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Check out the hot places to go local to you and find the staycation you’ve been wanting!
This year, we were fortunate enough to be able to take the kids to their first Disney World trip in Florida. I worked with Drive Shop to test out the 2016 Mazda CX-5 for the week while there because we needed something reliable. It definitely did not disappoint!
The color was excellent for the extreme heat. Glacier White with light beige interior. Perfect to keep the car cool when the sun is beaming down.
This crossover SUV fits 5 comfortably and had such a smooth ride. The stylish exterior and interior made driving it around south Florida so much fun. We stayed in Palm Bay which is more on the east coast and had to travel an hour and a half to Disney World in Orlando. The SkyActive technology by Mazda made the gas last the entire week even with the long trips.
The cruise control came in handy during the long trip on the same road and it had a feature I’ve never seen before. It was a car length sensor that you can set the cruise control to keep the car one, two, or three car lengths behind the car in front of you.
The center console is where the radio controls are as well as the volume and mute. This system has no power off button, only mute. The large center button is a toggle button. It controls the LCD panel for everything. You can also use the touch screen feature, but when driving the center button is easier to navigate everything.
There is a “sport” button that allows you to easily flip the car into sport mode if you’re on the highway and want to feel some extra “umf”!
The number one thing is it got us to and from Disney safely! There was a little rain storm on the way there and it drove great in it. One of the best features is when I had to use the brights, it has an “auto” sensor when on the auto feature. This allowed the car to automatically turn the high beams off when there was a vehicle coming, and back on when it passed. I haven’t seen that function on any other vehicle yet.
We had a blast at Disney World and a big thank you to Mazda and DriveShop for providing this vehicle for our travels around south Florida!
20THANNUAL ARTHUR ASHE KIDS’ DAY PRESENTED BY HESS
ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 29TH IN FLUSHING MEADOW, QUEENS
ESPN to Host Broadcast for First Time on ESPN2
The annual event takes place Saturday, August 29th at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow, NY, from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m to kick-off the 2015 US Open, which runs from August 31st – September 13th.
From 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., families can enjoy an exciting array of free tennis games geared toward kids, plus live music and attractions taking place throughout the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Inside Arthur Ashe Stadium from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., the live tennis and music show will feature fun exhibition matches and skills competitions with Novak Djokovic and Marin Cilic as well as musical performances by Bea Miller, Kalin and Myles, Natalie La Rose, Jacob Whitesides and American Authors. Additional participants will be announced in the coming weeks.
Stadium show tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster (1-866-OPEN-TIX),www.usopen.org and at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center box office. American Express is the official card of Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. General admission promenade tickets cost $10 and loge tickets are $25. Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day will be broadcast nationally by ESPN2 on Sunday, August 30, from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (ET).
POP MUSIC BREAKOUTS BEA MILLER, KALIN AND MYLES, NATALIE LA ROSE AND JACOB WHITESIDES, ALONG WITH CHART-TOPPERS AMERICAN AUTHORS TEAM-UP WITH TENNIS SUPERSTARS NOVAK DJOKOVIC AND REIGNING MEN’S SINGLES US OPEN CHAMPION MARIN CILIC.
World’s Preeminent Tennis & Music Festival Kicks-Off 2015 US Open at
With all of the news about local NJ beaches filled with shark sightings, killer jellyfish, riptides and bacteria, it’s time to look for a family friendly alternative. I have just the right place for your next family getaway – a lake!
I put a list together for you of the top 10 lakes to visit to cool off and relax in the sand this scorching hot Summer!
Lake passes are half off until end of season! free admission for children under 2 yrs old. Picnic tables and grill available for rent at $8/day. Open 11am-6am weekdays.
2. Atsion Lake – Route 206 Shamong (Burlington County) 609-268-0444
Historic Batsto Village is also located within Wharton State Forest, a former bog iron and glassmaking industrial center from 1766 to 1867 that currently reflects the agricultural and commercial enterprises that existed here during the late 19th century. Fees are: Weekdays $5, Weekends $10.
As a child I would enjoy splashing in Lake Hopatcong an remember having so much fun doing water sports. I tried water skiing and would frequently take rides across the lake in my uncles boat. There are tons of things to do at Lake Hopatcong as it’s NJ’s largest lake! You can enjoy water sport rentals, or swim off of the docks.
Parents and older children will be swept away by Tomahawk Lake’s wide variety of incredible water slides and rides to choose from such as their 400 foot body slides and speed slide, swan boats, duck boats, paddle boats and bumper boats, the one-person water coaster, Trolley slide and their awesome Rocky Mountain slide that spans over 500 feet!
