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Dadeland Mall is collecting gently used Halloween Costumes through Operation Candy Corn, while will benefit Neighbors 4 Neighbors and the Branches organization. Costumes can be donated until October 20 at Simon Guest Services.  

WHAT:             Do you have costumes your children have outgrown? Dadeland Mall will be collecting gently used Halloween Costumes through Operation Candy Corn, which benefits Neighbors 4 Neighbors and the Branches organization. Neighbors 4 Neighbors is a nationally acclaimed non-profit organization based in Miami Florida and founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The scope of work done by Neighbors focuses on connecting diverse populations, planning for and responding to disasters and building community resources. We connect those who can help with those in need. It’s that simple. Using a combination of resource development, collaboration with service providers and the power of media, through a partnership with WFOR and WBFS television, we empower our neighbors to use the talents, time and money they have to help others.  www.neighbors4neighbors.org

Branches mission is to serve, educate and inspire people thorough student, family and financial stability services in partnership with our communities.

WHEN:            Donations are accepted until October 20.
          Dadeland Mall – Simon Guest Services 7535 N Kendall Dr.  Miami, FL 33156

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Family Shows at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts- Box Office Opening Sept. 6- Cinderella Show Tickets Giveaway

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Looking for some great family entertainment in the Miami-Dade area?  Look no further than The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.

The Center’s official 2014-2015 Box Office Opening begins Saturday, Sept. 6 at 10 a.m. and includes a wealth of family programming including Sesame Street Live Make a New Friend,” Cinderella, Disney’s Newsies, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Peter and the Starcatcher and Into the Woods.  Further information regarding additional shows in the upcoming 2014-2015 season may be found here.

The Adrienne Arsht Center and VEE Corporation present SESAME STREET LIVE “MAKE A NEW FRIEND”

October 11, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

October 12, 2014 at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Tickets: $24, $34.50, $45, & $78.50*

$10 for lap seating for children 12 months old or younger.

Ziff Ballet Opera House – Adrienne Arsht Center

South Florida fans are invited to see the all-new SESAME STREET LIVE “MAKE A NEW FRIEND” show and make wonderful memories with friends and family! Elmo, Grover, Abby Cadabby, and their Sesame Street friends welcome Chamki, Grover’s friend from India, to Sesame Street. Together, they explore the universal fun of friendship and celebrate cultural similarities, from singing and dancing to sharing cookies!

SESAME STREET LIVE “MAKE A NEW FRIEND”offers a fun-filled, interactive learning experience, including up-close and furry interactions with the audience! Like television’s Sesame Street, each SESAME STREET LIVEproduction features timeless tunes and lessons for all ages. The universal appeal of each Broadway-quality musical production continues long after preschool. Adults will appreciate the high-tech stagecraft, cleverly written script, and music they’ll recognize and enjoy sharing with children, such as “Count Me In,” and fun new parodies of “Hot and Cold” and “Moves Like Jagger.”

Tickets to SESAME STREET LIVE “MAKE A NEW FRIEND”will be available to Arsht Center members August 8 and to the general public August 15.


The Adrienne Arsht Center presents Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA

October 28- November 2, 2014

Ziff Ballet Opera House- Adrienne Arsht Center

Tuesday- Friday: 8 p.m.

Saturday: 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Sunday: 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Ticket: $26-96*

“THRILLING! Never underestimate the power of a ball gown and glass slippers!” – Entertainment Weekly

Part of the 2014-2015 Broadway in Miami series

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA is the Tony Award®-winning Broadway musical from the creators of The Sound of Music and South Pacific that’s delighting audiences with its contemporary take on the classic tale.

This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments audiences love—the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more—plus some surprising new twists! Fans will be transported back to their childhood as they rediscover some of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” in this hilarious and romantic Broadway experience for anyone who’s ever had a wish, a dream… or a really great pair of shoes.


The Adrienne Arsht Center presents DISNEY’S NEWSIES

February 3- 8, 2014

Ziff Ballet Opera House- Adrienne Arsht Center

Tickets: $26-$96*

“An irresistible, high energy winner… a surprise sensation!” – Entertainment Weekly

Part of the 2014-2015 Broadway in Miami series

They delivered the papers, until they made the headlines. Direct from Broadway comes NEWSIES, the smash-hit, crowd-pleasing new musical from Disney. Winner of the 2012 Tony Awards® for “Best Score” and “Best Choreography”, NEWSIES has audiences and critics alike calling it “A musical worth singing about!” (The New York Times). Filled with one heart-pounding number after another, it’s a high-energy explosion of song and dance audiences should not want to miss.

Based on true events, NEWSIES tells the captivating story of a band of underdogs who become unlikely heroes when they stand up to the most powerful men in New York. It’s a rousing tale about fighting for what’s right…and staying true to who you are.

NEWSIES is brought to the stage by an award-winning creative team. It features a score by Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast) and Jack Feldman (The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride) and a book by Harvey Fierstein (La Cage Aux Folles), with choreography by Christopher Gattelli (South Pacific) and direction by Jeff Calhoun (Big River).


