My friend likes to collect memberships to museums. I always joke that if there's a new museum out there, she probably already has a membership there. So, when she told me she just got a membership to the Washington State History Museum (located a good 45 minutes away from our house) I just laughed and thought "of course you did." But then she invited my family to join them for their Model Train Festival and I totally got it.
We had been to the Model Train Festival at Pacific Science Center in Seattle last year and I was curious how it would compare. I love how much space there was at the History Museum to set up the displays and have room for people to move around them. They also had little step stools placed at strategic areas so kids could get a better view. All the train tables are set about 6 inches too high for toddlers to see (but the right height for the adult train enthusiasts who operate them.) If you are debating whether to take your toddler in a stroller or carrier, I'd go with the carrier so they could see the models much easier.
They had a whole floor celebrating the Kitsap train that runs on the second and fourth Saturday April-October in Port Orchard, WA. The volunteers were very friendly and the train ride looked perfect for our toddler. It reminded me a lot of the mini rail at Squamish, BC. We will definitely be planning a day trip over there next year.
They also had a room filled with trains that kids could play with. There was a large remote control train and track on the floor, 2 LEGO train exhibits on display, LEGOS for kids to create their own trains and a couple of wooden trains and tracks. The volunteers were incredibly nice and helpful! This room was a hit with toddlers and preschoolers.
The day we went, Santa was there for a few hours, so my toddler insisted we visit with him. We had already done Santa photos with 4 other Santas at that point (he's a major celebrity in our house) so we thought, "what's one more?" He was hands-down the best Santa we'd come across this year! Not only did he spend quite a bit of time talking with our toddler and us, but he did about 5 fun poses right off the bat.
Even without the Model Train Festival, it's a really cool museum. It reminded me a lot of Seattle's Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) with their exhibits about Washington's history and culture. I think it would be perfect for Elementary School aged kids because they have a lot of hands on exhibits. If we lived closer to Tacoma, I would get a membership every year (mostly for the train display) but also because there are a lot of things for kids to explore.
We had a great experience at the Washington State History Museum! I was surprised I hadn't heard of it before, especially since it's so kid-oriented.It's definitely worth the drive from Seattle and would make a great family field trip.
We will definitely be back for the Model Train Festival next year!
6 Things to Know for Babies + Toddlers
The Happy Wrap is a stretchy wrap made from viscose bamboo. The wrap is lightweight, breathable and wicks moisture away from the body. It’s naturally anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic, eco-friendly, and provides UV protection. The fabric is soft like cashmere and has the perfect amount of stretch, keeping your baby snug, safe and comfortable.
At 4.5 meters long, the Happy Wrap is designed to be one size fits most so it can easily be worn by parents and caregivers of different sizes. Simply tie the knot at your back when wrapping if you need a larger size. My husband and I have very different body shapes and we were both able to wear it with ease.
I figured that both my husband and I should try it out to see what we thought. The first time I put it on, I didn't get it tight enough (I was used to my woven wrap that is not stretchy) and because of the stretch, it felt really loose. So, when my husband was trying it on, I made sure he got it really snug before putting our baby in. That helped a lot.
Since we travel frequently, I'm always on the hunt for products that travel well. The Happy Wrap is high on my list. Since it's lightweight, it's perfect for warmer destinations or summertime travel. It also packs down compactly making it easy to stash in a carry on bag or suitcase.
I also want to note that Happy Wrap is made in the U.S.A. and they donate a portion of their profits to charities that provide assistance to women and children around the world.
What I like:
What I don't like:
Happy Wrap provided this product for review purposes.
Like us on Facebook to keep in touch
Our family has a tradition of heading up to Vancouver, BC after Christmas each year to take advantage of Boxing Day sales and to celebrate our son's birthday. We always see fun holiday-themed activities, but never seem to have time to participate. This year, we decided to add an extra weekend trip at the beginning of December to check them out. Here's what we were able to see in one day with a baby and a toddler.
Stanley Park Miniature Railway
I've been trying to take my son on the Stanley Park Miniature Railway during the holidays for the past few years. I had heard from Vancouver locals how much fun it is for families. This year, we finally made it happen! We did the matinee train because we didn't have any evenings available this trip.
