Best Things To Do/See In New York During The Holidays!

For my 4th Blogmas post, I thought it would be cool and fun to share with you guys some things that I think are really great to do and see during this time of year around New York City.

I’ve lived in New York ALL my life, and I can honestly say that the city is such a magical place to be in during the holidays. Personally, all of the shows, attractions, etc. never get old (it could just be because I’m a Christmas fanatic in every sense of the name, but that’s completely besides the point haha).

I do, however, know that it can also be a bit overwhelming to be in the city during this time of the year BECAUSE of everything that’s going on. Plus, there’s so much to do and see, how would you know where to start?! So, I hope you guys find this little ‘guide’ so to speak, helpful in assisting to narrow some of those things down for you! 🙂

These aren’t going to be in any particular order because, well, when do I ever put things in a particular order? And, I literally love going to do and see EVERYTHING that I’m going to mention, so there’s no way for me to order them in any specific way haha.

But anyway, let’s get started!

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  1. Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes (In Radio City Music Hall).

Diego and I actually just took his mom and nephews to see this show this past weekend. It was their first time seeing it, and our 3rd. It’s quickly become a mini holiday tradition of ours to go every year.

This is something that I recommend for EVERYONE (whether you live in NY or are just temporarily visiting) to go see at least ONCE. It’s such an amazing show filled with skits, Christmas music and just generally a great time. It runs for about 90 minutes, and is a great show to go see with a significant other, family, your kids, friends, etc. Scroll down to see some pictures from the show.

For this show, I suggest using the TodayTix app because they tend to have pretty good (and sometimes cheap) ticket options.

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2. The Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show

This is another great attraction to do with family, friends and/or a significant other. If you’re not from New York, this specific attraction is actually in the Bronx, but 100% worth making the trip to. I took my family and Diego to see this for the first time (it was also my first time), last year right before Christmas.

I wanna say that it’s been open for about 2 years now, because I remember when it first opened in 2016 it was SO popular that it was next to impossible to get tickets for it. Every single day from the time it opened until it closed for the season was completely sold out. So, last year I jumped at the opportunity to grab some tickets, and we all loved it. The way everything was set up from the trains themselves, to the mini set ups for each section, it is SO well put together. Plus, if you buy tickets for the train show, it also automatically allows you the opportunity to be able to walk around the garden a bit afterwards which, in itself, is beautiful as well!

I’m leaving the link here in case you guys wanted to buy some tickets for this!

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3. Holiday window display(s) and other holiday attractions around the city.

When you’re in the city during the holidays, it’s almost impossible for you to somehow miss all of the decor, window displays and attractions, just because a lot of them just happen to be all around each other. Some places in particular I recommend walking through/by are 5th and 6th avenue, just because you’ll easily be passing a lot of the “main” holiday attractions like from Saks 5th Avenue, Barneys, Lord and Taylor, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, etc.

Plus, all of these places (although they do get pretty busy and packed), are GREAT for videos and pictures of these things if you’re into that for memories sake.

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Saks Fifth Avenue

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Macy’s Herald Square

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Lord & Taylor
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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
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Radio City Music Hall and surrounding holiday attractions/decor.

4. Ice-skating!

Ice-skating is definitely a go-to thing to do while you’re in the city. Obviously other cities and places have ice-skating as well, but what better then being able to do it in some of the most popular places in New York like Bryant Park, Central Park or even Rockefeller Center?!

Plus, this is a perfect little date night to have with your significant other. Super cute and romantic, and these are definitely other great spots to be able to take cute and memorable pictures.

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Rockefeller Center
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Bryant Park
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Central Park (although they have 2 different ice skating rinks here, one called Lasker and one called Wollman’s rink, the one pictured is Wollman rink).

5. See and buy stuff from the holiday markets around the city (i.e., Bryant Park and Union Square (14th St.) holiday markets).

This sort of piggybacks off the ice-skating suggestion just because, right outside of the ice-skating rink at Bryant Park, they have these little holiday market shops where you can buy all sorts of things from snacks, to clothing, jewelry, etc.

They are the PERFECT little shops to stop at before heading home for the night, especially if you happen to be doing any last minute Christmas shopping for people. They also have mini holiday shops/stands like this in 14th Street, Union Square if you happen to be in that area instead of around Bryant Park.

