Black Friday Experience Sales 2020

I can't believe it's the week of Thanksgiving! 2020 has been a crazy year, but it still has flown by. I used to love Black Friday when you had to get up at 4 a.m. and run through the stores, but in the past few years it's been earlier and earlier. I don't like the idea of it being Thanksgiving night, so I'm happy to share some Black Friday deals that you can grab online this week! You can always catch these and other sales on our discount page. 

My Gym: for new and returning members, the more you prepay right now, the more money off. You save up to 30% off. See discounts page for more specific codes!

Hunt Club Farm: Currently selling their family four pack for $120, usually $159. This includes access to the brand new TreeWalk Adventure, which we love. 

Jungle Golf: Currently running a special on 2021 season passes, usually $175, on sale for $150. Good for two people for a calendar year. 

Escape Room Virginia Beach: Selling gift vouchers for 50% off with code 50GIFTY

iFly: Selling packages up to 40% off on their website currently. Flights start at ages 3 and up for those more adventures than mine! 

Nauticus: November 28th, #SmallBusinessSaturday: Head to the Banana Pier Gift Shop, first floor of Nauticus, to receive 25% off holiday ornaments! November 29th, #MuseumShopSunday: Receive a free gift with purchase (in store only, while supplies last)! November 30th, #CyberMonday: Free shipping for all gift shop online sales. Browse today:
CYBER MONDAY BONUS: We're offering the BIGGEST sale on Nauticus MEMBERSHIPS... just in time for the holidays! Gift yourself or a loved one a year-long adventure (plus feel all the feels knowing every membership purchased supports our foundation) for 25% off with the promo code: CyberMon (valid 11/30 only).

Family Fun Xperience VaBeach: Code is FUNFRIDAY for this weekend only. Redeem at

SubZero Nitrogen Ice Cream: 
  • Friday 11/27 Only: Buy $20 in gift cards, Get 2 Free Create Your Own (CYO) Ice Creams redeemable same day. 
  • After Friday 11/27 Until Christmas: Buy $20 in gift cards, Get 1 Free CYO Ice Cream.
  • Offer Details: Gift Cards cannot be used same day. Free ice cream can be redeemed for small CYO same day or another day with card received from cashier. Mix-ins extra. Not redeemable for cash.

Katie's Kickers: From now until December 24th, Buy a $500 giftcard, get $50. Buy a $1,000, get an extra $150. Email for more details. 

WinterFest on the Wisconsin

New this year is WinterFest on the Wisconsin in downtown Norfolk. Almost 300,00 lights brighten up the harbor and usher in some holiday cheer. Walking onto the pier, you're greeted by the sounds of live music as you follow a one way path onto the ship. Be advised, strollers are not allowed on board, and I would bring your carrier because in order to see the parts inside the ship you do need to climb. 

Tickets are timed on the hour with tree lighting ceremonies at 5:30 and 7:00. On Saturdays at 6:00 there is a lighted sailboat parade. There are regular elf and Santa sightings also. 

The deck of the ship is beautiful, and the live entertainment is great, but what impressed me most was the inside of the ship. Families are spaced out to ensure social distancing, and each room has a bit of a different theme. Be sure to look in each nook and cranny for all of the different elf scenes. 

The event is open until New Year's Eve and is closed on Christmas Day. Times begin at 4 p.m. and tickets must be purchased online. Nauticus members get in free during opening weekend, and they receive a discount on the other nights. Geico Insurance Policy Holders get a $1.00 discount on one ticket. On Monday, December 21, all active duty service members receive free admission. Food and drink are available for purchase. Masks are required for ages 5 and older. 

This is the first time I've felt some sort of normalcy since March. While we were wearing masks, and everyone was spaced out, doing something new and fun felt so good. While I'm sad that Charles Dickens' Christmas Towne isn't back for its normal run, I'm thrilled to see something new in downtown Norfolk, and I'm excited to see if it stays around following the pandemic! 

Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream

Science takes on a whole new meaning at Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream. When you visit, you'll pick your cream, flavor, and add ins. Then you watch as nitrogen freezes up your treats at -321 degrees. According to their signage, the faster ice cream freezes, the creamier it is, making this the creamiest ice cream around. Also, here's a fun fact.  Liquid nitrogen is three times colder than the coldest place on Earth. 

Sub Zero also does STEM education at schools, clubs, and even birthday parties. Low fast, sugar free, lactose free, and vegan options are available.  I think I heard somewhere that the calories don't count if they are in the name of science! 

The Friday 5 v.2

Five links for today and the is going to be cold, but lots of holiday cheer happening including Winter Fest at Nauticus. Check our Facebook for a giveaway! 

Enjoy the weekend! 

These 14 Places In Virginia Are Exciting And They Don’t Cost Anything I always say, if it's free, it's for me!

Study reveals: The more you hug your kids, the more their brains develop All the hugs! 

