Review: Radio City Music Hall Tour

It’s okay. You can be a local and still take the Radio City Music Hall tour. In fact, you should. Your kids would like it too. There are details for those who care greatly about architecture, art and design. And it’s fun to wander around back stage and see Rockettes’ costumes up close (and meet a Rockette in person). And if you’re lucky like us, you’ll show up on one of the 40 or so days a year when there’s not a performance and they aren’t setting up for one. And you’ll be able to on STAGE.  Yeah, we got lucky.

Radio City Music Hall. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

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Review: the QVC Tour

I have to admit, I’m not a home shopping on TV kind of gal, (or even home shopping on the internet person). Certainly I buy things online, but I rarely browse sites just to see what they’re selling, and if I’m going  to watch TV, it’s not going to be a shopping show.  While I’m not alone in that, I am in QVC’s demographic, of women 35-64, who are educated homeowners. BUT, I can’t resist a factory tour, and the QVC tour of the studio sounded like too much fun to pass up.

Inside the QVC studio. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

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Touring the Manischewitz Factory Part 2

This is part two in our post about the Manischewitz factory tour. Part one is a tour of the Manischewitz matzah production.

Manischewitz factory matzah line
The beginning of the matzah journey at the Manischewitz factory. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

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

The Manischewitz factory has four main production lines: Continue reading “Touring the Manischewitz Factory Part 2”

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”

Hershey Chocolate World with Families Review

I didn’t think it would be possible to get sick of chocolate. But after spending 27 hours in Hershey, drinking milkshakes, eating s’mores, drinking hot chocolate, eating chocolate cookies, eating candy bars, making candy bars and smelling pumped in fake chocolate aroma, my daughter declared “I’m sick of chocolate.”

While I’m not giving up on the treat any time soon, she had a point. And being immersed in Hershey land for 27 hours does make you a little jaded and longing for a salad.

Here’s our Hershey Chocolate World with families review!

Hershey Chocolate World - a world of commerce. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan
Hershey Chocolate World – a world of commerce. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Free Chocolate Making Tour Continue reading “Hershey Chocolate World with Families Review”

Hershey Create Your Own Candy Bar Experience

We went to Hershey last weekend for the first time, and I wanted to cram in as much as we could. My husband was running the Hershey Half Marathon, which make planning a little more difficult, so I had to prioritize what we were going to do. I heard about the Hershey create your own candy bar experience, though, and knew that was top of the list.

We arrived at the entrance at our appointed time. It wasn’t a formal tour, so you literally just show up at your ticket time. They give you an apron, hair net and if needed, a beard net. My 12 year old took one of those just because it was fun. Not sure why you need an apron, since you don’t go anywhere need the food. The hair net, I kind of get, even though everything is behind glass.

You choose your own chocolate base bar and toppings, using your ticket's bar code for tracking. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan
You choose your own chocolate base bar and toppings, using your ticket’s bar code for tracking. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

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Review: Behind the Magic Tour – Disney on Broadway

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll see I’m a big Broadway fan (see our reviews of Broadway shows and our family friendly Broadway show pageBroadway for kids). So I was super psyched at a recent Disney Social Media Moms On the Road conference to get the “Behind the Magic” tour at the New Amsterdam Theater.

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The New Amsterdam Theater is the oldest Broadway theater in NYC. It’s owned by the city of New York, but operated by the Disney Theatrical Productions. Photo by Deborah Abrams Kaplan

This tour is open to the public to those with or without Disney Broadway tickets Continue reading “Review: Behind the Magic Tour – Disney on Broadway”

Review: The Ride in New York City

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.
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.
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”

Philadelphia: 5 Ways to See the Barnes Foundation with Kids

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

I thought the Barnes Foundation wouldn’t be kid-friendly. Surprisingly, it was.

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The museum is organized in a different kind of way, with each gallery containing ensembles – groups of pictures and utilitarian metal tools that looked decorative, designed to make you think about the art in unique ways, to see how they relate to each other. You won’t find only Renoirs in one room, or paintings from a certain time period displayed together. Plus there are no signs on the walls with the names and artists, nor any explanations at all on the walls. Many of the frames do have the artist’s name on them, though, if you look carefully. Find a gallery guide at the benches in each room.

Vincent van Gogh, Dutch, 1853–1890. The Postman (Joseph-Étienne Roulin), 1889. Photograph © 2012 The Barnes Foundation.
Vincent van Gogh, Dutch, 1853–1890. The Postman (Joseph-Étienne Roulin), 1889. Photograph © 2012 The Barnes Foundation.

Barnes continually changed his ensembles around, and the displays you see are the same ones (in the   same order) as when he died. He never wrote up explanations as to why they were put in those orders, nor is anyone sure what he hoped viewers would see in them. Continue reading “Philadelphia: 5 Ways to See the Barnes Foundation with Kids”

Philadelphia: Liberty Bell and Independence Hall with Kids

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

Liberty bell
You can take this picture of the Liberty Bell from outside the building.

You can’t go to Philadelphia as a newbie and not see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. So of course this was on our list to do. Here’s something else you should know. Tickets are free, but if you don’t reserve Independence Hall tour tickets in advance (or go wait in line, going early), you may not get in. So if you’re on a tight schedule, I recommend you call ahead or reserve online for a $1.50/person fee. Especially in high season. By afternoon, tickets may be gone. Tickets are required March through December. Continue reading “Philadelphia: Liberty Bell and Independence Hall with Kids”