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, June 30, 2016

Lower East Side Tenement Museum: Victoria Confino and An American in Paris

We were given free tickets to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum: Victoria Confino for free for review purposes. Any and all opinions expressed here are our own.
Me - We went on the Victoria Confino tour at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Victoria Confino was a real person. However, the person we saw was an actress playing Victoria Confino. The real person's granddaughter or great granddaughter trains the actresses to play her.  Victoria came to America when she was 11 or 12 from Greece. She had a big family with a lot of brothers. Her whole family lived in two small rooms. When one of her brother's went to school his name was hard to pronounce so they changed it to Bob. His original name was nothing like Bob. Another brother's name was something that sounded sort of like Jacob so they changed it to Jack. A third brother refused to let them change his name. He said he had it his whole life so he wasn't going to change it. She also had a brother that was a baby. It wasn't really a tour where you walked around. A lot of the time, we were sitting and Victoria talked to us. She told us about her life and what it was like to immigrate to America and live in a tenement.When I was in second grade, we had Immigration Day in school and pretended to be immigrants coming to America. On the Victoria Confino Tour, all the kids got to put coal in the stove except for one who got to hold the heavy basket full of coal. The stove wasn't really lit though. All the kids got to try different things related to doing the laundry. I got to scrub clothes. It was annoying. I am glad we don't have to wash clothes that way anymore. The tour was fun. I learned a lot. I am definitely glad I didn't live back then because there were a lot things that were really hard to do back then.
Me- An American in Paris was entertaining. It had great dancing. I usually like shows with a lot of dancing. I didn't have a favorite dance. All of the dances were good. The dancing was the best, but the dancing,the singing, and the acting were all good. I really liked the song I've Got Rhythm. Some of the other songs were good too. The sets were really interesting. I liked that it looked like there were really boats floating in the water and when people fell in the water it looked like it actually made a splash. They also made the buildings look really big even though they weren't. The costumes were nice and colorful. I liked parts of the story. I didn't like the romantic parts. I liked the song and dance parts and the funny parts best. I never saw the movie An American in Paris the movie, but the show made me want to see it.

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

Photo credits: Victoria Confino picture by Liz Clayman
                         All An American in Paris photos by Matthew Murphy

Tune in tomorrow for Funtivity Friday.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Where-To-Go Wednesday - Lower East Side Tenement Museum: Victoria Confino and An American in Paris

We were given free tickets to the Victoria Confino tour at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum for review purposes. Any and all opinions expressed here our own based on our experience.

What: Lower East Side Tenement Museum Victoria Confino Tour

Where: 103 Orchard Street
             New York, NY

Who: Ages 5 and up

 Mom's view: Visiting the Lower East Side Tenement Museum is like stepping back in history and learning about what it was like to live in a tenement in New York City in the 19th or early 20th century. The Tenement Museum offers three types of tours: building tours, meet the resident tours where actors take on the role of residents and neighborhood walking tours. We participated in a Victoria Confino: Meet the Residents Tour. Victoria Confino was a young girl who immigrated to America from Greece with her family. At one time, there actually was a real Victoria Confino, but now she is played by an actress. This is the only tour offered by the Tenement Museum that is suitable for young children. They will get to meet Victoria and see her apartment which looks like it would have looked back when the real Victoria lived there. They will also learn about her life and her family. They will even have a chance to learn even more about what life was like for Victoria by interacting with her a little to help her to do things like put coal in the stove (the stove is not on, of course). This tour is very informative and fun for children of all ages unless your children are babies or young children so young that all they want to do is run around and touch things. In those cases, they probably would not enjoy this tour. However, if you have children older then 6, they may also enjoy other tours offered by the museum as well as the Victoria Confino tour. To find out more about the other tours that are offered and what the minimum age requirements are for each or to book a tour go to https://www.tenement.org/tours.php.
What: An American in Paris

Where: Palace Theatre
             1564 Broadway
             New York, NY

Who: Tweens and up

Mom's view: If you like a good old fashioned musical with classical style dancing, you will love An American in Paris. The show is based on the famous movie of the same. The plot is basically the same with a few minor changes.  There is a little more emphasize on the politics of the time than in the movie. In the movie, although Lisa feels obligated to Henri because her family saved her life during the war the circumstances are not really made clear, but here it is made very evident that the reason that her life was in danger in the first place was because she is a Jew. The acting is good. The dancing is beautiful. The score is full of old familiar songs like I've Got Rhythm and The Man I Love although not all of the songs were originally in An American in Paris. Most if not all of the songs are by George Gershwin, and many of them are from other old musicals. If you like a good love story, you will like this show. It is not really a show for young children, there is not really anything objectionable about it, but they would probably be bored by it. For more information or to order tickets go to http://www.anamericaninparisbroadway.com/.

