Penguins of Madagascar is a Smart and Funny Family Flick

The Penguins of Madagascar are back, and this time, they’re stars of their own movie. Produced by Dreamworks and distributed by 20th Century Fox, Penguins of Madagascar is a fast-paced and funny story about four penguin friends.

 

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Penguins of Madagascar, which hits theaters on Wednesday, November 26, sheds light into the backstory of the funny foursome: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. The spinoff to the Madagascar franchise, the Penguins’ adventure follows their pursuits in preventing the peculiar Dr. Octavius Brine from taking over the world.

 

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Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private must work together with North Wind undercover agents while keeping their character in tact and eating as much Cheezy Dibbles along the way. Above all pursuits, Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private embrace their brotherhood and prove the importance of loyalty.

 

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Famous names lend their voices to this fun film: John Malkovich is Dave, Ken Jeong is hilarious as Short Fuse and Benedict Cumberbatch is Classified the gray wolf. Like other Dreamwork films, the humor in Penguins is witty and smart, relevant for the parental audience, but still silly and fun for the kid contingent.  With all the action, adventure and fun, Penguins has all the elements for fantastic family film and impeccably-timed for the holidays.

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In honor of the Penguins Movie, we were invited to a press junket in the City. Together with several other bloggers’ families, we enjoyed the day at the Bronx Zoo, where we toured the Madagascar exhibit and watched a private feeding of Magellanic Penguins and were treated to breakfast and lunch courtesy of Residence Inn. 

 

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After our day at the Bronx Zoo and following our screening of the Penguins of Madagascar, we were hosted at the new Central Park Residence Inn. Residence Inn and the Penguins have a partnership promoting the family travel experience, and we were quite fortunate to experience this partnership firsthand.

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Overlooking Central Park from a few blocks away, the Residence Inn is a convenient midtown location that’s close to a myriad of NYC tourist destinations.  The decor is modern and sleek, the complimentary breakfast is expansive and the rooms are cozy and comfortable; the Residence Inn is ideal for families who seek a midtown hotel with ample amenities.

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My kids were in amazement of the unbelievable views of the city from our room at the Residence Inn. As if watching the Penguins movie before anyone else wasn’t cool enough, getting to stay in a really cool hotel overlooking Central Park was certainly a highlight of the weekend.

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Check out Penguins of Madagascar on Wednesday, November 26!

 

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Residence Inn announced a promotion in line with their partnership with the Penguins of Madagascar release. Contestants can enter the Penguins Picture Mission contest on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram by reenacting their favorite “Penguins of Madagascar” pose with the hashtag #PenguinsMissionPromo between now and December 7. Contestants can enter up to six times, once per week. Each image will be generated into an online photo gallery, giving fans a chance to check out the competition.

 

The grand prize includes round trip airfare to Tampa for four, a three-night stay at the Residence Inn Tampa Downtown, four tickets to see “Madagascar Live! Operation Vacation” at Busch Gardens Tampa, two-day admission tickets for four at Busch Gardens Tampa, and more. Every week for six weeks, participants will also be entered to win prizes including a package of Madagascar DVDs and a $150 Residence Inn gift card.

 

Full disclosure: my family was hosted at the Bronx Zoo, Residence Inn and to a screening of the Penguins of Madagascar, with thanks to DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century Fox. A big thank you to Big Honcho Media and the studios for hosting my family on such a lovely event.

 

Partying with LeapFrog’s LeapTV

The other day, we had a mini-party to celebrate the weekend. And because we’re all about play, we were tasked to have a party with MommyParties to celebrate the launch of LeapFrog LeapTV .

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LeapTV is a new video gaming system from LeapFrog, the brains behind the LeapPad and LeapReader. With the LeapTV, kids can learn through motion as they jump, dance and go crazy. This system is unique because it was designed for kids specifically in the 3-8 year age range. The interface is simple and intuitive, the graphics are sharp, the motion-sensing camera puts kids front and center and the games are forward-thinking.

With LeapTv, there’s 3 unique ways to play: body motion, pointer play and classic control. Through these methods, kids get to experience fun games with plenty of educational content in between.

