Local Beaches for Excellent Summer

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The best place in Morocco

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Enjoying views of Lisbon

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6 FREE Ways to Entertain Your Children this Summer in West Palm Beach

Happy 4th of July!


Half way through the summer and moms are already ready to send their kids back to school. If you don’t send your children to an all-day summer camp, you can quickly find it’s difficult to keep them occupied and still offer variety, every day, for an entire summer. Last year, I gave you an all-inclusive activity list, but as the cost of camps rise, here are a few things you can do to keep a cap on that budget and still have a great time with your children! Here are six FREE ways to entertain your children this summer.

FREE (and Cheap) Ways to Entertain Your Children this Summer

Public Venues

Barracuda Bay

A local water park less than 3 miles from the very expensive Rapids park, Barracuda Bay has a swimming pool, splash area and two large water slides for $3 for Riviera Beach residents and only $4 for everyone else. Please check the website for openings.

For more information, click HERE!


City Programs

The city is bountiful in programs ranging from swim classes and sports classes to an all day sports camp. Check out the following links to see what programs are happening in your city or town.

6 FREE Ways to Entertain Your Children this Summer | AprilNoelle.comPeanut Island Park

A easy, FREE trip with the kids, Peanut Island Park is a local park with EVERYTHING! Boat dock, fishing, swimming, camping, fire ring, observation deck, and more!

For more information, click HERE!

Splash Pads

Get out of the hot sun and cool down with these cool and FREE spots!


Private Venues




At just $1 per person, this location is a steal! The kids play with Legos and you help or watch, the children can play all day. They even provide a snack room, so you can bring your own snacks for the kids.

For more information, click HERE!






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Summer Family Fun List in Southeast Florida

Tomorrow is the last day of school for my son, then we get to enjoy a few days of sleeping in, no homework and then finally, figuring out what to do to keep the kids occupied.

I posted this Summer Family Fun List last year, but I thought it’d be a great idea to give you a refresher if you aren’t sure what to do this year.

This list is organized in order by city, then alphabetical. If I missed any place, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email – justme @ aprilnoelle.com.



Boca Raton Children’s Museum – Boca Raton
Children’s Science Explorium – Boca Raton
Daggerwing Nature Center – Boca Raton
Gumbo Limbo Nature Center – Boca Raton
Sugar Sand Park – Boca Raton
We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gym – Boca Raton

Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market – Boynton Beach
The Bee’s Knees Learn & Play – Boynton Beach
Schoolhouse Children’s Museum & Learning Center – Boynton Beach


Off the Wall – Coconut Creek
Tradewinds Park & Stables – Coconut Creek
Wow Factory Indoor Playground & Family Fun Center – Coconut Creek


Flamingo Gardens Botanical Collection & Wildlife Sanctuary – Davie
Kabooms Amusement and Party Center – Davie
Young At Art Museum – Davie

Splash Adventure Water Park in Quiet Waters Park – Deerfield Beach

The Girls Strawberry U-Pick – Delray Beach
Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens – Delray Beach
Sandoway House Nature Center – Delray Beach

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I Just Wanted to Relax and Enjoy (Hilton Long Beach Review)

Arriving at the hotel after a long day’s travel, I couldn’t wait to get to my room. I was excited to check in and get ready for my first official conference, where I didn’t short myself (i.e., only go during the day and for the “necessary” days. I arrived on Wednesday and was booked until Sunday… five glorious days child-free! I went straight to the desk, knowing my hotel room from my roommate, provided my card and went upstairs.

I entered the room, dropped my bag and washed off. I chatted with my roommate who started to report the issues she had thus far. In the two hours before I arrived, my roommate spent some time sitting on the floor waiting for the front desk to replace her card. After she settled into the room, she laid on the bed to watch some television to await my arrival. Alas, the television volume did not work. At a mere level of 56, it was silent. A second call to the front desk.

Hilton Long Beach Review

By the end of this conversation, I realized that I was sweating ~ a little warm for a hotel room. I took a look at the thermometer, only to see that it was a scant 65 degrees… or it should be. I asked my roommate if she was also hot. She was happy that I asked since she was wondering if she was having her own “personal summer”. I laughed and said for sure, it was not just her. A third call was made to the front desk.

