Tag Archives: NYC

Bonding While Building plus LEGOLAND NYC Recap

10 Mar

20140307-130511.jpg

We’ve had LEGO DUPLO  sets around the apartment since my girls were little.  I always loved watching them build their own creations.  As they got older, their creations got more elaborate (see my daughters “NYC and “Bronx Zoo” pictured above).  My oldest received her first LEGO Friends set for her Birthday this year and has become a LEGO fanatic. She loves spending time on the floor building with her dad and sister.  We’ve since acquired more models, LEGO’s have gotten us through this long and frigid Winter.  Building is an awesome after school activity that sparks creativity as well as a great way to learn patience, turn-taking,  and problem solving while following and reading directions.

20140310-110422.jpg

Not long ago we attended a Legoland event in NYC! When my girls found out about the event they were ecstatic.  We entered the venue to find incredible LEGO Models.  Some models were of the new attractions at LEGOLAND Parks.  After they met LEGOMAN, the girls headed over to build a Chima Model with Master Model Builder, Gary.  They had so much fun building with him, they didn’t want to leave with their model unfinished but unfortunately we had to go.  They next day, they finished their models and my oldest was so proud she insisted on taking a picture to show Gary if we ever saw him again!

20140310-110449.jpg

Prior to the event, I had no idea there was a LEGOLAND Discovery Center just miles outside of New York City, in Westchester.  There are more than fifteen attractions included in your admission.  Take a factory tour, check out the new Chima 4D cinema experience, explore DUPLO Village, or build and sing with your favorite LEGO Friends.  The Discovery Center would be a great family outing one weekend or a great adventure over Spring Break if you are sticking around. If you make it there, Master Model Builder Gary built the MetLife Stadium.

All images in this collage were taken by Josh Wong Photography at the event!

All images in this collage were taken by Josh Wong Photography at the event!

There are two Legoland Theme Parks in the United States; Florida and California.  We were at Disney World a few years ago but my girls weren’t quite ready for Legoland and didn’t have as much enthusiasm for LEGO’s then.  This summer we plan to head down there to check it out so I was excited to learn of the new attractions and experiences at LEGOLAND® Florida.  New attractions include:

  • The LEGO World of Chima just opened last summer.  It  features an interactive water ride, the “Quest for CHI”, a “Speedorz Arena”, “Cragger’s Swamp” water play area, a 4D movie experience as well as character meet and greet sessions. 
  • DUPLO Valley, a new expansion area specifically geared to toddlers ages 2 to 5, will officially open to guests on May 23, 2014, just in time for family-fun over Memorial Day weekend.  DUPLO Valley attractions will include the DUPLO Train, a tractor ride, a new splash & play area to cool off and the DUPLO Barn with indoor farm-themed play areas.

We don’t have plans to make it to California but if you are there and your kids loved the LEGO Movie as much as my girls did, be sure to check out the Lego Movie Experience at the LEGOLAND® Resort!

Is your child the biggest LEGO® fan you know? LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester is seeking twelve children aged 5 to 10 to be part of our new Creative Crew! The Creative Crew will assist our Master Model Builder, with important tasks at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester. Contest Ends March 21, 2014!

Is your child the biggest LEGO® fan you know? LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester is seeking twelve children aged 5 to 10 to be part of our new Creative Crew! The Creative Crew will assist our Master Model Builder, with important tasks at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester.  Click the image to find out more!

 Click the image to find out more!

Disclaimer: I received a family pass to visit LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester for attending the event however this did not impact my opinions, as always all opinions are my own.  Information in italics came from a PR representative or a LEGOLAND website.  All photos unless noted underneath are my own.

Advertisements

An Ultimate Night Out with Mommybites (Recap)!

15 Dec

20131215-233611.jpg

Last Tuesday, I joined other parents and Mommybites for an Ultimate Night Out at the New Yorker Hotel.  The night began with a comedy show with  Lisa Blythe Perlman and Carolyn Castiglia.  After the show, moms, dads, and friends gathered for drinks, appetizers, and tasty desserts.  In addition to mingling, parents shopped and learned about new products and services available.  Parents left with a generous gift bag filled with products from sponsors and some walked away with raffle prizes from strollers to a round of golf.

