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


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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Hot Diggity Dog! Casey’s Corner for 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 one land to another. Casey’s Corner celebrates all things baseball, from fun memorabilia to yummy food you’d expect from a baseball park.   Casey’s Corner Menu Hot dogs are a quintessential baseball food and thus the cornerstone of the menu at Casey’s Corner as well. They...

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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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Top 3 Reasons to Stay at the LEGOLAND California Hotel

Disney isn’t the only company that can super theme resort hotels. Head a little south of Anaheim to Carlsbad, California and you will find the ultimate LEGO experience for your super fan. The LEGOLAND California Hotel is full of fun LEGO surprises and plenty of conveniences that all families can appreciate. Need a super fun hotel for your super LEGO fan? The LEGOLAND Hotel isn’t just a hotel at the LEGOLAND Resort but a super LEGO themed hotel full of fun and surprises. The LEGOLAND hotel at the LEGOLAND resort in Carlsbad, California is full of fun surprises and it’s...

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Disneyland’s Pirates League and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Make Halloween Travel Easy

Traveling to Disneyland for Halloween Time is always fun — especially if you make plans to attend Mickey’s Halloween Party. Mickey’s Halloween Party is a separate ticket event where everyone (including adults) is encouraged to dress up and trick or treat throughout Disneyland. If packing costumes, masks, makeup and accessories seems too complicated, Disneyland has a solution! The Pirates League and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique make traveling to Disneyland during Halloween Time easy. For a limited time, the Pirates League is offering pirate makeovers at Big Thunder Ranch in Disneyland starting at $30. This includes makeup and accessories. Don’t want to pack a...

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SeaWorld Trip Tips

Are you planning a trip to San Diego? Fall break is just around the corner and San Diego is a popular West Coast destination for many families in October with the Kids Free San Diego promotion! One of the more popular attractions in San Diego is SeaWorld. I have a few tips to make planning your SeaWorld adventure easier.  ...

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