Few months ago, we had a chance to stay in Holiday Inn Express and Suites Lantana First things first. Where the heck is Lantana? That’s exactly what I said, and I lived in Florida for many years. Turns out, it’s about 30 minutes north of Fort Lauderdale, and there is no compelling reason why you should go there. Unless… The hotel is on IHG PointBreaks list.
And that’s exactly why my family came here over MLK holiday weekend. PointBreaks promotion is an incredible deal, and in this case, it gave me a chance to treat my husband’s relatives (a family of 6), to a fun getaway. It was neat to hang out in one room and just catch up.
I won’t focus on the hotel itself except say that it was perfectly fine. We were upgraded to a junior suite due to my Platinum status that comes with Chase IHG MasterCard (read about it here) I love this credit card and recommend every family gets it at some point. Breakfast at this particular property wasn’t spectacular, but it was complimentary and not too bad, all things considered. Standard HIE fare: eggs, sausage, pastries, fruit and pancakes. Wait, that doesn’t sound bad at all!
It was quite convenient to just take kids in the morning in their pajamas, grab some food and not worry about driving anywhere. The hotel ended up costing us 4,500 IHG points per night (with 10% credit card rebate), which I previously acquired for around $15 via various promos. Hmm, I really have nothing to complain about…
My husband got this giant bag of popcorn at work few weeks prior, and it has been driving me crazy. So, I took it with us on the trip, and said that the bag is staying behind whether it’s depleted or not.
The hotel is located about 6 minutes from a county park with a beach and a Greek restaurant. Even though it was fairly cold, my kids insisted on going into the water. I just watched them and occasionally hollered not to go too far in the ocean.
Few days later, before we set out on our trip back home, we stopped by Greek restaurant to have lunch. It was pretty good, but they only took cash. Say what? You could see the ocean from our table, which was a nice treat.
Lion Country Safari
I can’t say enough good things about this place! I saw a flyer with a coupon in our hotel, and decided it would be a fun thing to do as a family. Lion Country Safari is a huge complex that consists of an award-winning campground, drive-throgh safari and an amusement park. I’ve read some reviews that if you camp overnight, you can usually hear lions roar in the morning, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on who you ask. Let me show you where it’s located in Florida:
It’s a little over an hour from Fort Lauderdale, so if you are vacationing in this area and have small kids, definitely consider going. It is so much fun, my children are still talking about it even though it’s been almost two months since our visit. With coupon, the cost ended up being $100 for four of us, including parking. I feel like we got out money’s worth and then some.
When you enter the park, you start the drive-through safari portion. It’s a huge area, and you can see rhinos, zebras, lions (fenced off) and many other animals. Quite often, they approach the car and stare at you through the window.
There are several areas, each dedicated to specific part of Africa.
It takes about an hour to drive through the entire habitat, and my 5-year old son got a bit bored by the end of it. But he absolutely loved this part!
There is a place where you can feed giraffes. They sell cabbage for a few bucks, and off you go. My son giggled with delight, so we ended up buying several batches of that darn cabbage. Next time, I’m packing it in my purse. Kidding!
There is also an area where you can feed birds, which my kids thoroughly enjoyed. There were quite a few animal exhibits in the amusement park itself, including one that had giant turtles. We happened to go by when two of them were getting it on. No, I won’t show photos, y’all! It’s a family blog. So, my daughter started asking questions.
Her: Daddy, what are they doing?
My husband: They are making baby turtles.
Her (loudly): How exactly are they making them?
My husband: I’ll tell you later.
A bunch of parents were laughing at our misery. And you know, she would not let it go and kept asking us all day about the mechanics of turtle baby-making. The joys of having curious children.
The rides at this place are kind of primitive and look like something you would find at a state fair. Still, the kids had a blast as you can see on photos. Overall, it was a perfect day to spend as a family. No iPads, TV or cell phones, just simple pleasures of life. And we only discovered this place thanks to IHG PointBreaks promo.
P.S. My parents are coming down for a visit tomorrow, so I’ll be taking some time off. There probably won’t be any new posts till after March 20th. I find that in order for me to truly disconnect and enjoy vacation, I need to get away from my job, aka this blog. Thank you for your understanding!
That said, I will be checking emails, so feel free to shoot me a question or two. It may take a day for me to respond, but I’ll do my best to answer it. I love helping readers, and that part doesn’t feel like work at all. Hope to see you soon and have some new stories to share.
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.