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


Cafe Rix at Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort

The best place for a late night or early morning bite to eat at the Coronado Springs Resort is Cafe Rix. The grab and go market offers a variety of food and beverages choices to suit everyone’s needs. Cafe Rix at Coronado Springs Resort Cafe Rix is a quick service food spot located at the Coronado Springs Resort, near the lobby and gift shop. It’s open early and late making it perfect for both early risers and late night owls. My cross country flight made for a late check in, thankfully Rix Cafe was open to save me from starving...

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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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Kids Will Dig The Boneyard at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Need a break from the traditional theme park action at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Check out the Boneyard, a large play area in DinoLand where kids can blow off steam and parents to rest their feet without the lines and crowds. With lively music and interactive features for kids from toddlers to tweens, it’s a hidden gem you shouldn’t pass by. The Boneyard at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Boneyard is located near the entrance to DinoLand USA, on left side just after you pass under the huge dinosaur bridge. The bridge in fact connects one side of the Boneyard to...

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Hotel Review: Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa in Sedona, Arizona

A visit to beautiful Red Rock Country is must for both Arizona families and tourists alike. The Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa in Sedona, Arizona is a nice, family friendly lodging option in the heart of Sedona. What Works For Families A pool with kid features and water toys made it a hit with our boys. Suites are available with separate bedrooms, making bedtime easier with little ones. Kids (under 10) eat free at the Grille with adult meal purchase Wifi included in Resort Fee What Doesn’t Work For Families Beyond the pool there are no other kid centered amenities...

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Sneak Peek at the North Pole Experience

Visiting Santa Claus at this workshop in the North Pole is much easier than you think, at least if you are close to Northern Arizona! The North Pole Experience offers tours of Santa’s 400 year old North Pole workshop via a special portal located near Flagstaff, Arizona. Caroling elves help navigate the portal magic and within 15 minutes of departure, you arrive at Santa’s wonderland. We’ve visited Santa’s workshop for the past 2 years and both of my boys (now 4 1/2 and 7) love the experience. In fact they have already asked if we are going again this...

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Family Fun at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona

Catching a baseball game at Chase Field is a fun family outing in Phoenix, Arizona. The retractable roof allows guests to enjoy beautiful weather during the cooler months and keeps the air conditioning contained during the hot summer months.  Plus the Arizona Diamondbacks offer a kids club, family friendly amenities and kid-focused promotions. Ball Park Playground The Sandlot, located on the upper concourse, offers a playground with two clubhouses, four slides and a play area for kids of all ages. Bigger kids can swing away at the batting cages and younger kids can hit a Wiffle ball and run the bases...

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Donut Bar San Diego

You don’t have to wait until National Donut Day (June 6) to enjoy the treats at the Donut Bar San Diego. A few months I enjoyed a girls’ weekend in San Diego and one of the new restaurants we tried was the Donut Bar in downtown San Diego. Unique Donut Varieties The Donut Bar offers seriously unique and yummy donut creations. Their menu rotates but recent varieties include root beer float, candy bar, maple bourbon, cake batter and strawberry split. DONUT BAR is a completely different kind of donut company. While focusing on the real ingredients, flavors, textures and design of...

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Healthy, Memorable Food at True Food Kitchen in Scottsdale, Arizona

As a big fan of Fox Restaurant Concepts and their uniquely themed eateries including Zinburger and Blanco Tacos & Tequila, I was anxious to experienced True Food Kitchen in Scottsdale, Arizona. I was in town with my dad and wanted to try one of the restaurants unavailable in Tucson. Healthy Food Options Having just made New Years resolutions to be healthier and try new things, the True Food Kitchen seemed like the perfect choice. Their dining concept was developed in conjunction with Dr. Andrew Weil and his anti-inflammatory diet for optimum health. They use high quality, locally sourced (as much as possible) food to create unique and healthy...

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Holiday Inn Express in Flagstaff, Arizona: A Family-Friendly Hotel

Are you looking for a great family hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona? The Holiday Inn Express Flagstaff worked well for us recently providing all the amenities we needed at a great price. Holiday Inn Express Flagstaff Location We traveled to Flagstaff with our 3- and 6-year-old little boys to visit Santa at The North Pole Experience. The Holiday Inn Express is only a few minutes away from where you board the trolley to Santa’s Workshop and is also a partner hotel of The North Pole Experience, which meant we received a special discounted rate. It’s location within the heart of Flagstaff...

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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. A visit to the North Pole is too far for most families, but luckily there’s a portal to Santa’s workshop in Flagstaff, Arizona. It’s call the North Pole Experience. The North Pole Experience begins at the Little America Hotel, where the launch station for Santa’s magical trolleys is located. Naturally, an elf drives the trolley through the magic portal to Santa’s workshop. The ride itself only takes about 10 minutes and is kept festive with stories from the elves on board. I was...

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