Midtown East

Holiday Traditions 2010: Christmas Department Store Windows Walk

Click here to see the amazing 2014 Department Store Holiday Windows.

Remember this: your children's holiday memories won't be about the toys they get under the tree, they're going to be about the wonderful holiday traditions that your family shared. One of these traditions should be going to see the department store holiday window displays. These festive holiday windows are a great way to get into the holiday spirit and this simply magical experience is completely free.

 

Lots of people like to do the Holiday Windows Walk on Christmas Eve, but it's also a great way to walk off your Thanksgiving turkey because the crowds tend to be smaller when the stores are closed (and before the RockefellerCenter tree is lit.) We've rounded up the best ones for kids plus some other great holiday stops to visit while you're in the neighborhood.

Toys of Yesteryear, Batteries Not Included

As adults we often have a great deal of nostalgia and affection for our favorite childhood toys and such strong sentiment has long kept the antique and vintage toy market alive.  Luckily for our kids, our ongoing cultural fascination with old toys has also prompted museum curators, famed collectors, and even toy manufacturers to create public venues right here in NYC, where cool antique and vintage toys can be displayed, admired and celebrated.  Nearly hidden in plain sight, all of them are worthy destinations for you and your kiddos. Keep reading to find out more!

Things to do 4th of July Weekend in New York City, Festivals, Fireworks and Fun: July 3 - July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July! The highlight this weekend no matter where you are is of course - fireworks. In New York City there is the huge annual fireworks spectacular courtesy of Macy’s and if you plan on taking it in make sure to read our post on where to get the best view of the show.  We also have the scoop on the best fireworks displays on Long Island and in New Jersey.  

If you are staying in town this weekend, don’t fret, you don’t need a backyard or beach house to have a lot of fun, there are festive, patriotic and Americana events going on all around town. Dan Zanes is performing a concert in Battery Park where the audience can join in on the big brass parade finale (bring your own horn!) There are fireworks and live music from the Staten Island Philharmonic on Staten Island and an ecologically correct sand castle contest in Coney Island. While you are out on Coney Island don’t forget to check out the other annual 4th of July event – the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.

This is also the first weekend of July which means many area museums are offering free admissions and special programming during select times. And for many of us it is a three day weekend so you may be looking for something to do on Monday, check out our Summer Fun Guide or  100 Free Things to do this Summer for some awesome ideas. 

 

Happy 4th of July!  Have a great one.

Lego Store in Rockefeller Center: Must-See New York City Megastore

Until I visited the new Lego Store that opened up in Rockefeller Center last week I never realized just how much New York City needed a store devoted to tiny plastic building bricks. This colorful showpiece of a store has so much to offer brick building kids and their parents, much more than just shopping! It is a total Lego experience from the Lego brick masterpieces throughout the store to the unique products for sale plus occasional events. So get ready for Lego fever!

Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters show at Japan Society

If your cubs crave comic books or are aficionados of Japanese animé, you’ll definitely want to head on over to the incredibly cool Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters show at Japan Society.  What you get to see is the amazing artwork that inspired modern-day animé, the likes of Mothra and Godzilla, and much of what we recognize as classic comic book graphic style, as well as popular tattoo art and manga.  All the bold, colorful works are by one incredible artist, Utagawa Kuniyoshi. One more thing. He lived from 1797-1861. (Totally true.)  Read on to find out more about this fantastic show  with tips on how best to view it.
 
 

NYC Easter Parades 2010: Fancy Easter Bonnets and Greek Orthodox Celebrations

What the Village Halloween Parade is to Downtown, the Easter Fancy Hat parade is to Uptown; a chance to get dressed up and take to the streets in your quirkiest, home-made Easter bonnet. Not so much a parade, people mill about looking for the best bonnets, occasionally breaking into a waltz, swing dance or even song. It's as close as you're going to get to stepping into a classic movie.

Find out about this and other Easter Parades:

Viewing Tips for NYC Elephant March 2010

Staying up late and seeing the annual Ringling Brothers' elephants exit The Midtown Tunnel is a fairly exciting event for city kids--afterall it's not every day you see pachyderms parading down 34th Street in the middle of the night to herald the Spring opening of the circus. No secret there.

But we do have some tips on seeing the elephants this year:
 

Five Summer Art Adventures for Kids in New York City

New York City is full of art, sure, but taking kids to an art museum can either be totally cool or a total nightmare. I wanted to know what's going on this summer in the art scene that my kids will enjoy and not turn into a whine-fest. Who better to ask than Natasha Schlesinger. Natasha is the founder of ArtKids, classes that take children into NYC museums and galleries and makes looking at art fun, exciting and acccessible for kids ages 3 to 12.

Here are five recommendations for cool art outings in New York City this summer from the founder of ArtKids, Natasha Schlesinger.

Sony Wonder Technology Lab

We recently visited the newly renovated Sony Wonder Technology Lab and by the end of the visit this great venue had shot up to the top of our list of must visit spots for kids in New York City. The Sony Wonder Technology Lab has always been a great find, with free movie screenings and a fun children's museum with interactive exhibits. But the new renovation and exhibits leap-frog the Sony Wonder Technology Lab to the forefront of NYC children's museums for kids.

New York is full of great children's museums, but the Sony Wonder Technology Lab does one thing really, really well that none of the other children's museums in New York City currently do: it teaches kids about the stuff they want to learn about most, technology.

Free NYC Weekend Activities for Kids May 1-3: Cherry Blossom Festival, Wildflowers, Spring Fairs, Free Comic Books & Bikes

Yeah, it might rain, and you've been thinking about getting surgical masks to even take the whole family out to the grocery store...but there is too much going on this weekend to just stay at home. So get the family, grab the Purell--and probably an umbrella or two--and brave the elements for an amazing weekend of cherry blossoms and wildflowers, spring and school fairs, ring swinging, a block party and bike tour, a family festival to end all festivals and free bikes and comic books.

If you're concerned about public places and swine flu, sani-hands is giving out free samples of their sanitizing wipes on Friday, May 1 in Times Square from 10am-1pm, or just make sure to wash your hands frequently.

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