Family Fun While Visiting Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, may not be at the top of your travel bucket list, but rest assured, you’ll find so much to do when traveling to Milwaukee that you will wonder why you hadn’t thought of going sooner.

Family Travel Milwaukee
Photo Credit: ThreeIfByBike via Flickr

You can find many family-friendly hotels available in the heart of Milwaukee. Most will give you easy access to all you want to do. Baseball-loving families, for example, will appreciate how they can easily spend an afternoon at Miller Park where the Milwaukee Brewers play.

Find out how family vacations in Milwaukee can be a rewarding experience. 

Milwaukee Art Museum

The Milwaukee Art Museum attracts close to 500,000 visitors per year and offers a range of programs for everyone in the family. Four floors with more than 40 different galleries will keep your family busy for a full day of art, education, and culture. The design of the building itself is a work of art. Exhibits and collections get regularly rotated to create a different experience with each visit. 

Harley-Davidson Museum

This museum traces the history and development of the company and its founders’ vision. As you make your way through the museum, you’ll see the incredible journey that the company took over the last century. The Harley-Davidson Museum displays classic motorcycles, including one that belonged to Elvis Presley.

Milwaukee Boat Line Sightseeing Cruise

Cruise the rivers and harbors around Milwaukee aboard the Vista King, a double-decker ship offering a 90-minute cruise. The boat line offers history, architectural cruises, and live music during a summer concert series. Beautiful views along the water while enjoying a hot dog and snack can give your family a wonderful day of seeing the sights.

Photo Credit: Jim Bauer via Flickr

Milwaukee County Zoo

Set among 200 acres and offering 300 different species, the Milwaukee County Zoo dates back to 1892. It has been at its current location since 1961, and it offers a diverse collection of animals. You can easily spend a full day feeding the animals or interacting with them during a live show.

Pabst Mansion

The Pabst Mansion, originally constructed in the 1890s on Grand Avenue, was built by Capt. Frederick Pabst, founder of the Pabst Brewery. The mansion, an award-winning museum, is on the west side of the Marquette University campus. During its finest days, the mansion was the scene of parties and weddings as well as the captain’s funeral.

Betty Brinn Children’s Museum

The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum is where children ages 10 and younger can explore hands-on exhibits that make learning fun. They can plan a news broadcast in a simulated studio, find out how far a sneeze travels, or run a riverboat down the Mississippi.  

Photo Credit: CDavisWI via Flickr

Discovery World

Discovery World connects innovation, science, and technology, and it features interactive exhibits, aquariums, and labs. Workshops, events, and more make for a fun day for everyone in the family.

Milwaukee Public Museum

This museum ranks as one of the country’s best natural history museums, offering exhibits from Asia, Africa, the Arctic, Southern Hemisphere, Middle America, and the Costa Rican rainforest. You will be able to see the world’s largest-known dinosaur skull and stroll among free-flying butterflies from around the world. The museum complex also houses an IMAX theater and the National Geographic Dome Theater & Daniel M. Soref Planetarium.

With these places to explore, you can find out for yourself how Milwaukee can be a great destination for family fun.

This is a sponsored post. I was paid for publication – however, all opinions are my own.




Protect Your Home Devices with CUJO

Cujo Protect Home Devices

Traditionally all of your device security software, like antivirus or anti-malware, has been designed to protect only the device it is installed on. Today, with so many connected devices in our lives and in our homes, our personal lives are now on display through the networked home gadgets we use. Once connected to your router, CUJO smart firewall protects EVERYTHING! 90% of connected devices store some form of personal information and 70% of those are vulnerable to attack.

At over 60 years old, I’m a trial and error technology user, so was excited to see how seamless and easy CUJO is to set-up and use. It’s made for the average user to understand easily. You see every single thing on your network through your app. The installation is simple. Take the device and the included accessories (power cords and cables) out of the box, power CUJO up and then connect to your router. Download the app and follow the instructions (there were no printed instructions in the box). You can also find easy to understand instructions on the website. The step by step instructions on the app were easy to follow after opening an account and registering the CUJO device.

After connecting the CUJO it will be in standby mode until it is connected to your WiFi router. I will admit I did struggle a bit with these steps but I’m convinced it was more user error and not a difficult process since my kids were able to do it easily.

COST

Considering what the device does, I think the price is reasonable. You can purchase CUJO at electronic stores like Best Buy and on-line for around $249. The Parental Control features alone are worth the cost.

MAIN FEATURES

CUJO is a smart firewall for the connected home, designed to bring business-level security to the home network. This one device will secure all devices connecting to the WiFi router. CUJO detects and blocks malicious sites, viruses, and hacks. Think of it like antivirus for your entire network. Plus, CUJO lets you control what your kids access online and keep them safe.

