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Fun Ideas For Play Dates With Children

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New York City is more than a place for adults to play. It’s also a great place to explore with kids as there’s seemingly no end of things to do that are of interest or designed for the younger crowd. Make a play date for a group of kids and turn the day into an adventure that they’re going to talk about for weeks. Remember that you need to keep safety as your number one priority when leading a group of youngsters around the city, especially during wet weather. You don’t want someone to slip and fall only to get seriously hurt. Use a buddy system, keep a headcount, but most of all, enjoy yourselves on your day out.

The Playroom NYC

The Playroom NYC is a 3,000 square foot facility designed for children five years and younger and offers a free-for-all creative play experience. Children get to play on a climbing structure, shop in a bodega, dress up in fancy clothes, ride on cars and climb around a playground made from vinyl-covered foam shapes and blocks. Hours are limited to the day time during the week and in the morning on the weekends so plan your visit accordingly.

Modern Pinball NYC Interactive Museum and Party Place

Modern Pinball NYC is great for older kids who are seeking more engagement in their playtime but still have short attention spans. Each admission fee includes no time limit on play and all games are free. No tokens or coins needed for kids to play to their heart’s delight. There’s also an interactive pinball exhibit that shows the mechanics and electronics of a pinball machine. The museum features two multi arcade machines that have over 250 games for those who get tired of pinball. 

Brooklyn Bridge Park Environmental Ed Center

The Ed Center, as it’s called, is a great place for kids to experience the flora and fauna of the East River in an intimate setting. The center features a 250-gallon aquarium full of creatures that were recent residents of the East River. A small rock pool in front of the aquarium is also a touch tank featuring starfish, rocks, plants, and shells that children can touch and hold. Kids can look through a microscope to view water samples and the tiny organisms that live within. The Ed Center has limited hours during the week, but it is free to visit and the adjacent Brooklyn Bridge Park offers more kid-friendly activities when everyone’s tired of the center.

Belvedere Castle

This folly found in Central Park by 79th Street has been fully restored and is a great place for kids to go exploring. It’s located on the second-highest point in Central Park which gives it an amazing vantage point to see the surrounding land and cityscape. Kids are allowed to play on the castle steps with abandon. Make sure to take them up the tower and let their imaginations go where they will go. Be forewarned: there are no public restrooms at the castle, so plan accordingly.

Children’s Museum of Manhattan

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan, or CMOM, is a playground that’s disguised as a museum. It’s a place where kids from 0 to 10 are welcome and has plenty of interactive exhibits that are designed to engage kids no matter what their age. The museum also seeks to stimulate children’s interest in the arts and sciences by showing them how every day things work, how the body functions, and go on adventures with famous cartoon characters. Opening hours and days at CMOM vary throughout the year so make sure to check before putting together a play date. 

Good Day Play Café

Good Day Play Café is located in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and is representative of a trend that’s springing up around NYC. Adults can sit back and drink coffee while their kids play together in the indoor playground. Good Day Play Café’ offers a climbing wall, ball pit with slide, a matted area with toys for the younger set, a wood cube pit (think indoor sandpit but cubes instead of sand) and more. There’s an hourly charge per child, but parents and babies under 8 months are free with a purchase from the drink menu. 

The Bronx Zoo

The Bronx Zoo is a wonderful destination for a play date. It’s got exotic animals living in their native habitats in an urban setting, a butterfly garden, a carousel, and even a monorail. The zoo allows visitors to bring their own food and has picnic areas so everyone can sit down, relax, and eat before heading off to the next exhibit. You can also bring a stroller, but be mindful that some buildings require that the stroller be left in a designated area before entering. The zoo does have an entry fee for visitors except for Wednesdays when it’s free. Save some money by planning a play date on a Wednesday, but consider donating something to help support the zoo with its ongoing costs.

Queens County Farm Museum

Show kids what life was once like in New York City at the Queens County Farm Museum. The farm traces its existence as far back as 1697 and has been continuously farmed up until the present day. The 47-acre property features historic farm buildings, livestock, farm vehicles, fields for crops, an orchard, and more. Children can visit with the livestock and learn about the jobs they perform in and around the farm. The farm museum focuses on sustainable agriculture techniques and demonstrates that it’s capable of being historical and modern at the same time. 

