that traces the longstanding legacy of Disney storytelling and imagination. When Tinker Bell splashes pixie dust atop Cinderella Castle, the regal castle is magically refashioned into an enchanted canvas unfurling with spectacular Disney imagery.

 

Travel down the rabbit hole with Alice, soar high above the Big Top with Dumbo, and wander the African savanna with Simba.

 

Drawing inspiration from Disney’s many memorable characters and stories, Celebrate the Magic invites you to take off on a breathtaking visual and musical journey, and to experience Disney movies—from beloved classics to contemporary favorites—in an entirely new and unforgettable way.

However what makes Celebrate the Magic so special is that it receives several seasonal updates a year, and this year’s Summer tag does not disappoint! It is full of fun, tikis, and under the sea shenanigans.

The Summer sequence of projections begins right after the Wreck It Ralph section.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

Phineas and Ferb kick off the Summer sequence with a, “Ferb! I know what we are going to do today!”

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

Fun and upbeat music kicks off as the castle is sketched and colored.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -  Starting at the bottom of the castle and spreading upwards tiki torches appear and “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” plays.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

Then the castle is adorned with tikis, torches, and a little blue alien.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

Leis are dropped onto the castle turrets before the castle is draped in a pattern that features Lilo, Stitch, and their friends.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

The pattern turns into a wave that Nani, Lilo, and Stitch then ride out.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

A ‘Sand’ castle is now being projected with a fun kid sung “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

Waves then wash away the sand castle as beach ball drop all over the castle.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 - Beachballs

“Under the Sea” rings out as the castle is flooded and the beach balls make way for Ariel, Sebastian, Flounder, and their fellow sea inhabitants.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

The party ends as some familiar fish friends (not food) swim across the castle with calls of ‘Mine, Mine, Mine’ as the castle goes black.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

The summer tag for Celebrate the Magic is a little less than two minutes, but as you can see they packed a lot of great animation and moments into that time.

If you want to catch the Summer tag of Celebrate the Magic, here are some of my best tips!

  • There are two showings of Celebrate the Magic a night (usually 9:45 pm and 10:35 pm, but check the daily times guide or My Disney Experience to be sure), and the second show is a lot less crowded to watch!
  • If you decide to watch the show during it’s second showing, try to move as close as you can to the castle because you will find the closer you get you will find more opportunities to sit on the ground (a unique perspective for tired feet) to view the show.

Celebrate the Magic Summer 2014 -

  • Celebrate the Magic is projected on the front and sides of Cinderella Castle, and each vantage point offers a different experience! If you want to watch from the front try to be center near the hub, the castle forecourt is also open for the show and that is really interesting, and from the side I prefer the Tomorrowland side going towards Merida’s Meet and Greet.
  • If you have a pair of Glow with the Show Ears, they will interact with the show’s lighting and effects.
  • The show is great to photograph! Make sure that you listen for music cues of when the projections will change and don’t worry too much about using your flash.

I found a great video on YouTube from Steve Gray of the entire Celebrate the Magic castle projection show. The Summer tag begins around the 3:35 mark and ends around the 5:23 mark.

httpv://youtu.be/pxtUpbdn_T8

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LEGOLAND Florida: Duplo Valley Closer Look

 Duplo Valley LEGOLAND Florida

DUPLO Valley at LEGOLAND Florida brings the LEGO DUPLO line of preschool building toys to life with new attractions, an indoor air-conditioned play area, and an interactive water play area all geared to toddlers ages 2 to 5.

httpv://youtu.be/8RAkpz8A13Q

DUPLO Valley may be for toddlers, but it was designed as the ideal because this area of LEGOLAND Florida was created with special areas in mind to make this the ideal place for families to play and relax together.

In DUPLO Valley, you will find more benches, covered play and queue areas, and themed play geared toward multiple age and skill levels.

DUPLO Valley Themed Play Area DUPLO Train
Themed play are in the DUPLO Train Queue

There are three new attractions in DUPLO Valley that all feature themed play areas in the queue and interactive elements for family members who may not be riding on the attractions.