The train ride was a lot of fun! The 14 minute ride was the perfect length for our family. There was so much to see that we could have ridden it again, if we had more time. My husband especially enjoyed seeing The Grinch and our son loved going through the tunnel at the end.
We also explored the grounds and my son was thrilled to see Frosty the Snowman as he's currently his favorite holiday celebrity. It was really fun to see which characters he recognized and hear him sing Christmas songs while taking it all in. I could just imagine how amazing it would be at night time and we hope to do the evening train in the near future.
Click to read my full review.
Vancouver Christmas Market
This was the first year that the Vancouver Christmas Market was at it's new location on the waterfront next to the Olympic Cauldron. We drove past it on our way to the Stanley Park Minature Railway and thought it would be a fun place to pass the time before heading up to Squamish, BC.
Since we knew we'd be back up to Vancouver at the end of December, we opted to buy a season pass. The first thing we did was ride on the carousel. The token seller was a bit grumpy and made us get out of line to double check our toddler's height and then we had to go to the back of the line and wait again to get our tokens. When it was our turn to board, we again had to check the height of our toddler. But then we boarded and my son picked a horse to ride on and he had so much fun that we rode the carousel one more time!
After that, we perused the vendor booths and decided to grab lunch. Our toddler saw a booth that sold corn in a cup and he was adamant that's what he wanted. It was a bit pricey, but comparable to all the other food. I had some ham and pea soup and my husband got a ham hock sandwich. I was impressed how much seating was available. We opted to sit on the stage while the band took a break.
We were only able to stay an hour, but we are looking forward to returning in a few weeks!
The Polar Express Train
One of our main reasons for doing a weekend up in Vancouver, BC was so we could experience The Polar Express train ride at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park up in Squamish, BC (about an hour North of Vancouver.) Our experience there was alone worth the drive up from Seattle. Not only was the event superbly executed, but our family had much more fun than we imagined.
The train ride was a blast and featured lots of elements from the book and movie, including characters and hot chocolate with the yummiest chocolate cookies! The train is maintained beautifully and it was quite a comfortable ride. Our kids wore their Christmas jammies (along with almost all the other families aboard) which made the whole experience even more fun!
After our ride, we explored the North Pole located within the Roundhouse. It was filled with fun activities for the whole family. Our son especially enjoyed the miniature train ride around Santa's village and pulling on a real train whistle. He also handled the line-up for photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus pretty well. Other activities included letters to Santa, a viewing of The Polar Express, a bouncy house, concessions and so much more.
Click to read my full review.
Timeline of our Day with Baby + Toddler
9:00am: Woke up and read The Polar Express book
9:45am: Ate breakfast at our hotel
11:00am: Arrived at the Stanley Park Miniature Railway
Noon: Nursed our baby in the parking garage at the Waterfront
12:30pm: Arrived at the Vancouver Christmas Market
12:45pm: Rode the carousel twice
1:00pm: At lunch at vendor booths
2:00pm: Headed out for Squamish, BC while baby and toddler napped in the car
3:15pm: Arrived in Squamish, nursed baby in car and changed both kids into pajamas
3:45pm: Boarded The Polar Express
4:45pm: Explored activities at The North Pole
7:00pm: Nursed baby in the car and drove back to the hotel
My family loves to explore the world, but it's not something we can do all the time. So, we also like to learn about places from around the world from the comfort of our own home. However, it can be tricky to find age-appropriate books for babies and toddlers about world travel. Most of the books I see are geared for elementary-aged kids. This will be fantastic when my kids get older, but right now they just don't have the attention span for those books. Thankfully, three authors have remedied this by offering engaging board books that highlight different countries.
Hello, World by Ashley Evanson
There is a board book series written by Ashley Evanson called Hello, World that feature destinations such as New York, San Francisco, Paris and London. This series is published by Penguin Books and they sent us copies of all the books to review. The illustrations are bright and it's easy to clearly make out each landmark.
Out of these places, our toddler has only been to San Francisco (so far) so it's been fun to show him photos of our family touring around and seeing the same sights as in the book. This book also focuses on numbers, which is perfect for my toddler who enjoys counting things.
