Monday, August 29, 2016

Do you ever want to escape and disconnect from it all? Last weekend my son and I did just that when we hit the highway for a getaway at Honey Creek Resort. If you haven't taken this 3.5 hour drive from Council Bluffs, you are missing out an a beautiful location with tons to do!

(Thank you to Honey Creek Resort for hosting my son and I for our getaway. We were provided with our stay and activities, and any opinions are 100% our own.)

9 Reasons to Visit Honey Creek Resort 

#1 Location

Sitting on Lake Rathbun, the second largest lake in Iowa, there is no shortage of beautiful scenery at Honey Creek Resort. Both the lodge and the cottages had fantastic views - we even spotted deer running through the parking lot and the golf course.

#2 Activities

There are all sorts of things to do at Honey Creek Resort, both scheduled and unscheduled. Take in some golfing, fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, boating, hiking, s'mores around the campfire, or one of the many classes offered though naturists like making bees wax lip balm, star gazing, crafts, and more.

#3 Food 

While at Honey Creek Resort my son tried eight new foods. I can't tell you the last time he actually tried anything new so this was HUGE. Even huger, he LOVED it all. Things like taquitos, turkey subs, molten chocolate cake, waffles for breakfast BOTH mornings, chicken, and the list goes on. He kept telling everyone how amazing the food was and I will admit, it hurt my ego just a wee bit.

#4 Cottages

There are 105 guest rooms at the Honey Creek Resort Lodge, but I highly recommend staying in one of the 28 cottages at the resort. My son and I were wowed as soon as we pulled in and he stated many times that he didn't want to go home because the "cabbage" was better than home! Take a look at the little video we shot when we arrived....

#5 Indoor Water Park

There isn't just a pool and hot tub at Honey Creek Resort. They have Buccaneer Bay Indoor Water Park with a slide, lazy river, water basketball, little kids section, and a small arcade to enjoy before or after you swim.

#6 Playground and Outdoor Event Space

One of the first things you spot when you pull onto Honey Creek Resort is a playground and outdoor event space that is perfect for weddings, work picnics, and family reunions. The playground has places to play for big and little kids, and this is a park with some neat features I haven't seen at parks at home.

#7 Nature Trails

After settling into our cottage, we hit one of the nature trails that lead back up to the lodge. There are a few different routes you can go that take you through the beautiful nature surrounding Honey Creek Resort, and we also spotted a pond, bee hives, and a few guests who rented bicycles to enjoy the trails.

#8 Friendly Staff

Every staff member that we encountered at Honey Creek Resort was happy, friendly, and helpful. We had no issues during our stay, but they were always able to point is in the direction we were searching for our had answers to our questions.

#9 Disconnect to Reconnect

It felt so good to disconnect from the busyness of life and reconnect with my son during our getaway. Yes, Honey Creek Resort offers WiFi that works great, but there was SO much to do at the resort that you don't even think about getting online, other than to share awesome pictures of your adventures.

There is something for everyone of any age at Honey Creek Resort, and the only negative is that I waited this long to head out there! Whether you are looking for a little getaway or searching for a beautiful location in Iowa to hold your event, head to Moravia, Iowa and see what Honey Creek Resort is all about!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Did you know that in the state of Iowa it’s actually illegal for a man with a mustache to kiss a woman in public? Iowa is known for its agriculture like corn, soybeans, and what. They even have a creepy lamb with two butts. You know what else we have in Iowa? Lots of haunts!

I've always been a believer in the paranormal. Things like spirits, ghosts, and haunted places. Although, haunted houses at Halloween freak me the heck out. Legit haunts intrigue me and give me the need to learn more. If that sounds like you, add these Haunted in Iowa suggestions to your must visit list!

Haunted in Iowa: Real Haunts and Haunted Attractions

Haunted in Iowa

The Real Deal

Independence State Hospital was an insane asylum that opened its doors in 1873. It quickly became overcrowded and patients were put in a room and left without much care or treatment. Rumor has it that the staff were abusing patients, and the living conditions were horrible.

