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Leslie

Hershey’s Unwrapped + Our Top 5 Favorite Things to Do at Chocolate World

It’s going to be a sweet week! Not only do we have a super fun trip to Hershey planned for this weekend – but it’s also Father’s Day on Sunday AND it’s my birthday on Wednesday! Yay! In honor of my birthday I’ve got some fun giveaways planned this week – trust me, you are going to want to stick around for them – they start tomorrow!

Going with the theme of this sweet + celebratory week, I just HAD to share with you all about our recent trip to Hershey for a media visit to check out their brand new attraction – Unwrapped!

Unwrapped is a theatrical experience that everyone will enjoy. We were one of the first ones to check out this new show and let me tell you that if you are visiting Hershey this summer, be sure to add this to your list – the kiddos {and you!} will love it!

Before the show started we were treated to some delicious snacks. As always, Hershey does not disappoint – especially in the chocolate covered snack department!

Everyone who goes into this interactive experience gets to experience the smells, tastes and some fun facts of all of our favorite chocolate treats. You get a Official Chocolate Academy Tasting Kit that you will use {and enjoy!} enjoy throughout the whole show.

A box full of chocolate? We are in!

The show is about 30 minutes long and the characters are brand new to Hershey and wildly entertaining. They pull you right in for a great experience at the Chocolate Academy. We loved it!

So Unwrapped is a brand new attraction at Chocolate World. We came up for the day specifically to check out the new experience, but after that we decided to enjoy some of our other favorite activities at Chocolate World. I don’t think people understand how much there is to do here – you could EASILY spend an entire day just at Chocolate World {which is right outside the Hersheypark entrance} and still not do everything there is to do.

Today I wanted to share with you just what 4-5 Hours at Chocolate World can look like, by highlighting our favorite activities that we love to enjoy at each visit.

Here are our Top 5 things to do at Chocolate World :

#1 – Make Your Own Candy Bar

The Make Your Own Candy Bar is ALWAYS a favorite. They ask for it every time we go – and there isn’t always time to do it {or room – it fills up quick!} but luckily this last visit, we all got to make some sweet bars.

This is probably my #1 activity that I would suggest to anyone visiting for the first time to Chocolate World. They Candy Bar Making Process is really well done, easy for the kids to get involved in and its fun for everyone.

Not to mention, it’s my favorite chocolate at Hershey because its just the way I like it – sprinkles and all!

It’s well worth the cost because it is a great experience and the finished product is a beautiful token to take home with you. Your personalized bar comes in a Hershey container with a personalized wrapper that you get to create.

My classic creations: Milk Chocolate, Sprinkles, Semi Sweet Chocolate, Pretzel Bites, Crisp Rice. It’s the best combination out there. Trust.

The boys like to dive in right away to theirs – this is a solid, big bar – Seriously large enough to have a few bites now and save the rest for later.

I like to save mine to enjoy at home, but check out my sweet personalized label. It’s my favorite I’ve made yet. They are always changing the personalization so if you make them frequently, you can always change it up to something different + seasonal!

#2 – Hershey’s Chocolate Tour

This is a free ride and its always the first {and the last} thing we do during any Hershey visit. I have have done a bunch of videos during our Hershey visits, but I believe this one gives you the best inside look at the Chocolate Tour. Seriously, we ride this multiple times every time we come to Hershey – the chocolate treat at the end always makes it extra sweet!

#3 – The Food!

Taking a minute from all the activities and entertainment at Hershey’s Chocolate World to give a little love to the food. And not just the candy and desserts, but the actual food – there are a variety of places to grab tons of meal options in the middle of Chocolate World. I’ve had a bunch of meals there and each one is better than the next. I thought it was totally worth highlighting today because my last meal there blew me away – Cocoa Charred Brisket sandwich. It was INSANE.

And if we are talking about Hershey food, we can’t forget about all the sweet treats. If you are visiting there, its always nice to pick up something special to bring home for later. They are always so beautifully well done in the pastry department.

#4 – The 4-D Chocolate Movie

My boys LOVE this show. If you haven’t been to Hershey before, but you’ve been to Disney – it’s sort of like the Bugs Life show – where you experience the sight, smells, taste, touch {and more} of the interactive experience. They love putting on their glasses and helping the Hershey characters crack the code of the show! Plus it’s a nice little break for mama to sit down and chill for a minute! Wins all around!

#5 – The Characters!

