Saturday, June 16, 2012

End of Year Teacher Gift Ideas

It’s that time of year again - school is ending and camp is starting.  A couple weeks ago I found out that my son’s preschool teacher was leaving to pursue her teaching career in the local school district.  While I’m happy for her, I’m sad to see her go.  A had gotten attached to her over the past year and he still has one more year in this room before moving on to kindergarten.  He’ll have time to transition to his new teacher over the summer “camp” session but it won’t be the same without her.

To say goodbye to her I was looking for something a little more special than just the typical gift card.  A couple days ago when I was surfing around facebook late at night I came across it.  An etsy seller that I’ve previously bought hand stamped jewelry from (My Belle Boutique) was advertising a new necklace design she had done for teachers.  Perfect!!  I quickly snatched one up at 11:30 pm and am praying it arrives before his teacher’s last day on June 28th.  (Link to the necklace is here)

For his other two teachers (assistant teacher & aide) I’m going with the standard gift card, but with a little twist.  A friend of mine recently told me that you can personalize gift cards through the Dunkin Donuts web site.  You can add a picture and even a short message.  The cards come in a greeting card of your choosing and are shipped directly to you for only 45 cents!  The greeting card portion is an additional $4.50 on top of the gift card, but if you were going to buy a card anyway you would have spent $3-$4.  It was super easy to create and the cards were shipped the next day.  A really great gift idea for teachers that is a little different from the every day gift card.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Can you tell me how to get?

….how to get to Sesame Place? 

Last weekend we took our first trip to Sesame Place.  I haven’t been there since I was a kid myself and with the exception of one area it is completely different from what I remember.  We went with my sister and her family and had a BLAST!!  At first A was a bit hesitant about going on rides and preferred to walk around & scope everything out.  But once he got up the courage to go on a few rides he loved it.  His favorite part was playing the carnival games.  He played well and we are now the proud owners of 5 new stuffed animals :-/  Sesame Place has water rides as well as dry rides, but the water was cooooold and the weather a little windy so we didn’t spend too much time on the water activities. 

We stayed overnight so were able to spend a few hours in the park the night before (when it was empty) and then the whole day on Saturday.  On Saturday morning we had tickets to eat breakfast with the characters.  Both A and my nephew were a bit afraid of the characters but we managed to get some pictures and have a fun breakfast.  The best part of the weekend (and something we didn’t know when we planned the trip) was that it was superhero weekend.  How perfect for us, right?!  Super Why was there to take pictures and of course my little superhero dressed up as one of his favorite superheros all weekend and got his picture with Super Why and Princess Presto.

If you are planning a trip to Sesame anytime soon here are a few tips that I recommend that we learned from our trip:

  1. If you decide to stay overnight splurge for the little bit extra it is to stay in the hotel that is across the street from the hotel (Sheraton Bucks County).  It’s worth it to be able to go back & forth during the day with the kids to take naps, etc.  There’s also a hotel shuttle that will take you to/from the park. (FYI they are building a new hotel that is in the parking lot of the park.  It’s schedule to open in July/August 2012)
  2. Sign up for “Discovery Dollars” at the beginning of the day.  You use your credit card to link to a spending account and you are issued a waterproof bracelet to wear all day.  You then use the bar code on the bracelet to scan all over the park to make purchases all day.  This way you can lock up your belongings in a locker & not worry about carrying them all day.
  3. DO the character breakfast.  The park doesn’t open until 10 am.  I don’t know about you, but A is up at 6 am and there was no way I was going to be able to entertain a 4 year old for 4 hours before the park opens - especially when he’s looking out the window at the park.  Breakfast is at 8:45 and this gets you in early before the park opens (score!!)
  4. DON’T bother with Preferred parking unless you have a season pass.  I have a season pass so preferred parking was free.  However, the rear of the preferred parking section is just as far as the regular parking lot so there’s no difference for the extra $$ you’re paying for preferred.
  5. The park was much smaller than I expected.  My 4 year-old and my almost 3 year-old nephew walked the entire time and didn’t need a stroller.  We packed our things in backpacks and just went.  Was so much easier than trying to navigate with the stroller or worry about parking it, etc.  If you have slightly older kids it may be easier to ditch the stroller (or at least leave it in the car just in case).
  6. Line up early for the parade.  It’s awesome and worth it to be front and center.
  7. Download the iphone/android app.  You can even track where the characters are within the park to find your favorites!
  8. Check out what’s in each of the restaurants before you dine.  The food is just okay, but check on the map (or your app) for what is served in each of the restaurants before you go.  Some have a better selection than others.

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