Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Living Nativity

Location: Fellowship Baptist Church
1520 Hainesport Rd., Mt. Laurel, NJ
Bathrooms: Yes
Parking: Yes and FREE
Eating: Cookies, Hot Chocolate and Water...FREE
Attraction: 13 walk through scenes depicting the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus with cast members and live animals
Around the area: Johnson's Farm: Visit with Santa and Reindeer and Christmas Light Show Hayride
Cost: FREE
Dates: December  6,7, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21
Hours: 5pm to 8pm

For the last couple of years, I had seen the signs go up around Thanksgiving advertising "The Living Nativity" and started to hear buzz from several people that the elaborate production put on by volunteers of a church was worth a visit.  It wasn't until last year that my family and I finally ventured to see what all the fuss was about......and were amazed by what we found.

I wasn't really sure what to expect.  I thought it was going to be a walk through of scenes just showing the birth of Jesus. I thought we could go through at our own pace and be finished in about a half hour or so.  Boy, was I totally unprepared for what we found!

When you first arrive, you wait in a line to receive a letter of the alphabet. After receiving your letter, you are taken to a holding area for a short time.  Your next stop is to wait in the Church to listen to songs, and watch a short movie of the Creation story and a dramatic rendition of the story of Adam and Eve.  When that short show is over, everyone waits patiently for their letters to be flashed up on the wall of the Church.   

When your letter is displayed, you exit the Church area into the lobby where you are again wait in a  holding area until your guide for your group comes to lead you outside. That entire series of waiting took us nearly an hour! It didn't feel like an hour because you are constantly moving from one place to another, but still the wait can be long for little ones. Tip: Bring snacks for the kids while they are waiting.

Finally,you are lead by your guide outside with your group to 13 live action scenes. The scenes are kept in the dark until your group is settled and like magic the lights and recordings turn on and the actors and animals come alive!

I think one of our family's favorite scene is when the angels appear to the shepherds.  It is quite dramatic! And yes, all the animals are real!  This year, one of the sheep was quite hungry and stole the show by reaching up and over to eat the foliage from the trees!  Another favorite is entering the detailed scene of the bustling town of Bethlehem, complete with vendors, Roman soldiers, and cast members moving among your group, completely in character.  It really is something to see.  Below are some additional photos of our favorites. Walking through all the scenes took about 45 minutes and it is completely outdoors, so dress appropriately!

Following the  "The Living Nativity" your group is lead back indoors to enjoy hot chocolate, water, and cookies.  Information and fellow members of the Church are there to assist you and answer any questions you may have.  We always find the members to be very friendly, informative, and happy to assist! The entire show, including stopping for cookies, took my family nearly two hours, so set aside enough time.

It is amazing how many volunteers are involved in this production. The crowd control organization is amazing and very reminiscent of Disney! The costumes and set design are beautifully arranged and the technology of some of the scenes will leave you asking, "How did they do that?" In addition, the folks at the Fellowship Baptist Church are prepared, organized, and just darn happy to provide this show for the enormous number of people who come to see....for the amazing price of FREE! Their smiles become quite infectious.

The "Living Nativity" has become a family tradition in our house  It is a great way to keep things in perspective among all the craziness of the holiday and to remember the reason for the season!

  • Arrive early! Even arriving at 4:30 be prepared to wait in a line to get into the Church. 
  • Expect to be there at least two hours
  • It is wheelchair and stroller accessible
  • You may want to eat an early dinner, especially for those with little ones or bring snacks
  • DRESS appropriately for the cold weather!
  • Bring a flashlight. It was dark with light coming from lanterns and dimly lit path, my little guy was a little afraid because he could see me.  The flashlight app on my phone came in handy!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pickin' Pumpkins for Just Pennies!

Pumpkin picking season is upon us.  If you are not careful, the very simple of idea of going on a hayride to pick the perfect pumpkin can turn into a VERY expensive outing! Here is a comparison of area farms and their prices along with their additional attractions. Remember, if you are pumpkin picking the cost of the pumpkin is , for most cases, an additional cost from the wagon or hayride to the patch.  Please check their website for complete information. If you use another farm, please email me and I'll add it to the list! You make the decision, who has the best deal?

