Showing posts with label Family Fun. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family Fun. Show all posts

3 June 2021

The World's Only Harry Potter Flagship Store Welcomes Fans Through The Doors For The First Time

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The World’s Only Harry Potter Flagship Store Welcomes Customers Through The Doors For The First Time
The World’s Only Harry Potter Flagship Store Welcomes Customers Through The Doors For The First Time
Today, Harry Potter fans from across the world were welcomed into Harry Potter New York as the flagship store opened its doors to the public for the first time. 
Greeted by a 220lb model of Fawkes the Phoenix, fans discovered a host of magical creatures and hand-made props throughout the immersive retail experience including Voldemort's horcrux, Nagini, bursting through the ceiling in an area inspired by the Dark Arts.

With 15 themed areas and thousands of products, every aspiring witch and wizard will find something magical to add to their collection. Fans explored areas inspired by Honeydukes to find Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans and Chocolate Frogs before stopping under the Dirigible Plum tree to find their favourite creature soft toy. Customers were invited to step into Hagrid's boots to see how they measure up and duel other customers at the store's interactive wand table.
''We're delighted to be welcoming fans to Harry Potter New York for a completely new shopping experience," said Sarah Roots, EVP Warner Bros. Worldwide Tours and Retail. "Not only will visitors find the largest range of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts products under one roof, they will also get to discover up-close some of the hand-crafted props that were seen in the films, use our unique photo opportunities and experience the incredible theming throughout the store.''

COVID-19:

  • For the safety of customers and colleagues, masks are required when visiting Harry Potter New York. The store is operating with a reduced capacity to ensure physical distancing is maintained.
The World's Only Harry Potter Flagship Store Welcomes Fans Through The Doors For The First Time
Harry Potter New York Brings Butterbeer To New York City For The First Time

Someone Said "Butterbeer"?

Appearing throughout the stories and loved by Hogwarts students and teachers alike, Butterbeer is a much-requested fan-favorite soft drink.
Fans visiting Harry Potter New York can choose from draft Butterbeer, Butterbeer ice cream and bottled Butterbeer to enjoy in New York's only Butterbeer Bar.

Once inside the Butterbeer Bar, fans are greeted by a giant cascade of glowing Butterbeer bottles, each completed with a collectible MinaLima label. Nearly 1,000 bottles rise from the floor and 'float' over the bar as Butterbeer moves magically across the ceiling through copper pipes. Witches, wizards, Muggles and No-maj's alike are invited to enjoy a frothy cup of Butterbeer served in souvenir tankard, a refreshing Butterbeer ice cream or freshly poured bottled Butterbeer as well as range of wizarding world inspired treats.

  • Made and brewed in the U.K, bottled Butterbeer has a style which is entirely unique and comes in beautifully crafted souvenir glass bottles, each one featuring an exclusive collectible label designed by MinaLima, the design duo behind the graphic props of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films.
Best served chilled and poured straight from the bottle, the delicious soft drink features a new take on the butterscotch flavour fans know and love. The unique blend of top-secret ingredients makes bottled Butterbeer a must try for any aspiring witch or wizard.
The World's Only Harry Potter Flagship Store Welcomes Fans Through The Doors For The First Time
Harry Potter New York Brings Butterbeer To New York City For The First Time
Harry Potter New York has a virtual queueing system in place. When customers visit the store, they will scan a QR code to join a virtual queue and return when notified. Harry Potter New York is open from 10am – 9pm Mon-Sat and 11am-7pm on Sundays.

Fans can keep up to date by following Harry Potter New York's social channels:

Related Stories:

8 April 2021

New Survey Shows America Celebrates Post-COVID With In Home Disco Parties [Infographic]

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New Survey Shows America Celebrates Post-COVID With In Home Disco Parties [Infographic]
New Survey Shows America Celebrates Post-COVID With In Home Disco Parties (Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko)
L.O.L. Surprise! has new research showing more US families have turned to kitchen dance parties with 65 percent of households enjoying more in-home discos - complete with dad-dancing and wooden spoons for microphones - over the last year than ever before and 49 percent of the 2000 Americans polled saying a kitchen disco is now a regular weekend occurrence.

The new research celebrating the launch of the new L.O.L. Surprise! Dance Dance Dance toy line reveals several interesting details about these at home discos:

  • Saturday night at 6pm is the most popular time for families to shake their booties.
  • The number one song on the kitchen disco list is Queen's iconic anthem, Bohemian Rhapsody (35 percent).
  • In second place is Justin Timberlake's funky Can't Stop the Feeling (33 percent), followed by the uplifting Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye (30 percent)
  • 89 percent of households confess they can't get enough of dancing together in the kitchen during the weekend.
  • 29 percent admit that they try to keep their parents up to date on the latest music and how to bust a move - but it's just no use.
  • Three in 10 parents are being introduced to the wonders of TikTok, with U Can't Touch This by MC Hammer the number one dance taught to parents by their children (33 percent), followed by Savage Love by Jason Derulo (32 percent), and Toosie Slide by Drake (30 percent).
Isaac Larian, CEO and Founder of MGA Entertainment, conducted the research as part of the L.O.L. Surprise! Dance Dance Dance toy launch, said, "Dancing is always something that has brought people together from around the globe. We love that our toys have inspired our fans, parents and children, to find escape and joy together in kitchen disco parties, and that they have embraced dance as a way to connect no matter what is happening in the world around them."
New Survey Shows America Celebrates Post-COVID With In Home Disco Parties [Infographic]
New Survey Shows America Celebrates Post-COVID With In Home Disco Parties (Photo by cottonbro)
The survey found that 42 percent of kids still think dad's moves are embarrassing and 37 percent claim mom's moves are just as bad. However, 67 percent say that despite this, they still love to have a dance with their parents at home, although 26 percent wouldn't be caught dancing with them in public.

