Prepare for Arrival: Where to Host a Baby Shower in NYC

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Having a baby is definitely cause for celebration and NYC moms-to-be get festive in all kinds of ways. New Yorkers host baby showers in tea parlors, restaurants and spas, of course, but that’s just the beginning. Check out our favorite venues for baby showers in NYC, no matter what type of mom (and babe) are being feted! (Want something really out of the ordinary? Try these unique locations for NYC baby showers! In Queens? These are our top baby shower venues for your borough!)

FOR A PROPER TEA PARTY

photo: Lady Mendl's Tea Salon Siyi L. via Yelp

Alice’s Tea Cup
A reasonably-priced tea can be tough to find. At Alice’s Tea Cup, your shower can enjoy a full English tea service without running up a huge bill. This local chain has three locations, one on the Upper East Side one on the Upper West and one in Brooklyn Heights. Depending on your party size and preferred location, you can reserve a spot in the main dining room or rent a private room. Guests will get their fill on sweets, savory sandwiches and teas from around the world. Make a morning reservation before 11:30 a.m. on weekdays or 3 p.m. on weekends to take advantage of their Mad Morning Tea and get the best price. It includes popular breakfast foods for just $32 for one person and $44 for two people.

Alice’s Tea Cup
Two locations in Manhattan, one in Brooklyn
Online: alicesteacup.com

Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon (pictured)
If your goal is an authentic high tea with the mom-to-be, try Lady Mendl’s. Up the street from Gramercy Park, located inside The Inn at Irving Place, you’ll find a beautiful room with Victorian style architecture and finishings. The inn offers a five-course tea with fresh baked scones and classic finger sandwiches. There is just one downside: the experience isn’t cheap. Pricing for the main tea salon, which holds up to 50 people, starts at $5000 for four hours on weekends. A more reasonable, yet still pricey, option is hosting the party in their formal library, which holds up to 20 guests. You can rent it starting at $2000 for up to 2.5 hours.

Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon
Inn At Irving Place
56 Irving Pl.
Gramercy
212-533-4466
Online: www.innatirving.com

Bosie Tea Parlor
Starting at $34 per person, Bosie Tea Parlor in the West Village is a less expensive option for a high tea fête. It can accommodate up to 30 guests for seated service. In addition to its over 80 tea options,  a la carte picks include soups, salads, entrees, quiches and paninis. On weekends, it has a few brunch options that include French Toast, Baked Eggs and other continental breakfast items. It also has a small collection of tea cocktails for the non-pregnant guests.

Bosie Tea Parlor
10 Morton St.
West Village
212-352-9900
Online: bosieteaparlor.com

photo: The Parisian Tea Room

Parisian Tea Room: For a Tea Party with a Twist
You can hold a proper high tea at the brand new Parisian Tea Room (opens September 10), the decor of which is inspired by owner Karen E. Lozner's visits to tea rooms in the French capital. But, Lozner's other passion (fashion) means you can hold a tea and sewing party as well! Three-hour events are for 8 to 12 people, with high teas including waitstaff, finger sandwiches, sweets and more. 

The Parisian Tea Room
347 W. 36th St. 
Garment District
Online: theparisiantearoom.com

FOR A BABY BRUNCH

 

photo: Eataly USA

SERRA by Birreria at Eataly
Escape to the Italian countryside on Eataly Flatiron's rooftop.  A dining space that changes with the seasons, it transitions from a "flowering greenhouse" resplendent in bright pink blooms in spring to a celebration of winter beauty dubbed "Serra Alpina." (It's not as traditionally "girly" as the spring/summer iteration, but it's still gorgeous.) The springtime iteration opens April 15 this year. Reservations can be made for groups up to 25 people. 

200 fifth Avenue at 23rd St.
Flatiron
212-229-2560x311
Online: eataly.com

Jane 
This Greenwich Village bistro is the spot to host a bridal or baby shower. Many happy customers leave declaring it the best brunch in Manhattan. The Green Room, Jane’s private space, holds 40 guests for a seated, three-hour party. For $45 per person, everyone will get a starter, main course, family style sides, coffee, tea, juice, & soda. The events coordinator will work with you to customize and personalize your menu. There is no shortage of delicious entrees; we recommend including the Farm House Popover, featuring scrambled eggs, smoked ham, Gruyère and caramelized onions or the Vanilla Bean French Toast on the menu. Note: for a weekend brunch event, there is no room rental but there is a $2,600 minimum to be met before taxes and fees.

Jane
100 West Houston St.
Greenwich Village
212-254-7000
Online: janerestaurant.com

photo: Maman

Maman
If you want your shower to have that certain je ne sais quoi (in this case, effortlessly chic rustic French charm) then head to Maman. The cafe/bakery has numerous NYC locations, all of which host events. Its newest, Maman King (pictured above), opened late January and is the largest Maman location yet!  You'll find others in Tribeca, Soho, Greenpoint, Nomad, Cobble Hill and the Upper East Side; Marche Maman on Centre Street has an intimate outdoor garden space. In addition to romantically charming decor, you'll dine on delectable French bites and pastries which can be served family style or as finger foods. Brunch, lunch, and dinner are available. Events can be booked for 15 guests or more; brunch rates start at $35 per person, and lunch is $40 per person. More info on events here. (Look good? Get cracking! This place is popular!)

