Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament + NJ Giveaway

Does anyone else feel like their time in the kitchen increases exponentially between Thanksgiving and Christmas? I’m pretty sure mine does. I like cooking for the family, and I really enjoy whipping up cookies and cakes and holiday treats, but sometimes I just need to catch a break.

I recently baked about a million cookies and decided to load my family into the car for dinner rather than stand over that stove another minute. Since it was a Sunday afternoon, instead of shuffling everyone into the nearest restaurant we decided to mix things up and add a little entertainment to our meal. We went straight to the Medieval Times in Lyndhurst, NJ!

Medieval Times Knights

If you’re not familiar with Medieval Times, it’s a fun, family-friendly dinner attraction based on 11th century feasts and tournaments. Guests at the event are offered a delicious four-course banquet and are treated to a jousting tournament between six knights on horses (each seating area cheers for a different knight). The dinner and event last an exciting two hours.

Medieval Times King and Princess

I had been to Medieval Times in the past, but this is the first time I took my children, and it really was an awesome experience for all of us. They loved the meal, but they were completely transfixed with the show. It was the first time they had seen jousting and sword fighting in person, and they were pretty much in heaven. We even bought them some glow swords, and they haven’t stopped playing with them yet. (In fact, I saw a little crossover fight between a sword and a lightsaber yesterday. I love my kids so much). The show even includes live falcons, which is pretty amazing. Honestly, Medieval Times is a great time whether or not you bring the kids. One of my previous visits was for a friend’s birthday party, and she was turning 29. It really is fun for any age or occasion!

Horses at Medieval Times

We had The Royalty Package, which includes tickets to the show, preferred seating, VIP lanyards, a cheering banner, and a knight’s rally towel for each member of our party. These tickets are an extra $12.00 each, but between the great seats and extra goodies, they’re so worth it.

As for the meal, oh my goodness. It truly is a feast! You’ll get a giant serving of roasted chicken (wing, breast, and drumstick), sweet buttered corn on the cob, tomato bisque soup, garlic bread, herb-basted potatoes, pastries, coffee, and two rounds of beverages. All the food is delicious, but I’ll admit we didn’t love the pound cake. By the time dessert was served, though, we were already stuffed anyway.

Medieval Times Dinner

Just a quick note and a mini rant: the experience is set up like an authentic feast in the 11th century, so the meal isn’t served with silverware, which I think is fun. Some people sneak in plastic forks, but I think that kind of ruins things. Enjoy eating chicken with your hands like the rest of the crowd; I mean, how often can you dig into dinner with such reckless abandon? 🙂

The whole family had a blast at Medieval Times, and the kids are already requesting a return visit, so I know we’ll be going back for more food and fun. Hope to see you there!

The Red & Yellow Knight at Medieval Times

Oh, one more thing: right now, Game on Mom readers can grab Medieval Times tickets for a special price! With code MT3629 you can buy adult tickets for $36.95 and children’s tickets (12 and under) for just $29.95. This code is valid through 2/28/2017, so don’t miss your chance to snag this discount. Visit MedievalTimes.com to purchase today.

Enter now to win a 4 pack of tickets to the Lyndhurst, NJ Medieval Times!  Giveaway is open to US residents who are 18 and older.  Ends 1/5/17 at 11:59 PM ET.  Good luck!

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My Little Pony: Puzzle Party App & Prize Pack Giveaway

We’ve got good news for all you Equestria fans out there.  Back in October, Hasbro and Backflip Studios (makers of DragonVale and Paper Toss) came out with a brand new My Little Pony game!

My Little Pony Puzzle Party

My Little Pony:  Puzzle Party is a hi-def, match-3 puzzle game featuring hundreds of adventures where players can recruit all of their favorite ponies to use their unique “pony power-ups” to master magical levels throughout Equestria.  All of the “Mane 6” is represented here, and each pony is voiced by the real actor from the Friendship is Magic television series.

My Little Pony: Puzzle Party Game

Puzzle Party is available on both Android and iOS.  They’ll be updating it regularly to offer new challenges and characters from MLP:  Friendship is Magic.  Download it now so you can get started puzzling with Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie!