These ideas are merely scratching the surface of things to do in New York City for playdates. The city is full of museums, points of interest, parks, and even hiking trails that are great for kids of all ages. You’ll never run out of interesting things to do. In fact, the only problem you’ll have is finding enough time to get to these destinations before the kids grow up. 

Hey all! Big thanks to Katy Blevins for handing over the reins to me at the end of 2017 to fulfill my new years resolution to write...often! Based in Miami, you can find me blogging about family life as a mother of two young kids. But i'll also continue the Chaos and Kiddos theme of business, fashion, parenting, product reviews, and...well, I could go on and on.

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Spotlight Features

New Baby On The Way? Save Money on the Essentials

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  Now is the ideal time to get clever with your cash.   How much does it cost to have a new baby? The price varies from couple to couple but every survey tells us that most of us spend more than we really need to. Of course, you want your little one to have the very best but the reality is that as long as they are warm, clean and fed babies are usually quite happy with their lot. Far too many of us spend too much money at a time when cash will be tight anyway. Some people even get into debt using expensive credit cards or personal loans to buy what they want for their new baby when most of the stuff will be outgrown in a few weeks or months. So, when it comes to the essentials there are some simple ways to save some cash.   Baby clothes: Avoid over-buying   When Kylie Jenner gave birth to her daughter this year, a video the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star released on YouTube revealed an entire wardrobe of baby clothes and racks of shoes already purchased before the child had even arrived in the world. If you’re looking to keep costs down for your little one then steer clear of this approach. Babies grow so quickly that cute onesies and expensive little outfits will soon be redundant. Instead, buy just the basics and sell on what you don’t need when your baby has grown out of it. If you want to get a headstart researching the right pram for you, check out the reviews featured on wifeknows.com   Your clothes: Steer clear of the maternity wardrobe binge   It’s very easy to spend thousands on a maternity wardrobe, as there is such a range of choice these days. However, the reality is that you’re only going to wear these clothes for a matter of months so there’s no need to go crazy. Try to wear your own clothes for as long as you can, adding layers or opting for stretchy fabrics to provide coverage. It’s also worth asking friends and relatives if they have any maternity wear they no longer need so you don’t have to spend money on new items.   New Baby Kit: Buy the basics for the first few months It’s tempting to kit your home out with all the latest gadgets and tech for a new arrival. However, the reality is that all you really need is a cot and a car seat for the first few months. You may not even need to buy a pram initially. So, rather than splurging up front and realising that half of what you’ve purchased you just don’t need, hold back. That way you’ll be able to make better informed buying decisions when it comes to something like a pram and have more time to find the cheapest options.   Food and supplies: Become a deals expert   From discounts on baby items through to the deals available at your local supermarket, this is a great time to get interested in what’s on special. There are always discounts available for new parents, whether you’re looking for toys or clothes or diapers. Spend a little time researching where to find the lowest prices on the things that you use the most of and you’ll be able to cut the costs during those first few months, not just of your newborn but of the cost of living too.  

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Keeping the Family Strong Through A Divorce

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The statistics are stacked against marriages as the data shows that more than forty percent of marriages end up in divorce or separation. While that is a tragic data point, we must remember that life goes on.

This is even more true for the children that are a crucial part of the family and the eventual proceedings. The point of this simple guide is to look at how to stay positive and strong through a divorce and separation and how to make sure that the family can stay strong throughout the process.

It is undoubtedly a monumental feat, but it is quite possible and very necessary as it can help to maintain peace, prosperity, and general stability over the long-term. Let’s find out more about staying healthy, positive, and keeping it together for the long haul to ensure happiness and strength for everyone involved.

Staying Positive Amid a Divorce

The first point is that you must maintain a sense of peace and calm within yourself during these stressful and usually hectic divorce and separation times. Ideally, this event is not something you have had to deal with several times in your life, and it is a singular event.

But even then, if it is a singular event, it will be all the more impactful as you do not have much experience.

It is easier to stay strong throughout a divorce or separation, but it is much more difficult to do so due to the intricacies involved in the entire process. Remember that you are conducting the divorce proceedings for a number of reasons. The main reason is usually that neither people are happy with the partnership and choose to go in a different direction.

