Free Entry to All National Parks to Celebrate the National Park Service’s 99th Birthday on August 25, 2015


My family at one of our favorite spots at a local park.

My family at one of our favorite spots at a local park.

My family and I truly enjoy visiting parks. I’m not talking about playgrounds but rather local, state and national parks. We enjoy picnicking, hiking (on easy trails), taking in the fresh air and enjoying the beauty that is all around us. I especially love to take pictures of nature and the landscape.

Did you know that on August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act creating the National Park Service (NPS), a new federal bureau in the Department of the Interior responsible for protecting the 35 national parks and monuments then managed by the department and those yet to be established (now there are 408 national parks!).

I didn’t know that. That means next year the NPS will be celebrating 100 years. But that doesn’t mean the celebration can’t start a bit earlier.

To celebrate the upcoming centennial of NPS in 2016, the National Park Foundation (NPF) launched their Find Your Park campaign to encourage everyone to get up, get out there and #FindYourPark – no matter your interest.

To help get you interested in checking out the national parks, here is a list of 99 ways you could celebrate NPS’ 99th birthday on August 25, 2015 and get ready for NPS’ big 100th birthday next year. Founders’ Day also marks fee free day to all national parks.

99 Ways to Find Your Park (courtesy of NPS).

Every few years we have our kids sit on the same rock at a local park and take their picture to see how much they have grown.

Every few years we have our kids sit on the same rock at a local park and take their picture to see how much they have grown.


  1. Go climbing
  2. Write poetry
  3. Be an urban hiker
  4. Visit a National Heritage Area
  5. Dance
  6. Learn about climate change
  7. Discover a culture new to you
  8. Experience silence
  9. Walk through a doorway of a historic house
  10. Find inspiration in the story of a civil rights leader
  11. Go on a ranger-led tour #rangerspointingatthings
  12. Hug a tree
  13. Make a memory
  14. Earn a Jr. Ranger badge
  15. Relax on the banks of a scenic river
  16. Celebrate innovation
  17. Find life in a desert
  18. Get inspired by a First Lady
  19. Stand on a mountaintop
  20. Bring a kid to a park
  21. Paddle a water trail
  22. Take a photo that matches a historic one #retrogram
  23. Try something new
  24. Channel your inner Bill Nye—become a citizen scientist
  25. Walk a historic main street
  26. Find your park in Spanish #encuentratuparque
  27. Explore a cave
  28. Go green
  29. Brush up your national park trivia skills
  30. Scout a park, boys and girls!
  31. Make art in a park
  32. Celebrate Native American heritage
  33. Come sail away
  34. Take a picnic and dine al fresco
  35. Be bear aware
  36. Hit the road
  37. Enlighten yourself at a historic lighthouse
  38. Go biking
  39. Explore Asian American and Pacific Islander culture in America
  40. Feel the sand between your toes
  41. Share your story
  42. Learn about endangered species
  43. Join us
  44. Follow NPS on social media
  45. Follow the footsteps of a woman who made history
  46. Get in the know about H2O
  47. Bee pollinator friendly
  48. Get VIP status
  49. Catch a wave
  50. Immerse yourself in a living history program
  51. Hit record
  52. Get prehistoric
  53. Improve your health—get a park Rx
  54. Use your free active military pass
  55. Get reel—Visit a park featured in your favorite movie
  56. Join a trail clean-up
  57. See the sea
  58. Discover a traditional tribal cultural practice
  59. Let Elmo and Murray be your guides
  60. Mail a postcard
  61. Discover history around you
  62. Make new friends
  63. Raft down a river
  64. Pay your respects at a national cemetery
  65. Pick a POTUS
  66. Take a mini-cruise
  67. Plan ahead and prepare
  68. Walk nature’s treadmill
  69. Pose for a family photo in a park
  70. Recognize women who made history
  71. Reflect on our most difficult stories
  72. Stamp your park passport
  73. Ride on a historic carousel
  74. Run
  75. See history from a different perspective
  76. Renew your spirit
  77. See how NPS helps transform your community
  78. Go fish
  79. See the starry, starry night
  80. Make a splash
  81. Share a #tbt park photo
  82. Discover the beauty of our nation’s other public lands
  83. Sleep outside
  84. Spread the love—thank a park volunteer
  85. Plan the best field trip ever
  86. Visit our international sisters
  87. Trash Your Trash
  88. Find a monument and decode history
  89. Travel the Underground Railroad
  90. Use the buddy system!
  91. Visit for free on our 99th birthday
  92. Wander an American battlefield
  93. Watch wildlife
  94. Take a deep breath
  95. Go wild: Experience wilderness
  96. Use a national park lesson plan
  97. Play
  98. Take a sunrise selfie
  99. Get ready to celebrate with us in 2016!

