A Day Out with Thomas Heads to Phillipsburg, NJ Delaware River Railroad Excursions

The magic of Sodor is making its way to the Delaware River Railroad Excursions in Phillipsburg once again this summer when A Day Out with Thomas comes to town. Thomas and Friends will be making several excursions at the Phillipsburg Railways and will be bringing all kinds of fun along, too!

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For two back-to-back weekends, July 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16, children and their families are invited to take a 20-minute ride on their favorite engine, meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway and enjoy a day of Thomas & Friends fun.

In celebration of this year’s theme, Day Out With Thomas: The Friendship Tour 2017 will feature an array of friendship-inspired activities. Attendees will be able to participate in events that encourage and celebrate friendship including photo opportunities, crafts, and a fun activity that invites kids to collect passport stamps throughout the day to receive a trio of Day Out With Thomas friendship bracelets. The 2017 tour theme is in line with this year’s Thomas & Friends global brand campaign, ‘Set Friendship in Motion.’

 

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A Day Out with Thomas is a whole day affair with train rides and activities galore—perfect for those who love Thomas and trains in general. The best part of this fun day is that there’s something for everyone. From the Thomas-themed story time to the mini petting area to the train play area to the arts and crafts area, the fun is endless at A Day Out with Thomas.

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 My sons and I have had the opportunity to visit A Day Out with Thomas several times over the years. And as major fans of Thomas, this is one of our favorite summer day trips; it’s so fun to get our fill of train fun. Beyond the fun ride aboard the train itself, we love meeting the conductors and engineers who are always so cordial with all of the kids. My boys love all the fun activities, especially the bouncy rides and toy trains and demos. We have such a great time exploring the grounds of the Railways, which is about an hour away from us.

  

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A couple of things to note for those in Northern NJ like me, Phillipsburg is about an hour drive. The middle of July is typically super hot and there isn’t AC on the trains, so bring plenty of water to drink and to stay cool! Definitely plan to arrive early to enjoy all of the activities as it does get crowded for certain times AND to figure out parking. I found parking to be somewhat tricky. It’s cheaper to park further away, but there are shuttles available. Be sure to take all of things things into consideration.

  

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And of course, don’t forget to wear your Thomas shirts and conductor’s hats if you have them. There are lots of photo opps and the kids love being in character with their favorite Thomas friends.

 

 

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at www.ticketweb.com/dowt or by calling toll-free 866.468.7630.  For more information and directions, contact the the Delaware River Railroad Excursions at 877-train-ride or 877trainride.com

 

Kids Ride Free on NY Waterway for President’s Day Weekend

Even though we moved out of Hoboken more than six years ago, we still visit the city often. When we do, we almost always park in our old ‘hood and take the ferry over. It’s scenic, easy, convenient and it’s much calmer than the other modes of public transportation. Whenever friends ask me how to get to the City, I always point them in the direction of NY Waterway Ferry. It’s really the best way to go!

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Just in time for President’s Weekend, NY Waterways announced a pretty sweet special, especially if you’re bringing the kids to do some touristy activities. 

NY Waterways is once again offering “Kids Ride Free” over the three-day President’s Day Weekend, Feb. 18 – 20.  Families can link “Kids Ride Free” to NY Waterway’s Your Key To The City partner program which offers discounts of up to 56% on top NYC museums, attractions, tours and shows, such as the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museumthe American Museum of Natural History, Madame Tussauds and many more. 

  • Children under 12 can ride free on ferries to/from the following terminals: Port Imperial Weehawken, Lincoln Harbor Weehawken, Hoboken 14th St and Paulus Hook in Jersey City. 
  • Two child limit with each paying adult fare
  • No physical ticket required for a child
  • Free connecting multi-route shuttles to attractions (from Midtown W39th St Ferry Terminal)
  • Valid February 18 thru February 20, 2017

The weather’s supposed to be unseasonably warm this weekend, so make sure you head in and take advantage of this great deal!

NYC Vlogging Challenge: My favorite Spot around Town

As I previously mentioned, I’ve been participating in the NYC Vlogging Challenge. Together with Lisa from Atypical Familia and Divina from Dancing Hot Dogs, we’ve been hosting prompts to get our friends and community excited about vlogging and just sharing what we love about where we live, what we like to do and such.

