I started this blog with one daughter, kept it up with the other, to spend time together doing something we enjoyed.
However, things change and people evolve. My daughters are older, busier, and not as interested in writing.
From now on this blog will be mostly mom with occasional contributions from my daughters and maybe even my husband.
Nothing else will change. We'll still focus on sharing fun places to go, fun things to do, and more, and we would  still love to hear your views too

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Candy

Me - Halloween, candy, wow! I love Halloween candy. I like just about every kind of chocolate there is except for chocolate with nuts and dark chocolate. I don't have a favorite chocolate. I particularly like Hershey's M&Ms and Reeses. I don't like all flavors of M&Ms though. I also like Starburst and Jolly Ranchers and Sour Punch Straws. I like red, pink, and orange Starburst the best. I like blue Jolly Ranchers the best. I like red Sour Punch Straws. I like lollipops. I get too many lollipops on Halloween, and then we have them the whole year. I like blue raspberries and butterscotch lollipops from Dum Dums. I also like Tootsie Pops. My favorite kind is the chocolate. I have never really had a Blow Pop.  I like Candy Corn. I like caramel. I like sucking candy. My favorite kind of sucking candy is caramel. I have never really had lifesavers. I like Laffy Taffy. I like Gobstoppers just not the yellow ones.  I didn't use to like it, but I do now. I have never tried a Jawbreaker. I like Gummies. I don't like licorce. I don't like Smarties.I don't like taffy. I like candy canes. I love candy.

Mom - I love Halloween candy a little bit too much. I especially love chocolate candy especially chocolate with caramel. My favorites are Milky Ways and Twix. I don't like dark chocolate or chocolate with fruit at all. I am not crazy about Three Musketeers or Hershey Bars but I eat them sometimes. Hershey is just not creamy. I prefer creamier chocolate. Unfortunately, I cannot stay away from chocolate. Fortunately, I do not have that probably with most other Halloween candies. I don't like gum drops or candy corn or smarties or most other non chocolate candies. The only non chocolate candies I really love are Starbursts because they are soft and juicy. I especially like the red cherry Starbursts or the pink Strawberry ones. It is funny because I don't like actual strawberries. but I do like strawberry flavored candy. I occasionally eat lollipops or sucking candy but not that often unless I have a sore throat. I like cherry, grape, caramel or butterscotch lollipops or sucking candy and if it is a Tootsie Pop I also like chocolate. However as much as I like Halloween candy I try to stay away from it as much as possible. Luckily, nowadays it is easier to do that since unlike when I was a kid and we kept our Halloween candy, the past few years, my children have sold their candy to a local dentist's  office as part of a national Halloween candy buyback program. Dentists who participate in the program buy back the Halloween candy of the kids who participate for a $1.00 a pound up to $5.00 pounds. The candy collected is donated to the troops. So my kids make a little spending money while doing a good deed for the troops and a good deed for me as well by keeping the candy out of the house and away from me. If you are interested in donating your children's candy go to halloweencandybuyback.com to find a dental office near you participating in the program. Just be aware that not all dental offices participating in the program this year will actually be buying the candy so if your kids actually want to sell their candy, you should confirm that the dental office you choose is actually paying the $1.00 a pound for the candy before you go.

And that's our view. What is your favorite Halloween candy?

Tune in tomorrow for Funny Friday.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Where-To-Go Wednesday - Yestercades

What: Yestercades

Where: 80 Broad Street
            Red Bank

Who: 7 and up

Our view: If you like games, Yestercades is the place for you. They have classic arcade games like Pac Man, Donkey Kong and Frogger. They have pinball machines. They have both newer gaming systems like, X Box, Playstation and Wii; and older gaming stations like, Atari and Genesis. They have tons of games available for each system for you to choose from and play. Even gamers who do not like video games will enjoy Yestercades. There is a whole section of board games including classic games like Clue, Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit as well as lesser know games like Lets Go Shopping, and The Babysitters Club Game. You can even trade in your old games and/or gaming systems for cash, credit, or free gaming time on the arcade floor. Otherwise, gaming time is available for $8.75 an hour plus tax or $25.00 a day plus tax. Birthday parties and other event packages are also available. Just be aware, the party room is quite a tight squeeze, Food is  a party add on and there is not a lot of it served. 3 pizzas  are served for 15 guests or 4 pizzas for 20 guests and that does not take into account any adults accompanying the children if you are having a kids party. Yestercades is open on Monday - Thursday 11:30 AM to 12:00 AM, Saturday 10:00 AM to 2:00 AM, Sunday 11:00 AM to 2:00 AM.

And that's our view. For more information go to yestercades.com or see Monday's Talking Topics.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tips for Tuesday - Books: Dr, Seuss Books for Kids and Not Since Carrie

Me- Today I am recommending Dr. Seuss books for kids. Even though they make no sense they are funny. They are a lot of fun to read. Kids love them.

