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September to Remember Giveaway Hop with Whistlefritz!

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Learning a second language with Whistlefritz is fun!

Learning a second language at a young age can play a key role in a child’s academic achievements which can help them immensely as they mature.

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According to the Cornell Language Acquisition Lab, “Learning a second language does not cause language confusion, language delay or cognitive deficit, which have been concerns in the past.”

Studies indicate immersion via learning and hearing. Eventually, if they are able to master speaking a new language, it may be the best way for kids to pick up new words and increase their chances of becoming bilingual.

Whistlefritz is an awarding program that uses language immersion so your child can learn how to speak Spanish or French! It was created after Founder, Heidi Stock set out on a mission to find a fun yet educational teaching materials for her children to learn a new language. She quickly realized that most programs solely featured cartoons and didn’t feature live speakers for children to watch the movement of their lips. Not finding what she wanted, Heidi decided to create it herself!

Whistlefritz’s programs allow kids to join a group of lovable characters. The set includes the animated mouse Fritzi, the animated mouse who whisks you on an adventure with her other colorful friends to learn another language! The combination of live-action, animation, and lively music makes the programs as entertaining as they are educational. Children will learn their second language through Whistlefritz the same way they learned their first language: through words used in context by live speakers in engaging games, well thought out skits and catchy music.

Whistlefritz’s collections include DVDs, flashcards and worksheets that are available in Spanish and French.

Enter to win a DVD and CD from Whistlefritz in Spanish or French, A 45 Value!

Click to enter:

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Back to school with Honeysticks Natural Beeswax Crayons – Giveaway Hop over 60 giveaways!

Welcome to the Back to school giveaway hop! Hosted by the kids did it and the mommy island.

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Enter now to win a pack of Hona $10 Amazon gift card to get you started on back to school supplies this 2019/2020 school year

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Honeysticks Crayons are handmade in New Zealand with 100% pure beeswax, so they are safer for children of all ages. This sustainable process causes minimal impact on the environment and gives the crayons a wonderful honey scent. Our unique chubby crayons are easy for small hands to hold, but much harder to break!  Let your little ones express their inner artist with a stunning range of twelve eye catching, non-toxic crayon colours.

Potato Fennel Soup Recipe

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This is one of my all time favorite soups! Believe it or not, it was a mistake recipe when I attempted making the recipe a friend had given my from her Ecuadorian mother-in-law.

It was an awesome mistake and I’ve made it over and over again since then. I’ve tweaked it a bit since, and probably because I keep forgetting exactly what I used in the ingredients but that’s why I’m writing this post and documenting the recipe this time! There’s one major issue I have with this soups and that’s that there is never enough! It’s too good I want an endless supply lol.

The biggest mistake I used with the initial recipe was star anise. I thought her recipe called for Anise seeds, and looking all over I only found star anise so I grabbed it. I was told the oil would turn red, and it wasn’t and then realized it was supposed to be annatto seeds which are VERY hard to find in stores and had to be purchased online in a big bottle.

That was an amazing mistake though because although I didn’t get the red tinted and flavor I was wanting, the anise added amazing flavor to it.  Anise is fennel family, and super healthy too.

I tried making it again and bought actual anise which I boiled and emulsified and well… it’s just amazing and I’m going to show you the ingredients and steps below…

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Add some vegetable oil to a large stock pot, and add some seeds. Simmer on low or they’ll burn and POP right out of the pot (watch your eyes!) Those sucker’s hurt when they hit you soaked in hot oil.

Simmer just until they heat up and the oil turns bright reddish orange then fish out all of the seeds from the oil and discard because they aren’t supposed to be consumed they’re just for flavor.

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Chop up a quarter of the anise or fennel body (the white part), some scallions, and some green onion whites.

Add to the boiling oil and simmer until they start to get alittle tender. Then add in some vegetable stock about halfway up the pot and bring to a boil.

Then peel and chop up about 5 small red potatoes into small pieces that we will be adding to the pot to boil along with the anise and other root veggies we added.

Bring to a boil for 30 minutes.  You need the potatoes and veggies to be tender enough to use an emulsion hand blender and blend into a soup consistency.

The emulsion hand blender I have I got at my local grocery store and it was maybe $30 at most but so worth it!

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Blend all of the ingredients in the pot until smooth broth.  The more potatoes you add initially the thicker it’ll be but I like it too be thin for this soup.  This mends all of you the boiled ingredients together into a nice flavorful broth.  At this point I usually add a bit of salt and pepper and also 2 scoops of sour cream before blending.

Then add additional cut up cubed peeled potatoes that will stay whole pieces in the soup.