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14th Street Union Square Holiday Market
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Bryant Park Holiday Market

6. Cocoa & Carols Holiday Cruise

And finally I want to suggest the Cocoa & Carols holiday cruise. Personally, I think this would be the CUTEST little date to take your significant other on. It’s super chill, not that expensive, and also pretty romantic. HOWEVER, this little excursion is also just as good for family and friends as well (it’s what you end up making of it).

The entire cruise itself goes on for about an hour and a half, and when you buy a ticket, it comes with a complimentary beer, glass of wine, champagne or (the more obvious one), hot cocoa! There are also cookies and other sweets that are included as well. You get to hear and sing along to Christmas songs, and you’ll end up seeing a TON of some of the most popular attractions/sights of New York like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Battery Park, South Street Seaport, etc.

*Groupon and Goldstar tends to have pretty good dates and deals for this excursion btw, so you should definitely check that out!*

The link for Goldstar I’ll leave here for you to easily access. And the one for Groupon, I’ll leave here .

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I hope you guys enjoyed this post, and that whether you’re already from New York, or just visiting, that this helped you in some way, shape or form to narrow down some of the (best) things to do/see in Manhattan while you’re there during the holiday season. It can definitely be a little crazy here during this time of the year, but I think it’s definitely worth the wait and trip.

Thanks so much for reading, please follow, like, share and comment, and I’ll see you guys on Sunday for my next Blogmas post! 🙂

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

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On The Menu Today: Nomo Kitchen in SoHo!

Hi Guys! 🙂

Last Sunday (the 19th of August), me, Diego and our good friend Genaro went out to brunch in the city to celebrate my birthday. The place I chose was actually one that we had all been to before, for Diego’s birthday.

That place is called NoMo Kitchen in SoHo, which is what we’re going to be talking about today.

I found this place online back in April for Diego’s birthday, and loved it so much that I told him I wanted to come here again for mine.

I mainly chose it not only because I saw the menu and ambiance of the restaurant and thought it looked nice, but also because Diego LOVES SoHo. Ask him what part of New York City he loves the most, and he’ll most likely tell you that haha. And because of him, I’ve grown pretty fond of it as well. I mean who wouldn’t? There’s great stores to shop at, great restaurants all over, and cool street art all over the place to take great pictures.

So I figure, what better place to take him out for his birthday then in his favorite area right?

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Entrance & Decor of the restaurant:

One thing to mention about this place is that it’s both a hotel AND restaurant. So when you first walk-in, you see this really pretty, lit up archway, which is one of the (if not THE) most popular place in the vicinity to take pictures. We took a few, but because it’s so popular, it’s a little hard to get any without someone or people being in the background of it lol.

I literally fell in love with that archway. It’s SO cute, and I’m dying to come back and check it out at night. I can only imagine how much more pretty it must look…*too cheesy? Okay sorry, let’s move on!!*

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After you walk through the archway, comes the actual restaurant. I really like the set up of the entire thing. All of the greenery, graffiti on the walls and overall decor is really nice.  It’s chill, but looks nice and “fancy enough” to make you want to dress up for it still.

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The first time we went we had sat at a corner table, which was fine except when I wanted to take a picture by the hearts wall because I thought it was SO cute (clearly it’s the little things that please me lol). There were 2 different hearts walls, which both had a table in front of them, and every time one of the tables cleared and I wanted to get up to take a picture in front of it, new guests were seated at the table; so it just really wasn’t workin’ out for me.

When we went for my birthday brunch, we got to sit in front one of them, so you guys can imagine how excited I was!

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Food & Drinks:

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So as I mentioned in the beginning, we came here for my birthday brunch (as we did for Diego’s birthday back in April, because let’s be real, who doesn’t love brunch?).

The first time we went for Diego’s birthday, we just kind of ordered whatever food, drinks, etc. we wanted and went a little crazy. But for my birthday, we decided to do the hour and a half bottomless brunch special for $29 per person (with our specific drink(s) being mimosas).

If you’re unfamiliar with what a bottomless brunch special is, ultimately, it’s you paying one set price to have unlimited access to the specific drink of your choosing for a set time that the restaurant gives you, with your desired meal as well. A lot of restaurants, pubs, bars, etc. tend to do this special, so if you haven’t tried it out somewhere I definitely recommend doing it.

I completely think it’s worth it, being that it’s literally unlimited mimosas or whatever drink it is you choose for an hour and a half, especially since the cost for lets say 4-5 mimosas is already going to probably be over $30 as it is and adding your meal into that you’ll most likely end up paying double.

