Touring the Manischewitz Factory – Part 1

If you grew up in the New Jersey area, you may have taken an Manischewitz factory tour through religious school, in Jersey City. That factory closed, and the new global headquarters and manufacturing plant is now in Newark. It opened in the fall 2016, and you can book group tours there. I love factory tours, and even more so when it’s the actual factory, and not a fake one (I’m talking to you, Hershey’s).

**UPDATE – it appears this Manischewitz Newark factory is closing. We’ll update the post if we get additional tour information.**

The Manischewitz lobby has memorabilia and oversized posters of their labels. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

In this tour, you walk through a lot of the 186,000 square feet of the factory. What you’ll see being produced depends on the day, as they make more than 400 products. Continue reading “Touring the Manischewitz Factory – Part 1”

Help the Community FoodBank of New Jersey

It’s that time of the year when we stuff ourselves silly and buy to excess. You’re probably already doing things to help those less fortunate. But I wanted to share our experience with the Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ).

Photo courtesy of the USDA/Flickr.
The food loading area at the CFBNJ. Photo courtesy of the USDA/Flickr.

I brought my kids to the CFBNJ¬†when my college alumni group organized a volunteer session this month. It was a really interesting experience. Here’s what we learned. Continue reading “Help the Community FoodBank of New Jersey”

Saks Fifth Avenue Holiday Windows 2016

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the holiday windows, what are you waiting for? Here are some of my pix from Saks Fifth Avenue. Though I didn’t go at night, they have a lovely light display on the building, above this candy entrance.

Saks Fifth Avenue front holiday entrance
The front entrance of Saks Fifth Avenue. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Their theme this year is Land of 1,000 Delights. It’s a fun pairing of sweets and some awesome clothing. Continue reading “Saks Fifth Avenue Holiday Windows 2016”

Macy’s Holiday Windows 2015

This year, the Macy’s Holiday Windows feature the Peanuts gang. They tell the classic Peanuts Christmas story, with characters that move. Sometimes it’s their heads, sometimes the clouds float from the bottom to the top, and sometimes they cross from one side of the window to the other. You can also hear them narrating what’s written on the window. It’s kind of sad, but ultimately happy. And it’s ironic to see Charlie Brown lamenting Christmas being this big commercial thing – in the windows of the massive Macy’s store. See the 2015 Lord & Taylor windows here.

Macy's Peanuts windows in their 2015 display. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan
Macy’s Peanuts windows in their 2015 display. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Continue reading “Macy’s Holiday Windows 2015”

Interesting facts about the Rockettes

After seeing the Rockettes perform, I was interested in learning more about them. Here are some fun facts:

Rockettes must be at least 18 years old by August 31 to perform that holiday season

Santa's Reindeer - the Rockettes. Photo courtesy of the Rockettes.
Santa’s Reindeer – the Rockettes. Photo courtesy of the Rockettes.

They start working late September or early October and work through December. It’s a seasonal gig. Continue reading “Interesting facts about the Rockettes”

Review: Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular With Kids

Every year we talk about going to see the Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and then we don’t get plan ahead and the tickets are too expensive. Or the reasonably priced tickets are at 9 a.m. or 10 p.m. – or on a weekday while the kids are in school. (Info on discount Rockettes tickets at the bottom). This year my husband’s company got a block of tickets and we scored with reasonably priced tickets to a weekend show, so we finally got to see the iconic Rockettes.

Radio City Music Hall Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan
Radio City Music Hall Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

This review contains spoilers. It’s also the review of someone who did not research the show before seeing it and did not grow up in this area. Think of me as someone dropped into Manhattan from far away, for the Christmas show. It’s not part of our family history and the only thing I really know about them is that the dancers have a height requirement and they do precision dancing. That’s about it. Continue reading “Review: Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular With Kids”

Giving Tuesday: Helping Others this Holiday Season

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.

You can win fabulous prizes donated by sponsors like¬†Schoola and Breathometer, as well as many others, through this contest and fundraiser. Continue reading “Giving Tuesday: Helping Others this Holiday Season”