Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain

(Disclaimer:  I was given the opportunity to take advantage of the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain with a media discount that I received.  Everything is based on my own experience.)

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain

After Attending the Grace Hopper Women in Computing Conference for work (and the MONTHS of planning before that), I decided that it would be great to have my husband and daughter fly out at the end of the week and enjoy the luxurious backdrop that the Camelback Mountains in Scottsdale, Arizona offers. Since we love to travel and don’t always go back to the same spots, we put in a lot of effort to find getaways that are different from anything else that we could experience. The last time we were in Scottsdale, a little over a year ago, we celebrated my husband’s Global MBA graduation from Thunderbird School of Global Management with his parents and sister. We had a glorious stay at The Phoenician but wanted to try something different this time.

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain


Address:  5700 East McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Phone Number:  (480) 948-2100

Check In

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As soon as pull into the resort you realize you’re in for a new treat. You’re ushered out of your car so that you can check in at the front desk, a couple feet below. When you come back to your car, you’re asked to follow an attendant in a golf cart who gives you ice cold water and drives you to your parking spot.


Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain


There are 105 Casitas that give you a chance for private relaxation in with a beautiful backdrop. They range from 500 sqft to 1500 sqft and some include a separate seating area with a huge fireplace and private balcony (with doors leading from the living room and bedroom):

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain

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Our Mountain Vista Suite included a huge spa tub with bath salts and a separate mosaic tiled shower as well as a kitchen alcove in the front with burners, a dishwasher, and bar area.

After parking, our attendant loaded us and our luggage into the golf cart and quickly whisked us to the front-door of our casita. It was dark when we arrived but we could see the city of Scottsdale illuminated with lights across. He opened our door and gave us a quick tour of the votive lit rooms softly flickering across the rooms. There was a bedroom (some casitas have two bedrooms) and he let us know we could contact the front-desk for turn down service for our 11 year old daughter. While we went to dinner we asked for the service and were pleased to come home to a neatly tucked away, plush bed, robe, and slippers in her size.

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Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain


Infinity and Satellite Pool Options

We stayed for three nights which was wonderful to really have enough time to unwind and enjoy the resort and city. Although the website mentioned kids being able to use the main infinity edge pool on Mondays through Thursdays, we were relegated to one of the satellite pools for guests with children under 15 years old. It was handled politely and we enjoyed the pools just as much, if not more. They were stocked with coolers of ice cold water, plush towels, and pool lounge mats and other floaties. We were able to get drinks from the bar that were golf carted up to us (15 minutes to 25 minutes wait time.) They also called for a golf cart to whisk us up the hill and the pool was maybe 50 feet from our casita. There are two satellite pools in addition to the infinity pool by the main resort and spa. We had great views from our pool too, no complaints.

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Ranked “Top 5 Hotel Spas in Continental U.S.” and “Top Spas Overall” in 2014 by Travel + Leisure’s World Best Awards, I was not disappointed during my fabulous spa experience. Always enjoying trying something new, I poured over the spa menu with a lot of deliberation. A lot of the treatments were Asian-inspired and took place in twelve indoor and outdoor treatment rooms. There is also a zen meditation garden where you can lay outside on loungers and listen to a babbling fountain. I received the following treatment which was amazing, especially after standing and greeting 8,000 women at the conference.

luk pra kope

Meaning “to massage with medicinal herbs,” luk pra kope begins with soaking your feet in a fresh lime and essential-oil bath. After your feet are cooled and exfoliated with fine, white Thai clay and fresh lime, a blend of steamy, organically grown herbs is rolled, massaged and pressed into tight muscles and onto problem areas and energy pathways. Along with Thai massage, the heated compress soothes sore and aching muscles, enhances circulation, reduces joint stiffness and refreshes the skin.

After my relaxation I soaked in their hot tub and sauna. In addition to their spa, there is also a fitness center, lap pool, tennis courts.

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain

Dining Options

Taste the excitement of elements’ award-winning cuisine by Food Network star Chef Beau MacMillan. Savor the sunset at jade bar or on elements dining deck, and enjoy The Pour – raising the bar for Scottsdale happy hour. More details in a future blog post.

Special Offers

The Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain offers a range of deals to enjoy their luxurious package deals. I definitely recommend checking them out before you book.

