Broadway Shows on Long Island at The Tilles Center!

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Let’s cut right to the chase. If Broadway was a twenty minute drive from your house with unlimited free parking and relatively inexpensive tickets, you’d go often, right? Well, guess what? IT IS!

The Mint Chip Mama - Broadway Shows on Long Island at The Tilles Center!

Over the past year I have been lucky enough to partner with The Tilles Center for the Performing Arts. We had a great season of family programs, but then out came their Broadway listings. As a Broadwayophile (oh, it’s a word, just go with it) I was initially skeptical. Then I asked some probing questing. Turns out they are THE ONLY Theater on Long Island that hosts the nationally touring company of Broadway shows. Yep, so if you missed The Illusionist in December on the great white way, the SAME exact show will be here next month. It is Broadway in Brookville.

The Mint Chip Mama - Broadway Shows on Long Island at The Tilles Center!

What? Why don’t I know this? I know. I said the same thing. Then they started talking about all of their big free parking lots, their spacious and bright sitting atrium, and of course – their multiple clean bathrooms! Seriously, why doesn’t everyone know about this? So it is my mission to tell you. Now you go tell ten friends. Broadway in Brookville.

The Mint Chip Mama - Broadway Shows on Long Island at The Tilles Center!

Since we’re talking Broadway, I’m going to focus on their next three shows at The Tilles Center for the Performing Arts that are a must see: The Sound of Music on April 28th at 6pm, The Illusionists: Live from Broadway on May 9th at 7:30pm, and Finding Neverland on May 19th at 2pm & 7:30pm. I’m sure you’ve heard of all of these shows. Now just wait – all tickets are under $100! Even the best seat in the house!

The Mint Chip Mama - Broadway Shows on Long Island at The Tilles Center!

The Sound of Music needs no introduction nor description, so I will just share that the spirited, romantic, and beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp Family will cause you to smile largely while you sing along to such classics as “My Favorite Things”, “Do-Re-Mi”, “Climb Ev’ry Mountain”, and “Edelweiss”. The Sound of Music has one performance on April 28th at 6pm

The Mint Chip Mama - Broadway Shows on Long Island at The Tilles Center!

Looking for a little more pizzazz? The Illusionists is a mind-blowing spectacular showcasing the jaw-dropping talents of five of the most incredible Illusionists on earth. The Illusionists—Live From Broadway is a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever to be seen on a stage. This non-stop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions. The Illusionists: Live from Broadway has one performance on May 9th at 7:30pm.

The Mint Chip Mama - Broadway Shows on Long Island at The Tilles Center!

Finding Neverland tells the incredible story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters: Peter Pan. Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys’ enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers. The magic of Barrie’s classic tale springs spectacularly to life in this heartwarming theatrical event. Finding Neverland has two performances on May 19th at 2pm & 7:30pm.

I want to see all of these shows. Don’t you? I may even get this for my mom as a Mother’s Day gift because – what could be better?

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the following links: Sound of Music, The Illusionists – Live From Broadway, and Finding Neverland. Or, if you’d like to attend a whole bunch of shows (and why not!?) check out the Tilles Your Way program. With Tilles Your Way you get a 10% discount if you buy tickets to 3 or more shows.

I’m also happy to offer you an invitation to participate in our group sales program for the Sound of Music and The Illusionists – Live From Broadway through The Mid-Island Y JCC Parenting Center (information in the flier below).

The Mint Chip Mama - Broadway Shows on Long Island at The Tilles Center!

Besides Broadway, The Tilles Center for the Performing Arts has a whole slew of fantastic shows and performances, concerts, musical tributes, and educational programming that you should check out.

Bring a friend, bring your kids, bring your Mom, bring your Dad, go alone. Just go. You can get amazing quality theater in exchange for a short drive. No trains, no parking lot attendant touching your car, no hustle, no bustle. Just a little bit of Liesl.

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Sesame Street Live! Make your Magic

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Who doesn’t want to see their favorite TV show characters come to life on stage or see their little kid smile & shriek “Cookie!!”? You got me! Because I do!

The Mint Chip Mama - Sesame Street Live! Make Your Magic

Sesame Street is a favorite show in this house – across all ages (adults included). So when I was offered tickets to come see the new Sesame Street Live! Make your Magic show at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. I couldn’t say yes fast enough!

