Friday, October 18, 2013

Hershey, PA - H Fam Sightseeing Part 19

Jake turned 7 this weekend, so we decided what a better place to take a chocolate loving boy than to go to Hershey, PA!

 We left later on Saturday, went shopping at the outlets... big boy need new shoes! Then met up with friends for dinner nearby. It was such a good time!

Then we swam at the hotel pool before turning in for the night. We stayed in nearby Harrisburg, PA the state capital!

The next morning we opened presents like we always do. Jake was surprised he didn't realize we brought them all with us (family sends us presents since everyone is cross country from us).

We at breakfast at the hotel, then it was off to Chocolate World! I have to say usually our early morning habits always pay off when we travel/sight see and we get there before it gets crowded. We got there 5 minutes after it opened at it was already bustling with lines!? There's lots of packages you can buy depending on how much money you want to spend and how much you want to do. We did the Happiness Package that included their 4D movie and Make Your Own Chocolate Bar (which ended up being broken - we were totally bummed to miss out on that experience, but they did refund our money!).

First there's a free ride. Now I read some reviews and people were really negative about it. Nope it's not a real factory tour anymore... but I can't tell you how much the boys enjoyed it! Luke at 2 years old especially enjoyed the music! Plus, it's free (pretty much the only thing that is free) and you can ride it more than once if you want. When you get done they give you a free sample of chocolate (or Twizzler if there's allergies)!

There was also a "Kisses Factory Worker" thing you could do... you put on a paper hat, they take your picture, you go to the conveyor belt to "package" then at the end you can purchase packaging with your picture on it. BUT, you can also just say no thanks it's no problem... so it was a fun little 5 minute thing for them to do.

Then we went to the movie... the "Hershey's Great Chocolate Factory Mystery". Again, I read some negative reviews on this... and again, the boys LOVED it. It was very interactive with smells, rumbles, the characters on screen talking to the kids (literally because they'd repeat back what the kids said and incorporate), misty, smoke, and confetti! It was fun and the boys were amazed... Evan wanted to know how came out of the TV ;)

And again... you get a little sample at the end. Some may call it chintzy... I call it just perfect for the kids.

Then we were on our way to make our own chocolate bar when we found out it was closed :( So we changed gears, had an early lunch in their food court (the only part of Hershey that was less than stellar, the people seemed a bit clueless and the lines were long even at 11am!). Then went to the Dessert Creation Studio.

I must say while I'm sad we missed the experience of making the chocolate bar, this was a lot of fun for the kids too. The big boys each picked out something to "create"... they had options like Hot Cocoa, Cake Pops, S'mores, Sugar Cookie, Cupcakes, and Fondue. It was pretty neat... and it only cost us $10 total... probably the cheapest thing there! Jake got a "Treatza Pizza", pretty much a large sugar cookie with lots of sugary goodies to decorate. Evan got cake pops, when those were gone he was fine dipping the stick into the chocolate and sprinkles!

Then our timer was about up (Luke was ready for his nap... we try to plan our trip home so he'd nap on the way home) so we headed down to the Hershey Bake Shop and let Jake pick out his birthday cake to take home. He picked a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup that I have to say was quite divine! I am happy to say none of us slipped into a diabetic coma! Success!


It was the perfect way to spend a day celebrating our SEVEN year old's birthday! I cannot believe he's seven... sigh... love that kid so much!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Time to starting making the Halloween Costumes!

This year the boys decided to be a few of the Guardians of Childhood: Jack Frost, North, and Sandman for Halloween. We all LOVE Rise of the Guardians in this house!

Luckily, they're all pretty easy to DIY and also not have to be machine sewn (I know, I know... I swear I'm finally just going to take classes in the new year). I think I've rounded everything up besides a staff for Jack Frost and a sword for North!

I will be cutting off the coon tail of the coon hat to make for the hat North wears and Evan has black pants and boots. Adding "frost" onto the blue hoodie for Jack and I also bought white face paint & hair paint for his hair as well! Hoping it's not too hard to turn Luke into Sandy!

Wish me luck! Why do I get the distinct impression I'll still be working on these on Halloween Day? I'm trying to do one year make, one year buy (to give sufficient time to recover from making the previous year, ha ha)...

A past run down of costumes...

Halloween 2011 (made Jake & the Neverland Pirate costumes)

Jake & Cubby... Luke was suppose to be the parrot Skully and it just plain didn't happen!

Halloween 2012 (bought Star Wars costumes)

My Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, and Darth Vader