Best Buy: Toy Story of Terror! (Digital Copy) (Blu-ray Disc) 2014 Only $9.99 (Reg $14.99)

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toy story halloween

 

Just in time for Halloween!  Head on over to BestBuy.com where you can score Toy Story of Terror for only $9.99 (reg. $14.99).

You could also choose the DVD for only $5.99

  • Includes never-before-seen bonus
  • Vintage toy commercials
  • Audio commentary
  • Team of specialists

Be sure to choose in-store pick up if available.

 

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Amazon: Coffee Cup Wall Decal Only $2.03 Shipped FREE

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coffee decal

 

Cute, cute, cute!!! Amazon is offering up a Coffee Cup Double sided visual Removable Wall Vinyl Sticker Decal for only $2.03 shipped FREE!

  • Size: 8.25″ x 15″ approximately
  • Easy to install and remove
  • Can be applied to many different types of surfaces
  • Material: PVC

See more Amazon Deals!

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Amazon: 100 Pieces Assorted Crystal Beads Only $2.99 Shipped

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beads

 

If you enjoy making jewelry, check out these 100 pieces of Assorted AAA Quality Assorted Crystal Beads 4mm 6mm 8mm 10mm for only $2.99 shipped FREE!

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See more Amazon Deals!

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Our 2013 Family Trip to Put-in-Bay – Part 1

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 family day trip to put-in-bay

Our Family Day Trip to Put-in-Bay – Part One

**Read Put-in-Bay – Part Two**

It’s really hard to imagine that I’ve lived in Northeast Ohio my whole life, yet until recently had never visited the gorgeous Lake Erie Islands.  Crazy, huh?   With the islands not being very far from my home in Lorain County, I jumped at the chance to visit South Bass Island and the village of Put-in-Bay.  Since my hard-working husband was at work, I brought along my mom and three boys.

Put-in-Bay Ohio is a quaint little town dotted with historic homes, mouth-watering restaurants, unique gift shops and local pubs.  It’s also home to the nation’s third tallest monument.  While the island can be a bit more boisterous on the weekends, it’s a perfect family destination during the week.

Before ourday trip to Put-in-Bay, we stopped at the Lake Erie Shores and Islands Visitor’s Center in Sandusky, Ohio (they also have a second location in Port Clinton).  If you are looking for any information regarding the Shores and Islands area, this is the place.

Once we stepped inside, I was amazed by the amount brochures, maps, and discount coupons readily available.   While you’re there you also want to take some time looking at their  interactive displays and video.  As a mom of three little ones I was impressed that they even had a few things to keep my boys occupied while I looked around including a pint-sized table where they could color and a life-sized boat.

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Before we left we asked for directions to the pier and while I was expecting verbal instructions that I was sure to mix up, the helpful employee pulled out a map and highlighted the exact streets to take.  This made out quick trip to the dock even easier.

While you are here be sure to grab your FREE Shore Savings Card.  When you show this card you’ll snag discounts at participating at local attractions, restaurants, shops, and lodging accommodations.  You can hop over and find what is included in the Shore Savings Card.  To make it more convenient, you can even print this card right off their website.  Of course since you know I LOVE coupons, I just had to have one of these!

For our family’s first trip to Put-in-Bay, we decided on the Island Fun Pack.  The Island Fun Pack is perfect for families as it allows you to visit many activities on the island for one cost per person.  These packs can be purchased at Lake Erie Shores & Islands-West (or by calling 800-441-1271), Miller Boat Line: Catawba Island Ticket Booth, the Jet Express: Port Clinton and Sandusky Ticket Booths, or The Depot at downtown Put-in-Bay

Stay tuned as I’ll be sharing more about each location included in the Island Fun Pack in my next post.

Island Fun Packs Include Ticket Vouchers to:

Included in our Island Fun Pack were ferry tickets with either the Miller Boat Line or Jet Express.  This time we took the Jet Express but I’m sure both are great choices.  As we pulled into the ferry parking lot (which is FREE) my youngest, Jackson, squealed with delight when he saw the “big boat”.  While standing in line to get on the ferry he couldn’t help but show everyone his new “boat shirt” that I had just bought the night before at Target (on clearance, of course).

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Once on the Jet Express we were welcome to explore.  With seating both inside and out you’ll have two difference experiences to enjoy.  With a quick stop at Kelly’s Island before heading to Put-in-Bay our trip was about 40 minutes.  That was the perfect about of time to sit both inside and out.  While on the top deck we enjoyed the beautiful scenery while the ferry zoomed along.  While there are benches to sit on outside, inside you can choose to sit on chair or at a table large enough for a family.  Inside there are large windows on either side of the ferry that you can open and close depending on how much wind you would like.

