(Review) Splish Splash Keeps the Heat of Summer Away with Chills and Thrills for All

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This past July 4th my family and I decided to spend the day at Splish Splash, located at 2549 Splish Splash Drive, Calverton, NY. Since we are always looking for ways to cool off as a family in the New York area, Splish Splash was the perfect water wonderland for us. The drive took about an hour from Queens. Having done some research in advance of our visit to Splish Splash, I wanted to share some of that with you here. First, my 8 year old daughter shares her thoughts here (she actually typed this):

“It’s full of water. There are so many rides that you can’t’ go on all of them.  Splish Splash has the best rides ever. Lazy River was very relaxing all you had to do was sit on the floatie while it went down the river.  After that we went to eat ice cream and funnel cake. The funnel cake had tons of sugar.  Dinosaur Falls was a twirly slide it wasn’t that scary but it was really fun”.

Before you head out to Splish Splash, here are some hints and tips to make your time there as enjoyable as possible.

Arrive between 9:00-9:30 in the morning and get a parking space next to the picnic area. This was very important to us, as we are a family that keeps strictly kosher and no outside food is allowed into Splish Splash. The parking prices vary; $12.00 per day for general parking and $20.00 for a parking spot closer to the main entrance. The picnic benches are near right next to the general parking. The walk is not so bad, and besides, the kids get all excited upon seeing the water rides awaiting them.

Here are the prices for entry into the park. There are seasons passes available and you can find out more about them here

  AT THE PARK ONLINE (SAVE $2)
General Admission $39.99 $37.99
Under 48” tall, Seniors 60 and over $29.99 $27.99
Children 2 years old & under Free Free

Once you are in the park and you do not want to schlep a lot of gear around with you, lockers are available for rent. We chose a small cubby type locker for under $3. Being that this is a day full of moments you want to capture with your camera, bring them. You can find waterproof fanny packs online, highly recommended. As far as towels, suntan lotion, and other items are concerned, a small beach bag or backpack will do.

I want to express how impressed both my husband and I were with the safety at Splish Splash. There are lifeguards at the end of each water slide. Something else that we greatly appreciated was that height requirements were easily visible and the beginning of each water slide and attraction. On their website, they strongly recommend all Guests under 48″ or who are weak or non-swimmers wear Coast Guard approved lifejackets where appropriate. In the wave pool, all guests under 48″ are REQUIRED to wear a lifejacket and be accompanied by an adult. Lifejackets are available in Guest Services. A $40.00 deposit or valid photo ID is required.

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Since there are 98-acres of water fun at Splish Splash, a very smart and savvy mom friend of mine suggested starting at the back of the park first. This way, the lines are not as long. If you do not have special dietary requirements, there is no shortage of food at Splish Splash. We noticed a lot of families eating the homestyle french fries and dippin’ chicken.  Since we keep kosher, we did find some treats to enjoy as we sat down by the Lazy River.  The Dippin Dots ice cream is (kosher) and the Funnel Cakes are (OU-D). My very smart kosher keeping mom friend brought a cooler of food and went back to her car to have lunch. She was the one that also advised me to arrive early and get a parking spot next to the picnic benches. We really enjoyed sitting by the Lazy River while the kids had ice cream and funnel cakes. I was transported into a complete place of vacationing. I felt like I was a million miles away from my home, I didn’t want the moment to escape me. I also wanted to mention that the background music at Splish Splash is excellent. I thought it was Pandora, but I was informed by Splish Splash that they create the playlist on their own.  It was the perfect blend of music from the 70s to current musical artists of today.

Since Splish Splash has the entire family in mind, we spent time in a few different places that families with young children will want to visit. We spent a lot of time at Pirates Cove, which has an interactive pirate ship complete with water cannons, climbing ropes and slides that translate to hours of fun. Height restriction of under 44″ unless accompanied by a child.  The kids also really enjoyed the Octopus Pool, perfect for little kids. Height restriction of under 44″ unless accompanied by a child. Other rides we really enjoyed at Splish Splash:

Max TraxExtreme body slide. This was amazing. I felt my entire stomach drop, such a thrill! With a drop 50′ straight down, I wouldn’t expect anything less!

