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A Weekend in Cooperstown

(Thank you Go Cooperstown for hosting NY Foodie Family!  As always, all opinions are our own.)

Cooperstown is a small village in central New York, most well-known for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  After a recent visit to Cooperstown, we can tell you that there’s a lot more to see and do after visiting the iconic museum.

Stay:

Lake ‘N Pines Motel kindly hosted our two night stay in Cooperstown.  This motel offers a variety of accommodations from rooms with one double bed to rooms with two queen beds and even 2 bedroom mini suites.  We stayed in Cottage 120, a 2 bedroom suite that is adjacent to the game room.  The decor is cozy with a look and feel reminiscent of our college apartments.

With a full kitchen and living room, there was plenty of space for the four of us.  For those staying in Cooperstown for more than a day or two, this suite is great to cook some meals, as dining out when traveling can get expensive.  The Motel has an indoor and an outdoor pool, sauna, hot tub, as well as a game room.  A complimentary Continental breakfast is served here.

On nice days, you can eat outside with beautiful views of Lake Otsego.  The village of Cooperstown is a short, approximately, ten-minute drive.

Visit:

The National Baseball Hall of Fame – People flock to Cooperstown from all over the world to visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  Even non-baseball fans will enjoy a visit to this museum.  Read about our visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame!

Fenimore Art Museum –  The Fenimore Art Museum is well-known for its collection of folk art and the Thaw Collection of American Indian Art.  Read more about our visit to this museum.

The Farmer’s Museum – Across from the Fenimore Art Museum is The Farmer’s Museum.  Step back in time to 19th century rural life where you can visit historic buildings, see demonstrations and speak with interpreters.  Taking a ride on the Empire State Carousel is a must! Read about our visit to this fun and educational family experience.

Fly Creek Cider Mill – Fly Creek Cider Mill is a short drive from Cooperstown.  Enjoy lots of tasty food and cider samples, eat a delicious meal at the Snack Barn and watch apple cider being made. That’s just some of the fun you can have here.  Read about our tasty visit!

Cooperstown Beverage Exchange – Down the street from the National Baseball Hall of Fame is the Cooperstown Beverage Exchange.  This space, owned and operated by the Cooperstown Distillery, is both a tasting room and retail space.  You can sample and purchase their spirits, including vodka, bourbon, whiskey and gin.  You can purchase full drinks or cocktails to enjoy in the sitting area that they have.  In the evening, the space turns into a bar/cocktail lounge, with live music on many nights.

Eat: 

Doubleday Cafe – We asked an employee at the National Baseball Hall of Fame where he recommended we get lunch.  For a sit-down lunch, he recommended the Doubleday Cafe.  This cafe is a short walk from the Hall of Fame.  It was packed during our visit and rightly so.  The cafe offers a variety of soups, burgers, sandwiches and more.  They also have daily lunch specials – two of which we ordered including the Grilled Pastrami, Bacon & Provolone on Rye (pictured above) and the “Cafe” Burger with caramelized onions, blue cheese and bacon.

My husband was even able to enjoy “A Taste of Cooperstown Beer Flight” with his lunch here!

Fly Creek Cider Mill – If you plan to visit Fly Creek Cider Mill, which I recommend, make sure you eat lunch or an early dinner at the Snack Barn Restaurant.  They have a variety of value combo meals that include chips, beverage and a slice of pie.  Everything we ate here was delicious!

New York Pizzeria – We have plenty of amazing pizza places near us in Westchester County and all of the ones in NYC.  So, we had high expectations going into a place called New York Pizzeria.  We weren’t wowed by the pizza but it was decent.  The restaurant has plenty of seating, including an upstairs dining area.  They serve a variety of Italian dishes including different kinds of pasta, chicken and eggplant parmigiana, appetizers, salads and more.

As you can see, there’s lots to see, do, and eat in Cooperstown!  The village is about a 3 hour drive from Northern Westchester County, making it a perfect weekend getaway!

 

 

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Weekend Getaway to Crystal Springs Resort

(Thank you Crystal Springs Resort for providing lodging accommodations for NY Foodie Family.  Meals were not included in our stay and were paid for by NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

Our family  loves to travel, visit new places and have new experiences.  However, our days (and weekends) have been super busy, now that school has started and we are deep into activities and sports.  A relaxing weekend getaway to Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, New Jersey is just what we needed.  From northern Westchester County, the resort is only a little over an hour away by car.

Crystal Springs Resort truly is a resort, housing two hotels (Grand Cascades Lodge and Minerals Hotel), six golf courses and housing developments.  Yes, you can own a house, townhouse or even a suite in the Grand Cascades Lodge.  Seasonally, there are up to ten different dining options available.

We stayed at the Grand Cascades Lodge.  This location offers several different room types including standard guest rooms and one and two-bedroom suites, including some that have fireplaces.

