The Eloise Store at the Plaza

The Eloise Store, located in the iconic Plaza Hotel, is devoted entirely to the storybook character Eloise – a precocious little six-year-old who grew up in the hotel. The store is tucked in the back of what is essentially a ghost-town of uber-luxury boutiques. The pristine pink and black space is inviting and there are several areas for young children to role-play, including a little stage with dress-up clothing, a huge tea party room (which will eventually serve food) and a comfy media space with bean-bag chairs to watch Eloise on a big screen. The store is just starting to host birthday parties in the spring which I am sure will be a huge hit and possibly the main draw of the space. If you are an Eloise fan, you will adore the nostalgia of it and as expected, there are a ton of themed items to purchase (note: there was screaming and tears when we left). I think it’s a perfect place to take a young lady for a special day out (think 4yr-7rs). Little girls will love it.

Eloise Store At the Plaza
Lower Lobby of the Plaza Hotel, 59th and 5th Ave

ALSO IN THE AREA:

frenchhorse and buggy ridecentral park zoo
ObaibiHorse & Buggy rideCentral Park Zoo

Clementine Consignment Shop — For Kids

I was thrilled when I found the Flying Squirrel consignment shop in Williamsburg a few months back as I thought it was such a great idea. How many of us have clothes that our children have outgrown or never even graced their bodies that are still in perfect condition? I think I can just safely assume, all of us. Just recently I discovered Clementine Consignment, a store tucked somewhat obscurely underground just west of Washington Square Park. ‘This sweet little clothing shop caters to newborn – 4yrs (as well as a room full of gently used maternity wear) with the birth-2yr section being especially nice and stocked with adorable outfits from the likes of Tea, Bonpoint, and Cacharel .  All of the clothes were in mint condition and a available at a fraction of their original cost.  (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

nom_pic11doodle doosshoe-garden-148x300
Belly Dance MaternityDoodle Doo’sThe Shoe Garden

Sweet William

When I buy for my kids, I usually go on-line to the Gap and such for the basics….but for the special items I always head to Brooklyn to the smaller, boutique-type children’s stores. Sweet William, in Williamsburg, is a beautiful little space with a very well edited selection of adorable, stylish clothing. Not to mention really lovely toys, accessories and furniture — all displayed in the most enticing of ways. I love places that carry lines that you can’t find elsewhere and offer something special – hard to find brands like Talc and Makie. I also think it’s a top pick for getting unique newborn gifts.

ALSO IN THE AREA:

nyc museumswilliamsburg_thumbpomme blankets
Things to do on a beautiful sunny day. NYC museums!WilliamsburgPomme

Things to do on a beautiful sunny day. NYC museums!

So recently I had a really terrible idea. It was pouring horizontal rain, freezing cold AND the schools were all closed for spring break… and for some reason, I decided it would be a truly excellent idea to take one of my girls to the Planetarium at the Natural History Museum. The good news was that I got our tickets the night before on-line (which you should ALWAYS do if available) … the bad news is that I spent the morning in a complete state of nature with what seemed like all of human kind. Uggh!

Despite the human jigsaw puzzle, we had a great time but the whole experience served as a gentle reminder that a rainy day visit to a museum is really not such a great idea after all as chances are that every single other human being alive has the same idea. Here are some of my favorite museums in the city… (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

makemeaning
Make Meaning — Art Space for Kids, young and old

Billy’s Bakery. Diagnosis…Delicious

The cupcake competition in New York has swelled to epic proportions and it seems like there are cupcake pop-up shops everywhere all of a sudden. I am not sure why, as a society, we have become so obsessed with this portable baked good but who’s complaining? I am totally psyched to be able to get my hands on one in a moments notice.

Having young kids, I have sampled pretty much all of the major places in town and I am picking a landslide winner (drum roll). I really do love Billy’s Bakery the best because their cupcakes not only TASTE but LOOK home-made. They do not try too hard to be what they are not and they certainly don’t give you the attitude like some of the others. They come in pretty old-fashioned colors and strike the perfect balance with a generous heap of creamy icing supported by moist and sweet cake. (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

SpinBikes-300x199kaffelandmarc
Soul CycleKaffe 1668 — The new Tribeca fixLandmarc

Hudson River Park

hudson river parkOftentimes, it is very easy to forget that Manhattan is actually an island — surrounded by beautiful open water views and wide promenades to stroll and cycle. I have lived here my whole life and I still do a double-take when I catch a glimpse of a boat going by or see more then a few trees in a cluster. Hudson River Park is a long expanse along the base of New York City that is getting more developed and exciting with each passing year. Starting at Chambers street and walking down to the tip of the island is a long and scenic esplanade lined with playgrounds and open lawns for picnics, people watching, and feeling a bit like you are NOT in New York City. For the kids, check out Rockefeller Playground which offers something for all ages as well as the secluded Tear Drop Park with its hidden sprinkler grottoes and giant slide into a sand pit. Also be sure to poke into the World Financial Center for a scoop of gelato or a burger from the famous PJ Clarks. At the very base is Wagner Park that has amazing views of the Statue of Liberty and on summer weekends they almost always have something going on for young kids.