Mom - Today I am recommending Not Since Carrie 40 Years of Broadway Musical Flops by Ken Mandelbaum. This book is unique because while I am sure there are many books about hits shows this one talks about that ones that you don't usually hear as much about or read as much about because they were not big hits. Some of them were notorious flops and some were not so well known at all. I  enjoy the way Mr. Mandelbaum analyzes what went wrong with each of the shows. I also like the way he points out what was good if anything about the shows as well.. Even though this book was published in 1991, it  is still an enjoyable read especially if you are a theater fan. Even if you actually saw and enjoyed any of the flops discussed in the book as I did you will still like this book.

And that's our view. Tune in tomorrow for Where-To-Go-Wednesday.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Good and Bad Things about Halloween

Me - Good and Bad Things about Halloween, wow! I like candy. Candy is not healthy. It is fun to find a Halloween costume. However, it is sometimes hard to find what you want. In school, it is fun to show your friends your costume. It is not fun to show bullies your costume and possibly be made fun of fun.  At a Halloween dance, it is fun to dance with your friends. It is not fun if there is a costume contest and you lose or if you have nobody to hang around with.  It is fun to show the parents your costume when you have a Halloween parade in school. It may be embarrassing to show parents your Halloween costume. It is fun to eat the snacks at a school Halloween party. It is not fun if there is no food you like. It is fun to trick or treat and get  lots of candy. It is not fun if you get a lot of things you don't like.  It is good there is Halloween. It is bad that it is only once a year.

Mom - I love seeing my kids in their costumes. I hate taking them to get costumes. They usually never have the costumes they originally think they want and it usually ends up being a major production. I love candy. I hate having it in the house because I can't resist it. I love seeing my kids in their Halloween parade. I hate going there because it is always crowded and when the kids are not in the school that is behind our house it is hard to find parking. This is the first year that my kids schools will not being having Halloween parades for the parents because  of the Sandy Hook school shootings last year. They didn't really have one last year either because of Superstorm Sandy. I will miss seeing the Halloween parades. I will not miss going to the Halloween parades. I love when my kids have friends to go to a Halloween dance with. I hate having to go to a Halloween dance with them when they are young. I like getting exercise by taking my kids trick or treating. I hate the monotony of going from house to house. It is too bad Halloween only comes once a year. I am glad Halloween only comes once a year.

And that's our view. Tune in tomorrow for Tips for Tuesday.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sunday Special - The Mommy MD Guides


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You can follow Mommy MD Guides on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.

Saturday Special- Puppet Shows

NOVEMBER 3rd - 17th
Sundays at 1:30PM
At Urban Stages
3 Sundays, 2 Plays, 1 Workshop, Endless Puppeting Fun!
New York: Urban Stages (Frances Hill, Founding Producing Artistic Director) is proud to continue its celebrated family programing with three Sundays filled with puppets, poetry and endless fun for the whole family. All shows begin at 1:30pm at Urban Stages (259 W 30 Street).  Tickets are $5 (kids), $10 (adults), $30 (for a family of five). Reservations are suggested by emailing urbanstagesrss@gmail.com or calling 212-421-1380.  No family will be turned away.

Sunday November 3rd @ 1:30pm  Craft, Play, Perform: Family Kickoff Day! (Ages 5-12)
The Dancing Guinea Pig: A puppet folktale from Peru.  This short puppet show is followed by a chance to work with our puppet masters to craft you own puppet and participate in a mini puppet performance!

November 10th @ 1:30pm   Blown Away By Poetry  (Ages 5-12  )
After Wendy Windstorm sneezes the poems out of Poetsville, she must embark on a journey to recover the town's lost verses.  Along the way she learns abut rhyme, alliteration, and description from a series of helpful puppet poets.  For the grand finale, young people in the audience write their own original poems, which they are then invited to perform onstage. Blown Away returns to Urban Stages after touring to BAM and Poets House last spring!  

 November 17th @ 1:30pm   Lucy's Question (Ages 7 - 12)
A brand new musical from the creators of Blown Away By Poetry.  Ten year old Lucy is on a scientific quest to find the  answer to some very big questions.  Along the way she encounters some strange fungus, a talking planet, and a host of other boggling realities.  Join in on this puppet pursuit!  

For the past 20 years Urban Stages has toured family shows throughout the New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library systems, entertaining and educating hundreds of young people. 
Now celebrating their 30th Anniversary, Urban Stages has been producing New York and World premieres on their Off-Broadway main stage and for 20 years Urban Stages' Outreach Department has commissioned plays, workshops, and musicals to tour libraries, schools, and community centers throughout the greater New York area.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Funny Friday - Aurella Explains It All


In Yiddish, My Dad said "When are you coming home?" My sister repeated it back perfectly and said "That means: 'Where are my Doras?'"


