Tag Archives: family activities
The first time I heard about the Finger Lakes in upstate New York was while sipping on one of their delicious red wines and laughing it up with one of their lovely tourism representatives – the ladies are indeed lovely, but the wine definitely helped bring on the laughter.
At first I thought it was no more than just a lovely wine area with its over 100 world class wineries, making it the country’s top wine producing regions known for its Rieslings, Gewurztraminer and Ice Wine.
This past weekend Bryant Park hosted its very first Kids Food Festival at Citi Pond. Despite the snow and cold weather families came out, and it’s no surprise as more and more of us have a growing concern about the nutritional items available for our families.
But the event’s purpose was even bigger than that; it aimed to helped fight against childhood obesity by providing fun and activities around great food choices and exposing children to the beauty of good food as presented by various celebrated chefs. Though the event was free, attendees could purchase tickets to attend selected events and demos, helping raise money to benefit Share Our Strength.
The first-ever Kids Food Festival will take place on January 21st and 22nd at Citi Pond in Bryant Park. The festival’s mission is to fight childhood obesity through fun and flavorful activities around balanced food choices.
The Kids Food Festival gets cooking on January 21st and 22nd, 2012, from 10 am to 6pm. General admission to the Festival is FREE, but tickets are required for all events in the James Beard Foundation Future Foodies Pavilion and on the Kids Food Festival Performance Stage. To purchase tickets and a menu of the weekend festivities go to www.KidsFoodFestival.com.
Learn about the importance of achieving balance in food choices, through fun activities and sampling family-friendly foods prepared by celebrity chefs. Come on out to this free event and prepare to have some delicious fun!
The Children’s Museum of The Arts is hosting series of special events and performances celebrating cultures from around the world. On Saturday, January 28th from 10AM to 5PM the series will kick-off with a special 1pm performance celebrating the Lunar New Year and exploring the arts and culture of New York’s Chinese community. The festival will include a variety of visual art experiences to teach families and children about traditional and contemporary arts in China. The Chinese Theater Works will perform “Tiger Tales”, a shadow puppet show and the day will be capped off by a special performance of the Chinese Lion Dancers of PS124.
More upcoming events include:
February 19 – Arty Gras Festival and Parade: Create your own masks, noisemakers & floats and join us in a 4 PM “Arty Gras” parade led by the Raya Brass Band. The day will also feature a special pizza snack from Two Boots to celebrate their 25th anniversary!
March 3 – Caribbean American Festival: The featured guest artist for the Caribbean Festival will be master Haitian drummer Gaston Jean-Baptiste, known as Bonga, and his drum and dance troupe. The day will also feature drumming workshops, an exploration of mask-making traditions, storytelling, and more. Support for this program provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
March 31 – Irish Arts Festival: The Irish Arts Center will take us through a day of jig lessons, mythical animations, storytelling, knitting workshops and much more!
To learn more please visit the museum’s calendar.
The Children’s Museum of The Arts is located at 103 Charlton Street, NYC 10014, telephone number is 212.274.0986.
All week long, all I have wanted to do was wake up Friday morning and surprise my two youngest with a visit to see Santaland in Macy’s Herald Square, an annual holiday tradition for us.
I envisioned my boys jumping up and down for joy, except I didn’t realize that Friday’s Pizza Day in school was such a big deal. So instead, I got this:
Eventually, as the news sunk in, the boys did get more and more excited and by the time we arrived to Macy’s on 34th street they were jumping up and down with anticipation.
I was delighted too, because unlike last year, I got there early enough to beat the crowds. Macy’s Santaland is open from 9am to 9pm on weekdays, and from 8am till 9PM on weekends till December 24th. Crowds are willing to wait outside for this, so it’s really best to get there early. The closer it gets to Christmas (16 days at the time of this post), the larger the crowds and the wait can be an hour or more…and not a lot of fun.
This year however, Macy’s added a bit more details closer to the end of the line featuring animatronics which highlight scenes from the holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street. The kids loved this as did the parents because it helped to keep them entertained.
We arrived to Santa pretty quickly, and this year was a pretty big deal because it was the first time ever that my now 6 year old had the courage to actually speak to him and tell him what he wanted and Santa took note. He took him by the hand and they spoke softly to each other. It was such a sweet and adorable moment that my holiday, Santa loving heart nearly burst with joy and my eyes teared up.
My 5 year old was a bit shy and spoke, but without really letting go of my hand. There was no rush, there was no pressure to move it along, and I was so grateful for the attention Santa gave my boys today, I just had to share the experience with you all.
So, if this is your holiday and you are a fan of Santa, I hope you can make your way to Santaland too this year. But keep in mind my tips, they make all the difference, and make sure to go with plenty of time, patience and happy holiday spirits. Many of the same rules I talked about in my Traveling this Holiday Season post, apply while you navigate the crowds, especially in the magical Santaland.