Social Media

Connect with Sanctuary on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio My good friend Stacy of Kids Stuff World enjoyed my post on 2014 Summer Reading Programs for Kids where I highlight programs that incentivize kids to read over the summer so they don’t lose any of the valuable things they learned during the school year. She mentioned interest in a post about 2014 free summer movies, especially in San Antonio, so here it goes! As I was writing the post, I realized that a lot of the sites didn’t have a clear list of the movies, when they were, and where so I tried to make that a little easier. Hope you enjoy this post and let me know what other kinds of posts you would be interested in in the future!

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio regal theaters Family fun movies playing on Tuesdays & Wednesdays for the summertime!

Admission to these movies during the Summer Movie Express is only $1. Tickets must be purchased at the theater and all movies start at 10:00 am. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute. Search for a theater in your area to see where the Summer Movie Express is playing.

2014 Movie Schedule Includes:

  • Week 1 Hotel Transylvania The Smurfs 2
  • Week 2 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 The Pirates: Band of Misfits
  • Week 3 Arthur Christmas Despicable Me 2
  • Week 4 The Lego Movie Free Birds
  • Week 5 The Adventures of Tintin Rise of the Guardians
  • Week 6 Kung Fu Panda 2 Madagascar 3
  • Week 7 The Croods Epic
  • Week 8 Turbo Walking with Dinosaurs
  • Week 9 Mr. Peabody & Sherman Rio 2

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio regal theaters   2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio cinemark theaters Either pay $1 per film or pre-pay $5 for 10 movies! Click on your location to see what’s playing…when! For San Antonio Cinemark theaters, check out the theater at 410 and the one on New Braunfels Ave. 2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio santikos theaters Santikos is offering Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10am these movies are FREE!

  • The Croods – July 1, 2014 – July 2, 2014
  • The Pirates! Band of Misfits – July 8, 2014 – July 9, 2014
  • Epic – July 15, 2014 – July 16, 2014

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio movies moonlight in travis park After six years of outdoor movies in HemisFair Park, the Movies by Moonlight summer outdoor film series is moving down the street, to Travis Park. Follow them on Facebook for more details and updates: All movies start at dusk.

  • July 1    Toy Story 2
  • July 8    Cars 2
  • July 15    Cloudy w/a Chance of Meatballs 2
  • July 22    The Smurf’s 2
  • July 29    Despicable Me 2

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio movies by moonlight in travis park 2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio main plaza bikes MPC’s Cycle-In Cinema is one part of the bigger picture which aims to launch pedal power events and workshops at Main Plaza every year. MPC’s Cycle-In Cinema mission is to inspire and empower a wider understanding and uptake of renewable energy technologies and create a movement towards San Antonio reducing their energy consumptive habits. We will achieve this by engaging our audiences in how energy works in a fun and interesting way through this pedal powered movie series. Updates for movies are on their calendar of events or 2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio main plaza bikes 2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio alamo drafthouse Join Alamo Drafthouse Theaters in San Antonio to beat the heat this summer with the best family friendly movies around! All films are free and all ages are welcome! Tickets are available at the box office on the day of the show, and seating is first come, first served.

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio alamo drafthouse annie

Plays July 1st at 11am @ Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio alamo drafthouse despicable me

Plays July 1st at 11am in Stone Oak

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio alamo drafthouse rio 2

On July 8th at 11am in Stone Oak

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio alamo drafthouse kung fu panda

On July 8th at 1030am in Park North

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio alamo drafthouse frankenweenie

Plays at 11am at Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes

2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio alamo drafthouse   2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio city base cinema City Base Cinema’s is offering Summer Free Kid’s Movie Festival brought to you by ICEE. If you have a daycare, summer program, or just a bunch of kids this program is for you. Admission is FREE, but we highly suggest you call and make reservations, as last summer we had to turn people away. Website here. 2623 SE Military Drive, San Antonio, TX 78223 To make reservations, for the entire summer call now (210) 531-3000 x 7 and speak to Mr. Stewart San Antonio Public Libraries are offering all kinds of free movies for kids of all ages! Movies for kids, tweens, and elderly are featured here. Includes their Marvel Summer Movie series. 2014 Free Summer Movies in San Antonio alamo heights movies Free movies in Alamo Heights details here. Movie starts at 8:30 p.m. and will be held next to the Nature Trails parking lot off Viesca Street. Remember to get there early for the best seats. Don’t forget your coolers, chairs and blankets!

  • July 18 – Gravity
  • August 22 – Frozen

Keep up with them on Facebook here and their website here.