(Photo from Flickr)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

moomahlandmarcSpinBikes-300x199
Moomah – Coffee and CreativityLandmarcSoul Cycle

Kaffe 1668 — The new Tribeca fix

So the very loud, stay-at-home dad that I have written about before is truly a deep and bottomless well of good information. He has been talking up this coffee place that just opened in the neighborhood saying we were all complete and total fools if we ever went anywhere else for our morning fix. As a rule of thumb I try to avoid Starbucks, if I can, to support the smaller cafés in the city (of which there might be exactly three left). Don’t get me wrong, I like Starbucks and all, but I really feel like a total loser when they make me call their small a “tall” and their large a “venti”… pisses me off every. single. time.

So the other day I made the journey over to Kaffe 1668 and seriously… stay-at-home dad was right! Kaffee makes truly amazing coffee. Each individual cup is single brewed and is presented almost like a work of art. The people there take such pride in each cup that you almost feel bad about drinking it. It is also a nice place to sit and grab a small bite as they have the most delicious little sandwhiches and pastries – all which look like they were made with the same amount of love as the coffee. Right now there is only one in the city but I sure hope more open up soon! FYI: for Tribeca peeps it’s a great pit stop before or after Soul Cycle.

ALSO IN THE AREA:

billys bakerylandmarcmoomah
Billy’s Bakery. Diagnosis…DeliciousLandmarcMoomah – Coffee and Creativity

Landmarc

landmarcWhile most of us can agree that eating out with small children usually causes nothing but indigestion, I do like to get out from time to time to give us all a break. That being said, when we do venture out, I am VERY particular about finding places that are both adult and kid friendly. Landmarc has an excellent family vibe and is a place where you don’t have to worry about eating with children – they totally get it. They have two locations, one in Tribeca and one in the Time Warner Center and they offer a very nice kids menu that is not simply chicken fingers and french fries. The best part – the desserts…. mini ice cream cones and even cotton candy! Also worth noting parents, is that they have a high quality and very inexpensive wine selection. They don’t mark-up their wines and basically serve them at cost, so have a glass or two!  you deserve it….

ALSO IN THE AREA:

kaffebillys bakerymoomah
Kaffe 1668 — The new Tribeca fixBilly’s Bakery. Diagnosis…DeliciousMoomah – Coffee and Creativity

KISAN Concept Store

KISAN Concept Store is a nifty little place, just off the beaten path in Soho. The store is a collective of all things stylish and beautifully made offering nearly everything from interesting coffee table books and gadgets — to chic clothing/shoes — to handbags and jewelery — to stunning, mouth-agape children’s clothing. The owners literally comb the world over to find the lines they carry and it is the kind of stuff you won’t see anywhere else and can’t get anywhere else. The back of the store is wholly dedicated to higher-end children’s clothing as well as a small selection of internationally themed toys and books. They happen to carry one of my favorite European brands, Caramel Baby and Child (and ps: they just started selling on-line and will ship to the US).

I ain’t gonna lie – this is Soho and it ain’t cheap, but everything in this store is really special and it is a fabulous place to pick up unique gifts. If you are in need of a special outfit for a young boy or girl this is a great place to look.

ALSO IN THE AREA:

aboutus_cover_1wee-artsscholastic
Purl SohoArt classes for wee onesFavorite children’s bookstore — Scholastic Store

Obaibi

frenchMy childhood friend — who fled NYC long ago to live in Paris — sends us the cutest, chicest outfits every year for the girls’ birthday. I am always excited when the package arrives but always find myself equally bummed out that I can never find the brand here! Well last week I learned that Obaibi had quietly opened a store on the upper east side, and so I made the trek the other day and practically bought the entire place out.

What I love about the clothes is not only the beautiful muted color palate but the hipper-than-hip French styling. In addition to a bunch of great sweaters and dresses, I picked up a pair of cargo capris with a flowy top and a printed cotton wrap scarf. The cuteness factor was off the charts! Obaibi carries items from birth-5yrs and I am hoping that they soon open a store with the line for older kids (Okaidi). I would say to all New York moms that it is worth the trip – the clothes are adorable, beautifully made and priced WELL WELL WELL below what you would find elsewhere. Dress like a little French girl at Old Navy pricing. Viva la France!