This week, Lisa is the host and I was cracking up about what she shared about her travel must! Divina shared what she loves about her town. And, I decided to do the same! Instead of sharing about my actual hometown, Va Beach, I shared about one of my favorite spots in my current town. 

Straight from the gym, I filmed this video before the kids came home from school. The thing about vlogging is that it forces me to share the nitty gritty, usually in the moment, with little or no time to edit. So, yes, this is me in all of my makeup-less glory. I love the way I keep looking around to see if anyone is checking me out filming by myself in the park like a weirdo! Nonetheless, it’s all in good fun.

Be sure to check out our videos and to see what I love about my town!

  

Dora and Diego—Let’s Explore at Liberty Science Center + giveaway

 Just before all the holiday chaos started, we were invited to explore the Dora and Diego exhibit at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ.

 

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There’s so much we love about LSC, but the educational and interactive exhibits rank pretty high up on our list.

At our most recent trip to LSC we had the chance to explore the Dora and Diego—Let’s Explore! exhibit. If there was ever an exhibit that adequately examines the curious nature of toddlers and preschoolers, Dora and Diego—Let’s Explore is it.  The exhibit features Nickelodeon favorites, Dora and Diego, along with their buddies, Boots, Map, Backpack, Isa, Tico and Swiper.

This exhibit was created by The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis in partnership with Nickelodeon and will be at LSC until January 24th.


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Like the popular Nickelodeon shows from which this exhibit is based, Dora and Diego—Let’s Explore is an exhibit that encourages adventure, curiosity and how to solve problems while engaging Spanish speaking skills for preschoolers.

Highlights from the exhibit include:

The Purple Planet – Kids can climb inside and slide down on the surface of the whimsical Purple Planet

 

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Rocket Ship – Dora and friends need a ride to the Purple Planet. At the Rocket Ship, kids can suit up, pilot the ship and play memory with planets. 

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Constellations – Kids can learn about stars and identify the patterns made out of stars by inserting star shapes to light-up a constellation

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Isa’s Flowery Garden – At the Flowery Garden, Dora’s friend Isa the Iguana helps kids learn the beauty of flowers, plants, and animals. At Isa’s Garden, kids can pick flowers, interact with bird, butterflie, and insect puppets

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 Tico’s Tree and Car – Tico the squirrel needs help picking nuts from the tree for a family picnic. Kids can play along with Swiper to swipe the nuts and watch as they shoot up and over to fill Tico’s basket. Kids can help Tico fill up his car with nuts so he can begin his journey.

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 Pirate Ship – In the Pirate Ship, kids can band together with Pirate Piggies crew and dress like a pirate and sail the ship and share the treasure treasure. 

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Animal Rescue Center – Kids get a hands-on opportunity to care and help (stuffed) rainforest animals in Diego’s Animal Rescue Center. Kids can be an animal rescuer like Diego, as well as diagnose and help treat critters with the Scanner bed, First-Aid Station and fluff their fur at the Care Station. 

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Rainforest Maze – At the rainforest, kids can locate rainforest animals and swing across the Bobo Brothers’ monkey bars, crawl through a fallen tree, climb across Jaguar Mountain, and jump or hop across the River Rocks.

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Though the exhibit is geared to the younger set, both my preschooler and grade schooler enjoyed Dora and Diego—Let’s Explore. The many interactive features, games and activities kept my kids engaged for well over an hour and a half.

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 At the Rocket Ship, both kids loved role-playing and pretending to blast off. Tico’s Tree and Car was a fun activity for both kids, especially my preschooler who was excited to pick nuts and fuel up himself. At the Rainforest Maze, my 8 year old enjoyed climbing and helping his little brother jump and swing around. The Animal Rescue Center was another favorite for my boys, where they were able to partner up and play vet together. I loved listening to my older son read the little signs and share interesting information throughout this super fun experience.

 

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Dora and Diego—Let’s Explore is a fantastic interactive exhibit that’s ideal for toddlers and preschoolers, but engaging for the entire family. LSC has been one of my family’s absolute favorite museums in NJ since my older son was an infant. There’s always something for everyone in the family to enjoy. It does get crowded on the weekends and at peak times, but it’s always a lot of fun. And as winter limits family activities, what better way to spend a cold day with family than exploring at LSC.

