Looking for some unique things to see, do and eat with the kids in NYC this weekend? Keep reading for some unique suggestions to keep both the adults and kids (of all ages) happy and full while visiting the Big Apple! My daughter and I enjoyed a quick jaunt to Chelsea Market yesterday which had me thinking it was time to jot down a few of my favorite ways to be a tourist in your own backyard-especially if that Backyard happens to be NYC!
That being said first stop needs to be Chelsea Market!
As vegetarians we were blown away by the Kale Salad we nabbed for JUST $7 at The Tuck Shop. And then the teeny tiny Pineapple non dairy frozen dessert in a cone from Pineapple Express blew us away. The whole lunch-$9.
But time spent in the market browsing with my girl shopping for back to school stuff ( more about the items we got in an upcoming post) was PRICELESS.
Oh and did I mention we took the Staten island ferry and then hopping on a subway so transportation was pretty much seamless too?! Check out some of the other very cool activities for families to indulge in whether you have lived in NYC your entire life or you are planning a trip!
The New York City Police Museum features an interactive Junior Officers Discovery Zone for children 3-10 to learn about Police. The exhibit is divided into 4 areas: Police Academy, The Park and Precinct, Emergency Services Unit and a Multi-Purpose Area. Activities for children include driving and taking care of a Police Car, `The Sounds of New York, a magnet board with Police Officers in uniforms and a climbing structure. Older kids can participate in the crime scene observation activity and face challenges similar to those of the Police Academy.
The New York City Fire Museum is a little more educational and less hands-on but still worth a visit! The museum houses one of the nation’s most prominent collections of fire related art and artifacts from the late 18th Century to the present. Among its holdings are painted leather buckets, helmets, parade hats and belts, lanterns and tools, Volunteer-era hand pumped fire engines, horse drawn vehicles and early motorized apparatus. Very impressive for the older tots!
Subway ArtSubway Art
The subway system houses some of the most interesting art installations in the city. Carla Sullivan of Mini Muchers shares two in particular that both you and your children will be sure to enjoy:
1. Tom Otterness -Life Underground at 14th Street and 8th Avenue: These bronze sculptures, located throughout the floors and along the railings and ceilings, are such fun to explore with your kids. From the little people sitting on the benches to the lizard like creatures crawling on the pillars children of all ages will delight in spotting and exploring this touchable display.
2. Toby Buonagurio-35 Times at Times Square/42nd Street transfer corridor between the 1/2/3 and the Shuttle: These brightly colored ceramic panels (35 in total) depict different NYC scenes. From jazz musicians to Broadway actors and subway riders your children will love relating the characters they see to the people they interact with every day in NYC. For more information on these art installations or to explore other subway art visit www.nycsubway.org
What would make a Staten Island mom stay inside on such a beautiful Sunday afternoon? According to our writer Zanade Mann A rocking concert in Williamsburg, Brooklyn of course! The temperature was high outside but the real heat was at Brooklyn Bowl. Brooklyn Bowl is exactly what the name implies, a bowling alley. But, not just a typical bowling alley, a rustic venue with simplistic style and lots of pizzazz. The concert masterfully produced by the folks at The Rock and Roll Playhouse was a sight to be seen.
The theme was “Rock and Roll for Kids” during their summer concert series. The music workshop series was filled with laughter and music featuring the songs from Van Morrison. As a NYC STEM teacher Zanade is always looking for elements of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in any event her and her daughters and she attend. The Rock and Roll Playhouse provided many experiences for her girls to experiment with sound; from the maracas to the tambourines. The amount of energy in the room would make Thomas Edison extremely happy.
“The best us was the personalized attention given to the attendees. At one point they started singing the “Name Song” and sang each name loudly into the microphone!,” said Zanade. “My daughter Phoenix was ecstatic when they spelled her name P-H-O-E-N-I-X to a loud drum and neon lights! So, do I regret spending the afternoon indoors with doing the limbo with 6 year olds? Absolutely not. I’m looking forward to another series of “kids concerts“ at Brooklyn Bowl with The Rock and Roll Playhouse!”
Upcoming Fall 2017 Rock and Roll Play Dates!
Saturday, Sept 9th
Garcia’s at The Capitol Theatre
The Rolling Stones with Mike Messer
Sunday, Sept 10th
The Music of Motown featuring Erik Deutsch, Jason Ewald and Adam Roberts *12:30PM SHOW*
The Highline Take a stroll in NYC’s park, Stretching from Gansevoort Street to West 20th, this elevated park has beautiful plantings and great open spaces for you and your kids to explore. The Highline has varied day and evening programming from yoga and walking tours to astronomy. The dog-free park even has monthly family programs. You can access the park at Gansevoort Street, 14th Street, 16th Street (elevator access), 18th Street and 20th Street.
Make Meaning is a creativity destination where you can make ceramics, soap, candles, even glassware and cake decorating.They also offer bookmaking– There are three types of books to choose from; Cueprints (a 6-page fill-in-the-blanks story to finish and illustrate), Author/Illustrator Kit (cover and 14 pages assembled and bound when your child is finished) and Customized Books. My favorite part is the child photo they take to include in the author information section on the back of each book!
Ruby Foos When headed to a show or to check out the scene in Times Square, do not get sucked into a touristy restaurant with sub-par food and over-the-top prices. Ruby Foos is a great restaurant to visit with children, yes they have grilled cheese and hot dogs but more adventurous eaters might want to try the spare ribs or the steamin shrimp dumplings (they even have a gluten-free menu!). Kids will also get a kick out of the free Oragami lessons every Sunday from 11:30-4pm, not to mention the Dirt `n Worms dessert, a chocolate pudding topped with Oreo cookies and gummy worms inside.
Smorgas Chef This cafe, located in the Scandinavian House in Murray Hill, is simply a wonderful find. Stroller-friendly, with highchairs, this upscale spot challenges children to try some unique Scandinavian dishes (i.e. Swedish Meatballs & Smoked Salmon), but don’t worry old faithfuls such as chicken fingers and a kid’s burger are on their $9 menu. Each children’s meal comes with a drink and vanilla waffle for dessert & my kids were enthralled by the LIVE tree in the center of the restaurant. The restroom is large, with a changing table, but you do have to take an elevator to the basement to get there. The BONUS of Smorgas Chef is that it they have very cool art installations and on Saturday’s the Scandinavian House opens their Children’s Learning Space to the public (for only $5 per child, ALL DAY!)
American Girl Cafe No list of kid’s restaurants in NYC is complete without AG! The food is surprisingly good (for both adults and kids!) and who can resist teeny highchairs for your tot’s doll! This mom loves the questions that are on each table to keep the conversation flowing (i.e. what do you want to be when you grow up? What celebrity do you like the most and why?)