I am guessing the abused patients never moved on, even after death, because the Kirkbride building is still hustling and bustling. It is avoided by current staff because there is so much paranormal activity. People report being pushed or touched by unseen beings; doors have been seen to open and close on their own. Voices, laughs and screams can be heard from the halls. It makes you wonder if it’s the past patients lurking, or the staff that tortured them.

In Dubuque is the Matthias Ham House, which is now a museum. Businessman Mathias Ham built this mansion in 1856 for his family to live in, and decorated it lavishly. A total of four of the Ham family died in this home, as well as an unwelcomed intruder who had evil intentions. Sara Ham had been living alone and heard footsteps outside her bedroom door. She shot twice through the door and found a dead pirate outside of it. Locals aren’t sure if it is the ghost of Mr. Ham or the dead pirate that continues to visit the house, but footsteps and voices have been heard, and electrical disturbances have been reported as well. The pirate captain wasn’t a very nice person and his ghost may be trying to get revenge for being murdered!

Villisca Ax Murder House sits on a quiet street in the small town of Villisca, but has a greusome history. In 1912, the Moore family and two overnight guests were brutally murdered with an axe while they slept. To this day nobody knows who murdered this family and the crime remains unsolved. You can take a daylight tour of the house, or if you’re really brave you can stay overnight and possibly experience hearing children’s voices or falling lamps. Are you brave enough? I'm not for the overnight, but I did visit during the day! --> Villisca Axe Murder House Tour

The Mason House Inn is 165 years old and has a pretty deadly history. At least 3 of the prior owners died while at the Inn, and a guest was murdered there as well. Several ghostly apparitions have been seen at the Mason House. You can stay overnight in this haunted location and possibly have your own ghost experience. Do you think you can handle it?

Haunted Attractions in Iowa

Dark Chambers haunted attraction is over 5,000 square feet of fright located in Dubuque. I watched the teaser video for this haunted house and I must say it’s pretty disturbing! This one is not for the faint of heart.

Outfox Escape Room is located in Coralville and features rooms like Lost Will, where you and your team have to find “Dad’s” will with the clues provided. They also have a room called Jurassic Iowa where dinosaurs are destroying the state and you need to solve the puzzle to save everyone. That one sounds like fun!

Escape Chambers is located in Des Moines and you have 60 minutes to escape with your friends. They also have Tactical Laser Tag, which is not your average laser tag. This is laser tag on steroids! It’s more like a real live video game compared to the dark blacklight kind with bulky vests and plastic guns.

The only question left is: Which one will you be visiting first?! Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

If you pulled up to the No Frill on Valley View drive today, you may have noticed a change. No Frill is no more. Today was the grand re-opening of Family Fare. This is the first Family Fare to open in the city and I partnered with them to check it out and tell you all about the new store, and offer a giveaway! Check out 10 reasons you need to check out Family Fare in Council Bluffs and enter to WIN 1 of 2 $50 Family Fare Gift Cards!

10 Reasons to Check out Family Fare in Council Bluffs

1) Build Your Own 6-Pack

That's right, I'm starting with alcohol and if you have trouble making up your mind, you can build your own 6-Pack for $8.99 at Family Fare! There are all sorts to choose from including beer, flavored drinks, IPA, and more.

2) Build Your Own K-Cup 24 Pack

It's not just alcohol, it's coffee too! Stop by the Pick and Sip at Family Fare to choose from a variety of K-Cup flavors to build your own pack of 24 K-Cups. They even have hot cocoa!

3) Certified Tender Ridge Angus Locally Supplies

Stop by the back of the store and see what the Butcher Shop has ready for the grill. Family Fare offers Certified Tender Ridge Angus in both seasoned and unseasoned varieties, as well as many different cuts.Tender Ridge Angus is high quality tender meat with a certification to prove it, and in order to earn that the meat has to meet the following requirements:

  • USDA tenderness audits
  • 14-Day minimum aging
  • Proper monitoring and labeling
  • Shear-force testing (scientific standard to evaluate tenderness)
  • Special employee training programs so they can make sure the meat is ready for us to enjoy!

4) Living Well Section

When you walk in to Family Fare there is a fantastic fresh fruits and veggies section. Just beyond is the Living Well Section with over 2000 products that are better and healthier for you.There's gluten-free, allergen-free organic, vegan, Non-GMO products, and more, as well as health and wellness products. It was nice to see this section so prominent in the store, instead of tucked away hidden in a corner. Keep your eyes out for Free Living Well Magazines that will hit the store in August.

