Adventure, baby!

New York

Snow day!

Blizzard Nemo (ha!) hit New York yesterday. It was pretty crazy being out in it – like icicles prickling my face. Today the blizzard had passed and the city was covered in a glorious foot of snow. Yay! We head over to Fort Greene park to give Eloise her first real taste of snow. She really loved it – she couldn’t get enough of sitting on the ground and trying to grab it in her little mits.

Snow baby!
Go, baby, go!
Snow dog!
With Daddy.
Snow baby.
Happy husband.
Loving the snow.
So pretty.
Stroller did NOT work well in snow.

Vive La Crepe; Kid-friendly Restaurants, SoHo, Manhattan, New York

It seems like something as simple as a really good crepe can be hard to find. We’ve been obsessed with the Vive La Crepe chain for a while, and last weekend went to SoHo just for crepes.

Little hole-in-the-wall cafe.

The store is run very efficiently. Order and pay at the counter, and your crepe will be ready within about 10 minutes. They’re super friendly towards the babes, and will bring over your food if they see you have your hands full.

Order at the counter – huge selection of crepes.

What makes them so good? The perfect batter, crisp on the edges, soft and slightly sweet in the middle, and plenty of fresh toppings like mozzarella, tomato and basil (my favourite). Their dessert crepes also rock my world – we can never settle at just one savoury crepe, we always need to go back for more.

Crepes – babies love them.

It turns out that babies have good taste and love crepes too. Cheese went wild for the batter as well as the fillings – gooey cheese in particular. They’re fab for kids cos they can hold pieces in their hands and it doesn’t make too much of a mess.

The only downside is this SoHo location is a bit cramped when you bring a baby. The chain has various locations though, and we’ve also been to Vive La Crepe at Union Square, which had lots more space for strollers as well as lots more tables in general, so you don’t have to stalk other diners to get a seat. Note – none of the locations that we’ve been to have highchairs, so prepare to balance your kid on your lap and eat one-handed – which is actually fine because you can easily do this with the crepes (they come folded in a triangle shape in a little paper cone). Vive la crepe! See you again soon!

Highchairs: No.
Stroller storage: No. There is a small space next to the counter where you can fold a stroller, or if it’s pretty empty inside you can park the stroller next to your table.
Easy access: Yes. One step to get in.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.

Vive La Crepes
51 Spring St,
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (646) 484 6897
Hours: Mon-Sat 8am-12am, Sun 9am-12am

Georgetown Cupcakes; Kid-friendly Bakeries, SoHo, Manhattan, New York

I am powerless to resist a good cupcake. The ladies behind Georgetown Cupcakes certainly know what they’re doing. Their cupcakes are almost perfect and my current favorites. What makes them so good? The combination of fluffy, moist base and buttercream swirl, in the perfect ratio. I also love their inventive flavours, like cookies and cream cheesecake.

Sugar rush just walking into the store.
Small eating area.

It was a pleasant surprise to see that the Georgetown Cupcakes in SoHo is great place for an afternoon tea stop with kids. They have a few tables to sit at so you’ll have to strike it lucky to get a spot. The line for cupcakes moves very quickly thanks to their organisation and efficiency, which is another thing I love. You give your order and pay, then move down to the next counter where someone else has already boxed your order for you. Super fast, in and out – perfect when you’ve got a fussy kiddo.

Highchairs: No.
Stroller storage: No. You can wheel your stroller in and park it by your table, or fold it and keep it with you if it’s small.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.
Baby-friendly rating: ♥—-

Georgetown Cupcakes, SoHo
111 Mercer St,
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 431 4504

Mon-Sat 10am-9pm
Sun 10am-7pm


Georgetown Cupcake on Urbanspoon

Sarita's Macaroni & Cheese; Kid-friendly Restaurants, Manhattan, New York

I had a massive craving for mac & cheese, so off we went on a freezing cold day to Sarita’s Macaroni & Cheese – AKA S’MAC. There are so many things I love about S’MAC – the number one thing being they share my philosophy that mac & cheese is more than just a side dish – it’s a genre of meal to be celebrated.

