NYC’s Best Neighborhoods for Trick-or-Treating

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Halloween is back in NYC! (Need evidence? Here’s a look at Halloween events for kids happening all month long.) While we would never say there are bad places to trick-ot-treat in the Big Apple, below are some of the traditionally prime neighborhoods for trick-or-treating in New York City. Note that things start early, with some gatherings happening as early as 3:30. (Also: Details on specific neighborhood celebrations are still trickling in, so check back here for updates!) Now go forth, be safe and get that candy!

Manhattan

photo: Carnegie Hill Neighbors

Chelsea

Clement Clarke Moore Park
Kick off trick-or-treating in Clement Clarke Moore Park — known by locals as “Seal Park”— on 10th Avenue at 22nd Street, then walk up and down the decorated brownstone blocks around the General Theological Seminary. The west side neighborhood's most popular streets for gathering the goods are 21st and 22nd Streets between Ninth and Tenth Avenues; for less of a crowd, head to the houses between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. Things kick off around 6 p.m.

21st-22nd St. between 8th and 10th Ave.
Online: nycgovparks.org

photo: iStock

Greenwich Village

Trick or Treat in Washington Square Park

They get the party started early in the Village. Gather by the iconic Washington Square Arch at 2 p.m., when traditionally, they hold a kids' costume parade around the park. Currently scheduled is a treats-filled afternoon at the park with plenty to do for kids ages 2-10. In addition to candy, there will be activities that you can do on-site or take home. You can then trick-or-treat your way through the surrounding streets of stately townhouses. Just keep in mind that starting around 6:30 p.m., the more raucous ghouls and goblins (and naughty nurses) begin to descend on the area for the neighborhood's legendary grown-up version of a Halloween Parade.

Washington Square Park
Fifth Ave. between Waverly Place and W. 4th St
Online: nyu.edu

photo: Charles Parker via Pexels

Hamilton Heights

Uptown in Hamilton Heights, head to 141st to 145th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam, where residents deck out their townhouses in a new theme each year, making for especially festive treat gathering. 

photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Harlem

In Harlem, you can't go wrong with 121st Street, starting at Marcus Garvey Park and hitting the brownstones all the way to Frederick Douglas Boulevard. 

Another great spot is Striver's Row, at 138th and 139th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. 

photo: iStock

Tribeca

Families in this downtown 'hood hit up streets like Duane, Reade and Church to score big from local businesses and residents.

Upper West Side: Hippo Playground Project Halloween Parade

This event is TBD for Halloween 2021.

This popular park hosts events throughout the year, and Halloween is no exception. Gather at the Soldiers and Sailors monument at 89th Street and Riverside Drive and march to the sounds of bagpipes all the way to the park. 

89th Street and Riverside Dr./Hippo Playground
Online: facebook.com/HippoParkNYC

photo: Carnegie Hill Neighbors

Upper East Side

Carnegie Hill Neighbors Spooktacular
Every year, Carnegie Hill Neighbors hosts a spooky block party with a costume procession, art projects, candy treats and dancing in the streets to a lively DJ set. Trophies and prizes are awarded for best costumes by age, family and pet, and the neighborhood's most festively-festooned townhouses and storefronts are recognized as well. If your little pirates and princesses aren't sated by the gathering, wander the east 90s between Fifth and Lexington Avenues for good candy collecting and spooktacular decorations.

PS: We also hear East 78th between Park and Lexington is a hot spot. 

Held Oct 31, 4-6 p.m.
92nd St between Madison and Park Ave.
Online: carnegiehillneighbors.org

Queens

Forest Hills Gardens

Yet another area that will make you doubt you're in NYC, this leafy and historic enclave is a trick-or-treater's paradise, with tree-lined streets and stately single-family houses. And, there's always activity on the busy thoroughfare of Continental and 71st Aves. 

photo: Mimi O'Connor

Jackson Heights

Jackson Heights Halloween Parade
This Queens neighborhood's wildly popular Halloween Parade is the second-largest Halloween kids parade in NYC. As if marching in that wasn't enough reward in itself, at the end of the procession, all kids get goodie bags.

Lineup starts around 12p.m. at 37th Avenue and 89th Street. After the parade, kids hit the apartment buildings in the area to score big. 

12 p.m.
37th Ave., 89th Street to 76th Street
Online: jhbg.org

Maspeth

This event is TBD for Halloween 2021.

Maspeth Lions Club Parade 
Kick off the evening with the annual Ragamuffin Parade sponsored by the Maspeth Lions Club. Gather at the gate of the Mt. Olivet Cemetery and parade down Grand Avenue to the Maspeth Federal Savings Bank. Everyone leaves with a treat bag and there will be prizes for the best costumes! 

6:30-8p.m., Oct. 31
6450 Grand Ave. (Remsen Place and Grand Avenue)
Maspeth 
Online: facebook.com

photo: Pexels

Middle Village
For an authentic, suburban, small-town vibe, head to Middle Village. Highly residential, with mostly single-family homes, this neighborhood contains lots of houses spooked up for the holidays (think big inflatables) and pedestrian-friendly streets for tiny trick-or-treaters. Check out the areas to the South and East of Juniper Valley Park for prime door-to-door action.

Sunnyside Gardens
For a similar feel to Middle Village that’s a little easier to get to by subway (it’s a short walk from the 46th St./Bliss St. stop on the 7 line) try Sunnyside Gardens. One of New York’s first planned communities, this cohesive landmarked area’s streets of charming houses and oversized-trees make for manageable and picturesque candy collecting.

Brooklyn

photo: Peter Lopez

Bay Ridge

Halloween Festival at Owl's Head Park

Bay Ridge takes Halloween very seriously, and its Halloween Festival is back for 2021! Head to Owl's Head Park for free games, face-painting, costume contests by age, kids' concerts, a magic show, and of course—treats! Enter at Colonial Road and 68th Street. 

1-5 p.m.
Owl's Head Park
53 68th St.
Bay Ridge
Online: facebook.com/events

Bedford Stuyvesant 

This community is so organized it has a map of Halloween hot spots and blocks welcoming trick-or-treaters, and orange and black balloons to let you know where to go. There will be candy for kids and even dog-friendly treats! Don't miss the Theme House on Jefferson Avenue between Throop & Tompkins. The fun kicks off at 4:30. Find the Halloween 2021 map here!

