In honor of the Sprinting With The Shaps 2 month anniversary 🍾🎊🎈I decided to update the post that started all the fun! So here are 3 new Hot Spots With Cool Treats 4 Kids that you can check out!🆕🆒🗽
The 1st new spot is called Snowdays Shaved Ice Cream Co. and from their site “WHAT IS SHAVED CREAM? Shaved cream is the new category in frozen desserts. It is an evolution of the Taiwanese and Korean shaved ices, which has taken over the west coast and is now moving quickly across the nation. Shaved cream pairs the fluffy texture of snow with the taste and creaminess of ice cream.” Their most popular flavor is Yeti Tracks which is their unique take on cookies and cream with a blueberry spin. How many times as a kid did you lick some fresh powered snow. ❄️I still do that! 🙋🏽 The shaved ice cream has the consistency of fresh powdered snow but with a creamy texture! Seems like an interesting concept and worth a try and the kids will probably think its cool watching them shave down the block of frozen milk!
The next spot is for all you Churro lovers. What do you get when you mix churros with ice cream? The churro ice cream cone at Chikalicious NYC! Their newest creation is the coneChurro! 🍦” Business Insider said “An ice cream cone is usually the least exciting part about eating ice cream.That’s not the case at NYC dessert cafe ChikaLicious. The cafe is serving a churro cone that’s filled with vanilla soft serve and a variety of toppings.” My daughter Hailey is obsessed with Churros so we will definitely be checking out this place!
Finally, I found Voila Chocolat as a new place that combines eating with doing! I love when I find new kid friendly places in the city, where you can actually DO an activity with your kids! 🙌🏽🍫From their site “Voilà Chocolat is all about having memorable and enjoyable experiences with family and friends. It’s tremendous fun to make, decorate, give, and eat chocolates! Depending on which experience you choose, you may be creating for 30 minutes to an hour. We can help you choose, if you’d like.Come any time! No reservations required. Whenever possible, do try to let us know in advance, so we can set up for you. Note: please arrive at least 45 minutes before we close, so that you won’t have to rush your fun.” NY Mag said “The team here…opened an “experiential” shop where visitors can make their own treats, dipping and molding confections and crafting truffles using Guittard chocolate. Groups can rent the space (for team-building exercises, birthday parties, etc.) for events led by a chocolatier-instructor who helps guide students through the chocolate-making process at modular workstation pods.” I am so excited to bring all my kids here because they have plenty of chocolatiering experiences to choose from👭👬
So I hope these new places inspire some more family fun with your kids! Now that the warmer weather is here,🌞 head out to NYC for some good ole family bonding! 👨👩👧👦
Original Post is below:
Back in February after my trip to BLACK TAP NYC, I decided to do some internet and social media research and plan my next trip to NYC with my kids for the upcoming half days of school in March. I’m always on the hunt for the next fun thing to do / place to visit / restaurant to eat at in NYC, and for some reason I always find myself going back to the same places. This is NYC after all, so we should have tons of opportunities! What you may or may not know is that Instagram advertising is a HUGE BUSINESS! You literally can get lost in Instagram for hours searching pictures and looking at suggested handles to follow. What I didn’t expect to find was SO MANY cool dessert places. Now the problem is which to choose first!! Thanks to Instagram blogs like New_Fork_City and NYCTrEATS, I found many of these NYC Hot Spots with Cool Treats for Kids!!! Be warned this post is LONG, but it’s an exhaustive list complete with pics, reviews and chock full of info! Let’s DIG IN!!!! But wait! If your short on time and want to get the cliff notes version, skip all the way to the bottom, otherwise happy reading!
