Tag Archives: #fun

NY, NY Year-Round!

How do you find family fun when it appears to be hidden inside this enormous city!  

Here’s just a glimpse at what is going on at any given time of the year:

January – March:

If snow is not your thing… hit up a museum or a musical!  There are countless options, but the Children’s Museum is in “our backyard” and it’s my son’s favorite!  Aladdin the Broadway Musical, and Lion King tend to be family favorites… we also enjoyed School of Rock!

Ice skate!  …there’s a few spots around town, but of course, most popular is “The Rink”! Clink the link for more information about Rockefeller Center ice skating!

If it’s snowy… sled!  …families walk to various areas of Manhattan parks to slip, slide and sled!

No snow?  No problem… we hit up one of the many playgrounds in Central Park, (they have even been renovated since this photo below)!  Then warm up with some yummy NYC pizza!

Where’s the BEST pizza?  Ray’s used to be THE most talked about pizza, and for good reason!  However we have found that today various Ray’s locations do not live up to the hype.  We love pizza from Patsy’s, Pappardella, and Little Italy Pizza.  There’s also Sabas!  (just a few of my picks on the UWS)!

A brisk winter’s walk across the Brooklyn Bridge on a clear day or a visit to the Freedom Tower (with its incredible views) with take your breath away!

Spectacular!      

 …and every March 17th there is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade!

…still slushy outside?  Let’s head to Frames Bowling (near Times Square)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring & Summer!

How about a trip on the Staten Island Ferry or a visit to Lady Liberty?

Explore Central Park…. (near the UWS) there’s Turtle Pond, and the Belvedere Castle…. and OH so much more!  Can you see the little turtle swimming below?

We like to go to playgrounds… Adventure Playground (in Central Park at W. 67th Street) is wonderful!  Another favorite is “Elephant” Playground in Riverside Park (at W. 76th and Riverside Dr.)!

Below: A Spring play date on a chilly morning in Adventure Playground, and splashing around in Elephant Playground in June!


My son loves to turn the scorching hot slide (at Elephant Playground) into a thrilling water slide!  …the only way to go down on sizzling days!

Memorial Day & the 4th of July are very crowded in NYC (lots of tourists) so besides visiting friends, or getting a glimpse of the fireworks from our rooftop we didn’t do too much!  My good friend had a GOOD idea for the 4th of July:  #1.  Find out where the fireworks will be set off (locations vary).  #2  Rent a hotel room facing the view and #3 Enjoy!  Her six-year-old and entire family had a BLAST!  I wish I would have thought of that!

Lots of city people head out to The Hampton’s & surrounding beaches.  (but travel to and from can be difficult and pricey).  We have visited Coney Island & Rockaway Beach.  On my last Coney Island trip, I was baffled by the amount of litter in the ocean (and even found myself cleaning up).  Sigh.  Not very relaxing… but I usually fall into the “good samaritan” category!

After a long day at the beach – a hot dog and fries from Nathan’s is always a good idea!  Lines are long, no matter how many employees are working!  It’s definitely a popular attraction!

Ready for a change up?  Then you’re Brooklyn bound!  (below):

We take the subway to the nearest stop, then walk to Pier 6!  Henry loves it, and there are interactive gears, and water sprays and such!  I find it to be a bit loud at times (when you are surrounded by a bounty of screaming kids and screaming parents sometimes screaming at their kids).  One day towards the end of summer I saw two moms drinking Brooklyn Brewery beers… Hells yeah, I walked a few paces and grabbed one myself.  There’s also food, treats, seating, nearby bathrooms, and more!

September – December

There’s all the back-to-school excitement and even meets-ups with friends at the school…. September is quite busy!

Fall Festivals are all around in October (we even have one right at our kiddo’s school).  Some head out to farms to partake in traditional pumpkin & apple picking experiences.  I have never gone to a farm — but I have gone to Sleepy Hollow for Halloween thrills at it’s best!

Find out if the Legend of the Headless Horseman is true!  The NYC metro system can get you there, and for more info — just click here!