  • Business Level Internet Security
  • Protects all devices in your home
  • Parental Controls
  • Connect to Router, Control with App
  • Blazing Fast

PARENTAL CONTROL FEATURES

  • parental control for all devices
  • internet filter
  • time limits
  • social media monitoring
  • pause internet
  • alerts and reporting
  • remote administration
  • user profiles and settings

PROS

  • CUJO goes beyond traditional security by combining firewall, antivirus, and malware typically found in separate devices.
  • CUJO is all encompassing. It secures your computers, phones, tablets, and smart home devices that require Internet access. 
  • With CUJO Parental Controls, you can finally control what your kids access online, set time limits, create schedules, and block sites.
  • The package includes a well designed mobile app that will block and then notify you of a threat or unwanted activity through the mobile app.
  • You can now see all devices on your network in one place and disconnect any that shouldn’t be there.
  • The device is small and you will always know you’re protected.

CONS

  • You must have an account and registration to use the app.
  • Depending on your home network, number of devices, etc., it could take quite a bit of time to set up so don’t start doing without enough of time set aside to finish the task.
  • When you receive an alert you have to go the app and take the steps to block the threat yourself.

I think CUJO is ideal for the connected family and home!

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.




Making and Saving Extra Money with TopCashback

TopCashBack

I found a new way to save some extra money while on-line shopping and love it! Since I do most of my shopping on-line these days, I like to use cash back sites as an easy way to save money towards my Disney vacations. The problem with some of the sites is that you have to wait for their schedule of pay-out to collect the money you’ve accumulated or have a minimum amount in your pay-out account before collecting. Not with TopCashBack!! This is definitely my new favorite site since you can easily withdraw your accumulated money directly to your bank account, to your Paypal account, or onto an Amazon gift card. No waiting for a particular date every 3 months or a particular cash amount before they will pay-out. Cash out whenever you choose. (NOTE: It may take several days or up to several weeks for the retailer to confirm payment. Once the retailer confirms payment, you may withdraw your funds at any time.)There are over 4,000 retailers on the TopCashBack site so it’s super easy to find one of your favorite shopping spots.

And as an added bonus – I do lots of DisneyStore.com shopping and received 5% -yes, 5% cash back on my most resent purchase. Since we are more than half way to Christmas, 2017 – no better time to join. It only takes a minute and you can start shopping and saving right away. FYI: The other cash back program I belong to, you know that one that starts with “E”, is only offering 3% cash back when shopping at DisneyStore.com. If you do lots of shopping on-line, that extra percentage adds up in cash back!

It’s a super easy process: Head over to TopCashBack.com and create your account and you will be on your way to saving extra money within minutes! The sign-up process is simple and takes a mere few minutes – and they also have a mobile app!

After creating your account, in the search area – type in Disney Store (or the store of your choice):

Click the red “Cashback” button

Click the Get Cashback Now button and you will be taken to DisneyStore.com (or any other store you have chosen)

Shop as you normally would. As you can see, I love deals! My purchase was $99. I had a code for 25% off and a second code for free shipping, which brought my order down to $80.56 – Woot! With tax – $18.44 saved!

After shopping, go back to your TopCashBack account and you will see this:

Within 24 hours I received an e-mail letting me know my rebate was in my account. NOTE: it could take longer based on the retailer you shopped with, but 24 hours was my experience with shopping at the DisneyStore.com.

And there it is! Woot! Another $3.71 saved! Adding coupons or discount codes you may have to your TopCashBack shopping trip is a great way to save lots of extra money towards your next Disney adventure! Total saved $22.15!

Cashback is a way for you to save money every time you shop online. A percentage of the purchase is returned to you as a cash back rebate when you complete your purchase with any one of our 3500+ merchants. It’s just like using a coupon, except all money is earned after the purchase has been successfully tracked.

Cashback websites are designed to receive commissions from the retailers they work with in exchange for directing consumers to their websites. Most cashback sites will give a fraction of this commission back to you, but TopCashback is the ONLY site that returns 100% of the commission. That’s why we claim to be the highest paying cashback site in the US.

To ensure you get the greatest deals every time you go to buy something online, simply sign in to your TopCashback account first and then click through to the store you want to shop at. By doing this, you will earn cashback on every purchase you make – whether you are booking a vacation, hunting for new clothes, shopping for vitamins, or signing up for a new utility or mobile service.

Keep an eye out for exclusive coupon codes on TopCashback, which you can use alongside our cashback offers, giving you double the savings when you buy. Please note, only official coupons listed on TopCashback may be used, otherwise the cashback may not track through the merchant.

When it comes to getting the cashback you’ve earned out of your account, TopCashback offers a number of easy payout methods, including Amazon.com Gift Cards, PayPal, ACH, and American Express® Reward Cards, some of which even give you a bonus up to 3%. So, if you have earned $100 in cashback, you could receive up to $103 when you cash out. Cash out at anytime you choose.

