Holiday Laser Show

The Holiday Laser Show is a show put on by the Urban-15 group in San Antonio. The boys love this show. This year’s show was our fourth holiday event on our Texas Christmas tour and it was also our fourth year attending the show.

This is a really cool show with lasers set to music. We’ve sat in a few different spots and the show is best if you sit towards the middle in the orchestra section so that the lasers are going straight over you. I took some video at one year’s show. It’s not the greatest quality but you can kind of get the idea of what the show is like. Click here to check it out. It should automatically start after a few seconds.

If you have the chance to check out the Holiday Laser Show in San Antonio, we recommend going. It’s a fun experience.

Have you ever been to a laser show?

Dickens on Main

Dickens on Main in Boerne is an event that I have been wanting to go to for a couple of years since I first heard about it but we hadn’t been able to make it yet. So, we made a point to make plans to go there this year as stop 3 on Texas Christmas tour.

We got there a little early. I think it was about 2pm which worked out really well because we managed to find a good parking at the County Courthouse. Dickens on Main is divided into several areas. We headed over to the closest and biggest area, North Pole Village. There were food trucks and food booths lining the entire area. Connor decided on a schnitzel sandwich from Ye Ole Schnitzel Hütte so we shared that. We also shared an eggroll and some mini tacos.

After that we walked over to Santa’s Village for a picture with Santa. There was no line at all when we went but later on we saw a very long line for Santa. Once we were done there, we went to check out the kids crafts at Tiny Tim Village but we only grabbed one of the reindeer pot crafts to take home because Connor couldn’t stand the strong paint smell from the crafts.

Next up on the schedule was Tobias the Adequate followed by Bah Humbug: A one man Christmas Carol. We liked both of the shows. Tobias the Adequate is a magician and he’s very entertaining and funny. We even ended up catching one of the knots from his rope trick. Bah Humbug was also fun to watch. It was fun to see how the actor played all of the different characters.

Once the show was over we tried to go to the petting zoo and see the reindeer but there were too many people. We also wanted to see the ice sculpture battle but that was also crowded. We did find a hole in the crowd though so watched for a minute or two. The last thing we wanted to do was check out the snow slide but there was a very long line for that too.

We had a nice time at Dickens on Main. I think we arrived at the perfect time because were able to do most things before it got really crowded and we also got a close parking. I’m happy that we were able to add this event to our Christmas tour this year.

I know I’ve seen several Dickens events around this time of year. Which one is your favorite?

A German Christmas in Fredericksburg

Stop number 2 on our Texas Christmas tour was Fredericksburg to check out their German Christmas Pyramid. The pyramid is in the Marktplatz and is 26 feet tall.

Next to the pyramid there is also a 30 foot tall Christmas Tree.

There were also a gingerbread setup with a train, sleigh and reindeer, and a gingerbread house.

We didn’t do much here but it’s a cute town. The boys always enjoy Fredericksburg and it was nice to see the German Christmas Pyramid and other decorations.

Where do you enjoy day tripping to?

Sea World’s Christmas Celebration

This year we’re heading out on a Texas Christmas/holiday tour. We started off at Sea World San Antonio for Sea World’s Christmas Celebration.

We had reservations at 5 for dinner with Santa. We arrived a few hours earlier so we would have time to walk around. As soon as we walked into what the boys call the lobby of the park, we were greeted by the sound of Mariachis playing. I loved the Christmas outfits they were wearing. Once we moved past the entrance we stopped at Coca-Cola Lane to decide where we were going to go.

JT said that he knew exactly where to go so we followed him. I figured that he was probably going to the penguins and I was correct. He loves penguins. We walked though Peace on Earth and past a few snowmen and into the penguin building.

After the penguins, we headed into Christmas Cove and the boys played a few games. They weren’t the only ones playing though. There were also elves and a mime.

Once we were done in Christmas Cove, we moved onto Sea World’s Christmas Market. First, we met some reindeer and then we went on Rio Loco. The boys were very excited about that and I was happy that the waterfall was turned off so we didn’t get too wet. They had also been wanting to try the air dryer because we were curious about how well it works. It did work but I felt it was harder to get your pants dry. I think if you’re hair was wet, it would probably dry your hair pretty well.

After we finished drying off a bit, we walked a bit further to where Rudolph and friends were and the boys got new shirts to wear and then we headed back over to our dinner.