Melia asked "What does dramatic mean?"

"It means when you need to go to the bathroom go." replied Aurella.

We welcome you to share your funny stories with us. Tune in Monday for another Talking Topic.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Johnson Park Zoo

Me - The Johnson Park Zoo, wow! The Johnson Park Zoo has been around since my Mom was a kid. She used to go there a lot with her family when she was young. They used to have a bear named Monty. Now, they don't have any bears or vicious animals of any kind unless one of the bunnies turned out to be Bunnicula! LOL. My Mom said the zoo got much bigger since she was a kid. It's a lot of fun. It is really big for a small local zoo. They had turtledoves. I never saw turtledoves before. They had a lot of deer, but most zoos do. They had a real pretty fox. They had an adorable raccoon. I wish they had a pygmy marmoset.  I love pygymy marmosets. My Mom said she thinks they only had animals that would actually be found in the area where the zoo is located and pygymy marmosets would not, and that is why they didn't have one. I had a really great time, and I would like to go back sometime.

Mom - The Johnson Park Zoo is a little zoo I used to go to when I was a kid. I don't remember much about it from then. All I remember is that it was small and they had a bear named Monty. Recently, I went back there for the first time since I was kid. It was a lot bigger than I remembered and there were a lot more animals. Of course, there was no Monty the bear. In fact, there was no bears at all. The animals there were included a fox, a raccoon, rabbits, deer, pigs, goats, a pony, a horse. There were also lots of birds including an ostrich, turtle doves, hens, roosters, turkeys, and ducks. The ducks were kind of strange looking they were all dark colored except for one little patch of blue. It almost looked as if they had been painted with blue. There were also a lot of pigeons although, of course, they weren't on display. I never realized that pigeons are so pretty and colorful. There was a snack bar that I don't remember being there. Aside from food for people, you could buy food for $1 to feed the animals. We didn't buy food for us or the animals. Even though the Zoo is bigger than I remember, it is still not a very big zoo, but it is a nice little zoo.

And that's our view. What is your favorite zoo local to your area?

Tune in tomorrow for Funny Friday.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Where-To-Go Wednesday - Johnson Park and the Johnson Park Zoo

What: Johnson Park and the Johnson Park Zoo

Where: River Road
            Piscataway, NJ

Who: All Ages

Our view: A view weeks ago, we talked about county parks. A nice county park that we have been to is Johnson Park in Middlesex County, New Jersey. There are lots of things to do in Johnson Park. There are playgrounds. There are picnic areas with barbeques. Some of the picnic areas require reservation. Some do not. There are bike paths and all kinds of sport fields. There is even a zoo. The zoo has been there for many years. The mom half of this blog used to go there when she was a kid. At that time, the zoo even had a bear named Monty. Monty is long gone, and there don't seem to be any more bears at the park. However, over all, the zoo is bigger and seems to have a lot more animals than it did back then. It is not, however a huge zoo, and it is really nice starter zoo for small children who may not have the attention span for a larger zoo. There is also snack bar right near the zoo where you can buy snacks for yourselves or food to feed some of the animals. Johnson Park is along the Raritan River and there are also two ponds within the park. This is nice if you want to go fishing, but not necessarily so nice if you have small children running around. However, luckily not every place in the park is  located right next to the water. The zoo, for instance, is not near the water.  Also, while the zoo is small, the park itself is rather large and can be overwhelming if you have never been there before. If you are going some place specific there and you do not like large unfamiliar places you may want to check the on-line map before you go. All in all, Johnson Park is a fun place to spend a nice day.

And that's our view. For more information go to http://co.middlesex.nj.us/parksrecreation/johnson.asp. For more about the Johnson Park Zoo see tomorrow's Talking Topics post.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tips for Tuesday - Apps and Web-Sites: Jelly Jump an Amazon.com

Me - Today I am recommending Jelly Jump. Jelly Jump is a really fun game where you pretend to be a Jelly. There are lots of fun levels, and it is really fun.

Mom - Today I am recommending amazon.com. You can find just about anything you want and have it shipped to your house instantly. Also, they have excellent customer service. I have had reason to be in touch with their customer service many times for a variety of reasons, and I cannot recall a time when whatever issue I was having was not resolved quickly and satisfactorily. Amazon definitely makes my life easier in a lot of ways.

And that's our view. Tune in tomorrow for Where-To-Go Wednesday.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Park

Me - I like to go to the park. I like to play at the playground at the park.My Mom doesn't like to go that much. She gets bored. Sometimes, my Mom and my sister talk while I play. Sometimes, my sister plays too. I like to go to the park at the school right behind my house Whenever, school is out, we are allowed to go there. I went to that school for the first time last year. My sister went for  five years. She goes to a different school now. She is kind of bored with that park already because she was in the school for so long. I like it though. It has a really nice playground. I have a lot of fun there.When I was little, I took classes at the county parks. My Mom and I would sometimes have picnic lunches. If we had time, I would get to play. That was fun.  Sometimes, I get bored at the park, but over all, I love it.*

*The above is a guest post by little sister, Aurella, as dictated to Mom.

