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explorenyc

0 In life

10 Free or Inexpensive Summer Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

It is finally officially summer in NYC! School just ended on June 26th so I had weeks and weeks to watch sadly as everyone else started their summer without us. People have already gone on week long summer vacations and here we are at only day 2 of our summer. Like everybody, summer is a different dynamic in this house. We go from 1 to 2 children home all day. The boys are too young for summer camp, cabin fever is real and they are usually on their 85th fight by 10am. Meanwhile mama is just trying to enjoy the fact that we finally can go with the flow. But alas these little people have no chill. So how do you find free or inexpensive summer activities for toddlers?

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1 In life

People Are Always Shocked When I Tell Them This One Thing My Kids Haven’t Done

We have been blessed with the ability to live in one of the busiest cities in the U.S.. For the most part, I love living in NYC. There truly is always something to do if you’re looking. We really take the name of the city that never sleeps to heart. That being said, I probably haven’t done like 85% of the things that one would expect when you live in a city this big. I’ve never been to a broadway show, I can’t remember if I’ve been to the statue of liberty, & I’ve only been in Times Square after midnight because I used to work in one of the stores there. I feel like I was a pretty sheltered child. I didn’t REALLY start to experience the magic of the city until I was old enough to venture there alone. I’m pretty sure thats common growing up here.

I was taking the subway alone by the time I was 12, maybe younger. My brother and I would take the train and the bus, from our house to my grandmas house on the weekends. Back then I don’t think it was that abnormal to see young children on the train alone. At 12 I was probably the size of a 9/10 year old, but I still remember taking that trip when the time came. It was no big deal. It’s never felt like a big deal especially living here, until I had children of my own. Continue Reading →

0 In explore - nyc/ Travel

8 Fun Ways to Spend A Rainy Day with Kids in NYC

Spring is finally almost here and I am ready for the warmer weather. Spring isn’t exactly my favorite season, but it’s a tie between second and third because its always freaking raining. As a mama of two under 5 (whew!) I am constantly looking for rainy day activities to keep those two little boys entertained. I’ve come up with a couple of different ways we like to spend our rainy days in the city.

Museums

I still think the boys are kind of young for “big” museums, and at 4 and 1 they have absolutely no indoor voices. We tend to stick to children museums (Brooklyn is our favorite) or pop ups that are kid friendly. The boys loved the Museum of Pizza and i had an amazing time at Mickey the True Original. Places that are kid friendly and interactive are always at the top of our lists.

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23 In explore - nyc

Cirque du Soleil LUZIA is Coming to NYC! – Giveaway

Photo: Matt Beard © 2017 Cirque du Soleil

If you have ever been to a Cirque du Soleil performance then you know that the effects are EVERYTHING. From the visuals, to the storyline, Cirque truly is one of the most enchanting shows I’ve ever been to. I’ve seen multiple Cirque du Soleil shows (TORUK has been my favorite so far) but I will literally take any chance I can to see one. Every performance brings something different and I always manage to be even more in awe than before. So its safe to say, I’m really excited for LUZIA to be coming to NYC this spring.

In a series of grand visual surprises and breathtaking acrobatic performances, LUZIA takes audiences on a surrealistic journey filled with wonders, playfulness and striking artistry. Smoothly passing from an old movie set to the ocean to a smoky dance hall or an arid desert, LUZIA cleverly brings to the stage multiple places, faces and sounds of Mexico taken from both tradition and modernity. Rich in awe-inspiring moments, LUZIA enchants by incorporating rain into acrobatic and artistic scenes – a first for a Cirque du Soleil touring production.

Photo: Matt Beard © 2017 Cirque du Soleil
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0 In explore - nyc

LAUNCH Trampoline Park is Open in Queens and It’s Everything We Needed! – #launchtrampolinepark

My family and I received a free jump session at the newly opened LAUNCH Trampoline Park in Queens, NY. All opinions expressed are my own.  

FINALLY! LAUNCH Trampoline Park has come to Queens and it is everything we needed in the boroughs! I loved indoor trampoline parks BEFORE I had kids but now, they’re a whole different kind of experience. An experience that I definitely appreciate but one that I just couldn’t drag myself all the way out to exit 800839924 on the LIE for, not with two toddlers. 

Soooooo when I saw LAUNCH was opening up right in Queens I COULD. NOT. WAIT. Y’all know RJ is ACTIVE and I knew this would be right up their alley, so I was excited we got to head in Tuesday night to check out the facilities and get in a 90 minute jump session. 

