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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Shopping at the Crossroads Antique Mall in Hershey

Crossroads Antique Mall in Hershey Pennsylvania
The Crossroads Antique Mall is located on 825 Cocoa Avenue in Hershey Pennsylvania. This antique mall is housed in an old barn shaped building and it houses more than 80 retailers. If your planning a trip to Hershey (the sweetest place one earth) or you live in the south central Pennsylvania area, this is one antique mall that you'll want to check out.

When planning your visit, you'll want to visit their website for hours of operation which varies during the seasons throughout the year. It's really easy to find, just get on Cocoa Avenue and you'll find it, it's not fair from the Hershey Theatre and other attractions in the downtown area. Free parking is available on the premises.

On the day that we visited, it wasn't crowded at all. In addition, I didn't see 80+ vendors like their website boasts, but I did see quite a few. In addition, I saw all kinds of antiques ranging from vintage furniture, home decor, dinnerware & glassware, collectibles, old tools, vintage toys, old apparel items, farming items, etc. A really nice selection of vintage items for you to choose from.
Crossroads Antique Mall in Hershey Pennsylvania

If you plan on doing a lot of shopping, you may want to bring along your own shopping cart or wheelable utility cart, so that you don't have to keep running back to your vehicle to stowaway your packages. With that said, you don't want something too large or wide...keep it simple please. A large shopping tote would work just as well.

Regarding pricing, I did find their price points to be a little high on the majority of the items I was looking at. I'm an experienced antique shopper and when we travel, I typically seek out local antique malls and stores. With that said, I did find myself 2 nice vintage home decor items that I proudly added to my home.
Crossroads Antique Mall in Hershey Pennsylvania

The Crossroads Antique Mall is a nice store to visit while visiting the Hershey area, especially during a bad weather day when you don't want to be doing any outdoor activities or tours. You'll find them conveniently located on Cocoa Avenue in Hershey Pennsylvania.

Note: All photos in this travel feature are clickable. You can click on each one which will open it up in a new browsing window and in an enlarged size. This will allow you to see a larger view. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Emlen Physick Estate in Cape May

The Emlem Physick Estate in Cape May
The Emlen Physick Estate is a Victorian house museum located at 1048 Washington Street in Cape May, New Jersey. This Victorian mansion contains 18 different rooms and was built in 1879 for Dr. Emlen Physick Jr. The mansion sits on beautifully landscaped grounds on all four sides that the public can walk around.

You can pay an admission fee and get a guided tour of the inside of the mansion and they offer a restaurant on-site for your dining pleasure. From what I read online, the mansion was built in the famous stick-style which was common back in Victorian times.
The Emlem Physick Estate in Cape May

Back in 1970, the mansion was scheduled to be torn down and the Mid-Atlantic Center for Arts & Humanities stepped in to save it. I'm so glad that they did because it's a fantastic representation of elegant Victorian architecture. You can tell that the original people who lived there were definitely wealthy back in their time.

The four acre estate is open year round and you can get guided tours according to their operating schedule. Interested in a trolley tour around Cape May? You can jump aboard the trolley here too! We took a trolley tour about 4 years ago and absolutely loved it! It's a great way to learn about the area and see some of it while sitting on your seat!
Trolley Tours in Cape May New Jersey

They offer FREE parking on their grounds if your visiting their facilities or taking a trolley tour. The parking lot is also RV friendly. You'll find a lot of parking, including handicap spaces, but I do recommend that you go early during the day. Try to avoid the prime time hours, when crowds seem to form.

The property itself houses several different buildings, including the estate. There is a Carriage House, Business Offices, the Carriage House Museum Shop, the Carroll Gallery, Carriage House Tea Room & Cafe and the Carriage House Visitor's Center. Phew, there is a lot to see and do here! In addition to these main buildings, there are smaller ones too!
The Emlem Physick Estate in Cape May

The Emlem Physick Estate in Cape May is a definite must-see and must-do activity if you're going to be visiting the area. While located in Cape May, it's just a short drive away from Wildwood, Stone Harbor, Avalon, Sea Isle City and Ocean City in New Jersey.