We stayed in a one bedroom suite with a pull-out sofa in the living room.  There was more than enough room for the four of us. Plus, the suite had a kitchen, dining table and chairs.  If the weather was nicer, we could have enjoyed sitting outside on the patio, though the room that we stayed in (Room 101) didn’t have views of the property as it is on the ground level .  The lodge has several floors, many offering rooms with balconies that offer beautiful views.

The weekend of our visit was cold and rainy.  So, unfortunately, this limited the activities available to us.  Most of our time was spent inside at the biosphere pool.  This is Crystal Springs Resort’s 10,000 square foot indoor pool complex.  The plants and fountains create a tropical indoor oasis.

The kids had a fun time going down the slide countless times and wading around the pool.  I actually put on a bathing suit to bubble away in the hot tub.  Our family favorite was enjoying the heated outdoor pool. Our bodies were toasty while our heads were splattered by chilly raindrops!

Grand Cascades Lodge guests can enjoy the pool and activities at the Minerals Hotel, the sister resort, located approximately a ten minute drive away.  However, the biosphere pool is only accessible to Grand Cascades Lodge guests.  If our visit was longer we would have stayed to explore the Minerals pool and activities, but we wanted to take advantage of what the Cascades Lodge offered.

Speaking of activities, Crystal Springs Resort offers all types of activities, regardless of when you visit.  On your arrival, you are given a schedule of events.  Many of the activities do require a reservation and/or additional fees.  Unfortunately, the rain impacted the outdoor activities available to us.

I stopped by the Apple & Hard Cider Sampling while my husband and kids stayed at the biosphere.  Warwick Valley Winery and Black Dirt Distillery is located in Warwick, NY, an approximately 25 minute drive from the resort.  A representative from the winery shared samples of their rose, original apple and pear ciders.  I especially enjoyed the apple and pear ciders, as I prefer sweeter ciders.  Warwick is a beautiful town and I hope to visit the winery and distillery soon.

The kids took a break from the biosphere pool for the live animal show with Wallaby Tales.  This free show brings exotic and abandoned animals to the public.  The show was informative and we had such a great time petting Milkshake (the rabbit) and the chinchilla.  It was fun to watch Phyllis the groundhog eating a banana and discovered skunks are really cute when seen up-close.

Both Grand Cascades Lodge and Minerals Hotel have spas.  There’s a small 24-hour fitness center on the first floor with treadmills, ellipticals and other exercise equipment.  During our visit, I was suffering from some minor neck and shoulder pain, otherwise I would have participated in the Sunday morning yoga.

It’s important to note is that meals are not included in your stay.  However, there are several varied dining options at the two resorts.  My husband and I would have loved to dine at Restaurant Latour, the award-winning fine dining restaurant. With our kids in tow, this sadly wasn’t really an option for us.  We visited Kites Restaurant, located at the Minerals Hotel, for breakfast Saturday morning.  Although a shuttle between resorts is available, we opted to drive.

I believe I’ve mentioned how much my kids love breakfast!  Kites has a breakfast buffet, priced at $19.95 for adults and $9.95 for kids.  The buffet included the usual scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes and cereal.  Our favorites were the bagel and lox station and the pastries.  I overheard the hostess mention to another guest that they can make omelettes, but there was not a station and this was not otherwise stated anywhere.  As far as breakfast buffets go, this one was average but we left full and ready for a day of fun.

After breakfast we called to make dinner reservations at Crystal Tavern.  The only time available was 5:30 PM.  Since we ate breakfast so late, we opted to skip lunch and instead treated the kids to a Chocolate, Raspberry, Banana Gelato  Shake from the Biosphere Cafe.  This little cafe is located adjacent to the Biosphere pool and serves salads and sandwiches, in addition to scoops of gelato, shakes, smoothies and more. The staff members went above and beyond when my husband mentioned the kids were sharing the one shake. They split the shake in two cups, each with chocolate sauce, whipped cream and a striped paper straw!

We ate dinner at Crystal Tavern, located in the clubhouse at the Grand Cascades Lodge.  This family-friendly restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers children’s menus.  My kids opted not to order off the kid’s menu.  Instead, my son ordered the Smoked Salmon Toast ($12) which is an adult appetizer, but he had it for his main and my daughter had the CSR Burger with cheese ($19 +$2 cheese).  It’s a gigantic burger and was tasty but we opted not to add a fried egg for $4.  I enjoyed the Seafood Pasta ($28) and my husband had the Short Rib of Beef with manchego grits and garden succotash ($34).  Everything was delicious.

After our dinner, we headed back to the biosphere for movie night at the pool.  The kids watched a bit of Ice Age 2 from the pool (and I from the hot tub) and they also went back in the outdoor pool.  We finally headed back to the room to call it a night.

If you are looking for a relaxing, fun-filled weekend, Crystal Springs Resort is perfect.  It’s a great get-away for both families and couples, with enough activities to keep everyone entertained.   Even better, it’s only a short drive from Westchester County.