Duplo Valley

Once aboard the DUPLO Train, toddlers explore a countryside themed route of farms, campgrounds, and fishing holes. There are a ton of really great fun details on the DUPLO Train! My favorite are the Railroad crossings complete with arms that raise and lower. When designing the DUPLO Train, they made sure to leave the tunnel as open as possible so if younger guests were riding alone they could still see their family at the station.

DUPLO Valley DUPLO Train Detail

For the DUPLO Train, guests under 34″ must ride with a responsible person 48″ or taller, guests 34″ and above may ride unaccompanied.

DUPLO Valley Tractor Area

You can jump aboard the DUPLO Tractor that is made just for them to help the farmers plow the corn fields while searching to find missing farm animals. I love that each tractor has a separate area for the child to ‘drive’ while the parents ride along. Other guests also make the DUPLO Tractor ride even more fun by activating the sounds of the animals inside the farm.

DUPLO Valley Tractor

Guests 36″ – 48″ can ride with a responsible person 48″ or taller, guests 48″ and above can ride unaccompanied.

Duplo Valley

The DUPLO Splash & Play ares is a refreshing play area with intermittent water spouts and interactive water elements set among larger than life farm animals with a soft deck for safety.

DUPLO Valley Splash and Play Info

The DUPLO Tot Spot is the first of its kind at LEGOLAND Florida and is designed specially for children under the age of two and features a small slide and colorful playhouse.

DUPLO Valley Tot SpotThis a covered outdoor area with fans that provides a fun play area that is safe and secure for our youngest DUPLO guests.

DUPLO Valley also has a fun DUPLO Snack Bar where toddlers and parents alike can enjoy hot and fresh popcorn or caramel popcorn, as well as cool, refreshing drinks.

DUPLO Valley Snack Bar

There is also a really fun ‘Farmer’s Market’ themed play area and covered seating with fans at the DUPLO Snack Bar.

DUPLO VALLEY Snack Bar Play Area

Modeled after the DUPLO Set, the DUPLO Farm is an air-conditioned play area for children to slide, climb, and crawl around a whole host of friendly farm animals.

Duplo Valley

DUPLO Valley DUPLO Farm Inside

Inside the DUPLO Farm, there is a special Toddler Play Room for kids to get a break from all the stimulation of the area as well as a Baby Care Center,presented by Winter Haven Hospital, provides a nursing and changing area, bottle warming, and more.

DUPLO Valley DUPLO Farm Baby Care Center

The whole DUPLO Valley area of LEGOLAND Florida is extremely well designed and executed to keep the youngest visitors to the park happy and engaged while keeping the rest of the family comfortable.

It is a vast improvement, and even Zoe is looking forward to checking out the area soon!

Duplo Valley

LEGOLAND Florida guests can also purchase the new ‘Preschool Pass’, including weekday (Monday-Friday) admission to LEGOLAND Florida and standard parking for both one child under five and one adult for a full year at $90, plus tax.

Assigned to the child, the pass allows an adult parent or guardian to attend the park with the toddler. The pass is transferrable to multiple adults in the family, allowing, for example, a mother to visit one day, and a grandparent the next, making it ideal for families to bring their little ones to LEGOLAND Florida during the week.

Also, don’t forget to enter our LEGO DUPLO Giveaway to celebrate the opening of DUPLO Valley!!!

Duplo Valley

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Kennedy Space Center Offers Fun Day Camps For Kids

Camp Kennedy Space Center Celebrates New Space Shuttle AtlantisSM Attraction with Fun Day Camps for Inquisitive Kids

 Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Campers Entering 10th and 11th Grades Now Accepted

 

For a summer camp experience that educates, entertains and engages children ages 8 to 16, Camp Kennedy Space Center day camp provides young people with an inspiring week of fun and enriching activities.

Camp KSC runs Monday through Friday for nine weeks beginning June 9. This year’s theme – Space Shuttle Atlantis: From Sketch Pad to Launch Pad – focuses on the orbiter and the global impact of its 33 missions into space. Along with many other activities, campers will experience the new home of Space Shuttle AtlantisSM, participate in a simulated Space Shuttle Mission, engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities, learn hands-on about the science of space travel, and hear real-life stories from a shuttle astronaut.