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Simmer the potatoes in the broth for another 20-25 minutes until potatoes are tender.  I also add some of the leaves from the anise as well for flavor and looks.

When done, put a large hunk of 5 blend Italian shredded cheese or mozzerella in a bowl and pour soup over it.

This is the #1 must have ingredient to make this soup one of the most addicting soups I’ve ever had.

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*tip, you can omit the Annatto seeds all together, or add less for less of an orange color.  Also you can add some milk to the soup to adjust flavor or texture as needed.

Enjoy!

If you made it, let me know what you think!

 

 

Is Hello Fresh Worth It?

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Let me start off by saying this isn’t a sponsored post and I was not asked to review this by Hello Fresh. I’ve been getting Hello Fresh for quite some time now, so I figured others may be curious if it’s worth it for their families, and well, to see what’s in the box.

And how do they keep it from spoiling before it gets to you? Well, better said than read, so check out my thoughts on Hello Fresh this week…

The meats: Chicken, Ground Beef, & Pork Tenderloin.

Hello Fresh usually has some of the best tasting meats around.  Their spice packets and meat quality is why almost all of their recipes are fantastic and it keeps me coming back for more.

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Here is the first recipe that I cooked and promised to show. These were the bagged ingredients for this meal:

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Cheddar Chicken Fajitas: 30 min recipe

Figgy Balsamic Pork: 30 minute recipe

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The beef I received was an off color than usual and I was surprised as I never had a meat issue with them although I have received some old veggies. I’m still not convinced it’s spoiled, but rather be safe than sorry especially since I’m sick and congested right now so I can’t use the smell test.

I contacted them through the chat in the app and was given a credit back which was really helpful.  It’ll apply towards my next order.  For now, I plan to buy some beef from the store and cook up three Spaghetti Ragu as intended. Stay tuned!

Spaghetti Beef Ragu: 30 minutes

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Want to give it a try?

Save $40 off of your first box! Unlimited option choices and add on features too. With this deal your first order of 3 meals is less than $20 including shipping.

They do set you up for a monthly subscription (card required) but you can easily skip and unskip weeks if you stay on top of it like I do (you can skip up to 5 weeks in a row in one shot, even more once they open up the week. It’s like a set it and forget it). OR you can cancel immediately after your box delivers but I do enjoy getting them when I feel like it, so I keep mine going.

What else is in the box? I promised I’d share, so here is what’s in the envelope this week.  It changes weekly, and although I like to look, I’ve never actually gotten any of the items they’re trying to sell.  One subscription is enough for me a week lol!

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Easy Online Will Making by Trust & Will

Ahhh.. Creating a will. One of the last things you ever want to do. Not only is it time consuming and a bunch of legal terms, but it is also talking about your possibly timely or untimely demise and something we really do not want to talk or think about. The fact is, it’s important. Especially if you have children.

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I have been following the Dave Ramsey program for a little over a year now, and one of the things he preaches is the benefits of having a Will.

Many of us, when we think of a Will, we think of old age and how we will divvy up our belongings to our loved ones. The fact of the matter is, a Will is much more than that, and anyone over the age of 18, especially anyone with a child or children need to start thinking about their Will now. Even better, don’t just think about it, get it done.

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A Will is there in case something were to happen to you to let your children go to whom you wish. Without a written, legal Will, there is a long process with the state in which probate court will need to be involved to decide the fate of where your children go. And who knows where they’ll wind up in the mean time…

There is an easy to use online program that literally makes creating a will a 10 minute thing. You can go to Trust & Will  and create a Trust, a Will, or just a document to specificity the guardians of your children should something ever happen to you and/or your spouse. You can do all 3 in one document for a discount as well.

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What’s the benefits of each? They break it down simply for you below;

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Once you have the document completed, you can choose to print it yourself, or to have the documents sent to you (or both). You have to get it notarized in order for it to become a legal document, so you’ll need a physical copy no matter what.

That seems to be the biggest issue for people, finding the right place or the time to get the documents officiated and notarized. Luckily, if you have a UPS store by you, you’re in luck. Simply go to their website and click services. You’ll see a notary public section where you can make an appointment. I found it extremely convenient that they have weekend appointments. All in all it should take no more than 30 minutes. And bonus? They provide the signature witnesses as well which is another annoyance to find witnesses available yourself.

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I was skeptical of it only taking 10 minutes, but honestly it did. It is such a simple process and my husband and I are happy to have this crossed off of our “adulting” to-do-list.

*Disclosure: I was provided product in order to review the item and give you my opinion of it.

