A few weeks ago my family and I embarked on a journey back to my home state of New Jersey. After we hit up the Blairstown Diner on our second day back on the east coast, we took the kids to Footbridge Park. They really enjoyed seeing the different kinds of trees and we had some close foot races on the long bridge. With nothing on the agenda for that evening I decided to take the kids to Bel-Pike Lanes in Belvidere, NJ. Me and my friends would spend hours there bowling, playing pool and putting quarters into the arcade machines. Now the arcade has been transformed into a restaurant, but we still got in a few games of bowling. Notice how my son did not remove his Link hat during these trips. He practically lived in that thing during our vacation.
My parents live about an hour away from NYC and we couldn't pass up the chance to take the kids into the city for their first time. My wife was able to find us a hotel room about 2 blocks away from the Museum of Natural History. So after finding a parking garage and a short trip on the subway, we made it into NYC.
We had watched the movie "Night at the Museum" to get the kids excited for this trip and when they saw the Easter Island Head on display all of them had to say "Give me Gum-gum" at least 100 times each. We got to see most of the museum that day, but due to an event they were closing early and we missed the ocean animals display.
At least we did get to see what we all came for...Dinosaurs by the boat load! After the museum, we took a walk through central park and then hit the subway back to Jersey City to retrieve our car.
Of course we had to see the Statue of Liberty. Once again my wife did an excellent job of booking us ferry tickets that left from Jersey City. We stopped at Ellis Island first and took the tour while the kids participated in the Junior Rangers program so they could earn a Ranger badge. Then it was off to see Lady Liberty! Once again the kids did there Junior Ranger thing and we were able to take a tour of the Statue and visit the newly built museum on the island. It was great to see their reactions to how AWESOME the sight of this American icon was. Back in Jersey City we walked around the 9-11 "Empty Sky" monument. Then headed back to my parents place.
On our drive back, I took the kids past the Land of Make Believe amusement park in Hope, NJ. I really wish it was open when we were home, because the next time we visit I'm pretty sure the kids will be too old to enjoy it. My Dad was driving pretty fast, so forgive the crappiness of the picture above. While on this scenic drive, we also took the kids down one of the most haunted roads in the United States aka Shades of Death Road and Ghost Lake. Let me tell you, it is not scary at all in the daytime. For more info on this road check out the video below.