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Little Babe's Big City Features

Check out our feature articles for parents in-the-know at Little Babe Big City Features.  We highlight the most stylish dresses for a 1 year old, outrageously cool graffiti onesies, the Baby Food Diet, baby advice and much more.  

Welcome to our New York City Baby Guide, the hip savvy baby resource for New York City parents with reviews and listings of all neighborhood baby stores, local pediatricians, reviews of baby stroller and kid friendly restaurants in Manhattan and  our Little Babe's Big Bad New York City Choice Awards for the Hippest NYC Baby Stores and Services.  



Central Park Carousel - Best of NYC Activities with KidsLooking for more to do with your family?  We are compiling our reviews of the Top 30 Cool Things to Do with your Kids This Summer so check in with us if you are out of ideas.  And join our Hip Parent's Club if you want to receive our weekly picks for the weekend, local deals and new and noteworthy boutiques, kids classes and events straight to your inbox.  We organize by neighborhood and age grade so you know what's appropriate and convenient for your brood. 



Looking for the cutest and coolest baby clothes for your soon to be bundle of joy, or toddler? Do you need to buy the most unique outfit for your fashionista friend's little baby?  We've got you covered with our reviews of NYC Baby Clothing Stores.  And then Check out our Neighborhood Guide to Baby Stores in all of Manhattan.  We break it down by hood' and category for you.  And of course, we have the Brooklyn hipsters covered with our reviews of all the Baby Stores in Brooklyn, NY.  



We also have the most stylish and sophisticated Maternity Stores for NYC Moms who want to feel like their normal, sleek selves for as long as possible throughout their pregnancies without resorting to tents and granny panties. 



Whether it's wood blocks with Hebrew, Russian, French, or English lettering, Ugly Dolls, Elmo, handmade puppets, custom doll-houses, collector train sets, or just a bouncy ball, we review New York City's Toy Stores and break them down for you.   



Are you dreaming of toile and gingham for your nursery?  Or a totally modern sleek look with funky wall decals and lighting.  Either way, you can explore all of New York City's coolest furniture stores to deck your baby's nursery, or alcove.  We review Baby Furniture Stores by Neighborhood




Think dining out is over now that you have a little one?  It's not always easy taking your infant or restless toddler to a nice restaurant.  But most urban parents love to dine out and eat well so we have done the research for you.  We review NYC Baby Stroller and Kid Friendly Restaurants by neighborhood so you can walk your stroller to the nearest most convenient place to eat and feel comfortable knowing no one will scowl disapprovingly at your tots.  



From infant classes, early child learning sessions, parenting groups, music classes, mommy and me events, swim lessons, to simply what to do with baby on a weekend we have scoured through the very best baby classes in NYC and broke them out by what's offered in your neighborhood in our NYC Guide to Infant and Kids Classes. 




Understandably, one of the most important decision a new parent makes, prior to baby's arrival is finding a trustworthy pediatrician.   We review the Top Pediatric Practices in Manhattan by neighborhood helping you make the most informed decision early on.




Looking for a nanny?  Many moms use word-of-mouth recommendations but we have pulled together some of the Best Nanny Placement Agencies in NYC.  And when your little one is ready for daycare, or if you are looking for an Infant Daycare Program in NYC we have a list of Every Licensed Daycare Facility in NYC for you to contact.  If you are thinking about getting a baby nurse, check out our Baby Nurse Guide for a personalized account of Do's and Dont's. 



The best source of information, recommendations, and advice on raising your baby or child in NYC are other Big Apple Parents.  So feel free to use our NYC Message Boards to connect with other moms local to your neighborhood.   Maybe you will even make a new friend to add to your playgroup. 






Cute New Book for Kids - A Little Dachshund's Tale - Event Reading on March 16th, 11 AM at Book Culture on Broadway (114th)

I just finished reading "A Little Dachshund's Tale" to my two daughters for the 5th time in three days, so it's safe to assume this children's book by first time author April Jean will be a hit with the 3-4 year old set.  