Dinosaur Falls – Tube Slide Grab your raft for a daredevil expedition into the wilds of prehistory. Fortunately, the water runs fast, so you should keep just ahead of the dinosaurs. Be warned: the only thing bigger than their teeth is their appetite! Height restriction 42” (under 42” with an adult must be able to hold correct riding posture). Weight limit of 250lbs single rider, 400lbs combined.

Dragon’s Den – This is the only ride my youngest was not able to go on during our visit. This tube slide does have height restriction of 48”, and a weight limit 400lbs combined. This does require 2 people in a tube. If you are an odd number of people, like we were, you can definitely find a nice person in line to accompany you too.

lazy river

Lazy River – This was also an absolute treasure, full of surprise sprays of water along the way. The heat was defeated and I was transplanted to what felt like a tropical island, yet I had never left Long Island. This is the most relaxing tube ride, set on the gentle current of a beautifully landscaped river. 

Dinasour Falls – This tube slide was one of my daughter’s favorites. This fantastic swirl of a ride had us giggling with excitement; each twist and turn brought forth just enough water to keep us cool.   There are height restrictions 42” (under 42” with an adult must be able to hold correct riding posture). Weight limit of 250lbs single rider, 400lbs combined.

The day went so fast and soon it was time for us to go home. Splish Splash is a place I would visit again and again. Whether you are a mom with a toddler, or a family with teens, Splish Splash should be on your agenda this summer.

If you do visit Splish Splash this summer, share your memories on their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SplishSplashWaterPark or send them a tweet over on twitter at https://twitter.com/splishsplashwp. Check them out on YouTube as well. I have shared a video you might like right here in this post. Give you the chills, doesn’t it? With this heat wave, that is a chill you want to catch!

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here in this post are my own. I was provided tickets to the park in order to experience Splish Splash and provide this review.

 

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Esti’s Passover Playlist

One of the biggest Jewish holidays, Passover, starts this evening at sundown. What would a celebration be without a playlist.  Enjoy them, share them, and share the Passover story with your friends and families!

Oprah Speaks About Her Visit With An Orthodox Jewish Family

Oprah speaks with Rabbi Motti Seligson from Chabad.org about her visit with an Orthodox Jewish family in Brooklyn, NY. It reminds me of how I felt when I first spent Shabbat with an Orthodox Jewish family. I still feel the same way and I have been celebrating Shabbat ever since!

Visit Jewish.TV for more Jewish videos.

Mourning Ayelet Galena – The Sisterhood – Forward.com

A very touching story that everybody should read. If it weren’t for Facebook, I would not have been touched by this story, and virtually introduced to a modern day Angel and her family Mourning Ayelet Galena – The Sisterhood – Forward.com.

photo from Forward.com

Kosher Family Vacation On The Upper West Side

hotel beacon hugWhen I decided to move to New York’s Upper West Side from Chicago, I knew that I would be in good company. Earlier that year, I decided to become more observant of Jewish law and keep kosher.  I had also decided that I would meet a nice Jewish boy in New York. My oldest brother and resident of the Upper West Side for over 20 years had encouraged me to move to New York several times. Living in the epicenter of the Jewish scene, he had already picked out a few nice Jewish boys for me to meet. Within a couple of months, I was living and working on the Upper West Side. We gave our family in Chicago a great excuse to visit us, and visit they did!

 Before I moved to New York, I had spent many memorable trips with my family at the Hotel Beacon. The beautiful lobby of the Hotel Beacon has been the meeting point on the Upper West Side for my family for over twenty years.               

Another great thing about the location of the Hotel Beacon is that everybody can find something they can eat within walking distance of the hotel. If somebody is not in the walking mood, these places also deliver. When I moved to New York, there would be a new change to our previous dining experiences. I could no longer join my family at huge family style meals at Carmine’s. I think this hurt them way more than it hurt me. They hadn’t experienced what I had with kosher food, so I couldn’t blame them. However, I couldn’t wait for them to taste the variety of kosher food within walking distance of the Hotel Beacon. It was extremely difficult to persuade my extended family to choose a kosher restaurant over Café Luxembourg or Metro Diner. So, we agreed to disagree.

