Fun, free family event in NJ

Families are welcome and encouraged to join Universal Kids for a fun, free family event in NJ offering an interactive art & crafting experience for families tied to various summer premieres. 

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6th Annual Walk for Kids Growth & Festival

Join the community for the 6th Annual Walk for Kids’ Growth on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at Flushing Meadows Park (at the Fountain of the Planets), from 11 am to 3 pm. The event will feature a 3-mile scenic, fun walk, FREE food, carnival games, display booths, live entertainment and much more! This is the nation’s largest fundraising event for childhood growth disorders and rare genetic diseases. The Walk raises significant funds and awareness for the disorders, celebrates patient advocacy and honors those who have reached new heights. All ages and leashed pets are welcome. Sign up (FREE) to participate at www.WalkForKidsGrowth.org.
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ScotsFestival at the Queen Mary Giveaway!

Kilts are not required, but are encouraged… Comment and Enter Below

The 25th ScotsFestival is taking place at the Queen Mary in Long Beach California this February 17-18 from 9am-6pm and we are giving away 4 General Admission Passes for opening day! Food, fun, and family activities are all on the agenda with live music, dancers, and the Scottish Highland Games. If your only connection to Scotland is Braveheart than this is the perfect opportunity to get an authentic feel for the culture and the history.

So what are the Scottish Highland Games? They consist of some activities you might be familiar with and others that might sound strange. Putting the Shot is similar to what we do in track and field today, but then the Scotts start throwing the interesting stuff. The Caber Toss – a large pole, The Hammer Throw – an actual sledgehammer, The Sheaf Toss – throwing a burlap bag of straw with a pitchfork. Who doesn’t want to check that out?

After watching the athletics you might want to put yourself to the test. ScotsFestival comes complete with a sixty-foot obstacle course FEAT OF STRENGTH. No joke. You can see where you stand after competing against your peers and rising to the challenge. I am for sure going to give it a try! For the little ones there is a whole section of kids activities to enjoy so everyone can get involved in the games.
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Win Tickets to The Liberty Science Center #LSCStarShow

 

The Liberty Science Center in nearby Jersey City, NJ has a ton to do for kids and families. They recently opened the Largest Planetarium in the Western Hemisphere- not too shabby, ay?

 

“Its diameter is almost twice as long as a bowling alley lane. Its screen is taller than four giraffes. It offers a true 8K projection. Its lights produce trillions of colors. And it will provide breaking space and astronomy news and discoveries in real time.

It is Liberty Science Center’s greatest experience yet–the largest and most technologically advanced planetarium in the entire Western Hemisphere. The only three that are bigger are in Beijing, China, and Nagoya and Niihama, Japan.”

Liberty Science Center, the largest interactive science center in the NY-NJ metropolitan area, officially opened the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium on December 9, 2017.

The kids had an amazing time watching the live show in the domed theater. The seats we were in were pretty high up, but you can choose seats closer to the ground should you want to. The speaker used a laser pointer to show different stars and constellations in the sky, and made the sun rise and set as you watched in just a few seconds. He was also able to zoom in and out of very specific locations- one of which being the science center itself. You and your kids can see the stars at different times of the year as the speaker zooms around and gives explanations of each constellation.

“You can fit any other planetarium in the Western Hemisphere inside the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium,” said Hoffman. “Add in the state-of-the-art technology and you have a spectacular unique theater like none other in the world. Visitors will be able to fly through the universe, experience the grandness and vastness of space, roam planetary surfaces, navigate asteroid fields, and watch the latest full-dome movies.”
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The Glow at Monmouth Park Racetrack, NJ

If holiday lights are your bag of tea, or if October is your favorite time of year, you will love The Glow.   The Glow at Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, NJ is fun for everyone.  This walk through seasonal event is a Halloween lovers dream, with over 5,000 carved pumpkins ranging from pirates, to rock stars, to movie stars, and even dinosaurs and Pokemon carved into them.

