Dutch Wonderland – A Fantastic Family Destination!



Hear Ye Hear Ye.

If you’re looking for a fun weekend getaway, look no further than Dutch Wonderland.

While the water rides are hibernating for the season, the dry rides & shows are plentiful and festivals are non-stop!


Few things are a young family’s rite of passage like a road trip to an amusement park. So as a new family of five we decided to give it a go. We strategically planned our visit to Lancaster, PA in early September before our school started – but while most others were already in session. Off peak, off peak, off peak.

I should note I have been DYING to go to Dutch Wonderland for (give or take) thirty five years. As a child my parents and I frequented Amish country but as my Dad says “It was raining every time we tried to go”.


While I won’t say I specifically remember sun…. I’ll just say I never got to go – but I passed those castle gates many a time with my hand outstretched towards them and a tear in my eye.



I vowed that one day, one day (!) my kids would get to walk through those castle gates. That day, people, was September 1st, 2016.

With three kids – six and a half, almost three, and three months we thought this was the perfect time to visit. I have to say – we were right!

The park is large in attractions but not overwhelming. While you could go on all the rides in one day the best offer around is to take advantage of the evening preview the night before. For us – with the earlier closing hour of 6pm – this was perfect. We arrived at 3pm and knocked out all of the “bigger” rides we knew would have lines the next day. I loved the preview not only for the efficient (and complimentary) aspect of it but also so I could plan our full day there with some knowledge of the park layout from my own eyes vs. the online map.


My daughter loved the “bigger” rides but equally loved the smaller rides she could go on with her little brother. The rides were a bit edgier than our local amusement park so she was super excited. My son loved driving the cars and the train. I liked the “sitting and recharging” rides – read: train, monorail, and boat ride. As a parent – shade plus sitting is always a big, big win. The baby was excited for the new “Nursing Station”. But truthfully, I found the whole park nursing friendly with benches located all around.

While the summer months (Memorial Day – Labor Day) are a great time to visit Dutch Wonderland to take advantage of Duke’s Lagoon, the Fall and Winter months are a killer time to go as well. Rides in jeans and a t-shirt vs. tank tops and sweat? Sign me up.


The 2016 season is still going strong. In the Fall there is Happy Hauntings (Saturdays and Sundays through October 30th) featuring themed rides, special entertainment, tasty treats, and the Trick-or-Treat Trail (a safe, interactive trick-or-treating experience).

If you’re looking for a party – check out the Spook-tacular Halloween Bash (Saturday and Sunday October 29th and 30th) featuring music, dancing and more.


In the winter – on select dates from November 19th to December 30th you can check out the Dutch Winter Wonderland with rides, entertainment, and the Royal Light Show – a spectacular display of thousands of twinkling lights dancing to your favorite holiday tunes!

Want to do good and receive a complimentary ticket to Dutch Winter Wonderland!? Well head there on November 19th, 2016 between 3:00pm and 9:00pm (the grand opening evening of Dutch Winter Wonderland) with a new, unwrapped toy. Children under the age of 12 will receive one complimentary admission in exchange for each donation to the Toys for Tots Foundation toy drive.

As frequent visitors to our local amusement park – which has the same number of rides packed in to half the acreage – it was absolutely delightful to spend a day at Dutch Wonderland. Not only were there tons of rides and games, special treats like Dole Whip Junction and Funnel cake, a few Dutch education stations (my kids were really into these), shows, and characters – there were also lots of fun “stick your face in the picture” thingies which we all love.


So at 38 I can say my dream came true. I finally got to enter those big castle gates, walk over the drawbridge – naturally surrounded by a moat – and see the amazing place that is Dutch Wonderland. We had such a great time. The park wasn’t big enough to be stressful, but was big enough to fill our day and leave us wanting to return.  There were plenty of places to eat, rest, play, and enjoy. Dutch Wonderland’s location offered many fun resorts and restaurants within a ten minute drive and there was more to do in the area than we had days to be there. Just a fantastic weekend all around.

Go. Enjoy.

Think of me when you’re eating that Dole Whip!




Mr. Popper’s Penuins at The Victory Theater


@Popper_Penguins #loveoftheater @NewVictory 

Tonight I was lucky enough to see Mr. Popper’s Penguins at The New Victory Theater. It was fantastic! Or should I say fin-tactic!? 



Ok, I’ll stop. 

I’ve seen a lot of kids shows and I usually play along and like them for my kids but this was different. It was legit adorable and funny. 

We didn’t know the story beforehand so we didn’t know what to expect. Not only were the four actors who played multiple characters (including ten penguins) great but they carried the story though flawlessly (and with delightful British accents). 

Photo Credit: Helen Murray

Our favorite scene was when Mrs. Popper relented to becoming a penguin foster mom and sang a list of rules to her new Captain Cook. Why was it our favorite? Because my daughter turned to me afterwards and told me I had the same list of rules for her! Ha! 