Trick-or-treating has its “hot spots” for sure!  In the UWS, it’s on 69th Street!  It is incredibly crowded and can be overstimulating so proceed with caution!

Cute friends: October 31, and early November at our favorite playground (Metal Park)!

Another advantage of living on the UWS is — it’s the start of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!  On the Wednesday evening before there’s an organized “walk through the floats” event (and it’s free)!

Talk about being unclose and personal with a lot of hot air!  This November— I am bringing the wide angled camera lens!  Of course some of our friends attend the parade Thursday morning — but we prefer to watch on TV!

     

Make sure to treat your little girl (or boy) to tea at the Alice In Wonderland themed cafe Alice’s Tea Cup any time of the year.  The food is truly amazing, and it’s touted as “New York’s most whimsical tea house”!  My kids love it!

If your kiddo loves dinosaurs, and space and sea life… I have got a place for you!  Oh –  the long awaited Butterfly Conservatory is now open too… I have to go back!  My super lucky son gets to visit this museum on school field trips!  (and in the summer we hit up their splash pad fountains)… really cool.  Have you guessed the place yet?

The Museum of Natural History on the UWS… it’s DYNO-MITE!

You are going to need an entire day for this museum — and at the end of your visit — fatigue may set in!  Many head to SHAKE SHACK (across the street) for dinner– then collapse!

December in NYC — there’s just too much to mention, a link here will give you all the ideas!

Remember this was only a glimpse of family fun!  Whew! 

 

 

Catch This!

My friend needed help – fast!  Her son’s 10/31 birthday was quickly approaching, and she needed to pull of a Yankees themed birthday party the weekend before.

Cue the party assistant (me)!  I helped make this BOYS & GIRLS party (full of second graders) a HIT, and everyone left with a pretty cool “thank you gift”!
I created a special banner (with photos of the birthday boy), fun framed decor and party bags filled with themed necklaces or keychains …

  …the girls loved the necklaces!    

I used this same idea to create boys’ high quality keychains.  I used blue or steel colored beads along with baseball beads to make a cool yet different design for the boys.  They love to hook the keychains to their school backpack zippers!

Here’s a look at the BASEBALL party…

…his “Bronx grandma” brought an amazing cake, and the kids played at the Baseball Center on the UWS!

      There were at least 25 kiddos, and a few younger siblings tagged along.  Everyone received a party bag — however I didn’t fill it with Cracker Jacks, peanuts, Big League chewing gum and such.  I know NY kids LOVE Air Heads!  Plus I added some Halloween stickers and red, white, and blue pompoms for a little whimsy.    

(my son above right): He would rather juggle than play baseball.  He’s a circus kid, what can I tell ya?

One of the coolest things about this party (besides watching “Manhattan Grandma” cheer on her grandson) was seeing our friends from (ex.) Sweden and Columbia join in, and learn the sport of baseball!  They were not ashamed to admit they never played, didn’t know how, didn’t know the rules, etc., It made me appreciate diverse friendships, supporting and teaching others, and cheering on your fellow teammate!  There is unity in our little world in the UWS.

Above: juggling Henry and “TuTu” (grandma); Enjoying yummy pizza on this super stormy rainy Sunday — what a great day to be inside!

 

 

Baseball Play!

I can see that Dodgers fans are stoked!  …Yankees fans are too!  But the Cubs and Astros are still in it!

Who is going to make it to the World Series?  The Dodgers have come further than they have in many, many years (Fans have not been this elated since 1988)!

The Yanks were a wildcard win who have not been squeezed out yet… in short: some have baseball fever and can’t wait to catch the next game!

I found some baseball beads at Michael’s Crafts, and I am trying out some new kiddo necklace designs.  

It’s pretty easy to slide these on (with new frills, glass beads and even new closures)!  I still feel as though I may not have found my signature design or “look” but it’s exciting to create a new series of accessories!  

I am coaching myself along and I never know if my jewelry will be a hit or miss…but it’s a fun change up!

(Also there are no diamonds in these necklaces)!  Hehe.  

Let me know what you think!  And also let me know your World Series predictions!

 

 

 

A Few More Snaps!

