0 In family/ travel

A Weekend Getaway for the kids to New Jersey

Weekend getaway for the kids to New Jersey
Disclosure – I received tickets to Diggerland and Legoland in exchange for this honest review.

After a long year in quarantine, we wanted to take the kids somewhere special and fun. We recently took a little weekend trip to New Jersey and the kids had a blast! We stopped at Diggerland, Legoland, and Nickelodeon Universe. I’m sharing all of our stops and some tips to help you plan your trip.

We split the weekend up in two days, doing Diggerland on Saturday and then Sunday we did Legoland and Nickelodeon Universe since they’re both in the American Dream Mall.

 

Diggerland USA – East Berlin, New Jersey

Diggerland USA

Our first stop was Diggerland USA. A place where it’s totally appropriate for kids to operate heavy machinery. A few things that are worth noting – We went on a Saturday and were there for 11am which is when their website says the park opens. We were able to get our tickets and get in however, the rides, attractions, don’t actually open until noon. So we waited for an hour which was a little tough with two excited kids who just wanted to explore. So my tip would be, plan to arrive at noon, otherwise, you’ll sit around. My suggestion would be pack a little lunch and have a tailgate party in the parking lot until they open.

Trip to Diggerland USA in New Jersey

Secondly, most of the rides require children to be 36 inches tall, which was perfect for our oldest, but with the exception of 2 rides, there wasn’t much our 2 year old could do so I would plan accordingly.

Diggerland USA

There is also a waterpark as well so if you’re going in the warmer months, bring your bathing suits and towels!

 

Legoland Indoor Discovery Center – in the American Dream Mall East Rutherford, New Jersey

Legoland Indoor Discover Center NJ

This was our favorite part of the entire trip! Legoland is located right in the American Dream Mall near the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ, closest to Parking lot A on the first level. One important distinction is that this is not the same as Legoland. Legoland is an outdoor theme park which we plan to hit up in the future. Legoland Indoor Discovery Center is an indoor playground perfect for ages 3-10 years old. As soon as we entered Legoland, we hopped on the Imagination Express, a train ride through different lego worlds where you have the ability to partake in a simulated video game. The kids had a blast.

I think the one thing that captivated us adults was MiniLand, a New York City replica made completely out of legos featuring various famous NYC attractions such as Rockefeller Center, Central Park, Coney Island and the kids favorite – the NY Islanders hockey rink.

Legoland indoor discovery center NJ

Other attractions include a 4D Lego movie, areas throughout the for building with legos and character meet and greets.

Legoland Indoor Discovery Center NJ

Also next door to Legoland is the New Jersey SEA LIFE Aquarium which featured over 10 tanks and an area where kids can actually be hands on with the sea life.

Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park – in the American Dream Mall East Rutherford, NJ

Right after we finished at Legoland and the SEA LIFE Aquarium, we hit stopped and got something to eat inside the mall and then walked over to Nickelodeon Universe. Buy your tickets online and you will be given a block of time to visit.

Nickelodeon Universe is an indoor amusement park featuring rides and attractions based off of popular Nickelodeon shows. There was something for all ages, thrill rides and big rollercoasters, to smaller rides for younger kids and families. Rick and I were hit with nostalgia seeing the shows from when we were younger such as Rugrats, Ren & Stimpy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Nickelodeon Universe American Dream Mall

The kids enjoyed the rides with their favorite characters such as Blues Clues, Paw Patrol and Blaze and the Monster Machines.

Nickelodeon Universe American Dream

 

There’s a little spot for toddlers where they can play in Adventure Bay and climb on all of their favorite pups vehicles. Mav’s day was made!

Nickelodeon Universe American Dream

 

Overall we had a great time as a family! The kids had a blast and it was nice to have a little sense of normalcy after a crazy year.

 

For more travel, check out our Family Vacation to Rhode Island.

2 In Lifestyle/ printables

Summer Bucket list

summer flat lay

Sweet summertime! The days get a little lazier, you stay up a little later, ice cream is perfectly acceptable every night after dinner and dips in the pool count as showering/bathing. There’s so many reasons I love summer.  Below I’m sharing some ideas that are on my summer bucket list as well as a free printable Summer Bucket List with ideas to get you started.

My 2021 Summer Bucket List

Berry picking – The boys LOVE berry picking and obviously eating as they go! After strawberry picking, making strawberry shortcake is a must! My favorite version is my strawberry cheesecake trifle. If you’re local, we went strawberry picking at Stanton’s Farm in Selkirk, its a small family owned farm and the strawberries were delish! They will have blueberries in July too!

Camp outside with the kids – put up a tent in the backyard, make some glow jars (you can see my easy DIY here), eat s’mores and tell ghost stories.  Rick and Maxwell did this last summer and had a “boys night” and Maxwell still talks about it, he thought it was the greatest thing.

Try an Aperol Spritz – believe it or not I have never had an Aperol Spritz and it sounds like the perfect summer drink. So it’s a goal of mine to try one this summer. My other favorite summer cocktail is my Paloma recipe.

Read all the books on my summer reading listClick here to check out my summer reading list!

