Mystic, Connecticut – a roadtrip

Mystic Aquarium

One the best parts of living in the New York Metro area is the accessibility to true adventures. On any given day a road trip  will take you to Montreal – Philly- Boston- Cape Cod- Hudson, NY – washington D.C. – and… Mystic Connecticut.

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Just north of New York City up in the gorgeous New England region, is a town called Mystic. Nestled on the Long Island Sound in Connecticut, Mystic is like something out of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine. You know those pictures which practically narrate a nostalgic essay without a single word.

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Mystic, Connecticut also house the largest maritime museum in North America, Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, Mystic Seaport and of course… Mystic Pizza.

I love New England. The trees, the slower pace of life,  the commitment to craft and small business and education. It’s pretty ideal.

Mystic,CT is one of our escapes and while there was still snow on the ground this past weekend, our escape was filled with swimming and adventure, beluga whales and my first lobster roll of the season!

All three of us have been pretty stir crazy this winter. So we headed up to Mystic to swim in a hotel pool and visit the aquarium and have some old-fashioned ice cream floats! Since we absolutely love traveling and love our weekend road trips, I wanted to share some tips in case YOU – dear reader – ever find yourself in picturesque Mystic, Connecticut.

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Where to Stay: 

There are tons of Inns and Bed and Breakfasts which are very quaint. But we needed a pool. While we usually stay at Mohegan Sun because of their amazing selections of restaurants and shops, fun for kids and an amazing pool…they were booked solid this past weekend. So we stayed at the Mystic Mariott Hotel and Spa. The rooms were clean, staff was friendly and pool was clean. Nothing fancy and no bells and whistles but it met my clean standards and of course had a pool!

For dinner : we headed to Mystic Pizza… because when in Mystic! Mystic Pizza, the movie starring Julia Roberts from back in the day, was INSPIRED by the restaurant and none of the restaurant scenes were actually ever filmed in Mystic. Nonetheless, the walls are covered with images from the film and Julia Roberts smile. Matt, Lily and I ordered the Greek Salad and Mystic Pizza. Yum!

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The next morning we headed to Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration.

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IMG_5538IMG_5487Here is my BIG MONEY SAVING TIP– to save money on the price of admission ( $29/adults $21/kids), stop by the local grocery store BIG Y and sign up for their free store savings card. You save a bundle when you show your BigY card at the aquarium.

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The big attraction at the aquarium are the Beluga whales. Mystic Aquarium is a known for their efforts in marine rehabilitation and research. They are a strong force in marine rehab on the long island sounds and beyond. Lily really enjoyed the touch tank, seeing the sea-lion show, petting the sharks, and sting rays.

These fish were genetically modified to glow in the dark. That’s crazy right? There even was a button which turned the lights off and on.

Housed in the exploration center is a Titanic exhibit. Lily was fascinated by this exhibit since she has heard about the Titanic but never been at an exhibit. She got to crawl inside a submarine, read facts about the titanic, watch a handful short clips on titanic mystery and recovery. It was fascinating for this adventure girl of mine.

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Thomas wasn’t quite sure what was going on. He maybe noticed the fish around him but was much more interested in chasing around the other kids at the aquarium.

The beluga whales were impressive and just gorgeous. We had a close encounter with one of them which was just the amazing!

After a morning at the Aquarium we headed to Captain Daniel Parker Inn for lunch. What a treat!

IMG_5542The Captain Daniel Parker Inn is off the main drag in Mystic Ct. We came upon this spot while researching where to stay and the Inn kept popping up but the lack of a pool for our stir crazy kiddies, kept us from staying there. Matt and I might have to run of on a getaway sans kinds!

IMG_5560I was so intrigued by the Inn that we decided to lunch, which ended up being the best decision! You MUST stop by and have some yummy grub off their menu.

New York Mom
Lobster Roll with Onion Rings.
Travel New York
Crab panini with sweet potato fries

I had a Lobster roll… and it did not disappoint, Matt has the Crab and Avocado Panini and Lily had the best meal of all.

New York Mom
Truffle shaved mac and cheese with 3 cheeses.

She had a side order of the Truffle Mac and Cheese – 2 cheeses and shaved truffles! ( in case you don’t know, this junior foodie of mine drizzles truffle oil on practically anything! so when a truffle mac and cheese is on the menu… she must!) It was her first time eating  shaved black truffle. How fancy!

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It was too windy and cold to walk around this past weekend but we love strolling around town and visiting all the shops – Mystic Toys is so great, the ice cream shoppe – closed for the season- is a MUST and make sure to take pictures on the small bridge.

I can’t wait to go back when it’s warmer!

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Hope you take time in your life to travel… it’s enriching in so many ways. We love to travel and sometimes a quick roadtrip is the best kinda *zing* one needs to hit the refresh button!

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Escape to Mohegan Sun

Tis the season for long drives up the many scenic roads in New England. Our family just loves to get in the car and drive north for a mini escape. Within a 4 hour driving radius we have Philadelphia, Boston, Scenic Vermont, Maine, Maryland, Virginia and many others. Fall is the best time to head off on road trips. With the crisp cool weather and stunning changing of the leaves, this is a MUST DO for us here in the NorthEast.

