family fun

Family, Kid-Friendly, Reviews, Things To Do

Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus at Operation North Pole

This has to top your Christmas bucket list! In fact, I insist you visit Operation North Pole immediately! It is such a great family friendly outing that will appeal to kids of all ages!

Thanks to 411 Mommas and the Vegas Lifestyle Influencers, Operation North Pole at Tivoli Village is our new holiday tradition. JJ & I took his best bud and his mom for this year’s festivities and we already can’t wait to visit again. What a great way to start the holiday season!
Operation North Pole is located at Tivoli Village beside Kidville and across the street from Waffle Bar. Upon arrival, head into the retail shop to check in with a clipboard clad elf and get your stamp. I bet you can chance going standby, but that might be a lot of waiting… Make reservations online ahead of time at opnorthpole.com. While completing your registration, you’llbe given an opportunity to donate to the Boys and Girls Club. A $49 donation upgrades you to the VIP Santa photo package. You get 4 different poses, digital versions and a souvenir

Santa sack. Exit the retail shop and take pictures on the train to the left or make your way to the right along the outside of the building. There is an entrance on the side where you will see folks begin to line up. There is no strollers access, so remember to bring your carrier or be prepared to hold your infant! 

Your ticket includes four rooms of festive delight! You will have candy tasting in the snow room, elves leading you in song and perhaps a game or 2. Next, you will have some playtime to try old and new games or decorate ornaments in Santa’s workshop with gorgeously decorated Christmas trees to admire. 

After all that play, it’s clearly time for a snack, so cruise on into Mrs. Claus’ kitchen for some cookies and cocoa! Mrs. Claus is just as sweet and adoring as you can imagine and she makes her way around the long kitchen table quietly chatting with each child as they decorate their cookies with icing and sprinkles. Afterwards, Mrs. Claus reads the children a Christmas story and you can ask her anything you want – even about Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer. During the time in the kitchen, you may catch a glimpse of Santa walking thru! He might just stop for a free quick hugs on his path.

After refueling with sweet snacks, Thank Mrs. Claus and head over to the stables to brush and feed the reindeer. Here you can sing songs with Mira, our favorite elf. Don’t forget to bag up some reindeer food too! You’ll visit Santa next in turn, one family at a time… I left in a bit of a rush so I didn’t have time to shop, but I will definitely be back there for the cutest Christmas finds in town! They even have autograph books if you want to bring one with you for all the wonderful North Pole residents you meet along the way! This is by far, the nest bang for your buck – cookie decorating and story time with Mrs. Claus, learning about reindeer and gifts from Santa when you take pictures with him. You will be amazed at how a couple of hour ours of fun at the North Pole sticks with your littles. Big kids and littles are sure to enjoy…


PHOTO and TRIVIA Scavenger Hunt

□ Selfie with lashes or a candy truck

□ Name your favorite flavor candy you tasted

□ Selfie with an elfie

□ Name your favorite game

□ Selfie with Mrs. Claus or a gingerbread man

□ Which color sprinkles are your favorite?

□ Tree selfie (“treefie”?!)

□ What would you name a reindeer?

□ What do reindeer eat?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Tag us on Instagram or Twitter so we can see pictures from your visit!

Related posts
It Takes a Winter’s Village
December 16, 2017
Christmas Town For a Fun Family Night
December 6, 2017
Marvel Universe Live: A Must-See Show For All Superheroes
July 27, 2017
Family, Las Vegas Kids, Las Vegas Moms, Things To Do, Tips and Tricks, Travel

Tips for Creating a Great Summer Bucket List


Summer is almost here! The last day of school for most of Las Vegas is June 8th and it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to keep the kiddos entertained all summer! You don’t want summer to pass you by without having some fun!

Creating a summer bucket list can help!  Since the summer of 2010 we’ve been putting together a family summer bucket list and we look forward to it every year.  What exactly is a summer bucket list? It’s just an awesome way to have an intentionally fun summer with your family and make some great memories! The list doesn’t have to be big or filled with expensive outings to be fun.  Just think of some things you all can do together as a family in the summer, write it down, then go have fun! 