Highlighted Companies/ Sponsors included:

New York Kids Club:

20131215-233636.jpg

NYKC has six locations around  New York City.  They have opened locations on Long Island and their first overseas center in Beijing, China.  The Children Enrichment center offers a preschool program (3 hours for 2,3, or 5 days a week) as well as creative and innovative kids classes, day camps, birthday celebrations, and special events!    Daily open plays in the indoor gym are perfect for cold winter days or when there is bad weather.   Afterschool programs are available with a walk over option from local schools by a NYKC staff member.

We have been a New York Kids Club family since my oldest took her first class at 6 months. Both girls have attended the preschool program which has been fantastic.  NYKC offers fun drop off events on Fridays and during the weekend, if you need to run errands or you and your spouse want to grab a bite to eat or have a little time together.  Both of my girls started attending the themed Pajama Parties (Fridays 6-8) at 2 1/2 and always have fun.  The coaches are always energetic, fun, and the girls talk about them for days after.

For more information visit www.nykidsclub.com and while you are there check out their blog.

Inwood Country Club:

20131215-233548.jpg

My husband loves to play golf any chance he gets.  Living in the city, I never thought about joining a country club because I didn’t want to spend hours in the car just for an afternoon at the pool while my husband golfs. Inwood Country Club is a private, member owned country club Located 20 miles outside of Manhattan on the South Shore of Long Island.  It sounds and looks like a great little escape from the city. Memberships include access to:

  •  The Golf Club
  • The Tennis ClubTennis members have the use of the Inwood Beach Club, the newly renovated state of the art Heath Club and limited use of the historic Inwood golf course.  All levels welcome, clinics are available for beginners!
  • The Health Club:  Newly renovated, state-of-the-art Health Club, with equipment ranging from free weights to the most sophisticated Cybex machines, also provides access to personal trainers, yoga classes, a masseuse, barber shop, steam room, and sauna. 
  • The Beach Club, located a few minutes from the main clubhouse, transportation runs to and from the main club house.  Play a round of golf, then head to beach to let the kids build sand castles.
  • The Clubhouse
  • The Guest Suites: Suites are located on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the club house and are available for seasonal rentals.

The club is family friendly offering programs and clinics for children while parents play a round of golf, a game of tennis, or head to the Atlantic Beach Club.  The Country Club is also available for events.  Contact Inwood Country Club for membership details, prices, and more information on programs and clinics available.

Image from Inwoodcc.org

Image from Inwoodcc.org

Ella’s Kitchen:

DSC_0705

When it’s time to transition your child to solids, Ella’s Kitchen offers a variety of organic baby food options from new eaters (4 months) to toddlers (10 months and up) with lots of great flavors. Their meals and snacks are broken down into 3 stages, which go from smooth purees to more texture as the child gets older and learn to chew.  The stages are:

Ella’s also offers a selection of food for special diets which include gluten-free, lactose free, and vegetarian options.  Ella’s Kitchen is also free of peanuts and soy!  Their meals are perfect for on-the-go eating.  My girls love Ella’s Kitchen!  They still snack on Smoothie Fruits and Puffits.  Some flavors I would have been interested to try when my girls were younger are  the Ella’s 1 Blueberry Pear Baby BrekkieElla’s 2 Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Ella’s 3 Thai Curry Vegetables.  For more information visit Ella’s Kitchen.com and be sure to check out Stuff for the Senses.  Available at Whole Foods.

DSC_0706

GetTaxi:  

20131215-233659.jpg

When the weather is bad or I am with my girls, getting a taxi is challenging.  They are either full or the taxi’s don’t want to stop because I have the girls.  GetTaxi, which began in Europe, recently launched in New York City.  GetTaxi is an on-demand taxi service.  Simply download the app for iphone or android, then make your reservation.  A  “G-Car” will pick you up and take you to your destination (watch it in action).  The app allows customers to know their drivers information as well as their license plates after the reservation is made.  When booked in advanced you are able to request car seats for your little ones, an option that is great to have especially when traveling longer distances to the airports.  Because they just launched, a 2 hour advanced reservation is required.  At peak times, a maximum surcharge of $5 will be added to your fare.  At all times there is a standard rate (see sample below). No more waiting, searching for an open taxi, or paying ridiculous prices during peak times!  Looking forward to giving it a try!  Check out this video

Image from GetTaxi

Image from GetTaxi

It was a wonderful night out with friends!  It was so nice to meet so many wonderful vendors and sponsors!  Looking forward to the next Ultimate Night Out with Mommybites!

Mommybites connects moms and moms-to-be with parenting resources, education, and support.  Visit Mommybites.com for more information, resources for parents, and details about upcoming events.