Online: BedstuyHalloweenMap

Brooklyn Heights

Halloween in the Heights
It's hard to find more festive blocks in The Heights than Garden Place and Grace Court Alley, which are typically blocked off from traffic in honor of the holiday. Residents go all out, constructing elaborate Halloween displays in front of the street's historic brownstones — fake coffins, life-size mummies, smoke machines,  jack o’lanterns en masse, etc. It's a festive and very busy scene, so go early if you want to come out of it with treats in the bucket. For a quieter but still lovely trick-or-treating experience, head to nearby streets Remsen and Joralemon.

photo: Mimi O'Connor

Cobble Hill

Cobble Hill Halloween Parade
Costumed kids and parents cram into this small Brownstone Brooklyn neighborhood's Cobble Hill Park and then process. This year, there will be live music thanks to the Brass Queens!  Afterward, the main drag of Court Street and the surrounding blocks are filled with trick or treaters. (Venture further down Court to Carroll Gardens for even more candy and brownstones with large front gardens tricked-out for the holiday.) Be on time: It's not uncommon for businesses and homes to have their candy stash completely cleared out by the festive, costumed throngs early on.

Held 4-6 p.m
Clinton St. between Verandah Place and Congress St.
Online: facebook.com

photo: Mimi O'Connor

Ditmas Park

You know any neighborhood that's home to a house decorated like this (find it at the intersection of Argyle and Albemarle Roads) has to be a great place for trick or treating. Not only does Ditmas Park bring the candy and the spooky decor, with its huge Victorian homes and wide, tree-lined streets, it's a lovely place to revel in Halloween fun. Young ghosts and goblins gather in front of the Halloween House around 4 or 5 p.m. before heading out. 

photo: Philip Greenberg

DUMBO

DUMBO is holding its annual DUMBOWeen “March to the Arch” on Halloween. The festive parade of costumed participants makes its way through Dumbo and Brooklyn Bridge Park to the Dumbo Archway, led by live music and puppets. Post-parade family-friendly activities in the Archway from 3-6 p.m. include arts and crafts with Creatively WILD Art Studio and Loop of the Loom, legos activities with Brooklyn Bridge Parents, a photo booth, costume contest with prizes for best costumes, and lots of candy! Additionally, more than 40 Dumbo businesses will offer trick or treating at their storefronts on Halloween from 3-8 p.m.

Sun., Oct. 31, 3 p.m.
Meet Washington Street between Front & Water Streets
Online: dumbo.is

photo: Mimi O'Connor

Kensington

You can feel the excitement mounting in this residential neighborhood as Halloween approaches, as more and more decorations are added to the single-family homes. Head to the numbered blocks (3rd, 4th, 5th) between Caton and Albemarle, and make sure to hit Fourth Street, which is closed to traffic and rocks out hard, with music, games, and scores of families. 

Park Slope

2021 Details TBD

Park Slope Halloween Parade
For this somewhat legendary parade, bring your costume A-game and join in at any point along the route, or enjoy the creative and creepy costumes as a spectator. If you’re marching, gather at 6:30 p.m. (or earlier) at 14th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. The parade will conclude at the Old Stone House in Washington Park on Fifth Avenue with a community gathering and dancing with the parade bands, winding down at 9 p.m. You can get started early here: in the late afternoon area businesses pass out Halloween candy to trick-or-treaters. While you're in the neighborhood, be sure to hit some of the brownstone-lined streets, where residents are known for their out-of-this-world decorations.

Held 6:30-9p.m.
7th Ave. at 14th St. to Washington Park on 5th Ave.
Online: parkslopeciviccouncil.org

photo: Mimi O'Connor

Windsor Terrace

South of Park Slope and north of Kensington, Windsor Terrace is a neighborhood of residential streets with lots of houses that also really get into the holiday. Head to blocks between Vanderbilt Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway and don't miss Third Street between Vanderbilt and Greenwood Avenues, which in the past, has been closed to traffic. 

The Bronx

photo: Pexels

Riverdale

The upscale 'hood of Riverdale always makes for some good candy collecting, but the area's neighbor, the community of Fieldston, is worthy of destination trick-or-treating. With much of it recognized as a landmarked historic district, the positively suburban-feeling area is filled with trees and beautiful houses that set the perfect backdrop for Halloween activities. (The varied architectural styles range from Tudor and Art and Crafts, to "manor" and "castle.") There's a good chance you'll forget you're in New York City.

feature image: Elena Olivo

—Mimi O’Connor

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Sugar-free, oil-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, fruit-filled, paleowhatever your definition of a healthy birthday cake (and smash cake) fit for a first birthday, we’ve found a recipe you’ll love. Bonus: They taste good enough for grown-up guests. Read on for 20 first birthday ideas for healthy cakes that are both smashing and smashable.

Save our list of healthy birthday cakes!

Blueberry Banana Ombre Cake

Feast your eyes on this! This sugar-free cake, from Jasmin Shannon's Lemons for Days blog, is a stunner both in looks and health profile. The banana cake replaces sugar with maple syrup and packs in almond meal, flax meal and shredded coconut. The filling is a chocolate ganache made with avocado, cacao powder and almond milk and sweetened with medjool dates. It's all topped with a blueberry cream that includes cashews and coconut milk. Check out her Instagram for more recipes and health & wellness content.

Coconut and Raspberry Smash Cake

Dairy free and gluten free, this coconut and raspberry smash cake from Healthy Little Foodies replaces refined sugars and sweeteners with dates, bananas and berries. It also sneaks in chia seeds, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, iron and calcium. Whipping coconut cream with vanilla makes a rich, tasty frosting.

Healthy Cinnamon-Spiced Smash Cake

Organic cinnamon applesauce is the secret ingredient that adds sweet spice to both the cake and frosting in Oh Everything Handmade's healthy first birthday cake. The applesauce and bananas make added sugar unnecessary. The cake also features whole wheat flour and egg whites, and the frosting base is cream cheese.

Banana Smash Cake With Blueberry Frosting

Free of butter and refined sugar, this cake is made from whole wheat flour and gets its sweetness from banana, maple syrup and applesauce. And you can thank frozen blueberries and heavy whipping cream for the lovely lavender color. The cake is sized for two 4.5-inch spring form pans, but alternately could make about seven cupcakes. Get the recipe at Kristine's Kitchen

Sugar Free Carrot & Date Cake

Another cake without refined sugar, this one plenty of sweetness from good-for-you ingredients such as dates, raisins and shredded coconut. Get the full scoop on this carroty concoction at Things for Boys. The recipe is perfect for a 6-inch round cake with enough left over to make a few cupcakes for immediate family.

Baby-Friendly Cake, Four Variations

For kids with food allergies, this cake from Baby Led Weaning Ideas has you covered. In addition to a vanilla cake recipe that's solely free of sugar, there's a variation that's also free of dairy, eggs, gluten, soy and nuts. Both can be modified to include strawberries or chocolate. And there are lots of tips and suggestions (and even a video!) to help you bake the perfect cake. 

Healthy PB & C Cake

Who doesn't love peanut butter and chocolate? This healthy cake from Hello Bee is made with whole spelt flour (you can also use whole wheat) and has a yummy, fudgy flavor despite not having added refined sugar. The frosting is made from cream cheese, honey and peanut butter, and you can sub Greek yogurt for the cream cheese (the recipe tells you how).

