“Family Time, Happy Time”

This is a sponsored post from BlogHer and McDonald’s.

Contest is now over. Congrats to entry # 77, Angel Jacklyn who was chosen by random.org as the winner. Thanks to all who participated!

I loved taking a sneak peek inside the McDonald’s Brand and company during the McDonald’s Family Time Getaway in Oak Brook, IL. The McDonald’s representatives could not have been more accommodating and genuine. McDonald’s invited our entire family on this event, what a treat!

We started our McDonald’s experience with lunch at a local McDonald’s Restaurant then spoke to the company’s top executives. This was one of the highlights of the trip for me. The women of McDonald’s were beautiful, smart and completely down to earth. They told us their history with McDonald’s and the things they love about their job. It was really priceless to hear from these women.

Another highlight of this trip was a tour of the Oak Lawn Ronald McDonald House. What an amazing organization. The House is beautiful and helps so many people in need. I think the whole room was brought to tears listening to the presentation. I feel lucky to have been a part of it all.

One of my kids’ favorite activities was the “Taste and Tour Quality at McDonald’s:  A Family Sensory Experience and Look Behind the Counter.” We talked with the quality control team and tasted some yummy breakfast items such as the Egg McMuffin, Apple Dippers and the McGriddle. My kids were in hog heaven as the servers brought out all of these different items from the McDonald’s Breakfast Menu.

Another discussion that I enjoyed was, “Your Food:  From Farm to Restaurant. This discussion was about how we as parents can feel good about the food our family eats at McDonald’s. We talked to the Chicken Doctor who explained that McDonald’s uses only the white meat of quality chicken and also to the McDonald’s Nutritionist who showed us how we can mix and match menu items to equal 600 calories or less. This was a great discussion.

McDonald’s Executive Chef Dan led a discussion about how McDonald’s menu items go from concept to restaurant. It was amazing to learn how long the process is to actually get a new recipe on the menu. There are extensive tests that are done throughout the country. I loved getting a first taste of the fruit smoothies that are coming out soon and their newest menu item in testing…Fruit and Maple Oatmeal. It was INCREDIBLE. I would order it any day of the week!

The kids had a ball cooking with McDonald’s Chef Dan. They got their very own Chef Hat, apron and had a chance to roll up their sleeves and make their own fruit kebabs and fruit smoothies. This was a real treat. Chef Dan and the other Chefs could not have been more kind.

McDonald’s truly went above and beyond for this event. The entire family loved it. I feel lucky to have been a part to learn more about this incredible brand.


Be sure to enter the Family Time Happy Time Sweepstake for some fun prizes valued at $100.

One Winner will Win:

  • A Smile Tote Bag
  • $25 AMC Gift Card
  • $20 McDonald’s Gift Card
  • Fleece Blanket
  • McDonald’s Frisbee
  • McDonald’s French Fry Playing Cards
  • Monopoly Junior Board Game
  • Organic Lip Balm
  • McDonald’s Vintage Character T-Shirt
  • McDonald’s Stainless Tumbler
  • McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy Set

To enter, leave a comment here on Picky Palate telling us… What is your favorite thing to do as a family? Vacation, sports, reading books, cooking…anything, we want to hear it.

Eligible entrants can do up to two of the following options:

a)      Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b)      Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c)      Blog about this promotion and leave  the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d)     Follow one of the links at https://www.blogher.com/family-time-happy-time and provide your email address and your response to the sweepstakes prompt

See Official Sweepstakes Rules HERE

Come see the other Blogger Reviews on the BlogHer Round Up HERE.

Please leave any questions you might have about the trip or McDonald’s here as well. Thanks!!

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184 Responses
  1. Cassie

    I would have to say family dinners are always the best day-to-day family time…but the most memoriable are the family vacations. So much bonding time- you lear so much about each other…whether you want to or not!


    My favorite family time is when me and the girls go on a cruise! Of course it’s already happened and I’d love for it to happen again as it was great bonding experience! gmissycat@yahoo.com

  3. Steph

    Our favorite things to do as a family are playing out in the backyard, watching movies and playing games.

  4. We have teenagers now so the stuff we do is a little reminder that we don’t have much time left with them.
    We love shopping together & going to the movies!
    Most of our free time is spent together as a family.
    We’ve learned to cherish time off from activities/work/school!

    We also LOVE McDonald’s with a passion!
    We’re eating dinner there tonight! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. nan lara

    we have a lil guy who loves to burn energy so we enjoy the backyard and parks together
    nannypanpan at sbcglobal.net

  6. Darcy

    Family movie nights in the winter, Sunday Sundaes in the summer, and family dinners – All musts in our house!

  7. Steffanie A.

    We love to just be home and be together as a family. With everyone’s busy schedule if we are all home it’s a rarity.

  8. Sue

    Our favorite time of the day is haveing dinner together. Another is when we do road trips and adventure out into the world.