Mom - When the kids, were young we used to go to the park a lot. Now, we don't go as much. Of course, we don't have as much time when they are in school all day. I like to go to the park because the kids like it and have fun there. I also don't like to go. The weather is rarely just right. It is either too hot or too cold or too breezy or something. Also, I don't like to go because when I am there I would like to just sit on a bench and read a book and enjoy the day too. However, I have to watch my kids because even though they are getting older, I feel guilty if I am not watching them. You never know what can happen. Since they are older and they do not need me as much at the park, and usually luckily nobody gets hurt or anything, it is pretty boring just sitting or standing there at the park watching. If we are there with friends, I can talk to other adults, and it is not as boring. However, if we are there by ourselves, it is fun for the kids but boring for me.

And that's our view. What do you like to do at the park?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Saturday Special - Historic Philadelphia - Announcement of New Holiday Light Show for Franklin Square



PHILADELPHIA, October 10, 2013 – Historic Philadelphia, Inc. announces a brand new holiday nighttime light show to debut in Franklin Square for the 2013 holiday season. Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle: A Holiday Light Show is a new tradition for the holidays sparked by Benjamin Franklin’s imagination and will be the key to fun in Franklin Square this season. Funded by a grant from the William Penn Foundation, the Show will bring visitors to Franklin Square throughout November and December to experience one of Philadelphia’s most popular public spaces.  Providing an original twist on typical holiday light shows, Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle is designed specifically for the Franklin Square space, incorporating an electric 10-foot tall kite and key, highlighting Benjamin Franklin’s famous electricity discovery in his namesake Square, and thousands of lights programmed to winter-themed music.  Media and the public are invited to the Opening Night of Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle: A Holiday Light Show at 5 pm on Thursday, November 14, 2013.  Benjamin Franklin will ignite the light show in grand style for this illuminating new tradition.

Celebrations Throughout the Square and Season
Winter time fun will envelop all of Franklin Square to celebrate the holiday season from November 14 – December 31, culminating in the traditional family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration.  Other additions to the season will be holiday music playing on the Parx Liberty Carousel, warming stations in Philly Mini Golf and seasonal fare.  The centerpiece attraction will be Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle: A Holiday Light Show, the free light show that will illuminate the Square nightly.  The Square’s nighttime magic will begin at 4 pm, with the first showing of Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle igniting at 4:30 pm. The light show will create holiday charm in the Square on every half hour every evening (weather permitting) from November 14 – December 31, 2013.   Eight shows will run each night, with the first one at 4:30 pm and final show at 8 pm.  Two different seven-minute shows will alternate throughout the evening.  Special attractions, guests, and holiday traditions including Hannukah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa will all add to the celebration.  Promotional partners who will provide entertainment and family activities throughout the season include Christ Church, African American Museum in Philadelphia, National Museum of American Jewish History, and the Arden Theatre Company. Look out for special VIPs to countdown the Show throughout the season.

Take a festive train ride around the Square with the Lightning Bolt Holiday Express to enjoy the sights of the season. Tickets are $5 adults/$4 children. The Lightning Bolt Holiday Express comes to Franklin Square on Saturdays and Sundays, November 16 - December 29 from 4 - 8 pmSanta Claus will be in Franklin Square with free appearances on Friday, November 29, and Santa Saturdays, November 30 – December 21 from 4 - 7 pm.  B101 is the radio partner for Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle.  B101 Buzzbee and the B Crew will make appearances with a varying schedule of fun to the Square including music, balloon animals, and games. Visit historicphiladelphia.org for a complete list of all special events and activities.

Amy Needle, President and CEO of Historic Philadelphia, Inc., said, “At Historic Philadelphia, Inc., we know that young and old from around the region have come to love Franklin Square in the summer, fall, and spring. Thanks to the support of the William Penn Foundation, we are expanding our operation into the winter season and hope that guests from the entire Greater Philadelphia region will join us for this new holiday tradition.”

Fun Facts
Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle: A Holiday Light Show will boast over 50,000 lights.  The display will feature a sculptural kite flying high above the fountain reenacting Benjamin Franklin’s famous electricity experiment. LED lights will dance to music down a custom 250-foot sculpted kite string and hundreds of feet of holiday garlands, which will cover the Square.  The historical Franklin Square Fountain will be incorporated into the show with programmed LEDs under water, adding a magical flair.  The displays will utilize over 10 miles of copper wire, and a sound system that will play over 4000 watts of holiday music. The show operates on the typical power available in a U.S. home and takes almost two weeks to program by hand.  The programmer’s mouse traveled the equivalent of over 3 miles to set all the cues and blinks for the Spectacle.