Make sure to stop by Santa’s Post Office online where you can create a letter on special holiday stationary. Once you have created your letter, stop by any Macy’s letterbox to drop in your special Santa letter. For each letter received Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, up to $1,000,000, giving others something to Believe in as well.
There is no admission fee to Macy’s Santaland. Photos with Santa can be purchased immediately after your visit with him. Macy’s Herald Square is located at 151 W 34th St New York, NY 10001. Telephone (212) 695-4400.
Disney is huge in NYC. I know, you are asking yourself, “What?” But, truth is, Disney was one of the first major investors in the Times Square area before Times Square was what it is today. Its presence on the grumbling 42nd street set the tone for what was to come and encouraged change, much of which transformed the area to something no one could have imagined possible at the time.
Its investment was in the performing arts, and it did so in what is the New Amsterdam Theater. But the theater already had a wonderful history before that. For a long time the theater was the home of the Ziegfeld Follies, George White’s Scandals and Eva LeGallienne’s Civic Repertory Theatre. In 1937 it was used as a cinema which closed in 1985. Walt Disney Corporation leased the aging building in 1993. Hugh Hardy, architect known for his extensive work in renovating many cultural icons in NYC, performed his magic on this theater as well and between 1995 and 1997 renovated the New Amsterdam to be the flagship for Disney Theatrical Productions for presentations on Broadway.
My absolute favorite thing to do almost immediately after Thanksgiving is head out to a Christmas tree farm with my entire crew to cut down our tree.
We prefer to cut our own when we can, so it is one of the options we look for when deciding what farm we will visit. We also really enjoy discovering new places. So, since starting this blog (almost 3 years ago!) here is the list of places we have discovered and shared so far (except for 2010 when we ran out of time and just bought it in our NYC neighborhood.
It’s that time of the year! This year we discovered a new place to go pumpkin picking in Toano, VA at Pumpkinville and instead of venturing upstate like we have in the past, we decided to discover apple picking in New Jersey.
Honestly, as I started writing this post, I realized that I have failed you in delivering the images of what Chester, NJ is looking like today. Even if you have picked your apples for the season, it’s still worth a drive there. It is just breathtakingly beautiful, bursting of colors with little hidden creeks and lakes throughout, I was so busy admiring it all that I forgot to take pictures to share with you all here. Blogger fail.
After our fun adventures at Chocolate World, the family and I couldn’t wait to visit Hershey Park. I had heard so much about the park from so many different people who have gone, and never once have I heard anyone say anything negative about it, we just needed to go see for ourselves.
We went on one of the busiest days of the season (last Saturdays of Summer). We arrived to the area a little after 10 AM, when the park opens, and were greeted by huge lines of cars. I truly expected the worst in terms of wait at this point. I took a deep breath and braced for it.
We’re continuing to share our water park adventures in what has been our “Road Trip Weekends“.
The second park we’d like to feature is SplashDown Beach in Fishkill, NY. SplashDown Beach is about an hour and a half drive from NYC. Of all the parks we visited, we consider Splashdown Beach the most manageable with little ones. You can visit the entire park in just one day, but still walk away feeling like you did so much.
The highlight of the trip for my absolute youngest (4 years old) was the new Bob The Builder Splashworks water play area. It is the perfect size to be able watch your little ones from a distance and lots of water fun that they can move, climb, and play in.
As for the rest of the park, we enjoyed the family-friendliness of the environment, how clean it all was, how polite and friendly everyone we met was, and really, how quickly the lines moved and how fun the rides were.
The kids delighted in watching me go down the Cowabunga Falls, and the boys loved going down Pirate’s Plunge. Of course, we absolutely delighted in the Croc Creek Wavy Lazy River and theMonster Wave Pool.
At one point we even got to meet Bob The Builder himself! I like that the water park has a lot to offer little ones, so when my husband and older boys were going on the bigger, more scarier rides/slides, my youngest didn’t have time to feel left out, especially in the Shipwreck Lagoon area.
Lockers are available for renting, and the also have a cafeteria area that serves the basic fast grill choices. They also rent out private cabana areas which include a shaded area, 2 lounge chairs, a table with 4 additional chairs, waiter service and a free locker rental. Accommodates up to 6 people.
We walked away from this water park experience with big smiles on our faces. It was a fun and relaxing experience. Even with the crowds, the entire visit was easy going and non-stressful. We would definitely go back.
The park closes for the season on September 5th, and right now they are offering a special where you buy a 2011 Season Pass and get a 2012 Season Pass for free!
For more information on admission, sales, and rentals, please visit the admission section of their site here.
Disclosure: We received complimentary tickets to SplashDown Beach for the purpose of this review. The opinions expressed here are strictly my own.