Honey Oat Smash Cake

Free of gluten and refined sugar, this cake is super moist and has a Greek yogurt-based frosting. Hearty oat flour and sweet honey come together in a flavorful cake with a fresh fruit garnish that your child might be so busy nibbling on, they'll forget they're supposed to be smashing the cake. Find the recipe at Yummy Toddler Food; Sarah Crowder from Punctuated with Food created this cake. 

Healthier Chocolate Cake

No added sugar, butter or oil, but there is chocolate! This moist, rich cake from The First Year get its crowd-pleasing taste from chocolate chips, bananas, Greek yogurt, honey, peanut butter and cocoa powder. Party on, chocolate lovers!

Paleo First Birthday Cupcakes

These paleo cupcakes are free of oil, dairy, grains and nuts but packed full of fiber-rich coconut flour. Detoxinista dreamed up these applesauce cupcakes topped with unsweetened coconut whipped cream that party guests young and old will enjoy.

Vegan First Birthday Cake

This chocolate vegan cake with vanilla frosting from Kitchen of Eatin' is free of dairy and eggs but full of flavor. Natural ingredients like unsweetened almond milk, apple cider vinegar, evaporated cane juice, coconut oil and unsweetened cocoa powder make the cake tasty and rich. The frosting isn't sugar-free, but it is healthier thanks to coconut milk and coconut oil.

Fruit Tower Birthday Cake

Your baby will marvel over the beautiful colors in this healthy, no-bake cake alternative. Use your child's favorite fruits for a sensational, and Pinterest-ready, dessert. Catherine over at Weelicious shows you how to make this Fruit Tower Cake

photo: Simple Bites

Apple Spice Cake with Maple

Loaded with 2 cups of chopped apples, this Apple Spice Cake has no processed sugar and is sweetened with maple syrup and brown rice syrup. To create the gorgeous ombre sugar-free frosting, color your cream cheese frosting with varying amounts of beets and strawberry puree. 

photo: Posh in Progress

Cheerios Cake

If cake decorating isn't your specialty, look no further than a Cheerios box for a fun decor idea your child will love. The whole-grain oats cereal has much less sugar then traditional candy toppings, and it lends a whimsical touch to your cake. Try this yummy Sugar Free Cake with cream cheese frosting from Stacey at the blog Posh in Progress. Then open a box of Cheerios and get creative!

Cashew Cream Frosting Cake

Tickle your tot's sweet tooth with this low-sugar carrot cake with cashew cream frosting from Becky at the Vintage Mixer. The tasty frosting is made by blending raw cashews, coconut oil, honey and vanilla and is perfect for smearing all over your happy baby's face.

Blueberry Velvet Cake

Blueberry muffins meet birthday cake! If your child is a blueberry fan, make this beautiful Blueberry Velvet Cake with cream cheese frosting, courtesy of Tanya at I Heart Chocolate Milk. Use a sugar substitute to make a sugar-free version of this recipe. And if you don't want to use artificial coloring, add a little blueberry puree to your cake batter or choose an all-natural food coloring.

photo: Hello Bee

Banana Cake with Greek Yogurt Frosting

Familiar flavors create a cake your child will love to nibble while smashing. This banana cake from Sarah at Hello Bee combines bananas with maple syrup and tops them with a sugar-free Greek yogurt frosting sweetened with honey. Color your yogurt frosting with a fruit puree of your choice.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Vanilla Pound Cake

Pound cake is the perfect choice for your smash cake (get it?). This Vanilla Pound Cake from Naturally Sweet Recipes is free of gluten and dairy but full of vanilla, protein and healthy fats. The ombre frosting is colored pink with strawberries. This recipe makes enough for a smash cake plus a larger cake for grown-ups.

Note: Babies under age one shouldn’t consume honey. So if you choose a recipe that uses honey, don’t serve it to younger guests. 

 

— Julie Seguss & Ashly Grzyb

 

Featured Image: iStock 

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Your mom may have a memory book filled with photos, baby shoes and clippings from your first haircut, but you’ve already maxed out 20 gigs of cloud with photos of your baby. So while you’re Facebooking, tweeting, instagramming and tumblring every precious baby moment, include these 12 not-to-be-missed pics to commemorate your baby’s first year. #newmom #photocrazy #babylove

cuddlewithdad cc KJMcWilliams

photo: Katie Jane McWilliams

1. #allnighter #aintwhatitusedtobe #daddysboy

Record those long nights and precious snuggles with a newborn. All-nighters won’t last forever (although it sure feels like they will).

brother sister train cc Angie Cernovich

photo: Angie Cernovich

2. #bigbrothers #instabffs #lilsis

The moment an older sibling meets the new baby for the first time is beyond words. Record the first hug and kiss so you can all remember it forever.

babyfeet cc MeganWoodard

photo: Megan Woodard

3. #tenfingers #tentoes

Make sure to photograph those adorable newborn hands and feet. It’s way easier than attempting that overrated ink print (#pinterestfail).baby accessories cc MeganWoodard

photo: Megan Woodard

4.#toocuteforwords #glamourbaby

The day will come when you dress up your baby (out of boredom, exhaustion or for big laughs). From bows and beanies to sunglasses and Wu-Tang onesies, accessorize away and break out that camera.

 sleeping baby cc stephen lightfoot flicker

photo: Stephen Lightfoot via Flickr

5. #sleepinglikeababy #sleepingbeauty

If only little ones understood the meaning of “sleeping like a baby.” When baby finally dozes off, snap a pic of that sweet, serene, non-howling face. And then sneak away and take your own nap.

baby food yuck cc kate_dave_hugh via flickrphoto: kate_dave_hugh via Flickr

6. #firstfood #lookatthatface #ihatecarrots

From baby food to finger food, don’t miss that first face of disgust (or delight). It’s fun to look back and see how kids’ favorite flavors change over time, and a messy face makes an awesome photo.

photo: gabeflorencio via Pixabay

7. #Iseeteeth #gummygrin #somuchdrool
Those tiny teeth may put baby and you through hell when they’re coming in, causing sleepless nights and tons of drool. But they make baby’s smile even cuter.

happy baby cc Julie Seguss

photo: Julie Seguss

8. #happybaby #babygiggles #babyinparadise

From gummy grins to deep belly giggles, nothing can make your heart burst like a laughing baby. Share the love with social media to make others smile.

fatbaby cc Kelly Thomas

photo: Kelly Thomas

9. #babyrolls #babyphat #thighsfordays

Who doesn’t love a six-pack of baby rolls? From chubby arms to those thick thighs, you’ll want to remember eat squishy fold.

babyglasses cc ashlygrzyb

photo: Ashly Grzyb

10. #babyselfie

Of course, the baby selfie. Your baby will soon take better selfies than you do. So say cheese now! The sillier the better.

baby steps cc tory via flickr

photo: Tory via Flickr

11. #gobabygo #newwalker #firststeps

You’ve got a walker! The sheer glee on baby’s face will make each photo. And get ready, because that baby just got a whole lot faster and harder to photograph.

photo: candice_rose via Pixabay

12. #firstbirthday #IamOne #smashcake

The cake smash makes for great before and after photos! You’ll want to remember that sweet outfit before it’s covered in icing. Then let your little one year old smash and smear while you keep snapping away.  mombaby cc KJMcWilliams

photo: Katie Jane McWilliams

13. #momoftheyear #Isurvived

You did it! You made it through the first year without losing your mind completely (well, almost). And now you have lots of photos to look back on and smile.

