Saturday, December 1, 2018

Santa HQ

Now that we have officially said good bye to turkey and November we can think about Santa, winter and CHRISTMAS. I know the stores and the world started already so I might be late to the party, lol. I do like to enjoy each holiday individually so forgive my tardiness. 

Last month we got the opportunity to visit Santa-HQ at the Queens Center Mall. The Santa experience here is a lot different than most places. With every turn there is a new high tech interaction leading up to meet the big guy in red. As we entered we were greeted by a friendly staff member that took down our information (name, email, etc.) Next it was time of fun. We all got a chance to see how nice we really are, with the Nice O Meter. We all made the nice list so Santa will be eating our yummy cookies this year.                                         

Next was a favorite part of mine, a photo opt. I am all about the pictures. If you know me I am famous for a great now and then collage so to have the same backdrop as last year was very nice. The critters did a lot better than last year so that was a little gift in itself. 

Next we were off to the Magic Mirror. My oldest critter was a little tall, he is growing way to fast for me, so he had to shrink down a bit. He still had a great time with his transformation. I was so happy to see that they named the elves and RUBY (best name ever) was one of the girl elf names. While we were emailing the “elfed out” critter photos to my email, Santa came to check in with us. I was surprised but the crew greeted him like he was a old friend. Santa became one of the crew by the end of the visit.                                     

Next room we got to search for hidden items with the awesome app. Our youngest critter was driving the ship to get us to Santa. She had a great time making things light up and move, she did not even worry about the app.

Meeting Santa is always treat he was so nice my hubby and I even jumped in the picture. Queens Center is definitely one of the best places to meet Santa and get a awesome photo maybe even a family one like we did.

Tips before you go:

Might want to download the app on your phone if you are going with more that one child. It will save a few arguments and not get them on the naughty list.

Use the bathroom before you go in because there is not one so close by. I know from experience that once you are close to a “goal” or destination the potty is always something that needs to happen.

Since there are so many photo opts and it is cold outside you might want to bring a big recycling bag for all the coats. I don’t like to be the coat rack because sometimes I want to get in the pictures too. A big bag to hold the coats, gloves, hats and scarfs is definitely a must so you can be sure to have it all on the way out.

I want to wish you a happy and healthy holiday season. I will be doing my best to not get stressed and just enjoy being blessed. This year, they did not really give Santa (or me) many ideas. Only thing I got was from my older one (he is always ready). He would like a $100 Xbox gift Card. Oh boy, wish me luck.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Your a NICE one Mr Grinch

We had the fun experience to see an advance screening of the new Grinch Movie. We stayed up way past bedtime and had a great time. We had to go to AMC Theatre Empire 25 which was a great adventure just getting there. Manhattan is a great place for Pokémon Go so you know we were happy.

After parking we made our way to the theater we waited on the screening line outside. Thank God the weather was not bad so it was nice to stand out there and see all the bright lights, signs and Poke Stops, lol. We def do not go to Times Square enough so it was good to take it in. We did not have to wait long to get our bright yellow (almost green) wristbands and cool Grinch recyclable bag. We had not been to this movie theater before so it was a site to see, such a big place. We had to go up about 4 escalators so it felt like we were going to the Grinch's mountain Mount Crumpit to watch his new movie. Leave it to the Grinch to make us work for the advance screening, lol.

There were penalty of kids in the heart and the event organizer from Universal welcomed them all. We got our snacks (aka dinner) super quick thanks to the AMC Stubs Membership and were ready for the movie. The re vamp of this classic was super cool for grown ups and kids alike. I expected my critters to fall asleep but all the Grinch's new gadgets and Pharell as the narrator kept them wide awake. It was great to hear the Grinch song which reminded me of when I used to watch this movie with my mom. It was a nice treat to meet some new characters (Fred the reindeer) and even see my favorite guy Max have more of a role.


Of course we all have our different favorite parts but mine has to be the message that is constant no matter how many times they remake this great film. The message of that Christmas is more than just stuff it is the special feeling that you feel when you have our friends and family around sipping hot chocolate in a nice warm room. I would love my critters to hold on this message when the December madness begins.

I hope you all use this long weekend to get into the Christmas spirit with the new Grinch movie. Put on your favorite green outfit and grab your crew and head out to see this great holiday film. It is a great way to gear up for the fast approaching holiday season. Let me know what your favorite part(s) was. Enjoy and Season's Greetings!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Harvest Fest 2018

So as we say good bye to Halloween & October and Hello to the end of Daylight savings & November I wanted to share a nice time that we had during the Fall Halloween season.

Harvest Fest is such a fun event. We are big fans of the Ridge Hill area so we try to go to all the events they host. This event was on a great weather day not to hot or cold, just right to show off our Halloween costumes. I was not feeling super great, was fighting a cold but I had a wonderful time with my family and friends. We were all in the sprit and had costumes on.

The event was like a street fair with tons of food items to taste. From pizza, to apple cider dounts to our pick beef or chicken empanadas. Some of our favorite places were the tents that gave us the chance spin some wheels and win cool stuff. We spun the wheel at Rock and Jump and Lord and Taylor. I was happy with the 3 spins my critters took. We got the nice reusable tote bag and water bottle, candy and mini pumpkins. Free parking would have been nice but that might have been asking for too much, lol.

Meet Mr Greedy Goat, lol

Next we had said hi to the animals in the petting zoo. There was a line to get in the pen with them so we waved and pet from the outside. The goats were quick and trying to get everyone's yummy freshly popped popcorn.  Next my hubby and I stole a few minutes alone without the critters to toast to life. We had some complimentary samples of new beers and whiskey. I think the shot (or two) of whiskey definitely helped out my cold, lol.