And that's Mom's view. Tune in to tomorrow's Talking Topics for more about the Lower East Tenement Museum: Victoria Confino and An American in Paris.

Photo credits: Victoria Confino picture by Liz Clayman
                         All An American in Paris photos by Matthew Murphy

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tips for Tuesday- Books: Cole's Perfect Puppy and Don't Lick the Mini Van and Other Things I Never Thought I'd Say to My Kids

We may have been given one or more of the books below for free for review purposes. However, any and all opinions expressed here our own.
Me- Today I am recommending Cole's Perfect Puppy by Frances Crossno. This book is about a boy named Cole who really wants to get this golden retriever puppy named Scarlet. I liked that this book was about a dog because I love animals, and it is a good book for any kid who loves animals especially dogs. It is also a good book for young readers who are just starting to read chapter books because the chapters aren't that long and the words aren't that hard so it's a pretty easy read. Another good thing about the book is that the characters are good role models. The plot is interesting too, and it makes you want to keep reading. It is great book, and I would really recommend it.
Mom- Today I am recommending Don't Lick the Mini Van and Other Things I Never Thought I'd Say to My Kids by Leanne Shirtliffe. This book is another amusing take on parenting. From the birth of her twins while she and her husband were living in Bangkok through the family's subsequent return to their native Canada and more, Leanne recounts every hilarious moment. Some of Leanne's experiences include trying to get regulation photos of two newborns for passport photos, and dealing with having children who can't wait for their parents to go out because they love their babysitter as well children who insist upon licking the mini van and/or or peeing on their sibling's things. The book also includes Leanne's own special parenting tips including such gems as "Night time breastfeeding sessions are more entertaining if you wake up your spouse. Just tell him he's bonding with his child." and "Encouraging your children to gossip about classmates will make you feel better about your own parenting skills." If you like your parenting books with sweetness in addition to humor, you will find that here too. Each chapter ends with a sweet letter from Leanne to her children appropriately called The Sappy Files. All in all, this book is a great fun book for anyone who has ever had the experience of raising young children.

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

Monday, June 27, 2016

Monthly Mash-up June, 2016 Claw Machines and Sleep

Me - My topic for this month is claw machines. I like claw machines but they really annoy me. They are so unfair. They make them slippery so the object slides off before it gets to the winning slot. Also, it is a waste of money. A lot of people just keep trying and trying to win something, Still, they can't get anything. That is just wasting money. I think they are taking advantage of people by making it hard for people to get anything in the winning slot. Then, people will just keep trying and trying to win something, and the machine owners will make more money. I admit I do like to play claw machines. However, I  try not to continuously try the same claw machine and waste my money on it. Sometimes, if you are trying to win something that is not really expensive, it might be cheaper just to buy it than trying to win it from a claw machine.

Mom - My topic for this month is sleep. I don`t  understand how some people can just lay their head on their pillow, close their eyes, and instantly fall asleep. That has never been my experience.  As soon as I lay down  a million things start going through my mind, and it generally takes me  a long time to fall asleep. Even when I am so tired that I am falling asleep in the a car or on the couch or something by the time I get into my bed, I am wide awake again. Luckily,  I have never been a person who needs a lot of sleep although I am sure I don`t get enough sleep anyway. There are always too many things to do.  I always say I am going to start going to bed earlier and get more sleep, but then don`t. I guess I'll just to keep on working on it.

And that's our view. What's on your mind? Tune in tomorrow for Tips for Tuesday.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday Scoop Week of 6/26/16 - What's Happening This Week or Coming Up Soon

The Ride June Special
Ticket Special All Tickets for The Ride $50.00 this June!
That's $14.00 Savings off Retail!

Use Code: JUNE50

For more information or to order tickets go to http://theridenyc.com/

For our view of The Ride go to: 

Mets to Host Blood Drive
Citi Field
123-01 Roosevelt Ave.
New York, NY

WHAT: The New York Mets will host their annual Summer Blood Drive on Tuesday, June 28 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in the Foxwoods Club at Citi Field. Fans donating blood will receive a voucher redeemable for two tickets to a select Mets home game in 2016.

