My husband’s family has been going to the Chautauqua Institute on Chautauqua Lake in New York every summer for over twenty years. The easiest way I can describe the place is to lift this quote from a brochure. It’s “at once a summer encampment and a small town, a college campus, an arts colony, a music festival, a religious retreat and the village square.”

Last summer we went there with our two boys.We spent a chunk of each day in said village square, and that’s where I took this photo. A couple of girls were making huge bubbles, some bigger than beach balls, and all the kids were chasing them around. I asked them if they mixed their own bubble formula, and they shared their secret formula with me:

1 gallon water

1 cup Joy dishwashing liquid

1 tablespoon Karo corn syrup, “to make the bubbles stickier so they last longer.”

They also said that they’re constantly on the lookout for oversize and oddly-shaped bubble rings, which they scavenge for at yard sales, dollar stores, and places like K-Mart and Wal-Mart.


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Comments (2)


  1. Posted by: Stephanie

    I am a daily momfilter reader and saw this post yesterday. It reminded me that my Aunt and her family spend time in Chautaqua every year and that my cousin loves bubbles. I forwarded the post to my aunt who wrote back saying that was her bubble recipe and the girl was my cousin!! Small world but the reason for the post is that my cousin mistakenly told you the wrong formula. My aunt says it is actually 2 Cups of Joy per gallon of water. Just wanted everyone’s bubbles to be perfect!! Enjoy!!

    • Posted by: Yolanda Edwards

      wow stephanie that’s such a great story–thank you for correcting the formula–i will make the correction within the post!

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