Once we arrived in Put-in-Bay we were all very excited to start our adventure!  Stay tune for my next post that will share all the family things to do on the island!

PicMonkey Collage

Disclosure:  This is not a paid post.  A huge thanks to Lake Erie Shores and Islands Visitor’s Center for providing us with free Island Fun Pack tickets to facilitate our review.  





Our 2013 Family Day Trip to Put-in-Bay – Part 2

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put-in-bay

 

Our Day Trip to Put-in-Bay – Part Two

If you missed my first post on our Family Day Trip to Put-in-Bay you’ll definitely want to read that first!

Once we stepped foot on Put-in-Bay, I knew we were in for an amazing day!  The weather was perfect, the cloudless sky was the brightest shade of blue, and the kids were bubbling with excitement.  My oldest exclaimed, “Mom, is this a real island?”.

When we got off the Jet Express we quickly found the shuttle that took us a short drive to the Train Depot.  This was included in our Island Fun Pack and since it was our first visit to the island, I instantly relaxed knowing that everything was taken care of. We got to the Train Depot, hopped on the train, and were excited to see what our first adventure would bring.

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The Island Fun Pack includes many of the islands highlights and is perfect for those who are considering a day trip to Put-in-Bay!  While the Tour Train is a one-hour narrated tour the island, you have stop off privileges at many popular spots.  With the tram stopping by each scheduled stop every 30 minutes, it’s easy to catch the train when you are ready to go to your next destination. The Island Fun Pack includes vouchers to:

Once we were on our way, I was able to sit back and really take in the island. As we rode through the downtown area we were amazed by the amount of options that this little town can offer. We passed by many quaint shops that were brimming with customers, as well as many restaurants with a variety of food to choose from.  My boys were especially excited to see both a playground and carousel located in the center of town!

While we were there on a Friday, I didn’t see one hint of the boisterous crowd that I was warned about from friends.   This sleepy little town may turn into a party spot for adults on the weekends, but  I found that it was PERFECT for families during the weekday!

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As we drove out of town and into the residential areas, I was taken back by what a beautiful town Put-n-Bay is.  Each house we drove by was  cuter than the one before and you could see what pride the owners took in their property.  Throughout the train tour I really enjoyed the information given by the train tour guides.  These friendly and knowledgeable drivers share all about the history of the island and surrounding areas as well as unknown facts and little gossip.

Put-in-Bay Aquatic Visitors Center (FREE)

The first stop we got off at was the Put-in-Bay Aquatic Visitors Center. While only opened seasonally and on certain days of the week, it is FREE to the public.  Housed in a former state fish hatchery, this  center has six aquariums filled with Lake Erie fish and turtles, hands-on exhibits, FREE fishing for kids and much more.  Since my kiddos have never fished before it was a real treat, even if we were a little skirmish watching the helpful staff member put a worm on the end of the fishing pole!   Keep in mind that this area is not part of the Island Fun Pack but is a stop on the Tour Train (on days that it is open).

PicMonkey Collage
Our next stop was the Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center.  This area is home to Perry’s Cave, The War of 18 Holes Miniature Golf, The Butterfly House, Fort Amaze’n, Gemstone Mining, Antique Car Museum, and more. With so much to do, we spent most of our day here.

The Butterfly House (included in the Island Fun Pack)

We chose to visit the The Butterfly House in this area and my mom and I were really looking forward to it.  Before heading inside, we took the opportunity to sit on the big rocking chairs on the front porch and enjoy a snack that I had brought with us.  We enjoyed the peaceful grounds in this area that are covered in beautiful flowers and plants.  It really made me wish that I had more of a green thumb.

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While walking to the back of the building we were able to browse through their 5000 sq. ft. gift shop that is full of garden gifts, glass and crystal butterfly figurines, and jewelry. Of course my boys headed right to the toys!

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The Butterfly House at Put-in-Bay is a 4000 sq. ft. aviary filled with hundreds of butterflies and beautiful flowers. When they created this space they really took time to focus on the details  with benches to sit on, a large gazebo to relax in, and many secret paths to explore.  With the bushes and flowers being so low to the groun,d it was easy to get up close with the butterflies in their natural environment.   There is no time limit, so you are welcome to stay as long as you’d like and can even re-enter if you wish.