As for the parents, two thirds (64 percent) said dancing with their kids had lifted their spirits over the last year, with 82 percent agree being able to bust some moves together always cheers them up and helps improve their mood, and over half having used dance parties as a fun way to let off steam (55 percent). 


  • Plus, 26 percent of families are taking things to the next level and have pulled out all the stops to turn the kitchen into a home disco, complete with flashing lights and decorations to bring the party to life.
New Survey Shows America Celebrates Post-COVID With In Home Disco Parties [Infographic]
New Survey Shows America Celebrates Post-COVID With In Home Disco Parties (Photo by KoolShooters)

The 20 Greatest Kitchen Disco Songs Of All Time According To Americans:

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen (35%
  2. Can't Stop the Feeling - Justin Timberlake (33%)
  3. Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye (30%)
  4. Happy - Pharell Williams (28%)
  5. Uptown Funk - Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars (28%)
  6. Shake If Off - Taylor Swift (27%)
  7. Crazy in Love - Beyonce (26%)
  8. Hey Ya - Outkast (25%)
  9. Dancing Queen - Abba (23%)
  10. I Want to Dance with Somebody - Whitney Houston (23%)
  11. Believe - Cher (21%)
  12. Wannabe - Spice Girls (20%)
  13. I will Survive - Gloria Gaynor (18%)
  14. Don't Worry Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin (18%)
  15. Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns and Roses (18%)
  16. Buffalo Soldier - Bob Marley and the Wailers (18%)
  17. My Name is - Eminem (18%)
  18. Gin & Juice - Snoop Dogg (18%)
  19. Toxic - Britney Spears (16%)
  20. Staying Alive - the BeeGees (15%)

The Infographic:

New Survey Shows America Celebrates Post-COVID With In Home Disco Parties [Infographic]
L.O.L. Surprise! shows US families are turning to kitchen dance parties celebrating post-COVID!


23 March 2021

Sesame Workshop Releases New "ABCs of Racial Literacy" Content to Help Families Talk to Children About Race and Identity ["Giant" Song Video Included]

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Sesame Workshop Releases New "ABCs of Racial Literacy" Content to Help Families Talk to Children About Race and Identity ["Giant" Song Video Included]
Sesame Workshop Releases New "ABCs of Racial Literacy" Content to Help Families Talk to Children About Race and Identity (image courtesy of Sesame Workshop)
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, is releasing new resources to support families in talking to their children about race and racism. The "ABCs of Racial Literacy" is part of Coming Together, Sesame Workshop's ongoing commitment to racial justice. Designed to provide families with the tools they need to build racial literacy, to have open conversations with young children, to engage allies and advocates to become upstanders against racism, and more, Coming Together includes a racial justice educational framework, ongoing research, and a rolling release of new content on SesameWorkshop.org/ComingTogether.
Coming Together is rooted in extensive research and consultation with experts to develop a groundbreaking Racial Justice educational framework and curriculum for young children. Like the science-based whole-child model that Sesame Street is known for, this framework will help guide and inform the creation of new Sesame Workshop content going forward—including future seasons of Sesame Street. Today's announcement, which is part of the Sesame Street in Communities initiative, builds on recent efforts focused on tackling racism and its impact on children, including The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special, the CNN Town Hall Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism, and related short-form content.

Sesame Workshop Releases New "ABCs of Racial Literacy" Content to Help Families Talk to Children About Race and Identity ["Giant" Song Video Included]
Sesame Workshop Releases New "ABCs of Racial Literacy" Content to Help Families Talk to Children About Race and Identity (screengrab)
"At Sesame Workshop, we look at every issue through the lens of a child. Children are not colorblind—not only do they first notice differences in race in infancy, but they also start forming their own sense of identity at a very young age," said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President, Sesame Workshop. "'The ABCs of Racial Literacy' is designed to foster open, age-appropriate conversations among families and support them in building racial literacy. By encouraging these much-needed conversations through Coming Together, we can help children build a positive sense of identity and value the identities of others."
The new 'ABCs of Racial Literacy' resources launching today are designed to help all families celebrate their own unique identities, while also providing age-appropriate language and strategies to answer sometimes-tough questions around race and racism. In one video featuring two new Muppets, 5-year-old Wes and his father Elijah, Elmo wants to know why Wes's skin is brown. Elijah explains the concept of melanin and that the color of our skin is an important part of who we are. In a new music video, the Sesame Street Muppets celebrate their own unique identities; the song, "Giant," is available on all major platforms through Warner Music Group's Arts Music. In another video coming soon, Rosita's mom and her friend Sofia help Rosita cope with a racist incident in the grocery store, while also celebrating speaking Spanish. Additional resources include videos featuring real families talking about their experiences, activities for families to do together, and talking points and conversation starters for families.

