By: Caren Villareal
Some interesting “takes” on Take Your Kid to Work Day
What a great idea, right? A chance to bond with your children and teach them about your career and what you “do all day” while they are at school. For some fortunate few kids and parents, this day off from school (April 25 this year) can be filled with kid-friendly corporate events fueled by the creativity of the human resources departments, great lunches, cool views and CANDY.
But what if you don’t have a traditional office job or you work from home? What if your corporate culture is not appropriate for kids? (Think trading desk my friends!) Moreover, what if your job is simply not safe to take your kids to? Well, we still think that you can put in a good day’s work perhaps by skipping school and work and taking your kids on an educational and fun outing. Here are a few alternative ideas for Bring Your Child to Work Day:
Working Farms/Petting Zoos
Capitalize on your kids’ love of animals while at the same time teaching them what is required to live off the land. There are so many options for terrific petting zoos and working farms, but some of our favorites include:
- Howell Living History Farm, a historical farm which has its’ own “farmhands” program specifically designed for kids 6-10 and happily encourages them to do their own “daily chores.” http://howellfarm.org/ShowPage.aspx?PageID=23
- Valley Shephard Creamery, http://valleyshepherd.com/. While my own kids’ can laugh all day at their “cut the cheese” juvenile jokes, this place actually looks pretty cool for adults too especially if you love cheese like I do. Sheep-shearing expos, corn mazes, tractor-rides and cheese-making tours are all available at the Long Valley, NJ location.
- Jersey Shore Alpacas https://www.jerseyshorealpacas.com/. Located in Cape May, NJ this family-run farm gets you up close and personal to the cutest alpacas I’ve ever seen and can give you a glimpse of the products created by their wool. And it’s not all about the cuteness – learn to feed them and give them what they need to stay happy and the true stories about how some of the residents with disabilities have been rehabilitated by their caretakers.
Diggerland Construction Adventure Park https://www.diggerlandusa.com/
Located in West Berlin, NJ, fun-filled and family-owned Diggerland can give your kids a day of “work” at construction sites while at the same time giving them the thrill of some really cool rides. Open during the week now for the spring it’s a great destination for Take Your Kid to Work day and you can receive $5 off admission for Chirping Moms readers through Sept 19 by using the “chirping19” code for online purchases. Here’s a few pictures from our recent trip.
Sterling Hill Mining Museum
Hi Ho, Hi Ho? Visit Sterling Hill for a chance to go below ground and learn about the mining industry as it existed in the tri-state area several generations ago. Gain an understanding of the courage the men displayed while earning a living for their families and the dangers of the workplace of yesteryear. Your budding geologist can also get a chance to learn about gems and minerals.
Music and Arts
Have a budding musician in your life? Consider a visit to one of the Hard Rock Cafés many national and international locations to help them gain an appreciation for music history and memorabilia while getting a good burger! As you can see from the pictures below, my Beatles fans loved visiting McCartney’s guitar and Lennon’s lyrics but also learned about some other classic rock performers that are old to us but new to them.
If you prefer a more hands on approach, check out the new Grammy Museum Experience in Newark, NJ. Complete with interactive exhibits and tributes to local legends like Whitney Houston and Bruce Springsteen, the Grammy Museum can encourage your budding musician to “compose” their own tunes. https://www.grammymuseumexp.org/group-tours.html
Finally, if you think you may have a photographer or film-director on your hands – or just someone who truly appreciates a good movie – check out The Museum of the Moving Arts in Astoria, Queens. This truly interactive museum allows your kids to dabble in the arts of the moving image and learn about how it’s changed from the early days of silent film to the exiting digital age of today. There’s also an awesome exhibit on Jim Henson that is not to be missed!
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