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”

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.
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MoMath – perhaps Maths can be fun after all

We’re finally back in New York after a gloriously long stint in the UK.  B’s daycare is open pretty much all year round, but T’s school shuts for a staggering twelve weeks over the summer. It has been quite a challenge to keep her occupied all that time, even with our trip home, and without spending a fortune. (New York is quite extraordinarily expensive – $7 for a tiny punnet of raspberries).

One particularly successful outing was to MoMath – the Museum of Mathematics. Its strap line is “The coolest thing that ever happened to math!”, which I was v skeptical about. But actually, it really was cool. Even for me, who has to sit and concentrate to work out what 18% tip should be.
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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?)

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Our favourite playgrounds in Lower Manhattan

In a city where hardly anyone gets a garden, playgrounds are essential. Luckily, they’re everywhere, squeezed into unlikely corners between busy roads or empty building lots. The water fountains have just been turned on, so Summer is just around the corner. (Spring and Autumn are ridiculously quick seasons here). Have now added swimming costumes, flannels and suncream to the general clutter under the pushchair, ready for impromptu drenchings in the fountains.

I love this about New York playgrounds, almost all of them include water play. The kids are entertained for hours, joyfully skipping under the cold water and rushing out again with shocked expressions, before heading straight back in again. B’s nappies get so waterlogged, they drag around her knees. It keeps the kids in one place, too, so much less stressful for me trying to keep track on where each child is at any given moment. On the downside, it’s even harder to get them to leave. Resorted to striding into the water to catch slippery, giggling children and frogmarch them home for supper, covered in wet sand. At home in England I could have hosed them down in the garden, but that’s not possible on the 38th floor. Instead it’s gritting your teeth and holding them in the water stream as you get completely soaked too.
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