Author Topic: Quick Family Trip on a Dime (no pics)  (Read 1396 times)

Offline Luvtotravel

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Quick Family Trip on a Dime (no pics)
« on: August 08, 2018, 01:18:37 AM »
Disclaimer: this no-frills Trip Report is being written in one sitting with the express purpose to help out those looking for ideas on where to go and what to do with kids in tristate area that doesnt break the bank. Nothing fancy to see here so if you're not searching in this category, i'm sure the Maldives thread has something to offer...
Was looking for someplace to go away with the gang. Our needs were:
  • inexpensive
  • within two hour drive of monsey
  • minyan
  • entertainment for ages 2-12
After discarding several options we decided on Diggerland as the main attraction, and therefore just searched for closest Hyatt House which is where we usually go with the clan.
     Hyatt House Mt. Laurel had availability for my nights for a trio suite but not for points so i made a cash booking and later found agent to switch it to a points booking @ 8000 points a night, but at a minimum of three nights, so that's what i took. A trio suite gave us two closed bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. One bedroom has two double beds, with the other a king bed. The walk in closet was more than sufficient for a crib, and the pull out couch slept two comfortably so that we were all quite comfortable.
     I found tickets for Diggerland on Groupon for 29.95 for those 42" and above which is way cheaper than Diggerland's direct price. 36"-42" was same price as Diggerland, so didnt bother buying through them. 36" and below is free.
     As far as minyan, there are several options just several minutes away in Cherry Hill. We chose Sons of Israel since they had the latest minyan shachris at 8:00.  12 min from hotel
The trip from Monsey took just over two hours, and we quickly settled in for the night so that we could have an early start the next day since Diggerland's hours are 10-6.
After quick 15 minute ride we ended up arriving closer to one and were afraid we would be missing out, but as the weather peaked at about 94 degrees, the park was almost empty and we had just the right amount of time to spend there. Diggerland is awesome! Every kid had a grand time, according to his age and skill. There's something for everyone. It is a construction themed park, so that every ride consists of some tractor or truck retrofitted to suit the needs of the ride. There are tractors to ride and tractors to dig with and tractors to look at... you get the idea but there was truly plenty of variety to keep the kids going despite the weather. There's also a rock climbing wall and a ropes course in addition to a toddler play area. The only separate fee in the park is for the Soaring Eagle Zipling @ $6 a kid, and a gem mining station @ $6 a bag of gems. Officially there is no outside food allowed, but they had no issue with our bulging bags beneath the stroller, so we had plenty to eat just bought drinks every few minutes (3.75 for a coke bottle or 2.95 for a water) The Icee in the park is certified o-u so we tried cooling off with those. They also have misting fans in several areas, but they hardly accomplished much in this heat.
We left at six, got to hotel, ate dinner which was put up in crockpot in morn, played some games and called it a night.
The next morning we woke up to same weather and really wanted to do something water related but couldn't find anything within an hour's drive.
We decided on Johnson's Corner Farm (15 min from hotel) which is an amazing place with u-pick fruits and veggies, playground with splash pad, and animal farm. What we didn't realize is that when they advertise hayrides from 10-1 it means that after 1 there is no way to go picking since you need the hayride to get you out there. In any case we had a fabulous time and spent 3 hours there. There is a playground with very creative play equipment like spider web, huge Connect 4 playing boards, checkers tables, pretend areas, go karts, and the absolute best part which were the splash pads. In the sweltering heat the kids just kept converging there. There's the pail area which literally gets you a bucket of water on your head, some overhead sprinklers, inground sprinklers and the like. The entire play area is not that large it is just truly beautiful with tons of comfortable shaded seating, very clean and plenty of variety. The animal farm was not a petting zoo as we had hoped, but was fun nevertheless. There are sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, donkeys and cows. They provide corn with which to feed them, which you drop in to tubes and they come nibble.  Again, kids had awesome time with that. There's also a farmer's market on premises selling their produce as well as trinkets and the like. Admission was $9 a kid and $4.50 for those 13+. If you pay for hayride (i think 4.50) you get half price admission to the playground and animal farm. After 5 it's only 3 per kid, 1.50 per 13+. Wednesday evenings 5-9 feature free hayrides, pay what you pick.
From there we wanted to go to Laurel Acres Park for a grill, but upon arrival realized that there was some community event going on so we just left. We found Strawbridge Park down the road which suit us perfectly and was completely empty. There is a playground there that occupied the kids while we got the portable grill going. We also brought along a large kite for the bigger ones, and the large open field proved perfect for it.
Upon arrival back at the hotel, we realized that the pool was just about to close, and as we hadnt had a chance to use it yet since it was always full, decided to give it a try. Sure enough, just as we got there, there was some lightning and the pool miraculously cleared for us! We had a grand time, especially given that they came to close the pool half an hour after designated closing time.
All in all, this was a low key, totally kid friendly, tznius-sensitive, low-cost trip which created the family memories which will keep us smiling for a while.
Other kid-friendly options to do in the area (within half hour drive):
Adventure Aquarium (29.95 an adult includes one kid free)
Garden Discovery Museum ($5 admission after 5pm)
Philadelphia Mint (self-guided tour free)
Franklin Institute
Please Touch Museum
Independence Seaport Museum
(bunch of other Philadelphia museums, these are just the ones i looked in to)
Thanks for reading, and good luck with planning your own family trip!
Don't wait for the perfect moment; take the moment and make it perfect.

