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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tiny Towne Review ~ Atlanta Family Fun Destination




This week David & I were very excited to visit Tiny Towne in Norcross, GA.  I heard about it from a friend and it sounded like a cool place. I checked out their website and discovered it's a large indoor "edu-tainment" complex where kids from ages 3 - 15 learn all about the rules of driving and being safe on the road. They get to drive cars (different sizes according to their age).  Tiny Towne believes learning should be fun, and strives to inspire the next generation of safer drivers! I love the idea of David learning about safety and driving rules while he is still young.  This is the first Tiny Towne location in America.  According to the website, there is a similar driving edu-tainment park in Lebanon called Rio City, and based on its success, they brought the concept to America.  So glad it is close to us!

David's Driver's Permit

I wasn't sure what to expect, but when we arrived David got his driver's permit, and we were given a wonderful tour of Tiny Towne by Rebecca.  It really is like a town, with streets, red lights, stop signs, etc.  Rebecca introduced us to Pierre Maalouf, the founder of Tiny Towne and I told him I think this is the coolest kids place ever! Kids won't even realize how much they are learning - they just think they are having fun!

On our tour we discovered two "street" tracks - one for younger kids, and one for kids 57" and taller. Circling these tracks are painted train tracks, for the train kids can hop on and ride around the "towne", finishing up with a trip through a tunnel! Towards the back of the building you'll find a large computer classroom with touch screen computers. It is just perfect for field trips, and they also have several party rooms.  I hope to set up a field trip for some of our fellow k12.com homeschool families here this Fall.

                                             Tracks from the viewing deck

Classroom


Party Rooms


At the front of the building there are simulators for testing the older kids before they actually drive on the tracks.  There is also an area where the bigger kids take a computer test that they must pass with 100% correct answers before driving. Don't worry, little kids don't have to test!  Tiny Towne has a cute "Carcade" game room too.  Upstairs (actually over the tunnel) is a comfortably furnished deck for parents to sit and watch their drivers navigate the tracks.  And when you want to take a break from all the fun and learning, there is a nice restaurant called The Grill where you can order lunch or a snack.


Simulators

                                                                 The Carcade

Viewing Deck


The Grill - a great spot for a quick meal or a snack!


As mentioned above, David had to take a written test first.  It took him 4 or 5 tries to get 100%,  but he was learning with each retest so it didn't take long to ace it!  There were park benches nearby for parents to wait.  Next he had to spend time on one of the simulators up front. Pierre helped get him started on that.   It was like a video game, but more realistic.  He learned to shift, use the turn signal, use the rear view mirror to check for traffic, and then how to maintain speed.  He did a great job, so next it was time for a smart cart on the track!

Learning on the simulator, with help from Founder Pierre Maalouf


He went out on the track and I went up on the deck to check out his skills! I was pleasantly surprised - he did a great job! I really like that they have realistic street signs, traffic lights, and even police officers patroling the streets of Tiny Towne.  And yes, you can get a ticket! (Luckily, David didn't!)  After about 20 minutes of driving, we spent time having fun - playing air hockey and other games in the Carcade.  By then it was past lunch time, so we grabbed some tasty sandwiches and chips over at The Grill. They had a variety of foods that kids will enjoy (pasta, sandwiches, pizza) plus salads, appetizers and desserts.







To sum up our wonderful day of learning and fun at Tiny Towne ~ we love it and plan to go back after school starts! It's a unique learning experience for kids and parents will enjoy themselves too.  Thanks for having us for the day, Tiny Towne

Tiny Towne offers yearly membership options, and you can read about driving for each age group here.   Admission to Tiny Towne complex is free, but attraction prices vary. To find out prices, hours, and directions, click here

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Please use the twitter and facebook share buttons at the top of this post to share this review with your friends! Let's spread the word about this great new attraction in Gwinnett County! Thanks for stopping by!

Disclosure: David received free track time and tokens to allow us to visit Tiny Towne for this review. No other compensation was received, and opinions stated above are 100% my own! 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Have you heard about Bloominous DIY Wedding Flowers?



My friend Denise and I are hosting a bridal shower for Katie in September, and we've found some amazing things out there thanks to google and pinterest!  I'll have a post up soon with some of our favorite ideas soon, but one that really stands out is Bloominous.  Wow - what a fresh concept!   They make it super-easy for brides (or anyone who will is entertaining, for that matter) to decorate with beautiful, cut-to-order fresh flowers.


Bloominous Floral Kits come to you straight from the farm, de-thorned, trimmed & ready to arrange. They offer several collections, including Country Charm (with sunflowers) & Vintage Cottage (pale pink roses and other delicate flowers - pictured above).  You can even order a trial kit which will give you the chance to make a centerpiece and a bouquet before the big day.



Bloominous offers step-by-step photo instruction cards for you to follow, and everything is included in your kit to make the bouquet or centerpiece perfect! It's not just flowers, they give you the whole look - tape, lace, ribbon, container, etc. No more trips to the florist AND the craft store to pick up all that you need.  And each collection is designed with the DIY bride in mind - they offer easy-to-arrange flowers so you can complete each piece in about 15 minutes.  You can order & make bouquets for the bride and bridesmaid, boutonnieres, and more. It just doesn't get any easier than this!  And no one will ever guess you did it yourself! They have seriously gorgeous flowers!




Best of all - what you see is what you get. There are no last minute surprises! They suggest you have your flowers delivered two days before your event so they are fresh and beautiful.




Bloominous offers a 100% Fresh Quality Guarantee.  You can find out more here.  I hope you love these flower kits as much as I do!  I'm hoping we can do a centerpiece or two for Katie's shower using their amazing flowers.  The price is can't be beat!

You can find Bloominous online: Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter




(I received a gift card in exchange for sharing my opinions about Bloominous and their service.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions are my own and were not influenced by compensation received.)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A delicious way to use up all that squash from your garden!

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A few weeks ago, Katie shared some extra zucchini and yellow squash with me.  I wanted to try something new, so I googled a ton of recipes.  None of the recipes were "just right" for us. (Remember my picky eater?)  I finally tweaked/combined a couple of different recipes to make our own dip/spread that turned out to be incredible!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Daytrip Destination ~ Goats on the Roof in Tiger, GA

Looking for a fun daytrip for the kiddos in Atlanta? Take a short ride up 985 to Tiger, GA and visit Goats on the Roof!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Lego Movie Blu-Ray Giveaway (CLOSED)


If you have kids, chances are that they love everything about LEGOS! I know David does, even at age 10. He has totes full of thousands of LEGO bricks and enjoys pulling them out to build all kinds of things. LEGOS rock!  Did your family see the LEGO movie earlier this year?   David saw it twice, and would have happily seen it again. It is a great movie that the whole family can enjoy together. We are so excited it is finally out for us to watch at home, since it was released on Blu-ray this week! It's an instant family classic.