The new Coming Together: The ABCs of Racial Literacy resources launching today are available at no cost to families at SesameWorkshop.org/ComingTogether. The resources, which are available in English and Spanish, will also be distributed through a wide range of national and community providers as part of Sesame Street in Communities, Sesame Workshop's program to support children and families, particularly those most vulnerable. Additional professional development materials for providers like social workers, educators, and healthcare providers will also be available.
"Sesame Workshop has always stood for diversity, inclusion, equity, and kindness. As a trusted source for families, we have a responsibility to speak out for racial justice and empower families to have conversations about race and identity with their children at a young age," said Kay Wilson Stallings, Executive Vice President of Creative and Production, Sesame Workshop. "The work to dismantle racism begins by helping children understand what racism is and how it hurts and impacts people. Sadly, today's announcement comes at a time of racial and social discord when many families are in need of support in talking to their children about racism. We're proud to reaffirm our Coming Together commitment to racial justice, which will be woven into new Sesame Workshop content for years to come."
  • According to a recent Children and Racism study commissioned by Sesame Workshop to capture and elevate the voices of children ages 6-11 and their parents, racism was top of mind for nearly half the children surveyed with racism more prevalent in responses of Black children. The majority of parents were comfortable with children learning about race and racism through media, books, or school, yet only 23% of parents report that specific resources helped them prepare for discussions with their children. The new ABCs of Racial Literacy resources seek to fill a gap for parents and caregivers as they embark on conversations with their children about race and racism. A full report of the study findings will be released this spring.

The "Giant" Song  - Video:

More to read, listen, and play is coming soon from across the Workshop to continue the conversation as part of Coming Together. In the coming year, Sesame Workshop will release additional Sesame Street in Communities resources made possible by the generous support of donors including PNC Foundation, USAA, and the Joan Ganz Cooney Fund for Vulnerable Children. SesameWorkshop.org/ComingTogether will be regularly updated with new content for children and families promoting racial justice.
SOURCE: Sesame Workshop

10 February 2021

Turning Your Garden Into Your Own Outdoor Paradise

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Turning Your Garden Into Your Own Outdoor Paradise
Turning Your Garden Into Your Own Outdoor Paradise (Photo by cottonbro)
With many more people spending much more of their time at home, feeling comfortable and content within the confines of your property is becoming increasingly important. One of the biggest aspects of your home that can be of benefit during lockdown orders is your garden, as it offers the perfect opportunity to get outside and make the most of the sun and fresh air without running the risk of breaching the rules. Turning your garden into your own little slice of heaven is sure to encourage you to get outdoors whenever possible, but how might you be able to begin such a project without any ideas or inspiration? Look no further, as here are some of the most brilliant tips and tricks that you can utilise to transform your outdoor space into an amazing natural paradise in no time at all.

Lay The Best Foundations

If your garden is overgrown with pesky weeds and plants or spotted with junk or unwanted items, the first step that you must take to transform the space is to clear a new foundation. Setting the scene for your new relaxation spot is so vital, as you need to create a blank canvas to see what you are actually working with. Dig out your lawn mower and get to strimming the grass and any other bushes or hedgerows that have decided to take over, cutting back intrusive branches whilst making the largest possible open space to really utilise every inch of your garden.

Section & Set Up

The next step that you should follow to start building your dream garden involves sectioning the space into different areas with different purposes. Each area can be used to host its own set activity, such as a patio housing a table and chairs that can be used for al fresco dining, or a set of outdoor bean bags beneath a tree to chill out in the shade on a hot day. You can physically section out your garden by utilising fences and railings, and this can help to protect your trees at the same time. Even the gardens that house England's oldest trees make the most of such protective measures to keep their plants safe, so it’s a great option to explore to protect any old trees in your garden. If you have children or a young family, setting up a play area should be your next port of call. You can source a full play set that includes swings, a slide and a set of monkey bars for such an affordable price tag, and your little ones are bound to spend hours in the garden having great fun as a result.

Turning Your Garden Into Your Own Outdoor Paradise
Turning Your Garden Into Your Own Outdoor Paradise (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio)
Turning your garden into your own outdoor paradise has never been so simple when you can take the time to make the most of the brilliant tips and ideas that have been carefully detailed above. There’s no time like the present to get outdoors and get some vitamin D, so what are you waiting for?

3 February 2021

The Cat Fanciers' Association, ZYMOX & Oratene Present: TrapKing's "From Feral to Fancy" TNR Fundraising Cat Photo Contest

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The Cat Fanciers' Association, ZYMOX & Oratene Present: TrapKing's "From Feral to Fancy" TNR Fundraising Cat Photo Contest
Cat owners can enter their cats in the competition beginning Sunday, February 7. Spectators can vote on their favorite cats from February 14 through 26 and the judges will announce the winners on Facebook February 27 and 28.
What do you get when you team up rapper-turned-trapper Sterling "TrapKing" Davis with the world's largest cat organization, two top pet healthcare brands, and 10 well-known internet purrsonalities? A CFA Virtual Cat Competition destined to turn 11 lucky kitties into mini-celebrities!
Davis is an African American cat rescuer dedicated to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), widely considered the only humane way to stop cat overpopulation. It's endorsed by the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the American Humane Association, and many other progressive animal welfare organizations.