Last learned out to square dance at the tent at the end of the street. We had lots of good times at this annual fun event. I am happy to be making this a new family tradition for us. We ended the day with a nice filling meal at our one of  our favorite restaurants Yard House. Of course you know we played some Pokémon Go, that is the newest addition to all the adventures we take.


If you did not get to join in all the fun during Harvest Fest then you should definitely check out the next Ridge Hill Event next weekend November 10th, Ring In The Season starting at 5pm.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Boo at the Zoo

Two weekends ago was another long one so we decided to start our Halloween activities early. Our first one was Boo at the Zoo. My moms favorite holiday of all time is Halloween so we need to get in as many Halloween activities as possible in the month of October.

                                                          Activities are Super Fun

We like the zoo because as a kid my mom always made it a point to take us to the zoo. We would always opt in for the membership since we were 5 kids all together. I remember the first Boos at the Zoo where everything was so spooky and cool. My favorite memory is walking through the Extinct Species Graveyard. We would see how many animals are actually extinct and can not be at the zoo anymore. It was a fun learning experience.

                                             Real Life Parrot and Witch Hat ring toss

The Halloween activities have definitely improved over the years. They have penalty of scene set up for all those photo opt we all need. Also have a corn maze, hay ride and lot of fun arts and crafts included in the ticket price. We did not get to see it all but here is the full list:

                                                             Fang-tastic Activities

My critters always love the food at the zoo so we bring drinks (our refillable souvenir cup) and some snacks but we always buy some food especially dessert from the Dancing Crane Café. They have renamed the food Ghostly Goodies. 

     Funnel Cake, Funnel Cake Sundae and the Critters with their Ghostly Goodies

Overall, it should definitely be added to your Halloween to do list. Next Weekend (October 28th) will be the last weekend to go so bundle up, throw on the costumes and head to the zoo.

Tips to know before you go: Since the weather is a bit colder now in October some of the animals have been moved to their winter holding homes. You are still able to see all of the indoor exhibits those don't really change. Go early to beat the crowds but sometimes even if you see a crowd they can all move to a different part of the zoo and you can go back to that exhibit. Dress warm because most of the fun parts are outside, like the Costume Parade. Keep your camera handy as many times as we been to the zoo this past summer, I still was still new animals we did not see on past trips.

                                           Oldest critter with a super sized Snow Leopard

Best news we heard a rumor that the Bronx Zoo will be bringing the Dinosaurs. We can not wait. Of course we have to wait until the Spring but it will be another Spring thing to look forward to.
By your tickets or membership in advance at Bronx Zoo.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Apple Picking at Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm

We are all back to school but it is kind of hard to get back into the full routine with all these days off (aka Holidays). Instead of stressing to a regular day to day when the kids are not in school I planned a fun day for the critters. My sister did help so I can not take all the credit on this one, lol. This apple farm was only about 40 mins away from us which was a big plus because I did not have to pack one million car activities.

                                                           Beautiful Scenery 

We went apple picking yesterday, a little early in the season but YOLO people why wait. It turned out to be a beautiful day the weather was like summer. We are definitely trying to hold on tight to summer so it was great. The critters left in long sleeves and came back in tank tops. It got that hot and carrying half a bushel of apples was a bit of a work out of us all.
Long Sleeves vs Tank Tops

I was not planning on it but I am gonna practice making some apple pies before the holiday season officially begins.  We did get a lot of apples. It was nice to pick kids up or try to pick them up so they can pick the nice apples from the trees.

                                        What half a bushel of apples looks like 

We did pay $32 for a half a bushel of apples. The fee was not only for the apples but covered admission to the apple field, the apples and a tractor ride. The fee was per groups of 3-4 people. They do have lots of options so you do not have to the half bushel like we did. I think the tractor ride is what sealed the deal for our group. That was a fun activity we had not done before. They did have the corn maze to but my critters were afraid to get lost in the maze so I got to save $3 bucks each, lol. The tractor ride was a pretty fun ride. It was not a hay ride with a enclosed wagon in back it was a tractor pulling a flat pallet. No seat belts or seats. My middle guy had a blast he of course stood up since he is my thrill seeker. It was beautiful to just take in the whole farm. and get nice scenic pictures. When you are done with the ride there is merch, lol. I did not buy a t-shirt but maybe next time.

                                   Tractor Ride and Merch (yes your legs are hanging off the pallet)

Tips before you go:
1- Have cash for the bakery and try to get there early. We arrived at about 10am and it was not crowded at all. When we went back (about 2pm) to get more goodies for the way back home the line was out the door and growing by the minute.
2- Bring the wipes or pull ups. The only bathrooms was the dreaded port a potty. They were ok in the morning but got worse as the day went on and more and more people arrived.
3- Pack a nice lunch because hot dogs are $3 a pop. Save your cash for all the Apple Cider Donuts, .85 cents each or 6 for $4.75. If you arrive early get the chocolate covered one for $1.25 each. They were sold out by the time I wanted one so let me know how they are. They do have a nice area with a lot of picnic benches so they do allow outside food and drinks.
4 - Bring your phone charge or extra memory card because there are A LOT of photo opts.

                                Donuts Maker in actions and all the Baked Goodies

Since we did go earlier than usual we need to go back to get our pumpkin for Halloween. The pumpkin patches start September 28th, so if you need a pumpkin try to go after this date. They also do Christmas trees so that might be another adventure or reason to go back.

                                           Big stack of hay, can you make it to the top?

If you want to have a apple picking adventure of your very own check out Wilkens Farm.