This is No Trick – IHOP Offers Free Scary Face Pancakes This Halloween

If you follow my Snapchat then you already know I’m addicted to IHOP! It’s super kid friendly and the prices aren’t overwhelming which is important to me as a mom. Chance is eating his own “Kid’s Meals” now and Dereon is eating from the adult menu so when a place boasts about “Free” anything I’m interested.

Well good news for other moms, dads, and grandparents like me. This Halloween, IHOP Restaurants will transform into the “International Haunted House of Pancakes” with their frighteningly delicious Scary Face Pancakes! Little ones will get to enjoy this customizable treat for FREE for kids 12 and under from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday, October 31st! 

Children can let their imaginations run wild by decorating their own Scary Face Pancake at IHOP! Scary Face Pancakes come with a world-famous Buttermilk Pancake topped with whipped cream, a strawberry nose and served with a side of OREO® cookies and candy corn so your kids can let their silliness shine through with their monster creations. 

The kiddos will enjoy being creative and eating what they made while mom and dad can rest knowing this family date night won’t break the bank!

Halloween Fun while giving back!

I’m all about kids giving back and being a part of building community. Halloween is coming up and there are so many events kids can attend this month. What better way to have a good wholesome time with the family, than giving back?

17-year old Destiny Watson, a Chicago-area student, recognized the need of the 5.4 million Americans who rely on food banks every week, and decided to take action.

On October 17, Destiny is bringing her community together to fight hunger in the Chicago area with a Halloween event at Apollo Park.  The “We Scare Hunger Trail” event will feature family friendly activities and a scary trail walk.  Destiny and her youth group, are asking local families to bring three or more non-perishable food items as the price of admission, with all proceeds going to Respond Now in Chicago Heights.

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Please share this event with others and take your little ones as well. Seems like it will be a blast!

Boo! At the Zoo: Halloween fun

Happy Sunday!!

If you are in the Chicagoland area I want to invite you out to the last day of Boo! At the Zoo which is going on now at Brookfield Zoo. Today I’ll be one of the judges for their annual costume contest. I hope to see you and your wonderful family there. Here’s some more information regarding the event:

Brookfield Zoo’s annual Boo! at the Zoo Halloween celebration will be filled with more tricks, treats, and hocus pocus than ever before. The whole family will have a howlin’ good time October 18-19 and October 25-26 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.each day.

Pumpkins will be getting crushed and carved throughout the Halloween celebration. Head over to the West Mall from 11:00 a.m. to4:00 p.m. to witness the Pumpkin Smasher destroying pumpkins into tiny pieces every hour on the hour. Then watch Steve Dahlke, professional pumpkin carver, as he uses a variety of tools to create masterpieces out of gigantic pumpkins that weigh about 1,000 pounds each. Pick up carving tips and tricks during his demonstrations, and you can even carve your own pumpkins.

The ever-popular Boo! at the Zoo costume parade kicks off at 1:00 p.m. in front of Discovery Center. Kids of all ages and their families can join in and show off their Halloween attire. Leading the parade on October 18 will be S.T.A.T of Illinois Baton/Dance Team, and on October 19 Evergreen Park Community High School Cheerleaders will get the parade started. The Bearettes & Twirling Bears from Midlothian and Oak Lawn and the marching band from Reavis High School in Burbank will kick the parade off on October 25. And on October 26, the Hinsdale Central High School Red Devil Marching Band will lead the procession.

Afterwards, you can enter the costume showcase that begins at 1:30 p.m. at the West Mall. Judges will choose winners in four categories: scariest, best animal theme, most original, and best group theme. Radio Flyer and Dulcelandia will provide costume prizes.

Additional activities include finding your way through the more than 7,000-square-foot Crazy Maize corn maze, taking a spin on the Creepy Cowboy Carousel, building a scarecrow at Hamill Family Play Zoo, decorating cookies, and taking memorable photos at the pumpkin patches located throughout the park. New this year, kids can stop by treat stations to receive goodies provided by Dulcelandia (while supplies last). The candy company will also have Halloween-themed piñatas for kids to smash open.

Halloween would not be complete without creepy critters like bats, scorpions, and spiders—oh my! Learn about them and other animals during special Zoo Chats that will be held each weekend. Glide over to Australia House at 11:30 a.m. to learn about Rodrigues fruit bats, which have a 3-foot wingspan. At high noon, staff will share information about the zoo’s Mexican gray wolves, including Ernesta, who recently was released to the wild with her four pups and mate. A 12:30 p.m.spider Zoo Chat will take place at The Swamp. From there, a hoot of a good time awaits at the Hamill Family Play Zoo for a 1:00 p.m. chat about a great horned owl. At 2:00 p.m., discover some unique characteristics about the scorpion at Feathers and Scales. To round out the chats, slither over to Reptiles and Birds at2:30 p.m. to see one of the zoo’s large snakes. And everyone can flock to Hamill Family Play Zoo for a 3:00 p.m. chat about the raven.

