Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Corn Maze Coupons and Fall Festival Savings Nationwide

Fall is here and it's time to have some family fun.  Check out these Fall Festival Deals! Here is a great list of Corn Maze Coupons and Fall Festival savings nationwide.  Download valuable coupons for Corn Mazes, Pumpkin Patches and Fall Family Activities.

Tolmachoff Farms - Glendale
Mortimer Farms - Dewey
Rocker 7 Farm Patch - Buckeye
Pirates Dinner Adventure - Vampirates - Buena vista
Gilroy Gardens - Gilroy
California's Great America - Santa Clara
Big Horse Corn Maze Festival - Temecula
Anderson Farms - Erie
Fritzler Maze - La Salle
Mile High Farms - Bennett
Wishing Star Farm - Calhan
Harvest Farm - Wellington
Cottonwood Farms - Boulder
Rocky Mountain Pumpkin Ranch - Longmont
Elitch Gardens Theme Park - Fright Fest - Denver
Denver Zoo - Boo at The Zoo - Denver
Children's Museum of Denver - Trick or Treat Street - Denver
Scott's Yankee Farmer - East Lyme
The Little Farm - Goulds
Lowry Park Zoo - ZOOBOO Kids! - Tampa
Siegel's Cottonwood Farm - Lockport
Amazing Fall Fun - Waterloo
Shipshewana Corn Maze - Shipshewana
Great Country Farms - Bluemont

Ripley's Believe It or Not! - Batimore
Bavarian Inn Lodge - Frankenmuth
Beggs Family Farm - Sikeston
Carolyn's Country Cousins - Liberty Corn Maze
Legoland Discovery Center - Brick or Treat - Kansas City
Applestem, Inc. - Vaughn
New Jersey
iPlay America - Freehold
New Mexico
La Union Maze - La Union
OhioBlooms and Berries - Loveland
Beriswill Farms - Valley City
Rhode Island
Confreda Greenhouses & Farms - Hope (Western Cranston)
South Carolina
Hollywild Animal Park - Wellford
Oakes Farm - Corryton
Shuckle's Corn Maze - Hendersonville
Devine Acres Farm - Devine 
Fiesta Farm - San Antonio
Barton Hill Farms - Bastrop
Lone Star Family Farm - Stephenville
LEGOLAND Discovery Center - Brick or Treat - Grapevine
Hee Haw Farms - Pleasant Grove
This Is The Place Heritage Park - Salt Lake City
Gaines Farm - Guilford
Great Country Farms - Bluemont
For daily updates on these coupons and coupons for other family attractions please visit and bookmark: http://www.usfamilycoupons.com
#CornMaze #Fall #Autumn #Coupons #FallFamily

Friday, September 25, 2015

Brookfield Zoo’s Annual Boo! at the Zoo Offers Halloween Fun for Families

Brookfield Zoo’s annual Boo! at the Zoo Halloween celebration returns with not-so-scary and fun-filled activities for the entire family to enjoy on October 17-18 and October 24-25 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day.

During Boo! at the Zoo, presented by Bright Start College Savings, zoogoers can get into the Halloween spirit by learning about creepy crawlers like scorpions, giant spiders, and snakes. Each day during Boo! at the Zoo, special chats led by animal care staff will highlight interesting facts about these animals and more. Guests can head over to Australia House at 11:30 a.m. for a chat about bats, then wander over to Regenstein Wolf Woods to learn about the Mexican gray wolves at noon. At Hamill Family Play Zoo, there will be a chat about spiders at 12:30 p.m., followed by a chat about owls at 1:00 p.m. Across the way at The Swamp, there will be a chat about scorpions at 2:00 p.m. Families can slither over to Feathers and Scales for a snake chat at 2:30 p.m. Finally, back at Hamill Family Play Zoo, guests can meet the zoo’s ravens at 3:00 p.m.

Some animals will join in the fun when they receive Halloween treats at 11:00 a.m. Animals receiving pumpkins are rhinos on October 17; orangutans on October 18; sloth, grizzly, and polar bears on October 24; and lions on October 25.

On the zoo’s West Mall, guests can watch the Pumpkin Smasher demolish pumpkins into tiny pieces every hour. Professional pumpkin carver Steve Dahlke will be on hand and will use a variety of tools to create masterpieces out of gigantic 1,000-pound pumpkins. Zoogoers can pick up carving tips and tricks during his demonstrations and can even carve their own pumpkins to take home.