 

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With that in mind, in conjunction with What’s Down in Town, we’re giving away a family 4-pack of tickets to the Liberty Science Center that includes admission to Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition gallery. This giveaway will end on Friday to give you a chance to enjoy LSC over the long weekend! Please enter below:

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In order to facilitate this review, we received complimentary admission to LSC. Promotional tickets were provided for giveaway. As always, all opinions are my own.

 

 

Back to School Shopping Tips at The Mills at Jersey Gardens

I take my shopping very seriously, and that goes for our back-to-school shopping! So, imagine the elation when I learned that one of my blogging pals was going to be a featured speaker at a back-to-school luncheon hosted by my absolute favorite outlet mall in NJ. 10915046 10153528552209972 238288810995648385 o
Last week, The Mills at Jersey Gardens hosted a power lunch and featured lifestyle blogger and fashion trendspotter, Corine Ingrassia of Complicated Mama, and consumer and money-saving expert, Andrea Woroch. Together with several fellow NJ influencers, I got a guided tour and some Insider tips from The Mills at Jersey Gardens, as well as some great fashion and savings tips from the experts. 

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Since we’re all about spotting the hottest trends while saving some money, I thought I’d share some great insight from the experts.

 

 

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Back to School style tips from Corine Ingrassia:

 

Plan to layer- Think: cardigans paired with swing dresses, hoodies peeking through denim or leather moto jackets, crop tops over chambray button downs

Layering allows you to mix, match and stretch some of your kid’s favorite summer styles long into fall.

 

Choose quality over quantity

While we all love a good bargain—ultimately—with all the wear and tear kids give their clothes, we need them to last. Look for sales on brands you know will last the long haul.

 

Know your kid’s personal style

When kids are little we have more to say in what they wear, but as they reach the tween years, they develop their own sense of style (for better or for worse).

 

Top trends for 2015 BTS:

Mix and match prints

Jogger pants 

flannel, florals, moto/chunky ankle boots, just like the 90s!

Neon is still holding strong

Textures and prints

Slip-ons are top picks for kids: ballet flats, vans, Nike Roshe Runs, Bobs, ankle boots and moto boots

 

According to NRF’s Back-to-School Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average family with children in grades K-12 plans to spend $630.36 on electronics, apparel and other school needs, down from $669.28 last year. As for where consumers will finish their shopping, discount stores will see the most traffic (53.4%), while 46.8 percent will shop at department stores.

 

Money Saving Tips for BTS Shopping from Andrea Woroch

Andrea Woroch had some excellent tips on saving money while back to school shopping at The Mills at Jersey Gardens.

 

List and plan: always devise a plan when heading to any outlet mall. 

Research deals in advance

Hold out for Holidays: While outlet centers offer discounts of 30-40% on clothing throughout the year, the best time to shop for serious savings is over holiday weekends like upcoming Labor Day when you can expect deals to be as big as 70% off.

Look for coupons, including the coupon book that you can buy at the mall.
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Pay with cash

Buy off-season

Review the return policy

 

Tips for Shopping at The Mills at Jersey Gardens from an experienced (obsessed) shopper

Having been a loyal shopper of The Mills at Jersey Gardens even before I became a parent—or a blogger for that matter—I was quite thrilled to learn several things that I didn’t know about this mall. (I had no idea about the coupon book!) I do my major shopping trips here, such as back to school and my Christmas shopping because I get the best bang for my buck. Here in the northern NJ and the NYC area where retails stores are plentiful AND top dollar, maximizing your money on name brands is a big deal, and to me, so worth the few extra miles.

 

 

When shoe shopping goes awry. #4hrsofcrazy

A photo posted by Jen Rabulan-Bertram (@jenrab) onAug 29, 2013 at 11:41am PDT

 

Timing: Get there early on a weekday if you can swing it. Weekends can be crowded and overwhelming, even moreso at an outlet mall for BTS time. If possible plan to spend a long time at the mall. Bargain hunting takes time! Definitely don’t shop at this mall if you’re on a time crunch because you will be late! (speaking from experience!)

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Parking: I never park at a mall’s main entrance. I always park at larger store’s entrance and walk into the mall that way. I always park at Bed Bath and Beyond along the right side of The Mills. Parking doesn’t fill up as fast and it’s centrally located. I’ve been known to drop off bags to my car often because I buy so much here, so closer parking can be key!

