Christmas at the Hilton Anatole Dallas – Review and Giveaway

Christmas at the Hilton Anatole Dallas – Review and Giveaway

Christmas at the Hilton Anatole Dallas is an annual Christmas tradition for our family. With 4 kids, finding somewhere with something for everyone can be a challenge. Our kids are now 5, 6, 11 and 13-years old. Each has an opinion (imagine that.) But one thing we can all agree on is that we love the Anatole, especially at Christmas. 

Christmas at the Hilton Anatole Dallas

Christmas at the Hilton Anatole Dallas TX

From the time you walk into the Hilton Anatole in downtown Dallas, you immediately are greeting with CHRISTMAS. The foyers are decked to the nines. The decor throughout the resort is all prettied for the season. It just has that Christmas vibe that says “let’s celebrate.”

Animated reindeer at the Hilton Anatole

Animated reindeer at the Hilton Anatole

Family Christmas Activities

The Hilton Anatole offers a plethora of fun family Christmas activities, such as: 

  • Breakfast with Santa
  • Lights in the Park
  • Festive Decor
  • Kids Popcorn Bar
  • Rudolph’s Reindeer Barn
  • Photos with Santa
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Face Painting
  • Geppetto’s Marionette Theater Holiday Shows
    …and much more!

Breakfast With Santa Package

 

It’s a wrap at the @hiltonanatole – another fun year of all things #christmas #christmasattheanatole

A photo posted by Molly Thornberg (@digitalmolly) on

In Dallas for the holidays or need a staycation? Book a Breakfast with Santa package!

  • Guest room
  • Breakfast With Santa for up to two adults & two kids at 9 AM
  • Self-parking
  • Christmas At The Anatole Weekend Activities
    • Holiday movie night at 7:30pm on day of arrival with kids popcorn bar
    • Gift bag per child given at breakfast with Santa
    • Breakfast With Santa Experience (Activities Include:  breakfast with Santa, holiday scavenger hunt, face painting, Gingerbread Bakeshop cookie-making, stories at Rudolph’s Reindeer Barn, Snapshack photo ops, letters to Santa and more!)

*Photos with Santa are available from 11am – 1pm.  Photo packages start from $25 and can be paid for directly to the photographer.

Remaining dates available for Breakfast With Santa are December 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, and 23.  

*Late checkout at 2 p.m. is included.

Learn more about the Hilton Anatole 

Hotel Package Giveaway

I’m so excited for a lucky Digital Mom Blog reader to win a hotel package! That’s right, the Anatole is offering a Breakfast with Santa package to one lucky Digital Mom Blog reader! Here’s the deal. There are just a few dates left with openings for Breakfast with Santa so the one-night stay would have to be on December 20, 21 or 22, 2016. We will contact the winner on  Monday, December 19th. 

Do you know a family that needs a Christmas giveaway? Share this post and encourage them to enter.

Remember, the contest ends Saturday, December 17th at 11:59pm CST. Enter early and enter often! There are multiple ways to get extra entries!

Breakfast With Santa + Hotel Stay- Hilton Anatole Dallas

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Staycation at the Hilton Anatole – Jade Waters Review – Travel Thursday

Staycation at the Hilton Anatole – Jade Waters Review – Travel Thursday

A few weeks ago, we enjoyed a staycation at the Hilton Anatole here in Dallas, TX to review the new Jade Waters pool complex. It was amazing, stress-free and close to home. All things that make this mom of 4 happy.

Hilton Anatole – Dallas Family Hotel

The Hilton Anatole is a favorite of our’s, mostly because this family of 6 requires unique hotel accommodations. Our kids are still little, so it’s not feasible for us to have 2 rooms unless they are connected. Plus, bringing all the kids – the hotel in general needs to be a family friendly hotel. The Anatole definitely fulfills that need. From the roomy, CLEAN and upscale accommodations to family friendly activities and restaurants – we always know that when we stay there, our family’s needs will be covered and a good time is to be had by all.

hilton anatole review dallas tx

Jade Waters Review

The Anatole recently opened their new pool complex, Jade Waters. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised. Previously, the Hilton Anatole had a beautiful area in the middle of the resort with statues, a pool and running trails. This has been revamped with a resort-style pool complex that does NOT disappoint.

Hilton anatole jade waters review

The Jade Waters area is open from 9am – 9pm and is only available to hotel guests (though I did read, hotel guests can pay for up to 2 outside guests to join them.)

