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”

Bryant Park’s brrrrilliant Winter Village

Two old friends from home recently came for a weekend in which they crammed the most astonishing amount of NYC sightseeing. Taking advantage of jet lag and general child-free giddiness, they saw A LOT of New York. It was ace.

The highlight for me was ice skating at Bryant Park’s Winter Village. Our third winter here, and we’d never done it before. Sometimes it takes having visitors to make you explore. Really glad we did. Continue reading “Bryant Park’s brrrrilliant Winter Village”

Musical swings in Battery Park City – last chance

It’s the last week of the free musical swings installation in Battery Park City’s Brookfield Place – if you haven’t had a go yet, rush over quick. Continue reading “Musical swings in Battery Park City – last chance”

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”

Exploring the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM)

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) is the latest in Operation Explore New York. Located in the Upper West Side, it’s a good choice for young kids with short attention spans.

Together with T’s school friend L, we headed first to the new ‘America to Zanzibar, Muslim Clutures Near and Far’ exhibition. T and L made a bee-line for a two-story dhow boat exhibit complete with a fun contraption to haul goods up and down. There were also exotic fruit and spice markets which the kids could examine and sniff. L’s mom and I were drawn to the Turkish tile puzzles. You know, the ones with a square missing and you have to slide the pieces around to recreate the original picture. Loved those as a kid. Continue reading “Exploring the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM)”

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”

Firing up young imaginations at FDNY Museum

The FDNY Museum on Spring Street, Manhattan
The FDNY Museum on Spring Street, Manhattan

There’s something inherently exciting about fire engines, we can never resist waving to firefighters as they pass us. Quite often they wave back.
Continue reading “Firing up young imaginations at FDNY Museum”

10 reasons to live in Battery Park City with kids

Teardrop Park
Teardrop Park

One of the most daunting things about moving a young family to New York (especially as an expat) is picking where to live. Manhattan, Brooklyn, or way out in Connecticut? If Manhattan, which part? Each neighbourhood has a really distinctive personality, and you want to get it right. After a great deal of street-pounding and house-hunting by C, we ended up picking Battery Park City.
Continue reading “10 reasons to live in Battery Park City with 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”