The New York book's theme is colors, which is my son's other passion. I've always thought of New York as being black and white, so it's refreshing to see the colorful images. My son's favorite thing to find is the yellow taxi!
My personal favorite is Paris and it's theme of shapes because I spent my 18th birthday in Paris on a school trip and have wonderful memories of the city. When I look at this book with my son, we talk about my experiences at the different places (Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre Dame, etc.)
We do the same thing with the London book. It's fun to tell him about my time there and what I thought of the landmarks. The London book focuses on opposites, which is fun because my son is developing his sense of humor and he likes to say big things are little and vice versa as a joke to see if I will laugh. It also features a red, double-decker bus!
All Aboard by Haily Meyers
Along those same lines is a book series by Haily Meyers called All Aboard where they show destinations accessible by trains such as California, London, National Parks, Washington, D.C., and New York. This series is published by BabyLit and they sent us the London, Paris and California books to check out. I really like this series because there aren't very many words, so my toddler can "read" the story to me by telling me what he sees on each page. Again, the artwork is really beautiful in this series as well! The last page of each book also offers a bonus educational component (for example, the Paris book lists French/English translations of key things in the book.) It's a great way for this series to grow with babies and toddlers.
My son has been to California a few times, so we like to point out where relatives live and what we did in each city. My toddler is an uber-fan of trains, so one of his favorite things is to look for the train or the train conductor on each page. Sometimes the trains are in random places, but we find that really funny!
The London book is really cool because there are trains AND double-decker buses, which is the best combination for my toddler! I like that the pages feature travel-related items like passports and suitcases in addition to significant landmarks. My toddler is able to point at the items and tell me what they are and how we use them. It's a great conversation starter about international travel.
The Paris book is my personal favorite out of this series. I minored in French in college and it's fun to pass along some basic French to my toddler (who's currently learning Mandarin.) He's at the perfect age to pick up a few words in several languages. I like that the French is optional since there isn't much of a story. So, you can just talk about the fun places with babies and younger toddlers and then add in the French element later on to refresh the book.
Tiny Traveler by Misti Kenison
Misti Kenison writes the Tiny Traveler board book series that covers Egypt, France, Italy and Japan. This series is published by Sky Pony Press and they sent us copies of Italy and Japan to review. I like this series because it includes places outside of the U.S. and Europe and the illustrations are clear and vivid. I really hope China is next on her list of books to write!
We took our toddler to Italy last summer, so that's been a fun book to read because he remembers a few of the places. The theme of this book is numbers, which is fun for my count-a-holic toddler. Our favorite page is the one where we can count pizza because then we can talk about yummy food! I also like the page about paintings because art is a huge part of world culture.
His cousins go to Japan every summer to visit family, so he's also been interested in the Japan book because he knows that's where they go. The theme of this book is nature and features bamboo, cherry blossoms and a Zen Garden. This is nice because we visit a Japanese Garden in Seattle frequently and he's able to use the information from this book out at the garden. I love it when books encourage children to make connections to the outside world!
Lonely Planet Kids Pop Up Books
When my husband and I travel, we like to bring hard-copy guide books so we have something to reference, especially when staying places without wifi. Lonely Planet is one of our favorite guide book companies, so we were both intrigued to find out they had a line of pop-up books for kids.
The nice thing about these pop-up books is that they seem pretty durable. They are recommended for kids ages 5-8, but I think they are also suitable for younger kids. I don't think the pop-up features will be easily torn off. I also like that the pop-ups are somewhat subtle so they add a dimension to the book without feeling like it's going to pop out in my toddler's face.
Any of these books would be great to take on your airplane ride to that destination to show your child what they might see on your trip. My oldest likes to read the books over and over again and point out the landmarks from each country. What's really cool is that now he recognizes these landmarks when we see them on TV, in other books, or in photos!
We received these books complimentary for review purposes.
Like us on Facebook to keep in touch
My husband's family is from Hong Kong and it's a big part of who they are. My husband picked up a little bit of Chinese growing up but mostly had an "All-American" upbringing. Now that we have kids, it's brought to light the importance of showing our kids pieces of their heritage so they can keep in touch with their roots.