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I don’t at ALL remember what drink specifically this was, but it was super good and sweet tasting and the cup was hilarious to me for some reason. Reminded me of Medieval times for some reason.

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I thought the food was amazing, presentation and portion wise. I’m a huge breakfast person, so I ended up getting the Eggs your Way dish with potatoes, turkey bacon, toast and french fries on the side (pictured below). I’m the type that I can EAT, but when there are a few different things coming with my meal the way that this did, a portion size like this is the perfect amount.

Our friend Genaro got relatively the same thing as me, the only difference is he substituted the turkey bacon for sausage and got the avocado toast on the side (which he said was AMAZING and he highly recommends for anyone to try), also pictured below.

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Diego is a HUGE burger lover, so he just ended up getting the double cheeseburger (which he mentioned was really good) and an order of the lemon ricotta pancakes on the side for me and him to split.

Guys I just gotta say…if you know me, you know that when it comes to food I LOVEEEEE to eat, but to the same extent, I’m pretty plain when it comes to my food. Not in the sense of no seasoning or anything like that, but like I don’t care for my food to be made super fancy or look crazy and expensive or different crazy flavors or anything like that, does that make sense? I just mean that I like what I like and that’s that.

For example, with pancakes, I really only typically tend to like and eat plain pancakes or chocolate chip ones occasionally, but any flavors out of that realm has always been a hard pass, but these….OH MY GOD.

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These lemon ricotta pancakes are the bomb.com x 10!!!! They taste SO good, it’s actually insane. They’re so little and cute and delicious. You definitely taste the lemon in the pancakes, but it’s not in an overpowering, tangy way. It’s light and sweet. 10/10 recommend that if you come here, these are a MUST to try, along with the avocado toast that Geno had and suggested.

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General Thoughts:

Overall, I completely love and recommend for anyone that reads this to try out NoMo’s Kitchen if you’re in the city and in the SoHo area. Price wise, the place is a little bit pricey, but I think it’s worth it to try.

The food was great, the ambiance and decor were SO nice, and the service was pretty good. I will say though that the first time we came here for Diego’s birthday, the service was better then when we came this time around for my birthday.

The lady we originally had started off pretty good, but then suddenly left and didn’t really say anything to us about her leaving or us getting a new server. And then the new male server we got, service wise, was kind of slow. He almost looked like he could careless about being there and waiting on us, which listen, I used to work at a restaurant myself so I I get it to some extent, trust me. But at the end the day, we are paying for a service, and you don’t have to be our best friend, but at least be quick when it comes to bringing us/refilling our drinks you know?

So that was a little bit of a downer, but it is what it is I guess. I’m not going to let that hinder my overall impression and liking of NoMo’s, which is that I really loved it. Everything else was pretty great, and I think that the general prices of everything was pretty worth it.

Originally, my overall rating of this place was a 10, but after the no-so-great service we got on Sunday, sorry guys, you got dropped to an 8-9. I would recommend that you guys come and try it out for yourselves at least once though.

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Well, that’s all that I’ve got for you guy’s today on this restaurant post. Let me know what you guys thought about it. Did you end up trying it? What did you think about it if you did? Let me know!

Also, let me know if you guys have any recommendation’s of restaurants, fast food places, coffee shops, etc. that you think I should try and review. I love getting recommendations from you guys! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

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It Was All A Dream

Hi Everybody!

Today’s post is going to be all about this cute, fun little pop-up ‘museum’ that Diego and I went to last weekend completely dedicated to dreams.

I’m sure a lot of you have probably seen and/or heard about the place before through social media, because that’s definitely how I found out and became interested in wanting to go to it. The place I’m talking about is called Dream Machine, which is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

I, personally, am REALLY into dreams and everything that surrounds the concepts of dreams. So when I first heard about this pop-up I knew I HAD to make time to go here before it closes. It’s not the type of thing that’s SUPER informative with facts, details, etc., but just the images, backgrounds, and portrayals of each room I thought was really cool and fun.

If you don’t happen to care about any of the general info I’m going to speak about in just a second, feel free to just scroll to the middle of the post to see pictures and get right into what the actual rooms of the place look like!

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General Info on Dream Machine:

It’s not super big and not the kind of thing that you’ll be in for hours, but it’s a fun thing to do on a weekend if you don’t have much to do, and want to take some cool pictures by yourself, with friends, and/or your significant other.

