Thursday, December 12, 2019

Day 2 of Our Family Trip in Bulgaria -- Lots and Lots of Fun

When I wrote up about my first day in Bulgaria with my kids, I mentioned how many things went not as planned, and how I learned my lesson about needing to tailor my trip to my kids taste and needs and be extremely, extremely flexible. I must admit that in the past, when I saw people taking their kids on trips abroad and then taking them to places like the zoo while there, I didn't see the point at all, since you could go to the zoo locally, and isn't the whole point of traveling to see new and different things?

However, I'm learning that my kids like the experience of going abroad, and even going to supermarkets and walking around is enough exploring of other places, but they would almost rather do things that are geared to kids, even if they aren't unique to those places.

So today, I did that. Friends recommended that I look into fun for the kids, even if its not location specific, because things are so cheap here that I can do them for a fraction of the price as back home.

The first thing we did this morning, after getting up and out early before we had to start paying for parking near our AirBnB was filling the phone plan on my son's phone so we'd be able to pay for parking via SMS in the paid parking areas.

Then we tried to go ice skating. Locally its hard to find ice skating, and when you can, it is very expensive. So why not here? Only the place we went to try and visit wasn't open until later on in December, so that was a bummer.

Flexibility, flexibility.

Ok, so then I suggested to the kids that we drive to Vitosha mountain, and play in the snow there, even if the ski season there didn't start yet. Not a long drive, only 20 minutes. But when we got there, there was no snow, and the chair lifts which I was told operate year round do not.

So back into the car we go. Fortunately we passed a mall on our way there, and the mall had plenty of fun for the kids to do.

There was a place for go karting, and I knew that would be something my kids would be thrilled with. In my life I never went go karting, because my parents always said it was too expensive and they didn't want to spend money on that, but I do things differently. Even if something is expensive, if its in the budget, I'll do it, as long as its worth the money. And I knew this would be.

And I was right.

It was an awesome experience.

The go karting was only for the older kids, and it was 29 lev or $16.50 per kid for 15 minutes. But the boys had an absolute blast.

Can you see how excited they are?

Oh yea, you have to wear this hood when you go go karting, and I had to buy it (it was 1 lev and I included it in the above price), but now the boys get to take it home as a souvenir.

Boys after being fitted for their helmets.

Being instructed on how to use the go karts...

And they're off!

I tried to take photos of them while driving, but they were zooming by too fast!

Meanwhile, the girls and I had some other fun.

They had these "mini go karts" run by tokens that cost 1 lev (57 cents) each, and each lasted for a few minutes.

The girls had fun on that...

But then after that we had even more fun!

They had these awesome bumper cars, also for one token, and the ride was about 3-4 minutes.

Yes, I went on one too, and I'm sharing this pic of me even though it isn't flattering!

And oh boy, this was a blast!

I had not been on bumper cars in years, and these were just extremely awesome and fun.

Verdict? The girls had a blast, as did I. They went on the bumper cars two rounds and the mini go karts once.

And Ike said the go karting was the funnest thing he did in his entire life, which definitely means it was worth the money!

Lee said he doesn't remember his whole life, but go karting definitely went up there with the funnest things.

After that, we went to this trampoline park.

It cost 15 lev or $8.50 per person, and it included special trampoline socks which help prevent injury, which we also take home.

The kids had such a blast!

I don't have so many photos of this place, because I mostly took videos.

Lots of awesome trampolines, some with basketball hoops...

A tightrope!

We stayed here about an hour and a half.

By the time we finished, it was about 4 oclock, and we considered going back to the apartment, and then later on going to the Christmas market, but honestly we were wiped out, so just chilled in the apartment afterwards.

We did have some Bulgaria specific experiences today, including seeing a Romani family driving in a horse drawn wagon, and I taught my kids some of the little I know about Romani culture.

It was a more expensive day, and wasn't a uniquely Bulgarian day, but that's ok, the kids had a blast. Lesson number two, trips with kids can't just be about frugality, because you sometimes need to spend money to do things that are fun for the kids.


  1. What gorgeous photos of you and the crew! I applaud your bravery as a single Mom to travel so far. I know that your beautiful family will remember the trip forever thanks to your photos. Congratulations for adapting to their needs which after reading your blog for a while I would expect from such a wonderful mother. I hope one day you can go back and explore to fulfil your own interests. Hope each day brings more fun.

    1. Thank you! I appreciate that! Yes, to be honest I do feel like I'm missing out on a lot of Bulgaria by traveling with my kids, so I decided that I will just have to come back on another visit myself. Fortunately with round trip tickets still available for under $25 dollars, this is totally doable.


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