The Mint Chip Mama - Sesame Street Live! Make Your Magic

As always Sesame Street Live! did not disappoint. Carrying out the theme of magic there were special surprises peppered throughout the show.

The Mint Chip Mama - Sesame Street Live! Make Your Magic

We loved the scenes with shadow play (one of our favorite topics) and also loved the beautiful flowers that “magically” pop up. Plus – there were butterflies. If you haven’t heard a two year old try to say butterfly then you haven’t lived.

The Mint Chip Mama - Sesame Street Live! Make Your Magic

In addition to these “magical” moments, there were great scenes highlighting science experiments and art. It’s always nice to come away with a little lesson learned (without the kids realizing it – cue evil laugh).

The Mint Chip Mama - Sesame Street Live! Make Your Magic

But of course I would be remiss not to mention our communal excitement when one of our favorite Sesame Street segments (added to the show in 2017) appeared – Cookie Monster’s Foodie Truck, with his trusty co-chef Gonger.

The Mint Chip Mama - Sesame Street Live! Make Your Magic

I loved watching the characters come to life, but I have to say, I spent a good deal just watching my two-year-old’s face enjoy the show. I think he was a little confused how his friends from the TV were “alive” and in front of him, but mainly he was just happy as a little clam.

The Mint Chip Mama - Sesame Street Live! Make Your Magic

Sesame Street Live! is definitely something you should check out if you have kids that watch the show or like the characters. We first went when my daughter was one and knew the characters but had not yet seen the show (ha ha remember when you didn’t let your first kid watch TV?). She enjoyed it so much. It was also a great first show to take a small child to because there are no expectations for them to be quiet or behave.

The Mint Chip Mama - Sesame Street Live! Make Your Magic

We ventured back to see Sesame Street Live! Let’s Dance when my middle son was two and he loved it just as much.

The Mint Chip Mama - Sesame Street Live! Make Your Magic

We were so happy our third was ready to claim his rite of passage.

The Mint Chip Mama - Sesame Street Live! Make Your Magic

Sesame Street is one of those shows that I think is great for kids even after they think they’ve “aged out” of it. Once they are in school and can understand what is being taught on the show they can get even more out of it. It’s also a great show for siblings to watch together.

The Mint Chip Mama - Sesame Street Live! Make Your Magic

Watching my two older kids sing the songs from the show to my younger son is always so cute. They know how to get him into an instant good mood, which is very helpful. We started cracking up at the end as the theme song filled the air and they belted it out.

The Mint Chip Mama - Sesame Street Live! Make Your Magic

Sesame Street Live!  will be at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden until February 24th, 2019. Save up to 20% on Tickets using code: FAMSSL* or by clicking here. Children less than 1 year old may attend without the purchase of a ticket. *Offer valid on select seats and performances.

The Mint Chip Mama - Sesame Street Live! Make Your Magic

To us, Sesame Street Live! Is always a sunny day!

Our Town: Act 3, Mark Duplass & Perspective on Kids

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I was playing at the playground yesterday with my son, who is currently two years and nine months old. I was playing at a playground where I used to take my middle son, now five. I was looking at my little one – in my middle son’s old clothes – standing in the exact place where my middle son stood three years ago and thinking how time flies.

The Mint Chip Mama - Our Town: Act 3, Mark Duplass & Perspective on Kids

Children grow up quickly. This is not breaking news. They also drive us nuts. Equally not breaking news. But sometimes the latter clouds the enjoyment of the former. I was thinking about this after my friend sent me a post from actor and director Mark Duplass about keeping your kids’ annoying AF behavior in perspective. For example (and this may or may not have been happening to spark the sending of said text): when your two year old busts into the bathroom to ask you why you bought a new toaster and then hands you a snow sled. Do you laugh or scream? I believe Duplass’s point is just to remember in that moment – you’ll look back at these things “with wonder” in 2040.

The Mint Chip Mama - Our Town: Act 3, Mark Duplass & Perspective on Kids

Funny enough, I often think about this when I need to breathe through whatever chaos is going on in my house. In other words – every day. I tell myself they’ll all be out of the house one day and I’ll be the lady telling new moms in stores to enjoy them when they’re little.