10 FREE Summer Reading Programs


10 FREE Summer Reading Programs


10 FREE Summer Reading Programs

Check out 10 FREE Summer Reading Programs below some even encouraging adults to read!  In Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers book, the author highlights the main negative education difference between demographics including race happens during the summer when “learning loss” occurs.  He explains how the kids who don’t have education support, incentive, etc. to continue learning lose a lot of the material their learned during the year.  Encourage your kids and their friends to read nonstop during the summer!

 Houston Public Library

10 FREE Summer Reading Programs Houston Library

REGISTEREarly registration began May 1, 2014 and continues through August 1, 2014 at any Houston Public Library location during operating hours or remotely from a computer. Receive a free book, courtesy of Rosen Publishing, upon registration!*

READ or listen to books, enter book titles or reading time online and in your Badge Log booklet (be sure to ask your librarian for one). Go to your local Houston Public Library to pick up your prizes at the various book reading levels.

ATTEND hands-on workshops, enjoy performances and take part in activities to earn your Camp STREAM sticker badges (collect them in your Badge Log booklet)! Participate in at least 5 library programs ** and read a minimum of 5 books, to receive a special prize pack: a book bag and Chipotle meal coupon!*

REWARDS for reading include:

  • Registration: one free book and one $5.00 “Read Down Your Fines” coupon.
  • 5 books or 5 hour level: reading certificate and one $5.00 “Read Down Your Fines” coupon.
  • 10 books or 10 hour level: one free book and one $5.00 “Read Down Your Fines” coupon.
  • 20 books or 20 hour level: additional free book, one coupon for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and one $5.00 “Read Down Your Fines” coupon.
  • 30 books or 30 hour level: one admission voucher for the Houston Zoo, and entry into a Grand Prize drawing to win a Nintendo DSi or a LEGO 8MP digital camera, and one $5.00 “Read Down Your Fines” coupon.

Pottery Barn Kids

10 FREE Summer Reading Programs Pottery Barn Kids

Books a Million

10 FREE Summer Reading Programs Books a Million

Download the reading form from Books a Million here.

Borden Milk

BordenSummer reading Program Borden


Borden Milk is offering FREE books redeemable by entering the code on the milk jug.

Sylvan Learning Center

10 FREE Summer Reading Programs Book Adventures

Sylvan Learning Center is offering another reading program option here.  Book Adventure is a fun, free way to motivate your child to read! Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read them offline, come back to quiz on what they’ve read, and earn prizes for their reading success. Start your reading adventure! Site tour here.


10 FREE Summer Reading Programs Scholastic

Scholastic’s reading programThe Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is a free online reading program for children. Join today and let’s set a new reading world record for summer 2014! (May 5 – Sept 5, 2014).  Kids can register here.  Educators can learn more here.  Parents learn more here.

Half Price Books

10 FREE Summer Reading Programs Half Price Books

Half Price Books talks about their program here.  Once of my favorites!

  1. Read for at least 15 minutes each day in the months of June and July. (Grown-ups may read aloud to kids who are still learning.)
  2. Add up your minutes and have your parent or guardian initial each week.
  3. Once you’ve read 300 minutes, turn in your completed log to earn HPB Bookworm Bucks for each month.
  4. We’ll award one top reader per age group each month with a TOP READER prize – a $20 HPB Gift Card!*

Barnes and Noble

10 FREE Summer Reading Programs Barnes and noble

Barnes and Noble offers kids FREE books.

Step 1.  Read any 8 books and record them in the Reading Journal (PDF).
Step 2.  Bring the completed Reading Journal to your local B&N store.  Find a Store.
Step 3. Choose a FREE BOOK from our selection on the Reading Journal list at the store… Enjoy reading!
More activities for parents and teachers here.

San Antonio Public Library

10 FREE Summer Reading Programs San Antonio Public Library

San Antonio Public Library offers programs for non-readers, readers, and teens!

For Kids:

  • By reading 8 books this summer, you can earn a Certificate signed by Mayor Castro — and — receive a free paperback book to keep!
  • First day to turn in your log: June 15
  • Last day to turn in your log: August 31


  • Welcome to Teen Summer Reading Program where you can connect with friends via Facebook, share book reviews and comment about what’s going on at your library this summer. PLUS, you can do it all on your smartphone. Register here


  • San Antonio Public Library’s Adult Summer Reading Challenge is to read 4 books, any 4 books (ebooks and audiobooks included), between June 1 and Aug. 31, 2014.
  • All adults who finish the challenge before 5pm on Aug. 31 will be eligible for a drawing for a chance to win an eReader. 
  • Beginning June 1, you can create a record here to keep track of your reading, and you can post reviews of the books you’ve completed. 


