Children's Tea Time at The Russian Tea Room

Millie just turned 7 (SEVEN!), and while she floated many an idea on how to celebrate her birthday, she finally decided a tea party with a couple close friends would be a fun way to ring in her special day. I looked at several options for children's tea parties, and ultimately we decided on The Russian Tea Room, both for it's gorgeous, over-the-top decor that I knew the little girls would get a kick out of AND the fact that it seemed more reasonably priced (surprisingly) than other options.

photo credit: Husband extraordinaire

I'm happy to report that the birthday girl and her friends had a blast! The tea itself was delicious, the ambiance was amazing, and the staff couldn't have been more accommodating. Our waiter made sure we visited the Bear Lounge before we left, home of the Tea Room's famous dancing bear fish bowl and Faberge egg tree. While this certainly seems like more of a "special occasion" place to us, if you're visiting NYC or live here and have never been, all I can say is... GO. This NYC institution is quite the experience, and it's one my brand new 7 year old won't soon forget.


Odd Squad: Live! is Headed to NYC 10/29-10/30

NYC parents: if you have an Odd Squad fan in your home, I've got exciting news to share. On October 29th-30th, the Emmy Award-winning series is headed to The Skirball Center at NYU for live performances as part of their Big Red Chair Family Series.

Thanks to an interactive show format, kids will have a chance to solve an odd mystery with brand new agents Owen & Ophelia with help from Ms. O back at headquarters. Putting their STEM skills to the test, the audience will help the coolest kid agents around decipher clues to stop villains like Father Time & Lady Terrible. Here's a special message from Ms. O:


We've decided to surprise the little gals with our tickets on the day before, partially to reduce the amount of squealing over the next couple of weeks, and also because, WHAT A FUN SURPRISE! Odd Squad is one of their favorite shows, and to be honest, it's one I watch with them and actually enjoy. I love the educational aspect (each episode contains a math lesson aimed at kids ages 4-8), but also, it's FUNNY. And quirky. And from all the parents out there, let me just say thanks to the amazing team of writers at Odd Squad who realize that parents might want to be entertained, too.

Hope to see you there! Also, come early. There will be educational activities for an hour pre-show which will include a spy-related craft & imaginative STEM education worksheets.

Disclosure: I was provided with tickets in exchange for promotion of this production. All opinions are my own.


Celebrating the First Day of Fall with Ocean Spray®

I've partnered with Ocean Spray® to celebrate their Cranberry Classroom in NYC. Thank you for supporting Baby Meets City! 

On the first day of fall, the girls and I waded into a 1500 square foot cranberry bog in the midst of Rockefeller Center®. Yes, really! We were there to celebrate the bicentennial of the first cultivated cranberry harvest with multi-generational Ocean Spray® cranberry growers and their families. We had a blast on this not-so-typical Thursday afternoon, which was as educational as it was entertaining.

In addition to truly getting a "hands on" experience in the bog (Millie had a blast raking those cranberries!), we ventured through 3 other activity stations in the #CranberryClassroom, which had been open to visitors from 12-4pm that day. 

In the first station, the girls learned a few facts that I found interesting, including this gem: did you know that cranberries are one of just three native fruits cultivated in North America? The other two are the blueberry and Concord grape, for the record. No wonder we eat so many on Thanksgiving!

Next, we planted our own cranberry vine, and got to take one home to see what happens! The girls have high hopes for these little plants (keep your fingers crossed).

Before we hopped into the bog (which was naturally the major highlight of the afternoon), we also checked out a virtual cranberry harvest experience -- fascinating! The girls put on headphones and looked into a viewfinder with an iPhone inside. The video inside was just beautiful, complete with music and a feeling of really being there, even as we stood in the middle of Rockefeller Center®. In fact, if you want to check it out yourself, head to The Most Beautiful Harvest for your own fully immersive, 360 degree experience. The site was designed to celebrate the beauty of the cranberry harvest (from fruit to bottle), and I highly recommend it!

Not surprisingly, our afternoon at the #CranberryClassroom has us inspired to try a few new cranberry recipes this fall, and all year long, in fact. I'm excited to have found this recipe from The Kitchn for Yogurt Covered Cranberries. Looks like a delicious snack, right?

Photo credit: The Kitchn
As you're pulling together lunches, snacks, desserts (you name it!), remember America's favorite fruit. I so appreciated being able to connect with Ocean Spray® in celebration of the first day of fall, and really feel like I understand the history and heritage behind the cranberry, and the American farmers that are passionate about what they grow and are able to share with all of us. 

Disclosure: Thank you to Ocean Spray® for sponsoring this blog post. All opinions are my own.


