A S.T.E.A.M. Play Space at The Westchester Mall

The long-awaited play space at the Westchester Mall has finally opened! and just in time for the winter months.

Thomas and I headed to the mall to run a few errands and pick up a christmas suit for him and lo and behold… the play space was open! This is part of the new Connect and Play – tech lounge and play center that really brings the classic mall play space into the tech world. There are comfy couches and charging stations all around and the play space is nothing short of an interactive science and art center!

This Play space is not like other mall play spaces. It’s almost like a mini children’s museum with a full S.T.E.A.M. focus. There are 4 primary activity centers featuring – art, engineering, music, and a tile table. A STEAM jr, space for babies and toddlers is blocked off to keep the crawlers and early walkers contained and safe.

Thomas and I were there on a weekday morning and it was really quiet and clean. I am curious to see what this space will look when it’s used. While I felt that the space was pretty cool with the STEAM focus, Thomas wanted to just run around and there really isn’t any space to just run. Additionally the Tile Table is pretty small and there were 3 kids at the table when we were there and that was at capacity, the digital art easels filled up too and Thomas had to wait for his turn but it took some of the play out of the experience. I know my toddler and he wants to tumble and run and there isn’t much for that. But there is a lot of interesting interactive play and he loved the engineering corner.

Thomas and I are looking forward to spending some time at this play space this winter. Bonus for me… there is an Anthropologie, Nordstrom, Potterbarn, Apple Store, Sur La Table and so much more at the Westchester!

The fancy new food court is slated to open Aril2017… I can’t wait! Seems like this is a new concept for mall food courts and play spaces. I’m looking forward to seeing all the changes.

The Westchester Mall is in White Plains, NY and a quick train ride or drive north of Manhattan.

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Apple Picking with Kids

Apple Picking The-New-York-Mom

Living in New York means that every season gets a grand hurrah! and Fall – being my favorite season, gets lots of hurrahs! Apple Picking is one of our favorite fall festivities. The smell of the crisp air, the walk through the orchards, apples eaten along the pick, apple cider, cinnamon donuts… I could go on forever. Apple picking with kids has it’s set of challenges as does basically doing anything with kids. Here is my tried and true list of do’s and don’t of apple picking with kids from my years of schlepping my kids up and down orchards up here in New York.

HUGE TIP – Some of the orchards have already run out of apples so please call before you head up. We are fortunate to live in the middle of orchards so we go all the time on weekdays with no crowds. 

Apple picking on the weekends is for those of you who like to live on the edge. We go to some of the orchards that are about an hour north of Manhattan. The weekends are insane. There is no charm in over crowded apple picking orchards. You have to stand in lines for everything and sometimes after standing in that line for 30 minutes you STILL don’t get your Cinnamon Donut! Then you have to walk forever to get to your car to then sit in traffic inching forward as your kids scream because … remember… no cinnamon donut! Go during the week if you can.

Apple Picking The-New-York-Mom

Take the kids apple picking when they are off on ‘school days‘. It’s not as crowded and you will certainly dodge the ‘Instagram Selfie’ crowd.

Dress – don’t wear heels when apple picking! I can’t believe I have to tell you this… you would be surprised at how many gals show up in heels!  You know this is dirt and mud and orchard land right. You are walking up hills and picking apples! Skip the heels. Wear your fall boots, skinnies, a sweater and a hat. Rock!

Apple Picking The-New-York-Mom

Bring water, it can get hot up in the orchards so bring water. The orchards are usually a bit of a walk from the car so a backpack with a snack and water is best.

Some orchards have evening music so check in advance and time your trip accordingly.

I wear sunscreen year round and so do the kids. So add that to your backpack.

Apple Picking The-New-York-Mom

A little provision for you and your honey. Go ahead – fill that water bottle with a little something special. Sit up at the top of  your apple orchard taking in the scenery and sip away. Because those drink lines are super long and not worth the wait.

MUST go on a hayride. So fun. And definitely do the corn mazes!!!

Poision Ivy likes to go all around apple trees. We haven’t had an issue but some orchards might overlook this and forget to take the poison ivy out. Be on the look out for three shiny leaves! Apple Picking The-New-York-Mom

Eat the apples from the tree. I know you paid for your bag of apples but what’s apple picking without munching on one red delicious fruit while picking.