The Adrienne Arsht Center presents DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

December 30- January 4, 2014

Ziff Ballet Opera House- Adrienne Arsht Center

Tickets: $26-$96*   

 “One of the most enchanting love stories of all time, and this touring production rocked my world!” – DC Theater Scene

Part of the 2014-2015 Broadway in Miami series

Tale as old as time, true as it can be. Based on the Academy Award®-winning animated feature film, Disney’s beauty and the beast is an eye-popping spectacle that has won the hearts of over 35 million people worldwide. This classic musical love story is filled with unforgettable characters, lavish sets and costumes, and dazzling production numbers including “Be Our Guest” and the beloved title song.

Disney’s beauty and the beast is the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.


The Adrienne Arsht Center and University of Miami Department of Theater Arts present PETER AND THE STARCATCHER by Rick Elice – Regional Premiere!

October 9 – 26, 2014

Based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Carnival Studio Theater

Tickets: $45*

“Miraculous! Spectacle, wit, and joy spill out of this production like treasure from a magic pocket.” – New York Magazine

Winner of five Tony Awards, Rick Elice’s PETER AND THE STARCATCHER is the innovative and imaginative play with music based on the best-selling novel by Miami native Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. In this high-flying adventure, twelve actors play more than 100 unforgettable characters – plus most of the scenery and furniture – in an exhilarating journey to answer the century-old question: How did Peter Pan become The Boy Who Never Grew Up? This epic origin story proves that one’s own imagination is the most captivating place in the world!

As part of the multi-faceted collaboration between the University of Miami Department of Theatre Arts and the Adrienne Arsht Center now in its fourth year, this production will serve as a professional learning experience that offers the theater majors at the University an opportunity to work with seasoned professionals in creating a professional production. Miami’s hottest regional theater actors join UM’s talented student actors to create more than 100 characters. Students majoring in technical theater and design will work side-by-side with the Adrienne Arsht Center/UM production and creative team to create a professional set, costumes and lighting design and will assist the production manager, stage manager and other key production staff members.


DreamCatcher Theater and the Adrienne Arsht Center present INTO THE WOODS        

January 22 – February 15, 2015

Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by James Lapine

Originally Directed on Broadway by James Lapine

Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick

Carnival Studio Theater

Tickets: $50*

“It will take you somewhere wonderful!” – The New York Times

“Do you know what you wish? Are you certain what you wish is what you want?” Once upon a time, in the fairytale kingdom of the Brothers Grimm, a baker and his wife were sent on a quest into the woods by a mysterious witch. Thrust into a world of magic and adventure, they find their story intertwined with a whole group of legendary characters including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and a certain young man named Jack who happens to have some very magical beans. Sondheim’s dazzling lyrics and sumptuous melodies, paired with Lapine’s captivating plot, make this Tony Award-winning Broadway musical about wishes, chasing your dreams, and the importance of the stories we tell our children at once deeply touching and laugh-out-loud funny. This is a show for all ages, and for all time!

DreamCatcher Theatre, led by Miami native brother-sister team Natalie and JJ Caruncho, is South Florida’s newest regional theater company making its Miami debut with this wonderful production at the Arsht Center.


Visit www.arshtcenter.org for more information.

Want to win 2 tickets to the Tuesday, Oct. 28 opening night of Cinderella?
Enter below:


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Kidgits members enjoy special events including Regal Cinemas family-friendly    movies, along with facepainting, storytime at American Girl, & kids meal deals at participating restaurants

WHAT:           Escape the summer heat and come to Kidgits Toddler Tuesdays at The Falls!  Enjoy special fun events, movie deals, storytime at American Girl,facepainting, balloon artists, and more, just for Kidgits members on Tuesdays. Regal Cinemas is hosting the ultimate way for families to stretch their entertainment dollars this summer with a $1 weekly movie, now through August 5. These popular family–friendly films, rated G or PG, will be featured at the theatre at 10 a.m., every Tuesday.

                        Additionally, Kidgits members will enjoy free*, delicious kid’s meals provided by local mall restaurants including, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, Brio Tuscan Grille, Crepe Maker at The Falls, Los Ranchos Steakhouse, and TGI Fridays.

                        *Free kid’s meal with purchase of an adult entrée on Tuesdays, only. Must present Kidgits membership card to be eligible. Dine-in only. Kids 12 and under. Cannot be combined with any other offers.

Movies featured during Toddler Tuesdays include:

  • June 17: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, and The Pirates: Band of Misfits
  • June 24: Arthur Christmas, and Despicable Me 2
  • July 1: The Lego Movie, and Free Birds
  • July 8: Adventures of TinTin, and Rise of the Guardians
  • July 15: Kung Fu Panda 2, and Madagascar 3
  • July 22: The Croods, and Epic
  • July 29: Turbo, and Walking with Dinosaurs
  • August 5: Mr. Peabody & Sherman, and Rio 2

Through Tuesday, August 12, enjoy facepainting and balloon art with Tutti Frutti, from 12pm-2pm by the Guest Services Center.