Coupons: Like Andrea’s tips above state, be sure to look for coupons before shopping. Since I shop at this mall so often, I’m on mailing lists for most of my favorite stores. In addition to printing out coupons from online, make sure to grab those coupons from the mail. Also, check out your memberships for extra discounts. In my AAA newspaper, I found a coupon for 40% off at Reebok! Also, be sure to mark your digital coupons as favorites on your phone so you can pull it up when you check out. The mall has free wi-fi, so if you find yourself in a long line, Google “current coupons” for that store.

 

Discount stores: These stores have the best selection for name brands! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve scored deals upon deals for brands that we love at this Marshalls or Saks off Fifth Avenue. We’re big into surf and skate brands; considering the demographic and popularity of these items in northern Jersey, we tend to score them on clearance racks because they’re just not that popular here.

And speaking of deals, since I finished most of my boys’ schools shopping earlier this summer, I splurged on a few items for myself for our trip to Va!
 

 

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The Mills at Jersey Gardens is located at 651 Kapkowski Rd., Elizabeth, NJ 07201, a few minutes from Newark airport and right by the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.

Full disclosure: I received a generous gift card and gift bag as part of my partnership with The Mills at Jersey Gardens. As always, all opinions are my own. 

 

 

 

Enjoy Summer Memories at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk + #JenksMemory Giveaway

As far as summer fun goes, we’ve been pretty lucky this year. Between hanging out with friends at our lake all day, playing baseball, rugby, running a triathlon and riding bikes in the neighborhood, we’re so fortunate to have so much to do this summer.

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However, with all the fun activities and sports, that’s not to say we don’t love a good road trip. Our summer isn’t complete with a few trips to the beach. When heading down the shore, to Jenkinson’s in Point Pleasant is our go-to beach.IMG 0691
At just a little over an hour away, Jenkinson’s is a family-friendly beach that has an attraction for everyone in the whole family. From games to rides to fun food to mini golf to relaxing on the sandy beaches, for us northerners, Jenkinson’s is the quintessential summer at the shore.

This week, we took our friends to their first ever jaunt down the shore. First stop per the kids’ request: Jenkinson’s Aquariaum to say hello to the penguins, Luseal and Seaquin.

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The aquarium, always a hit for rainy days, is super fun to visit mid-day to get a reprieve from the weather and crowds. We enjoyed the aquarium and didn’t have to fight too many crowds on the sunny day when we visited. The sharks, penguins, touch tank and seals are our absolute favorites, but I have to say, the clownfish up front is a runner up.

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Weekday visits to Jenkinson’s Boardwalk is such a treat because, not only do you get to enjoy the beach, depending on the time of summer, you get a reprieve from the crowds.

Since we visited later in the summer, vacationer traffic seemed to be dwindling, so we had the restaurants to ourselves. We had lunch at the Pavillion, one of our favorites. What makes this spot so great is that it’s close to the Aquarium and it has a variety of food for everyone. Even better? It’s an enclosed area to beat the heat. As with any destination type of place, food can be pricey for an entire family. The kids always love the lunches served in buckets that double as beach toys. Portions are big here, which is always a plus.

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Roof Top Mini Golf is another must-do for our family. Last summer, my husband was toting my toddler around as we played, this year, it was fun to see my little dude go all Happy Gilmore on the putting green. Because this Mini Golf area is on a rooftop, there isn’t much shade.
IMG 0642So if you don’t mind the heat, there aren’t too many other people playing in the middle of the day. It’s a fun and clean course, perfect for friends and family to take on a friendly game of mini golf. Do yourself a favor though, watch out for the slippery puddles after it rains! We had a little accident when we missed a puddle and fell hard onto the concrete. Nevertheless, Roof Top Mini Golf is a blast for everyone.

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Perhaps, one of the things that sets Jersey Shore boardwalks aside from other beach towns is the fun amusements! Having grown up in Virginia Beach, we had several amusement rides, but nothing quite as expansive as what you can find at Jenkinson’s.

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The kiddie rides are always in great condition with minimal lines during the week. The big kid rides are fast and can’t be missed. I love that my bigger guy and littler guy could still ride rides together. And hey, I enjoyed hopping on a kiddie ride for good measure, too!

