National Museum of the United States Air Force, Part I, Dayton, Ohio

World War II Gallery, National Museum of the US Airforce.  Photo by Miriam Clifford

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is an icon of National Aviation Heritage and a repository of national treasures.  According to its website, the museum is “the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world.”  It is located at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Ohio.   Yes, that is the same location where the Wright brothers perfected their plane.  You can actually plan an entire aviation week, encompassing nearby attractions related to the history of flight.  I will write about some of these in later posts. The museum is free, and there is ample free parking.

Early Years Gallery, National Museum of the US Air Force.  Photo by Miriam Clifford


To say the museum is large is an understatement.  It has over a million square feet, not including the outdoor Air Park and Memorial Garden.  The galleries are formulated around historical events, so that the planes and artifacts themselves, tell a story of our nation’s history in each major war. There is also a strong emphasis on the history of flight, innovation and space exploration, as these are also directly correlated to the history of the US Air Force.  Each gallery is supported by historical information from the time period, such as newspaper articles, photos, films, related artifacts, and aviators’ personal stories.  Well-organized galleries in a series of connected hangers, tell the history of innovation relating to flight, such as those related to early flight, WWI, WWII, space exploration, and the Cold War.

North American XB-70 Valkyrie

It is difficult to fully appreciate this museum in one day, due to its sheer size.  Each gallery took us about 2-3 hours.   If you have time, I would recommend arriving early, or splitting up your visit. If your time is limited, I recommend formulating a plan for your visit, so you don’t miss anything you have in mind.

The atmosphere at this museum is so welcoming, that you find yourself wanting to visit again.  It is run by volunteers who are always eager to answer questions and say hello.  One volunteer selling the souvenir photographs told me that some people actually spend an entire week to go through all of the collections.

Guided tours are offered Free daily at 10 a.m. (Early Years and World War II Galleries), 11:30 a.m. (Korea, Southeast Asia, Cold War and Missile Galleries), 12 p.m. (Fourth Building), 1:30 p.m. (Early Years and WWII Galleries) and 3 p.m. (Fourth Building).

You can find a 360 Tour here  and the Museum Website here to plan your visit.  The 360 tour includes a map of the galleries. The museum includes the following galleries, each hyperlinked below on their site:

Early Years Gallery
World War II Gallery
Korean War Gallery
Southeast Asia War Gallery
Cold War Gallery
Missile Gallery
Space Gallery
Research & Development Gallery
Global Reach Gallery
Presidential Gallery
Air Park
Memorial Park
Other Exhibits


There are kids scavengers hunts and activities on the kids section of their website .  You can print these ahead of time.   There are many diverse events through the year.  An array of programs are available for schools and other educational organizations on the Education section, which includes a teacher guide for each gallery and lesson plans.

As a teacher, I was impressed by the quality, organization, and alignment to historical learning of these materials.  Parents may want to take advantage of these guides too, as they are excellent resources to read in the car or for Personal learning days or for STEM Homeschooling days.  Click here to access the Resource guides.

This weekend, there is a special family event

Destination Space Station • Nov. 19 Learn about the International Space Station and spaceflight from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., plus build your own space station from recycling materials.


This museum left quite an impression on me, which was a bit surprising, considering I am not a huge plane fanatic.  My husband served in the US Army, so I planned this trip for his birthday.  I found myself enjoying it immensely.  It is one of among the best museums I have ever been to around the world, for both its authenticity, quality, and historical integration using artifacts to explain key events in American and World history.  As my daughter said, “It really feels like you can understand what it was like to be there.”

Pictured my girls observing details of a Berlin Airlift exhibit, told through the eyes of a child.

You feel like you are stepping into history, and in some cases you really are, as you can board many historic planes.  The picture above shows our two older girls immersing themselves in an exhibit about the Berlin Airlift.  The museum prompted my kids to ask historical questions.  They were eager to go back after our first visit.  I left feeling an immense respect for the contributions of  our aviators to the history of our nation.

My husband answering questions my kids asked about World War II and referring to the map to explain.

It is evident that the curators of this museum have taken extensive care and attention to detail in compiling these collections.  They continue to expand their collections today.  It is important to note that many individuals contributed to the state of the museum today, working over several decades to conserve national treasures and artifacts important to the legacy of our nation. In their mission statement, the museum states their sense of responsibility to the history of the United States Air Force and American people stating, “We are the keepers of their stories.”   This mission comes across passionately.

I’ve included a link to the history of the museum from the Air Force Museum Foundation for those interested in exploring these aspects.  Our family decided to become members.  As of November 14, 2016, the minimum starting donation is $30, which is tax-deductible, and provides a magazine subscription, a calendar and 20% off the museum store and cafes.   If you plan to visit more than once or want to support their mission, it is worth asking about it on your way in.  My daughter decided to buy an Air Force jacket at the Museum gift shop (pictured below) and some astronaut ice cream on the way out, so inquiring about membership early, would have been worthwhile.  We ended up joining on our third visit.

New Expansion

A new fourth building recently opened this summer, featuring Space & Global Reach, Research and Development, and Presidential galleries with more than 70 additional planes. You don’t want to miss this gallery.  Below is a slide show of some of the highlights.

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According to a recent press release from the museum site,

“During the official Grand Opening Ceremony on June 7, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said the stories that will be told in these four galleries feature fascinating and important aspects of the Air Force mission.  This new building is full of compelling stories of men and women who for many decades have served and defended this nation,” said James. “These people, their stories and the weapon systems they designed, developed, flew, maintained and supported are worthy of recognition and will be highlighted in this magnificent new building to millions of visitors for generations to come.. . .Among the stories found in the fourth building will be the VC-137C Air Force One (SAM 26000), which was used by eight presidents – Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton; the only remaining XB-70 Valkyrie; the C-141C Hanoi Taxi, which airlifted the first American prisoners of war out of North Vietnam in February 1973; the Space Shuttle Exhibit featuring NASA’s first Crew Compartment Trainer; and a massive Titan IVB space launch vehicle that weighs 96 tons. . . . “- Rob Barbua, National Museum of the U.S. Air Force website, June 7, 2016

SAM 26000, Presidential Gallery, National Museum of the US Air Force.  Photo by Miriam Clifford.