Swimming is permitted in Hooks Creek Lake from Memorial day weekend through Labor Day weekend while lifeguards are on duty. Visitors will find a beach complex containing changing area, restrooms, a first-aid station and a concession offering refreshments, novelties and beach supplies. Inner tubes, rafts and other flotation devices are not permitted in the swimming area. Only Coast Guard approved life jackets are permitted. Pets are prohibited on the beach. $5 Weekdays, $10 Weekends.
I can tell you how to get, how to get to SESAME PLACE!
It’s 100 Sesame Road Langhorne, PA 19047
(photo via Sesameplace.com)
We have been going to Sesame Place since my oldest was just 2 years old. I remember finding out that the one and only Sesame Place in the country is only 45 minutes from my Central New Jersey home in Langhorne,Pennsylvania and wondering why I have never heard of it before. It’s a fairy tale land for children and adults alike. Characters walk all over and frequently stop to take photos with the children, There are 2 to 3 parades per day, and multiple shows within a few different venues going on all day. Not only are there visually stimulating things for children an adults to enjoy, did you know it is a water park? That is one of the most enjoyable features for our family.
There is ample parking the the lot directly across from the theme park. It is a bit pricey at $17, but keep in mind it is all day parking, and very convenient. You can pay a bit extra an get an even closer spot, or if you’re a season pass member, parking is included.
One thing to know when entering the park, is that you ARE allowed to bring in snacks and drinks in reasonable amounts. You can bring in a small cooler, and toddler snacks. They check your bags at the front gate to make sure you’re not bringing in anything not allowed into the park, like weapons or pepper sprays, so be prepared to have everything ready to be searched so that it goes faster for you.
After you get through the front gate. our first stop is getting a locker, which is located directly to the left of the gift shop. Lockers are, I believe, $16 for the day, plus a $3 refundable deposit, which isn’t too bad. It fits a lot of stuff although they look really small. I always bring my sons stroller, an that holds more stuff I need to keep with me like towels and juice so I don’t have to carry them. There is stroller parking near all of the attractions, so no need to worry about that,
We really enjoy the Teeny Tiny Tidal wave pool and it’s usually one of our first destinations after entering the park and getting a locker. It has an adorable large Ernie face that has kids in awe. The pool itself goes from about 1″ to 2 feet deep, and is large enough for your child to fun around and splash. They do provide life vests for free of charge throughout the park for use. Although they are not required for this area, some parents feel more at ease with their child wearing one, so just know they ARE there hung up next to the lifeguard in the second section of the pool by the sprinkler. This are is perfect for little ones and toddlers. There are chairs that are available to lounge out on as well in this section.
One thing I never noticed until my most recent trip this month, is the train cars to the left of the Teeny Tiny Tidal wave pool (directly under the giant duck water slide). The mix an match twiddle tracks. They are adorable hand propelled train type cards on a metal track. They are colorful and follow a small track through a tunnel. Tucked away in the corner, there are tables where parents can watch their children safely enjoy this attraction. My 3 year old is so into trains he has a blast in this small area an didn’t want to leave it!
Another first for us during this trip was riding the Sky Splash. There’s no missing this attraction. It is huge and has a large 8ft tall Rubber Ducky on top of it. The kids were too small in the past to all go on it, so we held off but during this visit we all walked up the 6 flights of stairs (yes it IS a hike!) and fit into the 8 person tube with a 1 year old, a 3 year old, two 7 year olds, and my aunt and I. The little ones all had a blast! One thing I must tell you, because they don’t tell you on the ride is HOLD ON! There are sections of the ride where I was literally bumped out of my seat and me and my 3 year old tumbled over. Luckily, we were OK, but someone can get hurt on this if not sitting properly. There was a slight look of terror on my little ones face but he let out the largest scream when we got to the bottom and yelled “Woohoo we did it!”. I wish I ha video of it. We did opt to go on it one more time and my little one was NOT in favor of this. He put up a fight but he enjoyed it after all was said and done.
The next area we hit was Cookie’s Monster Land. This is where all of the dry attractions are and we always have a blast. There are so many kid friendly rides, and also a toddler area where parents can take a moment to relax. There is a bouncy bridge castle above that older children can run across and bounce on while the little ones are in an enclosed safe area with foam blocks to build and tunnels to explore.
Most of the rides in this area children over 42″ can ride alone, but I still went on whatever I could with them. My 3 year old was obsessed with the flying Elmo Fish since he loves planes. He made me go on it over and over!My 7 year old and 7 year old nephew went on the large swing and loved them. They went on it twice actually. That was the great thing about going on a weekday, there were no lines!!!
There are multiple places to eat at Sesame Place, and usually we choose Elmo’s Eatery. You get a cute souvenir plate an cut with each kids meal. I always get a kids meal too because it’s a little pricey and the kid’s meal is more then enough for me. There is the Dine with me area, but we haven’t done that yet although you can find deals online for it sometimes. Also, if you’re a season pass holder, I think it’s included or deeply discounted.