Here are a few tips that have worked for us (through a bit of trial and error) on creating a fun and successful summer bucket list that everyone can enjoy.  

  • Get the whole family involved.  Everyone will be more excited if they have a say in the list, so we make sure to talk about it together. Dinnertime or driving in the car work great.  Kids will come up with some pretty far fetched activities sometimes, so it’s good to give them boundaries and suggestions as to what kinds of activities you can/prefer to do, especially if this is your first time putting the list together.  The key is to get input from everyone and although not every activity will make the cut, they’ll be happy to have had a say in it and will be super excited when it’s time to do their activity!the_emerics_san_diego_california_ensenada_mexico_family_vacation-5
  • Include traditions.  Most of our traditions became traditions purely unintentionally, but now that we have them we are intentional about keeping them.  We make sure to include them each year in our bucket list and look forward to them each summer.  I’m sure you probably have summer traditions yourself already and just didn’t realize it.  Things like, BBQing with friends, watching fireworks, swimming parties, these may all be things you may do each year that can easily be incorporated into your family’s summer bucket list.



  • Limit your list.  We found that keeping the list to about 10-12 activities is much more realistic than trying to include 20+ things.  Putting too much on your list can get stressful and pricey.  Your list should be about having fun together, not just doing stuff!DSCF8012
  • Don’t be too ambitious.  Every day doesn’t have to be jam packed with activities and weekends don’t have to be spent at a theme park or away from home for it to be fun and memorable.   Kids just want to spend time with you.  Your summer bucket list doesn’t need to be super elaborate or expensive.  This is especially true for younger kiddos.  Some of our fun and simple activities have included: going out for frozen yogurt, bike riding, geocaching, and watching the sunset. Need some ideas? Check out sites like Groupon and Living Social for great deals on fun things to do, like acrades, mini golf, bowling, go kart racing, laser tag, paintball, etc! 


  • Display your list.  static1.squarespaceOnce you have your activities all picked out, make sure to display the list in a place where it can always be seen.  The last thing you want to do is create all this excitement and then forget about it. Believe me, if you put your list in a spot where the kids can see it everyday, they won’t let you forget about it! Through the years we’ve put it at the bottom of the staircase, on the fridge, and on a banner across the kitchen window. Bonus tip: Get the kiddos involved in creating a fun way to display your list 😉
  • Plan.  Once we have the list ready and displayed, it’s time to set a plan in motion.  Depending on your list, this could require lots of planning or little planning.  Our summer bucket list usually consists of smaller activities (frozen yogurt, water park, hiking, water balloon fights) with 1-2 big ones, such as a trip to the beach or family vacation.  Obviously, planning a trip will require a lot more planning, such as hotel stays, flights, rental car, etc. and most likely you’ll have your dates set for that. But I even find it helpful to at least pencil in the smaller events, just so that they are on the calendar and ready to go! 
  • Document.  Now that you’ve put some effort into creating and displaying your list, you have to go out and do all those fun things!  And, don’t forget to document along the way.  Whether you use a professional camera, a point and shoot, or just your iPhone, it’s important to snap a few photos for posterity’s sake.  We tend to use all 3! Here are a few ideas on places to document your summer: personal blog, special hashtag on instagram (ours will be #emericsummer2017), facebook album, scrapbook, chatbooks, or even a yearly calendar.  There are lots of options!  Whatever you choose, it’ll be great to look back at the end of the summer and relive all the cool things you did!

   Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 10.12.24 AM

So what are you waiting for? Grab the kiddos and start thinking of ideas for your summer bucket list! Your family will look forward to all the big & little adventures you’ll have throughout the summer.  Let’s make this summer your best one yet! 

Feel free to check out our summer bucket lists from the past 2 years to get ideas and inspiration for your own – 2016 and 2015

Related posts
Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus at Operation North Pole
November 22, 2017
Halloweenville at Wet ‘n’ Wild
October 23, 2017
Mom, You’re the real MVP!!
August 17, 2017