Tuesday, April 25, 2017

East Passyunk Flavors on the Avenue

East Passyunk Flavors on the Avenue is serving up to be full of just that: Flavor! With over 2 dozen restaurants participating on Sunday, April 30, this street festival is guaranteed to have something for everyone.  Having evolved from an exclusive under-the-tent event, this now public street festival offers an affordable and fun way to experience many of the area's hottest restaurants. Sampling small plates allows you to try new things, like Kimchi Deviled Eggs and Earl Grey and saffron infused cocktail from Plenty, or stick with the tried and true meatballs from Stogie Joe's, still made with grandma's recipe. 

More than just experiencing a delicious culinary experience (I recommend Le Virtu's Palott cac' e ove - otherwise known as the most amazing meatless meatball you will every have), you will experience the spirit and community of East Passyunk. Even in a short amount of time, its easy to pick up on the respect and camaraderie between chefs, and the community vibe that welcomes families  - children and pets included.  Check out the numerous boutique experiences that offer unique gifts and housewares you won't find elsewhere in the city - all while sipping housemade limoncello from Brigantessa, or sampling pizza from their 900 degree oven brought over from Italy.

Flavors on the Ave truly invites us to experience a bustling pocket of the city full of unforgettable people, stores, drink, and food! Enjoy the day to hang out and savor the flavor, while planning your next visit to further explore each of these amazing restaurants. 

$50 gets you a sample size dish at each participating restaurant, 2 glass of beer or wine and free valet parking; this is a serious bargain for the quality and quantity of delicious eats!  Or, pay as you go - just make sure to select something new and exciting. It will be worth it!  Free kid zones, live music, art displays truly promise to create just the right ambiance for East Passyunk Flavors on the Ave. We are looking forward to it!

Sunday, April 30 12:00 - 5:00

Purchase a "Flavors Taste" book
plus Free Valet Parking Voucher - $50
Pay As You Go $3-$6 Dishes

Each ‘Flavors Taste’ book will be available for pickup on the day of the event at The Gateway (Broad Street and East Passyunk Avenue) or at East Passyunk Avenue and Dickinson Street.

Flavors of the Avenue 2017 Menu Items:

Bing Bing Dim Sum: Pork Buns, Corn Rangoon
Birra: Pizza slices, plain and pepperoni
Brigantessa: Chorizo Cotto with whipped ricotta and peas
Cantina los Caballitos: Tacos al Pastor, Elote, Classic and Cucumber Margaritas
Chhaya: Fried chicken and waffles, Iced coffee
El Sarape: Tacos al Pastor, Pina Coladas
Fond: Salmon Tartare with sesame, nori and avocado
Izumi: Pork Gyoza
Laurel: Chocolate egg cream pudding pops
Le Virtu: Octopus and chick pea salad
Mamma Maria: Cheese ravioli
Marra’s: Mozzarella pizza
Noir: Arancini balls, watermelon salad
Noord: Bitterballen (Dutch meatballs with nutmeg and mustard)
Paradiso: Arancini Di Riso
Perla: Pork Belly, Adobo with garlic rice
Plenty Cafe: Choripan (Traditional South African sandwich with chorizo, chimichurri, and pickled red onion on a baguette)
POPE: Zucchini feta fritters, Cashew teriyaki
P’unk Burger: Pulled Portobello sandwiches, Caprese pesto burgers
Sate Kampar: Achat (carrots, cucumber, peanuts and chile sauce), Sago Gula Melaka (sago pearls, coconut cream, palm nectar) and Chicken Sate
Stargazy: Sausage Rolls, Potato Masala Rolls, Sticky Toffee Sundaes
Stateside: House-made steam buns with duck confit, peppadew and radicchio
Stogie Joe’s: Meatballs with Toasted Bread
Townsend: Roast pork sandwiches
Tre Scalini: Tripe in Umido
Vanilya Bakery: Buttercream cookies, Buttercream cupcakes
Will BYOB: Caramelized onion crepes, Banana and caramel crepes


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Monday, April 24, 2017

A Day Out with Thomas Coming to B&O Railroad Museum

It's no secret that here at Daily Vacationer Jr, we are HUGE fans of Thomas & Friends! We are always on the lookout for train experiences in the Greater Philadelphia area, so when A Day Out with Thomas events come to our area, we jump at the opportunity to head that way.  This year, we are even more excited than usual as we are planning on attending the event in a completely new location that combines our love for trains and Thomas the Tank Engine with our enthusiasm for learning more about local American History!

