The Boxcar Children DVD {giveaway, closed}

 This post has been brought to you by Propeller Consulting, LLC.  Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

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The boys love to have movie night and let's be honest, so do I!  The problem for me, however, is finding good, wholesome movies that are entertaining and hold the boys' attention.  I had always heard about "The Boxcar Children" book series but sadly, had never read the books.  But, I had an idea that "The Boxcar Children" animated movie would be  good one.  And I love the fact that it is rated G and endorsed by the Dove Foundation!

We had movie night and just as I had hoped….both D, who is 3 and the Captain, who is 5, ADORED this movie.  They watch it any chance they get.  It's fun, entertaining, and gives you the warm fuzzies.  It's just an honesty terrific family movie. 

Boxcar Children

 

The storyline is this:  four orphaned siblings feel like they aren't wanted or loved.  They are on the run from a grandfather that they are scared of, but have never met.  They find an abandoned boxcar and make it their home.  I won't spoil the end for you, but it has a sweet, happy ending and it truly is heartwarming.  

Featuring an all-star cast of voice actors, including Academy Award Nominee Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now), J.K. Simmons (Spiderman), Zach Gordon (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Joey King (Fargo), Mackenzie Foy (Twilight series), and Jadon Sand (LEGO: The Movie), this is the very first full-length, animated feature adaptation of Gertrude Chandler Warner's best-selling classic!

"The Boxcar Children" is now available at Walmart!  Check out the classic books at The Boxcar Chidren website!

Follow on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Enter to win a copy of "The Boxcar Children" DVD!  Enter by leaving a comment telling me if you ever read these books as a child and/or why you want to win!  

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.  Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Dont Wait For The Ice Cream Truck – Make An #IceCreamRun!

This ice cream post was brought to you by Global Influence.  All opinions are mine.

We live in a relatively small town, but there is a local ice cream truck that makes it rounds on random days.  I say random because last summer, it seems that the only time it came to town was when it was pouring rain, which wasn't often.  The boys did learn that even if the ice cream truck drove by, we couldn't always get a treat.  I, personally, am not a fan of the ice cream truck because of many reasons.  We can't check the ingredients, we don't always have cash, and it's not always a good time to have ice cream.  Not to mention the fact that the prices are insane!  It's hard to get a good ice cream treat for less than $3.  

Walgreens #IceCreamRun

But, well….it is summer and the occasional treat is special.  Did you know that Walgreens has a great assortment of ice cream and ice cream treats?  You don't need to wait for the ice cream truck or make a big grocery store trip to get some ice cream treats your family loves.  I took the boys to Walgreens and let them each choose a treat…there are so many to choose from!

Walgreens #IceCreamRunWe came home with Fruttare strawberry and milk pops, Magnum Double Caramel ice cream bars, and good ol' Klondike bars.  They are perfect to keep in the freezer for days that we need a special treat.Walgreens #IceCreamRun

 We had an ice cream party and all enjoyed our favorite ice cream treat!  D loved the strawberry Fruttare bars.  They're a great way to cool off on a sweltering Texas summer day!

Walgreens #IceCreamRun

Hubby was a fan of the Double Caramel bars from Magnum.  (and they were my favorite, too!)  So delicious!

Walgreens #IceCreamRunWalgreens #IceCreamRun

Have you ever made an Ice Cream run to Walgreens?  What would you buy if you were to choose?

Visit with a Doctor – Day or Night – Without Leaving Your Home with the Doctor On Demand App {Target Giveaway, too!}

This post was brought to you by Doctor On Demand.  All thoughts and opinions are mine.

Doctor on Demand logoBaby Brother is our third child, but yet, we still find oursevles questioning whether or not we need to take him to the doctor when he is sick.  I remember as first time parents with the Captain, everything was a huge question mark.  Fever?  What did the doctor say about how high is too high and for what age?  How many poops is he supposed to have in one day?  What is this rash?  Is this normal?  On and on and on and on…..we were a bit over concerned, first time parents, I'm sure, but there were times when we should have taken him in to see the doctor, too.  Had we taken him or D in every time we thought we might need to, we would be swimming in medical bills.  How cool would it have been to have a doctor to call, day or night, when we had a question or needed some medical advice?

Well…finally this exists!  Doctor On Demand is an app available on iTunes and Google Play that connects you to a US licensed, board certified physician ANY TIME, day or night.  No need to wait until the doctor's office opens, then wait on hold for an appointment, and then drag your sick kid(s) to a germy waiting room when you don't need to.  Doctor On Demand is only $40 (the cost of many copays and much cheaper than what we pay for a sick visit!)  All doctors have years of experience, are highly educated, and background checked.  You get to video or voice chat for up to 15 minutes.  