The dinner was buffet style and included turkey and carved roast beef along with sides and salad. During dinner, the elves and mime introduced Mrs. Claus. Santa joined a little later. He read a story to the kids and then took pictures with them. After pictures with Santa it was time for dessert.

Once dinner was over we walked around a little more to look at the lights before heading out.

We always love going to Sea World during the holidays; the lights are pretty and the theming is fun. It was a great kickoff to our holiday tour.

What is one of your favorite places to go for the holidays?

Palateria San Antonio

The third place we went to since starting our ice cream tour was Palatería San Antonio. We actually went here right after getting ice cream from Justin’s Ice Cream Company on the Riverwalk. Palatería San Antonio is also downtown so we decided we’d head there too since we don’t visit downtown very often.

Palatería San Antonio offers two types of paletas. You can choose from milk based or water based. Connor decided on Strawberries and Cream, JT picked Bubblegum, and I went with Coconut. The boys ended up getting a second popsicle because they really wanted to try Watermelon. They decided that they didn’t really care for the first ones they got but they loved the Watermelon.

We went back a second time about two months later because Connor wanted to get one of the watermelon paletas. When we got there, we noticed that we were walking in a different door. The inside had been expanded and now there is a small sitting area with a few tables and a cute popsicle stick wall. This is a great addition because the first time we went, we had to eat our popsicles super fast because they were melting quickly.

This time around I decided to try Blueberry Banana. This wasn’t an option the first time we went; Palatería San Antonio states that they change flavors regularly. I love coconut so I liked the coconut paleta I had the first time but Blueberry Banana was my favorite of the two.

So, if you’re in the area, make sure to check out Palatería San Antonio. The boys have declared the watermelon paletas as their all time favorite popsicle.

What is your favorite popsicle?

Chip ‘n Dale Critter Breakfast at Storytellers Cafe

We started off our first full day at Disneyland at the Chip ‘n Dale Critter Breakfast at Storytellers Café in the Grand Californian. When we arrived for our reservation we only had to wait a few minutes before being seated.

Once we were seated we grabbed some food really quickly from the buffet. The boys are always afraid to miss the characters, even though they know that if we do miss one they’ll come back around.

Some of the food you’ll find on the buffet are made to order omelettes, Mickey waffles, pastries, and fruit.

Chip was first to come to our table. He asked the boys their names so that he could write them in their autograph books but it took us a minute to figure out what he was asking. The boys thought that was pretty cool because they’ve never gotten a personalized autograph before.

Next we were visited by Pluto. Connor had a little Pluto stuffed animal and Pluto loved it.

Right after Pluto left, Kenai came over. This was one of the reasons that this breakfast was a must do for us. We were hoping to see some critters that we don’t normally see.

Dale was the last character to come over to our table and he was very fun. We were seated right next to an exit door. Someone, I think from the outside, opened it a little and realized they weren’t supposed to use that door. Well, Dale thought that was funny and he went over to the door and pushed it open just a little and then came back to our table laughing. He then proceeded to do it again and again. It was cute.

Once Dale left, we were pretty much done eating and ready to leave. We loved this character breakfast. We had a great time with the characters and the buffet was good. We would definitely come back. I would say that this is probably one of my favorite character meals, including those from Disney World.

What are your favorite restaurants for character dining?

Justin’s Ice Cream Company

Our second stop on our ice cream adventure was Justin’s Ice Cream Company on the Riverwalk. We decided to try this one out because we went to the Hard Rock Café and this was right by it. The owner also used to be one of my mom’s middle school teachers and the boys thought that was cool so we wanted to include it.

Justin’s Ice Cream serves ice cream, gelato, sorbet, sherbet, and yogurt. The boys settled on cherry vanilla and strawberry. The cherry vanilla had big chunks of black cherries in it and Connor loved them. Connor and I liked JT’s strawberry ice cream, but he didn’t care for it.

If you’re heading to the San Antonio Riverwalk and want to get some ice cream, you might consider checking out Justin’s. We would try it again if we’re there.

Let us know if you’ve ever been to the Justin’s Ice Cream or if you have another favorite Riverwalk ice cream shop.

Prehistoric Fun at Dinosaur Ridge

If you or your kids are a fan of dinosaurs, we know of a place that you’re going to want to visit.