Head up north to the Hudson Valley – Beacon, Coldspring, Hudson, Rhinebeck … all amazing towns with gorgeous views and not half the crowds. The time you will spend sitting in your car in traffic will be put to great use driving through the Hudson Valley on twisted roads with falling leaves while taking in some of the best scenery that New York State has to offer.

There ya have it. A bonafide tried and true guide to apple picking this season. Have fun!

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An Easter Brunch Cruise Around Manhattan

Hornblower The New York Mom

We did something a bit out of the box for easter this year and it was the best thing ever! We went on a cruise around New York City. No matter what time of the year this is a great activity for kids in New York City or just a bucket list item for anyone visiting New York City.

Hornblower The New York Mom

Our family is spread out throughout the country with the main fort being in Florida where our parents and grandparents live. My sister-in-law lives in Brooklyn which can feel like a different state sometimes! Matt usually cooks a great big feast for Easter brunch and we spend the whole day flying kites and riding bikes and planting flowers. This year we didn’t have any family visit us for Easter so Matt and I decided to take an Easter brunch cruise around New York City. Let me just start by saying, this was the BEST IDEA EVER! If you have young kids, an easter cruise with Hornblower Cruises is pretty perfect.

Hornblower The New York Mom
The obvious… no cleaning, cooking, wrangling of children nothing… just show up, have a great time, dance, eat and take in the most incredible views. After church we headed over for our Brunch. It was a quick drive down the west side highway and on Sunday’s there is hardly any traffic.

Hornblower The New York Mom

Upon arriving we were greeted by the Easter Bunny… this was a dancing, skipping, very happy Easter Bunny. Thomas was over the moon. He could not believe that we were about to get on  big boat with THE Easter Bunny.

Our table was set with everything we needed including a chilled bottle of champagne!

Hornblower The New York Mom

Hornblower The New York Mom

The food buffet was great – with a variety of food for everyone. Meats, fish, veggies, pasta, carving station, kid friendly food. A massive dessert table with a chocolate fountain seemed to be the hit. After eating, we headed up to the top of the boat to take in the views. Stunning. If you have never been on a cruise around Manhattan you are missing out. It’s romantic, it’s beautiful and you’ll never have access to these views unless you are in the water.

Hornblower The New York Mom


Hornblower The New York Mom

New York CityNew York CityBut wait there is so much more… a live jazz band was playing the entire 2 hours and the floor was packed with little kids and adults dancing! And then…

and then…

Hornblower The New York Mom
The EASTER BUNNY! After the cutest easter egg hunt – on the boat – the Easter Bunny came around and said hi to all the kids and adults and danced and took pictures and had the best time.

Hornblower The New York Mom
The Hornblower stops right in front of the Statue of Liberty for about 15 minutes and the views of this and the photo opps are amazing we didn’t make it out in time because the EggHunt had just ended and the kids were busy counting the loot. Priorities ya know!

Hornblower The New York Mom

Hornblower The New York Mom

Hornblower The New York Mom

Overall, this was a great experience. We would absolutely do this again… even with family visiting. The kids loved it, Matt and I didn’t have to worry about anything and the kids both napped on our  45 minute drive back home.

The staff on the Hornblower was the sweetest and catered to the kids and played along with the Bunny. The Bunny by the way was the real deal… and we snapped the best picture for easter!

Hornblower The New York Mom

Hornblower Cruises operate all year-long and I HIGHLY recommend their cruises for visitors this summer. What an amazing way to end your trip to New York – a dinner or brunch cruise around the greatest city in the world with dancing and champs and great food. It’s such a great time! They also have private charters and all sorts of bundles. Swing by HORNBLOWER CRUISE for more.

*This post is sponsored by Hornblower Cruises. All opinions are mine, we really had a great time* 

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My Top Picks from The New York Baby Show

New York Baby Show

The annual New York Baby Show was held last weekend in NYC. This 2-day baby expo offers products, seminars and services for expecting and new parents. Everything from doulas to doctors, photographers, stroller companies and organic baby products are showcased for 2 full days. Navigating the world of baby gear is daunting and often time parents end up with too much gear and not enough space. The New York Baby Show had expert tips from all corners of the baby advice world to help parents  be informed about the latest products on the market and make decisions to fit them and their new babes!