Here’s a glimpse at what Jade Waters has to offer:

  • 4,000 sq. ft. Leisure Cove Pool
  • 7,000 sq. ft. Activity Bay Pool and Panda Play Area for the kids
  • 630 ft. Jade River
  • Two 180 ft. winding water slides
  • Seating for more than 800 people
  • Private cabanas and daybeds
  • 23-seat Swim-up Bar
  • 120-seat Jade Waters Grill & Bar

The pool area is extremely family friendly. I have 2 littles who are NOT good swimmers, so we have to keep an eye on them at all times.  The pool has a large kids play area with a children’s slide and various water activities. This is all very shallow and perfectly positioned so you can safely let your children play – while you lounge.

Jade Waters Hilton Anatole Family Hotel Dallas TX

There are 2 water slides, 1 enclosed and another open. What I loved about these is that they do not dump into a large water pool – rather you land in a very shallow water pool “runway” per say.  This was fabulous because both of my littles were able to fully enjoy the water slide and I didn’t have to worry about them going under or what not at the end of the slide ride. The line moved very quickly, my kids probably rode this at least 20 times each – not exaggerating on this!

Hilton anatole jade waters review

My favorite was the lazy river. I could float ALL DAY LONG. The lazy river is only 3 feet deep. Adult-size floats are provided, just jump in a float and relax. This is where I spent the bulk of my time. If you do have younger kids, do consider bringing a smaller inner tube with you – the large ones work but little butts can’t fit in the tube without falling thru.

There also is a hot tub area, a swim-up bar, deeper pool and a shallow area where you can play basketball in the water.

While the pool complex has a lot to offer, it’s not massive in size. It’s perfect – the kids could swim and play, I never felt like they would get lost. There were life guards positioned in various locations and again, felt like my kids were safe – and moms know how important it is to feel like that!

Outdoor Activities

In addition to swimming, there are a plethora of other activities offered at the hotel, both inside and outside.

Outside, during the day – there are games on the green, you can enjoy games like corn hole to giant Connect Four.

While we were there, a DJ was constantly spinning tunes – keeping the pool atmosphere hopping. The kids enjoyed a “pool party” with hula hooping and other fun games.

jade waters pina colada pool hilton anatole

There are cabanas and day beds available to rent, along with poolside service – plus an outdoor eatery, or you can get food to-go and eat next to the pool. The eatery offers a bar with the best Pina Coladas!

Hilton Anatole Family Hotel Dallas TX

The kids enjoyed eating snow cones, these are available at the to-go eatery.

At 9 pm, after Jade Waters closes – while we were there, there were movies on the green. One night the kids watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, another night – Zootopia.

Learn more: hiltonanatolehotel.com/resort-style-pool-at-the-anatole

Indoor Activities

The Hilton Anatole offers several restaurants on-site, as well as a 24-hour cafe. We snuck downstairs on Friday night and loaded up on late-night desserts.

V-Spa

My daughter and I left the boys at the pool for an hour and headed to V-Spa for mom and daughter mani and pedis.

v-spa at hilton anatole dallas tx

The spa itself is gorgeous, it was so relaxing, fab to spend time alone with my daughter and plus – cute nails are always a good thing.

Learn more: vspadallas.com

Geppetto’s Theater

I was so bummed, we had the wrong time down or we would of loved this. Inside the Anatole is Geppetto’s Theater. It’s a Marionette Theater (puppet theater) that offers a fun variety of shows that are sure to create fun memories for the kids.

Geppettos Theater Hilton Anatole

We’re going to have to get back downtown to see their STAR WARP show – it’s a Star Wars variety show that looks like a blast.

Learn more at: geppettostheater.com

Art at the Anatole

The Anatole offers a huge selection of art to admire. Make sure to make your way around the building – even though I’ve been to the Anatole a number of times – there seems to always be something new.

Hilton Anatole Family Hotel Dallas TX

Learn more at anatoleart.com

Pokemon Go – Pokemon Hunting

The husband took the kids all around hunting for Pokemon. Pokemon Go is used like Waze in our family – it’s open anytime we go anywhere!

Pokemon go hunting at Hilton Anatole Family Hotel Dallas TX

Good news, there was a LOT of Pokemon activity around the Hilton Anatole.

Indoor Pool

Hilton anatole jade waters review

Off the atrium, next to registration there is an indoor pool that is open until 11 pm.

Staycation in Dallas, TX

If you are looking for a staycation in Dallas, TX – look no further. The Hilton Anatole has you covered. The resort is gorgeous, extremely clean and VERY accommodating for families. Thanks Hilton Anatole for having us out. Stay tuned – the Anatole always does a fun family Christmas event that you won’t want to miss. Here’s a glimpse of last year’s Anatole Christmas Event.