The new 40.8 million gallery includes several one- of-a kind, historical planes, such as the retired Air Force One, SAM 26000, VC-137C (Boeing 707) pictured above.  According to a 2013 article on CNN, a few years ago, this plane had been closed to the public, due to lack of funding for buses to the outdoor yard, so its recent reopening in the new, indoor gallery is very exciting.  This plane saw many key events in American history; it is the same plane that transported JFK to the ill-fated trip to Dallas on November 22, 1963 and you can stand before the very spot on-board where Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of the presidency following Kennedy’s assassination.  Boarding this plane, I felt a deep sense of history overcome my every sensation-the musty smell, the overwhelming feeling of sadness knowing it had transported JFK’s remains and the sense of connection to history knowing it had been the workplace of all the presidents after Kennedy until 1998.  In the same gallery, you will find two prior planes use to transport Presidents Eisenhower and Truman, which display Air Force insignia instead and have a very different look.  The planes transporting Presidents changed during Kennedy’s presidency, as Jaqueline Kennedy commissioned designer Raymond Loewy for an update.  The plane became a symbolic extension of the White House in the air, proudly displaying the American flag and Presidential seal.  This same aircraft took Nixon took to open relations with China and was later used by eight Presidents until 1998, the last being President Clinton( John King, National Museum of the United States Airforce, Aircraft Catalogue, 2015 edition, purchased at the museum gift shop).

Space shuttle landing simulator, Space and Global Reach Gallery, this simulator is free of charge.

The new wing also includes a focus on STEM learning for kids, and a few virtual reality transporters. I will write about this wing a bit more in-depth in another posting, to do it justice. If you forget to bring a stroller, you will find a multitude of neat, little metal strollers on the wall near the bathroom, as well as wheelchairs and motorized scooters.  I thought this was especially useful since the galleries are quite large.  We brought our own stroller, but Emma wanted to take these metal ones for a spin.

Taken together these galleries create a sense of emotional connection to the aviators and key events in their time period.  Each exhibit adds to a historical sense of time and place, creating a reenactment of history.  The authenticity of the items and their meticulous restorations and upkeep, add to the allure of the museum.  In addition, the layout allows you to see how key events in history influenced one another, in relation to military history and world events.

If you have school-aged kids, the museum has added technology portals in each wing where they can learn about events through photos and quiz-questions to test their learning as they go.

Exhibit about Ham, the first monkey in Space. Pictured is the flight jacket he wore to greet JFK.

I loved that they included historical content, such as newspapers announcing the start of WWI next to the planes, telling a chronological story.  It is also enjoyable because the museum is laid out so that you can go as in-depth as you would like into each gallery. It has side galleries dedicated to more specific aspects, such as Disney’s role in creating art for Aviator jackets.

My kids standing by a bicycle produced by the Wright Brothers company, Early Years exhibit.

Artifacts like a bicycle sold by the wright brothers and jackets worn by  Aces during WWI add personal stories, and tell the history of flight in their own right.


I encourage you visit to this museum with your whole family;  you will leave with a renewed sense of respect, awe, and admiration for the history of flight.  Everyone will find something to enjoy.  When we were at dinner, and I was asking everyone if they had fun on our day, and my two-year old raised her hand and said, “Me, Me, planes.”  She enjoyed the ample room to walk around, the family flight simulator, and getting on the different planes.


My older daughters left with a deeper appreciation of our nation’s history.  I have a science background, so exploring the spirit of innovation that drove so many later advancements, most impressed me.  I especially enjoyed seeing the Apollo 15 Command Module on loan from Smithsonian, in the Research and Development Gallery.


I enjoyed watching my husband explain to my daughters some of his own combat history, as they boarded a cargo plane used to transport soldiers.    My daughters could actually board a C1-30, and he could explain some of his experiences.


I will continue writing about our visits to this museum, as we explore specific galleries, so check back for Part II later this month.


Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, Florida


The excess of the Gilded Age is epitomized in the Flagler museum, known as Whitehall during its time.  The feeling I gather as I tour several Gilded Age mansions is described well by Twain’s ideals about this era, capturing well the obsession with wealth, strange extravagance and ostentatious lifestyle that is preserved by these historical landmarks, during a time when many Americans were living in poverty.  The girls do not understand why a person would want or need a home this big (this home was 100,000 square feet) and ask a great deal of questions about the time period.

Flagler Museum, outside view

The mansion was the winter home of Henry Flagler, a partner in Standard Oil, one of the most profitable companies in history (Flagler Museum brochure, 2015).  The museum is on Coconut Row, and as your drive towards it, you pass a beautiful street with rows of Palm Trees and go over a drawbridge.

The drive to the Flagler Museum

Walking up to the mansion, you feel you are entering an exclusive resort or hotel, more than a summer home and this was the idea, the home hosted many guests with more than 75 rooms.  A building erected behind it, actually served as a hotel for some time after Flagler’s death, before being torn down.

Flagler hired the same firm that built his Ponce De Leon Hotel (now Flagler College), to design the home (NHL Nomination, National Park Service). The home deemed “Whitehall”, was designed in the neoclassical revival, Beaux Arts style by the renowned Carrère and Hastings architectural firm, who also designed the New York Public Library in the same time period (NHL Nomination, National Park Service).



Whitehall was built as a wedding gift for Mary Lily Kenan, Henry Flagler’s third wife. Perhaps the most bizarre room is the Organ room, where a permanent organist was employed to play music for guests.  The organist was actually the person who kept scrapbooks about his stay at the house, which left behind much information for historic analysis and helped recreate many of the details about the house (Flagler museum, audio tour 2016).

Entrance to Flagler Mansion.

The home is significant in preserving the cultural landscape and architectural style of the Gilded Age, and perhaps reminding us that excess does not make one happy. The amount of marble used is unbelievable, and it is interesting to note that Flagler would later fall down the marble steps of Whitehall to his death in 1912 in his old age. Mary Lily is said to have died addicted to opiates, and alone looking out the second story windows of Whitehall (Mciver 1989).  The home is a reminder of this world etched with gold, and stands as a testament to the Gilded age lifestyle.