Brooks and Graham LOVE seeing their favorite Hershey’s characters and they are always out and about in Chocolate World. It’s a great spot for a photo op because its very casual, you can just pop up and greet them, take your own picture and chat for a few. They love it and I LOVE to snap away when their visit with their friends!

So there you have it – our Top 5 Chocolate World Favorite PLUS our first Unwrapped Experience. And like I said, there’s still so much to do we didn’t even have time for – Trolley Works, Chocolate Tasting and tons of other seasonal events always popping up – it’s hard to fit it all into one day. But if you aren’t far from Hershey – Philly is about 1.5 hours – we love to make a day trip out of it to get our occasional Chocolate Fix!

We can’t wait to check out some new fun things that just arrived in Hersheypark for the 2019 season – like the Reese’s Cupfusion – and can’t wait to visit the new Chocolatetown in 2020! It’s going to be a sweet summer and the boys and I can’t wait to start another fun visit this weekend! Stay tuned for a chocolatey giveaway tomorrow!

Best of St. Augustine, Florida – Sharing Our Favorites for Kids & Families

So I am finishing up our recap of our recent visit to St. Augustine, Florida today with a jam-packed post highlighting all our favorites from our time there. We did a little bit of everything and we had the kiddos with us every step of the way. I know so many of you have Florida trips coming your way this summer, so I wanted to showcase what we really enjoyed while we were there – if you check out any of these places, be sure to let me know what you think!

Now grab a coffee or a tea {poolside, if you can!} and buckle up! This is a long one, folks! But hopefully if you are planning a trip here, well worth it!

The Fountain of Youth

One of the first things that came up for me to check out in the St. Augustine area when I was researching our trip there was the Fountain of Youth. This park is likely 1513 Florida landing site of Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon, {although no evidence has been found to substantiate this claim.}

We didn’t go inside the actual park, but the streets outside the park are GORGEOUS. Definitely do a drive by of the gorgeous Spanish moss covered trees and snap some picks. We actually did a family photoshoot here which was great!

Flagler College

What was once the Ponce de León Hotel, Flagler College is right in the middle of downtown St. Augustine. It’s an active college but beyond gorgeous to take a stroll through or around. Simply gorgeous and a great little area for the kiddos to run around and stretch out their legs!

St. Augustine Lighthouse

Climb 219 steps to the top 165 feet above sea level – this was a great activity for my 5 year old! My 3 years old stayed down below and enjoy the cool pirate shop playground! Great views of the area and lots of other Maritime activities to enjoy while you are there.

Castille de San Marcos

The oldest masonry fort in the continental United States, the Castillo de San Marcos is a large Spanish stone fortress built to protect and defend Spain’s claims in the New World. It’s a National Monument and, at over 315 years old, it’s the oldest structure in St. Augustine.

Graham + Charles went into the fort to explore while Brooks and I went around the entire fort outside. It was really cool to walk the wall along the water and take in how big this fort is, right in the middle of the downtown area. It’s definitely worth a visit with the kids because of the great views, proximity to so many great restaurants and shops and they do various cannon firings and activities for kids throughout the day.

Project Swing Park

This was a complete treat to stumble upon. One morning we were exploring, looking for somewhere that the kids could run around and we found ourselves here. It is SO BIG with so many fun structures to run, jump and climb on. It was fantastic and amazing for all ages!

Caps on the Water

We went here for a birthday dinner one night and I was blown away by the incredible views. The food and drink were top notch, but the views simply can’t be beat. Definitely a MUST to have a meal or a drink at!

Swillerbees Donuts

These donuts are BEYOND amazing. If I was able to, I would have had one of each – and there were SO MANY to choose from. But aside from the incredible sweets, the decor and vibe at Swillerbees can’t be beat. It’s downtown right across from Flagler College – treat yo self if you find yourself in this area!

The Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops

Another downtown MUST. All the flavors and combinations of these ice pop treats are insane, especially on a hot summer day. Loved it here and dreaming of going back for another pop!

Beachcomber Restaurant

This spot was recommended to us by a local as a great spot for kids – which it totally was! Beachcomber is a laid back spot right on the beach. They have chairs and toys for the kids set up right in the sand – so adults can enjoy a meal or a drink while the littles play. It was perfect and a beautiful spot for great beach views with a breeze.

Ancient City Brewing

We did our fair share of trying out local brews during our trip – and loved being able to pop into Ancient City Brewing, right in the heart of the downtown area. Great sips and you can BYO eats!