The Cat Fanciers' Association, ZYMOX & Oratene Present: TrapKing's "From Feral to Fancy" TNR Fundraising Cat Photo Contest
Sterling "TrapKing" Davis (Photo via vcc.cfa.org)
TrapKing's From Feral to Fancy TNR Fundraising Cat Photo Contest offers cats everywhere the chance to compete for 100 prizes with their photos. "I love how CFA realizes that rescue, shelter and feral cats are just as beautiful as the fancy pedigree ones," said Davis recently. Top winners in each of the competitive categories will enjoy photo appearances in New York City's Times Square! 

  • Proceeds from the event will go to Davis' nonprofit, TrapKing Humane Cat Solutions, which will use the money to teach cat rescuers the basics of TNR.
CFA is partnering with Davis because of his exemplary work in bringing diversity to the animal world. "It's no secret the cat scene is dominated by white women, and Sterling brings a message of acceptance and compassion. He's trying to bridge the racial divide between the cat world and the black community," says Desiree Bobby, CFA's Marketing Director. Davis is known for his motto, "You don't lose cool points for compassion." 

  • The show is also sponsored by the brands ZYMOX and Oratene, veterinarian recommended solutions that have been helping pets have healthy ears, skin and mouths for over twenty years.
The event is part of CFA's Companion Cat World Program, reflecting the organization's mission to enhance all cats' lives. 

Kitty contestants can choose from 11 categories, including: 

  • Main Event
  • Me & My Cat Lady/Cat Daddy
  • Beautiful Eyes 
  • Gotcha! Day,
  • Cats in Costume
  • Outdoor/Adventure
  • Cats Looking for Fur-ever Homes. 
The judging lineup includes well-known cat influencers NathanTheCatLady, SunglassCat, Adventure Cats, "Catification" designer Kate Benjamin, Two Crazy Cat Ladies and Pet Behavior Expert Arden Moore, plus many more. 

SOURCE: The Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc.

13 December 2020

Pandemic December: How to Stay Connected and Resilient in a COVID-19 Holiday Season

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A new perspective and approach may be required to get through this year’s pandemic-heavy holiday season. (Shutterstock)
A new perspective and approach may be required to get through this year’s pandemic-heavy holiday season. (Shutterstock)
This year’s holiday season will no doubt be different. The holidays are already a time of increased mental health risks because of anxiety, depression, seasonal affective disorder, alcohol/substance use and other factors. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic will add a major pressure to the festive season.

Whether you mark holidays in December or not, typical winter customs are being disrupted. The pandemic has had a significant impact on society’s ability to connect and has also reduced individuals’ access to wellness-maintaining strategies and activities. For example, COVID-19 has limited and in some cases halted visits with loved ones, gatherings with friends and colleagues, and as cold weather comes, our options for outdoor activities will decrease.

A new perspective and approach may be required to get through this year’s holiday season.

The rewards of gratitude and compassion

As a health psychologist and a psychiatrist, our work at The Ottawa Hospital over the last decade has been focused on staff and physician wellness. When people are experiencing a chronic crisis, it’s exhausting, and leads to wear and tear on both body and mind. This can lead to “survival mode” in which we can become more focused on our own needs.

As we feel the impact of COVID-19 fatigue, there is increasing acknowledgement of the impact on health and wellness of the front-line workers. One of the biggest boosts we can give ourselves is to give to others. Self-transcendent emotions, which include compassion and gratitude, have a positive physiological impact by stabilizing our heart rate and blood pressure. In fact, giving to others stimulates the brain’s reward centre, and that’s why it feels so good.

Giving doesn’t have to be monetary. Messages of gratitude can be delivered throughout this pandemic to everyone working on the front lines, including health-care professionals, teachers, delivery services including post office outlets, and all of the those working in businesses like stores, pharmacies and restaurants. Thank you.

Rebooting and connecting

For many people, technology may be the only way to connect to others during the pandemic, and for some this might be the safest way to connect to family and friends over the holidays. (Pexels/Koolshooters)
In uncertain times, people can get overloaded by too much information. One way to reboot is to get out of your head. Try to pick activities that use your hands and your body. This slows you down and can shift your focus into the here and now. This can give you a sense of control and anchors you to the present. Art and crafts, photography, exercise and playing a musical instrument can all provide a means to focus our attention on a specific and in in-the-moment task.

For a bigger boost, think back to activities you loved as a kid, such as colouring, dancing, baking, singing at the top of your lungs.

We used to worry about how attached we were to our devices and particularly concerned about total screen time for kids. For many, this may be the only way to connect to others, and for some this might be the safest way to connect to family and friends over the holidays. It may be even more essential for those who live alone and/or who may have lost a significant person in their lives this year.

