Alice in Wonderland at The Players Theatre

The beloved children's classic, Alice in Wonderland, is now in musical form at The Players Theatre in the West Village! Performing on weekends through November 17th, this charming musical is the perfect way to introduce your child to the theatre and be entertained at the same time. Additionally, one of my favorite aspects of a Players Theatre production is their family-friendly interactive arts workshops, which take place an hour before each show begins. While there, children will get to hear from a cast member about how the musical was created and the original story itself. Then, children are invited to complete a special arts-n-crafts project that relates to the show.

I took Vivian and some of her friends to a performance a couple weeks ago to celebrate her 8th birthday, and they all had so much fun! They made Mad Hatter hats during the pre-show workshop, and as a special treat, the stage manager had everyone sing Happy Birthday to Vivian right before the show began. The girls all loved the performances, especially from the Queen of Hearts. The cast and crew were really able to bring the magic of Alice to life, and I do believe for little ones, a Players Theatre production is a wonderful way to introduce a child to live theater.

Afterwards, we headed to Molly's Cupcakes around the corner for a sweet treat and a "swing" on their famous seating. After Alice wraps up, "A Christmas Carol the Musical" will open December 1st, marking its 11th year, and in spring of 2020, The Little Mermaid will make its way to the West Village. So much fun!

Pre-show arts-n-crafts:

 Mad Hatters loose on the subway!

If you haven't had a chance to see Alice in Wonderland yet, go HERE for tickets. And here's a special bonus: with code BABYMEETSCITY you'll receive 20% off. Enjoy!


Coney Island = A Summer Bucket List Destination

So it goes like this: Christmas, respective birthdays, Coney Island. In terms of the girls' favorite days of the year, that's how far up the pole Coney Island ranks. Pretty impressive, right? They just love everything about the place, from the rides at Luna Park, to the boardwalk and aquarium, to the ice cream they figure we'll most likely buy them for the long subway ride home. Our day at Coney Island has become a summer bucket list item that we all really enjoy and look forward to once the last day of school finally arrives.

This time around, we spent most of our time at Luna Park, and also tried a legendary pizza place that we've somehow missed on previous visits. But more about that in a moment. Luna Park is filled with rides for all ages, and while we sadly skipped a few that they're just too big for now, there are still plenty of rides they love and even talked their mother into doing with them (AGH). From the swings to the Coney Clipper, the Wild Ride water log ride to The Tickler (the girls' all-time favorite, which we did twice)... it was a day full of twists and turns -- literally. Follow along for a few fun photos from our day!

For lunch, we headed about 10 minute walk from Luna Park to a Coney Island institution (for the last 93 years, in fact!): Totonno's Pizza. It is off the beaten path away from the boardwalk, so you may wonder where in fact you're walking, but just think of it as discovering Brooklyn... we're so happy we did. Called #1 pizza in America from the Food Network, it was also recently featured in an episode of Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix. And while we did have to wait a little bit to be seated (and then wait some more for the actual pizza).... sufficed to say, it was worth it. Each pizza is made from scratch and put in a coal fire oven and what you get out is just perfection. From the sauce to the not overly thick crust... we found ourselves a new part of our Coney Island tradition.

Lastly, for your viewing enjoyment... my trip down the roaring rapids of the Wild River (I apologize in advance for the screaming). I've always been too scared to do it before, but when it's really hot and your children are begging you... it's amazing what you can get talked into. And you know what, that cold water at the end felt really GOOD! Until next year, Luna Park, Coney Island and Totonno's!

For more information on Luna Park pricing, calendar, etc., check out their website. Just a few weeks of summer vacation left for NYC kids... enjoy it! 

Disclosure: We were provided with complimentary tickets to Luna Park for the purposes of this review. All opinions herein are my own.


Summer Fun: A Magical Tea Party at The Gallow Green

One of my favorite event series for kids is back again this summer! The Gallow Green (at the top of the McKittrick Hotel) in Chelsea hosts 4 "Potions and Planting" tea parties for children over the summer months. While one has already past, 3 more dates are available!

First things first, have you ever been to the Gallow Green? It's a magical urban oasis amidst the rooftops of our concrete jungle, making the space alone worth a visit. You really feel like you've stepped back in time. During the Potions and Planting tea parties, children (ages 5-10, please) will enjoy a traditional English high tea platter, pink lemonade and hands-on lessons in potion-making and gardening from Gallow Green staff (and if you've ever been to Sleep No More, you know everyone REALLY gets into character). If your child is into magic wands, potions and enchanted forests, well, this is the place for him/her. Additionally (and I especially love this part), guests are welcome to bring along their most favorite doll or teddy bear, too. You'll find out why when you arrive!

I posted about the Potions and Plantings tea when we attended a few summers ago, and even though the girls were a bit younger, their enthusiasm remains the same, and they're excited to attend another one. It's such a special, unique afternoon! Tickets for the event ($25 pp) are still available. While the date may say 'sold out' - never fear; they will be releasing another block of tickets closer to the each of the dates (July 27th, August 10th & 24th remaining).

Happy summer, friends!


