Thank you to all who contributed to the Passports with Purpose fundraiser. We raised $26,000, which will help five farming communities in Honduras to farm more sustainably for the next five years. The tools and education provided to them through Sustainable Harvest International will make a major and long-lasting impact on these communities. They’ll plant thousands of trees and help feed hundreds of people in each community through this work.
If you bid on prizes, you should be finding out if you won (you won’t be contacted unless you won) by December 22 at the latest.
Even though you can no longer bid on prizes, you can still donate to SHI through Passpsorts with Purpose. 100% of the donation goes to SHI, as Passports with Purpose is an all-volunteer group of bloggers organizing it.
A big thanks to all the sponsors of PWP, including TBEX and HomeAway, and our Frisco Kids and Jersey Kids prize sponsors, Schoola and Breathometer. A reminder that you can still use Schoola’s 25% off discount code TRYSCHOOLA at checkout, through December 30. And for last minute gifts, Breathometer makes two portable products that connect to your smart phone, for checking your blood alcohol level. It’s fun to use and helpful too.
Last minute! I have two family packs of tickets to give away to the red carpet screening of All Hail King Julien, Netflix’s newest original series. I need to pick two families tonight to give them to. If you’re interested, leave me a comment below with the number of people in your family, and let me know how to contact you. If you don’t want to leave your email address in the comment, you can email me at email@example.com, but please do put the comment down first.
At the screening, you’ll see the first five episodes of All Hail King Julien. Madagascar’s King Julien scored his own series! King Julien will take on the jungle’s craziest adventures in the new comedy series, along with his loyal sidekicks Maurice and Mort plus a whole new cast of colorful animals.
Details about the screening (you need to be on the list to go, so don’t show up unless I tell you to!)
When: Friday, December 19 from 7-9 p.m.
Where: SVA Theater – 333 W. 23rd Street
While I did a more comprehensive review of taking the kids to the Liberty Science Center for a previous post, I was there recently and wanted to fill you in on some of the changes and new exhibits. The most exciting is the new Infinity Climber, which finished installation a few weeks ago. This “multi-story play space” is suspended 35 feet above the ground. It has 64 petal platforms (they look like lily pads), to climb on, taking you higher and lower. It’s surrounded by a net, which is stiff enough to keep you in, but not so stiff that it hurts.
The Infinity Climber is the world’s first suspended climbing space of its kind, and can fit 50 adults and children in there at one time. You have to be 42 inches or higher to go in. It’s great for groups to go in together. Continue reading Liberty Science Center’s New Infinity Climber, Rubik’s Cube and Guitar Exhibit
We’re partway through our Passports with Purpose fundraiser, and I wanted to give you a heads up about some of the awesome prizes available.
But first, a very brief intro about Passports with Purpose. This is an fundraiser done by bloggers who are ALL volunteers. Each year, the organizers pick one charity to raise funds for – and a specific project within it. This year, we’re supporting Sustainable Harvest International, and for each $5,000 raised, we’ll be helping one family farmer to get the tools, resources and know-how to farm more sustainably. This benefits the entire community, not just one family. At last tally, they’d already raised enough to help three families ($15,000).
This money is raised in $10 increments, when people like you donate. With every $10 donation (100% goes to Sustainable Harvest International), you get one raffle entry into the prize of your choice. There are a ton of prizes, ranging from hotel stays in Scottsdale (like the Four Seasons) and a dude ranch stay for 4 at Tucson’s Tanque Verde (thanks for hosting Ciao Bambino!). Or five nights lodging and lift tickets at Killington (thanks for hosting, Wandering Working Mom!)
I’ll highlight some of the other great prizes here: Continue reading Passports with Purpose – Win Awesome Prizes
We spent a few days in New York City over Thanksgiving. On our last day, we would be finishing up in the Times Square area, taking either the bus or the train back to New Jersey. It made no sense to leave our luggage at the borrowed apartment across town. We weren’t going to lug it around with us all day, and we didn’t think a hotel (given all the security issues these days) would randomly take someone’s luggage for the day, if they’re not a guest.
I did some research and it turns out there are plenty of luggage storage options outside of hotels, in the New York City area. My sister pointed me to Penn Station, where she usually keeps her bags when going into the city for fun time, before heading to the airport. And that’s where we went.