So let’s start with Black Tap NYC, which is currently getting a ridiculous amount of attention on social media ever since they were on the Today Show about a month or so ago. They are known on social media for their crazy over the top milkshakes, but what they are now MORE well known for is their CRAZY wait times…expect to wait 3 hours or more UNLESS you want to do what I did, which was the best money spent, and hire Rob from Same Ole Lines Dudes to do the waiting for you. From their site “Cronut Delivery? No problem! Designer Sample Sales? A breeze! Saturday Night Live Standby Tix? We’ve got it covered! We are a team of professional line sitters whose primary aim is to reduce your wait for anything this great city has to offer. With over 8 million residents, lines for anything in New York can be long! Add to that, over 56 million tourists each year and you’re in for an even longer wait! Whether it’s iPhones, the latest Air Jordans, or the hottest Broadway tix in town, Same Ole Line Dudes understands your wants & needs and is here to help. We even go above and beyond with our Delivereach premium service by not just waiting, but including purchase & delivery and even shipping if you’re out of state! Whatever the event or product, we show up & do the work so you don’t have to, freeing you up for important things like…LIFE.” Rob was easy to work with and I felt like the price for his service was very fair! We turned a 3 hour wait into just 5 minutes! Ain’t nobody got time for that!! Between my daughter and her 2 best friends, we got all 3 of the available milkshakes. I didn’t realize that NOT ALL the milkshakes were available everyday, so this came as a disappointing surprise to us, but nevertheless we still had fun! Black Tap has 2 locations: Soho and Meatpacking and you will be waiting outside for both…good luck!
The next place I heard about is called COOL MESS. I found this information on Red Tri:”Aside from a spotless, colorful, bright and fun space filled with treats at every turn (bulk candy wall, buckets of Nutella, giant sheets of Rice Krispies) the big draw at Cool Mess is the make-your-own-ice-cream. Each table is equipped with a small ice cream maker, and customers start the creation process by choosing an ice cream base — vanilla or chocolate. (The liquid base for both flavors is provided by organic ice cream purveyor Blue Marble Ice Cream)”
From there, guests select a baked good to add to the mix (cookie, brownie, pound cake or the goodie of the day), and finally, pick three toppings from a roster of 25 which includes everything from mini gummy bears, peanut butter cups and strawberries, to cookie dough, Snickers and bananas.
Ice cream chefs needing a little help and inspiration can follow one Cool Mess’ “Messipes” such as “Cookie Monster” (vanilla base, cookie dough, chocolate chip cookies and crushed Oreo cookies) or “After School Special” (vanilla base with peanut butter sauce, strawberry jam and toast), both of which are already emerging as favorites.
The whole process takes about 8 minutes and the store requires at least two people per personal creation. The cost?: $24.99.” After going through this whole list with my 2 oldest kids, we decided this was the winner of our next half day! Stay tuned…
The next place I found I fell in love the minute I saw it! It’s called COOKIE DO NYC and I imagine it to be DOlicious!!! While they do not have a store front where you can sit and eat, you can purchase and take your DO to GO!
From their own site “We have over 20 handcrafted flavors to fulfill your sweet tooth’s wildest dessert dreams! With our original, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options, we’ve whipped up a little bit of DŌliciousness that everyone can enjoy.
This made-to-order dough is freshly prepared just for you. It is completely safe to eat the way you’ve been sneaking it for years — straight from the mixing bowl. Enjoy it in its ready-to-eat state, mix it into ice cream, throw it in the oven to half or fully bake it — the choice is all yours.”
When I found HOLEY CREAM, I thought HOLY COW! Wow people will literally think of everything!!! Holey Cream is known for its build-your-own donut ice cream sandwiches and a host of other desserts and baked goods. If doughnuts plus ice cream isn’t good enough you can add tons or candy and sweet toppings! Sounds like a match made in food heaven! I can not wait to see the combos my kids come up with! It’s safe to say Im sure there will be a lot of sugar and candy involved!
The next place I stumbled onto on Instagram was MOMOFUKU MILK BAR. Home of the Crack Pie, Compost Cookie, B’day Truffles and Cereal Milk Ice Cream. From Goodreads “The compost cookie, a chunky chocolate-chip cookie studded with crunchy salty pretzels and coffee grounds; the crack pie, a sugary-buttery confection as craveable as the name implies; the cereal milk ice cream, made from everyone’s favorite part of a nutritious breakfast—the milk at the bottom of a bowl of cereal; the easy layer cakes that forgo fancy frosting in favor of unfinished edges that hint at the yumminess inside.”Milk Bar is the sister bakery of the Momofuku restaurants. All I know is that the name of this place and the Instagram pictures are interesting enough for me to check this place out.
