Tag Archives: family fun

Don’t Wait for the Ice Cream Truck!

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This is a sponsored post from Global Influence on behalf of Unilever and Walgreens

There is one food group that my entire family can agree on, and it’s ice cream. Given most any choice, we will always look for some frozen delight over cake, cookies, or the like. Doesn’t matter whether we’re at a high-end place or the local diner.  If it’s time for dessert, that means ice cream.

He screams for ice cream
He screams for ice cream

On one of my first trips to London some years ago, I spent a fair amount of time walking around the city and seeking out new sights.  Over and over again, I would see the logo for an ice cream bar called Magnum at newsstands and street carts.  Magnum wasn’t sold in the US back then, and there was no other equivalent that I knew of to compare, so I wasn’t sure if I would like it.  Who knew what goodness I was passing up! Later in the trip, my colleagues and I went to a West End show.  Like Pavlov’s dog, I was salivating for intermission, knowing that’s when London theaters served ice cream treats to the audience.  As soon as the lights came up and the curtain went down, I was prowling around looking for the ice cream lady.  Surprise, surprise, she was selling Magnum bars.  I picked a vanilla bar with white chocolate coating.  It was absolutely yummy.  Of course, as sugar can make you, I felt immediately elated, and then a little depressed because I knew I couldn’t find this heavenly treat in the US.  I also ended up walking out with my colleague’s used stick and wrapper snuck into my purse, but that’s a story for another post.

Years later, I was THRILLED to see a commercial announcing that Unilever was bringing Magnum bars to the US.  Maybe you remember it?

You may think that is Rachel Bilson in the commercial, but no.  That was me as soon as I learned I could get my beloved Magnum bars here in the States.

We used to keep half gallons in the fridge, but found that, ahem, portion control was an issue.  It was much easier to have single serve treats ready to go, so we couldn’t overindulge.  I was thrilled to know that I can find with delicious Unilever ice cream brands, such as Magnum, Breyers, Klondike, Frutare and Popsicle, readily available at my local Walgreens store.  Our neighborhood store is open 24/7.  I’m just saying.  Not that I have ever made an ice cream run at that hour, but I could.  Just knowing I could keeps me a little sane.

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Go to your local Walgreens and grab what you are craving. This is ideal for hot summer (or fall) nights with the entire family, and it’s super convenient so you don’t have to make that grocery store stop or wait around for the ice cream truck.  Be sure to have one (or two…three) for me!

 

Great Times with the Staten Island Yankees

InstagramCapture_1de76183-f4ea-44fc-94d7-3494e7b90ac4_jpg_1Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for the Staten Island Yankees. I received tickets for the game as well as food vouchers to facilitate my review.

Living near New  York City, you find yourself positively spoiled by the array of sporting teams available to view.  We have not one but two major league baseball teams, 2 basketball teams, 3 hockey teams (if you count the Islanders, which I usually don’t) and 2 football teams (that have the name NY but play in NJ).  But here’s the thing – most of the time, it’s pretty expensive to go to these games, if you count admission prices, food, transportation, and parking.

I love a good baseball game as much as the next girl, so when I got the chance to attend a Staten Island Yankees game, I was all in.  The SI Yanks, nicknamed “the Baby Bombers” are a short-season A minor league team that’s part of the NY Penn League.  They were originally brought to NY in 1999 as part of a deal brokered by noted Yankees fan Mayor Rudy Giuliani.  They play their games at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark on the northern tip of the island.

A minor league game offers the same experience of attending a great sporting event, at a lower cost which makes it great to bring a crowd.  Like most minor league teams, the SI Yanks keep ticket and concession prices down to attract a family audience.  Last time we brought the kids to a game, we spent over $150 including tickets and food.  No souvenirs that trip – thankfully there was a giveaway so we didn’t have to pay out for that as well.

The SI Yankees ballpark is really easy to get to from lower Manhattan.  A quick, FREE Staten Island Ferry ride will get you to within a few feet of the ballpark.  Really!

There’s nothing like a Staten Island Ferry ride.  It’s one of my favorite tips for tourists, and frankly, us New Yorkers could benefit from a quick sea getaway too.   You board the Ferry at the terminal – during peak times it normally runs every 20 minutes, but check the schedule to be sure.

Waiting with the crowd for the Ferry
Waiting with the crowd for the Ferry

While the game is a great option for families, because we were going on a weekend, we decided to make it a date night.  My husband works in the city, so I met him in front of the Ferry after he took the subway downtown.  We had a quick 10 minute wait before we were able to board the boat.

Our vessel!
Our vessel!

We ran to the top of the boat so we could have some amazing views of the city as we pulled out on the 15-20 ride to Staten Island.

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Can you believe this was his first ferry ride?  The views were unreal, as lower Manhattan disappeared into the horizon and we headed out to sea.

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Once on the Island, we were pleased to see people were respectful.  They greeted my husband quite nicely.

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OK, so that’s really the Staten Island Railroad.  Who knew?  Plus, the terminal is one of the few places in the area with a DQ.  I miss DQ.

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The St George terminal had great signage that directed us to the ballpark.  It was a 5 minute walk, tops.  Once we arrived, we got our tickets and checked out the place.  Like most things, we arrived an hour before the game so we had some time to explore.  The park is right on the water, and there are some beautiful views and lovely breezes, perfect for a hot summer night.

Beautiful ballpark by the water
Beautiful ballpark by the water

The Baby Bombers even have their own mascot.  Heck, the Yankees don’t even have a mascot.   Meet Scooter, the Holy Cow (Yanks fans will get that one, instantly!)

HOLY Cow!
HOLY Cow!

We decided to get something to eat and head to our seats.  To our delight, food was quite reasonably priced.  We had heard they revamped their menu, and could definitely see some unique options at reasonable prices.

One of the many concessions stands
One of the many concessions stands

While I thought Mister would go for the Lobster Mac n’ Cheese, being a New England boy and all, he decided fried food was more his style.  I got a look at the pizza and thought it looked pretty good.  Still, I went with a classic.

Yum.  Nom.  And all that.
Yum. Nom. And all that.

Yes, it was great.  A Nathan’s hot dog and fries.  How can you beat that?

Now, after all that excitement, we were still there to see some baseball!  Our boys were playing the Lowell Spinners, a farm team of the Boston Red Sox.  Which, in actuality, made them Mister’s boys, as he is a Red Sox fan.  Sigh.  There is no escaping the NY-Bos rivalry in our world.

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The game was fun, but MY boys struggled, eventually pulling to a final score 4-11.  You can’t win them all.  But you can get ice cream!

InstagramCapture_dfce0dfb-49bb-4672-abff-9ec8d9884017_jpg We collect helmets from ballparks around the country, so this was a great addition to our stash.

After the game, we made our way back to the terminal for the quick ride back to the city.  From there, we could have taken trains home, but I had parked our car at a garage right next to the terminal, making it extra easy.  But if you are in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Queens, taking the subway to the ferry is just the ticket for a fun night out.

After attending a game, I can say for certain that a Staten Island Yankees game is a great choice for families, couples who want a different kind of date night in the city, or friends looking to get together after work.  They host giveaways and special events (where were we on Disney Pirates and Princess night?) so be sure to check out their web site – there’s something for everyone!

Use promo-code: mommy for $12 tickets to a Staten Island Yankees game! Visit: http://atmilb.com/1x4QL1c for game schedules and ticket information.

Get social with the Staten Island Yankees!