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New York Food

Dylan’s Candy Bar, New York

Dylan's Candy Bar, New York

Dylan’s Candy Bar, New York

The world’s largest confectionary emporium and lifestyle brand, Dylan’s Candy Bar is a real-life candytopia. The original flagship location on New York City’s Upper East Side features three floors of delicious treats, including a cafe on the top floor.

Dylan's Candy Bar, New York

Dylan’s Candy Bar was opened in 2001 by Dylan Lauren, of the Ralph Lauren family. The flagship store is a crazy colourful chaos reminiscent of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, with an oversized lollypop tree, candy cane columns, oversized chocolate rabbit, candy-embedded stairs and kaleidoscopic candy wallpaper that you kind of want to lick (but don’t! Don’t lick the wallpaper!).

Dylan's Candy Bar, New York

If candy is your thing then put Dylan’s on your New York bucket list. The store houses over 7,000 confections from all over the world.

Dylan's Candy Bar, New York

The bright colours are mesmerising and the smell of sugar is dizzying. I dare any adult who enters not to embrace their inner child and make like a kid in a candy store themselves.

Dylan's Candy Bar, New York

You can find plenty of unique gifts in the store too, from Dylan’s Candy Bar (private label) products to candy-inspired stationary, plushies, jewellery and lotions. Even fridge magnets!

Dylan's Candy Bar, New York

I highly suggest visiting the upstairs cafe and sitting in an oversized cupcake booth. We did just that for lunch and enjoyed some very non-sweet things after our sugar binge on the floor below: Dylan’s House Salad ($9, arugula, goat cheese, breakfast radishes, grape tomatoes & a balsamic glaze) and The Kid’s Pie ($8, kid’s pizza with mozzarella & tomato sauce). The food was excellent and well priced.

Dylan's Candy Bar, New York

The salad was huge and fresh, bursting with flavour thanks to the liberal lashing of balsamic glaze, and the kid’s pie was so massive I ended up eating half. Excellent value for lunch in New York city!

Dylan's Candy Bar, New York

Dylan's Candy Bar, New York

We have previously ordered the candy-inspired cocktails and they are excellent as well as pretty. The cafe makes loads of beautiful desserts and shakes if you are feeling like something sweet.

Dylan's Candy Bar, New York

Dylan's Candy Bar, New York

Dylan's Candy Bar, New York

Dylan’s Candy Bar
Hours: Mon-Thur: 10am-9pm, Fri-Sat: 10am-11pm, Sunday: 10am-9pm
1011 Third Ave (at 60th St.)
New York, NY 10065
Phone: (646) 735-0078
Subway: N, Q, R, 4, 5, 6
dylanscandybar.com

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Ellen’s Stardust Diner, New York

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Ellen’s Stardust Diner is an iconic 1950s-themed diner with singing servers and a massive menu filled with American classics. Located in the heart of Times Square, your server at Ellen’s may be the next star on Broadway!

Ellen's Stardust Diner

While Ellen’s may be considered a bit of a tourist trap, it’s incredibly fun and we have been several times. The food is overpriced but adequate – it’s really the great singing and lively atmosphere that are the draw card here.

Our server, after introducing herself, hopped up on the tables to belt out a Broadway classic that left us speechless. The staff here truly have extraordinary talent.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Ellen’s Stardust Diner serves up plenty of options with an absolutely massive menu. It’s an extremely popular spot, especially with tourists and tour groups, and there is usually a queue to get in that runs around the block. My advice is to come for breakfast since they open at 7am.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Not only is this a great time to visit and get a table immediately, it will also save you a few dollars on your meal. While there is an all-day breakfast menu, their dedicated breakfast menu is a different menu entirely and is served between served from 7am to 11am. It features cheaper food choices, making this a great time to go for both crowds and cost saving.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

We ordered the plain Jane classic three egg omelette with tater tots ($13.50) and Joseph & The Technicolor Bagel (Yes! It’s a Rainbow Bagel, served w/ rainbow sprinkle cream cheese and tater tots, $10.50). The omelette was really flat whereas we prefer fluffy omelettes and the tater tots packed a bit of spice, which meant while I liked them, Cheese didn’t. She did however love her rainbow bagel.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

