Karen Heffren, Desert TravelingMom

Karen Heffren, Desert TravelingMom

Karen Heffen is a Tucson native who can't imagine moving but loves traveling outside the desert whenever she can. Naturally with two little boys, Disneyland is a frequent destination for her family. Most often they head to California or explore Arizona but love when they can travel outside their comfort zone! Karen shares her family adventures including DIY costumes, fun cupcakes and social good and at Desert Chica


The North Pole Experience in Flagstaff, Arizona

A visit to Santa’s workshop is a dream come true for many kids, including my own. Making a trip to the North Pole, though, is too far for most families. Luckily there’s a portal to Santa’s workshop in Flagstaff, Arizona. It’s called the North Pole Experience and is one of the best holiday things to do with kids! My family has visited the North Pole Experience a couple of times. I am happy to share my experience with you along with some tips for visiting the North Pole Experience. Read on for an idea of what to expect during...

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Planning Guide to Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland

Is Halloween your favorite time of the year? Are you a Disney fan who dreams of Mickey Mouse and friends dressed in their favorite costumes? Do you like attending special events with exclusive attractions? If you said yes to any of those things, then Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland should be on your bucket list! This planning guide to Mickey’s Halloween Party has the details you need to know about this annual fall event. Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through and buy, TravelingMom will get a commission. Thank you for helping support TravelingMom. Guide...

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Never Buy Your Universal Express Pass Online

Don’t make the same $300 mistake one TravelingMom did when buying Universal Express Passes before her park visit. They were kicking themselves all day long, knowing that money could have meant nicer meals, fun souvenirs or several more giant pink donuts! First of all, let’s chat about what a Universal Orlando Express Pass is before we talk about why you should *almost* never buy it online. What is a Universal Orlando Express Pass? Universal Orlando sells an add-on ticket that allows guests to skip regular lines and enter an attraction via a much shorter (typically) Express Pass line. This...

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Old Fashioned Family Fun at Indiana’s Potawatomi Inn

Ice cream cones, splashing in the lake and catching lightning bugs make for simple pleasures and fun at the Potawatomi Inn on Lake James near Angola, Indiana. Looking for old fashioned family fun on a budget? Don’t miss all the amenities the Potawatomi Inn in Pokagon State Park has to offer. My family has been holding reunions at the Potawatomi Inn for almost 50 years. We’ve only made the trek a few times but my boys love visiting the Potawatomi Inn and ask to go back every year. With reasonable pricing and a variety of family friendly amenities, it’s not...

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Hotel Review: Anaheim Marriott is a RunDisney Friendly Hotel

Are you looking for a RunDisney hotel option at the Disneyland Resort? Or a hotel for an Anaheim business trip with a side of Disneyland fun? The Anaheim Marriott fits the bill in both situations.  Both groups will appreciate comfy beds with a Starbucks on site! I’ve stayed at the Anaheim Marriott twice in the past few years, once for the Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland and once for the Cars 3 red carpet premiere held at the Anaheim Convention Center. Both stays were comfortable and the hotel worked well for my itinerary. Location The Anaheim Marriott is right...

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Hot Diggity Dog! Casey’s Corner for Quick, Family Friendly Dining at Disney World

Hot dog hot dog hot diggity dog. If your preschooler loves the hot dog song from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, then Casey’s Corner at Disney’s Magic Kingdom may by a perfect quick service dining option for your family. Casey’s Corner: Quick, Family-Friendly Dining at Disney World Casey’s Corner is a great counter service dining option my family and I discovered while visiting the Magic Kingdom for the first time. It’s located at the end of Main Street so it’s easy to grab a quick bite as you enter or leave the park, or as you pass through the hub from...

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Easy DIY Disney Costumes for Preschoolers

What does fabic, duct tape and glitter have to do with your next Disney Parks vacation? Spend a little time before your trip creating an easy DIY costume and you can save money and still be their fairy godmother. Letting your preschooler wear a costume on your next Disney parks visit is an easy way to add pixie dust to your trip. There is no shortage of Disney costumes to purchase in the parks, at least for little girls but for little boys or families wanting to add pixie dust without breaking the bank, an easy Disney DIY costume...

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Hotel Review: Pop Century Resort at Walt Disney World

The Pop Century Resort is a vibrantly themed Walt Disney World Resort that is a great value for families on a budget. While the rooms are exactly what you’d expect from a budget friendly hotel, the resort does provide some of the Disney magic you’d expect staying on site. Think of Pop Century as a really fun themed Motel 6 with Disney World benefits. Pop Century Resort at Walt Disney World Pop Century is a popular value priced resort at Walt Disney World. Its theme is pop culture fun from the 1950’s through the 1990’s. Located in the ESPN...

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May This Resource Be With You: Guide To All Things Star Wars At Disneyland

California is the ultimate Star Wars location, with Skywalker Ranch and Lucasfilm in Northern California, and Disneyland featuring awesome Star Wars attractions in Southern California. Check out this guide to all things Star Wars at Disneyland to help you plan your “must see and do” Star Wars shows, rides and character encounters. Guide to All Things Star Wars at Disneyland While Skywalk Ranch is not open to the public and public access is limited to the lobby and Yoda fountain at Lucasfilm, Disneyland has made it convenient for all fans to geek out over amazing Star Wars experiences all in...

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Family Fun at Spring Training in Peoria

Phoenix, Arizona is home to Cactus League spring training and 10 different stadiums, making it the ultimate vacation spot for baseball fans in March. If you plan on bringing the whole family, then head to spring training in Peoria. The kids will love the new splash pad and playground. We head to Phoenix a few times a year to check out fun attractions and events. Watching the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field is always a fun way to spend a summer evening. If you want to enjoy baseball and avoid the Arizona heat, then spring training would be your best...

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