Tag Archives: Family Fun

The Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThis

 

It’s high time we wrote a post about one of our very favorite spots in the city, an old go-to we’ve frequented since childhood, first as kiddos on school trips and then eventually as teenagers in love looking for something to do in the city for the day with our boyfriends. I’m talking about the incomparable American Museum of Natural History. These last few years the museum has undergone quite a transformation in our eyes. It’s big ‘ol halls have been reinvented, if you will. Gone is young adulthood with its endless hours of freedom with which to explore. Instead, a new era has been ushered in- one replete with shorter attention spans and a much more touchy-feely entourage!

Where once we were perfectly content with reading all about the finer points of mummies and the history of human origins, these sorts of exhibits just don’t have the same effect on 4-7 year olds, ya feel me? So where do we hang these days? At the Discovery Room! This little known corner of the museum is our jam and it’s where you’ll usually find us each and every time we visit. Located on the first floor just past the grand gallery, the Discovery Room offers kids a huge array of hands-on, interactive exhibits and activities and it keeps our kiddos exploring for hours!

 

The Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThisThe Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThisThe Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThisThe Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThisThe Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThis

The Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThis

The Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThis

 

The focal point of this magical space is the giant replica baobab tree you see when you first walk in. It’s filled with nooks containing specimens kids can search for. My littles particularly love to assemble the life-sized dinosaur skeleton and get their goggles on to dig for dinosaur bones at the mock paleontology dig site! There is even a second floor at the Discovery Room filled with activities for older kiddos! Just be sure to reserve your designated 40-minute slot at the entrance when you first arrive as spots fill up fast!

 

The Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThis

The Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThis

The Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThisThe Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThisThe Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThis

The Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThis

The Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThisThe Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThisThe Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThis

 

Other kiddo favorites we love at the museum are the Hall of African Mammals with its incredibly detailed and impressive dioramas, the Hall of Ocean Life with its enormous model blue whale hanging from the ceiling and interactive stations, and- of course- the dinosaur fossil halls! The Hayden Planetarium is increasingly popular with the brood of late and we try to take in a show every time we visit as well.

Over the years we’ve definitely developed a flow when it comes to the AMNH and there’s no denying it’s one of our all-time favorite destinations. We’ve grabbed a bite to eat at the museum’s cafe a few times but usually we take our show on the road. Tarallucci e Vino and Calle Ocho nearby are favorites. The best part? You’re only steps away from the one and only Central Park with its many playgrounds, carousel, puppet theatre, and climb-worthy boulders! Have fun exploring this spring, friends, and let us know your thoughts! Make sure to find us on Facebook and Instagram for some more visiting NYC with kids tips!

 

The Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThis

 

The Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThis

The Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThis

The Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThisThe Mama Bears Gardening with Littles Spring Plants Long IslandPinThis

 

There was a time when the idea of plopping my littles down in front of a pile of dirt and seed packets was inconceivable. Inevitably that dirt would have been snatched up by chubby little fingers and ingested with gusto. Those little packets? They would have been jiggled around vigorously like maracas- their contents flying all over the yard within seconds. I say this with all the certainty in the world because, of course, we all know that babies and gardening just don’t mix.

But that was then. Now, of course, not only is some time spent working in nature possible, it’s damn near necessary in this era of Vitamin-D deficiency. Spring is here, the sun is out- it’s time to get busy, and busy we were last week when we planted some seeds together in the backyard. Now I’m not talking any serious landscape design considerations or tree/hedge plantings here, just simple container gardening that any little this age can do.

I gave them each their own little galvanized steel buckets and we shared a community bag of dirt and a smattering of seeds. Then, using the skills they so conveniently picked up over the years at Benner’s Farm, we got to work planting sunflowers, organic cherokee purple tomatoes, organic romaine lettuce, organic melon, and organic peas. And how’d they do? Great! We got to laugh and talk and be outside on a beautiful sunny day, but most of all, they got to feel the sense of purpose that comes with working with your hands and a sense of ownership and pride in their own home in the process as well.

Gone may be the days of hyper vigilance and baby-proofing all of my most treasured worldly goods, but these days that’s been happily replaced with sharing. We share with them everything from stories about their families to household chores. We patiently/nervously stand by and let them pillage our closets and makeup drawers and commandeer our car radios. All in an effort to help them grow. The best things to share? Our hobbies and favorite physical pursuits.

Sometimes it’s rollerblading together, sometimes it’s a ball game with all the fixings. This time…it was gardening. I got to share with my cubs a favorite activity that is relatively new to me as well but that brings out the very best in me whenever I do it. And I think that’s because it feels so good, as a parent, to get a little of yourself back after motherhood has begun. Each new piece of the old you that you regain access to as your baby grows older feels like a little victory, doesn’t it? These recovered pursuits are reminders of who we are behind the mommy mask we wear around the clock- of the things that make us who we are, and the directions in which we’d like to head.