On Sending the Littles to Philadelphia’s Best Summer Camp – The Philly Pad & Why We Love It’s Fun + Flexible Themed Weeks

Last week the boys did something brand new + exciting, for the very first time. They totally had a ‘big kid moment’ and I had a ‘they are growing up too fast mom moment’ when they made their way out the door to…

SUMMER CAMP!

Brooks has been in pre-school for the past two years. It’s been an amazing place for him to learn + grow. He started with two days a week for 3 hours, and now his class is 3 days a week for 3 hours. It’s Graham’s turn to go in the Fall – and as a little sneak peek of school for little G, I was excited to partner with The Philly Pad in Fairmount for a week of summer camp for the boys!

If you are looking for something fun for your kids to do in the Philadelphia area this summer – The Philly Pad is AMAZING! It’s affordable, comes with tons of options for days/times/weeks and it’s just a great little way for the kids to take a break from summer and have a little structure in a school setting.

This is one main reason why I was excited for Graham to check it out, it was his first time in a class setting away from me – so he got a taste of what school will be like in the Fall, but he got to do it with Brooks in his class with him, so that made it super easy for him too.

// boys’ backpacks

Honestly, the boys were complete champs – they ran inside the door of camp everyday and barely looked back at me to say goodbye. Ha! Which is what I would totally prefer over anyone upset – I was so glad to see them having a great time and enjoying themselves along with making some new friends.

For all my Philadelphia/Fairmount Friends – About the Philly Pad: It’s a different sort of summer camp in that it is broken down into different themed week long camp session for your kiddos to enjoy. There is a 8-9a early morning drop off, a 9-12p half day option {which is what my boys did}, a 9-3p afternoon session and a 3-5:30p extended day program. So depending on your needs if you work or what your kids prefer, you can totally cater the summer camp to work for you!

And back to the coolest part of The Philly Pad – the THEMED WEEKS! My boys went when the theme was Into the Wild – and they had an absolute blast with it! They made all sorts of fun crafts + learned about the jungle, desert + even did some fun animal inspired yoga!

Check out these cool rain sticks the boys made – they LOVED shaking + dancing with these!

And a cacti postcards – so cute!

I love the different themed weeks also because if the kids come and go different weeks, it’s a totally new focus on the week to have fun and play along with. Keeps things fresh and new for sure! Along with the fun inside in a classroom setting, this camp is also great for taking the kids outdoors to let them play and enjoy the sunshine – it is summer camp after all.

For us, this was the perfect mid-summer treat to remind Brooks about school {ha – he’s had a wild summer + needed the reminder!} and a great way to introduce school to Graham before going for the first time in September. They won’t be in the same class together, but it was good for him to have a little taste of pre-school life. I’m so overjoyed he had an amazing week at The Philly Pad and I’m hoping that he will remember how much fun he had once real pre-school starts in the Fall.

Fingers Crossed!

When did you start sending your littles to Summer Camp? 

What sort of camp was it? Please share!

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5 Reasons Why You Should Stay at The Hotel Hershey this Summer + the Benefits of Staying at a Hersheypark Resort – Hershey, PA

Last weekend my family was treated to an amazing summer getaway to Hershey, PA – Since I’m one of the #SweetestMoms this year, I have been blessed to be able to spend so much time in the Sweetest Place on Earth, and my boys are always super pumped to get in the car and go on a Hershey road trip!

This trip was super special because I was able to have my first {but definitely NOT my last} overnight stay at The Hotel Hershey  and we got to stay for 3 days, 2 nights – so I was able to experience so much of what the resort has to offer.

While this was my first time staying at The Hotel Hershey, it wasn’t my first visit – I was treated to brunch, the spa and a tour of the butterfly gardens during my last visit – more on all those things shortly, but I will say that this was a totally different experience because I was able to share it with my family!

// sandals

{these are a MUST HAVE for summer,

ESPECIALLY if you have kids #waterproof}

Ok, let’s talk The Hotel Hershey:

#1 – This place is BEAUTIFUL.

BEYOND Gorgeous.

It sits on a hill overlooking the town of Hershey, PA and directly across from Hersheypark itself. The views are insane but the grounds of the hotel itself are out of this world. Everywhere you look, is beauty. We had an absolute blast just walking around the massive resort + exploring.

// dress {on sale – under $14!} / shoes {on sale!}

We toured the grounds after dinner – Brooks and Graham loved checking out the fountains in the gardens behind the hotel. And check out that Golden Hour light – perfect for family photos!