Big Apple Books: A Green Place to Be: The Creation of Central Park

Happy publication day to A Green Place to Be: The Creation of Central Park, written and illustrated by Ashley Benham Yazdani! I recently received this book for review, and it's a wonderful addition to my Big Apple Books collection (and not just because spring is in the air).

A Green Place to Be takes you back to the mid-1800s in New York City, when the city was rapidly growing in every area but sorely lacking in green space. Architect Calvert Vaux convinced the city to hold a design contest for a new park, which he planned to enter & win himself. He joined forces with  Frederick Law Olmstead, park superintendent, and together they created the plans for what we now know as Central Park.

My daughters have really enjoyed reading this book, picking up fun little discoveries along the way. Did you know that Vaux and Olmstead originally named the park Greensward? That when the Ramble first opened, there were musicians in boats floating around the lake entertaining everyone? What a wonderful scene that must have been! Our favorite section, however, is the description of "The Children's District," which was an area of the park designated for kids, including a dairy for fresh milk, a petting zoo (sound familiar?), croquet lawn and a field for playing baseball.

Yazdani's illustrations are so whimsical and dreamlike, they make you want to jump in the picture, Mary Poppins-style. And the writing is educational and informative without being dry, which we parents always appreciate. Meanwhile, I personally loved learning that Calvert and Vaux meticulously chose every plant, tree and flower and its placement in America's first large public park.

We loved learning about the history of NYC's most treasured outdoor space, and I highly recommend adding A Green Place to Be: The Creation of Central Park to your own collection. I think I know where we're going to be hanging out this weekend... 🌲🌳


New Kids Pasta-Making Class at Nonna Beppa Soho!

If your children are big pasta lovers (aren't they all?), I've got a fun new weekend activity for you: kids pasta-making classes at Nonna Beppa in Soho! Taking place every other Sunday at noon, your child will learn how to make pasta from start to finish from one of Nonna Beppa's talented chefs. We got a chance to check out one of their classes last month, and my girls really enjoyed learning the process of creating ravioli and tagliatelle from scratch (of course, the best part was getting to eat what they made at the end).

Take a look at the photos below to see more of our experience at Nonna Beppa, but I can't promise you won't be hungry for Italian at the end. Of note: parents are encouraged to sit back with a glass of wine while kids take part in class, which I have to say was MY favorite part of the day! For more information and to book class reservation, head to their website. Ciao!

Nonna Beppa's rustic Italian restaurant is the perfect place for your child to try a pasta-making class, and a yummy place for the entire family to have lunch afterwards. Perfect for junior chefs or any child that likes to keep their hands busy!

Disclosure: While our attendance at the class was complimentary, all thoughts herein are my own.


Kids Week at The Intrepid: Just in time for Mid-Winter Break!

NYC public school kids are on mid-winter break starting today...ummm, yay?! I'm still undecided (mom truth). Never fear, however -- if you're not jet setting off to a fantastic tropical locale or skiing in the mountains somewhere (doesn't THAT sound dreamy), there's still plenty of staycation activities to check out this week.

For starters, Kids Week at The Intrepid began yesterday and goes through February 23rd, and they've got a great week of STEM events ahead. Science, technology, engineering, arts and math-themed activities and entertainment will take place at this floating museum, which by the way, is a pretty interesting place on its own. Take a look at the week's list of activities and come out for educational fun for the whole family. Highlights include workshops and activities hosted by the Bronx Zoo, SproutUP NYC, the New York Aquarium & the Sci-tech Kids (and SO much more)!

We'll be there on Wednesday for what looks like animal-palooza (and yes, I partially picked that day because I want to know how all these animals are getting on an aircraft carrier)! The Intrepid Museum is wheelchair accessible and ticket info can be found HERE (admission also includes the Space Shuttle Pavilion, submarine Growler and all temporary exhibits).

Enjoy the week, friends, and let's make the most out of this fare city of ours (even in the freezing cold)!


Curious Jane Summer Camp Opens NEW Location on UWS!

I know, I know. I don't REALLY want to think about summer plans yet, either. But we all know that the long months of summer will be here before we know it, and judging from the amount of camp emails I'm already getting- other parents are bracing for it, too! AGH. With that said, I'm trying to be a bit more proactive this year as I explore different options for my girls.

One day camp program that has been on my radar for a while now is Curious Jane. Have you heard of it? Founded in 2009 by a mom who wanted to give her daughters, and all young girls, a space to be creative, to explore their interests & most of all, have FUN, Curious Jane has expanded over the years to include a robust camp program, after school classes, birthday parties and even a magazine! In every Curious Jane offering you'll find themes of design, art, science and engineering that encourage girls to be creative and feel empowered. Love that!

Curious Jane offers camp for girls entering kindergarten through sixth grade throughout Manhattan & Brooklyn and this summer that'll also include the Upper West Side. Located at the Alexander Robertson School (3 West 95th & Central Park West), Curious Jane will be offering 4 weeks of camp, with themes like Design Studio and Miniature World. Can I go, too?

Please check their website for more information on camp dates and pricing, and on that note, exciting news! To celebrate their new location, use CITY75 for a $75 discount on a single week of camp (ANYWHERE in Manhattan). 

Good luck in your summer camp planning, friends!

Disclosure: I have been provided with one week of camp tuition, but all opinions herein are my own.
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