Special things kept us engaged like “snow” falling and the hilarious penguin “puppeteers”. Plus as a huge fan of British comedies, I loved the circular rotation of “new” characters coming out with different accent. 

Photo Credit: Helen Murray

But the best was at the end when the entire audience was invited to stand up and join in the “show” and waddle like a penguin (I’m a sucker for audience participation!). 

The show was wonderful but the whole experience at The New Victory Theater was great. Including that they handed out booster seats as we walked in (perfect for me – a serial booster forgetter). But even better – they had a whole “come early & stay late” room downstairs dedicated to crafts and activities for ticket holders – free of charge – before and after the show. Plus the usher was totally into it and got my daughter into it too! 

If you’re looking for a family friendly show – please check out Mr. Popper’s Penguins. While the age listed says 4-7 I think a younger kid would love it (I’m bummed I didn’t bring my 3 year old son too) and an older kid would appreciate it. My six and a half year old daughter LOVED it. She said a few times on the way home she thought she’d like it but she loved it!

Mr. Popper’s Penguins has a run time of 55 minutes and is playing at The New Victory Theater through October 30, 2016. Tickets start at $25. There is an autism friendly show October 29th. For more information or to order tickets check out their website

GB Pockit Stroller – The Smallest Stroller in the World!




Are you sitting down? I’m about to introduce you to the world’s smallest stroller. According to me? Nope – according to the Guinness Book of World Records!

Believe me now?

Get ready – I’m about to solve all your strollin’ problems.

I came across the gb Pockit stroller at this year’s New York Baby Show. It literally stopped me in my tracks. The gb Pockit is not only tiny it’s so small it folds up to fit in a bag, backpack, on the floor under your car seat, even – wait for it – in your infant car seat stroller base! Yes, that’s right people; I just said THIS stroller fits in the base of another stroller.

Digest that for a moment.

Yes. It goes there.


Got a baby and a two year old runner?

Because I do!

Do you venture out on the weekends never knowing if it’s worth bringing a stroller?

Because I do!

Do you use a carrier but then suffer from carrier remorse because you should have brought a stroller?

Because I do!

Do you hate leaving your stroller at a museum or zoo’s compulsory “leave your stroller here” zone?

Because I do!

The answer is the gb Pockit.


This amazing small stroller arrived in an equally small box. Inside the small box I found an even smaller stroller. Like Russian dolls it got better and better. I opened it up and Bam! A full size stroller!

Now you’re probably wondering if it feels like pushing one of those $10 cheap-o strollers in the “this is the least annoying and smallest stroller I can find” category, but no – quite the opposite! It feels like a good, sturdy, strong, smooth stroller. Actually – it feels even better than my current stroller.


Then the real test came – our first road trip as a family of five. I packed the usual – half of my snack cabinet, something in case it is cold, hot, warm, dry, wet, sunny, rainy, plus the quick 300 other things I needed.

For three kids.

You’re laughing… you get it… (even if your husband doesn’t).

In went the car seat stroller base and without even a blink – in went my brand new gb Pockit. My friend was over, we were both dumbfounded. Yes we were that excited about this stroller.

You may have noticed sometimes a child resists going in their stroller? Have you noticed this? It’s usually accompanied by a very calm, quiet declaration refusing to go in it. Usually followed by you taking three deep breathes like the experts tell you to do (wink) – relenting, and letting them walk – while you trail pushing an empty stroller and muttering “well at least it can hold my stuff”.

But not with this stroller.


Throw it in your bag, carry it on your back, heck – throw it in a locker! It is that convenient. Let the little monster – er – delight – walk.

Oh, monster, you’re suddenly tired and need a nap? I didn’t see that coming.


gb Pockit to the rescue – out of my bag, on to the floor. It even has an adjustable rectangular sunshade.

Do you have older kids? Are you traveling and debating a double stroller vs. two umbrella strollers in case your older one needs a rest?


The gb Pockit fits under your other stroller! I know. It’s amazing. Speaking of travel – the gb Pockit fits under an airline seat. There’s even room for eight thousand snack bags and the “good” cup you better not leave on the plane.


The ultra compact gb Pockit is not just a pretty face, it also has a height-adjustable 5-point harness, removable and washable seat fabric, a storage basket that holds up to 11 lbs, locking swivel front wheels, a one-touch rear brake, fits children from six months to 55 pounds, and self-stands when folded. It weighs 9.5 pounds and has the folded dimensions of 12” long x 7” wide x 14” high. It retails for $249.99 on Amazon.


I’m so happy I learned about this stroller. As my family (and car) gets bigger, my trunk space seems to get smaller and filled with more ready-for-Armageddon stuff (see above).

The gb Pockit solves the problem I’m sure you – like me – have of never wanting to be without an umbrella stroller yet not wanting to give up that precious trunk real estate. Just know that the gb Pockit takes up less space than the perpetual bag of stuff you’re trying to return (I know, I have one too).

