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Category : Local Travel

By Kimberly Milnes

Discover The Art of the Brick

A few weeks ago the boys and I headed in to New York City to see The Art of the Brick at Discovery Time Square.   It is a great show that combines art, design and of course Legos.   The artist Nathan Sawaya known as the Brick Artist, has taken his love of Legos and created some amazing original pieces of art and sculpture.  As well, he has re-created masterpieces like Van Gogh’s Starry Night in Legos.

The Discovery Times Square is located on 44th, between 7th and 8th,  in the heart of Times Square. We drove in and it was not too bad. I always get a parking coupon when I am driving in to the city.  Icon Parking has coupons for most all their locations in the city.  As well, if you don’t want to deal with NYC traffic, you can take the NY Waterway Ferry over from NJ and then the free bus in to Times Square.

We headed in around mid morning to miss rush hour traffic and to have lunch in the city.  Since we were in Times Square we had to head to John’s Pizza.  It is a favorite.  Also, it is great since it is right down the block from the Discovery Times Square.

Before heading in to the city to see the show I would suggest that you buy your tickets in advance. They will ask you for an entry time.   Prices for show are $22.50 for Adults and $17.50 for kids (4-12).   I did not see any coupons available when we went, but I suggest doing a google search before you buy just to see if you can save a few dollars.  I think for the size of the show the ticket price is a bit high, but it is Times Square.    Also, there are 2 other shows at the center you can check out as well: Shipwrek: Pirates & Treasure and Body Worlds: Pulse.  You can purchase combo tickets.

They did not let us take photos of the exhibition, but we actually saw an exhibit of some of these pieces at the Morristown Museum last year.  Along with some amazing new pieces, were many of the same ones we saw, like these:

The boys really enjoyed the exhibit, their favorite was the Dinosaur sculpture.  I enjoyed all the re-creations of the masterpieces.  I think the boys are still a little too young to understand why the masterpiece re-creations are so great.  But, it was nice to have a discussion about art and being creative.  Being creative it why I love Legos,  I like to see what the boys create on their own more than the actual Lego you are supposed to create from the box.

As well if your kids like to be creative with Legos, there is a contest.  At the end of the exhibit, there is a display of Lego projects created by folks just like you.   You just need to submit a photo of your creation by August, 19th.  They winning creations will be on display fromSeptember 16th thru January 5th, 2014.  Just click here for more details.

The Art of the Brick exhibit is worth the trek in to the city.  The exhibit itself is not too big, so really you can do it in an afternoon.  As well, it can be a stop on your day in the city.  Get some lunch at John’s Pizza, as well if you are brave you can head over to Toys R Us and ride the ferris wheel.

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By Kimberly Milnes

Eewww!! Gross Fun at Liberty Science Center

To kick off our summer the boys and I headed to the Liberty Science Center last week.  It is a great way to spend an afternoon and the boys always have a great time.  We were there a few months ago to check out the Avatar and Curious George exhibits, which were awesome.  So we wanted to check out their new exhibits: Grossology:  The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body and Block Party .

The Grossology exhibit is a lot of fun and the boys loved it. All I had to say was that we would learn about farts, boogers and belching among other things and they were hooked.  What I really enjoyed was all the great interactive exhibits which made learning fun.  Since the boys were able to interact and be a part of each station, it kept their attention and they wanted to learn.

When you walk in to the exhibit the first stop is about Boogers.  But of course, all my boys saw was that it has an air cannon to shoot the boogers up the nose.  Then we headed over to push the buttons and learn all about those noises our stomach makes.

I have to say I liked the 3D Digestive Tract.  You enter the mouth, down the slide to the stomach and then through the colon and out.   I enjoyed telling the boys where they were coming out.   Ewwww.

After the digestive tract we checked out the Operation table. The table has rubber bones and organs.  We tried to see if we could put them in the right place.  Again, a fun way to learn.  The boys then hit the Human Skin wall, full of warts, zits and more.

After the skin wall, it was on to learn about snot and a runny nose.   As well, there was a machine to show you how the body works when you barf.   In this area there is also a game you can play against other guests to check out what you have learned.

Not to be left out of course we had to check out the gas and fart area. You can make all kinds of lovely noises with the exhibits.  There was lots of laughing going on in our group.  Overall, it is a very fun and educational exhibit.  I am going to the library to check out the book on which this exhibit is based.    This exhibit will be at Liberty untilSeptember 2. So you have plenty of time to check it out.

Also make sure to check out the Grossbusters show.  It is a play that is put on several times through out the day.  It is of course based on Ghostbusters.  My boys always enjoy the shows at the science center.

Next it was on to the Block Party.    My boys love building forts and working with their Legos, so this was a great exhibit for them.  They could have stayed in there for hours. The block party is made up of 4 different play areas:

Imagination Playground which has over 250 foam shapes kids can use to build whatever they want.   As you can see, even the parents got in to the action.  It was nice that they had chairs for the adults to relax while the kids play. They suggest this area is best for kids 6-12.

