Craving Dole Whip

Disney & museum obsessed, homeschooling mom of 3, parenting to focus on experiences, not possessions. Sharing Disney tips, educational adventures and a few reviews. Constantly craving Dole Whip.


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The Rodin Museum in Philadelphia–Experience Adventure 36 of 100

Auguste Rodin, born in Paris, in the year 1840, and arguably one of the world’s most famous artists, created thousands of sculptures over a 50+ year span.  Over 7,000 drawings, prints, oils and watercolors are contributed to the master sculptor of marble and bronze casting.

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Focusing on the true human experience and human emotion, Rodin’s work moved away from the Greek tradition of an idealized human figure–full of mythology and folklore–and artistically arrived at a captivating realism, expressing inner turmoil, joy, love and human connection through the language and movements of the human body.

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Jules E. Mastbaum, a philanthropist and Philadelphia native, gifted his extensive, personal collection of Rodin statues and the museum showcase to the city.  The Rodin Museum opened to the public on November 29, 1929, with over 150 Auguste Rodin objects in the collection, three years after Mastbaum’s death.

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For our 36th experience, my daughters and I visited the Rodin Museum in early March of 2018.

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The museum consists of a Beaux-Arts architectural building, which displays the main collection, and the Dorrance H. Hamilton Garden, which showcases 8 Rodin works in an outdoor, formal French-style sculpture garden.

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Visitors view works such as The Thinker, The Gates of Hell and The Three Shades while strolling outside in the garden.

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Inside the museum, visitors find sculptures of The Kiss, Shame, Meditation, Crying Woman, Despair, Eternal Springtime, I Am Beautiful and many, many more.  A very peaceful and reflective space, the main gallery bathes Rodin’s work with natural light.

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A more intimate, quiet space sits off to the side, where visitors are encouraged to sketch using inspiration from Rodin’s sculptures, his books, and the provided drawing supplies.  My youngest daughter wanted to stay until the museum closed.

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The Rodin Museum is located at 2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19130.  For more information, visit www.rodinmuseum.org or call 215-763-8100.

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The museum is open Wednesday-Monday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and is closed on Tuesday.

Admission to the Rodin Museum is “pay what you wish”.

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We also recommend:

The Barnes Foundation (Art museum in Philadelphia)

The State Museum of Pennsylvania

8 Fun Food Adventures to Discover in Pennsylvania

The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida 

The American Prohibition Museum in Savannah, Georgia

 

 

 

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The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia–Experience Adventure 35 of 100

My daughters and I took our very first trip to Philadelphia in early March of 2018.  The city offers a plethora of outstanding educational opportunities for a homeschooling family–for ANY family–to learn about American history,  government, science, the natural world, and art.

We decided to start our visit with art.

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A day at the unbelievable Barnes Foundation brought our 35th experience adventure.

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The Barnes Foundation is an unusual and extraordinary collection of over 4,000 objects, including over 900 impressionist, post-impressionist and modern European paintings.  Founded by Albert C. Barnes in 1922, and assembled between 1912 and 1951, the extensive collection of art is estimated to be worth at least $25 billion dollars.

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Barnes organized this collection based on visual similarities and created what he called “ensembles” with areas of art never before displayed together.  For example, a visitor might find a painting by Matisse, hanging above a piece of Pennsylvania German furniture displaying Native American pottery, next to a collection of iron work crosses.

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Most rooms or “galleries” at the Barnes portray a personal collection of art and treasured, global trinkets displayed in a home-like setting with chairs, tables, textiles, and ordinary objects.

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Works by famous artists, such as Renoir, Cezanne, van Gogh, and Picasso fill the collection, with no “official” artist plates or identification.

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For visitors use, each room offers a laminated guide with a diagram of the art displayed, as well as artists’ names, title of works, the year and the medium.

 

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The Barnes Foundation collection presents art in an innovative and creative way–breaking the mold of traditional arrangement found in most art museums.  Not only were we inspired by the works created by master artists, we also found ourselves challenged to understand and grasp the connections between seemingly unrelated objects.

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Visit the Barnes Foundation for a truly unique and original art viewing experience.

The Barnes Foundation is located at 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19130.  For more information, visit www.barnesfoundation.org or call 215-278-7000.

Interested in art?  Read about these museums, too!

The Dali Musuem

The Chihuly Collection

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

 


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Screening And Panel Discussion Of The Girls In The Band–Experience Adventure 30 of 100

When my daughters and I attended an inspiring concert by the unbelievably talented, all-female, Diva Jazz Orchestra, the evening’s program invited guests to a screening of the documentary, The Girls In The Band.

Read all about our 29th experience here!

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During the concert’s intermission, I Goggled the award-winning documentary and instantly decided we would attend the film’s screening and open panel with the band’s members.

The screening and inspirational discussion marked our 30th experience.

The Girls In The Band features the poignant stories of female instrumentalists and jazz musicians who persevered through extreme sexism and racism in the fight for the equal right to play in the traditional, all-male dominated, big band music genre.  Beginning with the 1930’s, the film not only highlights the struggles of women, it also acts as a historically accurate film depicting major events in the United States.

