The Official Disney Cake: Disney Haunted Mansion Cake

For the first time in many years, we visited Disneyland when it wasn’t Passover, and we could actually eat whatever we wanted. The plan was to get churros, as we always talk about that but aren’t able to eat them during the holiday. This year when my sister said “let’s get a churro” late afternoon, I told her to wait until after dinner. I had another plan. An official Disney cake.

Our trip to Disneyland was right in between my daughter and my sister’s birthday, though this was not top of mind when we made reservations for the Blue Bayou, where we always wanted to eat, but didn’t bother, given holiday restrictions.


The Blue Bayou restaurant in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

I decided to surprise them with an official Disney cake. You can’t order or find official Disneyland cakes online. They said it’s because of quality assurance, but I think they don’t want anyone to steal their designs. You have to call to order it – I called and waited 20 minutes online for someone to answer.

Continue reading “The Official Disney Cake: Disney Haunted Mansion Cake”

Vine Ripe Mozzarella Class in Westfield

A few months ago, someone at the gym mentioned a Vine Ripe mozzarella class in Westfield. Ooh – I love classes like this, but when I looked it up, the class was $99 and lasted an hour. Ouch! I put it in the back of my mind, but when it popped up on Groupon for $49, I bought it and sent out an announcement to friends to join me. And if you use Ebates when buying something on Groupon, you get money back – it’s awesome and very easy (yes, I get credit if you sign up with my link, but I recommend it because it’s awesome).

Continue reading “Vine Ripe Mozzarella Class in Westfield”

Chicago Weekend with Kids: Food, Architecture, Basketball…but Mostly Food

Portillo's hot dog

This is Mark, Debbie’s husband, with a special guest post about a quick Chicago weekend with kids. This was with our son, Zack. First let me say that it amazes me (as a native Chicagoan) how many people have not visited, or only barely visited, one of our country’s (actually world’s) great cities, when it’s just a two hour flight away. Okay, five hours if your flight is delayed like ours.

Chicago Hotels with Kids

Chicago certainly does not lack for hotel options. We’ve been often, and have stayed at the Chicago Embassy Suites: a good value with clean, spacious rooms, plus breakfast and free happy hour included. FYI – the downtown State Street one is more convenient than the Navy Pier Embassy Suites. Continue reading “Chicago Weekend with Kids: Food, Architecture, Basketball…but Mostly Food”

Treat of the Day: 10 Below Ice Cream in Chinatown

When I heard about the new ice cream place called 10 Below in Chinatown, where they made the ice cream in front of you in two minutes, I knew we had to go. Soon! I saw these pictures of ice cream rolls with cute toppings and it was a done deal. So I told my kids that we were going into the city to get ice cream, and they thought I was nuts. Sure, we eat ice cream. A fair amount of ice cream. But planning a trip to New York City just to eat ice cream? Well, we added in a few other things on the itinerary too, but planned to get there on the early side (and on a weekday before school started) to avoid the lines.

10below1
Don’t come to 10 Below if you’re in a hurry. You’ll have to wait no matter what time you come.

Continue reading “Treat of the Day: 10 Below Ice Cream in Chinatown”

Philly: Reading Terminal Market – Philly

–This is part of our series on Philadelphia with kids. See all the posts in the series at the bottom.–

reading1

Out of everything we saw and did in Philadelphia, this was the family favorite. We went twice, and would have gone more if time permitted.

The Reading Terminal Market has been in Philadelphia in one form since the 1850s, but in its current form since 1892. The string of shops (known as a Jersey market, since that’s where vendors came from) went indoors, with 78,000 feet and 800 vendor slots. Let me repeat that. 800 vendors slots. Like then, it’s still full of food and produce vendors, and a smattering of other stores selling kitchen wares and other goods.  Now there are 80 vendors. Read more about the market’s history here – it’s interesting. Continue reading “Philly: Reading Terminal Market – Philly”