The Bump New York Baby Show

While walking the floor and meeting the companies and brands was fun and all, my fave part was getting glamed up in the Momtrends Lounge with Nicole and her team. The Momtrends Lounge offered complimentary babysitting and the ever awesome Glam Squad. Nails, hair, makeup… all done by the fab team from The Glam Squad.


I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite picks from the New York Baby show – the latest and greatest on the market!

Check out this great video that I did with TTPM for my full coverage of the New York Baby Show.

One of my favorites and most overlooked Baby Must Have items is a camera. Let me talk you through my reasoning… most parents have a smart phone – like me- and use this for taking photos all the time. When Thomas was born, I upgraded my old camera to a fancy DSLR… why… to take better pictures of my sweet babe. Brilliant idea… a lot of parents do this. For some parents, this is the time they ever even buy a great camera. Canon was at the New York Baby Show sharing tips on how to take fab photos of your babe with one of my favorite photogs – Karilyn Sanders Photography. 

Canon The New York Baby Show

Canon has a whole range of cameras that have wifi capability, filters for your pics and low light capability so those sleeping baby pictures come out perfect without waking up your babe.


New York Baby Show Canon

The fanciest of stroller at the expo was not even at the booth… it was this German stroller that this fancy man was pushing his babe in. Lovezzzz! The New York Baby Show

There is SOOO much that overwhelms parents in the baby gear world.. so feel free to drop me an email if you ever need some tips! newyorkmom1 {at} gmail dot com


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15 Tips When Talking to Kids About Online Safety

Lets talk about internet safety for elementary aged kids. Internet safety is the new “stranger danger,” and in today’s online social climate parents can’t avoid the reality of this social connection any longer. Kids are savvy these days and navigating apps, you tube channels, vine videos, instagram, snapchat and search engines all comes second nature to kids as young as 7 years old. Parents… don’t be afraid. We must embrace this social culture with our kids and not ignore it, be afraid of it or dismiss it. Learn it! Engage with your child via social networks.  We just have to make sure we talk to our kids about being safe online and using their better judgement even as early as age 5.

Recently I stood in front of a room full of parents and gave a talk onTalking to Kids About Online Safety . This was specifically for the under 13 year old age group.( Because you know it’s illegal for a kid under 13 to have a social account right! See COPPA laws below.)I hope you find these tips helpful.


Talking to Kids About Online Safety

|| Talking to Kids About Online Safety ||

  1. Talk to your kids about internet safety OFTEN. Make sure they know to tell a parent when they feel uncomfortable with something they see online. Online safety is the new Stranger Danger.
  2. Always know your child’s passwords and accounts to everything they are doing. Children under 13 should not have social network accounts according to COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act). It is illegal for kids to have social accounts like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, so do not allow your child to have a FB, Snapchat, Instagram,VIne accounts. If your child does have a social account, make sure it is private and you, the parent, MUST friend them on all their social accounts. If this is an issue, take away their account. It’s illegal anyway.
  3. Frequently check the ‘history’ of the computer and smart phone/device your child is using. ( don’t know how to do this, drop me an email)
  4. If using apple products – log in via icloud on all your Apple devices – iPhone, itouch, ipad, and computers. This enables you to see the photos and videos your child is taking from their device.
  5. Keep the computer in a public space with the screen facing out – not a wall – kids should not have computers in their rooms.
  6. Monitor phone activity often. You are the parent and can take the phone away if you feel the child is hiding something from you or involved in something inappropriate.
  7. Teach your child the value and power of photographs and video. Do not allow friends to photograph or video them in embarrassing situations.Do not allow older siblings to photograph or video younger siblings in embarrassing situations.
  8. Snaphcat – the most popular tween/teen social outlet. While it claims images are immediately deleted… screen shots are never erased.
  9. Never share passwords with friends.
  10. Safety features on your phone, also privacy/safety settings have to be set on YouTube.com and Google.com. Which means turning safety features on your smart phone or device is NOT enough. You have to go to Youtube.com – scroll to the bottom of the page and select the safety features through that page. Same for Google, bing… etc.
  11. Limit screen time and if needed unplug your Wi-Fi.
  12. Parents MUST stay on top of online trends and news. Know how to use your computer, navigate FB, Instagram, vine, snapchat..etc
  13. Don’t be afraid to be that parent. Communicate your online usage expectations to the sitter or care givers.
  14. Do not let your child take their tablet or smart phone to bed. Phone stays on the dining table through the night, they can get it when the wake up.
  15. Be sure to enable all child safety programs and use passwords on your internet devices.

