LAS VEGAS: I’m LOVING SLS Las Vegas for $74/night

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LAS VEGAS | Best hotel under $100? SLS Las Vegas might very well be my new favorite hotel on the Strip. It’s modern, hip, and most of all—FUN! Youthful. Whimsical. Delightful. These words kept popping up in my mind from the videos of birds and abstract art behind the registration desk to the monkey-theme throughout the hotel.  Monkey art is everywhere! In the lobby bar, on the ironing board covers, even  your in-room coasters—they’re a classic mascot.

We booked our room via Priceline just a few days before we arrived and they had deals starting at $74/night. (We took the 2 Double Non Smoking Superior World rooms for $79.51/night). Priceline rates the SLS  a 7.6 out of 10 with 169 guest reviews and the hotel only opened in August. The deal comes with $40 food credit and free Wi-Fi. For those of you that have been coming to Las Vegas for decades, SLS is what the Sahara turned into. Keep your eye on the carpets for great vintage Vegas scenes.

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DEAL | I already thought the Priceline rates were a great deal, but once I became an SLS Las Vegas fan I found a 30% off deal on the SLS Facebook page (Promo code PLC04).  I checked Nov. 30- Dec. 2 rates on this promo were only $62.30/night for a World Superior King. Of course there’s still the $25/night resort fee which is common with Vegas hotels. And of course, don’t forget to check Vegas.com. I found rates as low as $60/night Thanksgiving week.

TESTED | You know you have to take a last-minute Vegas trip in you! I chose to test the Vegas.com rates for three nights Nov. 24-27. Vegas.com had rooms with a king bed starting at $59.63 which came to $275.36 for the whole stay *including* taxes and the resort fee. I call that a deal for such a cool new hotel!

Cora at Griddle Cafe SLS Las Vegas

Cora shocked at how big the pancakes are at The Griddle Cafe, SLS Las Vegas

 

TIPS | If you or your kids love pancakes—don’t miss the GARGANTUAN pancakes at The Griddle Cafe. They’re epic. One order was more than enough to feed our whole family of three with plenty left over. We also had fun taking pics by the giant duck at the pool and having an afternoon gelato at PERQ, the hotel coffee bar.

Jen Leo and Cora at PERQ, SLS Las Vegas

Jen Leo and Cora at PERQ, SLS Las Vegas

Want to get in on ever more deals? Sign up for the SLS loyalty program called The Code. I saw 40% off deals for members (membership is free).

If you make it out to Las Vegas, have a great time at the SLS Las Vegas!

LAS VEGAS: Family Adventure Awaits at Cowabunga Bay

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Keeping the kids entertained in Las Vegas just got a whole lot easier with the announcement that the ‘60s-themed Cowabunga Bay will soon be open in nearby Henderson. Cowabunga Bay is a 23-acre water park that offers a variety of water slides, massive sand beach (with cabana rentals), endless lazy river, 33,000-foot wave pool, as well as food, drinks, and children’s play area.

Visitors can drop down a 73-foot enclosed tube that circles its way to the bottom and dumps riders through a trap door into a pool of water or take a raft down a 55-foot slide into the world’s largest man-made wave. If you are at all competitive, try the Surfin USA slide where your skills will be tested against 5 other riders as you make your way to the finish. Not adventurous? No problem. You can splash in the wave pool, cruise the Cowabunga River on an inner tube or float around one of the many pools. There is something for kids of all ages, so get on over there and check out the water!

Cowabunga Bay
Where: 900 Galleria Drive, Henderson (off the 515)
When: May 24, 2014 through Labor Day, weekends in September
Cost: General admission $35.99, under 4 feet $27.99, 3-hour evening rates $19.99 (includes free inner tubes and life jackets)

SAN DIEGO: Halloween Activities for All Ages

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Whether you are 5 or 55, San Diego will play host to a wide variety of spooky and fun activities for the upcoming Halloween holiday.  Families can enjoy month-long events at Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, Legoland and The Scream Zone Del Mar, while adults can party at several themed pub crawls or the Gaslamp Quarter’s Monster Bash and we’ve made it easy for you to find the event that suits your needs.

Sea World Halloween Spooktacular
Sea World San Diego is offering their annual Halloween Spooktacular, which runs until October 27th. In addition to all the regular shows and exhibits there will be a special Halloween musical at the Sesame Street Bay of Play featuring all your favorite characters, sea lions Clyde and Seamore have a spooky adventure at Uncle Schmedley’s Castle, pumpkinfish will take center stage at the underwater pumpkin patch, and children (who can come in costume) can visit Otto’s Candy Garden where gumdrops and lollipops grow and collect candy at various points throughout the park.  During the month of October, San Diego residents get one free child admission for each adult admission purchased ($79), non-residents pay $79 (ages 10 & up) or $71 for children (3-9).

San Diego Zoo Spooky Sleepover
The San Diego Zoo is offering two overnight adventures on October 19th and 26th. The Spooky Sleepover, hosted by Dr. Zoolittle, will include a special bus tour through the park that will deliver you to haunted Camp Timbuktu where each family gets their own tent for the night. Campers will enjoy dinner, meeting some spooky animals, have the option of participating in a costume parade and, if they can keep their eyes open, take a night prowl through the zoo. In the morning, campers get a buffet breakfast and time to roam the zoo at their leisure. Cost is $139 per adult and $119 per child (ages 4-11) plus zoo admission.

Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND
Saturday nights during the month of October bring Brick-or-Treat Party Nights to Legoland. Party nights include a dance party, “Mail Order Monsters Show,” live performances by the Witchettes and a magician, as well as a costume contest with some super prizes. Trick-or-treaters can score goodies at 10 treat stations spread throughout the park and enjoy a live fireworks show before departure. The event is free with paid one-day admission to the park ($59 per person) or $30 for admission from 5-9pm only.

The Scream Zone
The Scream Zone at Del Mar Scaregrounds, open until November 2nd, is not for the faint of heart. Featuring 4 haunts, you will have your choice of one or all: battling the undead at the Zombie Paintball Safari, making your way through the terrifying House of Horror, risking your life on a Haunted Hayride, or entering The Chamber, where there is no guarantee you will exit. The Scream Zone is open select evenings, including Halloween night. Tickets range from $17-$30, plus $20-$25 for Zombie Paintball.

And for those of you over the age of 21 who would like something a bit more raucous, there are two different pub crawls and the annual San Diego Monster Bash.

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