There are a lot of great ideas, even if you don’t get a chance to visit a National Park this summer.

Do you like to visit parks? What is your favorite thing to do in a park?

My husband and daughter enjoying paddle boats at a local park.

My husband and daughter enjoying paddle boats at a local park.


*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Check out Spiders Alive! A new exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History



PHOTO SOURCE: American Museum of Natural History

One of my all time favorite places to go is the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. My mom took me there a few times when I was a young girl. The first time I visited the museum I fell in love with it. I truly enjoy exploring every corner of the museum. I’m one of those people who enjoy reading about each and every thing that I see – much to the dismay of my kids. They just like to look and move on to the next thing. Not me. I like to learn about what I am looking at.

My family and I haven’t been to the museum in six years. We kept meaning to go back but something always came up. This summer we had it planned that we were going to visit it no matter what.

There is a new exhibit at the museum right now called Spiders Alive! The exhibit will be at the museum until November 29, 2015.

Spiders Alive

OK… I know what you are saying. Who in their right mind would want to go and see real live spiders on display. Most people are not overly keen on the eight legged creatures. Trust me, spiders are not my most favorite creature either. In fact, my mom died from complications to the venom from a Brown Recluse Spider bite.

I don’t freak out when I see spiders, but I am weary of them, especially because some can be deadly. None the less I was curious about them.

My husband, son and I went to the museum to check out the exhibit, as well as the other exhibits at the museum. Our daughter was supposed to go with us but she had to work and couldn’t change her schedule.

Inside the Spiders Alive! exhibit you’ll find real live spiders from around the world – some of them are HUGE too. It was kind of creepy to see these spiders up close.

One of the spiders at the exhibit is a Mediterranean Brown Recluse Spider. I was not too happy to see that one, but at least there was no way it could hurt anymore.

Brown Recluse

Did I mention the spiders in this exhibit are ALIVE (thus the reason why it’s called Spiders Alive!).

My apologies for the photos not being that great. You cannot use flash photography in the exhibit and I don’t have a macro lens on my camera.

Check out these other creepy crawlies currently on display at the Spiders Alive! exhibit.

Spider 1

Spider 2

Spider 3

Spider 4

Spider 5

These are things nightmares are made of. Ha Ha.

There were also photos on the wall of other spiders from around the world (very interesting and unique ones) as well as other displays like a spider web.

Pix 1

pix 2


As creepy as it was the exhibit is very educational and gave us a better understanding, and dare I say, appreciation for spiders. There was even a hands on demonstration where the educator used a real, live spider.

The spider the demonstrator was using as also displayed on the screen behind her head so that people in the back could see just as well as those upfront.

demo 1

demo 2

The Spiders Alive! exhibit is an extra fee (it’s not part of the general admission) however if you are interested in spiders, or even a wee bit curious, it would be worth the visit.

There are other special exhibits and films currently going on at the museum too, as well as their permanent displays. You might want to check out Life at the Limits, Nature’s Fury and Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean.

Tickets for the museum can be purchased at the museum or you can order them online and pick them up at the Will Call window. PLEASE NOTE the line for the Will Call window is very long. It took 47 minutes online to pick up our tickets. When we left for the day the link for the Will Call window was still very long. Please keep that in mind so you can plan your day accordingly. We were pressed for time so we had to give up one of the exhibits we wanted to see due to the time spent online.

General admission has a suggested price which allows you entry into all 45 halls and the Rose Center for Earth and Space. To gain entry into the special exhibits you need to purchase different tickets. I would personally recommend the Super Saver option so you can see all the exhibits and films. It’s well worth it.