Part of “Zoom fatigue” may be linked to inactivity and repetitiveness of our daily activities during the pandemic. There may be innovative ways, through technology, for you to enjoy activities you used to do, and reach out for support and connection.

Expectations and expressions

As we reflect on how to approach the holiday season, it’s important to scale our expectations and be compassionate with ourselves and others in these unusual times. We do need to make space for all of the emotions — good and bad — that we are experiencing. This may include frustration, anger, anxiety, sadness and disappointment.

It’s important to proactively set up activities and actions that can connect us to our humanness: expressing our kindness and gratitude to others, being in harmony with our technology, and trying to reconnect with moments and times in our lives that were meaningful or joyful.

About Today's Contributor:

Kerri Ritchie, Professional Practice Coordinator, Psychology, The Ottawa Hospital, & Clinical Professor, L’Universit├ę d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa and Caroline Gerin-Lajoie, Psychiatrist, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Ottawa, and Executive VIce-President, Physician Wellness and Medical Culture, Canadian Medical Association

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

10 December 2020

Ho Ho Ho! Santa Claus Plans Socially Distant (and Out of this World) Visit to the International Space Station

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Ho Ho Ho! Santa Claus Plans Socially Distant (and Out of this World) Visit to the International Space Station
Santa's sleigh flying past the International Space Station on a precise digital twin of the Earth built by Cesium, a Philadelphia-based tech startup.
The North Pole has confirmed that Santa's sleigh will perform a ceremonial fly-by of the International Space Station (ISS) on December 24. The out-of-this world visit will honor the 20th anniversary of continuous life on the ISS, a milestone achieved in November.
The official NORAD Santa Tracker at NoradSanta.Org enables users to track Santa's journey all day on December 24. New for this year, visitors will be able to see the ISS orbiting the planet in its precise real-time location by zooming out on the 3D Santa Tracker app. 

  • Other updates include additions to Santa's traditional garb, including a face mask, and for part of the journey - a space helmet.
NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, is a United States and Canada bi-national organization that defends North America by tracking objects flying in and around its airspace 24 hours a day using radar, satellites and fighter jets. Each year, it joins corporate partners in taking on a special mission to also track Santa's sleigh. 

  • The app shows Santa's position reflected on a highly accurate digital twin of the Earth provided by Cesium, a Philadelphia-based geospatial software company.
"Cesium is rooted in aerospace, so it's especially meaningful to us that our technology will allow millions of people to enjoy this event in real-time from the safety of their homes," said Cesium CEO Patrick Cozzi.
"The ISS is a spectacular example of what humans can accomplish when we work together," said Hannah Pinkos, lead developer of the app. "2020 has been a tough year, but I think this special trip is Santa's way of reminding us to believe in ourselves."
Ho Ho Ho! Santa Claus Plans Socially Distant (and Out of this World) Visit to the International Space Station
Santa Claus Plans Socially Distant Visit to the International Space Station (Photo by cottonbro)

About Cesium - The Platform for 3D Geospatial:

Cesium has been providing the 3D geospatial platform that powers the NORAD Tracks Santa app since 2012. Born at aerospace software company AGI, an Ansys Company, Cesium became independent in 2019. Its open platform is used across industries to build applications using 3D location data collected from sensors like satellites and drones. By creating precise digital twins of the Earth with Cesium, users can understand the operations of smart cities, measure piles of soil on construction sites from thousands of miles away, and even track the location of Santa's sleigh in real-time as he travels around the globe. 

SOURCE: Cesium

5 December 2020

The Elves Are Flying Off the Shelf - 'The Elf on the Shelf' and 'Elf Pets' Are Scarce but Can Still Be Found in Select Locations

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The Elves Are Flying Off the Shelf - 'The Elf on the Shelf' and 'Elf Pets' Are Scarce but Can Still Be Found in Select Locations
The Elf on the Shelf® and Elf Pets® Are Scarce but Can Still Be Found in Select Locations (PRNewsfoto/The Lumistella Company)
Breaking news from the North Pole Press Room! Santa is aware that families are having difficulty finding The Elf on the Shelf Scout Elves and the Elf Pets this holiday season.
 "The Scout Elves really are flying off store shelves this season," states The Lumistella Company president, Mike Champion. "But Adoption Centers across the nation remain open and a few still have Scout Elves and Elf Pets ready to be taken home."
"More families are searching for safe and innovative ways to provide entertainment for their children or to lighten the family's mood this year," notes The Lumistella Company Co-CEO Christa Pitts. "Though it might be difficult to find our products, I encourage families to look at Party City, Michael's, Target, and Barnes and Noble. Those retailers still have available but limited supply. I also suggest visiting elfontheshelf.com to find out how to support community businesses and shop locally. Our website lists all of our adoption centers through a store locator feature."
  • There are lots of ways to engage with The Elf on the Shelf this season. Families can visit the official The Elf on the Shelf YouTube channel for music videos and shorts, watch the Elf Pets movies on streaming services, or visit the website for fun, engaging Christmas recipes or elf inspiration. "We are devoted to helping families create more joyful family moments this holiday season," Ms. Pitts added.
The Elf on the Shelf Scout Elves and the Elf Pets are Santa's official helpers from the North Pole. With over 17 million Scout Elves and Elf Pets adopted worldwide, and with this year marking their 15th year in business, The Lumistella Company's banner of Christmas-inspired brands proves once and for all that while their products might be tricky to find, Christmas spirit is soaring higher than ever.