For the first time, programs have been added for students entering 10th and 11th grades.

Campers are divided into teams based on their grade level for age appropriate instruction and activities.

Campers entering 6th through 9th grade will form robotics teams to design a working robot, compete in a robotics challenge, and learn about NASA’s robotic exploration programs.

The Camp KSC program is designed for children entering 2nd through 11th grades and runs Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with early drop-off offered at 7:30 a.m. for an extra fee. Camp instructors are specially trained educators. All campers receive lunch and afternoon snacks, a Camp KSC T-shirt, and a Camp KSC certificate of completion.

The camp will run during the weeks of June 9-13June 16-20June 23-27June 30-July 4July 7-11July 14-18July 21-25July 28-Aug. 1 and Aug. 4-8.

Camp Kennedy Space Center is located at the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame’s® educational facility, just off US 1 near the west entrance to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Tuition is $295 per week plus tax, paid in advance. For more information or to book a reservation, visit   www.kennedyspacecenter.com or call 866-870-8285.

 Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day or more of fun and educational activities, including the Kennedy Space Center Tour featuring the Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, the Angry Birds Space Encounter, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and many other interactive exhibits. The new $100 million home for Space Shuttle AtlantisSM opened June 29, 2013. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world’s largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, which opens daily at noon and closing times vary by season. Only 45 minutes from Orlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with closing times varying by season.  Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander’s Club Annual Pass is $75 + tax for adults and $60 + tax for children ages 3-11.  For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

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Sea World’s Just for Kids Festival

Sea World is hosting the Just For Kids! Festival on Saturdays through April 12, 2014; and, it’s included with your park admission! Don’t let the name fool you though, it’s definitely family friendly! While it is kid-centric, it brings families together for fun activities, rides, Animal Ambassadors, and more!

We were given a festival map as we came into the parking lot.  They are also available at the Ocean Adventure areas as well. The map is the perfect size for your little one to help navigate.  It has all the Fun Stations mapped out for you with just a few main park locations for reference points.

 
Just for Kids Festival map

The stars on the map are the Ocean Adventure areas.  That’s where your kids can go on an educational and fun trip around the park.  They have games and information at each of the four stops.  After you complete your activity, the bottom of your map will get a punch and you get a limited edition Explorer’s card! The stations are really easy to spot too- there is a “take an Ocean Adventure” sign along with Just for Kids! banners like the one pictured here:

 
Ocean Adventure activity

The Ocean Adventures are spread out around the park, but not too spread out!  One thing that I loved about this is that they never excluded Cole. He’s almost two, so he’s really into doing these fun things like the matching games, but he’s not quite old enough to answer questions about oil on penguin.  Some of them they let me help him with but some tailored their activity to be more his level.  It was tons of fun!

After you complete all four Ocean Adventure activities, you get a ticket that allows you to go to one of three stores and turn it in for a special surprise!
 
The four limited edition cards.

Another fun part of Just for Kids is the Rockin’ Rockhopper Party in Antarctica that starts at 11am. A DJ is there with some rockin’ hoppin’ music to get everyone moving.  There are even special penguin guests who come out and party with you! They have games, snacks, face painting and you can even see live penguins!  You don’t want to miss out!

 

As always, there are lots of great Animal Ambassadors to wow and amaze!  It’s neat to see all the different animals and to hear their stories. The SEA Garden is home to one of the Ocean Adventures, many of the Animal Ambassadors and special story tellers.

 
Animal Ambassadors

 

 
Story time!

A highlight for my little one was the Elmo Rocks! show. He couldn’t stop talking about Elmo all weekend! Be sure to get there early as the show is only performed in the earlier part of the day and there are only a few shows.

Be sure to stick around for the end of the day too.  The Shamu Dance Party, at the front of the park in Village Square, starts one hour before park close and lasts until 30 minutes after park close.  There is a stilt walking emcee, music for the whole family to enjoy and dance to, and Shamu and his crew are there! Unfortunately no pictures of the party because we’ve had plans that caused us to miss it the first two weekends, but we’ll be there for the third one!

