Friday, January 18

Summer Vacation 2013 Planning

I am very much thinking out loud with this post....

2011 Vacation eating DipnDots outside
This year we are planning to vacation around the area my husband grew up- North East Missouri/South West Illinois. I've been keeping my eyes open for deals up there all year since our last vacation. It's not a very big area so there haven't been a ton of deals come up. Our past two year's family vacations have been to Branson, MO and St. Louis, MO where finding deals was pretty easy. So we are having to be a little more creative this year ;-)

We received a $25 movie gift card over the 2012 holidays. It is valid at the movie theater in the Quincy, Illinois mall. So we are going to plan a Mall Day. I've contacted the Mall asking if there are any promotions or events going on in either June or July to consider.

2011 Vacation Eating Out
(See that- Trace never liked pictures!)
I also have a $100 gift certificate from a promotion when I ordered through a clickthru through Ebates to order from is a site with certificates (dine in type) for less then they are worth. However, they have contingencies; like, on a $25 certificate must spend $35- so after a 15% tip you are spending at least $15.25 plus whatever you paid for the certificate. It can still be cheaper then other options. Seriously, $35 value for just over $15 (including tip) to eat out is pretty darn good. Right now the $25 certificates are 80% off through FatWallet plus 10% cashback, so that's $7.20 atm for $100 in certificates- not too much, but was cheaper for me atm then other options. So the free certificate was a nice bonus. See if we can redeem part of it for something around there before vacation.

2012 vacation groupon
So far I've found one Groupon deal for the area. Groupon had a $25 for a Family Associate Membership to the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum. At that time I also had a $5 off promotion coupon Groupon had emailed me, so we actually spent $20 on the deal. This membership is valid from January 1st 2013 to January 1st 2014. We get free entry in the Museums, free or reduced entry to special programs or exhibits, 10% discount at the giftshops, a bi-monthly Fence Painter newsletter (which is being sent to my parent's house for my Dad who also grew up around Hannibal). So that will be a good activity for one day of our vacation =) We will probably plan visiting the Mark Twain museums on a Thursday, because they have a free concert starting at 7pm on Thursdays through the summer called Music Under the Stars.

2011 free Silver Dollar City
2 day passes w/ our hotel
There is going to be the first annual Art Festival in Downtown Hannibal the 15th & 16th(weekend) of June that could be neat to go to. Not a ton of info on it yet, but then it is the first one ever lol.

There's also something called Tom Sawyer Days July 3rd-7th in Hannibal. I am not really sure what that is, there wasn't any information on the site of the group that hosts it (probably still too early lol). Trevor knew a little about it from growing up nearby, but wasn't too clear on the details. I sent an email asking about it, so hopefully will know more soon.

2012 vacation The Magic  House
2 for 1 coupon for tickets
There are also a couple fun parks around the area. Sawyers Creek Fun Park and The Mark Twain Landing. Going to have to look into those.

The 28th-30th of June in Quincy, Illinois there's the 10th Annual Midsummer Arts Faire. On the friday (28th) during the Faire there's a free Blues District Concert. That's something to seriously consider. I was originally aiming for the first week of July, if Trevor can get it off (not sure he can with it being July 4th and all) But if he could we might be able to stack that holiday with the previous weeks days off, so we could kick the vacation off going to that. That will be entirely dependent of Trevor being able to get the time off then.

2012's vacation, a shot from our day
at the Science Center where we used
lots of free passes from a hotel deal.
I also was looking at the caves options. Based on general admission rates one Mark Twain Cave Tour and the a bag of rocks for each boy to pan it would cost $50 total. So that's a possibility.

If Trevor can get the Fourth of July week off we would also have Fourth of July night as a day, and get to spend it with his family for once! That would be very nice.

Nothing set in stone yet at all... just figuring it out.


  1. I LOVE that picture of Trace knocking down the arch they built. If you click on it to enlarge it you can see that the block almost directly above him is just a split second from wonking him on the head. They were soft blocks, but it still cracks me up!

  2. I’m amazed at how much vacation plans you have already done for 2013. Since June is still a few months away, you can still find lots of events for those dates that you’re considering. Also, deals and groupons would pop up usually near the Fourth of July, so keep your eyes on those. Good luck!

    Exie Bethel

    1. Thanks for commenting =) We budget our vacations out pretty carefully so I start looking for deals pretty much right after the vacation from the year before ends. We are very blessed to have been able to take vacations so far and find so many deals that make it possible cost wise =) Thanks again for reading!


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