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Chocolate Chunk Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Company, LES, New York

#Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Company #LES #NYC via

When you want good pancakes in New York City, it’s a well-known fact that you head to Clinton St. Baking Company. The bakery and restaurant was opened in 2001 by husband and wife team Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman, with a mission to make the best baked goods in the city, hand-mixed in small batches.

Fast forward to 2014 and the once tiny bakery is now a bustling restaurant, with their pancakes awarded the title of “the best in the city” (twice!) by New York Magazine. Clinton St. Baking Co. is such a popular breakfast and lunch spot that if you turn up for brunch on a weekend, you’ll often find yourself facing an up to TWO HOUR wait. They have the waiting system down to a fine art, and even have a page on their site devoted to “the wait“.

#Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Company #LES #NYC via

Don’t let this dissuade you from going, however. To avoid a wait on weekends, your best bet is to arrive by 8:30am and put in your name for the first seating at 9am. To avoid a long wait in general, visit during the week or at night when the waits are shorter, if at all. Don’t worry — they serve breakfast during the dinner hour. We visited on a weekday at 8am. The restaurant was full by 8:30am, but the wait outside was pretty short, with most diners not having to wait too long for a table. If you find yourself waiting for a table, the surrounding streets have some really cool graffiti/street art that’s worth checking out.

#Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Company #LES #NYC via

#Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Company #LES #NYC via

Since Alec had to get to work, we ordered and ate as quickly as we could. I ordered the Pancakes with Warm Maple Butter (choice of wild Maine blueberry, banana walnut, or chocolate chunk pancakes, $14) and Alec ordered the Southern Breakfast  (two eggs any style, sugar-cured bacon, cheese grits, and fried green tomatoes, $14). We also ordered a side of sourdough toast for Missy E ($2), which arrived with Vermont butter and the most amazing raspberry conserves I’ve ever tasted. As well as the toast, E shared my pancakes when they arrived — the novelty of chocolate for breakfast was just too exciting for her to handle.

#Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Company #LES #NYC via

#Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Company #LES #NYC via

My pancakes were fantastic. I chose chocolate chunks, and my three big fluffy pancakes were absolutely chockfull of the chocolate. The pancakes were warm and the butter atop them was slightly melting. I really enjoyed their warm maple butter instead of maple syrup as it wasn’t anywhere near as sickeningly sweet. Alec’s southern breakfast was a bit on the dry side — he would have preferred some kind of sauce to go with it. He did, however, thoroughly enjoy the cheese grits and fried green tomatoes — both novelties to an Aussie.

#Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Company #LES #NYC via

#Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Company #LES #NYC via


So are they the best pancakes in New York? I’m afraid I can’t say as I don’t really eat pancakes often enough to be able to rank them! I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed mine and would absolutely go back for more.

Last bite: How can you resist trying some of NYC’s best pancakes? Be prepared for the wait and you’ll enjoy a really great breakfast.

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

Clinton St Baking Co & Restaurant
4 Clinton St.
New York, NY
Phone: (646) 602 6263
Prices: $
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-4pm, 4pm-5pm (pastries/ coffee to go only), dinner 6pm to 11pm; Sat 8am-9am (pastry & coffee to go only), 9am-4pm, dinner 6pm-11pm; Sun 8am-9am (pastry & coffee to go only), 9am-6pm.
Get Directions

Top 5 Sweet Spots on the Upper East Side

When your sweet tooth is a-calling, the Upper East Side is the place to go. Within a few blocks of each other lies a cornucopia of sugary heavens. How’s a sleep-deprived mom to choose?