The Details:
crystalgolfresort.com
Crystal Springs Resort
Grand Cascades Lodge
3 Wild Turkey Way
Hamburg, NJ 07419

Minerals Hotel
1 Stonehill Drive
Vernon, NJ 07462

Tips:
*Check out their site, as they are always offering specials and packages.

*If you are in a suite and want to save some money, there is a fully stocked kitchen with dishes, cookware and even a block of knives.  You can bring food with you and cook in the kitchen of your suite.

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A Tasty Time at Fly Creek Cider Mill

 

When you are visiting Cooperstown, NY, you must take the short 15-minute drive to the Fly Creek Cider Mill.  The mill was established in 1856 and is currently owned and run by the Michaels family.

I recommend arriving to Fly Creek Cider Mill early, especially in the autumn peak season.  You might want to first visit the Mill Store Marketplace.  Depending on the time of day and season of your visit, you may be waiting on line to enter the store.  There’s a good reason for this: they want your in-store experience to be a good one and limiting the number of guests inside minimizes crowding. Rest assured, though, the line moves quickly and cider samples and fun facts entertain you while you wait.

The Marketplace is a foodie’s dream.  There are over 40 different samples that you can try from salsas and dips to doughnuts and cheese.  The apple room is stocked with up to 12 different varieties of apples that you can sample.

The kids especially loved sampling the many different types of fudge they make including Rocky Road, Carrot Cake, Toll House Cookie and more.

Fly Creek Cider Mill is a licensed New York State Farm Winery and bottles apple wines and hard ciders.  Samples of their wines and ciders are available in the marketplace.  I am a big fan of hard ciders and enjoyed both their Original and Apple-Raspberry varieties.

As you make your way through the Cider Mill you get to see the apple cider production up close on the second floor.  Apple pressing only takes place on weekends and the frequency of pressing is based on apple cider sales.  Over 20,000 gallons of cider are made each fall!  While we were visiting, the apples were in the process of being pressed and the juice collected. A gift shop that sells all kinds of items from mugs and decorative items to soaps, dishes and more is also on the top floor of the marketplace.  They have a large Christmas ornament selection as well.  If you run out of your favorite Fly Creek Cider Mill snacks and condiments after you return home, they have an online store where you can purchase more.

Make sure you leave room after all that sampling for lunch or an early dinner at the Snack Barn.  There are so many tasty meal and treat options available.  Our family enjoyed a late lunch and split the Pot Roast Sandwich ($13.99) and BBQ Pork Sandwich ($12.99) Value Combo Meal.  Both of these sandwiches were delicious and I highly recommend.

Each value meal comes with kettle-cooked chips, a beverage and a full-sized slice of pie.  We opted for the Apple Caramel Nut and Fruits of the Farm pie.  I’m not a big pie eater and I was devouring these!

We opted to upgrade our soft drink to a cider slush with one of our meals.  I had never seen or heard of a cider slush until our visit.  It was so good and I highly recommend.  It was sweet and refreshing, a perfect fall treat!

We enjoyed some live music while eating our lunch then we walked around the rest of the property.  Behind the mill is Millpond, home to lots of swans.  There are feed stands where you can purchase food for the swans and ducks.  Next to the Snack Barn is Tractor Land, a play area for younger kids.  For $1 you can purchase a rubber duck and participate in duck races.

A large collection of John Deere tractors and vintage equipment is on display throughout the property.  Make sure you take the short trip to Fly Creek Cider Mill when visiting Cooperstown, NY.  You are in for a tasty good time!

The Details:
Fly Creek Cider Mill
288 Goose Street
Fly Creek, NY 13337
(607) 547-9692
website

Hours: 9 AM – 6 PM every day

Parking:  Plenty of free parking is available in the lot across the street from the Mill

Tips:
*Tour the Cider Mill and visit the marketplace first.  When we visited, we received a coupon for the Snack Barn, but we had already eaten.

*Check the Fly Creek Cider Mill website before you visit for additional coupons.

*Arrive early!  We arrived around 1:30 PM and it was super crowded.  We waited on line to enter the mill and marketplace for about 10 minutes.

*We spent about 2 hours during our visit here, including eating a late lunch.

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Experiencing 19th-Century Rural Life at The Farmer’s Museum {Cooperstown, NY}

(Thank you to The Farmer’s Museum and Go Cooperstown for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

Founded in 1943, The Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown, New York is one of the oldest rural life museums in the United States.  When visiting Cooperstown, a trip to this museum will be a fun and educational experience. Visitors get an opportunity to experience rural life of the 19th-century through exhibitions, interpreters, demonstrations and more.  Be sure to check out the Daily Activities schedule on the day of your visit, to enjoy special demonstrations, tours and hands-on activities.