24 November 2020

Bing Crosby, Chuck Berry, Ella Fitzgerald & Frank Sinatra Usher In The Holidays In New Animated Videos For Some Of Their Biggest Christmas Hits [Videos Included]

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Bing Crosby, Chuck Berry, Ella Fitzgerald & Frank Sinatra Usher In The Holidays In New Animated Videos For Some Of Their Biggest Christmas Hits
This holiday season, musical legends Bing Crosby, Chuck Berry, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra are returning in animated form with first-ever official music videos from UMe for some of the most iconic and beloved songs in the Christmas canon.
This holiday season, musical legends Bing Crosby, Chuck Berry, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra are returning in animated form with first-ever official music videos from UMe for some of the most iconic and beloved songs in the Christmas canon. In the beautifully hand drawn and painted videos created by Fantoons Animation Studios, Crosby brings joy to a down in the dumps town with his trusty Bing-O-Matic in "Winter Wonderland" and croons over a multigenerational military family's holiday gatherings in "White Christmas," guitar-clad Berry helps Santa with his Christmas rounds in vintage comic book style in "Run Rudolph Run," Fitzgerald and Frosty delight in a winter wonderland storybook setting in "Frosty The Snowman" and Sinatra delivers mid-century style, glitz and grace as only he can in the holiday classics, "The Christmas Waltz" and "Mistletoe and Holly."
"UMe is incredibly honored and excited to partner with these legendary artists and estates to celebrate their iconic holiday songs and give them official videos," says Bruce Resnikoff, President and CEO of UMe, the global catalog company of UMG. "Last year was the first time we created holiday videos and we had such a tremendous response that we've gone all in again this year and our content team and Fantoons have really outdone themselves. These songs are some of the most popular year to year and we hope these videos brighten up fans holidays as well as attract new audiences across the digital platforms they inhabit. Similar to before, the video assets and creative will be deployed across UMe's holiday marketing and advertising campaigns for a cohesive look and feel and to achieve greater engagement across a broader audience."
Bing Crosby, Chuck Berry, Ella Fitzgerald & Frank Sinatra Usher In The Holidays In New Animated Videos For Some Of Their Biggest Christmas Hits
Bing Crosby - "White Christmas" (screengrab)

Mary Crosby of The Bing Crosby Estate:

"Keeping dad's spirit alive, especially during the holidays, is not only of huge importance to us as a family, but to everyone. During these trying times his voice gives hope and comfort to all of us. I am thrilled that there is another way dad is being seen and heard. I love the videos Universal came up with and, of course, love his music! Dad believed supporting the troops was one of the most important contributions that he made in his life. When he was asked about his career it wasn't his awards or the fame that came his way, it was that 'in some small way, if he made the life of a soldier a little bit easier then, that was what mattered. The video for 'White Christmas' is a wonderful tribute to his love and appreciation for the troops."
Bing Crosby, Chuck Berry, Ella Fitzgerald & Frank Sinatra Usher In The Holidays In New Animated Videos For Some Of Their Biggest Christmas Hits
Chuck Berry - "Run Rudolph Run" (screengrab)

Charles Berry Jr. of The Chuck Berry Estate:

"What an honor to have 'Run Rudolph Run' given such a dazzling visualization as its first music video! The marriage of animation and music could not be better – you can't beat flying reindeer, Santa Claus and electric guitar! My dad always told stories in his songs and his poetic skills are on full display here. The lyrics tell a Christmas story that young and old can't help but enjoy. Fun, frolicking and certainly perfect for the season, it was a holiday favorite in our house and we hope this video for a timeless Chuck Berry song brings joy and helps people get in the spirit this holiday season."
Bing Crosby, Chuck Berry, Ella Fitzgerald & Frank Sinatra Usher In The Holidays In New Animated Videos For Some Of Their Biggest Christmas Hits
Ella Fitzgerald - "Frosty The Snowman" (screengrab)

Richard Rosman & Fran Morris Rosman of The Ella Fitzgerald Foundation:

"Since it was released 60 years ago, Ella Fitzgerald's Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas has remained a perennial and beloved standard for the holidays, livening up countless festivities and family gatherings with its joyful and jazzy takes on Christmas classics, including the swinging 'Frosty The Snowman. The Ella Fitzgerald Estate is thrilled to partner with UMe to bring Ella and Frosty to colorful life in this fantastic, beautifully animated video and hope that both Ella's fans and the new generations just discovering her music will love it. What a wonderful gift for the song and album to receive as it celebrates its 60th anniversary!"
Bing Crosby, Chuck Berry, Ella Fitzgerald & Frank Sinatra Usher In The Holidays In New Animated Videos For Some Of Their Biggest Christmas Hits
Frank Sinatra - "The Christmas Waltz" (screengrab)

Nancy Sinatra of Frank Sinatra Enterprises:
"I really think he might be the voice of Christmas. I just think that the sentimentality of my dad's recordings is what grabs people. He was emotional when he sang them, and people are emotional when they hear them. That doesn't really change."