Dylan's Candy Bar; Top 5 Sweet Spots on the #UES via

Dylan’s Candy Bar
Created in 2001 by Dylan Lauren (of the Ralph Lauren family) Dylan’s Candy Bar is the place to go for a serious sugar high. Choose from 7,000 candy treats in the store, then lounge upstairs in a cupcake booth at the Candy Cafe to enjoy lunch or a snack, and perhaps a candy cocktail.
1011 3rd Ave, New York, NY

Baked By Melissa; Top 5 Sweet Spots on the #UES via

Baked By Melissa
These mini cupcakes were made with tiny hands in mind! At $1 for each little cupcake, it’s the perfect sized treat when you don’t want the day to get too sugary. Our favorite flavor is the Choc Chip Pancake (totally breakfast food, right?).
784 Lexington Avenue at 61st Street New York NY

Two Little Red Hens; Top 5 Sweet Spots on the #UES via

Two Little Red Hens
How can you pass up what’s often called the best red velvet cupcake in the city? The cupcakes come in regular and mini sizes, so you can sample several if you’re not set on one flavor.
1652 2nd Ave, New York, NY

Sprinkles; Top 5 Sweet Spots on the #UES via

Sprinkles Cupcakes
If you’re on the go, grab your cupcake from the Sprinkles ATM out the front. We prefer to sit down inside to enjoy our cupcakes – the cupcake-inspired interior and ottomans are a huge hit with kids. Know before you go: Check out their rotating seasonal menu so you visit on the day when your favorite flavors are being served.
780 Lexington Ave, New York, NY

IT'SUGAR; Top 5 Sweet Spots on the #UES via

This candy chain store recently opened its doors on the Upper East Side. IT’SUGAR focuses on the fun of candy, from giant 5LB Hershey bars to the World’s Largest Gummy Bear (they recommend sharing this cub, and so do we!)
1542 3rd Ave New York NY
IT’SUGAR Image via Jia J.

This article first appeared on

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NYC Neighborhood Guide: DUMBO


Take a stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge into Dumbo, to enjoy cobblestones, carousels and cake.

Not to be missed: Jane’s Carousel
Built in 1922, the carousel has been recently restored and is now an iconic part of the Dumbo waterfront. Open year-round, taking a ride is a must-do for every visitor to NYC.
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Dock St, Brooklyn, NY

Best cake: One Girl Cookies
This delicious cafe serves the cookies they are named for, plus whoopie pies and their famous layer cakes. Ask for a slice of the daily cake (anything with dulce de leche is particularly delicious).
33 Main St, Brooklyn, NY

Best slice: Juliana’s Pizza
Skip the lines at Grimaldi’s next door and instead sit down for piping hot mozzarella courtesy of the Grimaldi family. You read that right, the Grimaldi family own and run this pizzeria.
19 Old Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY

Best grab-and-go: Little Muenster
Delicious grilled cheese sandwiches. Take one and eat it in nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park.
145 Front St, Brooklyn, NY

Best way to run out the energy: Brooklyn Bridge Park
This 85-acre park stretches along the waterfront, filled with cycling paths, playgrounds, bbqs and breathtaking views of Manhattan.

Best kids’ clothes: Egg Baby
Drop by this cute boutique for some adorable outfits designed by Susan Lazar.
72 Jay St, Brooklyn, NY

Best kids’ store: Half Pint Citizens
Focusing on innovative and environmentally-friendly toys and gear for kids.
41 Washington St, Brooklyn, NY

Best croissant: Almondine
Almondine has recently re-opened after being destroyed in the 2012 Hurricane. They are the go-to spot for croissants and French pastries in Brooklyn. 85 Water St, Brooklyn, NY

Best hot chocolate: Jacques Torres
The hot chocolate at Jacques Torres is like liquid gold. Heavy, rich and decadent.
66 Water St, Brooklyn, NY

This article first appeared on MommyNearest.

A Day With Kids At The MoMA

Brunch Travel Guide - One Weekend with Baby in Midtown, via

It can seem like a big undertaking to take little ones to the MoMA. With its small rooms and quiet atmosphere, it can feel like a daunting prospect. However, the MoMA loves kids — just keep strollers and toddlers several feet from the art works and you’ll be fine. Use our guide below to enjoy showing your tiny tot or older child the beautiful of modern art.