The story follows a sweet little Dachshund named Frances Peabody on her travels and adventures, from being chosen by the "woman with bells on her toes" at the pet shop even though she was a sick little pup to finally reuniting with her new owner and adjusting to NYC life after staying with her "Auntie" in the country (New England) for a short while.

The book breaks out Frances Peabody's adventures by chapter making for an easy read, especially with small children.  I only wish it had more illustrations.  My girls really loved hearing the story from the dog's perspective, especially when she met her owner at the pet store.  Expect to see more of Frances' adventures in the near future.  

In the meantime, April Jean will be reading from her debut book this coming Saturday at 11 am at Book Culture on Broadway, 2915 Broadway at 114th Street.  If you are in the area, bring your kids up for a storytime and buy the book if you enjoy the tale.   

You can also order the book online through Barnes and Noble, or Amazon, available for $9.95.


New Kids Art Class Studio Opens on Upper East Side NYC

Kids at Art - (212) 410-9780 - 1412 Second Avenue (between 73rd and 74th Street)

With fun, creative splattering classes for toddlers age 2-4, classes for the 5 and up set and special sewing and fashion classes for the older set, Kids at Art has something for everyone.  Their fall semester is 15 weeks long and is $625 for an hour weekly class.  Their are morning mommy and me art classes for 2-4, separation and drop off classes for ages 3-4 and even a fun lunch art class that included pizza and juice for 5 year olds.  They also host birthday parties with art, karaoke and disco.  


Free open music classes for children 6-24 months - Upper East Side NYC

Mondays October 29th and November 12th from 9:00-9:45am

Start your week with a free open music class for prospective students at Diller-Quaile.


Children (6 to 24 months of age) and their accompanying adults will experience the joys of music-making through movement, singing, storytelling, and playing instruments.

Classes feature professional pianists and multiple teachers.

Attendance is limited. Please contact 212-369-1484, ext. 43 or dappleton@diller-quaile.org to reserve a place for your preferred date! 24 East 95th Street; www.diller-quaile.org




Saturday Music Concert Series for Young Kids and Families 

Looking for something to do on Saturdays with your little ones?  The Diller-Quaille School of Music is starting up their series of engaging concerts for children ages 6 and under. Rug Concerts, each month features a new series with performers introducing a wide variety of instruments and singing and movement.

The Diller-Quaile Performance Space is located on the Upper East Side at 24 East 95th Street.   Singing, movement, and opportunities to play rhythm instruments are always a part of each interactive 45 –minute concert.

Each concert is different. Cost: $20 per person, adult or child. Saturdays: 10/13/12; 11/3/12; 12/1/12; 1/19/13; 2/2/13; 3/2/13; 4/13/13 - 10am, 11am, 1pm, and 2pm. No reservations needed, but space is limited. Go to: www.diller-quaile.org for more information.



Downtown NYC Indoor Play Spaces for Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers

The heat of the summer has somewhat let up and I am already in a tailspin trying to figure out where I am going to take my little ones this winter.  If your building doesn't have a kids playroom, will you be braving the elements and ice cold slides at your local playground?  Here is a quick and dirty round-up of indoor playgrounds, exhibits and play spaces by neighborhood to keep your rugrats dry and warm.  We are starting off with Downtown.


Apple Seeds (212) 792-7590 - 10 West 25th Street (btw. Broadway and 6th)

This playspace in Chelsea has a 2500 square foot indoor playground complete with a NY deli with fake food, mini skyscrapers and a reading room.  It's truly a great space but doesn't come cheap - you need to be a member to access the playspace which will run you around $945 though the price of some classes comes with membership.  There is also a kids hair salon and a boutique cafe and bookstore on-site.




Baby Moves (212) 255-1685 - 155 Bank Street (btw. Washington and West Streets)

Open play is $20 per child at this indoor playspace that has kitchens, cars and towers to climb.  Call ahead for reservations as open play is limited to Monday-Thursday from 1pm-2pm.







Chelsea Piers Little Athletes Exploration Center - (212) 336-6500 - Chelsea Piers Field House, 11th Avenue at 23rd Street between Piers 61 and 62.

