As voted by Trekaroo families, here are the Reviews of the Day from back in the day to today.
When my husband suggested a visit, I figured it couldn't hurt to check it out but figured the kids would be bored. I was wrong.
First, we were treated to the news that kids and teens age 19 and under were FREE. This means I did not have to pay for any of my children, including the 13 year old who frequently qualifies at adult rates now. This was fabulous. They also offer a plan to visit the nearby Corning Museum of Glass as well.
Next, my kids were offered scavenger hunts. This kept the kids busy in the main part of the gallery. The scavenger hunt included pictures that they needed to locate and then could turn in for a prize at the end. The best part of the photos on the scavenger hunt, they weren't full shots. It would be a piece of a painting or sculpture so it really encouraged the kids to look around.
After the scavenger hunt, we visited the new family studio. This was a hit with all of us. The kids could create a mythical creature, a landscape, read, write a story, or put puzzles together. It was a perfect place for them to just be kids and do what they do best....become interactive with their environment.
The museum itself is not large, so it is easy to visit the museum in its entirety and move on to the next activity before anyone gets restless or worn out. The paintings, sculptures, and pottery are a great mix of new and old.
Be sure to visit the gift shop on the way out for some unique items.
The Met has been my favorite museum since, I was in eleventh grade and I first visited. My husband had never been and we wanted to take our 5 year old, but enjoy the museum ourselves. We accomplished our goal, and all enjoyed ourselves the day that we went.
We took our 5 year old to the Met, and had a ball. Before purchasing tickets we went to the gift shop and had him pick out 5 post cards of items that were in the museum. We then paid our admission; we took our map and went looking for our objects.
My son chose something from the Egyptian collection, something from the knights, an Early American painting, a piece of furniture, and a musical instrument. We enjoyed the exhibits looking for our objects, and asked guards who were usually very helpful in seeking out our object. We are headed back to NYC, and going on another scavenger hunt at the Met is one of the repeats of activities he wants to do again, when we go.
I strongly suggest having a hot dog on the front steps of the Met, where hot dog cart venders are always available to experience NYC, and to save money from the expensive food offerings in the restaurant inside the museum. It also gives your little one a chance to run around and act like a child again before having to get back into museum mode.
Christmas at Stone Mountain was an awesome experience for my family! My 3 youngest daughters (ages 3, 5 & 7) proclaimed it the best night of their lives.
We arrived around 6:00 just as it was starting to get dark, the trees and buildings were decked out top to bottom in beautiful Christmas lights. We were starving when we got there so our first stop was the Campfire Grill.
The Campfire Grill
The Campfire Grill is a lodge style restaurant, it has a very cozy feel and we loved it. The best part was, while we were eating, Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, the abominable snowman, the Snow Fairy and Santa Clause all stopped by to visit. They loved getting to visit with some of their favorite Christmas characters.
After we had full bellies we set out to explore this magical place. We headed toward the train station and were distracted by the glass blowing demonstration. We stopped to watch a lady create glass ornaments. She did an amazing job of demonstrating glass blowing and explained what she was doing every step of the way. My girls were fascinated and didn’t want to leave, but the sound of the Christmas parade pulled them away.
The parade had appearances by Santa and Mrs. Clause, the abominable snowman, Rudolph and, of course. the Snow Fairy. There were also dancers and people dressed up as different toys. It was a very cute parade and the girls enjoyed it.
Polar Express 4D Experience
After the parade we headed to the Polar Express 4D show. We were met at the gate by Sharyn. I have to mention Sharyn because she was one of the highlights of our visit. She was the sweetest lady. She made such a big deal about my girls and made them feel so special. She was very knowledgeable about everything to do and see in the park and made sure we weren’t going to miss anything. The Polar Express 4D experience was spectacular. Nothing short of amazing. It was a complete sensory experience and the girls and I wanted to do it again and again.
We decided to board the Singalong train next. This was the only disappointment on our visit and it wasn’t that it was bad, just that it didn’t compete with anything else we saw or did that night. It was so-so. I expected several light displays, but instead we only saw 4 during the 30 minute train ride, most of the ride was through dark woods where you couldn’t see much. The singalong portion was fun, I always love the sound of people singing Christmas carols all together. Towards the end of the ride, the train stops for a short show about the Christmas story. The show is a light display and a person telling the story of Christmas. The lady who told the story the night we visited did a fantastic job, she was animated and engaging and told the story beautifully. Make sure to sit on the left side of the train as this is where you get the best views of the light displays and the Christmas story show.
Toyrific! and other activities
When the train ride was over we decorated cookies and had our pictures taken with Santa and then the Snow Fairy. Our last stop was to see the show Toyrific! It was a hit! The show is about a group of misfit toys that must save Christmas. The acting was great, my girls were fascinated and giggled throughout the whole show. So fun!
One of things that I loved about the evening was the carolers that walked throughout the park. They were lovely and made for a complete Christmas experience. We also enjoyed the man with the bubble cart, he did a fantastic job of entertaining the kids with his magic bubbles.
Flight of the Snow Fairy & Fireworks
The night ended with the Snow Fairy flying into the park and making it snow (so cool!!) followed by a small fireworks show.
We had such a great time there, I know that we will be visiting next Christmas for sure. This may be a new tradition for our family.
Christmas at Stone Mountain runs from November 9th – January 1st on most days (please check their website for a complete schedule). Tickets are $28 for adults and $22 for children (ages 3-11).
Disclosure: This review is based on a complimentary visit to Christmas at Stone Mountain. I received no other compensation and these opinions are entirely my own.
We took our kids (6 and 3) to Black Creek Pioneer Village for the first time during one of their special events for Halloween - Howling Hootenanny.
While most of our time there was spent doing the Halloween activities - watching magic shows, decorating pumpkins and learning how to use an apple slingshot, we did spend a few minutes walking around the historic buildings and learning about printing presses, tin making and everyday life in the 1800s.
While our 3 year old wasn't too interested in the educational parts of BCPV, he did enjoy looking at the animals (the sheep and really big horse in particular) and just walking around the beautiful grounds.
Our 6 year old had a lot of questions about life in the 1800s and the staff working in each of the buildings were happy to answer and explain things to her.
The day we visited, there were many families with kids under the age of 10 and the majority of the activities are geared to this age group.
It's a large facility with over 40 buildings so if you have little ones that can't handle all that walking outdoors, I'd recommend bringing a stroller - one that can work on different types of terrain - gravel, cement, and grass.
2 to 3 hours is probably all you need to see and do everything here. It was an educational and quiet afternoon and a great change of pace from normal weekend activities for our family.
Disclosure: My family received complimentary admission to Black Creek Pioneer Village however all opinions are my own.
I wouldn't make Meadowlark Gardens your primary destination, but if you are already in the area and looking for a nice place to enjoy nature, this is great. It has its plants divided into sections, so there is a rose area, an azalea area,a Japanese garden, etc. A small bridge goes over a pond filled with large koi and lots of turtles, which the kids will love. There's also a gazebo area that juts out into the water so you can look down on all the turtles and fish.
The paths are paved and there's at least one stroller/handicap-accessible path that goes all the way around the grounds. Benches are scattered throughout for resting and appreciating nature.
There is a very tiny bookstore. On the day I was there (very hot), they could not sell bottled water because their machine had just broken the day before, so many visitors were turned away thirsty. The front lobby does have some nice, comfy couches and chairs to relax in and a few displays you can check out.
In the winter, they have a nice walk-through light display.
All in all, this is a pretty and peaceful place, but it is not an absolute "must do."