Photo of the Grand Ballroom in its heyday.  Photo credit: Flagler Museum, exhibited in the Grand Ballroom


Flagler was a hard worker from humble beginnings, as the museum notes in the gallery dedicated to his life.  The work he did in Florida was the beginning of a second career, and allowed the establishment of a connected system of transportation, known as the Florida East Coast Railway.  Flagler’s idea was to allow transportation to be connected in all parts of the state, and landowners petitioned him to extend the railroad south.  After a freeze destroyed crops in the more northern areas, private landowners donated land to further extend the railroad south into the Florida Keys (Flagler Museum, Florida East Coast Railway,

Backview of the Flagler Museum

According to the Flagler museum,

“…To further develop the area surrounding the Fort Dallas railroad station, Flagler dredged a channel, built streets, instituted the first water and power systems, and financed the town’s first newspaper, the Metropolis. When the town incorporated in 1896, its citizens wanted to honor the man responsible for the city’s development by naming it, “Flagler.” He declined the honor, persuading them to use instead the native american name for the river running through the settlement, “Miama” or “Miami.” “(Flagler Museum, 2016).

The railroad’s growth lead to the development of two million acres of land and this expansion of the railroad put Florida on the map and help spur the economic growth of its tourism stronghold that it is today.

If you go outside you will find a pavilion that holds Railcar number 91, Flagler’s private railroad car.  The girls got to walk inside it and get to see the inner workings, which included a small kitchen.  This was the actual Railcar that Flagler himself road into the Keys for the first time after the seven year project was complete.

In this pavilion, you will also find an indoor cafe, which serves an era-inspired tea.  It is a fun thing to do if you have some extra time at the museum and includes an English-style tea with sandwiches, scones, and assorted pastries created by a chef.

Flagler’s vision was to create an overseas railroad, dubbed “Flagler’s Folly”, as the weather and location of the project posed significant challenges in extending the railroad into the Florida keys. The Keys held special importance during the time, as they served as Florida’s largest city and natural port, as well as were in close proximity to Cuba and Flagler understood the significance of extending the railroad to the port (Hambright, historian at the Monroe County Public Library in Key West).  During the centennial of the overseas railway, Monroe library uploaded a multitude of historic photos documenting the construction and opening of the railway.  Countless, nameless workers built the railroad and many lost their lives to the perils, such as heat, hurricanes, tides, and mosquitoes, as many islets needed to be connected to make the railway possible.  The completed project was called, “the Eight Wonder of the World” and survived until 1935 when it was destroyed by a hurricane.  Despite this, the remaining structure would later serve as the foundation for US Route 1 to Key West.

Below are some photos from this exhibit which you can find here.

The museum credits Flagler with inventing or establishing the vision of modern day Florida, as a tourist haven.  As I look at the many lavish artifacts left behind, I begin to have a revelation that what Flagler is most remembered for is not his wealth, but the good he did for the state of Florida, particularly of using his wealth to connect Florida to the rest of the US, and in realizing his dream of expanding the railroad while building hospitals, schools, systems of electricity, water, and transportation.  You can stop to view some of these extravagant artifacts, like a solid gold tea set and you come away with a sense of thinking about what is important and what is left to the waste side looking back.


Today, the mansion is almost a reminder of the excess and extremity that wealth can bring, reminding us that perhaps what one does in life is more important than what one accumulates.

A visit to the Flagler museum will provide a good window into history and give you a great deal to think about.  As Mark Twain said in critique of this time in American history,  “What is the chief end of man?–to get rich. In what way?–dishonestly if we can; honestly if we must.”— Mark Twain-1871


Flagler Museum website, Accessed April 27, 2016

Hambright, S. quoted in `Flagler’s Folly’: An `Overseas’ Railroad To Key West, Chicago Tribute.  March 08, 1998|By Luann Grosscup.  Accessed April 27, 2016

Mciver, S.  July 2, 1989.  The Tragic Mistress of Whitehall.  Accessed April 27, 2016.

National Historic Landmark Nomination, Whitehall, National Park Service  Accessed April 27, 2016.


Maple Weekend, Dutchess County, NY


Lineup of our maple tour breakfast, Cronin’s Maple Farm, Crown Maple, and Soukup Farms Products

This weekend our drive focused on touring the sugar houses in our area for Maple weekend. Agricultural tourism is a great way to appreciate nature and support local vendors.    You can make maple weekend an annual tradition, and visit some of the farms that are open during the year, as some remain open after maple weekend or host special events during the year.  All the farms we visited also have websites that sell their products and will gladly ship them to you directly.

My mom’s French Toast recipe, passed on to me, with New York Maple, Powdered Sugar, and Strawberries.  More maple was added later 🙂 

During maple weekend, many host pancake breakfasts and allow you to sample their products.  The thing I love about maple weekend is seeing the pride the farmers take in producing these wonderful products, and knowing this in turn protects beautiful natural areas and wildlife, among other benefits.  My girls enjoy learning where their food comes from, and it is something that has been such a good experience for them to make healthier food choices.   As you taste all the products, you can select your favorite products to make some amazing gift baskets. Best of all, if you buy a sampling, you will have maple syrup for awhile.

Last year, maple syrup production in New York state reached the highest rate in 70 years, despite the season being reduced to a mere 26 days. Currently, NY is the second largest maple syrup producer in the nation after Vermont (Governor’s Press Office Release, 2015).  According to the press release, the growth is due in large part to modern vacuum systems which replaced the more labor-intensive tree taps with metal buckets, which has helped increase production per tap.

SAMSUNG CSCThe drive through Dover Plains to visit the maple farms.

First, the number one site you should visit to plan your maple weekend is The site allows you to search maple farms across New York State plan your tour using an interactive tool.  The site also provides educational resources, such as videos for each grade level, and lessons with materials for students to learn about maple syrup production which tie into science, social studies and math. In addition, there is a section that provides recipes for all that maple syrup you will bring home.

The girls excited to try more maple syrup at Cronin Maple Farm, Hopewell Junction, NY
Our tour began at Crown Maple, one of the larger maple farms.  Driving up to the farm provides a beautiful, picturesque view of typical Dutchess county scenery.  The girls stopped to enjoy smores in the outdoor firepit and a sampling of maple popcorn, granola, and maple cotton candy.  All of these products give me really great ideas about how to use maple at home, as it is better to use natural sweeteners.  What I most love about Crown is the grounds, as they provide a seasonal trail for walking around the farm and a gift shop that is really beautifully decorated.  The tasting room is very elegant, it is set up much like a wine tasting room, and the employees are very friendly and provide us some of the details about their seasonal maple production. My favorite product from Crown is probably the light Amber Syrup, as it is very golden in color, it has a more delicate flavor, especially for cocktails and things that require a lighter maple flavor.  Crown is open year round.