My necklaces are proving to be a fun, challenging and creative project!  A few days ago — I received some feedback from a very inspirational co-worker.  Let’s just say she’s a sewing and fashion expert… a master …a guide… a whiz!  So I am continuing to improve (and provide more designs which will be featured in future posts)!  

I still feel as though I am at the very beginning of my necklace business.  I go back and evaluate them…re-do them… or scrap them; I want each one to pass inspection (I’m tough).  Every time I produce another necklace my husband seems impressed (although girly kid fashion is really not his thing).  Haha!  

Thank you so much for these beautiful photos!  

I absolutely LOVE them… Keep them coming!  …and I also appreciate  your feedback! 

  

      

#reallyprettynyc

 

 

 

Photo Shoot #1

Yesterday after my morning wardrobe shift in Times Square, I quickly threw together a Really Pretty, NYC photo shoot on my roof!

I stopped at the grocery store to nab ice cream and sundae fixings too!  On a hot day — payment to three working kids can be steep!  Knowing Henry and his friends Marley and Alexis would be totally committed, I would need to ante up with creamy yummy goodness (organic whipped cream, sprinkles, banana slices, gummy bears and crushed Oreo toppings just to name a few)!

Here’s a sneak peak at some photos featuring Marley (w/ props):

   


The girls got to keep a few necklaces too!

I have a few more photo shoots to go, and my customers can start to purchase necklaces for $10 plus shipping using check or VENMO.  My on-line payment process is not yet up and running.

100% made in NYC — Really Pretty necklaces are slowly coming to life!  Also if you are a Facebook user, please LIKE and SHARE this newly created Really Pretty, NYC Facebook page!

 

 

To Market, To Market I Go!

What’s the buzz all about?  Henry’s first grade class has been studying the community!  They examined all of the aspects of where we go in our community, our wants, our needs.  They even took a few field trips to do some research!  As a culminating final activity — the class created their own market to provide needs to our school community!

Henry’s teacher so wanted the kiddos to have special aprons (so they could really get into their roles)!  As it turned out on Market Day — each student had a job (or two) and made sure he or she flawlessly executed it as planned!

Let me back up just for a moment though…. I asked the parents if they would be open to spending $8 – $10 for an apron, and immediately started brainstorming with Henry on market names for the kids to vote on.  BE HAPPY B 10 MARKET won out over B 10’s EASY BREEZY MARKET and B 10’s Wonderful Westside Market.  Our input helped so much because both of Henry’s teachers have been so sick and worn down (and they each have two tiny kiddos at home as well).

When “Be Happy B 10 Market” won, and I immediately went to work on a logo.

I got on my computer and played with color patterns, font and looked at BEE pictures.  I chose the color scheme and then the font.  (The font reminded me of how people sometimes draw bee hives).  Henry chose the actual BEE; I thought he would choose another bee design, it was so cute to see that the one he chose was drawn so child like!

Then this design was stitched on the aprons, it turned out “bEE u ti ful”!

The parents were asked to bring in or bake or make items for the class market.  Then our busy bee workers did their jobs as food packagers, stock boys and girls, greeters, sellers, counters (tallying up the sales), cashiers, etc.,

The items were sold for 25 cents, 50 cents, etc., then all of the money would be donated to a local charity.

Here’s a look at some of the wonderful memories that were created….

I bought plain visors at Michael’s Crafts and the kiddos decorated them!  I also made a few bumble bee headbands (some girls preferred these over the visors).

    

   

For sale!  “Happy Trails” trail mix using (chocolate) Chex and Kix cereal, mini marshmallows, organic pretzel pieces, and sweet fresh raisins…. and the produce section had so many wonderful fruits and vegetables!
I made the trail mix, and packaged it up to help… the kids just came back from Spring Break and had less than three days to pull this off!

 

This project was super fun to help out with!  I loved every minute of it and it allowed me to channel my creative “juices”!

I also put together several email reminders to BEE sweet and donate an item to the cause, and BUZZ ON BY to the market Friday morning!

