Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Science Experiment for Kids and Toddlers: Moving Food Coloring!

Sometimes I actually enjoy a rainy day (sometimes, I said, sometimes!).  I love that temporary change in weather- the sound of rumbling thunder,  the hint of rain in the air.  If I were alone I could curl up and read a book or watch a good movie with some snacks.  But of course I'm never alone, I'm a momma!  So there's usually a bored kid tugging at my shirt tails.  So here's a quick science experiment you can do to pass the time.  You can create a swirling rainbow of your very own!

What you'll need:

-milk (not skim, must be 2% or higher)
-liquid food coloring
-dish soap

Fill a shallow bowl with milk (I put the bowl on my handy dandy kid tray- I tell you, I use that tray for everything!!).  You can also see my son's Wall-E robot joining us for this experiment in the background.

Pick the colors you want to use and add a few drops to the milk.  My son went overboard and added a lot of drops.  You can't see it in the picture, but at one point he squeezed so hard I thought he emptied the dye bottle.  Although this amount of food coloring still works, I think you get a "swirlier" effect with less drops.  He wouldn't listen to me, but I'm hoping you'll concur.

Now here comes the fun part.  Drip a few drops of liquid dish soap right into the mixture and watch it swirl right before your eyes!

It will actually move and swirl for a good amount of time.  And when it's finished we decided to mess around and see what else would happen, so we added more milk, more dish soap, more color, etc. to see what effects we could get.

And hopefully by the time you're done with your science experiment, the sun will be shining and you can head back outside again!

*If you're looking for a handy dandy art tray of your own, check out my Amazon affiliate link below!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Cabela's: What's Inside?

Time for another out-of-Jersey experience!  Let's head over to Pennsylvania and visit Cabela's Outfitter's Store!  If you're rolling your eyes, cut it out.  Seriously, I am the farthest thing from an outdoor enthusiast.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE nature.  I love hiking and visiting state parks.  I love animals and trees and flowers.  But I am no camper, and I certainly don't like hunting.  But Cabela's is cool.  I assure you!

Now, a word of warning here.  If you are totally, 100% against hunting and take offense to it, then maybe Cabela's is not the place for you. Hunting is not all that Cabela's represents, but it is a good portion of it.  Although I am not a hunter and can't imagine killing an innocent creature, I understand that hunting has been in some families for generations, and it is a way of life for them.  I understand that most hunters take their sport seriously and are respectful of the craft.  That being said, let me tell you about Cabela's. And just so you know, I'm not on any secret Cabela's payroll list or anything.  This is just my honest review and opinion, 'cause that's what I do.

What is Cabela's?

Cabela's is a giant sporting/hunting/fishing/outdoor store located in Hamburg, Pennsylvania, with super-easy accessibility right off of Rt 78 (but there are other locations across the country.  Find them here).  They carry everything and anything you can think of for hunting, camping, fishing, hiking, and general outdoor activities.  But it's not just a store.  You can spend the whole day there, really, because there is so much to see and do.

This amazing sculpture stands outside of Cabela's.  My photo doesn't even capture the size or beauty of it.

What Can I Do at Cabela's?

Besides shopping, Cabela's has some other fun activities.  There is a restaurant inside (they offer a variety of hot and cold dishes, sandwiches, soups, and unusual deli meats- like boar).  They have a shooting gallery (not with real guns- these are the kind that shoot with laser, like they have in Disney World, the old saloon style).  You put a coin in, and then aim your light at the targets to make the characters in the display move.  I am not very good at it.

There's a massive display when you enter the building of taxidermy animals (now, if this bothers you, then like I said, maybe Cabela's isn't for you).  The animals are beautifully displayed on a giant "mountain" in the store.  It's really a sight to see.

You can walk around the entire display and read about each of the animals.  You'll find others scattered throughout the store, too, like this moose:

The moose stands in an actual fish pond.  You can put money into a little machine to feed the fish, too.  My son really enjoyed that.

Speaking of fish, there is an actual walk-through aquarium in Cabela's.

There is a room of wild taxidermy animals, too.  I felt bad for them.  I don't know how they all died but there is something sad about seeing them frozen in there.

And there is an entire room full of taxidermy deer.  I call it "The Hall of Dead Deer," although I am sure they have a better name for it.

'Look at The Jersey Momma sporting that stylish children's Yankee bag!' said no one ever.
If you don't like the idea of viewing the animals like this, you don't have to go into the deer hall or the wild animal hall, but you can't really avoid the animal mountain in the middle of the store.

There is also a candy shoppe inside with homemade fudge and other goodies.  I actually love the Cabela's brand of candy- they sell bags of flavored licorice and other old-fashioned sweets that I always bring back home with me.

Jersey Momma Tips

*You can make souvenir pennies here (one of our favorite things to collect on trips!) because the machines are scattered throughout the store.

*If you don't want to eat at the Cabela's restaurant, there are tons of other restaurants to choose from outside of Cabela's, including a Cracker Barrel and Red Robin, just to name a few.

*There is a lot to do in Hamburg.  Check out their website if you want to visit some other attractions, too.

*I have friends whose kids love to do a "Day out with Daddy" here.  Then Mommy gets to go do whatever she wants.  But, hey, to each their own!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Best New Jersey Day Trips (and Pennsylvania, too!)

New Jersey is a fun place to live because of its proximity to so many fun theme parks, state parks, beaches, shops and more.  As the weather turns warmer, we often search for fun weekend adventures, so I gathered a few of my favorite day trips in one place for you to see.  Some are outside The Garden State (but not too far outside, just Pennsylvania!), and some are completely free.  Check it out!