Caramel Baby & Child

shop
Caramel_NYC-Store

Left to her own devices, my toddler would leave the apartment looking like Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan. For the holidays, I decided to treat myself to coordinated outfits (of my choosing!) for my two little girls. Fortunately for me, Caramel Baby & Child (1244 Madison Ave) is a short walk across the park to the Upper East Side – and their only retail storefront in North America.  Caramel Baby & Child offers a lovely range of clothing and shoes, with a sophisticated color pallet and silhouettes that are at once modern and nostalgic.  Visiting the shop offers the chance to see the looks pulled together, along with coats, socks and shoes.  The shop also offers carefully curated gifts, accessories, and cards.  While you’re north of 86th, there are several children’s shops worth a peak including Bonpoint (1269 Madison Ave), Jacadi (1242 Madison Ave), babycottons (1236 Madison Ave), Naturino (1184 Madison Avenue) and crewcuts (1190 Madison Ave).

ALSO IN THE AREA:

frenchcentral park zoohorse and buggy ride
ObaibiCentral Park ZooHorse & Buggy ride

Acorn Toy Shop

 

Acorn Toy Shop

Acorn Toys (323 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn) is a treasure.  The shop ladies were so utterly gracious as my 3-year-old exclaimed repeatedly, “I want it all!  Let’s take it all!”  I had to agree with her.  This little gem has the loveliest selection of toys, clothing, and decor, special enough to be passed down through generations.  It’s hard to imagine how so many delightful toys are neatly arranged in such a cozy space.

Acorn’s selection is mindful of quality and sustainability, with many lines sourced locally.  There is a tactile quality to the displays, with few toys in packages, available for little hands to explore.  Oddly I wasn’t afraid that my rambunctious toddler would break anything as the shop is thoughtfully arranged, with colorful wooden block sets and handmade puppets within her grasp and delicate felt mobiles safely hanging from the ceiling.

What a treat to browse several clothing lines in one place, including popcorn stitch cardigans by Misha & Puff, pinafores by Soor Ploom, and baby alpaca hats and booties by Oeuf.  I also made a few discoveries, including a vast selection mobiles, linen rompers by Red Creek, cars from Playforever.  Acorn also offers a selection of children’s storybooks, fairy and folk tales, as well as make-believe supplies (masks, princess costs, tents, wooden swords, fairy wings, ironing boards, wooden kitchen supplies and even a wooden cash register!).

If can’t make up your mind while you’re in the shop, take a peak at the website, which is maintained with the complete selection.

ALSO IN THE AREA:

TASTING FLIGHTnew york transit museumnyc museums
MilkMade Ice CreamNew York Transit MuseumThings to do on a beautiful sunny day. NYC museums!

Sweet William opens in Manhattan!

One of my very favorite children’s shops from Brooklyn recently opened in Nolita last month — dangerously close to where I live (uh oh). I have always admired Sweet William as it is a store that gets it just right. The space is adorable and the clothes are incredibly well edited, wearable and unique. I assure you, you will want it all. I am especially drawn to the store as a great source for newborn gifts — the teeny tiny outfits from the likes of Ketiketa and Tuss are criminal they are so cute. This is definitely a shop to visit.

ALSO IN THE AREA:

mcnally jackson
McNally Jackson Bookstore

Purl Soho

This winter I plan to channel some old-world “know-how” into my life and finally learn how to sew and knit… properly.   As a city-kid, “knitting” was never something that hit my radar until recently but I would really love to tap into to this creative zone and learn to make fun things for the kids and for the home.  I have always loved the look of Purl Soho with its walls chock full of colorful yarns, beautiful fabrics and cute-as-a-button trims but I always felt intimidated by my dire lack of craftiness.   The store recently moved to a new huge space on Broome Street and they are now offering classes (yippie!) so I am definitely jumping on board.  If you don’t have a chance to visit the store… do check out their website which is enticing and inspiring.

Also check out this adorable little make-your-own Alphabet Block kit for babies…would be a nice gift for a friend.

ALSO IN THE AREA:

scholastichigh tea at crosbykisan-300x199
Favorite children’s bookstore — Scholastic StoreHigh Tea at the Crosby HotelKISAN Concept Store

McNally Jackson Bookstore

I am all about supporting the underdog in this city and the McNally-Jackson Bookstore in Nolita is my very favorite bookstore. Not only is it great for my own browsing but I happen to think they have an incredible children’s book section. You won’t find any junky Dora or Elmo themed reads here and they carry a large selection of titles from abroad. In fact, this is the place we found one of our all time faves from the U.K. (The Runaway Dinner). I always feel smarter just being in the place and the staff is ultra cool to boot (they always have great book suggestions if you are in need of something new to read.) There is also a small café to sit and read a magazine and it’s a nice pit-stop to bring a child to pick out new books. (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

sweet william
Sweet William opens in Manhattan!