Diggerland Construction Amusement Park

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Over the weekend myself, my kids, my aunt, my niece and nephew visited Diggerland in West Berlin, NJ. It is a bit of a drive from Central NJ, about 1 and a half hours, but it is well worth it and an easy trip right up the NJ Turnpike to exit 4.

This is a dream come true for any child who has a thing for construction. Even though my boys were never into it much, they had huge smiles on their faces all day!

It is toddler friendly, there are many things they can do even if they do not meet some of the ride height requirements because many allow for an accompanying adult, so although they cannot go alone if they do not meet the requirement, they can still ride the ride and enjoy all of the experiences.

One thing to note is that when we went, on a Saturday, it was not at all too crowded which I loved. The kids only had short waits in the lines for the rides and activities. That means a lot to me. Especially on a hot Summer day, nothing is worse than standing in a long line with the sun beaming down on you and cranky hot kids. That is not the case here, so feel free to go on a weekend if that is when you’re free.

Let’s check out some of the awesome things we saw and did during our visit this June;

RUGGED RIDERS –

The kids absolutely loved this! As long as they’re 48″ or taller they get to drive the RTV themselves, yes by themselves! There is a track that you go around twice. My 11 year old did it all by himself, and I went on with my 7 year old just for the ride, but he did all of the driving and steering. The smiles on their faces were priceless.

Driver Minimum Height 48″, Minimum rider height when accompanied by parents/guardian: 42″

Ride or drive the comfortable and versatile off-road Kubota RTV-900. Weighing almost 2000 lbs and with 21.6 HP, the ease of using the Rugged Riders might surprise you.  Read all about the release of this new ride in the press release.

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BIG DIGGERS –

This was another hit with our kids. Actually operating the construction machinery. The REAL, big, construction machines. They had digging pits filled with dirt set up and the kids get to dig away. The machines are set on a few minute timer, but again, there were not many long lines or waits so they were able to go on as many times as they’d like. I was amazed at how easily they all figured out how to operate them and maybe they are some construction workers in the making!

Operator minimum height: 42″ | Lap rider must be: 36″ – 48″

Learn to operate a real digger! Weighing in at a whopping 7,092 pounds, and with a powerful 26.8hp engine, kids can dig until their hearts are content on the JCB 8030’s. This supervised attraction offers family-friendly machinery and the chance to really get down and dirty!

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MINI DIG: DUCKS

Similar to the Big Diggers attraction above, they got to operate the real machinery and in this case, had some arcade like games with it. There were different ones set up, some to pick up a row of ducks and see how many you can get in the limited time (maybe 2 minutes or so) and a bowling setup of “pins” to try and knock over in the same amount of time. Again, I was impressed how quickly the kids picked up how to operate it. My 11 year old got almost all of the ducks (except 1) in the time frame and I had watched adults do it prior to him, only getting 1 or 2, so I was impressed. It was fun to watch. Adults are welcome to join in on all of the fun including these game and verse your children or eachother.

Operator minimum height: 42″ | Lap rider must be: 36″ – 48″

Snatch floating ducks from a pond with a JCB 8018 CTS mini-excavator! At 2,200 rpms with its piston-driven motor, grabbing all the ducks from our pond is not as easy as it looks!

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MINI DIG: BOWLERS

Operator minimum height: 42″ | Lap rider must be: 36″ – 48″

No special shoes required for this game of EXTREME bowling! Your “bowling ball” is attached to the arm of a JCB 8018 mini-excavator! Manipulate the arm and see if you can knock down all of the pins! Sounds easy—but not when you’re controlling over two tons of steel!

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DIG-A-ROUND –

This is the more awesome version of the carousel that you’re used to. Instead of riding on a horse, the kids get to sit in actual cranes that have been made into a fun ride we all know and love. Is this a kids dream or what?

Minimum height 36” to ride

Half merry-go-round, half excavator! The Dig-A-Round is Diggerland’s version of a carousel! Climb into the bucket of a JCB 8065 and enjoy the breeze as you are elevated and circled around this 14,515 pound 8065 excavator!

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DIGGER DERBY –

Your classic go karts, but they’re rigged to go bit slower for little ones. Easy to start and stop, the “pedals” to go are actually on the steering wheel making it easy for even the smallest of drivers to have fun.

Driver minimum height: 38″ Driver maximum height: 60″

Hop behind the wheel of one of these individual mini cars and prepare to burn some serious rubber as you operate the vehicle around our exclusive racetrack. No better way to test your speedway skills and get the adrenaline pumping! (Note:  This ride has a 38” minimum and 60” maximum height to drive)

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THE KID ZONE –

This is a cute park in the coolest rainbow colors for the kids to enjoy when they need a break from such coolness surrounding them. Slides come from every angle of the main unit, accompanied by some swings and standard park-like fun.

