What to Expect at the Harry Potter Store in NYC

The Harry Potter store opened in NYC in June, and I’m guessing it’s still as busy now as it was when it opened. We went last weekend (mid-December) on a Sunday, which is probably one of the busiest times we could have gone. To find out more about the virtual queue system, scroll to the bottom. Getting INTO the 21,000 foot store is an ordeal. What to Expect at the Harry Potter Store in NYC? Read on.

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This holiday season: NYC CAMP has you covered

If you’re looking for some things to do this holiday season in NYC, Jersey Kids has some ideas, brought to you by CAMP.

CAMP wants to help you have tons of fun at their immersive in-store experiences, help you make unique and clever gifts for your family and friends, and to show you some great toys (ahem, good presents!). Whether you live in NYC or are visiting, you’ll have options for great seasonal outings.

Here are some of the CAMP NYC holiday highlights:

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Review AKC Museum of the Dog with Kids in NYC

I had no idea that NYC had a dog museum. I found out because the Smithsonian Free Museum Day included this as an option, so I had to check it out. The AKC (American Kennel Club) Museum of the Dog “preserves, interprets and celebrates the role of dogs in society and educates the public about the human-canine bond through its collection of art and exhibits…”

The AKC Dog Museum. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan
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Review: Shopstoppers NYC

Broadway is back! See our post about what that looks like. Even though Broadway is back, those affected by the theater are still trying to survive. We went for a drink at Beer Culture after the Lion King and the bartender told us that they’re at about 30% of volume. They’re hoping that with Broadway coming back, their business will improve as well.

Showstoppers NYC. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Other industries are hurting as well, including costume designers. The Showstoppers: Spectacular Costumes from Stage and Screen show was created to raise money for those costume makers who were unable to work during the 18 month shutdown. The Costume Industry Coalition formed in May 2020 and started a recovery fund for its members, which includes 55 independent businesses and hundreds of artisans in and around NYC. These are the people who create the costumes for live and recorded shows. The exhibition designer, Thinc Designs, donated their efforts. Designers lost $26.6 million in gross revenue from the pandemic in 2020 (up to $35 million by now in 2021). The show was put together in 3.5 months, where a show like this would normally take two years. Here is our review: Showstoppers NYC.

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Review: Big Snow at American Dream

Big Snow at American Dream

The idea of driving 30 minutes to ski instead of 90+ minutes is appealing. The idea of skiing indoors is novel enough to want to try it. So when Big Snow at American Dream invited my family for a visit as their guests, we said yes. But it’s indoors! It’s in a mall! What about COVID-19? I have an entire section on how they’re handling COVID-19 below. Because it’s a huge topic.

What is Big Snow?

Big Snow at American Dream is an indoor ski area that’s finally opened in East Rutherford. Yes, the massive mall and former Xanadu eye sore that was sitting vacant forever! Big Snow at American Dream is one of several large experiences you can do indoors there, in addition to the Nickelodeon Universe theme park (currently open), DreamWorks Water Park (currently open), and the Sea Life Aquarium (opening spring 2021). Big Snow opened late 2019, closed in March 2020 because of the pandemic, and reopened in October.

The top of the hill at Big Snow American Dream. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan
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Review: Primo Mercato at Short Hills Mall

Primo Mercato at Short Hills Mall

I guess it’s been awhile since I’ve shopped at the Short Hills Mall, because I didn’t realize there was a new Italian marketplace. They invited me for a visit to their 17,000 square foot space. Here’s my Review – Primo Mercato at Short Hills Mall!

The entrance of Primo Mercato at Short Hills Mall. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Primo Mercato is a cross between a fancier food court and a sit-down restaurant, kind of like a smaller Eataly but without the dry goods shopping – just the eating and drinking. They have five food stations, plus a cafe with bakery/gelato, a pizza making station, and a nice restaurant. And yes, there’s sit-down eating if ordering food fromt the stations. You’ll see some picnic style tables (much nicer looking, of course), and some other types of seating configurations.

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