Places to Go

THE CHRISTMAS STORE (Little Italy)

One of my favorite places to go especially during the holiday season is THE CHRISTMAS STORE on Mulberry street in Little Italy. And it’s now Luke’s favorite place too.

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It’s covered from head to toe with Christmas decorations and if you’re looking for a special ornament, this place has got just about every kind in every shape and in all colors. From wooden ones to hand-blown glass ornaments, they even have a expert in calligraphy that will inscribe the ornaments with any sweet holiday message.

There’s moving Santas, wooden soldiers, big Christmas trees and even a gelato section in case you want to get something sweet while you peruse the store.

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It’s great fun and all the good cheer and festivities will enthrall your little one.

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It’s not the destination, it’s the journey – NYC FERRY

With the newly opened ferry rides all along the East River, this is a sure way to entertain your little one while only costing you $2.75 one way.

The new NYC Ferry will keep your toddler occupied and you don’t even have to get off on any stops, you can just sit on the rooftop and take in the spectacular views of Manhattan. Of course if you want to get off, there’s plenty of great things to do. The NYC Ferry stops at Dumbo where there are plenty of restaurants, a beautiful carousal and lots of open space for your child to run around. The ferry also stops at Domino Park and Long Island City.

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If you want a longer adventure, head to Governors Island where there is lots and lots to do (Ferry is only available on weekend).

As of August 2018, there are six routes connecting 21 ferry piers throughout the five boroughs.  NYC Ferry was officially announced by the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2015.   It was planned to launch in two phases. The first phase launched on May 1, 2017, with service along the East River and to Far Rockaway giving new yorkers a great escape to the city beaches.  Routes to Bay Ridge and Astoria respectively started in June and August of that year. A second phase, in August 2018, launched to the Lower East Side and Soundview. A ferry to Coney Island and Stapleton is under consideration.

Luke loves being on the boat and is extremely well behaved – wahooo.  So while the weather is still warm enough, go and enjoy a lovely and even peaceful ride.

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DOMINO PARK

There are approximately 1700 parks, playgrounds and recreation centers across the five boroughs of our great city. And thank god as I truly think New Yorkers would go crazy without them. Of course if you have a toddler, you live at these parks and take solace in watching your little one play, jump, scream, swing and run around like mad.

I recently took Luke to Domino Park in Williamsburg right over the bridge and along the East River. It has of course spectacular views of Manhattan. There’s a little Taco eatery (Tacocina), volleyball courts, a colorful playground, elevated walkway, a garden, wooden seating area throughout, as well as plenty of green grass to lie around and sun bathe. But the absolute best part of the park is the water park area with rows and rows of streaming water.

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Domino Park construction began in 2012 on the former sugar refinery, Domino, which by the way, produced almost all of the sugar in America from the 1880’s to 2004.   When Domino Sugar plant shut down, Two Trees Development took it over and the master plan for a glorious park along the river began. The Park stretches from South 5th street to Grand street. Landscape architect James Corner designed the park and he did an amazing job, but what else do you expect from the man who also had a hand in Manhattan’s High Line.

There’s something about ice cold shooting jet stream of water when you’re living in the concrete jungle that is just thrilling. I could write about the absolute joy it brings kids but nah, watch the video and see for yourself.

 

 

Domino Park is officially opened so check it out, it’s really really fun.

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INDIGO & LUDLOW HOTELS

If you’re a New Yorker and earn a modest living, you probably have a fairly small size apartment. Space is what we give up for living in a great dynamic and exciting city. And when you’re young and single, you don’t mind it so much but when you have a baby, you wish, hope and crave some space.

I’ve come to learn that hotel lobbies can be a great place for your little one to roam. I found two such hotels that not only have great spaces but are very gracious and accommodating to kids.

Indigo Hotel and Ludlow Hotel

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The Indigo Hotel on the lower east side has an amazing lobby on the 14th floor and a fantastic view. Within the big space, they have a small space that exhibits cool art every month. They have a small bar in the back and comfortable and durable sofas and tables throughout. Luke was fascinated with the heart and typewriter and loves exploring here. But the best part is the super sweet and friendly staff that welcomes kids of any age.

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The Ludlow Hotel also has great space and a fireplace. They have a great indoor sun skylight that gives the feeling like you’re outside but you’re not and on those cold days is very welcoming. It’s more of a maze like space than an open space but Luke loves it here as well.

Here are a few other hotels that have great spaces and practical for kids

Citizen M

Ace Hotel

Even Hotel

The Standard

So get out of your small apt and enjoy some space with your kid at these hotels.

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NY PUBLIC LIBRARY

Okay well this may be a given for most New York moms but it wasn’t for me.  The New York Public Library is just amazing when you have a baby or toddler.  They offer story time once a day for about 45 minutes, and the readers are very engaging.  They don’t just read stories but sing songs, blow bubbles and bring out noise-makers.  Luke absolutely loves loves story time at the library.  They also offer lots of other terrific things for both adults and kids – live music, classes, recruitment efforts and a lot more.

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The idea of having a public space where people can learn a language, a computer skill or just take out a book and read is truly amazing.  With so much fast-paced change and high tech in the world, the historic, good old-fashioned library is a breath of fresh air.

There’s also a little play area for kids where you can sit and read books, although Luke loves to just take all the books off the shelf but I’m sure he’ll get to reading soon.

I encourage all new mothers or not so new mothers who have yet to take a trip to the library, go check out your local branch because all of these wonderful learning experiences and offerings are FREE.

Library is open every day except Sunday until 8:00 p.m.

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HAMILTON FISH PARK

It’s summer and if you are a single mom on a budget and tired of waiting for those Hampton friends to invite you out for a weekend, head over to Hamilton Fish Park where your little one can splash around in the Olympic size pool, or just play at the parks refurbished playground.img_2055_ham_fish

Opened in 1936, this public pool has been home for many on the lower east side to take refuge from the blistering heat. A New York historic landmark, it offers after-school programs, swimming lessons, exercise programs and even computer lessons for adults.

The park features a ton of activity, there’s basketball and handball courts, tennis courts, game room, fitness room, an indoor gymnasium and much more. But in the summer the main attraction is the two very large pools that allow for a nice cool down on the hot months. You are not allowed to bring anything other than a towel, a matt and your flipflops into the main pool area so bring a lock for your valuables.

Located on 128 Pitt Street at Houston, it’s open 7 days a week from 7:00 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.

Enjoy the fun!