Experiences / Foodie / New York City

Berry Fun Experience – Cranberry Bog in Rockefeller Center

09.25.16

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Situated amidst the skyscrapers and concrete abysses of Rockefeller Center is something that should not be missed – a real life, fresh water Cranberry Bog.

This beautiful “pop-up” bog is part of Ocean Spray’s Bog Across America Tour – a real cranberry bog display to share the taste, health and harvest of the cranberry. This is an annual experience – this season marks the 12th year Ocean Spray has brought the Bog to Rockefeller Center.

A wonderful tradition that we were excited to be part of. Lucky Lil Kid was able to tour this amazing bog, and take part in this year’s Cranberry Classroom – an educational experience to teach children about the amazing autumn fruit – the cranberry.

Education stations around the bog include a 360 degree virtual harvest, bog terrarium and an interactive history station. Visitors will discover the taste, health and heritage of the cranberry and hear directly from multi-generational Ocean Spray Grower-Owners on what this tale entails.

An incredible way to celebrate the beginning of Fall!

 

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Ready to jump into this amazing experience!

 

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The bog measures 1,500 square feet (bigger than our apartment!) and contains over 2,000 pounds of fresh, floating, cranberries! So incredible!

 

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Setting the scene!

The vibrant red color, bold tart taste, and one-of-a-kind health benefits – we couldn’t wait to learn more about the exceptional cranberry.

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The cranberry pool was surrounded by – you guessed it, cranberry plants. Such a beautiful display.

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Lil Kid grabbing some cranberry juice before class begins.

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Class is in session!

Each child received a Cranberry Classroom Report Card. At the completion of each station – the children received a stamp on their card. A fun way to drive the classroom theme of the day.

 

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First station: The History of Cranberries!

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A cute class in where the team taught children through a game of placing special dates in history on a large timeline board.

Such fun facts of the Cranberry! We learned that it was the Native Americans who discovered the cranberry hundreds of years ago. It was the early German and Dutch settlers who started calling them “crane berries” because they thought the blossom resembled the head and bill of a crane. Fascinating!

 

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The next station: Bog in a Cup! Here, the children were able to build their own (mini) take home cranberry bog in a cup.

 

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We learned that cranberries grow on low-lying vines in beds layered with sand, peat, gravel and clay. These beds are commonly known as bogs or marshes and were originally created by glacial deposits. The children were allowed to create their own little bog, to learn first-hand how this amazing fruit is grown.

Materials Needed:

  • 1 inch square molding clay
  • Enough coarse gravel to cover the clay
  • Peat Moss to Fill 3/4 of the Cup
  • 1/2 inch of sand to cover the peat
  • Cranberry Vine

The helpful instructor led the children through the entire building process!

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Following along! What an incredible learning experience. Never knew that there were so many layers under the bog! Each serves a specific importance:

  • Clay: Holds Water
  • Gravel: Frees bog of excess water
  • Peat: Holds enough water in place to hydrate the plant
  • Sand: Provides a please for new roots to grow

 

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Carefully placing each layer!

 

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Our little take-home bogs! With a little love – these cups could have flowers by end of June and berries by end of July.

 

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Next Classroom Station: A Digital Deep Dive into a Bog!

Children were given cardboard goggles that contained a cell phone video. The video led the children through an interactive virtual reality bog experience!

 

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The video transported the viewer into an actual bog in Massachusetts – a stunning journey through the harvest of cranberries. During the video, the virtual reality portion allowed for you to look around and feel as if you were literally there, in the bog itself, witnessing a harvest first hand.

The experience was dubbed “The Most Beautiful Harvest” and it truly was magical! The video of the bog was breathtaking. You can watch the same video from your computer HERE. Highly recommend.

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The next classroom station – required waders! We were ecstatic to learn that we were able to go INTO the bog!!

Having watched Ocean Spray host their famous bog on the Today Show for years – this was on my bucket list! Never thought it would happen – an amazing pinch-me moment.

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Ready for wading with the cranberries!

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Hand-in-hand through a cranberry wonderland!

 

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We learned that cranberries don’t grow on water- they grow on low lying vines in wet marshland areas. The cranberry itself contains 4 hollow air chambers – which is why you often see these amazing berries wading on top of the water. After the berry has been removed from the vine – they float!

 

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We loved exploring these beautiful berries!

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Lil Kid couldn’t get enough of this beautiful bog!

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A berry amazing experience!

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A completed report card and an experience we will never forget!

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A huge thank you to Ocean Spray for hosting us at the Rockefeller Center Bog!

For more on Ocean Spray: HERE
For more on the Bog Across America Tour at Rockefeller Center HERE

 

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