I do have to mention how excellent the service is from the singing waitstaff. Not only are they amazingly talented, they are also really great at their jobs. About 30 seconds after being given a massive glass of OJ, Cheese accidentally knocked it over. Our server dashed over, cleaned it up and replaced it with another in a spill proof cup, without being asked. Really great service.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

You can read about our previous experience at Ellen’s Starburst Diner here.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Ellen’s Stardust Diner
Hours: Daily, 7am-12am
(212) 956-5151
1650 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
ellensstardustdiner.com

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Eloise Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel, New York

Eloise Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel, New York

A rawther fancy way to enjoy a day in New York City is with the Eloise afternoon tea at the Plaza Hotel.

Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel, New York

The Plaza’s famous literary resident, Eloise, has a strong presence throughout the hotel, including the specially-themed children’s afternoon tea in The Palm Court. Other places to find Eloise at the Plaza are to visit the Eloise store on the underground level, or if the sky’s the limit, book the Eloise suite.

Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel, New York

We booked the Eloise afternoon tea to indulge our city girl and she indeed did find it pink, pink, pink, and all too delightful.

Eloise Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel, New York

The Eloise Afternoon Tea is served on exquisite china that has been hand-painted for The Plaza Hotel. It can be purchased from the gift shop downstairs if you want to take home a special souvenir.

Eloise Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel, New York

Eloise Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel

Sandwiches and savouries

Organic Devilled Egg Salad, Dill Pickle Relish, White Bread
Tuna Salad, Celery and Carrots, Wheat Bread
English Cucumber, Minted Goat Cheese Green Goddess, Rye Bread
Organic Peanut Butter and Jelly, Wheat Bread
Parisian Ham, Gruyere Cheese, Bavarian Mustard,
Pretzel Ficelle

Scones

Freshly Baked Warm Seasonal Scones with Double Devonshire Cream, Lemon Curd and Preserves

Pastries and sweets

Plaza Hotel Afternoon Tea

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Rice Krispy Treat
Mandarin Orange and Milk Chocolate Éclair
Dulce de Leche Cup Cake, Mango and Lime Butter Cream
Seasonal Fruit Tart
Raspberry and Vanilla Cotton Candy
Graham Cracker Blueberry S’more
Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownie

Eloise Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel, New York
Hot hot teas

Tropical Garden (a fruity infusion with pieces of mango, pineapple, papaya and peach)
Children’s Tea (a delicious fruit infusion with goji berries, papaya, and melon)
Rooibos des Vahinés (a delicious rooibos sprinkled with pieces of vanilla pods and almonds
Mélange du Cap (a delicious blend of rooibos with cocoa nibs and vanilla pods)

Quenchers

Cold Cold Pink Lemonade
Vanilla Iced Tea

Eloise Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel, New York

Our diner chose the pink lemonade (delicious!!!) and the tropical garden tea. Her favourite selections from the amazing platter of treats were the giant cotton candy, seasonal fruit tart and rice krispy treat. Considering the amount and quality of food, I thought it was excellent value.

The Eloise Afternoon Tea was a massive hit with our 7-year-old. She loved the custom china and special items she received that we didn’t. The experience made her feel really special.

The Eloise Afternoon Tea is served 12:00pm – 5:00pm
$60 per child under 12 years of age

Adults can also enjoy an afternoon tea at the Plaza Hotel. Read about our Plaza Hotel afternoon tea experience here.

CONTACT
212-546-5300
palmcourt@fairmont.com

The Plaza
768 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Online theplazany.com

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel, New York

Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel, New York

Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel, New York

The Palm Court, inside the iconic Plaza Hotel, has been the place to enjoy afternoon tea in New York City for over 100 years. In my tea-loving opinion, an afternoon tea at the Plaza Hotel is an absolute must when visiting the Big Apple.

Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel, New York

In 2013 The Palm Court was relaunched with a fresh look. With a design inspired by the lush greenery in nearby Central Park, the renovation incorporated potted plants, tall palm trees, trellis detailing and can accented furnishings into the classic space. The signature stained-glass dome harkens back to the original design of 1907.

Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel, New York

Breakfast, afternoon tea, evening meals and cocktails are all served in The Palm Court, but it wouldn’t be a true New York experience if one didn’t try the famed afternoon tea.

We all wear our Sunday best to dine at the Plaza, even though the suggested dress code is smart casual. It’s a fun outing to get a little fancy, and the interior of the hotel is so fancy that it certainly warrants the special outfits!

Plaza Hotel Afternoon Tea

The Palm Court is a self contained dining area that feels like diners have been transported into a lush greenhouse. The atmosphere is cheerful and light, with plenty of groups and families enjoying an afternoon tea.

There are two afternoon teas on offer, the New Yorker Tea and the Champagne Tea. Our party chose the classic New Yorker Tea.

Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel, New York

The New Yorker Tea Fall Menu

Sandwiches and savouries

Smoked salmon pumpernickel napoleon, chive, dill whipped cream cheese *
Organic devilled egg salad, dill pickle relish, white bread
Truffled chicken salad, black truffle aioli, celery, whole wheat bread *
English cucumber, minted goat cheese green goddess, rye bread
Herb roasted prime rib, horseradish cream, watercress, onion poppy brioche slider bun *
Parisian ham, gruyere cheese, Bavarian mustard, pretzel ficelle *

* I received vegetarian substitutes for these items. My Vegetarian tea below:

Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel, New York
Scones

Freshly baked warm seasonal scones, with double Devonshire cream, lemon curd, preserves

Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel, New York
Pastries and sweets

Passion & banana daiquiri baba, strawberry compote, Meyer’s rum
Mandarin orange, milk chocolate eclair
Extra bitter dark chocolate black forest tart, preserved cherry
Banana, caramel lime macaron
Seasonal fruit tart
Chocolate hazelnut Nutella bar
Key lime cheesecake, lemon curd, vanilla whipped cream

$75 per person.
Add a glass of champagne (NV Veuve Clicquot Brut, Reims or NV, Moët & Chandon Brut Rosé Impérial, Épernay, $90 pp)

As one expects from the Plaza Hotel, the food is excellent and service flawless. Extra jam,  cream and scones are brought when requested, and there is so much tea in our tea pots we couldn’t drink it all.

We couldn’t finish the sweets either, and they are boxed for us to take home.

Champagne Tea Fall Menu

Sandwiches and savouries

Herb roasted prime rib, horseradish cream, watercress, onion poppy brioche slider
Foie gras mousse, fig jam, toasted black walnuts, brioche crostini
Lobster roll, daikon sprouts, buttered potato roll
Golden beet canape, whipped goat cheese, toasted hazelnuts, balsamic pearls
Smoked salmon pumpernickel napoleon, chive & dill whipped cream cheese
Caviar blini three grams imperial ossetra ($21 supplemental)
Three grams kaluga ($29 supplemental)

Scones

Freshly baked warm seasonal scones, with double Devonshire cream, lemon curd, preserves

Pastries and sweets

Apple cider almond delice, bourbon spice jelly
Mandarin orange, milk chocolate éclair
Grapefruit mimosa mousse, citrus meringue, pistachio cake
Seasonal fruit tart
Pistachio chouqette, morello cherry preserve
Jasmine tea infused, dark chocolate macaron
Meyer lemon preserve, lemon & poppy seed cake, earl grey ganache

$95 per person, includes a glass of champagne (NV Veuve Clicquot Brut, Reims or NV, Moët & Chandon Brut Rosé Impérial, Épernay)
$125 per person with a glass of Krug

Afternoon tea is served Mon-Sun 12pm – 4:45pm (last seating is at 4:30pm)

Dining at The Plaza Hotel with kids? Check out their amazing Eloise Afternoon Tea here.

CONTACT
212-546-5300
palmcourt@fairmont.com

The Plaza
768 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Online theplazany.com

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Brass Monkey: Kid-friendly Restaurants, Meatpacking District, New York

Brass Monkey: kid-friendly restaurants, Meatpacking District, New York
Brass Monkey Burger with Cheese ($15) and Sweet Potato Fries ($5)

On a dreary but not-too-cold day, we made our way to Brass Monkey in the Meatpacking District to celebrate a dear friend’s birthday. We walked past packed brunch spots like Pastis, and I was concerned that we were going to have to fight for a table.