Orange exterior – can’t miss it.

The restaurant is pretty tiny, with tables squished together. Come on a weekend at peak lunch time and be prepared to stalk other diners to score a table.

Major Munch Garden Lite – not pretty but sooooo good.

There are several size options for your mac & cheese. I like the Major Munch because it means I have leftovers to take home.

You will also be overwhelmed with options for your mac dish – do you want it classic, with veggies, garlic or meat mixed in? If you have special dietary needs you’re taken care of. S’MAC offers gluten-free and multi-grain pasta, as well as lactose-reduced and vegan cheese.

When your dish arrives (they’re pretty quick!), it comes piping hot in a little pan. It’s not the prettiest dish in the world, but damn, it sure is tasty!

Cheese loves mac & cheese.

While the restaurant isn’t the most baby-friendly place around, it’s very welcoming to kids with its chaotic, colourful environment, and fun food that most kids will love.

Highchairs: No.
Stroller storage: No. This place is super tiny. Bring a carrier or folding stroller and prepare to squeeze in.
Easy access: Yes. One step to get in the entrance.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No. But did I mention pretty much all they serve is mac & cheese?
Baby-friendly rating: ♥—-

Sarita’s Macaroni & Cheese
345 E 12th St,
New York, NY
Phone: (212) 358 7912

Sun-Thur 11am-11pm
Fri-Sat 11am-1am


Norma's; Kid-friendly Restaurants, Manhattan, New York

With Restaurant Week hitting New York, I was excited to try out Norma’s for their all-day breakfast. The Restaurant Week deal was pretty sweet ($25pp for continental bread basket, entree and smoothie), and made the over-the-top prices seem more reasonable. We booked a table for 9am on a Thursday since I thought it would be a good time with Cheese’s naps. Sadly, when we arrived, we found out that the Restaurant Week promotion was only in effect from midday, despite this not being written anywhere on the Restaurant Week promotional material. Since we’d come so far and we already being led to our table, we felt like we had to sit down and order a ridiculously expensive breakfast. So disappointing.

Note to those visiting Norma’s for the first time. The dishes are all stupidly expensive. They average at about $21 an entree. They are huge however and will definitely fill you up for a while. Where you have to watch out is the extras that they they push on you. When we sat down, a waiter approached and gave us free samples of a smoothie (which we were supposed to receive as part of the Restaurant Week deal), and offered us glasses of juice from a pitcher instead of water. An unsuspecting diner might think this was either a) complimentary or b) reasonably priced. Just so you know, it’s neither. The orange juice is $9. Apparently you get unlimited refills, but still. $9. Be warned!

I was hoping that Norma’s would be really kid-friendly after I read their website. The whimsical, fun description of the restaurant is below:

“Breakfast for lunch? Always.
Will I still be hungry? You gotta be kidding.
Do we like kids? More than whipped cream.”

Sadly the reality was very different. While they did have a highchair, that was the extent of the baby-friendliness. The menu is so exorbitantly-priced that it’s way too pricey to order a kid their own meal, and there is no separate kid’s menu. Our waiter was aloof and made us feel unwelcome. The food took forever to come out. We had to break out the Cheddar Bunnies to keep Cheese amused while we were waiting.

Reading and snacking while waiting for food.
Sweet Suzy

Alec ordered the Sweet Suzy. He said it was amazing and was really happy with his dish.

Nutella Packed Jacks

I ordered Nutella Packed Jacks and while the fruit was really fresh and sweet, the pancakes were undercooked and doughy. Usually I’d send them back, but it had taken so long for us to get them that there wasn’t time before we had to leave and take Cheese home for a nap.

Ready for home.