Last Friday we headed over to Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.

It was our first time at the Mohegan Sun Resort. Lily was very excited about the road trip, she’s a total adventure girl…just like Matt and I.

Mohegan sun is about a 3 hour drive north from New York City and the resort has plenty to entertain all ages.

A world at play and a world to its own, Mohegan Sun, created in 1996 by the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut, is one of the world’s most amazing destinations with some of New England’s finest dininghotel accommodations, retail shopping, live entertainment and sporting events. Boasting three world-class casinos, Mohegan Sun is also host to the Kids Quest/Cyber Quest family entertainment facility, a luxurious day spa,convention center and meeting facility, a state-of-the-art Poker Room as well as three major entertainment venues with seating from 300 to 10,000. 

After checking into the V.I.P. Aquai lounge, we dropped our bags off in our room and headed off to explore the rest of the resort.

Mohegan Sun has a variety of restaurants to choose from at many different price points. We chose to go to the oh so popular  Bobby Flay’s BAR AMERICAIN.

The food was tremendous and so yum that I  going to dedicate a whole new post just to this restaurant..highly recommended!

After dinner we wandered around the many shops at Mohegan Sun and found our way to KIDS QUEST – the kid play area.

Lily was immediately sucked into the shiny light, games and kids squealing with fun and begged us to let her play at KIDSQUEST. After a thorough tour lead by one of the most friendly attendants, Matt and I left our precious  Lilypie for one hour. The cost to drop Lily off at Kids Quest was very affordable. Since we were visiting over the weekend, we paid $9/hr.( $8 on weekdays).  Kids Quest is open until 2am with a 5 hour maximum for your precious monkeys.

With Lily safely supervised, Matt and I set out on our wild and crazy night! Woot!! Not really, we relaxed and went exploring stopping by the casinos and indulging in an after dinner cocktail.

The shopping was impressive with a varied selection of gift shops and clothing stores. Whether you wanted Tiffany’s or Coach or outdoor attire, the Shops at Mohegan Sun  had something for everyone.

After picking up our Lilypie an hour later, to much resistance, we headed off to bed. Lily had such a great time that the next morning, we dropped her off at KIDSQUEST yet again while Matt and I enjoyed a lunch date. This time in addition to the hourly rate at KIDSQUEST, we also paid for Lily to have lunch at the kids quest cafe. She picked Mac and Cheese with a fruit and juice and even got a snack all for $6 wowza!

Matt and I picked SUMMER SHACK for Lunch where we indulged in all things shellfish! We had chowder and steamed clams and oysters oh my!

And what about the Casinos? Mohegan Sun has not one, not two but THREE casinos – Casinos of the Sky, Earth and Wind. There are smoking and non smoking sections to each casino that is complete with slot machines, cards and  anything you can imagine!

Oh and the pool… the pool is a MUST when you have a kid and yes the Mohegan Sun pool was a treat for Lily.

Overall, our stay at Mohegan Sun was great! Highly Recommended!!!

Being able to drop off Lily at Kids Quest was genius. She loved being at this kid wonderland and was safely supervised and I was able to spend some quality time with my Matt. We all won!

Mohegan Sun has something for everyone and every kind of getaway. How about a GIRLS weekend getaway! Does that sound super fun? Well guess what!

The good folks over at MOHEGAN SUN are allowing me to giveaway a night out getaway for one of my lucky readers!

CONTEST OVER! and the WINNER IS…. ALEXIS!!! 

I generated my winner on RANDOM.ORG It’s totally fair and absolutely random!! Happy weekend at Mohegan Sun ALEXIS!!!!

To enter this contest please do all the following:

  1. Leave me a comment on this post
  2. TWEET : I just entered to win @MoheganSun Diva’s Hotel package from @pluslily http://tinyurl.com/3r7cms

*OPTIONAL* – Be my friend on FaceBook — https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-York-Mom/122716341123120 

 

CONTEST ENDS WEDNESDAY – SEPT 28 at Midnight Eastern time. This package does NOT cover transportation, Only hotel accommodations. 
* Mohegan Sun invited me and my family for a friday night stay and paid for food and accommodations. I loved it and agreed to promoting this contest. All opinions are my own*

 One winner and a guest will enjoy: Mohegan Sun’s Diva’s Delight Hotel Package

Spend a night out with your girls and let your inner diva loose!

Your winning package includes…

  • Oversized and stylish accommodations for one night at Mohegan Sun; choice of two queen or king bed
  • VIP Check-in
  • Late check-out at 1:00pm
  •  Poolside Margaritas and Appetizers (or equivalent; a $40.00 value)

**Note: Offer valid on Thursdays and Fridays October 2011 only. Excluding October 21**

More about Diva Days & Diva Nights:

  •  Party on the patio of Todd English’s Tuscany every Friday starting at 9pm with a DJ, drink specials and mixology courses
  • Special ladies-only No Judgement Zone table games
  • Free Slot Play offers
  • Ladies-only shopping and dining specials
  • Free headline entertainment in the Wolf Den and ticketed events in Mohegan Sun Arena and The Cabaret Theatre. Click here for a complete schedule: http://www.mohegansun.com/entertainment/schedule-of-events.html
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