Why? Playhouse Square Partners!

On Wednesday, I got to spend the evening pretending it was summer with putt-putt, margaritas, and tacos at Playhouse Square Partners‘ Putt-Putt Night.

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The event was held in the lobby of the KeyBank State Theatre, which not only provided a unique setting for miniature golf, but also let us start daydreaming about Jump Back Ball, which will be held there in just over a month!

We had a great time playing putt-putt and I even got two holes in one! There were also some great prizes of loge seats to various shows at Playhouse Square for those with the lowest score, as well as those who could get a hole in one on a particularly tricky hole.

Playhouse Square Partners plans lots of fun evenings like the putt-putt event, as well as our gala Jump Back Ball. We also assist Playhouse Square’s Community Engagement and Education initiatives through both fundraising and hands-on volunteering. And we get to do a lot of it in the absolutely beautiful theaters of Playhouse Square!

If that sounds like you’re speed, check out joining Playhouse Square Partners and/or join us for Jump Back Ball on Saturday, February 29. This will be my ninth Jump Back Ball and I swear they get better every year! This year’s theme is “From Jukebox to Boombox” and it’s sure to be a rockin’ evening!

***Disclosure: I am the Communications Co-Chair for Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Allison Rose Foundation Yellow Brick Road Celebration!

This month, the Allison Rose Foundation will host its second annual gala event: the Yellow Brick Road Celebration.

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The event takes place on Saturday, January 25 at the Embassy Suites in Independence and focuses on giving guests the “courage” and “heart” to advocate for children and young adults with food allergies.

The Yellow Brick Road Celebration will raise funds to expand the Allison Rose Foundation’s educational curriculum and scholarships, create additional awareness campaigns, contribute to research and advocate for change to save lives.  A portion of the proceeds will also go to the new Cleveland Clinic Food Allergy Center of Excellence.

The event will feature hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine, raffles, and a keynote speech from Broadway star Jessica Vosk, a star of the musical “Wicked,” who will share her story of managing anaphylactic food allergies.

The Allison Rose Foundation was created after the tragic death of Allison Rose Suhy from an extreme food allergy reaction. Her parents turned that tragedy into an opportunity to help other families manage food allergies and hopefully never deal with the same sort of tragedy.

Tickets for the Yellow Brick Road Celebration are currently on sale online for $100 for those 21+ and $50 for those ages 16-21. Click here to purchase tickets and attend this inspiring night of turning tragedy into a true community effort of giving back.

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Why? Red & White on Thursday Night Giveaway!

Did you make a New Year’s resolution to get out more? Or maybe to try a new restaurant or two? Then I’ve got the event for you: the 23rd annual Red & White on Thursday Night to benefit the Arthritis Foundation, Northeastern Ohio.

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Happening Thursday, January 23 at Quaker Station at the University of Akron, this event brings together the winners of Akron Life Magazine‘s 330 Flavor Awards, wine and craft beer samples, silent auctions, and an exclusive VIP lounge for a evening filled with food, fun, and philanthropy.

You will get to enjoy both savory and sweet small bites from BOMBA Tacos & Rum, Crave, Gervasi Vineyard, Saffron Patch, West Side Bakery, Trattoria Vaccaro, Missing Falls Brewery, and more.

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VIP guests will enjoy exclusive food and high-end tastings, specialty cocktails from Brown-Forman, and more, as well as access to all the general admission food and drink.

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Plus, all the proceeds from the event benefit the Arthritis Foundation, Northeastern Ohio, which is working to help the over 2.6 million people in Ohio living with arthritis.

Tickets are $85 for general admission and $125 for VIP admission. Tickets are available online.

 

Or you can enter to win 2 general admission tickets to Red & White on Thursday Night right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment for each):

1.Check out the list of participating restaurants and leave a comment here telling me from which you’re most excited to sample food.

2. Visit Arthritis Foundation Ohio and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Hope over to my Instagram page and complete an additional entry there on the Red & White on Thursday Night image.

4. Follow @ArthritisFDN and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

4. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to attend #akronredwhite thanks to @ArthritisFDN and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2020/01/08/why-red-white-on-thursday-night-giveaway-4 

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Sunday, January 12 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

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Why? Getaway!

This past weekend, I took a big step outside my comfort zone in two ways: I traveled solo and stayed overnight in a cabin. I’m pretty bad at both alone time and things involving nature, so this was sure to be an adventure.