Thinker Linkers is another area that has over 700 notched wooden boards. The boards come in different sizes and link together.  They were easy use and the boys really liked building with them.  Again, the suggested age for this area is 6 and up.

Creative Cardboard is an area for all ages. They have a fun tunnel for the kids to crawl and explore.  As well there are different sizes of cardboard boxes to build and add to the tunnel.

Building Blocks – Tot Lot is an area for kids 5 and under.  This area has over 600 wooden shapes, which included arches, triangles, blocks, figures and more. The little ones can really create in this area.

So as you can see these 2 new exhibits really have a lot of great areas for kids to learn and have fun.  As well, with 4 floors there is plenty to see and do.  My boys really like the Slot Cars which run on solar power in the Got Power Exhibit as well as the Touch Tunnel.  ​The tunnel is a maze that is in the dark where you can crawl and feel your way out.

Along with all the other exhibits you can enjoy the Imax and 3D Theater. You do have to purchase an additional ticket for the theater.  In September, you will be able to check out the new  Bob The Builderexhibit.  It is great that along with the permanent exhibits there is always something new to see.

Overall, the Liberty Science Center is a great way to spend the day.   There are so many great exhibits, shows and ways for the kids to interact and learn.

 

By Kimberly Milnes

Have Baby "Stuff" Will Travel

Besides flying, I think one of the biggest hurdles of traveling with little ones is all the “stuff” you have to bring.  There are diapers, strollers, bottles, food/snacks, high chairs, toys, etc. etc.  Who wants to have to lug all that “stuff”, especially when we are being charged extra bag fees.

I always suggest to my clients to send a box ahead to your resort or vacation destination with the baby or toddler supplies you will need while away.  It will save you on bag fees, but more importantly it saves you having to push/carry everything from home, to the airport, to your transfer, and then to the resort. No wonder many of you would just rather just stay home.  Well, I think you deserve to be able to get away, relax, reconnect and create those amazing family vacation memories.  While Adventures By Kim is here to take the stress out of planning your vacation. I am always on the look out for great business that will make it easier for families to get away.

To help with all the “stuff”, I recently discovered Jet Set Babies and Baby Chic NY Rentals. These 2 companies will provide you with just about anything you could want or need while away and the best part is it will be waiting at your destination.  Just a few clicks and you are set.  No shopping, packing,  or lugging all your supplies.  I love it.

Jet Set Babies has a wide variety of baby and toddler supplies.  They offer name brand formula, food, supplies and more.  As well, I think the prices are very reasonable.  One great feature of their site is the,  Baby Vacation Packages.  It makes ordering that much easier since they have already created packages with  just about all you will need for any destination.  While Jet Set Babies does not rent equipment, they have links to companies that do rent, like Baby Equipment Rental These are companies they have tested and who they trust.   Also, Jet Set Babies will ship your order internationally.   As well , they have created relationships with companies like Lots for Tots in Mexico, where you are not allowed you to bring in food or formula. They also will take special requests. So if you do not see what you need or want on their site, do not worry.

Baby Chic NY Rentals is a sister company to Jet Set Babies. You can order many of the same baby/toddler supplies, but they also do offer equipment rental.   My favorite item they offer the is the “Fun in the Park” package.   If you are traveling to NY with little ones Central Park is not to be missed, with the open fields, playgrounds and the awesome Children’s Zoo.   The package includes: a weather proof Tuffo Blanket, Frisbee, Bubbles, Bat and Ball or Jump Rope, Side Walk Chalk, Kick Ball and many other items you can customize.

It is so nice to all the companies out there that are supporting families traveling with little ones.  You don’t have to stay home, with a little planning and support you can have an amazing stress-free vacation.   What are you waiting for?

By Kimberly Milnes

Have Baby “Stuff” Will Travel

Besides flying, I think one of the biggest hurdles of traveling with little ones is all the “stuff” you have to bring.  There are diapers, strollers, bottles, food/snacks, high chairs, toys, etc. etc.  Who wants to have to lug all that “stuff”, especially when we are being charged extra bag fees.

I always suggest to my clients to send a box ahead to your resort or vacation destination with the baby or toddler supplies you will need while away.  It will save you on bag fees, but more importantly it saves you having to push/carry everything from home, to the airport, to your transfer, and then to the resort. No wonder many of you would just rather just stay home.  Well, I think you deserve to be able to get away, relax, reconnect and create those amazing family vacation memories.  While Adventures By Kim is here to take the stress out of planning your vacation. I am always on the look out for great business that will make it easier for families to get away.

To help with all the “stuff”, I recently discovered Jet Set Babies and Baby Chic NY Rentals. These 2 companies will provide you with just about anything you could want or need while away and the best part is it will be waiting at your destination.  Just a few clicks and you are set.  No shopping, packing,  or lugging all your supplies.  I love it.