Prices are subject to change. Call ahead and/or check website.
Updated October 2014


Farm Name         Location        Hayride CostPumpkin
 Other Attractions
Johnson's Farm Medford, NJ $3.75/pp$.79/lbDiscovery Barnyard and Animal Farm
($7.50/pchild and $3.75/adults)
Corn Maze($3.50)
On weekday, all paid hayriders get half-off Discovery Barnyard and Animal Farm. Farm Market, Bathrooms, tables for eating.
Conte's Farm Tabernacle, NJ $2.00/pp $.60/lbCorn MazeIf you return with a pumpkin,$2 is taken off the cost of the pumpkin, so essentially the ride to the patch is free. Eating Area. Farm Market and ice cream shop.A few animals for viewing.
Stellwag's Farm
(See Family Penny Pincher's Review)
$5.00/ppincluded in cost of hayrideAndy's Barnyard Animals
Rose Garden
Nature Trails
$5.00 hayride includes a small pumpkin and warm apple cider and cookies served after the ride in the garden center every weekend. Garden Center.
Indian Acres Tree Farm Medford, NJ $3.25/pp$.50-60/lbZipline, Rock Climbing Wall, and Giant Pillow Bounce, Barrel Train Rides ($4.00) Jumpin' Pumpkin ($3.25/pp)
Pony Rides ($4.00)
Haunted Attractions
Free Playground Picnic Tables for eating. Snack Bar and Gift Shop.
Terhune Orchards Princeton, NJ
$.75/lbBarnyard Animals (free)
Walking Trail
Pony Rides (FEE)
Farm Market
Springdale Farm Market Cherry Hill,
$3.50/pp$.79/lbCorn Maze($8.50 kids, $10.00/adults)Bakery, Garden Center, Gift Shop. Picnic area
Creamy Acres Farm Mullica Hill,
$3.00/pp$.45/lb Cornfield Maze ($6.00/pp) day and night. Night of Terror (mature audiences)"Family Day Out Package" $26.00 for a family of 4. (w/coupon) each additional member $7.00. 2 and under free.  Includes wagon ride and corn maze. Playground and Barnyard animals available.
Duffield's Farm Washington Township,
$8.00 with a pumpkin or $4.00 w/o pumpkin (just hayride)included in cost of hayride Barn Bounce ($3.00)
Trike Track ($2.00)
Barnyard Exp. ($3.00)
Corn Maze ($3.00)
Bracelet for all these extra activities $16.00

Scarecrow making on Saturdays and pony rides for an extra cost. Farm Market, large covered pavilion with tables for parties and eating.


Farm Name         Location        Hayride CostPumpkin
 Other Attractions
Shady Brook Farm Yardley,
$12.00/pp$.59/lbPumpkinfest after dark, Horrorfest$12 Includes wagon ride, inflatables, Barn of Horror, Alien Encounter, SBF 500 Racetrack, Straw Maze, Barnyard Animals, Giant Corn Maze, Tee Pee Play Area,Pig Races (wkends only) Coupon Available. Farm Market, bathrooms, tables for eating
Linvilla Orchards Media,
$6.00/pp (not a pumpkin picking hayride)$.69/lbAutumn Moon Hayrides,
Hayrides to the Witches House
The hayride is through their orchards. Pumpkins are already harvested and available in Pumpkinland. Animals are on display and they have a playground. Tables for eating and farm market.
Active Acres Farm Newtown,
$5.00/ hayride and any size pumpkinincluded in cost of hayrideHaunted Hayride, Haunted House in House in the Hollow and Field of FrightNot picking a pumpkin but want to ride the hayride? Just $2.00. $10 you can do hayride and corn maze. Refreshments available and seating. Additional daytime fun includes farm animals, pony rides, moon bounce and more!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation Day

July 11, 2014
Local Chick-fil-A Stores

So, what would you do for a free meal? Sing a song? Take a survey? Play a game? How about dress like a cow? If you are willing, Chick-fil-A will give you a free meal if you show up at any one of their stores dressed like a cow. Yup, we have no shame! 

