New York City

Toddling the Upper West Side: 10 Spots in 10 Blocks For You and Your Toddler in the West 60's

Ah toddlers, so full of energy and always on the go, much like our beloved NYC!  I've been getting a unique new view of my neighborhood on the Upper West Side through a toddler's eyes with my one-and-a-half-year-old.  It's a very child-friendly area from Columbus Circle at 59th Street Columbus all the way up to 100th Street.   You're sandwiched between two amazing parks, but there are loads of other places to explore as well.  So we're taking you and your toddler on a tour of the Upper West Side, 10 fun-filled blocks at a time. There will be lots of child-friendly play spaces and food options,  and a little something for the adults to enjoy along the way too.  In this first part of the series we tackle the West 60's. Here we go! 


Don’t Miss the Temporary Toy Theater Museum and Festival

You might have heard that there’s a cool Toy Theater Festival in town until June 13th, but betcha didn’t know about the terrific and virtually un-advertised Temporary Toy Theater Museum that accompanies the festival or, better yet, that it’s totally free to see and well worth taking the kids!

New York Transit Museum's Summer Nostalgia Train Rides

[UPDATED: May 27, 2013] I'm sure I'm not the only one who has visited the New York Transit Museum and wished for a chance to ride on one of the old trains or buses on display. It would really be something to go back to an era when New Yorkers rode the tiny rattan seats on the BMT or held onto the leather straps of the IRT as the subways noisily bumped and jostled their way through the tubes.

Well time travel isn’t possible, but you can hop on some of New York City’s old trains and buses when the Transit Museum pulls out some of its vintage fleet for three special, all-day summer excursions. The trips each have different destinations and sound like a lot of fun. In fact they're filling up fast! If you have a little train fan in your house, don't miss this.

Preschool Co-Op: How to Start an At-Home, Parent-Led Program

One of the urban legends spread to NYC parents is that you have to sign your children up for preschool while they're still in the womb. This isn't true. In fact, preschool is optional and there are lots of options out there from full day preschools to half day, preschool alternatives and enriching and nurturing day cares.

Our family decided to do something completely different and join some friends as part of a parent-led preschool co-op with our 2-year-old. I recently met with other moms who've done it before to hear their experience and tips on making it a success. 

10 One-Food Wonders for Lip Smackin’ New York City Snackin’

As parents we might do back flips to make sure our kids eat their daily 3-square chock full of veggies, whole grains and power fruits. However, sometimes it’s very fun (and wicked delicious) to ditch squaresville, flipping those pesky food pyramids on their points, in order to chow down on some of NYC’s awesome one-food-wonders. And we’re not talking about the cupcake craze either. NYC is fairly unique in offering a huge variety of obsessively crafted single-food stands and other illustrious eateries where there’s virtually just one thing on the menu. But oh what delectable things they are!

We’ve scoped out some the most kid-ilicious single-food snacks around. (You’ll love them too.) Enjoy some of the very best single-food sensations around, all under $10:


The High Line: How to Foil the Hipsters and Enjoy NYC's Hottest Park With Kids

Check out our latest post about the High Line with info on all three sections. The High Line has been hyped far and wide as one of NYC's hippest new parks, but is it actually a good destination to hit with kids?  There are no swings, no playgrounds, no grassy fields. No dogs or skates, scooters, trikes, bikes or balls are allowed. It's not really a park at all, more of a promenade. A promenade up a few flights of stairs, no less. Not to mention that one of the things it's become most famous for is being a great viewing location for watching guests of the Standard Hotel with a yen for x-rated exhibitionism.

But despite all those nos (and no-nos), there are some redeeming qualities for the High Line from a kids-eye view. While the High Line might not actually have anything to "do", you can make your own fun there with a little bit of creativity and preparation.

Cool Culture: Dead or Alive Show at the Museum of Arts and Design

I knew this was going to be a cool show before we checked it out in person, but we were truly unprepared for the total awesomeness of the entire exhibit which has a WOW factor that’s off the charts.  The basic premise of the show is about taking recycled “dead” plant and animal matter and making it newly “alive” as art.  Take, for instance, Billie Grace Lynn’s freakin’ fantastic working “Mad Cow Motorcycle” made up of the bones of an entire cow. Then there’s Fabian Pena’s anatomical art that’s pretty swell in and of itself but will knock your socks off when closer inspection reveals it’s entirely fabricated from cockroach wings. And talking about the eeeewwww factor, you’ve got Alastair Mackie’s fabric woven from mouse fur recovered from owl poop.  That’s just the tip of the iceberg! Read on to get the goods on this exciting exhibition.

Kid Shows: Story Pirates Act Out Stories Kids Write Themselves

It's no secret that pirates are fond of dapper duds—frilly shirts, satin sashes, gold hoop earrings. And when it comes to playing dress up, the Striking Viking Story Pirates have the best stash in town. Rastafarian headdress, smoking jackets, leopard loin cloths and more are tucked away backstage, making each show feel like a great big game of pretend all hopped up on apple juice and pixie sticks.

Baby Boutiques in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

[UPDATED: December 1, 2012]

When you think of Williamsburg you may think more about hipsters and hangouts than babies and binkies, but it may be time to rename this hood babyburg, cause it has sprouted some of Brooklyn's best baby and toddler stores all within a few blocks of each other, giving Park Slope a run for its money.

Read on for the scoop on these baby boutiques and some exclusive discounts just for Mommy Poppins readers.

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.


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