Special Occasions

ChocXO Chocolate Tour: Is There a Willy Wonka Factory in Orange County?

Sadly, this location has closed as of 2019.

The answer to this tantalizing question is yes and no—but mostly yes.

Down the 5 freeway, in a nondescript Orange County strip mall past the Irvine Spectrum, is one of SoCal's best-kept secrets. ChocXO is a bean-to-bar chocolate factory, complete with direct trade cacao beans, organic chocolate, and an on-site retail store that whips up steaming mugs of decadent hot chocolate. But most remarkable of all is that your kids can go behind the scenes and witness for themselves the magic that turns those little beans into the most revered food in their diet. It's the closest thing to Mr. Wonka's factory this side of Hershey.

Ice Cream and Cereal Bar Spoons Opens on Long Island and OMG

Your family may have eaten cereal hundreds, even thousands, of times in your life, but have you ever spooned down a bowl of your favorite childhood brand mixed into a serving of velvety decadent soft-serve ice cream? Well, this isn't just a kid's dessert fantasy. It's a reality at the recently opened Spoons in Seaford on Long Island.

The cereal bar-ice cream shop offers a small express window behind a slew of stores off of Merrick Avenue. It's dishing up tons of brand-name cereal varieties and more cool toppings for ice cream. So, of course, we did the hard work and tasted-tested the new ice cream spot. Read on for our review.

Find more sweet treats at these area candy shops, or check out our guide to Family-Friendly Long Island Restaurants.

NOTE: Spoons is closed for the season. Reopening in April 2018. It also expects to open a second location in 2018!

Best Ice Cream Shops in the New London Area

There is a delicious solution to the long, hot, and humid days of summer: ice cream! The sweet treat is a quick way to cool off a bit and share a smile. We've made finding the best ice cream shops in the area a mission. Stand by for some of the best frozen treats you'll find in New London County...and if you happen to be in Fairfield County, check out our favorite ice cream shops there.

12 Mother’s Day Brunch Spots in Queens

Just as its population is diverse, so are options for Mother’s Day brunch in Queens. It’s mom's special day, and she'll want to relax with family, sip a mimosa and eat great food knowing that spills won't be met with rolling eyes. So we’ve curated this family-friendly list of brunch options in the borough, offering inventive twists on traditional favorites. Don’t worry, omelets and French toast still are represented.

Check out our suggestions for how to spend the rest of your 2017 Mother's Day in NYC, or peruse Brooklyn or Manhattan brunch options if you're thinking of hopping boroughs.

Sweet Mother’s Day Brunch Spots in Brooklyn for Kids and Mom

Celebrating mom with a special brunch is a time-honored tradition. This year we’ve rounded up 11 of our favorite Brooklyn restaurants, where the food is outstanding and the vibe is special yet still family friendly. Mark your calendars: Mother's Day is Sunday, May 14.

Each of our picks serves a standout brunch—and offers high chairs. Be sure to reserve or show up early as these spots fill up quickly. If you’ve got young kids in tow, consider packing a few snacks and small toys to keep them busy while you wait to be seated.

Need more ideas? Check out our suggestions for Mother's Day brunch in Manhattan or in Queens.

Indulge Mom at these Philly Mother's Day Brunches

Brunch is the classic way to celebrate moms on Mother's Day. The city has so many Mother's Day brunches to choose from, and they often fill up so fast, it can be overwhelming to find a place that will be fun for both mom and kids. There are plenty of spring activities to do with the family, but brunch at one of these great places will leave mom happy, but still be plenty of fun for the little ones. However you decide to spend Mom's special day, purchase tickets or make reservations in advance, because many of these events sell out well before Mother's Day weekend rolls around.

If you're looking for something to do after brunch, check out our event calendar for more great ways to celebrate mom.

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