pumpkin carving

There is a carving that is destined to be your favorite.  Your visit starts with a warm Fall beverage and a meeting with a real pumpkin artist as he creates a work of art.  Then there is a small tour through some Halloween themed exhibits, with various Jack o Lantern, pumpkin, and Halloween facts on display and indoor pumpkin decor.

halloween events

Then comes the main event, a walk through outdoor light up event where you can go scene by scene through the time of the dinosaurs, an extreme skate park, and more.  There are even local NJ spots like Asbury Park to visit in gourd form.  Check out government officials commemorated in pumpkin, as well as those running for president.  Best thing about those? They rot quickly, LOL.
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Preview the new #DisneyMagicalWorld2 by @NintendoAmerica #nintendo

This past weekend, we visited the Nintendo Store in NYC for the preview of Disney Magical World 2 Video Game. “Nintendo and Hollywood Records Recording Artist Olivia Holt Celebrate the Upcoming Launch of the Disney Magical World 2 Game, Launching Exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS Family of Systems.

Live your dream life alongside classic Disney characters in six Disney-themed worlds! Anyone who pre-purchases the title in Nintendo eShop or at select retailers will receive three in-game Frozen outfits free for characters like Elsa, Anna and Olaf. The game launches Oct. 14.”
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Ocean Spray Bog and Spinach Salad #ad #CranberryClassroom @OceanSprayInc

Thank you to Ocean Spray® for sponsoring this blog post. I’m partnering with Ocean Spray® for its NYC Cranberry Classroom. #ad All opinions are my own.

With Fall around the corner, it is cranberry season. As such, it is time to make some fun and seasonal  recipes with cranberries.  One such fall favorite is a spinach salad- great year round, but even better when gussied up.

Spinach

Ocean Spray’s ® Spinach Salad

Effortless Spinach Salad

Ingredients

8 ounces fresh spinach
1/2 cup feta or goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Craisins® Original Dried Cranberries
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds, optional

DRESSING:
1/2 cup bottled balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest, optional

Directions

Wash and clean spinach. Tear into bite size pieces and place in a serving bowl. Add half of the feta or goat cheese and onion; toss to combine.

Combine dressing ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Top with dried cranberries and almonds. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.

Another way to celebrate the joys of cranberries is with the Ocean Spray® cranberry bog.

The Ocean Spray® cranberry bog was recently at Rockefeller Center® to celebrate the first day of fall. Nothing says fall like cranberries- and when will you ever get to see a bog in the middle of New York City? Not very often, at least.
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Fun Finds at Mom Mixer

Last weekend, we went to Philly to visit The Franklin Institute science museum, both for the fun Mom Mixer event as well as to check out the museum itself.  We had a great time checking out some fun, new items (and getting some ideas for holiday shopping), sampling some snacks from CVS, and meeting Elmo (who doesn’t love a big, furry monster hug?)

11 12 14 Halloween and product 012Some of our favorites were from Hasbro- my son loved, loved the Grimlock and Optimus Prime toys- almost all of them transform, even the huge Grimlock (this is sure to be a hot toy this year).  The Hasbro station was popular with kids of all ages, with the adorable Lets Imagine Elmo, new Play Doh fun, and more.

new optimus prime toyEpic Optimus Prime was one of my son’s favorites of the day, and it’s a huge toy. The figure stands 22 inches tall, and his chest opens to reveal a command center that fits mini-figures (sold separately) to further playtime.  Grimlock, his other favorite toy, is just as cool- and really, if your kid is a fan, grab this toy now- it’s sure to sell out.

grimlock action figureTransformers Age of Extinction Stomp and Chomp Grimlock Figure is another larger then usual toy, but it is also huge fun. Grimlock is a giant, 20-inch robot that offers a lot of movement and motion. In one step, he really transforms into a dinosaur that can stomp and chomp. His eyes also light up.
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