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NewBee Daddy – A day at the museum

Posted Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 at 1:00 am by alobosco in Cultural Bees. More in 10025

T Rex!

T Rex!

My wife and I had a great Saturday this past weekend.  We met up with some old friends and their daughter Layla, who is about 21 months old and adorable. As new parents-to-be, Melissa and I were very excited to not only see our friends, but also spend some quality time with their daughter and continue to gain as much “on the job” parenting experience as we can before our little one arrives.


Our original plan was to spend the day in Central Park and visit the Central Park Zoo. But since the summer has been one big heat wave, we changed our plans to incorporate indoor activities and plenty of air conditioning – and what better place to achieve both of these than in a nice cool museum! The Museum of Natural History was the perfect place.

So today I thought I’d review our day and share some ideas for what to do on a hot summer day with your kids.

1pm – Brunch at Henry’s restaurant

We kicked off the day with brunch at Henry’s Restaurant on 105th and Broadway.  John and Gayle wanted to get started around 1:00 since that’s when Layla typically eats.  As we saw and appreciated first hand, you ALWAYS want to plan your day around your child’s routine.  The food was delicious and the restaurant itself is pretty large, so we didn’t feel cramped.  It also happened to be a “Jazz Brunch,” so there was live music which added to the atmosphere, and also kept Layla entertained – a double bonus!  There were other families there with young children, but not overwhelming where you couldn’t conduct “adult” conversations. Overall, a very family-friendly restaurant.

We chose Henry’s because it was well north of the Museum, away from all the crowded restaurants in that area. Our friends had driven in from New Jersey and had no problem parking close to the restaurant.  I mention this because parking in the city can be hectic and adding a young child into the mix can turn stressful real quick.  Melissa and I live in the neighborhood and know Henry’s well….our strategy of eating away from the tourist laden area of the Museum was a success.

2:30pm – Museum of Natural History

Around 2:00 we all piled into their car and headed down to the Museum, which is on 81st and Central Park West.  We were debating on whether we should park uptown and take a cab to the museum, but we remembered they have a parking garage (81st between Columbus and Central Park West).  Although it cost $30, the convenience of not having to walk too far was worth the money.

We weren’t the only ones that chose the Museum as an escape from the heat that day….it was definitely packed with tourists and families with young children. Even so, it was a great destination.  So much eye candy for kids….and parents! Between the giant whale, dinosaurs and ocean life exhibits, there was a lot to see. It was a little challenging to navigate through the busy crowds with a stroller, and getting into an elevator was like being in a mosh pit at times, but that’s expected.  I did get some good practice with the stroller. I was expecting to run over my wife’s feet (or someone’s else’s) since I usually do when I’m pushing a shopping cart at Costco, but I seemed to be in control.

At the end of the day we spent about 2 ½ hours there and had a blast. Layla loved all of the exhibits. But by the end of the day we were all exhausted…and ready for naps! My hat goes off to every parent because it’s not easy keeping up with kids, but seeing the look on their faces when they see something new and exciting makes it well worth it.

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