A Day Out with Thomas: The Friendship Tour will be at the historic (and rather famous - Monopoly anyone?) B&O Railroad Museum April 28-30 and May 5-7 with loads of fun included in the ticket.  Not only do you get to ride behind Sodor's Number 1 Engine, but visitors also get to meet Sir Topham Hatt, play in the Imagination Station, explore the Railroad's museum (with carousel!), enjoy live entertainment, and experience extras including carnival games and a moon bounce.  

Parking is FREE for this event and purchase of advance tickets are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED as train times do sell out!  Plan to be at the railroad at least an hour before your departure on Thomas (though from past events, we advise giving yourself plenty of time to enjoy all the extras included in the event!).

Daily Vacationer Jr also has the pleasure of GIVING AWAY FOUR TICKETS
to this year's A Day Out with Thomas at the B&O Railroad Museum.

Enter below for your chance to win!!
(Winning Tickets scheduled for 2:30pm Friday, May 5th courtesy of B&O Railroad Museum)



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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Easter at Johnson's Corner Farm

How do you take a holiday that is often all about the frenzy of collecting the most eggs combined with the stress of making sure you get that annual bunny photo and turn it into a fun and relaxing experience for the family? Easter is quickly becoming the new "Christmas" with the pressure to do more, give more, and get more building every year. During a season when the focus should be on family, forgiveness, and natural memorable moments, we find ourselves looking for ways to keep the holiday as down to earth yet still enjoyable for everyone as possible. To help us figure out what this balance looks like, we headed over to Johnson's Corner Farm in Medford, NJ.

Already big fans of Johnson's from our visit during the Christmas holidays, we knew we were in for a treat when arrived on the farm to find it bustling with families spanning from super casual attire to their Sunday best.  We loved that each group brought their own holiday traditions with them into the "Easter on the farm" experience with no one right way to celebrate.  For some, the Egg Hunt Hayride was the highlight while for others having their picture taken with Peter Rabbit was the most anticipated event of the day.  We were big fans of the choice to make the bunny a storybook character instead of the usual "Easter Bunny". Thumbs up for  the photo experience being free with guests just getting to use their own cameras to capture the moment (plus we liked that Peter actually looked like an adorable farm rabbit instead of some of the other bunnies we have seen....).  Another great Easter moment were the cookie decorating kits available for purchase.  Whether the recipients were meticulous or haphazard in their designs, everyone enjoyed creating their own delicious holiday treat.

Our personal favorite Easter activity was the Egg Hunt Hayride.  During their regular season, hayrides at Johnson's usual yield some delicious "Pick Your Own" fruits and vegetables, but that day we were on the lookout for something a bit more plastic and egg shaped.  The hayride took a scenic route around the farm before dropping us off next to some blossoming peach trees where we sat on hay bales to hear the tale of Peter Rabbit losing his eggs in the forest.  We were then lead into a grove of trees where eggs were waiting to be discovered and collected.  Two things we really enjoyed about the egg hunt were the way it was handled and the location.  Egg hunts are often cut throat and just not as fun if you are a younger, smaller, less aggressive child, but fortunately that wasn't the case at Johnson's Corner Farm.  All the children were instructed to collect 5 different colored eggs which could be located grouped together in various corners of the wooded area.  There were plenty to go around and no one was grabbing anyone else's eggs.  The objective was simple for the little ones and still exciting for the older kids.  We also loved the quiet grove of trees that was chosen as the spot for the traditional egg hunt.  A hushed world away from the open bustle of the rest of the farm, the "forest" was the perfect location to add a bit of magic and adventure to the experience.  After collecting all the colors, egg hunters then sorted their stash into bins and traded in their container for a fun Easter goodie bag.  Everyone headed back onto the hayride feeling satisfied with the hunt and the prize at the end.