Brass Monkey: kid-friendly restaurants, Meatpacking District, New York
Rooftop with an awesome view.

I don’t know if it was the sad weather that put people off, but Brass Monkey was practically empty when we arrived. We were able to grab a table on the rooftop deck big enough to fit the 14 members of the party, and spread out with all the space we had.

Brass Monkey: kid-friendly restaurants, Meatpacking District, New York
Rooftop

As the afternoon wore on, the tables slowly filled up, but it was never packed to the point of the famous neighbours downstairs. In fact, when it started to rain, we were able to find empty tables enough to fit our remaining part of eight on both the floors below.

Brass Monkey: kid-friendly restaurants, Meatpacking District, New York
Who let the toddler out?

Speaking of floors – there are three. The main floor entrance, with a bar, tables and chairs, the middle floor with a second bar, booths and small tables and chairs, and the rooftop. There’s no lift, so if you’re planning to take kids to the middle level or rooftop, pack light and bring a folding stroller. One thing’s for sure, you’ll burn off at least half of the food you’re about to consume.

Brass Monkey: kid-friendly restaurants, Meatpacking District, New York
Full Irish Breakfast (two eggs any style, sausage, black pudding, white pudding, beans and toast ($13)

Brass Monkey serves upmarket bar food. It has a brunch menu with a twist, including items like the Egg Scramble Wrap (scrambled eggs with spinach, tomato and cheddar, served with homefries) and Maine Lobster Roll, served with old bay chips. You can also try the Full Irish Breakfast (two eggs, any style, sausage, bacon, black pudding, white pudding, beans and toast).

On a sunny day the rooftop deck get crowded fast. It has a less pub-like ambiance, with little pot plants embedded in the walls, and a creates an interesting juxtapositioning of old and new, being right next to the Standard Hotel and High Line.

Brass Monkey: kid-friendly restaurants, Meatpacking District, New York
Egg Scramble Wrap (with spinach, tomato and cheddar, served with home fries $12)
Brass Monkey: kid-friendly restaurants, Meatpacking District, New York
Asparagus, tomato, fresh mozzarella egg white omelette with home fries ($14)
Brass Monkey: kid-friendly restaurants, Meatpacking District, New York
Egg Marisol (poached eggs with avocado, tomato and hollandaise on toasted English muffins with home fries ($14)

Our food arrived pretty quickly for a party of 14. Everything was well cooked to order, including the meal which was altered to suit a gluten-intolerant diner. My Egg Scramble Wrap was delicious. A big wedge of egg, wrapped in spinach, tomato and cheese. What combination could be better?

Brass Monkey: kid-friendly restaurants, Meatpacking District, New York
A sweet potato fry is acceptable.

We couldn’t find any high chairs, so we balanced Cheese on our laps, then chased her around the deck when she got bored. The sweet potato fries we ordered entertained her for a while, then I resorted to letting her pick the ice out of my empty glass.

The staff were efficient, but not overly friendly. They gave us what we needed, and kept out of our hair. No special concessions were made for kids, but it was a very welcoming environment, and we didn’t feel awkard about having our rowdy toddler with us. Several more toddlers arrived as we were leaving, so we clearly weren’t the only people seeking a quieter option for lunch or brunch on a Saturday.

Last bite: For bar food with a twist – and a great view, grab a table on the rooftop deck, order a drink, and relax in the sun.

Highchairs: No.
Stroller storage: Yes – as long as it’s not super busy, there’s plenty of room for strollers.
Easy access: Yes, to main floor.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.

Brass Monkey
55 Little West 12th St
New York, NY 10014
Phone: (212) 675-6686
Hours: Daily, 12pm-4am
Prices: $
Cuisine: Bar food

Brass Monkey on Urbanspoon

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Southern Comfort & Biscuits: Buttermilk Channel, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, NY

Buttermilk Channel: #kidfriendly #restaurants #carrollgardens #brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

What is possibly the most famous brunch spot in Brooklyn, Buttermilk Channel, has always eluded us as a brunchery with our child. The thought of a long wait has been too daunting to even try it. One rainy weekend, however, my desire to eat well (and potentially run into Beyonce, who apparently loves their chicken and waffles) got the better of me, so we grabbed our obliging neighbors and headed on down to Buttermilk Channel. The doors open at 10am on the dot. We arrived at 9:55 and were the 2nd in line. By 10am, there were over 10 other people behind us. So lesson learned — the early bird gets the waffles.