The Videos:







These videos are just some of the many ways that UMe is celebrating its unmatched Christmas catalog and helping to turn up the joy this holiday season. In addition to the new animated videos, a variety of "Christmas With…" collections for artists including The Beach Boys, Bing Crosby, Brenda Lee, Burl Ives, Chuck Berry, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, The Jackson 5 and Nat King Cole are available to stream on your favorite DSP and there's of course the annual Christmas Music playlist which features some of the most popular songs and artists across the holiday music canon, pairing timeless classics with contemporary favorites. 

For those looking for more holiday entertainment, The Ed Sullivan Show's official YouTube channel is celebrating the season with a music-and laughter-filled holiday playlist. Classics include "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby, "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" by Gene Autry, "Jingle Bells" by Paul Anka, and more. Festive fun lights up things with "Mrs. Claus Interview" by Stiller & Meara, "Deck The Halls" by the Baird Puppets and holiday cheer with The Muppets.

SOURCE: UMe

20 November 2020

'Tis the Season to Be Safe: Top Tips for Your Family During COVID-19 [Video Included]

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'Tis the Season to Be Safe: Top Tips for Your Family During COVID-19
'Tis the Season to Be Safe: Top Tips for Your Family During COVID-19 - Poster
The holidays normally are a time to get together in person with friends and family. However, the pandemic may mean virtual celebrations this year. Regardless of how you celebrate, it's important to protect yourself from possible dangers associated with holiday trees, candles, and cooking fires, as well as unsafe toys.

To keep the season safe, here's what you need to know:

'Tis the Season to Be Safe: Top Tips for Your Family During COVID-19
'Tis the Season to Be Safe: Top Tips for Your Family During COVID-19 ( Photo by Polesie Toys)

Toys:

Data:
  • Choking on small parts and riding toy injuries: CPSC reports that in 2019, there were an estimated 162,700 toy-related, emergency department-treated injuries and 14 deaths to children younger than 15, with most of the deaths associated with choking on small parts, like small balls and small toy parts and riding toys.
  • Toy recalls: continue to decline, with nine toy recalls in fiscal year 2020, three involving a lead violation, compared to 172 recalls in 2008, with 19 involving lead violations. Toys were also recalled for defects, such as choking, entrapment, ingestion and laceration hazards. Recalled toys present choking, entrapment, ingestion and laceration hazards, among other hazards that pose the threat of death or injury to a child.
  • Scooters: The number of injuries associated with non-motorized scooters significantly decreased from 2015 to 2019 for children younger than 15, from about 45,500 to about 35,600 injuries.
Tips:
  • Follow age guidance and other safety information on the toy packaging, and choose toys that match your child's interests and abilities.
  • Get safety gear, including helmets for scooters and other riding toys–helmets should be worn properly at all times and be sized to fit.
  • Keep small balls and toys with small parts away from children younger than age 3, and keep deflated balloons away from children younger than 8 years old (discard broken balloons at once).
'Tis the Season to Be Safe: Top Tips for Your Family During COVID-19
'Tis the Season to Be Safe: Top Tips for Your Family During COVID-19 (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio)

Cooking:

Data:
  • Cooking fires are the # 1 cause of residential fires.
  • An average of 1,700 cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day each year, more than three times the average number on any other day of the year.
  • In the last two decades, there were 220 fire or scald/burn incidents involving turkey fryers, resulting in 81 injuries and $9.7 million in property loss.
Tips:
  • Never leave cooking food unattended on the stove.
  • Keep children away from the cooking area, and keep flammable items, like potholders and paper or plastic bags, away from the stove and oven.
  • Only fry a turkey outside and away from your home–not inside your garage, or on your porch. Do not overfill the oil in the turkey fryer and follow the manufacturer's instructions on use, including thawing your turkey thoroughly and maintaining control of the oil temperature.

'Tis the Season to Be Safe: Top Tips for Your Family During COVID-19
  'Tis the Season to Be Safe: Top Tips for Your Family During COVID-19 (Photo by Jonathan Borba)

Decorating:

Data:
  • On average, there are about 200 decorating-related injuries each day during the holiday season, with about half of the incidents involving falls. And in the 2018 holiday season, about 17,500 people were treated in emergency rooms due to holiday decorating-related injuries.
  • In the 2019 holiday season, there were six deaths associated with holiday season decorations.
  • From 2015 to 2017, on average, there were about 100 Christmas tree fires and about 1,100 candle fires (in November and December), resulting in 20 deaths, 160 injuries and nearly $50 million in property damage each year.
Tips:
  • Make sure your live Christmas tree has plenty of water, and look for the "Fire Resistant" label when buying an artificial tree.
  • Place burning candles in sight, away from flammable items, and blow them out before leaving the room.
  • Only use lights tested for safety by a national recognized testing laboratory. Throw out sets with broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.

The Video:

About the U.S. CPSC:

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.

  • Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.