Perry’s Cave (included in the Island Fun Pack)

With the weather heating up we chose to head below to Perry’s Cave.  This cave lies 52 feet below the surface of South Bass Island in Lake Erie. The cave is 208 feet long by 165 feet wide and stays around 50° year-round. Since this was my boys first time in a cave, they were super excited to explore.

While inside, we were able to view stalactites and stalagmites on the cave’s ceiling and floor as well as see a rare underground lake. Since this lake is so clear, it’s much deeper than it appears. We loved Perry’s Cave.  The amount of time (about 20 minutes) was perfect and the cave was well lit so there were no worrys about my little ones being scared.  I was also very impressed with our tour guide who was both funny and knowledgeable.

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War of 18 Holes Miniature Golf (included in the Island Fun Pack)

Next up on our family day trip to Put-in-bay was the War of 18 Holes Miniature Golf course.  This miniature golf course is not only nestled under a canopy of shade trees, but also boasts of a covered bridge and waterfall cave.  At each hole you can even learn a historical fact about the War of 1812 and Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s role in the victory of the Battle of Lake Erie.

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While my boys are only 3, 5, and 7 they enjoyed this activity so much they wanted to complete the whole course.  Since there were many others on the course as well that day it did take us quite a while, but I was happy to see them having so much fun!

The Antique Car Museum (FREE) The Antique Car Museum is another FREE activity to check out in Put-in-Bay.  Since it’s located in the Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center area, it’s also a stop on the Tour Train. This small museum only took about 10 minutes to look around in, but my family liked seeing the rare Model Ts and vintage snowmobiles.

Heineman’s Winery and Crystal Cave (included in the Island Fun Pack)

Located right across the street from Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center is Heineman’s Winery and Crystal Cave.  While this is a stop on the Tour Train, its close enough if you’d rather walk.  When you tour Heineman’s Winery and Crystal Cave, you’ll snag a glass of wine or grape juice.

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The Crystal Cave was discovered by accident, when in 1897, workers found it when digging a well for the winery 40 feet above.  With the cave walls covered in a blueish mineral called celestite and with crystals ranging from 8 to 18 inches long, the Crystal Cave is the world’s largest geode.  Unfortunately, we were unable to tour this area as my youngest fell asleep, but we’ll definitely have to check it out during our next visit.

Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial (Visitor Center – FREE/Monument- $3 for adults, 15 and under FREE

The last stop on the Tour Train was the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial.  This memorial was built to honor those who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie, during the War of 1812, and to celebrate the long-lasting peace between Britain, Canada and the U.S.

Located on the grounds is the Perry Memorial Visitor Center, which is FREE to the public.  This building offers a 15-minute movie on the War of 1812 and Battle of Lake Erie, as well as display of artifacts.  While we looked around the Visitor Center, we couldn’t wait to head to the top of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial.

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The Doric column of this memorial, rises 352 feet over Lake Erie and  is only 5 miles from the longest undefended border in the world.  To get to the top of this monument you’ll need to first climb 37 steps to the elevator, which will take you to an open air observation deck 317 feet above Lake Erie.

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Once at the top it was so fun to get a birds eye view of this gorgeous island.  The helpful workers were able to point out all the surrounding islands as well as give us a ton of information all about the history of the monument and island. While the entry isn’t included in the Island Fun Pack, entrance for the Memorial is only $3 for adults and kids ages 15 and under are FREE!

 

Put-In-Bay is Perfect for Families!

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Our family had an amazing time on our first family day trip to Put-in-Bay.  I can’t wait to go back next year to explore this island even more! I think the Island Fun Pack is a fabulous deal and a great way to explore South Bass Island!  I loved the convenience of the tour tram and how you pay a discounted rate once and yet can play all day! Also, since kids 6 and under are FREE you’ll save even more.

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Island Fun Pack Pricing

While we were at Put-in-Bay for over 7 hours, we barely touched all the fun things to do at Put-in-Bay.  I can’t wait to go back! I’d love to explore the adult side of the island with the hubby and without the kids.

Before you plan your day trip to Put-in-Bay, stop into the Lake Erie Shores and Islands Visitor’s Center in Sandusky, Ohio (they also have a second location in Port Clinton).  If you are looking for any information regarding the Shores and Islands area, this is the place.

All opinions are my own.  A huge thanks to Lake Erie Shores and Islands for setting up our trip and providing us Island Fun Pack vouchers for this review.