This article is part of our East Bay Bloggers series. Where bloggers dish on their passions, and why they continue to share them.
The Blog: Playing All The Way
Creator: Nicole Estrella
About: Affordable and fun family adventures
Based In: Rehoboth
Nicole, the creator of the family adventure blog Playing All The Way, firmly believes that families that play together stay together. For the mother of three, play is central to how she and her husband raise their family. Growing up for her was chaotic. She felt unsafe, which meant that play was out of the question. She yearned for a family that made memories together through shared experiences.
Nicole promised herself that when she had her own family, she would provide them with what she did not have. However, she didn’t expect to be raising a family on very little money. Regardless of having to run an extremely tight financial ship, she set out to accomplish her goals. Nicole started by researching local attractions – like parks, zoos and museums – that had grant funding. Eventually, she found a way to access almost everything at no cost. “Before I created the website I was just sharing what I loved to do on Facebook,” Nicole says. “I was making memories with my kids and sharing it. I guess it inspired people.”
In 2013 she created Playing All The Way as a way to share the many resources available throughout the community that she discovered. “I have a passion to foster happy and healthy families,” says Nicole. “I posted how to play for free. I wanted a site where people could possibly change their lives and their families.”
At this point she’s done almost everything locally at little to no cost: Battleship Cove, Herreshoff Seamanship Program, Audubon Society of RI Environmental Education Center, Blithewold Mansion, Coggeshall Farm, Newport Skating Center and Newport International Polo. As her kids have gotten older, their adventures are more extreme and have moved beyond the East Bay. They’ve found deals and worked with agencies to go to Six Flags, Disney World, Boston Harbor Cruises and Ramblewild.
In addition to sharing resources with families, she’s also been able to start a small non-profit called Play It Forward. Play It Forward sends one low income family per month to play at one of the fun attractions that she has promoted. “I’ve had people say ‘because of your blog I was able to take my family to this zoo.’ That makes me happy,” she says. “If the blog creates one happy memory for one child I have succeeded. Every kid deserves a childhood.”