Tag Archives: family travel

Haunted Halloween Activities for the Whole Family

Haunted Halloween Activities for the Whole Family

This post may contain affiliate links or sponsored content.  Please know that all opinions are honestly conveyed and are mine alone.

Fall is probably my favorite time of year.  I just love everything about it: the hayrides, apple picking, and trips to the pumpkin patch so many things that my family  enjoys together every year!  But of course, with Halloween just around the corner, taking in a few haunted Halloween activities for the whole family is a lot of fun too!

And recently, we did just that.  We took a weekend trip to Lake Erie Shores & Islands and had a blast!

Our reason for going, was for more than just a family get-a-way, this was also a celebration of our oldest son’s 12th birthday!  Instead of having a birthday party this year, Chase wanted to go to Cedar Point.  Living in Ohio, we have been to Cedar Point before, but I wanted to make this visit a little more special, since this time we are celebrating a birthday, so I started planning… that’s when I found Lake Erie Shores and Islands Welcome Center.  Even if you are familiar with this area, you may not know all of the great events and destinations that are available.  I was so glad to work with the great people at the visitor’s center to find out about other attractions that we could visit on our weekend mini vacay.  While I got a lot of the information online at ShoresandIslands.com, there are two visitor centers in the area as well, so we decided to stop by…

There are lots of brochures, maps of the area, and of course, very useful information from the local perspective by those working at the visitor center.


To really get in the haunted Halloween mood, we kicked the weekend off by heading to Ghostly Manor Thrill Center.  This thrill center is probably not like any other that you’ve ever been to; this family entertainment center has been featured in The Travel Channel’s “Best Places I’ve Ever Been.”  And if you are brave enough, you can journey through one of the scariest haunted houses in the country— rated one of Forbes top 10 haunted attractions (this is only recommended for ages 10 and up).

Chase wanted to go through the haunted house, so my husband went with him… and I took our two younger sons to the not-at-all scary play zone.

So in case your family has some younger ones that don’t want to be scared, there are lots of other activities too!

We watched a 3D movie in the XD Theater, played 3D black light mini golf, and the boys even went through the new laser maze!  Oh, and they also have an Escape Room that is now open!



After we had a few hours of fun at Ghostly Manor, we decided to head back to the hotel for the evening, so the kids could swim.  We don’t have a pool at home, so anytime we are on vacation, we always have to stay at a hotel with a nice pool!  The Comfort Inn Sandusky had an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a sauna, and hot tub— so the kids were in heaven!  And as great as the amenities were, the room is probably what the kids liked the best.  It was a huge open room with three double beds!  This may not sound like much, but when you have a family of five, someone is usually sleeping on a roll-away bed or a pull-out sofa— and we all know how uncomfortable those can be!  So for everyone to get to sleep in a comfy bed was really nice.  And the rates were very affordable (only $100/night this time of year)… as a money savvy mom, that was probably my favorite part!

Amusement for the day…

Cedar Point is probably the best place I can think to go for thrill rides.  Roller coaster after roller coaster awaits!  According to Golden Ticket Awards, Cedar Point has four roller coasters that rank in the top 25 steel coasters in the world!  Yes, we’ve ridden them all—and they don’t disappoint!


But the thrills don’t just stop with the coasters.  In the fall, you can visit Cedar Point for Halloweekends—and experience scary thrills as well!

During the day, you won’t really see it, but at dusk, the spooky starts to happen, as costumed cast members dressed-to-scare begin appearing throughout the park.

Halloweekends Cast Member. Photo courtesy of Joe Schaaf

If you have little ones with you or just don’t want to have a cast member jump out at you after dark, you can buy a green light-up pumpkin to indicate that you don’t want to participate in the scaring…

There are also lots of fun fall decorations and a parade in the afternoon featuring your favorite characters from the Peanuts, so there is plenty for the kids to enjoy all day long.


What haunted Halloween activities will you and your family do this year?


#TravelOhio #LakeErieLove





Things to Take on Your Disney Vacation + Printable Checklist

Things to Take on Your Disney Vacation + Printable Checklist

Things to take on Your Disney Vacation + Printable Checklist // Money Savvy Living

Planning your Disney vacation can be exciting and overwhelming!  There are so many resort options and restaurants to choose from, you need to figure out how those fast passes work and how to make those reservations, so it may be easy to forget some of the small things that you will want to take on your vacation.

So we are going to go over a few things that you will want to make sure that you take on your next trip to Disney:

Things to take on Your Disney Vacation + Printable Checklist // Money Savvy Living

Reservation Info

Make sure you have all your hotel, airline, car rental, and any other reservations that you have made.  You can put the reservation info into a special email folder, input it into the notes on your smartphone, or just print out the papers, but make sure that you have access to it once you are on your way!

If you have purchased your tickets or Magic Bands ahead of time, you will certainly need those.  Obviously, if you haven’t purchased your tickets ahead of time, some hotels offer concierge services and you can get your tickets there rather than waiting in line once you get to the parks.

Fast Pass info… did you know that you can actually book your Fast Passes online (or download the Disney app)?  If you are staying at a Disney resort, you can book your Fast Passes up to 60 days ahead of your scheduled arrival.  If you are staying somewhere other than Disney property, you can book your Fast Passes up to 30 days ahead of time.  Take into consideration where the rides are located in proximity to each other and decide which rides you really want to go on before you schedule your times…

Fun in the Sun Necessities

Your trip to Disney is probably going to be filled with lots of sunshine, so don’t forget too take sunglasses, sunscreen, and a spray water bottle so you can cool yourself and your kids off with a little mist of cool air… if you have the mist bottle with a little fan, that’s even better!  *You can probably pick one of these up for a few dollars at Walmart, but if you wait until you get to the parks to buy one, but you will pay quite a bit more.

But just in case it is not so sunny while you are there, you will want to pick up some cheap, disposable ponchos at the dollar store ahead of time.  Again, if you don’t have these and need to buy them at the parks, it will cost you…

Bring Your Own Disney Magic

If you kids like to dress up like their favorite Disney character, you can probably pick one up at a discount store or online for a lot less than buying it there.  I also found a great tip about buying glow-in-the dark stuff from Hannah over at Eat, Drink, and Save Money, for when the sun goes down at Disney at the dollar store instead of buying the more expensive, in-park items… because I know that when my kids see the other kids with their glow-in-the dark stuff, they are going to want some…

Snacks and Water

Since you are allowed to bring drinks and snacks into the parks, make sure to bring a nice stash- especially if you are planning to stay all day.  Even if you plan to eat meals at the parks, it doesn’t hurt to help keep your little ones satisfied in between meals without having to buy an expensive snack.  Also make sure to bring an insulated cool pack to keep those snacks and drinks nice and cold.

Disney Vacation Printable Checklist // Money Savvy Living