Affordable Family Fun: Johnstown Tomahawks Games + tips when attending the game

A couple years ago, I was looking for something to do with the kids. I asked the little ones if they had any interest in going to a Johnstown Tomahawks hockey game. They said, yea sure. For some reason I found that the tickets were actually cheaper through Tickemaster than buying them directly from the 1st Summit Arena site, like half the price cheaper.

I was able to get really good seats, 2nd row from the glass seats, for $13 for adults and I think it was $10 for the kids. I wasn’t a huge hockey fan, but it was something to do. I could not believe how much the little ones and I enjoyed the experience. They really knew how to make it fun. The kids were cheering, there was a lot of action, they got the crowd involved, it was really a good time. Even the refreshments were reasonably priced. The experience made me a Johnstown Tomahawks hockey fan.

We had such a good time I had to tell my husband (who couldn’t go because he had to work). We decided for the whole family to go, even take my older boys girlfriends. That was 8 of us going and it still was under $100 for all 8 of us to get tickets when buying through Ticketmaster. To be clear, this was for regular season games not playoff games.

The Johnstown Tomahawks do theme nights. We planned that big family trip for the Star Wars themed night. All kids 12 and under received a free Star Wars light saber toy. They had tons of costumed characters and lots of vendors set up.

Since then we’ve made it a point to try to get to a couple games a year at least. Season ticket are still a little out of our reach for a family of 6 but there are definitely perks to getting season tickets.

We hadn’t made it to a game this year and we actually won a 4 pack of tickets from a facebook giveaway thanks to Pennhighlands Community College. These weren’t just any tickets though, they were Robertson cup playoff tickets! The first time we had a chance to go to a playoff game. A lot of action at this game. I have no idea how much playoff tickets usually run since we won our tickets. We had a good time though. My husband and I have talked about doing a couple Tomahawks games for a date night here and there.

Tomahawks hockey season runs from about the end of September and can run into April with playoffs. Get a Johnstown Tomahawks schedule to see when their theme nights are. They have lots of them: Star Wars, hero and princesses, and more to get more bang for your buck for the kids.

Johnstown Tomahawks game April 13. 2019

Tips for going to the game:

  • You can purchase blue and red hockey pucks for a small donation. These will be thrown out onto the ice during an intermission. If you hit the target they put on the ice you can win big money!
  • There are tons of food vendors all around the building from funnel cakes, to shrimp and fries, to dippin dots ice cream. Some vendors are more affordable than others so shop around.
  • There are always lots of marketing tables with raffles to win things like hockey sticks, jerseys, gift cards, tickets, and more. Some are for a fee and some are free you just have to check.
  • There are always vendors giving away free stuff. The kids got yoyos, we all got free raffle tickets for a chance to win a hockey stick, I got chapstick, and a sunglass pouch. All free.
  • The Johntown Tomahawks merchandise is more affordable than you would think. The kids can easily get a souvenir like a branded cowbell, foam hand, and more for $5 or less.
  • PARKING: The 1st Summit arena itself doesn’t really have it’s own parking. There are many local businesses that open up their lots for parking for a fee. This usually ranges anywhere between $3 – $5. If you can find meter parking it’s free after 5 pm on week days, on Saturdays and Sundays, and federal holidays. You can see this info on the city of Johnstown website
  • Get a schedule so you can see when theme nights are scheduled for even more fun for the kids and bonus freebies.

Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown 2019 a Fun and Free Event

Every year the Children’s Book Festival is held at the Bottleworks in the Cambria City section of Johnstown. The area itself has become a cultural district featuring the Discovery Center, Ethnic festivals, and more. The Bottleworks itself displays art from local artists and offers many classes. The first weekend of April draws families from all over the area for the Children’s Book Festival.

This free event centers around children’s books with authors, illustrators, and local businesses and educational resources pregnant. In fact, I credit the Children’s book festival for helping us discover my son’s lazy eye. The blind association was there the one year and was offering free vision screenings. I took advantage of this with my kids. They had these cool, 3D goggle looking things that tracked the eyes and they noticed my son’s one eye was off. They suggested we take the info to an ophthalmologist. We did and found that my son has very low vision in his one eye due to a lazy eye! I got off track there but there are so many great services present to learn about.

There are craft tables galore for the kids to do for free. The volunteers are all so pleasant and helpful. The first station we stopped at this year, the kids got to make vests out of paper bags.

They have a number of special events available at different times throughout the weekend. Joe Wos, a professional illustrator and maze maker, offered an illustration workshop for kids in grades 3rd to 6th grade. An awesome opportunity for kids to learn some tips and trick from a real illustrator.

