Tag Archives: nyc parks

NYC Landmark: Queens County Farm

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One of my happiest summer adventure was at the Queens County Farm with my children, during their annual Children’s Carnival.

The carnival has since passed for this year, but they are still hosting some great events well into October. I invite you to read about how the farm was able to bring joy to me family at the Queens County Farm’s Children’s Carnival since we first discovered it in 2009 and why it is such a treasure to New Yorkers and visitors everywhere.

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Botanical Walk and New Discoveries with NYCWildFlowerWeek.org

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New York City and the people I meet who love and breath it like I do, never, ever cease to amaze me. I love it.

On one perfect Saturday morning, we headed over to Inwood Hill Park, which looked a lot different than it did since our last visit there, and is now showing all the signs of  the lush, green forest that it is (the largest remaining in Manhattan).

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Exploring Inwood Hill Park, a piece of Old New York

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Yes, it’s cold and it’s tempting to stay home and warm. However, when you have kids bouncing off the walls and a desire to stretch those legs yourself, it’s necessary to bundle up and head outside.

We were eager to go for a walk, but didn’t want to venture to far to have do so in a nature filled environment. Luckily we are very close to what is New York City’s oldest and last natural park, Inwood Hill Park. Off the A train on 207 street (the last stop uptown) and you are in the neighborhood of Inwood, neighbor to Washington Heights.

A short walk leads you into the wooded area of the park. Walk even deeper and you find yourself surrounded by oak, hickory, maples trees, now dormant but waiting to come to life at the Spring’s first signs. Acres and acres of raw, natural land for bird watchers, hikers, and natural lovers to enjoy.

We walked a few miles into the park, slowly stopping to check out the fallen trees, and make snowballs, climb rocks. The most wonderful thing about this walk was the silence. For a moment we forgot we were still in Manhattan. Absolute silence, and the sight of nothing but wooded areas was enough to make this a peaceful excursion and fun adventure.

In the Summer this is the place for even longer walks and hikes, picnics and events, even visits to the nearby Cloisters. But for now, if you are looking for an adventure that will help you move and enjoy some of the beauty nature has to offer, you don’t have to look to far. Just head north of Manhattan and into Inwood Hill park. I guarantee you will feel as if you took a few minutes out in the country.

More photos on Flickr:


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Wave Hill: A Nature Haven Amidst The Concrete Jungle

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Recently, a darling friend invited me to join her on a little play date excursion to the Bronx.  I know you’re thinking, “Why the Bronx?”. But really, if you haven’t discovered all the Bronx has to offer, than you are truly missing out. Because among many things, it offers the serenity of the peaceful neighborhood of Riverdale, and within the Riverdale community is the amazing and breathtaking Wave Hill.

Wave Hill was once upon a time a private estate that is now a garden and cultural center open to the public.

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Two Ice Skating Rinks in NYC: A Tween Reviews

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The following post was written by my 12 year old son, David, based on his experiences ice skating with a few of his friends this past weekend. This is his Adventure, without parents in tow.

Photo credit: A Ylin Gvcn from "Battery Park on Ice" FB Page

Photo by A. Ylin Gvcn, from "Battery Park on Ice" FB Page

This weekend my friends and I went to Battery Park Ice Skating Rink. I was really excited because I love to ice skate . The price is pretty decent at $13, which includes $10.00 for the admission and $3.00 for the skate rental.

The rink is nice because the ice is very clean and they play music that is like actually good. Also the skating rink is not crowded at all, especially for a Saturday afternoon. The first thing that my friend and I did was try to get the hang of skating because neither of us had ice skated for a long time. We skated around the ice rink.

Not long after the Battery Park staff asked everybody to get off of the ice so they could clean the surface. Though there was a cafeteria on site the wait was long, so we decided to leave and go to Starbucks to get something to eat. There are also other different places to eat nearby. We headed home right afterwards, but we had been there for a few hours already and had a good time.

Photo by Fay Chang, Lucky Sights Photography

The next day, another friend and I decided to go to Riverbank Park Ice Skating Rink. At Riverbank the price was $9 for adults and $3 for children. We decided to go to Riverbank because it was closer to our homes. Once we put on our ice skates we headed to the rink. The rink was not as clean as in Battery Park so it made skating a little bit harder.