We continued down the road on our tour to find Soukup Farms, a family owned operation. There we were warmly greeted by Jennifer Soukup, who gave us a wonderful tour.  Soukup has been in business for 61 years, and recently her son left corporate America to join the family business. Originally a dairy farm, the farm recently added a new sugar house and has been growing.  I really enjoyed seeing how the boiler is operated, as they have a traditional, wood-burning boiler for the sap, and it really makes you appreciate the process.

A traditional, wood burning boiler being loaded at Soukup Farms, Dover Plains, NY

Soukup has some really delicious maple products and our favorite is the maple hot sauce- it’s amazing. smokey, maplely and then the heat hits you.  They have an array of unique, elegant maple bottles, probably my favorite selection of bottles of the whole tour. I loved the gingerbread shaped maple syrup bottles, perfect for holiday gifts. I also loved the flavor of their syrups, they are earthy, sweet, and perfectly balanced.  It is evident that they are very knowledgeable about maple production, and it comes through in the quality of their products.

Maple syrup comes in four grades, Golden, Amber, Dark, and Very Dark.  All are equally delicious.  I had a conversation with someone at the counter, and he felt that maybe with the dark you need a little less, because there is more maple flavor, and the lighter ones are a bit more delicate in flavor.  Whichever you choose, they are all great.

Maple tree in front of Soukup Farms, Dover Plains, NY

The farm has benefited from the new system of vacuum extraction, instead of metal buckets as the owner explains these required being emptied up to twice a day.  The farm continues to grow.  Ms. Soukup explains to my daughters that the new tubing system needs to be checked for visitors like squirrels, who also love the sweet taste. 🙂   My daughters really enjoyed watching the traditional boiler with the wood burner being loaded to boil, the smell is smokey and sweet.  I was highly educated at this farm and really got to see an in-depth view of the process from start to finish.

Also worth making note of was JSK Cattle Company who made an amazing London Broil and were giving samples during our visit.  We ended up buying a roast and brisket, all pasture raised and horomone/antibotic free beef, and it tastes so delicious, really like restaurant quality beef.  JSK Cattle is a family farm and provides a CSA for those local in the Hudson Valley.  They are trying to expand their business to include Hopewell Junction, for those neighbors who might be interested.

Our last stop of maple weekend is Cronin’s Maple Farm.  This farm is actually owned by one of our neighbors, right here in Hopewell Junction. We’ve been eating their maple syrup throughout the year, delivered to our door, and my favorite is the dark amber on pancakes, it is dark and rich, viscous and just the right amount of sweet.  They also making an amazing maple cream that comes in large jars, as well as maple nuts and candies.  Their maple cream is probably my favorite because it tastes like maple caramel, it would be great as an icing or on cookies. I also picked up their Maple Bourbon, which I am planning to make some deserts with.

As we entered, we could see someone creating art out of the tree stumps right before our eyes, a very interesting hobby.  It was pretty amazing to watch how quickly he carved the bear out of nothing but a tree stump with an electric saw, and made it look like a work of art. The girls sat there about 10 minutes observing the process. These beautiful wooden sculptures are available for sale.

Our Maple Tour Breakfast

To end our tour the next morning, we made a breakfast with all the new ingredients we collected on our tour.  One fond memory I have of my childhood is of my mom making French Toast and Pancakes.  It was one of our traditions.  In our house, Adam now makes the pancake mix from scratch, and I make the French Toast; it’s our little deal to take turns making breakfast.  We usually have pancakes more often.   The French toast is very easy to make. I first soak the bread in plain milk and then dip the bread in beaten eggs with all the ingredients I feel like using that day. Today I opted to use natural, bourbon vanilla flavor, pumpkin spice, maple sugar, and a little cinnamon inside the french toast batter.  It looks like adding the maple sugar helps caramelize the toast, just keep a close eye on it.

The hot sauce from Soukup Farms went great on the eggs and sausage.  We put the maple we already had open from Cronin Farms.  We also used some of the maple sugar from Crown Maple in our French Toast batter.  We will probably be comparing all the different maple syrups throughout the year, and using them in different recipes, all are slightly different but all equally good.  The NY state maple website I mentioned above has some recipes worth a try.

The best part about maple week, other than eating great food, is providing this experience to our kids. The girls really take pride in supporting local farms, as they should, and I am just proud we can provide them the opportunity to understand the work that goes into making natural foods, and have them pass on this tradition to their families.

Upcoming Events: 

Some of the farms had flyers for upcoming events, so I will list these below, so check out their webpages for more details.  All the pages are linked above in the article if you want to buy syrup from them directly.


Governor’s Press Relsease, June 23, 2015, Accessed 4/3/2016






Pez Visitor’s Center, Orange CT


There’s something very appealing about feeling like you’re Charlie at Willy Wonka’s factory, and this weekend we followed the kid in us to Pez Candy Factory.  The Pez factory gives a history of the candy in American pop culture through the decades, and a brief history of the candy starting in 1927.  The candy’s name comes from the German word for peppermint, “pfefferminz” (Pez Visitor’s Center Brochure 2016).  The candy started as a breath mint as an alternative to smoking, originally made in Vienna, Austria(Pez Visitor’s Center, 2016).

The original peppermint flavor mints, called “regulars”, were marketed in tins.  These were recently reintroduced to the line.  Adam and I were able to buy peppermint, sugar-free Pez for our dispensers too, which was cool.  The candy was introduced with toy heads in the US in the 1950s, following WWII.  You can actually see some of the first toys that were introduced, including a “Space Gun” which was popular in the 1950’s.    You might also see a “Pez Lady” uniform from the 50’s worn at many events and strange psychedelic Pez dispensers from the 1960’s.

Kids Stuff (OK for adults too 🙂 )

The Pez Visitor’s center sponsors a cool scavenger hunt, and you guessed it you get a Pez dispenser as a prize if you complete the challenge.  The girls really like this aspect of the tour, because they literally had to look through every display to find all 7 of Snow White’s dwarfs.  I saw adults doing this too, it’s actually pretty fun.You can also stick your head in a Pez dispenser and take a photo, and also fill a bucket with Pez candy of your choice from dispensers for $5.99.  The visitor’s center is actually also the factory which you can see from glass windows, and it produces all the pez in the world.  The cool thing about this is that you can find every flavor imaginable, including chocolate Pez.