Learn more about the Hilton Anatole: hiltonanatolehotel.com

Travel Thursdays

travel thursday

This is our first of many Travel Thursdays. I know what’s it like trying to travel with 4 kids – – finding hotel rooms is never easy. Eating out is always expensive. Finding things for various ages can be a pain in the butt. On Thursdays, i’ll share what we’ve learned about traveling with a large family and a glimpse into our 6000+ mile road trip across the left coast that we took this summer. Stay tuned!

Hilton Anatole Dallas Announces JadeWaters – New Resort Style Pool Complex

Hilton Anatole Dallas Announces JadeWaters – New Resort Style Pool Complex

Traveling to Dallas or looking for a staycation this summer? Look no further, our families favorite Dallas hotel – the Hilton Anatole just announced the opening of their new report style pool, JadeWaters. It’s going to be FANCY, Family-friendly and FUN.

the estimated $15 million project will convert a portion of the hotel’s seven-­?acre Sculpture Park and Tennis Courts into a world-­?class water facility, unparalleled in North Texas. Designed to attract leisure and family guests throughout the summer season, the project will encompass approximately three acres and include multiple heated swimming pools and recreation areas, as well as enhanced walking paths and green spaces. New food and beverage options will also be added in the form of a new outdoor restaurant and bar, as well as a separate 23-­?seat swim-­?up bar. The project is scheduled for completion by July 22, 2016. The project's sophisticated design, architecture and landscaping will draw inspiration from the modern Asian influences present throughout the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Comprised of a leisure pool, beach-­?entry family pool, lazy river, luxury cabanas, and splash zone with two 180-­?foot slides, the new addition will offer a relaxed upscale atmosphere complete with artwork displayed throughout the pool area. The full complex will be open from July 22 through Labor Day this year, with the leisure pool operation year round. The project will also include two new event lawns, each with the capacity to hold 200 people, complementing the hotel’s existing park space and ability to host large outdoor functions for up to 3,000 people. Groups will also be able to utilize the poolside

JadeWaters is an estimated $15 million project that has converted a portion of the hotel’s seven–acre Sculpture Park and Tennis Courts into a world-­class water facility. The project will encompass approximately three acres and include multiple heated swimming pools and recreation areas, as well as enhanced walking paths and green spaces. New food and beverage options will also be added in the form of a new outdoor restaurant and bar, as well as a separate 23 seat swim up bar. JadeWaters is scheduled to open July 22, 2016.

The project’s sophisticated design, architecture and landscaping will draw inspiration from the modern Asian influences present throughout the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Comprised of a leisure pool, beach-­?entry family pool, lazy river, luxury cabanas, and splash zone with two 180-­?foot slides, the new addition will offer a relaxed upscale atmosphere complete with artwork displayed throughout the pool area. The full complex will be open from July 22 through Labor Day this year, with the leisure pool operation year round.

The Anatole had me at “23-seat swim-up bar.”

In all seriousness, in addition to be a gorgeous hotel, the Hilton Anatole strives to be family friendly – which when carting around 4 kids is a HUGE priority for us. Make sure to check out the art displays and SER Steakhouse during your visit. Both will not disappoint!

hilton anatole dallas hotel pool

If you are looking for some summer fun, check out JadeWaters. Our family will be stay-cationing a week downtown at the Hilton Anatole later this summer, checking out the resort and giving that pool a true “family friendly” test with my 4 crazies. Stay tuned for a review!

Learn more at anatolepool.com.

 

Dallas Christmas Family Fun – Staycation at the Anatole!

Dallas Christmas Family Fun – Staycation at the Anatole!

Looking for a fun family Christmas activity in Dallas? Consider a staycation at the Hilton Anatole for Christmas at the Anatole! Our family did this last year and was talked about all year – excited that we get to do this again this weekend.

hilton-anatole-christmas

What is Christmas at the Anatole?  It’s an interactive experience sure to bring holiday spirit to the young and young at heart.  Book a weekend, and enjoy holiday family fun including:

  • Breakfast with Santa
  • Geppetto’s Marionette Theater
  • Holiday movies
  • Holiday scavenger hunt
  • Face painting
  • Gingerbread Bakeshop cookie-making
  • Rudolph’s story time
  • Snapshack photo opps
  • Letters to Santa
  • And more

Geppetto’s Marionette Theater

FEATURING WINTER WONDERLAND

Take a whirlwind journey to the North Pole in Geppetto’s Marrionette Theater’s holiday show, featuring a cast of over 60 hand-carved marionettes. Children will delight as they meet the Winter Wizard, the North Pole dancing elves, the magic toys of Santa’s workshop and a whole host of other holiday favorites, including Rudolph and Frosty.