While bagels aren’t treats, when you set your peepers on these bad boys your kids will squeal with delight! THE BAGEL STORE is famous for their rainbow bagels that you can stuff with cotton candy or funfetti cream cheese and has been all the craze in the last 6 months. Such an easy concept which has you saying “Why didn’t I think of that!?” The Bagel Shop sells a variety of special bagels, like French toast bagel with Nutella cream cheese, a bacon, egg and cheese bagel called BEC or the Cragel, a hybrid between a croissant and a bagel. According to Oddity Central “They’re all apparently delicious, but the rainbow bagel remains the most popular. It has always drawn attention because of its unique look, but the treat has really taken off in the last few months, thanks to an explosion of photos on Instagram.” Another cool fact on their site is they can only make 100 bagels every 5 hours as opposed to 5000 regular bagels in the same time. WOW! They look so gorgeous its almost seems like a sin to eat these masterpieces!
I know there are 1000s of Ice Cream stores around but the Instagram pictures of the next place are what caught my attention. The description of EMACK AND BOLIOS from their homepage is “Emack & Bolio’s invented the flavored cone in 1980 and have been improving on the concept ever since. Making the perfect accessory to our Super Premium Ice Cream, there is a large selection to choose from. Looking for something different? Try our Marsh”mellow covered cones with your choice of Oreos, Rice Krispies, Fruit Loops, or Fruity Pebbles! If you are a fan of rainbow or chocolate jimmies we have cones that are dipped in chocolate and then rolled in this delicious topping. If you are feeling a little nuts, we have a cones that are rolled in a mix of them! Chocolate dipped waffle cones also look great rolled in shaved coconut. No matter which one you choose, you can’t go wrong!”
While I know Big Daddy’s Diner isn’t new, what I liked was the idea of starting our day in NYC with some unique pancakes! The colorful creations are sure to catch your kids eye. Not to mention their other desserts and shakes look delicious as well! My kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch, I wonder how this translates on a pancake? Definitely worth trying out! If not the Toast Crunch pancake, then other good fallbacks would be the birthday cake looking ones or fruity pebbles!
The next craze blowing up on social media is EGGLOO. This is the 1st food cart specializing in Hong Kong style egg waffles with an old time fun twist..ice cream and all your favorite childhood toppings! The unique look and rainbow of colors is what is appealing to the eye, and by the looks of the long lines forming outside, this is the next hotspot you can enlist the help of Same Ole Line Dudes…
According to AMNY “Ice cream rolls and majestically massive milkshakes have both enjoyed their time in the spotlight: It’s time for Hong Kong waffle cones…On the menu: three flavors of waffles, three homemade ice creams and a slew of colorful, sugary toppings. Warm and fluffy and sweet and summery in one bite, Eggloo’s waffle ice cream creations are surprisingly perfect for the season, even amid a winter weather advisory. The steamy comfort of the waffle perfectly blankets that tease of summer, or spring break — so close you can really taste it.”
I’ve heard of this place and of course with a name like this, I was curious to find out more info… The BIG GAY ICE CREAM SHOP. Besides the catchy name, I’m curious how they set themselves apart from just another ice cream store with a mixture of toppings…From their own site …”With a playful attitude, Big Gay Ice Cream spins a new take on old-school soft-serve by creating fun and unique ice creams, toppings, and frozen treats that appeal to a diverse mix of clientele.”
Business profile: Our menu combines traditional soft-serve ice cream with non-traditional toppings, such as wasabi pea dust, olive oil and sea salt, dulce de leche and many other rotating offerings. All of this is dispensed the way ice cream should be – with humor and good cheer.
How it all began: It was all a fluke. A few years ago, Doug was on the hunt for a strange summer job that kept him in NYC. He is a classical musician and was tired of traveling for work. He found an ice cream truck to borrow, because it seemed like one of the weirdest options available, and thus the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck was born. I was working in corporate training/meeting and event planning, and relished the idea of planning out the truck’s modernized menu. Maybe it was some sort of mid-life crisis? Most guys get a convertible; we got a beat-up ol’ ice cream truck. Things got weirder with the shop when we got a bigger kitchen and giant unicorn mural.
What you’re trying to do differently: The company began as a rented ice cream truck in July 2009 that we christened the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. The original philosophy when we started our truck was to be different than all the other NYC ice cream trucks. Mainly 1) offer a fun experience with great customer service and 2) modernize the soft-serve truck menu. Ice cream trucks in NYC have had the same menu in place for decades and we thought it was a once in lifetime opportunity to update things our own way.