Disclaimer: This was a sponsored post.  All information about sponsors/ vendors came from their websites, handouts or speaking with them at the event.

Win It Wednesday: Family Pass To Hip Tot Music Fest in Brooklyn (#GIVEAWAY)

13 Nov
Image from Hip Tot

Image from Hip Tot

My girls love music!  They love to sing and dance to their favorite songs!  I recently learned about the Hip Tot Music Festival which brings live music, featuring some of our favorite kids bands, to Brooklyn.  A fun outing, I know my girls would love.

The 2013-14 season of Hip Tot Music Fest concerts are in full swing! Looking for a fun day out with the family or a gift for the Holidays your entire family will enjoy, ENTER to win a Family Pass (4 Tickets) to an upcoming concert (your choice) at ShapeShifter Lab in Park Slope.

Upcoming Concerts :

To Enter:

  • Comment on this post with the concert you and your family would like to see!

Additional Entries:

Please leave a comment for every entry! All entries must be submitted  by 11.59 p.m. EST on November 27, 2013!

Purchase tickets here!

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  I received a Family Pass to giveaway.

Don’t Miss the #BiggestBabyShower 11/13 in NYC

11 Nov

20131111-213704.jpg

 

The Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower Ever is like no other baby shower in the world. Considered the pioneer of the baby preparation experience, this is the ultimate, can’t-miss event for expectant and new parents across NYC. More than 1,500 moms and dads will hit the town for a night out, mocktail in hand, as they browse over 150 of the top brands in the maternity and baby industry. This 4 hour event is jam packed with educational seminars, demonstrations, games, treats and more as attendees shop the hottest essentials for modern parenting.

Tickets start at $80.  Register now to shop, eat, relax, and learn! Everyone will go home with a gift bag filled with hundreds of dollars of baby essentials.  Enter raffles to win strollers, high chairs, car seats and more.

Click the links for Shower Details, a list of Sponsors and the Seminar Schedule!

Hope you can join!

Disclaimer:  I was not compensated for this post.  I received a media ticket to the event.  All information and photos came from a press release and the Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower website.

 

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt Comes to NYC

16 May

Picture 8

20130516-154233.jpgOrange Leaf Frozen Yogurt’s  mission is to promote community and family by providing a great tasting, frozen dessert made just for you, by you, in an environment that is as visually uplifting as it is welcoming.  There are 253 stores with 130 more to come soon. Last week I attended the grand opening of Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt on the Upper East Side , the second location to open in NYC. To celebrate the opening the store gave free frozen yogurt from 3:00 p.m until 6 p.m. The line was down the block to try their 16 kosher flavors (including no-sugar-added, gluten-free, dairy-free alternatives) and add a selection of do-it-yourself toppings.  From 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., all proceeds went to Cookies for Kids’ Cancera national non-profit organization committed to raising funds to support research for new and improved therapies for pediatric cancer.  Cookies from the organization were available on the toppings bar to make your frozen yogurt creation extra special.

How Orange Leaf  works (images below from Orange Leaf) :

20130516-143604.jpg

Flavors vary by store and change daily.  Click for a complete  list of flavors!

20130516-143610.jpg

Click link for a list of toppings.

20130516-143615.jpg

20130516-143645.jpgWith the temperature warming up, Orange Leaf would be a great outing to cool off!  The self-serve model is great because you can try as many flavors as you want and fill your bowl with as little or as much as you want, for portion control. At the event, we tried a bit of everything.  My favorite flavors were wedding cake, caramel apple and brownie batter topped with chocolate chip cookies from Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.  My girls loved the fruity flavors, pineapple and raspberry. For toppings they immediately eyed the gummy bears and sprinkles.  They had a blast creating their dessert. To add more fun to the experience, let them come up with a name for their creation, write the ingredients and save it for next time.  Keep your eye out for a location opening in the future on the Upper West Side!  Find a location near you!

If you have a child with food allergies, please see the allergy information before trying.  If you try it, I would recommend bringing your own toppings because there is always the possibility that something could get mixed in, especially if it gets busy.

 

Disclaimer: All information in italics came from Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt.