If you have never been to the American Museum of Natural History and are planning a trip to New York City, or live near the city and are looking for a “day trip” activity, I would highly recommend visiting the museum and planetarium. It’s filled with so many amazing things.

The planetarium is AWESOME! Currently the show at the planetarium is about Dark Matter. I personally found it incredibly fascinating, but my husband and son said it was a bit too “deep” and hard to understand. I feel it might be too complicated for little ones to understand.

There are plenty of tours you could take in the museum. There is even an app that can help make your visit more educational called Explorer. It’s free to download from iTunes and Google Play.

If you are planning a visit I would suggest you allow yourself several hours. There are so many places to explore in the museum. There are also places to eat, shop and plenty of restrooms to make your visit comfortable and more enjoyable.

I don’t want to give away too much from the museum, but here are some of my photos from our visit. I will forewarn you that my favorite exhibits are the animals and dinosaurs, so most of my photos are of them.











Flash photography is not allowed for several of the exhibits. Be sure to read signs to make sure flash photography is allowed. When it doubt you can always ask one of the museum representatives.

I did use flash on the Whale vs. Giant Squid display because there was no way I could get a photo otherwise (it’s very dark).

I think I too about 200+ pictures that day, if not more. I really love the museum. It’s like every time I go we stumble across something we didn’t see before.

Young and old alike can delight in all the wonderful things that can be found within the walls of the museum. The museum is also located across from Central Park so you could take a leisurely stroll there after your museum visit.

For more information please visit www.AMNH.org. You can also find the museum across all the social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…). All of the links are found at the bottom of their website.

Have you ever been to the American Museum of Natural History? Do you have a favorite display or exhibit? What do you think about Spiders Alive! Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from my readers.



*We received free passes in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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BJ’s Benefits Beyond the Club


Shopping cart

Do you belong to a wholesale club?

If you are a member of a wholesale club you can often score great prices on the products you buy on a regular basis. That is because you are buying the items in bulk and often bulk purchases cost less than if you purchased the products individually.

My husband and I visit our local wholesale club at least once a month to stock up on the essentials. If we had a bigge condo we would love to buy a free standing freezer so we could stock it with bulk cuts of meat.

Having a membership to one of these clubs is key to saving money on the products you buy often. If you are BJ’s Wholesale Club member your benefits go a lot further than just buying goods in bulk. Your membership card can help you save money on travel, car rentals, health and auto insurance and even purchasing a new car.

BJ’s offers quality and value on services for your home, business and personal needs.


In addition to saving money on the services that you need, you can also get additional “perks.” For example, BJ’s Travel already gives you great deals on cruises. If you book a cruise through them right now you can get a $500 BJ’s gift card. WOW! I would love a $500 BJ’s gift card.

They have travel discounts for Carnival Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines and other well know, popular cruise lines. Some of the other perks offered through BJ’s Travel include FREE upgrades, FREE excursions and even up to $1,600 in on board offers.

It’s not just cruise lines.  You can find great deals and more perks if you book your hotel, car rental and even booking your entire vacation through BJ’s services.


I was very surprised to see that having a BJ’s membership can also help you save money when purchasing a new car. When we were at our local BJ’s the other day I noticed some signs about the extended services as well as their car buying program. The sign said you could save up to $3,500 on a new car. I don’t know if that applies every where in the country, but locally that is the deal. It even mentions which car dealership works with BJ’s.

The funny thing is that we just bought a new (used) car a little over a month ago. Had I known about BJ’s services we might have been able to buy a brand new car with the extra savings we could have received. Oh well. We’ll look into it in a couple of years when my husband will need a new car.

BJ’s even works with brands like Verizon and DirecTV to offer members extra savings.

I’m amazed at how much is offered to BJ’s members – home improvement services (windows, basement finishing…), discounts on eye glasses and hearing products, discount on tires, check printing and stationary services, extended warranties and so much more.

Car Rentals

Did you know you can also order Deli and Bakery platters from BJ’s services?

The next time you are shopping at your local BJ’s don’t forget to think about the other things you need in your life, not just paper towels and bulk packages of meat. Think about all the other great membership perks you get for being a BJ’s member.

For more information about BJ’s visit BJs.com. You can also check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. The links are found at the bottom of their website.

To check out all the services offered to members visit the Travel + Services page.

