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Review: Corning Museum of Glass with Kids

What’s it like to go to the Corning Museum of Glass with kids? I heard its holdings were extensive and one could easily spend a complete day or two there, exploring the galleries. I thought they might be bored. Turns out they loved it. While others could spend days there, our visit was limited to 3 hours (including the “make your own glass” experience – separate post). And that was enough time to see much of the museum, even though we rushed through the very large 35 Centuries of Glass gallery, as the kids were running out of steam.

Corning Museum of Glass

Corning Museum of Glass

Interactive Fun Continue reading Review: Corning Museum of Glass with Kids

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Stony Hill NJ Corn Maze: Review

We usually do a NJ corn maze every year, and it’s often the Stony Hill corn maze. This year was no exception. Why Stony Hill? They have a lot of other activities to do there, many included with the basic admission. The corn maze is well done also.

When we went on a recent Saturday, they had live music, which we could hear inside the maze. They also had a face painter. Not sure if you pay extra for that.

This year’s theme is Rutger’s 250th anniversary.

Rutger's 250th anniversary corn maze at Stony Hill. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Rutger’s 250th anniversary corn maze at Stony Hill. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Continue reading Stony Hill NJ Corn Maze: Review

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Fossil Hunting With Kids at Big Brook

Did you know that October 12 is National Fossil Day? With a few days off this week, and fall break/teachers’ convention coming up next month, you may be looking for day trip ideas. Think about going fossil hunting in New Jersey! Turns out there are a couple of places that are easy to get to, where you can wade through streams looking for sharks’ teeth, oyster shells, squid fossils, and other items that are millions of years old. Even though you’re not by the ocean, this area was once covered in water.

Big Brook Preserve. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Big Brook Preserve. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Continue reading Fossil Hunting With Kids at Big Brook

Customized Invitations and Announcements – Endless Options from BasicInvite.com

This post is brought to you by BasicInvite.com, but all writing and opinions are my own.

When my kids were born, I printed out their baby announcements on special vellum paper, attaching it to card stock with ribbon and then sending them out to friends and family. This was not a good project for a new mom. It was time consuming and required my husband bringing home his office cutting device, standing over the printer feeding in the vellum, and then ordering new ink when I ran out. In decade-plus that’s passed since then, there are so many better options for designing and ordering beautiful announcements online, at a very reasonable cost.

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Baby announcements from Basic Invite.

We get our photo holiday cards online. We get customized thank you notes online. We’ve gotten birthday invitations online.

So when it was time to order my son’s bar mitzvah invitations, did I call to an invitation person? Continue reading Customized Invitations and Announcements – Endless Options from BasicInvite.com

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32 Things You Don’t Know About Iceland

When you talk about Iceland, you can talk about the scenery, the waterfalls, the fjords, the wonderful hot springs. It’s all there and we enjoyed them in spades. Iceland is an amazing place to visit. But I wanted to share some of the quirkier things we saw in Iceland. Mostly, they’re things we observed as we drove around the country. Here’s what I’ve got for you.

  1. The thing to buy in Iceland is hand-knit wool sweaters. Only they cost at least $175 US, often more. And they’re itchy and not necessarily flattering. Turns out the only people we saw wearing them were the tour guides. In addition to wearing a tour guide medallion, I think it’s a required part of their uniform. And yes, in August it’s cold enough to wear a wool sweater.
Icelandic wool sweaters. Photo courtesy of Rudi Riet/Flickr.

Icelandic wool sweaters. Photo courtesy of Rudi Riet/Flickr.

2.  There are more sheep in Iceland than there are humans Continue reading 32 Things You Don’t Know About Iceland

New York Renaissance Faire with Kids

After years of hearing about and seeing pictures of the Renaissance Faire, we finally went. It was a 600 degree day. It was super hot (bring a hat, sunblock and water). It was a lot of fun for everyone.

Renaissance Faire in NY. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Renaissance Faire in NY. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

If you haven’t been, here’s what to expect. Continue reading New York Renaissance Faire with Kids

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Review: Museum of Arts and Design with Kids

We took our teen daughter to the Museum of Arts and Design recently, curious to check out a smaller Manhattan museum we hadn’t yet been to. I highly recommend taking the free docent tour, which lasts about an hour and gives a good highlight of the exhibits. Of course you can head back to look further before or after you’re done.

It’s not a big museum, so if you’re looking for something manageable with the kids (an hour or less), this is a good option. It’s in Columbus Circle and it’s free for kids 18 and under ($16/adult). They have a number of family programs as well, so check that out when planning your visit.

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Studio Job’s Burj Khalifa.

Continue reading Review: Museum of Arts and Design with Kids

Wicked on Broadway: Is it Appropriate for Kids?

I’ve been to a lot of Broadway theaters, but the Gershwin Theater is really made for audiences. Some theaters don’t allow you in before the show, resulting in the long lines you see when walking down the streets around Times Square. Patrons stand out in line, resulting in a rush for the restrooms, rush to get in the door, and concerns about being late even though they are already holding their tickets. So I was thrilled that not only were we allowed in early, but that there was plenty of space and things to do and see before the show (and no line at Will Call 30 minutes before).

Enjoy the clock inside the front lobby.

Enjoy the clock inside the front lobby.

Continue reading Wicked on Broadway: Is it Appropriate for Kids?

An Act of God Review: Is it Appropriate for Kids?

If you’re not familiar with the premise of An Act of God, the show is basically a monologue with God coming to you through the physical body of an actor (in this case Sean Hayes). God riffs on a whole lot of things, including misconceptions about God and the 10 Commandments. And then he introduces a new set of 10 Commandments because he’s pretty sick of the old ones and never intended those to be his greatest hits.

Continue reading An Act of God Review: Is it Appropriate for Kids?

2017 Hamilton tickets going on sale

As you probably know, getting Hamilton tickets is not easy or affordable these days. The next block is going on sale Sunday, June 12 at 8 p.m., to the general public. Tickets are for shows January 31-May 21, 2017. They’ll start at $179 face value.

Timing coincides with the start of the Tony Awards, where Hamilton will be well represented with 16 Tony nominations (timing coincidence? I think not). So if you want tickets, move quickly, as tickets are already available this week to American Express Centurion and Platinum card holders, and you’ll be fighting against fans as well as scalpers.

If you miss this round of tickets, here’s how to get Hamilton tickets otherwise.

Good luck and let us know if you get tickets!