Several of the zoo’s animals will receive pumpkins as Halloween treats—. See if the rhinos crush their festive squash at 11:00 a.m.on October 18. The following day, October 19, the orangutans will be treated to pumpkins at10:00 a.m. The grizzly, polar, and sloth bears will receive pumpkins at 11:00 a.m. on October 25, and the lions will be able to enjoy them on October 26 at 11:00 a.m.

Boo! at the Zoo is presented by Bright Start® College Savings and proudly supported by Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. General zoo admission is $16.95 for adults and $11.95 for children ages 3-11 and seniors age 65 and over. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is $10. (Additional fees apply to some activities.) For further information, visit www.CZS.org/events or call (708) 688-8000.

Momma in Vegas?

Weekend before last my husband and I took off to celebrate his birthday in one of his favorite cities… Las Vegas! Since my husband’s birthday is actually on Halloween we decided to do a weekend trip so we could be home to take the kiddo trick or treating on Halloween.

Two of our close friends meet us down in Vegas and we let our hair down the whole weekend. While we were in Vegas I called Dereon to surprise him with tickets to see Kidz Bop Live! He was estatic and no longer cared when we were coming back to Chicago. LOL

Although Dennis and I went to Vegas for our Honeymoon there is no way we can get tired of a place so lively. This time we wanted to fully explore Vegas and have an “agenda”. And we got a lot done if I must say. Check out some of the pictures:

We stayed at the Bellagio and had a Fountain view room. AMAZING!

We didn’t hit the jackpot =(

We ate so much food. I know I gained about 10 pounds. My fave place was Peppermill!

If you have ever hung out with me then you would know that when I hang out and party “Kid Free” my name is Keyonce. So how fitting was this picture with my girl Beyoncé? LOL

And we ended our last night with a BANG or a shot one would say. LOL. We attended a HUGE costume party. Vegas knows how to throw a Costume party!

We have a ton of pictures, but I wanted to share the Highlights with you. Viva La Vegas! =)

Go to Boo at the Zoo and win a trip to Jamaica?

Sunday afternoon the Pyles’ had a spooky, but fun time at Brookfield Zoo’s Boo at the Zoo! What is Boo at the Zoo you may ask? When asked how to describe Boo at the Zoo two members of the Chicago Zoological Society, Nadine Mcintyre and Ken Grzeslo both had to agree that it’s a safe place for kids to wear their costume one more day, while winning prizes and getting treats and learning about science.

Brookfield Zoo has thrown this festival for kids of all ages since the 70’s and it’s getting bigger and bigger. Just this past Saturday they counted over 12,000 people that came out to enjoy the fun Fall activities including a Halloween costume parade, a corn maze, arts and crafts, and giveaways. Now the giveaways weren’t only for the kids. For the third year in a row, Brookfield Zoo teamed up with the Jamaica Tourist Board and raffled off an ALL inclusive trip for two to Jamaica with airfare! That’s right airfare! So many parents stopped by the booth to sign up for their chance to win this amazing raffle (including myself).

I had a chance to speak with Glen Bucknor, Jamaica Tourist Board Senior District Manager, Midwest USA and he explained to me that parents should really consider taking a family trip to Jamaica because of the guaranteed weather there while poor Chicagoans suffer through our cold brutal winter months, also because it’s more affordable than people think. He also mentioned several all inclusive hotels and resorts that focus on families and kids which I thought was pretty cool. I was completely sold. I want to visit Jamaica soon, Very soon! Read up a little more about planning a trip tp Jamaica here.

Now if you missed last weekend don’t start boo hooing (tricky word play LOL) Boo at the Zoo has one more weekend for the 2013 Fall season. Next weekend Saturday October 26th and Sunday October 27th from 11am to 4pm. Read more here.

Overall The kids enjoyed the corn maze and the steel drums playing in the background. I loved going to the different booths of the companies that helped sponsored Boo at the Zoo. Oh and I loved seeing all the different costumes. From simple to very detailed. Now, how can I forget the animals?! Dereon wanted to see the wolves and my baby sister wanted to see the kangaroos. So many choices! Afterwards My husband and I talked and laughed while the kids played at the playground inside the Zoo while my teen sister stared at her social media apps. LOL. It was a great Sunday and the weather was excellent. A Family day success=)

Chicago “downtown” Popcorn without going downtown!

