Tips on going to the Texas Renaissance Festival with Toddlers
We recently went to the Texas Renaissance Festival with two toddlers under 4. We had one 2 year old and one 3 year old. We had a great time, and I wanted to share our tips!
Buy Tickets Online
We bought an adult 4 pack through the Texas Renaissance Festival. It was fast and easy. I waited late to make sure no one got sick or weather wasn’t terrible. Kids are free on Sundays, but kids under 5 are free every day! My son’s grandma ended up coming, and we bought a single adult ticket on Groupon for $22. You don’t have to print out the tickets. You can show them on your phone, but there can be bad service at the Texas Renaissance Festival.
This is a big one for us! We often times don’t have a ton of cash on us. Most of the food areas and face painting only take cash!
Parking is Free
You can pay extra for Premium Parking, but they have a nice big parking lot among trees. My Mother-in-law even took a picture of the parking since it is pretty cool how they have it laid out. It might be worth it to pay if you are staying late till fireworks and want to get out faster. Make sure to remember your parking row number though!
Print out a Map before!
They sell programs and maps, but it looked like they were charging for them. We just wandered around, but I think we may have missed some fun rides. I recommend printing a map before, so you don’t need to buy the programs they are selling.
No, I am not talking about costumes. The Texas Renaissance Festival is 90 percent outdoors. Think about muddy ground if it has rained. We came on a beautiful day and I still would recommend sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen especially for the kids. Lots of people are in costume, so you are welcome to do that too. We didn’t see any mosquitoes on the day we went, but it might be worth it to bring spray just in case!
Bring a Wagon/Stroller
There’s lots of walking, starting from the parking lot. We brought our collapsible red wagon! This works great for pulling waters, diaper bags, all the random stuff we acquire.
Bring UNOPENED Bottled Water
The rules are that you can bring one unopened bottle of water per person. We brought kids cups and unopened bottled waters. Pro Tip: Buy the big bottles of water. Also, when we went, no one checked our bags for snacks or drinks, so if you wanted to sneak in some kids snacks you could. The kids enjoyed eating Renaissance Festival snacks though.
This is difficult to do, because it is a long drive. We started getting ready as soon as the kids woke up and ate some food. We still arrived after Noon, but this is when most people arrive. I wasn’t uncomfortable by the crowds. There was plenty of space to walk, and we stayed almost 4 hours. The kids napped on the drive.
Check out the Entertainment
The Texas Renaissance Festival is all about performance. There are tons of people around in their roles, as well as lots of live music and performances. Our kids loved watching the live music, and enjoyed dancing around to it.
I am all about the rides, so my son is too. We loved the swings and the pony rides. We didn’t even make it to the maze or petting zoo! But, I would have loved that too!
We are all about the food options in this family. My favorite items were the fresh squeezed lemonade and turkey leg. The kids loved the french fries. I wasn’t overly impressed by the apple dumplings and corn dog. They have tons of food options from Greek to Asian food and all the typical staples too.
Trouble walking so much?
If you are traveling with grandparents or having trouble walking, consider hiring the horse drawn carriage to take you where you need to go. That could be an experience in itself!
Best Breastfeeding Tips! (read before having a baby)
Skin to Skin after Birth
Skin to skin contact after birth with Mom has been shown to help send signals to the body that the baby has arrived!
Baby stay in room in Hospital
I am not sure how you feel about this, but I might recommend baby bring in the room with you. One of those first nights it felt like Leo was awake all night constantly eating, and I think that is a common process where baby is sending a message to your body that baby is here and starting your milk coming in.
Give your partner some expectations
Bring you water and food, even if they are snack bars. This may sound like I am being lazy but when the baby just fell asleep on you, sometimes it’s not even worth moving. But, you will need water and food to keep your milk supply up!
Support your Back & know your form
Stack pillows on your lap and a nursing pillows on top of that. Don’t lean over. It’s bad for your breastfeeding form and your back.
Get a good latch
If it hurts, break the seal, unlatch baby and try again. Boob should go deep in babies mouth. Watch videos to know details of babies head and your boobs.
LLL a Leche League is a good support group
It is essentially a group of women going around in a circle talking about how great breastfeeding is, but I enjoyed going even though I was terrified leaving the house on my own with baby so soon after birth.