We had to trade in our skates and get new ones a couple of times because our feet started to hurt. After a while of skating we got something to eat at the cafeteria. The price wasn’t bad, but we were running out of money. I got a cheeseburger and french fries and my friend got the same. The food was not the best but it was good enough. Not long after we ate, they let us get back on the ice. We skated till the skating rink closed which I think it was at like 5:30pm.

Though we had fun at both places, overall, when comparing the two, I liked the Battery Park ice skating rink better because the staff is friendlier and the ice skates are in better condition, even though it is more expensive to get into.

Battery Park Ice Skating Rink: West and Murray * 235 Murray Street * New York City, NY 10282 * 1-888-727-5423

Riverbank Ice Skating Rink: 679 Riverside Drive (Hudson River and 145 St.) * New York City, NY 10031 * (212) 694-3600

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Harlem Meer Festival, East Harlem, NY

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Ok, let’s face it.  The weather in NYC has been awful as of late.  I have tried to take my children to a few Adventures and no soon do we get two blocks out that they start complaining about wanting to go home. I have been all too willing to comply. It’s been THAT bad. But after a few days of only short ventures out, we had decided it was time to stop being such babies and enjoy our city.

Today, we decided to head East.  East Harlem to be exact. In all my years with my husband this is a neighborhood I had not yet introduced to my family. I used to come around here often, when younger, to hang out with my Puerto Rican friends, most of them who lived in the area, or to come to my favorite museum of all time, El Museo del Barrio, which is currently undergoing renovation and won’t reopen till October of this year. (I can’t wait!)

We took the C train to 110 St. and walked into Central Park. The day was hot, I won’t lie, but it seemed less so in comparison to the week before. I took my family to the Conservatory Garden. This garden, the only one of it’s kind in Central Park (entrance on 105th and 5th), is so beautiful, so picturesque, that it is the prime location for wedding photos and of other celebratory occasions (though a permit is needed to shoot professional photography there). It is peaceful and seems almost like a scene in Alice in Wonderland, with it’s vines, and flowers…gates, and small mazes.  It truly a place to see. My boys loved watching the water trickling from the Three Dancing Maidens sculpture (by German artist Walter Schott). It’s not a place for little ones to play in, but it is a wonderful place for them to go to enjoy nature’s beauty.

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We later walked over to the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center. The Center is known for hosting many different family events. Only steps away from the Conservatory Garden, it is currently hosting the Harlem Meer Festival. This Summer festival is featuring emerging local artists of Latin, Jazz, Gospel, and World music.

Today, we were there to enjoy some Latin music, featuring the Afro-Caribbean band ¡Retumba! , an all-ethnic, all-female music and dance group. The music was wonderful, people of all backgrounds, ethnicity, and ages, were there enjoying it.  The sky seemed to threaten rain, but no one cared, and when the first few drops fell, the only time you saw anyone get up was to dance.

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When my little ones wanted to walk around, we took them into the Discovery Center, and let them look around and sit on the bench overlooking the pond, or we walked them over to the 110th St and Lenox Ave. Playground, where they played and even made a new friend. But my husband and I would take turns and walk back to the performance and just enjoy the Latin beats and all the joy that the music of my people brings us. It was a fabulous time.

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The festival will go one for two more Sundays till September 6, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm, and is free. Bring the family, bring a picnic, and have a great time. And if you want to make a whole day of it, the Lasker Pool and Rink is only a few steps away.  If you get there early enough you can enjoy the pool before the crowds come in, though I have to admit, I have rarely been there where it has ever been too crowded.

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We had an amazing time, humidity, heat, and all. Only a few weeks of Summer left, get out and have fun!

Happy Adventures!

This past week NYC was hit with a hard storm that devastated many of the trees and grounds of Central Park.  Trees, centuries old, were lost.  Some playgrounds have even been closed down due to needed repairs. The Central Park Conservancy is asking that you make a donation, either monetary or through volunteering, and help repair the damage that has been done and restore the beauty lost in our treasured park.  For more information on becoming a member or making a donation please visit The Central Park Conservancy and see how you can help.  Thank you!

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