Have you been to Sea World’s Just for Kids Festival yet?  What was your favorite part? We are excited to go again this weekend and hopefully next weekend as well!

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A #DisneySide @ Home Celebration Recap

I was lucky enough to have been chosen to host a #DisneySide @ Home Celebration, and it was definitely an experience I or my guests will never forget!

#DisneySide @ Home Celebration

The theme of our party was showing your #DisneySide every day using the ideas I shared in my #DisneySide planning video from DisneySideCelebrations.com!

httpv://youtu.be/I4dEqai9r4g

Decorations at our Celebration were themed to Mickey and Minnie, and I displayed some of my favorite Disney plush toys and the Balloon Wreaths with Hidden Mickeys that I made.

#DisneySide @ Home Celebration

I found some great food ideas from Spoonful.com & Babble.com! Since we had vegans and vegetarians creating a menu that was inclusive was a new challenge, but thanks to our friends at Babycakes NYC we had some great treats for everyone to enjoy! We had so much fun creating some really fun desserts! It was a blast making the Minnie and Mickey Mouse themed cupcakes, pretzel snacks, and chocolate dipped pretzel rods. Our guests also really enjoyed the cotton candy we made for them!

#DisneySide @ Home Celebration

We had an absolute blast playing the Disney Colorblock Character Game I created, and everyone had an awesome time in the Disney Princess Bounce House we rented for the day!

#DisneySide @ Home Celebration

The highlight of the #DisneySide @ Home Celebration was the raffle for some great prizes from the hostess kit I was provided with, LeSportsac, Theme Park Connection, Wonder Forge Games, and Bands for Arms.

#DisneySide @ Home Celebration

It was a great party, because we all got to spend time celebrating what makes our #DisneySide so special with great friends!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlLFFfrPlD4&feature=share&list=UUxhza5Nkv4ukqKmIFLE9dgA&index=3

A super huge thank you to John from BigFatPanda.com for creating the wonderful video from our  Party and to all of my dear friends for all of their help pulling this all together!

Disclaimer: I was provided with a #Disneyside @ Home Celebration hostess kit by MomSelect that included some of the supplies used for the party as well as gifts for guests and a hostess gift. I was also provided gifts for my guests from Theme Park Connection, LeSportsac, Wonder Forge Games, and Bands for Arms. No monetary compensation was provided, and all other items & decorations were purchased. All opinions and thoughts expressed are my own!

 

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Animal Kingdom and Epcot Connecting Families With Nature

Animal Kingdom and Epcot

Connecting Families With Nature Series

Throughout the year Animal Kingdom and Epcot will be hosting Connecting Families With Nature Series of special events designed to bring attention to animals, their habitats, and what we humans can do to help them not only thrive but survive!

The events take place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot. The goal of each is to provide kids and families with a special opportunity to connect with nature, talk to our animal experts, and learn more about some of the fantastic creatures with whom we share our planet. Here’s the list of our 2014 events. Watch the Disney Parks Blog for more detailed posts shortly before each one. We hope to see you at one or more of them!

We ventured to Rafiki’s Planet Watch for the first event in the year long series on March 4th to celebrate ‘Springing Forward’ a few days early by celebrating frogs, toads and other amphibians.

Once we arrived, we were greeted by Cast Members and found all sorts of great games, activities, and special examinations we could watch.

The first thing we did, as we listened to Guitar Dan, was to make our very own Toad Abode for the frogs and toads in our yard to be comfy as Cast Members told us about frogs that were native to Florida. You know that I HAD to have a few Mickey’s on there!

Connecting Families with Nature

Once inside we were able to try our hand at several games (who knew I could standing jump 7 ft!), watched an examination of a frog, and learned ways that we could do our part to help frogs.

Connecting Families with Nature

Did you know that, according to some estimates, as many as one-third of the known amphibian species are threatened by extinction because of loss of habitat, climate change, pollution and disease? To find out more about Disney conservation efforts, visit www.disney.com/conservation

 Connecting Families with Nature

 

These Connecting Families With Nature Special Events are a great way to make your trip to the park extra special, and I know that we will definitely be going to more throughout the year. We had so much fun!