The Mint Chip Mama - Our Town: Act 3, Mark Duplass & Perspective on Kids

Standing there in the park – in that longitudinal spot (and if you know me you know that I love longitudinal studies) –  I couldn’t help but think about this concept.

 

I have three small kids. I was thinking while looking at #3 what my life was like when I just had #1 and she was this age. She is now nine years old. Having a nine-year-old and a two-year-old is a bit of a reminder of this every day. I think how she used to exist solely on my milk and now she microwaves herself oatmeal every morning.

 

I do often look at #1 and think what it was like having only a two-year-old. Besides having patients, less wrinkles, and energy, we lived in an urban vs. suburban setting in a one-bedroom apartment vs. a house.

My days consisted of taking her to the park by the subway and dressing her in girly, frilly, dressy things including her prized pink ballet attire (because as girl moms that’s what we do). We used to spend our days us against the world with Manhattan at our fingertips. No stroller – just a backpack, the MTA and endless opportunities.

The Mint Chip Mama - Our Town: Act 3, Mark Duplass & Perspective on Kids

Now she gets on a bus, goes to school, comes home, does her homework herself, showers herself, makes lunch, and then sits and reads a book until I get the boys to bed and we can hang out together. I feel like I don’t get to see her and don’t get to talk to her despite spending all night together.

The Mint Chip Mama - Our Town: Act 3, Mark Duplass & Perspective on Kids

Next, we have #2, who is five and in kindergarten. I write proverbial sonnets to him at night apologizing for treating him as the stereotypical “middle kid”. When he was #3’s age, I already had his little brother. We lived in the suburbs and I was just a super stressed mom of three trying to do everything I could to stay sane. So basically, every day was just about survival when he was this age. He is so sweet and delicious and somehow has also learned how to get on the same bus, come home, do his homework, play with Legos, shower and wait for me to pay attention to him at bedtime.

The Mint Chip Mama - Our Town: Act 3, Mark Duplass & Perspective on Kids

Back to #3. He is a fantastic two-year-old – happy and cute as can be – except for when he’s moaning in my face for hours, fighting his nap, waking up at night, and being insane. But also, sometimes he just hugs me and tells me he loves me. Very often when I change his diaper and look at this little tush I think about the other little tushies I used to change who now go to the bathroom themselves. Perspective.

 

I like to think about this stuff sometimes because it helps get me through the insanity that is three kids. Perspective. “The days are long, but the years are short”. I also often think of the scene in “Parenthood” when Steve Martin’s head spins out as he reflects on his Grandma’s line about life being like a roller coaster. He had three kids. Yep. Every day. Perspective.

The Mint Chip Mama - Our Town: Act 3, Mark Duplass & Perspective on Kids

This morning I was telling my dad how I’m taking my kids to Sesame Street Live! on Sunday. He said he vividly remembers taking ME – close to four decades ago – and how excited I was to meet Big Bird. Or in other words – Turn, Turn, Turn.

The Mint Chip Mama - Our Town: Act 3, Mark Duplass & Perspective on Kids

I try to remember this – but I don’t. Tomorrow I will try harder. Next time they’re going nuts because they need me to get them water, make dinner, check their homework, find their shoes, find the other mitten, need help closing a Ziploc bag, need a rubber band, still can’t find their shoes, need a pencil sharpened, ask for Parmesan cheese, ask again because I can’t do it while I’m doing 19 other things, don’t like their dinner after I made exactly what they asked for, can’t find the soap (usually in front of them) in the bath, can’t reach the towel on a height appropriate hook, or accidentally spill the drink I literally just handed them because I was getting the freaking Parmesan cheese – that these moments are fleeting and not a big deal. Except Parmesan cheese. Parmesan cheese is a really big deal. Pretty much every day I feel like Goldie Hawn in Overboard.  There are days when my husband comes home and when he asks about my day I just say “buh-buh-buh buh buh”.

The Mint Chip Mama - Our Town: Act 3, Mark Duplass & Perspective on Kids

So why did I title this Our Town, Act 3? Because I also think about that a lot. I think about how poor dead Emily is granted the best gift – to go back to one day in her life and relive it. To go back to “the good old days” once more. The advice she’s given is to pick a simple day because it’s too hard to watch anything else. I think of this in those perfect moments when I’m snuggling in my bed filled with the giggling people I made in my belly and everyone is just happy, content and telling each other they love them. I want to bottle that and have that be the moment I come back to one day if given then same gift. Shit, now I’m crying. I blame Mark Duplass. But really – it’s probably Parmesan cheese’s fault. I really hate you Parmesan cheese.

