Tuesday, May 26, 2015

5/22/15: TouchTomorrow at WPI STEM Event

Both my husband and I graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and I am beyond excited to share a wonderful event they will be holding on their campus for families.  On June 13th will be holding the Fourth Annual TouchTomorrow.  This event is a festival of science, technology, and robots!  Plus this event is FREE!
This hands-on family event will have lots of interactive activities from WPI, WGBH and NASA!  There will even be an astronaut there.  Steven Swanson will be there.  You can even take a picture in an astronaut suit.  I will be making sure I do this.  I worked at NASA when I was in college at WPI as an Aerospace Engineering student.  I even met Sally Ride when I worked there.
I am a FIRST Robotics judge so I love anything with robots.  My son and daughter have come to some of the FIRST Competitions and also love playing with robots.  In fact my son took a LEGO Robotics after school class and loved it.
WGBH will create a multimedia experience for the festival, which will feature exhibits for students and STEM enthusiasts of all ages, as well as personal appearances by popular WGBH characters. 
There are so many cool activities that families will be able to participate in that day including:
Help operate a rover at the Be-A-Bot 2.0 exhibit.
Take a photo in a NASA spacesuit.
Play on a model of the lunar floor.
Take a turn with the extravehicular activity (EVA) glove box used by astronauts.
Get “rolled over” by the Roll-Over-Rover.
Learn about spacesuit design through vacuum chamber experiments.
Learn about WPI research on human-robot interaction, surgical robots, inter-vehicular networking, unmanned aerial vehicles, biomechanics, intelligent tutors, and other cutting-edge fields.
See WPI student project work in robotics, renewable energy, assistive technology, game design, architectural engineering, and other areas.
“Kinect” with a NASA virtual robot.
Command the NASA Marcbot.
See a model of the Mars Rover “Curiosity” 
The TouchTomorrow festival is on Saturday, June 13, 2015, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on the WPI Campus, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, Mass. 
For more information on TouchTomorrow events and activities, including schedules and maps and the Sample Return Robot Challenge, visit www.touchtomorrow.wpi.edu.
Disclosure:  I was provided compensation for this post.  As always all opinions are my own.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

5/21/15: Win 2 Tickets to Water Country in Portsmouth NH!

We are so close to summer that I can taste the grilled hot dogs, and start to feel the sun on my face.  Of course summer is meant for fun, and water fun is the best.  I am giving you a chance to win 2 tickets to Water Country in Portsmouth, NH!
My whole family loves it at Water Country and I am so excited to share this chance with my readers.

There is so much there to do with 26-acres of kids attractions and rides.  There is an awesome family slide that we love.  Cabanas to relax in and so much more.
There are so many slides for all types.  You don't need to be a thrill seeker to go on. My kids love these slides.
They also love the whirlpool pool.
Lauren gives Water Country two enthusiastic thumbs up.
But if you are a thrill seeker there is plenty for you too.
You go down on a mat.
This slide was really fun.  Lauren and I went on it together as you can ride two in a tube.
This is the double tube you ride down in.
Here we are in the Adventure River.  I personally like this best.
The kids giving me a pose.
Check out this cool slide.  This is Dr. Von Dark's Tunnel of Terror.
There are a few kids areas.  Here is one for smaller children.
Here is a Pirate area.
It is such an awesome place to spend the day.
I highly suggest going.
So gorgeous.
Head there this summer and have some fun!  Enter below to win 2 tickets.
Disclosure:  I received a family four pack of passes to Water Country in exchange for this post.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

5/20/15: New England Revolution and the Santander Soccer Scholars Program

Evan loves playing soccer and has recently become really interested in watching sports.  To celebrate his birthday weekend we were lucky enough to take him to a New England Revolution game complete with VIP Field Passes and a seat in the Santander Suite.  Read on to learn how you can win a VIP Experience for your child.
The kids were very excited to be on the field for practice before the game.
Evan was thrilled to be so close up to the players.  He had just played a Travel Soccer game with many close calls where he almost made goals. 
 It is amazing how athletic these guys are.  The field is so big to run back and forth.
 The kids also got to meet Slyde the Fox who is the Mascot for the New England Revolution.
We then headed up to the Santander Bank Suite which was amazing.

What an awesome view plus private rest room.

Slyde also enjoyed the view from the Suite.