This exploration indoor playground is located within Chelsea Piers Pier 62 Field House and has drop in open play from Monday-Friday 9:30am-12pm , 1pm-5pm.  One session is $12, five sessions are $50 and unlimited monthly admission is $155.  



City Treehouse - (212) 255-2050 - 129A West 20th Street between 6th and 7th Avenue

Open Play from 1am-5pm and fees are $10 per child per hour.  Complete with a water table and of course tree house this play space is great for kids from infant to age 5.  




Citibabes - (212) 334 - 5440 - 52 Mercer Street between Broome and Grand, 3rd FL

From a gym to a spa a family wellness center with a lounge and cafe featuring organic meals, this is a downtown parent's destination point come winter.  There are great indoor spots for soft climbing and crawling, a jungle gym and soft lego blocks.  Membership does not come cheap; a 6 month membership is $1300 per family and annual is $2100.


Gymboree Play & Music - (212) 255-5650 - 327 West 14th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue

This national chain offers its members a playspace for open play along with access to the multitude of classes and the play floor and equipment is soft on knees and early walkers tushies.  Check online for open play times.

Kidville - (212) 362-3923 - 200 Church Street at Duane Street

Indoor Playspace play is for members only, but luckily membership is complimentary for those little ones registered for Fall classes though fees start at around $725.  The indoor gyms are supervised so there is always a staff member on-hand.



Bathrooms in Central Park - One Parent's Quest for the Nearest Potty

Central ParkJust this afternoon, I found myself wandering through Central Park hoping that my 2.5 year old didn't ask me to use the potty.  I immediately started wondering where the nearest restroom was and how disgusting it might be. Now, I usually bring a portable potty with me under the stroller and I could see myself toting around some version of this up until the age of 5/6...is that a bit crazy?  Perhaps.  Still, did you know that there are actually 16 restrooms in Central Park?  I checked their website and these are all of the locations below.  Also, I saw there is an App for Central Park through Apple's App Store available for $1.99 and I believe it has the restroom locations. For those who want the locations for free, bookmark this article ;-)  Now, if only these were right next to every playground.  You could also download a free runner's map here with restroom locations included and fold it up inside your wallet, or diaper bag.  

Merchants' Gate, 61st Street and Central Park West (closed during the winter)

Heckscher Playground, Mid-park at 62nd Street

The Arsenal, 64th Street and 5th Avenue

Sheep Meadow Cafe at Mineral Springs, Mid-Park at 69th Street (wheelchair accessible, closed during the winter)

Bethesda Terrace, Mid-park at 72nd Street (closed during the winter)

Model Boathouse (Kerbs) Cafe, at Conservatory Water at 74th Street (wheelchair accessible)

Loeb Boathouse, 74th Street at the East Drive (wheelchair accessible)

Ramble Shed, Mid-park at 79th Street

Delacorte Theatre, at the Turtle Pond at 81st Street (wheelchair accessible)

Ancient Playground, 85th Street and 5th Avenue

Tennis House, Mid-park at 94th Street

North Meadow Recreation Center, Mid-park at 97th Street (wheelchair accessible)

Robert Bendheim Playground, 100th Street and 5th Avenue (wheelchair accessible)

Conservatory Garden, 105th Street and 5th Avenue (wheelchair accessible)

Great Hill, West 106th Street (closed during the winter)

Dana Discovery Center, 110th Street at Lenox Avenue


Getting Ready For Preschool or Looking for a Thrifty Alternative? Try a Few Separation Classes to Ease the Anxiety.

If your little one is headed for preschool this Fall, you may be in a mild panic wondering how they will fare in a classroom setting, away from you for 3-5 hours at a stretch.  While some parents may be willing to fearlessly jump in and cheerfully wave goodbye, be prepared for some tears and clinging the first few weeks.  It may be best to get your pre-preschooler ready with some gentle separation classes offered throughout the city. Typically for 2-2.5 year olds separation classes run anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours in length and teach your child that it's okay and even fun to be away from mom and dad for short stints.  