 

The 2018-2019 Big Apple Circus!

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I’m a huge circus fan and one lucky lady. We’ve been guests of the Big Apple Circus before (in 2014 and 2015) and couldn’t wait to return this year for it’s 41st season!

 

2018-2019 Big Apple Circus - The Mint Chip Mama

Once again in Lincoln Center (through January 27th, 2019) we were able to relive the joy of the big top. This time, we brought our two-year-old and experiencing it through his eyes was (as expected) fantastic.

 

2018-2019 Big Apple Circus - The Mint Chip Mama

 So let’s get to it! Post-pony ride, the lights went down and the circus began.

 

2018-2019 Big Apple Circus - The Mint Chip Mama

This year the Big Apple Circus is led by ringmaster Stephanie Monseu. Well-qualified for the position, she is a circus veteran who can swallow fire, walk on stilts & throw knives with precision. You know, just like you can do too…

Each act had so much excitement.

2018-2019 Big Apple Circus - The Mint Chip Mama

We loved the amazing balancing of Emil Faltyny which made us look at our home ladder’s potential in a different way (do not try this at home!).

 

2018-2019 Big Apple Circus - The Mint Chip Mama

We were amazed by the wall trampoline act – “Spicy Circus”, created by Andréanne Quintal. It was hard not to have fun watching this, especially because the performers had such huge smiles on their faces. It looked like it was as much fun to do as to watch. I turned to my kids and pointed out the apparatus these men were jumping on looked like what they often build out of Magna-Tiles. Naturally, they needed to build a replica when we got home.

2018-2019 Big Apple Circus - The Mint Chip Mama

As an avid Yogi, I am always so impressed to watch the upper body strength of the hard balancing acts. The acro fusion poses of Duo Fusion (featuring the “strongest mom in the world” Virginia Tuells & her husband Ihosvanys Perez) did not disappoint! Even more impressive: Virginia and her husband Ihosvany’s had a baby on December 24, 2017. Three months later they were up and performing again! Talk about an impressive post-partum period!

2018-2019 Big Apple Circus - The Mint Chip Mama

But of course, one of the highlights was a dog driving a car. Yep, you read that right. Animals are always a hot topic in the circus. Something that sets the Big Apple Circus apart is their commitment to featuring only rescue animals and maintaining a vital no wild or exotic animal policy. In fact – the horses, ponies and dogs that appear in the show are members of 3rd generation animal trainer Jenny Vidbel’s family!

 

 

Finally, what would the circus be without the flying trapeze? It always amazes me to see how effortlessly these performers – here the Flying Tunizianis – fly through the sky. I was lucky enough to try aerial acrobatics a few times and let me tell you it is not easy. I was just happy to get my legs up onto the bar (the first time was a fail that I blame on my post-partum period, unlike Virginia!). Even more impressive about this group (many of whom are related) is that it’s the home to Ammed Tuniziani – one of the only living performers to ever land the quadruple somersault on the trapeze.

 

2018-2019 Big Apple Circus - The Mint Chip Mama 

As usual, Big Apple Circus had lots of comedic acts in between the big performances, thanks to Mark Gindick and Adam Kuchler that were fun to watch.

 

2018-2019 Big Apple Circus - The Mint Chip Mama

But – you might ask – didn’t the circus close? The tent was not raised for the 2016-2017 season but was revived by a group of investors led by the new CEO, Neil Kahanovit. A bit of an unorthodox path for a retired spine surgeon to take but, as always, we look to our formative years to guide us. For Neil that was performing trampoline acts and as an aerialist while in med school! See? We are all just chasing that Fountain of Youth and sometimes, especially in the Big Apple Circus, dreams can come true!

 

2018-2019 Big Apple Circus - The Mint Chip Mama

The Big Apple Circus is a fantastic way to spend the day with your family. After ending their Lincoln Center residency in Damrosch Park on Sunday, January 27th, 2019, they head down to Maryland February 14th – March 24th, 2019 (Neil’s a  Pikesville, MD native), then back up to Long Island at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury April 26 – 28th, 2019. You can purchase tickets here.

