The Mama Bears Collection of Spring Favorites Blog PostsPinThis

 

Okay so never mind the fact that as I write this there is now snow falling outside and a rumor going around saying something about snowmageddon next week. We’ll just pretend that isn’t happening and move right along. We’ll focus instead on the sunlight that just yesterday was streaming in through the window along with the sounds of birds outside as they flew over wide swaths of green lawns and evergreen shrubs. Not that I’m trying to rush old man winter out the door or anything, it’s just nice to be prepared, isn’t it? It’s fun to make plans and to conjure up all the season-appropriate events and activities that will punctuate our weeks ahead. In winter this may have meant sledding and bowling and such, but now with spring around the corner, it’s fun of an entirely different sort!

I’ve got quite a few things on my radar that I will be looking into over the next few weeks…or perhaps next week as we sit snowed-in in front of what could very well be the last fire of the season. There are Long Island Ducks ballgames at the Bethpage Ballpark we want to catch, a performance of Alice in Wonderland at the Patchogue Theatre, a Peter Rabbit Storybook Stroll at the Old Westbury Gardens, and even cooking classes with kids at Sur La Table! And that’s just naming a few! We also, however, have our old favorites, places and activities we always like to revisit and that could never be replaced. We thought we’d share some of these with you! Whether you’ve been following us for a while or are new to the blog, here is a roundup of some posts featuring spring-ready fun the entire family can enjoy. We hope you find something you like in this collection of spring favorites and can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

 

The Mama Bears Collection of Spring Favorites SuncatchersPinThis

 

Whimsical Spring Suncatchers

The sad state of my spring-decor affairs is what prompted this batch of adorable suncatchers last year. In the middle of painting and spackling, I had no time to peruse the aisles either online or in-store for some sturdier effects and so we decided to just make some ourselves! I wanted something with a personal touch, lighthearted, and most of all something that filled the house with the presence of childhood- reminding me every time I looked at them that happy, craftsy kiddos call this place home too. Check out the detailed how-to in the post where you’ll also find free templates you can download and print of each of these little guys! We’ve got a hummingbird, a butterfly, a snail, and a dragonfly, with plans to add more soon, so stay tuned! Cutting out the templates (on good cardstock!) will require an adult’s help, but the glue stick and tissue paper part has little fingers written all over it! Have fun!

 

The Mama Bears Collection of Spring Favorites Avalon ParkPinThis

 

Avalon Park & Preserve

Ahhhh Avalon. We could never, ever tire of this place. Avalon Park and Preserve in Stony Brook has just enough nooks and crannies to bring about an early bedtime but not so many that a full-on exhausted meltdown will ensue. You get me? We start hitting up this local favorite hard early in spring and more or less slow down when snow begins to cover the trails- but we never truly stop. We can’t, it’s just always got something to offer. As I mentioned in the post it’s our go-to whenever we’re looking to be outdoors. It’s a place where the kiddos can be back in their element where all children belong- in nature. Here they can be free to explore, to wander, to be still, to be loud. To just be. We enjoy the trails, the duck pond, the giant rocks we chase the children around as we pretend to be monsters. There’s no script, you see? No set path. Avalon, and other parks like it, is to you whatever you want it to be.

 

The Mama Bears Spring Collection of Favorite Blog PostsPinThis

 

Children’s Spring Farm Classes

If you’re from Long Island, chances are pretty good that you’ve heard of Benner’s Farm in Setauket. And if you haven’t, it’s not too late to check them out! In one of our earliest posts we described the private 15-acre homestead and the amazing children’s classes they offer. For years our own littles attended them twice a year- in the spring and fall sessions. As soon as springtime rolled around we would look into the class schedule online and sign right up without a second thought. What did we love so much exactly? We loved that the classroom setting was the great outdoors itself, we loved that the children got to see natural processes about life and nature that they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to- things that showed them their place in this world and the similarities between themselves and animals they may not have put together on their own. Together they saw the beauty of little animals nursing and following their mothers around. Their little hands cradled fresh warm eggs that chickens had been taking turns sitting on and used them to make the best-tasting egg salad they’ve ever had! They planted flowers and vegetables and tended to them weekly, seeing the progress of their growth before their eyes. And all this barely scratches the surface. The classes offer a chance to show our kiddos a world children aren’t normally exposed to anymore and allow them to make connections they would ordinarily never get to make.