Children Only, No Height Requirement.

Kids have a place of their very own in the Kids’ Zone! Packed with activities to keep them busy, mom and dad can relax and know that their child is safe and having fun in a place built just for them!

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VIDEO ARCADE –

The arcade is simple and small, but packs a lot of fun. My nephew got a whopping 1800 pts to spend at the prize counter and my kids enjoyed the video games and claws. It’s a nice break from the heat, and a chance to escape the little rain we got on the day we went.

Diggerland has a full arcade center stocked with some awesome prizes! Take a break and play some Skee-Ball, air hockey, or one of the many other game systems to enjoy.

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Diggerland is open Mon-Fri 10am-6pm and Weekends 10am-7pm. Get your Tickets here or go to diggerlandusa.com.

There are many other rides that we didn’t have time to visit, 25+! Check out their site for more.  They also have tractor pulls and fun activities that vary per day.  The Elmwood park zoo was there with some animals the day we went which was a perk!

Check out our fun time:

Dads are FREE at MEDIEVAL TIMES for Father’s Day!

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What better way is there to celebrate dad than to make him feel like a king?  Treat dad like royalty this Father’s Day at Medieval Times!
Available for all shows now through June 16, Dads are FREE at Medieval Times with the purchase of one full-priced adult ticket.  Just use the code DAD19 to take advantage of this great special offer.
A special upgrade package is available for an additional $25 which includes:
  • Framed photo of dad and family
  • 25 oz souvenir glass stein with the choice of draft beer or soda
Everyone in your party does not need to upgrade to the package.  Guests can purchase packages online, by phone, or at the door.
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Beetlejuice: The Musical

Beetlejuice The Musical has been Nominated for 8 Tony Awards, including Best Musical!

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Review by Influencer Wayne Griffin; Bright and colorful, quirky and hilarious…. But “dark” all at once, as is typical of any Tim Burton work. The costumes and sets are vibrant and fun and include some very clever puppetry throughout. Where the movie’s plot centered around the newly deceased Maitland couple, the producers brilliantly adapted the stage play to focus on the grieving daughter Lydia and her journey through sadness, anger, depression and finally the acceptance of losing her mother. Touching on several delicate topics that weren’t as delicate when the 1988 movie debuted (conservatives, immigrants, pedophilia, LGBT), the producers found ways to lightheartedly poke fun and still maintain political correctness. In the end, Lydia ultimately tricks the trickster, as she goads the ultimate con-man Beetlejuice back to the Netherworld.

The writing, production and development of the play took almost six (6) years.

Prices range from $59-$179 (include a $2 facility fee). Recommended for ages 10+. Purchase tickets at https://beetlejuicebroadway.com. 

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BEETLEJUICE stars Tony Award nominee Alex Brightman (School of Rock) in the title role, Two-Time Lortel Award nominee Sophia Anne Caruso (Lazarus) as Lydia, Tony Award nominee Kerry Butler (Mean Girls) as Barbara, Tony Award Nominee Rob McClure (Honeymoon In Vegas) as Adam, Obie Award Winner Adam Dannheisser (Rock of Ages) as Charles, and Two-Time Drama Desk Award Nominee Leslie Kritzer (The Robber Bridegroom) as Delia, with Jill Abramovitz (Fiddler on the Roof) as Maxine Dean, Kelvin Moon Loh(SpongBob SquarePants) as Otho, Danny Rutigliano (Holiday Inn) as Maxie Dean, and Dana Steingold (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) as the Girl Scout, in a cast of 25 that includes Tessa Alves, Gilbert L. Bailey II, Will Blum, Johnny Brantley III, Ryan Breslin, Natalie Charle Ellis, Brooke Engen, Abe Goldfarb, Eric Anthony Johnson, Elliott Mattox, Mateo Melendez, Sean Montgomery, Ramone Owens, Presley Ryan and Kim Sava.

BEETLEJUICE is directed by two-time Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers, with an original score by Eddie Perfect, a book by Scott Brown & Emmy Award nominee Anthony King, music supervision, orchestrations and incidental music by Kris Kukul, and choreography by Connor Gallagher.

It’s showtime, folks! The ghost-with-the-most makes his Broadway debut in this edgy and irreverent musical comedy based on Tim Burton’s dearly beloved film. BEETLEJUICE tells the story of Lydia Deetz, a strange and unusual teenager whose whole life changes when she meets a recently deceased couple and a demon with a thing for stripes.  When Lydia calls on Beetlejuice to scare away anyone with a pulse, this double-crossing specter shows his true stripes, unleashing a (Nether)world of pandemonium, and the biggest sandworm Broadway has ever seen.