When should you call Doctor On Demand?  Use DOD for:

  • a cold, cough, flu, or allergies
  • rashes
  • pink eye
  • asthma
  • bladder infections
  • pediatric questions
  • most cases that are not life threatening
  • prescription refills
  • referral to a specialist

When you should NOT use Doctor On Demand:

  • ANY problem that IS life threatening
  • chest pain/pressure
  • seizures
  • serious head, neck, or back injury
  • broken bones

 

Doctor on Demand

We were given the opportunity to try Doctor On Demand and I'm glad we did.  Baby Brother has had eczema for a long time, but the other night, his flare up was BAD.  His face was bright red, he had raised spots on his arm, and it was almost bedtime.  I entered his symptoms and was quickly connected with a doctor.  (I am not sharing his name for privacy reasons.)  

Doctor on Demand app

I showed him Baby Brother's eczema and he quickly said it was just eczema and said to continue with what his pediatrician had recommended, but that he would call in a prescription for a different medicine to see if that would help.  I got the phone number for our pharmacy, and he told me some other tips like limit the number of baths and stay away from scented stuff.  He also said to follow up with our pediatrician if it hadn't cleared up in a few days.

Doctor on Demand

I was very impressed with our experience and will be calling Doctor On Demand again if the need arises.  It is such a simple, money saving way to get the professional medical advice I need without having to spend money and time driving to the doctor.  

Doctor on Demand

Find out more at the Doctor On Demand website, Facebook, and Twitter.

AND for your first Doctor On Demand call, use code "LW14" to save $10!

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We would like to celebrate the fact that you can now talk to a board certified doctor (on demand!) from the comfort of your own home, thanks to the Doctor On Demand app…. with a great giveaway.

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The $200 Target Gift Card Giveaway will end on July 22nd. It is open to US residents, 18+ only. Please use the Giveaway Tools Form below to enter! Good Luck!

Disclosures: The participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Giveaway is open to US residents, age 18+ only. The giveaway will close at 11:59PM EST on 7/22/14. One winner will be selected randomly from all eligible entries. If you have any questions about this giveaway or would like to inquire about group events like this, please contact the Blogging Mamas Network at bloggingmamas.blog@gmail.com.

Welcome Summer with a Grilled Pizza Party and Backyard Water Fun!

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This #SummerGoodies shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser.

summerparty

I have always wanted a grilled pizza, but have never been brave enough to try it.  After a very busy week, I just wanted to relax, but of course the boys wanted to play in the water and do "something special."  I quickly sold them on the idea of having a "Backyard Pizza Party" and I went to Walmart to pick up some food.  I saw that Jack's frozen pizza has grilling directions right on the package – that's right, you can grill it!  Sold!

grilled pizza

I bought two Jack's pizzas from the frozen foods aisle – pepperoni and also pepperoni and sausage..our favorites!  And on the same aisle, I picked up some Nestlé Drumstick cones in the new Peanut Butter Variety for after dinner.

walmart

Preparation for our party was pretty easy, which is just what I was hoping for.  All we had to do was turn on the gas grill and get to grilling our pizzas.  Okay, Daddy did all of the grilling while I sat inside and took care of Baby Brother, but I got the plates ready.  smiley

grilled pizza

I LOVE how the grilled pizza turned out!  Hubby is an awesome griller, but the grilling instructions were so simple, so you really don't have to be a professional to grill a mean pizza, but I am thankful that he does have mad grilling skills, anyway.  The Jack's pizza turned out to be perfection.  The crust was crispy, the cheese and meats were the perfect temperature, and of course the pizza had nice looking grill marks, too:

summerWe all enjoyed the pizza and after dinner, we enjoyed the Nestlé Drumstick Cones.  They were a huge hit!  I bought the peanut butter variety, which included vanilla, vanilla with peanut butter, and my favorite, peanut butter!

Peanut Butter Drumstick Cones

The Captain's absolute favorite part is the unique chocolate nugget at the bottom of each Drumstick cone.  He's like me, we like our chocolate!

And don't forget the backyard water fun!  The boys were able to burn off all their energy with our DIY backyard splash pad, making our Summer Grilled Pizza party extra fun!  I hope to make this a tradition in our house because it was so easy and fun to share each other's company!

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Our Family Fun Day at Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, Texas

This post was brought to you by the Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, Texas.  We were provided with free tickets and food/drink vouchers to faciliate this post, but all opinions are mine.