Online: mamannyc.com

photo: Simon Brown Photography

The Crosby Street Hotel Sculpture Courtyard
For a truly luxurious, yet intimate experience with European flair, book The Crosby Street Hotel's Sculpture Courtyard. The Soho hotel's serene space features a tall organic tree sculpture, suspended pendant lights, and the greenery of a mix of small trees and shrubs including magnolia, hydrangea and other native plantings. Private events, held from noon-4 p.m., are capped at 25 guests, and there is a food and beverage minimum of $95/person. Rates are $6,000 for weekdays, $7,500 on weekends. Another stunning option at The Crosby Street Hotel is The Meadow Suite, which, as the name implies, has its very own garden terrace for a special celebration. 

The Crosby Suite Hotel 
79 Crosby St.
Soho
212-226-6400
Online: firmdalehotels.com

photo: The Bonnie/Oleg March

The Bonnie
This Astoria restaurant is known for its delicious fare and unique cocktails. The layout of the restaurant includes multiple rooms and intimate spaces that can accommodate both small and large groups. The 3 most popular areas for baby showers are The Snug Room, The Oak Room, and the outdoor Bar Garden. It has an extensive array of customizable food and drink packages available, including various party platters and open bar options. Prices vary on time and day of party.

The Bonnie
29-12 23rd Ave.
Astoria
718-274-2105
Online: thebonnie.com

photo: Noah Fecks

Olmsted
This award-winning, popular Prospect Heights restaurant recently opened a chic private event space in the storefront next door. Featuring stylish floral wallpaper and a custom bookshelf stocked with cookbooks and collectibles, the room can host a seated affair or cocktail party for up to 30 people. The restaurant also has a charming garden open year-round thanks to heat lamps (where some of its food is grown) that can be booked. The icing on the cake?: the hallway that leads to the garden, which features an immersive, floor-to-ceiling installation of fragrant, preserved plants, moss, and lush greenery on every surface. Rates start at $95/person.

659 Vanderbilt Ave.
Prospect Heights
718-552-2610
Online: olmstednyc.com

photo: Sunday in Brooklyn

Sunday in Brooklyn
Home to some of our favorite pancakes (and a happening brunch scene), Sunday in Brooklyn also has several event spaces ranging from casual to refined funky, and you can host a party for as few as nine people and as many as 200. (That would be a big baby shower.) Choose from an intimate private dining room for 16 on the third floor, a second floor sunroom (for 50 people, pictured), a second-floor rooftop covered garden (more casual) and more. Brunch is served family style, with creative takes on hearty classics, starting at $45 per person (unlimited drip coffee included); beverage packages offered separately. And yes, you can add on the famous malted pancakes. 

Sunday in Brooklyn
348 Wythe Ave. 
347-222-6722
Williamsburg
Online: sundayinbrooklyn.com

FOR FLORAL FUN

photo: Flower Girl NYC

Flower Girl NYC

This sweet Lower East Side flower shop will host your baby shower on site, or come to you. You can host a gathering of up to 24 people in the shop, with the option of catering from equally-chic cafe, Maman (see above). Add on an activity such as making floral crowns, terrariums, seasonal bouquets and more, as well as botanically-inspired favors and special decor. Showers include staff member to assist with setup and lead class. 

Showers are two hours and if on site are $900 (outside of business hours) and $2,000 during business hours. Off site showers are $1,250 with a 20 percent delivery fee. 

245 Eldridge St. 
Lower East Side 
212-777-0050
Online: flowergirlnyc.com

FOR A SWEET ACTIVITY

Milk Bar
Moms-to-be with a sweet tooth will love learning how to bake cakes and truffles at Momofuko Milk Bar. Guests learn all the steps for assembling Milk Bar’s most popular layer cake flavor combinations and will learn how to transform cake scraps into delectable bite sized cake truffles. (This will be great practice for all the upcoming kids’ birthday parties!) Small group classes for 2-20 people last approximately 3 hours and start at $2,500.

Momofuko Milk Bar
55 Hope St.
Williamsburg
855-333-6455
Online: milkbarstore.com

Sprinkles Cupcakes
At Sprinkles, $900 will get you two hours, four dozen full sized cupcakes, or six dozen mini cupcakes, and you have the choice of having them frosted or unfrosted. If you choose the unfrosted option, you can select up to three cakes and frostings and host a frosting party upstairs!  If you'd like to add on any additional time, the rate is $100 per hour. Sprinkles doesn't provide any food or beverages, but you can bring any kind of outside food or drinks, or even have them delivered to the store. The space holds about 35 people seated, and then an additional 10-15 people standing comfortably.

Sprinkles Cupcakes
780 Lexington Ave.
Upper East Side
212-207-8375
Online: sprinkles.com

FOR SOME TIME AT THE SPA

photo: Sundays

Sundays
A salon that uses only 10-free, vegan, non-toxic, and cruelty-free products, Sundays is a logical choice for a shower event. Studios are in NoMad, Saks Fifth Avenue 49th Street, and the newest is located in Hudson Yards. Treat everyone to the 2 in 1 Guided Mediation Manicure, which includes a guided meditation from Inscape and an essential oil treatment. 