Download and print out this summer: 2014-english-summer-reading-club_heb

  • Grab a pen and fill out the form on the back side of this flyer.  Just pick out 10 books and get started.
  • After you finish reading each one, log it in the form. Be sure to have a grownup put their initials by each book you’ve read.M
  • Mailing the form to:
    • H•E•Buddy® 2014 Summer Reading Program
    • 10530 Sentinel
    • San Antonio, Tx 78217
  • Your form must be postmarked by October 1, 2014.
  • In 3 – 4 weeks, you’ll receive the cool prizes for reading all 10 books.

50+ free things for kids and families to do in San Antonio this summer

Check out San Antonio Mom Blogs for 50 FREE things to do in San Antonio!



2012 London Summer Olympics

During the 2010 Winter Olympics I enjoyed writing (one on the 2010 Winter Olympics and one on 2010 Olympics resources for parents, teachers, and kids). With the one year Open Weekend countdown starting in London this weekend, July 22-24, 2011, I thought this was the perfect time to start blogging for the summer Olympics!

When: July 27 through August 12 | 2012

Find out more about London 2012

Following the Torch

2012 London Summer Olympics - Olympic torchOn May 18, 2012, the Olympic Torch will start the 70 day journey from Greece to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. During the trip, it will be handed off by 8,000 different people, each with their own inspirational story!

  • Review each hand off location of the journey here
  • December 2011, the Olympic Torchbearers committee will let the nominees if they’ve been selected as one of the 8,000
  • Learn about the winning 2012 torch design here (designed by east Londoners Edward Barber and Jay Osgerb who won the design contest)
  • FAQs here


Olympic Social Media Stars

Olympic Social Media Stars



2012 London Summer Olympics - official Twitter and Facebook accounts

London 2012 Olympics


Become a Fan

2012 London Summer Olympics - 2012 London Festival

London 2012 Festival

The world’s leading artists in the UK’s biggest ever festival


Become a Fan

2012 London Summer Olympics - Mascots: Wenlock


Official mascot of the London 2012 Olympic Games


Become a Fan

2012 London Summer Olympics - Mascots: Mandeville


Official mascot of the London 2012 Paralympic Olympic Games


Become a Fan

2012 London Summer Olympics - Official Twitter and Facebook accounts of Olympic Committee


Official account of the Olympic committee.


Become a Fan

2012 London Summer Olympics - Seb Coe Twitter

Seb Coe

Chair of the London 2012 Organizing Committee and Olympic gold medalist.


See how he convinced the Olympic selection committee to choose London for the 2012 Summer Olympics here! Decision awarded July 6, 2005!

2012 London Summer Olympics -  Olympic Torch

London 2012 Torch Relay

8,000 inspirational people across the UK will be chosen to carry the Olympic Flame during the Torch Relay.

Email Updates

Become a Fan

2012 London Summer Olympics - Volunteer information: game makers

London 2012 Games Maker

Learn how to become one of the 70,000 volunteers and help make the games happen!

The journey to becoming a London 2012 Games Maker is a long one, so please be patient. Log in to the Games Maker zone regularly for news and updates to the status of your application, and get to know the thousands of other London 2012 Games Maker fans here on Facebook along the way.

Become a Fan

Olympic Park

Since winning the bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics, a previously lower end, industrial and contaminated section of London has been transformed into the perfect athletic setting for the summer games. Below are some pictures courtesy of the London Olympics press:

2012 London Summer Olympics - Olympic Park

Designs showing how the Olympic Village will look when complete. The Athletes’ Village will accommodate athletes during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

2012 London Summer Olympics - Athletes Village

An artist’s impression of how the Aquatics Centre will look inside during the Games.

2012 London Summer Olympics - Aquatics Center

A CGI rendering of the 80,000 seat Olympic stadium is unveiled, on November 7, 2007 in London, England.  Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell noted the focus of the project is based around legacy for the area, which is currently one of the poorest in London.

2012 London Summer Olympics - Olympics Map

Summer Games Feature 26 Sports

The London 2012 Olympic Games will feature 26 sports.

Sporting Events Schedule:

2012 London Summer Olympics - diving 2012 London Summer Olympics - soccer 2012 London Summer Olympics - gymnastics 2012 London Summer Olympics - triathlon 2012 London Summer Olympics - equestrian

2011 Kids Summer Reading Programs

Free stuff for reading? Yes please! Check out this list of retailers and local libraries offering incentives for kids to read with their families or on their own this summer! Beat the heat and reap the rewards, literally! In no particular order here are a bunch of great programs!



