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


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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Bearizona: The Drive-Through Zoo in Arizona

Imagine having a black bear walk past the car door. And then 5 minutes later, an Arctic wolf does the same thing. It’s an unlikely scenario unless one visits Bearizona, a drive-thru zoo and wildlife park in Northern Arizona. There are plenty of Arizona road trip ideas for families to explore, from visiting the Grand Canyon with kids in northern Arizona to heading underground at Kartchner Caverns State Park in southern Arizona. While on an Arizona road trip, make time to do a few iconic Arizona pastimes like horseback riding and roping like a cowboy. Also, consider a few...

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Taking Kids to Kartchner Caverns in Arizona

No phones, no water bottles and airlock doors. Does that sound like a good start to a cave adventure with kids? It actually is, although the lack of phone (and camera) may drive people a bit nuts during their Kartchner Caverns Tour. Adventurous families should consider cave tours in Arizona with kids, like the Kartchner Caverns tours. Kartchner Caverns State Park is an easy Tucson day trip. Check out my tips below for taking kids to Kartchner Caverns, including what you are allowed to bring on the tour. Kartchner Caverns State Park Two young men discovered and explored the...

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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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