You enter the museum through the Main Barn.  The exhibitions change in this space, but currently on view is Barns: Cathedrals of the Countryside and Grow: An Exhibit to Get You Gardening.  There are hands-on activities in the Grow exhibit for young children to interact with.

After you exit the Barn you will see the Empire State Carousel.  Our family visited and rode on many carousels last summer, traveling around New York State.  The Empire State Carousel is, by far, my favorite carousel of all time.

The Empire State Carousel was opened in 2006.  Known as the “museum you can ride on”, this carousel pays tribute to everything New York State.  Almost 1,000 volunteer artists and artisans contributed to this carousel, which includes canopy murals, hand-carved mirror frames, quilted banners and over 25 hand-carved carousel creatures to ride. You can literally spend hours just walking around the carousel and taking in all the intricate art that details the people and places important to our state.  Each of the unique carousel figures also portrays a state significance. for example, the rabbit my daughter rode on represents the NYC Easter Parade.  Carousel rides are $1 per rider.

After visiting the carousel, we walked through the Historic Village.  The Village is comprised of over 20 different buildings, including a blacksmith shop, a tavern, a printing shop, a general store, pharmacy and more. More detailed information about each building and its provenance can be found on the museum’s website. Each building has been relocated from rural areas throughout New York and has been restored.

Many of the buildings have historic interpreters that will answer questions and demonstrate their crafts.  We enjoyed watching the blacksmith make needles the day of our visit.  We also got to see the printer make a flyer at the print shop.

The kid’s favorite part of the Farmer’s Museum was the Lippitt Farmstead.  This living farm includes two barns, six outbuildings, a smokehouse and the family house.  My kids LOVE animals and visiting the Children’s Barnyard was such a treat.  They got to meet Bear, a calf who wasn’t quite two weeks old the day of our visit.

They also loved seeing the chickens, turkeys, sheep, pigs and horses that live on the farm.

The weekend of our visit was Fiber Arts Weekend at the Farmer’s Museum.  This weekend is focused on exploring the world of natural fibers through demonstrations, mini-exhibits and hands-on activities.  The kids had a fun time making felt balls, which would have been a toy for young children in the 19th century.  Throughout the year, the Farmer’s Museum has seasonal events for an additional charge. Upcoming programs include Ghost Tours, Thanksgiving at the Farm, Candlelight  Evening and a theatrical production of “A Christmas Carol”.

The Details:

The Farmer’s Museum
5775 State Highway 80
Cooperstown, NY
website

Hours:

March 31 – May 7
Open Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Closed Mondays. Limited buildings open.

May 8 – October 8 (Columbus Day)
Open Daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

October 9 – October 30 
Open Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Closed Mondays. Limited buildings open.

October 31 – March 31
Closed for winter except for special programs and events.

Admission:
$12/Adults and Juniors (13-64), $10.50/Seniors (65+), $6.00/Juniors (7-12): $6.00, Free/Children (6 and under) Admission is also free for active military and retired career military personnel.

Parking: 
Free parking is available in the lot on the property.

Tips:
*Food is available for purchase at the Crossroads Cafe.  Soup, chili, drinks, baked goods and more are sold here.  You an also opt to walk across the street to the Fenimore Art Museum and have a meal, while enjoying beautiful views of Otsego Lake, at the Fenimore Cafe.

*Our family spent approximately 2 1/2 hours here during our visit, which included making felt balls during Fiber Arts Weekend.

Folk Art and More at the Fenimore Art Museum {Cooperstown, NY}

(Thank you to Go Cooperstown and the Fenimore Art Museum for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

Driving by the Fenimore Art Museum, located on Route 80 in Cooperstown, you might assume it’s a giant mansion.  And you’d be right.  Avid art collector Stephen Carlton Clark donated Fenimore House to the New York State Historical Association for its new headquarters and museum in 1939. The museum’s origins date back to 1899. The country estate of Clark’s late brother was built on land that was once owned by James Fenimore Cooper.  Today, it houses a large collection of American Folk Art and Native American Art.

The first floor of the museum includes the Main Gallery, which has one of the largest folk art collections in the country.  The art includes Indian Maiden (pictured above) a Cigar Store Figure, paintings, weather vanes, carvings and more.

The Cooper Gallery is also located on the main floor.  For more than seven generations, the Cooper family has had ties to the Lake Otsego area.  The most well known Cooper is probably American writer, James Fenimore Cooper.  His book, The Leatherstocking Tales, features the iconic story The Last of the Mohicans.  This gallery displays many of James Fenimore Cooper’s personal effects and possessions.

The lower level of the museum houses the Thaw Gallery of American Indian Art.  Eugene and Clare Thaw, residents of Cherry Valley in Otsego County, were avid art collectors and dealers.  In the late 1990’s the couple moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and and began collecting Native American Art.  They amassed a large collection over the years and donated their entire collection to the Fenimore Art Museum.  New objects have been added to the collection, which now numbers over 850 pieces. Also on the lower level are several galleries that host the various temporary exhibitions.

