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Mini trip to southern NJ

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Jul 2nd, 2014, 01:14 PM
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Mini trip to southern NJ

Just got back from a 4 day trip down to NJ to visit family.

Day 1: 6 hour drive from NH to Glassboro NJ with 4 and 5 year old boys = lots of bathroom stops. Checked into the Courtyard Marriott Glassboro/Rowan. New hotel. Clean. Comfy beds. Polite and friendly staff. Parking is in a parking garage across the street. This was great since it was 90+ degrees and our car was able to be in the shade. The garage would also be great in winter to avoid having to remove snow. There is a small food area in the lobby, but we didn't try anything. There is also a Barnes and Noble within walking distance....I assume there is a Starbucks in there. It appears they are in the process of building the area up around the hotel. I would expect more shops and restaurants to open in the next few years.

Day 2: Went to Franklin Institute in Philly for the day. It was an okay museum. Numerous exhibits were out of order. And some things were too "old" for my boys. The kids had fun, but I wouldn't rush back. They do have a AAA discount, so it was just over $60 for the four of us, plus $20 to park. We headed to Sabrina's Cafe for lunch. It was a short, ten minute walk. Food was great. VERY large portions so choose carefully. Another nice bonus is that breakfast is served all day. The pancakes looked really good. We got a massive hummus platter, a grilled cheese, and some coconut lime chicken sliders. Everything was very good.

Day 3: Drove south to Millville to have breakfast at Verna's. It's at the airport. We all had bagels and cream cheese, so not much to comment on. But this was a nice little spot. Then we headed to the Millville Army Airfield Museum. "The Millville Army Air Field Museum preserves the history of the Millville Army Air Field that was dedicated by the U.S. War Department in 1941 as "America's First Defense Airport." During WWII 10,000 men and women served here with 1,500 pilots receiving advanced gunnery training in P-47 Thunderbolt and P-40 Warhawk fighter planes." The museum is free but they do ask for a donation. This is a great place to spend an hour or so. There are also some static displays outside which my boys enjoyed.

We then headed back up north to meet up with the inlaws. Stopped at the Pop Shop in Collingswood for lunch. This is perfect for kids. The menu is extensive...they even offer purees for the really little ones. And everyone leaves with a balloon.

Dinner was at Tomo, which I think is in Pitman. Great sushi. They also have an all you can eat option for roughly $22. We just ordered tuna and salmon rolls, seaweed salad, miso soup, and gyoza. We were happy with everything and will return here on a future trip.

Day 4: headed home.

Just a quick trip. Happy to be home.
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Jul 2nd, 2014, 02:18 PM
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Thanks, rizzo, for your report. Not often do we have the opportunity to read about Glassboro, Millville, and Pitman! (I may have mentioned Collingswood's farmers market way back when...)

That's unfortunate about the Franklin Institute. We started going there when our girls were just a bit older than your boys and they always loved it. But it's so annoying when the exhibits don't function properly! Did you have an opportunity to get to the new exhibit on the brain?

Thanks for the tip about Tomo. Sounds good.

k_marie in Cherry Hill
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Jul 2nd, 2014, 03:49 PM
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We did get to The Brain. It was neat. Lots of interactive features. And there is a cool climbing structure too...you climb on neurons. Being new, this section was in great condition, although a few lightbulbs were burned out on a game so you couldn't play it properly. The whole place just needs a little TLC.

Any recs for future visits? We wanted to visit Herrs, but just didn't have the time on this trip. We enjoy anything...quirky is good! We also want to try the new construction themed park that recently opened but we need my little one to hit 42 inches first. http://diggerlandusa.com/
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Jul 2nd, 2014, 05:06 PM
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In Cherry Hill, not far from the Route 70 exit of 295--
http://www.discoverymuseum.com

In Philadelphia, in Fairmount Park--
http://www.pleasetouchmuseum.org/

Philadelphia Zoo
We went once with the visiting grandchildren and realized that if we were to do a second visit, a membership would have been an economical investment.

If you have museum memberships at home, check for reciprocity benefits.

For all of these it would be well worth checking Groupon, LivingSocial, etc., and individual websites for discounts and combo deals.
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Jul 2nd, 2014, 05:28 PM
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Done all three of those! Thinking maybe the one at Drexel???
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Jul 2nd, 2014, 06:43 PM
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I haven't been to the Academy of Natural Sciences in years. It's on Logan Circle near the Franklin Institute. Not sure if they have updated it to be more interactive.

Does anyone know about the Wells Fargo museum on Broad Street in Philadelphia? We did an outing with our four year old grandson to the one in San Francisco a few weeks ago. There was a stagecoach the kids could 'ride' in or 'drive,' telephones from, oh, 1890, short videos, artifacts to look at, replicas to handle, an early pong game to play (Wells Fargo was involved in the early finances). It was not a major destination for several hours like the places we have mentioned, more 30-40 minutes. But add the train ride , and lunch, and you have a nice outing. I don't know if the Philadelphia one is comparable.

A few hours at the Jersey shore? Blueberry picking at a farm? The Camden Aquarium? (I have not gone yet!)
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Jul 3rd, 2014, 04:14 AM
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We also want to do the penitentiary, but I think the kids need to be a bit older.

Need to do the aquarium, but didn't want to drop another $100 this trip...admission is expensive!

We like reading terminal market too. My five year old loves food and tries anything so it's fun for him.

Will look up the wells Fargo museum for the future.....
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