Thursday, September 6, 2012

Quad E Labor Day Weekend

Our family went away for Labor Day weekend along with my parents, who currently are in town, to Montague, NJ for a retreat but made a couple of side trips.

Bushkill Falls, PA
On the way up to Montague, we stopped by Bushkill Falls. My husband had been there years before we got married but no one else had been there before so it was a nice experience. The kids have never been on a hiking trail nor seen a real waterfall so there were a couple of firsts for them on this trip as well.

After about a two hour drive from our house we arrived at Bushkill Falls, advertised as the Niagara of PA and is also privately owned.  We first stopped at their picnic area and had some lunch so we would be ready for our little hike. There was also a pretty nice playground close to the picnic area, so the kids went there to play for a bit and slide down the 5 different slides that were there!
After working off a bit of their energy, we were ready to go on our hike. We reviewed the trail map and decided we would go on the Popular Trail aka the Yellow Trail. It would take about 45mins and we would be able to see the main waterfall at a few different vantage points. There was a 15min trail that seemed like a waste since we had to pay admission. There were also two longer trails that would take approximately 1 hour and 15mins and 2 hours respectively which we deemed too long for the kids to handle and would have probably been a bit difficult for my husband who had E4 in a baby carrier.

The trail was mostly wood planks with some areas that were just rocks as they tried their best to keep the environment untouched/changed. Most of the trail was rather narrow, allowing for 2 people to walk side by side most of the time but there were parts that narrowed even further that only 1 person could  walk by at a time. There were also quite a few flights of stairs going up and down the surrounding area of the main falls. Triple E tend to be pretty active when we are out and about and like to run off by themselves to explore but we had to hold their hands for a lot of the trail since there were parts that were pretty steep and some railings that were not entirely secure.
True to the trail map, we finished the yellow trail in about 45mins and stopped close to the exit to rest and to take in our beautiful surroundings. When we stepped out the exit, we took a picture with the big bear statue that has been placed there for many years and a picture hot spot. Then we spent some time checking out the stores before getting back in the car and heading to the retreat site. Though the kids enjoyed seeing a real waterfall for the first time, I think they would have a much better experience if they were slightly older and able to appreciate nature a bit more.

Space Farms Zoo and Museum
The second place we went to during free time on Saturday was Space Farms Zoo and Museum. It is a privately owned zoo and museum. There is quite an interesting history to this place but it is rather long, so if you are curious how it started, go to their site to check it out:
One fun thing about this place is they sell rather big bags of corn kernels and cookies at the front desk for about $1.50 per bag for you to feed the animals. Corn kernels for the birds and hoofstock and cookies for the bears and some of the larger animals. The triple E's love to feed animals, so this was a great deal for us! Much better than the little handful of corn you usually get for $0.25 or even $0.50 at most zoos or farms.

The zoo had many many animals, including lions, various bears, various deer, various foxes, buffalo, jaguars, coyotes, emus, and kangaroos just to name a few. The chicken and the ducks that we saw first were really overfed so they had no interest in the corn we tried to give them. But when we got to the Fallow Deer, they were all eager to eat all the corn we were willing to feed them. Once we started feeding one, they all started to come over to where we were and anxiously waiting for us to throw some corn their way. The kids had a blast since they had always seen deer from a distance but never in such close proximity. It was also a great time to teach them the difference between male and female deer and also different body parts on the deer.
Another memorable animal the kids saw was an ostrich. This particular ostrich was quite mean and once it saw us come towards the fence, it started to snap at the fence repeatedly. We quickly named it the "mean ostrich" and walked away since we didn't want the kids to get hurt if they accidentally got too close. From there on out, E1 kept repeating "I don't like the mean ostrich!"

Something that stood out right away for my husband was that they placed the predator really close to  the prey. The predators were caged and separated but it seemed a bit like torture at least in our minds for them to be so close to or sometimes even right next to the animals they would be hunting and eating if they were in the wild. Just a little observation from the adults.

The museum had an extensive collection of antique cars, antique bikes, horse carriages, antique toys, and various farm tools that was really something to behold for the kids and even for us adults.
Overall a really good experience had by all and we would definitely recommend it to anyone who happens to be in the area.

What did your family do Labor Day Weekend? We would love to hear from you.



  1. Sounds like a lovely trip. I find waterfalls to be so mesmerizing. We went to a Wildlife Center where they rehabilitate local wildlife animals. Kids had fun seeing all the different varieties of birds and other animals.

    1. The Wildlife Center sounds like fun. Kids and animals are almost always a fun combo!

  2. Hi Zi! What baby carrier do you have? Made for "hiking"? Yea, even 45 min seems long carrying a baby ;). Seems like everyone did great though! And even on the trails and "obstacles". Muy impressed! Kinda funny about the predator and prey situation. Of course he'd be the one to point it out ;). We didn't do much over the Labor Day weekend, which was fine since we wanted to recover from our beach trip.

  3. Hi Lisa! We have a Snugli (actually we have 2, used them most when we went to Malaysia and the girls were babies). It's funny how we always need to recover/rest after a vacation =)