My husband and I both agreed that our favorite exhibit at the museum was the temporary exhibit Seen & Unseen: Photographs by Imogen Cunningham.  Photography was not allowed in this exhibit.  However, Cunningham (1883-1976) was considered an experimental photographer and one of the pioneers of the art.  Her photographs on display reflected this, covering a depth and breadth that was truly amazing.

We found the Education Room, up on the second floor near the end of our visit.  With comfortable chairs, my husband and I sat and relaxed, perusing some of the library of art books.  The kids enjoyed sitting at the tables drawing and had even more fun using the photo station to create still lifes and practice their photography skills (my son’s picture is above).

Also on the second floor were additional temporary exhibitions including Hamilton’s Final Act: Enemies and Allies, The Barber Surreal: Eugene Berman’s Reimagined Barber of Seville and Thomas Cole and the Garden of Eden.  As you can tell from just the names of the exhibits, the Fenimore showcases a wide variety of art.

Along with the Education Room, the kids really enjoyed the family scavenger hunts.  The Fenimore Art Museum has two different scavenger hunts.  One’s in the Main Gallery and one is in the Thaw Gallery of American Indian Art.  These scavenger hunts make the kids take a closer look at the different works in the gallery to gather their clues.  There is a fun prize at the end of the scavenger hunt.

The back of the museum overlooks Otsego Lake and has beautiful views.  We were prevented from accessing the rear areas on the day of our visit, as there was a wedding ceremony taking place.  But, on a normal day, you can walk around the outside grounds.  We were able to walk the property in front of the museum and see the giant Haida Totem Pole.  The museum acquired this totem pole in 2010, after Eugene Thaw commissioned the work from Haida artist and carver Reg Davidson.  The pole, standing 3o-feet tall, sits on the front lawn of the museum.

The Fenimore Art Museum is a community museum.  Not only does it house the exhibitions described above, but it offers lecture series, community exhibitions, painting and photography workshops and more. Although the museum is small, the changing exhibits and special program offerings, give visitors many reasons to return.

The Details:
Fenimore Art Museum
5798 Route 80
Cooperstown, NY 13326
FenimoreArt.org

Hours:  May 8 – October 8, daily 10 AM – 5 PM October 9 – December 30, Tues. – Sun. 10 AM – 4 PM, Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Admission:  $12/ Adults and Juniors (13-64), $10.50/Seniors (65+), Free/Children 12 and under

Parking:  Free parking along driveway in front of the museum and and side lot

Tips:

*Plan to spend approximately 1 1/2 hours or less on a visit with kids.

*You can purchase food at the Fenimore Cafe, which is open seasonally.

*Docent tours are available daily May 26 through September 3 and Saturdays and Sundays March 31 through May 25 and September 24 through December 30.  They last approximately 4o minutes.  Check the website or admission desk for times.

National Baseball Hall of Fame {Cooperstown}

Most people automatically associate Cooperstown, NY with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and rightly so.  The little town attracts big crowds of baseball fans from all over the country.  Since 1939, the Hall of Fame has been showcasing its extensive collection baseball memorabilia and housing stories of baseball’s greatest legends.  But, as you will see, you don’t have to be a die-hard baseball fan to get caught up in the excitement!

Full disclosure: I’m not a mega baseball fan but I’ve been to my fair share of games.  I was raised as a Yankees fan and it was fun to see so much historic Yankee memorabilia on display.  My parents and in-laws are on opposing sides for a Subway Series (Yankees vs. Mets fans) and my kids aren’t really loyal to either team.

But what do you do when you visit the museum with two tweens who also aren’t big baseball fans, but you have a husband who is?  You split up.

We arrived right before the 11 AM guided tour of the Plaque Gallery, which my husband joined, and met up with him in the gallery at the end of the tour so we could walk around.  This is really a sight to see, where plaques featuring the greatest baseball players of all time, hang on the walls.

While my husband was taking the tour, the kids and I were working on completing the scavenger hunt.  I love it when museums have these for kids to do.  It helps them focus on some of the major exhibits and forces them to stop and read some information.  It also helped that there’s a prize offered once it’s completed.

Beginning with the exhibit Taking the Field:  The 19th Century, visitors are led through a timeline of baseball’s history.  Other major exhibits in the timeline include: Babe Ruth: His Life and Legacy, Diamond Dreams: Women in Baseball, Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience, Viva Baseball! (focused on baseball in the Caribbean Basin countries) and ending with Whole New Ballgame, which details baseball from the 1970’s to present day.

It was fun to walk through The Locker Room and see all the Major League Baseball teams’ recent uniforms and equipment.

Fans of all ages will enjoy testing their baseball knowledge with the baseball quiz kiosks located on the third floor.

