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


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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3 Ways for Kids to Explore Aviation and Travel Locally

Has the latest Disney animated film “Planes” sparked your child’s interest in aviation or travel? In the movie, Dusty, a crop duster, dreams of entering an-around-the-world race. Naturally, he’s qualifies for the flying tournament, which features a variety of planes and race segments around the world. It was a heart-warming story that my son really enjoyed. Besides a fun night of entertainment, the movie has encouraged my son’s interest in airplanes and travel. With back to school hitting high gear, most families including my own can’t jet off to exotic locations but there are a few ways to foster...

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RideSafer Travel Vest, a Car Seat Alternative

Traveling with little kids is complicated; there are lots of things you need to bring to keep them safe and comfortable. When flying I try to pack light and avoid bringing car seats if possible. Unfortunately, it can’t always be avoided, like on a recent family trip that involved renting a car and driving to an Indiana lake resort. I considered renting car seats, but the logistics just didn’t work. Turns out, it was a great chance to try out the  RideSafer Travel Vest I was sent to review. The RideSafer Travel Vest is a car seat alternative that...

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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 on Lake James at the Potawatomi Inn, in Angola, Indiana. We recently stayed there for a large (100+) family reunion. Though it was our first time visiting, our family has been holding reunions there for over 40 years! Activities With an overabundance of indoor and outdoor activities and plenty of gathering space to simply catch up or play cards, the Potawatomi Inn is the prefect setting for family reunions or multi-generational trips. Splashing in the lake, digging in the sand and catching lightning bugs at...

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Holiday Inn Express Suites in Scottsdale, Arizona: A Great Family Value

Having had great luck with Holiday Inn Express locations lately, most recently in Flagstaff, that brand was my first choice when I needed to book a quick overnight stay in Scottsdale, Arizona. I knew I could expect a comfortable room with a free breakfast but was pleased to find even more at this location. Spacious Features at the Holiday Inn Express The best feature is that it’s an all-suite location, giving families plenty of room to spread out. The living room featured a sofa sleeper, large desk, television, mini fridge and microwave. I love having a separate living area...

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Bearzona: The Drive-Through Zoo in Arizona

How often does a black bear walk past your car? Probably never, unless you’ve been to the drive-through zoo at Bearizona Wildlife Park. This unique zoo has the standard zoo experience most kids love. They can run around (while killing off some energy) and see animals in typical zoo enclosures. But my family’s favorite part of Bearizona was the drive-through part where we saw arctic wolves, white bison and black bears just outside our car. Other reasons we love it: ·       You can drive through the 3-mile loop multiple times, all day long if you want. ·       We pulled over to watch different...

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Where to Surf in Arizona

Who says you can’t surf in the desert? The Kierland FlowRider opened last year at the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. It’s the first of its kind in Arizona and one of the main reasons why I think the Westin Kierland rocks for kids and anyone else that loves to have fun. The Kierland FlowRider The Kierland FlowRider has two jets that push out almost 30,000 gallons of water per minute to simulate a wave. The best part is that you don’t have to worry about falling because the bottom of the FlowRider is similar to a trampoline...

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3 Cool Kid-Friendly Museums in Tucson

Most people avoid Tucson in the summer. It can seem extremely hot, especially if you aren’t used to our “dry heat.” However if you’re adventurous and willing to visit Tucson in the off-season you can score fabulous summer resort rates. Besides hanging out at the pool, you can stay cool by visiting some local museums that are fun and kid-friendly. There’s no shortage of fun and great deals if you visit Tucson during the hot months. Score great deals at local resorts like the Hilton El Conquistador and don’t miss these free, family-friendly ideas in Tucson. Plus check out the fun...

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