Just like other theme parks, there are face painting stations, balloons, gift shops, caricature stations, and stands to play. Here is hubby ecstatic about his caricature he got of himself LOL! This was 5 years ago an it still graces his walls.
After eating, we went to the Elmo Live show. This is the same show I’ve seen numerous times, but every time it keeps the children captivated! It is so adorable to see the kids have fun at their own little concert. Dancing in front of the stage and singing along to songs they know like ABC’s and 123’s. I have seen other shows here as well over the years including Hip Hop Harry, The Imagination Movers, and Elmo Rocks. They have multiple venues and show times and you can check out any special shows at Sesameplace.com because if they’re special shows other then the normal ones, they’re an extra fee usually online like $10 but you do have to reserve a seat usually.
Lastly, the parade! You’ll want to set up a bit before the parade to get a close up seat. Usually people will start laying own their towels or planting their strollers along the main street an hour before, The parade is adorable with all of the characters coming up to greet the children, a screen showing the crowd, and even sometimes pulling children into the parade to complete a dance number or sing along. The theme this year is Birthday Party since it’s Sesame Place’s 35th Birthday Anniversary. They even replaced the character shrubs at the entrance with a huge birthday cake.
Bring sunscreen and flip flops/sandals! It is very sunny and the blacktop is all over and very very hot.
Bring your camera!
Check out online discounts before you go. It is ALWAYS cheaper to order online then at the gate.
Get a 2 Day pass at minimum. It’s only about $10 more and includes another day of fun making each visit basically 50% off! Trust me, you WILL want to go back.
Bring a hat for little ones to keep the sun out of their eyes so they can see the fun stuff without the glare.
Wear comfortable clothes/cover ups. Most people just walk around in their bathing suits.
Fun Fact; Sesame Place has a Sunny Day Guarantee and if it rains for an hour or more consecutively during your visit, they will give you a pass to return!
Don’t be fooled by the name. Parents will have just as much fun as the kids!!
Right now, you can get a ticket for just $35 online for Sesame Place’s 35th Birthday! This is good from July 27-7/30!
iPlay America hosts: Marvel Avengers: HYDE and Seek!
My kids and I love the Marvel Avengers so we are super excited to check out their live show at iPlay America in August! It is a 30 minute show with lessons to be taught to young kids. Everything you’d expect from Marvel with all of the fun you’d expect from iPlay America. The show is included with the purchase of an iRide Pass. If you’ve never been to iPlay America, there is no admission fee to enter, and they have affordable play packages. Credits never expire, an there is fun for everyone from laser tag, to bumper cars, to even iKidz soft play for the smaller ones. From the moment you step in, you’ll be in awe!
Lucky for you, I am giving away not one, but FOUR (4) iRide Passes for Sunday August 2nd which include the Marvel Avengers show at 3pm! Enter from 7/9-7/16, and tweet daily for your best chance to win! Remember, you can enter for yourself OR for a family member or friends! Goodluck!
S.H.I.E.L.D agents Black Widow and Commander Stryker find themselves outmatched when the Green Goblin develops a serum that increases his intelligence, size and strength. Calling upon Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers, the team thwarts the Green Goblin’s diabolical plans by tricking him into reversing his formula — making him smaller than he ever was and as weak as a kitten. Spider-Man joins the fun as Ant Man and Captain America team up to prove that “good always overcomes evil,” no matter what size. The positive message is that it’s never the size of the opponent, it’s simply the size of your heart. Stryker inducts Spider-Man as an honorary member of S.H.I.E.L.D and The Mighty Avengers!
“Our fans expect the latest and best shows from us. They love the Marvel experience, so we’re hosting another action-packed show that will thrill young girls and boys,” said Jessica Schwartz, director of marketing for iPlay America. “The bonus is that families can use the ride passes anytime — before the show, after the show, or even on a separate visit to iPlay America!”
Children and parents are invited to come dressed as their favorite super heroes. General admission tickets are FREE with the purchase of a Super Hero iRide Pass for $14.95 or a Super Hero Plus Pass for $27.95 that includes a $10 game card. The ride passes and game cards are valid up to 90 days after the show. Those who purchase the Super Hero Plus Pass may also add a meet and greet for $9.95. Tickets may be purchased below (be sure to enter the giveaway above for your chance to win FREE passes!);
Spring Break is fast approaching and if you haven’t made plans with the kids yet, I have just the place!
I had a chance to check out some of the new exhibits at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City NJ with #JerseyMomsMedia over the weekend. I have been there many times with my boys who are 2 and 7 and every time we go it’s like a brand new experience.
The main focus of the event was the new Sesame Street Presents “The Body” Exhibit. This exhibit is included with purchase to the museum, but hurry, it is only open Jan 24th – May 3rd 2015!