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I stayed in a Getaway cabin in in Lisbon, Ohio at Getaway Beaver Creek. Getaway cabins are essentially tiny houses, with a kitchenette, bathroom with both toilet and shower, desk, and bed.

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The queen-sized bed is against a wall with a huge window to look out into nature.

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Your Getaway cabin includes pots, pans, utensils, cups, a kettle, coffee, tea, a radio, and some books.

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You also have access to an outdoor campsite with chairs, a picnic table, and a firepit with wood to make a camp fire.

And of course, there’s a s’mores kit! Getaway cabins include lots of cute touches like a cellphone “lockbox,” postcards to send to loved ones, crayons for if you brought the kiddos (or for you)…ways to relax and unwind and disconnect.

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Your cabin locks with a keycode and you receive a text message prior to check in with your cabin name and keycode. There’s also a main office when you arrive at the cabins, as well as a phone in your cabin to call to the office, which made me feel secure, especially when traveling alone.

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The Getaway cabins are in a secluded area, but all in a horseshoe near each other and every cabin was occupied on the day that I stayed.

Getaway also helps you out with a website that includes nearby hiking trails, as well as restaurants and attractions. Being not a big nature girl, plus being by myself in January, I opted for more of the attractions than the hiking.

I had a delicious lunch at The Vineyards at Pine Lake, which boasts a lovely view, tasty wine, and great food.

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I highly recommend the Chicken Francaise paired with the Vineyard White wine and I also grabbed a bottle of the Pinot Noir to take back to the cabin with me.

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And of all the crazy, fun coincidences, Mariah’s parents happened to be having lunch there too, so I guess I’m never really alone!

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The bartender at The Vineyards at Pine Lake recommended I check out Birdfish Brewing, so I popped in to one of their tasting rooms for a quick sample of the local brews.

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After some time in the cabin unwinding, watching movies (no Wi-Fi, so bring DVDs), reading, and eating lots of popcorn…

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…I decided to venture out in the evening to Numbers Brewing Company for some live music.

So whether you’re in to exploring nature or exploring new-to-you places, Getaway makes a great jumping off point. Plus, with being solo, I found myself chatting away with people more than I would have otherwise, finding out some cool recommendations from the locals, and really getting a better sense of the area.

I was surprised at how modern, cute, and comfortable the Getaway cabins are and honestly how safe I felt, even being by myself. And Getaway gives back too: for every Getaway, one tree is planted by the non-profit One Tree Planted.

You can book a Getaway cabin that will accommodate two people or four (the four-person has a second, lofted queen bed.) And you can make your Getaway as laid back or active as suits your personality. You can also saev $25 off your next Getaway using code WHYCLE25 when you book.

***Disclosure: I was invited by Getaway to help promote Getaway Beaver Creek. In exchange, I received a complimentary one-night stay. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Dinner in the Dark!

Last week, I attended a Dinner in the Dark event at 111 Bistro. These events bring together chefs from different restaurants to create a six-course tasting meal. Each Dinner in the Dark benefits a local non-profit. December’s non-profit was The Up Side of Downs.

We started our evening with an apple cider and rye cocktail from Tom’s Foolery Distillery and an amuse bouche from 111 Bistro.

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As you can see, you remain “in the dark” about the menu until you are served each course, but are given picture hints. Each course is also expertly paired with wine.

Our first course was seared duck breast served over ravioli from The Corkscrew Saloon.

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I’ve rarely met a duck dish I didn’t like and this was no exception!

Next up was a trio of sashimi from Twiisted.

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Especially since I don’t get down toward Medina very often, it was nice to try so many local restaurants! This sushi was great!

Next up was a warm, comforting chutney from NEOMU.

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Perfect for a cold December night!

Next up were scallops with butternut squash puree and morel chips from Wolf Creek Tavern.

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This dish had a lot of elements, all of which went together so well!

Next was short ribs from DYNE.

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With a six-minute egg, Brussel sprouts, and rutabaga puree, there was not a thing on the plate I didn’t love!

Our dessert was from our host 111 Bistro: a coffee tart that was decadent and delicious!

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Dinner in the Dark is such a fun way to experience food from several different chefs. The next Dinner in the Dark takes place on Monday, January 13 at the Elyria Country Club. Tickets are $90 per person and are available online.

You need to be willing to be adventurous, since you won’t know the menu ahead of time, but you won’t be disappointed by the quality of the food and wine, as well as the camaraderie of the chefs. Plus, it all benefits a good cause!

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Why? Weekends!