2011 Kids Summer Reading Programs Barnes and Noble


Barnes & Noble’s Summer Reading program encourages kids to read by asking them to download a journal, read 8 books, and then pick a FREE book at the nearest store near you. Now through 9/6/2011!






2011 Kids Summer Reading Programs Borders Books


Borders book store is offering you a free book after the 10th book read! Now through 9/5/2011! Download the reading form here. You get to pick which 10 and Borders is offering a great selection of freebies to choose from (see complete list of freebies here!)


2011 Kids Summer Reading Programs Chuck E Cheese

Even Chuck E Cheese is getting in the spirit by offering this reading calendar in exchange for tokens!! Print our calendar here.


2011 Kids Summer Reading Programs HEB Buddy


From now until 10/1/2011, you can join the HEB Summer Reading Club and after reading 10 books you’ll get a cool prize!


After printing out the form (download here), mail it in to this address:


H•E•Buddy® 2011 Summer Reading Program,

10530 Sentinel, San Antonio, Texas 78217


2011 Kids Summer Reading Programs Half Price Books


Download your summer reading log from Half Price Books here and spend your summer keeping track of all the great books you read! Start turning in completed logs between July 25th through August 7th and receive $5 Back to School Bucks reading rewards cards!


2011 Kids Summer Reading Programs Scholastic Books

Scholastic if also offering freebies in their summer reading program here. Log your minutes to win rewards! This is by far the most modern and technologically filled summer reading program. Your child will sign up for an account where they log the hours they read each day. Meet the reading challenge each week and win FREE downloads and other prizes.

FREE Summer Events for Kids | 2010

Find out how to keep your children entertained for FREE this summer! This blog post contains tons of places that are offering FREE events for your kids to participate in this summer. Don’t forget to check out my post on how you can get free stuff, just for reading to your kid here!

National Park Service

Don’t forget to check for “Free Entrance Days” where you and your family can enjoy nature, for FREE! Also check out offers by local parks who offer visitors other incentives! Check out all their events here for details, by state/date about fun, free activities!

Don’t forget to follow them on Twitter – @NatlParkService. Kids can also sign up to become “Web Rangers” and become part of a community with their own Ranger Station!

AMF Bowling

Join the AMF eClub will get your 10 FREE games, exclusive monthly offers, birthday offers, and news of upcoming events and promotions!

Kids Bowl Free

Find a local bowling alley that’s participating in the “Kids Bowl Free” summer program that offers 2 FREE games of bowling, all summer long! Specific details of the program are listed here. Simply register at your local bowling alley to take advantage of this incredible offer!

“This program is designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer.”

Brunswick Bowling

Kids can bowl FREE every day this summer! Use the Student Ball pass for FREE bowling, all summer long! (We did this last summer and brought a lot of different friends each time!) Sign up for great coupons for yourself too!

Regal Cinemas

Now playing – FREE family movies! Starting at 10am every Tuesday AND Wednesday, enjoy FREE tickets for the entire family. Showing movies like “Doogal”, “Wallace and Gromit” (one of my favorites!!), “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs”, and many more, shows vary by movie theater!

Cinemark Movies

Although not free, it’s pretty close! Each movie ticket is $1 OR you can purchase all 10 movie tickets in advanced for $5!! Check out for your local theater’s listings.

Stores Offering Crafts and Activities for Kids this Summer | 2010

There are tons of FREE and discounted things for your kids to do this summer! Take advantage and don’t pay retail! 🙂 This blog post consists of all the fun activities we do during the week and on the weekends! Most of the programs we participated in last year. Also make sure to check out my blog post about 2010 Summer Reading Programs for Kids (to learn how to get free books, t-shirts, and gift certificates to reward your children for reading over the summer!) Some of the activities were mentioned in my blog post, 6 Kid Activities for the 6th Day of the Week!

Bass Pro Shop

I hope you have one nearby, they offer great activities over the summer (and throughout the year!) They will be offering FREE/Fun activities and make your own crafts! EVERYTHING is FREE! Activities include crafts, shooting galleries, casting ponds, family workshops, making s’mores, photo opportunities (FUN!!), shooting range, merit badge workshops, and more!

Bass Pro Shop Family Summer Camp Activities and Crafts

When: June 5 – July 11

Time/Day of the Week(s): Tues/Thur (at noon) OR Sat/Sun (at noon) { Schedule }

Cost: FREE

Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinics

Make sure you check out my recent blog post about these quality activities that occur every other week! Your child will enjoy getting the free Lowe’s apron, goggles, and hammering away at the wood craft of the week!