Ashly Grzyb

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So you’ve survived life with a newborn in NYC, congrats. Now it’s time to make the most of the toddler years in the Big Apple. But navigating the city you love as a parent is a whole different ball game than it was during those childless years. You most likely never had to plan out your subway route in advance, making sure to utilize only those stations with an elevator, or research which libraries in your nabe have the best story times. You probably didn’t think you would have to switch to a gym that provides childcare or find ways to meet parents whose kids are the same age, but here you are. Raising kids is challenging enough, but raising kids in NYC is like nothing else. But don’t worry—we’re here to help. Check out this list of 25 things every NYC parent of a toddler needs to know and get ready to hit the streets with your tot!

1.Take Advantage Of All That Living In The Greatest City In The World Has To Offer

New York City is pretty much one big playground, and there’s always something going on. Take your toddler for a walk and have them explore the sights of the city, remember you may be jaded by the famous architecture but your tot likely isn’t. Or travel to one of the piers to check out the boats—toddlers love water! If you’ve already explored every inch of this city with your kid and are fresh out of ideas, check out our events calendar where we let you know the latest and greatest things to do in NYC with kids. And here’s some of our top spots for toddler fun in NYC, inside and out.

Lyft Car Seat

2. Hitch a (Safe) Ride

Most New Yorkers do not own a car, and even if they do, it’s not the most convenient mode of transportation to get around town. Hopping in an Uber or a Lyft is a super convenient way to get to play dates, classes, and doctor’s appointments. Many big-name companies offer a car seat option for just a bit more money. Uber and Lyft offer forward-facing carseats (check out our test-drive of Lyft’s here), while smaller companies such as Legends Limousine in Brooklyn and Kidmoto (download the app), provide cars with forward and rear-facing seats. Your little one will be saying “Taxi!” in no time!

3. Get Some Help Around The House

Your kid is now walking and talking and eating and playing and likely making a big ol’ mess. Rather than try to keep up with your mini Tasmanian Devil, how about hiring someone to help you out? Even if your apartment is the size of a shoebox, an extra set of hands can definitely be a big relief. Check out the Handy app for a booking. They usually have deals for first time customers and base the time needed to clean your apartment on how many bedrooms and bathrooms you have.

4. Get It Delivered

From groceries to pharmacy items, to dinner to necessities for your pet, convenience is key for New Yorkers, and let’s face it, some times it’s just not possible to leave the house, especially with your toddler in tow. Luckily, you can pretty much have anything delivered, sometimes even within an hour. Thanks to apps like Instacart and Postmates you can stay home with your fussy or sick toddler or avoid bad weather by having things brought straight to you. New Yorkers are famous for ordering in food, but we’ve definitely taken it up a notch with all the other things we can get delivered right to our doorstep.

5. Send It Out

Since toddlers go through about 2-3 changes of clothes each day and you will more than likely be changing once or twice due to potty training catastrophes or the day’s art project, your laundry is sure to pile up and quick! Luckily, there’s an app for that. Apps like Cleanly or FlyCleaners make it super easy to get your clothes cleaned. Simply schedule a time for your dirty clothes to be picked up, customize your wash and dry settings, and viola! Your clothes will arrive clean and folded, and you will have saved some much needed time and sanity.

NYC subway station

via MTA Facebook page

6. Know Your Way Around The Subway

Hopping on a subway is one of the great perks of living in NYC. While not the most glamorous mode of transport or–nicest smelling– it can be a super fast way of getting around. Most likely you hopped a train once or twice with your newborn strapped to you. But now that your kid is a bit older, wearing them is not so easy and you’ve taken to really relying on your stroller. That means you need to get to know which subway stations are most convenient for traveling with your kid and all the stuff they come with. Take a look at this map for the accessibility stations (read: those with elevators) near you, which will hopefully make getting around NYC a little bit easier. Do yourself a favor and download an app to your smartphone for maps, suggested routes, arrival times and more. We like the Transit app. Head here for a full list of all apps MTA-related. 

7. Discover Some Local Mommy Meetups

Meetups are a great place to get to know other parents in your neighborhood, which will not only be a fantastic excuse for getting out of the house, but it will also serve as a great resource. Who better to ask questions about raising kids in NYC than another NYC mom or dad? Also, if your little one is not in school or a playgroup this is a great way to get them some socialization and to make some friends. Here is a list of great Mommy Groups in NYC for your reference.

8. Join A Parent Facebook Group

While these groups can be somewhat controversial (discussions can get heated at times), they are also a great resource for moms who want to get to know their neighborhoods a bit better. The hyperlocal groups like BoCoCa Moms, Chelsea Mommas, or Forest Hills Parents are great for figuring out what to do on a rainy day or even scoring an awesome second-hand stroller. Just pose a question and you are sure to receive several reliable answers in no time.

photo: Smart Sitting

9. Find A Trusted Babysitter

UrbanSitter is a babysitting app used by many NYC parents. It works by connecting to social networks you are already a part of–think your kid’s school, Facebook, moms groups, and more—and picks babysitters for you based off of that. You can see reviews from local parents, as well as the sitter’s rate (which they get 100% of), and even personalize interview questions based on your family’s needs. It’s great for finding a regular babysitter or something last minute. For more babysitting services, check out our roundup here.

via Children’s Museum of Manhattan Facebook page

10. Visit A Museum…Or Two

New York City is busting at the seams with museums being that it is the cultural epicenter of the world. Check out the American Museum of Natural History and watch your child’s jaw drop when they see the dinosaurs for the first time. Or check out the Children’s Museum of Manhattan for their great hands-on exhibits. Your little one can touch anything and everything (bring hand sanitizer) and quite possibly make a new friend in the process.  There’s also The Brooklyn Children’s Museum where kids can explore a sensory room, or have fun with water play in the Totally Tots section, or even get to know the BK a little better in the World Brooklyn exhibit. Best of all, most of these offer free admission on certain days, so be sure to take advantage of that! After you’ve hit all the big ones, check out the ones on our list of great, but overlooked museums in NYC!

11. Take a Class

Mommy and me classes are a great way for you and your toddler to have some fun and try something new. In NYC, classes for parents and toddlers are seemingly endless and include everything from yoga to cooking to music to art. Check out our list of Mommy and Me Classes in NYC and find the one that’s right for you and your tot.

