Chelsea Piers

Chelsea Piers

A huge three-pier complex on the West Side Highway, Chelsea Piers is New York’s answer to suburban living. The sprawling sporting and entertainment paradise has it all – a multi-story golf driving range, swimming pool, world-class gym, Olympic sized skating rink, bowling alley, sun deck, skate park, a kids ball pit, a playground and a spa to mention just a few…ok…breathe. Although it’s not all that easy to get to, there are plenty of taxis waiting outside to get you home again and I would suggest just taking a taxi there for your sanity (subway stop is a few LONG blocks away). Check out the website for more information – they have tons of stuff going on year round for kids: summer camps, birthday parties and sports and dance classes galore.  This summer they also have an old-fashioned carousel set up which is always a good time.  I haven’t been in a while but I seem to recall that they also have a Brewery on-site which is always a bonus.

CONTACT DETAILS:

Chelsea Piers
62 Chelsea Piers
New York, NY 10011
(212) 336-6666

ALSO IN THE AREA:

highlinebillys bakerytoys-300x201
The HighlineBilly’s Bakery. Diagnosis…DeliciousKidding Around Toys

Veniero’s Pasticceria

Without fail… every year since birth, my entire family has celebrated their birthday with a cake from Veniero’s. There simply is no substitute, and frankly, a birthday just isn’t a birthday without one. The old-school Italian Pasticceria has been around since the beginning of time and is a wonderful place to bring your kids for an afternoon treat. There are cases filled with freshly made Cannoli’s, Eclairs, Fruit Tarts and my personal favorite, THE RAINBOW COOKIE. Quite possibly as addictive as heroin, and Veniero’s has the best ones on the planet.

There is a large space in the back to sit down and enjoy them with a cappuccino and they are open late on the weekends so it’s a great place to bring kids for an after dinner treat. Try to hit it at off hours and NEVER during the holidays as it is crowded. By the way — I got this image off of one of my favorite NY Food Oriented Websites “The Smitten Kitchen” which has the recipe. And luckily once the guilt sets in… Liquiteria is just down the street!! (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

vaselkaliquiteriakat'z deli
Veselka — Ukranian 27/7Liquiteria — It’s clean-up time everybody!Katz’s Delicatessen

Veselka — Ukranian 27/7

One of the greatest things about New York City is the ability to source any type food you desire at a moment’s notice — even at 3am. Veselka has been around since I was a kid and I am happy that it is still going strong. This long-standing East Village eatery is open 24-7 and serves up hearty platters of delicious Ukrainian Pierogi, Sweet and Savory Blintzes and hearty vegetable soups. If you are looking for something a bit lighter they have a HUGE menu that serves up all the traditional diner favorites like scrambled eggs, pancakes, salads and sandwiches. Its a perfect little spot for a quick easy breakfast or lunch with kids. It also sits on the corner of one of my favorite blocks in New York…9th street between 1st and 2nd Avenue which is home to a bunch of small boutique shops, including a sweet little toy shop called Dinasour Hill. (Image from Flickr)

Nearby Playground: Tompkins Square Park

ALSO IN THE AREA:

vanierostompkinskat'z deli
Veniero’s PasticceriaTompkins Square ParkKatz’s Delicatessen

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…)

Katz’s Delicatessen

Katz’s Delicatessen is a classic New York fixture and happens to be one of the few dining institutions to have survived the massive gentrification of the East Village. The sprawling cafeteria-like space is filled with nostalgia and serves up hand-cut fries, mile high pastrami sandwiches and hot dogs with all the fixins’. It is an easy place to bring a child as the service is quick and there is ample seating. Katz’s still uses the same “ticket” system that they used when they opened back in the day… there are several meal stations to go to pick up your food and you pay on your way out. (Image from Flickr.)
Nearby Playgrounds: 1st Street Park (1st Avenue and 1st Street) and Tompkins Square Park (8th Street and Avenue A)<

ALSO IN THE AREA:

vaselkatompkinsnewmuseum_kaufman
Veselka — Ukranian 27/7Tompkins Square ParkArt, food and a place to sit

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:

kisan-300x199wee-artsscholastic
KISAN Concept StoreArt classes for wee onesFavorite children’s bookstore — Scholastic Store

The Highline

You can’t help but LOVE New York City if you take an early evening stroll on The Highline. Not only is the people-watching fantastic but the whole experience will just make you feel cool. The Highline was the old elevated subway system in NYC and after years of sitting dilapidated and unused it has been transformed into an uber-chic above-ground promenade. The park itself snakes up 10th Avenue and not only offers amazing city views but also tons of places to sit and relax. Although there is not a playground up there they do offer programs for children and have just launched “Wild Wednesdays” which offer free programs for kids ages 5 and up (be sure to check out the stuff for Adults as well). And as if it couldn’t get any better, New York’s coolest bars and restaurants line the streets underneath. I would highly recommend Sunday brunch or drinks at the Standard Grill which sits just at the starting point of the park. It would also be a great date spot fyi!

(image from Flickr)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

ballpitpopburgerchelseamkt_1-231x300
Chelsea PiersPop BurgerChelsea Market

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:

chelseamkt_1-231x300billys bakerypopburger
Chelsea MarketBilly’s Bakery. Diagnosis…DeliciousPop Burger

High Tea at the Crosby Hotel

Recently, I paid a visit to the new and super swank Crosby Hotel for High Tea with a friend. The Crosby is part of the Firmdale group of hotels in London so you now their tea service is the real deal. The large and inviting dining space has lots of little areas to sit and although it was raining the day we went, I did notice there was a beautiful outdoor space with tables so I plan on going back. We had our kids with us and they were incredibly welcoming and accommodating. For around $30 they offer a large selection of freshly brewed teas along with a tower of finger foods ranging from delicious tea sandwiches — to warm scones with jam — to mini-cupcakes. In a city where everyone is always rushing around it’s nice to stop and take an afternoon break. I know I am always starving around 3pm so this lifestyle suits me just fine. (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

kisan-300x199pearl river martscholastic
KISAN Concept StorePearl River MartFavorite children’s bookstore — Scholastic Store

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:

wee-artskisan-300x199high tea at crosby
Art classes for wee onesKISAN Concept StoreHigh Tea at the Crosby Hotel

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:

Caramel_NYC-Storefrenchhorse and buggy ride
Caramel Baby & ChildObaibiHorse & Buggy ride

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:

WMM4FINALnom_pic11doodle doos
Whitney Museum of American ArtBelly Dance MaternityDoodle Doo’s

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 toysTASTING FLIGHTnew york transit museum
Acorn Toy ShopMilkMade Ice CreamNew York Transit Museum

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:

madelinemakemeaning
New York Historical SocietyMake 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:

chelseamkt_1-231x300ballpitpopburger
Chelsea MarketChelsea PiersPop Burger
« Newer PostsOlder Posts »