I have to make a note here to say that we came on a weekday – the restaurant may be more kid-friendly on weekends. If you’re keen to give it a try, book a table to minimise your wait. They have long queues every day of the week as they have a restaurant that seats 100 and service the hotel they’re housed in, which has 700 rooms.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Minimal. Bring a folding stroller or carrier.
Easy access: Yes. They have elevator access.
Change tables: I didn’t get the chance to check out the restrooms, but there is ample space to change a baby on the benches in the foyer.
Kids’ menu: No, but lots of food kids can share with you. At an average of $21 per entree, you probably won’t want to buy them their own dish.
Baby-friendly rating: ♥—-

At Le Parker Meridien
119 W 56th St,
New York, NY 10019

Phone: (212) 708 7460


Mon-Fri 7am-3pm
Sat-Sun 7:30am-3pm


Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina; Kid-friendly Restaurants, Chelsea, Manhattan, New York

We were walking through Chelsea Markets when I spied this …


I am completely unable to pass by pasta. I’m a carboholic and would eat pasta every day if I could. It was midafternoon and prime brunch-time, so we thought we’d peep in and see if they had tables available. The hostess gave us a very warm welcome, especially Cheese, and said they could seat us right away. She helpfully whisked away our stroller to a cute stroller parking area, and we were sat at a table ready for us with a highchair, all while the hostess smiled and chatted with us and the Cheese. So far, total score.

While we waited for our server, we looked around us at the many other families tucking into delicious-looking pasta dishes. Lots of toddlers and small kids shovelling spaghetti bolognese into their mouths, as well as older kids and teenagers, all sharing and enjoying beautiful pasta. Heaven!

Huge dining space.
Give me food!

We did wait a while for service, but when the server arrived he apologised and explained that it was shift changeover time and he was sorry that we were overlooked as the previous server for our section had just left. After our orders were taken, we thankfully didn’t have to wait very long before our dishes arrived. We ordered a pasta dish each, thinking we would share them with the Cheese. We didn’t count on the pasta dishes being on the small side – Cheese quickly inhaled about half of one dish on her own. She is clearly a carboholic too. She particularly loved the spinach and ricotta girasole dish, and enjoyed crunching down on the parmigiano reggiano basket after the pasta was gone.

Spinach and ricotta girasole, crispy parmigiano reggiano
Wine = happy husband.
Put more pasta in that baby, stat.

After lunch we went for a walk on the waterfront nearby to a small playground. There are options for kids to blow off steam in all weather – the nearby Chelsea Piers has indoor play space, as well as the outdoor playground we discovered and the Chelsea water park on 23rd st for the warmer months.

Having a ball despite the cold.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes – plenty of storage space for full-sized strollers.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No. There is one disabled restroom on the upper level for both men and women, and one restroom down two flights of stairs – not enough restrooms for such a large restaurant. No change table, but plenty of space on the floor if you’re desperate to change a baby.
Kids’ menu: No, but what kid doesn’t love pasta?
Baby-friendly rating: ♥♥♥♥-

Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina
Chelsea Market
75 9th Ave.
Phone: (212) 370-0975


Sun-Thur 11am-11pm
Fri-Sat 11am-12pm
Brunch Sat-Sun 11am-5pm


Rucola; Kid-friendly Restaurants, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, New York

This little neighbourhood joint is a hot spot for brunch on weekends. We turned up one chilly morning before Christmas with a group of 6 adults and the Cheese and were told it would be a 15 minute wait. So we waited. And waited. And waited some more. 45 minutes later, it turned out that there was a table who had finished up over half an hour ago but wouldn’t leave (don’t you HATE that?! Especially at peak eating times?!).

So by the time we sad down we were all hungry, freezing cold, and not in the best mood. And that was just the adults. Cheese had already run through her tolerance for boring adult outings and was ready to run around like a crazy turkey.

Festive exterior.
Cosy inside – lots of families.