With the brand new light show and the heated Pavilion in Franklin Square, holiday parties in the Square will be the city’s newest hot spot for 2013.  The 36-foot by 36-foot Pavilion, opened in 2012 is climate-controlled, or in nicer weather, all of the French doors can open to take advantage of the Square’s setting.  The Pavilion can be rented for holiday and birthday parties, corporate events, and special events, by reaching out to historicphiladelphia.org/franklin-square/plan-a-party/. 

New Year’s Eve
The Franklin Square Kids’ New Year’s Eve Countdown is a family-friendly version of the famous New Year’s Eve celebration with a dropping “square” in lieu of the famous ball.  Families are invited to enjoy music and crafts beginning at 3 pm on December 31 in Franklin Square.  The event culminates with an exciting countdown to 6 pm with the lowering of the New Year’s Eve Square from its perch high above SquareBurger.  Guests have a great view of the Penn’s Landing 6 pm fireworks from the Square. (FREE) The Square Drop, which started in 2010, has become a delightful family tradition which includes family fun and fireworks.  The 2-foot by 2-foot cube sits 30 feet above the ground atop its perch on SquareBurger and is lowered during the countdown. It contains over 1,200 lights in the colors of the Franklin Square logo.  Kids can enjoy dancing and music in the Pavilion in Franklin Square after the fireworks, and the park will remain open until 8 pm, with the final showing of Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle: A Holiday Light Show. (Note, there will not be a 6 pm showing of Electrical Spectacle as the Square Drop and fireworks will happen at 6 pm. All other showings will take place as scheduled.)

The new attraction is being produced by Historic Philadelphia, Inc., the non-profit organization that manages and operates Franklin Square.  The display was designed by Parker 3D of Scotch Plains, New Jersey. The team was led by creative director John Carter whose holiday window designs have been seen in Lord and Taylor, Macy’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue among others.  Mr. Carter was named by the New York Times Magazine as one of 30 artists most likely to change culture for his environmental interactive sculpture.  The final concept was developed in collaboration with Parker’s 3D industrial designer Gregg Nelson and the whole Parker team.

The William Penn Foundation was one of the first supporters when Historic Philadelphia, Inc. planned to renovate the Square in 2006 and has continued to supports its growth to build attendance and grow operations.  In 2012, the William Penn Foundation gave Historic Philadelphia a grant to create the Pavilion in Franklin Square which doubled its birthday party and special event business.  Now in 2013, the Foundation has provided a grant to create the new Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle: A Holiday Light Show. 

According to Shawn McCaney, Senior Program Officer at the William Penn Foundation, “The Foundation is very interested in new models and approaches to activate and increase the use of existing parks and public spaces in Philadelphia. The appeal of the Electrical Spectacle is that it helps to make Franklin Square a year-round, all-season public space for the enjoyment of local residents and visitors.”

The William Penn Foundation, founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, works to close the achievement gap for low-income children, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creativity that enhances civic life, and advance philanthropy in the Philadelphia region. With assets of nearly $2 billion, the Foundation distributes approximately $80 million in grants annually. Learn more about the Foundation at www.williampennfoundation.org.

Historic Philadelphia, Inc. holiday packages and gift packages are available. Visit historicphiladelphia.org or Franklin Square’s ticket office for more information.  Sponsorships for Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle are still available. Contact Historic Philadelphia, Inc.’s development office at (215) 629-5801 ext. 207

Fun family entertainment and a beautiful park are just steps away from the Liberty Bell, in one of William Penn’s original five squares, and the only one dedicated to fun.  Award-winning Franklin Square, managed and operated by Historic Philadelphia, Inc., is a family-friendly play place located in the heart of Historic Philadelphia, featuring Philly Mini Golf, a renovated vintage marble fountain, playgrounds, the Parx Liberty Carousel, and the acclaimed SquareBurger, with offerings from STARR Restaurants.  After a day of experiencing the treasures of  Philadelphia’s history, putt through some of the city’s most famous icons, take a ride on hometown racehorse heroes Afleet Alex or Smarty Jones aboard the carousel, enjoy a rest next to the refreshing fountain, and dine on the finest burgers and shakes in town.  Awarded Best of Philly® two times by Philadelphia Magazine and one of the Five Coolest Playgrounds in the United States by Yahoo! Also named Best of Four Square 2012 for Philadelphia Entertainment and Best of Style 2013 by Philadelphia Style for “Philly’s Best Photo Op.” The Philadelphia Inquirer recently called Franklin Square, “One of the city’s great public spaces.”

