10 Things to Know About Your First Trip to Split Rock Resort


Split Rock Resort is a vacation and conference resort located in Lake Harmony, Pennsylvania. It's situated in the scenic Pocono Mountains.

Split Rock Resort offers a range of amenities, including accommodations, and a indoor water parks. Some rooms are connected to the waterpark and some you can walk or drive. There is also an arcade on site. 

Here are 10 tips for your first visit: 

  1. Check the Resort's Website: Before your trip, visit the resort's official website for the latest information on accommodations, amenities, activities, and any special offers. We enjoy the offer of a free waterpark with a stay. 
  2. Reservations: If you have specific activities or amenities you want to enjoy, consider making reservations in advance, especially during peak seasons. We found a room that connected two suites. This way we both had our own space but then connected.  This made it easier to go with my sister. 
  3. Accommodations: Choose the type of accommodation that suits your needs, whether it's a standard room, or suite. We actually enjoyed our jacuzzi tub during our stay. 
  4. Pack Accordingly: Depending on the time of year, pack appropriate clothing for both indoor and outdoor activities. Don't forget swimsuits if you plan to visit the water park.
  5. Water Park Access: If you're interested in the water park, check the operating hours and plan your visit accordingly. There hours of operation were smaller than we thought they should be. We only found 1 waterslide to be open but still had a good time. 
  6. Dining Options: I suggest bringing food to make in your own kitchen. But there may also be delivery options. 
  7. Activity Schedule: Look for the resort's activity schedule. This resort actually has a movie theater, bowling alley and arcade but they are not open 24/7. 
  8. Local Attractions: Research nearby attractions and activities outside the resort. The Pocono Mountains region has a lot to offer, so consider exploring beyond the resort grounds.
  9. Parking and Transportation: We found that there is lots of parking at the waterpark and our room.
  10. Ask the Staff: The resort's staff can provide valuable information and recommendations. Don't hesitate to ask them for suggestions based on your interests. We needed a new room key and they were there fast to help us out. 
Bonus Tip, you can visit the actual Split Rock for free. 

Remember that these tips are based on general advice for visiting resorts, and specifics might vary depending on the resort's amenities and offerings. It's always a good idea to directly contact Split Rock Resort or check their official website for the most accurate and current information before your visit.


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10 Things to Know About Your First Trip to Universal Studios

  Universal Studios Florida is a popular theme park located in Orlando, Florida, USA. It is part of the larger Universal Orlando Resort, which also includes Universal's Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay water park, and various hotels.

Universal Studios Florida is known for its immersive attractions and experiences based on popular movies and TV shows produced by Universal Pictures and other studios. Visitors to the park can enjoy rides, shows, and interactive experiences featuring characters and themes from franchises like Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Transformers, Despicable Me, The Simpsons, and more.

The park offers a mix of thrilling rides, family-friendly attractions, live entertainment, and dining options, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists visiting the Orlando area.

  1. Plan Ahead: Research the park's layout, attractions, shows, and dining options before your visit to maximize your time and experience. You can do this by doing on their website or finding maps. 
  2. Get Park Tickets in Advance: Purchase your tickets online to save time and potentially money. Universal often offers discounts for purchasing tickets in advance.
  3. Arrive Early: Arriving at the park early can help you beat the crowds and experience popular attractions with shorter wait times. We stayed on site so we could get into the park an hour early. 
  4. Use Express Passes: Consider purchasing Universal Express Passes to skip the regular lines on select attractions. This can significantly reduce wait times, especially during peak seasons. We did not do this because they are expensive but we wish we could afforded it. 
  5. Download the App: Universal Studios usually has an official app with maps, wait times, show schedules, and more. Download it to stay updated throughout the day. This app was even helpful to find bathrooms. 
  6. Single Rider Lines: If you don't mind riding separately from your group, single rider lines can drastically reduce your wait times. Sometimes they allow two riders to go at the same time when you wait in these lines. 
  7. Hydrate and Snack: Florida can be hot, so stay hydrated and carry some snacks to keep your energy up throughout the day. They do sell things if you don't want to carry a bag. I recommend a very small bag and you will need to put these in a free locker. 
  8. Wear Comfortable Clothing and Shoes: You'll likely do a lot of walking, so wear comfortable shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather. Breathable cotton worked best for me. 
  9. Plan Rest Breaks: Take breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge. This will help you avoid burnout and keep enjoying the park. I found that eating at the park was expensive but we did not have to waste time leaving and coming back in. 
  10. Catch the Shows: Universal Studios offers a variety of live shows and entertainment. Plan some showtimes into your itinerary to add variety to your experience. We thought this was some of the best things we did while at the park. 
Bonus 1: Visit Harry Potter Attractions Early or Late: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter attractions can get crowded. Consider visiting these areas early in the morning or later in the evening for shorter lines. Since we got in early, we walked to the back of the park and did this the first thing when we got htere.
Bonus 2: Stay for Nighttime Entertainment: Universal Studios often has spectacular nighttime shows and events. Stay until closing to enjoy these experiences. We enjoyed the parade and fireworks. Sometimes we went back to our room mid day so we could stay til the end of the night. 



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10 Things to Know about Your First Trip on the Jim Throrpe Train in Pennsylvania - READING & NORTHERN RAILROAD PRESENTS LEHIGH GORGE SCENIC TRAIN RIDES AT JIM THORPE, PA


 In Pennsylvania, there is a town named Jim Thorpe that was originally known as Mauch Chunk. The town was renamed Jim Thorpe in 1953 as a tribute to the athlete after his death in 1953. The town wanted to honor his legacy and hoped that by adopting his name, they could attract tourism and attention.

Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, is a popular tourist destination known for its picturesque scenery, outdoor activities, and historical attractions. One of the popular attractions in the town is the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, which offers train rides through the scenic Lehigh Gorge. While this train is not specifically called the "Jim Thorpe Train," it could be what you're referring to. The railway provides visitors with the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful landscapes and learn about the region's history.

I took a trip in April with my husband, two kids and parents. We both brought our dogs which happen to be Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. We took an Easter trip and had an amazing time. 

  1. Check Schedules: Before your trip, verify the train departure times and schedules to ensure they fit your plans. We got their early for parking and going to the bathroom. There was a bathroom inside our train car. 
  2. Ticket Reservations: Consider making ticket reservations in advance, especially during peak seasons, to secure your seats.
  3. Arrive Early: Arriving early gives you ample time to find parking, collect tickets, and settle in before the train departs.
  4. Seating: Choose seats that are comfortable for your family and provide a good view of the scenery. We chose the most expensive train car and we were glad we did.  There was air conditioning, and an amazing window view. 
  5. Pack Essentials: Bring essentials like snacks, water, sunscreen, hats, and any medications your family might need. We were allowed to eat the food we brought on the train. 
  6. Camera and Binoculars: A camera or binoculars can help capture the beautiful landscapes and wildlife you might encounter. I saw some amazing cliffs of rhododendron. It would be amazing to see them in bloom.
  7. Entertainment for Kids: Keep kids entertained with coloring books, games, or electronic devices. They may get board of the sites. 
  8. Dress Comfortably: Wear comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear for walking around the train and potential stops. Ours stopped at the end but we did not walk around. I would recommend walking around Jim Thorpe before or after your train ride. 
  9. Listen to Guides: If there are guides or announcements, listen attentively to learn about the history and landmarks along the route. During Easter we were also read a children's book about Pennsylvania during Easter. 
  10. Safety: Emphasize safety rules to your children, especially regarding staying seated while the train is moving.
Bonus: Interact with Others: Train rides can be a great opportunity for social interaction. Encourage your family to strike up conversations with fellow passengers. We got to see some waterfalls and were able to support the local community with lunch out after our ride. 

Remember that these tips are general and might vary depending on the specific train ride you choose. It's always a good idea to research the train ride you're planning to take and check for any specific guidelines. 



10 Things to Know About Your First Trip to Knoebles Amusement Resort in Elysburg Pennsylvania


Knoebels Amusement Resort is a family-owned amusement park located in Elysburg, Pennsylvania, United States. It is known for its unique and nostalgic atmosphere, as well as its wide range of attractions and rides. Knoebels is often referred to as one of the last remaining free-admission amusement parks in the United States, which means visitors can enter the park for free and then pay for individual rides and attractions.

The park originally started as a picnic grove in 1926 and gradually expanded its offerings over the years. Knoebels is famous for its classic wooden roller coasters, such as the "Phoenix" and the "Twister," both of which are highly regarded by roller coaster enthusiasts. In addition to roller coasters, the park features a variety of other rides including carousels, water rides, bumper cars, and more.

One of the unique aspects of Knoebels is its pay-as-you-go approach. Visitors can purchase ride tickets or wristbands that provide access to a certain number of rides. There's also a selection of games, shops, and food vendors throughout the park. Knoebels has a strong emphasis on maintaining a family-friendly and nostalgic atmosphere, and many of its attractions have a vintage feel.

The park hosts special events throughout the year, including seasonal celebrations, festivals, and Halloween-themed activities. Knoebels has garnered a dedicated following of fans who appreciate its charm, affordability, and focus on traditional amusement park experiences.

  1. Check the Schedule: Before you go, check the park's operating hours and any special events or closures that might affect your visit. We like to get there as soon as the park opens. We actually get there a half hour early and go to the bathroom, and walk to the back of the park. There is no barriers or people from stopping you from doing this like other larger parks. Getting to the park early allows you to experience popular rides with shorter lines and secure a good parking spot.
  2. Parking: Parking is free, but it can get crowded during peak times. Aim to arrive early to find a convenient parking spot. Remember where your parking spot it located by taking a picture on your phone or making a silly phrase in your head to help commit it to your memory. 
  3. Admission: Knoebels offers free admission to the park, so you only pay for the rides and attractions you choose to experience. This means you can bring the young and the old. Even your dog. I have seen some other pets too like birds in backpacks. 
  4. Ride Pricing: You can buy individual ride tickets or an all-day wristband for unlimited rides. Consider your ride preferences and calculate which option is more cost-effective for you. We usually use tickets incase someone gets sick, tired, or the crowds get large. You can use them anytime!
  5. Ride Variety: Knoebels has rides for all ages and thrill levels. Check the height requirements and plan your rides accordingly. We love the train ride. You get to go into the woods, under a roller coaster, and sometimes see squires and deer. 
  6. Ride Order: Hit popular rides early when lines are shorter. The wooden roller coasters like the "Phoenix" and "Twister" are often must-rides for some people.
  7. Food Options: Knoebels offers a variety of food choices, from traditional amusement park fare to unique local dishes. Don't miss out on the stand with the baked potato with meat! Knoebels allows outside food, so you can pack a picnic and enjoy it in designated picnic areas.
  8. Cash and Cards: Bring both cash and cards, as some food stands and games might only accept cash.
  9. Shade and Sunscreen: The park has some shaded areas, but it's a good idea to bring sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses for sun protection.
  10. Water Rides: Some rides are water-based, so consider bringing a change of clothes or a swimsuit if you plan to ride them.

Bonus Tip: Enjoy the Atmosphere: Knoebels has a nostalgic and family-friendly atmosphere. Take time to enjoy the surroundings, relax, and have fun with your friends and family.

Remember, each visitor's preferences and needs can vary, so adapt these tips to your own situation to ensure you have a fantastic first trip to Knoebels Amusement Resort.


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