Lowe's Wood Craft

When: Indefinitely, not just for the summer!

Time/Day of the Week(s): Every other Saturday, next event is 6/12/2010, after that is 6/26/2010 – starts at 10am and supplies go FAST! { Schedule }

Cost: FREE!!

Home Depot’s Kids Workshops

Another fun, FREE activity, Home Depot activities are very similar to Lowe’s. Really quality crafts! Have made a wooden airplane, treasure box, pirate ship, and more!

Home Depot Wood-working craft

When: Indefinitely, not just a summer thing!

Time/Day of the Week(s): First Saturday of EVERY month, starts at 9am – get there EARLY! { Schedule }

Cost: FREE!!

Lakeshore Learning Store

Another really quality craft activity, this one is fun and can kill a couple hours! After making the craft, walk around the store and play with all the displays set out on Saturday for kids to experiment with. A fully stocked kitchen, put on a puppet show, go fish, and much more!

Also, on special holidays they sometimes offer multiple crafts! Great gifts for grandparents! They also encourage parents to participate if you’re feeling particularly crafty.

Lakeshore Learning Store crafts and activities for kids

When: Indefinitely, not just summer!

Time/Day of the Week(s): Every Saturday from 11-3pm…try to not just show up at 2:45pm when they’re trying to clean up. The San Antonio location brings out supplies as long as there are kids which I’ve always appreciated. { Schedule }

Cost: FREE!!

Target Arts + Cultures

Target is supporting the Arts by offering over 2,200 FREE and reduced-price events sponsored by Target! Click on the link to find events near you!

Pottery Barn Kids Book Club

When: Indefinitely, not just for the summer

Time/Day of the Week(s): Tuesdays at 11am-1130am { Schedule }

Cost: FREE, after 5 visits get a FREE gift!

2010 Summer Reading Programs for Kids

This summer when your kids start to get bored, remind them that they can make money and get lots of fun free stuff, simply by reading a couple minutes each day!  We participated in a lot of these programs last year and had an incredible time!

Half Price Books Summer Reading Program - Feed Your Brain

Half Price Books Summer Reading Program - Feed Your Brain Across the nation, Half Price Books is offering their “Feed Your Brain” summer reading program from June 1,
through July 31, 2010! This is a GREAT deal! If your child reads 15 minutes each day a week, you can pick up a $3 gift card! We made this a Saturday tradition, turning in our reading log and picking out a new book or two (from the children’s clearance section!)

  • Information for parents/teachers here
  • Feed Your Brain reading log (printed copies also available in-store!)
  • Official flyer to help spread the word at work!

Scholastic Summer Reading Program

Scholastic Summer Challenge

2010 Barnes & Noble Summer Reading program

Barnes and Noble is also offering a FREE book for every 8 books you read this summer!

  • Download their passport and choose from a list of books for each reading level!
  • Here is a list of all the books your child can choose from
  • Educators download this reading kit
  • Parents can get additional information from this parent kit

Children can return their completed kits from May 25 through September 7th!

Borders Double-Dog Dare Summer Reading Program

Borders Summer Reading program double-dog dares you to read 10 books, record the names, and bring the printed form to any Borders store for a FREE book!

*For kids 12 and under, starts 5/4/2010 and lasts through 8/26/2010!

Pottery Barn Kids Book Club and Summer Reading Program

Pottery Barn Kids Book Club is every Tuesday from 1100am to 1130am. Visit 5 times and your children will receive a free gift!

National Amusement Bookworm Wednesdays

Bookworm Wednesdays from National Amusements is offering FREE admission to select children’s film after presenting a book report to participating Showcase Cinemas, Multiplex Cinemas, or Cinema De Lux box offices! Checkout their locations. Print this form to complete the book report with your child.

HEB Buddy Summer Reading Program

HEB Buddy is also offering a summer reading program! Read 10 books and return this form by October 1st for cool prizes from HEB Buddy!

San Antonio Public Library Summer Reading Program

San Antonio Public Library wants you to join the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club! From June 15th through August 31st, you’ll get a certificate and FREE book for every 15 books you read!

SeaWorld San Antonio Fan Search


SeaWorld San Antonio wants your pictures!  You could instantly become a “local celebrity” if your fan photo is featured on a digital billboard!

Starting this Friday, May 28, 2010 through the remainder of the year, you’ll be able to take fun, happy pictures at SeaWorld San Antonio, upload them to the Fan Search website, vote on your favorites, and enter to win, multiple times!