Bilingual Birdies class

via Bilingual Birdies Facebook page

12. Bring the class to you

If you can wrangle up a few like-minded parents, plenty of places will hold a class in your home. Private Picassos offers art classes for as few as 2-3 kids and Little Maestros will hold a music class at your playgroup! You can even have your little one and their friends try their hands at learning another language with Bilingual Birdie’s private lesson options.

13. Go To The Gym

While some moms get right back to the gym after their 6-week postpartum checkup, for others, it can take a bit longer to feel like themselves again. Getting to the gym and breaking a sweat is one of the best ways for moms (and really anyone) to feel good and get healthy. There are lots of great gyms in NYC that make it easy to stay in shape or get back in shape, because they offer reliable childcare. Big-name gyms like Equinox, Crunch, and NYSC offer childcare and specific locations and other gyms and boutique fitness studios are getting in on the action, too. Bar Method in Cobble Hill offers childcare for just $15 while you take one of their classes. At Club Fitness in Astoria childcare is included with your membership, what a perk!!! Check out more gyms in NYC that offer childcare here!

photo: via Cozy’s Cuts for Kids Facebook page 

14. Get Your Kids Hair Cut

Now that your child is a few years old, it might be time for their first haircut. Make it a fun experience at places like Milk And Cookies Kids Spa, Cozy’s Cuts For Kids, or Sharkey’s Cuts For Kids. Each of these places make getting a haircut a super fun experience and will even offer certificates for first timers!

15. Drop ‘Em Off

Let’s face it, you’re going to need some time away from your tot sooner or later. If you want to get some space, without hiring a nanny or babysitter, considered a school that allows for drop offs or gentle separation classes. Centers like Bright Horizons offer drop-ins for a reasonable rate and Kids At Work offers gentle separation classes that will allow you to build up to a drop off.

New York Public Library

via Flickr user Michael Coté

16. Visit Your Local Library 

Libraries are such a great NYC resource! Every NYC public library offers a story time for young kids. Just go on their website, click on your local branch and plan a day at the library. (Find Brooklyn libraries here, and Queens libraries here.) You can even have your little one pick out a new book while you’re there. A word of advice: it’s best to get to all events (storytimes, singalongs, etc.) early—they can be very popular and sometimes have to turn people away!

City Treehouse

via City Treehouse Facebook page

17. Get To Know Indoor Play Spaces

Want a safe, fun place where our toddler can run around make a mess, and be loud? Then check out an indoor play space near you. There are lots to choose from all over New York City—click here for some of our favorites. Need to stay in Brooklyn? Try these. Looking in Queens—these spots are great!

18. Find The Right Stroller

Chances are you did your research on the best stroller for city living before your baby was born. But if you chose one that’s just not cutting it in these streets, now is the time to up your game. You’re going to want something that is sturdy, yet compact, that’s also light enough to lug up and down the subway stairs. You may even have a different stroller for different things (I do), but if you’re still feeling a bit lost, check out this list of the newest and best strollers of 2018 and find the one that’s perfect for your family.

 

19. Then Get It Cleaned

New Yorkers use their strollers a lot! Between all the walking, subway rides, and snacks on the go, your stroller is bound to get pretty beat up and dirty. Did you know that there is a service for that? Businesses like Tot Squad not only offer stroller cleaning services, but repair services as well. This service is great when your stroller needs a little TLC.

Micro Mini Scooter

via Micro Scooter Facebook page

20. Find The Right Scooter

If you’ve walked near a playground or school in the past few years, you are likely to have seen droves of kids on their scooters, and not just older ones, young kids, too! Kids as young as 1 1/2 are scooting around the city like total pros, so much so, that many schools have adopted a “no scooter parking” policy. Scooters are a great way to get your little one to pick up the pace, I mean, have you ever walked any where with a toddler? A five minute walk can easily take 20 mins, but not with a scooter. Some of the best scooters for city kids are the Micro Mini and the Radio Flyer, which don’t require too much balancing on your child’s part, the scooter stays upright on its own. Now just hook ’em up with an awesome helmet and you’re good to go! (Hot tip: there’s an actual scooter track you can take a test ride on at the new Micro Kickboard store in Hudson Yards!)

21. Explore Central Park

Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall, Central Park has got it all! Seriously, any time of year makes for a great time to visit Central Park with a toddler. There are endless playgrounds, water parks, tons of grassy spots for a picnic, and walking paths for when you’re not sure what to do. You can explore the park every day and always find something new. It’s a great go-to spot for you and your little adventurer!

photo: Mimi O’Connor

22. Have Some Water Fun

Splash pads are popping up all over NYC and we are so glad that they are. Water playgrounds are a great way to cool off in the summer months, especially if you can’t get to a beach or pool. Slap on some sunscreen and a bathing suit, pack a snack and lots of water, and plan for a whole day of water fun in NYC. Check out the newly opened Chelsea Waterside Park, or Domino Park in Brooklyn. Central Park has some great ones too and Vanderbilt Playground in Prospect Park is great for toddlers. Check out our list of water playgrounds in NYC and get splashing!

Brookfield Place atrium

photo: via Brookfield Place Facebook page

23. Good Morning Sunshine

Toddlers are not exactly known for sleeping in, so if your little guy or gal is up with the sun each and every morning, it can definitely make for a pretty long day. Luckily, since NYC is the city that never sleeps, there are plenty of toddler-appropriate places to venture to. When it’s warm out, head to the High Line in Chelsea, the Brooklyn Bridge, or hop the Staten Island Ferry for a fun early morning adventure. When it gets colder  check out Brookfield Place Winter Garden which opens at 5am, or UrbanSpace Vanderbilt for an early breakfast. Heading out that early is sure to score you a nap on the way home!

24. Stay up to date on your phone with NYC alerts

One of the most invaluable resources for any NYC parent are the NYC Gov alerts you can get on your phone. From street closures, to weather alerts, to changes in public transportation, you can get it all sent to you via text. But don’t worry, you won’t be bombarded with useless information as you can customize exactly what alerts you receive via the website. And if text alerts aren’t your thing, you can always dial 311 for the most up to date NYC info.

photo: Lavender Blues 

25. Drop-in! 

Drop in to a class with your little one. From yoga, to singing and dancing, to just playing around and storytime, they are all over the city. Check our calendar for what’s happening today. For recurring ones in Brooklyn, click here! For Queens drop-ins, click here! 

26. Slow down!

Remember New York City moves at a rapid pace and even our toddlers can get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the big city. Remember to take a breath and enjoy this special time with them while you can.