Note: All photos featured in this travel post are clickable. Click on each one to have it open up in a new window & in an enlarged size. This will allow you to see all of the little details up close and personal. You can find additional posts about Cape May right here on our travel blog.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Folk's Butterfly Farm at the Pennsylvania Farm Show

Folk's Butterfly Farm at the Pennsylvania Farm Show
Every year children look forward to visiting the Pennsylvania Farm Show. One of the attractions that they like to spend time viewing is the Butterfly House by Folk's Butterfly Farm. Besides seeing them at the PA. Farm Show, you can see them at the Bloomsburg Fair and Allentown Fair too.
Folk's Butterfly Farm at the Pennsylvania Farm Show

Folk's Butterfly Farm is located at 175 Shaffer Road in Nescopeck Pennsylvania. Throughout the year they host various on-site events and educational programs. You can visit them to learn how you can help to save the Monarch Butterfly.

During the 2015 Pennsylvania Farm Show we got a fabulous tour of their traveling Butterfly House and all of the children just loved it. I have to admit, as an adult...I loved it too! It is a great way to learn more about the Monarch and get up close and personal with them.
Folk's Butterfly Farm at the Pennsylvania Farm Show

The 2016 Pennsylvania Farm Show will be January 9th through January 16th. You can find the Butterfly House there or if you want to tour it sooner...visit Folk's Butterfly Farm website for their current hours of operation.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Discover Family Fun in Stunning Sedona Arizona

Discover Family Fun in Stunning Sedona Arizona
Family vacation time is upon us.  It's time to hit the road, airports, bus stations - really any mode of transportation to get out of town seems to work. Find out what makes Sedona, Arizona a family friendly destination.

Discover Family Fun in Stunning Sedona

With its intense natural beauty, peaceful, spiritual vibe, and world-renowned outdoor activities, Sedona is not always considered a destination for family friendly fun. While it is true that Sedona has plenty to offer adults, families visiting the area can choose from a plethora of attractions that will appeal to all ages.

Visitors are often drawn to the natural wonders found in the state parks in and around Sedona. Children in particular will love Slide Rock State Park, which is named after the natural water slide in Oak Creek Canyon. Due to the smooth creek bottom, visitors can cascade down the slide as a fun and refreshing escape on hot days. At the nearby Red Rock State Park, a 286-acre nature preserve, visitors of all ages can explore hiking trails and enjoy a firsthand educational experience about the fascinating wildlife and geology of the Sedona area. Arizona State Parks offer the Junior Ranger program, which allows kids between the ages of six and twelve to participate in interactive, educational activities.
Discover Family Fun in Stunning Sedona Arizona

Jeep tours provide another exciting way to tour the Sedona landscape. Bouncing along dirt trails in one of the famous jeeps offers the thrill of an amusement ride, but the true appeal of the experience is the breathtaking scenery and the ability to explore places that most passenger vehicles are unable to access. The drivers entertain passengers with informative commentary on the history and geology of the area, and tours may be customized to suit different ages. Visitors should tell the tour company whether they have children aged five and under when making the reservation, as most companies will be able to provide car seats in accordance with state law. For adventurers seeking a more hands-on experience, several businesses in the Sedona area offer horseback rides along beautiful trails that are sure to captivate kids and adults alike.
Discover Family Fun in Stunning Sedona Arizona

With Sedona’s annual calendar packed with special events, visitors at any time of year may enjoy festivals and other celebrations. Examples include the Hummingbird Festival the end of July, Fiesta de Tlaquepaque, and numerous music and family friendly festivals throughout the year. The travel website sedona.net sponsors an ongoing photo challenge that encourages visitors to share their beautiful photos of the area on Instagram. For families traveling with smart phone-hooked kids, this challenge offers an opportunity to channel their technology addiction into a creative adventure!