5) Cafe & Deli

Family Fare does have a deli with ready to go foods, deli meats, and more. Plus, there is a little Cafe next to it so you can enjoy lunch at a table instead of in the car.

6) Bakery

Cakes, donuts, breads, and the list goes on. The bakery at Family Fare may be worth checking out for your next birthday party cake!

7) Baby Club

It is free to sign up for Family Fare's Baby Club and you will earn a $10 gift card for every $100 you spend on baby items.

8) Pet Club

It is free to sign up for Family Fare's Pet Club and you will earn a $10 gift card for every $100 you spend on pet items.

9) yes Rewards Card

It is free to sign up for a yes Card with Family Fare and it is your ticket to personalized coupons, freebies, surprises, and perks. You can sign up quickly and easily in-store or online at

10) Grand Re-Opening Specials

There are lots of grand re-opening specials at Family Fare in Council Bluffs. When I was shopping last night I scored $1.57 gallons of milk, $1.77 Doritos and Tostitos, $0.88/lb grapes, and more. If meat is on your list, they have Pork Sirloin Chops BOGO Free and cheap ground beef. Don't forget that the Wiener Mobile will be in the parking lot on July 22nd from 11-2 PM and there are lots of prizes to win right now!

There are 8 Family Fare celebrating grand re-openings in the Council Bluffs/Omaha Area:

  • 5110 S. 108th Street Omaha, NE
  • 14444 W. Center Road Omaha, NE
  • 2650 N. 90th Street Omaha, NE
  • 3003 N. 108th Street Omaha, NE
  • S. 24th Street Omaha, NE
  • Valley View Dr. Council Bluffs, IA
  • 7402 N. 30th Street Omaha, NE
  • 1510 Harlan Dr. Bellevue, NE
The special events and activities going on during the Family Fare Grand Re-Opening celebrations include:

Thursday July 21st, 2016 

  • Daily Prize! (3) $100 VISA gift cards
  • Kretschmar Rib Fest * Deli promotion
  • Bridgeford Bass Pro Fishing Team Appearance (autographs/coupons)
  • 5110 S. 108th Street (11am – 2pm), outside in the parking lot
  • Kretschmar Country Concert (Cole Porter Band)
  • 14444 W. Center Road (3pm – 7pm), outside in the parking lot
  • Oscar Mayer Wienermobile (sampling/coupons)
  • 2650 N. 90th Street (11am – 2pm), outside in the parking lot
  • 3003 N. 108th Street (3pm – 6pm), outside in the parking lot 
 Friday July 22nd, 2016

  • Daily Prize! (2) $200 Living Well gift package
  • Cookies BBQ Sauce Grill Wagon w/ Smithfield Meats (sampling/coupons)
  • 3003 N. 108th Street (11am – 6:30pm), outside in the parking lot
  • Oscar Mayer Wienermobile (sampling/coupons)
  • 1801 Valley View Dr. (11am – 2pm), outside in the parking lot
  • 7402 N. 30th Street (3pm – 6pm), outside in the parking lot 
Saturday July 23rd, 2016

  • Daily Prize! $300 Private Label summer gift wagon
  • Cookies BBQ Sauce Grill Wagon w/ Smithfield Meats (sampling/coupons)
  • 3003 N. 108th Street (11am – 6:30pm), outside in the parking lot
  • Oscar Mayer Wienermobile (sampling/coupons)
  • 14444 W. Center Road (11am – 2pm), outside in parking lot
  • 5110 S. 108th Street (3pm – 6pm), outside in the parking lot
Plus, through the end of August, you have the chance to WIN 2 Tickets to the 2017 Big Game in Houston. THE game. With a football. All you have to do is shop with your yes Rewards Card between July 20th and the end of August, and you will automatically be entered into the Super Sweepstakes! I'm telling ya, there is a lot of fun happening at Family Fare right now!

If you don't live in the Council Bluffs/Omaha Area, find a Family Fare near you and check out what's going on in store!

Thanks to Family Fare, TWO Midwest Mammas Readers are going to WIN $50 Family Fare Gift Cards!