It is a pop-up, which means that it’s not permanent, so it’s only staying open until July 29th. ALTHOUGH it was only supposed to be open until May originally, and then I guess they saw how big of a hit it was, and ended up extending it until July, SO you never know, maybe they’ll extend the running time for it again!

They’re closed Monday through Wednesday, but are open Thursday through Sunday. The only way to be able to get in is to buy your tickets online beforehand. There’s no window you would be able to go to on the day of in person. General admission, per person, is $38, but general admission matinee (Thursday and Friday before 5pm) is $28. It is a bit pricey considering it’s not that big of a place, but if you’re into this kind of thing and being able to take cool pictures, I think it’s worth going at least once.

LETS TALK ABOUT THE AREAAAAAAAA!! It’s located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn as I mentioned earlier, and Diego and I fell in LOVE with the area in general. The area is SO cute; little shops, restaurants and taverns, EVERYWHERE. It was super friendly and cozy all around, plus it was right there by the water too, which was really nice.

We got to the place at 1:30pm on the dot, because that’s when our tickets were for, and we probably waited outside for max, 10 minutes. Waiting inside the place to finally go in with our group was another 10-15 minutes, but nothing terrible honestly, unless you’re the impatient type.

If I remember correctly, we were probably in the place for a total of 45 minutes to an hour. Again, as I mentioned, it’s not super big, and I was so into the way all the rooms looked and taking a ton of pictures that I didn’t even pay mind to the time lol.

I had read a lot of mixed reviews on this place primarily because of the staff and being/feeling rushed to go through all of the rooms and not being able to get enough or good pictures/videos, so I was a little nervous about going into this because of that. But, I just want to say right now, that overall I had a GREAT experience. I REALLY wish I had gotten the name of our ‘tour guide’, because she was SO nice and didn’t rush us at ALL. In fact, she specifically told us to take our time and make sure we get all of the pictures, videos and boomerangs that we wanted. She, along with other staff members, even offered to take any and all pictures that we may have wanted.

All of the staff was super friendly and welcoming which is a prime example of why I ALWAYS tell people, don’t listen to reviews you see or hear about online. Make your own judgments on things/places, because you never know, that person could’ve just been a little unlucky and the staff was probably having an off day, it doesn’t mean everyday is going to be like that.

I know that I was a bit nervous going into this because of the things that I read, but I immediately switched my mentality once I got there. I never once felt like the staff was being rude to me or anyone in my group, and they didn’t rush us in the slightest. It was probably some of the friendliest staff I’ve ever encountered at a place like this.

Okay, now let’s get into the actual exciting part of this post, which are the rooms themselves!! 😀

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Keep in mind that the displays of most of the rooms are super simple, but they’re supposed to be fun and what YOU end up making of them all.

Room 1: The Cloud Room, ‘Cloud 9’

I LOVED this room and thought it was an amazing starter for going into this place. I really felt like I was in a dream, with the colors of the lights and clouds hanging all over the place. It was super simple because all it really had were the things that I just mentioned, but I was honestly mesmerized by it, and it definitely ended up being one of my favorite rooms out of them all.

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Room 2: The Bubble Room!

This room was cute because I feel like no matter how old you get, bubbles are always weirdly fun. And these bubble were really cool because if you looked at them closely, they were all filled with smoke, so when you popped them smoke would be floating out. I got a ton of cool pictures and boomerangs in this room of the bubbles popping and smoke coming out! This is definitely a cool room to be able to take boomerangs.

BEWARE THOUGH: The floor in this room is slippery, so be mindful of that with the footwear you may have on, especially if you’re anything like me and are clumsy af.

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Room 3: The Black & White Room

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This was probably the smallest room they had (I had think), space wise. But, I thought it was cool that they incorporated something like this when not only is it a fact that some people only dream in black and white, but it makes you think back to some of your own dreams and try to remember whether you fall into that category or not. The decor they had in this room was really cute for pictures too. Also, I matched with the room completely (totally unplanned haha).

*Fun Fact: I dream in color! 🙂 *

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Room 4: The Laundry Room (& SECRET ROOM!!!)