Families with young kids will enjoy making a stop at the The Sandlot Kids’ Clubhouse.  This room has books, television shows playing (including a Dora the Explorer baseball-themed episode) and other fun activities for little ones.  Even my older kids loved the baseball mitt seats!

You must be sure to watch the film Generations of the Game.  Located on the second floor of the museum, the film plays every hour, on the hour.  Did I mention that I’m not really a baseball fan?  This film had me tearing up!  You get to see some of the highlight moments of some of the Hall of Famers.  Their love and passion for baseball is truly inspiring.

Every July, during Hall of Fame Weekend, new members are inducted into the Hall in a special ceremony.  The special weekend also includes an awards ceremony and a Parade of Legends, among other festivities.  This past July, new inductees included Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome, Trevor Hoffman, Jack Morris and Alan Trammell.  It was interesting to learn that there’s not a set number of inductees each year.  From a ballot of recently retired players, four different voting panels choose the inductees.

I’m glad that our family was finally able to make a visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  As a New Yorker, it seems only fitting to visit this iconic museum that’s really not too far from home.

The Details:

National Baseball Hall of Fame
25 Main Street
Cooperstown, NY 13326
1-888-HALL-OF-FAME

Hours:  Open 7 days a week (except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day)
Labor Day – Memorial Day:  9 AM – 5 PM  Extended Hours Memorial Day – Labor Day

Admission: $23/adults, $15/seniors, $12/children (7-12) & veterans, Free/children (6 and under) & active/career retired military

Parking:
  Paid parking in nearby lot.  Free parking available in three lots throughout Cooperstown with Trolley service ($2/per rider per day).

Tips:

*Food is not served at the museum.  There are plenty of restaurants and cafes along Main Street, where you can go for lunch or dinner. When you leave you can get your hand stamped so you can return during the day.

*Expect to spend a minimum of 3 hours at the museum. Baseball fans will probably spend a lot more time!

 

 

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A Weekend in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster County Pennsylvania, a.k.a. “Pennsylvania Dutch Country” is a fun, family destination.  With a large Amish community, visiting here is both an educational and fun experience.  Only 3 hours from most of Westchester County, Lancaster makes a perfect weekend destination.  Read on to see all the fun that can be had in two days.  You can check out the links to read more detailed posts about each attraction. When planning your visit, it is important to note that many attractions in Lancaster are closed on Sundays. Two days didn’t give us enough time to see and do everything, but that’s only the more reason for us to return soon!

Stay: at the Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn.  This Inn is a great lodging choice for families, with several different types of sleeping accommodations.  This is not a chain hotel and is situated on 23 acres that includes a pool, two playgrounds and even some farm animals.  The property is spacious with walking paths and a pond.  There is also a restaurant, garden shop and large gift shop onsite as well.

Eat: The Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn has a restaurant on the property that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Breakfast at the Smorgasbord is complimentary with an overnight stay and the front desk offers discount coupons if you choose to dine at the restaurant for lunch or dinner.  We had a dinner and breakfast here and were highly satisfied with both.  The buffet offers a plentiful variety of delicious options including fresh baked goods and desserts.

We also had a delicious meal at Federal Taphouse in Lancaster.  This is a great restaurant for beer lovers, as they have 100 beers on tap.  The menu is very family-friendly with wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches tacos and more.  We tried the Sweet Corn Pizza with creamed spinach, sweet corn, bacon, house tomato jam and ricotta salata.  Yes, it was as delicious as it looks and sounds. We then rounded out our meal with a variety of appetizers with a house made soft pretzel with beer cheese fondue, stuffed meatballs and poutine.  It was a carb-filled feast!

Visit:  The Amish Farm and House for an educational and fun experience.  On the guided house tour you will learn about the Amish history and heritage.  You can take a bus tour that will drive you through the Amish countryside. Make sure to leave time to enjoy the 15-acre farm.  My kids could have spent all day here feeding the goats and visiting the different farm animals.  They also had a great time riding the scooters and enjoying the newest attraction, Tractor Trails, where they pedaled cars around a track.  The gift shop sells a variety of handmade Amish goods and on the weekends.  (located approximately five minutes from the Hershey Farm Inn).

A foodie tour of Kitchen Kettle Village in Lancaster County Pennsylvania.

Kitchen Kettle Village – Kitchen Kettle Village is made for foodies! We had such a delicious time visiting all the different shops and eating our way through the village.  There’s a reason why nearly a million people visit each year.  There is something for everyone here, with 40 different shops selling everything from jams and fudge to quilts and Christmas ornaments.  (located approximately 12 minutes from the Hershey Farm Inn).

Lancaster Science Factory – If you need a place for the kids to burn off some energy, this is the place.  With over 60 different hands-on exhibits, kids will (and adults!) will have a great time at the Lancaster Science Factory.  While smaller than many other children’s science museums that we have visited, the exhibits held the interest of my two tweens for quite some time. (approximately 15 minutes from the Hershey Farm Inn).