Are you a BJ’s member? If so, were you aware of all the discounts and perks you get on other services?



*I received a BJ’s gift card in exchange for this post. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Don’t let motion sickness spoil your fun

Carnival Rides

I used to love the swing ride at the Dutchess County Fair

When I was a young I loved to go on rides at amusement parks. It didn’t matter if the ride wen upside down, backwards or did flips… I loved them all. I especially liked the rides that would spin you around and around at high speed.

Fast forward to when I was pregnant with my daughter. I don’t know why it happened. I attributed it to being pregnant but even a ride on a carousel made me sick to my stomach. I couldn’t go on any rides.

Growing up I went on A LOT of road trips with my family and relatives. I was always in the backseat of the car. It never bothered me at all. For some reason these days I cannot ride in the backseat of a car or even ride in a bus. I found that out the hard way when I was a chaperone on a class trip with my daughter. Riding home on the bus I was so sick to my stomach that I couldn’t move or even open my eyes. It was awful.

I found out that riding in the backseat of cars is equally has horrible.

I attend a lot of events in New York City which require me to use a car service - there is no way I'm driving myself in the city.

I attend a lot of events in New York City which require me to use a car service – there is no way I’m driving myself in the city.

Once I was going to an event in New York City. The company sent car service to take me to/from the event. I was so car sick when I got to the city that I had to dash to the nearest drug store to purchase medication for an upset stomach and I was sucking on peppermint candy throughout the event to settle my stomach.

Car sick is actually motion sickness. It effects millions of people. More than half of those affected are women (54%).

What causes motion sickness? Why are some people effected but not others?

Motion sickness happens when cues from our vision, touch and vestibular or inner ear systems to the brain interpret using chemicals called neurotransmitters. Motion sickness occurs in one of these cues that does not match. There are several modes of transportation that can cause motion sickness to occur, such as cars, planes, trains and boats. Even playing video games or watching IMAX or 3-D movies can cause motion sickness.

Years ago a friend of mine recommended that I try Dramamine. Dramamine helps to prevent the nauseous feeling you get when motion sickness kicks in. Just be aware that the original formula can make you feel drowsy. The brand does have non-drowsy formulas. I would use the original version if you’ll be traveling for a long time and don’t mind taking a nap when traveling. If you are traveling and have things to do I would suggest the non-drowsy formula. That way you are alert when you need to be.

Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals


Dramamine recently introduced a new product to their ever expanding product line – new Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals. I received a package of the new Dramamine to test out.

Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals;

  • Contains the clinically tested ginger dosage required for preventing and treating motion sickness. Other sources of ginger, including candies, gums, or ginger ale, may not contain a full clinical dose.
  • Prevents and treats the symptoms of motion sickness (nausea and vomiting) without drowsiness.
  • Non-Drowsy Naturals is safe to use every day you travel since it’s made from natural ginger.

Check out this brief video about the new product.


I actually like ginger. I like the way it tastes. I’ve used ginger candy and gum to help an upset stomach. When I was little my mom would always give me ginger ale soda when I had an upset stomach.

You cannot taste the ginger in the Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals, it’s just made out of ginger.

I was asked to take on a challenge to see if the Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals helped with motion sickness. I hadn’t had any plans to go to an amusement park, or travel into New York City for an event, but I did have the opportunity to try out the new Dramamine when my family traveled to Pennsylvania for a family party. I took the Dramamine “Take a Road Trip” challenge. We live in New York and my cousin’s party was in Pennsylvania. It’s a three hour road trip – 2 1/2 of those hours are in New York.

It was a 50th birthday party. We couldn't miss it.

It was a 50th birthday party. We couldn’t miss it.

Our daughter had her road test coming up and needed more practice driving. She’s only driving on local streets and wanted the opportunity to try driving on the interstate. Since two and a half hours of our trip was in New York (where she had a learner’s permit – she couldn’t drive in Pennsylvania), we let her drive that portion of the trip (to PA – it was dark on the way back so my husband drove). Having her drive a portion of the way meant my husband or I had to sit in the backseat. Since I get nervous when my daughter is driving I volunteered to sit in the back of the car with my son.

Knowing that was going to be the driving arrangement to start off with (as least for an hour or so into our trip) I knew to take the Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals a half hour before we got in the car to allow for the product to make it’s way into my system. Adult dosage is two pills.

