The flowers are blooming and the street performers are singing in NYC. It’s adorable to watch my girls point out the beautiful pink blossoms that line our concrete commutes to school.
“Spring is here!” they shout, like they are the first people to notice.
I love Spring in Manhattan with kids. The playgrounds become viable options again, the restaurants spill out onto the sidewalks and the parks come alive with picnickers, musicians and street artists.
Our favorite park to go to in the Spring is Washington Square Park. Not only does it have a fountain and a playground, it has a bubble guy, a bird man and a guy who plays classical music on a grand piano every weekend. I don’t know how he drags that grand piano out into the middle of the park every day, but by the time we arrive, he is always there.
There are also several jazz bands that set up shop in different sections of the park, so that everywhere you walk, at just right distance, the music changes and continues seamlessly.
Like a living radio station.
Washington Square Park is also home to the rope climbing playground which is Mazzy and Harlow’s new favorite outdoor playspace in NYC. It has a spider web of ropes for little kids to play on and then one long rope ladder that stretches over a sunken area of grass for the big kids.
Mazzy has been determined to cross the long rope ladder for awhile now and it’s awesome to watch her get a little closer each time we go to the park.
She used to give up as soon as she couldn’t depend on her feet but now she can go all the way to the center of the ladder before falling. It seems each time we go, she gets one or two rungs farther than the time before.
She also figured out she can get across by going across the top which was a whole new challenge. She felt so accomplished when she reached the other side.
Yesterday, the main fountain was turned on and I let the kids wade around with their shoes off for the first time. I see other parents let their kids do it all the time and when Mazzy and Harlow asked, I just said, “Alright. Go for it. Just don’t get your clothes wet!”
I figured, they just filled it with water, so how dirty could it be?
The fun was short lived though because pretty soon after they had taken the plunge, Harlow had to go to the bathroom.
Ah! The challenges of having a newly potty trained kid.
Luckily, Washington Square Park has a pretty decent public bathroom so we didn’t have to head home.
I’m not sure what happens in the ‘burbs, but in the city on the weekends, parents often stock their strollers with necessities and stay out and about the entire day— going to the playground, picnicking in the park, or another favorite of ours— strolling along the Highline.
We’ve got extra sweaters or light jackets in case it gets chilly, an extra pair of pants and undies for Harlow (in case of emergency), wipes (for the potty and for dirty hands), tissues, water, tons of to-go snacks and a little first aid kit with BAND AIDS and Neosporin for the inevitable cuts and bruises.
You could probably leave us out there for the whole weekend and we’d be okay.
Some days, I stick most of my necessities in my bag and the girls ride around on their scooters. They pretty much know the route back home by heart and every time I tell them to stop or take a left, their answer is usually, “I know, Mom.”
After dinner, Mike and I can usually be talked into ice cream— whether it’s from the ice cream truck, a nearby shop or Chickilicious Dessert Bar, where the sweet smell of their new ConeChurros wafts out onto the street.
ConeChurros are sugared pastries lined with Nutella and filled with soft serve vanilla ice cream, drizzled with caramel on top. They are AMAZING but for kids, totally a mess. The last time we tried these, I went through my whole stash of napkins.
Ice cream from the ice cream truck is a little easier to handle.
When we get home, their hands are dirty, their faces are sticky, their clothes are stained and they both have at least three Band Aids a piece.
But they are tired and happy and always tell me they had an excellent day.
“Me too, guys” I tell them.
Spring in NYC is my absolute favorite.
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