Thursday, June 21st, 2012
Disney-Pixar fans, rejoice! The second phase of Walt Disney World’s Art of Animation Resort opened this Monday, adding 480 family suites inspired by Lightning McQueen, Radiator Springs, and other features of their much-loved Cars franchise.
After passing Sheriff and Doc Hudson at the hotel’s entrance, kids can take in scenes like Luigi’s Casa Della Tires and Tow Mater Towing before settling into supercharged themed rooms with Cars-inspired artwork, carpets and furniture. The resort’s centerpiece is the Cozy Cone Motel, complete with orange cone-shaped cabanas surrounding the Cozy Cone Pool.
This phase of the resort comes on the heels of the Finding Nemo section, which opened in May. For kids and parents nostalgic for some of Disney’s classic films, two new areas based on The Lion King and The Little Mermaid will open in August and September.
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Entertainment, GoodyBlog, Holidays, Time for Fun, Travel, Your Life
Friday, April 22nd, 2011
If you’re traveling with a baby or toddler and need to stay for a few nights at a hotel, always look into childproofing the room.
A 16-month-old girl, Jah-Nea Myles, fell from the fourth floor balcony of a hotel in Orlando yesterday before being caught by Helen Beard, a 44-year-old woman visiting from England. Jah-Nea’s mother had left her in the care of friends who didn’t notice when the toddler left the room and then managed to slip through the balcony rails.
MyFox Orlando reported hat Beard saw the child dangling from the balcony and ran to a location underneath the child before she fell. The toddler struck the third floor balcony before being caught by Beard. The child still slipped through Beard’s arms and landed on the ground, but didn’t suffer any injuries. The local hospital determined the child to be in good health and the sheriff’s captain deemed Jah-Nea’s rescue to be miraculous.
When taking a trip with your child, Parents suggests calling the hotel beforehand to ask questions and determine if it’s kid-friendly location. Ask about renting a crib or stroller, the hotel’s crib safety requirements, and any available child-friendly activities, pools, and playgrounds. Most hotels also offer free childproofing kits or will childproof the room for you upon request. Just make sure to ask. Once you’re at the hotel, look for any possible dangers such as open balconies, stairs, and railings, uncovered outlets, sharp furniture, fragile objects, loose curtain or electrical cords, and unlocked cabinets. Above all, keep your child safe no matter where you stay.
Read more about childproofing your hotel room:
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GoodyBlog, Health & Safety, News, Your Child
Thursday, April 14th, 2011
So last week, before my mind was consumed with the right glasses for toddlers, I headed to La Playa Beach & Golf Resort in Naples, Florida, for a long weekend. I wasn’t able to get away with my husband, as our executive editor Chandra did last weekend, but I did bring my best friend Alexis, who celebrated an unnamed milestone birthday while we were there. Alexis hadn’t gone away for this long without her children since 2005, and we’ve both been going at breakneck speed for ages (just like all of you), so this trip was Kind Of A Big Deal for us.
La Playa is located right on the water; our gorgeous suite, 14 stories up, overlooked the Gulf of Mexico. Just looking at our view—that’s it in the photo—made me feel like I was hit with a tranquilizer dart (in a good way). The weather was unseasonably warm even for Florida, so it required no guts whatsoever to wade into the water. When we wanted a change of pace from the beach, we headed over to one of the resort’s four pools. (By the way, “four pools” might conjure up images of a giant, sprawling resort, but that’s not La Playa’s vibe at all. It’s spacious, but also small and intimate.)
I was struck by how many families with young children were there. That first afternoon, as I lay in the sun with a magazine, I overheard one little girl, right around 5, talking to her parents: “Okay, Mommy, I’m Ariel. And you’ll be a different mermaid—no, you’ll still be Mommy, but Daddy, you’re King Triton…” I had to laugh, knowing that’s exactly how it would’ve gone had I been there with my husband and two young daughters. One morning, I saw what had to have been a newborn snoozing away in a crib set up in the family’s poolside cabana. Another night, during an incredible meal at the resort’s oceanfront restaurant, Baleen (I had sauteed scallops with a lemongrass lobster sauce; Alexis had a roquefort-crusted filet), we watched a group of adorable little boys and girls playing tag on the grass as their families dined nearby. Afterward, we went up to our suite’s balcony to take in that tranquil view, and we could see the kids still running around, having a ball.
One of the highlights of our stay was our time at the spa. We each had a few treatments: Alexis enjoyed a massage and a Japanese soaking ritual, and I had a massage medley (I’d give you details but I was too relaxed to note anything) and an incredible pedicure. I even got to keep the bottle of polish for touchups, which is a perk I’ve never encountered anywhere else.
If our husbands hadn’t been home with the kids, they might have hit the golf course. La Playa has been consistently recognized as one of the top golf resorts in the country. Since it’s on the water, though, golfers need to head three miles inland to play, and staffers make this easy.
Actually, staffers make everything easy at La Playa. Everyone we encountered was incredibly friendly and accommodating (and if you’re wondering, almost none of them knew I was a reporter!). I’m already trying to figure out when I’ll be back.
La Playa Beach & Golf Resort. Rates in season start at $329; off-season start at $139.
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Friday, October 15th, 2010
Is it time to return to caveman parenting?: Hunter-gatherers , the human way of life until the agricultural revolution about 8,000 years ago, were responsive caregivers, who didn’t let a baby cry it out. Moms breast-fed, probably for about five or six years. Cave kids had hours of unstructured free play, with children of all ages. [MSNBC]
Hey kids: tests help you learn: Tests aren’t just a way for teachers to torture their students, according to a new study that finds the brain encodes better mental hints during test-taking than during studying alone. [MSNBC]
Theme parks roll out Halloween thrills: This time of year, theme parks across the nation are transformed into Halloween hot spots. If you’re searching for a destination that has pulled out all the stops to give you a monstrously good time or an attraction that won’t give the littlest trick-or-treaters nightmares, scare up your favorite costume and check out these amusement parks for Halloween fun. [CNN]
10 best resort kids’ programs: More and more resorts are catering to children — though the quality of their kids’ programs still varies. [ABC News]
‘GMA’ gets answers: Newborn baby with pre-existing condition?: She’s heartbroken because she has endured what no mother should have to endure. While pregnant with twins, she lost one of them at 30 weeks. The other baby, Kinsleigh, was born with serious heart problems. But [the mother] is angry because her insurance company, Aetna, held up paying thousands of dollars in medical charges. [ABC News]
911 helps dad deliver baby: A 911 dispatcher helps a Florida father deliver his child. [ABC News]
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Babies, Health & Safety, Holidays, News