Our toddler has been going to Chinese school for awhile. It's been really helpful since neither my husband nor I really speak Chinese (and our toddler just laughs when we try.) Not only do we like that he's connecting with Chinese culture, but we also hope that it will help him later in life. The hard part for us is supplementing his Chinese at home. It's been difficult to find products that encourage us to talk about China.
I came across this World Village Playset China Adventure Kit while looking for toys about China. It's fantastic because there are so many components. This playset is designed to grow with your child and inspire imaginative play.
The first thing I noticed about the playset was the 13-piece painted wood puzzle. Not only is it a puzzle, but the pieces are chunky enough to be used as play pieces on the playmat. My son is especially fond of putting the boat in the river and having the bicylist crash into things. Each piece also has the Chinese and English names of each item painted on it.
There are also 14 story cards with pictures on one side and storytelling prompts on the other. The images on the cards matches picutres on the playmat. My son and I have spent a lot of time searching the playmat for the corresponding image. I'm saving the storytelling prompts for days when he doesn't already have a story in mind. He's been creating all kinds of adventures using his imagination.
It comes with a soft fabric playmat that is about the size of two door mats. My toddler is fairly active and the playmat tends to bunch up when he sits on it to play. It might be nice to tack it to a rubber playmat to make it a bit sturdier. However, it folds up really compactly for storage. We were unable to fit it back in the original box, so we used a Ziploc freezer bag, which does the trick.
I especially like that this playset is compatible with most of my sons toys. Some days, Thomas the Train makes a visit to China, crossing over bridges and around the village. Other days, his airplanes will drop off tourists to check out the sights. I can see this playset lasting him a long time and evolving as his style of play evolves.
The only thing we haven't thoroughly checked out is the My China Travel Journal. It's a 32-page story/activity book narrated by a brother and sister who are traveling in China. It seemed a bit advanced for our almost-3-year-old and I like that we have something new to incorprate when he's ready. We're really hoping to bring our toddler to China in the next couple of years, so the travel journal will be perfect to prepare him for the trip.
It looks as though China is the first World Village Playset they have created. I'd be very eager to see what other countries they add in the future. I could see this being something fun to bring to a hotel room while traveling to keep kids entertained. It would also be a fun way to announce a trip to children.
Let's keep in touch: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest
My family travels to Vancouver, British Columbia every winter for Boxing Day and my son's birthday. Each year, Bright Nights at Stanley Park has been on my itinerary and each year we fail to get there. We've heard so much about the light display and how festive the whole experience can be. In order to ensure that we experience it, we headed to Vancouver for a "bonus trip" at the beginning of December.
I always do my research before trips, so I diligently scoured the Vancouver Parks & Recreation website to make sure I had the correct information. That's when I realized that Bright Nights supports the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society and the BC Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund.
I took my son on the Stanley Park Miniature Train over the summer and we had so much fun! It made it more exciting this time because he knew what to expect and we both were curious about what holiday items we'd see on our journey. The train ride did not disappoint!
We went during the day, so I wasn't sure if we'd be able to see any lights. I was thrilled that the light display was still impressive against the grey sky! We also saw many favorite Christmas characters, including The Grinch! The train ride is just the right length to feel worth the fare. We paid $6 each for my husband and myself and since both kids were under 3 years old, they were free. The train ride was about 14 minutes long. The train was about 2/3 full and we could have split our tickets (have one adult accompany our toddler for one ride and then switch) but we wanted to experience it as a family.
What impressed me the most was how expansive the decorations were. I thought it was just the area around the train, but the entire area was covered with funky displays! Again, we saw beloved characters, but also lots of Santa displays and reindeer! My son had a fun time pointing out all the elves that seemed to be placed everywhere! I could see how it would be really fun at night time!
While we walked around, I saw several booths for hot chocolate, buttered popcorn and other treats that opened in the evening. They also have live performances at night and photos with Santa starting at 4 p.m. There was also a booth selling glow sticks, which I bet would make a toddler's night!