St. Augustine Distillery Tour

This was something we did on an afternoon without the kiddos, but it’s totally worth recommending because it was awesome. The tour was free – about 40 minutes and you get to sip some incredible cocktails and taste all their spirits they are currently serving. It was so much fun. We then went upstairs after the tour and tasting for lunch at the Ice Plant, which was another really cool spot!

Maple Street Biscuit Company

Best Breakfast Spot for sure! This little hidden gem is LEGIT – it serves incredible food, in massive sizes and they taste like heaven. As expected, the biscuits are out of control. Dreaming of another meal at this place as well.

St. Augustine Alligator Park

I did an entire post on this place yesterday that you must check out. It was worth an entire blog post because beloved it so much! Definitely a must do with kids!

So there you have it – a few of our favorite stops along the way during our week in St. Augustine, Florida. We also enjoyed the beach, spent lots of time at our rental in the pool and enjoyed all that glorious Florida sunshine!

If you’ve ever been to St. Augustine, I’d love to know what you thought and if you did any of the same things we did!

Thanks for following along for this long recap! We had a blast – as you can see – and hope to visit St. Augustine again one day!

A Day At The St. Augustine Alligator Park & Zoological Farm

Thanks so much for all the kind words and support about our new house. We are so excited and like I said in my last post, I can’t wait to share all the changes, updates, decorating and more as we make it our own.

Right now, I’m going to spend some time recapping you up on our trip to St. Augustine, Florida we took a few weeks ago. I’m excited to catch you up on our visit – it was our first time and we did lots of really cool things. I’m going to compile my favorites in a list in another post, but today I wanted to highlight my very favorite thing we did while we were there –

St. Augustine Alligator Park & Zoological Farm

Ok, if you are thinking “What is this mama talking about” – Hear me out! We stumbled upon this place when we were looking for an outing for the boys. I had zero expectations and I was legit blown away by how awesome it was. Hence, my need for an entire blog post dedicated to our day there – because if you are in the St. Augustine area, I HIGHLY recommend checking this place out – it was that good.

This place is over 100 years old and so much thought and effort and soul has been put into it – it’s unbelievable. The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is the only place in the world where you can see every living species of crocodilian! They also host a wide range of other animals, as well as birds, reptiles, fossils, and more!

There are tons and tons of alligators + crocodiles, but there are also lots of great interactive exhibits and shows for the kids to enjoy.

On the day we visited, there were three main shows throughout the day, which were incredible – more on those shortly – but in between shows we made our way through all the impressive exhibits.

My favorite of which would have to be Maximo.

Maximo is 15 foot 3 inches, 1,250-pounds – the largest animal at The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.

A saltwater crocodile, or “Saltie” as his species is called in Australia, Maximo hatched from an egg collected by aborigines along an Australian river bank. He grew to his adult size at the Cairn’s Crocodile Farm. The underwater viewing window is an amazing way to view him up-close and personal.

Another amazing area is the Native Swamp. Here there are HUNDREDS – Seriously Hundreds of alligators all around you. There is a wooden pathway raised above the water you can walk along to view them sunbathing, swimming or eating a meal – ‘gators of all sizes!

One of the reasons I was so impressed with the facility was just how LARGE it is! The zoo is HUGE. I honestly didn’t except much when we pulled up and then was blown away by how well done and the overall size of the zoo. It was a great way to spend an entire day with the kids.

And when we went it was a big time for nesting birds. There were 100+ photographers there to take pictures of these little guys and their beautiful blue eggs. I wish I caught the name, but it was great to show the boys!

See all the white birds in the trees above the alligators? Its a good thing they are kept well fed!

Along with all the reptiles in this zoo, there were so many exotic bids to be able to see up close and personal. Like this blue beauty.

Another really cool spot that the boys got to enjoy was the KidsZone. There was a huge outside play area where the littles got to get the wiggles out. They were excellent seeing all the wildlife, but after a while these boys want to run and jump and climb – which is just what this area allowed them to do.

All in all, it was a fabulous day. We didn’t expect it to be as much fun as it was, but we all had a great time and would very much recommend it to anyone in the area. I saved a bunch of the highlights from our visit in my IG Stories on my profile – Under St. Augustine – which includes some clips from the three shows we got to see.

The shows were amazing because we got to see the trainers interacting with the gators and crocodiles, which was thrilling at times. We learned tons of facts about them and each show was super entertaining and different.