 

The Mama Bears Collection of Spring Favorites Baseball Mets DashPinThis

 

Citi Field’s Mr. Met Dash

Baseball season is right around the corner! Can you believe it? Before you know it it’ll be that time again, that jersey-wearing, 7th-inning stretching, hot dog eating time again! Yes, plenty of local Long Island ball games are definitely on our agenda, but as Mets fans who grew up in Queens, multiple visits to Citi Field to cheer on our team in our old stomping grounds is a must! And the kiddos? They LOVE it! They love the sounds and the sights- eating ice cream out of a mini helmet, cheering at the top of their lungs, the 7 train, even dinner in Jackson Heights afterwards! Whenever our schedules allow it we try to make it to Sunday games in particular for the traditional Mr. Met Dash. A tradition we fell in love with as soon as we heard about it, the Dash invites families to come down to the field after Sunday home games, meet the mascots, and run the bases you were just looking down on from way above in the stands! We personally love it and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun weekend thing to do in the city.

The Mama Bears NYC Itinerary with Littles ChildrenPinThis

The Mama Bears NYC Itinerary with Littles ChildrenPinThis

The Mama Bears NYC Itinerary with Littles ChildrenPinThisThe Mama Bears NYC Itinerary with Littles ChildrenPinThis

The Mama Bears NYC Itinerary with Littles ChildrenPinThis

The Mama Bears NYC Itinerary with Littles ChildrenPinThisThe Mama Bears NYC Itinerary with Littles ChildrenPinThisThe Mama Bears NYC Itinerary with Littles ChildrenPinThisThe Mama Bears NYC Itinerary with Littles ChildrenPinThisThe Mama Bears NYC Itinerary with Littles ChildrenPinThisThe Mama Bears NYC Itinerary with Littles ChildrenPinThisThe Mama Bears NYC Itinerary with Littles ChildrenPinThisThe Mama Bears NYC Itinerary with Littles ChildrenPinThisThe Mama Bears NYC Itinerary with Littles ChildrenPinThisThe Mama Bears NYC Itinerary with Littles ChildrenPinThisThe Mama Bears NYC Itinerary with Littles ChildrenPinThis

The Mama Bears NYC Itinerary with Littles ChildrenPinThis

 

What to do, what to do, what to do? It’s a question I love asking myself whenever we have a day (or days!) of fun to plan. One-day outing or full blown vacation alike, you can almost always expect to find me hunkered down with a laptop and a cup of coffee searching for new adventures in the weeks leading up to the actual date. Almost always, because sometimes tried-and-true is exactly what you crave most. It’s those other times I’m talking about here, the days that call for the breaking-in of some place new!

This was precisely the case when we first discovered the Children’s Museum of the Arts in downtown Manhattan. We’re no strangers to great kid-friendly museums, having run up and down the halls of quite a few over the years including local favorites like the adorable Children’s Museum of the East End, the Maritime Explorium, and the American Museum of Natural History. Further away, we’ve had incredible times at the amazing Boston Children’s Museum, Chicago’s Museum of Science & Industry, and Science Museum Oklahoma. This time, however, something small and close was in order for a day of fun in the city.

My search landed me at the Children’s Museum of the Arts’ website. It was new to us. It was different. It was our winner. And from the moment we stepped inside the museum it completely captivated every bit of the children’s imaginations! Where to even begin?? The museum offers an enormous variety of hands-on programs and workshops taught by experts in the field-artists themselves- in as many different art mediums. The space itself is open, clean, and well-organized.

We spent some time in nearly every nook, going where the kiddos’ curiosity led us. We started in the Bridge and Swirl Studio areas upstairs, spots where the kiddos can play and relax in a room full of twirling bucket chairs and a beautiful, colorfully decorated passageway replete with cushions and cozy sitting spots. From there we headed to the media lab where the littles were introduced to (and fell in love with!) stop-motion animation and spent a long time making their own little video shorts with all the focus and patience you would expect from any activity that truly fascinates and grips them!

Eventually we made our way to our appointment at the aptly named Clay Bar where, seated on stools up at the bar, an instructor helps them create intricate little masterpieces based on the day’s theme (or anything they like!) out of, you guessed it, clay! Again they were focused and inspired and completely in their element! We ended our day many, many hours later at the WEE Arts Studio, a space dedicated to younger children where they can draw, paint, and otherwise create art to their heart’s content for as long as they want.

Afterward we grabbed a quick bite to eat down the street at Pret A Manger. There are so many foodie options nearby but this time, famished and exhausted after a day of fun, we decided to keep it simple! Did we see and do it all? Not even close! We didn’t get to stop by the Sound Booth where kids can create and record their own music or the Fine Arts Studio where they can do more painting and drawing as well as sculpting and sewing! But that’s totally okay with us because we accomplished what we’d set out to do in the first place- we let the littles’ curiosity direct us as they spent their precious time however they saw fit…plus it gives us more reasons to go back soon!