Texas Renaissance Festival with Toddlers - Family Trip - Our Long Life - Top Tips

Tips on going to Texas Renaissance Festival with Toddlers

Tips on going to the Texas Renaissance Festival with Toddlers

Texas Renaissance Festival with Toddlers - Family Trip - Our Long Life - Top Tips

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!

Texas Renaissance Festival with Toddlers - Family Trip - Our Long Life - Top 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.

Texas Renaissance Festival with Toddlers - Family Trip - Our Long Life - Top Tips

Bring Cash

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!

Texas Renaissance Festival with Toddlers - Family Trip - Our Long Life - Top Tips

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.

Texas Renaissance Festival with Toddlers - Family Trip - Our Long Life - Top Tips

Dress Appropriately!

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!

Texas Renaissance Festival with Toddlers - Family Trip - Our Long Life - Top Tips

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.

Texas Renaissance Festival with Toddlers - Family Trip - Our Long Life - Top Tips

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.

Texas Renaissance Festival with Toddlers - Family Trip - Our Long Life - Top Tips

Arrive Early

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.

Texas Renaissance Festival with Toddlers - Family Trip - Our Long Life - Top Tips

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.

Texas Renaissance Festival with Toddlers - Family Trip - Our Long Life - Top Tips

Rides!

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!

Texas Renaissance Festival with Toddlers - Family Trip - Our Long Life - Top Tips

FOOD!

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.

Texas Renaissance Festival with Toddlers - Family Trip - Our Long Life - Top Tips

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!

Texas Renaissance Festival with Toddlers - Family Trip - Our Long Life - Top Tips
Texas Renaissance Festival with Toddlers - Family Trip - Our Long Life - Top Tips
Texas Renaissance Festival with Toddlers - Family Trip - Our Long Life - Top Tips
John Deere Tractor themed 2nd Birthday Party for a boy

John Deere Tractor themed Birthday Party

John Deere Tractor themed Birthday Party

John Deere Tractor themed 2nd Birthday Party for a boy

We recently through our son a John Deere themed 2nd Birthday Party. It was a big success considering my son loves tractors. There were a surprisingly large amount of John Deere themed party supplies.

John Deere Tractor themed 2nd Birthday Party for a boy

Tractor cake!

My neighbor makes beautiful cakes and made this cake for us.

John Deere Tractor themed 2nd Birthday Party for a boy

Custom Tractor T-shirt!

My Mom ordered this shirt off of Etsy. This one off Amazon would work too!

John Deere Tractor themed 2nd Birthday Party for a boy

Delicious Texas BBQ!

My husband cooked the BBQ. He makes some amazing BBQ, but he doesn’t get any sleep doing it!

John Deere Tractor themed 2nd Birthday Party for a boy

John Deere Cap!

My son had a blast and that’s all I care about. He loves wearing this hat when he’s on the tractor with Papa too!

He loves his backpack too!

John Deere Tractor themed 2nd Birthday Party for a boy

A John Deere Tractor, of course!

My Dad has a tractor, which is part of the reason Leo loves them, and why we are able to have one at the party!

John Deere Tractor themed 2nd Birthday Party for a boy
John Deere Tractor themed 2nd Birthday Party for a boy

John Deere toys!

John Deere Tractor themed 2nd Birthday Party for a boy

John Deere colored flowers, balloons, and tablecloths – Oh my!

John Deere Tractor themed 2nd Birthday Party for a boy
Walt Disney World with a Toddler Family Photo Locations for Great Family Photos at Magic Kingdom

Best Magic Kingdom Rides for a toddler!

Best Rides at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom for a Toddler

Walt Disney World with a Toddler Family Photo Locations for Great Family Photos at Magic Kingdom

Some people worry that there’s nothing for their toddler to ride at Disney World, but you will probably struggle to do it all! I know I do!

Magic Kingdom is definitely the park with the most options for rides that toddlers can ride.

Walt Disney World with a Toddler Family Photo Locations for Great Family Photos at Magic Kingdom

Here are all rides for a 2 year old at Magic Kingdom! I have put stars by my top favorites!

Fantasyland – This land was made for the little kids!

Peter Pan – Good Fast Pass Option – Always a long line! This is a short ride too.

*It’s a Small World – fast moving line

The Carousel – short wait

Walt Disney World with a Toddler Family Photo Locations for Great Family Photos at Magic Kingdom

*Dumbo

Mad Tea Party

Mickey’s Philharmagic

Journey of the Little Mermaid – Great Fast Pass Option for those littles that love Ariel!