We spent a few days in Colorado and one of our days was started off with a visit Dinosaur Ridge. Dinosaur Ridge is located in Morrison which is right by Denver. I already knew that we wanted to take the guided bus tour so as soon as we arrived we went in to purchase tickets. There was a bus that was just about to arrive as we were getting our tickets so we hopped right in the line as soon as we got our tickets and just barely made it on the bus.

At our first stop, our tour guide explained the geology of the site and how to spot dinosaur bones. The bones are a different color from the rock. The color of the bones is more of a reddish brown color so they’re easy to spot.

When our tour guide was done speaking, we were able to take a few minutes to look around at the dinosaur bones and then if we wanted we could walk to the next location or we could get back on the bus. We decided to walk because there was an allasaur footprint displayed on the way and we wanted to look at it.

Our next stop was the Brontosaur Bulges. These were brontosaurus tracks but we look at them from underneath. So, instead of looking at it from above and seeing the imprint, we see the bulge that formed from the bottom.

Once we were done at the Brontosaur Bulges, we hopped back on the bus and headed to our last stop. Our tour guide pointed out some other interesting fossils and markings on the way. The first of which were the ripple marks made by wave currents. The other was the trace fossils such as burrows and feeding trails made by other plants and animals that lived on the coastline.

Our last stop was the dinosaur tracksite. There are about 330 individual footprints. There are tracks here from 3 different types of dinosaurs as well as crocodile swim marks.

Once we got back from our bus tour, we went into the visitor center to check out the exhibits. The exhibit hall is not big but there is a lot of interactive elements and a lot of information.

Dinosaur Ridge was so much fun. You don’t have to take the guided bus tour but we loved it and our tour guide was awesome. This is a must do for dinosaur fans.

What are your favorite Dinosaur places to visit?

Brindles Awesome Ice Cream

The boys and I started out on a mission to visit different ice cream places in and around San Antonio throughout the summer. We decided to start out at Brindle’s Awesome Ice Cream.

Brindle’s serves both ice cream and gelato. Connor loves gelato and I expected that’s what he would order. He actually ended up getting a sorbet and didn’t even try a sample of any of the gelatos. He ordered the Tropical Papaya sorbet and JT went with the Mango Tango sorbet. Connor said that he had actually wanted the Mango Tango, but since his brother ordered it, he went with something different. I had the Fredericksburg Peach Cobbler.

From left to right: Tropical Papaya, Mango Tango, and Fredericksburg Peach Cobbler.

Connor actually ended up loving the Tropical Papaya even more than the Mango Tango. The boys were ready to order more when they were done and they normally don’t even finish their ice cream. I enjoyed my ice cream also. I decided to go with the Fredericksburg Peach Cobbler because the employee helping us recommended it. She also said it was one of the popular flavors at the time. I didn’t care for the chunks of peach that were in the ice cream because they didn’t really have any flavor but the ice cream itself was really good.

One of the things we noticed as we were eating our ice cream was that Brindles also serves ice cream tacos. We figured we would need to go back to try one of those. Another ice cream I’ve read about that I would love to try is their Azteca ice cream. We will back eventually but for now we have a lot more ice cream shops to try out. Our next stop is Justin’s Ice Cream.

Interactive Fun at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

After a fun and exciting tide pool walk on Cabrillo Beach, we explored the aquarium that led the walk- the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium (CMA). CMA isn’t particularly big but there is plenty to explore and many of the exhibits are hands-on.

We started off outside at the Whale Graveyard.

After taking a look at the various whale bones (and touching them), we moved on to the main exhibit hall. The exhibits are divided into Kelp Forests, Rocky Shores, Mudflats, Sandy Beaches, and Open Ocean.

After we went through the exhibit hall we went out to the exploration center and then to the aquatic nursery.

Even though we had already been out to the tide pools, the boys were excited to go to the touch pool so we went over as soon as it opened.

The boys weren’t the only ones excited about the touch pool. It seemed that everyone else had been waiting for it to open too. Once we left the touch pool the boys really wanted to go back to the exploration center but it was time for us to move on so we headed to the gift shop before leaving.

Visiting the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium was a nice addition to our trip. Although small, the boys really enjoyed all of the interactive elements that CMA had to offer. They could have spent more time exploring if we had been able to stay longer.

Are you planning an aquarium trip soon?