Jet Set Babies has a wide variety of baby and toddler supplies.  They offer name brand formula, food, supplies and more.  As well, I think the prices are very reasonable.  One great feature of their site is the,  Baby Vacation Packages.  It makes ordering that much easier since they have already created packages with  just about all you will need for any destination.  While Jet Set Babies does not rent equipment, they have links to companies that do rent, like Baby Equipment Rental These are companies they have tested and who they trust.   Also, Jet Set Babies will ship your order internationally.   As well , they have created relationships with companies like Lots for Tots in Mexico, where you are not allowed you to bring in food or formula. They also will take special requests. So if you do not see what you need or want on their site, do not worry.

Baby Chic NY Rentals is a sister company to Jet Set Babies. You can order many of the same baby/toddler supplies, but they also do offer equipment rental.   My favorite item they offer the is the “Fun in the Park” package.   If you are traveling to NY with little ones Central Park is not to be missed, with the open fields, playgrounds and the awesome Children’s Zoo.   The package includes: a weather proof Tuffo Blanket, Frisbee, Bubbles, Bat and Ball or Jump Rope, Side Walk Chalk, Kick Ball and many other items you can customize.

It is so nice to all the companies out there that are supporting families traveling with little ones.  You don’t have to stay home, with a little planning and support you can have an amazing stress-free vacation.   What are you waiting for?

By Kimberly Milnes

Check out – Legoland Discovery Center

Over spring break the boys and I made a trip up to the new Legoland Discovery Center which recently opened in the new Westchester’s Ridge Hill Shopping Center in Yonkers.  In the US there are also Legoland Discovery Centers in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Kansas City. Needless to say the boys were very excited to check it out.

From where I am in New Jersey it is a quick 20-30 minute ride over the George Washington Bridge to get there.  It is also close to my beloved Stew Leonard’s as well.   Love that store.   It was suggested that we buy our tickets in advance on-line as they stagger admission so it will not be too crowded.  We could not get a ticket until 2 pm, because I bought the day we wanted to go, so I suggest buying a day in advance.   Ticket prices are $22 (+tax) adults and $18 + tax) for children.

Upon entering you are directed in to the Lego Factory.  The lab technician gives the kids a lesson in how legos are made.  It is a nice interactive space with buttons push, levers to pull and more.  Before you make you way to the next room, the lab technician gave the boys a “special” lego.

After the lab you make your way to the Kingdom Quest ride.  It reminded me of the Buzzlight Year ride at the Magic Kingdom.  You have to hit the targets and save the Princess.  It was cute and I thought the design and video elements were well done.  They boys were just happy to be playing a “video” game.

Once you are off the ride you make your way to Miniland.  Of course, our Miniland is all about NYC.  It is so well done. I am always amazed at the level of detail.   There is Yankee Stadium, Times Square, the subway and more.

After Miniland, you walk into the main area of the Discovery Center.  We first made our way to Lego Races: Build and Test.   I was not so impressed with this section, as we could not find any wheels for our racers. The boys liked being able to build, but I did not think it was very organized.

Next to Lego Racers, there is the Earthquake Table where you can build and then turn on the table to see if it can stand up to the earthquake.   Next, the table is the Lego Master Builder Academy.  The Academy has a new class every 30 minutes.  I think it is great for the older kids who want to learn new building tricks.

Next to the academy there is the Duplo Village.  This is a great area for the little ones, ages 1-5.  They can climb around and there is also a little slide.     Also, not to leave the girls out of the mix there is the Lego Friends area.   It is a cute little house for the girls to play. They even have karaoke.

Next up, is Merlin’s Apprentice.  Yes, there is actually another ride here. The kids can peddle their flying boom to make it go up and down.  I like that even the little guys can ride as well.  There is also the Lego 4D Cinema.  We saw 3 Lego movies, each about 10 minutes long.  The 4D is there are wind, water and bubble (snow) effects.  I thought the movies were well done and the boys were thoroughly entertained.   The movies we saw were: Clutch Powers, a Lego Racer movie and a Kingdom Quest.

In the middle of all the action is the Lego Fire Academy.  This is a great play area with a slide, many levels as well as building area.  A big note for this area:  BRING SOCKS!.  I did not know this so of course I ended up buying socks for $2 a pair.   There is a nice little cafe with seats so you can sit enjoy a cup of coffee while the kids play.  They have the usual snacks at the cafe.  The big item is the kids lunch for $15. I thought it was a bit pricey, but it comes in a big lego.

Overall, we had a fun day.   I was impressed with the space and thought it was very clean.  It made for a great afternoon with the boys.   Beware, as to exit you have to go through the Lego store.   Needless to say I did not get out of there without opening my wallet.

I also really liked the new Ridge Hill Mall.  There are a lot of great stores and restaurants.   On a nice day you can take a walk, get something to eat and enjoy the little playground they have as well.  Though I have to say a metal playground with no shade covering, maybe not such a great idea.

If you want more information please email us at info@adventuresbykim.com.

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