The Flitzer, though, is still our absolute favorite ride. For a mini roller coaster, you can’t miss this super fun attraction.
At a little over an hour away, Jenkinson’s is a fantastic option for a day trip, whether it’s on one of these last summer weekends or on a weekday with the kids. With the very cool aquarium, beach access, plenty of restaurants and treats, mini golf, games and rides, Jenkinson’s is fun for the whole family!

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Headed to Jenkinson’s later this summer? Be sure to check out Hot Halloween which runs August 25-27th. In September, don’t miss Labor Day Fireworks on the 7th, Grandparent’s Day at the Aquarium, Behind the Scenes Tour at the Aquarium on the 19th and Tea by the Sea at the Aquarium on the 24th. For a full line up of activities, head to Jenkinson’s Events.

In conjunction with NKT, and as part of my participation in the Jenkinson’s Memory Maker program, I’m thrilled to be able to giveaway a weekday VIP voucher to Jenkinson’s Boardwalk that includes wristbands for up to 5 people.
Head to Rafflecopter below or on our Facebook Page to enter. Good luck!

The wristbands include unlimited rides in the amusement area, Rooftop Mini Golf, admission to Jenkinson’s Aquarium, admission to the Fun House, beach access and Jenkinson’s bath house. Not valid for parking. This voucher is valid Monday-Friday only, no weekends or holidays, and expires 12/31/15. This giveaway ends on 8/16/15 at 11:59pm! A random winner will be announced on Monday, 8/17.

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Full disclosure: as a Jenkinson’s Memory Maker, I have been provided with a voucher for my visit. All opinions expressed are my own.

Day Out With Thomas to Pull into The Delaware River Railroad Excursions in Phillipsburg, NJ + Giveaway

There’s never a shortage of fun summer things to do around here. And since we’re always up for a family day trip, what better way to go out and see things than by train—Thomas the Train, that is!

Thomas the Train is pulling into The Delaware River Railroad Excursions on July 10-12 and 17-19 for Day Out with Thomas: The Celebration Tour 2015. In honor of Thomas & Friends celebrating 70 years of friendship, this fun day is expected to be as exciting as ever.

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At this event, little engineers can take a 25-minute ride with everyone’s favorite blue train, Thomas the Tank Engine, and enjoy the day on the grounds doing arts and crafts, meeting Sir Topham Hatt, enjoying storytelling and other fun Thomas-themed events. The rides operate hourly July 10-12, 17-19. Now in its 20th year, will make 42 stops across the U.S. and Canada and is expected to welcome nearly one million passengers in 2015, including Phillipsburg, NJ overlooking the Delaware River.

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And what’s a celebration without a fun giveaway! In conjunction with Nextkidthing.com, we’re giving a 4-pack of tickets away for the Sunday, July 19 3:00 Day Out with Thomas event. Winners will be picked at random after entering below. We will notify winners on Friday, June 10. Winners’ tickets can picked up by will call. It is advised to arrive an hour ahead of departure time to park, pick up tickets and board Thomas The Tank. Of course, feel to arrive earlier and stay later to enjoy all the Day out with Thomas activities. Enter to win tickets below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tickets for Day Out with Thomas: The Celebration Tour 2015 at The Delaware River Railroad Excursions for July 10-12, 17-19 are on sale now and available by calling Ticketweb toll-free 866-468-7630, or by visiting 877trainride.com  Ticket prices are $21.00 plus tax for ages 2 and up (service charges and fee may apply). Not in NJ? Check and see if Thomas and Friends are visiting a railroad near you!

For more information and directions, contact the Delaware River Railroad Excursions, 877trainride.com.

For information on Thomas & Friends, visit www.thomasandfriends.com or follow along here: @ThomasFriends #DOWT #ThomasObsessed

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.

7 Reasons to Love and to Visit Jenkinson’s Boardwalk

I’m going to be completely honest here: when it comes to beaches, I’m a bit of a snob. When I moved to New Jersey more than 13 years ago, I knew nothing about the beaches here, or should I say, the shore.  It was all unfamiliar to me: young professionals would rent space—not even whole rooms—in small shore houses; you had to pay to enter the beaches and they call it “the shore.” What? 

