Mommy Review Monday: Wilderness Club at Big Cedar

You’ve probably ready a LOT about our trip to Branson/Ozarks. Sorry if it’s a little much but for those who are looking to go on a family trip that has a little bit of everything to keep everyone entertained, this post might be helpful. If you want to learn more about our trip check out my post about our Branson/Ozark Mountains Itinerary. 

What we liked:

  • Spacious rooms
  • Full kitchen (in most rooms)
  • Window to living room 
  • Balcony with a view
  • Jetted bathtub
  • Separate bathroom 
  • Big dinner table
  • Movies and games to check out
  • Indoor pool with small slide
  • Lazy river and big slide (With lifeguards around these)
  • Shuttle service to anywhere on resort 
  • Free use of paddle boats, canoes, and kayaks
  • Activities for kids and families (like fishing and tyedye)
  • Childcare available 
  • Free putt putt
  • Fun Mountain with bowling, bumper cars, laser tag, rock climbing, huge slide, and arcade (not free though, except slide)
  • The staff is amazing. They were all friendly and helpful the entire time. 
  • We liked how close it was to Top of the Rock- also owned by Bass Pro Shops. 
  • Nice dining. 

What we didn’t care for (the way we are teaching our kids to nicely say this):

  • Not clear instructions for Wilderness Club VS Big Cedar. We went to Big Cedar Lodge first, which is really nice. It was a little disappointing when we went to the Wilderness Club, which isn’t as luxurious. It is still very nice though. The clubhouse is just more practical and family oriented. 
  • Fun Mountain is pretty pricey. We knew this was going to be the case going into it. My biggest advice would be to get a package that has the activities that your family wants to do. We loved the laser tag. It was really fun and so were the bumper cars. The arcade sucks your money faster than anything else but for whatever reason the kids always love them. The slide is free there and can handle adults too but beware that you can easily get a burn going down because you slide so fast. We didn’t do bowling but it is surrounded by an aquarium and looked super cool!
  • The timeshare presentation was really long and very high pressure. Being in sales, I get that this is their job but it still felt way too pushy when asking people to make a very big investment. High dollar sales like this take people more than a couple of hours to decide on. If you go into it knowing this, it’s not so bad. We did. It it was still not fun and Garen I both felt sorry for the poor salesman that had only been in sales for a couple of weeks. 
  • I would’ve liked to see a snack bar at the pool for convenience. There was one at the clubhouse pool but not at all of the others had one available. 
  • I think it would be beneficial to have one restaurant that was a little cheaper for families or maybe a market onsite to buy some groceries. I didn’t think the dining was outrageous but it would be nice to have a little variation as the places were all pretty similar in cost. We will probably plan to cook one night next time we go since there’s a full kitchen. 

There you have it- the good, the bad, and there was no ugly. We really liked it and feel like it’s a great place for families that want to enjoy a little outdoors with all of the comforts of home. And being within driving distance for us, it’s a great little getaway. Check out more photos from our trip here: Ozark Beauty and But Wait There’s More

Disclaimer: I am not receiving ANY compensation for this review or writing this itinerary. These are 100% my own opinions and experiences. I hope they’re helpful if you’re considering a family vacation!


Adventures with Four: How we survived an 8-Hour Roadtrip

We just survived an 8-Hour round-trip road trip with twin 9 month old babies, plus a 5 and almost 8 year old. 

Here’s my travel tips for a successful trip with that many kids in one vehicle:

  • Consider leaving at night or early in the morning so you can get as much of the drive done while all of the kids sleep. We left the house at 4 AM and that bought us a few hours of peaceful drive time. 
  • Dress everyone comfortably. The big kids slept in their athletic shorts and shirts so we didn’t have to worry in the morning. The babies were in their footie pjs for the first leg of the trip. 
  • Bring a blanket for each kid. Someone is bound to get cold. 
  • Be sure everyone has pottied before you leave anywhere. 
  • Try to arrange seating so that someone can sit between the babies so you can feed or play with them, as necessary. 
  • Bring a bag of toys that you can rotate out. 
  • Bring extra pacifiers and keep them handy. We tend to always be missing one. 
  • Have wipes within reach. You never know when you’re going to need to clean something up- whether big or small. 
  • We knew the girls were going to go through 3 bottles each on the trip, so we packed a bottle bag with that many bottles and three shakers, a gallon of water, plus the formula. Some people suggested packing the pre-measured formula but it seemed just as easy to pack the big tub of it when you’re making this many bottles at a time. Oh, and we don’t warm the bottles- they just drank them room temperature, which made it way easier. 
  • Build in plenty of time for stops. 
  • We changed diapers in the vehicle because it was easier and cleaner than many of the restrooms. 
  • Have a general idea of where you can stop and eat that is kid friendly. Our favorite road trip stop is Cracker Barrell. 
  • Pack plenty of things for the big kids to do. We let Will take his DS and Anna got to watch a movie in my iPad. I also stocked a bag of goodies from the Target dollar section including sticker books, coloring books, card games, etc.  
  • Bring some healthy snack choices. We brought grapes, crackers, squeezy fruit. It kept them from wanting the junk from the convenience stores. 
  • Have a change of clothes handy for the kids- big and little. You never know when you might need it and you don’t want to have to pull out suitcases to find something. 
  • Bring help, if possible. We were fortunate to have Garen’s mom and his 17-year-old cousin along. It made it much easier and more fun for everyone. 
  • Use a van, if possible. We are fortunate enough to have been loaned a 12-passenger Ford Transit to take. We would’ve had to take two cars otherwise. This gave us plenty of room for everyone AND our stuff. 

We not only survived, we had a great time. It was a fast and furious trip but we all had a blast in Branson with the family!

What road trip tips do you have for traveling with kids? I’d love to hear them!