Scarborough Renaissance Festival

We moved to this area of Texas (south of Dallas) almost three years ago, and lots of people have, over the years, pointed to this huge field and told us about Scarborough Renaissance Festival, or "Scarborough Faire," as most people around here call it.  It honestly does not look like much from the road, just the "castle" entry way and a field of parking.  After hopping online and also visiting this place finally this May, we now know that there is so much beyond that desolate field!  There is a world of enchantment, fun, excitement, and folly!

Scarborough Faire is only open on Saturdays and Sundays in April and May each year, plus Memorial Day Monday, from 10 AM to 7 PM. The opening ceremony begins at 9:45 AM and the closing ceremony is at 6:45 PM.  There are plays, shows, music, stores, food, drinks, rides, a petting zoo, along with security personnel, first aid, restrooms, water fountains, ATMs, and everything is handicapped accessible.  The actors that portray the Royal Court, villagers, and peasants are trained by the Scarborough Academy of the Performing Arts and can be recognized with a special medallion.  (There will be times you will have trouble distinguishing between a performer and a dressed up guest, trust me!)

Through the festival are many places to eat and drink (regular bottled tea, sodas, and water, as well as alcohol.)  

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Daddy had a turkey leg and the boys and I enjoyed Chicken on a Stick.  It was really good, too!  The boys ate theirs and it was flavored well…definitely way better than I had expected! (I think I'll serve up some grilled chicken on a stick here and see if they'll gobble it up like they did at Scarborough Faire!)  There are MANY more food options, not just what you see here!

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The shows are really awesome and have trained performers acting and doing tricks.  Some of our favorites were Cale the Juggler and magician.  Some shows are not for kids, though, so make sure to check out the signs and your program to make sure you don't wander into an inappropriate for kids show.  Other popular shows include the Fire Whip Show, Kamikaze Fireflies, and Arsene The Magikhana Show.  There are countless choices including dancing and music, as well, so make sure to scout out your favorites and plan your day accordingly!

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Scarborough Renaissance Festival

Some of the boys' favorite parts of the day included the rides, that are all man powered.  This was the boys' favorite ride:

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The rides are all about $3 per person.  

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Daddy and the Captain enjoyed climbing the rock wall, too!

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The boys also really enjoyed the Petting Zoo.  For $3 a person, you get a wristband that is good for all day entrance at two different parts of the petting zoo.  Food for the animals can also be purchased.

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Other fun things that we will have to see on our next visit:

  • glassblowing
  • armor making
  • face painting
  • massage
  • portraits
  • the Mermaid Lagoon
  • turtle races
  • jousting
  • birds of prey
  • knighting ceremony
  • elephant and camel rides
  • much, much more!

We were pretty hot towards mid-afternoon, and I was glad that Daddy thought to pack some ice cold bottles of water!

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The parking goes on forever and ever, so we were glad to get a relatively close parking spot when our day was over!

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What to know about your first trip to Scarborough Renaissance Festival with your family:

  1. Leave early, or come from the other direction.  The traffic is insane, lined up for miles on I-35.  If coming through DFW, plan a detour through Venus and Maypearl.  You will be able to hop in front of all the traffic!
  2. Wear your walking shoes.  I wore flip flops and was okay, but my feet would have thanked me had I wore more comfortable shoes.  
  3. If you are bringing kids under 5, definitely bring a good stroller, baby carrier, and both isn't a bad idea either.
  4. Pack a small cooler of water to keep under the stroller.  While they have water and beverages there, it will never be enough to keep hydrated in the heat.
  5. Pack a lunch and snacks if you don't want to purchase the food there.  The food is really good, but can get expensive.
  6. Bring money, and lots of it.  Even if you bring your own drinks and food, there are still lots of rides, activities, and shops to spend your money on.  Find out what you really want to do before spending money or it will be gone quickly.  
  7. Wear sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and pack an umbrella, too.  We went in early May, on a day that was in the 80's and it was quite balmy.  Our sunscreen wore off and even though it did not rain, an umbrella would have been handy to keep the sun off of Baby Brother (and the rest of us.)
  8. Prepare your little ones for what they might see.  There are a lot of people dressed in traditional renaissance costumes, but also some shirtless guys in kilts, pirates, people wearing face and body paint, and others in random costumes, some that leave you scratching your head.  We saw a ninja and quite a few people who were wearing very little clothing.  Everyone was very nice, but some were in full character and so we just told the boys that it was like a play and some people might talk to them or even try to scare them, but it was all in fun.  
  9. Pack your costumes!  Many people change their clothes in the parking lot, but lots of people are in regular clothes.  It doesn't matter what you choose, but I think D had more fun after he changed to his pirate costume.  
  10. When you arrive, grab a program.  It will cost you $3, but it is money well spent because it will help you plan your day!
  11. Prepare to stay all day, or as long as you can, because there is no way you will see everything, even if you do stay all day!