Get help early!
If you are having issues, get a consultant or go to a LLL meeting and try to get some help.
Delayed Pacifier Use
Some people swear by pacifiers, and I think they can help a baby suck back to sleep without needing Mom which is why they are so great. I didn’t use any pacifiers or bottles early on to not risk nipple confusion, and my son never ended up taking one. This is fine with me, but some Mom’s might decide they really want that tool in their tool box.
Delay pumping breast milk until your supply regulates
This will help prevent an oversupply and possible problem with engorgement, etc. I didn’t start pumping for a month after baby came so my supply could regulate. Not all mom’s have this luxury depending on when. They need to go back to work, but this is what I found to be recommended
Baby might eat OFTEN and that’s okay!
Also, Leo ate a lot early on. Sources often say baby needs to eat every three hours, but in those first weeks feedings were more like every twenty minutes which a lot of people don’t realize when people are visiting, and you are constantly breastfeeding. Just know that of your babies pee and poop output is the recommended amount, then baby is getting enough food and you don’t need to supplement if you don’t want to.
So I mentioned that for the young baby I like the my breast friend nursing pillow and cover. They are definitely not stylish but they were the most functional. Once baby was bigger like 4-6 months maybe, I started to prefer the boppy pillow.
I have a lot of nursing bras. I like the thin ones when I’m at home and the nursing tanks when I go out in public to block my chubby belly, but this is my favorite because it provides support! Definitely buy some nursing bras though if you are hoping to breasfeed a while. Regular bras and sports bras might not give your boobs the space they need early on.
Baby sleeping in a cosleeper was helpful to me
Leo slept in our bed in the snuggle me organic bed. Make sure to read all the rules about what is recommended first. I also switched to side feeding when baby was a little bigger and that helped my go back to sleep easier.
Use bottles that work for you
When we did use a bottle after about a month, we ended up with the Dr. Brown’s wide mouthed glass bottles. I think a bottle warmer would be helpful if you are going to be heating up bottles often. Breastfeeding directly from the breast was so much more convenient for me than pumping though.
You can hate pumping and that’s okay
I hated pumping. It always felt so inconvenient and those bonding hormones aren’t released and can come with it’s own struggles, but once you get the hang of it, it’s doable. It was sometimes hard for me to get my milk to let down during pumping unless I was pretty full.
If you stop breastfeeding, that’s okay!
It would be difficult to breastfeed as long as I have if I had the typical office job. Breastfeeding is really hard and both parties have to want to do it, so if you stop, that’s okay! You are still a good mom!
When I first had my baby, one of my very good friends got pregnant, and I just wanted to share with her all of my tips. Everyone’s experience is different, because everyone has a different situation, but here are my top tips for pregnancy and birth!
Top Tips for Pregnant Moms on Pregnancy and Childbirth
Suspend all judgement for other Moms!
Motherhood has taught me to really have very little judgement towards others in their Parenthood journey. Parenthood is so hard, and it doesn’t come with a manual! You really have to do what is right for you and your partner. Just be grateful for any advantages you have!
Eat dates for a faster Labor & Delivery!
This might is very hippy dippy (which I kind of am), but I ate 7 dates a day in my last few weeks of pregnancy after being told it can shorten your labor. I really like the evidence based birth website. I am not sure if it’s true, but I did have the shortest birth out of all the girls in my birth class (4 of us, so not a huge sample size). My midwife also said I had the best birth of all of them, which is insane to me because birth is so hard.
The “early labor” period is often not bad!
My labor started just after I woke up. If I hadn’t just woken up, I have heard to tip to sleep, rest, and maybe eat something early on in the labor. Later when contractions are more intense or if you are at a hospital, you can’t eat or rest as much. Often times, women just get too tired so resting early on is important. I think labor didn’t start getting really tough until the 6-9 hour mark after I was having contractions., but everyone’s birth story is different!
Keep Walking during Pregnancy!
I walked all the way to the day I had the baby. I also drank raspberry leaf tea in the last couple weeks … kind of a lot of it. When you start trying to get labor going, you might try a lot of things!