Besides the exciting Easter additions, the normal farm fun at Johnson's was readily available from the treasure hunting at the Gem Mining and good eats at the Market to the variety of play in the Discovery Barnyard and the livestock interactions in the Animal Farm.  The Ice Cream Window was open for families to indulge in a cold treat together, and there were plenty of people chowing down on a choice from the extensive variety of great food (we love that they serve Bassett's Ice Cream!). We spent a lot of time exploring all the playgrounds and corners of fun in the Barnyard and made a stop at all the wooden photo ops scattered around the farm.  We also browsed the toys for some easy basket fillers and the decor shop for whimsical Easter home goods (LOVED the fabric carrots the best - they could definitely do double duty as a decoration or an adorable Easter basket addition).

The mood around the farm was upbeat and unhurried with everyone just getting to enjoy the day and the added holiday fun.  Johnson's Corner Farm is one of the special places where holidays actually get to be celebrated without the stress of feeling like you need to do more and more to make the experience worthwhile. It was no surprise to us to learn that many of the visitors at the farm were returning families who came every year as part of their Easter traditions.  A holiday done right - we give Easter at Johnson's Corner Farm an enthusiastic two thumbs up!

All Easter Activities available daily through April 15th.
Check the schedule for Egg Hunt Hayride departure times.



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Monday, April 10, 2017

Four Reasons to Love Frogs: A Chorus of Colors

With signs of spring popping up everywhere, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University presents a timely exhibit that showcases the amazing hues of the natural world in Frogs: A Chorus of Colors. We really enjoyed learning more about the life, homes, and habits of amphibians, plus it was fascinating to see so many amazing frogs up close and in person!

Four reasons why Frogs: A Chorus of Colors is so cool:

1) The Colors are astounding.
Now that might seem like a truly obvious statement for an exhibit called "A Chorus of Colors", but we were actually pretty blown away but the vivid rainbow.  "Natural colors" are often thought to be earthy, muted tones, but there is nothing muted about the colors that are actually found in nature when you look at the examples of these vibrant amphibians (plus the added bonus of the foliage and flowers that they emulate as camoflage).  From bright green frogs that match the curved leaves around them to the aptly named, fiery red Tomato Frog, all shades of the rainbow are represented in this eye candy of an exhibit.

2) An amazing variety.
Frogs are a pretty common animal no matter where you live in the world (except perhaps if you live in Antarctica!). With almost 4,000 varieties on each continent its not hard to guess that though we are used to seeing frogs everywhere, the frogs themselves differ greatly in size, sounds, habits, and of course, color. The exhibit showcases numerous kinds from all over the world to highlight just how big of range there is in the amphibian world. Visitors can go from the massive African Bullfrog to the tiny, yet deadly Poison Dart Frogs.

3) Incredible Facts.
We absolutely love learning as much as we can about the subject of an exhibit, so we were thrilled with all of the extra information included with each frog.  Beyond learning details about the specific live amphibians on display, there were plenty of extras covering habitats, mating rituals, reasons behind noises, and a break down of anatomy.  We also finally got to learn the difference between a frog and a toad!

4) Daily Vacationer Jr says:
Frogs: A Chorus of Colors is a great exhibit for kids to enjoy as well.  The displays were low enough for even little ones to be able to try to find the sometimes very well camouflaged live animals, with the tadpole tank being one of the most popular stops.  We enjoyed the interactive sections including a virtual dissection and a leaping zoetrope frog.  The lily pad rug located near the back of the exhibit was also a big draw for those who were inspired to give their own hopping skills a try.

Frogs: A Chorus of Colors is open through May 14th.