Pez Moonman for the MTV Music Awards

Pez Trivia

At the visitor’s center you’ll learn some cool Pez trivia, and the nerd in you will go totally wild a this point.  Like did you know Pez gave JFK a Donkey-head Pez?  Yes, weird but true. You’ll also see a special plated Star Wars set to commemorate the launch of the first Pez gift set; these were given to Lucas Film executives. In fact, the most valuable collectible sets have been the Star Wars collection sets (Wikipedia 2016).  I couldn’t resist picking up an R2D2 myself during my visit, it’s a cool looking pez for my peppermint, sugar-free pez. You’ll also see that Pez has an educational line of all the US presidents in history, so if you’re a teacher that’d be one cool display for a history lesson.

Star Wars plated Pez, the first Pez gift sets were given to Lucas Film executives


The Drive Home From Pez

On the way back, we stopped by a cool coffee shop called “Last Drop”.  I’d highly recommend it, as they have a latte for every candy bar created, and you will be in the mood for candy after this tour.  It is one of those cozy coffee shops with free books to read, pastries, good service, and lunch type food.

This tour was fun for all ages, to include our one year old, Emma.  Here she is feeding daddy a Pez dispenser and holding her mickey themed Pez.  She really loved those.  I guess Mickey was one of the first Pez dispensers too, so she’s starting her collection early, so she can attend the worldwide Pez conventions when she’s my age.   Now you can count how many times I said “Pez”, if you guess correctly I will send you that R2D2 collectible in 20 years.  🙂

West Point Museum, United States Military Academy

The Drive to Highland Falls

Our Sunday drive this week was to the West Point Museum.  West Point is only an hour north of New York City and 30 minutes away from Southern Dutchess County.  The drive to West Point in very scenic no matter what direction you come from.  From the South, the drive up Palisades Parkway is lined with deciduous trees that are extremely colorful and beautiful in the summer or fall, but not too bad in the winter either.  The drive will take you by Bear Mountain Bridge.  From the West you drive through a hilly area that encompasses USMA’s training grounds.  If you drive from the North, I highly recommend you take 218.  This route takes you along the Hudson river and is one of the most beautiful drives in the country.  If it is the winter, and 218 is closed, 9W still provides a few pull offs with commanding views of the Hudson.  9W is also called Freedom Road, since it is the road that the 1979 Iranian Embassy hostages took from Stewart Airport in Newburgh on their route home.

From the East, you will drive through Fahnestock Park to Cold Spring.  This drive takes you by Boscobell, a early 19th century mansion, worth a visit in the spring.  Then, you drive on through Garrison with modern mansions commanding the heights over the scenic Hudson valley.  The Bear Mountain Bridge was the first bridge constructed for vehicles to cross the Hudson and was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it was first built (New York Bridge Authority 2016 accessed 3/1/2016).

The Museum:  Military Collections Chronicle US History

The West Point Museum is the oldest military museum in the country.  The museum includes over 60,000 army historical artifacts that chronicle our nation’s founding and history, including some that are on the grounds and buildings at USMA (David Reel, museum director 2016).  According to David Reel, “the mission of the West Point Museum is to collect, preserve, exhibit and interpret historically significant artifacts and stimulate interest in the United States Military Academy at West Point, the United States Army and the Profession of Arms.”(West Point Museum official website, 2016).

We were married at West Point in 2004, the day after graduation and commissioning, and the Academy will always have a special place in our hearts.  Visiting the Academy, you always feel a deep appreciation for the founding of the country and can truly take in key events in military history, even if you are not a history buff.  This is something we wanted to share with our girls.

In fact, the collections at West Point are the most extensive military history collections in the country.  You will find some outstanding pieces of history and art, such as a World War I Tank, Trophies of War, rare weapons, art depicting military battles, and unique artifacts such as the actual plug of the atomic bomb deployed in WWII,  among other important relics. 


Alpha and Omega Exhibit

One of the keystones of the museum collection, which is currently on display, is the “Alpha and Omega”, or the original first and last flags captured during the American Revolution. According to Michael McAfee, curator of history at the West Point Museum, these flags were presented to George Washington by congress after the Revolutionary War, and consisted of “the first British flag captured in 1775 and one of the last surrendered flags from Yorktown in 1781.” These flags were given to the War Department (now the Department of Defense) in 1858 by George Washington Parke Custis, George Washington’s adopted grandson, who inherited them, and then taken to West Point which was designated by Congress as the depository for trophies of war (McAfee 2015).

Further describing these flags McAfee reveals their profound historical significance, “One, the King’s Color of the British Seventh Regiment of Foot, was taken at Chambly in Canada in October of 1775, and was the first enemy flag captured by the US Army. The other, a flag of a German battalion in service of the British, was surrendered in October of 1781, at Yorktown, Virginia, the climatic American victory.” (McAfee, October 2015, West Point Museum, Curator of History, US Army Center of Military History website).  These flags will only be on display until 2017, then allowed to rest (McAfee 2015), so I would definitely take the opportunity to see these rare artifacts before the exhibit ends.  See this link for the complete history:

George Washington’s pistols were recently donated to the museum.

Of similar relevance, in the American Wars gallery you will find trophies of war from the victory at Saratoga in 1777, including a British kettle drum and mortar surrendered at Saratoga (McAfee 2015).  In the same gallery, you will see a pair of George Washington’s pistols, these were my daughter’s favorite find and were part of the kids scavenger hunt.


Upon entering the museum, you will see a gallery dedicated to the history of the United States Military Academy.  We enjoyed sharing this gallery with our girls, and showing them the different cadet uniforms, and answering some of their questions about cadet life.  If you have children, after visiting this gallery, find the gift shop inside the museum and ask for a scavenger hunt map, it costs $1. Admission to the museum itself is free, so this is a great way to get the kids excited about their visit.  The scavenger map is a high quality color map of photographs of artifacts throughout the museum.  This is one the best scavenger hunts I have seen.  The girls remained very engaged finding the items on their list, and in the process, they learned a great deal about the collections, visiting each floor of the museum.  Their second favorite floor was the one that housed the military vehicles.

Finding items on the kids scavenger hunt.

The academy is open to the public on guided tours and has a newly renovated visitor’s center.  Tours leave daily from the visitor’s center several times a day.  The new visitors center provides a replica of a cadet dormitory, cadet uniforms, field problem examples, and information about application process.  The bus tours leave from the visitors center several times a day. The building of the museum itself used to be Ladycliff College until it closed in 1980 and is just behind the visitor’s center.  The museum is free and open to the public.  For more information about West Point tours see this link

It is a beautiful day drive, and in Spring you can also take time to appreciate the many outdoor historical relics on campus during the guided tour. To end our day, we ate dinner on the main street of Highland Falls, just across the street from the museum.  In walking distance and just across the street from the Visitors’ Center, there are many family-friendly restaurants that are reasonably-priced and welcoming to visitors. You can definitely make a wonderful day of this drive. 