Low fog in the mountains on the ride back home (PA to NY).

Low fog in the mountains on the ride back home (PA to NY).

Having our daughter drive on the interstate was certainly an experience (I think I had my eyes closed most of the time – LOL).

I am happy to report that I didn’t feel sick or “off” when we arrived at my cousin’s house for the party. In fact I felt fine, may be bit frazzled from our daughter driving (she had never driven on the interstate before), but physically speaking I felt fine. I wasn’t even tired. The Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals worked perfectly. I survived the ride in the backseat and I wasn’t sleepy. Two thumbs up from me!

My daughter and cousins enjoying the lake in Pennsylvania.

My daughter and cousins enjoying the lake in Pennsylvania.

Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals is available in a 12 count travel vile and a 36 count box.

For more information about Dramamine products please visit Dramamine.com. You can also find the brand on social media – Facebook.com/Dramamine and on Twitter @DramamineBrand.

Do you suffer from motion sickness? Does motion sickness prevent you from enjoying things like traveling, amusement parks or simply sitting in the backseat of a car?

Have you ever tried Dramamine? What do you think about Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.



I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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9 Road Trip Tips for Memorial Day Weekend


Family Travel

Are you going on a road trip for Memorial Day weekend? Normally my family stays home but this year we are going to Pennsylvania for my cousin’s 50th birthday celebration. The idea of being on the road during one of the busiest travel weekends of the year doesn’t sit well with us, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime event that we don’t want to miss.

If you are traveling this weekend, or any time during the summer for that matter, these tips from author Andrea Woroch** are especially helpful.

As the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day weekend is often celebrated with a road trip to the lake, beach or mountains. AAA Travel projects 37.2 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home this holiday, representing a 4.7% increase from last year and the highest travel volume for Memorial Day in 10 years.

With so many people hitting the road during this peak travel time, planning ahead will ensure a smooth trip with lots of savings. Here are several tips to ensure a carefree and budget-friendly Memorial Day weekend getaway.

Prep your car. Heading out on a road trip takes a little more prep work than simply typing an address in the GPS. You should get your vehicle serviced to ensure a smooth trip, check the air pressure in your tires for optimal gas mileage, pack a cooler with refreshments and snacks, and make sure you have chargers for all your necessary gadgets like smartphones and navigation guidance. For more ideas, review 10 things to check before you hit the road.

Call your bank and credit card company. Planning ahead doesn’t end with car maintenance. You also have to call your bank and credit card companies to alert them of your upcoming trip. Provide a general route or cities you’ll be visiting so they don’t think there’s any fraudulent activity. Otherwise, you may experience interruption of service or a hold on your accounts, which means you won’t have access to your funds.

Beware of skimmers. Fraudulent activity is especially rampant during peak travel season, so it’s important to monitor your online bank and credit card statements daily. Thieves use “skimming” devices to steal bank and credit card data, often placed inside credit card slots on gas pumps and ATMs. If any swipe machines look like they’re been tampered with, pay with cash or go to another rest area or restaurant. It’s wise to withdraw some cash to cover gas purchases and small travel expenses before you leave home, too.

Research gas prices. Use the GasBuddy website or download their free app to research fuel prices along your route to find the cheapest price per gallon. Then review your credit cards to figure out which one offers the best rewards for fuel purchases so you can maximize cash back or travel points during your trip.

Rear-side view of car

Decode lodging deals. Waiting until the last-minute to book a hotel isn’t recommended during peak travel holidays, but there are still options for saving money at the eleventh hour. You can find discounted luxury digs from hotels looking to fill unsold rooms via the HotelTonight app, or you could buy someone’s unwanted reservation for less through the site RoomerTravel. Otherwise, check CouponSherpa.com for travel deals at third-party hotel booking sites like Hotels.com, BookIt, HotelWiz, or score a free night through VRBO.

Pitch a tent. With warmer weather upon us, sleeping under the stars is a less expensive alternative to hotels, especially since room rates peak during popular holiday weekends like Memorial Day. Research camping spots along your route at ReserveAmerica.com and make a reservation before you hit the road.