Last year, when I told my husband what we were going to do for dinner and I handed him his cow costume he was understandably reluctant and a bit embarrassed. He tried to get out of going by saying he wasn't too hungry, he had to stay home and mow the grass, the car needed washing...but in the end he joined us hiding behind his cow mask hoping not to run into anyone we knew.

But the shame came when we arrived at our local Chick-fil-A store to see that the other cows were dressed way better than us.  We saw people young and old dressed head to toe in white t-shirts with black dots....udders and all, kids faces painted like cows, and cow masks everywhere!

We were a little surprised to see so many people dressed like cows and wowed by their creativity!In the end, our entire family received dinner for free (a savings of approx. $20), the kids played in the indoor playground, met the Chick-fil-A cow, and we all had a lot of fun!

This year my husband has overcome his embarrassment and has become a little competitive saying that our costumes must be "mooo-valeous" this year!  Okay, now he is going a little too far!

Check out the links below for cow costume ideas and printables.  Feel free to share your ideas on dressing like a cow below in the comments section:)

Have fun! 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Penny Wise Shopping: The Best Dressed for Less Consignment Sale

Spring Sale: March 27-29th
The Life Center at Fountain of Life Church
2035 Burlington-Columbus Rd.
Burlington Township, NJ (click here for directions)
Parking: Yes, lots of it and free

I have been to a lot of consignment sales since my kiddies were born, but the Best Dressed For Less Consignment Sale is top notch!  As with other consignment sales, the Best Dressed For Less sells gently used children's clothes, toys, shoes, equipment, furniture, and so much more! I saw many brand names lining the very organized ranks such as Gymboree, Gap, Children's Place, Old Navy and many boutique clothiers as well. But what sets the Best Dressed For Less Consignment sale apart from the others is the organization, neatness, and helpfulness from volunteer staff. 

From the moment I walked through the doors, several volunteer workers walked right up to me to ask if they could assist me. They explained how the sale worked, described the layout of the room, demonstrated how to grab tickets for larger items, and walked me to the holding area where I can put my bags down so I could go back and do more shopping.  You can tell that this is a well oiled machine!

Right away you will notice how all the aisles and items are clearly tagged and labeled.  Boys items are on the right hand side of the room and girls clothes are on the left hand side of the room. Both areas are clearly labeled by size and the aisles are wide for lots of shoppers. Most importantly, the prices were amazing! All the items I picked up cost $10 or less!
You will find tons of seasonal items such as jackets, hats, scarves, snow suits, boots and even sports equipment like cleats and bike helmets for kids of all ages and sizes! My kids needed winter jammies and I scoped up several pairs all under $5.00, one set was just $2.50!! I picked up a fall pink GAP jacket for my daughter for only $10. In addition, I bought shoes for my son that were only $8.  I LOVED finding the sets of the clothes, like a carters long sleeved shirt with sweatpants for $3 and a Levi's long sleeved shirt with jeans for $6.00.  You really can't beat prices like these!
I spent a lot of time in the costume rank because my kids love to dress up and I was looking for Halloween costumes.  I scored big time!!  I got a pirate costume for just $3, a fireman costume complete with hat and accessories for $8, and an Ariel wedding dress with the veil for $10.

For those in the market, you will find lots of strollers to choose from as well as pack and plays, bassinets, bumbo seats, and various baby and toddler items! You can even decorate the baby's room with the available lamps and other decorative item! For the expecting mom...check out the maternity clothes section.

So, if you can, clear you schedule for Friday! Doors open at 9am and stay open until 7pm. On Saturday, you can shop from 9am to 5pm and on Sunday from 11am to 3pm.  I have also heard that on Sunday, many items are discounted by 50%!  Another thing that sets this sale apart from other consignment sales is the option for consignors to pick up unsold items or to donate them to the Family Service of Burlington County. Everyone wins at the Best Dressed for Less Consignment sale!

Get shopping!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...