Children can interact with different stations featuring their favorite characters from the TV show. It includes everything you’d expect from Sesame Street that has kids loving to learn. The best part about this exhibit, as with all exhibits at the LSC is that they are learning so much by simply playing.
The different sections within the exhibit are;
“Your Insides” – This includes Counts Organ Organ which teaches children about their body organs through interactive music including pumping a heart. Digestion with Oscar shows what happens to their food once they eat it (ewwwww I know but they loved it!), and Oscars Sneeze Machine which is a humongous nose that sneezes when irritated.
“Your Outsides” – This includes Your Wonderful Hands which features hands on activities such as puzzles, shadow puppets, and sign language games.Your Legs and Feet is another part of this section and it shows kids what happens when you put your legs in motion! The last part of this section is the Use Your Head area, a play along question and answer show about the parts of the head.
“Staying Healthy” – This was a favorite with my boys. In this section they learn to make smart food choices and get plenty of physical activity and sleep. Ernie and Rubber Ducky get kids started in the “Rub-A-Dub Tub” and children can scan food and learn about healthy meals.
They get to meet “Goldie” Elmo’s goldfish that is always featured in the how, they can dress Elmo using magnetic parts, and the sections my boys enjoyed the most was the food stations. There is a supermarket and a diner that they were able to shop, and then sell the food at the counter!
After The Body Exhibit, right next door we went to the Beyond the Rubik’s Cube exhibit.
The LSC Debuted the Beyond The Rubik’s Cube on April 24th 2014 to mark the 40th anniversary of the world’s best puzzling toy. It will be available to the public to check out within the LSC until April 16th 2015. My 2 year old immediately gravitated to the hands on area where kids and adults can build with oversized blocks of the rubik’s cube. There is a wooden stationary piece where you can align them by color, or just build towers.
There is a section of the Rubik’s cube exhibit called the Inspire Zone which is home to the one-of-a-kind,18 Karat gold, jewel-encrusted fully functional Rubik’s Cube.This is the world’s most expensive toy estimated to be worth $2.5 Million and is amazing to see! My 7 year old loved using the up-side-down goggles and trying to catch the Rubik’s Cube plush! It was really silly and he was amazed at how he couldn’t see it coming right at him when he had the goggles on.
Another favorite at the LSC is the animals. It’s a small area, but it features so much!The Tamerin Monkey’s are by far the cutest little animals I’ve ever seen! Head over and check them out when you’re there! My 2 year old favors the large puffer fish, and my 7 year old is into the turtles and lizards. They have daily feeling shows and alternate the animals the show during the shows. Grab a show time listing online before going so you make sure to visit them!
Right outside of the animal exhibit is the AMAZING Infinity Climber which is one-of-a-kind in all aspects! Check out my previous review on the Infinity Climber in detail (http://wp.me/p4qZon-4c). No matter how many times we see it, I am always amazed!
Just take a look!
The view from the 2nd floor;
I have to say, from personal experience, it is a bit hard to contort your body to fit through some of the sections, but as long as you’re flexible, you should be OK. I went in with my 6 year old son, and overall, we were inside for a good 15 minutes. I got out after 10 minutes, and he stayed in to conquer the top section of the climber which is just level with floor #4. I thought he may be a little scared of the height, being that it is 35 feet above the floor, but he didn’t mention it at all and flew through the “maze” inside. He was all smiles!
The Infinity climber could not have come to life at a better time. Children of all ages are in love with Spiderman, and with this exhibit, they’re as close as they can get to being Spiderman in his web.
“The World’s First Suspended Climbing Play Space of its kind.”
The view from the 3rd floor;
That is no small feat. We had to test this out ourselves to see just what was to offer. The Exhibit is 35 feet off above the atrium floor, so the children can look down on onlookers who are watching them climb as well, adding that special feeling of everyone seeing them doing something cool. The wire mesh is there to secure the climbing exhibit but still allow the children to feel that they’re suspended in the air. From within the climber the children can see multiple levels of the science center which is a plus!
As always with the Liberty Science Center, the NYC Skyline is just a step outside of the door. This is true with the Infinity Exhibit as well, you can go right through the doors a few feet away and check out the sky scrapers to take a break once you’re done climbing!
There are so many activities going on around the LSC that are hands on for kids. We got to make BLOOD!The kids learned about the blood in their bodies and what it’s made up out of. The kids really enjoyed this!
We had such a great time and I look forward to going back and checking out the IMAX and 3D movies! I loved them when I was a child on school field trips and I know my children will as well! The IMAX Dome does have age restrictions that children 6 and under cannot go in.
Liberty Science Center Address & Phone;
222 Jersey City Blvd, Jersey City, NJ 07305