51 E. 25th St.
646-998-5711
NoMad
Online: dearsundays.com

611 Fifth Ave., 2nd Fl.
646-998-5711
Midtown
Online: dearsundays.com

 

500 W. 33rd.
Hudson Yards
212-695-5711
Online: dearsundays.com

SoHo Sanctuary
A little TLC might be just what Mom needs before baby arrives. This SoHo spa boasts an extensive list of pre- and post- natal services and offers party packages for groups. Expecting moms will love the signature Mama Massage, which focuses on relaxing the lower back muscles and feet. The Body Buff is another blissful treatment that features gentler alternatives to the usual harsh scrubs. There are three party packages available. The Pamper and Primp program includes a group class in the fitness studio or treatment in the spa followed by mani/pedis and makeup application. If you have less time, opt for the Spa Splurge package, which just includes a massage or body treatment. For larger parties, Beauty Blast is ideal: your group will get access to the lounge in the spa’s Beauty Loft and receive manicures, pedicures and makeup application — plus all the champagne they can drink.

SoHo Sanctuary
119 Mercer St.
SoHo
212-334-5550
Online: sohosanctuary.com

SPARTY!
This is a truly customizable experience that comes to you. Pick what spa services your guests will receive, as well as add-ons that include monogrammed robes and slippers, tarot card readings, DJ, goodie bags and more.

SPARTY!
646-736-1777
spa-party.com

TO GET COOKING

My Cooking Party
Want to throw a co-ed shower with an interesting twist? Get the group together for a cooking lesson at My Cooking Party. This culinary company with locations in the Flatiron District and Chelsea offers a selection of fun courses. It’s the perfect bonding experience for guests that are just meeting for the first time. Their three-hour cooking class offers hands-on instruction, plus a three course meal served by the staff. You can also make the event more competitive and split the guests up into teams. Each team will invent and create Hors D'Oeuvres that are judged based on creativity and taste. Pricing starts at $119 per person, plus 20 percent gratuity, but varies greatly depending on your party size and package.

My Cooking Party
212-686-2433
Online: mycookingparty.com

FOR WILLIAMSBURG CHIC

Fandi Mata

For the boho-chic baby shower of your dreams (in Williamsburg, no less) consider Fandi Mata, where "Brooklyn industrial meets the Mediterranean." Choose to be seated on the main level, the mezzanine or in the outdoor heated pergola—you'll be surrounded by plants, vibrant hues and maybe even some macrame. Parties can snack on creative brunch items, large and small plates like breads, pizzas and spreads (lots of varieties of hummus here), and the restaurant specializes in creative cocktails for those who wish to sip a little something. Rates for groups start at $1,000 for a party of 10. 

74 Bayard St. 
Williamsburg
718-388-8877
Online: fandimata.com

Brooklyn Winery

On first thought, wine tasting might not seem like the best activity for a baby shower. After all, the guest of honor can’t indulge in the house specialty! But before you poopoo the idea, check out Brooklyn Winery’s beautiful private space. This boutique urban winery located in Williamsburg provides a rustic setting decorated with antique glass candle holders and vintage china. The venue offers two packages: The Afternoon Bites menu, which is well-suited for a cocktail style event, and the Afternoon Luncheon, which features a more traditional lunch service of salads and sandwiches. You’ll also get to enjoy some of Brooklyn Winery’s best reds and whites. The space holds anywhere from twenty to 160 people, and you can reserve it for up to three hours. Pricing will vary depending on the number of guests and package you choose.

Brooklyn Winery
213 North 8th St.
Williamsburg
347-763-1506
Online: bkwinery.com

FOR AFFORDABLE OUTSIDE IDEAS

Throwing a baby shower doesn’t have to break the bank. These NYC spots are perfect if you want to host a casual, free, outdoor event. 

Mad. Sq. Music
Is the mom-to-be a music fan? Get a small group together and spend an evening at Madison Square Park listening to some of the world’s top performers. The Oval Lawn Series is held on Wednesday evenings all summer and features a mix of genres. If you’re throwing a Fall shower, The Studio Series is held on Saturday afternoons all autumn and includes folk, blues and Americana acts. The concert is entirely free. Just make sure you arrive early so that you can snag a good spot.

Madison Square Park
Madison Ave. at 23rd St.
212-786-5733
Online: madisonsquarepark.org/music

Hudson River Park Pier 63
There is no shortage of parks in this city; many of them perfect for hosting a picnic lunch. This lush, grassy lawn with unique stone seating and a charming view of the Hudson is one of the best for a laid-back, outdoor shower. It’s still not well-known, so it doesn’t get as crowded as the Sheep’s Meadow or other popular spots. Plus, it offers ample room for younger guests to run around. For adult-only events, the dads will volunteer to take the kids next door to Chelsea Piers. If you need to put together a menu, nearby Chelsea Market is full of gourmet eateries and bakeries.

Hudson River Park Pier 63
C or E line to 23rd St.
Online: hudsonriverpark.org

—Mimi O’Connor & Bethany Braun

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Welcome Back! NYC Family-Friendly Movie Theaters

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Probably not everyone is ready to head back to the movies just yet, but if you and the kids can’t wait to sit in a darkened theater, get ready. Governor Cuomo recently announced that NYC movie theaters may open March 5, operating at 25 percent capacity. (Seating will be capped at 50 people, but Covid-19 testing is not required.) If you’re looking for the best place to see a movie with the kids in NYC, here are some of the most family-friendly theaters this city has to offer.

photo: Sakeenah Saleem

Nitehawk Cinema Prospect Park

The Nitehawk Cinema Prospect Park, formerly known as The Pavillion, was fully-updated and refurbished in cooperation with the Landmarks Preservation Commission (the renovation revealed original features and details of the 1928 theater). The 650-seat parkside cinema is primed to showcase both smaller films and huge blockbusters with a suite of state-of-the-art theaters that range from somewhat intimate to massive. (Tip: Theater 2, outfitted with a stage and huge screen provides an exemplary viewing experience.) Seats are a nice middle ground between basic theater seating and over-sized, reclining lounge chairs; they are very comfortable and equipped with small tables.