7 Tips for Bright Nights at Stanley Park
My husband, Darren, and I had the opportunity to meet up with 15 family members on Maui this summer. We went with our toddler, Owen, while I was 6 months pregnant. My Mom lives on Kauai, so I've been there many, many times (and a few times solo with Owen.) I explored Maui last October with Owen, but this was the first time Darren was able to join us for a Hawaii trip. We stayed up in Ka`anapali, which was a first for me.
We opted not to do the Road to Hana or Haleakala this time simply because Owen and I did it in October and we wanted to spend as much time with family as possible. But, I highly recommend doing them if you haven't before. We are planning to do them on a future trip to Maui. Either trip would make a great "staying out of the sun" day trip, if you are sunburned!
Here's how we spent our week on Maui:
Day 1: Arrival Day
Day 2: Relax Day
Day 3: 4th of July
Day 6: My Birthday!
Day 8: Departure Day
Like us on Facebook to keep in touch
Our family thinks it's important for children to experience the world first-hand whenever possible. We feel that understanding other people and their cultures is the best tool we can give them for succeeding in life. We take them on trips when we can and participate in local cultural events. We also enjoy trying new foods from other countries.
My husband and I are always on the lookout for products that spark conversations about different places and cultures. These products are surprisingly hard to find, but we've managed to locate a few that have helped us talk to our toddler about what life is like for people across the world.
Some of our current favorites come from Lakeshore, a national retailer that provides quality learning materiels to schools and child care centers. Lakeshore is dedicated to creating innovative educational materials that spark young imaginations, instill a sense of wonder and foster a lifelong love of learning. Their items are made to endure lots of little hands.
My toddler is obsessed with photos. Mostly, he enjoys looking at photos of himself in various places we've visited. Anytime I'm at my laptop scrolling through photos, he climbs up and wants to scroll through himself. And if my photo is unlocked, he will find it and start searching for photos and videos of himself.
I wasn't sure what he'd think of Lakeshore's viewfinders that featured the theme "A View from Around the World." The cool thing about viewfinders is that kids can explore them all by themselves. Once we showed our son (who is almost 3) how the viewfinder worked, it only took him a few minutes to get the hang of it. He was really surprised how the photos changed and when he went through the whole disc, he wanted help inserting in a new one.
We started with Italy since that's somewhere we traveled together as a family and we have lots of photos of our trip. After he clicked through each photo, he'd ask us what it was and if we had been there. It prompted a lot of conversations about the different places in Italy and what Italian foods we like to eat and how Italian people speak Italian and what that sounded like.
Then, we moved on to the disc about China. My husband's family is from Hong Kong and my son goes to Chinese school, so we thought it might be familiar for him. He had so many questions about each photo and we were able to talk to him about our experiences in China and also share some stories from his grandparents about growing up in Hong Kong.
It's been fun to see which discs spark his interests. We're currently planning a trip to France, so we've been keeping that disc in rotation. My husband is heading to India for the first time, so I have a feeling we will be looking at that disc a lot while he is away.
These discs also include maps of the different countries. This was the first time my son has really seen a map that wasn't our GPS. It was a great opportunity for us to show him where each country was located on a globe.
We were also pretty excited to find their Kids Around the World Block Play People. It was the perfect addition to several toys he already had that came with figurines. As we opened up the packaging, my husband and I told him which countries each of the 12 figurines represented, from Asia to Africa to the Americas.
The size of the figurines is perfect for his little hands. I'm really glad that each figurine is labled with the country it represents so we are sure to give him the correct information. They feel really durable and we were able to fit them into a Ziploc bag for easy storage.
One of his favorite things to do with them is have them play on his playmat featuring a village in China. At first, I tried to just give him the Chinese boy figurine to play with since it made the most sense to me. Then, I thought about it and realized that any of these characters could be visiting China. My son had a blast walking them around the village and having the Chinese figurine play tour guide to the other figurines.
He also likes to add them in to his fire station (they are the perfect size) and have them waiting for trains on his train table. I like the way he seemlessly involves them in his current play. As he enters his preschool years, it will be fun to hear the imaginative adventures he comes up with and the other ways he incorporates them into his other play things.