Offline nucheiner

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Re: Quick Family Trip on a Dime (no pics)
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2018, 11:41:47 AM »
Great TR!
Thanks!

Offline ludmila

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Re: Quick Family Trip on a Dime (no pics)
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2018, 01:22:52 AM »
Thanks, nice TR.
I was the Best,still the Best, and will always be the Best.
Pele Good,Maradona Better, George Best.

Offline VacationLover

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Re: Quick Family Trip on a Dime (no pics)
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2018, 08:10:35 AM »
Nice TR.
Next time you can also look into Storybook land for the younger kids

Offline yitzgar

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Re: Quick Family Trip on a Dime (no pics)
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2018, 08:15:39 AM »
Excellent. I actually prefer this kind of t.r.

Offline moko

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Re: Quick Family Trip on a Dime (no pics)
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2018, 09:02:03 AM »
Disclaimer: this no-frills Trip Report is being written in one sitting with the express purpose to help out those looking for ideas on where to go and what to do with kids in tristate area that doesnt break the bank. Nothing fancy to see here so if you're not searching in this category, i'm sure the Maldives thread has something to offer...
Was looking for someplace to go away with the gang. Our needs were:
  • inexpensive
  • within two hour drive of monsey
  • minyan
  • entertainment for ages 2-12
After discarding several options we decided on Diggerland as the main attraction, and therefore just searched for closest Hyatt House which is where we usually go with the clan.
     Hyatt House Mt. Laurel had availability for my nights for a trio suite but not for points so i made a cash booking and later found agent to switch it to a points booking @ 8000 points a night, but at a minimum of three nights, so that's what i took. A trio suite gave us two closed bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. One bedroom has two double beds, with the other a king bed. The walk in closet was more than sufficient for a crib, and the pull out couch slept two comfortably so that we were all quite comfortable.
     I found tickets for Diggerland on Groupon for 29.95 for those 42" and above which is way cheaper than Diggerland's direct price. 36"-42" was same price as Diggerland, so didnt bother buying through them. 36" and below is free.
     As far as minyan, there are several options just several minutes away in Cherry Hill. We chose Sons of Israel since they had the latest minyan shachris at 8:00.  12 min from hotel
The trip from Monsey took just over two hours, and we quickly settled in for the night so that we could have an early start the next day since Diggerland's hours are 10-6.
After quick 15 minute ride we ended up arriving closer to one and were afraid we would be missing out, but as the weather peaked at about 94 degrees, the park was almost empty and we had just the right amount of time to spend there. Diggerland is awesome! Every kid had a grand time, according to his age and skill. There's something for everyone. It is a construction themed park, so that every ride consists of some tractor or truck retrofitted to suit the needs of the ride. There are tractors to ride and tractors to dig with and tractors to look at... you get the idea but there was truly plenty of variety to keep the kids going despite the weather. There's also a rock climbing wall and a ropes course in addition to a toddler play area. The only separate fee in the park is for the Soaring Eagle Zipling @ $6 a kid, and a gem mining station @ $6 a bag of gems. Officially there is no outside food allowed, but they had no issue with our bulging bags beneath the stroller, so we had plenty to eat just bought drinks every few minutes (3.75 for a coke bottle or 2.95 for a water) The Icee in the park is certified o-u so we tried cooling off with those. They also have misting fans in several areas, but they hardly accomplished much in this heat.
We left at six, got to hotel, ate dinner which was put up in crockpot in morn, played some games and called it a night.
The next morning we woke up to same weather and really wanted to do something water related but couldn't find anything within an hour's drive.
We decided on Johnson's Corner Farm (15 min from hotel) which is an amazing place with u-pick fruits and veggies, playground with splash pad, and animal farm. What we didn't realize is that when they advertise hayrides from 10-1 it means that after 1 there is no way to go picking since you need the hayride to get you out there. In any case we had a fabulous time and spent 3 hours there. There is a playground with very creative play equipment like spider web, huge Connect 4 playing boards, checkers tables, pretend areas, go karts, and the absolute best part which were the splash pads. In the sweltering heat the kids just kept converging there. There's the pail area which literally gets you a bucket of water on your head, some overhead sprinklers, inground sprinklers and the like. The entire play area is not that large it is just truly beautiful with tons of comfortable shaded seating, very clean and plenty of variety. The animal farm was not a petting zoo as we had hoped, but was fun nevertheless. There are sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, donkeys and cows. They provide corn with which to feed them, which you drop in to tubes and they come nibble.  Again, kids had awesome time with that. There's also a farmer's market on premises selling their produce as well as trinkets and the like. Admission was $9 a kid and $4.50 for those 13+. If you pay for hayride (i think 4.50) you get half price admission to the playground and animal farm. After 5 it's only 3 per kid, 1.50 per 13+. Wednesday evenings 5-9 feature free hayrides, pay what you pick.
From there we wanted to go to Laurel Acres Park for a grill, but upon arrival realized that there was some community event going on so we just left. We found Strawbridge Park down the road which suit us perfectly and was completely empty. There is a playground there that occupied the kids while we got the portable grill going. We also brought along a large kite for the bigger ones, and the large open field proved perfect for it.
Upon arrival back at the hotel, we realized that the pool was just about to close, and as we hadnt had a chance to use it yet since it was always full, decided to give it a try. Sure enough, just as we got there, there was some lightning and the pool miraculously cleared for us! We had a grand time, especially given that they came to close the pool half an hour after designated closing time.
All in all, this was a low key, totally kid friendly, tznius-sensitive, low-cost trip which created the family memories which will keep us smiling for a while.
Other kid-friendly options to do in the area (within half hour drive):
Adventure Aquarium (29.95 an adult includes one kid free)
Garden Discovery Museum ($5 admission after 5pm)
Philadelphia Mint (self-guided tour free)
Franklin Institute
Please Touch Museum
Independence Seaport Museum
(bunch of other Philadelphia museums, these are just the ones i looked in to)
Thanks for reading, and good luck with planning your own family trip!
wow. I'm currently writing a TR that pretty much mimicks yours save for switching out a few details. We're at the TownePlace Suites. Sunday-Thu. (Kids got strep on Monday to add to the fun) I'll post details soon. I davened 6:45 in hopes of getting an early start but never got out of the hotel before 11am.  Nice TR.