Ghosts and goblins of all ages can join in the popular costume parade, which kicks off at 1:00 p.m. by the North Mall and goes around Roosevelt Fountain before concluding on the West Mall. Following the parade, guests can show off their Halloween attire in a costume contest beginning at 1:30 p.m. Judges will choose prize winners in four categories: scariest, best animal theme, most original, and best group theme.

Don’t want the fun to stop? Keep the good times rollin’ with a ride on the Haunted Hayride and a trek through the Craized Maize corn maze. The whole family can enjoy a spin on the Creepy Carousel, build a scarecrow at Hamill Family Play Zoo, and snap photos together at pumpkin patches throughout the park. In addition, guests can purchase and enjoy some fall treats: pumpkin soup and freshly baked cupcakes with Halloween-themed decorations.

General zoo admission is $16.95 for adults and $11.95 for children ages 3-11 and seniors age 65 and over. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is $10. For further information, visit www.CZS.org/events or call (708) 688-8000.

#Chicago #Halloween #FamilyFun #Zoo 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Cirque du Soleil's Kurios Takes Chicago by Storm

I remember the first time I caught a glimpse of a Cirque du Soleil show on TV.  I believe it was one of those specials on PBS and Cirque's Allegria was on.  I was just mesmerized by everything from the costumes and makeup to the performances and even the music.  I watched several other Cirque shows on DVD before attending one live....and nothing compares to seeing a cirque show live.  That time I was lucky enough to get a back stage tour and a glimpse into what goes into one of these productions.

Just a few weeks ago I was invited to see Cirque's new show, Kurios.  I did not check out any trailers or previews, I wanted to just go and be surprised.  Nothing could have prepared me for the breath-taking performance I saw that night.  I loved everything about it, everything.  The feel of the stage and the costumes reminded me of one of those old-time side shows.  The music was beautiful and some songs even reminded me a little of Allegria.  The performances were absolutely amazing.  I went with a friend and we just kept looking at each other with that open mouthed "can you believe that" stare.  I could not get enough and the show just kept bringing more, there was never a dull moment.  One of the great things about Cirque du Soleil shows is that there is so much to look at.  The main act of course gets most of your attention but there are things happening on the stage that just add more to the whole experience.  That is exactly what Cirque shows are, experiences.


To make the Accordion Man’s attire, the costume-maker spent an entire week sewing inside the costume.

• Antanina Satsura, the artist who plays Mini Lili in Kurios, is 3.2 feet tall and weighs 39 pounds. She is one of the 10 smallest people in the world.

• The mechanical hand in Kurios weighs 750 pounds and measures 15 feet by 6.8 feet.

• In 2012, writer/director Michel Laprise collaborated with pop star Madonna, providing artistic direction for her performance at the super bowl XlVi halftime show; he later went on to direct her MDNA tour.

• There are 426 props used in Kurios, the most of any show in Cirque du Soleil’s history.

• Close to 65 trucks transport close to 2,000 tons of equipment for KUriOs™.

• The 109 Tour Members range from brand new to over 20 years on tour with Cirque and are from 21 countries.

• It is also the first time that Cirque du Soleil has a welcoming act on top of the big top before the show starts. When the weather is allowing they have 3 artists climbing the big top and welcoming guests on site. As they are playing music and acting the audience is arriving on site and watching this introduction to a KURIOS experience.

• I t took the team of prop makers ap-proximately 250 hours to build the Mi-cro-Cosmos ball.

• All performers are responsible for doing their own make-up every show. It can take them between 40 – 120 minutes.

The Final Show is Sunday, September 20.  A limited number of tickets are still available for the final shows in Chicago and can be purchased online at cirquedusoleil.com/kurios or by calling 
1-877-9CIRQUE (1-877-924-7783).

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Chicago and InterContinental for Your Labor Day Fun

Labor Day weekend is almost here, and at least here in Northern Illinois the temperatures are still screaming "summer"!  What better way to celebrate the end of the season than by spending it right here in the Windy City.  Weather you are local or a traveler, Navy Pier is the place to be when you visit Chicago.  Enjoy everything from boat rides to the Childrens' Museum and not to mention the giant ferris wheel!  If you are coming for a visit to Chicago you absolutely have to stay at least one night, and the place to stay is the InterContinental.

The InterContinental is breathtakingly beautiful and very family friendly.  They actually just added a Family Fun package that you can enjoy while you stay.  InterContinental’s Family Fun Package, which includes a variety of activities for the family is perfect for planning any last minute Labor Day vacations (or stay cations).  As the only hotel whose lobby directly opens up to Michigan Avenue, the property is steps away from some of Chicago’s most iconic cultural locations. The package - a guarantee for family fun - includes: 

  • A Nintendo Wii Console set up in your room
  • An in-room movie rental and some Garrett’s popcorn for the perfect movie night in
  • Two tickets to the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel
  • A deck of cards for games anywhere
  • Two Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse hats for the kids

The kid-friendly package starts $219 and makes for the perfect summer vacation or family staycation and is available now. For more information or to book the package, visit here.  

About InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile
Located at 505 N. Michigan Ave., InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile is the only hotel with a front entrance on the prestigious Magnificent Mile – Chicago’s most desirable address. Originally built in 1929 as the Medinah Athletic Club, an exclusive luxury men’s club, the property is one of Chicago’s most elegant landmarks. The hotel features 792 refurbished guest rooms, including 73 lavishly decorated suites. The hotel’s historic, junior Olympic size pool is recognized as one of the best indoor pools in the U.S. and is included in Chicago’s major architectural tours. Dining options in the hotel include Michael Jordan Steak House, an elegant, modern American steakhouse that reflects the basketball legend’s preferred dining style, and ENO, an upscale yet approachable wine lounge that features cheese and chocolate pairings.

Chicago Zoological Society Now Accepting Submissions for 2015 Photo Contest

From anteaters to zebras, Brookfield Zoo is a photographer’s paradise. So grab your camera and head to the zoo, where you just might capture a winning shot in the Chicago Zoological Society’s 2015 Photo Contest. The grand prize is a behind-the-scenes adventure with Brookfield Zoo’s giraffes. The unique experience will give the winner and up to five guests the opportunity to get to know the giraffe herd and even feed them some of their favorite food items.

Photo submissions should be 8 x 10 inches and either color or black-and-white, and they must feature an animal, although they do not have to be taken at Brookfield Zoo. (Photos with people will not be accepted.) Please do not frame or mat your photo.

To enter, fill out an entry form and tape it to the back of the photo (one entry per person). You can download forms and the official 2015 Photo Contest rules from the Chicago Zoological Society’s website at www.CZS.org/PhotoContest. Forms are also available at the zoo’s north and south information kiosks; by calling (708) 688-8351 and at House of Color, which is located at 9912 West 55th Street in Countryside.

Send entries to: Brookfield Zoo, 2015 Photo Contest, 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield, IL 60513. Photos may also be dropped off at the zoo’s South Gate reception area. All entries must be received by Monday, October 19, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. Entries will not be returned.

Judges will select one grand-prize winner from all entries. In addition, a first-, second-, and third-place winner will be selected in two age categories: adult (12 and older) and child (11 and under). Winners will be notified by phone and invited to an awards reception on Saturday, November 14. Winning photos will be displayed in the zoo’s Discovery Center lobby at least through the end of the year, as well as on www.CZS.org.

Grand Prize
A behind-the-scenes adventure with Brookfield Zoo's giraffes that gives you and up to five family members and/or friends the opportunity to get to know the giraffe herd and even feed them some of their favorite food items. An animal care staff member will be your host for this personalized tour.

Adult Category Prizes
1st Place - Backstage Adventures: Flippered Fins
2nd Place - Backstage Adventures: Poolside with Penguins
3rd Place - Brookfield Zoo Family Plus Membership

Child Category Prizes
1st Place - $100 Brookfield Zoo gift certificate
2nd Place - $75 Brookfield Zoo gift certificate
3rd Place - $50 Brookfield Zoo gift certificate

For more information, call 708-688-8351.

The 2015 Photo Contest prizes are courtesy of the Chicago Zoological Society. House of Color will mat the winning photos.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Earn Some Extra Cash Online

Sometimes it can be tough to make extra money, especially when balancing work, kids, pets, and whatever else life throws your way on a daily basis. As expenses pile up, the opportunity to make some extra cash can be really hard to find. Some moms turn to selling used items on eBay or having a garage sale, but have you ever thought of participating in focus groups or other market research opportunities? 

The products and services you and your family use every day come to market as a result of marketing research. Companies rely on the opinions of consumers like you to test their products, evaluate TV programming, weigh in on social issues, conduct mystery shops, and participate in mock juries, to name a few. If you see a product on the store shelf or a commercial for a political candidate, chances are the final result came about based on the feedback offered in focus groups. 

In the U.S., there are 75 million mothers, all of whom influence 85% of their household purchases. With all that buying power, it stands to reason that companies turn to marketing researchers to make sure that their products are meeting your needs and expectations. What's more, Atlanta is a hub for researchers due to the cross section of demographics represented in the population.