2018-2019 Big Apple Circus - The Mint Chip Mama

This Is 40 (and 7 months…)

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I wrote this in April, turned 40 in May, and am publishing it December 31st, 2018… all I can say is this – 40 doesn’t feel any different than 39… minus needing my glasses a bit more… I had hoped to publish this before my birthday on the Huffington Post but they switched their format and I missed it, and so is life. At least now I have pictures to use from all my celebrations! As the year closes out and I reflect on my blessings, my mind came back to this piece. So farewell 2018, farewell to the last year I will be in my 30’s. I guess it still counts if I post this before midnight!

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In May I’m turning 40. I’ve been doing a lot of reflection on the last decade and a half.

I spent most of my 30s saying I was 25 and either wanting to get pregnant, pregnant, or recovering from being pregnant.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40

I was growing a baby, nursing a baby, holding the hand of a toddler, pushing a swing, or helping with homework.

I experienced natural birth, a C-section, and a VBAC.

We moved twice. Bought a house. Bought a car. Bought a car that was bigger. Complained about trunk space.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40

I had multiple mammograms, my wisdom teeth removed, an endoscopy, a D & C. I went to the dentist every 6 months. Almost.

I had ten physicals.  I went to Trader Joe’s approximately 7 million times. Social media became a thing, I started a blog.

For my 30th birthday I went out with my friends to a 80s/90s club. My husband & I finally scored a reservation at Blue Hill at Stone Barn (and it was even better than we expected!). We treated ourselves to a five star vacation and I stayed at the hotel of my dreams.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

I also went to California, Paris, Spain, Washington DC (to watch President Obama get inaugurated), Atlanta, Greece, London, Italy, Aruba and Turks & Caicos. Delray Beach, Philadelphia, the Poconos, Disney World, Sesame Place, the Crayola Factory, Diggerland, Dutch Wonderland, and Hershey Park. I became a member of the zoo. By the way, I freaking love the zoo.

I spent New Years in the heart of Times Square and also took 27 semesters of Music Together.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

I partied with U2, the Counting Crows and Prince and also rocked out to the Dirty Sock Funtime Band (I plead the fifth on whose lyrics I knew better).

I took the M5 Limited bus down 5th Avenue approximately 257 times. I bought a Subaru.

I saw many Broadway shows.

I saw a lot of regional children’s theatre.

I slept in castles.

I slept on a cot… in a tent… at Girl Scout camp.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

We applied to nursery school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

I enrolled my daughter in free public school on Long Island.

 

I went to movie premiers with celebrities.

I watched Princess movie DVDs that I rented from the library.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

I went to the library.

I went to the library.

I went to the library.

By the way, I freaking love the library.

 

I mocked people who went to drive-thrus.

I praised the lord for drive-thrus.

 

I screamed at cars going 40 on the highway.

I was that car going 40 praying for my child to nap so I could have five minutes of peace.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

I have the same bank account, the same Birkenstocks, and still only one television.

I had several Blackberries, until I was forced into an iPhone, and still speak of my Palm Pilot Vx in the present tense. I often threaten to re-connect my Star-tac.

 

I learned playing explicit 90s Hip Hop is best with a preverbal child.

I tried to meditate but had to stop every five minutes to write something on my to do list.

I took 500 yoga classes and still can’t do a head stand.

I planned my 20th high school reunion and attended 8 1/2 months pregnant. At least my hair looked good.

I planned 35 birthday parties. I attended about 430.

I took a cooking class overlooking the Mediterranean.

I ate a lot of granola bars.

I walked 5,110 miles on Manhattan pavement.

I taught my daughter how to ride a two wheeler bike on our suburban driveway.

My jewelry taste went from diamonds to painted macaroni.

I embraced anger gardening.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

I changed 47 million diapers.

I gave 2,920 baths.

I finally watched Gilmore Girls and Gossip Girl.

I went from thinking the main character in a show is cute to liking the Dad.

I celebrated over a decade of marriage.

I donated my hair twice.

I got an Instant Pot.

I found joy in peeling hard boiled eggs and clementines.

I learned mean girls are mean girls and sadly some never mentally leave middle school – even after child birth.