There was lots of time with family and friends this weekend, which is just how a pre-holiday weekend should be…

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On Friday night, Alicia, Amanda, Kimberly, and I got together for my favorite grown-up holiday tradition: TWC Christmas (the name is a long story.)

We usually meet up at someone’s house, but everyone was feeling cooking-and-hosting overwhelmed this year, so we instead opted for dinner out at one of our favorite restaurants: Dante.

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From fabulous cocktails to delicious food, Dante is always a perfect spot for an evening out. I had the Wild Boar tenderloin, with honey roasted rutabaga & Brussel sprouts and chorizo potato hash.

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This dish was tender, flavorful, and plate-licking good.

We all shared desserts, but the favorite at the table was the Caramel Apple Walnut Blondie, with apple jam filling, streusel, cider caramel sauce, and vanilla ice cream.

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After dinner, we walked over to The Spotted Owl for a Christmas nightcap.

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They have a special menu of holiday-themed drinks that are all guaranteed to make you merry. I had the Ginger All The Way and it was creamy, spicy perfection.

What a perfect night of fabulous food, drinks, and, most importantly, friends!

The Magic of Lights

On Saturday night, Jeffrey and I checked out The Magic of Lights at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds.

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There is a drive-through component, where you make your way through millions of dazzling Christmas lights, with themed areas like “Nativity,” “Twelve Days of Christmas,” and “Joy to the World.”

There is also Santa’s Holiday Village, where you can park and walk through the village with a light selfie tunnel…

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…inflatables…

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…”ice” bumper cars…

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…and lots of festive fun.

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The Magic of Lights takes place every day through Saturday, January 4. Tickets for a car are $20 in advance. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote The Magic of Lights. In exchange, I received a complimentary car ticket. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Platform Pub Yoga

My Sunday started out on a funday note with Platform Pub Yoga. We enjoyed a great hour-long vinyasa flow taught by Alicia, then headed downstairs for a beer, a bagel sandwich, and lots of laughs.

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It’s so nice in this busy season to take a time-out for something that totally made me feel invigorated! Plus, part of the proceeds from the event benefited Providence House! The next Platform Pub Yoga happens on Sunday, January 26.

Neil Diamond Christmas

On Sunday night, Mom and I attended Neil Diamond Christmas at Music Box Supper Club.

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The Diamond Project Band did a fantastic job, playing both Christmas tunes and classic Neil Diamond hits.

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Mom and I had a blast singing along! What a fun way to end the pre-holiday weekend!

How was your weekend? Are you ready for the holiday week ahead?

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Why? Weekends!

When your weekend recap is essentially three blog posts, you know it was a good time!

John Carroll Alumni Breakfast with Santa

On Sunday morning, the John Carroll Alumni Relations Office hosted their annual Breakfast with Santa on campus.

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The Breakfast with Santa includes a Mass in St. Francis Chapel, a buffet breakfast in the Dining Hall, crafts, a donation drive for Bellefaire JCB, and of course a chance to visit with Santa.

Jeffrey made a list before we went and presented it to Santa, who promised to take it back to the North Pole with him!

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We also had a chance to visit with the President of the University, Dr. Johnson, and his wife Jill, who are such wonderful assets to the university.

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I always love this event because I can catch up with college friends and see how our kids have now become friends, too!

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It was a fabulous holiday morning!

Mean Girls

On Sunday night, Alicia brought me as her guest to see “Mean Girls” at Playhouse Square. Before the show, we grabbed cocktails and appetizers at Republic Food and Drink.

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We both love their selection of bourbon cocktails (I had the rye old fashioned). We also devoured the Warm Bavarian Pretzel Sticks with cheddar-beer sauce and the Warm Street Corn Dip, with sweet corn, white cheddar, cilantro, and lime, served with corn tortilla chips.

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Then it was over to the show. Alicia and I both had the chance last week thanks to Playhouse Square to interview the actors portraying “The Plastics,” so it was especially fun to see them in action after getting the chance to know them a bit off-stage.

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The show is energetic and hilarious and has all the best lines that you love from the movie version, plus updated jokes for 2019. And boy, can the cast sing and dance! I absolutely loved the performance! “Mean Girls” is at Playhouse Square through Sunday, December 22, so don’t miss your chance to get in on the fun!

So, that was my weekend in (three) nutshells. How was yours?

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Why? Best Party of the Year!

On Friday night, Mariah and I attended The Best Party of the Year. Any party that calls itself that out of the gate has got to deliver and the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland‘s fundraiser certainly did.

