Vermont Factory Tours

For a state that relies heavily on tourism, it’s not surprising there are a lot of factory tours to pull in the tourists. Here are a few to consider:

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

I wrote a long review of this revered mecca for this frozen, gourmet, hip treat. Read it here. Note that there’s no ice cream production on weekends, and if they finish their production for the day on weekdays, you may not see the action either.

Where: 1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Waterbury, VT

When: daily, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Times vary by season.

Tour length: up to 30 minutes

Tours leave: at least every 30 minutes Continue reading “Vermont Factory Tours”

Review: Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tour in Vermont

When we told people we were going to Vermont, they all asked “are you going to Ben & Jerry’s?” And given how much I love factory tours, we went.

The tour was really short. After watching a sanitized (but cute) several minute video, we went into a viewing area above the production floor. Though they’re supposed to be producing ice cream on the weekdays (we were there on a Friday at 2 p.m.), unfortunately they had already finished the batch for that day, so we got to see them cleaning the equipment. Sigh.

The kids didn’t understand much about the ice cream making process, and didn’t really like the actual viewing part. But then again, that part took only about 10 minutes.

“I liked the eating part the best,” said Zachary.

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King Tut in NYC – Review with Kids

Tutankhamun Coffin © Andreas F. Voegelin, Antikenmuseum Basel and Sammlung Ludwig

**KING TUT OPENS IN ST. PAUL, MN ON FEBRUARY 18, RUNNING THROUGH SEPTEMBER 5, 2011. FOR DISCOUNT CODES AND TICKETS TO ST. PAUL KING TUT EXHIBIT, CLICK HERE.

When I saw the King Tut exhibit in San Francisco last year, I left the kids behind, not sure if they’d make it through without getting bored.  While I enjoyed going alone, I did feel the kids were missing out on a huge piece of history  – an experience not usually readily available in museums.

When the exhibit arrived in New York City’s Times Square Discovery Exhibition space, I knew I had to take them. Now they had 3-D movie as well!

The big deal about King Tut is not that he was Egypt’s greatest king. He wasn’t, though he did have some interesting challenges. By the time Tut’s tomb was discovered, it was the only tomb that was almost completely intact on discovery. It gave researchers an understanding of the burial process.

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Statue of Liberty – with Kids

The Statue of Liberty is often cited as the first thing that immigrants saw when coming into New York’s harbor on their way to Ellis Island. It’s probably the top thing on list to see during a visit to New York. And for good reason.

The United States was not the intended recipient for Lady Liberty. The statue was originally conceived as a lighthouse for Egypt’s Suez Canal. But the Egyptians rejected it. Private citizens, part of the Franco-American Union, along with some companies, later decided to give it to the United States for its centennial. And after a lot of research on where to put it, fundraising for the pedestal, and other hubbub, here it is. Of course that’s the brief explanation. You’ll learn more about it on Liberty Island.

A trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is rife with logitics. You can get a lot of information about the statue elsewhere . I’m going to focus on how to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island – with kids. Continue reading “Statue of Liberty – with Kids”

King Tut NYC Review and Discount Codes

The King Tut exhibit opened in Manhattan last month, with 11 galleries and 130+ artifacts. The exhibit features items from King Tut’s tomb, as well as items from his ancestors. I saw the King Tut exhibit in its last location, San Francisco and again in NYC. You can read my review of NYC’s Tut with Kids here on Jersey Kids.

If you’re thinking of taking kids with you, it’s a great learning opportunity, and there are several items of interest to kids there, including weapons and lots of gold! Of course they’ll be interested to know that the king was all of 9 years old when he ascended the throne. They’ll love the gross knowledge that King Tut’s brain was removed with a hook through his nose before embalming! Plan to spend around 90 minutes there.

The NYC King Tut exhibit is in the Times Square area. One benefit – you don’t have all the additional museum traffic. The downside – there’s no museum to visit after!

KING TUT DISCOUNT CODES FOR ST. PAUL

Tickets are $30 for the King Tut exhibit on weekends and $25 on weekdays (for adults), and this includes the science museum admission/exhibits. Kids 4-12 pay $16 on weekdays, and $18 on weekends. Audio tour and film are extra.

Science Museum of Minnesota members save up to 60% on King Tut ticket prices. Plus, members save an additional $5 a ticket in March.

Go with a group. Group discounts are available for 15 or more ticketholders. Here are ticket prices for groups.

While there were no discounts at Goldstar at posting, check back frequently, because Goldstar often offers discounts, as much as half off, for select time slots of various events.

Check back here – I’ll be adding discounts are they become available. Pickings are slim as the show opens!

Tickets and discounts for NYC

Tickets run $27.50 for adults, $25.50 for seniors, $17.50 for kids 4-12, and free for kids under 4. They offer a 3-D movie, Secrets of the Pharaohs, for an additional $5. In the film, you’ll travel into the royal tombs, learning about ancient Egyptian society and rituals as told by the mummies themselves. Kids 4 and under still have to pay for the movie, even though they get in free to the exhibit. Reviews of the movie are positive. Audio commentary is $7, and worth it to learn more.

Now through Friday, December 24th, buy a voucher for 2 adult and 2 child admissions ($98 value) for $59 at Mamapedia. You must redeem the voucher all at once. You can buy two vouchers, but only redeem one per visit.

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Gold Vault: Touring the NY Federal Reserve

There’s something sexy about descending 50 feet to Manhattan bedrock to see the largest stash of foreign gold in the world. The reality, however is slightly underwhelming.

We started in the numismatic room (yes, that’s the coin room), with cases explaining the history of money. You’ll see lots of coins, including the famed 1933 Double Eagle. I’ll spare you the long (but interesting) story of theft and intrigue). But an anonymous purchaser got it for a cool $7.59 million at auction, and agreed to display it in the case that you’re not allowed to touch or lean on.

(Even if you don’t get into the gold tour, you can still get free access to the numismatic room during business hours).

From there you’ll learn about the Federal Reserve in a video. The New York branch is one of 12 regional reserve banks that act as the U.S. government’s bank. The Federal Reserve sets U.S. monetary policy, stores cash, shreds old bills, and is last resort for banks needing loans.

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