Celebrating Roald Dahl's 100th Birthday at Wave Hill

We spent the first weekend of fall at Wave Hill, celebrating what would have been Roald Dahl's 100th birthday. Since we just finished reading James and The Giant Peach with the girls recently, heading to the Bronx for James-themed activities (including a special arts-n-crafts project, storytelling and bug demonstration) seemed like a perfect fit. And what a fun day it was!

This was our first visit to one of NYC's treasured gems, and I have no doubt we'll be returning soon. As you can see from these pics, the grounds and gardens bordering the Hudson River are just GORGEOUS. After we finished the kids' programming, we got a snack at the cafe and spent the rest of our time exploring... don't you want to come for a visit, too?

Loving my new infinity scarf from J.Jill! The girls' cute outfits (Millie's shirt & pants & Vivian's dress & shoes)
are from Garnet Hill. Love their stylish duds for kids!

Insider tip: If you arrive between 9am-12pm on Tuesdays and Saturdays, Wave Hill is FREE (though you still have to pay for parking, which is $8). If you're coming via mass transit, see here.


Big Apple Books: Who Pooped in Central Park?

Truth be told, I am not crazy about the title of this book (it should come as no surprise that I don't really love Everybody Poops, either). But, I'm willing to get over it, as Who Pooped in Central Park? Scat and Track for Kids, by Gary Robson, is a great way to learn about all the living creatures that inhabit Central Park. Hint: there are a TON!

Readers will follow along with a group of kids as they make their way from the Central Park Zoo to Farmer's Gate, discovering all sorts of poop (and the animal who deposited it there) along the way. With the help of park rangers, the kids discover everything from Monarch butterflies and Red-Winged Blackbirds to a Diamondback Terrapin and Big Brown Bat (eek!). My girls discovered a lot of cool facts about animals in this book, and it's one that they go back to again and again, learning something new each time.

A great book for animal lovers and anyone who questions the validity of New York City's "animal kingdom"!


5 Observations Now that My Children are Back to School

Here's an old post that I think deserves a reboot... 

A handful of things have become apparent now that my children are back to school again. Keep in mind this applies to my current state-of-being, AKA the work-from-home mom life. Let's get right to it, shall we?

TIME. There's a sentimental expression in reference to raising children that says, "the days are long and the years are short." Um, you know what's really short? The time your kids are in school. One minute it's 8:30am and you're actually enjoying your coffee and getting down to business and the next it's 2:15 and you're scrambling to get to school for pick up. Now, if only time could have moved so fast when I was stuck behind a desk in a cold office all day, but I digress... 

SPEED. I honestly forgot that I can walk fast. Yes, when not responsible for young children where the typical rate of motion is akin to paint drying, I can pass for a New Yorker again. As much as I adore constantly stopping, turning around, bending down to pull pebbles out of sandals, passing out snacks and water and walking three feet and 2 steps back, moving at the normal speed of most human beings is a refreshing change of pace.

FOOD. Today I'm eating something for lunch that wouldn't be commonly referred to as "scraps." Granted, it happens to be leftovers... but still! Having children in school means a welcome break from crusty bread edges and half-eaten string cheese.

SOUND. This I'll admit. The quiet is deafening. I'm able to complete whole emails without being interrupted to dress a baby doll, watch a magic trick or break up a precious screaming match between sisters (which is AMAZING), but it's a little too quiet at the moment. Think I'll go turn on some Dora & Friends... be right back.

SCHEDULE. As much as I love those carefree days of summer (and I really do... our summer break was blissfully schedule-free for the most part), I am sort of glad to get back into some sort of routine again. I suddenly feel as if with my new found "free" time I should be moving mountains and running for president, but I think I'll settle for blogging more regularly and aggressively looking for new freelance gigs. If nothing else, it helps knowing I have this specific time frame to myself.

Happy back-to-school, friends. Use your time wisely.


Big Apple Books: Matilda, The Algonquin Cat

You've heard about little NYC girls that live in hotels, of course. But what about cats? My latest Big Apple Book addition is Matilda, The Algonquin Cat, which captures the tale of the furriest resident of one of NYC's most famous hotels. This charming story is made even more delightful because it's based on a real cat who does in fact live at The Algonquin. Only in NYC, right?

As the story goes, in 1932, a stray cat wandered into the lobby of The Algonquin, just days after the death of Billy, the hotel owner's cat. It was as if he just took over where Billy left off! Since then, the hotel has always had a resident cat. Male cats are called "Hamlet" and females, "Matilda." The current Matilda is the 11th Algonquin cat and the 3rd Matilda, and she unsurprisingly rules the roost.

The girls loved the story of Matilda and are anxious for a visit to The Algonquin's lobby to see her for themselves. What about you?

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Blogging tips