Registering to participate in focus groups is a painless process. One of the top companies conducting opinion research is Focus Pointe Global, a national company with a location in Atlanta. They have an interactive website for their panel members found HERE, where you can register and fill out your profile. Once that is done, you will almost immediately receive an email invitation to take a screener survey to see if you qualify for a particular research study. The studies are on a wide variety of topics, including baby products, social issues, taste tests, appliances, beverages, cell phones...just about anything you can think of. Participating in a focus group or product tests is a fun and easy way to earn some extra spending money - from $75 to $100 for only a couple of hours of your time.

Focus Pointe Global also conducts webcam focus groups, telephone interviews, online surveys, online communities, and a lot of other methods you can participate in marketing research. They even have an online product review program, where you are sent a product to use (and keep!) and you write an objective review on the company's website. 

Whether you are able to participate in marketing research in person at the Atlanta research facility or by going online, there are a lot of opportunities to make some extra money and have fun while doing so! Visit their site HERE to register.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

White Sox to Host a KaBoom! Playground Build {Volunteers Needed)

Next week on Thursday, August 27 from 8:00 am - 4:30 pm will be the  KaBoom! Playground Build Prep Day

What is KaBOOM?  KaBOOM! is a national non-profit committed to providing play places to communities throughout the country. This is the second KaBOOM! Playground Build hosted by the Chicago White Sox. The Primo Center for Women and Children is an organization that empowers women and children to become productive, responsible and independent members of their communities. The KaBOOM! Playground Build serves as the culmination of Sox Serve Week community outreach efforts.

Volunteers are needed to help prepare for the bigger build that takes place Saturday, August 29. There will be digging, cutting wood, sorting materials and art projects (making signs and potentially priming for side projects).

Location: Primo Center 1609 S. Homan Ave., Chicago, IL
Goal of 25 Volunteer Corps participants.
Click here to register by Tuesday, August 18.

Who: A total of 150 volunteers from the Chicago White Sox. **Please note - online registration is not available for volunteers under age 18. A parent or legal guardian must sign a hard copy waiver at the build site for each volunteer under age 18 on August 29th, 2015.**

When: Saturday, August 29th, 2015 at 8:00AM
Where: Primo Center for Women and Children, 1609 S. Homan Avenue​, Chicago, IL

What's Provided: Breakfast, lunch and plenty of water will be provided.  Gloves and other safety materials will be provided for the projects that need them.

What to Wear: The playground build will happen rain or shine.  Please come dressed for the weather in clothes you don't mind getting dirty or a bit of paint/stain on.  Also closed-toe shoes are required; sneakers or work boots that you don't mind getting dirty are advisable.

Build Week Schedule

Prep Day 1:  Thursday, August, 27, 2015
20 volunteers from the Chicago White Sox are needed. Breakfast, lunch and beverages will be provided.
  • 8:00 AM - Volunteers arrive and register
  • 4:00 PM - All prep work completed (approximate time)
Build Day: Saturday, August 29, 2015
150 volunteers from the Chicago White Sox are needed.  Breakfast, lunch and beverages will be provided.
  • 6:30 AM - Build Captains arrive
  • 8:00 AM - Volunteers arrive and register 
  • 8:30 AM - Kick-Off Ceremony
  • 2:30 PM - Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Friday, August 7, 2015

Illinois Treasurer I-Cash Program Allows IL Residents Claim Owed Money and Personal Items

Did you know that the Illinois Treasurer is currently safeguarding more than 2 billion dollars in cash and 20 million shares of stock and mutual funds which need to be returned to Illinois residents? Yes, unclaimed property is just sitting there waiting to be claimed by the owner. Illinois residents can easily claim the money that they are owed, and the average claim paid is $1,000. Most individuals will even receive a check within three weeks of submitting proof of ownership. I'm sure not one person would mind finding out they have some recovered money laying around that they can claim!

So where does the money come from? The Illinois Treasurer secures property from government agencies, banks, insurance companies, utilities, and other companies across the country that have been unable to return it to their rightful owners in Illinois. Some common examples of recovered property include: tax refunds, inactive bank accounts, unclaimed insurance benefits, uncashed paychecks and reimbursement checks, utility refunds, stocks, and retirement accounts. There are at least 400,000 recovered properties valued at more than $1,000, and the largest claim in recent history was more than $8 million which was claimed in 2012. Since then the Illinois Treasurer’s I-Cash program has reunited rightful owners with $366 million in cash, 4.7 million stock shares, and thousands of personal items.