Within relatively short driving distance of Sedona, visitors will discover numerous destinations that will appeal to every age and interest. From toddlers to senior citizens, everyone will be astounded by the striking beauty and enormity of the Grand Canyon, the Meteor Crater, a 550 foot-deep dimple in the earth where a meteorite crashed approximately 50,000 years ago, as well as the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert. The latter two sites are part of the Petrified Forest National Park and consist of starkly beautiful badlands, uniquely colored formations, and plenty of petrified wood.

Perched on a hill overlooking the lush Verde Valley is the 19th-century mining town of Jerome. This tiny enclave has reinvented itself as a thriving artists’ community and popular tourist destination with a variety of charming shops, restaurants, wineries for grown-ups, and spooky ghost tours for brave visitors of all ages.
Discover Family Fun in Stunning Sedona Arizona

Nestled in the Verde Valley, Camp Verde is home to Montezuma Castle National Monument, one of the most well-preserved cliff dwellings in North America. Consisting of a five-story, twenty-room structure that was carved into a limestone cliff around the 14th century, this impressive monument is a testament to the ingenuity of the Sinagua Indian peoples who once inhabited it. For a more interactive experience in Camp Verde, visitors will love Out of Africa Wildlife Park, which features an authentic African safari experience, a zip line, shows, and more.

Departing from the town of Clarkdale, the Verde Canyon Railroad traverses the stunning Verde Canyon, with its towering rock formations, verdant river gorge, and diverse foliage. Passengers enjoy unparalleled vistas from the comfort a fully restored vintage train. A trip on the Verde Canyon Railroad may be combined with a visit to Blazin M’ Ranch in Cottonwood, which features an Old West-style frontier town, a chuck wagon dinner, entertainment, and more.
Discover Family Fun in Stunning Sedona Arizona

While adults will surely be mesmerized by the stunning spiritual mecca of Sedona, families with children of any age will also find plenty to entertain, educate, and amaze them. Rated a AAA Four Diamond Hotel and one of the top hotels in the Southwest according to readers of Condé Nast Traveler, El Portal Sedona Hotel is pleased to welcome all members of the family, including pets. El Portal is conveniently located steps from Tlaquepaque, which houses some of Sedona’s best shops and restaurants, and provides a comfortable base for exploring all that this magical area has to offer.

About El Portal Sedona Hotel: El Portal Sedona Hotel is a premier boutique hotel with 12 amenity-filled suites. Unpretentious luxury resonates from this AAA Four Diamond Hotel, with a romantic courtyard and beautiful great room. Guests can enjoy the serene, ageless spirit of Sedona. El Portal offers guests personalized concierge services for the Sedona area to enjoy, explore and discover Sedona. This is a pet friendly hotel with no pet fees.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Family Holiday Tradition - Hershey Sweet Lights

Hershey Sweet Lights
A few years ago, my family started an annual holiday tradition. Every year we get together as a family and drive down to Hershey Sweet Lights with the kids. If you've never visited before, this Hershey attraction is located near the Hershey Outlet Mall and is very easy to get to. They open up right after Thanksgiving and run through New Year's.

I recommend visiting on a weekday evening which is less crowded and a little bit cheaper. During the weekdays, it costs $20 per car and during the weekends it costs $25.00 per car. If you go during the weekend, expect longer lines and more visitors. Your price of admission includes two free pair of 3D glasses, which really bring the holiday lights to life. If you need more, you'll have to pay for them or bring your own from home.
Hershey Sweet Lights

Every time we go...we make up snack bags for the kids and bring along our own beverages. I also recommend dressing the kids in warmer clothing and bringing along a few throw blankets. You'll want to wind down the windows to see the holiday lights without a glare and to take photographs along the way. You can bring along your own holiday music or tune your radio in on their radio station, so that you can listen to Christmas while you're there.

