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6 Playdate Ideas for Little Boys in NYC | #BoyMom

Listen, if you’re a mom with a little boy… then you obviously feel my struggle and that’s how you landed here. Little girls have it all… tea parties and kiddie salons and mini spas… they get the works! Little boys are left to the wayside to fend for themselves and play in somebodies dirt somewhere and are just supposed to be happy with that. Dramatic perhaps, but hey! I’m known for drama and I’m tired of feeling like my babies aren’t as important because they can’t get their nails painted or have princess parties or whatever. We need places to play too! So I’ve done my research and I’ve dug up some of the best places I could find in and around the city to bring your little sonshines for a playdate.

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10 Amazing Things to Do In NYC This Fall |Explore NYC

Fall is finally here and I am finally in my happy place! While I’m not a full-fledged pumpkin spice girl, fall is hands down my favorite season. I love the fall colors, the smell, sweater weather, all things pumpkin and apple, & most importantly the lead up to the holidays. Being an NYC girl I’ve enjoyed fall in the city my entire life and I’m excited the boys are a little bit older and can enjoy the fall activities that I love with me! Check out some of my favorite things to do during fall (with and without kids) in NYC below.

Queens County Farm

This place is the epitome of fall family activities! From the pumpkin patch, to a corn maze, petting zoo and farmers market they have an array of fall activities for families to enjoy every year. We went for the first time last year and RJ loved the pony rides and playing with the other kids in their play area.

The HighLine

The highline is an elevated trail in Manhattan with amazing views. If you’re into greenery, photography, & street art this is a great place to go and see fall foliage. Even better, its free to access so on a day that isn’t too chilly you can go and get some great shots of the city.

New York Comic Con

Geek culture is taking over and NYC is home to the largest pop culture event on the east coast! If you love all things anime, cosplay and just all around geeky, this is the place for you! The city is already alive with characters and comic con just makes the experience even more exciting.

NYC Village Halloween Parade

Probably one of the most colorful and creative parade, people come from all over to participate in this parade on halloween night. This event usually starts in the evening and lasts a few hours so it’s mainly adults but is one of the most attended parades in the city. The 2018 theme for the parade is I am a Robot. 

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

Though this is technically not IN NYC, this event is beautiful and close enough for a day trip. With more than 7000 pumpkins carved by volunteers, it is easy to marvel in the wonder of all the illuminations.

Apple Picking

When I was younger apple picking was one of my favorite things to do with my family. I loved having the family time and I loved all the fall apple recipes that came after. Apple pie is STILL my favorite holiday dessert and I could eat it the entire seasons of fall/winter without ever getting tired of it. So many variations!

NYC Wine and Food Festival

I feel like this doesn’t need much explaining because food… wine…. what else is there to even say? But theres a ton of events spread over the entire weekend including parties, tastings and classes. Its foodie paradise!

Blood Manor

Definitely not for the faint at heart. Blood Manor boasts being NYC’s scariest halloween attraction. If you can handle haunted houses Blood Manor is definitely worth a visit. This one is obviously not for kids, but the city is full of not-so-scary halloween attractions worth checking out for little ones as well.

Ice Skating

Bryant Park, Central Park and Rockefeller Center are all home to NYCs most beautiful ice skating rinks. Most of these rinks open to the public in late October and fall is the PERFECT time to go in my opinion. Before it gets TOO cold to enjoy and way way crowded with NYCs holiday tourists.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 

I know I said the Halloween parade was amazing but if you know NYC you know this is THE parade of the year. We catch it on tv because we haven’t been bold enough to brave the crowds and by November it’s a little cold here but if you have older kids I’m sure they’d LOVE to be up close to the action. I’ve never been in person either but when the boys get a little older and a little less whiney we’ll be making our way there! 

 Image via Macy’s Parade Press

Image via Macy’s Parade Press

We’re also looking forward to checking out some things later in the fall once it gets close to the holidays such as the New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show, Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes and the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting.

What’s fall like in your city? What’s your favorite thing to do? Lets chat in the comments! xoxo

0 In explore - nyc/ Trending

Should I Take My Toddler to See SMALLFOOT? |No Spoiler Review

This post is in partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures.

Last month, RJ and I got to check out an advanced screening of SMALLFOOT at the Crosby Street Hotel (did you know they had a whole movie theatre in there?! Check out my friend Sanaa’s hotel review). I’m always a little hesitant about taking RJ to the movies because he’s one of those kids that yell at the screen and talk during the whole movie but thankfully the theatre was full of kids hyped up on dummies, cotton candy and popcorn so he wasn’t the only one that had EVERYTHING to say throughout the entire movie.