Turkey Hill Experience – Although not in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the Turkey Hill Experience is not to be missed.  As fans of Turkey Hill ice cream, this attraction was a family favorite.  We got to create our own ice cream flavor in the Taste Lab and learn about tea in the Tea Discovery.  In the actual Experience, we had endless samples of teas and ice cream (approximately 25 minutes away from the Hershey Farm Inn).

(Thank you to Discover Lancaster and the above attractions for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

Summer Fun at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom

(Thank you Dorney Park for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

Every summer NY Foodie Family tries to visit at least one amusement park.  Living in Westchester County, we have many choices within a couple of hours drive.  It had been several years since we last visited Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, Pennsylvania and decided to make a stop on our way home from Lancaster.

Dorney Park is both an amusement and water park.  We visited on a summer day at the end of June.  It was a sunny, but not hot day so we opted not to visit the water park.  When we visit an amusement park, we all get to choose a ride that we “must-do.”  As we walk through the park to one of the rides on our list, we will stop at other rides if the lines are short.

Well, we lucked out on our weekday visit.  The park was not crowded and there were very few lines for the rides.

We love visiting amusement parks now that the kids are older.  Having a 10 and 12-year-old means that they can go on all the spinny rides together, like The Kaleidoscope, while my husband and I watch.

Our family loves roller coasters and Dorney Park has seven of them.  This includes the mild Wild Mouse, which was my son’s ride of choice, and the Woodstock Express, the kiddie coaster in Planet Snoopy.  My ride of choice during our visit was the roller coaster Talon.  This is the tallest and longest inverted coaster in the Northeast and riders turn upside down four times.  This was our son’s first time riding an inverted coaster.  Although he was a bit nervous before riding this, he did enjoy it.

Another favorite ride was Steel Force, which was my husband’s must-ride list. This coaster has a 205-foot drop with speeds reaching 75 miles per hour.  I am not a fan of coasters with huge drops and sat this one out, while my husband and kids rode it.  Unfortunately, the day of our visit, Hydra, one of the other coasters we would have enjoyed was closed.  However, there were plenty of other rides to keep us busy.

For those with young children, Planet Snoopy has a collection of fifteen Peanuts themed rides that are perfect for them.

For thrill seekers, there are many “aggressive” thrill rides that will sure to please.  The kids weren’t quite up to riding The Meteor, pictured above.

During the summer, Dorney Park offers a variety of entertainment, including meet and greets, music and dance parties and more.  They have a separate entertainment guide with all of the show listings, locations and times.  Since we visited so early in the summer, the only show was Cirque Imagine.  Many compare this show to Cirque du Soleil, as it’s a 30-minute live show of acrobatics and artistry.

The park has a variety of food options where you can get burgers, pizza, chicken, hotdogs and more.  New this year is Burrito Cantina and the Tidal Wave Cafe in the Wildwater Kingdom.  Although there are plenty of food options, we didn’t find any really unique or interesting choices.  We had a late, big breakfast before we arrived at the park and weren’t super hungry during our visit.  At our daughter’s request, we ended up stopping at Chicke’s & Pete’s for some Crabfries.  There are plenty of amusement park treats including cotton candy, fried dough and ice cream.  For those that plan on spending a full day at the park, the park offers dining plans that may be worth considering.

Visitors can see life-sized animatronic dinosaurs in the park’s Dinosaurs Alive attraction. This walk-through experience costs an additional $5 and visitors can travel back in time to learn more about these prehistoric creatures.  The park also has lots of games and an arcade as well, for those looking for some non-ride fun.

Dorney Park is a fun amusement park that kids of all ages can enjoy.  The park is large enough that you can make a full day of it.  You can even spend a couple of days if you want to enjoy the water park as well.

The Details:

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom
4000 Dorney Park Road
Allentown, Pennsylvania 18104

Hours:  Hours vary by day and month.  Check the website for specific dates.

Admission:  Ticket prices vary but are cheaper when purchased online in advance.  Daily tickets start at $42.  Check the website for additional info.

Parking:  $20 (credit card accepted)

Tips:

*Buy a refillable souvenir bottle when you enter the park (or purchase online for an additional $2 off).  You get to enjoy free refills on your first visit.

*The park may be crowded the day of your visit and you may not be able to enjoy all the rides and attractions that you want.  Have everyone choose a “must-do” ride to ensure the whole family has fun.

Hands-On Fun at the Lancaster Science Factory

 

 

(Thank you to Discover Lancaster for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As usual, all opinions are our own.)

If you are looking for some indoor family fun in Lancaster, make a visit to the Lancaster Science Factory.  This hands-on science museum is geared towards children in 3rd through 8th grade.  However, children of all ages will have fun interacting with the exhibits.

There are over 60 different exhibits that cover topics of electricity and magnetism, mechanics and motion, light and vision, fluid dynamics, puzzles and brain teasers, and more.  Kids are encouraged to build, touch and explore.