Growing up in a beach town and then settling in a lake community in the NJ suburbs, we rarely visited the shore unless we were visiting family at LBI. In my 20s, we’d visit Jenkinson’s for bachelorette parties, but the daytime boardwalk was totally foreign to me.  I’m so glad that has changed as we’ve grown to love Jenkinson’s this summer as part of the Ambassador program.

 

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There’s so much to love about Jenkinson’s, so much so, I felt compelled to itemize the things we love most about this fun boardwalk and attractions in Point Pleasant, NJ.

 

 

1. The Rides

If you spend any time at a beach boardwalk, then you know just how turnkey the rides are for the kids. It’s, quite simply, a rite of passage to spend hours waiting in the hot summer sun mapping out which rides to ride and then waiting for said rides.  At Jenkinson’s, the amusements are manageable, even on the most crowded days. 

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The lines are streamlined, the rules and regulations are clearly posted and all the rides appear to be safe. Most importantly, however, the kids love them. On wristband days, my older son and I can be found riding Flitzer non-stop.

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I especially love how there’s a great selection of rides that appeal to my two year old as well as my six year old. Some rides that they can ride together include:  Motor Jump, Convoy Race, Carousel and the Elephants.

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IMG 2222The Train is a family fave.  It’s a chance to sit and relax somewhat in the shade, but still, the kids are being entertained by circling the perimeter of the amusement area. It’s a win-win for tired parents and energetic kids!

 

 

2. The Aquarium

Perhaps one of the most unique aspects of Jenkinson’s Boardwalk is their Aquarium.  Educating the public about marine life since the early 90s, the Aquarium remains a mainstay for tourists and locals alike.

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The Aquarium boasts exhibits such as Atlantic sharks, Pacific sharks, coral reefs, penguins and seals. We love to spend a few hours at the Aquarium to cool off from the beach and boardwalk, and it also gives us a chance to say hi to our favorite marine animal friends.

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Like so many others, we love “studying” the sharks’ and giggling at the penguins, but it’s the seals who have our hearts. We talk about Seaquin and Luseal like they’re our friends, and we’re still mourning the loss of the Aquarium’s beloved seal, Coral. 

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We were absolutely touched by the children’s artwork in the makeshift memorial for Coral who passed away last month. On a brighter note, when we’re not touching the stingrays in the touch tank upstairs, we absolutely love watching the seal feeding time or participating in one of the many educational workshops.

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At just $11.50 for adults and $6.50 for kids 3-12, the Aquarium truly is a gem for the Boardwalk and worth every penny of its admission. 

 

 

3. The beach

As a lifelong east coaster, I’ve spent most of my summers at a beach: toes in the sand, relaxing under the sun and listening to the calming waves. It was so fun getting familiarized with the beach at Jenkinson’s.

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We found it to be a spacious and definitely one of the cleaner beaches we’ve visited here in the north. Even on the busy days, because there’s so much to do at Jenkinson’s, we never felt too crowded. My only complaint, as for any beach, is the parking situation—or the lack thereof. Daily rates for entrance to the beach runs around $9.50 for adults and kids five and under are free. Looking to spend even more time at the beach? Look into investing in a season pass, which runs around $90/adult and $45/child.  

 

 

4. Games

If you spend time at Jenkinson’s, then you know there’s no shortage of games.  From the arcade games to the games of chance to mini golf to the fun house, there’s a game for everyone.

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My family has a healthy obsession for competition, so we always like to try our hand at the games of chance. Those ring tossing games always stump us, but we give it a good family try. Thankfully, though, we had some luck at the water gun races. Earlier in the summer, we had fun with the rooftop mini golf.

IMG 3445It was pretty difficult playing mini golf with a toddler in tow who wanted to sabotage everyone’s game, but we had fun nonetheless. It gets a bit hot on the rooftop and this venue is not stroller friendly, so definitely keep that in mind if you’re thinking of mini golf during the day. The views up there are not to be missed!

 

 

5. The Food

I always associate the best beach trips with delicious food. Jenkinson’s Boardwalk offers a great selection of sweets and treats. For lunch, my family likes hitting Little Mac’s for cheesesteaks, pizzas and fries.IMG 2033

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When at the beach, you can’t go wrong with comfort food and fried food. The freshly squeezed lemonade stands, though, can’t be missed!  Looking for sweet treats? Make sure you grab a frozen custard cone from Kohr’s or a chocolate covered Rice Krispie from one of the sweet shops.