Host a BBQ with friends – after the last year we’ve had, I’m ready to have some friends over, kick back on the deck and get to entertain. If you’re looking for an eye-catching meal idea that is sure to wow, check out my grilled steak charcuterie board.

Make a little road-side farmstand – last year I got into gardening and I would love to have a cute little roadside farmstand with some of my home grown veggies and flowers for people as they drive by. This year may not be anything fancy but I’m determined to give it a shot.

 

Whats on your summer bucket list? You can download free summer bucket list below with some ideas to get you started!

Click here to download my free summer bucket list printable

 

And to check out what’s on my 2021 Summer Reading List Click Here!

 

For more summer pins check out my Easy Homemade Ice Cream Recipe!

2 In food

Patriotic S’mores Dip

Patriotic S'mores Dip

Our family lovessss s’mores. It’s pretty much a summer staple and isn’t summer until you’ve had a nice gooey melted s’more. This Patriotic S’mores Dip makes the perfect dessert to bring to parties for Memorial Day, Fourth of July or Labor Day. And there’s no fire required. This might be my new favorite way to enjoy the flavors of a good s’more.

Patriotic S’mores Dip

Patriotic S'mores Dip

Patriotic S'mores Dip

This Patriotic S'mores Dip recipe is great for summer bbqs, 4th of July parties, or if you want a sweet treat on the back deck. The best part, no fire necessary. Next time I think I'm going to try with peanut butter cups on the bottom!!!!
5 from 1 vote
Course Dessert

Equipment

  • 9x9 baking dish
  • straw or toothpick
  • 3 small bowls
  • 1 medium sized bowl filled with water
  • A baking tray or cookie sheet lined with wax paper

Ingredients
  

  • 20 marshmallows
  • 1 12oz bag chocolate chips
  • Red, white and blue sprinkles
  • 1 sleeve graham crackers
  • 1 stick of butter

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Start with your 9x9 baking dish and lightly grease with a stick of butter, making sure to grease the edges of the pan
  • Take your 3 small mixing bowls, filling one with white/clear sprinkles, the second with blue and the third with red sprinkles
  • Take a toothpick or straw and skewer a marshmallow on top
  • Submerge the marshmallow in the bowl of water making sure to wet all sides, allowing any excess water to drip off.
  • Take your wet marshmallow and roll into the bowl of blue sprinkles then place on lined baking tray. Repeat until you have a total of 5 blue marshmallows. Place on
    Patriotic S'mores Dip Recipe
  • Repeat the same steps above but with the red sprinkles until you have 7 red marshmallows and with the white sprinkles until you have a total of 8 white marshmallows.
  • With a pair of kitchen scissors, cut each marshmallow in half, wiping the scissors clean in between colors.
  • Pour the bag of chocolate chips into your greased baking dish and make an even layer.
  • Place your marshmallows cut side down on top of the chocolate chips. Start with the blue marshmallows in the upper left corner so that you have 3 rows of 3. Fill the upper right corner going across with 3 red marshmallows. Arrange the next row with the white marshmallows, then alternate again red and white. You may have some marshmallows left over at the end.
  • Bake in the oven until the tops are golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Serve warm with graham crackers.
Keyword 4th of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day, S'mores, Summer dessert

Patriotic S'mores Dip Recipe

 

For more summer desserts check out my strawberry cheesecake trifle

 

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Patriotic S'mores Dip

 

3 In food

How to make the ultimate steak charcuterie board

How to make the ultimate steak charcuterie board

With Father’s Day approaching I knew that I wanted to do something a little special. One of Rick and my dad’s favorite meals is steak and potatoes. Charcuterie boards are my love language and I’ve seen so many different fun combinations on pinterest when I saw the idea for a steak board! I took it for a little test drive last weekend and not only was it beautiful but delish as well! Here I’m showing you how to make the ultimate steak charcuterie board!

And scroll down to see a few other ideas for Father’s Day dessert and some gift guide ideas.

 

How To Make the Ultimate Steak Charcuterie Board

You will need:

  • a board
  • steak (I chose rib eye and NY strip)
  • vegetables (I wanted lots of color so I did corn, peppers, onions and asparagus)
  • potatoes
  • fruit (I made a little salad of peaches, mozzerella, fresh basil and balsamic glaze)
  • nuts
  • bread
  • cheese
  • butter
  • any condiments (Think chimichurri, balsamic glaze, fig jam, … mmmmm)

 

How to assemble your board:

This is the fun part because there’s no right or wrong. The key is to pick quality ingredients and let them shine!

1.) Start by laying out your board.

2.) Allow your steaks to rest and then slice and place on the board.

3.) Add your veggies, potatoes and condiments. You can use little ramekins or bowls to keep them contained if you want too!

4.) Place your cheese and sliced breads next.

5.) Fill in any holes or gaps with your nuts and fruit.

 

The opportunities are literally endless and these are great for entertaining, date night, or when you just want to do something a little special.

 

For the perfect Father’s Day dessert, check out my Strawberry Cheesecake trifle. This is Rick’s fave!!!

Strawberry cheesecake trifle recipe

For Father’s Day Gift Ideas check out my Father’s Day Gift Guide

 

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how to make the ultimate steak charcuterie board