|| Resources ||

COPPA – http://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/complying-coppa-frequently-asked-questions#General Questions

COMMON SENSE MEDIA – https://www.commonsensemedia.org/privacy-and-internet-safety


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Family Travel – Woodloch Pines Resort

The-new-york-mom*This is a sponsored post*


The kids have been pretty stir crazy these past few weeks. Snow days are great and all, but when it’s solid sheets of ice outside… that’s not as much fun. It’s been too cold to do anything outside. So I packed everyone up and we headed up to the Poconos for a weekend getaway. We were invited by the MOMs and Vaseline for a weekend at Woodloch Pines Resort.  Woodloch is a quick 2 hour drive from New York City. Lily and Thomas slept the whole way there and back… i enjoyed some time listening to NPR while driving. A luxury I can’t seem to find time for most days.


Woodloch was everything we needed to get our winter sillies out. After an extravagant welcome lunch, we suited up for a day of outdoor snow activities. Lily immediately hit the ‘Extreme” snowtube hill. Thomas and I stayed at the bottom of the hill and cheered everyone along.



The-new-york-momNext we went over to the frozen pond for some ice skating. Again, Thomas couldn’t skate but walked on the ice, fell lots of times, tried to catch fish under the frozen ice, screamed out SHARK a few times… you know 2-year-old shenanigans. The pond was large so there was plenty of room for the kids to skate around and play ice hockey.


Dinner was a lot of fun because a whole parade of legendary characters greeted us and roamed through the dining rooms. I mean Elvis and Batman were in the same building folks! The evening was full of resort type entertainment, a concert hall had a magician who made a bird disappear, a show-tunes filled show followed complete with sequins ball gowns and step touch dance choreography. The kids and I went to the arcade and tree forest to go climbing and ride bumper cars.

The-new-york-momOnce we got back to the room, which overlooked the lake, Lily and I stayed up, chatted and sat on our balcony to take in the moonlight reflecting off the frozen lake. We talked and laughed like we were both old souls. A family of deer walked through the snow leaving small footprints and we watched them … silent.

The-new-york-momThis was probably my most memorable moment of the entire trip. This magical relaxed time with my tween who most days wants nothing to do with me.

The-new-york-momThe next day was just as busy with pony rides, arts and crafts, more snow tubing and ice skating, bumper cars… etc.

There is a lot for kids to do at Woodloch. Archery, shooting, ice hockey, race cars, bumper cars, tubing and lots of indoor activities as well. No shortage of activities.

The-new-york-momThe rooms were clean and large. Our room had 2 large rooms – a living room with 2 pull out couches, bedroom with 2 queen beds, 2 bathrooms, deep bathtub, a large closet for storing all your goods and a balcony. A small kitchen area was also included.

It takes a bit of time to get his big bellie into this snow suit… so picture this.. we are out on the frozen lake. bit a walk to anything indoors and he says… ‘ i make a poo poo, it coming out’ !

The staff was incredibly helpful and friendly and I felt that everywhere we went the kids were safe. The staff seemed to remember everyone and was always looking out for the kids. Woodloch is the quintessential family travel destination for family reunions and getaways . I made it a point to give Lily a bit of freedom, so I let her go tubing without me and meet me back at the craft room where Thomas was busy schmoozing on the ladies. Lily did really well with her new-found independence and honestly… it was the vibe of the resort that let me set her free.Of course now she thinks I’m going to set her free on the streets of NYC… so no that’s not going to happen!

The cold 19 degree weather definitely plays a number on your skin… and barreling down those snow tubing hills gave Lily’s face a bit of a Winter Burn. But thankfully this trip was sponsored by Vaseline Brand and we had plenty of goodies to try out during our stay. I’ve been using Vaseline petroleum jelly on my hands but had never used their Intensive Skin Care line. This company has been around for 140 years… and their products certainly helped our wind burned faces.

If you are looking for a quick little getaway this winter, I highly recommend Woodloch Pines Resort. Dreaming of a summer time trip!