WHEN: Tuesday, June 28 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Mr. Met in attendance from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.   

WHERE: Citi Field – Fans enter at the Hodges VIP entrance and may park in Lot G off 126thStreet between the Right Field Gate and Roosevelt Avenue.
Food & Drink at Philadelphia Parks This Summer

Parks on Tap  - Concession trucks featuring beer, wine and soft drinks plus sandwiches, salads and to-go items will pop up weekly at 14 parks beginning June 29 at Schuylkill Banks and continuing through October 2 at Lemon Hill.

The Oval – Rotating lineup of food trucks featuring local chefs and top-notch treats will park at The Oval on Wednesdays through Sundays starting at 11am. The Oval’s Beer Garden will also feature craft beers in the evenings as of opening day, Friday, July 15.

Cosmic Café on Boathouse Row – Sandwiches, pastries, and coffee with outdoor seating at 1 Boathouse Row, daily 8am-8pm.

Seasonal Farmers’ Markets - Spring and summer offer expanded locations and offerings of fresh, local, healthy foods at farmers markets in various Philly parks.
Upcoming at iPlay America
110 Schank Road
Freehold, NJ

Thursday, June 30
7 PM
If you LOVE country music, Billboard Magazine calls the band LANco one of the 10 New Country Artists you need to know, comparing LANco’s sound to a country version of the Imagine Dragons and crediting the band for their arena-ready pop hooks and chant-along choruses. Thursday, June 30, LANco will be LIVE in concert at iPlay America’s Game Time Bar & Grill. This is a FREE concert and the show starts at 7 PM. Meet & Greet tickets are available!

Learn More
Broadway's She Loves Me to Be Livestreamed

BroadwayHD and Roundabout Theatre Company have announced that they will live stream the Tony-winning revival of She Loves Me, marking the first time ever that a Broadway show has been broadcast live. She Loves Me will be available to watch live, on a pay-per-view basis on BroadwayHD on June 30 at 8 PM.

Visit broadwayhd.com/shelovesme to reserve a live stream pass to the June 30 broadcast for $9.99; alternatively She Loves Me is free with all annual subscriptions to BroadwayHD’s on-demand library.
Fireworks on the Field for MVP Kids Club Members
 at July 3 BlueClaws Game

On July 3rd, Kids Club MVP members (sign up here or by calling Patrick Prendergast at 732-901-7000 ext 171) can watch the fireworks on the field!

The July 3rd game will feature the Biggest Fireworks Show In BlueClaws History after our 7:05 pm game that night!

For tickets, call 732-901-7000 option 2 or click here.
News from Boneau/Bryan-Brown


The Tony Award winning hit musical AN AMERICAN IN PARIS will close on Sunday, January 1, 2017. Since the first performance at the Palace Theatre on March 13, 2015, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS will have played 719 regular performances and 29 previews.

Broadway tickets are on sale through www.Ticketmaster.com or by phone at or by phone at 877-250-2929. Group tickets for Broadway are on sale now through the Group Sales Box Office at http://www.broadway.com/group-sales-box-office/ or by phone at 800-223-7565 or 212-398-8383.

  • STANDARD SCHEDULE: Tuesday and Thursday at 7 PMWednesday, Friday and Saturday at 8 PM. Matinees on Wednesday andSaturday at 2 PM. Matinee on Sunday at 3 PM.
News from Michelle Tabnick Communications

to perform in

Gun Violence Awareness Vigil

at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery
Wednesday, June 29, at 6:30pm

New York Theatre Ballet and the St. Mark's community will hold a Gun Violence Awareness Vigil to mourn for Orlando, remember all lives lost to gun violence, and build a safer community together on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 6:30pm at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery, 131 East 10th Street, NYC. The vigil is co-sponsored by Danspace Project,The Poetry ProjectNew York Theatre Ballet, and St. Mark's Church in the Bowery, with performances by Ricardo MaldonadoJulia GuezBallez (Artistic Director Katy Pyle)Jeannine OtisNew York Theatre Ballet, and more. This event is free and open to all with no reservations. Visit http://nytb.org/calendar-and-tickets/view/Gun-Violence-Awareness-Vigil/ for details.
To Begin The World Over Again
June 30 - July 2, 2016 at 8pm
Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center

DELIRIOUS Dances presents To Begin The World Over Again, onThursday, June 30; Friday, July 1; and Saturday, July 2, 2016 at 8pm at Gibney Dance's Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, 280 Broadway (entrance at 53A Chambers Street). Tickets are $15 in advance at https://gibneydance.org/performance/pop/delirious-dances/ and $20 at the door.