1.McAfee, Michael (October 2015).  Center of Military History, U.S. Army Center of Military History.  West Point Museum exhibits trophy flags presented to Gen. George Washington. Accessed 2/28/2015

2.New York State Bridge Authority (2016).  Bear Mountain Bridge.  httpb://  Accessed 3/1/2016.

3.Reel, David (2016).  West Point Museum Website.


Covered Bridges, Washington County, NY and Antiquing in Bennington, VT

Eagleville Bridge, February 2016.

Some good friends of ours called us to join them on a road trip to Vermont. The type of trips they like to do are a bit different, in the sense that they enjoy searching for superlatives around the world. At times, this has been an interesting feat, such as when my best friend dragged me up hundreds of stone steps of the Tower of Hercules, the oldest lighthouse in the world, in Galicia, Spain.  I’ll leave writing about that for another time, but let’s just say they have ambitious goals when they travel.  The great thing is they do a ton of research before traveling, so we get to see some very unique things. We left our house in southern Dutchess at about noon.  I honestly always figured Vermont would be a much further drive, but parts of it are actually not very far.


The Drive

My friends made a list in order of the bridges we saw that day: three bridges in New York including, Buskrik, Rexleigh, Eagleville, and one in Arlington, VT.  At the end, I will give the logistics if you want to find these yourself, like I said they are much better at planning, so we really maximized our time to see many landmarks in one trip.

The first bridge was The Buskrik, one of 29 historic bridges in New York, and crosses the Hoosic River. The Buskirk bridge was built in 1857, to give some perspective, that is the same year as the Panic of 1857, the first worldwide financial crisis and Buchanan was president. The Buskrik is notable because it has the earliest surviving Howe Truss design (Buskirk Bridge wiki 2016).

While writing this article, I found myself wondering what average person cares about the history of bridge design and its many intricacies? What I found out is this “Howe Truss” was famous in engineering history because it was the first support structure to use mathematical stress analysis; it used a combination of iron and wood rods, and it would later be adopted for use in railroad bridges (NYS Covered Bridge Society, 2015). As bridge historian Eric DeLony wrote, “The Howe truss may be the closest that wooden-bridge design ever came to perfection. For simplicity of construction, rapidity of erection, and ease of replacing parts, it stands without rival” (DeLony 1994:11). – See more at:


The entire crew crossed the bridge by foot and the girls enjoyed seeing the inside workings of the wood supports. Amada pointed out a sign which read, “25 Dollar Fine for Driving on This Bridge Faster than a Walk”, and I explained to her this was the time of horse buggies. As you can see in the photos above, the Buskrik has a winding road surrounded by picturesque looking homes and provides a beautiful backdrop for photos.  As one kayaker described the scene, “The bridges rose from the landscape almost as naturally as the trees surrounding them.” (Bailey,TimesUnion article, 2015).  It may be a beautiful experience to kayak this river and take in the view of the bridges from below.

You may also notice old Victorian-style homes, surrounded by towering maple, willow and elm trees.  During the winter, the snow drapes over them and creates a gray cloud that highlights the expansiveness of the open countryside, but I am sure in the fall the colors would be beautiful. There are many antique shops along this route as well, and many have very reasonable prices, so leave some time to stop.

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The next bridge was the Rexleigh, built in 1874.  Salem was a small town, but the bridge is indicative of a time when the town’s economy was strong with the ushering in of the railroad era (GEotourism Mapguide, National Geographic 2016).  The Rexleigh reflects the transition between wooden and iron bridge structures of the 19th and 20th centuries, and is unique because it has “iron shoes” fitted with timber into iron rods and is one of ten bridges still standing in the Northeast, using the “Howe Truss” design (Town of Salem, 2015).

The Rexleigh is also amazing because you can see an abandoned four story stone structure in the same view as the bridge.  Some investigating suggests that this structure provides major historical narratives of Salem’s history. This stone structure appears to have survived for several decades, and a bit of research suggests that it was originally the site of a Grist (grain) mill built in 1795 aided by Revolutionary War General John Williams (Salem Historical Committee, The Salem book, Volume 2).  The country’s first grist mills were built in this area of the Northeast, so it is interesting to see how a structure that was once so important in its day, now stands deteriorating on the river side as a reminder of a bygone era.

The mill was later used for various industries as the town prospered, including the manufacture of cement, the site of the Manhattan Shirt Company mill, a marble mill shipping cut marble to Chicago, and even a hippie commune in the 70’s.  (Lakes to Locks Passage: The Great Northeast, GEotourism Mapguide, National Geographic 2016).

The third bridge we visited was the Eagleville, also in Salem, NY.  The natural view surrounding the Eagleville Bridge is amazing. The bridge is flanked by towering trees and you can clearly see the river down below.  This bridge crosses the Battenkill river which flows between Vermont and New York and is regarded for its natural beauty.

Reading The Battenkill: An Intimate Portrait of a Great Trout River, I discover that there is another covered bridge in West Arlington, VT near the New York state border that also crosses the Battenkill which is worth a visit.  The author describes the scene of people visiting this covered bridge for the first time,

“My guests invariably remark that the scene looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting, sweetly sentimental but too good to be true.  It is something out of Rockwell, I answer, while pointing out the late artist’s home and studio only a few hundred feet from the covered bridge. . . . If our tour continues downstream through the rolling farmscapes of Salem, Jackson, Easton, and Greenwich, New York. . . the scenery does indeed look just like many of the late artist’s bucolic primitives. . .” -John Merwin, The Battenkill: An Intimate Portrait of a Great Trout River.

A Brief History of Covered Bridges

The history of covered bridges in America is an interesting one; these bridges were born out of economic necessity after the Revolutionary War, yet they have a certain level of artistry that makes them pieces of pragmatic art in rural landscapes.  Covered bridges are a prime example of American ingenuity.  According to Smithsonian, bridge making began as a craft and developed into an exact science over time (Smithsonian & Natural Park Service 2005). They illustrate the important interplay between a variety of disciplines and talents in the process of discovery. When the girls reflect on this trip when they are older, I hope they realize that whatever career path they choose, anything that drives their passion to be creative is equally important from a historical perspective.  I also enjoyed that this trip exposed them to aspects of engineering from an early age, as I don’t remember myself as a child being exposed to it.

