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Archive for September, 2012

We are seizing the last of summer by enjoying the outdoors as much as we can. We can’t possibly bank on this coming winter being as mild as last winter, so we are getting in as much park and garden time as we can. Somehow in all my years of living in the NYC area I never quite made it up into the Bronx to see this spectacular riverside garden. You know you’ve found nirvana when you turn the corner to enter the garden and – greeted with the cliff views on the Hudson – Ezra shouted ‘whoa!..this is AWESOME!’

I do love that gardens please him as much as cars do.

We went on a perfect Sunday while a bee information and honey harvesting day was in full swing. With friends Lea and Mia, the kids got to dress up like little bees and then march in a bee parade with kazoos in hand. They were able to check out a hive and look for the queen bee, then taste the different honeys from different seasons. Later we wandered around and found a path of gourds hanging overhead, and an amazing pond of giant lily pads.
They have a fun fall lineup that will definitely get us back there for more.
This is the view that had Ezra in awe (and click here for the fall folliage version):

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Whenever we are a little bored it is easy enough for us to visit a skinny little island that lies between Manhattan and Queens. Best of all, it has a little tram that is the most exciting mode of transportation for the under 6 year old set. We took a ride on it and viewed some busy streets of Manhattan. Then we rode back to Roosevelt island and stopped for ice cream – enjoying the plentiful fields of grass there.

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On the basement level of the New York Historical Society is the Dimenna Children’s History Museum – which invites ‘young detectives’ to explore a hands-on exhibit about history. We went on a quiet day when the curator there could answer all our questions and took out blocks for us to play with in the library. Ezra got a kick out of posing as a president and playing the interactive ‘Newsie‘ game that gave kids a chance to see what underage child labor had to deal with in a day on the streets of New York. And the staff got a big kick out of Zoe – who just so happened to wear her favorite frock that fit in with the overall Americana theme!

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Hey did you know that every first Saturday of the month Home Depot has a free workshop for kids? Yeah we didn’t know either until some very in-the-know friends told us about it …
The kids are given a cool apron with their name on it, as well as a simple wood project to work on. Parents can help of course, and Home Depot employees are on hand with wood glue and simple tips on putting your project together the right way (yeah our family loves to ignore directions – as is apparent by some of our slanted Ikea furniture at home). When kids finish a project they get a badge to put on the apron, so they can return the following month with their aprons AND bragging rights.

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We went back to the High Line and discovered that they have a weekly Wednesday Kids event, teaching a different subject every week at the convenient after school hour of 3:30. When we bumped into this event we happened on a ‘worms and composting’ themed day, where Zoe loved painting with dirt (see her insanely proud smile below) and Ezra got to do some more building (a car, of course).

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I am back to work and somewhat crazed … and for a first time in awhile I find myself lagging on doing some blog posts. This is one that I’ve been meaning to post – before the leaves turn color and this summery set of photos looks dated and obsolete. For Ezra’s birthday we often ask his grandparents to give him an ‘experience’ (since NYC apartments can barely fit important things, let alone an excess of toys from well meaning relatives.) For Ezra’s birthday his grandparents gave him a late summer gift – and took him to rent a remote controlled sail boat at Central Park. I’ve always wanted to do this with him; a peaceful park activity that taught him ‘wind power’ and reminded us of a fun scene in the Stuart Little movie (where Stuart races a boat in the same location.)
The weather here is breezy and perfect – we hope it is where you are too! Have a good weekend.

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And speaking of Governors Island, we returned there for a Unicycle Festival – and continued our review of their summer long Figment show. This time we got a turn at playing miniature golf, and saw a new installation that was kind of an ‘outdoor library’ with pretty gold parchment paper as a roof. We returned to the tree house and Zoe wanted to stay inside it for hours. Ezra was impressed with all the boys unicycling around and even got to try his hand at it, on a training brace created by Just One Wheel.

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