Franklin Square is located in Historic Philadelphia at 6th & Race Streets.  Franklin Square hours for November and December are: November 1 – November 13: 10 am - 5 pm, daily, November 14 – December 31: 10 am - 8 pm, daily (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas). All hours are weather permitting. Convenient parking for Franklin Square is available at EZ PARK, 9th & Race Street, just blocks from Franklin Square.  Historic Philadelphia, Inc. guests enjoy an exclusive price of just $7 for up to six hours by asking for a voucher at Franklin Square’s ticket office.

Franklin Square is an initiative of Historic Philadelphia, Inc. (HPI).  HPI makes our nation’s history relevant and real through interpretation, interaction, and education, strengthening Greater Philadelphia’s role as the destination to experience American history.   Historic Philadelphia, Inc.’s programs include the Betsy Ross House, Once Upon A Nation storytelling and immersive walking tours, Franklin Square, and Lights of Liberty.  For more information, (215) 629-4026 or visit www.historicphiladelphia.org or buy tickets in person at the Historic Philadelphia Center, 6th & Chestnut Streets.  Follow Franklin Square at twitter.com/FranklinSqr or on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/FranklinSquare.

We will be posting a review of Historic Philadelphia at a later date.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Funny Friday - Babies and Their Toys

Me -

When my sister was a baby we went to the store and I decided she needed a particular toy. My parents didn't even realize until they had already paid for it and brought it home that I had put it in the cart.

Mom -

When we told my stepson that he was going to have a baby brother or sister, he said "Quick we need to go to the store!" When we asked why he said "Because babies need toys."

We welcome you to share your funny stories with us. Tune in tomorrow for a Saturday Special.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

New Jersey State Museum and Planetarium

Me - New Jersey State Museum and Planetarium, wow! I recently went to the New Jersey State Museum and Planetarium. It was definitely more fun than I thought it would be. I liked that they had lots of things where you could interact. Like they had a puzzle of the United States you could do. In another place, they had a puzzle of a dresser you could do. The exhibits were interesting , and I really liked the interactive stuff. None of the exhibits stood out more than any of the others to me. I didn't like the statues and pictures of nude people. It was kind of creep how real the animals looked in the natural history part of the museum. Some of them were really cute though. There was even a jaguar that reminded me of one of our kittens. They have lots of different stations where you can draw things like your own state seal or your own map. At one point, I decorated a picture of a jar of pottery with the words "Melia was Here." I was going to leave it there so people could see that I was there. Then, I decided to take it home so I could put it on my door at home. They had a really big dresser at the museum that my Mom and I agreed would be great to have at home. There was also a Planetarium there. The Planetarium was definitely different than the Planetarium I saw in third grade. In third grade, the Planetarium was a little blow up dome where they taught us about constellations. At this museum, they showed things about the human brain and body and cells and Philadelphia. I could actually feel the world spinning. It made me dizzy and gave me a neck and earache from starring at the ceiling. I very much enjoyed this museum. Even though I thought it would be boring it turned out to be fun. They always say you can't judge a book by its cover, and in this case, it turned out to be true.

Mom - We had a surprisingly good time at the New Jersey State Museum and Planeterium.  We got to compare skunk fur and wolf fur and bear fur. The skunk fur was surprisingly the softest. My girls got to decorate there own pottery jar pictures, create their own state seals, make their own maps and do  a puzzles of the United States. We learned interesting facts about the history of New Jersey and saw objects related to the history of New Jersey. My favorite was a huge old dresser with a ton of drawers. I wish they still made dressers like that. It would actually be big enough to keep all my stuff in and tall enough to keep my cats off of. We saw some beautiful art and other art that may not have looked so beautiful to us, but may be considered beautiful by someone else. We saw an exhibit of historical maps of New Jersey and  through them we learned about the state and its history and the way things changed over time. We saw a Planetarium show about how technology that was developed for space allows us to do so many other things like keep in touch by cellular phone and find our way with a GPS and many other things. Truthfully, the Planetarium show gave me a bit of a motion sickness headache as well as somewhat of neck ache from looking up, but it was still interesting and went by a lot quicker than I thought. All in all, we were glad we came and we had a fun time at the Museum and Planetarium.

And that's our view. Tune in tomorrow for Funny Friday.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Where-To-Go Wednesday - New Jersey State Museum and Planetarium