Make the most of the drive. Get your family and friends to use their mobile devices for more than just social sharing during the drive. Download the Roadtrippers app to find fun activities along your route or the Field Trip app to discover cool spots like historic sites and quaint shops. The app even offers a special “nearby deals” feature to help you save money on dining and shopping. When you’re on an endless stretch of flat terrain with nothing to see or do, have fun by quizzing each other about U.S. travel with the Road Trip Trivia Game app.

Mind your data use. Though I recommend using your smartphone for enhancing your trip, keep an eye on your data use to avoid potential overage fees that will send your bill soaring! Download maps or any apps from your home or hotel before hitting the road, enable your WiFi locator to find free connections en route, and turn off push notifications from social media and email apps. Use My Data Manager app to track data use across shared and family plans.

Plan a staycation. If you decide traveling this Memorial Day weekend is simply out of the budget, save money and stress by staying home. While laying around your living room isn’t glamorous, you can make it fun and memorable with a little creativity. Plan a staycation that involves pitching tents and roasting marshmallows over a fire pit in your backyard, or recreate your favorite destination by cooking meals you enjoyed most on the last trip. You can even book a room at a hotel downtown to feel like you’re escaping for one night while still keeping it cheap.

These are great tips!

Do you have any tips that you would like to share. Feel free to leave a comment on this post and share your best travel tip for others.


Andrea Woroch

**Andrea Woroch is a consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. As a sought-after media source, she has been featured among such top news outlets as Good Morning America, Today, CNN, Dr. OZ, New York Times, MONEY Magazine, Huffington Post, Forbes and many more. For more information, visit AndreaWoroch.com or follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice and tips.

This post was shared with permission from the author.

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Celebrate the holiday season in New York City with the Radio City Rockettes


NYC Christmas


I love the holiday season. I love everything about it – the sights, sounds, music, spending time with family and friends and watching holiday programming on television.

It’s great to watch holiday movies and holiday specials on television, however it’s even better to watch holiday entertainment in person.

My family and I have been talking about going into New York City to see the Christmas Tree this year. A childhood friend of mine was talking about bringing her kids to see the tree. They have never seen the tree before. We were hoping to maybe meet up with them, or just go down on our own.

Last weekend my family and I were blessed with an incredible opportunity – tickets to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular!

It’s interesting that this opportunity came up. We don’t have much this Christmas (compliments of our cars constantly needing repairs – ugh!), and our kids are getting older. Our daughter will be off to college this time next year. For these reasons I wanted to do something as a family that was holiday related. Going to see the Christmas Spectacular was my number one idea. I thought maybe we could go see the show, have dinner at a nearby restaurant go and see the tree in Rockefeller Center, walk up and down 5th Avenue to see the holiday displays, zip down to Macy’s and swing over to Times Square before heading home. I figured this would give our family plenty of wonderful memories. Sadly, as I mentioned before, multiple trips to the mechanic and a few other things pretty much squashed that idea.

Then a Christmas “miracle” happened. I was given the opportunity to see the Christmas Spectacular with my family and have a “meet and greet” with some of the Rockettes. To say I was overjoyed is an understatement.

We happily headed down to New York City. Thankfully the weather was nice that day.


Prior to the show we were escorted upstairs to party room up on the 5th floor at Radio City. Who knew there was a 5th floor.

The man behind Radio City, Samuel “Roxy” Rothafel wanted his own apartment at Radio City for him and his family. A exclusive suit was built on the 5th floor just for him. The Roxy Suite is outfitted with 20 foot high domed ceilings covered in REAL gold, walls made out of cherrywood, art deco elements and an intimate round dining area.

Mr. Rothafel never moved into the suite. These days Roxy suite is used to host Radio City performers and VIP people like Sir Elton John and Paul McCartney.

I tried to get some photos but my camera was being very “moody” that day. The flash decided to work when it wanted to.

Our hosts had plenty of fresh fruits, pastries, bagels and beverages available for us. They also decorated the room with adorable holiday decorations.


Food 1

Food 2

The families invited to this special event were also fortunate to have a “meet and greet” with some of the Rockettes as well as hear from a tour guide who gave us some background information about the Roxy Suite.

The dining area is round, as is the table. Even the furniture is round including the side boards along the wall. I’m assuming they were custom made that way.