You might have a tear during Birth
I am hesitant to mention this, because it feels private but I had a lot of fear around tearing and lasting damage after birth that I wanted to include it. I had a second degree tear after the birth. After a few months, I felt completely back to normal with no lasting damages.
Work through your Fears before Birth
I think it is good to work through your fears about birth before you go into labor, so you fully understand where that fear is coming from and the specifics about it. For example, I was scared of birth, but I wasn’t scared of the pain. The pain won’t kill me. I was scared of having a c section, but when I really thought about it… I feel lucky because previously in childbirth without a c section as an option, the mother or babies lives would be in danger. You might be the opposite of me, and be scared of pain and really want a C Section, and that is valid too. Often times what happens is out of your control, as well. You can just do your best to set yourself up for success.
My self talk was viewing myself as a failure if I had a C Section, but no one else would think that. Everyone else in my life just wants me and my baby to be okay. That was just a pressure I was putting on myself.
Delay Cord Clamping and Skin to Skin if possible
After a vaginal birth, it was important to me to wait till the cord stopped pumping blood. We actually waited about an hour before cutting the cord with Leo, and just left it while he sat on my chest skin to skin. This may be an easier request since I was in a Birth Center versus a hospital. I felt tired and dehydrated during this time and drank a lot of Gatorade during and after the birth. I also breastfed early on and the midwives were and to help me that first time.
Breastfeeding is hard
Breastfeeding is hard for everyone, and impossible for some. I studied some tips on breastfeeding beforehand which I recommend. Kellymom is a great website resource. Friends are also an incredible resource if you know of someone who also breastfed. If breastfeeding is really important to you, and you have issues early on, I definitely recommend contacting a lactation consultant early on to help get you started. I think early intervention is really helpful. I know a lot of moms struggle with this.
After Birth Recovery is tough!
The recovery time is hard on you too! I can’t speak to the challenges of a c section recovery (probably even harder!) but for a vaginal recovery… I recommend the diapers/big pad underwear for a few days or a week until things lighten up and then switching to pads. I had some soreness and itchiness from the stitches, and buying the hospital style cold packs on Amazon to put in my underwear really helped me to sleep. Too much Information!
You might cry…like A LOT after Birth
In those first weeks (months?) after Birth, I was so emotional during this first week and struggled a lot after with adjusting to this new life that was no longer about me and all about this other human. At first, it was so difficult for me to even take a shower. But the first week I do feel like you go through a time where you cry a lot.
Advocate for yourself during and after Birth
You might be a very nice flexible person, but you have to advocate for yourself during this time. If someone wants to visit and you don’t want to them to, tell your partner to tell them you are too tired or you and the baby are sleeping and come another day. Don’t feel bad about it. Do what’s best for you. This might have been even harder for me, because I went home the day the baby was born, so I saw people very quickly without the support from the hospital. It was hard to even go for walks for weeks if not months, but I tried to as soon as I could because I felt like I needed to get out of the house with the baby, but I was scared to go in public too much around germs.
Have Baby Sleep in your Room with you after Birth
If you are hoping to breastfeed, I recommend bringing baby in the room with you. I didn’t use any pacifiers or bottles early on to not risk nipple confusion. One of those first nights it felt like Leo was awake all night constantly feeding (often called cluster feeding), and I think that is a common process where baby is sending a message to your body that baby is here and starting your milk coming in.
Set Expectations of what you are hoping your spouse can help with after the Birth
This is hard, because you don’t know exactly, but I recommend telling your partner to bring you food and water during these early times is important. Snack bars can be really easy too. I think having a child is really hard on a marriage because you are both so tired and there’s not enough time to do everything and things fall through the cracks. Ladies, you will probably do way more with the baby and be exhausted and want a break and your husband won’t be as helpful as you’d like. I’ve learned to nicely (that’s the goal) ask when I need help instead of expecting him to realize that I need help and help me.
Motherhood made me feel crazy. You feel so tired like you need a break , but as soon as you have to leave to go to work you are crying about having to leave them. It is so easy to fall into gender roles of the mom being the caregiver after you have a baby, especially when you are breastfeeding.