Top Tips on Visiting Walt Disney World with a Baby

Adventureland –

*Jungle Cruise – good option for Fast Pass

*Enchanted Tiki Room – A great break in the air conditioning! Grab some dole whip too! They now let you bring it inside!

*Pirates of the Caribbean

Liberty Square

*Haunted Mansion

Tomorrowland

*Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – Good fast pass option

*Astro Orbiter – Good Fast Pass Option

*Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress – a short wait and a relaxing time in Air conditioning

Tomorrowland Transit Authority – Short line and fun ride for a break

Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor

Walt Disney World with a Toddler Family Photo Locations for Great Family Photos at Magic Kingdom

Tomorrowland’s Speedway – must be 32 inches (one of the shorter height restrictions)

Walt Disney World with a Toddler Family Photo Locations for Great Family Photos at Magic Kingdom

*The railroad!- No, not big thunder, but the railroad around the park is so fun and can help you avoid extra walking. NOTE: The train was currently closed for refurbishment at the end of 2019 and they said it could be 1-2 years before it is back and running, but it is available for photos.

Walt Disney World with a Toddler Family Photo Locations for Great Family Photos at Magic Kingdom

Cinderella’s Castle is a great thing especially for little girls that love princesses!

Walt Disney World with a Toddler Family Photo Locations for Great Family Photos at Magic Kingdom
Walt Disney World with a Toddler Family Photo Locations for Great Family Photos at Magic Kingdom

Fireworks shows and Parades are also great entertainment. People often wait for hours to get the best spot. That is not worth it to me with a toddler, but you can put them on your shoulders for a better view for them!

Walt Disney World with a Toddler Family Photo Locations for Great Family Photos at Magic Kingdom

Visiting Disney World with a Toddler

Visiting Walt Disney World with a Toddler!

Walt Disney World with a Toddler Family Photo Locations for Great Family Photos at Magic Kingdom


After visiting Walt Disney World with a baby, we have now visited with a toddler, who just turned 2 years old. 


We have a couple of Disney trips planned with Leo as a toddler. We just came back from our first trip, and here are my top tips for visiting Walt Disney World with a 2 year old!

Walt Disney World with a Toddler Family Photo Locations for Great Family Photos at Magic Kingdom


Schedule in Nap/Rest time

I debated trying to push through and just try and have my son sleep in the stroller, but rest is for us too! I love Disney World, but it is hot and full of people. I love laying in a clean air conditioned hotel room and maybe even taking a nap myself!

Walt Disney World with a Toddler Family Photo Locations for Great Family Photos at Magic Kingdom


Disney World Fast Passes!

Toddlers do not have patience, and with nap times and snack times, our time in the park is valuable! If you are staying on Disney Property (or a Disney Neighbor hotel), then you can book these 60 days out. If you stay on property, you can book them 30 days out. You can still grab really great fast passes 30 days out, but the top couple of rides at each park might already be taken!

Walt Disney World with a Toddler Family Photo Locations for Great Family Photos at Magic Kingdom

Disney World Buffets

Honestly, I hate buffets. But, I want my son to see all the characters. Character meals are a great way to do that without waiting in long lines and using up fast passes on character meets. We ate at Chef Mickey’s lunch buffet. This restaurant is on the monorail at the Contemporary Hotel. After lunch, we ubered back to the room for some rest before heading back out for more Magic Kingdom fun. Dining reservations can be made as early as 180 days out. Dining reservations are good to have as some places fill up early, but I still found some good reservations booking a few months out. It depends on when you are going and how busy the park will be too!
Avoid Park HoppersWe are always a family to stay on property and buy Park Hoppers, but with a toddler everything moves slower. This is the first trip we are staying off property and not getting a park hopper. This is how we able to fit in this weekend trip before a longer trip in 2020 by cutting back. 

Walt Disney World with a Toddler Family Photo Locations for Great Family Photos at Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom is your best friend

I always love Magic Kingdom because it is so classically Disney World. IT HAS THE CASTLE! But, this is also the best park for toddlers. I love the other parks, especially Epcot. There’s not as much to do in Epcot for toddlers. I love Animal Kingdom too, but there’s a lot of walking in that park which can take a lot of time as well. One day, I definitely want to bring Leo to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, a great place for a toddler that loves animals!

Walt Disney World with a Toddler Family Photo Locations for Great Family Photos at Magic Kingdom

Take Advantage of Rider Swaps!

If you want to ride roller coasters, make sure to use Rider Swap options. When someone has to hang back and watch the child that can’t ride, you can use a rider swap card for two fast passes to ride after the person waits.