An animated adventure for all ages, with original music and an all-star cast, “Smallfoot” turns the Bigfoot legend upside down when a bright young Yeti finds something he thought didn’t exist—a human. News of this “smallfoot” throws the simple Yeti community into an uproar over what else might be out there in the big world beyond their snowy village, in an all new story about friendship, courage and the joy of discovery. Let me give you a chance to check out the trailer below:

How long is the movie?

The running time for Smallfoot is an hour and 49 minutes. If your little gets antsy (like mine does) I’m definitely team skip the previews. Also, SNACKS. RJ is much quieter and will sit still for a lot longer when popcorn is involved. He ate his whole bucket of popcorn and then asked if we could trade. So basically, he gave me his leftover kernels and then ate all my popcorn too.

But….. Yetis, should I be concerned?

Smallfoot really is a movie for all ages! I also say this to say, my 3 year old watches and loves Jurassic park without blinking an eye. But I think its pretty safe to say that as long as Migo and Meechee stay ON the screen then your little one will be OK. With us being at a private screening they showed up to take some pictures with the kids before the movie and RJ was NOT WITH IT. But he LOVES his Meechee stuffed animal, and he gets excited whenever he sees a billboard for the movie. No permanent damage was done LOL

Will I enjoy SMALLFOOT too?

Yes!!! Lessons on lessons on lessons, okay?! I was in the movie laughing, learning and getting emotional (pisces problems) just as much as RJ. There is humor in the movie for adults and children, lessons everyone can take away and amazing songs (because who doesn’t love music). You’ll probably take away more from the movie than your little one and it opens up an amazing doorway for a few different conversations. SMALLFOOT is a movie your whole family, from younger to oldest will remember.

SMALLFOOT stomps into theaters everywhere September 28th! Get tickets to see the movie here.

So my only question now is…. are you YETI?!?! Do you plan on checking out #SMALLFOOT? Have you seen it already? What did you take away? Lets talk in the comments! xoxo.

** BONUS MOM HACK! I printed out the SMALLFOOT posters, glued them to index cards, and we use them for a memory card matching game. Thank me later! ;)**

0 In explore - nyc

5 Interactive Experiences You Need to Visit for the ‘Gram |Explore NYC

 It’s really not a secret that everyone wants to be “down” on social and these interactive pop up shops aren’t new at all. I went to my Dream Machine last month and it wasn’t exactly like I imagined but I had so much fun. If you love art, photos or just like taking pictures for IG then you NEED to check out these pop up shops.

It’s really not a secret that everyone wants to be “down” on social and these interactive pop up shops aren’t new at all. I went to my Dream Machine last month and it wasn’t exactly like I imagined but I had so much fun. If you love art, photos or just like taking pictures for IG then you NEED to check out these pop up shops.

Each of these experiences are coming to NYC (or are here already). Each also features different rooms, & the experiences take about an hour each. What makes them so all worth visiting is they’re all different themes, and the photo ops are endless! Perfect for a date night, or girls day!

Dream Machine // Now – September 9th

Rose’ Wine Mansion // Now – October 7th 

Candytopia // August 15th – November 15th

Color Factory // August 20th – September 30th

Museum of Pizza // October 13th – 28th 

 Have you been to any of these pop-up shops? Know of one coming to the city that’s not listed? Share in the comments below. 

0 In explore - nyc/ life

Recap: The 2018 New York Baby Show #NYBSBloggerLounge

My family and I were invited to attend the 8th Annual New York Baby Show on behalf of MomTrends. All opinions expressed belong to me. 

If you read my post from last year, you know that the New York Baby Show is the biggest baby show in the country hosting over 150 exhibitors catering to new and expecting families. Soooo much happened this year the day of the New York baby show that I ALMOST didn’t make it. I pressed my way through car trouble, torrential rain, a croupy 10 month old and an extremely over tired toddler to check out as much of the exhibitors as I can and I’m excited to bring our TOP 3 Items from the show to you!

bloom – Alma Mini Crib

I was fascinated with the bloom’s Alma Mini Crib IMMEDIATELY.  Made from solid wood and coming in a variety of colors, the Alma Mini Crib is a super practical crib solution especially for city life. The crib folds and unfolds easily for easy transport and storage. I secretly considered getting this crib for Nana’s house but Zayn is such an active kid and follows his big brother constantly that I feel like he wouldn’t get that much more use out of it. Check out more on the Alma Mini Crib here.