I had a baby that only wanted to be with me, Mom, and I often felt resentful towards my husband because he went back to work, and had his old life while I was spending every moment of my life (day and night) taking care of the baby. My husband wasn’t relaxing or avoiding any duties- he was helping take out the trash, make us some dinner, clean the dishes, shower, etc. It just felt like I was doing 90 percent of the baby duties. You will love seeing your spouse love that baby though. It is one of the best parts!
Women all over the world have given birth! Women are amazing powerful creatures!
It is incredible that so many women have given birth. Just remember how amazing medicine is and how many women around the world have given birth. Women are incredible, because they can grow a child and deliver it into this world then feed the baby all themselves! Women have super powers.
Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions for me! Always, Ask your Doctor before taking any medical advice!
My husband went to South Beach, Miami for his Bachelor Party and has been talking about it ever since, so 6 Years later we planned a trip back as a family to celebrate his 33rd Birthday.
This post won’t be too much about things to do, but will have a few tips so don’t click off now!
We really wanted a RELAXING vacation for once! Disney, Camping, work-trips are all really fun, but you often come home feeling like you need another vacation! All we wanted to do was eat delicious food and go to the beach/pool, and that’s what we did!
WHERE WE STAYED IN SOUTH BEACH, MIAMI
What I wanted in my South Beach Hotel
Walking Distance to South Beach Restaurants
Square footage – this hotel has a kitchen, living room, and bedroom
King Bed – this wasn’t always a given
Not to Go Broke
The hotel definitely has costs, like $40 a day Valet, which I wasn’t planning to use, but with it raining and not being able to find another great option we did it. We stayed for 4 nights, which is longer than usual, so I wanted to pick a more budget option.
The Square footage was a big seller for me with a toddler that loves to run around. Most of the rooms I looked at were 200-300 Square feet. The hotel was a little dated, but I felt that it was clean and I am happy with my decision.
These two were both a little further, and I knew we would be wanting to try a variety of really local foods, so our hotel had tons of quality options within walking distance and lots of square footage.
WHAT WE DID IN SOUTH BEACH, MIAMI
We woke-up walked somewhere local to eat lunch/breakfast, let the toddler nap, and got ready to go to the pool, then to the beach, then showered up for dinner, and back to bed.
This was a relaxing combination for all of us!
There are tons of family friendly options of things to do, but I really tried hard not to over schedule us. One day we were going to go to Jungle Island, but it was pretty expensive and I wasn’t wanting to spend very long there.
WHAT WE ATE IN SOUTH BEACH, MIAMI
My husband definitely came here for the FOOD!
BEST PLACE WE ATE IN SOUTH BEACH: CVI.CHE 105 ( Cheap Paid Parking Nearby if you don’t want to walk)
MORNING LATTE AND PASTRIES:AROMA ESPRESSO BAR (Very close to Hotel) – Plus Guava Croissant
COFFEE IN WYNWOOD: Panther (and go check out Wynwood walls)
PERUVIAN: CHALAN ON THE BEACH
WANT TO TRY NEXT TIME: TAQUIZA , BODEGA TAQUERIA Y TEQUILA, and Everything in Little Havana
PRO TIP: Walgreens right next to hotel where we stocked up on water and a few fresh snacks to keep in room for toddler
MY FEARS OF SOUTH BEACH
I was worried that South Beach, Miami would be a big party city, but I never felt uncomfortable or even saw an intoxicated person. We would stay in the room after dinner and no party music kept us awake. I did have to keep my son in the stroller when we were walking, because of all the cars passing by. Everyone was so sweet to my son at restaurants, and I saw lots of other families there too!
I registered for a lot of different baby items not knowing what I would want! I loved having a few new quality items that I would be using all the time. Here are the items that I used and loved the most in those first 6 months after baby was born! I did my best to have items that reduced added chemicals to the products too!
Rock n play – I know this is a no-no now but I used it all the time, maybe just don’t use without watching your child in it. There’s also a belief that if you put your kid in these or any bed similar to this, it can contribute to flat head so we used a flat head pillow and never used this at night.
These are the items that worked well for us! If you have hand me down items or cheaper items that you feel good about, then use that and see how it goes. You really don’t need as many items as you think, and you can always amazon prime something to yourself, so you don’t have to have EVERYTHING before baby comes.