Number of flavors: Under 10 actual ice cream flavors. Keeping with the soft- serve truck ethos, we stick with vanilla and chocolate. From there it’s about what we do on top of the ice cream with different toppings and sauces and combinations. Now that we have a shop we have been creating some daily flavors, such as coffee, peppermint, and brownie batter. We made beet too, but we were the only ones that ate it. We loved it! Most popular flavor: The Salty Pimp is our most popular item. It’s a vanilla cone that we coat and inject with dulce de leche, sprinkle on sea salt, and then dip into chocolate. We have sold about twenty times more Pimps than our next biggest seller.
Another one of those combo dessert places I found was AFTER’S ICE CREAM. From the Huffington Post “Don’t you dare call it an ice cream sandwich. The latest dessert to take the pastry game comes from Orange County-based ice cream shop Afters, a collaboration between clothing industry veterans Andy Nguyen (CEO of IM King) and Scott Nghiem (Owner of Thorocraft footwear). Named the “Milky Bun,” the doughy confection features a slick twist on the classic filled donut and stuffs a thick glazed bun with your ice cream of choice.The process of making one of these involves four key steps: choose ice cream, fill, seal, and eat. The shop uses a waffle-iron like press to seal the bun and what you end up getting is a phenomenal contrast of warm, dense sweetness and cool, creamy flavor.”
Yet another modern twist on traditional ice cream is found at 10 BELOW ICE CREAM. By the looks of these pics on Instagram, I’m curious to know more about the rolling process and what it is rolled between. I must find out! Here is a description from their site “10Below Ice Cream is New York’s first establishment serving Thai-inspired ice cream rolls. This concept was created on the streets of Thailand, serving fresh, made-to-order ice cream. Inspired by this ice cream art and by the way bartenders artfully craft cocktails made to order, 10Below blends the two approaches to create an experience for ice cream aficionados with an eclectic palette. We roll each individual ice cream order with the freshest ingredients right in front of your eyes, meaning no preservatives or stabilizers are added. It’s ice cream in its rawest form — fresh off the plate.”
Just for the unique and creative gimmick alone I would take my kids to the SPRINKLES CUPCAKE ATM! They also specialize in cupcakes (obj), cookies and ice cream. According to the NY Post, “A 24-hour cupcake-dispensing “ATM’’ is set to open on the Upper East Side on Tuesday, giving New Yorkers the basic convenience of being able to buy fresh, gourmet goodies with the push of a button anytime they want. The machine can dispense up to 20 varieties by way of a touch screen that works just like a bank ATM: You make your selection, swipe your credit card, and out comes your treat in a brown and pink box.Each cupcake costs $4.25. Flavors include red velvet, Cuban coffee, banana dark chocolate and cinnamon sugar. There is even an offering for dogs: two mini-cupcakes for $5. They come in one flavor, are sugar-free and have a yogurt frosting.” Now this is a gimmick that sounds fun and cool for the kids!
ICE AND VICE with their inventive and unique ice cream flavors with names like Bath Salts, Figgin Toasted, Crack o Lantern etc…From their site “We’re Ice & Vice, an experimental ice cream shop based in New York City. Handcrafting our ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt in small, customized batches, we push the boundaries of what frozen desserts can be. Always edgy and always ultra-premium, we serve up quality and vice with every scoop.”
Who doesn’t like anything SMORES related! Perhaps it brings back memories of sleep away camps, camping with your family or just an old fashion summer night…3 NYC spots that caught my attention that had scrumptious looking smores desserts were: THE SMITH, DOMINIQUE ANSEL BAKERY, and BLANK SLATE. Perhaps not as eye catchingly fun for Kids, I figured I would include them in case you wanted to get your smores fix….
The final hot spot I found were focused on everything cookie. I’m not sure where the name of the place SCHMAKARY’S comes from but their cookies look great! From their site: “Zachary “Schmackary” Schmahl is a born cookie monster. After trying every cookie he could find from the heartland to the big apple, Zach wanted to create something different. Why stop at Chocolate Chip? He saw so many more flavor opportunities for cookies and yet no one was doing it. With that thought in mind, Schmackary’s was born. First, out of his 400 square foot apartment and then just one year later to his first brick and mortar home at 45th street & 9th avenue in the heart of NYC’s theatre district.”
