A NYC Summer with Kids in the Game (& a GIVEAWAY!)

And just like that, the NYC school year is drawing to a close. In about a week, I'm going to have a kindergartner and 2nd grader on my hands. How on earth did that happen? But before I can adjust to that crazy realization, a long summer looms in front of me. Like just about everyone (see recent New York Times article), finding a way to keep your child entertained during the summer affordably can be a challenge -- especially in families where both parents work full-time, which is just about everyone.

If you're still mapping out your summer plans (i.e, are a procrastinator like me), I want to introduce you to a dynamic day camp I recently learned about -- Kids in the Game.

Kids in the Game operates day camps in 3 parts of the city: the Upper West Side, Inwood and it's newest location, Riverdale. A leading provider of after school and youth sports programs during the school year, their summer day camp program has become a natural extension of one common theme: teaching kids health, wellness and life skills through sports. While a typical day at camp involves active play like basketball, soccer and tennis, the program is rounded out with arts and crafts, dance, music and field trips to museums, the zoo, etc.

Kids in the Game was founded by Michael Murphy, a former college basketball coach, and summer staff are a mix of teachers and teaching assistants, current and former college athletes, current and former professional dancers, and graduate students in programs ranging from physical education to early childhood development. Rising high school seniors also play supporting roles as part of their Counselor in Training program.

Set up like a typical school day, Kids in the Game campers can be dropped off between 7:30-9am, when camp begins. Pre-k campers are picked up at 2:30 (with an after school option till 4pm), while kindergartners and above are picked up between 4-4:30pm (with an after school option till 6pm). While weekly camp prices vary depending on which location you choose, Kids in the Game is arguably one of the most affordable options you have in NYC. Here's to that!

So here's the really EXCITING part. Kids in the Game has agreed to give one lucky reader a FREE WEEK of camp for their child this summer -- at the LOCATION of their choice and the WEEK of their choice (in case you hadn't noticed, all caps means I'm kinda EXCITED). So here's what you do -- simply fill out the Rafflecopter contest below and check back here on June 27th. I'll announce the winner on my social media channels as well.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: My kids will be attending one week of camp in exchange for this review and promotion. All opinions are my own.


Celebrating the Mama-to-Be with Dreft

Although it's hard for me to believe now, there was a time not so long ago when I was washing a whole lot of baby clothes. Instead of dropping them off at the local dry cleaners like I did with our own items, I started washing each onesie and sleeper myself, just so I could use Dreft. That's dedication, friends. So when Dreft asked me to host a laundry party, I immediately said yes, as I had a particular mama-to-be in mind who will soon be in that very same boat.

Good smelling goody bags!

Luckily for millions of parents, Dreft understands that parenthood is messy and imperfect, yet those are often the most memorable moments (#Amazinghood). Dreft products are specially formulated to be gentle on skin and tough on stains, and is the #1 baby laundry detergent choice of pediatricians and #1 dermatologist recommended brand for baby clothes. Now that's a hash tag!

At our party, my mama and mama-to-be friends went home with Dreft Newborn and Active Baby detergent, AND new Dreft Blissfuls scent-beads, which are safe on all fabrics and can release freshness for up to 2 weeks -- awesome!

The party was the perfect opportunity for us to enjoy a few snacks and drinks and talk about motherhood -- the good, the bad and the smelly parts! Luckily, it didn't seem to phase the mama-to-be one bit. As she embarks on this amazing journey ahead, she's armed with everything she needs... a loving partner, an open heart, and hey, a little Dreft to guard against life's messes.

Party assistant

Disclosure: I hosted this #Amazinghood party in partnership with Dreft. All opinions are my own.


Growing up with Olly vitamin boosts

Fully acknowledging I sound like an old lady here, but I can't help myself... my kids are growing up way too fast. Physically, they're growing like weeds. I can't buy pants long enough for these children. Emotionally, well, there's a lot of emotions happening in our home at the moment. Maybe it started with Vivian in school full-time this year, but between the two of them, my babies are long gone. Waaaah...

I've started giving them vitamins to aid in their growing bodies, and that's part of the reason I'm so excited to partner with Olly Kids this month. They've recently released 4 new supplements that my girls are loving: Super Brainy, Happy Tummy, Growing Bones & Mighty Immunity. Not only do they taste yummy, but they can also double as dessert, moms! That's a win win in my book.

I love discovering a solid product that is healthy for my kids (Olly products are packed with vitamins and made from natural colors and flavors) and these new flavors really cater to kids' growing needs. With a long winter finally behind us, we really took advantage of Mighty Immunity, and the girls' current favorites are Super Brainy and Growing Bones -- because who doesn't want to grow up smart and strong? They love getting to pick out their favorites after dinner each night, so vitamin-chewing has easily become part of our daily routine.

As they continue to grow, I hope we're instilling in them many valuable lessons (like climbing trees!), but chief among them is taking care of their health. Olly is a first step in the process, and I'm so thankful for that.

Lastly, exciting news! Olly is participating in an AWESOME "Up, Up and Away" giveaway with Tea Collection, Target, Starbucks and Method Home -- like, amazing. Enter HERE to win:

- A year supply of your choice of two OLLY Kids Wellness Boosts
- $250 gift card to Tea Collection
- $500 gift card to Target
- $100 gift card to Starbucks
- A year supply of method cleaning products

Good luck, and here's to growing bodies (sniffle) and starting healthy habits early!