I think the coolest part was when we got to see the Alligators being fed! That was really special and I will never forget how high they jumped and with so much force!

This is not sponsored – it might sound that way with how much I am saying I love it – but we just had an amazing day and I seriously recommend it to anyone visiting the St. Augustine area. It was such a treat to find and I am so glad we got to include it in our visit there!

More on the rest of our trip coming your way this week – if you have any questions or anything you want me to include in the post, send me a message and let me know!

Now I’d love to know – What do you think of the Alligator Park? Is this something your kids would enjoy?? Please share!

The One About New Beginnings – We Bought a House in the Suburbs!

So it’s been little extra quite around the blog these days because we’ve been having a pretty busy few weeks!

We bought a HOUSE.

Yup, we are trading in city life for everything suburbs and we couldn’t be more excited about it.

So I have been slightly off social media and everything online lately because we’ve had A LOT going on with the buying and selling and moving and packing and everything that goes along with it.

We have closed on our new house and have a few more weeks in the city in our current house – so basically spending the next 3 weeks of June soaking up everything city. Spending time with all our friends and neighbors, visiting our favorite restaurants and bars, enjoying all our best city spots – we’ve got lots to see and do, and then do again one more time while we are living here.

We aren’t going to be too far from Philadelphia, but nothing will ever be the same or as easy as it will be now as actual residents. So we are trying to maximize our last few weeks here while we can.

Since we have a bit of an overlap in between places, it’s been nice to sort of move in slow and take over things with each trip to the new house. We have movers coming to take the big furniture over on our actual move day, but we’ve been making progress with the time we have, which has made things very busy – but will make things way easier day of the move.

It’s going to be a big change going from a city home to a big house in the ‘burbs. We need to furnish so much more space! And we are planning to do some work to our new home sort of soon – a kitchen renovation, a bathroom remodel and maybe another thing or two along the way.

We’ve got a few ideas that we really want to work on the first few months we are living here, to really help make it feel like home. It’s going to be a little overwhelming at times, but we are excited to get started.

There are tons of moving pieces at the moment, so much going on and lots to do in the coming 3 weeks – but today I wanted to pop on, give you a reason for my recent radio silence, and share some of my favorite features of our new home with you!

First up – Check out that front door up above! It’s LEGIT.

Also, this Dutch Door in the laundry room out to the back yard is a thing of dreams.

Speaking of the backyard – its so much beautiful, wonderful, fabulous space for our whole family to enjoy and especially for our boys to run around and play.

They have been LOVING their time outside here each time we visit. They can’t get enough of their new, big yard. It makes me so happy to see them playing outside and loving it – and I can’t wait until this is everyday for them.

And Jackson has been loving it too – Spot him in the pic below !

Back to the inside – I can’t decide if I love the Dutch Door or the Juliet Balcony more in the new place – so for now let’s just call it a tie. But seriously, how cool is this little detail in our Master? I can’t wait to update the window treatment and make this a cozy little space I can enjoy everyday!

Back to a few of my favorite details – These doors are solid wood and they are amazing. And these handles are on every door in the house and they are fabulous too. You twist them to lock and unlock the door and I think they are such a unique feature throughout.

Check out that wallpaper – It’s sort of crazy, but the more I see it, the more it grows on me. It’s also the least offensive wallpaper in the house, so there’s that to give you a little color on the rest of the situation.

Next up – these Tiles. I was told where they are from and apparently its somewhere special and unique and now I can’t remember where to save my life, so if you know – send me a message and I’ll love you forever!

They are nothing I would ever pick, but they are original to the house and I think they give some surprising character to the fireplace in the living room we will use everyday.

Check out this stained glass. It’s in the smaller family room leading out to the screened in porch and I think they are very random and again, unique. Nothing I would ever pick, but I appreciate the detail and it does give the room a little pop of something.

We’ve got a lot of work to do and it’s going to be a crazy road ahead, but we are excited for our future in the ‘burbs. And I’m excited to document all the changes, renovations, decorating and more of our house as it becomes our home.

If you’ve got any tips, tricks, favorite blogs, websites, podcasts or shows for decoration and home renovations, I’d love to hear them. I need all the inspiration I can get!

And thanks so much for following along all this time. It’s been a crazy 6 weeks, and I know the next few months are going to be even crazier but I am so excited for what lies ahead and what this move means for our family.

I’ll be sharing it all along as we go – stay tuned and buckle up! It’s going to be a wild one!

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