Offline Luvtotravel

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Re: Quick Family Trip on a Dime (no pics)
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2018, 03:00:40 PM »
wow. I'm currently writing a TR that pretty much mimicks yours save for switching out a few details. We're at the TownePlace Suites. Sunday-Thu. (Kids got strep on Monday to add to the fun) I'll post details soon. I davened 6:45 in hopes of getting an early start but never got out of the hotel before 11am.  Nice TR.
i looked into the towneplace suites, but need three beds vs. two. bummer about the strep. hope you enjoyed
Don't wait for the perfect moment; take the moment and make it perfect.

Offline Luvtotravel

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Re: Quick Family Trip on a Dime (no pics)
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2018, 03:02:23 PM »
Don't wait for the perfect moment; take the moment and make it perfect.

Offline Moshe26

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Re: Quick Family Trip on a Dime (no pics)
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2018, 06:11:27 PM »
Disclaimer: this no-frills Trip Report is being written in one sitting with the express purpose to help out those looking for ideas on where to go and what to do with kids in tristate area that doesnt break the bank. Nothing fancy to see here so if you're not searching in this category, i'm sure the Maldives thread has something to offer...
Was looking for someplace to go away with the gang. Our needs were:
  • inexpensive
  • within two hour drive of monsey
  • minyan
  • entertainment for ages 2-12
After discarding several options we decided on Diggerland as the main attraction, and therefore just searched for closest Hyatt House which is where we usually go with the clan.
     Hyatt House Mt. Laurel had availability for my nights for a trio suite but not for points so i made a cash booking and later found agent to switch it to a points booking @ 8000 points a night, but at a minimum of three nights, so that's what i took. A trio suite gave us two closed bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. One bedroom has two double beds, with the other a king bed. The walk in closet was more than sufficient for a crib, and the pull out couch slept two comfortably so that we were all quite comfortable.
     I found tickets for Diggerland on Groupon for 29.95 for those 42" and above which is way cheaper than Diggerland's direct price. 36"-42" was same price as Diggerland, so didnt bother buying through them. 36" and below is free.
     As far as minyan, there are several options just several minutes away in Cherry Hill. We chose Sons of Israel since they had the latest minyan shachris at 8:00.  12 min from hotel
The trip from Monsey took just over two hours, and we quickly settled in for the night so that we could have an early start the next day since Diggerland's hours are 10-6.
After quick 15 minute ride we ended up arriving closer to one and were afraid we would be missing out, but as the weather peaked at about 94 degrees, the park was almost empty and we had just the right amount of time to spend there. Diggerland is awesome! Every kid had a grand time, according to his age and skill. There's something for everyone. It is a construction themed park, so that every ride consists of some tractor or truck retrofitted to suit the needs of the ride. There are tractors to ride and tractors to dig with and tractors to look at... you get the idea but there was truly plenty of variety to keep the kids going despite the weather. There's also a rock climbing wall and a ropes course in addition to a toddler play area. The only separate fee in the park is for the Soaring Eagle Zipling @ $6 a kid, and a gem mining station @ $6 a bag of gems. Officially there is no outside food allowed, but they had no issue with our bulging bags beneath the stroller, so we had plenty to eat just bought drinks every few minutes (3.75 for a coke bottle or 2.95 for a water) The Icee in the park is certified o-u so we tried cooling off with those. They also have misting fans in several areas, but they hardly accomplished much in this heat.
We left at six, got to hotel, ate dinner which was put up in crockpot in morn, played some games and called it a night.
The next morning we woke up to same weather and really wanted to do something water related but couldn't find anything within an hour's drive.