Located inside the Hilton Anatole, Geppetto’s is a holiday experience you won’t want to miss!

 

Breakfast With Santa Package – Hilton Anatole

December  12  and  13, 2015
December  18,  19,  20,  21,  22,  23, 2015

9:30AM SEATING PACKAGE OPTION AVAILABLE
Rates from $189!
Breakfast With Santa Package* Includes:

  • Guest room
  • Breakfast With Santa for up to two adults & two kids (choose seating below)
  • Self-parking
  • WiFi
  • Christmas At The Anatole Weekend Activities
    • Holiday movie night
    • Breakfast With Santa Experience (Activities Include:  Santa mix-and-mingle, holiday scavenger hunt, face painting, Gingerbread Bakeshop cookie-making, stories at Rudolph’s Reindeer Barn, Snapshack photo opps, letters to Santa and more!)

*Photos with Santa available for Breakfast With Santa guests from 11am – 1:30pm

 

5 Tips for the Traveling Working Mom

5 Tips for the Traveling Working Mom

It’s been a while since I have had to travel for work. My last full-time job, I had to travel often. It was hell. I had 3 kids at the time, 1 was a newborn. I am so glad I don’t have to relive those days.

While I don’t forsee myself having to travel too often (praise Jesus,) I will be traveling some. Last week I headed to San Francisco for Forward with Ford, in a few weeks it will be Oklahoma City.

If you are a working mom who will be traveling, here are a few tips that I hope will help.

1. Plan Ahead

With 4 kids, I know whenever I leave to go out of town he is going to be taking on extra stress. I try to minimize that as much as possible. I layout clothes for the entire week, putting them in labeled baggies for each day. The kids have to wear different outfits since they are in camp so this helps. I make sure that there are easy to cook meals readily available. I also pre-make any kid lunches to simplify the week.

2. Double Check Your Kids’ Schedules

I totally goofed last week. I forgot the boys had an extra swim day and didn’t pack a swim suit. Thankfully my husband was working from home and only 5 minutes from school. It was a good reminder to double check school calendars and schedules before leaving.

3. Set?an Alarm to Call the Kids

Another goof on my part last week… I was in California, totally different time zone. The first night we had an event that went late. I tried calling the kids to say good night at 9pm, well it was 11pm there time and asleep.

I made sure to set an alarm to remember to call them each night. We do try to Skype bedtime routines when possible. It makes the time away a little less painful.

set phone alarm

4. Try to Enjoy Yourself

I admit, I have this problem of not wanting to leave my kids. I love them, and DO enjoy time away from them but as I mentioned, 4 kids is a lot. I know when I leave it is someone else who has to take on the stress and responsibility that I typically do.

If you are going to travel, taking time to enjoy the “me time” is critical. Worrying about your kids every minute isn’t healthy or productive. Use the trip to do something for yourself that you typically can’t do. Make the best of it!

traveling working mom

5. Bring Home a Souvenir

Maybe it was a bad habit to start, but it’s worth the effort because I know that it’s hard for the kids to adjust when I’m away. Every time I head home from a trip, I bring them a little something (and I always buy a Starbucks mug from each city I’m in.)

This doesn’t have to be much, i’ve brought home candy bars before. It’s just a simple reminder for them to know that I am thinking about them while I am gone.

Kids and Separation Disorder

I will mention this since I’ve gone thru this with multiple kids. When I return from trips, I’ve had kids upset with me and in their sadness have stopped talking to me or clung to their dad – refusing to show me affection. It was AWFUL, and has happened several times.

This feeling the kids were going thru did go away. It took a few days with giving that child extra attention. This is definitely the most sucky part of being a traveling working mom.

You Can Do This Mom!

I know traveling and working is hard and I’m so thankful my trips are few in comparison to some.?You can do this, mom. Plan, enjoy and remember the kids a little something and all will be fine.

 

Being a Tourist in San Francisco

Being a Tourist in San Francisco

As I had mentioned in my Further with Ford recap, last week I had the honor of attending this media event with Ford in San Francisco. While we had a ton of conference time, learning about new technology, how Ford is adapting to the new mobility trends and how other businesses are utilizing technology – Thursday was a day that I won’t forget. Ford set us up on a driving tour of San Francisco.

