Category Archives: Events


Fun Fridays – Crave Culture At The Jewish Museum

Common misconception – You do not have to be Jewish to appreciate the revolving installations at this Upper East Side Museum.   Saturdays are FREE for everyone and kids under 18 get in FREE all other days of the week. Our friends at The Jewish Museum have put together some great ideas and facts for the wee ones when exploring beyond the playground and usual playspaces.  NYC is abundant with culture, just there for the taking, don’t miss out!  (Psst, BFC reader discount on membership below, so read on!)

From The Jewish Museum’s Education Department – written by Nelly Silagy Benedek, Director of Education; Rachel Katz Levine, Senior Manager of Family Programs; and Rachael Abrams, Senior Coordinator of Studio Programs.

Why is culture important for early learners?

Having cultural experiences at a young age supports the development of critical learning skills in fun and engaging ways. The Jewish Museum’s family programs encourage young children to look closely, describe, move, and think in response to original works of art through gallery and studio art experiences.  Similarly, our family concerts inspire children to listen actively and express themselves by singing and dancing—all this in a friendly, collaborative environment. Through their participation in gallery conversations, performances, and hands-on activities, children express themselves creatively. They also learn how to share their experiences with others.

Studio art is an important component of our early childhood programming. Families create original works of art inspired by their experiences and by the works of art they encounter in the Museum’s exhibitions. Our studio art programs and projects emphasize the importance of using the imagination, articulating objectives, experimenting with different materials, developing original ideas, making thoughtful choices, learning from mistakes, and expressing different points of view.

Family programs at museums offer enriching artistic and cultural experiences for multi-generational audiences in an environment where families can learn together.  Furthermore, children who begin coming to museums at a young age are more likely to feel comfortable in museums and other cultural institutions and are more likely to seek out similar experiences throughout their lives. We hope that visiting museums at a young age is a first step to fostering a life-long passion for the arts.

How can my children and I better engage with art as a family?

•           Follow your child’s lead. What sparks his or her interest?

•           Look closely. Describe what you notice in a work of art. Explore the colors, shapes, textures, and materials that you see. Discuss what is happening in a scene.

•           Take your time. Give your kids time to make close observations.

•           Choose a theme. Plan your museum visit around an idea or topic, such as people, place, nature, color, shape or materials. Hunt for specific images or objects in the galleries. Discuss the artwork by asking questions related to your theme. For example: Find a work of art that involves something from nature such as an animal, tree or plant. Have you ever seen this animal or plant before? Where? How is this work of art similar or different from the real animal or plant?

•           Ask open-ended questions, such as: What do you think is interesting about this work of art? What do you think is happening in this scene? Does this remind you of anything?

The Jewish Museum is pleased to offer your readers a discount on family memberships.  Normally a Jewish Museum family membership is $135, but we can provide a special rate of $100 just for your readers who join by December 31, 2014.  Readers can use the discount code BELFAM and redeem the offer by:

-       Emailing the membership desk at

-       Call the membership hotline at 212.660.1519

-       Visiting the membership desk at the Jewish Museum and mentioning the code or bringing in the blog entry

Further information about membership at the Jewish Museum and benefits can found at by looking at the section headed “Family $135.”

Pedal to the Metal – Cycle For Survival

For the past 3 years Lindsay and Family have Cycled for Survival for this great cause.  2015 will be no exception to that rule.  We have our bike shorts and shoes on and are ready to sweat.

Consider joining the Bell Family team this year or creating your own, its a fun day of exercise and fun, even if you have never taken a spin class in your life.

Cycle for Survival is one of the fastest growing fundraising events in the world having raised over $50 million dollars for rare cancer research and funded more than 100 clinical trials and research studies since it was founded in 2007. Jennifer and David Lynn co-founded the indoor team cycling event to raise crucial funds for rare cancer research. All of the funds raised in Cycle for Survival go directly to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and are allocated within six months of each event which has drastically reduced the time it takes for treatments to reach patients — in some cases cutting the span from years to months. Cycle for Survival is an event that Bell Family participates in by both raising awareness and supporting the event with a cycling team in NYC.

Here are the stats for this year’s Cycle for Survival:

  • 9 days, 13 cities, 49 rides, 4,500 bikes & 20k participants
  • 2015 Cities include: Boston, Chicago, Greenwich, Long Island, LA, Miami, Dallas,  New York City, San Fran, Palo Alto, Seattle, Summit NJ & Washington DC


KCS train

Keep em entertained !

Living in the city with kids has a slew of considerations all their own (what other city do you have to register for preschool while the kid is still utero ??).  Kids need freedom, they need space and most of all in a city like NYC they need an outlet for their energy that could power a freight train.

