A Stay-at-Home Dad Trying To Keep a 2 Year Old Princess and Her Video Game Obsessed Older Brothers Entertained

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Mr. G's - You Have Got To Try This Ice Cream

Imagine you've only ever seen your favorite movie on a 20 inch television screen. Now imagine seeing that movie on a 70 ft. Imax screen. That lame analogy is my way of describing the depth of flavor you'll feel when you take your first taste of Mr. G's Old Fashioned Hand Made Ice Cream. It is hands down, the best ice cream I have ever tasted!

Mr. G serves up his outrageous ice cream from a century old building in Gettysburg's tourist area. In fact, Mr. G has such a great location - Abraham Lincoln walked by the place on his way to give the Gettysburg Address. If you don't believe me, check out the trees on either side of the building. They both have plaques confirming Mr. Lincoln's passing by! I'm sure the building was used for something less exciting than ice cream back then, but it's still a cool distinction.

Mr. G's is a quint little shop that is pretty big on fun. The inside is not too big and it can get pretty tight in there on nights when the line stretches out the door. Each day Mr. G offers up only a handful of flavors. You won't find crazy designer flavors like Ben & Jerry make. You'll find a pretty typical collection of ice cream flavors. But the homemade work that goes into each batch of ice cream can be detected the second you take your first lick. I'm sure it has to do with the amount of butterfat or whole cream or some science mumbo jumbo like that...I don't know, all I know it is easily the best tasting ice cream I have ever had!

The shop offers a few other selections like Root Beer Floats, Milkshakes, Sundaes and even soft serve, but it's the homemade hand dip scoops that have people buzzing about this Summer sweet spot! My personal ultimate indulgence at Mr. G's is a waffle cone with a scoop of Birthday Cake Batter and a scoop of Chocolate Peanut Butter. I always ask for the latter scoop on top so I have easy access to the huge chunks of thick peanut butter floating in the chocolate goodness. My wife like the fruit based flavors like their super fresh tasting Peach or the yummy Dreamsicle, The boys did Mint Oreo while my younger daughter is just happy with anything you put in a cone and then hand her!
There is a little bit of seating inside the historic building and plenty of seating outside all around the place. Another big attraction at Mr. G's is the number of Ring and Hook games they have set up on their property. This is the simple game of trying to swing a small ring attached to a string onto a hook on a pole in front of you. If you've never played this game it might sound easy, but it takes a certain skill to get the hang of it. The best part is, it keeps kids mesmerized for hours. My kids have literally spend half an afternoon standing there playing it, while I lounged at a nearby picnic table eating my daily caloric intake and scrolling Facebook. The game has become so popular at Mr. G's that have even organized some tournaments help periodically throughout the season.
When you're done with your ice cream you can stroll through the rather large Mr. G's Gift Shop located in a separate building directly behind the ice cream shop. Back there, Mr. G sells Gettysburg souvenirs as well as a few keepsakes of his own place. They also carry a full line of Life Is Good apparel as well.
Mr. G's Old Fashioned Home Made & Soft Serve Ice Cream is a great way to cool off in the middle of a hot summer day. It's located right in the middle of all the tourist fun of historic Gettysburg at 404 Baltimore St.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Mount Tabor Park: Home of The Giant Slide

Entrance to Mount Tabor Park in Rocky Ridge, MD
Tucked away on a little country
road in the tiny little town of Rocky Ridge, MD (right next door to the slightly less tiny town of Thurmont) lies a rinky dink looking park with some pretty spectacular surprises inside. Mount Tabor Park on Motters Station Road can easily be accessed from Rt. 15 between Frederick, MD and Gettysburg, PA. You won't see any billboards or even signs pointing you to the spot. There is a just a small sign on the side of the road as you approach the park.
The big draw at Mt. Tabor Park...the reason this park is even on the map...is their Giant Slide. This is bigger than any other sliding board you've ever seen at any other playground or park. This bad boy stands 35 ft. tall and is 100 ft. long! Built in 1951, the slide itself is made from hardwood flooring while the structure is made from lumber sourced right from the park. The slide provides fast rides down it's 100 feet of rippled runway, dropping you off in a nice big box full of sawdust. To aide your ride there are usually various towels, burlap sacks and carpet remnants for you to ride down the slide on, increasing your speed. It's similar to one of those fun slides you see at a carnival, except you don't have to pay four bucks every time you ride.
The slide is fun for all ages. Here's my 2 year old who needed some help climbing the long ramp to the top, but didn't need any help taking her own ride down the slide. This monstrosity is big enough for grown-ups as well as kids of any size. Since there's no attendant on hand, like at a carnival, you can ride with a kid in your lap, two kids in your lap, you can race each other, go down backwards, my one son even stood on a beach towel and surfed his way down.
 The kids experimented with all different sorts of ways to go down the slide. They had a blast.
The park is also home to some other unusual playground equipment like this gigantic carousel. In general, this sort of a thing has been disappearing from playgrounds for years as there are just so many ways for a kid to get hurt on them. Of course, if you watch your children and they use caution/common sense - everybody should have a good time. This particular carousel is huge and could probably hold up to 20 kids. All 3 of my kids had fun spinning around at a leisurely  pace and then we took the Princess off and sped things up and the boys couldn't get enough.
 Mount Tabor Park is almost like a museum with all these neat-o antique play things. In addition to traditional swings and a sliding board, you'll also find these old fashioned horse swings which are a neat touch. My daughter loved them and they are plenty sturdy enough for older kids too. The park also houses a large capacity picnic pavilion, even on a crowded day there should be plenty of picnic tables for everybody. Another nearby pavilion in the park is home to dozens of rows of red painted church pews, which would be kind of creepy except that the park is owned by a church...so I guess they do church stuff there sometimes too!?
Mount Tabor Park and it's giant slide are unique enough to hunt down this strange little park and make a little road trip out of it. Cunningham Falls State Park and the Catoctin Zoo are also nearby to round out a full day of fun. The park doesn't have a proper address to punch into your GPS, but find your way to Motter's Station Rd and just keep an eye out for the park. If you are coming from Rt. 15, the park will be on your right about 5 minutes down the road.