The reason why the dining area is round is that is provides good sound and that everyone can see everyone else in the room. I think that is an ingenious idea.

There is also a book (under glass) in the room with signatures of people who have stopped by the Roxy Suite including Mariah Carey, Bono and many others. I tried to get a photo but it didn’t come out good enough.

My family and I also had a chance to have our pictures taken with some of the Rockettes. Too bad our son didn’t smile and both of my kids were still cold (it was cold outside) and didn’t take off their jackets. I wish they did. The picture would have turned out better.



It’s wonderful to have these special memories.

Five years ago we went on a behind the scenes tour of Radio City Music Hall (there are tours available to the public). We went during the summer (August 2009). It’s fun to see how much my kids have grown over the years since then.


Soon it was time to leave the beautiful Roxy Suite and head downstairs to see the show.

There is a lot to see in the theaters’s lobby. If you go I hope you’ll take some time to check out the beautiful architecture and the jaw dropping chandelier that hangs high in the center of the lobby.

Radio City


There are plenty of souvenirs and snacks available both on the main lobby and downstairs.

It was almost show time so the lobby was packed. We quickly found our seats and prepared to be amazed and entertained.

The theater was packed. There were people of all ages seated around us.

What I love about the Christmas Spectacular is that young and old will find something about the show that resonates with them. Little ones go crazy when Santa appears on stage (not not-so-little kids too). Others might find the Nativity scene especially moving and powerful. I know I do.

As soon as the orchestra started to play holiday music the crowd cheered. The show was about to begin.



Our “host” for the evening was Santa. He was around for most of the vignettes and introduced some of the scenes we were about to enjoy.

If you have never seen the Rockettes perform you are in for a treat. They are so in tune with each other and their precision is spot on. It blows my mind how they can do that. Not one of them is ever out of step.

I tried to think of which was my favorite scene from the show. It’s next to impossible to narrow it down to just one. I loved the entire show, but several of the scenes stood out a lot to me.

There was one part where giant snowflakes zoomed through the air. I think they must have been remote controlled (like drones) because they returned to their starting spots when the scene was over. It was pretty cool!


The Nativity is breathtaking with the angel flying in the sky the parade of travelers heading off to Jerusalem to see the newborn king. There are even REAL camels and sheep on stage.

Another scene I truly love is when the Rockettes travel around popular spots in New York City on a bus, even stopping by Central Park where the audience gets to watch a couple skate on real ice right there on the stage.

One of my favorite holiday related story is the Nutcracker. I loved it when the performers danced to a few songs from Tchaikovsky’s music.

One of the audience favorite scenes was when the Rockettes performed as the wooden soldiers. There were a lot of “oohs” and “ahhs” from the audience.

There is also a 3D element to the show. In the very beginning Santa takes the audience on a sleigh ride with him into New York City. Each person is given 3D glasses to enjoy this segment. It’s fun to see things coming at you like presents and geese.

I cannot rave about the Christmas Spectacular enough. Young and old alike can delight in this experience. And it’s truly that – an experience. You just don’t sit there and watch performers. You are immersed into the entire show. You feel like you are a part of it. I loved it. My family loved it too. My teenage daughter even said she got a little teary when Santa first appeared on stage. Awww… that was sweet.

After the show we headed over to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree. Sadly we couldn’t see it because it was surrounded by scaffolding. I guess we’ll just have to go back to the city a few weeks from now to see it again.


My husband was able to get a piece of the tree for me (from the trimmings – he was given a piece from a man who was working at the site).


Fancy dinners are fun. Jewelry is beautiful. Flowers are pretty. For me a true romantic gesture is asking the worker at Rockefeller Center for a piece of the Christmas tree. Awww… I love my husband. He’s the best. He knows what makes my heart smile. I don’t need things to make me happy – just happy memories. And seeing the Radio City Christmas Spectacular today and spending time with my family is truly a very happy memory, one that I will never, ever forget.

If you live in the New York City area, or are planning a trip there, there are still tickets available for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.RadioCityChristmas.com. You can also check out the Christmas Spectacular on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Have you seen the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City?

What is your favorite thing to see and do in New York City – or a city near you?

Selfie with my sweetie


*I received free tickets to the show. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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