Connecting Families with Nature

If you want to join in the fun with us, here are the upcoming 2014 events for Connecting Families with Nature! You always want to keep in mind that dates subject to change:

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

    • March 4: Spring Forward for Amphibians Day — Just a few days before we adjust our clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time, we’re “springing forward” to celebrate frogs, toads and other amphibians.
    • April 22: Party for the Planet in celebration of Earth Day — Every day is a Party for the Planet at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as guests and cast members join together to celebrate the wonders of nature, but, on Earth Day, there will be even more natural magic. Included is a celebration of the release of Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure “Bears,” in theaters April 18, which showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life’s most important lessons.
    • May 6: International Migratory Bird Day — Time to celebrate of one the wonders of nature – bird migration – and the ways we can help protect birds on their journeys.
    • May 20: World Turtle Day — Turtles are fascinating creatures, and really cool dudes, too – just ask Crush! Both Disney’s Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends celebrate turtles with special activities.
    • June 10: Pollinator Day — butterflies, bees and other pollinators are the stars of this celebration.
    • July 29: Big Cat Day — It’s all about the largest cats, like lions and tigers – cats to whom you wouldn’t want to say, “here, kitty, kitty.”
    • August 5: Primate Day — The perfect place to find out what a 400-pound gorilla and a one-pound cotton-top tamarin have in common.
    • September 23: Elephant and Rhino Day — Learn fun facts and important conservation information about magnificent and endangered elephants and rhinos.

At The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot:

    • April 22: Earth Day Celebration — It’s an ocean of fun at The Seas on Earth Day as this Earth Day celebration focuses on marine animals.
    • May 20: World Turtle Day — See the magnificent sea turtles swim by in the main aquarium and find out what each of us can do to keep turtles safe in the wild.
    • June 4: World Oceans Day — Join Nemo, Dory, Crush and the rest of the gang in celebrating the wonders of the oceans.

 

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Celebrating National Engineers Week In Epcot With Raytheon

National Engineers Week

Every year Raytheon, sponsor of Sum of All Thrills in Innoventions East, helps guests National Engineers Week in Epcot, but this year they have really taken it to the next level!

For the week of February 17-21, 2014, Raytheon is presenting ‘Science Thrills Live’ show in Innoventions West.

httpv://youtu.be/P9Uvz0AWRis

In ‘Science Thrills Live’, which is part of Raytheon’s Math Moves You program, Dr. Erika Ebbel Angle leads a group of three scientists who demonstrate various scientific concepts with experiments that involve and engage even the youngest members of the audience!

National Engineers Week

I had the chance to speak with Dr. Erika Ebbel Angle before the show, and this former Miss Massachusetts is also a Biochemist who founded Science for Scientists with a passion for education and firing kids up about STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) to show them the real world applications of science.

Dr. Angle said that ‘Our goal is to dispel stereotypes of science, while also showing kids that science and engineering are awesome, fun, and engaging.’

National Engineers Week

The energy of the show was really fun, and as an extra bonus they used a lot of music from Meet the Robinsons during the show.

“Science Thrills Live” show is 20 minutes long, and will occur daily all week with shows at 11 a.m., 1, 2, 3, and 4 p.m. in Innoventions West near the Great Piggy Bank Adventure.

National Engineers Week

I suggest showing up 30 minutes early, because it is not a huge space. While you are waiting there are experiments to do and a really great pre-show that gives you a taste of what you can expect once the show begins!

In addition to ‘Science Thrills Live’, Raytheon employees will be on hand to lead Guests in hands-on experiments, again located in Innoventions West, to share kid-friendly activities while they share their passion for education and engineering.

National Engineers Week

And after the show and experiments, you definitely have to take the chance to experience science first hand by designing and experiencing their own thrill ride at The Sum of All Thrills presented by Raytheon

We look forward to celebrating National Engineers Week every year with Raytheon, but this year is especially memorable so be sure to drop by Innoventions West this week! 

National Engineers Week

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