Another great thing about the Hotel Beacon is that all rooms have well-equipped kitchenettes with electric ranges and microwaves and half-size in standard rooms. This is just the right size to keep some milk, juice, or fruit for noshing. You can always replenish these items and much more at Fairway directly across the street from the hotel.

There have been some visits by my family to the Upper West Side that did not involve a stay at the Hotel Beacon. For example, On The Ave, conveniently located at 2178 Broadway and 77th Street. Quiet and cozy for those much needed rests from a day at the Museum of Natural History with toddlers in tow. Fresh kosher bagels and coffee for an energy boost at  H&H Bagels which is open 24/6 and just around the corner on West 80th.  The Lucerne, located at 201 West 79th Street, is directly across  the street from my most favorite breakfast place, Bagels & Co. Since I have some relatives that live up on 105th and Broadway, we have met up with them at the Marrakech Hotel NYC.  Definitely not a place for a family with toddlers, but we did enjoy the colorful decor and oriental ambiance of the hotel.  The kids were much more at home, and the parents much less stressed, when eating big slices of kosher pizza around the corner at Cafe Roma Pizzeria. Wherever you stay on the Upper West Side, there are more than enough kosher restaurants that deliver if you want to stay in. If you want to venture out and enjoy a delicious kosher meal within walking distance of any of the above hotels, there are plenty of options to choose from. Some of my favorites include Estihana (Esti Hana), Darna, Kasbah (was: Deli Kasbah),  and Talia’s Steakhouse and Bar. For more listings of kosher restaurants in the area, check out http://www.shamash.org/kosher/search.php?QID=6782793&Start=25.

Kosher Cuisine, What Does It All Mean?

While I was awake in the early hours of Shabbos, I had some great ideas about how to help my friends and family that don’t keep kosher understand my dietary choices. I will be traveling a lot with my family this summer and that means that the conveniences of New York kosher cuisine won’t be as plentiful. So, what is a kosher observant family supposed to do when traveling out of the “kosher zone”?

First of all, it is important to understand the laws of keeping kosher. Some families have been keeping kosher for decades; others have been keeping kosher for a week. Personally, I started keeping kosher in September 2001. Before then, I ate everything and everywhere my heart desired. It was my journey of Jewish re-discovery that I was introduced to the kosher cuisine that would change my eating habits from that day forward. Like many Jewish American families, I associated kosher food with Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and Passover. It was at those times of the year that the kitchen in my house was taken over by brands like Manischewits and Streits. My mom would “put up” the most amazing chicken soup with the fluffiest matzo balls I’ve ever eaten. The oven would overflow with the smells of brisket, kishke, and tzimmus. My family and I would make our annual journey to the kosher bakeries in Skokie and stock up on honey cake and boubka. I loved these times of the year. Even though I wasn’t raised in a kosher home nor one that kept Shabbos, it was the effort of my family to share these holidays in full force that made me the Jewish mom that I am now.

Even though things are different today and I now keep kosher religiously and observe Shabbos every week, my extended family does not. It doesn’t make me love them any less; in fact I love them even more. I just have to prepare my own food plan for my husband and children in advance. This is nothing new for people that have certain food allergies, suffer from lactose intolerance, diabetes, and vegetarians. Just because I don’t eat your food doesn’t mean I don’t love you!

While the laws of keeping kosher may seem limiting to most people, it made perfect sense to me. It is not as hard or isolating as people think, and it’s even good for you. I have attached some links that I find helpful in my attempt to explain my food requirements to people that feel that I have gone off the “creep end”. I am still the same me, I just eat differently and here are some reasons why:

I stumbled upon JewFAQBlog  a weblog commenting on news and events.  As rabbi/humorist Jack Moline noted, “Everyone who keeps kosher will tell you that his version is the only correct version. Everyone else is either a fanatic or a heretic.” (Growing Up Jewish, 1987).

Kosher Links that will satisfy your kosher curiosity include  The Orthodox UnionStar-K Kosher Certification, and KosherQuest.  Has a member of your family become kosher recently? How has this affected family occasions?