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Things to Do in NYC

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

0 In explore - nyc

NYC Toy Shoppers Rejoice! Your Two Favorite Toy Stores Returned to NYC for the Holidays

Holidays in NYC are iconic. I can remember watching Christmas movies from when I was much younger and seeing kids/families toy shopping and 9/10 it was in one of the BIG toy stores in NYC. I’m pretty sure New Yorkers everywhere were slightly heartbroken when FAO Schwarz, the most famous toys store in the world closed its doors in July of 2015 due to the cost of rental in the city. Shortly following, Toys R Us closed the doors of their Times Square location, another huge store that drew tourists in with its huge Ferris Wheel and 4000 square foot Barbie dollhouse. 

Alas, the silver lining….

Both iconic toy stores announced they would be having pop up shops for the holiday season. Shoppers have the opportunity to get the same Christmas magic feel of F.A.O. Schwarz in Bergdorf Goodman from now until December 31st. The pop up shop for Toys R Us is located at the corner of 42nd and Broadway in the famous Knickerbocker building! 

Get your holiday shopping on y’all! Holidays in NYC are like none other!  

Thoughts, comments, concerns? Leave them down below! xoxo

0 In explore - nyc/ life

Top 5 Must Haves for an Amazing Curlfest Experience!

This past Saturday I attended Curlfest for the first time! It was amazing! I loved being in the presence of so much good vibes, fun music, amazing vendors and of course the #blackgirlmagic was on 1000! Since it was my first time I really had no idea what to expect and I can’t lie I was super unprepared. Nonetheless, I had an amazing time and I can’t wait to go back next year, but imma make sure I have my life together before I go! Hence, this post! I’m about to tell you all the things you need/need to do to make sure you have an amazing Curlfest experience! 

1. Register/RSVP early & get the Early Bird ticket. 

I missed out on all the swag cause I’m slow LOL. Even though I knew about the event super far in advance I had no idea when the tickets went on sale and when I did go to look.. sold out! Whomp whomp! You can stay up to date by following Curly Girl Collective on their website and social media. TRUUUUUUUST me it’s worth it!

2. Get there EARLY! 

I’m pretty sure this was the most crowded I’ve ever seen Prospect Park EVER! There were TONS of vendors out this weekend and the line was LONG for every one! A lot of vendors were giving out samples of products and if you wanna grab some then you gotta be there early to get it! Some vendors even ran out of products they were selling! 

3. Come picnic ready! 

I think this may have been the thing I regretted the most. While it was fun being close to the stage, there actually came a point where I was just ready to SIT and I was jealous of all the people that knew to bring blankets. Plus it was HOT and people were out there with their coolers and drinks and I was shelling out money every hour to stay cool and hydrated. I had the baby with me too and I’m sure he would’ve appreciated an umbrella or being able to lay out without being in the car seat. Next year I’m going to definitely be ready on that front! 

4. Have a lot of cash! 

Between vendors and food/drink/icees, you’re going to need the money. I know we live in the age of technology but cash is so much easier especially when dealing with money in these types of situations. Plus, some vendors were accepting cash only so if you didn’t have it, then you missed out on purchasing products. You’re in the middle of the park so its not exactly atm equipped! 

5. Bring your #blackgirlmagic and come ready to TURN UP!

The music and the vibes were great all day! I didn’t know what to expect but I had so much fun just dancing and laughing with everyone before I even checked out the vendors. You definitely have to come ready to enjoy yourself. It was such a great time and I can’t wait for next year! 

 I have no idea how he slept through the music LOL. Newborn life... he wasn't ready for the turn up.

I have no idea how he slept through the music LOL. Newborn life… he wasn’t ready for the turn up.

0 In explore - nyc

I May Be Late… But Check Out What’s Going On at the Bronx Zoo!

RJ LOVES animals. At 2 years old my baby can name animals I only ever see on tv. His extreme love for animals led me to looking into the Bronx Zoo. I haven’t been to the zoo as an adult and I honestly can’t remember how old I was the last time I went. I wanted to take him last year but we never made time (have you seen our Queens Zoo fail?) and this year I’m making it my MISSION to take my baby to the zoo before it is incredibly hot or I’m incredibly big and my grumpy pregnant self can’t handle it. 

Anywho, I went onto the website for the zoo to just get the basic information and I discovered that the zoo has a whole HEAP of programs to offer from toddler to adult only. I was more than a little excited to see an adult-only overnight, zoo play for the toddler and they even have a Mother’s Day Breakfast coming up!  I was SURPRISED. I may be late but check them out here to learn about ALL the programs the zoo currently has to offer. 

P.S. If you become a member of the Wildlife Conservation Society you receive special discounted rates on all their programs as well as admission to the Bronx Zoo, and the New York Aquarium a big bonus if you have an animal lover like I do ;).

P.P.S. This post is not sponsored in any way. I was genuinely excited to learn about these programs and wanted to share them with you guys in case you were lost like I was. #sharethelove.