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Want more chances to win? has 2 $50 Gift Cards up for grabs! has 4 $25 Gift Cards up for grabs!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pokemon Go has taken over everything! I find it entertaining, comical, heart-warming, hilarious, and awesome. I haven't played nearly enough, but I love that it is giving me something to do with my 10 year old son. We don't have a whole lot of Pokemon PokeStops and Gyms near us but there are tons all over the Omaha Metro. I started a list and will be adding to it as things keep popping up!

Pokemon Go PokeStops in Omaha Area
  • Old Market - lots of Poke Stops being reported down there.
  • All TWELVE Omaha Libraries
  • Josyln Art Museum
  • Heartland of America Park - Conagra Campus
  • UNO - there are more than 35 Poke Stops on campus!
  • Halleck Park
  • Monument to Labor Statue in Omaha along the river
  • Werner Park
  • Bellvue University - lots of PokeStops
  • Council Bluffs Public Library
  • Dodge Memorial Church (Council Bluffs)
  • Lil Bros Tattoo Shop (Council Bluffs)
  • Walking Train along the river (Council Bluffs)

Pokemon Go Gyms in Omaha Area

  • UNO - there are 5 gyms across the three campuses!
  • Joslyn Art Museum
  • Nobbies
  • Bellvue University
  • Halleck Lake
  • Boys Town
  • Crossroads Mall
  • Aksarben Village
  • Werner Park
  • Walking Trail along the river (Council Bluffs)

Pokemon Go Lure Parties in Omaha Area ( and events)

Check out this Pokemon Go Map for Omaha where users have been adding in Poke Stops and Gyms too!

Pokemon Catching Areas in Omaha Area
  • Heartland of America Park - Conagra Campus
  • Fontenelle Forest
  • Henry Doorly Zoo
  • Joslyn Art Museum
  • Omaha Children's Museum
  • Gene Leahy Mall
  • UNO Campuses
  • Halleck Park
  • Seymour Smith Park
  • Horsemen's Park
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • MidTown
  • Hitchcock Park
  • Boys Town
  • Pedestrian Bridge
  • Tom Hannafan Park
  • Westroads Mall
  • Oakview Mall
  • Underwood Bar
  • Big Lake Park (Council Bluffs)
  • Bayliss Park (Council Bluffs)
  • Churches, Monuments, Schools, Libraries, Police Stations, Fire Stations
If you have a Pokemon PokeStop or Gym in the Omaha Area that you would like to have added to the list, drop a comment below. If you have hosting a lure party and what to spread the word, drop me a comment as well!

Keep up with the local Pokemon Go scene by following the Pokemon Go Omaha Facebook Page and @PokemonGoOmaha on Twitter!

Want more Pokemon Go?

How to Hold a Pokemon Go Scavenger Hunt by Car + Free Printable

Ultimate Pokemon Go Product Guide

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Facebook is wonderful at letting me know all the exciting things going on in Council Bluffs and the Omaha Metro. A variety of event invites pop up in my feed, both from friends and things Facebook feels are a fit for my life. Some days I don't even know what is a fit so it's nice that Facebook cares. With all of these events in my feed, I decided to start What's Happening Wednesday and bring you upcoming local events to fill your calendar with!

What's Happening Wednesday




  • Rebuilding Together Omaha Luncheon with  The Scott Brothers from HGTV's "The Property Brothers" on September 29th at Omaha Design Center.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Food Challenges are full of delicious fun. You can find them for just about any meal and all types of foods. If you live in Iowa, are traveling through, or challenging yourself to attempt food challenges in every state, here are Iowa's Best Food Challenges for you to devour! 

Iowa's Best Food Challenges

Jethro's BBQ Adam Emmenecker Challenge

Difficulty: 3 out of 5
Cost: $25
Time: 15 Minutes

Description: Finish a spicy pickle, bun, pork tenderloin, buffalo chicken tenders, white cheddar sauce, fried cheese cubes, Texas brisket, applewood smoked bacon, cheeseburger, and 1lb of waffle fries.

Prizes: Free Shirt, Free Meal, and mentioned on their Wall of Fame.  

