Roosevelt Island – a quirky NYC day trip

Roosevelt Island is a quirky and cheap day trip activity if you want a change of scene and a decent, traffic-free walk without going very far from Manhattan.

It’s no Governors Island in terms of green space and bike rentals (click here for my review), but it does have the advantage of being open all year round. Continue reading “Roosevelt Island – a quirky NYC day trip”

Governors Island – fab family day trip

Summer is here, schools are out, cue anxiety about how to occupy the kids for 12 weeks. Governors Island is a fantastic place to escape the sirens, traffic and scalding hot, smelly sidewalks of Manhattan, and charge about on huge stretches of open grass.

Just 800 yards from Manhattan (we can actually see it from our window), Governors Island feels like a totally different world with its 172 acres of grass, playgrounds, cafes and eerily empty, decaying buildings. Continue reading “Governors Island – fab family day trip”

Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO – itinerary for a great day out for all generations

Walking along Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO is a great, cheap day out that pleases kids and grandparents alike, something not easily achieved!

I’ve blogged about it before, as walking across Brooklyn Bridge is invariably high on any New York guide book’s recommended to do list. It’s high and narrow enough to feel quite exciting, with fantastic 360 degree views. It is also free. Continue reading “Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO – itinerary for a great day out for all generations”

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens – new Discovery Garden for kids

The girls and I went to check out Brooklyn Botanic Garden‘s newly expanded children’s Discovery Garden, which opened recently within the enormous Prospect Park (where T and I once got lost trying to find the zoo).

Meeting up with a school friend of Ts, we had a great time wandering through the gardens, letting the kids charge off at full speed with no concern for traffic or disturbing anyone. It was wonderful watching them let off steam like that, it can be hard to find somewhere open enough to let them really run here. Little B was determined to keep up, stumping along behind the four year olds in her clumpy wellies. Continue reading “Brooklyn Botanic Gardens – new Discovery Garden for kids”

Boston – fab destination for a long weekend with young kids

Yet another day off school last week – this time to celebrate Columbus Day. American public holidays are completely different to the Brits’ – like only one day off for Christmas, but then a day half way through January for Martin Luther King Day. Taking advantage of the fact that this particular holiday fell on a Monday, we took the Friday off too and went to Boston for the long weekend.

Initially we thought we’d like to take the train, until we worked out the return fare for a family of four was double hiring a car. Poor old C ended up doing all the driving, since the whole driving-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-road thing still freaks me out. We took the more scenic I-95 route, stopping for lunch in Mystic, Connecticut – who knew that Mystic Pizza is a real place?
Continue reading “Boston – fab destination for a long weekend with young kids”

Prospect Park Zoo – good for younger kids

Prospect Park Zoo - Golden Tamarind
Golden Tamarind

It was Yom Kippur and Eid Al-Adha last week, which caused many of the New York schools to close for a few days. T and I took the opportunity to keep exploring, so we tried Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Zoo.
Continue reading “Prospect Park Zoo – good for younger kids”

Three great carousels in New York

Carousels are endlessly popular with our two girls, it is their ultimate weekend treat. In case any of you are in a similar boat, here are three of our local favourites:

Seaglass Carousel in Battery Park
SeaGlass Carousel, Battery Park
  • SeaGlass Carousel – Battery Park, Manhattan. $5 per ride, or $45 for a pack of 10

Continue reading “Three great carousels in New York”

Exploring the Bronx Zoo

We’ve lived here almost a year now, astoundingly, and realised we still hadn’t ventured north of Central Park. So we decided to go really far north, all the way up to The Bronx for the famous Bronx Zoo. And so glad we did, as it’s the best zoo we’ve ever visited.

We took the number 5 train all the way up to 180th East Street (hadn’t realised before this that the street numbers continue right off Manhattan up into The Bronx), which took well over an hour. The station was a little run down, with lots of posters warning you to ‘be smart and not to flash your smart phone around’. But just a few minutes’ walk away we reached the zoo, and were wrapped up in all the wildlife and greenery. Such a treat to escape the pressure cooker that is Manhattan in July for a few hours.
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Day out for greedy foodies at Williamsburg’s Smorgusburg

It was C’s birthday last week (well, he claims the whole of May as His Month, but I try to keep it down to the week), and his brother flew over from Hong Kong to celebrate it with us. C’s brother has already seen most of the classic NY tourist spots, so we concentrated on food.

Smorgusburg at Williamsburg (Brooklyn taxis are green. Who knew?)
Smorgusburg at Williamsburg (Brooklyn taxis are green. Who knew?)

Continue reading “Day out for greedy foodies at Williamsburg’s Smorgusburg”

Exploring the Liberty Science Center

Liberty Science Center
B hugging a cardboard Ernie

I’m terrible at maths. It’s like the numbers drop into a black crevasse, they just vanish. C is v keen to make sure our girls grow up with a better grasp of numbers and science than me, so he suggested a visit to the Liberty Science Center as a good, fun introduction. We can actually see it from our apartment window, across the Hudson River on the edge of Jersey City.
Continue reading “Exploring the Liberty Science Center”