What: New Jersey State Museum and Planeterium

Where: 205 West State Street
             Trenton, NJ

Who: Ages 3 and up

Our view: We went to the New Jersey State Museum not expecting much, and we were pleasantly surprised.  The museum has several different areas including a fine art section and a natural history section. Some of the exhibits are permanent and some of them change perodically. A special feature of the museum is section that highlights objects and documents of the people who have lived in New Jersey from the 17th century to today. The museum is surprisingly more child friendly than we expected it to be with specific places within exhibits where touching the exhibit is encouraged. There are also several interactive areas where kids can participate in activities, such as, decorating their own state seals or drawing their own maps or doing a puzzle of the United States. The Planetarium has several different shows which may or may not change over time. The shows are geared to different ages, such as, a show geared to little ones featuring Big Bird and other Sesame Street characters discovering the sun, the moon and the stars, a show more geared to elementary school age children answering questions such as how the sun and the moon work together, and shows geared more to teenagers and adults regarding how technology created to explore space has helped us in so many other ways. Just be warned, if you or children suffer from motion sickness, the Planetarium show might not be a good idea for you. Also, just because a child is old enough to enjoy the Bird Bird Planetarium show does not mean they are ready for the museum. The museum itself is probably better for kids 5 and older and some areas even for older kids depending on your child's age, interests and attention span.. The museum is small, and it doesn't take more than a few hours to go through the whole thing including the Planetarium show. The museum is free but suggested donations rates are $5.00 for adults and children 12 and over and $4.00 for seniors and students with valid ID.  The Planetarium is $7.00 for adults, $5.00 for children 12 and under or per person for groups of 15 or more.  The museum is open Sunday to Tuesdays from 9:00 to 4:45 and closed on Mondays and any other New Jersey state holiday. However, even in the summer or during school holidays I would recommend going on a weekend. On weekends you can park in the adjacent lot. On weekdays only metered parking or paid lot parking is available because the adjacent lot is reserved for state workers. If you  are interested in seeing a particular Planetarium show call or check the web-site before you go to check dates and times.

And that's our view. For more information, go to New Jersey Department of State - NJ State Museum and/or see tomorrow's Talking Topic post.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tips for Tuesday - Misc.: Barbies and Payless Shoes

Me - Today I am recommending Barbies. Barbies are good for girls. They are so fun to play with. They have so many different kinds of Barbies with so many different kinds of clothing and accessories. You can try out all kinds of different things you might want to do with your life some day or even things that you might never get to do in real life. Barbies are fun.

Mom -Today I am recommending Payless Shoes. You really do pay less for shoes here than any place else around.  Also, they have great styles and a wide selection. Besides, I figure the less they cost, the more shoes I can buy and for a shoeaholic like me that's a good thing.

And that's our view. Tune in tomorrow for Where-To-Go Wednesday

Monday, October 14, 2013

At Grandma's House

Me - At Grandma's house, wow! I like going to my grandmother's house. Lately when I go there all I do is watch Netflix, which I really enjoy except for that Netflix doesn't have Full House which is the best show in the world. Whenever I go there for breakfast, I always have a bagel with butter and cream cheese and American cheese and I drink apple juice while watching TV in my Grandma's room. I always sleep in the upstairs bedroom with the big bed next to the table so I can put down my glasses and other stuff. When I was in preschool, my teacher asked if I wanted her to clean my glasses and I said "No, my Grandma does that." When my cousins come over too so much goes on I can barely describe it. My older girl cousin does her own thing. My older boy cousin plays sports with some of the adults. My younger boy cousin begs me to play with him.  Aurella plays with a couple of our younger girls cousins and our youngest boy cousin. I play with my adorable baby cousin. Sometimes, if it's just our first cousins, my two older cousins, and I use the term loosely because one of them is only two months older than me to the day. still do the same things or sometimes the two of them hangout with each other. I hangout with my younger boy cousin or my younger girl cousin and Aurella. Often they both want to hangout with me. If I am hanging out with my younger boy cousin than Aurella still hangs out with my younger girl cousin. On rare occasions, we all hang out and get along together. I love going to my Grandma's.

Mom - When I was young both my grandmother's lived in the City. Our whole family would go to stay with my Mom's mom a lot. I liked to play behind the couch in Grandma's living room. I also like to play with the fake birds in Grandma's bird cage. It had once held a real bird that belonged to me but the cleaning lady let it out, and it flew away.  At night when I was supposed to be sleeping, I would play with Grandma's makeup and perfume bottles and pretend they were people. I stayed at my other Grandmother's a lot too, but usually either by myself or with my cousin.. We would go to see shows and things. I would stay up until 11:00 watching TV which was a big deal at the time. When I came home and my Mom asked how late I had stayed up, I would always say "I forgot." When my cousin came too, we liked to dress up in our grandmother's clothes. Also, we liked to play that we were world travelers. I was always named Julie and she was always named Alicia. Our grandmother was the hotel manager, maid, waitresses or whoever we needed in our game. Later, both my grandmothers moved closer to us. I still visited them a lot. I liked to go shopping with my Mom's mom. Sometimes, my Dad's Mom and I could just sit and talk for hours. We also used to go to the theater in New York together a lot. Both my grandmother's are long gone now.  My Mom's mom died when I got out of college. My Dad's Mom died when Aurella was a baby. I really miss them both and the good times I used to have going to visit them.