We were seated at a great table straight away, and had very attentive service. I particularly liked how our waitress brought the toddlers tiny glasses of water and crayons without being asked, and did ask us if we wanted to order anything for the kids while we were looking at the menus for ourselves. (And yes, yes we did.)

Buttermilk Channel: #kidfriendly #restaurants #carrollgardens #brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

I ordered Buttermilk Biscuits ($4) for the toddlers to snack on while our meals were being prepared. I ordered the most exotic sounding dish on the menu — the Pecan Pie French Toast, with Bourbon, Molasses & Toasted Pecans ($11). It was outstanding. One of the best brunch dishes I have ever eaten. Thick bread generously soaked in egg, and covered with a thick, sweet molasses . . . absolutely incredible. The entire table had food envy so I had to share it so that everyone could enjoy its glory. That being said, every dish was delicious: Eggs Huntington with Poached Eggs, Buttermilk Biscuits, Benton’s Country Ham & Hollandaise Sauce ($11), Short Rib Hash, with Sunny-side-up Eggs, Toast & Organic Greens ($13) and the House-cured Salmon Platter, with Fried Peppers, Green Onions, Cream Cheese, Pumpernickel & Organic Green Salad ($12).

Buttermilk Channel: #kidfriendly #restaurants #carrollgardens #brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Buttermilk Channel does not disappoint. Its reputation is completely well deserved as one of the best brunch spots in Brooklyn, and the restaurant is an absolute must for anyone who loves fine, Southern-inspired food (and celebrity spotting). Their kid-friendliness is just such an added bonus that enables parents to enjoy top-quality food without feeling like pariahs for bringing small, noisy children with them.

Buttermilk Channel: #kidfriendly #restaurants #carrollgardens #brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Buttermilk Channel: #kidfriendly #restaurants #carrollgardens #brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Buttermilk Channel: #kidfriendly #restaurants #carrollgardens #brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Buttermilk Channel: #kidfriendly #restaurants #carrollgardens #brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Buttermilk Channel: #kidfriendly #restaurants #carrollgardens #brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Buttermilk Channel: #kidfriendly #restaurants #carrollgardens #brooklyn #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Last Bite: Buttermilk Channel is worth the effort, even if you have to wait in line. Arrive early to avoid the throngs of New Yorkers also hankering for a divine brunch with their families.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Minimal. Bring a stroller that folds and be prepared to leave it outside.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: Yes.

Buttermilk Channel
524 Court St,
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Phone: (718) 852 8490
Prices: $$
Hours: Mon-Wed 5pm-10pm, Thur 5pm-11pm, Fri 5pm-12am, Sat 10am-3pm, 5pm-12am, Sun 12am-3pm, 5pm-10pm
Get Directions

Buttermilk Channel on Urbanspoon

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Brooklyn Neighborhood Guide: Boerum Hill

Betty's Bakery, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

Residents of south Brooklyn love to talk about the “BoCoCa” neighborhood. Like all acronyms in in NYC, “BoCoCa” is made up of three ‘hoods that border on each other. You might have heard of the “Co” (Cobble Hill) and “Ca” (Carroll Gardens), but you might not have heard of the “Bo”, which stands for Boerum Hill. That will change today with our handy neighborhood guide.