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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Jurassic World: The Exhibition at The Franklin Institute

When we were kids, dinosaurs were something we saw pictures of in books. Sometimes they were cartoon creatures with human voices. Dinosaurs were, to the regular public, a creatively licensed, far fetched idea on par with aliens.  Then in 1993, director Stephen Spielberg and the special effects team from Industrial Light and Magic pulled dinosaurs out of the confines of fossils and bones and inserted them living and breathing into our modern world.  Jurassic Park boasted not only stunning visuals and an unforgettable score by John Williams, but it completely changed the way we view dinosaurs.  Despite the movie's obvious warnings about the consequences of mixing wild prehistoric beasts in the human world, audiences responded with an intense desire to see more and more of dinosaurs, sparking an interest in paleontology that we don't doubt influenced many in the field today.  Almost 20 years later, we were all excited to revisit Isla Nublar in Jurassic World, and once again be chased by dinosaurs, if only for the chance to be near these amazing creatures.

Like the movies, Jurassic World: The Exhibition is a groundbreaking game changer for both the lifelike animatronics (created by Creature Technology) and the immersive exhibit experience.  The lines are long at The Franklin Institute (even with timed tickets), but we can't say we've ever been to a special museum exhibit that has been so worth the wait!  From the moment you step through the iconic Jurassic Park (World) gates, it becomes everything you always hoped a trip to a fictitious Isla Nublar would be.
The experience starts off with a bang as you enter the the Gentle Giants area and are greeted with a life sized Brachiosaurus just overhead.  It's at that moment that you realize that this is not your average dinosaur exhibit. The plant eating dinosaurs like (our favorite!) the Parasaurolophus and a extremely mighty Triceratops with its offspring breath, roar, look around, and move at what seems to be completely random times (and it may have been our imagination, but it seemed like they also reacted in response to movement and noise from the visitors).  Lovers of the first movie will appreciate the opportunity to stick their hand in a pile of "triceratops dung" - and yes, it's quite warm inside.

Around a corner, visitors next get the opportunity to see the inside of the Hammond Lab where a wall of amber is displayed (giving you a quick reminder of how these dinosaurs came about from preserved DNA - a stretch from the actual science of genetics and paleontology).  Also in the lab are incubating dinosaur eggs as well as moving newborn baby dinos.

From that point you are escorted to the Raptor pen to watch a handler demonstrate its ability to follow some basic training and directions.  This is a fairly creepy experience as the pen is empty when you enter the room. Those looking for the most up close encounter with a Raptor should try to position themselves in front of the pen (and be ready, because she doesn't always follow her handler's directions).  As for ourselves, we never fully recovered from the suspense of a certain "being hunted in a kitchen" scene, so we hung back a little.

Next stop is a visit to the might T-Rex. BUT, OH NO! There is something going wrong on the Isla Nublar, and unfortunately the feed is cut off before we can get a full warning  not to enter the area near the Tyrannosaurus pen.  A step through the doors immediately makes you aware that there is a crashed jeep, a fallen fence, and an eerie lack of T-Rex.  This is one of our favorite parts of the entire exhibit as you hear the familiar crash of footsteps approaching.  Then suddenly the famous T-Rex enters, roaring and on the hunt. (Yup - time to run!)

(Photo: The Franklin Institute)
An escape from the T-Rex brings you face to face with a giant Stegosaurus - which is cool until you realize that there is no fence between you and the dinosaurs anymore.  Plus there seems to be something really bad going on ahead.  There's a wild dinosaur that you've never seen in your textbooks loose and on the rampage - and it's looking for you! Will you survive an attack from the Indominus Rex?? (It was a narrow getaway for us!)

In all honesty, Jurassic World: The Exhibition is all it's hyped up to be.  "The Closest You Will Ever Come to Living Dinosaurs"?? Absolutely! After all, they spared no expense...

Jurassic World: The Exhibition is on display at The Franklin Institute through April 23rd.
Purchase VIP and VIP Plus Passes for an even bigger experience!

Enter to WIN TICKETS below:
(courtesy of The Franklin Institute)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Franklin Institute



Friday, March 10, 2017

Kid Fit

How do we do it? How in this age of cell phones, video games, and never having to leave your house to be entertained do we encourage our children to get up and move? To not just get up and move, but to get back up and try again when they fall?  It's a struggle that parents and caregivers with kids of every age have to deal with.  To find the answer to this all too common problem, we headed over to the brand new Kid Fit facility now open in Cherry Hill, NJ.