What I learned when I was there is that Santander Bank N.A. and the New England Revolution are launching a second consecutive Santander Soccer Scholars program.  The program gives New England youth the chance to win a unique VIP Match Day experience with the Revolution in recognition of their academic achievement.  
New this year, Santander has partnered with Revolution forward and New England native Charlie Davies, who will serve as the champion and official face of the 2015 Santander Soccer Scholars program.  
Davies, who hails from Manchester, New Hampshire, attended Boston College, where he thrived not only on the pitch, but also in the classroom before beginning a professional career that has seen him play in France, Sweden and Denmark as well as in MLS while also appearing for the U.S. National Team. “Growing up, my parents, teachers and coaches taught me how important it was to be a well-rounded student athlete, so it is incredibly rewarding to be involved in a program like Santander Soccer Scholars that underscores that same message,” said Davies. 
“I’m excited to partner with Santander to help honor the achievements of New England’s youth.” 
To participate in the Santander Soccer Scholars program, parents are invited to submit up to 100 words highlighting their child’s finest academic accomplishments from the 2014-2015 school year to www.revolutionsoccer.net/santander-soccer-scholars between April 7 and October 1, 2015.  
The parent will be entered to win the opportunity for the child to participate in a VIP Match Day experience.  Each winner, selected at random, will receive four tickets to a designated match, one parking pass, and a photo opportunity with Charlie Davies. 
Depending on their age, winning children will also have the chance to serve as an Official MLS Ball Kid, be the ball carrier or participate on the Revolution Dream Team, where they will walk onto the field with the Revolution starting lineup and stand with the players during the national anthem. 
It is so awesome being right in the middle of the action and slapping hands with all the players. 
For more information on the Santander Soccer Scholars program, visit www.revolutionsoccer.net/santander-soccer-scholars.  Parents who are residents of the six New England States (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT).  
Limit one entry per child.  Contest is open now and ends on October 1, 2015 at 5:00 p.m.  To be eligible for the Santander Soccer Scholars sweepstakes, children must be between the ages of six and 17.  Winners will be selected at random. 
Make sure to enter and give your child the chance at a once in a lifetime experience!
What an awesome night at Gillette Stadium!
Follow the New England Revolution online:
Twitter:  @NErevolution #NERevsGame #SoccerScholars @SantanderBankUS
Disclosure:  I received 4 tickets to the game, seats in the Santander Suite, gift bag and VIP Field Passes for review purposes.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

5/19/15: Evan's Ultimate Birthday Party at Merrimack Valley Pavilion

Every year we struggle trying to figure out a place to have the kids birthday parties.  This year I asked Evan where he wanted to have his 10th birthday party and without even a second thought he yelled Merrimack Valley Pavilion!  If you have not been there you are missing out.  It is fun for kids and adults.
We selected the MVP Ultimate Party which is 2 and a half hours and includes a Laser Tag Game, Mini Golf, a jumbo slice of pizza, unlimited fountain drinks, use of a private party room, 20 arcade tokens for each guest, 35 tokens for the birthday child, make your own sundae, all paper goods, utensils and cups.  
You can see all party options here.
The first 20 minutes they let the kids trickle in before going in to the laser tag game.
 The kids headed in to the arcade game area and started using their tokens.
I chose to make little Minecraft bags for all the kids and put their names on them so that they could store their tickets.  They didn't have time to put their tickets in to the machine and get a print out of how many tickets they have so this was a good way to have all of their tickets organized.
 Here you can see the bags I made up close.
Here you can see some of the arcade games.
 The boys love the racing games.
 Here are the girls having fun.  
 Shooting games are always a big hit.
Then they were called for the laser tag game.  Time to have some fun.  They were first brought in to a room to watch a quick video with the rules of the game.  They then move to another room and get their vests that are randomly set to the blue or red team.  Evan really wanted to be on a team with one of his friends and the girls wanted to be together so we made some quick switches which was just the MVP person changing their colors.
 They were armed and ready to go!
Here you can see a cool boat in the laser tag area.
 Lauren shooting.  They play for 15 minutes then get brought back in to a separate room to see their scores and then randomize the teams again and go back in for the second 15 minute round.
 Cool guy in the laser tag area.
 The whole area is black lighted.
 Here you can see the Laser Tag vests.
The kids had so much fun!
Then we headed back in to our party room for food.  We started out with pizza.  They also give you options for what drinks you want.  I never like giving kids soda so I opted for the Blue Powerade and Fruit Punch.  Plus they also give a pitcher of water.  They refill these also.  Our party coordinator did an awesome job and checked in on us frequently.  The manager was also checking in on us.
After that we had cake.  I had made a Minecraft cake.  I love making cakes and I thought this one came out super cute.
 Evan ready to blow out the candles on the cake.
Here you can see a closer picture of the cake.
Then it was time to make their own sundaes.  The birthday coordinator went around earlier in the party and asked them what type of ice cream they wanted.  Then they could head over to the toppings bar and add to their creation.
 Yum!
 So much fun and yummy.
Then the kids headed over to pick out their prizes from their tickets.
 Here you can see the prizes.
It was such a beautiful day and perfect for mini golf.  If the weather doesn't cooperate you also have the option to do two laser tag games.
Lovely!
The kids were excited to play.  Of course there were a few balls that landed in the water but we were able to rescue them.
It is so pretty there.
 We split up the kids in to two teams of 4 and a team of 2 with the girls.
 The girls having fun.
They also will be opening a ropes course very soon.  It is fully built they are just waiting for final approval.  This area will be $6 per person for two loops or a maximum of 30 minutes and is recommended for kids 4-12.
 Love this picture in the cave looking out.  One of the mini golf holes is in here.
This area is so much fun.
There is also a nice seating area that looks on to the mini golf course.
Here is another view.
 Evan had an awesome party!  Everyone had a blast!
 I highly suggest checking out Merrimack Pavilion!  It is an awesome place to go for a day or for an event.
Find Merrimack Valley Pavilion online here:  http://www.playatmvp.com/
They are at 2087 Main Street, Tewksbury, MA
Twitter: @playatmvp

Disclosure:  I received a discount on our Birthday Party at Merrimack Valley Pavilion.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.