Finding out if you have money waiting for you is really easy and takes no time at all. The Illinois Treasurer’s website is a free and easy way for Illinois residents to discover if they have assets waiting for them. Here is how to get started: Visit IllinoisTreasurer.gov and click on the I-Cash link in the top blue tab area. Then, enter your name in the search fields to find out if you have property to claim. If your name is in the database, then just fill out and submit the form along with proof of ownership to claim your assets. It's that simple!

I went ahead and checked myself on the site and found two claims! One was a payroll claim from when I worked at Toys R Us many, many years ago and another was a refund from my IPass!

Now all I have to do is print the filled out form from the site and mail it in with some identification and wait for my check!

Check back every six months because hundreds of thousands of new properties are added to the Illinois Treasurer’s I-Cash program throughout each year.

This post was sponsored by the Illinois Treasurer’s I-Cash program. While I have been compensated for my time, all thoughts and opinions are my own

Friday, July 24, 2015

Super League Gaming: First In-Theater Gaming League {Ticket Giveaway}

Gaming has just been taken to a whole new level!  Super League Gaming, is the world’s first in-theater video game league for kids.  Super League Gaming allows online gamers to meet in movie theaters to play the world’s most popular video game — Minecraft.  Meeting other kids with the same love and enthusiasm for Minecraft makes this awesome gaming experience as well as a social experience, and seriously, who wouldn't want to play video games on a huge movie theater screen.

Starting this month, Super League Gaming is hitting multiple Chicagoland movie theaters to bring together child gamers. All games will be from 4pm-5:40pm and tickets cost $20 to attend. 

Just announced today:  Super League Gaming would like to honor our Military families with 2 FREE tickets for your young gamers to play MINECRAFT INSIDE A MOVIE THEATER at AMC River East 21. 100 minutes of social gaming and creative building. Tuesday, July 28th. 4pm-540pm. To get your tickets, email SpecialEvents@SuperLeague.com, with "Military Minecraft" in the subject line. ****LIMITED FREE TICKETS AVAILABLE. MUST BRING FULLY CHARGED LAPTOP WITH MINECRAFT 1.8 or above installed.****

July 27  Chicago    Country Club Hills   AMC Country Club 16
July 27  Chicago    Evanston                   Cinemark Evanston 18
July 27  Chicago    South Barrington      iPic South Barrington
July 28  Chicago    Joliet                         Cinemark 14 
July 28  Chicago    Bollingbrook            iPic Bollingbrook
July 28  Chicago    Chicago                    AMC  River East 21
July 29  Chicago    Deerpark                  Cinemark Deer Park 16
July 29  Chicago    South Barrington     AMC  South Barrington 30 
July 29  Chicago    Lincolnshire            Regal Lincolnshire Stadium 21



Come Play Minecraft in a Movie Theater, 
Along with the Big Screen!

*Prizes to top scorers
*Gamers bring their laptops, but we also have some for use.
*Parents can sit with their gamers for free.


One of my lucky readers will win tickets to the Super League Gaming event of their choice!
All you have to do is follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below (This is a flash giveaway so enter now!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Subway Supporting Local Charities #YouShareWeShare #Rockford

When it comes to businesses and companies that I choose to support, I always lean towards the ones that give back to their community in some way. Everyone needs a helping hand at some point in their life and frankly, the world would be a much better place if we all did our part to help each other in some way.

Grabbing lunch is not usually what I think of when I think of helping a charity, but SUBWAY® Restaurants located in USA & Canada are joining forces with several charities to give back to their local communities. Starting now through August 31st, over than 7,800 local SUBWAY® Restaurants are participating in a campaign called “You Share. We Share.” which helps support different charities. My local Subway® is supporting the Rockford Rescue Mission in Rockford, IL. Rockford Rescue Mission is this area’s largest and longest operating assistance provider. They help the homeless, nearly homeless, addicted, and working poor with food, crisis and life recovery services. They also provide a community outreach program.

SUBWAY® is encouraging the community to share their weekends with Subway® Restaurants and their “You Share. We Share” campaign. SUBWAY® Restaurants in the Rockford area will share right back by donating a percentage of weekend sales, up to $10,000, directly to Rockford Rescue Mission. We know that most of these charities operate strictly on donations and this is a great way to support all that they do for our local residents. This is probably the easiest way to help a great cause, just go get some delicious lunch with your family or your friends and a portion of the proceeds will go directly to charity. It’s a win-win!

You can learn more about Rockford Rescue Mission by visiting their website HERE.

To find a SUBWAY® Restaurant near you, check out this store locator tool HERE

And to keep up with news and happenings, visit them on their facebook page at www.facebook.com/subway