My daughter's first separation class is held on the Upper East Side at the 74th Street Magic.  Their Busy Bee class is a wonderful way to get your kids used to being in a classroom setting with two teachers and others their age.  My daughter was anxious at first, but has come to love this class, especially because she gets to do fun crafts projects with finger paint and varying themes each week.  And I love seeing her art projects each time I pick her up.

The Children's Museum of Manhattan on the Upper West Side offers two classes for separation - Preschool Prep and Preschool Steps.  Preschool Prep meets 2 times per week for 1 hour and 15 minutes and includes art, music, storytime and science exploration.   

Citibabes downtown has a great program that starts early, with parental attendance for their Citischool Jr classes for tots 18-24 months.  It's a preschool readiness program that meets 2 times per weeks and allows kids to get familiar with the preschool routine of freeplay, arts, snacks and story/circle time.  Parents stay back and allow their little one's independence to build.  The Citibabes 2s classes are great because the separation is gentle and parents are in attendance until the child feels comfortable enough to participate on their own.  

Wherever you choose to try a the first separation class, be prepared to stay chipper and say your goodbyes quickly.  It's much easier on the kids to get their parents out with a clean swift break.  


Best Baby, Toddler, Preschooler Class for Siblings aka Multi-age class

Three Little Birds MusicWhen you have two kids close in age, but not twins, it becomes nearly impossible to take them to their respective baby, toddler or preschool music, gym or art classes for mommy and me time.  You have to leave one with a nanny or with dad and take the other for special time.  If you are a stay at home NYC mom this becomes daunting and exhausting.  Three Little Birds Music at 266 East 78th Street has a great sibling class for multi-age little kids that solves for this problem.  Currently held Tuesdays at 1:30 and Wednesdays at 4:30pm you could unwind with your double stroller in-tow for a delightful class filled with fun music and song that both baby and toddler or preschooler will enjoy together and best of all, with their mommy. Gymboree NYC Gymboree also has Family Play and Learn times where siblings along with mom and dad could come, use the playroom and join in for some structured songs, activity and play at both Upper East Side, Midtown, Upper West Side and Downtown locations.  Check out their schedule of classes for times at the gym near you.


Friday July 13th Upper East Side Baby and Kids Clothes Sales

Summer in full swing, this is really the time to stock up on baby and children's clothes.  All over the Upper East Side, baby and kids clothing stores are having mark-downs.  Jacadi is having a huge 50% off sale with a ton of inventory, Greenstones is having their big blow out sale, which is continuing on through June with more items added, TaRoo too! is having any item $25 days and big blow out days with items - $5, 10, $15, etc up through $25. Lesters has a street tag sale with a really nice selection for $10.  And that's just to name a few.  Mid-summer is a great time for sales so check out your local kids clothing store and see what's happening.  


Super Duper Market and Yummy Fun Kooking Come to NYC this Weekend

If you are a fan of food, consider visiting the "Super Duper Market", a 3 day pop-up superstore that pops up in Chelsea (410 West 16th Street) and features unique foodie vendors, retailers and general food fanatics from both East and West coast, all under one roof.  A venture between Paper Magazine, Target and American Express, the raw space will basically be converted into a fully functioning grocery market with the types of artisinal food items you won't want to miss.  Red Rooster and Spotted Pig will have products created especially for the market, and tasty treats from Salty Road (taffy) and S'More Bakery will be available.  This is all about featuring progressive indie food entrepreneurs and fresh produce so it should be a fun event for all.  

Most importantly, for kids Target is hosting FREE food workshops throughout the event during which Clare Crespo of the renowned show YummyFun will be teaching kids how to make all kinds of tasty concoctions from veggie animals to eyeball cupcakes.  If you don't know about YummyFun, it's an adorable cooking show with a twist that's made quite a name for itself with full episodes available for sale on DVD.  Check out YummyFun online.  

Hours are as follows:  Friday July 13th - 11am-4pm; Saturday July 14th 11am-6pm; Sunday July 15th 11am-4pm.


For a full list of vendors check out http://www.papermag.com/superduper/