Mom Illustrates What Raising Kids Is Like In 30 Honest Comics 

This Sweet Donut Bar

Throw Your Top Sheet In The Trash, please forgive me mom but.... TRUE.

Virginia Tech Display Gardens

The Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center sits on Diamond Springs Road and while that might sound very fancy to us, what it means for kids is another place to explore. In front of the center is a display and testing garden where researchers test different plants to see their reaction in our environment. 
The gardens are open seven days a week from dawn until dusk. There is no cost to enter, but beware that parking is limited. Examples of rain gardens and buffer zone demonstrations can be seen, but also more familiar bog gardens, shrubs, trees, and fragrant smells. 
There is also a bridge over a koi pond, gazebos, paths to walk, and some garden art to look at. With all of this beautiful weather we have been having, it's nice to have a new outdoor place to explore! 

Amazing Athletes & Amazing Tots

New to Norfolk, but with history in Hampton Roads, the Amazing Athletes program helps kids learn a little about different sports. Amazing Tots, for ages 18 months - 2.5 years is a 25 minute program that focuses on skills like throwing, jumping, and running while introducing them to sports like basketball, soccer, and volleyball. The program incorporates color recognition, shapes, letter identification, and reinforces action vocabulary. If it's got running or a ball, my youngest loves it. Parents do offer some support in this class, and like anything with 18 months old, it can be running around and chaos... in a good way! 

The Amazing Athletes is for ages 2.5 - 6 and introduces children to a range of skills and sports in a noncompetitive environment. Kids focus on balancing, running, jumping, throwing, catching, and kicking through the introduction of different weekly sports.
Right now classes are offered at Norfolk Indoor Sports Turf in the Ghent area of Norfolk. Online classes, birthday parties, and private classes are also available. For more information, or to sign up (they prorate, and there are a few spots left) check out their website here. Temperature checks are taken prior to class and adults must wear masks. Kids are spaced on dots and keep their own ball for the duration of the class. 

Top Golf

 Neil and I had been to Top Golf on a date night, and we had been with friends, but it wasn't until we took the boys to Glow Golf  that I ever considered taking the boys. Top Golf, with its individual bays divided by plastic, might be one of the easiest places to social distance right now. 

Many don't know this, but Top Golf has toddler and children's clubs, and they hold lessons for all ages. We picked the boys up from school and went during the afternoon and there were lots of other kids around. Huge crowd pleasers were when it got dark enough for the lights around each hole to turn on and when the cart that collects the balls got hit. My boys loved both.

Taking a one year old to Top Golf requires some juggling, but is doable! Little R liked chasing the balls when they came out of the dispenser and was particularly excited to put them on the tee. Also the soft pretzel bites were a huge hit. RT isn't going to be the the next Tiger Woods, but he had a good time and has already asked to go back. Head there on a Tuesday for half price play or use a military or first responder discount other days! 

The Friday 5

Five links to get you through this Friday! Enjoy! 

7 Creative Activities to Distract Your Toddler

Mom Invents ‘F*cket Bucket,’ A Cleaning Method For Your Kids’ Stuff

Holy Crap, I Can't Believe These Are Real-Life Craft Rooms

Dear Holiday Season, We Need You More This Year Than Ever

‘Golden Girls’ Granny Panties Are Apparently A Thing Now

Top 5 Board Games for Little Kids

I sway back and forth on the spectrum of how strict I am on screen time, but as a general rule I try to limit it. One way to keep my kids away from the screens when its dark out is to incorporate board games. Games are great for math skills, taking turns, teamwork, focus, and how to be gracious loser. The difficult part is finding games that work for little kids. We started incorporating games in as young as three years old and now at four RT is playing even more. Here are our favorite in no particular order. 

As a kid my dad and I played Chutes and Ladders over... and over... and over. Its marked ages three and up and super easy to play. All kids need to be able to do is count to six. 

A counting game where you take or give fruits, Hi Ho Cherry-o is a staple game for this age. One of my friends had this as a kid and we spent many weekend afternoons playing it sprawled out on her living room floor. 

Of course no list would be complete with everybody's favorite, Candy Land. Easy, colorful, fun, and full of sweets.


We were gifted Break The Ice from a coworker leaving the classroom, and it could not have come at a better time for us. The object of the game is to use the little ice picks and knock out ice cubes without making the penguin in the middle fall. I can't tell you the number of times we have played this game. Ours spent years in a classroom and now is around lots of three and four year old boys and is still holding up. Seriously. Buy this game! 

We love the Goodnight, Goodnight Construction site book series, and this matching game for ages 2-4 is great too. The illustrations in this entire series are so fun. Matching games are great because you can take out sets of cards to make it easier or use the full set to make it more difficult. It's a game that can grow as the kids do. 

With cold weather coming, these will be on rotation in our house! They make great gifts too. Enjoy!