Chicco – Bravofor2 Double Stroller 

I’m on the lookout for a sit-n-stand stroller even though James thinks we don’t need one. I’m just thinking about how summer is coming, we’re going to be spending way more time outside and RJs little toddler legs are going to be getting tired. The Chicco Bravofor2 initially caught my eye because it wasn’t big or bulky. With a cute modern design and the ability for your big kid to choose how they want to ride, the Chicco was definitely winning me over. The easy one hand fold had me sold. I’m lucky if I have ONE hand available on outings I can’t deal with not being able to function  . Check out all the great features of the Bravofor2 here

PRIMO – The 2-in-1 Smart Voyager 

One of the last stops we made was PRIMO. I was really excited about the PRIMO LapBaby but then it came time to strap Zayn in, he was too big :(. We further decided based on his size, age and how grabby he is that he wasn’t a good fit for that product anyway, but it definitely would’ve came in handy when he was younger! PRIMO also had the 2–in-1 Smart Voyager on display and this highchair/swing combo I LOVED! It only took about 30 seconds to convert from a swing (controllable entirely by phone) to a fully functional high chair and back again. The swing has awesome features like Automatic Cry Activation, 8 swing speeds, and can be connected via Bluetooth. For more information on the Smart Voyager feel free to check out PRIMO’s website here

 

All in all, the New York Baby Show didn’t disappoint and I’m glad we pushed through and made it. I can’t wait to go next year (but I’m highly considering making it a solo trip) to see what new products will be out. I can’t believe by then I’ll have two toddlers! Eek! 

Did you stop by the New York Baby Show? What were your favorite products? Leave your thoughts in the comments!  

0 In explore - nyc/ life/ Travel

8 East Coast Festivals Every Black Girl NEEDS to Be At This Summer

Festival season is upon us and I suffer from major FOMO every year. I find that I always find out about festivals at the last minute and then I don’t have the proper time to get my life/coins together so that I can attend. After going to Curlfest for the first time last year, I’m determined to hit as many festivals as possible this year and I’ve created this list of festivals that are (mainly) on the east coast JUST so I don’t forget where I need (want) to be and when. If you love good vibes, good food and good music then you probably want to check a few of these out too! *festival names are clickable… you’re welcome ;)*

Governors Ball * June 1st – 3rd – Randall’s Island, NYC

Roots Picnic * June 2nd – Philadelphia, PA 

Essence Festival * July 5th – 8th – New Orleans, LA

Technically NOLA isn’t considered the “east coast” but if you don’t know by now that Essence is THE festival to be at I’m not sure how you even came across this list. Do you even festival?? 

The Greatest Day Ever * July 14th & 15th – New York, NY

Curlfest * July 21st – Brooklyn, NY

Panorama Music Festival * July 27th – 29th – Randall’s Island, NYC

Swing through @BrooklynSteel to peep the fresh mural 🌐

A post shared by Panorama NYC (@panoramanyc) on

Afropunk * August 25th & 26th – Brooklyn, NY

Made in America * September 1st & 2nd – Philadelphia, PA

There it is! Which festivals are you most excited about? I can’t wait for Curlfest and Afropunk! Hype to go to a festival that I didnt list? Not tryna go alone and want to meet up? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. xoxo

0 In explore - nyc

Meet Me at the 2018 New York Baby Show! | Giveaway

The 2018 New York Baby Show, on May 19 & 20 at Pier 94 will once again be the largest show for new and expectant parents in the country. I attended last year and learned so much when I was expecting Zayn so I’m excited to be going again (anything to make this mom of 2 life easier)! Now in its 8th year, no other event provides a better experience for thousands of expectant and new families from New York and neighboring counties, seeking a family-friendly jamboree of top brands, great speakers and seminars, big giveaways, and lots of learning, support, bonding, and fun as you make your way into parenthood. I’m giving away tickets below for you and your family to experience the show. 

Are you going to meet me at the biggest baby show in the country? Find out how you can get free tickets to attend here

So will I see you there? Leave a comment below and let me know!!

**Missed out on the giveaway? Don’t worry! Check out this link to receive a special 50% off discount exclusively for Life with Tanay readers**

 

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25 Years Under The Big Top! Universoul Circus is Coming to NYC!! | Explore NYC

I am super excited about the Universoul Circus coming to NYC! We’re going to be heading to the performance in Queens this weekend and it’s both the kids first time at the circus so this is going to be extra special. On top of that, Universoul is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year so their promising a show that’s even more unforgettable than ever before!

 Image via Universoul Circus

Image via Universoul Circus

“A spectacle of global proportions, the extra special 25th Anniversary edition of everybody’s favorite circus will take you on an unforgettable journey of electrifying, edge-of-your-seat performances! Bringing you brand new acts from Russia, Trinidad, South Africa, Mongolia, Cuba, China, Ethiopia, and the good ole USA…get ready for a bigger, faster, louder, funkier show like no other with EVEN MORE SOUL!”

 Image via Universoul Circus

Image via Universoul Circus

Queens NY, March 23rd – April 8th

Brooklyn NY, April 11th – April 29th 

Mt. Vernon NY, May 2nd – May 13th

For more information or to purchase tickets to the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Universoul Circus, visit their website here. Make sure to come back next week and check out our recap =)

Have you been to Universoul Circus? Are you excited about their 25th Anniversary?