Camtran, the local public transit system, has been present the last few years. The kids have an opportunity to board the bus, talk to the bus driver, explore the bus a little. This year they also offered story time on the bus.

The Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown has a book sale with new books but they also have a used book sale. My kids each picked a book from the used book sale and they were only 50 cents each! Another awesome thing they do for the kids is, every kid that attends get a FREE brand new book. They have a table set up with all kinds of titles for babies up to middle school age. So no kids walks away without a book they got to choose. I think this is awesome that they do that.

It’s fun to interact with the businesses, authors, and illustrators. We enjoy seeing Julie from Macaroni kids for the Johnstown/Altoona/Laurel Highlands area. Always there with a smile and macaroni necklaces for the kids to make. They really enjoy this craft!

There’s so much to do at the Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown, we usually don’t get to do it all. They have food truck available outside, face painting, and more. This event really renews my kids’ interest in reading. It’s a great way for kids to meet the people that actually write some of their book. It’s a great way to learn about local resource for kids.

Huge thanks to all involved in this festival. It is definitely something my kids look forward to each year. Because it’s a free event and every kids walks away with a free book, it’s help bring people from all walks of life together to share in the joy of reading!

Kalamata’s Kitchen Event at Lorelei’s Restaurant in Pittsburgh

Kalamata’s Kitchen is a fun children’s book that encourages children to explore foods. With my youngest 2 children they can sometimes get pretty picky when it comes to food.  We’ve always had a rule in our house though, you’re not allowed to say you don’t like unless you’ve at least tasted it.

The Kalamata’s Kitchen book event and tasting we attended was at Lorelei restaurant in Pittsburgh, PA.  Located at 124 S Highland Ave in Pittsburgh a cocktail bar and beer hall with food inspired from Germany.  The restaurant itself was very airy with lots of natural light and plants.  Located in East Liberty it’s not far from lots of shopping areas, Children’s hospital, and many health clubs.

We ended up being a tad bit late but I was so excited we still had plenty of time to participate in everything.  When we arrived the kids got a VIP pass, a Kalamata’s Kitchen food passport, and an official Taste Bud card.  If the kids at least tried each of the foods they were able to get a stamp on their food passport.

They had interesting and tasty options such as carrot pierogies (which was actually one of my faves), salted caramel mousse, rose-water malaibi with candied kataifi, Frico, and more. Other participating Pittsburgh restaurants included Bar Marco, Casbah, Pie for Breakfast, Cafe Carnegie, and of course, Lorelei.

We also had an opportunity to meet and hear from the team that created Kalamata’s Kitchen including author Sarah Thomas.  Sarah had a book reading with those that participated in the event.  She was so kind and took the time to sign books for those that asked.

We really have some wonderful places in Pittsburgh. I’m so happy that we were invited to the Kalamata’s Kitchen event.  As I sampled with my kids I realized what a wonderful place Lorelei would be for a date or to just slow down in Pittsburgh for a little bit.  I’d love to just sit at the window like my kids did while nibbling on chef’s delightful creations, maybe a glass of wine and just people watch.  I could spend a couple hours there.

My kids have walked away from a new experience.  They got to send their tastebuds on an adventure.  I think they learned a little bit about the work that goes into a book. They did a great job at setting up to really pull kids into the book with the characters and Kalamata’s Kitchen set up.

 

My kids also came home with Kalamata’s Kitchen book and an apron which my kids just love.  My daughter is now talking about wanting to have a restaurant one day lol.

 

For more info on Kalatmata’s Kitchen an events:

Website: https://www.kalamataskitchen.com

Facebook: facebook.com/kalamataskitchen

Instagram: instagram.com/kalamataskitchen

Planning for Emergencies While On Vacation

This post is sponsored by Diamond Links.  Any opinions expressed are my own.

We’re getting ready to head to Topsail Island, NC again this year. We always drive. It’s about a 10 – 11 hour drive with rest stops for us.  The last time we drove down though, I saw something that will forever be blazed into my memory.

It was roughly 4 am and we’re on the beltway near DC.  Not quite as much traffic to deal with at 4 am on the beltway as there would be during the day.  I saw a few cars pulled off to the side, I saw a motorcycle on it’s side and as we drove past I saw a person in a motorcycle helmet on the ground motionless. I won’t describe anymore because it was very shocking to see at 4 am.  I remember looking back at the kids. They had been quiet for a while so I was hoping they were all sleeping and they were. Thank goodness.

 

I’m someone who over-prepares.  But this situation got me thinking about what we would do if we were in an accident while on our way to the beach…or any time for that matter.  I took some steps for preparedness.

