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Kids Night at Disney’s Newsies – The Perfect Halloween

Kimmel Newsies Halloween Treat

There will be way more treats than tricks this Halloween!

The Kimmel Center Academy of Music will be featuring an extra-special KIDS NIGHT, next Friday night, Halloween.  Hosted by BEN-FM’s Marilyn Russell, the steps of the Academy will be filled with Halloween fun!  You’ll find a photo booth, Halloween goodies, and a performance by dancers from the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Peforming Arts.

But the fun doesn’t have to end on the steps of the Academy!  Select seats are being offered at 50% off!  Disney’s Newsies is a great way to introduce your kids to the theater – and a phenomenal way to cap off your Halloween night.

They delivered the papers, until they made the headlines… Direct from Broadway comes Newsies, the smash-hit, crowd-pleasing new musical from Disney. Winner of the 2012 Tony Awards® for Best Score and Best Choreography, Newsies, has audiences and critics alike calling it “a musical worth singing about!” (The New York Times) Filled with one heart-pounding number after another, it’s a high-energy explosion of song and dance you just don’t want to miss.

Based on true events, Newsies tells the captivating story of a band of underdogs who become unlikely heroes when they stand up to the most powerful men in New York. It’s a rousing tale about fighting for what’s right…and staying true to who you are. Newsies was brought to the stage by an award-winning creative team. It features a score by Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast) and Jack Feldman (The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride) and a book by Harvey Fierstein (La Cage Aux Folles), with choreography by Christopher Gattelli (South Pacific) and direction by Jeff Calhoun (Big River).

For tickets to Newsies – and other Broadway-Philadelphia shows at the Kimmel Center – visit www.kimmelcenter.org/broadway.

Easter in Philadelphia – Zitner Butter Krak Eggs – Need I Say More?

There were so many things I missed about being “home” when we lived in Florida.  Clearly, I missed my parents and my sisters.  I missed things like the Philadelphia Zoo and the Mummers Parade.  But Philly foods are hard to replicate, no matter how hard people in other regions try.

When we first came back to live in South Jersey 13 years ago, I enjoyed many of my Philly food favorites.  I sampled hoagies from all our old stomping grounds, and we grabbed cheesesteaks from Pat’s and Geno’s – just to be on the safe side of the “best” cheesesteak in the city.  I ate more TastyKakes than I care to admit, and even managed to keep a stash of Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews handy.

But then comes Easter.  And for a few short weeks every year, a Philly area staple starts popping up.  Zitner’s Fine Confections has been pumping out delicious chocolate covered Easter eggs since Sam and Annie Zitner first began selling them out of their home in 1920.  There is a lot to be said for all of the Zitner’s eggs – the butter cream are among my favorite anywhere, and the peanut butter soar past Reeses peanut butter eggs.  But there’s a soft spot in my heart for the Butter Krak.


These dark chocolate covered eggs are buttery and sweet, and instead of the choppy little pieces of coconut you find in a lot of coconut cream eggs, the Butter Krak eggs have longer pieces of coconut, that give you a real punch of coconut when you bite in.  When I was a kid, the eggs were always kind of odd looking – almost fuzzy looking – because of the long strands of coconut poking through the chocolate, but through the years, I think we lost some of that due to the use of more contemporary machines.  I miss that texture, but the taste is still there – creamy, coconutty, and delicious.

I look forward to Easter every year – the ham and potato salad, the egg dying with my kids, making the Easter baskets (ummm, I mean suggesting to the Easter bunny how to fill the baskets) – but Zitner’s has shouted “It’s Easter” in our house since I was a little girl.  I’m so happy for those nostalgic moments I can share with my girls.

butterkrak 2

Is Eastern State Penitentiary to scary for kids?

In a word, yes.  In a few words, are you freakin’ crazy?  This is a Dad asking this question, right?  No self respecting, child loving mother would even ponder the thought.

To begin with, the place is pretty scary looking even in the daylight.  When it’s not Halloween. Even for grown ups.

Then there’s that other thing, you know the one where they say the place is haunted.  You knew that, right?  You’ve seen it on Ghost Hunters.  Twice.  Apparently there were so many ghosts, they had to visit twice to see them all.  It’s a scary place.  Even for grown ups.

An apparition captured on film at Eastern State Penitentiary

So when you add to this already frightening combination the fact that Terror Behind the Walls is rated as the number one haunted house in America, you can assume one thing.  This place is scary.  Even for grown ups.

The fright takes place in five separate haunted attractions on the 11 acre grounds of the prison.  There are live actors in terrifying situations there to make sure you scream, cover your eyes, and in some cases, require the use of the clean underwear your mother has always told you should be in your glove box.  This haunted house is not for the weak.  Tackle some small, local Halloween haunted houses before you decide to give Eastern State a try.  Even if you’re a grown up.

I will tell you, though, that the proceeds of Terror Behind the Walls all goes to the not-for-profit Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, which aims to preserve the very rich history of the prison.  That makes it even more enticing to go.  Except I’m a chicken.

So yes.  Eastern State Penitentiary – at least the Terror Behind the Walls is too scary for kids.  And even for grown ups.

But there are tours specifically geared toward children, and I highly recommend that you do one.  The history, the legends, and the stories will captivate your child.  The recommended age for the tours is 12 and older.  It is still a little bit scary.

Even for grown ups.

Visit www.easternstate.org for more information on Terror Behind the Walls and the other tours available at Eastern State Penitentiary.