Beautifully organized–  the market was full of happy shoppers (parents and staff) and the trail mix sold out immediately!  The kids were so impressive, and did a dynamite job!  ….each of them got to take home their aprons and accessories!  I hope they can always have fond memories of thoughtful planning and research, working cooperatively, and running a successful business.  It was a HAPPY MARKET indeed!

 

 

Dippy Drippy Pumpkins

From my last post — I mentioned that we had a Soccer ‘N Pumpkins in the Park play day…

I saw a cool idea on Pinterest and wanted to do a test run before-hand!  Hmmmm– Michael’s craft store is up near W. 100th Street, I am at W. 77th…  Maybe I could copy the idea with different paint from a store closer by?  Is that a DIPPY idea?  

paint

We have Flying Tiger (party store) nearby and their stuff is CHEAP!  Let’s see what happens!

Step 1 –    Spray paint your pumpkin so the drizzly paint will adhere to it.  We chose orange: spray    We went up on our roof top for this!  Easy!  Oooo shiny.

spray2dribble not-quite

Step 2  

Place your pumpkin on top of something (I repurposed an old juice box.  The idea is that the paint will drizzle all the way down to the bottom and not create a huge puddle

underneath.  I shook the paint a little, the top flew off and it covered parts of the wall and carpet!  What?!  I didn’t even open the top and peel the foil off yet!  Then we had problems squeezing it out for Step 3.  Arnold Schwarzenegger may not have been able to do it.

Step 3  Hold the paint container upside down and start drizzling paint onto the stem, then let the paint slide down the pumpkin like a waterfall.  Henry & I both squeezed the paint together….. It started to look weird; then I found myself saying, “Henry I think that’s enough paint.  It looks like puke.”

Poor kid — he was so excited.  I wiped off the Flying Tiger paint with paper towels (returned the yucky paint), then got the RIGHT kind of acrylic paint at Michael’s craft store.

Step 3 (again)

Drizzle CRAFT SMART acrylic paint.  Don’t be DIPPY like me and buy the cheap imitation.  I repurposed a used plastic cup for the run-off; (there is still residue from the old paint though).  Step 4: sprinkle with glitter (optional) and let dry.

 paint2    Much better!    again

Henry had so much fun — he wanted to keep going!  I had some foam pumpkin cut-outs (from Michael’s) and foam brushes (from Flying Tiger).  We continued with more creations.  Our cat wanted to check things out too!

img_9584 img_9585 img_9586

The cute gold party plates are from Flying Tiger.

img_9587  img_9588 img_9589

We also got the large confetti pieces at Flying Tiger; glue and marker from Michael’s.

img_9590 I don’t know if you can tell — but Louie the cat has a special yellow pumpkin with green paw-print eyes & nose.  Then I clipped two confetti pieces to look more like cat ears (in a triangular shape).

Here is how it looked in the park…  

We brought orange and red spray paint, and ended up using mostly red.  I bought some paper bowls (on clearance at a drug store).  They propped up the pumpkins, and let the paint drizzle down (the lid of the bowl caught the run-off).

colors  The red paint was pretty!  colors5

colors2    colors3    colors4

The pumpkins were a hit!  The washable paint was a relief to all the parents!  Henry’s class of 6-year-olds were able to create some real magic here, but little siblings had a tough time.  I wouldn’t recommend this to kids younger than five.

We topped off the wet paint with a little glitter (from Flying Tiger). It reminded me of pixie dust;  It’s very fine and stays put (does not rub off and get all over clothes or the home).  Nice!  Once the pumpkins are dry — you can glue on some silly plastic spiders & snakes or bugs.  Again Flying Tiger had plenty of that stuff — even glow-in-the-dark spiders and snakes!

Finishing Up:  I bought medium paper bags with handles (at Michael’s).  The pumpkins were about 1/2 way dry by the time parents were ready to leave.  I used a napkin to pick up the pumpkin by the stem and placed the semi-dry pumpkin in the paper bag; an easy carry home project.  Some of the kids got Autumn leaves stuck in their pumpkins which was really cool… ahhhhh the joys of making a mess outside!