Sculpture Garden
This is your best bet with a baby or toddler. Stroll them around the exhibits you want to see (I’d suggest choosing only one exhibit per visit), then release them in the sculpture garden to play.

Bonus tip: The sculpture garden is free to visit on its own every morning from 9-10:30am. After that time you’ll need to buy a ticket, so get in early if you want to do a test run with just a little bit of culture before taking on the entire museum.

Family Programs
The MoMA offers programs for children ages 4 – 14 and their parents and caregivers. All programs are free.

Family Gallery Talks
For ages four and up. These tours are a fun and creative way for children to interact with art.

Gallery Guides
Pick up a free art card or printed guide (you can download the guide here in advance) with activities, questions and ideas for looking at art in the MoMA.

MoMA Audio for Kids
The MoMA has special kid-friendly audio guides.

Hands-on Workshops
Kids ages 4 – 14 learn about ideas and techniques in modern and contemporary art in these free workshops.

Family Films
The MoMA hosts free screenings of family films every month. They tend to show unusual films you might otherwise never see (no Disney here!)

MoMA Art Labs
Adults and kids can experiment, play, and create art in this interactive space. Explore tools, techniques and ideas about art in a family-friendly environment.

MoMA Art Lab App
Live too far from the MoMA to make a visit in person? Download the MoMA Art Lab app (suitable for ages seven and up) and your kids can enjoy creating artworks such as a shape poem, sound composition or group drawing.

Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd St. btwn 5th & 6th Ave.

This article was first published on MommyNearest.

A Mediterranean "Snack" in SoHo: Snack Restaurant, New York

Snack: #Kid-Friendly Cafes in #SoHo, #NYC via

Feeling like some hearty Greek food while shopping in SoHo? We love taking refuge from a cold day to eat up and stay warm at Snack.  A tiny doorway leads to a small restaurant. Be prepared to squish in (umbrella strollers only, carriers preferred!). The staff are welcoming to young diners, and gave us the coveted front window seat, which is great for allowing little ones to occupy themselves by watching the passersby.

Snack: #Kid-Friendly Cafes in #SoHo, #NYC via

We ordered food to share: Hummus ($7.50), Pita Bread ($1.50), Spanakopitakia ($5), Tiropitakia ($5) the Soup of The Day, which was Lentil ($8.50), and a sandwich ($10). It was WAY too much food for two adults and one toddler. It was, however, all absolutely delicious and very filling (plus, you can easily take hummus home for leftovers).

Snack: #Kid-Friendly Cafes in #SoHo, #NYC via

Snack: #Kid-Friendly Cafes in #SoHo, #NYC via

Snack: #Kid-Friendly Cafes in #SoHo, #NYC via

Snack: #Kid-Friendly Cafes in #SoHo, #NYC via

Snack: #Kid-Friendly Cafes in #SoHo, #NYC via

After lunch, we dropped by the nearby Vesuvio Playground (at Spring and Thompson Streets) to let Missy E run her hummus and pita bread off. It’s a huge playground, best suited for slightly older kids.

Snack: #Kid-Friendly Cafes in #SoHo, #NYC via

Last Bite: Mediterranean food that’s tasty and filling, tucked away like a delicious secret you’ll want to keep to yourself.

Highchairs: No.
Stroller storage: Minimal. Bring a stroller that folds.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.

Snack SoHo
105 Thompson Street (between Prince and Spring streets)
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 925-1040
Prices: $$
Hours: Sun 12pm-9pm, Mon-Wed 12pm-10pm, Thurs-Sat 12pm-11pm
Get Directions

Snack on Urbanspoon

A Perfect Day In Prospect Park, Brooklyn

#ProspectParkZoo via

Prospect Park is an oasis of lush greenery for Brooklyn families. The park opened in 1866, and is 585-acres in size, containing Brooklyn’s only lake, a zoo (Prospect Park Zoo) and a carousel. Prospect Park makes for a great center piece to a fun family day out, and we’re here to give you the perfect itinerary.