According to Smithsonian, “of the 10,000 or so covered bridges that once graced the American landscape, fewer than 800, scattered across 29 states, remain.”(2005).  Today, these bridges are seen as historic pieces and fortunately, were added to the National Register of Historic places in the late 60’s and early 70’s before disappearing completely.  Although many were lost, I am glad my children are able to experience this type of living history.  A museum would not be able to replicate the experience of seeing these bridges in situ.

Before their existence, ferries were required to transport goods and most of these enabled merchant monopolies that could slow economic growth in small villages and towns (Hedges, 6 Things You Must Know About Covered Bridges).   Bridges were covered to prevent decay, prolonging the life to the underlying wood structure (Smithsonian & National Park Service 2005).  As time went on, more attention was given to the aesthetics and also to the underlying trusses, as engineering methods diversified and improved (TDOT 2016). Around the world, American bridges were admired for their length and elegant engineering and people traveled great distances to see them (Smithsonian & National Park Service 2005). Covered American bridges spanned great lengths with strength and efficiency (Smithsonian 2005).   Perhaps one notable example was the Waterford Bridge, built in 1804 by Theodore Burr in Saratoga county, NY; it was the first to span the entire Hudson River and surprisingly, held up for 105 years (US Dept of Transportation, FHA, 2015).  You will hear Burr’s name mentioned if you pay attention to architectural history.

In many ways, covered bridges are symbolic of a very different America, one that existed before the age of iron and steel.  The ushering in of new technologies and rapid changes to American production after the civil war, led to the decline of this idyllic life, and with it things like covered bridges were replaced by more modern technologies necessary for a faster-paced life with trains and automobiles.

Other Places of Interest

If you are doing this route in warmer months, you may want to leave time to see the Shushan Covered Bridge Museum, housed in an actual covered bridge also along the route.  It includes a one-room school house, farm equipment and admission is free, while donations are appreciated by the preservation society.

When you get hungry, check out the Madison Brewing company on Main St in Bennington, VT; they have a good selection of dark beers and decent burgers.  Across the street, Angela and I visited a small antique shop.  There are several cute shops and the Bennington museum is located on this street.  The girls really enjoyed seeing old toys from the 1970’s in the antique shop.   The owner showed us various items, but what we most liked were the old lanterns and oil lamps.  He actually had an oil lamp that once was fitted on a car.  I ended up buying an old fashioned kerosene lantern and he explained to me that I could buy some kerosene at Walmart and still turn it on.  It is sitting on my desk now, as a reminder of our travels; it is also a reminder that in order to look forward, sometimes the past can help light the way. Here is a picture:


On the way home, we found a drive-thru coffee shop that served ice cream called Lumberjacks on Route 7.  The unique thing about this place is that they served maple syrup, yes real maple syrup in the coffee lattes and mochas, and even on vanilla ice cream. You can even buy maple syrup in the drive-thru window.  It was pure heaven.  I highly recommend a visit to this spot, I think this is the way to end the drive.

Photo by Lumberjack’s coffee, Jan 2016

If you really want to get into the specific intricacies of the bridge design, you can look up at the truss patterns, you can read about that here before you visit to see if you can identify them.

Logistics: Read below or see the brochure here:


The bridge is located between Rensselaer and Washington Counties in the Town of Hoosic-White Creek. This bridge is sometimes referred to as NY-42-02. On County Route 59 north of County Route 67, it is over the Hoosic River, a single span of 165 feet of Howe truss (NY State Covered Bridge Society).

Directions to the bridge:

Buskirk is located on State Route 67, west of Eaglebridge. Take Washington County Route 103 from State Route 67 north to the bridge in Buskirk.


Rexleigh Bridge was originally constructed in 1874 by Reuben Comins (Contractor & Builder) and George Wadsworth (Carpenter). It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, effective March 8, 1978.

It is located in the Town of Jackson-Salem, east of State Route 22 on Rexleigh Road. It is over the Battenkill, a single span of 107 feet of Howe truss.

Directions to the bridge:

From Salem, take State Route 22 south for 2 miles, turn left onto Rexleigh Road and proceed 1.5 miles to the bridge.


Eagleville Bridge was originally constructed in 1858 by Ephraim W. Clapp, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as of March 8, 1978.

The bridge is located in the Town of Jackson-Salem, west of State Route 313 at Eagleville. It is over the Battenkill, a single span of 100 feet of Town truss.

Directions to the bridge:

From Cambridge at the intersection of State Route 22 and State Route 313, take State Route 313 toward Vermont for 6 miles. Turn left onto Eagleville Road to the bridge.

For more info visit, or see the brochure for a map.


Delony, Eric 1994 The Golden Age. Invention and Technology. Fall:8-22. – See more at:


Yankee Candle® Village, South Deerfield, MA

20160214_173117About a two hour drive from southern Dutchess and Putnam Counties, you’ll find a flagship store for Yankee Candle, the largest candle retailer in the world.  We went this past weekend and the store had a great deal more to offer than I had anticipated.  This store in Western Massachusetts, draws two million visitors per year, and clearly, there is something very charming about it.  The store is extremely family-friendly, and they often host events catering to children.  In March, they are hosting a Lego-building contest and the Peeps candy mobile, the details are at the end of this blog.

First of all, the drive to get to South Deerfield is beautiful, it runs past a  long winding river. I highly recommend getting off the highway early and taking your GPS local route, so you can see what I mean.  This time of year, the trees were covered in snow, yet the river is still an impressive sight; I can imagine in fall this has to be an even more beautiful drive.  It felt relaxing just to take in the countryside of this out of the way part of Massachusetts.  If you’re driving back from Boston, this stop would take you an hour out of the way, but I think it’d be a fun detour.

 In recent years, Deerfield has been trying to draw more tourists, as a day drive destination, so they are very open to visitors.  If you have time swing by Historic Deerfield, this is essentially an outdoor Americana museum with 11 historic homes, in an 18th century villlage in the Connecticut River Valley of Masschusetts.  The museum calls it, “a celebration of New England heritage”, and they are very proud of the fact that this village is the real thing.  Here, you have the chance to tour authentic homes that were restored, and experience parts of daily colonial life, such as metal working, textiles, ceramics, furniture and crafts.   A visit here in warmer months, is a great way for kids to get an insight into life in colonial America, as their offer different workshops and interactive experiences.  In winter months, the museum has been hosting Open Hearth cooking classes on Saturdays, using old cookbooks and Colonial cooking techinques.