The front desk assured me that someone would be on their way. After watching some television, we realized that no one had come to the room. Another call. We were again assured that someone was on their way.

I took a shower to prepare for that evening’s activities as my roommate started applying her makeup. I got out and still no visit to our room. A third call for this (fifth call total) was made. We were told someone would be there any minute. Ever tried getting dressed and made up while getting dressed? Not a fun or pretty thing to do. We did the best we could, only to be met by the maintenance man as we were leaving the room. We explained the situation, and we left him in the room to fix the temperature.

The conference provided a banquet, complete with an open bar and hors d’oeuvres. The snacks left much to be desired, but the major disappointment was that the accommodations seemed to be set up for a quarter of the people who were in attendance. The first night probably had 120 people, but there was seating for maybe 40. Even worse, there wasn’t a standing bar either, you know like an area to set your drinks, but not sit down. Just 40 seats and everyone else was left to their own devices. For most, that meant that they returned quickly to their hotel rooms with their drinks and plates instead.

We returned to our room several hours later, to an even hotter room. We called for the sixth time only to be told that according to the front desk, we were not in the room, therefore, nothing was done to fix the problem. Are you kidding me? So, now we have lying to add to the mix. Not sure if it was the maintenance man or the front desk, but our nearly 90 degree room during record breaking temperatures in Long Beach was not the way that I wanted to spend the rest of the weekend.

Jennifer let me know that there was nothing that can be done even though we were left in an obviously hot room without relief. I’m normally good in these situations, but my roommate was an Hilton Honors member and I figured that she would have more leverage. I gladly hung up, and she called immediately back. This time, Brian was more accommodating and helpful. We were able to get a new room on a higher floor and free breakfast for the rest of our stay.

We gladly accepted the room change and requested a bell boy to help us with the move. Although the bulk of our room problems were over, we couldn’t quite put difficulties behind us. Our room keys inconsistently worked. I replaced mine twice, as did my roommate. A staff member berated my roommate for putting her phone too close to her key card. Then his key card didn’t work, forcing him to use the master key to get us into the room. Our new room was much larger, but noticeably lacking a shower bar (with holes indicating where the bar should be).

The breakfast and the bar food were phenomenal. The bar service was slow, admittedly short-staffed by the manager.

Yet, the biggest disappointment of the weekend was the conference food. I’m not sure how the kitchen for the bar and the kitchen for the conference was so vastly different, but as someone who was there strictly for the conference, I’m not sure that I would return for any other food. You certainly wouldn’t know that they were capable of more.

At our final dinner, the entree of bland chicken and salmon went uneaten and the cold, oily bread pudding was straight out refused. Needless to say, the bar was packed after the dinner banquet.

Upon check out, I examined the bill. Even though both my roommate and I let the front desk know that we were splitting the bill equally, the entire charge ended up on my credit card. This may not have been as big as a deal if they had not placed a hold of 100% of the total bill at the outset without letting me know that they were going to do so. Often, I’ve been charged for incidentals for the stay, a few dollars per night in case we tear up the room (as if that were to happen for me). But the entire amount of over $700 without notification!?


  • Location, location, location…. only a few minutes to the Queen Mary and downtown Long Beach.
  • Clean – All of the rooms were very clean and neat.
  • Bar – OMG! The Beef Sliders were absolutely delish!
  • Cocktails – Original drinks were great. I loved the Ginger Martini, when it was fresh pureed ginger
  • Rooms – there were plenty of rooms for all of our events.
  • Room charges – there are no room service or mini-bar charges. There isn’t an alcoholic mini-bar, but they do provide water which in other hotels can cost you up to $5 a bottle to drink. Here it’s free.


  • No shuttle – shuttle service is only to downtown Long Beach, the shuttle doesn’t go to the nearby Long Beach Airport
  • Shuttle (part 2) – there’s only one shuttle driver, so if you have a large group or are there with a conference, the shuttle is virtually useless. It’s easily a 45 minute wait
  • Conference food – yuck
  • Technology – old and needs upgrading (key cards!)
  • Renovations – they weren’t complete. There was an obvious place where the carpet had not been cut to the appropriate size and the walls were in complete
  • Customer service – mediocre at best. Brian seemed to be the only person really willing to help. Most weren’t accommodating at all.