Amtrak has a luggage storage area (see photo below), in the main waiting area between gates 5 and 6. Technically it’s for Amtrak customers only, but they didn’t ask me for a ticket or proof that I was going on Amtrak, nor did they ask my sister the four times she stashed luggage there. Continue reading Luggage storage in New York City
A few summers ago, my family went the Amazon rain forest in Ecuador. Seeing the dense forests, the foliage and meeting some of the people who live there was a fabulous experience for me and for my kids. Our guide spent a lot of time talking with us about the problems the native people there have had, most of which involve outsiders coming in and cutting down trees and drilling for oil. It’s a constant tug of war between preserving the rain forest and all its benefits, and making a living and providing the world with its constant need for oil-based products (including fuel) and lumber.
Brazilian rain forest, home to the Kayapo people.
While I won’t get into all that here (it’s something I recommend reading more about, especially with your kids.), I was contacted recently by Pure Energies, a North American solar energy company. They wanted to share photos and videos from a recent trip that their CEO and some employees took, along with the International Conservation Fund of Canada, to the Brazilian rain forest. Continue reading What we can learn about sustainability from the rain forest
I really thought my family was going to leave me when they saw The Ride bus. I saw this “experience” advertised on Goldstar for a very low amount, and thought I should review it for my loyal readers. While I’d seen this bus in Manhattan, apparently no one else in my family had, which is probably a very good thing or they would not have agreed to go. As a blogger and travel journalist, they’ve done a lot with me in the name of a review (including a fabulous ziplining experience at Mountain Creek, I reminded them). They gave me the benefit of the doubt, and boarded the bus, in spite of having to catch it by Chevy’s on 42nd Street and 8th Avenue, yes the middle of the Tourist Zone, and a block from Times Square.
This state-of-the-art bus has three rows of seats facing out the side of the bus. The almost floor to ceiling windows allow people outside to see you, and you them.
Let’s start with a good question: What is The Ride? It’s part New York City tour, part performance art, part improv comedy act and part technology entertainment. Huh? I’ll be including some spoilers here, so if you don’t want to know any more, you probably should stop reading. I’ll explain as we go.
They seat you with your group on The Ride. You all face sideways.
The bus is like the inside of a really tacky limo (without the booze), Continue reading Review: The Ride in New York City
As you probably know from your mailbox (especially all those charities), today is #givingtuesday. It’s a way to call attention to helping others at this time of year. I’ll be posting many giving opportunities this month, but wanted to highlight a few for today. If these don’t work for you, consider finding some way to get your kids involved in giving today, explaining how while we’re shopping for ourselves and our loved ones, that we can take a day and think about others who may not be on our lists.
It doesn’t have to be buying things either. It can be volunteering or sending holiday cards to troops overseas. It can be baking something tasty to take to the elderly person in your neighborhood, or calling Grandma to say hi.
Check out our post that just went live today for Passports with Purpose, where bloggers are raising money to help farmers raise crops in a sustainable way, in Honduras. You can win fabulous prizes donated by sponsors like Schoola and Breathometer, as well as many others, through this contest and fundraiser. More here. Continue reading Giving Tuesday: Helping Others this Holiday Season
For the last few years, Jersey Kids has participated in Passports with Purpose, a fundraiser organized by travel bloggers to use our connections to do something impactful in the world. In doing so, we give away great prizes donated by generous sponsor (like the Jersey Kids prize sponsor Breathometer - see below for details), who is giving away a newly released Breeze by Breathometer to one lucky winner.
In the past, we’ve raised:
-$84,000 to build two schools in Mali (2013)
-$116,000 to build 5 wells in Haiti (2012)
-$90,000 to build two libraries in Zambia (2011)
-$60,000 to build houses for 25 families in India (2010)
-$28,000 to build a school in rural Cambodia (2009)
-$7,500 for Heifer International (2008)
You can see how this fundraiser has grown!
This year the project is through Sustainable Harvest International (SHI), with the goal of providing Central American farmers the tools and training to overcome poverty while farming in a way that doesn’t damage the rain forest. Continue reading Win a Breeze by Breathometer – and Help a Family Farmer at the Same Time
This is part of a series on New York City holiday windows for 2014. You can also see posts for Barney’s windows, Macy’s windows, Sak’s windows, Lord & Taylor windows and Bloomingdale’s windows.
Bergdorf Goodman’s theme was the arts.
This window represented sculpture.
Continue reading New York City Holiday Windows – Bergdorf Goodman