Breakfast: Bergen Bagels
This tiny bagel shop makes fantastic bagels, fresh with a thick layer of cream cheese. Grab one to go as you’re walking up Flatbush towards the park.
Bergen Bagels: 473 Bergen St, Brooklyn

#ProspectParkZoo via

Morning Activity: Prospect Park Zoo
The Prospect Park Zoo opens at 10am. Hit up the sea lions first (daily feedings at 11:30am, 2pm and 4pm), then the barnyard animals to feed some goats and sheep, and check out if there are any new baby animals. Save the nature trail for the very end to wear everyone out before lunch.
Prospect Park Zoo: 450 Flatbush Ave, New York

Quick Pre-Lunch Activity: Prospect Park Carousel
As you’re exiting the zoo, take a spin on the carousel, newly re-opened for the season. The carousel was carved in 1912, and is one of only 12 remaining carousels created by master carousel creator Charles Carmel.
Prospect Park Carousel: Willink Entrance, Prospect Park

Franny's: kid-friendly restaurants, Prospect Heights, New York, via
Tomato, Basil and Buffalo Mozzarella, $16

Lunch: Franny’s
Exit the park and take a two-block walk down Flatbush to Franny’s, a pizza restaurant committed to sustainable agriculture. All of the vegetables, fruits, eggs, dairy, and fish are largely sourced from local and/or organic producers, while all the meats at franny’s are from sustainable sources, containing no hormones or antibiotics. The pizzas are absolutely delicious. Order a no-frills Tomato, Basil and Buffalo Mozzarella and either eat in, or walk back to the park and enjoy your pie while sitting in the sun.
Franny’s: 348 Flatbush Ave, New York

Afternoon Activity: Play In Prospect Park
Right inside the entrance to the park is a huge field, where on any given day you’ll find families playing ball sports and chasing small toddlers. Bring a ball to kick around or stroll around the path to enjoy the natural beauty of the park.

Ample Hills Creamery, kid-friendly places to eat, Prospect Heights, New York, via

Afternoon Treat: Ample Hills Creamery
A trip to Prospect Park isn’t complete without ice cream, and it doesn’t get any better than a cone of salted caramel or sweet cream and cookies from Ample Hills. The ice cream is made in small batches, using fresh, local, all-natural milk, cream and eggs from local farms. The portions are generous and reasonably priced (kids $2.75, single $4.36). Order a single cone and choose two flavors.
Ample Hills Creamery: 623 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn

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Artisanal Chocolate & Exquisite Tea: MarieBelle Cacao Bar and Tea Parlor in SoHo, New York

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via

What started as a small collection of rare and delicate chocolates and confectionary in 2000 is now a thriving high-end chocolate bar, tea parlor and retail store. MarieBelle‘s creator, Maribel, grew up around cocoa fields in Honduras, which inspired in her a passion for chocolate. Maribel is both a chef and designer — each skill on display in her beautiful tea parlor and store — from the exquisite chocolate pieces on display in the store, to the rich European-inspired styling of the salon. With glittering crystal lights, antique furnishings and deep brown and gold panelling in the parlor, a trip to MarieBelle is a delight to all the senses.

Entering from the street, we walked through the retail store to the cafe in the back for a sit-down tea service. Friendly staff greeted our party, which included one rowdy toddler (bull, meet china shop!). Our waitperson clearly liked children, and made us feel extremely welcome despite our pint-sized companion constantly wriggling in and out of her fancy chair. Luckily, we came for quick treats (rather than a tea service), and there are few things that keep my toddler sitting still like an iced chocolate drink. Chocolate is the speciality here, and when ordering a hot or ice chocolate, you can choose from various chocolate flavors.