I drank a lot of wine.

I ate a lot of feta cheese.

I ate avocado squashed on bread before millennials branded it with a hashtag.

I bought a power washer.

I got my legs up on a trapeze bar.

I memorized Goodnight Moon.

I gave 4 hundred billion hugs and kisses on delicious little faces that somehow my body grew, and felt warm inside when they told me I was the “BEST Mom ever”.

I screamed like a mad woman at something that didn’t matter causing tears.

I can still rap Salt-n-Pepa’s “Shoop”.

I still bump into walls.

My wedding China is still wrapped in its box.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

As my friend pointed out – turning 30 was HUGE. For many – including myself – 30 brought attention to a certain clock and it’s ticking. But what does 40 mean? Besides clicking off a new demographic box (aye) how will my life be different? They say a number is just a number. But it is just weird to turn the page on a decade. To think we’re moving on to the next tens. Pretty much all I hear is you start caring less about stupid stuff, and honestly – I can totally get behind that.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

In a decade, g-d willing, I will have one kid enroute to Michigan (compulsory), one in HS and my baby – entering middle school.

I hope every day of my 40s are as blessed as my 30s and that I can continue to feel so overwhelmingly grateful to face each new day.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

As U2 says in their song “40”, “I will sing, sing a new song”.

Ech. I’m not ready… I’m standing by 25.

And still dancing to 80s/90s music.

The Mint Chip Mama - This is 40 (and 7 months...)

Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn – Axe Throwing At It’s Best!

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There is nothing I like more than getting a group of good friends together and having a fun night out. But what does one do these days? Escape the Room is so 2016. Bowling is so third grade. Movies? You can’t talk to anyone. So? Axe throwing!

The Mint Chip Mama - Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn

I’ve been dying to try axe throwing since I read about it a few months back. When Bury the Hatchet opened in Greenpoint, Brooklyn I immediately reached out to them and asked if I could come and try it. Lucky for me – they not only said yes, but invited me to bring a dozen equally lumberjack-y friends with me.

The Mint Chip Mama - Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn

Since Brooklyn is a bit of a drive for us, we decided to make a night of it. We went to an amazing restaurant, had some drinks, and then headed over to Bury the Hatchet. There was plenty of street parking and tons to do – both before and after – in the area.

The Mint Chip Mama - Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn

As we entered the lively waterfront environment we couldn’t help but get excited. We were greeted by a very friendly “axe master” who walked us to our “lane”.

The Mint Chip Mama - Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn

He went over safety rules and split us in to groups. He had each couple take a turn and coached us on how to throw the axe (it was not intuitive and it was not easy!). He then stayed there for moral support and coached us again. And again. And again. Each of us. He.was.VERY.Patient. It wasn’t hard, just all about form. Which none of us had. Ha! As axe throwing ingénues we simply needed a lot of help. But we were ok with this, because it was so much freaking fun.

While we each hit the wooden target several times, we were cracking up and amusing ourselves so much we didn’t really care. There was plenty of down time to hang out and socialize and the music was fantastic. I could not have done better if I created the playlist myself – 80s, 90s, my kind of hatchet hurling jams.

The Mint Chip Mama - Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn

Besides the axe throwing lanes, there were plenty of loungy couches, outlets galore to charge your phone, and a ton of fun picture taking opportunities.

The Mint Chip Mama - Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn

This was definitely an unorthodox night out – which made it so much more fun. Several of us discussed the “winter axe throwing league” email we received the following day with stars in our eyes… if only. I want to go back. Like – kind of right now…

Intrigued? Besides this location in Brooklyn, Bury the Hatchet has locations all over New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and in Kansas and Georgia. You can easily reserve your lane online here.

The Mint Chip Mama - Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn

I loved everything about Bury the Hatchet. From the rustic atmosphere to the actual sport involved. Plus, I was in comfortable footwear AND out on a Saturday night! I didn’t mind the drive into Brooklyn either. In fact it was more of a unique adventure because it was out of our normal “going out” radius!