My Little Pony fanaticism is by no means a requirement to play Puzzle Party.  If you enjoy vibrant, fun puzzle games, you’ll fall in love with the challenges and the graphics.  The puzzles really can get complex, so despite the fact that it’s MLP-themed, it probably wouldn’t be much fun for younger kids.  Older kids, young adults, and adults, on the other hand, will be hooked.  Download MLP:  Puzzle Party  now, and see for yourself!

To celebrate the release of this new game, we’re giving away a My Little Pony Puzzle Party Prize Pack!  One lucky Game On Mom reader is going to receive a package that includes:

  • My Little Pony: Puzzle Party Bag
  • My Little Pony Figure
  • Rainbow Dash Headphones
  • My Little Pony Sticker Set

Use the Giveaway Tools form below to enter to win.  Open to US residents who are 18 and older.  Ends 1/5/17 at 11:59 PM ET.  Good luck!

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When to Start Giving Your Baby Water + Reducing TDS in Your Water

Yesterday I got to meet a friend’s baby for the first time. He’s about 9 months old now, but since they live in a different state it’s been difficult to be in the same place at the same time.

Anyway, being able to hold that precious little boy took me straight back to the days when my own children were babies and it made me nostalgic. All evening I kept thinking of what it was like to have a baby in the house and remembering how confusing it is to care for your first child. I’ll admit it: I wasn’t exactly clueless, but I didn’t have a lot of experience with babies. If I had a dollar for every phone call I made to find out if I was doing something wrong, well…there would be a lot of dollars.

I remember one question in particular that required a lot of research on my part. When is it safe to give babies water? Thankfully, the internet and my family had the answer!

Baby Drinking

Water is critical for humans, so at first glance it might seem that babies need plain old water as much as anyone else. That’s not true. Giving water to babies under 6 months old puts them at risk of malnutrition and diarrhea, and can also cause them to stop drinking breastmilk. Breastmilk is comprised of more than 80% water, so it satisfies thirst while continuing to keep babies safe from infections. Even in hot climates, babies under 6 months should not be given water.

After 6 months, you can slowly introduce your baby to water with small sips here and there. Too much water at once can easily cause a tummy ache or make babies feel too full to eat. Once your baby reaches one year old, you can start letting them sip water regularly and help foster a love of water early on. We all know how important that is!

Water Cup

As for making sure baby gets the best and cleanest drinking water, you can try something like the ZeroWater filtration system. I like ZeroWater because they are committed to eliminating total dissolved solids in water.

What is a total dissolved solid (or TDS)?  It’s basically any inorganic salts and organic matter that are dissolved in water. TDS in the water you drink come from natural sources, sewage, urban run-off, industrial wastewater, and water treatment chemicals.  It doesn’t sound very appetizing, does it?  In fact, it sounds downright scary. Those are not materials I want present in my kids’ drinking water. Obviously, we feel pretty strongly that a water filter is a must, but not all filters are created equal.

ZeroWater products are available in several forms: pitchers, dispensers, and even portable bottles. Where ZeroWater really stomps the competition is actually in its name; “zero” refers to the number 000, which is exactly how many total dissolved solids you’ll find in your water. Let me explain that a bit.

TDS Meters - Before and After

When measuring TDS, they’re counted in parts per million (or ppm). The amount of TDS in purified water is 000 ppm. Many other conventional water filters manage to eliminate some TDS, resulting in numbers like 115 ppm. For reference, I checked the TDS readings for my zip code and found our water is 120 ppm straight out of the tap; when I checked my own with a TDS meter, I learned mine is actually 165. Not great. A traditional filter would then take it down to about 115, but now that I know ZeroWater can take us to 000 by eliminating 99.63% of all TDS, there’s really no question which I’ll choose.

You can easily test your own TDS levels at ZeroWater’s website (just enter your zip code for a reading). You can also check out their full product line, purchase dispensers and filters, or find ZeroWater retailers near you if you’d like to check them out in person. If you sign up for coupons, you can also grab $30.00 in savings! Visit ZeroWater.com to get started.