My husband and I even got in on the fun and made K’NEX Mini-Racers so we could race them against each other!

We tried our best to get the Giant Arch to stay but, even after several attempts, we were unsuccessful.  Only gravity and friction are preventing the foam arch pieces from falling on our heads. Which, of course, they all ended up doing in the end.

My ten and twelve-year-old kids enjoyed all of the exhibits.  We discovered that our daughter is an expert paper airplane maker at the Flight Deck exhibit.

I had fun playing around at the Minimal Surfaces exhibit!  You’re never too old for bubbles!

The museum is one level with an open floor plan.  I liked that each of us could be interacting with different exhibits, but we could see where everybody else was.

The museum isn’t large and can be visited in about an hour.  Since we had the afternoon free, we spent about 2 1/2 hours visiting.  During this time we saw many different families come and go.  Our kids were so involved interacting with the exhibits that we hated to disturb them.

This museum is perfect when visiting Lancaster, when you want to cool off,  warm up or stay dry (depending on the weather when you visit!).  Kids will have so much fun “playing” and learning at the Lancaster Science Factory.

The Details:
Lancaster Science Factory
454 New Holland Avenue
Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17602
(717) 509-6363

Hours:  Monday – Saturday:  10 AM – 5 PM, Sundays 12 PM – 5 PM

Admission: $9.50/ages 3+, Free/2 and under

Parking:  Free parking is available in the lot across the street from the museum

Tips:

*There is no food available for purchase at the Science Factory and no eating or drinking are allowed in the museum.

*There is a small gift shop – The Science to Go Store.

 

 

Where to Stay in Lancaster: Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn

(Thank you to the Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

When visiting Lancaster, Pennsylvania there are many choices on where to stay.  From campgrounds to bed and breakfast inns, there are accommodations for every budget. On our recent visit to Lancaster, we enjoyed a stay at the the Hershey Farm Inn.  This is a great family-friendly lodging choice with lots of amenities.

The Hershey Farm Inn is not a chain hotel.  They have 60 rooms, located in three different sections of the property. The two-story Main Inn has the feel of a traditional hotel, with a central lobby and interior rooms.

The Carriage House is the Inn’s more budget-friendly lodging option.  These rooms are more motel-like with private outdoor entrances.

Our family stayed in the Amish Farm House.  This 2-story house has traditional standard rooms as well as couples suites and 2-room family suites, which we stayed in.

In our suite, the exterior door enters the master bedroom.  This room has a king size bed, a chair, dresser, television, refrigerator and coffee maker.

The kids shared the second bedroom, which has a double bed, desk and chair.  It was nice for them to have a separate space to themselves.  After putting the kids to bed, my  husband and I could stay up with the lights on and  not disturb them. 

There is one bathroom in this suite.  I really loved the decor of the bathroom.  However, I wish that the sink area was a little larger.  Due to lack of space, it was hard for everyone to keep their toiletries around the sink.

The Hershey Farm Inn & Restaurant offers more than just a place to sleep.  There is plenty to see and do on the 23 acres of property.  For kids, there are two different playground areas for them to climb and explore.

At the back of the property, there is a large fishing pond.  Many swans and geese were inhabiting the area when we visited.  If we had more time, I would have liked to sit in one of the Adirondack chairs with a book.  It was so quiet and peaceful here.

The Inn has farm animals including goats and a barn with chickens and a rooster that wander freely.  Feed is available for purchase in the main lobby.

My kids loved swimming in the pool the most.  My husband and I enjoyed sitting under the cabanas to keep out of the sun.  There is no lifeguard on duty, though, so parental supervision is a must.  The pool is open until 10 PM though so the kids even got in some night swimming!

The Inn is located right next to the Sight & Sound Theatre.  For guests that have tickets, there is a convenient walking path connecting the two properties.

The Hershey Farm Restaurant is located on the property and overnight guests receive complimentary breakfast at the Grand Smorgasbord.  The breakfast buffet has an omelet station and made-to-order eggs.  They also have french toast, pancakes, make-your-own waffles, bacon, sausage, cereal, baked goods and more.  You will leave stuffed!

There is also a large gift shop and outdoor market onsite.  The gift shop sells everything from souvenirs and toys to clothing and sports merchandise.  Before we left, I purchased several plants and flowers from the outdoor market.   Guests who would like to have lunch or dinner at the onsite restaurant can get discount coupons at the front desk in the main lobby.

When planning a trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn is a great lodging choice for your family!

The Details:
The Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn
240 Hartman Bridge Road
Ronks, PA 17572
(717) 687-8635

Rates:  Vary depending on dates – please check the website for availability and prices

Location:  The Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn is conveniently located near the Sight & Sound Theatre, American Music Theatre, Strasburg Railroad, Dutch Wonderland, the Rockvale and Tanger Outlets, and more.