Lakeshore provided these products for review purposes.
Let's keep in touch: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest
My toddler has a deep appreciation for trains. We've been fortunate to be able to explore opportunities to go on train rides here in the Pacific Northwest. Not only have I learned more than I ever thought I'd know about trains, but it's been a fun learning experience for the whole family.
This past summer, we got to experience the West Coast Railway Heritage Park up in Squamish, BC (just North of Vancouver, BC.) This was the coolest train museum we'd ever been to! When I heard they had a Polar Express train event, I was instantly intrigued and determined to head back up for it. I'm so glad we did!
One of the volunteers at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park suggested that we take the 4pm train because it would be light when we arrived and dark when we left. He also recommended that we wear our pajamas, just like in the book. I had high hopes of getting matching jammies for the whole family, but life got busy and I was just able to get fun ones for the kids. We arrived about an hour before our train ride so we'd have time to pick up our tickets from Will Call and head to the train station. They had lots of parking attendants assisting with parking across the street for $5. Since we had a 2-month-old with us, I took that opportunity to feed him before we ventured out.
It was very cold and rainy, so we hurried across the street and quickly picked up our Golden Tickets for the train ride. Then, we headed to the front of the train for a Polar Express photo op. There were only a few people ahead of us in line, so we were able to get some photos easily and then head to the train station. In the entry of the train station was a choir (all wearing pajamas and bathrobes) singing Christmas carols. They had two rooms indoors for guests to wait in (one for First Class and one for General.) We squeezed into the room for General admission and my husband took that opportunity to use the restroom before boarding the train.
A train conductor who was dressed the part asked a few kids near the door to help him announce "All Aboard!" and we all lined up to head to the train cars. It was so well-organized. We were greeted as we entered the train car and easily found seats. The conductors helped seat late arrivals so that families could sit together. The train conductor walked up and down the aisle chatting with families. We were impressed how well-kept up the train was from the seats to the windows. It was very comfortable.
There was a 10 minute delay (for which they apologized several times) and then we were off for our train ride. My toddler was so excited! As we started moving, the story of The Polar Express was read over the loud speaker. There were also elements of the movie (the Hobo, the little girl, the boy in the bathrobe, etc.) My toddler told me his favorite part was when the little girl asked him if she'd seen his ticket and to not tell the train conductor that she'd lost it or she'd be kicked off the train. He took her very seriously and we all shushed and said we wouldn't tell him.
The chefs came around with the most delicious chocolate cookie. It was moist and tasted like a brownie. My toddler gobbled up his entire cookie and begged for mine. The train conductor walked around at this point and punched our Golden Tickets. He punched an O for my son on his ticket, which was fun! Then, the chefs came around with hot chocolate, which again was pretty tasty. My toddler did end up spilling some on me and my diaper bag, but thankfully we had napkins to quickly clean it up.
Then, they passed out song books with 15 Christmas carols in them. My husband and I looked at each other hoping we wouldn't be singing ALL of them and thankfully the train passengers decided to just sing Frosty the Snowman. It was a fun way to end our train ride! The collected the song books and the announcer mentioned that this event was run mostly by volunteers and that this was their biggest fundraiser of the year. It was perfect timing, as our next stop was the North Pole which had some opportunities to donate more money.
The North Pole was inside the Roundhouse at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park and was filled with fun activities for the whole family! The mini train that we rode around the park in the summer was now inside and ran around Santa and Mrs. Claus. That was the first line we got into because it moved quickly and our toddler was just too excited. The mini train was decorated and did two laps around lots of holiday train decorations.
After our train ride, we headed to the Ice Cave, which was new this year. Inside, they had a bouncy house, a climbable train that is usually outside, mini golf and a train where kids could pull the whistle. Our son just wanted to do the whistle a few times and then head back in for another mini train ride.