And that's our view. What are your favorite memories of your Grandmother's house?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Saturday Special - Upcoming Laurie Berkner Shows


Solo Dates And Laurie Berkner Band Concerts Continue In 2013

“The undisputed queen of kindie rock.” – USA Today

"Laurie Berkner is bigger than Justin Bieber, if you happen to be 4 or 5." 
- The New York Times

Children’s music superstar and preschool television favorite Laurie Berkner is scheduled to perform in both solo and Laurie Berkner Band concerts this fall.

Laurie has been performing in a successful series of solo concerts entitled “The You & Me Tour.” Says Laurie, "I'm feeling the need to go back to my roots a bit and get back in touch with what it was like to play just myself with my guitar to a room full of kids.  I know that sometimes the youngest kids connect to songs with hand movements, but I tend not to do those simpler songs and a cappella songs with the band.  This gives me a space to sing those songs as well."

A former preschool music teacher by day and indie rocker by night, Laurie Berkner started selling her music over ten years ago out of her living room on her own label, Two Tomatoes Records. The Laurie Berkner Band has received tremendous critical acclaim.  Time Magazine lauded Laurie as “a kind of sippy-cup Sheryl Crow…Berkner inhabits a kid’s curious perspective in her lyrics and pens folk-pop melodies that bear repeated – very repeated – listenings.”  The Wall Street Journal called Laurie “one of the most popular children’s performers in America … Her music is distinctive because it speaks to kids without talking down to them, charming youngsters without boring grown-ups.” 

The Laurie Berkner Band features: Laurie Berkner, vocals/guitar; Susie Lampert, keyboards; Brady Rymer, bass; and Bobby Golden, drums/percussion.

The Laurie Berkner Band  2013 Concert Dates

October 12 State Theatre     - SOLO!    -
 107 West State Street, Ithaca, NY
        12:00 P.M.  Tickets October 12   ticket $20.00 adults; $15.00 kids.    .
        $75.00 VIP packages inlucde preferred seating and after-
        show meet and greet.   
        Visit http://statetheatreofithaca.frontgatetickets.com/

October 20    Palace Theatre/Stamford Center for the Arts                        
61 Atlantic St., Stamford, CT  61
        3:00 P.M.  Tickets $30.00; $40.00; $45.00.  $100 VIP                          
        packages include preferred seating and after-show meet
        and greet. Visit https://tickets.stamfordcenterforthearts.org

November 2    Palace of Fine Arts    - SOLO!                                              
3301 Lyon St., San Francisco, CA
        1:00 PM.  Tickets $25.00; $35.00.  $100 VIP packages                           
        include preferred seating and after-show meet and greet.  
       Visit www.ticketmaster.com   

November 3    Gallo Center For The Arts – SOLO!     
1000 I. St.,  Modesto, CA
         2:00 P.M.  Tickets $60.00; $45.00; $35.00; $20.00; $12.00,                     
          available at the Box Office: 209.338.2100.  www.galloarts.org

November 17    Congregation Shaarey Zedek – SOLO!                               
27375 Bell Rd., Southfield, MI
        11:00 A.M.  Tickets $15.00; $25.00.  $54.00 VIP                                     
        ticket includes preferred seating and meet-and-greet.
        $118.00 VIP ticket includes preferred seating, meet-and-
        greet, and gift bag.  Visit www.shaareyzedek.org

November 23    Wiltsie Center –Holiday Celebration Concert!                    
700 N. Wyoming Ave., Hazleton, PA
        2:00 P.M.  Tickets $19.00; $39.00.  Additional                                         
        $25.00 on any ticket price to add VIP package
        (includes after show meet-and-greet). Visit 
        www.tickemaster.com or charge by phone: .

December 1    Tilles Center – Holiday Celebration Concert!                      
CW Post Campus. 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville, NY
        2:00 P.M.  Tickets $28.00; $38.00. $100.00 VIP                               
        packages include preferred seating and after-show                                   
       meet and greet. Visit  www.ticketmaster.com or charge
        by phone: 800.745.3000.

December 7    The Concert Hall – Holiday Celebration Concert!               
Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th St., New York, NY
      11:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M.  Tickets $45.00 (inclusive of  facility                    
       and ticketing fees).  $107.00 VIP packages                                               
      (inclusive of facility and ticketing fees) include preferred
      seating and after-show meet and greet.  Visit
      www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone: 800.745.3000.

December 14     State Theatre – Holiday Celebration Concert!                 
15 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick, NJ
        2:00 P.M.  Tickets $25.00; $35.00.  $100 VIP packages                         
        include preferred seating and after-show meet and greet.
       Call 732.246.7469 or visit http://www.statetheatrenj.org

For more information on The Laurie Berkner Band, please contact Sarah Geist Rosen at SKG Publicity: 847.432.8177; skgeist@comcast.net