Shine NYC

8 Mar

Picture 8

I love living in New York City with my two girls.  Although, I could definitely live with a bigger space, I love that the city offers so many wonderful child development classes to get your little ones out of the tiny apartments.  I recently tried Shine NYC, an amazing children’s program offered in the beautiful Freshmade NYC space.  Shine will offer two drop-off classes this semester:

  • Lights Up: Wednesdays from 4-5pm.  A series of weekly workshops for children 7-10 years old that explores dramatic play through puppetry and mask work. Students will explore imagination through storytelling and performance utilizing different styles of puppetry and theatrical mask work used in cultures around the world. In addition to crafting their own puppets, from the classic sock puppet to marionettes, children will engage in teamwork while building confidence and cultural awareness. 
  • Little Luminaries: Fridays from 3:30-4:30pm.  A class for 3-5 year olds that combines yoga, discussion, art/journaling, music, movement, and books all centered around a weekly theme. With themes including Roots, Cycles, Friendship, and Memory, each class will explore the different meanings of the word and how we relate to them, both creatively and critically.

My youngest, 3 in April, and my oldest, 5 in September attended the Little Luminaries class together.   The class was led by Aaron Goldschmidt, founder, with Misty Foster assisting.The theme for the class was colors: mixing and shades of color.  The class started in a  circle with color shakers to play with, showing two colors mixing together to make another.  For example: half of one shaker was yellow and the other half was red and when shaken, they made an orange color.  Color plates were also on the floor to play with.  When you took two primary color plates and placed them on top of one another they made another color.  My oldest LOVED this theme because she just finished a color mixing unit at school.  After talking about colors, they read Pantone: Colors, a book for children showing that a basic color like red may have a variety of shades.IMG_5543

After circle time, Misty, led yoga time.  Before beginning, Misty, explained to the kids what yoga was and asked if they had done it before.  They began with a simple wiggle, pinched fingers, shook sillies to serious, acted like a shark, went to a plank and then into downward dog.  After they stretched with yoga they read another book, What Colour Is Your World?, to lead into the art segment.IMG_5550

During the art segment, they used paint chips to create a collage… such a great idea.  I never thought about going to the paint store, getting paint chips and letting the girls get creative cutting them up and gluing to make a masterpiece.  Some of the kids decided they were finished way before others.  Aaron told them they could go look at the books and let them go look at the color shakers and books while he set up for an experiment and others finished, making a point to tell the kids that he would leave the projects out if they wanted to finish or add more.  Of course at the end of class my girls decided they wanted to do more and Aaron let them take some paint chips home to finish.IMG_5558IMG_5580

After creating art collages, everyone participated in the “milk experiment“.  My girls are still talking about this experiment and had to show their dad the following day.  We have also done this experiment with their friends during their play dates because they absolutely LOVED it at Shine NYC.  During the experiment the kids used milk, soap, food coloring, and a q-tip to make an explosion of multiple colors.IMG_5566IMG_5573IMG_5576

Next up was a game in which colors were matched with feelings: happy was yellow, blue was sad, red was angry, and green was surprised.  A color was called and kids ran to a colored circle the expression that matched the feeling.  The kids in the class had a great time during the game and it made them have to think quickly.  There was a lot of laughter when they ran to the wrong circle.

The class ended with Dr. Seuss’ color book read in a circle, similar to how the class began.  Throughout the entire class both teachers were full of energy and kept the kids engaged.  I loved that there were a variety of activities during the class to keep the kids from getting restless.  One of my favorite lines was when my daughter said she didn’t like the color she received Aaron responded with “From the famous words of Pinkalicious, you get what you get and you don’t get upset.”  We can’t wait to go back for more fun!

Shine ON!

Shine ON!

Visit ShineNYC.net to see other services offered.

Disclaimer:  I received a trial class for the purpose of this review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Kids Food Festival: March 2nd & 3rd

22 Feb
Image from Kids Food Festival

Image from Kids Food Festival

Image from Kids Food Festival

Image from Kids Food Festival

One of my daughter’s favorite events last year was the New York Kids Food Festival at Citi Pond at Bryant Park (see post).  The Kids Food Festival has partnered with Cooking Light and the James Beard Foundation to help fight childhood obesity.  The event engages children in fun activities such as a food plate scavenger hunt, cooking sessions, performances and a chance to get up close with some of your favorite characters in hopes to teach families and children how to make balanced choices with food.  Build your own pizza or make spiced gluten-free waffle sticks in one of the cooking sessions.  Tickets are required for each session.  Free events will include a meet and greet with Brobee from Yo Gabba Gabba as well as performances from The Dirty Sock Funtime Band and Super Sprotz.  Click here for a complete list of events, times and dates.

Washington D.C. friends, family and followers, keep checking the Kids Food Festival website for an event near you!