There are two lanes through their holiday light display and you have to stay in your own lane, do not pass other vehicles, do not stop your vehicle and don't get out of it. All of these rules are in place for safety and I highly recommend that you follow them. With that said, don't feel like you're in a hurry and have to drive through quickly due to some impatient driver behind you. We take our time and if those behind us don't like it...well, that's on them.
Hershey Sweet Lights

There are hundreds of different holiday light displays and I think it's broken down really nicely. You'll see all kinds of classic Christmas icons like Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and many others along the way. One of my favorite sections is the Enchanted Forest and the little one's always enjoy the section that features holiday light displays of their favorite Nursery Rhyme characters.

As we drive through...the kids like to play "spot it" type's of games. They try to "spot" Rudolph and count how many times that they see him. This year they also tried to count how many times they saw a snowman and how many times they spotted an owl. You can make up your own fun games too!
Hershey Sweet Lights

You'll find a small public restroom there, however...I don't recommend that you use it. If your family needs a bathroom break, I suggest using the public restrooms over at the Hershey Outlet Mall before  and/or after your holiday lights sightseeing tour. They're cleaner and more spacious.

From start to finish...it takes us approximately 40 minutes to drive through. There is no time limit, so you can go as fast or as slow as you would like. Before visiting Hershey Sweet Lights, you do want to plan ahead and follow some of the tips that I've previously blogged about and you can find those HERE.

Happy Holidays and we'll see Hershey Sweet Lights again next year!
Hershey Sweet Lights

Note: All photos are clickable! Click on each photo and it will open up in a new browsing window and in an enlarged sized, so that you can see the details. We try to keep our photographs mobile-reader friendly. Thanks!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Visiting Bass Pro Shops in Harrisburg for Family Fun!

Bass Pro Shops in Harrisburg Pennsylvania
My family loves the great outdoors and one of our favorite stores to shop at is the Bass Pro Shops located at the Harrisburg Mall in Harrisburg Pennsylvania. This particular store is located within 15 minutes of our home and our grandchildren love visiting the store!

If you've never visited one, it's a great place for families. During the Easter and Christmas holidays, our local store offers pictures taken with the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. We've been taking the kids to have their pictures taken there for the past 4 years.
Bass Pro Shops in Harrisburg Pennsylvania
As you walk through our local store, they have all kinds of realistic exhibits & displays set up for the kids to enjoy. Our local store has a huge aquarium with various fish swimming around in it too. All of these exhibits and displays are great for educating your kids on wildlife and nature, plus, they're great for picture-taking too! 

Harrisburg, PA | Bass Pro Shops
3501 Paxton Street
Harrisburg, PA 17111
717-565-5200
GPS Coordinates:
40.2542ºN, 76.8320ºW
(WGS84/NAD83)
Bass Pro Shops in Harrisburg Pennsylvania

Our local Bass Pro Shops store has seasonal events throughout the year for the entire family to enjoy. Some of these events are free and others are very low-cost. When you walk through our local store, you'll find that each department has a mural that was painted by a Pennsylvania artist which is really cool if you enjoy looking at art. State and record fish & wildlife mounts are displayed alongside local historical prints featuring early tourists and residents enjoying all types of outdoor adventures.
Harrisburg Mall in Harrisburg Pennsylvania

Every time we visit, our little grand daughter likes to sit in what she calls the "Big Black Bear Chair". I have to admit, I love taking her picture when she sits in that chair and compare it to the previous pictures that I've taken. It's fun to see how she's growing up so quickly!