Grandma Max's Restaurant Burger Challenge (Urbandale)

Difficulty: 2 out of 5
Cost: $19
Time: 1 Hour

Description Finish a huge burger patty topped with veggies on a very large bun.

Prizes Free T-shirt and your picture on their Wall of Fame. (Meal not free or discounted.)

The Italian Pizza & Subs Pizza Challenge

Difficulty: 5 out of 5
Cost: $100
Time: 1 Hour

Description Eat a 26″ pizza with 2 toppings by yourself within an hour. (Please give 24hr advanced notice and meal is not free or discounted unless you win.)

Prizes Free Meal and $300 Cash, as well as mentioned on their Wall Of Fame.

Charlie's Steakhouse Wing Challenge

Difficulty: 1 out of 5
Cost: $9
Time: 12 Minutes

Description Eat a dozen of the spiciest wings in 12 minutes (1o minutes eating and 2 minutes sitting time)

Prize Free Shirt and your picture on their wall of fame. (Meal not free or discounted)

Charlie's Steakhouse Steak Challenge

Difficulty: 1 out of 5
Cost: $50
Time: One Sitting

Description Finish off a 3lb prime rib.

Prizes Free Shirt and your picture on their wall of fame. (Meal not free or discounted.)

Charlie's Steakhouse Burger Challenge

Difficulty: 1 out of 5
Cost: $17
Time: One Sitting

Description Finish off a burger that is about 2lbs of beef and topped with plenty of toppings.

Prizes Free Shirt and your picture on their wall of fame. (Meal not free or discounted.)

Capital Pub & Hot Dog Hot Dog Challenge

Difficulty: 1 out of 5
Cost: $18
Time: One Sitting

Description Finish a 2 half-pound Klement’s hot dogs topped with 2 half-pound beef patties, a half-pound of thin sliced beef top sirloin steak, 2 slices of cheese, and 2 hot dog toppings of your choice, served open-faced on 2 hoagie rolls.

Prizes Your picture on their Wall Of Fame. (Meal not free or discounted.)

Keo's Grill & Bar Burger Challenge

Difficulty: 3 out of 5
Cost: $20
Time: 1 Hour

Description Finish a burger that has over 3lbs of beef, a huge bun with 1lb of fries.

Prizes Free Meal and your picture on their Wall of Fame, as well as naming rights.

Rube's Steakhouse Steak Challenge (Montour)

Difficulty: 2 out of 5
Cost: $53
Time: One Sitting

Description Finish a huge 52 ounce sirloin that is served with 2 sides.

Prizes Free Shirt and your picture on their Wall Of Fame. (Meal not free or discounted.)

Midtown CafĂ© Burrito Challenge

Difficulty: 2 out of 5
Cost: $14
Time: One Sitting

Description Finish a huge burrito with lots of eggs, bacon, ham, potatoes, and plenty of other toppings

Prizes Free Meal and your picture on their Wall Of Fame.

Blue Iguana Mexican Cantina Burrito Challenge

Difficulty: 3 out of 5
Cost: $40
Time: 30 Minutes

Description Finish a 6 pound carne asada burrito with rice & beans and a 24 oz draft beer.

Prizes Free Shirt and mentioned on their Wanna Iguana Hall Of Fame. (Meal is not free or discounted.)

International House of Frybread Breakfast Challenge (IHOF)

Difficulty: 2 out of 5
Cost: $20
Time: 45 Minutes

Description Finish 5 pancakes, 4 eggs, 3 slices of bacon, 3 sausages, hashbrowns, and toast.

Prizes Free Meal, Free Shirt and mentioned on their Wall Of Fame.

International House of Frybread Burger Challenge (IHOF)

Difficulty: 3 out of 5
Cost: $30
Time: 45 Minutes

Description Finish a 4 pound Colossal cheeseburger with 12 slices of cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickle spears, onions, sour cream, salsa, and tortilla chips on a fry bread bun with 1 lb of chili cheese fries and a milkshake of your choice.

Prizes Free Meal, Free Shirt, and mentioned on their Wall Of Fame.

International House of Frybread Wing Challenge (IHOF)

Difficulty: 1 out of 5
Cost: $20
Time: 6 Minutes

Description Finish 12 Ghost Pepper Bourbon Wings with a 5 minute “afterburn” period.