Have you been to Scarborough Renaissance Festival?  What was your favorite part?  If you haven't been, plan a visit soon!

Connect with Scarborough Renaissance Festival:  TwitterFacebook

Learn more about Waxahachie, Texas:  Twitter & Facebook

Treat Your Feet with a Shiatsu Foot Massager

Disclosure: I received this Shiatsu foot massager from Ucomfy as part of an advertorial.  All opinions are mine.

It has been a busy week.  Spring is here and there is much to do.  Gardening, yardwork, soccer games, and then the ever present need to go grocery shopping and do a million chores while wearing or holding a 20 lb baby, I feel like I'm on my feet a lot.  Which, is good for the exercise stand point, but not good for my poor feet.  At the end of most days, I just want to soak my tired feet and prop them up.  But there's something far better for my feet….a shiatsu foot massager.

shiatsu foot massager

When this UComfy shiatsu foot massager came in the mail, we were all fascinated by what looked like a space travel machine of some sort.  I had no idea that this contraption would be so awesome to my feet!  And Hubby is a huge fan, too.  The foot massager has lots of functions to make your feet and legs feel amazing:

  • Shiatsu therapy
  • air massage
  • the choice of heat or no heat
  • regulates blood flow and blood pressure
  • kneads
  • vibrates
  • massages top and bottom of foot
  • portable
  • has five different levels of intensity
  • washable cover

I prefer the lowest level of intensity, but Hubby prefers a stronger foot massage.  It really is up to the user and it is fully customizable to make a great foot massage.  The "vibration" is what controls the level of intensity, as you can see in this picture:

shiatsufoot massager foot massager with heat

This would make a great, unique gift for Mother's Day or Father's Day, or any day for someone who suffers from foot pain or tired feet.  Find the UComfy Shiatsu foot massager on Amazon, regularly priced at $249, now on sale for less than $200.
 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above at no cost to me using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  Contains affiliate links.

Save Space with a Wall Mount Dispenser for Shampoo, Conditioner, or Soap

Disclosure: I received this wall mount dispenser as part of an advertorial.  All opinions are mine.

If you were to look in our bathrooms at any point, you would find countless bottles of shampoo, conditioner, face soap, body wash, and baby soap in the bathtub.  There is never enough room for all of the stuff we use while showering or bathing the kids.  Plus, it's guaranteed that the boys will try to empty a bottle of baby soap in one bathtub because it is always so easily accessible.  We needed a way to store the baby soap, out of reach of little hands, off of the side of the tub, and easy for us to access when bathing the boys.  ToiletTree has a great wall mount dispenser that is going to solve our problems.  

toilettree single wall dispenser

The single mount wall dispenser is sleek and the chrome finish looks nice in the boys' bathroom.  Hubby installed it in less than ten minutes on the tile wall of the shower.  He installed it with the included mounting bracket using water resistant double sided tape and removable silicone that won't damage the surface.  The dispenser lifts off of the bracket for easy refills and cleaning.

If you're like me, I always try to have one hand on the baby when he's in the tub, and that makes opening any type of bottle with one hand very difficult!  I love that the dispenser can dispense the perfect amount of soap with one hand using this simple lever:

single wall dispenser

I love that ToiletTree promises that it won't rust over time.  In fact, all ToiletTree products come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

You can purchase this single mount wall dispenser on Amazon for $17.95 in chrome or white with chrome.  For more information, visit the ToiletTree website.

 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Be Prepared for Spring Allergy Issues with a Family Allergy Season Survival Kit #WellatWalgreens

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its client. All health related suggestions and opinions expressed in this post are all my own. #WellAtWalgreens

Spring Allergy Issues #shop #CollectiveBias

Our entire family suffers with allergy issues, yet somehow, we are always unprepared when allergy season hits.  Spring is our absolute favorite time of the year and being outside is a must.  Soccer games, planting our garden, going to the park, fishing, looking for bugs, and just being outside and enjoying the weather as a family is very important to us.  Allergies have ruined much of this time for us year after year, but this year, I'm going to be prepared!  I purchased a few items that will get our family through allergy season in our Family Allergy Season Survival Kit.

The older boys and I went to Walgreens to see what we would need to deal with our allergy issues before they became a big problem.  I quickly found their allergy medication section and saw the Well at Walgreens brand of different medications.  Hubby had asked me to pick him up some Wal-Zyr, which is a 24 hour antihistimine for adults.

well at walgreens

 The Captain has allergies year-round and we need to always carry something with us in case he breaks out in hives or has a sneezing fit.  Last Spring, he and a friend were rolling in the grass and he immediately started itching, sneezing, and had itchy eyes.  I found that Well at Walgreens had a quick acting antihistimine for children called Wal-Dryl allergy tabs AND they had a bonus size, too!