When you arrive at Yankee Candle, there is a wraparound porch with rocking chairs and a beautifully landscaped outdoor picnic area, which in the warmer months I am sure would be super fun.  The entrance looks like an old country store; you are immediately greeted by friendly employees and displays with the scents of the month. The store has plenty of brickabrack and pretty decorations like a beach bicycle and an antique car kids can sit in. There are huge displays for each new scent, and they do not skimp on space for each candle, so you can literally find any type of candle your heart desires.  The cool thing about this, is that if you like aromatherapy, you can really spend a lot of time comparing scents, since there are literally 400,000 candles in over 200 scents.


Their new scent, called Catching Rays is my absolute favorite and it smells like a turquoise rain shower on a spring meadow.  Many of the candles in their new line have smells of the ocean, like Fiji Beach and Sand and Sun; I especially love that they have natural essential oils and burn longer than any other candles I’ve bought before. You’ll have a hard time finding just one scent you like, you’ll probably end up with 10 and need to narrow down. There really is something about scent that triggers memories, and relaxes you, so if you enjoy that type of thing, you will be in scent heaven.  There are certain scents, like Vermont Maple that are only available in the flagship stores, and I must say it really smelled like a woodsy, sweet maple syrup.

Once you navigate past the first candle room, there is a second room with candles, if you can believe that!   The kids favorite section is a part called, WaxWorks.  Here you have the option to dip a candle in wax, make your own Yankee candle from various scents, or dip your hand in wax.  Our daughter, Lilliana made a  rainbow candle with several different layers, and the employees were very friendly and helpful.  We’ve been burning it in the past few days and it smells wonderful because every time we light it, it has a different scent.  Amada, on the other hand, choose to dip her hand in wax.  There is a station where you can dip your hand in parafin wax, and then a colored wax to make a molded sculpture.  She chose to do a peace sign, and used it as a decoration in her room.  The girls really enjoyed the interactive aspect of the store and it was very memorable for them.

While the girls were doing their activity with Adam, I walked around with the baby.  There are several rooms dedicated to different interests.  There is a kitchen room with cooking products and country store type items like dip, pancake mix and jams.  I then found the cafe and had a snack with Emma who was screaming for food :).  Luckily, the store has a cutely decorated cafe right in the store, with an array lunch type food, like soups and sandwiches and there is a large cute sitting area in the middle of the store.  If you are a bit hungrier, there is a restaurant called Chandler’s on the grounds that serves New England cuisine and wine.

Another aspect of Yankee Candle that is a bit bizarre and endearing at the same time, is the all-year round Bavarian Christmas village.  This section of the store has enormous Christmas trees and Christmas villages.  Imagine a Bavarian village in the middle of Massachusetts; it pretty much it makes you feel the holiday spirit, even if it is nowhere near December.   The displays are full of ornaments and nutcrackers; and if you collect those tiny Christmas houses, this is the place for you.  My cousin has a big collection of these houses, so I could not resist buying her one, because the displays were so beautifully arranged.  And to top it off, it snows every 4 minutes.  Emma, our one year old really loved that aspect. There is also a year-round Santa Claus with a letter writing station, yes you read that correctly, year round.  I am imagining if your kids need to pick a bone with Santa, this would be the place to take them.  Santa actually seemed super friendly, but to not have a very confusing conversation with Lilliana about why Santa was there, we skipped it.  Maybe in the pre-holiday time, this would be an amazing place to visit him.  I will not miss Yankee Candle next year in November and December time frame, especially to stock up on gifts.


Once you get through the maze of the Christmas village, there is a toy and candy section.  There is a great array of toys to play with, and if you like popcorn, caramel apples, fudge and ice cream the store has a small kiosk for each.  We bought some zebra popcorn, and the prices were actually very reasonable.  The employees once again impressed me as they were so patient and understanding with the kids while they made their choice between a candy apple or the many different flavors of popcorn; as a mom I really appreciate little things like that.

Perhaps my favorite section of the store, where you can usually find the most people, is the discount room.  It has a huge selection of discontinued or seasonal candles at 50% and even some at 75% off.  Sometimes, they run special deals, so I was able to get a Valentine’s day scent for $7.  At the end, I think I went home with 8 candles, so be prepared to have  space for candles and give some to friends and family.

I think the best part of this drive is that it is really relaxing and it can be as long or short as you prefer.  There is a candle-making museum that we missed, so we will definitely be back to see that, it explains the art of candle-making and some of the history behind it.


Yankee Candle® Village South Deerfield, MA.

25 Greenfield Road
South Deerfield, MA 01373


Monday – Sunday from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm.

Closed Thanksgiving & Christmas 

For More Info on Deerfield, see

Yankee Candle Upcoming events

Peeps Day

Date: Saturday, March 5
Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Activities include:

  • Visit with the The Peepsmobile and PEEPS® Chick Mascot. FREE PEEPS & Company giveaways! (while supplies last)
  • Receive a PEEPS Scratch Off with any purchase between 10am-1pm.  One lucky guest will win a $100 gift basket of Yankee Candle® Easter products. Lots of other prizes!
  • FREE* first 50 guests make their own PEEPS® treat with Santa and Mrs. Claus (while supplies last)
  • Watch an ice carver make a very cool PEEPS® chick!
  • $5 Easter Illumalid with any Easter Candle purchase
  • Guess the number of jelly beans in the jar for a chance to win a Wax Works package! (Includes MYO Jar, Wax Hand, Dip Your Own Critter)

Builders Day
Date: Saturday, March 19
Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Activities include:

  • FREE LEGO® Set to build and take home! (while supplies last)
  • LEGO® Traveling Exhibit: Check out the amazing models by the New England LEGO® Users Group!
  • Building Contest & Exhibit: Enter your creation of LEGO® bricks (built at home) for a chance to win a Family Fun Day* at Yankee Candle Village. All participants receive a FREE 4” dip-your-own taper candle.

* Family Fun Day Package for 4 includes Wax Works Package, Ben & Jerry’s kids cones, and a fill-your-own Yankee Candy Jar. Entries for the building contest and exhibit accepted from 10am until 12pm. Judging will be done by a special guest –  winners will be announced at 1pm. Submissions must be picked up after the judging at 1pm. Yankee Candle Village is not responsible for lost or damaged models.