Other notable mentions I have included may not have store fronts, but they may be pop up shops, food trucks, or online stores but I felt like I needed to include them anyway because they look unique, kid approved, or on the rise…
A few years ago I ordered these as cool, unique and delicious party favors for my daughters First Communion from JARS BY DANI and boy did they look not only yummy but beautiful lined up on the dessert table. She offers many different flavors that are also VERY pleasing and enticing to the eye, especially for kids!
Broadway Bites pops-up in Summer and Fall at Greeley Square, showcasing a diverse mix of chefs, artisans and baristas. You’ll find a mix of original concepts from experienced chefs, as well as talented up-and-coming entrepreneurs bringing their new concepts to the markets for the first time. Look for Vendors like Taco Bono with their acclaimed Ducle de Leche Churros, and other stands like Doughnuttery, Macaron Parlor Etc….
The THE COOKIE JOINT with their clever take on french fries. All you need is a gimmick…From their site “Cookie Fries—shortbread cookies shaped like crinkle-cut French fries and packaged in classic French fry containers—are their signature offering.” While they don’t have a shop, you can order them online.
BATTER AND CREAM specializes in making whoopee pies…I’m not even sure what that means but the picture looks interesting…Another online only shop
This just looked pretty and yummy enough for me to note the THE LITTLE CUPCAKE BAKESHOP. Anything rainbow kids will love…
BEEN THERE DONE THATS
I feel like I have to include of course some of the oldies but goodies! Before there was Black Tap and other cool new social media darlings ,there were the usual suspects…What would a trip to NYC with kids be without a meal at THE SUGAR FACTORY!!! Well known for their endless array of desserts, a candy kiddie wonderland and MOST famously their awesomely cool dry ice fizzing delicious goblets topped with gummy bears and candy necklaces. We are so excited about their new location because it’s much bigger and much better, but we have wonderful memories with the kids at their old appt like the time we took my son Shane their for his 2nd birthday and he gulped down a fizzy green goblet of some sugary drink concoction, but not after many oooooh and ahhhhh from the table. From their site “Sugar Factory’s team of world-class chefs even found a way to imbibe your favorite sweets. Satisfy your sweet tooth with over-the-top signature goblets – 60-ounces of a liquefied lollipop libation and specialty cocktails like the Cotton Candy Cosmopolitan and Cherry Tootsie Pop. Crave-worthy milkshakes such as The Barbie, Very Berry Blast, Make A Wish and Chocolate Cookie Jar, are a tasty indulgence and pair perfectly with Sugar Factory’s delicious menu items.” Just last month we decided to try out the King Kong Sundae for my daughter Hailey’s 10th birthday and boy were there 25 happy kids faces around the table!
If you need further reason to come heres a description from Grubstreet “Examples of things that happen to cocktails at the Sugar Factory: They are garnished with “floating gummi worms” and are “adorned with candy necklaces and swirly lollipops.” The Blow Pop-themed martini glass has a Pop Rocks rim. Over at the “Goblet Bar,” you can pick up a drink made with watermelon vodka, tropical fruit liqueurs, gummy bears, and Red Bull. The King Kong Sundae has “24 scoops of ice cream, two cupcakes, sprinkles, caramel sauce, fudge sauce, strawberry sauce, marshmallows, Reese’s Pieces, chocolate chip cookies, crushed waffle cones, gummy bears, white chocolate strawberry shavings, sliced bananas, toasted walnuts and whipped cream.” It’s also topped off with a giant swirly pop, which everyone knows cannot be shared. One more sundae, please!”
We went to Sugar and Plumm the night before Thanksgiving last year when we went to see the balloon floats being inflated around the Museum of Natural History. The location is perfect if you want to hop over to Central Park after a meal with your kids. The restaurant is perfect for bringing your families, they serve “comfort foods”, all kinds of desserts and sweet treats and the whimsical decor is appealing to the kids.