If you’ve been to an indoor trampoline park before, then you’re aware that when you arrive you come in, and sign waivers before you head to the counter and pay for your jump session. The waiver and check in process was seamless for us as it wasn’t too busy, but it does look like they have the front area set up in a controlled manner for when the chaos does kick in (like next week when theres no school!). If you want to expedite that process even further, you could always fill out your waiver before hand online and that would definitely save you time on a busy afternoon. After waivers, you get socks, pay for your session and then you head up to the jump area which is HUGE.

With a huge main main jump arena, LAUNCH has plenty of space for jumpers of all ages. The boys were able to run and jump freely without being in the way of any of the bigger kids (and adults) that were jumping a little more…. exuberantly (LOL) than they were. They also have multiple dodgeball courts, a jump basketball arena for adults (and multiple heights for kids in the main arena), a rock climbing wall, a battle beam AND a obstacle course. When you add that in with the arcade games and concession area, LAUNCH truly has something for everybody. You could easily spend the day here if your children have the same endless energy mine do. Check out more pictures from our evening at the park, and to see more of the facilities.

I am so happy LAUNCH came to queens and it is definitely the perfect place for families, especially with temperatures starting to drop in NYC. If you head over to their website, you can sign up for a session online and receive 10% off your first jump! Also, if you aren’t already, follow me on Instagram and check out my NYC and Mom Life highlights & you can check out some adorable kiddie videos from our night there.

So what do you think? Are you going to be heading to LAUNCH? Have you been there already?

0 In explore - nyc/ Holiday Guide 2018

The EVERYTHING Guide to NYC During the Holidays


The holiday magic is endless in the city that never sleeps! Most days I want to escape the busyness of NYC for somewhere quiet and rural but that is NEVER the case during the holidays. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else this time of year because the magic in the city is ENDLESS. NYC is an extremely popular place for tourists visits and its such a big city it can seem overwhelming. Im here to organize your life and hopefully make it seem a little less chaotic so you have everything you need when it comes to visiting the Big Apple during Christmastime.

The Trees

  Image via Rockefeller Center

Image via Rockefeller Center

The tree at Rockefeller Center is probably one of the most popular trees in NYC during Christmas. I honestly look forward to them bringing the tree into the city every year and the tree lighting which usually happens after Thanksgiving, along with a huge show. It’s truly the holiday tree of NYC. But it isn’t the only tree great for photo ops! You may want to check out some of these other trees as well. The tree at South Street Seaport is beautiful and you can usually get closer (bundle up! it’s always colder near the water!).

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree – Between W 48th and W 51st Streets

The Tree at South Street Seaport – @ South and Fulton Street

Holiday Tree at Bryant Park – Sixth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Street

Lincoln Square Christmas Tree – Broadway and 63rd Street

The Shows

  Image via Blue Man Group

Image via Blue Man Group

I remember seeing the commercials for all kinds of Christmas shows on Broadway from being a little girl. I’ve always wanted to see one and I have YET to experience it even though I’ve lived in the city for the whole 28 years of my life. One of my main goals as a parent is to give my children the memories I don’t have, and that includes at Christmas. Though you can probably google and find loads of different versions of The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol, these holiday shows are usually at the top of the to do list when it comes to what to see.

Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes – Radio City Music Hall November 12th – January 1st

The Hip Hop Nutcracker – New Jersey Performing Arts Center / December 14th

Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas – The Hulu Theater @ MSG / December 13th – 30th

Ice Skating

  Photo via Bryant Park Corp.

Photo via Bryant Park Corp.

Skating is fun year round, but skating during the holidays is something different. I try to go ice skating every year because 1. I love to skate, and 2. skating with the holiday decorations up is amazing. There are plenty of indoor rinks to check out but if you want to go skating with a holiday view, these three rinks are amazing for that purpose.

The Rink at Rockefeller Center – 5th Ave between 49th and 50th Streets

The Rink at Winter Village at Bryant Park – between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues

Lakeside in Prospect Park – Lincoln Road and Parkside/Ocean Avenue

The Displays

  Bloomingdales image via BFA.com

Bloomingdales image via BFA.com

If but for nothing else, a trip into Manhattan is worth it just to see the store displays. Fifth avenue is illuminated this time of year with holiday displays in all of your favorite stores. Many people know about the huge window display at Macy’s Herald Square, but there are so many other stores that have huge displays worth visiting.

Bloomingdales – 59th Street and Lexington Avenue

Macy’s – 34th Street between 6th and 7th Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue – 5th Avenue and 49th Street

Tiffany & Co. – 5th Avenue and 57th Street