Thursday, March 6, 2014

Kids Playhouse - Astoria Play Space

When the cold weather won't let up we are lining up museums, arcades and indoor play areas for those days when we need to run around and let off steam. A favorite of ours is a local indoor play space and mini arcade right on Steinway Street just a half a block from the N and R train.

This is definitely a favorite space for my son since it is close by and climbing is a must. It consists of a baby toddler area that is padded and has a small crawling and climbing space. In the big kid climbing maze, a tunnel, obstacles and two large slides make for lots of challenges and fun. The play spaces are cleaned daily which is necessary when little ones are sweating, drooling, coughing and just being messy as kids can be. The owners are family oriented dads who know what parents look for and the young ladies who work there are so helpful and kind. 

They offer water, juices and milk for sale as well as snacks and coffee. Personal pizzas are also available if your group gets hungry while playing (which ours often does). 

Kids Playhouse is open 7 days a week from 10am - 8pm. Mornings are usually available for open play at $7 a child for up to 4 hours but be sure to call ahead to see that they haven't booked a private event. Also ask about any promotions they may be running.

If you are having a party you can be sure it will be a clean space and every party gets use of the entire space so it is completely private which is rare for the price they offer.

Kids Playhouse Facebook Page

34-17 Steinway Street
Astoria NY 11101

They also have a new space in Jackson Heights which we look forward to checking out soon.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Playground Etiquette

Unofficial Rules for Playing in an Urban Playground:

  1. Never play in the muddy corners of the playground or behind benches - there could be urine or other foreign objects. At night homeless people, teenage kids and others use the playgrounds to get high, drunk or do the dirty so keep that in mind when your baby is playing in certain areas.
  2. A toy brought to the playground is up for grabs so if you or your child doesn't want to share their toy - put it away or maybe leave it at home because there will probably be a tug of war over it. 
  3. Young children especially don't understand ownership and some parents don't teach children how to respect other people's property so if you think it will break have an adult's only rule. ex: when we bring our bubble blower to the park I am the only one allowed to touch it so it doesn't break.
  4. Never put your hands or discipline another child unless their life is in danger. This one is very important because even if the child is bullying or taunting your kid their parent may not be paying attention and only see an adult yelling at their kid and that adult may be a bully too.
  5. If another child is acting wild feel free to play in another part of the playground and let the child's parent handle it.
  6. Keep an eye on your kid and other adults. Adults without children are not allowed in playground but that doesn't keep them out so make sure if you see a childless adult to keep your kids away.
  7. If the play ground is a dirty mess or someone is not following the posted rules feel free to call 311 or the parks department but don't hold your breath for a response.
  8. If you have a snack be prepared to share it but always ask the parents first. With all the allergies and food restrictions kids have it's better to be safe than sorry.
If you have any recommendations or rules you and your friends try to follow please feel free to share.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New York - Astoria / L.I.C. After Hurricane Sandy

Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in Astoria and Long Island City.
Power lines down

Squirrel Park ruined in L.I.C.
closed park after giant trees down

Uprooted trees in the playground
42nd Street trees down
Steam coming up in L.I.C.

Light post down in Gantry Plaza
Rainey Park Trees Down

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Canadian Exporail Museum

Exporail Train at Entrance

When visiting Montreal I had heard of a train museum that was highly recommended and since our son is a big fan of trains we decided to check it out.
It was just about a 40 minute drive south from our hotel in downtown Montreal and pretty easy to get to in nearby Saint-Constant. (Beware of the street signs they are very small). This museum was more than we could imagine. It had retired steam engines, diesel engines, freight trains, passenger cars, old steam trains on view from London, streetcars, school trains, really more trains than you can imagine. Weather permitting there are rides you can go on to view the grounds and have fun. I would suggest the tram ride first so you can see the whole museum but it all is in walking distance from each other. The mini train was a favorite among the smaller visitors but hold on tight!

Outdoor Exhibit

I couldn't believe how enormous the trains were and how well the museum was put together. This was a highlight of our trip for our train loving child but also for us adults. We had no idea what to expect and we were so glad we did, it truly is a railway adventure. Well worth the trip!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Montreal Canada : Fun for Kids

When deciding on a trip my husband and I could not come to a decision on where to go. We wanted to take a driving trip from New York and we needed it to be on the way to Lake George since we were meeting friends there at the end of our trip. We also needed it to be a kid friendly place and a much needed change of scenery.

We decided on Montreal because it is a beautiful city and since everyone speaks French it would be just what we needed to switch it up. We all had our passports already so we thought "what the heck, lets go". A hurricane was on its way so we packed up the car and headed north. It is a long driving trip so we prepared with electronics, car games and snacks. A day of driving (about 7 hours or more when including long stops) through the beautiful country, up and down mountains and across the border.

We stayed in the center of town at Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel which is absolutely gorgeous, newly renovated and sophisticated but also kid friendly. I must say the staff was extremely helpful and the restaurant downstairs was one of the best in the neighborhood with breakfast as a highlight (we ordered room service multiple times). The concierge helped us with our directions and plans since our GPS was out of range while we were there and we also scored discounted tickets to events so be sure to check with your concierge when making plans for outings.

Our first trip was to the Biodome, a sort of indoor zoo where there are different areas to see many types of animals in their own habitats (our favorite were the penguins, so friendly and active). They also had an interactive special addition that changes often. We then headed to the gardens and Insectarium. My son enjoyed the playground in front of the Insectarium but then fell asleep in the stroller. Surrounding the area is the gorgeous Maisonneuve Park which is perfect for picnics and bike riding or even a stroll. A trip to the top of the viewing tower is great so you can see all of Montreal at once.
Olympic Park Viewing Tower

Besides this area, which can take a full day or two to see, there are many shops on Sainte Catherine street but be sure to change your money and bring a lot of it because things can be pricey. While walking around definitely stop into the children's book store, Babar en Ville. It is a very cute store with children's books and toys. Afterwards you and your little ones can let off steam at a fantastic park, water play area and playground are near the

Park near the Westmont Public Library
Bibliothèque Publique de Westmount. It has sprinklers, play equipment, swings, paths for scooting or biking and a duckpond with a romantic landscape. It was a much needed escape for our energetic son and with the greenery we were just as happy to relax and play catch. Our next stops were just outside of Montreal so I will have a separate post for those and they deserve one since both places were super fantastic! Parc Safari and The Candian Exporail Museum - Here we come!
Scooter Approved!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Toddlers View : a collection of camera photos

My son had decided he had enough of posing and smiling for the picture. He took action, grabbed my phone and asked me to say cheese. I deleted many blurry photos but decided too share some surprises I thought utterly adorable.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Astoria Park Fireworks Show 2012