0 In explore - nyc

Milk & Cream Cereal Bar Will Change Your Cereal Experience | Explore NYC

Cereal bars are definitely trending right now and all over social media I see memes and videos galore about visiting them on dates or while intoxicated or something of the sort. So naturally, I decided to go on a regular day, with no real plans, while I was waiting for RJ to get out of school. I searched Facebook HARD for an Insider video and found Milk & Cream Cereal Bar, located right over the bridge and easy enough to get to so that I wouldn’t be late for 2:40 school pickup. 

Menu via MilkandCreambar.com

Combining the best of both worlds, Milk and Cream brags on serving up nostalgia in every bite. And they definitely lived up to my expectations. I already knew what I wanted on the walk in. I did you the courtesy of posting the menu above because if youre like me, you need to plan in advance for food and prepare your taste buds for the amazingness youre about to endure. 

 

 

The possibilities and combinations seemed endless but I decided to go with the Apple Jack Avalanche on a waffle cone. It was heaven! I can’t wait to go back and try something else. This spot is definitely a cute place for a day date, or just to grab a snack if you need a pick me up before school pick up like I did. 

 What do you think? What’s your favorite cereal? Have you ever been to a cereal bar?  

0 In explore - nyc

Toddler Approved | Laser Bounce is Now Open in Atlas Park, Queens!

If you’re wondering whether the new Laser Bounce location in Atlas Park is appropriate for toddlers then the answer is a resounding YES! We decided to visit the newly opened location during mid-winter recess to check it out and RJ had a BLAST! 

Laser bounce features a HUGE Ballocity Arena which gives the kids a chance to propel, throw, dump and vacuum foam balls. The arena is multi-level and features a huge variety of blasters, vacuums and even has a slide. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of balls in the arena and there was plenty of space to run around. Some of the vacuums/blasters were a little loud and RJ was startled initially but he got used to it pretty quickly.

The Bounce Arena had multiple bouncy houses including a basketball themed bounce house and a huge inflatable wack-a-mole. Anyone that knows RJ knows jumping is his THING. He wanted to stay in the bounce arena for a lot longer but we wanted to make sure he tried out multiple areas of the arcade since we purchased the package that also included arcade credits, highway 66 bowling and the ballocity and bounce arenas for $20. 

I didnt get to take that many additional photos because once RJ wasn’t in a confined area he was OUT! Luckily for us we went on a day that wasn’t super crowded and I suspect it was because not many people realized the location was open yet but its been a few weeks since then and I’m sure word has definitely spread. Luckily, the do split up the time in the Ballocity and Bounce Arena into sessions so that it’s not a free for all and I’m sure that reduces the crowding in the areas. 

Aside from everything mentioned, the location also has a huge laser tag arena, a mission impossible style laser maze, hologate VR and a huge selection of arcade games. While the first couple things I just mentioned may not work exactly for younger ones, a lot of the arcade games were perfect for RJs size. I loved that there were a lot of games he could play and didn’t really need my help which is hard to find in an arcade at 3 (minus Chuck E. Cheese) 

All in all this location has a wide array of things to do and they have packages that are priced amazingly! I can’t wait to take RJ back. It’s definitely a great place to have your littles burn off some energy and enjoy a nice quiet car ride home. 

For more information on Laser Bounce at Atlas Park feel free to visit their website here

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored in any way. I used my own coins to pay for our package and am simply giving an honest review based on our experience at this location. I definitely can’t wait to check them out again! 

0 In explore - nyc/ life

A Whole New Way to Experience Santa! – Santa HQ Queens Center Mall

My family and I were invited to an exclusive preview of Santa HQ in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

If you know me, you know I LOVE Christmas. I count down the days until next Christmas starting December 26th, its that real. I love everything about the holiday and when I had RJ I couldn’t wait until he was old enough to take pictures with Santa. 

HGTV has REALLY stepped up the Santa experience and made the dreaded wait in the mall line worth it! Santa HQ takes you through an interactive experience which allows kids to be scanned at the Naughty or Nice O’Meter, check out Santa’s world through special tablets and even download the Elf Ray Vision app to get a sneak peak at what Santa’s elves are working on in 3D in designated areas throughout Santa HQ. 

IMG_2401 from Tanay Howard on Vimeo.

The whole experience is truly amazing and we’ve been 2 years in a row now because kids are so hands on and the experience is WORTH IT! Check out some additional pictures below. 

Santa HQ is open from November 10 through December 24 and is located on Level 2, Center Court. For hours, to make reservations, or how you can have breakfast with Santa check out all the information here

IMG_2396 from Tanay Howard on Vimeo.

Are you taking pictures with Santa this year? Have you been to Santa HQ? As always, love your thoughts down below in the comments! xoxo