Since I have a mild palate, I went with the classic Ice Chocolate (you can also choose flavors like Aztec or Spicy, as seen in the photo below). Alec ordered a simple tea, which arrived in a beautiful silver tea set, and we ordered a madeline for E (her favorite treat) and a caramel crème brulee to share. As you would expect from a speciality tea and chocolate cafe, everything was delicious. The ice chocolate was not too sweet, and the crème brulee was a twist on the traditional kind, with a caramel base and crème on top. Before leaving the cafe, be sure to wander through the retail store and take home a few chocolates for later. While some of the MarieBelle chocolates are sold in speciality stores elsewhere, some of the creations are only available from the store in SoHo.

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via

Mariebelle: #kidfriendly #chocolate #cafe and #teaparlor #soho #nyc via

Last Bite: Bring little chocolate-lovers for an especially sweet outing. 

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Minimal — bring an umbrella stroller or carrier.
Easy access: No. There are a few steep steps to get in.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.

484 Broome St.
New York, NY
Phone: (212) 925 6999
Prices: $$
Hours: Mon-Thur 11am-7pm, Fri-Sun 11am-8pm
Get Directions

MarieBelle on Urbanspoon

Vegan & Gluten-Free Fare: Sun In Bloom, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY

Sun In Bloom; #kidfriendly #cafes #Brooklyn #NYC via
One of the best things about New York City is the amazing variety of food you can enjoy to meet any type of dietary requirements you might have. A good friend of mine has a gluten and dairy intolerance, so we regularly eat at cafes and restaurants where her dietary needs are met — and where she has more choice than a salad or eggs.

Sun In Bloom is a gluten-free, vegan & raw food kitchen, with locations in both Brooklyn and Tribeca. We visited their Park Slope cafe for brunch to see if their pancakes measure up when they’re made without delicious gluten. All three adults in our party ordered the Gluten-Free Pancakes with Spiced Germinated Walnuts & Side of Maple Syrup ($11.50), but we each chose different combinations of fruit toppings to go with it.

The pancakes were surprisingly still yummy even without gluten, and the fruit on top was fresh and sweet. We gave Missy E a side of Sprouted Wheat Toast and Sunflower Seed Butter to try, but it was too crunchy for her and so she preferred the pancakes and fruit. At prime brunch hour there was no wait for a table, but when we were leaving the cafe it was quickly filling to capacity. The wait on some of our items was a little longer that I would have liked, particularly since Missy E was being a whiny pain that day and we were desperate to eat and leave! We all enjoyed our brunch and will be back, particularly when entertaining people with special dietary requirements.

Sun In Bloom; #kidfriendly #cafes #Brooklyn #NYC via

Sun In Bloom; #kidfriendly #cafes #Brooklyn #NYC via

Sun In Bloom; #kidfriendly #cafes #Brooklyn #NYC via

Last Bite: A healthy brunch option that caters to the special dietary requirements of vegan, raw-food-followers and gluten-intolerant diners.

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

Sun In Bloom
460 Bergen St,
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Prices: $
Phone: (718) 622 4303
Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-9pm Sat & Sun 10am-5pm
Get Directions

Sun In Bloom on Urbanspoon

An Upper West Side Standard: Isabella's, UWS, New York

Isabella's: #kidfriendly #restaurants in #nyc via

Isabella’s has been our go-to restaurant of choice when we visit the American Museum of Natural History for the past two years. It’s a truly delightful combination — fuel up on really delicious food, then hit up the dinosaurs and then Central Park. We’ve been taking Missy E to Isabella’s since she was about 6 months old. Taking her as an almost 3 year old means we really get to enjoy all the kid-friendliness this restaurant has to offer.

Isabella’s is popular. It has a great reputation for a reason — it’s REALLY good. As such, you need a strategy to get a table with minimal wait on a weekend. Arriving when they open is one option, or after the first rush is over, at around midday. If you arrive after 1pm, forget it. The wait is pretty long. (Isabella’s takes reservations, but not for brunch.)