Based on the number of votes, SeaWorld is looking for pictures that embody having a GREAT time at their park!  Come with film (SD cards) and a huge smile!

Seaworld San Antonio Fan Search



Flickr:  SeaWorld San Antonio group

WoW: Google, You Talking to Me?

Website of the Week (WoW):

Quick Bit: Imagine being able to pick your own number (mine ends in “BLOG”) that forwards to all of your personal, business, and cell phones. Depending on who calls determines which prerecorded voicemail they’ll hear. Unknown numbers will get a standard response, employees will get announcements for the day, family will get yet another.

Let’s say someone leaves you a voicemail and you’re in a meeting? Imagine that the service then transcribes the voicemail and sends it to you in a txt or email. The information is important for your husband’s travelling plans and without having to interrupt your meeting, you forward the email version to him. Too good to be true? Not for Google!

Although it’s invitation only right now, sign up to make this mobile fantasy a reality! (I have one account for my blog and one for my personal use and each took about a week to receive the activation link.)

Google Voice (an enhanced version of the original GrandStation site) offers a generous array of incredibly cool features! Although some are highlighted below, view the complete list here. Answer the call on your computer, switch midway to your cell phone.

The transcript service is not perfect but I’ve used it several times with very accurate messages. I like how you can setup multiple voicemails, groups, forwards, and email conversations immediately, I also like how it keeps track of the different call logs. I think it’s incredibly functional, especially for small businesses that would like to route calls in the best way possible. Even allowing particular numbers to reach a specific “message of the day” would be beneficial to many groups.

Google Supports the Troops: (loved ones overseas can now communicate for free to US numbers – call from computer to cells phones and send text messages.)


  • Conference in multiple callers
  • Free calls to US & Canada phone numbers
  • Send/Receive/Store texts
  • FREE mobile apps – call for free from cell phone instead of using minutes

*One thing I would’ve liked for it to allow was registering for SMS texts from websites…5 digit numbers you text to subscribe to receive coupons from does NOT work right now. 🙁 I’ve commented on their blog and customer support forums, you should too!


  • Listen to voicemails as they’re being left, pick up midway through voicemail!
  • Automatically transcribes voicemails – read past voicemails, forward to a business partner in email
  • Listen to voicemail online or via normal phone
  • Personalize voicemails – greeting based on caller groups
  • Forward to multiple phones
  • Record entire conversations or start halfway through

Facebook: (view search results nothing official looking…)



University Bowl 101…

At University Bowl, take advantage of the free student bowling program.  Students bowl their first game free, Monday through Friday, 9am-12pm.  Make sure you print out the consent form first.  Shoes are required but available for a discounted rate – $2.25 per pass holder.

Also make sure you join them on Aug. 5th for Customer Appreciation Day!  From 5pm-7pm, bowl for FREE!  First come, first served, limit to 2 games per person!  Shoe rentals for only $1.79!

Want to hear about all the specials in the future?  Become a fan on FB and join their mailing lists.

If you give a mouse a cookie…

The Magik Theater located in downtown San Antonio only produces plays based on children books.  I know they visited my daughter’s public elementary school to preform “School House Rock” and they also visited her private summer school program to give another theatrical performance.

Seating 600 parents and children, the list of performances are rich and fun.  They recently announced the return of the production, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”, which we were wait listed for when we waltzed up, expecting to get a ticket to the show on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  They did find us a seat but suggested in the future either purchasing the tickets online or coming on a slower day (weekday or night).  Times normally range from Mon/Tue-Friday from 9:45 and 11:30, with additional showings on Friday at 7pm and Saturday at 2pm.  Plenty of options for everyone.

Up-coming shows include “The Kid who Ran for President” and “The Nutcracker: A Holiday Comedy.”  After the show, kids have a chance to buy souvenirs and get their programs signed by the enthusiastic cast members.  We normally buy the shirt from the show to support the theater and then ask the cast members to sign it.  (They’ve always had sharpie markers – bring a camera though, GREAT Kodak moment.)

They also have a small snack bar and you can eat during the performance.  There’s a balcony but don’t sit up there if your kid is the kind to want to jump…

Especially if you’re looking for a place to entertain the kiddos, out of the heat, head to the Magik Theater while its showing from July 29 – August 15!

There’s also a very nice park, right outside the theater, covered with a lot of trees.  It has swings, slides, and many forts, a very clean, large, and comfortable downtown playground and picnic area.