We found the documentary informative and interesting and I always appreciate an experience that shows my daughters the path paved for them by women who fought and made sacrifices for future generations of girls.

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After watching the film, the members of the all-female band, Diva Jazz Orchestra, answered questions and facilitated a thought-provoking and empowering discussion about gender equality and inequality within the music world, while sharing intimate and personal stories of sexism, prejudice and triumphs.

 

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The evening certainly provided me and my daughters with a new understanding and appreciation for jazz music as well as a significant glimpse into the history of the fight for equality.

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To purchase a DVD of the documentary, The Girls In The Band, click here.

For more information about the all-fabulous Diva Jazz Orchestra, click here. and here.

To purchase the 25th anniversary CD from Diva Jazz Orchestra, click here.

Curious about the 18 exciting adventures we experienced during the month of January?  Click here!


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Recycled Sari Flower Making Class–Experience Adventure 27 of 100

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For our 27th experience adventure, my daughters and I took an artisan’s apprentice class and learned how to create decorative flowers using recycled sari fabrics from Bangladesh.

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Like so many of our adventures, this experience taught us a lot more than just a fun crafting process.

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The class was offered at Ten Thousand Villages, a non-profit, social enterprise that I accidentally found during one of my Google “fall-down-a-rabbit-hole” searches.  I previously knew nothing about it.

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So, let me share what we learned (above and beyond making fabric flowers).

Ten Thousand Villages began in 1946 and continues to grow over 390 retail outlets and alliances all across the United States, including the one we visited in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

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These not-for-profit establishments carry home décor, jewelry, accessories, tea, furniture, art, soaps, and spices–all created by 130 artisan groups, representing 38 developing countries.

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As a fair trade, globally-focused, social enterprise, Ten Thousand Villages employs very few people– in fact, the store we visited only keeps 2 or 3 people on salary.  The other 30+ “employees” are volunteers that greet and interact with customers, help with unpacking and displaying orders and run the cash register.  It is a wonderful, thought-provoking and very forward-thinking business model.

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Almost all of the beautifully and skillfully handcrafted items are displayed with an informational sign about the artist, village or country.

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Purchases improve the lives of over 20,000 makers, allowing access to better food, shelter and housing, appropriate healthcare and opportunities for education.

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Ten Thousand Villages also verifies that represented artists and craftspeople create in a safe working environment, where each human is treated with dignity and respect in an ethical and responsible system.  Fair trade focuses on stability, paying a fair income to individuals, empowering women and improving the lives of all people.

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The more exposure I receive to these world changing social enterprises, the more I prefer to give my business to establishments that make a difference in the life of others.

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A list of all Ten Thousand Villages stores and alliances (stores that carry products) can be found on the website at www.tenthousandvillages.com. Search by zip code or state and find one near you!

 

For my Texas friends, full retail stores are located in Austin and San Antonio, with alliances in McKinney, The Woodlands and Magnolia!  Who knew?!?

Pennsylvania boasts 11 stores and 3 alliances.  AWESOME!

The store we visited is located at 701 Gettysburg Pike, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, 17055.  Open Monday-Friday 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and closed on Sundays.  For more info call 717-796-1474.

They offer other artisan apprentice workshops, so follow them on Facebook for updates!

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We originally learned about social enterprise from one of our earlier adventures to a local candy shop.  The Lancaster Sweet Shoppe houses the Stroopie Co., a family-owned company hiring refugee women and providing meaningful work for people who are forced to flee their countries due to famine, war and instability.

Read about this AMAZING company here.

 

 

 

 


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The State Museum of Pennsylvania–Experience Adventure 22 of 100

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On Valentine’s Day of 2018, and for our 22nd of 100 adventures, my daughters and I spent the day exploring the remarkable State Museum of Pennsylvania.  Established in 1905 and adjacent to the breathtaking and beautiful State Capitol Building, the historical institution is the commonwealth’s official museum located in the state’s important capital city of Harrisburg.

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The museum takes visitors through a full range of fascinating regional history, focusing on Pennsylvania’s multi-faceted culture and prominent figures, beginning with prehistoric geology and archeological exhibits and continuing to present time pop culture influences and art showcases.

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Four impressive exhibit floors and a full-dome planetarium chronologically organize and display over 3 million items in the museum’s expansive collection.

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Interesting and permanent exhibit halls include Life Through Time, Geology, Mammals, Ecology, a Memorial Hall dedicated to William Penn, and Objects of Valor, which features Civil War artifacts.

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**Fun Fact:  Pennsylvania was named by King Charles II, who took the Penn family name and combined it with the Latin word “silva”, which means “woods”.

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The Memorial Hall features an enormous mural, state map, and a monumental bronze statue of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania.

**Fun Fact:  William Penn’s forward-thinking policy of religious tolerance and acceptance created a diverse religious and ethnic culture in the state of Pennsylvania.

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My daughters and I spent most of our time in the noteworthy exhibits of Pennsylvania Icons, Village Square, the Anthropology and Archeology Gallery, and the Transportation and Industry hall.