Every kid knows the famous Dylan’s Candy Bar, and surprisingly I haven’t taken my kids here in many years. From their site “by merging there worlds of art, fashion, pop culture with candy, Dylan has innovated the way we see and experience candy today”. According to Open Table “Dylan’s Candy Bar has innovated the way we see candy today – and our cafe is no exception. From decadent and delicious sundaes to cool and creative candy cocktails, Dylan’s Candy Cafe is the sweetest stop on your trip to NYC. ” Now that I know theres a place to eat, I’m going to definitely add this to my list of to-do’s! I will always have a soft appt for Dylan’s Candy Bar because after all that was the theme of my daughter Dylan’s 1st Birthday Party!
Another NYC staple with the Kid crew is MAX BRENNERS. When I think of anything and everything chocolate I think of Max Brenners. It makes me think of chocolate pizzas, chocolate hamburgers and amazing selections of fondues. While your kids may not like getting shots and going to the Dr., they will LOVE a dose of an oozy warm chocolate syringe. From Open Table “known worldwide as the ultimate destination for chocolate, Max Brenner is the perfect place to eat… and indulge. Fill up on Really Crunchy Mac & Cheese, a pressed waffle sandwich or our ever-popular Brenner Burger. But save room, because the main course is dessert. Experience chocolate to the fullest and enjoy hot chocolate, Choctails, fondues, sugar waffles and more. Our most iconic dishes are served in specially-designed ceramic utensils, turning chocolate consumption into a chocolate ceremony. So double dip, lick your fingers and forget to share because at Max Brenner there aren’t rules – all you have to do is really love chocolate.”
Of course there’s Baked By Melissa’s who put the bite sized cupcakes on the scene and Serendipity, who according to Daily Mail said “Serendipity 3’s Golden Opulence Sundae is arguable as famous its clientele. The extravagant ice cream, listed as the Guinness Book of World Records’ most expensive dessert, costs a staggering $1000 and is covered in 23-carat gold leaf.” If you are looking to do something cutesy with your kids this article from Mommy Poppins highlights several well known places to take your kids for high tea. “Several places serve high tea in New York City, with varying degrees of appropriateness for children. From the fancy Eloise Tea at the Plaza Hotel to the funky vegan snacks served at Teany on the Lower East Side, there are teas for children of all ages and parents of all budgets. Here’s our take on some of the best high tea cafes in NYC.” There is Alice’s Tea Cup (make sure they get a pair of butterfly wings), Madeline’s Tea at the Carlyle, Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon, American Girl Tea, The Russian Tea Room, and finally Eloise Tea at the Plaza.
I complete my exhaustive anthology with our all time favorite, the very establishment that has the MOST special place in the hearts of my daughters and I, and that’s none other than American Girl. To me there is nothing like seeing my girls run wild through the store, with huge excited smiles on their faces. When I look back on Hailey and Dylan’s childhood it will be remembered best with tons and tons of pictures taken at the cafe with their little girl toothy grins. Sometimes, if we are bringing dolls from home to get made over at the hair salon, we will bring them with us to the cafe. But most times the girls enjoy “renting” a new doll that they do not have and have her dine with us instead. While it may surprise you, the food is actually not bad and the kids love the bite sized appetizer platters that come with sticky buns and mini pretzel bites and the meal is capped off with a dessert.
So there you have it. If you made it through you now have work to do!!! Which one is your favorite? Which are you excited to try? Let’s recap one more time shall we?
Momofuku Milk Bar
The Bagel Store
Emack and Bolios
Big Daddy’s Diner
The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
Afters Ice Cream
10 Below Ice Cream
Sprinkles Cupcake ATM
Ice and Vice
Dominque Ansel Bakery
Jars by Dani
The Cookie Joint
Batter and Cream
The Little Cupcake Bake Shop
Dylan’s Candy Bar
Baked by Melissa
Alice’s Tea Cup
Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon
Russian Tea Room
American Girl Store
Who knows what makes something become a fad or a new craze…I love a new good spin on an old idea. It’s all about the gimmick, the packaging, the presentation, the decor, the social media picture, the filter and captions, the eye candy etc…While many of the restaurants above are new, some have also been around for awhile. What I find incredible is the power of social media and the influence these sites have on tweens today. The ol’ everyones doing it mentality, I wanna try it too. Buzz gets created on social media, with people sharing tons of pictures on Instagram and Facebook and then before you know it there is a surge in popularity. These places tend to get uberhyped on social media, but only you can judge for yourselves if its worth the buzz! My goal for 2016 is to check all these places off my family bucket list!!!