Overall, I was highly disappointed in Hilton Long Beach. I’ve stayed in my share of Hiltons and by far this one was the only one that I felt like I would actively consider not returning to. After declaring that the hotel was newly renovated, it was not equipped to deal with a conference of our size (which I would argue was relatively small) and tried it’s best to make up for their mistakes, instead of doing it right in the first place. At this time, my recommendation would be to go for convenience, location and cleanliness. Hopefully, in the next year or so they could get things together, but I will have a better review.

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Introducing Chobani® Greek Yogurt Smoothies only at #SmoothieKing

It’s summer and who doesn’t love a good smoothie. As much as I enjoy making them myself, sometimes I can get some variation and tastiness when I go out to grab one. You can get great things like enhancers and supplements to give your smoothie a spark! 

On Monday, my husband stayed home from work and I took full advantage of getting some me time. I hit the mall and found my favorite smoothie place. I poured over the menu, taking a look at their new additions. Since I make my smoothies at home with Greek yogurt, I definitely had to try their versions. Blueberry Strawberry caught my eye immediately, because I don’t like bananas. Also, I often make a version of the carrot orange at home and was looking for something a little different than my norm.

It was delicious! Not too sweet, not too tart. I typically don’t like really sweet things, so at home, I toss in a few veggies. Usually with blueberries, things can get a little tart too. I was happily surprised!I ended up getting a larger size because I knew this would be my meal. I also added some Energy and Protein to substantiate making it a meal. I sucked on that straw until there was nothing left ~ and was disappointed it was all gone.

Smoothie King - Chobani Greek Smoothies editIntroducing Chobani® Greek Yogurt Smoothies

Smoothie King smoothies are blended with a purpose. Your purpose – whatever that may be. And they use only the best ingredients for each and every blend. That’s why they have partnered with Chobani® to introduce three new Greek Yogurt smoothies. 

On June 16th, Smoothie King introduced these new smoothies to the menu:

Blueberry StrawberryA customer favorite, this Greek yogurt smoothie is rich in protein and antioxidants and tastes like a “berry explosion” in your mouth.
Pineapple Mango: Blended with Greek yogurt, fiber, protein and electrolytes, this smoothie tastes like a “tropical citrus burst.”
Carrot Orange: A perfect blend of veggies and fruits, this Greek yogurt smoothie features an untraditional pairing with extraordinary taste. 

They even have a choice just for kids:

Strawberry Bluegurt Blitz: Chobani® Greek Yogurt, Strawberries, Blueberry Juice Blend, Non-Fat Milk, Vanilla Protein Blend, Electrolyte Mix, Multi-Vitamin Enhancer

These tasty blends not only provide probiotics, calcium and half the amount of sodium as other regular yogurts on the market, but also have up to 12 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and are all less than 350 calories. Adding Chobani® Greek Yogurt to the smoothie gives you double the protein and half the carbohydrates, which is better for your body and waistline!

These three new Greek yogurt smoothies powered by Chobani are the perfect way to introduce balance into your every day hectic lifestyles.


 To add a little more health to your life, on June 23rd, Smoothie King launched a #FindMyBalance campaign to help fans and followers achieve balance in their lives. Whenever you share an off-balance life moment and use #FindMyBalance #SmoothieKing, we’ll be sure to respond with a life-balancing advice, tips and tricks or maybe even some special surprises to help fans get their balance back.

[Tweet “I’m a mom! #FindMyBalance #SmoothieKing”]

Life-balancing surprises might include things like:

  • Greek Yogurt Smoothies
  • Merry Maids gift card
  • Massage Envy gift card
  • Toodledo life-organizing app
  • Pocket Yoga app
  • Ticketmaster gift card
  • Netflix (for 1 month)
  • SWAirlines gift card

Remember that most smoothies are made with mostly fruit. Fruit is good and healthy, but they pack a lot of sugar and calories! Make this an occasional treat!

Disclosure: I was given a gift certificate to try out the new smoothie. However, all opinions are my own.
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