The theater also has two full bars, a mezzanine cafe offering views of Prospect Park, and features special programming throughout the year, as well as brunch.

188 Prospect Park West
Windsor Terrace
Online: nitehawkcinema.com/prospectpark

photo: CMX CineBistro

For Upper East Side Luxury Before 6 p.m.: CMX CineBistro

Another new watch and dine option in the city, the renovated, six-story CMX CineBistro New York 62nd is designed to give viewers the experience of enjoying a movie in their own private screening room (with a few friends, obviously). Deluxe seating includes reclining loveseats, storage compartments and a helpful LED light, and theaters max out at 64 seats. Guests can choose from an extensive food and drink menu (you can do a basic burger, or a kale salad with  lobster cannoli and a craft cocktail); a kid’s menu features tried and true options like chicken fingers with fries, pasta with marinara or butter, cheeseburger, and mac and cheese. If you’re eating, you need to get there 30 minutes before showtime; kids are welcome at showings before 6pm.

400 E. 62nd St.
Upper East Side
646-964-0572
Online: cmxcinemas.com

photo: WorldIslandinfo.com via Flickr

For the Most Convenient Screenings: New York Public Libraries

Setting a weekly movie date with the kids is a great way to avoid a case of cabin fever this winter. That said, bundling your set of movie-goers to go crosstown is a big hassle. Stay close to home by attending a screening at your local library. Many public libraries around New York City host screenings for families and kids of different ages. For example, the Chatham Square Library shows Children’s Short Films (such as early Walt Disney clips) for kids 3 to 12 years of age and the Hudson Park Library will soon host a screening of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Check out the New York Public Library’s website to find the screenings nearest you.

photo: NYSCI

For the Best 3D: New York Hall of Science

There is no shortage of 3-D movie theaters in this city, but one of the friendliest for kids can be found inside the New York Hall of Science in Queens. The theater is home to a 5.1 surround sound speaker system and a 22-by-12-foot screen. The theater's programming includes fascinating award-winning science films that take kids on a journey to faraway places, such as the deep ocean, remote mountain peaks and outer space. The theater is currently showing "Flight of the Butterflies," and "Planet Power." While you’re there, check out over 400 exhibits and surprise your little scientist by signing up the entire family for one of the museum’s hands-on workshops. Tickets for the theater are $6 for adults and $5 for children, plus museum admission fee, which is but our general admission prices are $16 for adults and $13 for kids.

New York Hall of Science
47-01 111th St.
Corona, Queens
718-699-0005
Online: nysci.org

 

For Movies Before a Trip to Target and Trader Joe's : Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Another pioneer in the "watch-and-chow-and-drink" genre of movie theater, Alamo Draft House screens everything from first-run blockbusters to cult favorites to special family programming. You'll find it on the upper level of downtown Brooklyn's City Point. The "Alamo Family" offerings are robust, including "Kids Camp" movies on school holidays, when special screenings are pay-what-you-wish $1-$5 tickets and proceeds go to a local non-profit; "Alamo for All"  , special sensory-friendly screenings when lights are up, sound is lower, and all ages, including infants, are welcome; a kid's menu, and even a print-on-demand "My First Movie" certificate. Note: Infants and small children (think ages two and under) are not usually admitted to regular screenings movies. Downtown Manhattan and Staten Island locations are on the way as well. 

445 Albee Square
Downtown Brooklyn
718-513-2547
Online: drafthouse.com

For Baby-friendly Screenings: Nitehawk Cinema Williamsburg

If you’re a new parent, treat yourself to a movie and indulge on some munchies at Nitehawk Cinema Williamsburg. The dine-in theater's Hawks with Babies series on Tuesday afternoons brings together parents with children under the age of one, making it a fantastic way to get out of the house and spend time with other adults. While enjoying the film, nibble on some of their unique twists on the standard cinematic fare, like popcorn and tater tots. The menu also features seasonal items and themed specials paired with each film. Tickets are sold online on the theater’s website and at the theater. Children in car seats are welcome; strollers need to be checked at the door." 

Nitehawk Cinema
136 Metropolitan Ave.
Williamsburg
Online: nitehawkcinema.com

photo: Peter Aaron/Esto

Best Classics: Film Forum

A favorite destination for adult movie buffs, the Film Forum in the West Village screens classics — often in 35 mm — every Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. as part of its Film Forum JR series. Some of the highlights on this season’s program include 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Elf. (Is your fave missing? Make a suggestion on the theater's website.). All tickets are the member’s price of $9.The viewings are appropriate for ages five and up so your child can start referencing fine films even before he or she hits grade school.

209 W. Houston
Soho
212-727-81210
Online: filmforum.org

photo: photo: Steve N. via Yelp

MoMA

MoMA holds a popular free film series for adults, and this is the kid version. Lineups include live-action and animated films that are recommended for kids ages four and up. (See animated shorts on the theme of family, and silent films of Buster Keaton and D.W. Griffith in the coming weeks.) The screenings usually include four short 5-10 minute programs and a discussion with a MOMA educator. Showings are monthly, so check the museum's website to get the latest screening info.

Tickets are distributed the day of the viewing on a first-come, first-served basis so be sure to arrive early.