The Union Square Farmer’s Market

The Union Square Farmers Market is the largest and most popular open-air food market in New York City. While there are farmers markets throughout the entire city the one at Union Square operates year round, four days a week, and is really is at its peak in the summer and fall. A visit is a real New York experience that couples the city’s obsession with food, with top notch people watching. In addition to numerous stands displaying heaps of fresh fruits and veggies you can find daily caught seafood, eggs, hand-made cheeses, baked goods and beautiful flowers — all sourced from local farms and for the most part, organic. The market is certainly THE most reasonable place to shop for food in the city and it is a wonderful place to take a child to explore. The people who work the stands are always up for a chat about what they are selling and are thrilled to introduce new things that you don’t see in your average American supermarket. I am starving just thinking about it. (Image from Flickr)

Also worth noting is that one of the city’s newest and most modern playgrounds (called “The Evelyn”) just opened so when you are done surfing the food stands there is a place to climb and play. (more…)

The best of Soho’s children’s boutiques

Soho has exploded over the last ten years into THE major shopping hub of the city, and while the chain stores have taken over the area, the smaller boutiques are still holding strong and hiding out on the side streets. The neighborhood happens to be a haven of small and beautiful boutiques for children – all within walking distance from one another. Here are a few of my favorite haunts:

1.)Les Petits Chapelais –This bright and cheery little store feels like you are stepping off the streets of NYC directly into Paris (where the original store is). The tiny space carries a wonderful selection of cool French designs and trends towards more eccentric and funky looks for young kids. As always, the French know fashion, so you are bound to find something unique and stylish in here. They also carry a large selection of Petit Bateau basics. Located at 86 Thompson Street, NYC 10013.

2.)Bundle NYC – This is the store where I found one of my new favorite brands, Neige. Bundle is a wonderful little shop for newborn/toddler clothing and carries a well edited selection of comfy basics for kids like Ella Moss, Tea Collection and Egg by Susan Lazar. Also worth noting is that they also have a decent sized selection of shoes. Located at 128 Thompson Street, NYC 10012. (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

pearl river martaboutus_cover_1kisan-300x199
Pearl River MartPurl SohoKISAN Concept Store

The Limelight Marketplace

In the 1980s, early ’90s, The Limelight was perhaps the most popular nightclub in New York City. Known for its wild parties, weekly drug busts, and all around freakiness, the club closed its doors long ago but the space itself has recently been transformed and re-opened as a…gasp…mini-mall.

The old cathedral space is now The Limelight Marketplace and it is filled with a variety of cute, higher-end food and fashion stalls. New York has never done the “indoor mall” thing well — and most have failed miserably — but this one is actually kind of nice. I especially liked the mini food court which felt a bit like a shrunken down poor man’s Harrods – there are a few delicious bake shops, a fromagerie and a beautiful outdoor farmers market. There were also a few child-oriented stalls: Hunter Boots for toddlers, Silly Souls which makes ironic onesies for newborns like this, and a cute little children’s gift basket service called BookSmart. Overall it is unique, if cramped, but definitely worth a visit. I actually hope this one lasts.

Image from flickr (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

billys bakerytoys-300x201highline
Billy’s Bakery. Diagnosis…DeliciousKidding Around ToysThe Highline

Pearl River Mart

One of my very favorite things to do in NYC is to take a stroll around Chinatown. The experience is transporting on many levels and it offers the closest thing that NYC has to an “open air” market. From the fish markets to the exotic fruit and vegetable stands you will see stuff that will both entice and, quite frankly, might even scare you a little. I have been known to stand and gawk outside of the fish markets because I am just so amazed at the sight of live fish, crabs and even turtles flailing around. You don’t see that stuff in your ordinary state-side supermarket.

And then there is the shopping… although not technically in Chinatown-proper anymore, one of my very favorite places is Pearl River Mart which is essentially a gigantic Chinese department store. There are tons of amazing things inside – housewares, silk fabrics, rows and rows of ornate dishes, brocade jewelry boxes, exotic foods and incredible paper goods. I love picking up gifts here for my kids and for friends alike. They have these amazing streamers (pictured) and lanterns that I nab for birthday parties or even just adding a little flair to a room.

(Image from Flickr) (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

soho mapkisan-300x199aboutus_cover_1
The best of Soho’s children’s boutiquesKISAN Concept StorePurl Soho

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:

horse and buggy ridecentral park zooCaramel_NYC-Store
Horse & Buggy rideCentral Park ZooCaramel Baby & Child

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:

shoe-garden-148x300doodle doosnom_pic11
The Shoe GardenDoodle Doo’sBelly Dance Maternity

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:

acorn toysnew york transit museumpomme blankets
Acorn Toy ShopNew York Transit MuseumPomme

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:

soho maphigh tea at crosbypearl river mart
The best of Soho’s children’s boutiquesHigh Tea at the Crosby HotelPearl River Mart

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 rideeloise storecentral park zoo
Horse & Buggy rideThe Eloise Store at the PlazaCentral Park Zoo

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:

acorn toyspomme blanketsSweet William
Acorn Toy ShopPommeSweet William
Older Posts »