And here’s a look at the fountain lobby inside the hotel – inspired by Cuba, the inside detail of The Hotel Hershey is magnificent, can’t go without sharing it’s beauty with you as well. I’ll be sharing more of the inside {and outside!} of the hotel in an upcoming video, stay tuned!

#2 – The Dining Options are Top Notch!

There are 5 restaurants/dining options + poolside sips & eats. During our stay we had dinner at Trevi 5, which is Italian (and super delicious), we enjoyed drinks beforehand at the Iberian Lounge, where we enjoyed signature cocktails {Hello Barrel Aged Chocolate Manhattan}, grabbed a quick bite at the Cocoa Beanery before a day at Hersheypark and brunch in The Hotel Hershey’s Flagship restaurant, The Circular – which overlooks the beautiful formal gardens.

Talk about lunch with a view!

The dining options and the beauty of the hotel itself alone make this a perfect getaway for a girls weekend or a couples vacation. There is so much that Hershey has to see and do that staying here only makes your travels that much better

Back to the eats – All the restaurants are super kid friendly and everything we ate was absolutely delicious. I want to go back soon so we can try out the other restaurant we missed out on – Harvest – it features local ingredients and seasonal eats! I’ve heard amazing things about it so you better believe its on my list to hit up during our next visit!

And as an added bonus I’m now addicted to the Iced Caramel Kiss Latte from the Cocoa Beanery.

If you go to The Hotel Hershey, get this drink. You can thank me later.

#4 – The Pool

Umm..ok. The outdoor pool at The Hotel Hershey absolutely insane. I’ve seen photos of it and its one of the main reasons why I wanted to stay here with the boys, I KNEW they would love it.

Spoiler Alert: They did! Duh!

The Hotel Hershey has a beautiful indoor pool that is great for all seasons, but in July when it’s 90* outside, you got to be here. The outdoor pool features a zero-grade entry {which is awesome for the boys}, two large slides, a kiddie spray deck AND an infinity edge adults-only pool.

// swim top / swim bottom / sunglasses

The boys had an ABSOLUTE BLAST at the pool. They loved being able to walk into the pool, play under the umbrella fountain, use the sprayers and splash in the spray deck. We were at the pool for hours the first day we stayed at The Hotel Hershey and then the last day, after checkout we were able to continue to enjoy the pool for a bit before we headed out.

It was basically a dream few days.

And I can’t talk about the pool without mentioning the amazing poolside drink + dining options. There were tons of amazing sips + eats for a great pool day! It really made it feel like a getaway vacation being able to have a beverage while soaking up the sun! Cheers!

// swimsuit 

#5 – All.The.Activities.

This could probably be like 4 or 5 separate reasons in itself, but I jam-packed it all together because it’s all sort of related. Everyday there are kid activities for the whole family printed out on a schedule. From tie-dying to trivia, to character meet + greets, s’mores roasting and MORE. You could spend a whole day doing all the things the hotel has planned for it’s guests and still have so much more to see and do!

Brooks + Graham LOVED taking advantage of the outdoor family games – like table tennis, corn hole and more.

One evening we took the boys “Glow Putting” – which is where the golf ball and the holes are lit up which makes it fun to play in the dark. We were there a little early for complete darkness, but the boys had a BLAST.

Not a bad mini golf view, eh?

#6 – Perks of Staying at an Official Hersheypark Resort

Aside from everything else the beautiful Hotel Hershey has to offer, if you are planning on going to Hersheypark while you are here, staying at an Official Hersheypark Resort makes the most sense. Official Resorts include: The Hotel Hershey, The Hershey Lodge OR Hersheypark Camping Resort.

Did you Know: 

Kids {under 17} Play, Stay + Eat for FREE this summer – with a paying adult you get the perk of free kids breakfast, free kids Hersheypark tickets AND kids stay for free.

Wins all around folks!

Aside from all that, resort guests get into Hersheypark 1 hour early {fo’ FREE} and have an added 4.5 hours of Extra Bonus Hersheypark hours, complimentary front gate shuttle service {so you don’t have to pay for parking – amazing!} along with FREE admission tickets to The Hershey Gardens + The Hershey Story Museum.

I’ll be sharing more on all that in my next video so stay tuned for that, but it seriously is such an amazing perk – I don’t know why you would want to stay anywhere else!

Basically The Hotel Hersey is chocolate covered perfection. My family + I had an absolute blast and I am already planning my next visit back! I need to hit up the Chocolate Spa again ASAP, I ran out of time for that this visit!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Hershey, PA –

Have you been to Hersheypark or stayed at any of the official resorts? I’d love to hear your thoughts?!