Upper 90
This soccer store is loved by locals for more than just their large range of soccer shoes, apparel and other soccer-type items. Upper 90 has an indoor soccer field where they host lessons for kids, as well as open play for toddlers every weekday morning from 10-12 ($10).
359 Atlantic Ave

Betty Bakery
This is your sweet spot to pick up cupcakes, cookies and, in summer, strawberry lemonade. You can also try a slice of cake – we recommend the strawberry shortcake, with layers of vanilla cake, fresh whipped cream, and huge strawberries.
448 Atlantic Avenue

Nunu Chocolates
Handmade truffles and caramels await you at Nunu Chocolates. All chocolate is made in the store, so you know what you’re about to eat is literally freshly made. Grab a coffee, hot chocolate, croissant (and of course, a few truffles), and watch the chocolates being made in the back. Our faves: the salted caramels.
529 Atlantic Ave

Building on Bond
This hot eating spot is so hip it hurts. Locals stop by for coffee every morning, and brunch on weekends. As well as having delicious food, it’s reasonably priced (the brunch menu ranges from $6 to $12).
112 Bond St

Acorn
Stop by this toy store for a special gift. Acorn carries beautifully designed, handcrafted toys from around the world. You’ll find lots of wooden toys at Acorn, plus flying bird mobiles and nursery prints, including the Red Knit Cap Girl.
323 Atlantic Avenue

This article was first published on MommyNearest.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Day trip: Taking the East River Ferry to the Imagination Playground

Imagination Playground, South Sea Port, via Brunchwithmybaby.com

With the temperature (finally!) rising, life with a kid is all about finding ways to cool down. There are only so many times you can go to your closest splash park before you literally go bananas from boredom (sorry, it’s the truth!). So why not venture out of your neighbourhood to try something new? You’re not the only one who will enjoy checking out a new playground – and getting there and back is just part of the adventure.

A great afternoon (and cheap!) outing we recently took was jumping on the East River Ferry to Wall st/Pier 11, and the Imagination Playground at the South Sea Port. It’s worth noting that the ferry trip alone made for a great adventure for the kids. They were insanely excited to sit in a big person seat next to the window, and see Manhattan quickly approaching. There is a cool breeze through the middle of the ferry while it’s on the water that will make you want to stay on the ferry and spend the entire day just going up and down the river…

Imagination Playground, South Sea Port, via brunchwithmybaby.com

We decided to test drive the Imagination Playground because we really wanted to see how the toddlers enjoyed playing with the blue, foam blocks that the Imagination Playgrounds are famous for. Imagination Playground blocks are suitable for kids aged two and up to play with. They’re basically huge shapes made out of non-toxic lightweight foam. The blocks come in a variety of shapes (curved and sharp angles) and sizes, and encourage kids to use their imagination to transform their play space into anything they can dream up. A robot, a play house, an animal or rocket ship – the only limit to what can be built with these blocks is a child’s imagination.

Imagination Playground, South Sea Port, via brunchwithmybaby.com

The blocks are only one feature of this great playground. At one end lies a huge sandpit, with a ramp running over the top and a twisty slide that ends up back in the sand. In the afternoons, this section is fully shaded, so gives a great respite from the heat if you can just get your kid to stay there.

Imagination Playground, South Sea Port, via Brunchwithmybaby.com

At the other end of the playground lies the sprinklers, and a whole host of kids of all ages trying to cool down. Tip: dress your kid in their swimwear and water shoes, so they can run around from one area to the next without dirtying their regular clothes. Don’t bother with a swim diaper (the kids won’t get THAT wet), but do remember a hat and the water shoes in particular.

Imagination Playground, South Sea Port, via Brunchwithmybaby.com

My toddler’s splash park outfit this summer consists of a long-sleeved swim top (better sun protection and less time spent trying to cover her in sunscreen while she wiggles and objects), a swim diaper (I put it over her regular diaper if we are somewhere that only has a basic sprinkler as she doesn’t get very wet, just so she has something to wear that’s water-friendly with her top) a hat and water shoes (we upgraded to the Natives shoes after taking these photos because the water come straight out, so your kid can wear the shoes in the water, and then all afternoon without getting wrinkly, soggy feet).

Imagination Playground, South Sea Port - via brunchwithmybaby.com

One last feature of the playground is an array of pipes and turning wheels, that older kids enjoyed climbing and the toddlers enjoyed spinning the wheels. Like everything else at the playground, each item can be played with by kids of all ages and abilities.