An additional way to boost your cashback earnings is by getting your friends, family & colleagues to sign up with TopCashback using your Tell-a-Friend links. Easily send out invitations and track their signup progress, all from within the dashboard on your account. Our Tell-a-Friend bonus offers have been as high as a record $29.00 per referral!

How To Earn Cashback 101:

Join for free

Earning cashback is simple and can be done in three easy steps.

Browse for a particular retailer from more than 3,500 we have on site, click on specific categories of retailers using the navigation bar or visit our Offers Page for the day’s best cashback deals.

Once you have found the retailer you want, just click on the ‘Get Cashback’ button next to the offer and you will be taken to their website.

Then, simply make your purchase as normal and we will calculate the amount of cashback you are due, which should appear on your account earnings page within seven days. If you are still unsure, or have a further question you need answering, visit our Getting Started page.

What are you waiting for? Join for free and start saving today!

I have been compensated to perform a review of TopCashBack.com, however, all opinions are my own.




Cirque du Soleil #Ovo at North Charleston Coliseum a Must See!

Cirque du Soleil Ovo

If you are looking for something fun to do this week that will entertain the entire family – look no further! Cirque du Soleil OVO opened last night at the North Charleston (SC) Coliseum and oh boy! What a show! From the minute we walked in, we felt like we were entering a totally different environment. Ovo helps you discover a colorful ecosystem full of amazing ants, flexible fleas, crazy crickets and more! The sounds of crickets and bugs are piped in through the sound system, and when the lights dim you will feel like you have been transformed into bugs living in their world!

Ovo will be playing at the North Charleston Coliseum through Sunday (8/13). Shows are at 7:30 p.m. on 8/10 and 8/11 and there will be two shows each day on the 12th and 13th at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

I knew my granddaughter, who is a gymnastics student, would love this show and I was right! She sat wide-eyed throughout the entire show and chatted endlessly on the 2 hour ride home about various different parts and feats performed. She wants to know when we can see it again!

The show is done in two acts with a 30 minute intermission and runs a total of 2.5 hours. It combines music and amazing acrobatics in a seamless way that keeps you involved and on the edge of your seat throughout the entire show. The performers are powerful, graceful and AMAZING!

From the second you walk into the arena, the sounds of the bug world are being played – crickets and buzzes – in the background to take you into the world of the bugs. The emcees of the show, Ladybug, Foreigner and Master Flipo are a hoot! Although there is no spoken dialogue, their bug interactions – chirping, buzzing and gibberish – with an very occasional English word thrown in, have you understanding their intent within seconds through gestures and expressions. Tip: If you want to take the chance of being dragged on stage – get yourself floor seats – front row center. The young lady brought on stage during the show was a really good sport and did a great job of interacting with the emcees.

Photo Credit: Cirque du Soleil OVO

I have to admit that the first act moved somewhat slow mainly because of the graceful, slower (but amazing) stunts performed – but Act 2!!!! OH EM GEE! The second act moved so quickly with one phenomenal feat after another that it was disappointing to have it end. I really can’t say what my favorite was but if I had to choose, I would say the trapeze artists that seemed to throw each other back and forth like rag dolls while dressed in ornate bug costumes and trampoline, wall crickets.

Wall Crickets – Photo Credit: Cirque du Soleil OVO

 

Oh but wait!!! The Chinese Yo-Yo Juggler too! The best you’ll ever see! I knew I couldn’t pick a favorite!

Photo Credit: Cirque du Soleil OVO

The finale brings the entire cast out for one last bow and a standing ovation! The show can’t be described in any other way than AMAZING and FABULOUS and is a perfect way to spend some family time.

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My Readers Save $10 off on select tickets to OVO from Cirque du Soleil! – Save $10 off on select tickets to OVO from Cirque du Soleil ! Use Promo code: OVO10 http://cirquedusoleil.com/ovo

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The Show

OVO, which means “egg” in Portuguese, is a production of a colorful ecosystem where insects work, eat, crawl, flutter, play, fight and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy and movement. 

Photo Credit: Cirque du Soleil OVO

When a mysterious egg appears in the midst, the insects are awestruck and intensely curious about this iconic object that represents the enigma and cycles of their lives. It is love at first sight when a gawky, quirky insect arrives in this bustling community, and a fabulous ladybug catches his eye – and the feeling is mutual. 

The cast of OVO is comprised of 50 performing artists from 12 countries specializing in many acrobatic acts. One highlight of OVO is the stunning Flying Act in which a group of scarabs soar high above the stage, from both edges to the middle landing on a platform. 

