11 Things to Know About Your First Trip to Black Moshannon


Black Moshannon State Park is situated in Centre County, approximately 9 miles east of Philipsburg, Pennsylvania. It covers an area of more than 3,000 acres in the Moshannon State Forest. The lake is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and birdwatching. We love the swimming and beach area there. The park offers a wide range of outdoor activities, making it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers. Visitors can enjoy hiking, picnicking, swimming, camping and wildlife watching. Black Moshannon State Park is known for its serene natural setting, with the lake and surrounding forest providing a peaceful backdrop for outdoor recreation and wildlife observation. Whether you're interested in water activities, hiking, or simply enjoying the tranquility of nature. The park is known for its unique ecosystem, including a sphagnum moss bog, which is a rare type of wetland.


  1. Outdoor Activities: Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, boating, bird-watching, picnicking, and camping. We went camping in a cabin for two nights. You can book 2 nights or more (up to two weeks) after the busy season is over.
  2.  Hiking Trails: The park offers several hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulty levels. The Moss-Hanne Trail is a popular choice that takes you through diverse habitats. There is a board walk section that is short and easy to get to by car.
  3.  Fishing: Black Moshannon Lake is stocked with trout and provides excellent fishing opportunities. A fishing pier is available for anglers. We have not tried fishing but there is kids finishing rods to borrow as well as other items from the main area.
  4.  Boating: Non-motorized boating is allowed on the lake, making it perfect for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. You can rent boat there for around $20 an hour.
  5.  Swimming: There's a sand beach at the lake where you can swim during the summer months. There is a playground on the beach too but no life guard.
  6.  Camping: The park offers both tent and RV camping options. Campsites are available year-round, but it's a good idea to make reservations during peak seasons.
  7.  Winter Activities: In the winter, the park offers cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing.
  8.  Wildlife Viewing: Black Moshannon is home to various wildlife species, including deer, turkey, and a variety of bird species. Don't forget your binoculars and camera for wildlife watching. We even saw some blue herons. We were told the lake has 5 and we saw two on a boat trip led by the education center. I love the Lilly pad on the black water. The view is amazing. 
  9.  Environmental Education: The park hosts environmental education programs and events, making it an excellent destination for learning about the natural world. We did a UV walk at night which was amazing. We then saw the stars which was not part of the program but was one of my favorite parts. We also saw solar flares during a program.
  10.  Picnicking: Numerous picnic areas throughout the park feature tables and charcoal grills, making it a great spot for family picnics and outdoor meals.
  11.  Pets: Pets are welcome in most areas of the park but must be kept on a leash and cleaned up after. There are designated pet-friendly areas, so check the park's rules for specifics. We brought our dog and was allowed to keep her in a cabin!

A few days away to this beautiful place so close to home. Solar flare viewing. Pontoon boat. UV light walk in the dark. Uno. Beach. Bog water swimming. Our first canoe ride (We didn't tip but it wasn't very long).

We saw some blue herons on the boat ride and the park only has 5. Olivia helped drive us back. 

There is no internet or phone signal at this park. The elevation of this park is 1,900 and it just feels different there. 

"Bogs are freshwater wetlands with sphagnum moss that create the conditions necessary for rare plants, including various species of orchids, to thrive."

10 Things to Know About Your First Trip to Bald Eagle State Park


Bald Eagle State Park is a situated in Centre and Clinton Counties, the park encompasses diverse natural landscapes, including forests, fields, wetlands, and a significant portion of the Bald Eagle Mountain. The park is centered around the Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir, a 1,730-acre lake.


The reservoir offers opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, and other water-related activities. You can rent boats, and bikes. Boaters can enjoy sailing, powerboating, kayaking, and canoeing on the expansive lake.


There are also numerous hiking and nature trails within the park, providing visitors with opportunities to explore the surrounding natural beauty, observe wildlife, and appreciate the diverse flora. The Bald Eagle State Park is well-known for its habitat for bald eagles, a majestic bird of prey and the park's namesake.


Additionally, the park offers camping facilities, picnicking areas, educational programs, and opportunities for birdwatching, making it a popular destination for both local residents and visitors seeking outdoor recreation and a connection with nature.

Bald Eagle State Park in Pennsylvania is a stunning natural destination with a lot to offer. Here are 15 things to know for your first trip to this beautiful park:


  1. Activities Galore: Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities, including hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, camping, picnicking, wildlife watching, and birding. Our favorite thing to do there is to sit on the beach, let the kids play and talk with our friends in our camping chairs. Remember to bring all the things you would to go to the beach. Sunscreen included.
  2.  Hiking Trails: The park boasts a variety of hiking trails, suitable for different skill levels. Notable trails include the Skyline Trail, Lakeside Trail, and Butterfly Trail, each offering unique scenic views. We really enjoy the Skyline trail. Look on the website for trail lengths and difficulties.
  3.  Boating Fun: The 1,730-acre lake provides ample opportunities for boating and water sports. Multiple boat launch areas are accessible, and rentals for paddleboats, canoes, and kayaks are also available. Known for its excellent fishing, the Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir is stocked with various fish species, including bass, muskellunge, and catfish. There's a fishing pier and boat rentals available.
  4.  Swimming Beach: During the summer months, you can swim at the park's sandy beach. They lower the water level so you can’t do this all year around from a sandy beach. There are no life guards but there is a snack shop!
  5.  Camping Options: Bald Eagle State Park offers both tent and RV camping options. Various campgrounds cater to different needs, including those with electric hookups and modern restrooms. Reservations are recommended, especially during peak seasons. They even have some Yurts!
  6.  Wildlife Observation: The park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Keep an eye out for Bald Eagles! Don't forget your binoculars and camera!
  7.  Picnic Areas: Numerous picnic areas throughout the park feature tables and charcoal grills, making it a great spot for family picnics and outdoor meals.
  8.  Events and Programs: Bald Eagle State Park often hosts special events and educational programs, particularly during the summer months. Check their website or the visitor center for a current schedule. These are really well done but don’t happen often. Check the calendar on the website.
  9.  Pets Welcome: Pets are welcome at the park but must be kept on a leash and cleaned up after. There are designated pet-friendly areas, so check the park's rules for specifics.
  10.  Stargazing: The park's remote location away from city lights makes it an excellent spot for stargazing. You may need to wait for a clear night.


8 Things to Know About Your First Trip on the MSC Meregivlia

 The MSC Meraviglia is a stunning cruise ship operated by MSC Cruises, one of the world's largest cruise lines. When it was launched in June 2017, it was one of the largest cruise ships globally, and it boasts a wide range of features and amenities to provide passengers with an unforgettable cruise experience. Here are some key highlights of the MSC Meraviglia:


Size: The MSC Meraviglia is a massive vessel, capable of accommodating over 5,700 passengers and approximately 1,500 crew members. It features 19 decks, with a length of 315 meters (1,033 feet).


Entertainment: The ship offers a wealth of entertainment options, including Broadway-style theater shows, a water park with multiple slides, a full-sized bowling alley, a sportsplex, and a state-of-the-art LED ceiling in the main promenade that displays digital sky imagery and various visual effects. The ceiling was like something we have never seen before. Well other than Vegas.


Dining: Passengers can choose from a variety of dining options, including specialty restaurants serving cuisines from around the world, as well as more casual dining venues such as buffets and cafes. We thought the food was great and they even had fresh mozzarella on the ship.


Cabins: The MSC Meraviglia offers a wide range of cabin categories, from inside cabins to luxurious suites with private balconies. Many cabins are designed to accommodate families, making it a popular choice for family cruises. There is a bunk bed option for kids who enjoy that on the cruise. We did not choose that one.


AquaPark: The ship features an impressive water park with multiple pools and water attractions, including water slides and a Himalayan rope bridge. This was a great place for our family to hang out during sea days.


Entertainment for Kids: MSC Cruises places a strong emphasis on family-friendly amenities, and the ship includes clubs and activities tailored to different age groups, ensuring that kids and teens have a great time on board. Our family enjoyed this spot. They even have a Lego girl theme. We love bringing our kids on cruises and we are not alone! There are many other kids on the ship. We brought our child at 10 months and we now have an 11 year old. 


Wellness: For those looking to relax and rejuvenate, the MSC Aurea Spa offers a range of wellness treatments, including massages and beauty services. There's also a fitness center for those who want to stay active. They had a thermal spa which was really neat for us to try out for the first time.


Itineraries: The MSC Meraviglia sails on various itineraries, exploring destinations in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean, and other regions, allowing passengers to experience a wide array of cultures and landscapes. We choose the Caribbean as we could leave from New York. The boat sailed out of Bayonne New Jersey for our trip.

7 Things to Know About Your First Trip to Get Air

Get Air Trampoline Park is a popular indoor entertainment facility that features a wide range of trampoline-based activities and attractions. Great for a raining or sunny day. These parks are designed to provide visitors of all ages with a fun and active experience. But most adults watch but someone like me buys a ticket and joins in. Visitors are required to sign a waiver and adhere to safety rules and guidelines to ensure a safe experience. Special socks are needed and can be bought there. 