ALSO IN THE AREA:

horse and buggy ridecentral park zooeloise store
Horse & Buggy rideCentral Park ZooThe Eloise Store at the Plaza

Williamsburg

hipkidsWilliamsburg is seriously as cool as it gets. In fact, I used to joke with a friend of mine that they should just plaster a picture of either Beck or Moby on the front of all the Subway cars to identify that the “L” train to Brooklyn was for hipster transport only.

I guess now, with time being what it is, those young men and women with the complicated haircuts and ironic t-shirts are getting older and having kids of their own. And thank goodness they are because the children’s stores there are really just so darn cool!!!! If you have not been, you must go. Make a day of it as there are so many amazing shops and little places to eat.

Mini Jake – is kind of like the Brooklyn version of the popular Giggle chain. It’s a huge space filled with all things modern and cool — strollers, cribs, bedding, feeding stuff… you name it. In a nutshell, it is a modern parents dream as it is chock full of all those eco-fashionable brands that they go gaga for (Oeuf, Stokke, Bloom etc;). The store also has a huge selection toys (think Plan Toys and Playmobil) and a book nook with all the classics. (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

new york transit museumSweet Williamnyc museums
New York Transit MuseumSweet WilliamThings to do on a beautiful sunny day. NYC museums!

Soul Cycle

SpinBikesSoul Cycle just opened an amazing new space in Tribeca and while I totally TOTALLY dread working out I decided to just suck it up and force myself to go. After all, as mentioned before, the only cardio routine I have these days is courtesy of the Dancey Dance segments from Yo Gabba Gabba.

So anyway– Soul Cycle has had a following for quite some time in other areas of the city and I was nervous as hell to go. I had never done a “spin class” before and I was pretty confident that I was going to die on the bike and make a total scene. As I stood in the lobby waiting for class to start I tried my best to look like a pro but when I saw the sweat drenched people emerge from the prior class I started to panic. (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

billys bakerylandmarcmoomah
Billy’s Bakery. Diagnosis…DeliciousLandmarcMoomah – Coffee and Creativity

Kidding Around Toys

toysWhile I would really love for my kids to play with handcrafted, eco-friendly and artistically stunning toys, I also know full well that I might as well just set a pile of money on fire. The beautiful wooden farm house with hand painted animals is coated in a layer of dust. The hand-sewn finger puppet theater has yet to be touched by a human hand. That being said, I don’t want a house full of flashing plastic junk but I do like to find items that my kids will actually play with.

Kidding Around is a toy store in Chelsea that I really love as it does a great job stocking toys which are both parent savvy and ones that your kids will love. The website is in dire need of a makeover but if you visit the store in person you will be extremely pleased with what you find inside. Not only is it huge but it has everything that a child could want from birth through the teen years — all of which is thoughtfully edited and categorized. It is my go-to place for amazing birthday gifts and I always stumble upon something new when I go.

I have my sights set on this little red accordian to buy as a gift for someone who bought my girls two recorders last month. Payback time!

ALSO IN THE AREA:

billys bakerychelseamkt_1-231x300popburger
Billy’s Bakery. Diagnosis…DeliciousChelsea MarketPop Burger

Art, food and a place to sit

newmuseum_kaufmanI do love New York but there are also a lot of things that I really hate about it.the lack of parks and open spaces, and the complete absence of places to just sit down. The other day I took my girls to the New Museum on the Bowery. I have been wanting to go since it opened and there was an exhibition by Urs Fisher which looked bizarre and cool. There was, after all, a croissant hanging from the ceiling on fishing wire with a butterfly on it! Anyway– the exhibition was indeed cool but the best discovery of the day was the little cafeteria with tables and chairs that they had in the back of the main lobby. It’s a nice place to sit (for free!) and shockingly, it was very kid friendly — they even serve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. So for those roaming around Soho or the East Village with a stroller looking for a place to just sit for a few minutes — stop in. Admission is free for everyone under 18.

ALSO IN THE AREA:

vaselkavanieroskat'z deli
Veselka — Ukranian 27/7Veniero’s PasticceriaKatz’s Delicatessen

Favorite children’s bookstore — Scholastic Store

scholasticI absolutely love hanging out in bookstores and the smaller the specialty bookstore, the better. I spend a lot of time at Scholastic and it is always a go-to destination when I am in Soho with the kids. It’s a huge space that offers a little something for everyone from birth through the angst ridden teen years, and they even have a decent sized section of books in other languages. They have a storytime for wee-ones on Tues, Wed and Thursday mornings at 11am, and carry a nice selection of toys, crafts and CDs – all educational. Also, worth noting – the place is a real mood booster — you can’t help but feel happy in here. It’s a bright and cheery space – something you don’t often see.

ALSO IN THE AREA:

soho mappearl river martkisan-300x199
The best of Soho’s children’s boutiquesPearl River MartKISAN Concept Store
« Newer PostsOlder Posts »