Prizes Free Meal, Free Shirt, and mentioned on their Wall Of Flame.

Do you have a favorite Iowa Food Challenge to add to the list? Drop a comment below and let me know!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Dining at Crave tucked inside Midtown Crossing in Omaha the other night, was a mix between "am I being Punk'd" and "did Gordon Ramsey make a visit here?" You see, I dined at Crave when they first opened and honestly, I wasn't impressed. This time around was a completely different story and now I can't wait to get back!

(Big thanks to Crave Omaha for inviting the Omaha Bloggers out or I would have never known about the changes!)

While Gordon Ramsey didn't visit, Crave did undergo some major changes since I was last there and if you haven't been you should experience Crave Omaha soon! In the past year and a half they have taken on new owners, new executive chef, new bar manager, and amazingly delicious food by the plateful. I joined a few other Omaha Bloggers to check out the menu and learn about the Father's Day Special at Crave in Omaha.

First, let me tell you about Father's Day because once we start talking food, you will forget a holiday is coming and get in your car to taste what I'm talking about. Sunday, June 19th you can enjoy an All You Can Eat Prime Rib Feast for $23.95 at Crave! The feast includes prime rib, baby red potatoes, green beans, dinner roll, and Crave salad. (Note, while kids eat free on Sundays with the purchase of an adult entree, this does not apply on Father's Day.)

Okay, the food. The Crave menu does not disappoint in any category. In addition to their regular menu, they have a great gluten-free menu, a kids menu, a date night menu, and vegan options as pretty much everything is fresh and made to order in house. For example, the sushi. Did you know Crave has sushi? Honestly, I'm not a big sushi fan but, the presentation was beautiful and the rest of the bloggers were enjoying every bite.

Appetizers are one of my favorite parts of the menu and I like that the appetizer portions at Crave are shareable. For me, that means meal sized and I'm all over that! We tried Calamari and Kogi Beef Tacos, I loved both and wouldn't let them remove the plate of tacos until I had polished off as much as I could. The flavor was SO good.

If you like a great salad, you can also find that at Crave. We sampled two types of chicken salads and both were yummy. My favorite overall was the Chopped Chicken Salad and one I would get again.

I'm not even sure where to begin on entrees because they were all so darn tasty. My overall favorite would probably be the Lemon Garlic Chicken.

A close second would be the Caprese Flatbread because the flavor on this was unbelievable.

Others that we tried included one of the most unique and tasty Beef Stroganoff dishes I've had...

...a very fresh and flavorful Norwegian Salmon....

....and Steak Frites that melted in your mouth.

Next to appetizers, dessert is the best part of the menu in my book. If you have trouble deciding, go with Crave's Dessert Sample for a little of all the best worlds. You get individual cups of French Silk, Salted Caramel Mousse, Blueberry Cheesecake, Tiramisu, Strawberry Pana Cota, and Tres Leches. If you like coconut, give "The Original" Coconut Cake a run for it's money with it's light and fluffy cake.

I have to give a nod to the S'mores Brownie. I even grabbed one of these to bring home and the oldest two kids really liked it. A graham cracker crust, brownie middle, marshmallow topping, and a side of marshmallow ice cream make this a great summer treat.

I seriously can not wait to get back to Crave and I think I'm going to hit up one of the Date Nights on Friday or Saturday. For just $60 you get two appetizers, two entrees, two desserts, and a bottle of wine! There is a special Date Night Menu featuring several of the dishes I featured above.

Fun Facts About Crave Omaha
  • 1/2 Price Wine Wednesday ($40 max Discount)
  • Kids Eat Free All Day on Sunday (with purchase of adult entree per kid - excludes holidays)
  • 1/2 Price Sushi on Sunday and Monday from 4 PM - Close
  • Police eat free (up to $25), and other discounts include 20% Off for Military and Mutual of Omaha Employees, and 15% off for UNMC and Creighton Employees and Students. 
  • Sunday Brunch is 11 AM - 2 PM
  • Happy Hour is Monday - Saturday from 3 PM - 6 PM and 9 PM - close, as well as all day on Sunday. 
  • Patio available but, no reservations are taken. 