11 W. 53rd St.
Midtown 
212-708-9400
Online: moma.org

–Mimi O’Connor

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Out & About: Best Hikes in NYC For Kids

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Editor’s note: We’re making every effort to provide you with the most up-to-date information. However, sometimes closures occur at the last minute due to circumstances beyond our control, such as the spread of Covid-19. We highly recommend that you call ahead before you pack your kids pack your kids (and all those snacks, and diapers…) and haul them across town. Stay safe! 

Pretty much everyone in NYC is needing some time outside right now, and an urban hike can go a long way towards burning off some energy and clearing the mind—for kids and adults alike. You don’t need to leave the city to go for a trek. Whether you want to take your tot on a short starter hike or explore with older kids, here are some of our favorite places to hike in NYC, including large parks, riverside walks, an historic cemetery and more secluded spots. Remember, be safe and respectful: wear a mask and practice social distancing!

Discover the "Secret" Tribeca Boardwalk

The massive West side park's recreational facilities are closed, but you can still bike, walk and run here if you do it safely. (Although know that the New York City Police Department is now on site at this popular spot making sure people are practicing social distancing and monitoring crowd density.) This 893-foot boardwalk in Hudson River Park is a secluded path that runs from Watts to Laight Street. This special section of the Greenway features a planked wooden floor as well as breathtaking gardens, trees and natural grasses. There is also an unobstructed view of One World Trade Center. Enter park by crossing West Street at Watts or Laight Streets.

Online: hudsonriverpark.org

Take an Historic Walk in Green-wood Cemetery

Before you recoil in horror at the idea of taking a stroll in a cemetery, know that this 478-acre, National Historic Landmark founded in 1838 is a place of beauty, history, art and tranquility. (Its fans are legion.) The historic Revolutionary War battle The Battle of Brooklyn happened here, it's the final resting place of many luminaries including Louis Comfort Tiffany, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Leonard Bernstein and even the guy who invented to hot dog. The cemetery is also home to a wide array of birdlife. Green-wood has educational resources online, including this scavenger hunt that's great for exploring the greens with kids. 

Note: As a public service to the community, Green-wood has extended its hours and kept all of its entrances open. However, visitors must practice social distancing and follow cemetery rules (no bikes, no picnics, no picking flowers). A stern warning was issued recently after some visitors did not abide by the rules, and the possibility of closing the cemetery to the public was raised. So, go, but be respectful. 

Online: green-wood.com

Climb the Giraffe Path

A six-mile trek (named for its giraffe neck-like shape) is a hike that explores the very north tip of Manhattan above Central Park. The walk takes you through several of the city's parks: Morningside Park, St. Nicholas Park, Jackie Robinson Park, Highbridge Park and finally, Fort Tryon Park, home to a lovely heather garden (shown here) and of course, The Met's The Cloisters. Do it all or pick a section to tackle on its own. While not an official trail—it's sort of informally patched together—it does have its own map, beautifully produced by CLIMB (City Life is Moving Bodies) NYC, which you can find here

Online: Hike the Heights Giraffe Path Map

photo: NYC.gov

Hike the Kazimiroff Nature Trail

Want to let your little Tarzan loose in the wilderness? Take a trip to the Bronx. The Kazimiroff Nature Trail in Pelham Bay Park is a beautiful sanctuary for nature lovers big and small. You can either take the full two-mile hike through 189-acre Hunter Island, or opt for the shorter 30-minute loop. Either way, the path winds through shrubland, rocky shores and wetlands, offering fantastic views of Long Island Sound. Expect to see plenty of wildlife, including geese and small crustaceans; the kids will also get a chance to collect seashells and explore Orchard Beach. While you’re on the Island, look for large boulders left behind after the last ice age nearly 15,000 years ago.

Online: nycgovparks.org

Venture into the Ravine in Prospect Park

There’s something about old arches, romantic bridges and steep waterfalls that sparks the imagination. Venture into the center of Brooklyn's Prospect Park to the Ravine for some fun exploring. Along the way, you’ll want to see the Nethermead Arch and the Rock Arch Bridge and travel through Brooklyn’s only forest. The highlight of the trek is Ambergill Falls — yes, a waterfall— a sight you’d never believe you could find in NYC. Ordinarily, you could pick up a map at the  Prospect Park Audubon Center, but you can see one here as well as here.  

Online: prospectpark.org

Explore the Trails in Alley Pond Park

Nestled in Little Neck Bay in Queens, this expansive park offers a variety of trails for young hikers that include forests, swamps, tidal flats and expansive meadows. We recommend taking a trip to the north end of the park, where you'll find spectacular marsh views. 

Online: nycgovparks.org

Trek the Greenbelt Nature Center Trail

The one-mile Nature Center Trail at the Greenbelt Conservancy in Staten Island is so picturesque, you’d think it came right out of a fairy tale. Your little bookworms will have a blast pretending they're on a quest or trying to dig up hidden treasure. The site includes footbridges, tulips in spring, wildlife and tall birch trees and the trail is designed for novice hikers, so you shouldn’t need to offer piggyback rides or strap on an Ergo. (For very young hikers, check out the shorter section of the path called the "E Trail".) 

Online: nycgovparks.org

—Michelle McIvor Cohen

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Just Opened: A Gotta Visit Avocado Bar

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Crazy about avocados? Here’s some good news to feed your obsession. Avocaderia – the world’s first quick-serve avocado bar – has opened in Brooklyn. The concept was inspired by co-founder Francesco Brachetti, who fell in love with the fruit while living in Mexico for its flavor and health benefits. Now, locals are flocking to this Industry City hotspot to try new twists on their favorite creamy superfruit. Here’s everything you need to know about one of the coolest new lunch spots in town for you and your little foodie.

photo: Avocaderia via Instagram

An All-Avo Menu
Let’s get straight to the punch. What makes this spot so kid-friendly? The colorful, creative dishes appeal to both finicky eaters and budding gourmets. The menu boasts original smoothies, bowls, salads and toasts and features influences from a variety of cuisines, including Japanese, Mexican and Egyptian.