We took E to see a new dinosaur exhibition at the AMNH during the early members hours, and then to Isabella’s for late breakfast. After a short wait, we sat at our table, and were greeted by a friendly staff member bearing a “welcome pack” for our toddler. The pack contains crayons, some cool sticky stick things and a kids’ menu that doubles as a coloring page. We ordered her a Bagel with Cream Cheese ($4) and asked for one of their complimentary straw cups for kids filled with water.

I always order the same thing — the Goat Cheese Omelette with marinated tomatoes and basil ($14). It comes with home fries, which I swap out for regular fries. E loves to pick at a lot of different foods, so this way she eats a decent amount of omelette, fries and bagel. She adores cream cheese. Alec ordered the Classic Breakfast Sandwich (scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, $15). On Sundays, brunch includes a beverage of choice, so we had our bellinis included. Cheers to that!

Isabella's: #kidfriendly #restaurants in #nyc via

Isabella's: #kidfriendly #restaurants in #nyc via

Isabella's: #kidfriendly #restaurants in #nyc via

Last Bite: Isabella’s is a hit with the whole family. Adults love the elegant atmosphere (without the snootiness) and absolutely delicious food, while kids are happy being well attended to and given new things to play with. 

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes. Bring a folding stroller though, as during rush hour, you’ll struggle to find a place for anything bigger.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: Yes.

359 Columbus Ave
New York
Prices: $$
Phone: (212) 724 2100
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-10pm Sat & Sun 10am-11pm
Get Directions

Brooklyn Neighborhood Guide: Cobble Hill

Bare Burger, Cobble Hill

The quiet neighborhood of Cobble Hill is home to a LOT of strollers. It’s often joked that once Manhattanites start breeding, they move to Brooklyn. If this is the case, then a lot of these new parents must move to Cobble Hill, as it is literally bursting at the seams with babies, toddlers and lots of kiddie fun.

Best Breakfast: Ted & Honey
This little cafe is the go-to breakfast sandwich spot. Order an egg sandwich on your choice of multi-grain, brioche or ciabatta (the bread is freshly baked from nearby Caputo’s bakery). The haloumi and avocado is our fave. While you’re waiting, look on the bottom shelf for books and puzzles to entertain your little one. If your child is not the sitting and eating kind, get your sandwich to go and sit in leafy green Cobble Hill Park next door. 264 Clinton St, Brooklyn

Best Quiet Nook: Cobble Hill Park
This little oasis of calm amongst the brownstones is a popular haven for mothers’ groups during the week, and families on weekends. A little play area at the end of the park entertains older kids with a sand pit and climbing structures. The park is lovely year-round, but is especially pretty in spring when tulips and daffodils are blooming.
Clinton St. Between Verandah Pl. and Congress St., Brooklyn

Best Lunch Spot: BareBurger
Grab an all-natural burger, shake and fries for lunch at Bareburger. Kids can order a Cubby Meal, choosing from items like a grilled cheese panini or “grizzly” burger (with a quinoa veggie patty option). Adults: order from a wide variety of burgers (including “build your own”), sandwiches and salads, all made with organic ingredients free of hormones, pesticides and other unsavory elements.
149 Court St., Brooklyn

Best Playground: LICH Playground
This large playground has climbing structures for toddlers and older kids, plus a few swings. The main attraction for the toddler set, however, is the ever-changing walker and car toys that are routinely “donated” to the park throughout the year. The park is well-shaded on afternoons, and the trees put on a beautiful display of color in the fall.
Henry St. and Amity St., Brooklyn

Best Kids’ Store: Picnic
Dress your little one like a Brooklyn hipster at Picnic. Owned by local mom Lindsey Engler, the store stocks adorable outfits and accessories for kids from baby and up. You’ll also find a range of NYC and Brooklyn books and toys.
192 Amity St., Brooklyn

This article was first published on MommyNearest.