If you are in the market for a new stroller or are at a stroller crossroads, you have to check out the gb Pockit. It will fit (pun intended) perfectly into your life.

Nursing 9 to 5, What a Way to Make a Human. DAY 4 OF MY FAVORITE THINGS: Glamourmom


Another absolute “must have” in honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month – the Glamourmom Nursing Tank! After six years and hundreds of wears it still looks & feels brand new.

The Mint Chip Mama

Day 4 of My Favorite Things: Glamourmom

Glamourmom photo 2


August is “Breastfeeding Awareness Month” and August 1st-7th is slated as “World Breastfeeding Week”. Given my love for nursing I would be remiss not to include all of my favorite breastfeeding paraphernalia in my “Favorite Things” series. I have been lucky enough to have nursed for an extended time and to currently be nursing. So this is a topic near and dear to my heart (quite literally!).  Forget saying these are breastfeeding “accessories”. In my world – these are breastfeed NEcessities. The first of which is my beloved, beloved Glamourmom® Nursing Bra Full Bust Long Top.

20140805 Glamourmom me

The Mint Chip Mama in her navy Glamourmom® Nursing Bra Full Bust Long Top.

Photo credit: My mom

I learned about Glamourmom through Big City Moms back in 2009 when I was pregnant…

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Pump Up the Volume, Pump Up the Volume, Pump Up the Volume. Milk! Milk! Day 17 of My Favorite Things: PumpEase Hands-Free Pumping Bra


Continuing with my Breastfeeding Awareness Month posts – here is my absolute favorite pumping accessories. My hands free pumping bra from Pump Ease. Changed my life.

The Mint Chip Mama

Day 17 of My Favorite Things: PumpEase hands-free pumping bra

20140818 Pump bra

@PumpEase  @snugabell #PAA Facebook

Batman and Robin, Lois and Clark, Bonnie and Clyde. All of these are partners. For me right now the biggest partnership (besides you know – the obvious human ones) is between my breast pump and my PumpEase hands-free pumping bra.

As I mentioned yesterday – nursing is something about which I am passionate. Since August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month I want to share my love for another vital breastfeeding item – my PumpEase hands-free pumping bra.

20140817 Nursing Beach

For me, breastfeeding and pumping go hand in hand. I really credit my pumping success with not only my amazing breast pump but my PumpEase hands-free pumping bra to hold it in place. I was lucky enough to have gotten my PumpEase hands-free pumping bra as a gift when I was pregnant with my daughter – five years ago…

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Pump Up the Cans, Pump It Up While Your Feet Are Stompin’. Day 16 of My Favorite Things: Evenflo Feeding


Since August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month I’m so excited to share my posts on all things nursing related. As you know nursing is near & dear to me and I’ve chronicled my ups and down here. I am now back again – happily nursing #3! Enjoy!

The Mint Chip Mama

Day 16 of My Favorite Things: Evenflo Feeding

20140817 Pump


Breastfeeding is something about which I am passionate. When I was pregnant with my daughter I wanted to learn everything there was to know about it. However, it is a very odd concept when you are speaking about it abstractly. So—these “milk jugs” I’ve been carrying around the last two decades will now produce actual milk – and with that milk I am to feed my young?

Ok… Ok… It is such a crazy concept. Once you get over the absurdity of it, and accept the idea that even though you carry a fancy handbag, wear heels, and drive a car, you are – in fact – just a mammal, you kind of just have to go with it.

I thought nursing would be easy and immediately wonderful. What could be more natural then bringing my newly born mammal to…

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Just read some sad news. The amazing Big Apple Circus may be closing due to a lack of funds. Sharing my post from last year including a few of their amazing non-profit programs. If you also love the Big Apple Circus please consider donating to help them stay open! http://www.savethecircus.org

The Big Apple Circus founders Paul Binder and Michael Christensen will make a special appearance on Sunday, June 12th, at 3pm appealing to the audience for its support and thanking them for their loyalty over the last 38 years.

A nonprofit organization, it also serves children in hospitals, seniors and others with special needs. It recently announced that a $2 million deficit has left it in critical condition and in danger of having to close the Circus for good after this final show of its season.

The Mint Chip Mama

Big Apple Circus presents METAMORPHOSIS

Cunningham Park, Fresh Meadows, Queens

Queens Metamorphosis Show Info - med

As they say – the more things change the more they stay the same. For me seeing Big Apple Circus‘ METAMORPHOSIS –  for the second time this year – was equally enjoyable. In fact more so than at Lincoln Center!


There are a few reasons for this.

1. I knew the show so I knew the really cool parts to watch for and not miss. Plus I knew where Francesco the Clown hung out before the performance started!


2. My son was older so he was even more into it – if that is possible since he was MESMERIZED last time as well.


3. My daughter knew what to expect and was really excited to see her favorite acts again. And in a last minute upset shocked us all by asking for popcorn instead of cotton candy. All she talked about once she…

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