One great thing about living in Chicago is the tasty Garrett Downtown popcorn that I ALWAYS seem to have a taste for. I like the Chicago mix because it has the famous caramel and cheesy cheddar all mixed together. I prefer the caramel but it’s too sweet to eat by itself so a little cheese makes it perfect!

When I was contacted by G.H Cretors to try their all natural popped corn I jumped at the chance. My kiddo is a fan of popcorn like me too so I knew he would enjoy being a taste tester, but he didn’t know it would be a healthy alternative to his regular snacks (sneaky mom move I know. LOL). As Fall approaches and Halloween rolls around popcorn is a great options to eat as a snack alone, with the kiddos, or whole family.

G.H. Cretors Chicago Mix is fabulous! Just as good as the downtown popcorn without having to go downtown to snag a bag. I opened up a bag while watching Scandal last week and I had to remind myself to share with the hubby, good thing he loves the cheese flavor as well so I was able to keep him at bay with his own bag of cheese while I devoured the Chicago Mix.

Grab you a bag of G.H. Cretors Popped Corn and let me know how much you love it! Full size bags for parties are available at select natural food and mainstream grocery stores across the country, while single serve bags for trick-or-treaters can be purchased here. Like their Facebook page and enter the Halloween promotion and a scary face contest for opportunities to win popcorn.

I was given a few bags of G.H Cretors Popped Corn for a review but all thoughts are my own.

Nationwide Fun Fall activities for the kiddos + Money saving coupons

Being born and raised in Chicago has taught me one thing…weather has a mind of it own. Hence it was 95 degrees this past Tuesday now it’s 55 degrees! But the drop in temperature means one thing….FALL! I am super exited about the Fall season because it’s my favorite season, the weather is amazing and the Chicagoland area always have a million Fall festivities to participate in.

Nothing like taking the kiddos out for some Fall fun for cheap and guess what? I have some great coupons for you! Are you ready for some Fall Festival Deals?! Here is great list of Corn Maze Coupons and Fall Festival savings nationwide. Download or print these valuable coupons for Corn Mazes, Pumpkin Patches and Fall Family Activities.

Arizona
Schnepf Farms – Queen City

California
Forneris Farms – Mission Hills

Colorado
Anderson Farms – Erie
Flat Acres Farm – Parker
Fritzler Maze – La Salle
Sunflower Farm – Longmont
Mile High Farms – Bennett
Wishing Star Farm – Calhan
Harvest Farm – Wellington

Texas
Devine Acres Farm – Devine
Fiesta Farm – San Antonio
Yesterland Farm – Canton
South Texas Maize – Hondo
Dewberry Farm – Brookshire
Brazos Valley Maize – Brenham

Louisiana
CM Farms – Dry Creek

Georgia
Lane Southern Orchards – Fort Valley
Poppell Farms – Odum

Michigan
Farmer Charley’s Corn Maze Adventure – Monroe

Indiana
Amazing Fall Fun – Waterloo
Harvest Tyme Pumpkin Patch – Lowell
Hobson’s Fun Farm – Rockville

Illinois
All Seasons Orchard – Woodstock
Kuipers Family Farm – Maple Park
Odyssey Fun Farm – Tinley Park
Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm – Lockport

Maryland/DC
Summers Farm – Fredrick County

Massachusetts
Sauchuk Farm – Plympton

Missouri/Kansas
KC Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze – Gardner
Shuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch – Pleasant Hill

Mississippi
Seward Farms Maze – Lucedale

Minnesota
Afton Apple Orchard – Hastings

Montana
The Maize at Grandpa’s Farm – Billings

Nebraska
Camp Fontanelle – Nickerson

NewJersey
VonThun Farms – Monmouth Junction
Sahl’s Father Son Farm – Egg Harbor City

New York
Wright Family Farm – Warwick
Harbes Family Farm – Mattituck

North Carolina
Patterson Farm Market and Tours – Mount Ulla

Ohio
The Corn Maze at the Sharp Run Market – Millersburg
Meadow View Growers – New Carlisle

Pennsylvania

Hurricane Hill Farm – Coatsville
Triple B Farms – Pittsburgh
Reillys Summer Seat Farm – Pittsburgh

Rhode Island
Confreda Greenhouses & Farms – Hope (Western Cranston)

Virginia
Cows-N-Corn – Midland
Wayside Farm Fun – Berryville
Belvedere Plantation – Fredericksburg

Utah
Cornbelly’s Corn Maze & Pumpkin Fest – Spanish ForkFor Daily Updates on these coupons and coupons for other family attractions please visit and bookmark: http://www.usfamilycoupons.com