BEETLEJUICE features scenic design by two-time Tony Award nominee David Korins, costume design by six-time Tony Award winner William Ivey Long, lighting design by Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner, sound design by four-time Tony Award nominee Peter Hylenski, projection design by Drama Desk Award winner Peter Nigrini, puppet design by Drama Desk Award winner Michael Curry, special effects design by Jeremy Chernick, illusions by Michael Weber, hair & wig design by Charles G. LaPointe, make-up design by Joe Dulude, physical movement coordinator Lorenzo Pisoni, casting by Telsey + Company and Rachel Hoffman, CSA, dance arrangements by David Dabbon, music producing by Matt Stine, production stage manager Matthew DiCarlo, associate director Catie Davis, associate choreographer Nancy Renee Braun and line producer Jenny Gersten.

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Social Media Details:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BeetlejuiceBway/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/beetlejuicebway

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beetlejuicebway/

 

*Disclosure: This post is made possible by support from Beetlejuice. All opinions are my own.

Daily Goodie Box January 2019

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2019 is here! And that means all new, 2019 products to test! My son has been getting into doing reviews and I thought this would be fun for him.  Check out what’s in the January box in the video at the bottom!
Daily Goodie Box. It’s more than just Free Samples!
If you’re interested in any of the products in this box click the links below!
Karma Wellness Water – Immunity Booster
http://drinkkarma.com/variety/immunity-booster/
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Shrewd Food – Brickoven Pizza Protein Crisps
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Tiger Balm Active – Muscle Spray
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Rustic Maka – ILLUMINATE Activated Charcoal Whitening Tooth Powder
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CUSA Tea – Premium Instant Tea
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Blister Balm –  Protective Lip Treatment
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Liberty Science Center Winter Fun

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The Libery Science Center has transformed for Winter and has added some new EXTRA FUN attractions to keep your family having fun this Winter.

Some of the new exhibits are the Doc McStuffin’s area where kids can be kids.  They learn and play with vet-tech equipment and fantasy play areas like kitchens and houses.

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This exhibit is best for younger children, but my boys still had fun exploring the areas and trying out the fun stuff.

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Check them out thinking about being a doctor!

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The next new exhibit on the featured exhibit floor its the Sherlock Holmes area.  This is a masterpiece! Thoughtfully done, it’ll take you onei the story as if you yourself were the detective and author of the story.

I haven’t seen anything else this interactive at LSC yet, and it is worth the $10 extra per person that it’ll cost ya to enter it. (If you’re a member it is half price).

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The journey starts with you entering and learning a bit about Sherlock Holmes himself.  Then you’re handed a journal that’ll help you through the journey which is age specific.  Kids under 8 get a photo journal, while kids 8 and over get a more interactive guide.

There are stamp stations that you visit and mark your journal at each one sort of like a passport.

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You have to choose the scenarios in which you think happened in the murder mystery and if you choose the right ones, at the end you will hold up your punched out journal to a secret board and reveal the secret message.

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Very interactive and nicely done by the LSC team.  The lighting and feeling of the exhibit sets the mood av you feel like you’re really in the story! Both of my boys really enjoyed it as did I. We all said we are definitely going back there because we didn’t quite get it right the first time, so worth visiting again.

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The same attractions you know and love are still available like the super dark Touch Tunnel. My boys went in by themselves for the first time and did so good they went twice in a row! They moved this attraction with the addition of the new Microbes exhibit, but it is still very much the same though tunnel you know and love.

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The aquarium section with a wonderful view of NYC always seems to intrigue us no matter how many times we’ve been there.

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The fish just get bigger and bigger… oh, and we found Patrick Starfish!

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The “eat and be eaten” animal exhibit is like a mini zoo. There are amphibians, monkeys, and live shows. Plenty to see and fascinate you, even the resident alligator turtle is waiting!

Another favorite that is always sure to please is the 3D Dome Theater. We watched “Black Holes” and you have to see it too believe it! They have other shows going on throughout the day like sesame street and winter laser shows, so be sure to check ther calendar to get the show you want.

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(Photo via Liberty Science Center instagram.)

It is THE BIGGEST planetarium in the Western Hemisphere! How cool?!

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I suggest if you’re going to visit the LSC that you dedicate an entire day to make sure you can see everything! There is so much to see and do for all ages and is a perfect Winter activity.

There is a food court on the 2nd floor and the entire place is stroller friendly. Enjoy!

Interested in other activities at ther LSC? Check out my other posts including the infinity climber grand opening and back in time with Dino Dig.

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