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I found LeapTV to be much more appealing than I had envisioned. I thought, “a kiddie gaming system?” I was certain I wasn’t going to like it, even though I’m a diehard LeapFrog fan. Truly, LeapTV exceeded every expectation and then some. From my delayed 2.5 year old to my gamer 7 year old, LeapTv satisfied both kids’ gaming desires. It was easy enough for the younger guy, yet engaging enough for my seven year old.

 

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At just $149, I think LeapTv is a great primer gaming system. LeapTV can be a bit redundant if you already own an Xbox or another gaming system that has a camera. It’s perfect for littler guys who express an interest in video games, yet can’t quite play any games on the Xbox. The camera and games geared for the smaller ones make this system appealing for families who aren’t ready to invest in a full blown gaming system. Above all, I loved watching my small and big guy interact together while they moved, grooved and reached for action words and slapped odd numbers. So fun! LeapFrog did it again with LeapTv!

Here’s a video we put together that showcases our LeapTv experience:

 

Full disclosure: I was provided with a review unit to facilitate this post, and to share with friends and family at our LeapTV party. Affiliate links are included in this post.

Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower Set for November 12

Big City Moms is set to take over the Metropolitan Pavilion on November 12th for the Biggest Baby Shower Ever. Since I’ve been covering the baby and kid realm, one of my most favorite events has always been the Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower. It’s true: the BCM Biggest Baby Shower is big.

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As a blogger, the event is like a trade show where I get to chat with some of the hottest baby brands and meet some newcomers. From baby bottles to baby toys, BCM’s Biggest Baby Shower is an expansive forum where pregnant and new moms and dads can learn about the latest and greatest in baby gear up close and personal. With every shower, the Big City Moms’ events get bigger and better.

 

For this shower, vendors range from my favorites: Buy Buy Baby to 4Moms to Tommee Tippee to newcomers such as The Bunky Bag.

If you’re expecting or just had a baby, I absolutely recommend attending Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower. It truly doesn’t disappoint. From the informational sessions to meeting with the hottest baby brands to taking strollers for a spin yourself, BCM’s Biggest Baby Shower is an excellent primer on all things baby. As for the swag bag for attendees? It’s really as awesome as they say—overflowing is an understatement! (If you don’t already have yours, tickets that include the swag bag are sold out)

To attend the Biggest Baby Shower Ever, be sure to head to Big City Moms’ site to grab your tickets. Tickets are still available for standard tickets.

Review: French Toast Uniforms are Durable and Accessible

The kids have been in school for a few months now, and I wanted to circle back on some gear that has been sustaining us thus far. My older son, like many kids, wears a uniform to school. I tell you, the uniform, in many aspects, is our saving grace.  As much as I love fashion and kid style, the daily routine of a school uniform streamlines our day.

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Prior to the beginning of the school year, I had the chance to get to know French Toast, a well known school uniform brand. I’ve bought French Toast branded uniform pieces in the past, so it was a thrill to get a closer look at other items that this company offers.

 

French Toast sent us some uniform pants, an oxford shirt and vest, a look that my son wears day-to-day at school. A few items were bigger than I anticipated, but the pieces that he fits have worked so well thus far. I appreciate that French Toast has such an expansive selection of school uniforms on their site.

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Here in New Jersey, I’ve found French Toast to be quite accessible at several discount retailers. French Toast also features personalization with select schools, and you’re able to shop the site by entering your school code if it’s available.

We weren’t able to try the personalized feature, but did notice our school was listed in French Toast’s database. At my son’s school, they wear custom sweaters and a certain type of plaid to denote their school. It certainly helps when there’s a more affordable option when choosing school uniforms.

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We found French Toast not only to be accessible and affordable, but also durable. Like many little boys, my guy always comes home with holes in his pant’s knees. I can’t even count how many pants he’s destroyed from just being a rough and tumble little boy. It’s great to know French Toast offers pants that are durable, especially with their reinforced knees! As for shirts, I appreciate the quality and how the shirts tend to grow with the kids.

 

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There are several features that help with the never ending growth spurts, but I especially love the expandable neckline. It’s like this shirt has growing buttonholes. My older son has always been off the charts, in terms of size and growth, so a feature like the expandable neckline is helpful when it comes to extending the wear of clothes. Just like the adjustable waistline found in most boys’ pants, this expandable waistline is a definitely a great reason to opt for French Toast uniforms.

