Review Category : New York City

Reporting from the Aisles of Toy Fair 2014 #TF14

The 111th annual American International Toy Fair® is the largest toy and youth product marketplace in the Western Hemisphere, bringing together more than 1,000 exhibiting manufacturers, distributors, importers and sales agents from around the globe to showcase their toy and entertainment products. This weekend I got to spend the day walking side-by-side with toy buyers for large and small stores across the country. Here are a couple of the trends and toys that impressed me the most. Craft Kits – The trend on craft kits in boxes, cans and jars were seen repeatedly through the show. With price points typically between $10 and $20, these are great toys for play dates, parties or birthday presents.  Many of the kits come with all the elements within the box from glue to paint to paper or beads.  Look in toy stores or aisles near you for kits to make your own jewelry, accessories, ...

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N.Y.C Weekend To Do: FUZIPOP! Dance Party

The last couple of weekends of the Northeast’s bad weather have cancelled our usual Central Park activities, and created an urgency to find cool, new indoor family activities.  Our latest find is a kid-friendly dance party in a West Village club produced by FUZIPOP!. The founders of FUZIPOP!, are parents, DJ’s & music executives who have extensive backgrounds in electronic music, nightclub promotions, marketing and management, and they are answering the call from all kids who constantly demand, “We want to have a dance party!” Last weekend, I took my seven year-old daughter and five year-old son to a FUZIPOP! party and we had blast.  Walking downstairs into a darkened nightclub space decked out with tons of balloons, a full-on light show and pumping electronic music was a bit like falling through a rabbit hole for my kids.  They were quiet at first, but then quickly got into the action ...

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To Do Across the US: Kids’ Night on Broadway 2014

Presented by the New York Times and The Broadway League, Kids’ Night on Broadway 2014 will take place in NYC Feb 24-Mar 2! Tickets will go on sale to the public on Wed Jan 8.  Join The Broadway Fan Club for an exclusive pre-sale opportunity. Broadway shows on tour across the U.S. will hold Kids’ Night on Broadway celebrations throughout the 2013-2014 season. Check out Kids Night on Broadway for a list of participating Kids’ Night shows around the country in alphabetical order by state.  Information will be updated monthy, so please check back for additional theatre and city listings. Kids’ Night on Broadway is a program of the The Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway theatre industry. Kids’ Night on Broadway has introduced young people to the magic of live theatre and made Broadway accessible to a new generation of theatregoers in New York and across ...

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NYC Mom’s 4 Favorite Places to Unwind

Although city life tends to stress many, as a native New Yorker I can verify that there are places to get your Zen on.  To all the moms out there, take a little time to spoil yourself, do more of what you love and seek a place that let’s you unwind and truly see all the beauty in your life. Central Park Conservatory Garden:  One of my favorite parts of the park to relax. The flowers are in full bloom this month. According to the official Park website, the Conservatory Garden is divided into three smaller gardens, each with a distinct style: Italian, French and English.  The Garden’s main entrance is through the Vanderbilt Gate, on Fifth Avenue between 104th and 105th Streets. This magnificent iron gate, made in Paris in 1894, originally stood before the Vanderbilt mansion at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street. Designation as an official quiet zone,  ...

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Visit NY: See ANN at Lincoln Center

Looking for some entertainment and inspiration? I found both last night at the performance of ANN at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater. Actress and playwright Holland Taylor created and stars in this no-holds-barred, one woman show about former Texas governor, the late Ann Richards. Recognizable from movies and television (most recently playing the mother on Two & A Half Men), Holland does a phenomenal job offering a funny and poignant peek into the life of a woman that led a historic life. Holland adopts the fiery attitude and southern drawl of Richards to tell the audience how she made it from small-town Texas child to a divorcee mother of three and then to the Texas governor’s mansion.  Her stories, manner and jokes kept the audience laughing throughout the performance. It was truly a great tribute to a historic American figure. I was inspired by the story of how one woman ...

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VisIT NY: Grug @ The New Victory Theater

Running February 19 through March 17, Grug is a great show geared for children ages 2-5 at The New Victory Theater.  Based on a much loved Australian picture book character created by Ted Prior,  Grug is a funny little creature who is made of the bristly top of a tree and uses his imagination to help him solve situations that come along. My kids (ages 6 and 4) were enchanted with the beautifully-designed set and Grug puppet as the puppeteers led the audience of kids through a series of parcels Grug receives in his  mailbox.  The set looks sort of like a huge Astro-turf covered skateboard park ramp with a tree at the top and a mailbox at the bottom. Big doors on the sides of the ramp open to reveal Grug’s cozy home and his favorite fishing hole.               As I’ve experienced at ...

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That’s IT Mom @ Toy Fair 2013 #tf13

  Mom blogging certainly has its perks and being able to attend the International Toy Fair is a BIG one!  This is the 110th anniversary of the American International Toy Fair and its THE meeting place for established toy manufacturers, as well as, small inventors that are truly kids at heart.  I spent a couple of days walking the many aisles at the Javitts Convention Center in New York looking for cool toys for us to bring to That’s IT Mommy followers for the rest of the year, here are some of my observations… 1) The return (well I guess some never left) of some old favorites,  such as The Smurfs, Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles and Star Wars. You’ll see them in toy stores soon on games, toy bags, action figures and stuffed animals. 2) Science is cool. Lots of booths were introducing games and toys that taught kids about ...

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NYC VisIT: Ice Festival at Belvedere Castle

Belvedere Castle nestled right inside Central Park is a magically fun place to bring your children. The large stone walls, turrets and flags will rev their imaginations and inspire stories of knights, dragons and Rapunzel. Make a trip there this Saturday, January 19th from noon-3:00 pm to see ice sculpting, hear the Urban Park Rangers describe how ice shaped the large rocks in the Park and try your hand at sculpting using play-dough. There truly seems to be something for everyone! P.S. Don’t forget to bring your camera. There are lots of great photo opportunities for the kids on the castle grounds. For more information, visit centralparknyc.org or call 212-772-0210. – That’s IT Mommy Jill ...

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NYC: Fall Day Trip Pick

One of the most frequent questions I get from moms when they learn that I raise my young family in NYC is “where do you food shop?” I guess that all the skyscrapers and museums distract them from the many supermarkets and other gourmet food shops that pepper the Island of Manhattan. One of my absolute favorite foodie family destinations is the Union Square Greenmarket.  Located on Broadway at East 17th Street, it is easily accessible from most subway lines at the 14th Street Subway Station.  The Greenmarket began in 1976 and in frequented by over 100 farmers and specialty food vendors every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. When the kids tire of walking the aisles of the Greenmarket, we stop by the Union Square park playground. Its a great space with two playgrounds, one for the smaller tots and another for bigger kids. ...

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pink, pink is everywhere this month! From the uniforms on NFL players to the lights atop the Empire State Building, everyone is on board to recognize breast cancer awareness. As the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, taking part in building awareness is very important to me. This week I had the opportunity to bring my mom to a very special luncheon, organized by The MOMs and sponsored by MARTINI sparkling wine, in NYC. It was inspiring to hear how a really awful disease could inspire such acts of courage and allow women and their loved ones to help themselves and ultimately other women along the way. Highlights of the luncheon speakers for me were… * When Elizabeth Chabner Thompson, MD, MPH, told her story her family’s strong history with breast cancer, her experiences as a Radiation Oncologist and her inspiration for creating BFFL Co., Best Friends for Life, which ...

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