DUMBO

Urban Glass Open House: Factory Tour NYC Style

In Pennsylvania you can go to the Crayola Factory Tour and see how crayons are made, but in Brooklyn you can tour the UrbanGlass workshop and see how local artists create beautiful objects out of glass. UrbanGlass regularly holds free open house tours that show visitors the process of creating a handblown glass object. This weekend is a Sketch and Sculpt Open House where they will select a submitted drawing and bring that object to life (The date for submissions has passed, sorry).

You can also take glassblowing workshops and classes at UrbanGlass and even bring your own recycling to turn into something new. The great thing about a glassblowing class is you can create a paperweight or a cup to take home in just one workshop.

Shopping Locally: Craft Fairs, Sample Sales and Holiday Shopping Events

200812020310.jpgBuying local is the hip new thing, but beyond just being trendy and "supporting local businesses," buying local is important to us because it builds community and sustains what we love most about NYC: its cool, eclectic mix of unique, small shops and walkable city streets.

There are several Holiday shopping events that make shopping locally into fun, outings. Plus we've got a round-up of sample sales.

Free Fun Friday - Free Cooking Classes, Fall Festivals and Local Pumpkin Picking

IMG_0383.JPGFall has arrived and it's time to get yourself some pumpkins! Check out our posts on the best pumpkin picking and apple picking in the area if you want to head out of town. Or, you can stock up on pumpkins and fall fun right here in NYC with the top picks of this weekend's local pumpkin events. Plus, did you know that there are lots of free kids cooking classes available this weekend? Keep reading for the full scoop...

Crazy Arty Fun For Kids at the 2008 Art Under the Bridge Festival

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Jodi Call wrote a great piece for us this summer with four excellent outings and I thought it was so great I invited Jodi to write for us more often. Jodi thought it was so great, she started her own blog; Pistols and Popcorn follows her amazing adventures around New York with her son, Roan. Here's, hopefully, one of many awesome posts from Jodi:

“What kind of thing do you want to do this week-end?” It’s the question I pose to my son, Roan. But we both know I’ve always got something in mind. This week he tried to trip me up with this: “I want to do nothing, but we can do it outside.” Oh brother, mister. You’ve no idea who you’re messing with.

This weekend is the 2008 Art Under the Bridge Festival. This is the 12th year of the festival, and my 3rd year as a devotee. After a summer full of orchestrated outings and a few weeks of structured school days, the timing couldn’t be better for an entire weekend of chaotic fun with your kids.

Don't Miss: Bhutanese Dancing Monks on NYC Streets

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Sometimes the streets of NYC can be the most magical place in the world. This will become true for the next nine days when Bhutanese ritual dancers will be appearing throughout the city every day to perform their mesmerizing ancient Tantric Buddhist demon subjugation dance, called Cham. The elaborate costumes of the 13 monks who will be performing are enough to make this event spectacular, but the performance, a kind of danced yoga, makes this a once in a lifetime occurrence.

Bhutan is a tiny, secretive and isolated kingdom in the Himalayas, with very little outside influence and extremely limited tourism is allowed, making the opportunity to see the Bhutanese monks dancing on the streets of our city, for free, an absolutely not to be missed opportunity.

Drop + Dine takes the terrible out of eating out with toddlers

drop_and_dine_logo_low_res.jpgHaving a grown up meal out in a restaurant isn't really a luxury. It can be a survival tactic for stressed out parents who have virtually forgotten that they share anything in common besides the DNA of their children and their inability to get The Wonder Pets theme song out of their head. But figuring out the whole babysitter thing can make going out to eat more a chore than a treat.

So when Brian Kaplan, founder of Parent Play, told me they were starting Drop and Dine it sounded like a great idea. Drop and Dine lets parents eat in peace and quiet in a nice restaurant while their children are entertained and fed just steps away in the private party room of the same restaurant.

 

Eat pie and watch an elephant paint in Dumbo this weekend

This weekend there are two events happening in Dumbo, Brooklyn that will make a great day out with kids.

First is the 4th Annual Bubby's Pie Social where you can taste pies made by community members. It is expected that hundreds of homemade pies will be available. Kids can enter their own pies too. If you or your kids would like to make a pie register on line. The money raised from this event goes to benefit area public schools. So eat your heart out. It's for a good cause.

When you've had your fill of pie, wander a few blocks over to the 11th Annual Dumbo Art Under the Bridge Festival where you'll find, among other really unusual and artistic activities for kids, a painting elephant.

If you haven't had enough fun and excitement by then you could always tromp over to Brooklyn Heights to check out what's for sale at the St Ann's Rummage Sale.

Visit Kid-Friendly Dumbo

One of my absolute favorite things to do with the kids on a nice day is to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge into Dumbo. This excursion has all the makings of a perfect day out with the kids; a little relaxing exercise, great ice cream and pizza, a great park and a boat ride. I can't think of a better way to spent a day.

This weekend is an especially good time because Saturday, June 2nd is the Dumbo Block Party. So pack up some sunscreen and water (in your new aluminum water bottles and head to the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge. (You can start from Brooklyn and follow this backwards if you prefer.)

Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge is stroller friendly, just stay right, out of the bicycle lane.. You can stop under the arches to take in the view, snap some photos and read the plaques which describe some of the amazing history of the Bridge. When you get toward the other side, your first opportunity to exit will be a set of stairs. Take the stairs down from the walk way and walk around the corner and back toward the waterfront.

If you're hungry from your walk, stop by Grimaldi's Pizza, considered by many to be NYC's best pizza. Then walk over to Brooklyn Bridge Park which has a great playground, a pebble beach with lapping waves and all, a large lawn surrounded by a sculpture garden and incredible views.

If you're in the mood for shopping head over to ultra-hip children stores Half Pint and Pomme (this store is now closed. If you can resist buying anything, then you definitely deserve a chocolate reward from artisan chocolatier Jacques Torres Chocolates.

At 56 Water Street, gaze at the beautiful and fully restored original Coney Island Carousel. Rides are not allowed until they find permanent home for it, however, so you might want to avoid this just as much if you've got a little one ready for a melt-down.

But, tears will come to a screeching halt if you head back toward Fulton Ferry Landing for ice cream at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. The ice cream here is unbelievable. If you ever splurge on a sundae, this is the place to do it. The caramel tastes like crГѓВЁme brulee topping and the fudge is out of this world.

When you've had enough, the easiest, fastest and most fun way to get back to Manhattan is to just hop on the Water Taxi to the South Street Seaport or around the harbor to another destination in Manhattan. Kids especially like to ride upstairs in the open air.

MOMMY POPPINS TIP: The story of the Brooklyn Bridge is really quite amazing and has lots of elements that kids will love. Here are a couple of book ideas for children of different ages that will add an additional layer of interest and excitement for kids when visiting the Brooklyn Bridge.

Twenty-One Elephants is a picture book that tells the story of a little girl who helps convince grown ups to trust that the bridge will hold. It is well researched and based on the real story of PT Barnum's participation in the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Brooklyn Bridge:The Story of the World's Most Famous Bridge and the Remarkable Family That Built It tells the amazing story of the construction of the bridge for older kids. It is part of a series of Wonders of the World Books.

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