And I’ve got a few more posts about our visit coming your way, if you have any other questions that I haven’t answered here, please let me know and I’ll be sure to address them in the next posts!

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When in Hershey, PA – A visit to Tröegs Independent Brewing is a MUST!

I am working on all the fun recaps + videos + hotel tour posts coming your way from our getaway to Hershey, PA last weekend, but before I get into all things chocolate, I HAD to pop on and share with you the spot we hit up before EVERY visit to the Sweetest Place on Earth – Tröegs Independent Brewing.

outfit details: headband /  dress  {similar on sale!}  / sandals  {on sale!}

If you are familiar with Hersheypark, you will know how close Tröegs is to the park. It’s address is on Hersheypark Drive and it’s right down the way from the Lighting Racer rollercoaster on one end of the park {with the Tanger Outlets in between!} So needless to say, it’s super close!

They have recently redone the space and it’s ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. There is a massive tour room where you can see the bottling and brewing process. There is also a massive tasting room, complete with a snack bar. The tasting room has an indoor + outdoor option – both of which are absolutely beautiful. The space is large + open which makes it completely kid friendly.

Here’s a look at the outdoor area:

To go along with the great space {and beers, duh} the food here is fantastic. Something for everyone, but not boring bar food – they’ve definitely stepped it up while keeping good options for everyone, including the littles.

Here’s a look at some of our easts over our visits:

French Bread Pizza {above} / Oktoberfest Pretzel {below – a Kid FAVORITE!}

Chicken + Waffles {this was incredible}

Braised Brisket Sandwich {this will blow your mind – always my go-to}

And now onto the beer:

When we first started going to Troegs, we would always sample the different beers available. Now we are in Hershey fairly regularly {thanks #sweetestmoms } we know what we like, love and what’s new we HAVE to try. Troeg’s releases new “Scratch Beers” every week – they try new flavors and combinations that they are testing out to see what is good enough to make the regular rotation of their brews.

I am in LOVE with their Gose beers, Sour Ales + their Nitro Chocolate Stout is always a fan favorite. It’s always a treat with the different Scratch Beers being released to see what is up next whenever we are there for a visit!

If you are in the Hershey area, or even just a beer lover in Pennsylvania – be sure to make Troegs a stop on your list. Great space, great food, great beers and a fantastic vibe! You will have a blast – we do every time!

If you are a beer lover, tell me your favorite brewery you’ve ever been!

I’d love to hear about it!

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A Day in Cape May, NJ – On the Cape May Whale + Dolphin Cruise, Up the Cape May Lighthouse & a visit to the Cape May Brewing Co.

My birthday may have been a month ago, but it’s still worth sharing the crazy fun day we had to celebrate it. Since my birthday was mid week, my husband put together a fun little family day that weekend so we could all celebrate together – he planned a fun day in Cape May, NJ for me {including things the boys would enjoy too!} and we had an absolute blast.

We started off the day on a in search of dolphins on the Cape May Whale + Dolphin Watch and Research Center. It was a 2 hour tour along the beaches in Cape May, up past the Lighthouse and down the inlet. I was hopeful to see a Whale, but I don’t believe it was the right season. But it was DEFINITELY the right season for dolphins – we saw SO MANY! It was really cool because they were everywhere – we saw them breech the water, mating behavior and even a baby that was only a day or two old. And the boys had a great time too – the even got to enjoy the “touch tank” on the boat where they got to see + touch some marine life – check out the video to see Brooks’ greatest ocean fear! Ha!

After that we made our way into Cape May – we walked around, had lunch, checked out some shops and enjoyed the beautiful day. Then we went to the Cape May Lighthouse – where we climbed up to the top – all 199 steps up. I’m not one for heights, {but I do appreciate beautiful views} so I didn’t go out on the balcony, but everyone else did! #brave

Next we headed over to the Cape May Brewery – which was really cool. It’s a great space with lots of great beers, is super kid friendly and just a sweet spot to chill. If you are in the area and are thirsty for some good brews, be sure to check it out!

After being down the shore so long this summer I’ve had lots of questions about things we’ve done and places we’ve been – so  I wanted to put together this video sharing our day in Cape May and all the fun we had! If you are in the area this summer looking for something fun, be sure to add these three activities to the top of your list!

For a little more fun, check out my YouTube channel to see our other adventures!

Here are some snaps from our day in Cape May:

//outfit details: romper / shoes {on sale!} / hat  {similar, on sale!}

Have you been to Cape May, NJ? I’d love to hear your favorite spots!

Please share!

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