Imagination Playground at Burling Slip
Cost: free
Hours: Daily, 9am-6pm
Front St., John St., and South St.
Manhattan

East River Ferry
Cost: $4 per trip, $12 for an all-day pass
Hours: Ferries run ever every 20 minutes on weekdays, and every 15 minute on weekends. Be sure to check the schedule and your closest terminal. The trip from Brooklyn Bridge Park/DUMBO to Pier 11/Wall St only takes five minutes.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

A Star Twinkles in Williamsburg

There’s a saying that you don’t live in New York for the weather. The five months of this year so far have certainly proved this to be true, with a long, cold winter, snow and a ridiculous amount of rain.

So what’s a parent of a little kid to do, when it’s too wet, too cold (and now that the summer months are upon us—too hot) to play outside?

The answer? Catch the G (or L!) train to Williamsburg and check out the play space there, Twinkle.

Twinkle is a true family business, owned by sisters Vanessa Yee-Chan and Mieka John, and their father Victor John. The family has been part of the Williamsburg community for over 30 years, and decided, after noticing a lack of play spaces in their area for families to go to, to create the amazing world that is Twinkle.

Walking into Twinkle was literally like walking into a wonderland. Here is a breakdown of the many, many different areas of the playspace: Red Hot Fire House (a giant fire truck where kids can make the lights and siren flash), Stardust Tree Fort (a life-sized tree with a fort in its branches), How to Feed your Dragon (four 15-foot dragons that suck up scarves into their pipes and shoot them out the top), Pretty in Pink (a beauty parlour with crazy wigs), Brooklyn General Store (the most amazing kids store we’ve ever seen, stocked with play groceries and carts, and a moving conveyor belt on which to “buy” items after shopping), the Graffiti Studio (a dance room filled with balls and balloons), Gently Down the Stream (a water play station), The Hard Hat Zone (a sandpit with construction toys), Young MacDonald’s Barnyard (adorable pretend farm animals for kids 18 months and younger), and Twinkle Lounge (a place for parents to sit and relax, overlooking the playspace).

My toddler is 21 months old, and the perfect age to enjoy a lot of what Twinkle has to offer. The playspace is suitable for kids under the age of six, so they have a range of activities that children can enjoy depending on their age. My daughter in particular enjoyed the grocery store, the fire truck, the sand pit and the water play station. I enjoyed seeing her deliriously happy.

Twinkle is a membership-based play space, with a $25 first-time trial drop-in rate, which is exactly what we did to test drive the amazing space. You can also buy a six-visit pass for $130 if, like us, you’re not a local to the play space, but think you’ll be back a few times over a two-month period. The six visit pass is perfect for summer and winter in particular, if, also like us, you spend all of your time during these seasons trying to escape the excessive heat/cold.

Maybe we’ll see you there!

This article was originally posted on the MommyNearest Blog.  

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Big Gay Ice Cream: Kid-Friendly West Village, NY

Big Gay Ice Cream: #kidfriendly #icecream #NYC brunchwithmybaby.com

 

Before I was introduced to the Big Gay Ice Cream, my experience with soft serve was limited to McDonald’s. I’ve never liked it, and was hesitant to try what I’ve always viewed to be ice cream’s second-rate cousin. I’m happy to admit I was wrong when it comes to Big Gay.

Big Gay Ice Cream: #kidfriendly #icecream #NYC brunchwithmybaby.com

Owners have created a cult following in New York City for a very good reason. Their soft-serve is developed in collaboration with Ronnybrook Farm Dairy and includes fun and creative ice creams like the Salty Pimp (my personal favourite, which includes injections of caramel and sprinklings of salt, and then dipped in chocolate).

Big Gay Ice Cream: #kidfriendly #icecream #NYC brunchwithmybaby.com

Big Gay in the West Village is my favorite outpost to visit. They have a large seating area and we’ve always found a table, even on their busiest days. The staff are friendly, the atmosphere quirky and fun, and the ice creams are just amazing. What more could you ask for?

Big Gay Ice Cream: #kidfriendly #icecream #NYC brunchwithmybaby.com

Last bite: A unique spin on old-school soft-serve is a winner with all age groups. 

Highchairs: No.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop West Village
61 Grove Street
(at Seventh Avenue South)
New York NY 10014
Prices $$
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-12am, Sat-Sun 12pm-12am
Get directions

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.