  9. Kimberlie

    We just implemented Friday Family Game Night and we love it. My kids (ages 9, 6.5, and 5) are finally at the age where they love card and board games. It’s a great way for us to have fun and bond as a family. We actually do our weekly tidying up around the house, then we eat pizza, laugh, and enjoy each others’ company. It’s a nice way to kick off our weekend and no more spending Saturday mornings doing “chores.”

  10. Kristen

    We love to go camping. Everything’s more fun when you’re out in nature. All the electronic devices are off and we get to really talk and share experiences of what we’re seeing together.

  11. Amanda A

    We love having dinner and a movie as a family – we eat picnic style on the living room floor while we watch a movie we can all enjoy!

  12. Lori A.

    I followed the link to Bonggamom and answered my memory about the playground at McDonald’s when I was kid – Grimace, Mayor McCheese, etc.
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

  13. Cathie Husen

    As a family in these very trying financial times, we love to swim and eat out in our own backyard!

  14. liz barton

    I was a single mom of 2. We lived the lives of baseball and softball and the games were always at night and no time for dinner. So fast food for us was a life saver, and the lower prices saved us from the poor house. And I always made a game of “who’s turn to pick where we ate”. It was a special time just the 3 of us that I will always treasure.

  15. Tomi

    We hit the BMX track near our home. Usually, I’m the only mom on the track but I don’t mind. It’s good, quality family time and my kids enjoy it.

  16. Elaine Sweet

    Nothing beats a family vacation. We enjoy getting out in the great outdoors and enjoying as many different experiences together that we can.

  17. Michelle Stice

    Favorite family activity is outdoor time. Whether it’s camping, fishing, or just playing in the yard. We love the outdoors.

  18. Laura Owens

    Reading to my kids was always one of my favorite things to do…now I am reading to my grandkids. And I am lovin’ it!

  19. Alice Gaffey

    We like to sit out in the yard at night and star gaze. It is magical.
    It is especially marvelous during a meteor shower.

  20. Lindsay

    Summer means family time. Some parents groan at the thought of the kids home all day, but I love family time. My family tries to take a walk around the neighborhood every single night of the week. It is great bonding time and we get to talk about each of our day’s while getting excercise so we can eat McDonalds and not feel bad!

  21. sarah oswald


  22. I love family vacations-whether small scale (beach) or large scale (Disneyland)-but mostly, i just love hanging out with my fam-BBQs, etc.

  23. Marla Adams

    Our family loves to have Family Game Night. Card games, board games, snacks, and lots of laughs!

  24. Our favorite family activity is going camping once a year. It helps us get back to nature and to just enjoy the beauty of the earth. this year we couldn’t go because of a much needed new pellet stove, so we could have heat, but we have already picked out our destination (Beth Page in VA) for next summer.

    frugalmdmom at comcast dot net

  25. Christine W

    I followed the Bonggamom link and answered her question about a memory that I had involving McDonald’s. For my daughter’s third birthday, she wanted us to buy her her own McDonald’s. Debbie always did dream big.

    thank you,


  26. Christine W

    Our family loves to have game night complete with popcorn. It is just nice to have a time when we can have conversation as a family and enjoy each other’s company. I never did play games when I was growing up, and so I am making up for lost time.

    Thank you,


  27. Erin

    Our favorite thing to do as a family is take long walks. Our triplets are still tiny so we are able to go for long walks together a lot!

  28. Amanda

    We love geocaching as a family…spending the day outside on our own sort of “treasure hunt”. So fun!

  29. Kristi B

    I wish I had known about this tour on our trip from CA to MI. We ate at quite a few McDonalds and it would have been nice to cap it off with something like this.

  30. Jennifer G.

    I love to get my 20 month old in the kitchen with me while I cook. I’ll ask him if he wants to “Bake a Cake” as I call it, and he’ll come running. I’ll give him a bowl and a whisk and he starts “cooking” along side of me! Love it…

  31. Jennifer G.

    I love to get my 20 month old in the kitchen. He likes to “Bake a Cake” as I call it…I’ll give him a bowl and a whisk and he goes to town while I cook!

  32. What a fun adventure! So glad your little cute guys could go along!

    Our family time….we LOVE to play board games! We love to run! We just love being “us 4”!!!

  33. Elisabeth

    We love going on walks to the park and then playing with our one-year-old on the playground and in the grass.

  34. Lisa

    Eating out is always a special treat. We just started doing some family vacations this summer because our daughter is now old enough to appreciate them, and they’ve been a huge success!

  35. Sharon

    I love snuggling up with my daughter and all of us watching a family movie together! Even better when it is one of our favorites from when we were kids, and getting to watch her get as much joy out of it as we did then!

  36. Stephanie Brimhall

    We love playing outside and riding bikes! Going for Ice cream is also a family favorite!

  37. My hubby is a chef so it’s rare that he is home in the evenings. We love having family dinners though they just don’t happen every night with dad. And some nights we will go out to his restaurant to have dinner all together.

  38. We LOVE the RMD charity! We were blessed to stay at the NY RHMD several times during our daughter’s treatment. We could not have done it w/o them!
    As a family we love going blueberry picking each summer. It’s become a tradition to get up early and drive down to pick them! We pick enough to last us all year!!