29 October 2020

The Price Of Football A Decade Ago

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The Price Of Football A Decade Ago
 People Watching Football/Soccer Game (Photo by Tembela Bohle)
With football making the news because of the launch of Premier League Box Office, we thought we would delve into the archives and discover how much it used to cost to enjoy the sport.
A BBC report ten years ago revealed that Newcastle United was the cheapest Premier League team, whereas Arsenal was the most expensive. We take a look at each of the areas the BBC analysed in their report. You can compare this with the prices you are charged to see how the expenses really have super-sized in recent times. Of course, some of the clubs mentioned are no longer in the Premier League.

So, who was the cheapest football club to visit back then? On Tyneside, you could get an adult match day ticket for £15. This is the same price as Premier League Box Office games today! This means that Newcastle also provided the cheapest day out for fans as well. This is based on the accumulation of the price of the ticket, a pie, a match day programme and a cup of tea – which came in at £23 at St. James’ Park. Other clubs that offered a matchday experience under £30 include Aston Villa, Fulham and Wigan. Can you get a matchday experience for £30 today?

These prices are a stark contrast to Arsenal’s. The North London club boasted the most expensive day ticket at £126, the most expensive day out at £134.30 and the most expensive season ticket at whopping £1955!

In fact, Arsenal is the only team in the league which charged over £100 for a ticket a decade ago. The second most expensive day ticket could be found at Chelsea at a price of £87 and the third most expensive ticket was a trip to White Hart Lane at a price of £81. Of course, Spurs have since moved. Places where you could get the best seats for good prices include West Brom and Sunderland where their most expensive tickets are £39 and £40 respectively. Sunderland has moved down the leagues since, so if you’re staying in student accommodation in Sunderland, football is definitely a good day out to consider.

As mentioned, Arsenal boasted the most expensive season ticket as well. Tottenham were not far behind them as their most expensive season ticket costs £1,845. The two North London clubs and Chelsea make up the three clubs in the league that have tickets available for over a grand.

Furthermore, with regards to season tickets, it may not come as a surprise that Wigan offered the cheapest in the top flight. However what may be surprising is that the then champions, Manchester City, offered the second cheapest in the league at £275. Newcastle then followed behind at £322.00.

The Manchester clubs haven’t been shown to charge their football fans too much as of yet, but when it comes to a cup of tea it’s a different matter. You would pay £2.50 for a cup of tea at the Etihad or Old Trafford, this is the most expensive out of all the grounds in the UK. Wigan, Reading and Swansea offered the cheapest tea at £1.80.

And finally, pies! Wigan again offered the cheapest pies at £2.30. However, travel to Craven Cottage and you better expect Gordon Ramsey behind the counter because there’s costed a whopping £3.90 10 years ago!

27 October 2020

#HalloweenIsHappening - 66% Of Americans Admit To Stealing From Their Halloween Candy Stash

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#HalloweenIsHappening - 66% Of Americans Admit To Stealing From Their Halloween Candy Stash
#HalloweenIsHappening - 66% Of Americans Admit To Stealing From Their Halloween Candy Stash (Photo by Karolina Grabowska)
Do you open the bag of mini Halloween treats as soon as you get it home from the store? About two-thirds (66%) of people admit to enjoying a few pieces of Halloween chocolate and candy before handing the treats out to trick-or-treaters or using them for other Halloween activities, according to a recent poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the National Confectioners Association.

Consumer Attitudes & Behaviors On Halloween:

  • 74% of millennial moms and young parents say that Halloween 2020 is more important than ever. (The Harris Poll)
  • 80% of the general public and 90% of millennial moms and young parents say they can’t imagine Halloween without chocolate and candy, and that trick-or-treating is irreplaceable. (The Harris Poll)
  • 2/3 will participate in trick-or-treating, whether handing out the candy or going out with their children. (NCA)
79% of parents indicate they have taken candy from their children
  • 79% of parents indicate they have taken candy from their children after a night of trick-ortreating. (Morning Consult)
66% of people enjoy at least some of their pre-purchased Halloween candy before using it for Halloween-related activities
  • 66% of people enjoy at least some of their pre-purchased Halloween candy before using it for Halloween-related activities, like passing it out to trick-or-treaters. (Morning Consult)
80% of people believe that they will find creative and safe ways to celebrate the Halloween season this year
  • 80% of people believe that they will find creative and safe ways to celebrate the Halloween season this year. This is up from just 63% in July. (NCA/Morning Consult)

Fun Facts:

Most people in the U.S. enjoy chocolate and candy 2-3 times per week, averaging about 40 calories per day and just one teaspoon of added sugar per day.
  • Most people in the U.S. enjoy chocolate and candy 2-3 times per week, averaging about 40 calories per day and just one teaspoon of added sugar per day. (NHANES)
What’s the right way to eat candy corn? Who enjoys candy corn the most
  • What’s the right way to eat candy corn? 
Who enjoys candy corn the most?
  • Who enjoys candy corn the most? 
Visit AlwaysATreat.com/HalloweenCentral for ways to celebrate a socially distanced but not socially awkward Halloween and join the conversation on social media with #HalloweenIsHappening.

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