Staying You with Toddler in Tow

Our first born recently turned two years old, and it is such fun listening to her pronounce new words, and each day discover something amazing about this world we live in. She is becoming her own little person before our eyes, and it’s a joy to behold. Well… most of the time. Her insatiable curiosity, while adorable, can be a tad on the challenging side. Like when we’re at dinner and she wants to go exploring around the restaurant. Or when it takes an hour to get her dressed because she can’t live without her Dora pajamas. And when she says she wants something and doesn’t want it all in the same sentence. Ah, the life of the indecisive toddler!

Gone are the days of your quiet cutie sleeping away in her stroller for hours on end while you have lunch or coffee with friends. Fortunately, though, hiding in your apartment during the toddler years is not necessary to keeping your wits about you.  Living in NYC affords parents many options for venturing out with your toddler and feeling like an adult at the same time.  Here are a few:

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: the West Coast java joint & celebrity hangout has made its way to the Upper West Side. The best part? Meet up for coffee with friends and entertain your toddler at the same time.  With the purchase of a drink you can visit the recreation room in their basement, which is filled with coloring tables, video games, a toy area, and apparently, Ping Pong.

Stretch your legs on the Highline: Until this summer, we lived two blocks away from this former above-ground railroad-turned-park and tourist mecca. Our toddler loves it and can easily walk the whole route (which means a good long nap in the afternoon). Pick up lunch at Chelsea Market and enjoy on one of the many park benches, grassy areas or amphitheater-type seating.

Material Lab at MOMA: I’ll be perfectly honest, I have not visited a museum since my toddler was born, which is kinda sad considering NYC is full of them. Through June 30th, 2012, visit the Museum of Modern Art with your tot and check out the Material Lab, an interactive play space for kids of all ages. Kiddos are encouraged to “touch, assemble and create.” You’ll be doing something cultural again while exposing your tot to the arts at the same time.

Baby Loves Disco: Our toddler loves to shake her booty. It’s true, and it’s hilarious to watch (she may not think it’s as funny as we do when she sees the videos in a few years). Of course, we all know the music offerings out there for children can range from cheesy to more cheesy, which can be difficult to withstand for more than a few songs. Enter Baby Loves Disco, which brings the kiddie dance party to night clubs around NYC (and the world). This DAYtime dance-a-thon is a chance for parents, toddlers & pre-school aged kids to get their groove on. Think “Superstition” not the “Hokie Pokie.”


Mama to a newborn & toddler, Ellen Schmidt has called NYC home for the last 11 years. While living here as a parent is a much different experience from that of a single gal or newlywed, NYC still captures her heart every day. Currently attempting the balancing act that is family & career, you can find Ellen blogging about all of that & more at Baby Meets City.


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