Avocaderia emphasizes raw ingredients and non-invasive cooking methods to highlight the full potential of their all-organic avocados. An order of the Signature Guaca for the family to share is a must. You’ll also want to try the Let It Beet toast piled with beet hummus, avo slices, watermelon, radish and spiced seeds. If you’re in the mood for greens, opt for the Greek Island salad, which features a combo of crunchy mixed leaves, yogurt & herbs, avo cubes and pistachio Dukkah. There are also daily specials, just in case nothing on the menu calls your name.

photo: Avocaderia via Instagram

The Space
Avocaderia is one of many vendors inside the Food Hall at Industry City, a 6-million square-foot space catering to local artists and businesses on the Brooklyn waterfront in Sunset Park. There are a variety of seating options including large indoor communal tables as well as comfortable outdoor seating.

After lunch, spend some time shopping for home decor, crafts, clothes and more, or treat the kids to dessert at One Girls Cookies or Blue Marble. Then, let the little ones run off their sugar buzz in Industry City’s spacious courtyards.

photo: Michelle McIvor Cohen

Know Before You Go
Avocaderia is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. To get there, take the BQE or ride the N, D or R train to 36th Street. There will probably be a line, so be sure to bring ammo to keep the kids entertained. You’ll also want to take a gander at Avocaderia’s drool-worthy Instagram shots before you order. Just be warned: Your avo-cravings will reach an all-time high.


photo: via Avocaderia Facebook page 

By the looks of it, New York’s love affair with avocado is here to stay.

Avocaderia
238 36th St.
347-227-0350
Sunset Park
Online: avocaderia.com

Have you visited the Avocaderia? What did you order? (And how was it?!)

–Michelle McIvor Cohen

Melt With You: Teach Kids Tolerance at These NYC Spots

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New York has always been one of the most dynamic and diverse cities in the world. From language immersion preschools to parades that celebrate backgrounds of all kinds, there is no shortage of opportunities to teach tiny citizens about other countries and cultures. These days, it feels more important than ever to educate our future world leaders about respect and tolerance. Need some ideas on how to get started? Here are some of our favorite NYC spots that promote understanding and appreciation of different races, ethnicities and cultures.

Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling

Art workshops and inter-generational storytelling about Harlem and Northern Manhattan are just some of the offerings at this Harlem children’s museum. It was built by Broadway Housing Communities as part of the Sugar Hill Project, a development initiative merging housing, education and art to revitalize community. Catering to ages three to eight, Sugar Hill offers children a chance to learn about Harlem and Northern Manhattan, and celebrate the diversity found within its surrounding communities. History Tales is a program that takes place on the fourth Sunday of each month and shares stories about residents of Upper Manhattan. After the storytime, bring your little bookworm to the museum’s Reading Nook. <b>Hours: </b>Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. closed Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. <b>Admission: </b>$7; $4 for children ages 9 to 17; kiddos ages 8 and under are free. Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling 898 St Nicholas Avenue Harlem Online: sugarhillmuseum.org <i>Photo: Sugar Hill Children’s Museum’s </i><a target="_blank" href="https://www.facebook.com/sugarhillmuseum/photos/a.1236220529732343.1073741847.851087348245665/1236232423064487/?type=3&amp;theater"><i>Facebook Page</i></a> fuck

 

What’s your favorite NYC spot to help kids learn about other cultures? 

–Michelle McIvor Cohen

Treat Yourself: Desserts That Are Totally Spectacular

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Dessert may be the best part of the meal, but why not try something different? We rounded up some of the weirdest and most spectacular treats that NYC has to offer. From deep-fried chocolate bars to frozen hot chocolate to an unforgettable ice cream cereal swirl, you’ll want to save room for these sweet inventions. Chocoholic? Candy crazy? This list has something for everyone. Flip through and start salivating.

Black Tap’s Milkshakes

Arguably the insane NYC dessert of the moment, the milkshakes at Black Tap are extraordinary in virtually every way. They come in creative flavors like Sweet 'N' Salty, The Cookie and Sour Power; seemingly defy the laws of physics with piles of whipped, candied and baked ingredients; are visually stunning, and apparently, they taste amazing as well. (No, we haven't actually consumed one.) The good news is that Black Tap's menu of burgers, sides and beer is reportedly delicious as well. The bad news: you'll likely have to wait a long time — like, up to two hours — to sample any of the eats at either location. Black Tap 529 Broome St. Soho 917-639-3089 Online: <a target="_blank" href="http://blacktapnyc.com/">blacktapnyc.com</a&gt; 248 W 14th St. Meatpacking District 212-675-7236 <em>photo: via <a target="_blank" href="https://www.facebook.com/blacktapcraftburgers/photos/pb.822547591096515.-2207520000.1462232611./1235749693109634/?type=3&amp;theater">Black Tap </a>Facebook page</em>fuck
  • Spot Dessert Bar’s Dessert Tapas
  • Sprinkles Cupcakes ATM
  • Sugar and Plum Dessert
  • ChipShop’s Deep Fried Chocolate
  • Popbar’s Gelato on a Stick
  • Serendipity 3’s Frrrozen Hot Chocolate
  • KITH Treats Ice Cream Swirl
  • Sweet & Sara’s Vegan Smores
  • Corner of Vermont’s Maple Creemee

What’s your favorite special treat for kids in NYC? Tell us in the comments!