Through August 19, enjoy Bitty Baby Storytime at the American Girl store on the following dates:

Tuesday, 7/8: Bitty Baby Ballet Story Time 2-4pm

Tuesday, 7/22: Bitty Baby Princess Story Time 2-4pm

Tuesday, 7/29: Bitty Baby Ballet Story Time 2-4pm

Tuesday, 8/5:  Bitty Baby and Me story time 2-4pm

Tuesday, 8/12: Bitty and Me Story Time 2-4pm

Tuesday, 8/19: Bitty Baby and Me Story Time 1-3pm

COST:            Kidgits membership is a $5 annual fee, visit Guest Services to register. Regal Cinemas ticket packages can be purchased in advance for $5 to all 8 movies through the box office, or www.regmovies.com. Individual              tickets can be purchased before the show for $1 per person, per movie. Additional fees apply for facepainting and balloon art for non-Kidgits members.

WHEN:          Every Tuesday starting at 10am ($1 movie deal through August 5, Tutti Frutti through August 12, Bitty Baby Storytime at American Girl through August 19, and Kids Meal deals ongoing)


WHERE:         The Falls, Regal Cinemas & participating The Falls restaurants

                          8888 SW 136th St

Miami, FL 33176

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My 40th Birthday Vacation Cruise on the Carnival Glory Part 3 #CruisingCarnival

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Disclaimer- I received free internet service while on the cruise and dinner for 2 at the steakhouse on the ship in exchange for posting about my vacation.  I wasn’t required to write so many posts but I had a lot to say.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are 100% my own.

Check out Part 1 of my 40th Birthday Vacation Cruise on the Carnival Glory
Check out Part 2 of my 40th Birthday Vacation Cruise on the Carnival Glory
Check out Part 3 of my 40th Birthday Vacation Cruise on the Carnival Glory

Ports of Call-
I live in South Florida so we sailed out of Miami. If you don’t already live down here, make sure to leave a day or two before or after your cruise to check out all there is to do in Miami. Our cruise on Carnival Glory went to Nassau, San Juan, St. Thomas, and Grand Turk.  We had all been to Nassau before but only I had been to San Juan and St. Thomas and none of us had been to Grand Turk.

In Nassau, Bahamas we went on the Sea and See Excursion.  This was a great excursion that had a little bit of everything. We sailed on a boat that gave us a little tour of the area and pointed out houses of famous stars.  They then dropped us off on something similar to a glass bottom boat.  On that boat we sailed to different areas of the ocean to observe the sea life including various species of fish and sharks.  The captain dropped food for the fish over the side of the boat and my girls love seeing all the fish swarming over to eat the food. It was a great way to see lots of fish without getting wet.

We sailed back to the dock and then went on a bus tour that included several stops including a castle. Once the tour finished we were dropped off by the famous straw market where my girls purchased several souvenirs. We then shopped in the downtown area for a little while before making her way back to the ship.
We decide to just “wing it” in San Juan, Puerto Rico and didn’t book an excursion in advance.  It actually worked out well for us because right off the ship we found a local tour guide was just about to start a bus tour of the area.  The tour was very interesting and informative. He made lots of stops for us to stop and take pictures.  He showed us both old San Juan and new San Juan.

We made a stop by the local beach and we even got to see an old Fort.

When the tour was over we checked out some local stores as well as a little open-air market where we purchased some handblown glass jewelry.
(My older daughter loved camp so much that she decided she wanted to stay on the ship instead of go on the island with us so that is why she isn’t in any of the pictures in Puerto Rico.)

The highlight of our stop in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands (besides shopping for jewelry for me!) was the Ice Bar.  The Ice Bar is an entire bar and exhibit made entirely of ice. It was such a contrast from being outside in the hot tropical weather. You walk inside and they give you a parka to keep warm. They also had things to wrap around your legs if you were wearing shorts as well as mittens to keep your hands warm. My girls got all bundled up while hubby and I decided that we were so hot we would go in without the jackets.  Adults get a free shot of rum so that kept us warm but I will admit I was getting a little chilly by the time we left.
Not only was the entire bar made of ice but there were tons of ice sculptures including a candelabra made out of ice, a bench made out of ice, and even a slide that you could actually go down made of ice.

We were supposed to go on a stingray excursion in Grand Turk but unfortunately due to rough seas our excursion was canceled. It actually worked out for the best though because there was a beautiful beach just past the pier where the ship was docked. The water was beautiful and there were plenty of beach chairs for everyone. We had such a peaceful, relaxing time playing in the water and searching for shells. The beach at Grand Turk was really one of the highlights of our trip and another place I’d love to go back to soon.

We can’t wait to go on another Carnival Cruise soon.
Keep an eye out for my upcoming post on tips for cruising with kids- coming soon!

Check out Part 1 of my 40th Birthday Vacation Cruise on the Carnival Glory
Check out Part 2 of my 40th Birthday Vacation Cruise on the Carnival Glory








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