Whether it is art, music, gymnastics, bowling,  checkers, DJ academy or gardening to name a few, the apple has a ridiculous amount of offerings for the wee ones up to high school.  And it can make your head spin when trying to navigate the options, it’s plain overwhelming.  Our friends at Kidz Central Station are trying their hardest (and succeeding) in helping make this process painless.  Their one stop shop gives you 3 click access from looking to booking and then moving on to more pressing issues, like a glass of wine ;-)

Kidz Central Station: Your Go-To Resource for Kids’ Fall Classes

If you’re looking for ways to keep your kids active and learning this fall, check out Kidz Central Station a one-stop-shop for parents to find, compare, and enroll their children in classes and activities in and around NYC! With over 3,000 classes to choose from (in music, art, soccer, ballet, mommy and me, and so much more!), Kidz Central Station makes it easy for busy parents to find and manage their kids’ activities all in once place. Use the site to:

  • Narrow a class search by age, location, class type, date, and price.
  • Enroll in hundreds of NYC’s top class providers, such as 92Y, Gymboree, Little Maestros, and Super Soccer Stars.
  • Sign up for trial classes.
  • Earn reward points! With the Kidz Rewards program, the more classes you book, the more discounts you earn toward future purchases!

Visit Kidz Central Station to check out all of the great activities for your child this fall!


Mother Nature Weather Woes

Any outdoor event has its challenges certainly, but the biggest fear for all event planners, moms, dads and guests alike is the unpredictability of the weather.  Having a gorgeous 75 degree sunny day right before your event, only to have torrential rainstorms the day of your event that have you shooting dagger eyes to the weatherman for being wrong is so not our idea of fun.

Contingency plans are always good to have, but at the end of the day it is still a force of nature (literally) that you have no control over.  Our friends at Precision Event Planning NY have come up with a great handy checklist that every bride to be and family/ event/ coordinator/planner should take a gander at to help alleviate some common issues that can be controlled…

Although the sun may have been shining bright the day you signed your contract for your wedding venue, that doesn’t mean unexpected weather will not make an appearance on your big day. When living in the North Eastern part of the US, each season offers a delightful variety of wonderful ways to celebrate your wedding, but it can also cause much commotion if not prepared for it to take an unexpected turn. Here are some tips to avoid disaster on your wedding day and shine bright like the sun even if the sun is hiding in the clouds.


Heat: Summer, although considered a popular time to have events especially weddings, is not necessarily the most comfortable. Unless the entire wedding is indoors with central air, chances are those guest are going to be reaching for a fan!

Solution:Hand held battery operated fans as wedding favors. You can personalize them four your wedding and this way the guest can actually read the program instead of using them to cool off.

Bugs: Summer time is breeding ground for bugs and at an outdoor wedding this can become a problem.

Solution: When choosing an outside venue, make sure to think about the surroundings and choose a venue that has maintained greenery.


Wind: In the Fall, the leaves are changing colors and the air is crisp, but the air can also be a little too powerful. A windy fall day can end up blowing decorations around and messing up your hair.

Solution: Make sure all decorations are secured to something stable or heavy enough to not blow away.

Also, try a classic updo for your hair to eliminate the risk of your hair getting tangled or getting in the way from an unexpected gust of wind.


Snow: Winter usually means snow and this past winter was especially cold and snowy. If you have always dreamed of having a winter wonderland but don’t want the cold temperature or snow to interfere then here are some solutions.

Solution: Some ways that you can make sure guests and your wedding party stay warm and happy at your winter wedding is to offer warm beverages like hot cocoa. When it comes to picking a venue make sure that the venue is strict with driveways remaining salted and shoveled. The wedding party can wear gloves to add a classic element and help them to stay warm in those beautiful outdoor snow photos.


Rain: Spring flowers are one of the top reasons to get married during this time of year but flowers grow because of rain. If an outdoor ceremony was planned this can become quite an obstacle.

Solution: Arrange for an outdoor ceremony under a tent so that even if it rains the wedding can proceed. A fun option is to have umbrellas in the colors of your wedding theme to distribute to guests who may have forgotten their own. These umbrellas will also make for great props in wedding photos.

Mama of the Bride

I had the extreme honor of being the Mother of the Bride for the third time last weekend. It was a beautiful NYC wedding that took place on a made to order August day.  Prior to the fabulous event, my husband and I drove in from Ohio with our car packed from top to bottom (as usual) delivering pieces and parts to various wedding locations. We did some early morning decorating, had a marvelous bridal lunch thanks to the mother of the groom, and a rehearsal dinner at the Jane that guests raved about as the best they had ever been to.
The rehearsal

The rehearsal

Preparations, which included nails and hair, went without a hitch and the bride appeared on the church steps as beautiful as can be.


The wedding guests were then delivered by bus to the W Loft in Brooklyn after a brief tour of this fantastic city, to a venue that dazzled due to Jacques Catering talents. Food and background views were equally delicious.
Even though I included many positive synonymous adjectives throughout this blog, nothing makes a wedding great like its guests. The Texan and Ohioan families united well, friends came from near and far to dance the night away. A big thank you to all of you for your time and efforts to make this such a memorable event for Brad and Lindsay.
Love to all,
Mama of the Bride

Bell Family Loves… WEDDINGS!

Bell Family Loves… Weddings!

Especially when they’re part of the Bell Family! This weekend our very own BFC President, Lindsay Bell got married to another of our very own, BFC Investor, Brad Wallace.


Now we can officially call that keeping it in the family!

The Bridal party

The Bridal party

The wedding was located at Church of St. Joseph in Greenwich Village, followed by a NYC reception. Everyone had a wonderful time. More pictures and stories to come!

Congratulations to our fearless leader, Lindsay Bell Wallace!