–Michelle McIvor Cohen

 

Just Opened!: A New Family Yoga Studio

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Let’s face it: life for kids in this town can be quite the whirlwind. From jammed-packed schedules to competitive preschool admissions, the noise and bustle of New York City isn’t for the faint-hearted. Enter Monkey Do! Yoga, a new Gowanus studio that caters to busy NYC tykes who are yearning to stretch their little muscles and get their Ohm on. Whether you want to introduce your tot to some fun new poses or turn your weekly yoga class into a family affair, Monkey Do! is worth the trip. Here’s the scoop:

Monkey Do! Yoga Studiophoto: Michelle Cohen

The Studio
If you live in Park Slope or BoCoCa, you’re in luck. The studio is centrally located on 3rd Avenue between President and Carroll. Owner Marni Sandler opened the space in early December and has already developed a loyal clientele of young yogis. This studio was built for kids and those who have them: visitors will find brightly-painted walls and fun props to please the younger set, and stroller parking and a diaper-changing station the adults will appreciate. The Monkey Do! space also features a backyard, where events and outdoor classes will be held during warm months.

Monkey Do! Yoga Studio Entrancephoto: Michelle Cohen

What are the classes like?
Unlike other studios that host one or two kids classes per week, Monkey Do!’s lineup of programs is focused on young yogis of all ages. Group classes offered here allow kids ages 3-5, 4-7, 8 and up, and teens to practice fun postures and deep breathing with their peers. Other classes are more specialized, such as movement-infused singalong sessions or the Girls Are Superheroes class, in which gals ages 7 and up get to experience the art of “flying” on the mat, as well as going sideways and upside down. (The latter is designed to encourage focus and independence and is a nice complement to Monkey Do!’s Boys Do Yoga class, which caters to lads of the same age.) For the cooped-up little ones who need to run off the squirmy wormies, the studio offers open play on Mondays and Fridays.

Monkey Do! Yoga Classphoto: Monkey Do! Yoga

Drop-offs and Date Nights
Want to make a Whole Foods run sans child? Grab a quick bite at one of the many new restaurants popping up in Gowanus? Go on a much-needed date night? Monkey Do! also offers several drop-off classes, so the pipsqueak can work on her Cat-Cow while you take a breather. In addition to drop-off classes, the studio holds Friday night workshops for kids, which give parents a chance to go out without the brood tagging along.

Monkey Do! Yoga Kidsphoto: Michelle Cohen

Adult Yoga, Special Events & Birthdays
Although the studio caters to kids, you’ll also find plenty of classes for adults, such as family yoga, as well as prenatal and postnatal sessions. Additionally, the studio holds special events each month for all ages, including postnatal support groups, teen workshops, mindfulness and meditation sessions and kids nutrition seminars.

The space also throws birthday parties that take the stress out of planning; leave it to them to set up all of the essentials, including games, food and favors so that you can relax and enjoy. The studio’s Yoga Party package includes up to 10 children and use of the space for 1.5 hours for $475, as well as party staff and yoga teacher, yoga session (let the kiddo choose the theme!), pizza, cake, decorations and more. To take it up a notch, opt for the Super Yogi Party package for $750, which offers all of the highlights from the standard package, plus use of the space for 2 hours, a Design-your-own Mat” craft and favor, Custom Evite and managed RSVPs.

Monkey Do! Yoga Signagephoto: Monkey Do! Yoga

Monkey Do! Money
Thinking about making Monkey Do! your new go-to yoga studio? The monthly memberships are quite reasonable and include unlimited classes. An individual membership for yourself or the little one is $150 per month; family memberships are $250. For those who aren’t ready to commit to a membership, drop-in pricing and multi-packs are available. Bonus: The studio offers easy online booking so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of calling in advance.

Namaste!

Monkey Do! Yoga
279 3rd Ave. (between President and Carroll)
Gowanus
347-987-3797
Online: www.monkeydoyoga.com

Have you checked out Monkey Do! Yoga? Let us know in the comments section below.

–Michelle McIvor Cohen

Just Opened! A Hot New Spot for Pizza Night

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It’s Friday and the whole family is ready for some R&R. What better way to kick off the weekend than with a steaming hot pie? Whether you’re searching for a new go-to pizza joint or just looking to hit the latest hip family-friendly spot, you’ve got to give PizzaMoto’s eatery in Red Hook a try. Super fresh tomato sauce. Creative toppings. A perfectly charred, bubbly crust. Sold? Read on, there’s more.

Pizza Moto 338 Hamilton Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11231

photo: PizzaMoto

Wait, Haven’t I Heard of PizzaMoto?
Most likely. PizzaMoto has been serving Neapolitan pizzas for eight years and has developed an impressive following. You may have spotted their mobile operation at Brooklyn Flea or Smorgasburg. Now, after years of looking for the perfect spot, they’ve opened their first permanent home on the border of Red Hook and Carroll Gardens.