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All in all, French Toast uniforms continue to serve their purpose for our daily routine. Affordability, accessibility and sustainability are great selling points for these uniform pieces. Two months into the school year, I’m proud to report that our uniform pieces have been holding up well, and I have no holey pants in sight.

To check out French Toast’s line of uniforms for kids, make sure to head to their site.

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Full disclosure: samples were provided to facilitate this review. As always, opinions on NKT are my own.

Review: Six Things that Make Big Hero 6 ‘Sick’

“It’s just an expression!” as Hiro Hamada would say.

Big Hero 6, which opens in theaters today, is a modern super “hero” tale that follows the journey of a robotics prodigy and an inflatable nurse bot named Baymax.

 

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As the story begins, though small in stature, a young man enters a competition to battle his RC bot. From the first few minutes of the story, we learn a laundry list of things about the main character and the setting of this story. Hiro, the precocious and brainy 14-year-old who seemed to have lost his way, can hustle tough competitors and still land on his feet, even if that means he needs a little lift from his big brother, Tadashi.

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Set in the not so distant future in San Fransokyo, Hiro and his older brother live with their Aunt Cass in an apartment above her cafe. Like a good big brother, Tadashi guides Hiro by tricking him and then influencing him to love “Nerd School.” Hiro is immediately enamored by his brother’s classmates and their inventions at Robotics Institute of San Fransokyo, he decides that he, too, must go to the school. But in order to get the attention of the program’s professor, Hiro was tasked with creating something memorable that would grant him admission.  Needless to say, Hiro’s creation was life-changing in many ways.

 

There are many reasons why families should see Big Hero 6, and we came up with our top six reasons that make this film sick.

 

1. Animation

Right from the beginning, we learn that Big Hero 6 is a special film. It has a unique story, but it’s the animation that helps elevate the storytelling. Because of the dynamic back drop of San Fransokyo, which is a mash up of the best qualities of both Japan and San Francisco, Disney employed a new technology called Hyperion to deliver a rich look to the animation.

 

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Truly, there were parts in the film where I thought I was looking at a real city, rather than an animated one. 

The animators did thorough research when it came to designing the characters and their movements. For Go Go, the bold, no-nonsense friend who later uses Maglev wheels as discs and weapons, the animators used bike messengers and speeds skaters as inspiration for her character and her movement.

 

2. Brotherhood

Blood is thicker than water; this is a familiar theme we’ve seen in popular disney films before. In Big Hero 6, Brotherhood was a major underlying theme that runs its course from beginning to end. Whether it’s your biological brother or your brother for life, the power of brotherhood will sustain you for life and can get your through your darkest days.

 

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 As a mother of two boys and having been through a number of dark days ourselves, I thought this theme was poignantly conveyed between biological brothers, Tadashi and Hiro; robot and friend, Baymax and Hiro; and of course, Hiro and the whole gang.

 

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These relationships fueled passion, offered perspective on life and did a whole lot of uplifting. These messages were so well told with imagery alone, I remember sobbing at just a plate of food. (I’m a mess, I tell ya!)

 

3. STEM

Big Hero 6 isn’t the first animated movie that features STEM within its storyline, but it is, perhaps, one of the more memorable recent films geared to kids where STEM is present at its very core.  STEM is practically its own character in Big Hero 6, and its prevalence will keep budding tech enthusiasts engaged.

BigHero654243c0a5e8e4 1From Hiro’s bot fighting pursuits to his Microbot creation to upgrading Baymax and his friends, the story effortlessly incorporates science, technology, engineering and math. Hiro’s friends who are just as smart and creative in their own right, all have their own creations that ultimately aids in their friend’s conquest for justice. But it’s Baymax, the healthcare companion engineered by Tadashi, who offers the most heart in this otherwise regimented world. It’s Baymax’s job to care for both physical and emotional ailments, and even though as a robot he can’t have feelings, he is responsible for a lot of the feels—the onset that made me grab for the tissues.

 

4. Superheroes

Big Hero 6 is based on the little known Marvel comic of the same name. One of the best quotes that I read from producer Roy Conli that perfectly captures the essence of Big Hero 6: “It’s a Disney Movie with a Marvel DNA.”  