Ford arranged for a driver to pick me up at the airport. I met the darling Yvonne from Moms LA and we rode into downtown. The 45-minute drive (hello, traffic.) was lovely. Yvonne had lived not far away, in Berkeley and provided all kinds of local insider information about the city. It’s one thing to ride around in the city, but on Thursday when we got to jump behind the wheel of a Ford and experience the city for ourselves… That was magic.

heart in san francisco
We conferenced Tuesday and Wednesday and then Thursday had the chance to hit the road. It was an early morning start, but worth it. We partnered up, grabbed any of the 50 Ford vehicles that were available, jumped in for a ride to a San Francisco destination. So as mentioned, we conference Tuesday and Wednesday and then Thursday hit the road. We were able to check out: the Golden Gate Bridge, Palace of Fine Arts and the Painted Ladies. Here’s a few shots.

Golden Gate Bridge

GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

Thanks Ford, for sharing this pic on Instagram!

 

Crank up those @spotify tunes on the available SYNC 3 in a #Ford Escape and see the sights! It’s been another fantastic Further with Ford conference – we’ll miss you San Francisco! #FordTrends Photo by @digitalmom

My sister and I, with the Ford Escape and Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco

OH, yes – my sister. I forgot to mention she was there as well. Meet Betsy, she too is a blogger and having her on media trips and media events is the bestest.

Painted Ladies

I had no idea what the Painted Ladies were, then I saw them “OH, FULL HOUSE!” Yes, this is from the iconic opening shot of Full House. Betsy and I drove the Ford Fusion, as shown in this shot.

Painted Ladies Full House home San Francisco
There is a park across the way where we parked to get this shot. While sure, it was neat seeing – the view of San Francisco in the background is unbelievable! And the crowds just to see this place were insane. Right after I snapped this, a tour bus full of people littered the area – taking pics.

San Francisco Painted Ladies

Palace of Fine Arts

After the driving tour to see the Painted Ladies, we ventured back to our headquarters and sitting in the parking lot waiting for us was a bright orange Ford Mustang convertible 5.0. It was 72 degrees outside, perfect convertible weather. We jumped in and drove to the Palace of Fine Arts not knowing what to expect of the location or the car.

ford mustang convertible
So first, let’s talk about this car. Like, WOAH. I tried to put the pedal to the medal, but had to break fast, because it’s San Francisco and the traffic was hell.

Ford Mustang
We couldn’t feel the full potential of this machine but knew that when pressing gas, you have to be careful because that horse had giddy-up. It’s a gorgeous vehicle, perfect for the California weather. I can’t tell you how many people were mumbling about this car. It demands attention.

Palace of Fine Arts
The Palace of Fine Arts was impressive as well. I had no idea that this landmark existed and we were so glad to be able to see it – the photos don’t do it justice. This place is massive and wish he had more time to get out and explore all it had to offer.

Palace of Fine Arts San Francisco, California
Breathtaking

palace-of-fine-arts
Messy hair, don’t care when in a Mustang convertible!

messy hair dont care
Top down, driving thru the streets of San Francisco? This was the perfect end to fabulous Forward with Ford event.
After returning our vehicles, we had a few hours to spare. We grabbed an Uber and headed out to see what we could in our short window before flying home. Our time in San Francisco was WAY too short. Glad we were able to see what we did, but next time I am booking a few days just to tour the sights.

Alcatraz

Next time, I definitely want to tour Alcatraz. This trip, I was able to walk to the pier and get a few shots.

Alcatraz - San Francisco

Ghirardelli Square and Store

Yes, San Francisco is home to the beloved Ghirardelli chocolate. The store was busy, but was able to grab a few things and check out quickly. The soda fountain was way too packed for us to even entertain the idea of getting a sundae. It was definitely touristy, but a fun stop. Plus, my husband was home with our kids alone for 3 days, he deserves chocolate.
Ghirardelli square

Fisherman’s Wharf

There was a ton to explore in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. From views of the pier, restaurants galore and shopping. We only had 15 minutes to spend here, but it was time well spent.

Chinatown

We were so bummed we weren’t able to hit Japantown (yes, apparently it’s a thing in San Fran!) My sister and I are both a quarter Japanese. What’s second best? Chinatown!

San Francisco Chinatown
You know the song, I left my heart in San Francisco? Yeah, I did that. I admit-tingly had never had any major desire to go to San Francisco. Napa Valley? YES! San Fran? Not so much. From the moment I stepped out of the plane, feeling the 71 degree weather with just the right breeze, I had a feeling that I had been missing out on something and these 3 days proved that for sure. I’ve already started planning a weekend getaway with the husband.

What a whirlwind of a trip. From information overload to an unforgettable experience in a city that I now LOVE, NO WONDER I AM STILL EXHAUSTED.
Thanks again Ford!

Make sure to read my recap on Further with Ford.

Side note: Check out my sister’s blogs: Lipgloss and High Heels and Dallas Socials.