We also have skin allergies and eczema and while we aren't sure exactly what causes it, we do know that our skin has to be extra moisturized and protected against allergens.  Walgreens had a tremendous selection of products for eczema and skin care.  I found a great heavy duty, non-petroleum moisturizer from BabyGanics that is pure and natural, so I decided to give it a shot.  So far, it has helped the Captain's skin stay moisturized and feel much better!

skin allergies

Allergy Season Survival Kit #shop #CollectiveBias

So what's in our family allergy season survival kit?  Here's a run down of the essentials:

  • Wal-Zyr 24 hour antihistimine for adults, so we can attack allergies before they start
  • Wal-Dryl allergy tabs for kids, so the Captain's allergic reactions can be stopped quickly
  • Anefrin decongestant Nasal Spray from Well at Walgreens 
  • BabyGanics Protective Ointment for the Captain's skin allergies and eczema
  • tissues!
  • Neil Med Sinus Rinse to flush out allergens and soothe sinuses
  • caffeine free herb tea for soothing sore and itchy throats
  • raw local honey to help allergies year round

Walgreens also has a terrific selection of vitamins and supplements for kids and adults to boost immunity so allergy issues won't be such a problem.  And of course, don't forget the pain relievers, humidifiers, and Breathe Right nose strips to make breathing at night easier.  We also rely on Walgreens for our prescription medication when it is needed.  Walgreens truly is a one stop shop for allergy season.

Beginning February 1, 2011 through December 31, 2014, 1¢ from  the purchase of every Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness product, up to $3 million annually, will support bringing preventative wellness services to local communities through the Walgreens Way to Well Commitment®. What a fabulous initiative that makes me love Walgreens even more.

What does your family rely on to get through allergy season?

Kids Go FREE to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Grapevine, Texas

This post was brought to you by LEGOLAND Discovery Center and US Family Guide.  All opinions are mine.

legoland

The boys have always been intrigued by Legos and while we haven't made it to LEGOLAND Discovery Center yet, we are going soon!  They are going to have an absolute blast, I just know.  LEGOLAND Grapevine has fifteen different attractions, like Merlin's Apprentice LEGO Ride, DUPLO village, and much more.

4-24-12 --- Legoland Discovery Center, Grapevine, Texas

 

LEGOLAND Discovery Center is the ultimate indoor playground for kids who are the biggest fans of LEGO! LEGOLAND Discovery Center Grapevine is one of DFW's best attractions for kids.  Reach out and touch the stars in the 4D cinema, build the fastest car in LEGO Racers: Build & Test, zap the bad guys in Kingdom Quest Laser Ride, or have the ultimate LEGO birthday party. Plan your family visit and jump into the biggest box of LEGO bricks!

4-24-12 --- Legoland Discovery Center, Grapevine, Texas

4-24-12 --- Legoland Discovery Center, Grapevine, Texas

Right now, kids go free with purchase of adult admission.  Visit DFW Kids Guide for the coupon.  Limit four free kids tickets with four paying adults.  Offer expires 12/31/2014.

 

 

Visit SEA LIFE Aquarium in Grapevine This Spring!

This post was brought to you by Sea Life Aquarium in Grapevine.  All opinions are mine.

We visited SEA LIFE Aquarium in Grapevine about two years ago, and the Captain still talks about how cool it was and how we should go back.  He was only two and D was seven months old, but we all had a blast!

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turtle

SEA LIFE Aquarium in Grapevine, Texas has over 5,000 sea creatures, 30 incredible displays and a 360 degree ocean tunnel! SEA LIFE Aquarium will transport you into the amazing underwater world. Come nose to nose with sharks and prepare for astonishingly close views of everything from humble starfish and seahorses to graceful rays. If you are shark lover or seahorse fanatic, SEA LIFE will astound you!  You'll see the graceful rays or the clever octopus, too! that you love the most.  You can see them all – from the curious and the rescued to the rare and the enigmatic. And you'll be able to get closer to them than ever before.

Please present this coupon to the SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium Admissions Center to receive one free child ticket with the purchase of a full-price standard admission ticket. This coupon is not valid with pre-purchased online tickets nor can it be combined with any other offer or discount. Valid up to (4) free child tickets per coupon with the purchase of (4) adult tickets. Child ticket only valid on the day of purchase. 

Sea Life Aquarium Grapevine, Texas