The-new-york-mom*This post was sponsored by The Moms Network and Vaseline Brand. We had a fab weekend! All opinions are my own*

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Musical Petting Zoo with the Westchester Philharmonic

Let me tell you about the WESTCHESTER PHILHARMONIC. 

I have been a part of their world for the past decade and you know what… the NY Tri State area has a gen.. right here!  Lets not forget that famed conductor Itzhak Perlman was in residence here!

The Westchester Philharmonic has tons of programs geared toward the family and this – SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY – they have an especially fun event for the littles.

A petting zoo… a musical petting zoo if you will. Kids will be able to explore and learn about violins, trumpets, drums and more.

Westchester Philharmonic Westchester Philharmonic

What I love about the programming of the Westchester Philharmonc is that they don’t water down the program too much, for the kids. On Saturday the Philharmonic is offering Mozart’s – Overture to the Magic Flute among other selections.

“It isn’t a children’s concert, it’s a full-fledged symphonic program,” noted Executive & Artistic Director Joshua Worby. “The difference is that Maestro Sperling will provide some insights  to help educate and open the ears and minds of young people.”

I’d like to brag for a quick second and tell you that my 9-YO can identify Mozarts Magic Flute in a hot second… arts education for the win!

“Petting Zoo’ starts at 2pm and the concert starts at 3pm.  A pre-concert discussion with Maestro Sperling and Anne-Marie McDermott takes place inside the concert hall simultaneously at 2pm. Single tickets for ages 17 and under are free with a paid adult ticket. College student/group discounts are also available.

To purchase tickets and for additional information call the Westchester Philharmonic Box Office at (914) 682-3707 ext. 10 or visit www.westchesterphil.org.

Please let them know that TheNewYorkMom sent ya! 

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Day Trip to the Dia: Beacon


Dia Beacon

Day Trip to the Dia: Beacon

Straight up North, along the Hudson Valley, about an hour from New York City, exists one big artsy secret.

Day Trip to the Dia: Beacon

Day Trip to the Dia: Beacon

The Dia :Beacon. While recently this sleepy town has been getting a ton of attention because Brooklyn hipsters – who are always on the hunt for the next big thing to experience – have found this hamlet, The Dia has been our go to for the past 10 years. This stunning museum features installations from significant artists like Richard Serra and Dan Flavin. You wouldn’t think this was a kid friendly space, but i think it’s perfect for kids and especially important.

Day Trip to the Dia: Beacon

Day Trip to the Dia: Beacon

Art needs to be experienced and while a painting is significant and can be experienced in an internal way, installations are a whole different sort of creative force.  An installation is powerful. The Dia features many large-scale modern conceptual works. One should read up on these pieces while there to fully grasp the concept. But… it’s also nice to just absorb the pure awesomeness of these works of abstract art and walk through them and … dance through them like we did.

Day Trip to the Dia: Beacon

I take the kids to museums all the time. New York has the best museums in the world and we sorta call them all our indoor playground.

Day Trip to the Dia: Beacon

It’s essential to expose kids to art at a young age. They absorb this in ways you and i can’t see in a tangible way but they do. Lily sees the world in a different way because of her hard-core exposure to modern dance, modern art, classic art, music and just being in spaces bursting with creativity. i see this in her daily though process, her kindness to humanity and in her personal artwork. Her creative decisions are much more advanced than the average 9 YO, She mixes her mediums and colors waaaay outside the lines and has original artistic voice which cannot be taught. This is only going to make her a creative and thoughtful human. and we need lots of those these days!

Day Trip to the Dia: Beacon

I encourage you to take a road trip up the gorgeous Hudson Valley to Beacon, NY and spend a few hours at the Dia: Beacon. My favorite time to go in during the spring because all the cherry blossoms just dance around as you walk under them.

You should go!!! Don’t miss this amazing museum. Beacon also has a handful of restaurants and great farmers market on the weekends. You can take a train from NYC or rent a car and stop at towns like – Sleepy Hollow and ColdSpring along the way up.

Day Trip to the Dia: Beacon

More Info:


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American Girl Summer – Harbor Cruise around NYC

This post is sponsored by American Girl. Thanks for swinging by and being part of our shenanigans and learning about our sponsors! 