Walt Disney World with a Toddler Family Photo Locations for Great Family Photos at Magic Kingdom

Disney Park Baby Changing Rooms

Even though Leo isn’t a baby anymore, I still use the baby rooms when we are nearby. They have diaper changing tables and air conditioning! This is a great escape for a clean changing or feeding place for the little ones.
Also, it is okay if there is something YOU want to do at Disney too. I rode some of my favorite rides the Leo isn’t old enough to ride yet!
These are my top tips for going to Disney with a Toddler!

Walt Disney World with a Toddler Family Photo Locations for Great Family Photos at Magic Kingdom
Walt Disney World with a Toddler Family Photo Locations for Great Family Photos at Magic Kingdom


Check out this blog on my favorite rides for a toddler.

How to take Fall Pumpkin Patch Photos of your Kids

Top 5 Tips for taking Fall Pumpkin Patch Photos

How to take Fall Pumpkin Patch Photos of your Kids
I’ve been waiting for the pumpkin patch by our house to put out their annual pumpkins, because I love taking Fall Photos in the pumpkin patch.

5 TIPS ON TAKING THE BEST FALL PHOTOS OF KIDS IN THE PUMPKIN PATCH

1. Outfit –

This is a little obvious but maybe worth mentioning. I think my favorite attire is just the fall attire. Another option is Halloween costume which is what I did.  I actually think I like the more stylish fall outfits better though. Our first year in the pumpkin patch, we dressed our little Leo in overalls like a little farmer.  Being from Texas, I have made him look as country as possible.  He might give me a hard time about that later. This year I dressed him as a pumpkin.

How to take Fall Pumpkin Patch Photos of your Kids

2. Lighting –

I am writing this with non-professional photographer moms in mind. I’m assuming you are taking pictures on your cell phone or with just a quality dslr on automatic settings.  I recommend going in the morning or in the last hour before sunset. You want to find places in the shade to take the photo without spots of sunlight coming through trees making the ground too bright. You don’t want to put the kids looking into bright sunlight. You can put the sun behind the kids for backlight, and that can work well depending on your camera and the location.
How to take Fall Pumpkin Patch Photos of your Kids

3. Background-

Try to simplify the background. Just have only pumpkins in the picture or try out a backdrop they’ve set up already at the pumpkin patch.
How to take Fall Pumpkin Patch Photos of your Kids

4. Get low –

It is great to squat down on the kids level. If not, you can have them look up at you, but sometimes looking at the sky can be too bright.
How to take Fall Pumpkin Patch Photos of your Kids

5. Actions-

Young children don’t respond very well to being told to smile or being yelled at to smile. Trust me, that is more common than you’d think.  It all depends on the age, but this year Leo is running around like crazy but if made a little spot for him to sit, sat him down and gave him a small pumpkin just his size. He had never seen a pumpkin before so he sat much longer than he normally would. When we moved I would encourage him to touch a pumpkin. When his older cousin was with us, we asked if she could find the green pumpkin and things like that to keep them interested and looking at you. You can also say things like you sit here and I’m going to give you a very special pumpkin. You can get creative here, but trying to find ways to make it natural always helps. Try to think what would Disney do?
How to take Fall Pumpkin Patch Photos of your Kids
Top Tips on Photographing your Kids in the Pumpkin Patch

Welcome | Family, Food, and Finance for the Modern Woman

Our Long Life Blogger

Hello there!  I I traveled through 6 countries and five states with my son before he turned one years old. We try to live a fun, intentional life and want to share our tips along the way.  I am coming up on a decade of running my own business, and now do it while having a husband and son.  Ever since having kids, I have found advice from others online that has been so helpful to me.   I am always learning, and I am often deep diving into books and the internet to find what I want to know.  I am hoping my perspective as a down-to-earth nerd can help others live their own long happy life.

In the early stages of this blog, I plan to write about everything in my life and just see what people respond to and want to hear more about and go from there.

The name of this blog is Our Long Life, because we are the Long Family, and my goal is to optimize our life into an intentional happy Long Life.  I am a Mom, wife, dog-Mom, Feminist, Entrepreneur, and much more!

 

Here are a few of my passions that you might see come up in this blog!

TRAVEL (Disney World especially!)

EATING (Maybe some cooking)

HEALTH (Paleo-ish style diets)

ENTREPRENEURSHIP (Female Small-Business Owners)

HOUSTON, TEXAS PRIDE (All things TEXAS)

FINANCE ($$$ MONEY $$$)