Family Night: Free activities and care for children of all ages is available on Saturday, July 2 from 7:30 - 9:30pm. If you are interested, please RSVP using this online form: http://bit.ly/EdisaWeeksFamilyNight

To Begin The World Over Again explores the writings of Thomas Paine and his spirited advocacy for freedom and democracy. Fusing the visions of composer Joseph C. Phillips Jr. and choreographer Edisa Weeks and their respective companies the music ensemble Numinous and DELIRIOUS Dances, To Begin The World Over Again eloquently explores: How are freedom and democracy packaged and promoted in America? What does it mean to be free in American? As America becomes more consumer-driven, polarized and disenchanted, is America living up to its promise?

Performed with the audience sitting in the round, To Begin The World Over Again is an evening length multi-disciplinary work that features one actor, six dancers, and ten musicians. The work unfolds through four sections inspired by Paine's words: Dreams Of Wonders Undreamt,These Are The Times That Try Men's Soul, Mischief Is Easier Begun Than Ended, and We Have It In Our Power; as well as three musical interludes (Reel Liberty, Reel Democracy, Reel Equality) that are based on Contra music forms. Contra was the popular music and social dance during Paine's lifetime, however the interludes are more stylized or 'crooked', and merge Phillips' concentration in both classical and jazz music.

These Are The Times That Try Men's Soul explores the way we carry on in the face of opposition, for trying times do not disappear overnight, whether it is George Washington's soldiers becoming discouraged in the fight against the better equipped and trained British Army, or people in America today grappling with issues from unemployment, to the right to protest, healthcare and more. In this section, the dancers relentlessly repeat a task, inspired by Paine's exhortations to  "summer soldiers" in The Crisis to remain steadfast because freedom requires sacrifice and dedication. The music is driving yet somber and builds to stark outbursts, like terse cries of anguish or piercing calls for action. The singers give voice to Paine's words, which are woven with recordings from news clips of current social and political issues in America. The music and dancing resolve into a lush lilting phrase, like rain on parched earth, or the promise of a new reality. In the last section, We Have It In Our Power, the dancing and music weave distinct themes, which initially clash and ultimately intertwine, reflecting how democracy, ideally, is the coming together of various voices.

Free childcare is available on Saturday July 2 from 7:30pm - 9:30pm. If you are interested, please contact Purpose Productions at anae@purposeproductions.org in advance. If participating in childcare, guardians will be asked to sign a waiver and provide emergency contact details along with other important information. We also ask that you provide a nut-free snack for your child and any favorite games, books or toys. To ensure the safety and quality of care for families who choose this option, there is limited space. Care will be provided on a first come, first served basis. Families MUST sign up for childcare, by Friday July 1 at 5pm.
South Street Seaport Museum
Seafarers Camp
Aboard Schooner Lettie G. Howard
July and August 2016
The South Street Seaport Museum announces Seafarers Camp - set sail for adventure aboard schooner Lettie G. Howard for weeklong sail camps out of New York Harbor for grades 7-12. Become crew-in-training as you and your fellow shipmates form strong bonds and work together to learn how to sail a traditional tall ship. The authentic live-aboard experience provides trainees with rewarding lessons in teamwork, communication, and self-reliance.  For more information or to register visit https://southstreetseaportmuseum.org/seafarers-camp/ or email us at lettieghoward@seany.org.

2016 Program Dates: (based on students' grade level as of September 2016)
Week 1: July 3-8 (for 7, 8, 9th graders)
Week 2: July 10-15 (for 10, 11, 12th graders)
Week 3: July 17-22 (for 7, 8, 9th graders)
Week 4: July 24-29 (for 10, 11, 12th graders)
Week 5: July 31-Aug 5 (for 7, 8, 9th graders)
Week 6: Aug 7-12 (for 7, 8, 9th graders)
Week 7: Aug 14-19 (for 7, 8, 9th graders)
Week 8: Aug 21-26 (for 10, 11, 12th graders)
presents the
2016 Ballet School NY Summer Camp
July 5-18, 2016
New York Theatre Ballet (NYTB) presents the annual Ballet School NY Summer Camp from July 5-18, 2016 for children ages 8-12. The camp will include ballet, jazz, field trips, original choreography by the students, and a performance on the final day. The camp will take place Monday - Friday from 9:30am - 3:30pm. The final performance of class work and the students' original choreography will take place on Friday, July 15 at 3:30pm. On Saturday, July 16, students will take part in a special performance for the Arts Brookfield Bastille Day celebration with New York Theatre Ballet at the World Financial Center. The cost to attend the two-week camp is $1,000. A deposit of $100 is required at registration.