Before heading to dinner, join the Crave Loyalty Program so you can start earning rewards each visit. You will also receive coupons for your birthday and anniversary.

Thanks to Crave Omaha, one lucky reader is going to WIN a $25 Crave Omaha Gift Card! Plus, through July 31st, 2016, if you mention that you read about Crave on Midwest Mammas, you will receive a 15% discount on your bill. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Cake and ice cream, balloons, wrapping paper, invitations, goodie bags, and the list goes on. Planning a birthday party can require a lot of time and effort. If you'd rather just enjoy the day and leave most of the work (and clean up) to someone else, here are 9 Epic Places to Have Birthday Parties in Council Bluffs!


There are currently three birthday party packages available at Thunderbowl and they start at $8.95 per person. All parties include bowling, and depending on the package you choose you will get things like pizza, soda, game cards, and more.

Godfather's Pizza

We've held several birthday parties at Godfather's on West Broadway. They have party room that is free to use, and the only requirement when we booked it was to order pizza. It's a decent sized room with plenty of tables and seating, and I usually give the kids quarters to play the video games and claw machines.

Pizza King

There are 3 party rooms available at Pizza King for your next birthday party. No need to worry about food either, since you can order right there!

Canvas Concoctions

I recently told you about Canvas Concoctions opening up on the 100 Block and guess what? They host birthday parties! You choose the painting for the party guests to paint, and they can even take care of food, drinks, and decorations for you.

Council Bluffs Dance Center

If you have a little dancer, look into a birthday party at Council Bluffs Dance Center. My daughter had a party there and has been to several parties there, and they are always fun! Miss Dee Dee does a great job setting up the party, planning a dance number, and taking care of food, and making sure the kids all have fun!

InMotion Bounce and Gymnastics

You can book bounce birthday parties or gymnastic birthday parties at InMotion Bounce and Gymnastics. They just announced they will be moving to a new location, but they are still booking parties right now, as well as offering Open Bounce times this summer!

Pirates Cove Water Park and Katelman Water Park

You can book pool parties at either Pirates Cove or Katelman Water Park over the summer! Prices for parties with up to 30 people are $175 for Katelman and $200 for Pirates Cove.

Shady Lane Ranch

Plan a birthday party at Shady Lane Ranch, complete with hayrack rides, horse rides, or even a bonfire! We've been to and held a few parties at Shady Lane Ranch and loved every one of them They've all been in the fall, making for perfect weather.

AMC Theaters

Head to the movies for a birthday party at AMC Theaters! You can go early on the weekend to save some money, then grab lunch afterwards and open presents.

Where are your favorite places to have birthday parties in Council Bluffs?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

If you live in Iowa, two words you are probably familiar with are Honey Creek. Located just over 3 hours from Council Bluffs, Honey Creek is home to more than jut Honey Creek State Park. Sitting on the shore's of Lake Rathburn, Iowa's second largest lake, is the AAA Three Diamond-Rated Honey Creek Resort. A resort that will be receiving a $1.5 million dollar enhancement under the new management of Delaware North.

Photo Credit: Honey Creek Resort

Delaware North is one of the largest privately held global hospitality and food service companies in the world. Honey Creek Resort is owned by the State of Iowa, for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Delaware North will now manage resort under a 15-year contract, which began June 1st. Honey Creek Resort was built in 2008 and is LEED Certified by the U.S. Green Buildings Council. Features of Honey Creek Resort currently include:

  • 105 guest rooms
  • 28 cottages with one, two or four bedrooms
  • RV park with 20 campsites
  • 18-hole championship links style golf course
  • 42-slip marina
  • 2-story pirate-themed indoor waterpark
  • Full-service restaurant and bar with outdoor patios
  • Walking trails, fishing opportunities, boat rentals, nature programs and wildlife watching.
Photo Credit: Honey Creek Resort

I haven't been to Honey Creek Resort yet but, it sounds like a great place to plan a weekend getaway, especially with the family! There is tons to do round Lake Rathbun’s sprawling 11,000 acres. You will find eight parks, two marinas and several restaurants and cultural activities to keep you busy!
"We are excited to have been selected by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to manage the beautiful Honey Creek Resort and are proud to add it to our portfolio of properties at national and state parks. We plan on making improvements to the property, including bringing our industry-leading food and beverage experience, to enhance the guest experience." - Jim Houser, President of Delaware North’s parks and resorts business.