Teletubbies Snowball DVD & Lullaby Laa-Laa Doll Giveaway!

Surprise:  Teletubbies are back!  If you missed those rascals, you’ll be happy to learn you can find them in an updated series featuring new elements like the Tubby Phone and Touch-Screen Tummies.  I can’t believe that it’s been almost 20 years since Teletubbies took the world by storm, and I bet a lot of you were fans back then.  Heck, even I had a Po doll, and I was long past their target age.

Now you can introduce your own little cuties to the wonders of Teletubby land with a brand new DVD that was just released by DHX Media on December 13th.

Teletubbies Snowball DVD

About the DVD

Teletubbies:  Snowball.  It’s a cold day in Teletubbyland, and snow falls on the Teletubbies!  Join Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, and Po as they find big snowballs, dance with a snowman, and watch children make a caterpillar out of snow.  The DVD contains six new episodes, including ‘Snowball’, along with two special bonus features.

Bonus Features

  • Sing-Along with the Teletubbies: “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”
  • Behind the Scenes Featurette for Grown Ups

Giveaway!

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, you have a chance to win the just-released DVD and a super cute Lullaby Laa-Laa doll!  Just enter via the Giveaway Tools form below.  Open to US residents who are 18 or older.  Ends 1/3/17 at 11:59 PM ET.  Good luck!

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K’NEX Infinite Journey Roller Coaster Giveaway

Last year, my daughter got the K’NEX Mighty Makers Fun on the Ferris Wheel Set, which we assembled together and have been happily playing with since.  My son was part of the fun, but I guess since the set is kind of pink, he knew that it really belonged to his sister, and he was a tiny bit jealous.  Well, his year was just made because he’s now the proud owner of the K’NEX Infinite Journey Roller Coaster Building Set!

K'NEX Infinite Journey Roller Coaster Set

 

The Infinite Journey Roller Coaster Set comes with 347 colorful pieces, including a car, a launcher, and enough parts to make a track that’s more than 13 feet.  It’s certainly large, but let me tell you that when a child puts time and effort into building 13 feet of a roller coaster, he feels like a very accomplished little boy.  There’s a sense of pride there that you just don’t get from winning at a video game.

Follow the included instructions or experiment with your own configurations.  Once it’s all put together, you propel the car with a slingshot style launcher.  There are no batteries required here because it’s a totally interactive experience.  Motorized sets are fun, but I have to admit that I really prefer this manual situation a lot better.  My son is challenged as he figures out how to propel the car so it makes it all the way through the track, and my kids love taking turns trying to outdo each other.

Like other K’NEX building sets, this is more than just a fun afternoon.  Both building and playing with this set stimulates your child’s imagination and curiosity while encouraging an understanding of STEAM concepts.  They’ll also be clicking their ways toward better spatial awareness, problem-solving, and fine motor skills.  There’s nothing better than an engaging toy that helps your child grow.

K'NEX Infinite Journey Roller Coaster

Something else I love about K’NEX is that they’re the only construction toy company committed to manufacturing in the United States.  All of the rods and connectors in this set were made right here in the USA, Pennsylvania to be exact.  The car and launcher are, however, made in China, making this 99% US made, which is still a lot better than most toys I come across.

The K’NEX Infinite Journey Roller Coaster Building Set is recommended for kids 7 and up, and although the color-coded instructions are easy to follow, I think some 7 year olds are going to need help putting the track together.  That’s fine by me though, because I love constructing K’NEX sets with my kids.  It’s like working together to build a big 3D puzzle that we get to play with when it’s done.  We’re having fun and making memories!

You can pair the Infinite Journey Coaster with the K’NEX Clockwork Coaster and Revolution Ferris Wheel to create your own miniature theme park!  That’s our ultimate goal, but for now, my son keeps his coaster next to his sister’s ferris wheel, and watching them play together is just wonderful.

K’NEX is generously offering Game On Mom readers a chance to win an Infinite Journey Roller Coaster Set!  Giveaway is open to US residents who are 18 and older.  Ends 12/28/16.  Good luck!

K'NEX Infinite Journey Roller Coaster Giveaway

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