In that event, it is necessary to ensure that you dig deep down and comprehend that it is for the best overall. It may be hard to do so at first, but it is necessary. You must accept that it happened, and only then can you move forward into the future.

It is a normal aspect of the process for you to require some time to cope and come to terms with this significant change. But remember that you must stay vital for yourself and your children.

It is not only about you and your future but your children’s as well.

The Peace of the Children

It is easy to think about yourself during a divorce and forget about the collateral damage involved in the process. By collateral damage, I mean your kids.

Your children may spend countless hours screaming and misbehaving due to the issues that this brings in their lives. It is not just your life that is going through a sense of disruption but theirs as well.

Remember to have meetings with your children and to help them cope with the process. It is easy to lash out and be hard on your precious children for no reason, fight that urge, be a better parent.

Find peace by spending more time with your children for the sake of spending time with them. You want to make sure that you are healing the hurt feelings early on so that your family stays strong even with the adjustment.

The Strength of the Family

A strong, bonded, and hopeful family unit is still possible even during and after a separation. The process is not easy and will take work but will be quite worth it in the end.

Ensure that everyone in the process feels as if there is an anchor and that everything is not being ripped away from them. Show how life will be after the event and how it is possible to navigate through the turbulent period without too much angst.

Remember that there is a life after the event and think about the long-term during and after the process.

 

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Spotlight Features

How to Organize Hand-Me-Down Clothes – Guest Blogger: Brittany Bullen

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Organize Hand-Me-Down Clothes | Brittany Bullen | Chaos & Kiddos
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A big welcome to guest blogger, awesome mama and social media extraordinaire, Brittany Bullen! She’s with us today sharing some great tips and tricks to keeping those kiddo closets in order. And once your hand-me-downs are ready for sale, be sure to check out Using Your Resources: How to Resell Your Used Items and Buy Second Hand and How to Store and Prepare Your Used Items for Resale for the next steps to the craze that is kiddo wardrobes.
 
Looking for the easy button for how to organize hand-me-down clothes for multiple kids– without pulling your hair out? Look no further, people!
 
How to Organize Hand-Me-Down Clothes - Guest Blogger: Brittany Bullen

Now that we’re on our third boy, we’ve finally got this clothes organization thing down to a science. Here are some easy steps you can follow to set up a storage system you’ll love to use for years to come.

 

1. Invest in a fabric box storage system. Mine is from ikea and I can’t say enough how much I love it! More on that later.

 

2. When you can afford it, buy more of the same kind of storage system. I know this might sound like a lot, but we currently have 20 separate boxes of clothes in the rotation.

 

3. Choose your “current size” box placement for the kids’ room. Our 8-box shelf is organized as follows: Top Row– underwear, 5T shirts, 18m shirts, dress clothes. Bottom Row– socks, 5T pants, 18m pants, Jammies.

 

4. When the kids outgrow a size, squeeze all of the outgrown clothes into the same kind of fabric box. I have a rule that we don’t keep any more clothes than we can fit into one box, the ikea fabric boxes are the perfect size for this. Put an index card with the size on top of the clothes so you can identify it quickly.

 

How to Organize Hand-Me-Down Clothes - Guest Blogger: Brittany Bullen

 

5. Put the boxes not currently in use in a place other than the kids’ room, but preferably not too far away or you’ll never want to rotate them. Ours are in the hall closet next to the boys’ room. That way, when we need a new size, we just switch out the boxes. Easy as that!

 

It’s taken us 6 years to figure it out, but I can definitely say that this is the best, easiest, most efficient system we’ve used and we’ll be sticking with it.

 

What tips do you have for keeping your kids’ clothes organized? Leave them in the comments!

headshot.jpgBrittany lives with her husband and three sons in Utah. She is a playwright, composer, actress, singer, thrift shop lover, Mormon and aspiring vegan. She is the founder of the International Bloggers Association, is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science and the Cognitive Behavioral Society (’cause why not). Brittany has a B.A. in English-Writing from Denison University and has an imaginary Ph.d. in Googling stuff she wants to know. You can keep up with her at BrittanyBullen.com.

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