PizzaMoto-Outdoorphoto: PizzaMoto via Instagram

A Place with a Past
The restaurant is housed in an old bakery building, which was built in the mid-1800s by John Grace, an Irish immigrant. The spot has also been home to a Prussian cigar maker, an Italian pasta and sub purveyor and an American coal-fired pizza baker. The building’s main attraction? A turn-of-the-century coal oven that has been restored and retrofitted to burn wood. The decor is as interesting as the building’s past. The owners designed and executed everything from the beefy soapstone bar to the crazy cool pinball wall art. They even welded their own bar stools out of desks discarded from a nearby Red Hook Public School.

Pizza Moto 338 Hamilton Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11231
photo: PizzaMoto

What’s to Eat?
Some of the best Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizza this city has to offer. While the menu is still a work in progress, some of the current highlights include a pie featuring winter green-pistachio pesto, olives, ricotta and fresh mozzarella; a pie topped with bacon fat, rosemary, salt and black pepper, and the restaurant’s aptly-named Eggs in Hell pizza, which includes tomato, bacon, chili, soft cooked egg and mozzarella. A safe (yet equally delicious) order for young, picky eaters is the tomato, buffalo mozzarella, olive oil and pecorino.

Not a pizza lover? Or just off gluten or dairy? PizzaMoto also offers small and large plates defined by a New American palate with Italian and French influences. Don’t leave without trying the fried broccoli with yuzu-kosho lemon curd; the whole fish and meatball tartare and toast are also good choices. And if you’re in need of a beverage, the bartender will gladly serve you wine, beer or one of their tasty signature cocktails.

PizzaMoto-Kidsphoto: Michelle Cohen

Why Kids Love It
The establishment boasts stroller parking, plenty of high chairs and a warm, relaxed atmosphere. Service is quick. Plus, the friendly kitchen and wait staff will put you at ease (even if a meltdown is imminent). Young foodies and want-to-be cooks can watch pizza being made in the open kitchen — they may even get handed something yummy to smell or taste. (Our little one spent the evening studying a piece of cilantro.) The one downside? If you’re not a Red Hook denizen, you’ll need to cross the Gowanus Expressway to get there. Take note: The best route to take is Garnet Street, where you’ll find a traffic light and crosswalk.

Ready to check it out? The restaurant is open Tuesdays through Sundays, starting at 5:30. They are also expected to add a weekend brunch as well as delivery later this fall or winter.

Pizza Moto
338 Hamilton Ave.
Red Hook
773-931-7900
Online: http://pizzamoto.com

Have you visited PizzaMoto? What did you think? Tell us in the comments below!

—Michelle McIvor Cohen

Take it To Go: 9 Food Trucks The Kids (and You) Will Love

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Quick service. Delicious eats. No need for indoor voices. Food trucks might as well have been invented for kids. With new ones popping up all the time, there’s no better way for foodies young and old to expand and enlighten their palates. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites. From over-the-top waffles to funky ice cream flavors to a life-changing burger, flip ahead for some of the best meals on wheels in NYC.

Best for Pizza Night: Eddie’s Pizza Truck

Tempted to order a pizza off Seamless tonight? We recommend tracking down Eddie’s Pizza Truck and devouring their signature 10-inch Bar Pie instead. This New Hyde Park pizzeria opened its doors in 1941. After receiving requests to open up a shop in Manhattan, they designed a food truck, and it’s been drawing loyal crowds ever since. Many loyal fans go just for the toppings. Chicken cutlet, meatball and sausage are popular meat options, while artichoke, tomato and mushrooms are great for veggie lovers. Midtown and Fi-Di dwellers, you’re in luck: You can usually find it parked in mid- or Lower Manhattan. Online: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.eddiespizzany.com">eddiespizzany.com </a>Twitter: <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/EddiesPizzaNY">@EddiesPizzaNY</a&gt; <i>photo: via <a target="_blank" href="https://instagram.com/p/1tC33sK2Xz/?taken-by=eddiespizza">Eddie's Pizza Truck Instagram</a></i> fuck
  • Eddie's Pizza Truck
  • Yankee Doodle Dandy
  • The Treats Truck

What’s your favorite NYC food truck? Tell us in the comments below!

— Michelle McIvor Cohen

Ice, Ice, Baby: 7 Homemade Frozen Treats

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Think ice cream and popsicles are just for big kids? Think again! Frozen goodies can be great for your baby too, as a fun way to serve fruits and veggies, plus, cool treats can help soothe sore gums. From colorful frozen yogurt dots to creamy tropical smoothies, here are seven healthy frozen snacks that will make your little one drool. Move over, Mister Softee! These treats are fun, delicious and healthy.

<p style="text-align:right;"><em>Photo: Small Fry</em></p> <h3>Frozen Yogurt Dots</h3> These round colorful snacks from <a target="_blank" href="http://www.smallfryblog.com/2012/10/30/frozen-yogurt-dots/">Small Fry</a> are so yummy and fun, what baby wouldn’t want to eat them up? Pour full-fat Greek yogurt into three bowls and mix with <a target="_blank" href="http://www.iherb.com/India-Tree-Gourmet-Spices-Specialties-Nature-s-Colors-Decorating-Set-2-25-oz-63-g/43274?gclid=CJWbsaz8h8YCFUIXHwodtyEARg&quot; target="_blank">all-nautral food coloring</a>. Fill three sandwich bags with the dyed yogurt. Snip the corner of each bag and squeeze yogurt gently onto a sheet pan. Freeze for one hour. Don't want to use food coloring? You could use different flavors of Greek yogurt instead. If your baby is over 12 months, mix the yogurt with honey for some extra sweetness.fuck

Do you make frozen treats for your baby? Share your recipes in the Comments section.

–Michelle McIvor Cohen