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**Fun Fact:  Pennsylvania is the nation’s #1 producer of mushrooms, #2 producer of apples and ranks 3rd for eggs and Christmas trees!

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**Fun Fact:  Pennsylvania produces 80% of the nation’s hard pretzels.

More than 350 unusual and thought-provoking items fill the Pennsylvania Icons hall, where visitors learn about the national influence of Pennsylvania’s unique places, people and products.

 

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**Fun Fact:  20% of the United States’ production of craft beer is produced in Pennsylvania.

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True-to-life historical facades, buildings, a summer kitchen and a general store represent a 19th century Pennsylvania town in the walk-through Village Square Hall.  I wanted to find some hands-on activities, but unfortunately, this is a purely visual exhibit.

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The creation and historical significance of the Pennsylvania Turnpike is thoroughly explored within the Transportation and Industry hall.  Focusing on the tools, vehicles and the history of innovative machines, the exhibit gives viewers a fantastic and engaging glimpse into transportation industry and commerce.

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**Fun Fact:  In October of 1940, the nations first modern superhighway birthed a new interest in cross-country travel for post-WWII Americans.  That superhighway is the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Native American artifacts and archeological methods are explored in great detail inside the Anthropology and Archeology Gallery.

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**Fun Fact:  The Meadowcroft Rockshelter, located near Avella in Washington County, Pennsylvania, boasts the earliest signs of human habitation in North America and has been continually inhabited for the past 19,000 years.

As a lover of the visual arts, we greatly enjoyed the engaging, rotating art exhibit, which featured unique art pieces bought and acquired by the museum through the years.

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Overall, we found The State Museum of Pennsylvania educational, interesting and thought-provoking.  It was clean, well organized, thorough, and visually stimulating.  Of course, I prefer a hands-on approach and appreciate exhibits with interactive components, but the museum’s extensive collection makes up for its lack of experiential learning.  My daughters and I left with massive amounts of new and relevant Pennsylvania state knowledge and a greater historical understanding of our nation.

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Kudos to The State Museum of Pennsylvania.  As a museum-obsessed, homeschooling mom, I give it a “B++”!

Hours of operation:  Wed-Sat 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday 12:00 to 5:00 pm.

Please note:  The museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Adults:  $7.00

Children ages 1-11 years:  $5.00

The museum is FREE for military members and military families with ID’s.  THANK YOU!

The State Museum of Pennsylvania is located at 300 North Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 17120.  For more information, call 717-787-4980 or visit www.statemuseumpa.org.

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For some other fun and educational adventures in the great state of Pennsylvania, check out:

The Turkey Hill Experience

George’s Furniture

The Pennsylvania Farm Show

The National Watch and Clock Museum

The Lancaster Central Market

 

 

 


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The Carlisle Ice Art Fest–Experience Adventure 21 of 100

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The 2nd annual Carlisle Ice Art Fest, sponsored by CenturyLink, decorated downtown Carlisle, Pennsylvania with over 70 unique and pre-carved ice sculptures.

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We walked to the event, which was held February 9-11, 2018, making this local experience our 21st adventure.

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Many fun and family-friendly events filled the 3 day ice themed festival:  carriage rides, penguin toss, sing-alongs, a chili cook off, beer tasting, glass blowing, a variety of food vendors, a free showing of Edward Scissorhands, and ice carving demonstrations by ice artist Kevin Gregory.

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We spent the day walking up and down the streets of our new city, shopping and visiting the wide range of local, unique stores and meeting a few shopkeepers.  BUY LOCAL!  🙂

My girls found several more Pennsylvania Historical Markers in town, too.

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Overall, the Carlisle Ice Art Fest gave our family a very relaxing afternoon to enjoy our little city–and learn a little history!

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Other experiences within driving distance from Carlisle:

The National Watch and Clock Museum

The Turkey Hill Experience

The Lancaster Sweet Shoppe

George’s Furniture


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Blue Man Group Orlando–Experience Adventure 19 of 100

Blue Man Group is awesome.

You MUST go.

I sort of feel like that statement is enough, but for those who have never seen a Blue Man Group performance, I will give you just a tiny bit more info. 🙂

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At the present, permanent Blue Man Group shows reside in Boston, Orlando, New York, Chicago and Las Vegas, but there are also traveling performances currently in Germany, Istanbul, Czech Republic, and Monaco.

I consider myself very lucky to have attended shows in Houston and Las Vegas in the past.

But, for our 19th adventure, my family of 5 experienced the show in Orlando, Florida.

No pics are allowed during the performance, so my photos are limited. 🙂

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Located in the CityWalk section of Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, the 1,000 seat Blue Man Group theater was built in 2006.

The show engages all the senses like no other performance. Unique sounds and musical instruments, active creations of expressive artwork, hilarious (and silent) theatrical moments and audience participation fill the auditorium. It is exciting and interesting and engaging and entertaining.

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OH! And just a quick side note: The Blue Man Group shows at each location ARE different, so go see one! (or two or three!)

***If you sit in the first couple of rows, don’t wear anything nice. 🙂

Visit www.blueman.com for more information.

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Visiting Walt Disney World soon? Read this.

Find other interesting things to do in Florida here, here and here.