This was definitely another favorite room of mine. I LOVED all of the colors associated with this room; it was colorful and SO fun. One of the best rooms to be able to take cool pictures. It’s supposed to resemble a dry cleaning/laundry mat type of thing. Plus, as soon as you walk in, they hand you free cotton candy!! Now I’m not really one to care for sugar/candy like this, but I thought it was a cute little prop for pictures.

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I was SO scared to try sitting in these. If you’re from the Bronx like me, you know that these things are not all the stable to be doing crap like this, so I was scared. But with Diego’s help, I ended up being fine and also being able to take these really cute pictures in the cart and on the washing machine. Plus it was basically empty at this point since we waited for everyone else to take their pictures and go by so there wouldn’t be a ton of people around us, in our pictures and feeling like we had to rush so they could get theirs too.

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And then there was the secret room….I thought the way this room was set up, it could’ve been SO cool for pictures, which I obviously got a few, but this was the only room that I actually felt kind of rushed in. Our guide had told us that we really only had 45 seconds to be able to take any sort of pictures and what not in here to be able to let everyone else get a turn in here as well. This was the second smallest room in the entire place, so there wasn’t much moving space. Then there was the fact that you couldn’t touch the stringed, colorful lights, I mean why would you actually have to, but the point is they said that you couldn’t because they were super delicate and could get tangled and/or break. The lights, mirrors and stringed lights in general were really cool but it was low, dimmed lights so it was hard to get a well lit picture. I still liked it though 🤷🏻‍♀️

Room 5: The ‘Pool’ Ball-Pit Room

This room was REALLY fun, because all the bright blue balls (LOL) and neon blue lighting was supposed to resemble a swimming pool. They had a list of rules on the side (which I totally forgot to take a picture of), some of which included no running, no diving, find the stairs, recommending you to trust fall backwards and keeping your phone on loud in case you lost it in the pit.

This was another GREAT place to take fun boomerangs like trust falling backwards (which I was TERRIFIED about doing because I’ve never done that before), and throwing the balls in the air like I did below.

One thing I will say is that it was all fun and games until it was time to get up and out from the ball-pit. I COULD NOT GET UP FROM THIS. It was SO hard, I was like wtf. I don’t really know what that says about me, but it was so hard to get up, and nothing to grab for support. It was a bad time. But luckily Diego was there and managed to help me out lol.

 

Room 6: Colorful Room

To be honest with you, the last 3 rooms I really did not get the point of. For instance, although it was cool to walk through with all the bright, neon lights going on and changing, there really wasn’t anything to do in this one other than to walk through it. Also, am I the only one who thought about Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ video when I saw this room?!

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Room 7: The Jungle-ish Room(?)

This one was cool, except I couldn’t figure out if it was supposed to be a garden or jungle-type thing. These lights were bright and trippy as hell, and the plants were pretty cool. The lights weren’t SUPER flattering for pictures-sake, but we made the most of it.

Room 8: The Streamer Room (and technically the last room)

And finally, the last room. Again, not COMPLETELY sure the purpose of this room, other than pretty much seeing a shit ton of streamers all over the place, and being nervous as hell about whether or not someone was going to pop out from between the streamers, but we managed to take some pretty nice pictures.

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Before leaving:

I guess this would be considered their 9th room? I just considered it somewhat of a pre-exit. It’s cool though because it’s super photogenic I think, and a nice way to tie everything together, like you’re about to step back into reality passed that curtain (if you can’t really read it, it says ‘It Was All A Dream’).

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Once stepping through the curtain, this is the last thing you end up seeing which is a Dream wall. It’s meant to be able to write and/or draw any dreams that you may have, but actually going up close to see it, people will just put little quotes on there, or tag their names or anything really that’s memorable to them.

And I’m so cheesy that of course, I had to write that below 🤗❤️ !

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I would totally recommend this for anyone who is looking for something fun and different to do on a weekend. I do agree the price is a little high being that as a whole, it is kind of small, BUT I had a great time, took some great pictures, and think it’s worth it to try at least once. I also didn’t care for 1-2 of the rooms, but overall I really liked it, and the pros out weighed the minor cons like those 2 rooms. Plus, it’s in a great little area in Brooklyn and there are a ton of different places that you would be able to walk to and around afterwards.

Click here to be able to purchase your tickets to Dream Machine, and do it soon because as of right now their last day of being open is July 29th! I hope you guys get to check it out and I see what kind of pictures you took!

*All photo creds goes to my lovely boyfriend ❤ *

Stay tuned for my next post! 🙂

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