The younger siblings loved painting the foam cut outs… Later when I arrived at home I looked inside my paper bag; Two foam pumpkins accidentally bumped into each other and the result was this:

scary

Yes, scary!  I had Pre-K kids opening everything, messes were made but contained on the huge rectangular plastic table cloth I put down on the grass.  I used small sticks to stake the plastic table cloth down (so the wind didn’t blow it away).  Since no one went home with a painted little sibling or a painted dog I would say it was a good day!

 

Bedtime Blues

The midnight conversation…

Henry:  “Mom, Mom!  ….Mom….Mom… Can you please come up (in my loft)?

Seth: “Henry I’ll come up.  Daddy can come up… Daddy can come up.”

Henry: “Nooooooooo.”

Seth: “Daddy can cuddle.”

Henry: “Ugggggggh.  But I don’t want you.  I just want Mom.”

Seth: “But Daddy can give hugs.”

Henry: “But sometimes I am afraid to cuddle with dad.”  — OK he’s a big liar now!

Seth:  “Why?”

Henry: “Cause sometimes I just like girls.  I’m too hot up here.  I just need to go downstairs.  Downstairs is a perfect temperature.  My knee hurts. I need to go downstairs.  I just need Mom.  I don’t like you.”

Henry repeated this again, and the next thing I knew Seth slept up in the loft and Henry slept with me.   Zzzzzzzzzz.

Math Game With Dice!

I totally love this new game for Henry!  He’s in first grade but has always been a little advanced in math (it’s logical)!  So I would say it’s on a first to second grade level.

You need:

  • 3 dice.
  • You need the worksheet!  I grabbed one from a teacher friend — I’ll have to upload it to my site so you can have it too!
  • 2 different colored hi-lighters.
  • Go!

Roll all three dice, add up the numbers and then color the box on the sheet with that number (using your choice of colored hi-lighter).  The next player goes and does the same using a different colored hi-lighter.  Once the numbers run out on the sheet you can’t color anything so the next person rolls the dice and so on.

Henry didn’t want to play so I told him that I would play against the cat.  I put my name and m2Louie’s name on the top.  After a few rolls, I asked Henry to roll for Louie and then Henry “played for Louie” for the rest of the game.  Louie won too!  Wow!

Henry was adding his dice (Louie’s dice) and adding my dice as well because he wanted to see how well I would do.  He starts to get competitive!  I LOVE it because he is using his brain non-stop!  Learning and reinforcing all that is going on in math class at school!

Yay!

At the end you count up how many boxes each of you colored and who ever has the most wins.

m3

Henry adds up 6 then colors the “6” box

You can play against yourself too.  You can also add some imagination and maybe if your kiddo is a sports fan — for example — he or she can assign one color (purple) for The Ravens, and another color (blue) for The NY Giants.  Or if your kiddo wants to pretend each color is a Disney character then Anna and Elsa can play each other with your child rolling the dice for both.  Don’t stop there — it can be a pet agains another pet, a stuffed animal, favorite characters in a book… 

Modify:

Play with only 2 dice and use a different number sheet!

 

 

Up, Up, Up and Away!

From caterpillar…DSC_0650

…to chrysalis…

crys

…to butterfly…

Henry’s class unleashes the amazing butterflies today!

butter    but   And Henry’s “Bilfo” was the FIRST TO COME OUT OF ITS CHRYSALIS!  

Asking questions about the butterfly release….  Students are a little sad to see them go, but they understand these guys belong out in nature!

DSC_1041

We walk down to the school garden… bodies are wriggling… it’s so hard to remain calm.

DSC_1053

The big moment has arrived… the class quietly watches to see what happens!

DSC_1054

One by one they take flight… up, up, up and away….. we hear, “goodbye Snoopy, goodbye, goodbye!”  And there were NO hungry birds around;  Whew.  Some are worried about the one who didn’t come out of his chrysalis yet.  We think this “late bloomer” will emerge today!

DSC_1072

This one’s wings are not working as well as the others.  It gets a little help from the teacher’s assistant.  “Why is it different?” they ask.

Just as we are all born different — so are the butterflies.  We have our strengths, and weaknesses.  Whether you fly up to the sky, or land on a pretty soft flower – life is what you make of it.