Follow on FB and Twitter to get the most up to date news, their mailing list also includes summer camp information!  Look for the “Buy one, get one FREE” coupon in your Entertainment book (buy 2009’s for ONLY $7.99, normally $25!!!), every school’s favorite fundraiser!

***Final note:  Is your child’s birthday coming up and you’ve already done the Chuck E. Cheese thing?  Create a magical time and bring the party to the theater!  With 3 options, your child will enjoy the play with their friends and have everything set up with the supplies you bring when the show concludes.  Pay a little extra and even get costumed cast mates to make cameos!

Notable FREE stuff this week online and/or in-store

FREE Tote Bag from Worl d Market (Folow on Facebook or Twitter)

FREE Mocha Mondays – free 8 oz mocha (or 7 oz iced mocha per person, per visit) @ McDonalds every Monday until August 3rd!  Follow on Twitter.

FREE Chili Dog or Small Cone July 14th from 5pm-8pm @ Wienerschnitzel!

FREE Amazon E-Books for download.

Fee FREE Summer weekends – National Park Service will offer three fee-free wewekends this summer to encourage Americans seeking afforable vacations to visit their national parks.  Additional offers by local parks.  June 20-21, July 18-19, August 15-16 waived entrance fees!

FREE ABCs of Safety Coloring Book includes 28 pages of activities (not just coloring, connect the dots, word de-coders, etc.) to go through with your children.  Not only will it kill time during the long summer break but also educate your children on the ABC’s of safety.

Passport to Adventure!

Those of you familar with the uber-outdoors retailer, REI, knows how important being outside is.  Did you also know what an interactive website they have?!  Got kids?  Download this Passport to Adventure geared towards kids 5-12.  After they complete the journal they can send in for their free own special prize“binoculars or a whistle that turn into other cool tools including a compass, magnifying glass and more!” The website also offers numerous other printable activities, great for exploring outside.  You can also click on their interactive map to find family friendly activities, across the US.

Kid-approved* summer activities…

*Based on the approval of one 6 year old girl…but I think you’ll agree.

The only ones who look forward to the summertime are educational professionals…everyone else knows that for 2 and a half months, everything entertaining you can do with your children will be done within the first week.  After that, creative juices stop flowing as freely.

This summer, instead of dreading the summer schedule, use this post as a guide to family-fun, found in San Antonio (and wherever chain establishments exist.)  Use it also as suggestions for searching local places in your city!

Check here for the best valued Chuck E. Cheese coupons (click on the link with the “Best Daily Deal” sticker).  100 tokens for $10 (normally you’d pay $25 for that many…)  You’ll also get this coupon the first time you register on Chuck E. Cheese’s website, also print out reward calendars and certificates worth more FREE tokens.  During my last visit I asked about weekly programs and they didn’t know of any…

The City of San Antonio’s Park and Recreation Department offers cost-effective summer programs to keep your kids engaged and outdoors.  More information on the San Antonio Youth Sports – this website has Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, and other kid organization game schedules…also has information about golf camps and other clinics.

Weekly summer activities throughout the week:

Family Summer Film Festivals:

  1. Regal Entertainment GroupFamily Festival Film Festival at 10am on Tuesday s and Wednesdays take your kids to the movies, for FREE!
  2. AMC TheatersSummer Movie Camp $1 admission…all proceeds go to charity!  Shows start at 10am on Wednesday.  During this time you can also get the AMC KidsPack (drink, popcorn, candy) for only $3!

Peter Piper Pizza is celebrating schools out with Summer Kid’s Days, every Tuesday from 11-1pm…$3.49 gets you 2 slices of pizza, a drink, dessert, and fun activities, different themes each week.

Incredible Pizza offers a different deal every day…check out their website (sign up for their mailing list too – they’re pretty good coupons!)

*This place gets CRAZY busy…go earlier in the day or during the school year for the most enjoyable days…

Bet you wouldn’t have guess this!  Bass Pro Shop has an entire summer calendar of fun activities – every Saturday and Sunday from 12-6pm!  Different crafts every weekend, you and your child can make a lure, birdhouse and leather keychain!  Free s’mores cookout!  Free casting pond to learn fishing skills, workshops (offered Tues/Thur/Sat/Sun, free pin for each 30 minute workshop you attend…different workshops from 3-7pm, check schedule), laser shooting, photographs – everything is FREE!!  They even have a kid’s website!  While in-store don’t forget to pick up your FREE summer guide, 48 pages of everything you need to know while outdoors.

Check back for new posts – I’ll keep the activities coming!