 

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If you’re familiar with either of these storytelling powerhouses, then you know that they are both epic storytellers, yet can be very different—polar opposites, even. Since Marvel was acquired by Disney in 2009, this was one of the first big features where I felt a true Marvel presence. Though there was more storytelling and mystery unfolding than there was super heroes saving the world, the super hero theme was prevalent throughout. Tadashi, Hiro’s big brother encompassed some of those super hero qualities with his good looks, smarts and can-do-no-wrong character. Baymax and his upgradable features and inflatable presence was an unexpected superhero with his karate chops and robotic fists. Hiro and his friends, GoGo, Fred, Wasabi, Honey Lemon and Baymax combined, form the titular group Big Hero 6.

 

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It’s their major endeavor to find the mystery man who stole Hiro’s creation that makes the superhero tale come full circle, complete with mystery being solved with a Scooby Doo-esque plot twist at the end.

 

5. Sounds

Thanks to Big Hero 6, I now have the theme song constantly running in my head. You know the one: it’s that Fall Out Boy anthem that consists of quietly shouting and chanting, the same cadence that little boys tend to expel in excitement.

 

At several points in the movie, I found myself either tapping my foot, bopping my head or mouthing, ‘I love this song!’ The soundtrack and score rounded out the effects of this movie, perfectly evoking the love and loss of this modern super hero. And don’t get me started on the one-liners! Like any good kid film, Big Hero 6 had its fair share of witty one liners that will, no doubt, find their way into daily jargon. “Hairy Baby,” anyone?

 

6. Empowering

There’s a lot going on in Big Hero 6, but one of the most important messages is the empowerment. Thinking outside the box, looking at different angles to get out and most importantly, compassion are the most empowering messages in Big Hero 6.  I love that this film celebrates hard work and imagination, but also embraces geeky culture.

 

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The smartest people in this world are often the most misunderstood, so it’s up to us to bring out the best in them.  In the end, I appreciated forgiveness and compassion. In our world full of intolerance and hate, it was endearing to see Baymax remind Hiro that compassion and forgiveness are powerful tools.

 

 

Who should NOT see this movie? 

If you have a tot who can’t sit still for almost two hours, I’d wait to see this film. Though it can be fast-paced, this is a full feature film, and so it’s long, but well worth it.  Big Hero 6 is rated PG and there are major scenes that involve grief and death. If this is a topic that could cause distress, I’d say wait to watch until you’re ready to discuss.  At quiet moments after one of the major scenes, I heard smaller kids who were quite upset. I have an anxious, super hero-loving 7 year old who absolutely loved Big Hero 6 despite some of the trivial topics. He absolutely loved it.

BigHero654243c09be44fI’m also a super hero fan, who happens to adore Disney AND Marvel, so this film was an all around win for me.  This truly is one of those movies I will go and see over and over again, and will be sure to buy it immediately, as soon as the digital copy is available. Also? There’s a majorly awesome after credit scene that you’ll want to stick around for, especially if you’re a Marvel fan like us.

 

Big Hero 6 is a super special story that transcends a typical superhero story; it’s a heart warming journey about an unlikely bond and their equally admirable crusade.  

 

Fall Footwear: Baby Bogs Classic Waterproof Boots Review

With this past weekend’s brisk weather, it was a vivid reminder that it is, indeed, fall. While I typically prepare the boys’ wardrobe by switching out the summer for winter clothes, unfortunately, their shoe and boot selection is often an oversight until we actually need them.

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Fortunately, Bogs came to the rescue with impeccable timing this year. Selecting from a vibrant spectrum of cozy boots for the toddling set, I chose one of the new patterns to review, a black pair of Baby Bogs in Classic Trucks, speckled with blue, yellow and gray vehicles. 

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Baby Bogs feature a plush, furry-like interior lining. The exterior is constructed with a Neo-Tech insulation, which feels similar to wetsuit material, but much more durable.

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The soles are lighter than typical boots, but still have a great tread for toddlers who like to run. And like many other styles of Bogs, Baby Bogs have handles along the opening, which makes for easy access for toddlers (or parents) to pull on.

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At just 6 inches tall, these waterproof boots are light and unobtrusive enough for every day wear. Combined with the cozy lining and Neo-Tech exterior, Baby Bogs are suitable for cold conditions, up to 14 degrees. Just throw some thick socks or tights on, these boots are perfect even for those early winter days. 