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I’m thrilled to be working with American Girl this summer to bring my audience all their amazing experiences to do with your kids. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIMG_6943

Lily and i headed out on a mommy – daughter date recently. We took a harbor cruise around Manhattan and then had dinner at the American Girl Place on 5th avenue. What  a treat!




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I’m working with American Girl this summer to share their packages for parents to do with kids. besides selling dolls and the cutest detailed accessories which go with those dolls, American Girl also has a whole series of activities that kids and parent can do together. Everything from seeing the ballet, arts and crafts, broadway shows and even a harbor cruise. Dinner at the amazing American Girl Cafe is part of the package.



Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThese packages are probably one of the sweetest deals in NYC. For $76 a person, Lily and I had a private harbor cruise AND a fancy schmancy dinner at The AG Cafe.  The dinner at the American Girl is a 3 course dinner with everything from chicken fingers to salmon on the menu. Pink lemonade is a must and so is the decadent chocolate mousse! It’s a great package and will make the sweetest memories with your child.

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Our harbor cruise included stunning views of NYC, and close-ups of the Statue of Liberty. There was a commentary about the history of NY and how it related to all the dolls but i guess the speaker wasn’t working because we missed the entire thing and just couldn’t hear it. This was a bit disappointing because Lily has the Rebecca doll who is from Brooklyn and I’m sure the tour guides mentioned this. But other than that small glitch this was such a blast!

When taking this tour just know that it is a long day. Our whole experience was about 4.5 hrs. After the 60 minute harbor cruise, there was an hour in between before dinner. Lily and I shopped on 5th ave and picked up some back to school goodies. DSC_0387


IMG_7031We have really loved being part of this American Girl Summer Campaign and can’t wait to share more adventures with you!  To book your own package click here —> AMERICAN GIRL SUMMER 

This post is sponsored by American Girl. Thanks so much for swinging by and joining in our shenanigans and reading about our sponsors. All opinions are my own! 


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An American Girl Summer

This post is Sponsored by American Girl
* We are sooo thrilled to partner with American Girl for a whole summer of fun with this iconic brand!*
American Girl Summer
Lily’s summer break started today and I am totally one of those parents who just love having the kids’ home for the summer.
While we do have a couple week-long camps planned, I also schedule Camp Of Mom throughout the summer. This is where we come up with our own great adventures. We usually have days at the Metropolitan Museum, Bronx Zoo, beach, bike rides through the Rockefeller Preserve in Westchester County, splash parks on the Upper West Side and other such activities. But one of Lily’s most favorite summertime treat is a trip to the American Girl Store in NYC.

New York Mom

New York Mom

Most of us are familiar with the American Girl Dolls. These are gorgeous 18-inch dolls that each comes with a history about their era and life. Lily has the Rebecca and Caroline dolls. Both came with a book about their story in New York. We lived in Mount Kisco, NY until recently. Mount Kisco is where the original Samantha doll was created. The author of the American Girl books lived there and created her first American Girl Character – Samantha. The house is still standing and Lily used to love to go visit and be part of these books… in real life.
I truly love the American Girl brand. These dolls offer up such a tangible form of creative play and also include such rich historical references. Kids who have these dolls really fall in love with their character dolls and I’ve absolutely loved watching Lily pour over the books and soak in every bit of the stories.
New York Mom
Last summer my brother – Lily’s Uncle- took Lily to the American Girl Store in NYC for an afternoon of tea and petit fours and a salon appointment for both of her dolls. This was SUCH an extravagant treat. Lily still talks about this experience and cannot wait to go back again this summer.
The tea is really quite charming. If you don’t have an American Girl doll then you can ‘borrow’ one to sit with you during your tea. Lily brought both of her dolls and the staff brought out high chairs for them so they could join us. Then came the pink lemonade, and then the tea and biscuits and petit fours… it was really sweet and Lily left feeling so special! We of course dressed up for the fancy event, which added to the whole experience.
So whether you are visiting NYC, passing through for the summer or live here, I definitely recommend a visit to the American Girl Store.
New York Mom
They have other events like cooking classes, a hair salon and sometimes a DIY workshop. These visits are always educational and so magical for Lily.  And project – Camp of Mom – starts next week!
Happy Summer everyone!
This post is sponsored by American Girl.


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