  39. Rachel S

    We love to travel together and sightsee. It’s fun to share new experiences with those you love best!

  40. Jackie

    Definately the family getaways, they are the only time we can all relax and have a really good time together.

  41. PlethoraOfPinatas

    The nutrition facts of chicken nuggets, are you kidding me? Who cares if they use white meat when they coat them in breading and fry them in oil? How on earth is that healthy?

    How about you take your kids to a farmer’s market or a farm and ask them how food is really grown?

  42. We love being outdoors together as a family. We love playgrounds, hiking in the woods, swimming at the local river and taking part in all the great outdoor festivals that Baltimore has.

  43. I would have to say our family movie nights. My girls make a big deal about what movie we are going to watch and whether or not dad will fall asleep before the movie is over.

  44. We have lots of great family time activites; Do I have to choose just 1? Our favorite family time activities have to be both going to Baseball Games (we are all total Baseball Fans) and going out on the boat in the summer. Such great family time where we are all fully engaged. I also really love watching my kiddos play ball {priceless} K, narrowed it down to 3 does that work, ha! Thanks for the giveaway!

  45. What a great event! We love to go to the movies as a family. My little ones have finally reached the age that they love to be big girls (2 and 5) and have a movie day. Its rather simple I suppose, but we love it!

  46. Karen M

    My family and I love to go camping every summer. Our favorite spot is Jellystone in Mexico, NY. Letterboxing is also becoming a favorite past time.

  47. Vicki

    i used to live in a town right next the “hamburger university”, i would have loved to have a tour like that. now i live in georgia, miles away.

  48. mel

    We love to pick a hotel to go to in the summer & have fun ordering room service & playing at the hotel pools.

  49. Kim T

    We just love to spend time together! We fight for family time – making sure that we have time to talk and relax together weekly!

  50. Jen

    We love to have “date nights”– one person gets to pick the meal and the activity for everyone. Needless to say, they range from McDonalds and swimming to fancy resurants and Broadway shows!

  51. Our favorite thing to do as a family is our nightly after dinner walks around the neighborhood. It’s great to get outside, but it’s also nice to spend time together without any distractions.

  52. We spend a lot of time camping together in the spring, summer, and fall months. This is a great experience with not only our little family of four, but usually extended family members as well.

  53. Jena

    we just like to hang out together. Sometimes we go out of town. We want to do a staycation, and get to know where we live better

  54. Teddi

    Our favorite is Sunday nights…we call it “Popcorn Night” – we watch a family movie together and eat air-popped popcorn. The best!

  55. We love going to the park, spending the day watching the boys play and even packing a lunch! Simple days can be the most fun ๐Ÿ™‚

  56. Ilene

    I love going on family vacations – it’s a great way for us to just unwind and enjoy each others’ company!

  57. Suzanne

    My favorite family time is when we are at home, just hanging out and goofing off. Usually very spontaneous and fun.

  58. Kathy Apple

    I would have to say swimming or waterpark fun. This year, we haven’t been able to go on a vacation – but, in the past this is what we have loved to do.

  59. Since my family is still very small (but we’ve got a little one on the way!) My husband and I love going hiking together or on little adventure trips outdoors. We hope this continues with kids, though we know it will be different.

  60. My favorite thing to do as a family is just to go out to a new restaurant and eat … there’s just something really special about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  61. Marcie Lamb

    We love to play games together. We try and find things all my kids can do. We have such a great time! Lots of good memories ๐Ÿ™‚

  62. Alessa

    I love talking walks before sunset almost every day with my little ones. It helps set my mind in a good mood.

  63. My baby is only four days old, but so far we really love sitting around staring at her and telling each other how DARLING she is ๐Ÿ™‚

  64. Stacy

    Everything..meals, playing outside, reading together the bible and other books everyday. We love the beach but have only been a few times in the last 15 years. We like to do our grocery shopping together and then stop in at McD’s!!

  65. My kids and I go to out neighors pool so that I can throw them through the air into the pool – no seriously, that is my job. I hear “Throw me Mommy, Throw MEEEEE!!!” the whole time. Even the neighbors children say it too! Lots of laughs and a good workout too!


  66. Good family sun is an old fashioned wiener roast outdoors complete with wiener roasting sticks made out of wire coat hangers and of course Smores. Very simple but it is the good life for sure!

  67. Dana Irvine

    I would have to say family dinners are really high on my list!! I also really enjoy just playing in the backyard with the whole family!!

  68. Right now our favorite thing to do as a family is read or color. As my son gets older I think we will definitely enjoy going camping or going on vacations more. ๐Ÿ™‚

  69. Well both our girls (ages 13 & 7) race mini dwarf & a Jr. Sprint cars so we get to go to the race track a couple times a month plus any public outings/races (such as the San Diego Fair). It’s fun & we all enjoy it.

  70. Adrienne Larkin

    Family Time is a must if that means family dinners, game night, traveling or camping together, it is a time that is treasured by all (especially me!).

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