Daily Vacationer Jr originally met the gym owner and CEO, Brian Hurley, when he was teaching preview classes at Kid Fit partner, the Garden State Discovery Museum. These classes were unlike anything we had ever seen before. With exciting names like "Superhero Academy" and "Ninja Training", the classes were designed to build a bridge between a child's imagination and their physical bodies.  Even the most timid in the group was soon trying their hardest with enthusiasm and a smile on their face. There was something about these programs that was making a room full of children laugh and move and just keep trying.

Now that Kid Fit has it's own space, the potential for what it can be used for is unlimited.  The unique classes are back with something for every level and interest from Tiny Tumblers to Future MVPs. Not sure which class your kid will be most interested in? Kid Fit lets you request a FREE CLASS (and we highly recommend that you do!).  Classes are scheduled all week with a variety of different time slots giving everyone the chance to come and discover what makes this place so special to kids and their families. Kid Fit is also available for some pretty amazing (and stress free!) Birthday Parties (on weekends AND weekdays), and they have a lot of different options for Scout events and Field Trips including Overnights, a combo visit with the Garden State Discovery Museum, and even a Mobile Gym that can come to you!

Along with an amazing class schedule and event opportunities, Kid Fit also offers Open Play throughout the week.  We attended an Open Play time, and we were amazed again with how every kid in the room was climbing or jumping or rolling or crawling or just moving in any way that they could - and they were all so excited about it! We loved the infinite number of play area set ups and obstacle courses that were constantly changing and being moved around, giving kids different ways to try things and challenge themselves. Foam pits, climbing barriers, inclined mats, gymnastics equipment, and lots more were scattered around the room and all being used by children in so many different ways (and when they opened up the zipline for use, it was like Elvis had entered the building).

So what is it that Brian Hurley and Kid Fit are doing that is motivating children of all different ages and life stages to be physical active without realizing they are? We think that the secret lies in confidence.  Kid Fit doesn't just provide a place to move - they provide the confidence to move. The confidence to see an obstacle as a challenge. The confidence to know that not doing it the first, second, or even fifteenth time does not mean that you will never do it. Everyone was celebrated for doing the best that they could and encouraged to try anything that they wanted. There was hand holding and a boost up for those who needed it and a hands off and step back approach for those who wanted to do it on their own.  Kid Fit is one of those few and far between places where failing is not seen as the end of trying, but rather just another step toward getting it right.  Simply put, Kid Fit is making being active fun and exciting and something that everyone can be.

Open Play:
$5/child for GSDM Members
FREE for Kid Fit Members

$65/mon for GSDM Members
Sibling and Twin discounts available




Monday, February 27, 2017

Philadelphia Flower Show Ticket Giveaway

Photo: GMR Design LLC
The Philadelphia Flower Show returns to the PA Convention Center this March with a theme that highlights the iconic horticultural of the Netherlands. Holland: Flowering the World promises to include Dutch delights from windmills and bicycles to the famous vibrant tulip fields beginning with a magnificent entrance constructed of a floating floral canopy (we can't wait to see this show stopper)! Regional talent will combine with award-winning ingenuity from the Netherlands to embrace both the beauty of Dutch culture as well as their forward thinking eco-designs.

Since 1829, The Philadelphia Flower Show has been celebrating and influencing horticultural traditions and trends around the world.  With 250,000 visitors annually, the show is one of the most popular attractions during the entire year in the city of Philadelphia.   The show offers not only a breathtaking array of visual and artistic displays and competitions but continues to add more and more amazing and fun extras to the schedule including Make and Take Sessions, the Designers Studio, the Railway Garden, a huge array of vendors, tours and evening events, and even a Garden Spa (new for 2017!). Check out the Experiences and Events pages at theflowershow.com for more.

The Philadelphia Flower Show runs March 11th to March 19th with a special Preview Party on Friday, March 10th.  Purchase Tickets online ahead of time at a discount!

Daily Vacationer is excited to be able to share this amazing experience with one of our readers! Enter below for a chance to WIN 4 Tickets to the 2017 Philadelphia Flower Show - Holland: Flowering the World (courtesy of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society).  GOOD LUCK!!