Check out their website to find a location near you and to see what kind of seasonal events that they're hosting. If you're looking for a family-friendly activity to do...go shopping at the Bass Pro Shops or just go browsing like we do! I guarantee you, the kids will have a good time!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Practice Your Swing at Bumble Bee Hollow Golf Center

Bumble Bee Hollow Golf Center in Harrisburg Pennsylvania
One of the things my family enjoys doing is playing golf. They love going to the driving range and hitting a few balls on a sunny afternoon. Since we live near Harrisburg, they love to visit the Bumble Bee Hollow Golf Center. You can use their driving range, participate in a tournament, play miniature golf or get some golfing lessons. They also offer a pro shop that you can visit.

We visit the Bumble Bee Hollow East which is located at 4201 Linglestown Road in Harrisburg, PA 17112. You can plug that address into your GPS and find it easily. There are some smaller shopping centers nearby, places to grab something to eat and parking is free!
Bumble Bee Hollow Golf Center in Harrisburg Pennsylvania

If your going to be driving some balls, I recommend that you allow at least 90 minutes and up to 2 hours to play. If you're going to be enjoying their miniature golf course, I would recommend that you set aside 1 1/2 to 2 hours for that, depending on how busy the course is on that particular day. Obviously, weekends and perfect weather days...means they are a LOT busier with customers.

When the entire family goes...the guys will hit the driving range and the women will take the kids over to the miniature golf course which is within walking distance and on the same property. We find that they're prices are very affordable and it's a great place for the entire family to enjoy.
Bumble Bee Hollow Golf Center in Harrisburg Pennsylvania

I've previously blogged about the mini golf course here on the Pennsylvania Travel Blog and you can read that post and see the photographs. It's a great 18-hole mini golf course that is beautifully landscaped with some pretty water features. Holes are typically par 2 and par 3...I would say easy to intermediate in skill level but yet challenging enough that even adults will enjoy.
Bumble Bee Hollow Miniature Golf in Harrisburg Pennsylvania

You can visit the Bumble Bee Hollow Golf Center website to obtain their schedule of operations, a list of services offered and to obtain driving directions. They are open year-round, weather permitting.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Historic Pennsylvania Railroad Train Station in Duncannon

Historic Pennsylvania Railroad Train Station in Duncannon
Duncannon is a small town located along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. It sits right along routes 11/15 and is one of those sleepy little towns with not a lot of things to do. Many people may recognize the town for it's name because the popular Appalachian Trail runs right though it. Often times hikers will come into town to stay overnight, to grab a bite to eat or to stock up on their camping & hiking supplies.

Back at the turn of the century, Duncannon was a popular hub for land and water travel. The Duncannon Railroad Station (train station) was built in 1902 and was used for both passenger and cargo transportation. It sits right along the two railroad tracks that run behind it and in front of it is a parking lot.
Historic Pennsylvania Railroad Train Station in Duncannon

The train station hasn't been used by the railroad for many decades! As a small child, we would often times play ball in their parking lot and nearby ball field during the spring, summer and fall seasons. When I was a child, I remember the building sitting abandoned for many years, but now I've been told that Blue Ridge Cable Company remodeled the building and is housing their local offices inside it. Nice to see that this historic old building is being put to good use and wasn't torn down.
Historic Pennsylvania Railroad Train Station in Duncannon

The Pennsylvania Train Station located in Duncannon is one of many historical buildings that are still standing in town. You'll also find the Hotel Doyle, the Clarks Ferry Tavern, the Old Sled Works, First National Bank and several old christian churches. If you're looking to grab a bite to eat while visiting or passing through Duncannon, you'll want to check out the famous Red Rabbit Drive-In Restaurant which sites right outside of town along routes 22/322.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Funland Mini Golf and Amusements on Chincoteague Island

Funland Mini Golf and Amusements on Chincoteague Island
A few months ago we spent a few days down on Chincoteague Island in Virginia with the family. We had a great time playing on the beach, taking a few nature hikes, bike riding and touring the Assateague Lighthouse. There are a ton of family-friendly activities to do and beautiful things to see.