—Bethany Braun

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15 Things to Skip on Your Baby Registry

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Sure, you want all the cute baby gadgets, outfits and other goodies. But do you and your baby really need them? Nope. Here are 15 baby products that moms agree you can leave off your registry, or at least wait to buy until you’re sure they’re something that will make your life better.

shaun-versey-via-flickrphoto: Shaun Versey via Flicker

1. Newborn Shoes
When was the last time you saw a newborn baby strutting around in a brand-new pair of teeny tiny Converse? Yes, they’re beyond adorable, but after you spend 20 minutes shoving little toes into newborn baby shoes, you get to watch them get kicked off. Baby socks or footie PJs are way more practical and still super cute.

2. Lots of Fancy & Expensive Outfits 
Sure, buying one or two stylish pieces for the going-home outfit or another special event can be worth it. But you’ll likely be hanging out at home for the first few weeks, so onesies and sleepers are more practical. Plus, baby duds get messy and clothes have a lifespan of about 15 minutes, so your money is better spent on other items.

3. Baby Detergent
You’ll be doing a lot of laundry once baby comes, and you don’t need to keep baby’s laundry separate to be cleaned with a special (and usually expensive) detergent. Buy a fragrance-free, dye-free detergent (look for “free and clear” on the label) and use it for the whole family’s wash.

photo: heymattallen via Pixabay

4. Changing Table
A changing table is just another piece of furniture to get rid of once your child is out of diapers. If space is tight, you can get by with just a travel changing pad. Or, if you have a dresser in the nursery, fasten a changing pad to the top for a makeshift changing table.

5. Nursing Cover
Cover up if you want, but don’t bother with a nursing cover. A thin baby blanket or a scarf do the same job, and you may be bringing them with you already, so skipping the nursing cover means one less thing to pack in a diaper bag or stroller.

6. Bottle Sterilizers
Good old (fragrance-free organic) dishwashing soap and water does the trick to clean dirty bottles and pacifiers. Or join the club of parents who throw it all in the dishwasher at the end of the day. Ta-da! Washed and sterilized!

7. Educational Videos
Your baby doesn’t need to be entertained by videos promising to make them smart. The best form of entertainment for your baby is you. They love staring at your face, hearing your voice (yes, even your singing) and being close to you. Wearing your baby in a wrap, chatting with them and taking them on daily errands will likely make them more than content.

 

photo: iStock

8. Hooded Baby Towels
Another super-cute item that is not essential. They look adorable, but your regular towels do the exact same job. Just save your softest towels for baby’s sensitive skin.

9. Baby Food Processors
The last time we checked, your regular food processor did the same thing as that fancy baby-food one out on the market. Besides, what happened to just smashing a banana with a fork? It’s also easy to make baby food with a blender. Or, give baby led weaning a try. No extra baby-specific gadgets required.

10. Gadgets That Monitor Baby’s Every Move
Monitors are great, yes. But monitors that keep track of your baby’s every poop, movement, hope and dream? That’s a little bit unnecessary when a simple sound or video monitor will keep tabs on your baby quite well. The elaborate monitoring gadgets are great for peace of mind, but they also have the potential to turn you into a nervous nelly or give you a false sense of security.

photo: glenngould via Flickr

11. Pee Pee Teepee
Yes folks, this is a real thing. It’s a cone to protect you from your little man during diaper changes. Except the little guy wiggles and giggles so much, how does the teepee even stay on? And you certainly don’t need another item to throw in the laundry at the end of the day!

12. Gimmicky Gadgets
Don’t get caught up in all the products that claim they’ll fix every little parenting problem. We promise you don’t really need a baby bath visor to steer water clear of eyes while you rinse baby’s hair (use your hand), a special sleep hat that folds down over baby’s eyes when it’s time for a nap (try blackout shades), a wipes warmer (just another thing taking up space) or a baby walking harness that helps you hold up tots learning to walk. They’ll figure out that walking thing when they’re ready.

13. Expensive and Fussy Bedding
It’s gorgeous and stunning and finishes off the nursery just so. But that bedding is also getting peed and spit up on frequently. A simple, soft fitted crib sheet will do the trick. Bedtime is safest without extra blankets, bumpers and pillows anyway.

tabitha-blue-via-flickrphoto: Tabitha Blue via Flickr

14. Stuffies
You can’t put stuffed animals in the crib until babies are much older (read up on safe sleep guidelines). And newborns won’t even pay any attention to them. You might as well save yourself the room in your home now because, one day, your baby will grow into a toddler and your house will be filled with stuffies.

15. Baby Spa Tub
The bubbling whirlpool action and shower stream may sound decadent, but most new parents are just trying to keep their newborn’s head above water. Save the spa ritual for mommy time.

Bonus Tip: All babies are different, with specific preferences and needs, so buy the essentials and then wait to get to know your little one before you stock up on too many swaddles, pacifiers, diapers and other items that may not suit them.

featured photo: PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay

Ashly Grzyb, Heather Dixon & Eva Ingvarson Cerise

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It’s time to prep your family calendar for 2019, and we’ve got a few Save the Dates to share. Found everywhere from your local children’s museum to national art galleries, with topics ranging from Hamilton, Mo Willems, Wild Kratts and avocados (yes, avocados), here are our top picks for super cool, innovative exhibits in science, art, history, culture, literature and imagination. Scroll down, and be sure to pencil them in!

Dream Machine at the National Children's Museum - Washington D.C.

Brace yourselves Washington—the National Children’s Museum is reopening in 2019. That’s right, over 30,000 square feet of exhibit space in the Ronald Reagan Building is being transformed into a wonderland of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) exhibitions. At the heart of the museum is the 50-foot wide Dream Machine exhibit, a cloud inspired climbing and slide structure aimed to transport kids into a dream with netting, ropes, two slides, mobiles and balls. Along with contemporary play space design, the museum is celebrating its rich history by going old school with a Bubble Room exhibition (inspired by the original H Street Children’s Museum from decades ago). So get popping!

National Children's Museum
Washington, D.C.
Opening Summer 2019

Online: nationalchildrensmuseum.org

Hamilton: The Exhibition - Chicago, IL

By now everyone should know, Hamilton the musical is one of the greatest shows of all time. Coming in 2019 and changing the game for history, Hamilton: The Exhibition is opening in Chicago. Based off the musical, this 360-degree exhibit will let visitors look through the eyes of Hamilton during the American Revolution and the creation of the United States of America. Sit at his desk, walk through George Washington’s war tent, and gaze upon the streets of New York. The best part is you’ll get your fill of Lin-Manuel Miranda because he narrates the whole thing on the audio tour of the exhibition.

Hamilton: The Exhibition
Chicago, IL
Opening Apr. 6, 2019

hamiltonexhibition.com

Apollo’s Muse, The Moon In the Age of Photography - NY, NY

Calling all you stargazers out there, blast off to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This century-old art museum is more than just dusty old classics. Today the Met has incredible family programs and contemporary exhibitions like Apollo's Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography. Celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with this visual moon exhibit. Your little astronaut can get up close and personal with the one and only moon via moon pics, drawings, prints, paintings and films, as well as astronaut tools and space-flown cameras.