  1. Trampoline Arenas: Get Air Trampoline Parks have expansive trampoline arenas where visitors can bounce, jump, and perform various acrobatic moves. These arenas often include interconnected trampolines on the floor and walls, creating a three-dimensional jumping experience. I prefer my kids not do flips but I believe some are allowed.
  2. Foam Pits: Many Get Air locations have foam pits where visitors can safely jump or flip into a pit filled with soft foam cubes. This allows for practicing tricks. Kids and parents should always be concerned about foam pits because they might not be properly fluffed.
  3. Dodgeball: Dodgeball courts with trampolines are a common feature at Get Air Trampoline Parks. Visitors can participate in high-energy dodgeball games while bouncing on the trampolines. The balls are soft and do not hurt you when they hit you.
  4. Slam Dunk Zones: These areas feature basketball hoops set at varying heights, allowing visitors to attempt gravity-defying slam dunks. This is a fun change to try out a new skill.
  5. Ninja Courses: Some Get Air locations have ninja warrior-style obstacle courses that challenge agility, strength, and coordination. This is a great place to practice your balance skills in a different way.
  6. Toddler Zones: Many parks have designated areas for younger children, typically featuring smaller trampolines and age-appropriate activities. This is an area just for little kids that older kids are not allowed. They also have other times when small children can jump and move around the building without larger children around.
  7. Birthday Parties and Events: Get Air often hosts birthday parties and group events, providing packages that include access to the trampoline attractions, private party rooms, and catering options. This is a great way to get the party out of your house and on a budget.

8 Things to Know About Your First Trip to Penns Cave


Penn's Cave is a "America's Only All-Water Cavern & Wildlife Park" and is a natural limestone cave that offers guided boat tours for visitors to explore its underground passages. Yes, that is right. You take a boat through the cave! There is also a wildlife park. Visitors can see a variety of North American animals, including bison, elk, deer, wolves, and bears. The wildlife park can be explored via a separate bus tour. There is also a maze and a very large gift shop. I might go back for some Christmas gifts!


  1. Reservations: Make reservations in advance, especially during peak seasons, to secure your spot for the guided boat tour. They do allow walks ins but won’t guarantee your spot.
  2.  Safety Guidelines: Prioritize safety by listening carefully to the guide's instructions and following all safety guidelines.  This means no swaying the boat and listening to the tour guide when he needs to move around the small boat.
  3.  Clothing: Wear comfortable, layered clothing as caves tend to be cool and damp. There will be water dripping on you at some points.
  4.  Flashlights Not Needed: The cave is properly lit for viewing. Even with changing colors.
  5.  Cameras and Phones: Bring your camera to take pictures of the different rooms and formations that you like.
  6.  Listen to the Guide: Encourage your family to pay attention to the guide's explanations. It enhances the experience and ensures everyone's safety.
  7.  Restrooms: Visit the restroom before entering the cave, as is not restroom facilities inside the cave.
  8.  Respect the Environment: Emphasize the importance of preserving the cave environment by not touching formations or leaving trash behind. The guide will give you information on this and so much more information!

10 Things to Know About Your First Trip to Great Wolf Lodge – Poconos Pennsylvania

 Great Wolf Lodge is a chain of indoor water park resorts with locations throughout North America. When you first come in you see the grand lobby. While we stayed there this area was going through renovations but hopefully this will be a great spot like it was before with entertainment. The centerpiece of any Great Wolf Lodge is its massive indoor water park. These water parks are designed with a wilderness theme and feature a variety of water attractions, including water slides, lazy rivers, wave pools, and kiddie play areas. The water park is open year-round, making it a popular destination for families looking for a fun getaway regardless of the weather. We went with a 2 year old, 8 year old, and 11 year old and there was something for everyone, including the adults and grandparents. There are many different room types to choose from. My kids love the bunk bed room! We do too It's a popular destination for families looking for a vacation or getaway experience with a focus on water park entertainment and family bonding.

  1. Special Offers: Check for special packages and deals on the Great Wolf Lodge website to maximize your savings during your stay.
  2. Early Check-In: Arrive early and take advantage of the lodge's "Early Arrival" program to access water park attractions before your room is ready. At the time we went it said you can enjoy the waterpark the day your room is ready. 
  3. Packing List: Bring swimwear, sunscreen, and any necessary toiletries. Towels and life jackets are provided at the water park. There is an outside pool that is included during the months it is open if you are interested. 
  4. Water Park Attractions: Enjoy water slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and interactive water play areas suitable for guests of all ages.
  5. MagiQuest: One of the unique attractions at Great Wolf Lodge is the interactive live-action adventure game called MagiQuest, where you can use a magic wand to complete quests throughout the resort. You need to pay extra for this but my kids love it! 
  6. Arcade: The lodge also has a large arcade with a variety of games and prizes. I found the arcade to be pricy but it is something to quickly do. 
  7. Dining Options: The resort offers a variety of dining options, including a buffet, pizzeria, and ice cream shop. These can get expensive so you can bring your own food to eat in your room. A crock pot can be very helpful. There are no microwaves in the room but there is one down a long hallway. There are refrigerators in the rooms. 
  8. Children's Activities: In addition to the water park, Great Wolf Lodge has daily activities and events for kids, such as storytime and character appearances. Check for the times when you get there. 
  9. Indoor and Outdoor Attractions: Beyond the water park, there are indoor attractions like mini-golf, a ropes course, and a climbing wall.
Paw Pass: You can get a pass to get discounts on the extras that you may want to pay for if you are interested. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...