Rucola has a great little menu, and a really lovely, cosy ambiance. Lots of families were crowded inside, with plenty of other kids also loosing their brains at the dining tables. After our long wait for a table, we were left waiting for service too – it maded me want to grab a waiter and say, “Hello, sir, see this angry baby? It’s in both of our best interests to get us eating and out of here as quickly as possible”.

Waiting for food. Thank God for the iPhone.

Just before the food arrived I noticed that had high chairs tucked behind the bar and requested one. I’m not sure why they weren’t offered on arrival.

The food when it arrived was really delicious. I had the Nutella French toast and it was divine. We ordered Cheese her own “small side of scrambled eggs”. It came out with enough egg to feet two adults. I was amazed to see Cheese hoeing into it with gusto – until I noticed that over 50% of it had ended up on the floor…

The food. Really good!
“Baby-sized” serving of scrambled eggs.

Highchairs: Yes – remember to request it.
Stroller storage: Yes but minimal. Bring an umbrella stroller.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No, but there are kid-friendly options and they’ll make special items on request.

190 Dean Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Phone: (718) 576 3209
Prices: $$
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am–12am Sat-Sun 10am–12am
Get directions.

Rucola on Urbanspoon

Such Is Life in New York City

I don’t blog as much as I should about the amazing things I get to do living in New York. Here are a few fun things I’ve been up to recently.

Seeing the world premiere of Les Miserables with Beck, followed by a Q&A with the cast, including Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried.

Cast from Les Miserables

Christmas decorations are up! Loving this beautiful tree at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Eloise also loved the museum – she has reached an age where she notices everything around her and is so curious about everything she sees.

Met Christmas Tree

Saw the NYC ballet perform the Nutcracker with my friend Alexis at the Lincoln Center.

Ballet poses!

Hanging out with a special visitor! It was wonderful to see Beverly after almost three years, and meet Hunter and Carter.

It’s us! With kids!

Eloise’s first time in snow!

It’s colddddddd!

Had a wonderful time at the So You Think You Can Dance live tour with Dan and Sue.

Yes, I think I can dance!

Watched the US Olympic gymnastics team perform live in a showcase at the new Barclay Center in Brooklyn.

The ladies on the rings.

Lived through Hurricane Sandy.

Damage near our home.

And managed to celebrate Halloween straight afterwards.

Ballet butterfly!

Had great adventures with Grandma!

Three generations of Knight ladies.

Thanksgiving 2012

This year I am especially thankful for my wonderful husband, my amazing, beautiful daughter, my loving parents, and both old and new friends. I’m thankful for mine, Alec’s and Eloise’s good health, and for our situation in life that enables us to live in New York, in a lovely apartment, and for me to take care of Eloise full-time while she’s so small.

It’s hard to focus on the big picture when the day-to-day gripes set in. I’m taking a moment today to really feel thankful for how lucky I truly am.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Aroma Espresso Bar; Kid-friendly Restaurants, TriBeCa, Manhattan, New York

We stopped by Aroma after a trip to nearby 9/11 Memorial, badly in need of a place to replenish strength with some out-of-town visitors. The casual vibe at Aroma is perfect for families, particularly those with young infants. Toddlers, too, are welcome – they can happily run around without bothering other diners. Cheese particularly loved the stands with packets of chips on them at a perfect height for little fingers to grab. Thank you Aroma staff for your tolerance!

Order and pay at the counter, then take a seat at one of several long tables. High chairs are available, or you can park your stroller at the table with you.

Aroma is a huge, modern cafe with lots of tables with plenty of room between them, and large, comfy chairs. Add in free wi-fi, fast service and delicious sandwiches, and you’ve got a solid, reliable place to stop and take a breath in the busy city.

Cheese loves the carbs.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes. This is a huge space, plenty of room for your SUV-sized stroller.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.
Kid-friendly rating: ♥♥♥♥-

Aroma Espresso Bar
100 Church Street,
New York, NY 10007
Phone: (212) 346 0095

Daily 7am-11pm