  1.  I filled out the health information on my iphone. I wondered if anyone really looked at that but I’ve been told that yes, if they can access it first responders will look at this information.
  2.  I changed some of my important contacts. Instead of having names I put things like husband, dad, etc to make it easier for someone else in an emergency.
  3.  When making a checklist of things to take on vacation, things like: health insurance cards, vehicle insurance cards, dental insurance cards, etc are checked 3 x
  4.  I let a few close extended family members know when we’re leaving or heading back. I do check in on facebook at certain rest stops to help with location finding.
  5.  I have the name and number of trusted law firms like Hunter Law, P.A. in my phone so I could call right away if I’m physically able.  I’d have enough to worry about at that time, I’d rather let the experts handle it.
  6.  Getting our vehicle checked and make sure maintenance is up to date before the big drive.
  7.   Keep a car safety kit in the car with things like road flares, jumper cables, etc
  8.   Take a baggie to keep in the car with things like car sickness medication, Tylenol, anti-diarrhea medication, and any other medication that may be needed individually. Make sure if it’s prescription medication you have it in the prescription bottle or have proof of the prescription.

What tips do you have to plan for a emergency while on vacation?

5 Ways To Save Money On Your Family RV Road Trip

If you’re a frugal person and if you’re planning a family RV road or camping trip, you’ll
probably find this article to be of much use to you.
Even though an RV trip should be cheaper in contrast to other travel options (such as flying and
staying in hotel rooms), that doesn’t mean that it’s an inexpensive endeavor. On the contrary, it
still is expensive.
Fortunately, there are a variety of methods you can use to save money on any RV road or
camping trip, and by using more than just one of these methods your savings can really add up to
a significant amount.

Here are five ways you can save money on your family RV road trip:

1 – Actually Plan Ahead
There’s just no better money saving tip than this one: actually plan ahead. Those who plan ahead
have much greater odds of saving cash versus those who just rent the first RVs or campgrounds
they see.
This means actually doing your research and learning about every RV that is available to rent so
you can compare rates. The same goes for renting campgrounds. A seemingly minuscule
difference of ten or fifteen dollars for daily rent can really add up, especially if your trip is going
to be a long one.

2 – Travel During Shoulder Season
‘Shoulder season’ simply refers to the time of year when travel costs, including rent and fuel,
tend to be much lower. It’s also known as the ‘off season.’ As an added bonus, you’ll also have
to contend with smaller crowds, which can always help make your trip more enjoyable.
Examples of shoulder season include late spring or early fall, when the large crowds are less
likely to travel than they are during the summer. Yes, this means that the weather may not be
quite as nice, through it may be worth to you if it means saving a lot of money.

3 – Avoid RV Parks and Campgrounds
Who says you have to stay at RV parks and campgrounds? Not only are RV parks often very
busy, which means you may not get all the privacy you desire, they also cost money.
A night at a decent RV parks with amenities such as laundry and Wi-Fi should cost between $30
to $50 a night. That’s cheaper than most hotel rooms, but it’s still an expense that can add up. A
week long stay at a RV park priced at $35 a night will cost you $245, for example.

In contrast to this, boon-docking (or parking your RV on public parks outside of RV parks)
doesn’t cost you anything. Sure, you don’t get all of the same luxuries that certain RV parks
come with, but what you do get is more space alone to yourself and possibly several hundred
dollars of saved cash in your wallet. Is it worth it? That’s up to you.

4 – Don’t Eat Out (At Least Not Often)
Eating out constantly is one of those seemingly harmless expenses that can really start to add up.
If you’re serious about saving money on your trip, then bringing your own food and preparing it
in the kitchen your RV provides you with will be a much more cost efficient option.
Not only that, but you can also prepare foods that are already cheaper to make. For example, it’s
probably cheaper to make chili and soup that feeds everyone versus making cheeseburgers for
each individual person.

5 – Compare Fuel Stations
Fuel is one of the largest expenses of any RV trip and you simply can’t avoid the fact that
motorhomes are not the most fuel efficient vehicles on the planet.
But what you can avoid is paying for fuel at a gas station that is priced higher than another gas
station just around the corner.
When the time comes to fuel up, use a fuel app to research all fuel stations within a certain mile
radius. Even if the difference between stations is only one to two cents a gallon, that can really
add up when you consider the fact that RV’s hold a lot of gallons (as in around a hundred and
fifty on average)

Saving Money On Your Family Trip
These are just a handful of the ways you can save money on your RV trip. Using each of these
methods together, you should easily be able to save several hundred dollars, if not over a
thousand, for the trip.

 

Guest Post by Susan Melony