Some of the other improvements Delaware North plans to integrate at Honey Creek Resort include its highly regarded customer service program, GuestPath®, and its environmental management program, GreenPath®, into the operation. In case you aren't familiar with Delaware North, they operates in many of the United States’ iconic national and state parks, including Grand Canyon National Park, Yellowstone National Park and Niagara Falls State Park, as well as at cultural attractions such as Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

A week doesn't go by where someone says they miss the old Council Bluffs Drive-In out by Manawa. Watching movies under the stars, crammed into the back of a car with speakers hanging on your window is an amazing experience. Something we want our kids to enjoy. We have a Backyard Movie Screen and projector to recreate that experience in our backyard, but it's not the same. It's awesome, but it's not that same. For me, nothing will ever replace the original Drive-In but, there are several places to enjoy Outdoor Movies in Omaha, and the surrounding areas.

Movies in the Park at Bayliss

Once again you can enjoy Movies in the Park at Bayliss in Council Bluffs. Movies are free and begin at dusk. In the even of a rainout, movies are rescheduled for the following Saturday. The line-up for this summer includes:

  • Inside Out (June 3rd)
  • Goosebumps (June 10th)
  • The Peanuts Movie (June 17th)
  • Kung Fu Panda 3 (June 24th)
  • Hotel Transylvania 2 (July 1st)
  • Alvin & The Chipmunks: Road Chip (July 8th)
  • Aladdin (July 15th)
  • Pan (July 22nd)
  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (July 29th)
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (August 5th)

River's Edge Movie in the Park

On June 1st you can enjoy a free screening of Raider's of the Lost Ark during River's Edge Movies in the Park in Council Bluffs.

Sokol Park Drive-In Movies

Sokol Park Drive-In Movies this summer run $5-$10 per carload and gates open at 7pm, with movies starting at dusk. The line-up for this summer includes:
  • Finding Nemo (June 2nd)
  • The Goonies (June 5th)
  • Zootopia (June 12th)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (June 16th)
  •  The LEGO Movie (June 23rd)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (July 7th)
  • Nobody Calls Me Lebowshi and The Dark Side of OZ (Double Feature - July 8th)
  • Hook (July 10th)
  • Jurassic Park (July 14th)
  • The Incredibles (July 17th)
  • Dazed and Confused (July 24th)
  • Jumanji (August 4th)
  • Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Hot Tub Time Machine (Double Feature - August 5th)
Flix at the Chef

You can enjoy Free Outdoor Movies at Flix at the Chef held behind Dairy Chef in Elkorn. The movies begin at dusk, and free popcorn and parking is provided. The line-up includes:
  • Angels in the Outfield (June 11th)
  • Zootopia (July 9th)
  • Inside Out (August 13th)
  • Jungle Book (September 13th)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (October 1st)
Midtown Crossing Monday Night Movies

Monday Night Movies at Midtown Crossing are free and open to the public. Bring your blankets to Turner Park for the summer movie line-up that includes:

  • Inside Out (June 6th)
  • To Gun (June 13th)
  • Film Streams Feature: Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times (June 20th)
  • A League of Their Own (June 27th)
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off (July 11th)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (July 18th)
  • Pitch Perfect 2 (July 25th)

Camp Fontanelle Movie Nights

Movie Nights offered at Camp Fontenelle are open to the public and free will donation. You can come early and grill your dinner on one of five fire rings, or bring your lawn chairs and just enjoy the movie. You can email or call for a list of titles showing this summer.

Sumtur Amphitheater Starlight Movie Series

The Starlight Movie Series at Sumtur Amphitheater in Papillion is free, with gates opening at 7:30 and movies starting at dusk. The line-up for this includes:

  • Hotel Transylvania 2 (June 3rd)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (June 15)
  • Zootopia (July 29th)
  • The Good Dinosaur (August 5th)
  • Shaun the Sheep (August 12th)
  • Inside Out (August 19th)
For more summer fun, check out this list of Free Things To Do In Council Bluffs!