The Mint Chip Mama - Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn

It really was a great way to spend a night. Because, if you’ve been paying attention, we got to HURL AXES! Yet again, all this time, I erroneously thought yoga was the answer…

The Mint Chip Mama - Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn

If you’re looking for something different for your next date night, group activity, or corporate team building I highly suggest Bury the Hatchet. Then, after trying it, let me know if you also want a membership to WATL for the holidays, because… I kind of do…

The Mint Chip Mama - Bury The Hatchet, Brooklyn

Speaking of WATL – congratulations to the Bury the Hatchet team for coming in second and third place last weekend in the 2018 WATL World Axe Throwing Championship in Chicago! I’m coming next year!

 

2018 NYBG Holiday Train Show!

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The tradition continues! Every year for the last decade I’ve kicked off the holiday season by visiting the New York Botanical Garden’s amazing Holiday Train Show. Even before I had kids, there was something just so intriguing about it, so romantic, so fun. It completely deserves all of the hype.

The Mint Chip Mama - New York Botanical Gardens 2018 Holiday Train Show

Since having kids – especially train-obsessed kids – it’s become a favorite annual family custom. What I love now about visiting the show is not just the ever-changing creations made of natural elements, but the memories found on fixed things too. Like the bench where I nursed my daughter (who is now eight). Or the exit where my son (who is now five) stood for an hour and was completely shocked and surprised every time Thomas the Train passed by (pictured at the top). I smile as I pass these places and shake my head at how my children have grown.

The Mint Chip Mama - New York Botanical Gardens 2018 Holiday Train Show

This year it was even more fun for us. Our youngest is two and by far the most train-obsessed of the bunch. We could not wait to take him. His reactions did not disappoint. Everything he saw he just gasped in awe. It was so cute. As we walked through the show his little head just whipped up, down and all around. He just didn’t know where to look. We had so much fun watching him.

The Mint Chip Mama - New York Botanical Gardens 2018 Holiday Train Show

What’s nice for repeat visitors like us is how the show changes and evolves each year. I noticed a lot more bright colors and love the addition of the heavily baubled holiday trees. Every aspect of the show simply screamed “holidays”. I also noticed all signs were in both English and Spanish, and there were a lot more natural tunnels and waterfalls. I love when something perfect gets even better.

The Mint Chip Mama - New York Botanical Gardens 2018 Holiday Train Show

Generally my plan of attack is to visit the show first thing in the morning on a weekend to avoid the crowds. But there is something to say about seeing the show at night with all the lights too. So really, anytime you go is perfect. Going at a leisurely pace you can see the whole show in an hour and a half. But in truth – and without the kids (you love dearly) bothering you – one could spend hours there. There are just so many tiny little details you can catch, it’s astonishing.

The Mint Chip Mama - New York Botanical Gardens 2018 Holiday Train Show

If a kid-free viewing sounds good to you, check out their adults only Bar Car Nights featuring Bronx Night Market Holiday Pop-up. Not only will you get an after dark viewing of the Show, but the NYBG transforms into a festive outdoor adventure.

If Thomas the Tank is your jam then I highly recommend checking out All Aboard with Thomas and Friends which begins December 29th. In addition to the Holiday Train Show, there is a show staring your favorite blue engine. We’ve seen this show several times, and it did not disappoint in the eyes of my kids.

The Mint Chip Mama - New York Botanical Gardens 2018 Holiday Train Show

One of the nicest things you can do while at the Holiday Train Show is enjoy all that the New York Botanical Gardens has to offer. They have a fantastic 12 acre kids adventure garden, tons of family programming, the Evergreen Express, and gardens galore.

The Mint Chip Mama - New York Botanical Gardens 2018 Holiday Train Show

The Holiday Train Show’s 175 New York landmarks were the brain child of Paul Busse from Applied Imagination in Kentucky. Along with his team, he has been creating these annual jaw dropping “sculptures” out of bark, leaves, and other natural materials in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory since 1992. This year’s exhibition offers more G-scale trains and track (over half a mile!) than ever before and showcases the beloved monuments of Lower Manhattan.

img_2257The Mint Chip Mama - New York Botanical Gardens 2018 Holiday Train Show

The Holiday Train Show runs through Monday, January 21, 2019. You can purchase tickets here.

*Giveaway*

The nice people at The New York Botanical Garden want you to come too!

One lucky reader will win a family 4-pack!

To enter, please tell us in the comment section below:

What is your favorite train show or train related memory?

Winner chosen 12/10 at 7pm.