The Met Fifth Avenue
New York, NY
Jul. 2 - Sep. 22, 2019

Online: metmuseum.org

The New Burke - Seattle, WA

Get excited for the 2019 opening of a brand new history and culture museum - the New Burke on the University of Washington campus. What can you expect from this new exhibition space featuring Pacific Northwest culture and history? First, stand in awe at the feet of a mastodon, then pass beneath a beaked whale diving from the ceiling as you begin your journey through the museum. Next, explore the Northwest Native Art Gallery exhibition showcasing one of the largest collections of contemporary Northwest Native art in the U.S. Science lovers of all ages can engage in hands-on exhibits alongside research scientists exploring Ocean Life and Dinosaur Discovery. Now that’s something worth waiting for.

The New Burke, University of Washington
Seattle, WA
Opening Fall 2019

Online: newburke.org

The Cado - San Diego, CA

Californians love their avocados and are ready to school the world on this special green fruit (is it a fruit?!) at the first exhibit all about avocados. Built inside 16 shipping containers creating 6,700 square feet of exhibition space, you’ll explore seven interactive exhibits of surprises and narrated by Jason Mraz. Word has it, you’ll actually end up inside an avocado! Even better, tempt your little foodie’s taste buds with fresh California-inspired avocado bites from talented chefs and other food partners. The whole experience is about an hour. A limited number of family discount tickets are available on Wednesday mornings.

The Cado
San Diego, CA
Opening 2019

Online: thecado.co   

Our Senses - Denver, CO

For the first time outside the American Museum of Natural History, this exhibition takes your senses to a new height in this funhouse- like experience exploring the five senses and beyond. Explore a larger than life garden through the eyes of a bee or a butterfly, hunt like a snake and find prey using an infrared viewer, listen to animal sounds outside the range of our normal hearing or take a smell test to single out the fragrance notes in a particular odor. Science is so cool!

Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Denver, CO
Apr. 12 - Aug. 4, 2019

Online: dmns.org

Wild Kratts: Creature Power - St. Paul, MN

Calling all you animal lovers: It’s time to go wild at this new exhibit where kids use their brains and teamwork to rescue animals and foil villains. Sound familiar? It’s Wild Kratts: Creature Power! Created by your favorite PBS bro team Chris and Martin, the exhibit transports kids to the Wild Kratts world where they engage in creature adventures while practicing STEM as little zoologists in training. Using Kratt technology and the powers of science and collaboration, children will help the team solve problems and protect animals.   

Minnesota Children’s Museum
St.Paul, MN
Opening Jan. 2019

Online: mcm.org

Apollo/Saturn V Center - Cape Canaveral, FL

Blast off to the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. Can you believe it’s been 50 years since the historic first steps on the moon?! New exhibits, such as Moon Scape, will feature a Lunar Lander allowing guests to recreate the first steps to the Moon. Check out the life-size Saturn V moon rocket and iconic footage of the Moon landing. These interactive space exhibits will keep your little astronauts counting down until lift off! 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, blast off!

Kennedy Space Center
Cape Canaveral, FL
Now - end of 2019

Online: kennedyspacecenter.com

Bug Lab - Charlotte, NC

Crawl, creep or buzz into a giant exhibit for a larger-than-life look at the world’s smallest creatures. Discover how the Jewel Wasp is a killer brain surgeon, turning its victims into zombies. Witness the incredible flight of the Dragonfly in the zoetrope—a spectacular 3D animation experience. In Bees vs Hornets: you become the bees defending your hive from the deadly hornet. Plus, there will be live bugs on display and special bug themed events. What's not to love?! 

Discovery Place Science
Charlotte, NC
Now - May 5, 2019

Online: discoveryplace.org

The Pigeon Comes to *Your City Here*: A Mo Willems Exhibit - Nationwide

Visit the whimsical world of Mo Willems in this traveling interactive exhibit in 2019. Meet his cast of lovable characters including Elephant and Piggie, Knuffle Bunny, Wilbur the Naked Mole Rat and The Pigeon. Promising a ton of giggles (for kids and adults), your littles will love exploring their favorite ridiculous Mo Willems story books as they come to life. More than just fun bedtime stories, these books teach key skills for social and emotional wellness. What could be better than that?

Glazer Children’s Museum
Tampa, FL
Jan. 19, 2019 - May 12, 2019

Online: glazermuseum.org

The Magic House St. Louis Children’s Museum
St. Louis, MO
May 25 – Sep. 7, 2019

Online: magichouse.org

Chicago Children’s Museum
Chicago, IL
Opening Fall 2019

Online: chicagochildrensmuseum.org

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Turns 50 - Amherst, MA

You’re invited: your favorite childhood worm is turning 50! Bring the kids and explore this colorful exhibit featuring one of the most iconic picture book characters of all time. Did you know: a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar is sold somewhere in the world every thirty seconds! And it has been translated into 62 languages! Spread your wings and fly on over. This is a celebration you won’t want to miss.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Amherst, MA
Now - Mar. 24, 2019

Online: carlemuseum.org

Hands-On Harley-Davidson - Sausalito, CA

Bring your littlest bikers to this new traveling exhibit that is all about STEM and the art of motorcycle maintenance. At Hands-On Harley-Davidson, families will explore a replica motorcycle dealership and a creative engineering lab. From helmet design to custom bike detailing, to a (simulated) test ride on a kid-sized motorcycle, this exhibit is all about creating the ultimate riding experience. Let’s ride!

Bay Area Discovery Museum
Sausalito, CA
Jan. 19 - May 5, 2019

Online: bayareadiscoverymuseum.org

The Art of Banksy - Miami, FL

If your kids like to chalk a sidewalk, you may have a future Banksy on your hands. Call it graffiti or street art, Banksy is one of the most popular street artists of our time with his works of political and social commentary created anonymously on streets all over the world. With over 80 original works, this is the largest exhibition of Banksy art ever assembled. Banksy’s indoor pieces—original and unique works on canvas, wood and paper—are on loan from private collectors at this rare exhibit.

Magic City Studios
Miami, FL
Now - Feb. 28, 2019

Online: banksyexhibit.com

Adventure Forest - Denver, CO

Stepping up their outdoor game, CMD is building a 500 foot long outdoor aerial adventure course exhibition right in their own backyard. If swinging, climbing, soaring and sliding sound good to your little monkeys, then check out this new outdoor exhibition aimed at building confidence in kids and adults and designed for confident climbers age four and up. Designed in partnership with the incredible Colorado-based artist Wes Sam-Bruce (who designed the ever popular The Wonder Sound exhibit for the New Children’s Museum in San Diego), this new exhibition space is guaranteed to be an interactive and imaginative work of art.   