 

On our daily adventures, we found ourselves testing the waters at our lake—quite literally.  My little guy walked up to the water and was so tempted to walk in the water, shoes and all. Because he’s 2, my fearless guy did exactly what I knew he would: he walked into the water. But because he had his Baby Bogs on, after I whisked him out, his toes and boots were totally dry and warm!

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A few days later, we found ourselves wandering around the Bronx Zoo for a pre-planned press junket—in the rain. Thankfully, I had the foresight to bring along Littles’ Baby Bogs. He splashed puddles and ran through the rain, without so much of a slip, slide or wet sock.  

 

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I’m that mom that’s all like, “hold still while I take your picture. HOLD STILL.” In the rain!

While I love almost everything about these boots, I’d love them even MORE if these classic Baby Bogs were offered in a taller option as well. Overall, these are well made, versatile boots, perfect for these brisk fall days.

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Ideal for the unpredictable weather patterns of fall, Baby Bogs are suitable for active tots who are exposed in all weather conditions and need coverage and definitive classic style. What sets these boots apart is that they’re durable, yet lightweight, which is important for often off-balance toddlers like mine. Best of all, should you find your kid ankle-deep in a mud puddle, Baby Bogs are machine washable. Puddle splashing FTW!

Baby Bogs are available in a variety of classic colors and designs and can be found at retailers like LL Bean, Amazon and BogsFootwear.com and retail for around $50.

Full disclosure: I received a pair of Baby Bogs to facilitate this review. As always, opinions on NKT are my own. 

Fun and Easy Halloween Lunchbox Ideas

Happy Halloween! We get all into this spooky day by tricking out almost anything and everything…and, not surprisingly, that includes school lunch!

If you follow me on Instagram, you might already know that I’ve been a longtime lunchbox fan. I play with my kid’s food, all in the name of smiles.  For Halloween, I thought of spooky characters and incorporated them into lunch.

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 An easy go-to for Halloween-themed lunches include pumpkin-shaped sandwiches. I usually make a turkey or ham sandwich, but something not too thick. I then cut the sandwich with my pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter which has the lines in the formation. For the fruit and dessert, I cut 2 slices and pop some mini-marshmallows in for the teeth. For some containers you can just place the slices and marshmallows without any help. Since my apple wasn’t that big, I had to use tooth picks to secure the apple-lip formation, but then the marshmallows stayed in place. I just put mixed berries on the side, or rather, Boo-berries.  And finally, to give the lunch a super fun look, I threw in one of our Halloween rings I saved from our local ice cream shop. Spiders or other tiny trinkets work well for decor. Easy peasy.

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For this lunch, instead of bread, I used a pita and cut it into fourths. I stuffed the pita with ham and mustard for an easy sandwich. For the veggie, I roasted sweet potatoes the night before, like you would sweet potato fries. But before roasting cut out a jack o’lantern face to give it a fun effect.  For the fruit, I threw in more berries!

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And today’s Halloween lunch includes an easy, kid friendly salad.  Salad? Why salad? Because my kid will be consume candy by the fistful later, I thought I’d throw in some nutrition for lunch. In a Konserve stainless steel container, I mixed some greens, goat cheese, tiny apple chunks and cranberries. I included some honey balsamic on the side and will cross fingers at least some of it gets eaten! For extra measure, I made a quick pumpkin-shaped sandwich and berries. The candy eyeballs were totally for effect. I wonder if those will get eaten first?!

 

For me, making lunch isn’t supposed to cumbersome, but rather, fun and delicious. If it takes more than 10 minutes to make, that’s just not fun for me. If my 7 year old can’t do it himself, again, that’s not fun. So, rule of thumb, make lunch fun and keep it simple.   So, with that said, here are just a few Halloween-inspired lunches.

So, if you’re not into bento boxes or fun lunches for kids, before you say “somebody’s got too much time on their hands,” consider this: bento boxes have been around for centuries in Japan, and they incorporate healthier eating by limiting portion size and encouraging more wholesome foods.

Happy Halloween!

 

Trap or Treat: Skylanders Trap Team Halloween Video

Some of our favorite characters who just might already live in a fantasy land are starring in a Halloween-themed video to give us a glimpse of some ghoulish shenanigans. In honor of Halloween, the Skylanders Trap Team released this Halloween video to get us in the spooky spirit while sharing some of the latest installment of Skylanders.