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This year’s theme was the 1920’s, so you saw people dressed as flappers and dapper dans, all living it up in a post-Prohibition world.

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There was fabulous food from great local places like Melt Bar and Grilled (the bacon and pesto on the mac and cheese was divine)…

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AMP 150

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Barrio

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Art of Sucre, Inca Tea, and more.

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There was fun music for dancing from TKO Entertainment. There was a great photo booth, a fully-stocked bar, and fantastic auction items.

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There was also the chance to help a wonderful community organization. The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland strives to help reduce hunger and enhance nutrition in the community by providing food and other health-related vital services. The Hunger Network has over 70 hunger centers throughout Cuyahoga County to serve the community.

So, a super fun and tasty and glamorous night all for a great cause? I think that has every right to be called The Best Party of the Year!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland to help promote The Best Party of the Year. In exchange, I received two complimentary general admission tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

Thanksgiving weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the year!

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Epic turkey cake from Michael Angelo’s Bakery

Not only do I get to enjoy a delicious, traditional dinner with family, but I also get to officially kick off the Christmas season!

Great Lakes Brewing Co.

On Wednesday (it was a looong weekend), I met up with my oldest friend, Kevin, who was in town for the holiday. What better place to catch up than Great Lakes Brewing Co.?

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I always like going to the brewpub, because I can grab a brewpub-exclusive beer. This time I tried the Meow Meow Pumpkin Milk Stout, which was creamy and rich and specifically noted as being brewed by GLBC’s female brewers.

The Seared Salmon Salad, with pickled carrots, cabbage, sesame seeds, and herbed peanut dressing, balanced out the heavy beer and made for a great lunch.

It’s so great when folks come back to Cleveland for the holidays (and I get face-to-face catching up time!)

E5C4P3 Concert

Aside from all the traditional Thanksgiving fun, I also started a new tradition on Black Friday: attending the E5C4P3 Journey Tribute concert at Music Box Supper Club.

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My friend Lisa’s husband Troy is the keyboardist in this awesome band, who sound just like Journey and definitely know how to keep the crowd on their feet and rocking.

We had a gaggle of girls/Troy fans there and had a riot singing, dancing, and just generally partying the night away.

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E5C4P3 has an upcoming show on Saturday, December 14 at Legends Sports Bar in Parma, which is a fundraiser for Project Noelle. Check ’em out!

Christmas Decorating

It was also the weekend to deck the halls. Jeffrey picked out the perfect tree, as well as this festive Rudolph yard ornament.

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I got to bust out all my favorite Cleveland ornaments, which makes the house feel even more merry!

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Jeffrey made some ornaments for the “big tree” this year…

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…as well as decorated the tree in his room, too!

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So, that was the holiday weekend in this corner of the world. How was yours?

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Why? Capture Holiday Memories at Legacy Village!

‘Tis the season to take a lot of photos! It seems like I can never have enough fabulous photos with holiday décor, Santa, and general merriment. Legacy Village certainly has me covered in the holiday photo opp department…

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Legacy Village’s life-sized JOY sign in back for the season. You can become the “Y” and create your own personalized JOY for this festive time.

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Jeffrey got so excited when he saw the sign again this year and immediately asked to be the Y, “just like last year!” And I have to tell you, I’m a sucker for year-to-year photo traditions!

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Share your photos on social media with the #CreateJOY hashtag. There will be a variety of social media contests throughout the season, so stay tuned to the Legacy Village Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts for more details.

Photos with Santa

On Saturdays and Sundays from November 30 through December 22 from 12pm-4pm, you can enjoy a free visit and photo with Santa at Legacy Village.

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Your first photo with the big man of the moment is complimentary, courtesy of L.L. Bean and media sponsor Q104. For every complimentary photo taken, $5 will be donated to Cleveland Clinic Children’s up to $10,000!

Additional photos are available for purchase, a portion of proceeds from which will also be donated to Cleveland Clinic Children’s. Make some sweet holiday memories and benefit a great cause at the same time!

Santa will be located on Main Street next to Starbucks and Janie & Jack.

Pet Photos with Santa

You can’t leave your furry friends out of the holiday merriment!

Pet Photos

On Tuesday, December 17 from 5:30pm-8:30pm, bring your pet for a photo with Santa and a treat. Your $5 donation for the photo benefits Geauga Humane Society’s Rescue Village.

So, head to Legacy Village this holiday season and capture some special memories!

***Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Legacy Village, for which I receive compensation in the form of Legacy Village gift cards. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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