On one particular afternoon we all went to the Funland Amusements, which is located at 6528 Maddox Blvd. on Chincoteague Island in Virginia. This amusement park is your one-stop source for family fun while visiting the area. They offer an 18-hole miniature golf course, a fun arcade to play videos games, bumper boats, go karts for racing fun, inflatables, climbing ropes for the kids (spider mountain) and all sorts of other family-friendly activities. When we say amusement rides, we're not talking about the kind you find in big amusement parks, like roller coasters, ferris wheels, etc.
Funland Mini Golf and Amusements on Chincoteague Island
Admission: You pay per activity that you do. For example: You'll pay per person, per round of miniature golf, Then if you and the family want to go race the go karts or play around in the bumper boats, you'll pay an addition activity fee, per person. If you're looking to save a little bit of money, check their website for printable coupons.
Funland Mini Golf and Amusements on Chincoteague Island
Hours of operation varies depending on the season and the weather conditions. During the late spring, summer and early fall seasons, they're open daily. check their website or Facebook page for updates and changes to their operating schedule.
Funland Mini Golf and Amusements on Chincoteague Island
We played the 18-hole mini golf course and absolutely loved it! As you go around the course you'll see all of these "animals" that you typically would see on an African safari. Some of the courses are relatively easy and other's are a little bit more challenging. For the most part, we had par 2 and par 3's in the majority of the holes.  We had 4 people in our party and it took us about an hour to play the course.
Funland Mini Golf and Amusements on Chincoteague Island

After we were done playing miniature golf, we headed on over to the Go Karts and had a blast racing those around the race track course. We have driven Go Karts many times at several different places that we've traveled to and I have to admit, this is one fun course to race on. Plus, it's more affordable than other courses that we've recently have visited.

When visiting Chincoteague Island in Virginia, you'll definitely want to visit the Funland Amusements to take in a round of miniature golf, to race Go Karts or to have some fun racing around on the bumper boats! A great family-friendly activity to do...that's affordable! Visit their website for additional information.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Winterwood Gift and Christmas Shoppe

Winterwood Gift and Christmas Shoppe in Cape May New Jersey
Winterwood Gift & Christmas Shoppe is located in Cape May County in New Jersey. Every time we go down to Stone Harbor, Wildwood or Cape May, this store is on the top of my list for a visit. They have a main location over on the mainland in Rio Grande and two smaller locations right on the Wildwood Boardwalk.

When I'm down on vacation, I like to visit all three of their locations, because I typically find little things at each one, that the other one doesn't have! Matter of fact, it's always a must-shop on my list every time I'm down at the Jersey Shore.
Winterwood Gift and Christmas Shoppe in Cape May New Jersey

One of the things I love about Winterwood is that it's an all year-long Christmas shop! You'll find thousands, upon thousands of different holiday ornaments in their stores! On top of that, you'll find all kinds of different holiday decorations, home decor items, keepsake gifts, jewelry, beautiful coastal-style lamps, seashells and more!
Winterwood Gift and Christmas Shoppe in Cape May New Jersey

Just visiting this shoppe during any time of the year really puts you into the holiday mood! I love how every part of the store, inside and out...is decorated up for the festive holiday! Heck, my grandchildren get really excited when we take them into the Winterwood store!
Winterwood Gift and Christmas Shoppe in Cape May New Jersey

I put up two Christmas trees every year for the holidays and one of my trees is always decorated in a beach, coastal & nautical theme. This store is the BEST PLACE in the WORLD to find those type's of holiday ornaments and home decor decorations! I must own at least 75 ornaments from this store and that doesn't include the other 3 coastal lamps, wreaths, swags & home decor items that I've purchased from them over the years.
Winterwood Gift and Christmas Shoppe in Cape May New Jersey

Out of their three locations, I highly recommend you visit the one over on the mainland. It has a big (free) parking lot for you to park in and the store is much larger than the two smaller locations on the Wildwood boardwalk. They're open year-round, so make sure you pay them a visit the next time you're down at the south Jersey Shore!