Photo Credit: Cirque du Soleil OVO

OVO is teeming with life. Insects work, play, fight and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy in motion. Their home is filled with biodiversity and beauty filled with noisy action and moments of quiet emotion. When a mysterious egg appears in their midst, the insects are awestruck and intensely curious about this iconic object that represents the enigma and cycles of their lives. It’s love at first sight when a gawky, quirky insect arrives in this bustling community and a fabulous ladybug catches his eye – and the feeling is mutual. OVO is overflowing with contrasts. The hidden, secret world at our feet is revealed as tender and torris, noisy and quiet, peaceful and chaotic. And as the sun rises on a bright new day the vibrant cycle of insect life begins anew. The name OVO means “egg” in Portuguese. This timeless symbol of the life cycle and birth of numerious insects represents the underlying thread of the show. Graphically, OVO hides an insect in its name: The two “Os” represent the eyes while the letter “V” forms the nose. 

Photo Credit: Cirque du Soleil OVO

ABOUT CIRQUE DU SOLEIL

The company has brought wonder and delight to more than 160 million spectators in more than 400 cities on six continents. Cirque du Soleil has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries.

For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit https://www.cirquedusoleil.com.

I was provided 4 free tickets for my family to attend Cirque du Soleil-Ovo for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.




An In-Depth Look at Pixar in a Box ~ #Cars3 #Cars3Event

Pixar Box Khan Academy

For those of you that don’t know, Pixar in a Box is a behind-the-scenes look at how Pixar artists do their jobs. This collaboration between Pixar Animation Studios and Khan Academy is sponsored by Disney. A lesson plan full of really cool information. I’m embarrassed to admit that before I was invited by Disney to come to San Francisco for the #Cars3Event and Pixar presentations, I didn’t know as much about it as I thought I did. For one thing I didn’t realize it was free. More importantly I never considered a middle school child using Pixar in a Box for all the things they can use it. Do they consider themselves an artist? They can learn about all the things they can do with that talent at Pixar. They can learn about careers they didn’t even realize existed. They can learn how the subjects they are learning in school – like math, science, computer sciences and humanities – are used every day to create amazing movies at Pixar. The next time your child tells you they want to be an animator so that cruddy math or science grade doesn’t matter – you can tell him/her how wrong they are. Sign them up for this program and let them see for themselves how those subjects are used! Imagine you or your child finding a new career – one that you may not even have known existed!

Through the lessons plans, you and/or your child will be able to animate bouncing balls, build a swarm of robots, and make virtual fireworks explode. The set-up seems easy to follow along with and I love you can jump from area to area easily.

 

Back in 2015, Pixar joined forces with Khan Academy to launch a free online course about animation called “Pixar in a Box.” Through interactive exercises, your child (and you) can analyze what goes into creating a story – the plot, world, and characters in films, and start developing storytelling superpowers and animation interests.

The themed set of lessons are infused with videos and web-based interactive widgets to help kids get excited about and visualize the math behind some of Disney’s biggest animated features. Each lesson comes with an introductory video that explains math concepts such as using parabolic curves to model grass or using weighted averages to translate clay sculptures into 3D computer models. The student can then play around with tools based on the real tools that Pixar animators use and are given the opportunity to test their knowledge through built-in assessments.

Right up there with being an astronaut or the President, there’s one job that your average kid would probably love to snag: Working at Pixar. Pixar in a Box focuses on real-Pixar-world applications of concepts you might usually encounter in the classroom. There’s no need to register for the course, nor a requirement to watch the lessons in order — just head to their site and start exploring!

Pixar in a Box is free on Khan Academy, so don’t be shy about checking it out. New lessons will be released as time goes on and you can sign up with Khan Academy to receive email alerts when new lessons become available.

We were given a step by step walk through of the lesson categories and plans by Elyse Klaidman, Director of Exhibitions and Educational Parnterships and Tony DeRose, a Senior Scientist and lead of the Research Group at Pixar Animation Studios. I came away thinking that even in my sixties, I would really love to go through the lessons. It’s a really neat way to learn something new and when learning is fun (what else would you expect from Pixar!) I know I was always able to learn better. Also, because you can easily skip from area to area and only focus on the lessons that really spark your interest. What could be better than  initiatives to help make math, science, and engineering education more inspiring and relevant for middle and high school students. This collaboration with Khan Academy is designed to show students how creative challenges at Pixar are addressed using concepts that they’re learning in classrooms. What a great program!

Here’s a look at Cars 3 coming in June. Just imagine how the creators of this great upcoming film were able to learn what they do using lessons like the ones offered through Pixar in a Box!

 

Like CARS on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PixarCars/

Follow Disney/Pixar on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyPixar

Follow Disney/Pixar on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pixar/

Visit the official CARS 3 website here: http://movies.disney.com/cars-3

CARS 3 opens in theaters everywhere on June 16th!

I was provided an all expense trip to San Francisco by Disney. All opinions are my own.