Monsey Tales

We survived the weekend. Intact. Well, we did, the fridge – not so much. Seven kids and two grown ups – it takes a lot to feed that many people. We went from total peace and quiet, the two of us, to us plus seven kids, within the space of 24 hours. And we are sane enough to still tell the tale. Ok, I know that’s a matter of opinion, but hey, allow me my delusions 😉 . We are now back to 4 kids and two adults – the decibel level is slightly less, but the house is still hopping.

This will be the first full week with my kids here – and they are not going to day camp. The two big boys are too old, and most of the older three’s friends have gone to sleepaway camp. Not an option for my boys. The little one would probably enjoy day camp very much – but it’s not an option this summer, either. I am starting to appreciate how cheap everything was in Montreal. School, camp etc is three times the cost here. The kids will be doing Ima camp as they have done in summers gone by. Makes for a relaxing summer, I guess. If anyone has any suggestions of stuff to do locally that won’t break the bank, that would be appreciated.

We shlepped them to Costco yesterday. Heehee. Their eyes went huge as they saw the selection and the prices and the sheer size of some of the packaging. Yeah., I can make fun, especially as I did the same thing two weeks ago when the KoD took me there for the first time. But now I am a seasoned Costco veteran so that gives me seniority.

I had better go and wake up my boys for minyan – will check in with you guys at some point…

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23 responses to “Monsey Tales

  1. Check out the “Pick Your Own” farm options.
    Selections vary depending on which week(s) you go.
    It’s easy on the budget, tons of fun, and might restock the fridge too 😉

    Drive in to the city and go row boating in Central Park!! One of my fave activities. Also very reasonable.

    • “drive in to the city” – that phrase scares me. do you have any clue what it’s like for a small town girl to drive in Manhattan???!

      thanks for the “pick your own” idea…

  2. Congrats on being together in one place!

    Definitely do a Manhattan day once inn a while. The museums are just fantastic, including
    the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Musuem of Natural History might be fun (it’s a little dated), maybe the Museuem of TV and Radio.
    So many options, and you can also borrow free passes from the local library for some of these places for free admission.

  3. Do I hear “blogger meetup” in Manhattan 😉

  4. Go into Manhattan (take public transportation) and check out what’s available at TKTS (discounted broadway tickets). Also, Dorney Park (near Allentown PA) is an amusement park that is somewhat more family friendly than Great Adventure. Included in your admission are the water rides (slides and wave pool) if your boys are ok w/girls in bathing suits. If you are looking for an overnight trip that’s not too far away, try Hershey Park (I believe there is a kosher food concession in the park).

  5. Ringwood state park – it’s just over the border on NJ. There’s a nominal parking fee and that’s it unless you want to rent a rowboat. Hiking trails, gardens, A historic mansion and plenty of picnic areas.

  6. Their is Kosher food at Hershey’s Park. Here is their information:

    Central PA’s Kosher Mart/Hershey Park
    1295 Meadowbrook Rd., Lancaster – 17603
    Phone: 717-392-5111

    Star-K does the certification.

  7. batya from NJ

    to get to manhattan you can also take the monsey bus that goes to various locations in manhattan (downtown, diamond district etc) & then you can take buses & subways to get around to wherever you may want to go…

    regarding the amusement parks, they are lot of fun if your kids like rides but they are quite a distance (not like driving to la ronde from montreal ;)) & admission is not cheap at all…

    i guess there is always the public library (which i know you go to a lot) where you can get a wide range of DVDs for free…

    another option is possibly send your youngest to camp merockdim where he will meet future classmates of his for even just several weeks since going for the whole summer is not an option…

  8. We have zoo/aquarium passes for us, a guest and up to 6 kids. Feel free to abuse this option anytime! This includes the Bronx Zoo, Queens Zoo, NY Aquarium, Prospect Park Zoo and Central Park Zoo.

  9. Oh, and make sure to make friends with at least one person in Monsey with a POOL!!

  10. Project: build a transistor radio.

  11. Project: open an old car engine.

    Repair a car or motorbike engine

  12. Project: build something out of wood.

  13. Project: make little tin men and color them

  14. Project: Make a copy of your house in Lego

  15. project: build a tree house
    build a little hut in the woods

  16. mel from Monsey

    One summer we sent our son to the Town of Ramapo day camps. He was one of the few if not only frum kid there. They kept him constructively occupied at a relatively low cost. Check with the Town of Ramapo.

  17. Things to do in Monsey:
    1. Do not be afraid to drive to Manhattan. If you drive in Montreal, you are certified to drive here.2. Natural History Museum and Planetarium in NY. Please note that the admission fee is suggested and you can pay what you want. I give 1 dollar 3. Do not be shy to ask neighbors to use their pool. 4. Hike in Kakiat (route 202) 5. Beaches at seven lakes – near you (do not go on weekends) 6. Long Branch for real rach on atlantic, kosher food in deal, nj nearby. 6. Westpoint – free brass concerts sunday evening 7. Palisades mall, ice cream, Barnes & noble, toy store, carousel, lego etc. 8. Challenger space center on route 59 9. tubing in the catskills (esopus creek). 10 Westchester county, especially mansions tours in tarrytown

  18. I know that Finkelstein Library, and probably the Suffern library as well, have free passes to many NYC museums. You can keep them for 3 days, and get free admission with no potential guilt trip for paying below the (highly overpriced) “suggested admission”. You will need a library card. They definitely have passes for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Natural History Museum, and The Bronx Zoo, probably others as well.

    Don’t be afraid to drive into NYC, but try to figure out potential parking garages in advance. Street parking is insane near all these places, with the exception of the Zoo. You can try the Monsey bus as well, but it may cost you as much as parking if you’re taking all the boys, and the bus does not stop near any of these attractions, so you have to figure in subway time and $ as well.

    I second the idea to go to Kakiat Park – lots of good hiking.

    Check the Rockland Tourism website for local events. There are fairs in Nyack once a month that are fun. The Garnerville Arts Center (GAGA, not related to the “Lady”) has an event on a Sunday every summer where all the art studios are open. They also have a nice (but small) creek-side trail behind all the buildings that is pleasant.
    If you drive to “Joisey”, you can go to Little Falls, nice hike next to waterfalls.
    Also check to see if JCC Rockland has anything interesting. It’s not oriented so much to the Orthodox community, but your boys can probably handle that.
    Have fun!

  19. Definately check out all the museums with suggested admission rates. I often just gave a buck when I was younger and never got looked down on for it.

    The metropolitan museum of art is a full day, but you’ll need to pack a lunch (picnic in Central Park!).

    Museum of natural history is always fun

    The cloisters in Fort Tryon Park is the medieval branch of the Met Museum. Absolutely beautiful this time of year, and the park is fabulous for picnicing.

    Shakespeare in the park is free, but requires waiting on line for tickets.

    NYC is full of free and very cheap activities. It’s what I miss most about living there.

  20. The Town of Ramapo has a lot of parks – there is even a town horseback riding center that offers lessons and riding for a discount. There are town pools as well – but I dont know if you would let your boys go mixed swimming.
    A list of the town parks is at

    Rockland Community College also has fireworks for the 4th of July and they also have a pool with public access.

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