Children’s Museum of Denver at Marisco Campus
Denver, CO
Opening Spring 2019

Online: mychildsmuseum.org

Warhol 1968 - Stockholm, Sweden

If your winter break trip takes you to Stockholm, this exhibit is a must. Did you know that Andy Warhol’s first solo exhibition at a museum in Europe was at Moderna Museet in Stockholm in 1968? Celebrating that original exhibition, a collection of Andy Warhol artwork will be on display. On Sundays, children and adults are welcome to join in special guided tours (in Swedish) followed by a craft session in the Workshop (ages 2-14 welcome). How’s that for art history?

Moderna Museet
Stockholm, Sweden
Now - Feb. 17, 2019

Online: modernamuseet.se

—Ashly Grzyb

 

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Have your kids ever wondered where exactly Knuffle Bunny was lost or what it might be like to live at the Plaza like Eloise? From the Brooklyn Bridge to the Lower East Side to Washington Heights, your kiddos can see NYC-based stories come alive by visiting the actual locations featured in some of their favorite books. Learn about historic landmarks, ride on public transportation, or walk the streets of a new neighborhood with a dozen locally set stories.

1. Eloise

By Kay Thompson and illustrated by Hilary Knight

A classic children’s book written in 1955, Eloise is a sassy six year old girl who lives at the Plaza Hotel in Midtown. She goes on adventures (and gets into mischief) with her dog, turtle, and nanny. She isn’t a role model, but you’ll find her crazy antics entertaining.

Make the story come alive at: The Plaza Hotel, Park Ave. between 58th St. and Central Park South, Midtown EastIf your material girl has a yen to make like Eloise, taking her to the Plaza is free. It's a lot of fun and well-ventilated, too. While it's free to explore, once your kid gets a gander at the Eloise store, complete with a kid-sized pink piano - not to mention the special, Rawther Fancy Tea - all freebie bets are off.

Image courtesy of Eloise at the Plaza

Find these books and more at your local neighborhood bookstore!

Share your favorite children’s book about the Big Apple in the comments below!

–Ashly Grzyb

Hip Headgear: 13 Toppers for Your Bald Baby

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No matter if you have a bald Charlie Brown or a Rapunzel with flowing locks, you can find the perfect (and cutest) head toppers to show off some hip baby style. From headbands and beanies to bonnets and crowns, you can accessorize every day of the week. So rub it, kiss it, or cover it with a hat. Give your baby’s little noggin some love with these 13 creative head accessories.

Hipster Knot Headband

If you have a sporty spice or hipster princess on your hands, check out these trendy knot headbands from Rox + Win Designs in awesome soft stretchy fabrics. They're super stylish, so buy one for every day of the week.

Available at Etsy.com, $5-$6.50.

How does your bald baby make a statement? Share it in the comments below.

-Ashly Grzyb

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With the arrival of a new baby, you finally have an excuse to send your family’s first photo holiday cards. (Or maybe you’ve been photographing the dogs dressed like elves for years.) Either way, here are 10 mistakes you don’t want to make on your baby’s first holiday card. Trust us — you’ll want to avoid these holiday photo faux pas — your friends and family will thank you. 

baby reindeer christmas cc SayLuiiiis via Flickr

Photo: SayLuiiiis via Flickr

Say No to Costumes

Everyone loves a fluffy baby snowman or pointy baby reindeer, but leave the costumes to Halloween please. Show them your sweet bundle of holiday joy without the holiday getup. (Even if it’s sooooo cute.) 

baby crying snow cc snow babies 144 via flickr

Photo: Alexandra Stewart via Flickr

Skip the Frostbite

Of course, we’d love to see a photo of your family majestically frolicking in the snow, but if it means frostbite, tears and chapped faces, don’t do it. Taking photos in a real life winter wonderland is simply not that fun.

baby christmas decorations cc Shannon Tompkins via Flickr

Photo: Shannon Tompkins via Flickr

Don’t Do Crazy Backdrops

Your holiday card is not the time to go overboard in an elaborate production of lighting and backdrop design. Inspiration strikes, you break out the holiday wrapping paper and fake snow, then all of sudden your baby is buried in a landslide of tinsel. 

 

baby handprint cc kiliki805 via flickr

Photo: kiliki805 via Flickr

Avoid the Pinterest Fail

Feeling creative? Those hand print reindeer cards seemed like such a good idea, until you, your baby and your house was covered in hand, foot and butt prints. If you are able to muster one actual handprint that doesn’t look like a three toed sloth, send it to Grandma and move on.

matching christmas pajamas cc Kate Sadoski

Photo: Kate Sadowski

Pass on Adult PJs

Where does one even buy adult size elf pajamas? Thanks to the internet, they do exist. Much like an endless candy cane, just because we dream about it, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Let your kids be the cute ones. Adults – stick to the sidelines.

baby cry santa cc Ashly Grzyb

Photo: Ashly Grzyb

Cry If You Want To

The day has finally come for your bouncing happy baby to meet Big Red. No, not the Kool-Aid Man. We’re talking about Santa. But just as you make eye contact, Junior bursts into tears. Hey, just go with it. A screaming baby on Santa’s lap is about as adorable as it gets. baby camera cc Ricardo Navarro via Flickr

Photo: Ricardo Navarro via Flickr

Don’t Pay for Perfection

With all the holiday excitement, it can seem like a priceless experience. You may be willing to pay your family’s weight in gold to a photographer who can actually capture your entire family smiling together at the same time. Listen, why pay for overpriced professional images when your neighbor snapped a beautiful iPhone photo of your fam just the other day?

. baby christmas tree cc Donnie Ray Jones via Flickr

Photo: Donnie Ray Jones via Flickr

Share the Candids

Real life candid photos are awesome! Remember that baby tuxedo shot from your sister’s wedding or baby’s first trip to the beach. Share the pic of baby covered in a bubble bath or hugging on Fido. Rule of thumb – share moments worth sharing. 

baby laptop cc Mihai Dragomirescu via Flickr

Photo: Mihai Dragomirescu via Flickr

Please Don’t Photoshop

Do we have to say “don’t photoshop your baby”?! Come on, it’s unnatural. There’s drool on baby’s chin all the time. We get it. There are bags under moms eyes all the time. We get it. (Maybe photoshopping mom is okay after all.) Share the sweet, imperfect family that is yours. Your family will love you for it.

 

christmas baby cc rebeccaVC1 via flickrPhoto: RebeccaVC1 via Flickr

Most Importantly: Don’t Forget to Send Them a Smile!

Everyone loves sending and receiving holiday cards. A simple gesture to let your family and friends know you are thinking of them during this special time of year. So whether elegant or silly, happy or bashful, share your sweet baby this holiday. Just do it in good taste.

Do you have a lesson learned? Share your holiday card mistakes in the comments below!

-Ashly Grzyb

 

baby's first holiday card