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6. The Boardwalk

The beach and the boardwalk go hand in hand. As a teen, I remember walking up and down the boardwalk of my hometown, boy-watching, laughing and giggling with my friends. IMG 2066As a mom, it’s fun to do the same with my family. Only now, our laughter and giggles are elicited from people watching and the silly antics that can be found on the boardwalk. One of the coolest aspects of Jenkinson’s Boardwalk is the family-friendly activities that congregate on almost every corner.  Throughout the summer months, we’ve loved watching magicians, stilt walkers, and most recently, even participating in a kid hula hoop contest!  This is what makes summer so memorable.

 

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7. Making Memories

Last but not least, perhaps the best part of Jenkinson’s is making memories with my family. I can record and take pictures all day long as we have fun, but the best kind of memories are the kind that we make in person.

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On Instagram, I posted how it was so tough being a big brother. As much as big brother hated riding a baby ride, he’s such a trooper for appeasing Littles. Just look at that smile!

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The best kind of memories are the ones that you and the kids will remember for years to come. Whether it’s riding the Flitzer 120 times on one visit, winning a super-sized stuffed animal, getting totally freaked out in the fun house or giving Luseal kisses from a distance, Jenkinson’s is the quintessential backdrop for making family memories that will last a lifetime.

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Full disclosure:  This is a sponsored post as part of the Jenkinson’s Ambassador program. I was compensated for my time and participation, but as always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Join Macy’s and Radio Disney for a Back to School Event at Bridgewater Commons

As we transition from these lazy days of summer, we’re starting to gear up for Back to School!  And because we’re all about the Next Kid Thing, we’re zeroing in on the latest and greatest for BTS gear.  Some of my personal favorite trends for kids this fall include bright neon accents, fun embellishments, quirky graphic tees and bold denim.

 

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Want to check out the latest trends for the kids while having some fun?  Be sure to stop into Macy’s at Bridgewater Commons for their Back to School event. Radio Disney will be onhand to help shoppers rock out, and there will be plenty of crafts, games and prizes!  My friend, Hilary of A Fancy Girl Must, will be tweeting and Instagramming Live for NKT, so be sure to say hello!  Follow or hang with us on social media by using #MacysBTS. 

The event starts at noon at the Bridgewater Commons Macy’s, up on the 3rd floor in the Kid’s Department.  We’ll see you on Saturday at Macy’s!

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In the meantime, check out Macy’s Back to School Shopping Guide to scope out some looks for the kids.  

 

Not in the NJ area, be sure to check out the other events going on in other towns.

 

Macy’s Citrus Park

Tampa, FL

Children’s Department, 2nd Floor

August 9th, 1PM

 

Macy’s West County 

St. Louis, MO

Kids Department, 3rd Floor 

August 16th, 2PM

 

Macy’s Woodfield

Schaumburg, IL

Kids Department, Lower Level

August 16th, 2PM

 

Macy’s Northlake

Charlotte, NC

Children’s Department, 2nd Floor

August 16th, 2PM

 

Macy’s Great Lakes

Mentor, OH

Kids Department, Lower Level

August 23rd, 2PM

 

Macy’s Arden Fair

Sacramento, CA

Kids Department, Lower Level

August 23rd, 1PM

 

Macy’s Sherman Oaks 

Sherman Oaks, CA

Kids Department, Level 1

August 23rd, 2PM

 

Macy’s Park Meadows 

Littleton, CO

Kids Department, Level 3

August 23rd, 2PM

 

Macy’s Robinson Town Centre 

Pittsburgh, PA

Kids Department, 2nd Floor

August 23rd, 1PM

 

Macy’s Downtown Brooklyn

Brooklyn, NY

Kids Department, 4th Floor

August 23rd, 2PM

 

Macy’s Clackamas

Portland, OR

Kids Department, Lower Level

August 30th, 1PM

 

Macy’s Walden Galleria

Cheektowanga, NY (Buffalo)

Lower Level

September 6th, 2PM


Macy’s South Shore Plaza

Braintree, MA 

Kids Department, 2nd Floor

September 13th, 2PM

 

 

Full Disclosure: I am a member of the Everywhere Society, who have provided me with compensation for this post. As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.