We decided on Johnson's Corner Farm (15 min from hotel) which is an amazing place with u-pick fruits and veggies, playground with splash pad, and animal farm. What we didn't realize is that when they advertise hayrides from 10-1 it means that after 1 there is no way to go picking since you need the hayride to get you out there. In any case we had a fabulous time and spent 3 hours there. There is a playground with very creative play equipment like spider web, huge Connect 4 playing boards, checkers tables, pretend areas, go karts, and the absolute best part which were the splash pads. In the sweltering heat the kids just kept converging there. There's the pail area which literally gets you a bucket of water on your head, some overhead sprinklers, inground sprinklers and the like. The entire play area is not that large it is just truly beautiful with tons of comfortable shaded seating, very clean and plenty of variety. The animal farm was not a petting zoo as we had hoped, but was fun nevertheless. There are sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, donkeys and cows. They provide corn with which to feed them, which you drop in to tubes and they come nibble.  Again, kids had awesome time with that. There's also a farmer's market on premises selling their produce as well as trinkets and the like. Admission was $9 a kid and $4.50 for those 13+. If you pay for hayride (i think 4.50) you get half price admission to the playground and animal farm. After 5 it's only 3 per kid, 1.50 per 13+. Wednesday evenings 5-9 feature free hayrides, pay what you pick.
From there we wanted to go to Laurel Acres Park for a grill, but upon arrival realized that there was some community event going on so we just left. We found Strawbridge Park down the road which suit us perfectly and was completely empty. There is a playground there that occupied the kids while we got the portable grill going. We also brought along a large kite for the bigger ones, and the large open field proved perfect for it.
Upon arrival back at the hotel, we realized that the pool was just about to close, and as we hadnt had a chance to use it yet since it was always full, decided to give it a try. Sure enough, just as we got there, there was some lightning and the pool miraculously cleared for us! We had a grand time, especially given that they came to close the pool half an hour after designated closing time.
All in all, this was a low key, totally kid friendly, tznius-sensitive, low-cost trip which created the family memories which will keep us smiling for a while.
Other kid-friendly options to do in the area (within half hour drive):
Adventure Aquarium (29.95 an adult includes one kid free)
Garden Discovery Museum ($5 admission after 5pm)
Philadelphia Mint (self-guided tour free)
Franklin Institute
Please Touch Museum
Independence Seaport Museum
(bunch of other Philadelphia museums, these are just the ones i looked in to)
Thanks for reading, and good luck with planning your own family trip!

wow this is an amazing TR! great job!

Offline zow

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Re: Quick Family Trip on a Dime (no pics)
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2018, 11:37:07 PM »
Love this TR.
Isnít there something called Sesame Place outside Philadelphia? I think we took our kids there about 15 years ago.

Thanks for writing up your experience.

Offline Toasted

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Re: Quick Family Trip on a Dime (no pics)
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2018, 12:28:58 AM »
Awesome TR!  Have been to Johnson's Corner several times and it's a great place.

Offline Yammer

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Re: Quick Family Trip on a Dime (no pics)
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2018, 03:02:41 AM »

Offline cozmohoot

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Re: Quick Family Trip on a Dime (no pics)
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2018, 06:52:09 AM »
Thanks for the tr

Offline farvus nisht?

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Re: Quick Family Trip on a Dime (no pics)
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2018, 07:10:19 AM »
Thanks for the TR.

this is VERY usefull info.

Offline cozmohoot

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Re: Quick Family Trip on a Dime (no pics)
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2018, 12:04:40 PM »
Can't decide on deal NJ area or maybe Lancaster PA or maybe Washington DC.
Have to try and keep kids occupied and we like having a food option not too far