Happy Halloween!

 

Disclosure: This video was sent to me from Activision for promotional purposes. I was not compensated for this post, but received samples to facilitate a review of this game. As always, all opinions are my own.

Best Halloween Costumes for Boys 2014

We’re just few days away from Halloween, and more than likely, you’ve got your costumes all picked and ready to go.  But for those of you who don’t, I put together a round up of some of the most popular boys’ costumes for the 4-8 year old range.  Four is a bit beyond the cutesy animals and eight isn’t quite into all the gory monsters quite yet.  There’s quite a few boy costumes that touch graze the gore factor but focus on that super hero/machismo theme.

Saban’s Power Rangers have some of the fiercest costumes at reasonable price points.  My guys had the chance to check out the toddler ranger and the Red Ranger, both of which were bold and appear powerful with the muscle detailing.  What we liked most about these costumes is that they featured a lot of details and were true to the characters from the show.  

Spider-Man must have some kind of record for being one of the most popular Halloween costumes.  This Marvel costume that can be found at Party City boasts lots of muscles and webbing details the only thing missing are the instant webs!

Batman is another favorite boys’ costume, particularly with the younger and much older boys.  This toddler Batman costume mirrors the old school dark knight costume, and one that’s likely to be a hit with the littlest fans.

Ninjas seem to be a longtime favorite for boys, presumably for its mysterious, yet powerful stature.  As opposed to the common black ninja costumes, this ninja costume from Halloween Spirit has green details that set it apart. Double swords and a draped mask complete this mysterious get-up.

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Ninja Turtles are, perhaps, one of the biggest comebacks in terms of revived characters and surrounding frenzy.  TMNT is expected to be one of the most popular costumes for boys this Halloween, so be on the lookout for all types of turtles, specifically in the likeness of Leo, Donnie, Mikey and Raphael.

Expect to see a lot of video game-inspired costumes this weekend, including Minecraft, Mario and lots of Skylanders.  Activision’s über popular video game franchise recently released a new installment, Trap Team, so be on the lookout for Skylanders of any kind.  My older guy will be donning a Chop Chop costume, which is essentially a ferocious skeleton warrior.

In case you’re on the lookout for a last minute costume, all of the above can be found at Walmart, Target, Halloween Spirit or Party City. Happy Trick or Treating!

 

Trick or Treat at Jenkinson’s Boo on the Boardwalk

In the weeks leading up to Halloween, there’s no shortage of festivities, and that includes down the shore, here in NJ! In the spirit of Halloween, Jenkinson’s gets all tricked out for Boo on the Boardwalk. The fun on the boardwalk includes trick or treating, crafts and lots of tricks in between. We were onhand last weekend to experience the fun and I have the photos to prove it.

 

Boo on the Boardwalk has lots of games for the kids to play, with plenty of prizes too!  Entrance includes 2 free games, and there are several games that you can pay to play.

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I love that kids of all ages can participate in the games! Littles had a blast with this Plinko-like game! Lucky us, he won 5 little prizes!

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Boo on the Boardwalk is slated for this weekend, October 25 and 26 from noon to 4:00. Get the kids dressed up and head to the boardwalk for lots of family fun!

 

In between all of the activities, we did some trick or treating! We forgot our trick or treat bags, but Jenkinson’s gives you a bag upon entry.IMG 1578

 

The boardwalk performer, aka Frankenstein, entertained the kids with a little show!

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And what’s a visit to Jenkinson’s without a visit to the aquarium? We had a blast checking out our favorite friends.  We even caught the penguin feeding for the first time, something we always missed over the summer!

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We loved that the animals had their own pumpkins throughout the aquarium!

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And to stay in the Halloween spooky spirit, I was able to get my fortune read right by the penguins exhibit.

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Apparently, all of my ongoing struggle will pay off in the end! Good to know!

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It was a wonderful fall day on the boardwalk, which is my absolute favorite time at the beach: less crowds, more beauty and just as much fun! If you have a chance, be sure to check out Boo on the Boardwalk this weekend at Jenkinson’s!

 

Full disclosure: I am a Jenkinson’s ambassador and received compensation as part of this program. My family received complimentary admission to facilitate this review, but as always, opinions on NKT are my own.