To reserve space for your child, email admin@nytb.org or call (212) 679-0401. Registration is now open.
News from DKC/O&M
Small Mouth Sounds
In the overwhelming quiet of the woods, six runaways from city life embark on a silent retreat. As these strangers confront internal demons both profound and absurd, their vows of silence collide with the achingly human need to connect. Filled with awkward humor, this strange and compassionate new play asks how we address life’s biggest questions when words fail us.
Small Mouth Sounds will play the following performance schedule: July 3 - July 17: Tuesday - Friday at 7:30pm; Saturday at 2pm and 8pm; and Sunday at 2pm and 7:30pmBeginning July 18: Monday - Friday at 7:30pm, Wednesday at 2pm, Saturday at 5pm and 8:30pmBeginning September 5: Tuesday – Friday at 7:30pm, Wednesday at 2pm, Saturday at 5pm and 8:30pm, and Sunday at 7:30pmPlease check performance times throughout early July as schedules vary.

Tickets, from $75 - $99, are now available and can be purchased through Ticket Central via www.ticketcentral.com, by calling 212.279.4200, or in person at 416 W. 42nd Street (12-8pm daily).
For more information, visit www.SmallMouthSounds.com.

S H U F F L E   A L O N G
Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921
and All That Followed
SHUFFLE ALONG began performances on March 15, 2016 and officially opened, to rave reviews, on April 28.  It went on to win the New York Drama Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for Best Musical, along with the Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Choreography (Savion Glover), Outstanding Costume Design (Ann Roth), and Outstanding Wig and Hair Design (Mia M. Neal). It was nominated for ten 2016 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.  It will have played 38 previews and 100 regular performances by the time it ends its run.
Tickets to SHUFFLE ALONG are available by calling (212) 239-6200 or visiting www.telecharge.com www.telecharge.com.


 Fun Home, the groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning Best Musical, will play its final performance on Broadway oSaturday, September 10 at 8 PM, it was announced today. The show, which opened on April 19, 2015, will have played 26 preview and 582 regular performances on Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50th St) and 114 performances Off Broadway at The Public Theater.

Fun Home introduces us to Alison at three different ages, revealing memories of her uniquely dysfunctional family – her mother, brothers and volatile, brilliant, enigmatic father – that connect with her in surprising new ways. This intimate and emotional theatrical experience is performed entirely in the round, bringing audiences closer to Alison’s story than ever before.  A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Fun Home is a refreshingly honest, wholly original musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes.
Ticket prices for Fun Home range from $49 – $160 and are available for purchase via Telecharge.com, by calling 212-239-6200, or in person at the Circle in the Square Theatre box office. Fun Home plays the following schedule: Tuesday – Thursday at 7:00 PM, Friday – Saturday at 8:00 PM, Wednesday and Saturday at 2:00 PM, and Sunday at 3:00 PMIn the show’s final week, Fun Home will play on Monday, September 5 at 8 PM rather than Sunday, September 11.
News from Waldmania PR

Acclaimed for their high-energy, acoustic Americana music played with passion, skill, and humor, the Los Angeles-based band The Hollow Trees is set to launch their fourth album of upbeat, top-tapping folk music for families, Hello Friend, on July 1.
Blending an Americana cornucopia of musical styles that includes folk, bluegrass, jug band, Western swing, country, blues, and jazz, The Hollow Trees offer a great mix of old-time chestnuts, obscure gems, and fun, new original songs.  The band, noted for tossing off clever wordplay combined with excellent musicianship, has been compared to Asleep at the Wheel, the Jim Kweskin jug band, and even The Hoosier Hotshots.
Hello Friend will be available at iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, The Green Bean in L.A.'s Eagle Rock neighborhood, Grow Kid Grow in L.A.'s Silver Lake neighborhood, and at all Hollow Trees shows.

CD Details:  Hello Friend
Release date:  July 1, 2016
For all ages, and especially suitable for ages 3 - 7
Label:  Hollow Trees Records
SRP:   $11.99
Running time:  40 minutes
Visit the The Hollow Trees' website HERE.
  The Hollow Trees on Facebook

  The Hollow Trees on Twitter
And that's the scoop. Tune in tomorrow for another Talking Topic.