Disclosure: This post features sponsored content. All opinions herein are my own.


Big Apple Books: The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home

It's true, I might be stretching it a bit this week by calling The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home a Big Apple Book. This personalized book from UK-based Lost My Name is really for everyone, and that's why I love it so much. With the help of a cute little alien,  the story tells the tale of Millie's journey home from outer space. Through twists and turns and strange encounters (and lots of lemonade!), they finally make their way back to her apartment in New York City. Whew.

The personalized aspect of Home really engages the reader, especially as I was able to pick the character that looked most like her, and in giving the company my address, they were able to pull up an overhead map of our neighborhood in Manhattan. In the pages leading up to the end, Millie's rocket ship even buzzes past the Statue of Liberty. Nice touch! And in the photo below, I can see our apartment building across from the baseball diamonds!

So while this particular copy of The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home is NYC-based, yours will fit your child's hometown perfectly, too. Here's to this adventure, which keeps children inspired and interested while reading. Can't wait to see what the folks behind Lost My Name have in store for us next!

Disclosure: We were given copies of the book for purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.


Mother's Day with Hornblower Cruises

Mother's Day has come and gone, and yet I'm still thinking about the Hornblower Cruise we took last weekend to celebrate. We had terrible, dreary weather all week, but fortunately, the sun came out on Sunday. Thank you, Mother Nature! After arriving at Pier 40 & boarding the yacht, we were seated next to a window with easy access to the all-you-could-eat brunch (a lot tastier than I expected) and as an added touch, champagne and orange juice was already on our table. Oh, and they also had masseuses giving mini massages! Clearly Hornblower knows what mamas want on their special day.

We enjoyed taking in views of the city, including the Brooklyn Bridge and Lady Liberty herself. Other than the crazy wind, which made photos a little challenging (see next to last picture- ha!), it was a perfect afternoon. A super relaxing day with my family, and truly, just what I was looking for this year.

If you're thinking about Father's Day plans already, Hornblower will be hosting a similar cruise for Dad. Such a fun afternoon -- I totally recommend the yacht life experience!

A gorgeous view of the city

Mimosas at our table - yes, please!

The chocolate fountain was a hit!

Windy, much?

Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas out there!

Disclosure: We were given complimentary tickets to attend a Hornblower cruise. All opinions are my own.


Calling All Little Monkeys to Brooklyn Boulders

Over spring break, the girls and I had a chance to check out the new Brooklyn Builders location in Long Island City. It was their first time rock climbing, and oh my goodness... they LOVED it! I expected Millie to have fun, but I was a little surprised about how quickly Vivian took to it and kept asking to climb again. If you've got little monkeys at home, this place is for you!

After a tour of their expansive space (as a member, you have full run of the place, which includes a gym, yoga classes, co-working space, cafe & all the bouldering/rock climbing/repelling, etc you could possibly want), the girls received climbing shoes and instruction before going for it.

I'm pretty sure as much as they loved climbing up, they also liked being brought down, or "flying" as they preferred to call it. Ha! Thanks to the patient help from their climbing instructor, they got to enjoy that as well. Another thing that I thought was cool was the gorgeous art covering the walls -- all from local artists, too. Pretty rad.

Our afternoon at Brooklyn Boulders was for sure the girls' favorite activity during spring break! If you want to check out the space for yourself, they will be holding an open house for their summer programs (yes, they have kids camp!) next week, May 9th-11th from 3pm-6pm. Tours will be given at the top of every hour, and an RSVP is required. I love that they really bill themselves as a family-friendly setting, and there are tons of programs for kids throughout the year.

Climbing for the stars -- yet another fun thing for kids in NYC.

Disclosure: We were given comped day passes to check out Brooklyn Boulders. All opinions are my own.


The Week in Photos: Spring Break

I have to admit I was slightly dreading Spring Break. I had a few things scheduled, but I always worry that too much free time leads to bickering and whining (which leads to wine consumption by parents, though that's not such a bad thing). Luckily, though, the girls behaved pretty well over the week and we had some fun in the midst of things. Vivian was sick off and on which was a bummer, but I do feel like we made the most of their time off from school. Will elaborate a bit more on a couple activities in future posts, but for now, here are a few pictures of our time off:

We kicked things off with a promotional party for #NationalSuperHeroDay & the PJ Masks at the New York Fire Museum in Soho. The girls hadn't really watched the show before, but saw a couple episodes which they really liked. If your kids are into this crime-fighting trio, check out these PJ Mask-related activities you can do online!

Windy days call for kite flying, wouldn't you say?

I am still trying to process the awesomeness that is Brooklyn Boulders. We checked out their Long Island City location, and I was so impressed with the space. Not to mention, the girls had a blast! More information on their programs coming soon...

Towards the end of the week, we checked out the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater's new production of Little Red's Hood (with a modern twist). Hilarious! One of my favorite activities for kids in the city. Afterwards, we hung out at the newly renovated Discovery Playground in Central Park (next to Tavern on the Green). Millie is rocking her new Chuck Taylor kicks from Converse, proving that what's old & classic is definitely new again.

How could I not mention Mr. Bo?!?! Mr. Bo is Vivian's class guinea pig and he has been with us all week. ALL. WEEK. LONG. The girls have loved having him and I will love returning him on Monday (we were in the midst of cleaning out his cage when I took this photo).

Ended the week with cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery. Because why not, right? More details on Brooklyn Boulders and Little Red's Hood coming soon. Have a great week!

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