When we first visited the Culinary Arts Museum in Providence, Rhode Island, we fell madly in love. During the 18 months the museum was closed for inventory, we pined for it to reopen. You may be thinking, “Really? What’s so great about a bunch of old stoves?” OK, there are a few old stoves (which are actually pretty cool), but the museum offers a surprisingly wide variety of exhibits and fun, hands-on activities for families.
When the Culinary Arts Museum reopened this fall, we fell in love all over again. The staff showed us around, pointing out the newest additions to the collections. Thankfully, all of our old favorites are still there too. Read on for highlights, what's new, and tips for getting the most out of your visit to this gem of a museum.
Call it the November 1st dilemma: Halloween was great, your kids looked adorable in their costumes and went to all that trouble to trick-or-treat, but now you're stuck with 10 pounds of candy. Your instincts tell you to get the stuff out of the house as quickly as possible, since keeping more than a few pieces on hand isn't ideal from a health standpoint, not to mention your future dental bills. Also, if you're anything like me, it's hard to resist the siren call of the Mini Twix. I'm here to tell you that you can actually do some good with all of that candy, right here in Fairfield County! So don't just toss it out, instead you should check out these great ideas for what to do with all those sweets.
We sit through three meals a day, seven days a week. So sometimes we just need to shake it up a bit and do something out of the house that promises fun along with the food. From knights and horses to magicians to locomotives, from Northern NJ all the way down to the Shore, there are many ‘interactive’ dining experiences for the entire family. Bon appetit!
You just shelled out the big bucks for summer camps and back-to-school shopping. The countdown to Christmas has already begun. Money, money, money. Save a few bucks by selecting an offbeat night to eat at a fun restaurant with the kiddos. You can still enjoy a night out and you don’t have to pay a babysitter… Win-Win. And if you happen to be hauling the munchkins a bit farther south, check out our Kids Eat Free in Central New Jersey.
There's a chill in the air, the kids are back in school, and you know what all that means... That's right, it’s finally apple-picking time! Here are some of the best apple picking farms in New York and New Jersey that are fun for the whole family. And check back here at Mommy Poppins NJ often over the next few weeks for more Apple Info, such as organic apple picking farms, where to find the best apple pie in NJ, and apple recipes. Mmmmmm.
We've barely gotten through the back-to-school rush (doesn't August seems like a 1000 years ago?) but the air is getting crisp, the sun is setting a little earlier and the leaves are just starting to change from green to orange and yellow. Fall is upon us, friends, and that means I need a pumpkin on my porch VERY soon. Even if you aren't into Halloween, picking a pumpkin is an autumnal ritual for many, and the perfect excuse to get outside on a crisp afternoon. Fairfield County has more than a few great spots to seek out your jack-o-lantern-to-be, and most places offer activities like corn mazes and hayrides as well as cider donuts and other seasonal goodies. Check it out!
There really aren't too many “all-American” foods that my vegetarian family enjoys; you won’t see us sinking our teeth into hamburgers and fried chicken at barbecues. Even French fries are kind of take it or leave it (I know, crazy, right?) But if there’s one American staple that we would never, ever turn down, it’s PIE! The buttery crust, the tart and sweet filling and of course, a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream on the side. As luck would have it, New Jersey is a great place to find delicious versions of our favorite fall pies, with its bountiful farms and one-of-a-kind diners in almost every town. Any way you slice it (pun intended), New Jersey families have some awesome pumpkin and apple pies to choose from.
Apple picking is a favorite Fall activity with kids and Connecticut has dozens of wonderful apple picking orchards and farms that make a great day trip. If you’d like to stay in Fairfield County, you have only a small selection to choose from, which may be why all of the orchards get busy on the weekends. My kids and I like to head out first thing in the morning to beat the crowds. For even more orchards, be sure to check out our post on Pick-Your-Own Apple Orchards in Western CT. No matter where you go, you'll find that apple picking is a great outing for toddlers especially when you combine it with cool activities like corn mazes, hay rides, petting zoos, and farm markets with fresh pressed cider, donuts and pies.
Keep in mind that crop conditions change from day-to-day, so it’s always a good idea to call a location or check the website before you head out. Some orchards are reporting a lighter than normal crop this year due to last year's long winter followed by heavy rains in the spring. You'll have to help your little one pick according to the rules of the farm, but you'll always find helpful, friendly farm workers willing to lend a hand and demonstrate the proper picking technique. Be prepared for a port-o-potty, since most locations don't have bathroom facilities out in the orchards. Make sure to dress in warm layers and wear comfortable shoes. And bring your appetites!
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