We got in line to see Santa after the line had quieted down. It was a slow line, so my husband stayed in line while I took my toddler on the mini train one last time. My husband was able to wave at us as we passed him on the train. We spent the next few minutes chatting with other people in line and then it was our turn. It was cool because we had to cross the train tracks to get to Santa and wait at the Train Crossing sign (which is amazing if you are a 3-year-old who loves trains,)
Santa was at the end of his shift, but didn't make us feel rushed. We were able to get both boys on Santa's lap and then just our toddler on Mrs. Claus' lap. They didn't have a photographer, but they did have an elf who would take photos with our camera. We opted to just have the boys since they were in their Christmas jammies. Mrs. Claus gave both boys a silver bell (like the one from The Polar Express) and we were on our way.
At this point, everyone was cleaning up. We had been at the event for 2.5 hours and didn't even do all the activities. They had an area to write letters to Santa (and he will reply back), cookie decorating, wooden train building (for $10 donation) a curtained-off area to watch the movie The Polar Express and a whole area upstairs we didn't even see. Now we'll have more things to do next year.
The walk back to our car was tricky. It was really dark and the parking attendants were gone, so we had a hard time figuring out how to get to the parking lot without falling in puddles or slipping on the mud. Thankfully we had flashlights on our phones.
The drive back to Vancouver was a bit nerve-wracking. The Sea to Sky Highway is gorgeous during the day, but can be scary in the wind, rain and dark. It winds a lot. Let's just say the Road to Hana was much less stressful.
My husband and I were truly impressed how friendly the staff and volunteers were and we felt very taken care of throughout the entire event. It was organized beautifully! Not only do we plan on coming back for The Polar Express next year, but we are also curious how their Day Out With Thomas differs from the one in Snoqualmie, WA.
7 Tips for The Polar Express
As a Mom of a toddler, my "uniform" usually consists of yoga pants and some sort of sweatshirt. We like to be out and about and he's always on the go, so it's important that I'm comfortably able to play with him on the floor or run around with him at the park. But, sometimes I feel a bit boring in my "uniform" and want to pop some fun back into my wardrobe. That's where LuLaRoe fits in!
I first discovered LuLaRoe when I was just 3 months pregnant. I was feeling bloated and could barely squeeze into my yoga pants because the waistbands all seemed to hit me at the worst spot. I tried on a pair of LuLaRoe leggings and was surprised that I was able to pull them up to my natural waist, alleviating the rubber band feeling around my expanding tummy. And, they came in bright, fun prints! They were perfect for my first and second trimester and I looked forward to rocking them post-pregnancy.
LuLaRoe is always coming out with new styles and designs. My friend Stacy sent me a Carly dress in the middle of my 3rd trimester and it was so nice to wear something that wasn't technically "maternity" but totally worked! I liked to belt it when I wore it out and about because it showed off my bump. At home, I usually went without a belt and just enjoyed not feeling restricted. It was also a great dress to nap in!
I also appreciated that the Carly dress was something I could wear immediately after giving birth and could be a staple in my closet. I live in Seattle and it's necessary to wear leggings under dresses most of the year. I love the neural color of my Carly dress because it's easy to pair it with black leggings for a more subdued look or I can add a pop of color! I've even paired it with skinny jeans (both maternity jeans and regular jeans.)
The Carly dress also works wonderfully underneath a babywearing wrap. I like to wear my baby, but not all clothing works well under a wrap. I like to use my Happy Wrap because it's nice and stretchy and is the right thickness to be comfortable with my Carly dress. I don't feel too warm.
I've also been able to breastfeed while wearing the Carly. I like to wear a nursing cami underneath (usually my Bravado one) and pair with leggings or yoga pants. Then, I just pull up the dress and pull down my nursing cami and we're all set!
Stacy even sent Owen a shirt to try out and he loves how soft it is! I like that it's a good layering piece (especially in our Seattle weather) and it's comfy enough to wear as lounge wear around the house. Sometimes we use it as a pajama top. LuLaRoe offers many colors that are gender neutral. I usually throw this shirt into my diaper bag because it rolls up nicely and compactly.
To see what other LuLaRoe goodies are available, check out Stacy's VIP LuLaRoe Shopping Page.
LuLaRoe products were sent for review purposes.
I'm a mom to a 3-year-old and a baby. We believe in traveling as a family as soon as possible and sharing our tips and tricks with other families!