Tag Archives: nyc

KidPass – One Pass to Amazing Activities

We recently teamed up with KidPass to learn more about the thousands of activities they offer to kids throughout the New York area. Read our Q&A below to see how one pass can unlock a new world of fun for your little one(s). A special discount offer for Bell Family may even be in store, too!

Q: What are some examples of the variety of activities offered by KidPass? Are the activities for children of all ages? 

A: Have you ever found yourself with a restless child and lots of time to fill? KidPass to the rescue!  KidPass can get your child into 5,000 places to play in New York City like Kidville, Gymboree, NY Kids Club, 92Y, lots of swimming pools, all kinds of classes, and tons of open play spaces throughout NYC. If you can dream it, KidPass can take your kids there, and we have activities for newborns, toddlers, and kids up to age 17.

Q: What are the different plans you offer those looking to join, and how do the plans work?

A: Most of our parents choose the KidPass Basic Plan. For $49 a month, you get 10 credits to use on activities of your choice. Search by date and neighborhood, find an activity you like, and book it on our site. Your spot will be waiting for you when you arrive. If you ever want more credits, we’ve got a Family plan and a Power plan too.

Q: Many families have busy schedules and require flexibility. How flexible are the memberships and class schedules? Is there a fee for cancellations?

A: Oh we know how it is! We are all parents at KidPass and we know that plans can change quickly. If you make a reservation with KidPass and need to cancel it, your safest bet is to cancel it 24 hours in advance. And if you ever want to cancel your KidPass membership, there are no penalties for pausing or cancelling your account.

Q: How does a family or childcare provider get started?

A: We’re inviting all our friends from Bell Family to try KidPass for free for one month! Use this link and the discount will be applied at checkout. Come play with us soon!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Inside Scoop on Explore + Discover Early Learning Center

Along Second Avenue in New York City, you’ll come across an organization like no other.  Explore + Discover Early Learning Center is an organization that provides both excellent and unique childcare in the heart of Manhattan. Infants and toddlers will feel right at home as they receive nurturing care, and learn life-long social and physical skills.

Bell Family had the opportunity to talk with the Co-Founder & President of Explore + Discover for a Q&A, to provide a quick guide for families on why this should be their new go-to for childcare.

Q: How does a family apply to be part of Explore + Discover? How much advance time should a family give for the application process? Do you offer all age programs?

Families begin the application process by calling and setting up a time to visit the center. Once the date/time are scheduled, prospective parents (with or without child/children) come in for a visit with our Director and/or Educational Director. This accomplishes a number of important objectives, including but not limited to:

- Giving us an opportunity to learn more about the child and family.
- Allowing us to more completely explain how the program operates, and answer any questions.
- Letting the family see the facility, and the program in action.

We recommend that if a family is considering applying to the program at that point, that they fill out an application and pay the application fee at the time of their visit. This allows the family to be in the queue, and if they should decide to take next steps to join the program, we have their information and are able to move things along fairly quickly.

Advance time is always recommended—we have some families who come to us when they are thinking of conceiving, which is wonderful (and frankly pretty forward-thinking from a family-planning POV).  At the same time, we keep our doors open to families who may not make preparations in advance, and if we can accommodate them, we are happy to!

Q: What does a common day look like for an infant or toddler at Explore + Discover? What kind of activities can they expect to be apart of?

A typical day for a child at Explore + Discover involves a combination of open exploration, thoughtfully planned creative experiences, and careful attention to caregiving routines.

We believe that allowing children time for exploration through free play each day is vital for social and emotional growth. Each classroom environment is designed with the age and developmental level of the children in mind, offering high quality open-ended materials to encourage creative play.

We also offer a variety of open-ended art and musical experiences throughout the week. Art specialists, as well as classroom teachers, plan engaging activities as a creative outlet for the children. Painting, mark making or drawing, working with clay, and collage are just a sampling of the experiences in our art studio.

Many of our teachers play the guitar and each class is visited by the music teachers, where they listen to, and eventually sing along with familiar songs and rhymes. As part of our Music Before Words program, the children are exposed to a variety of instruments. They are encouraged to listen to the sounds, move to the music, and even touch or play each instrument.

A thoughtful focus on caregiving makes Explore + Discover unique. Feeding, sleeping, and diapering routines are looked at as a time for bonding and beginning to encourage independence.

Q: What are some key items you look to teach the children that attend Explore + Discover? Tell us about your mission.

At Explore + Discover, our goal is to set the foundation for children to become lifelong learners.

We encourage them to investigate their curiosities and wonderings by providing an engaging classroom environment and enriching open-ended materials.

We believe that teachers are partners in learning rather than the keepers of knowledge, therefore providing opportunities for exploration, creating, and questioning.

Using the children’s natural interests and developmental stage as a starting point, the teachers design curriculum unique to each group. By the time the children leave E+D, it is our hope that they have developed the self-confidence, problem solving skills, and inquisitiveness needed to navigate the upcoming years of school.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

New York Baby Show Highlights

At the end of last month, the annual New York Baby Show concluded, where our very own, Lindsay Bell, was a guest speaker.

This year, the event racked up its biggest numbers yet with 5,000 families registered! At the two-day event, both expecting and new moms had the opportunity to walk around the show to discover new products, take in seminars on bump and baby, and check out fun attractions such as the Cannon Step-And-Repeat and the respites (like the DK Reading Rest Stop).

This is a great event hosted every year by New York Baby Show. If you haven’t gone yet, next year is your year!

To see additional photos and coverage from the event, check out their Facebook page!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Scandinavia House Playing & Learning Center

The Scandinavia House Playing & Learning Center is a hidden gem in midtown east NYC.

First, it’s clean. The toys seem new and the carpets are always well vacuumed for the next day, which is not always the case with free play areas.

Second, it’s cost effective! People can sign up for a membership at $400 per year, and have full access to the play center. Or you can use a trial pass on Saturday’s for $15.

Third, it’s for those toddlers that are walking and up. With padded walls and soft carpet, it’s perfect for new walkers and rolling around.

Finally, it’s a great way to mingle with other moms and nannies.

For more information, checkout their website here.

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Written by our Founder & President, Lindsay Bell

Cardamom Event Recap

Our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell, recently attended CARDAMOM’S event that took place last week in NYC. Here is what Lindsay had to say about the “Girlfriends, Glam, & Giving” event (full details on the event can be found in our blog).

The event was well attended at a local salon in Flatiron; where moms were welcomed with complimentary blow-outs… wow! Then h’orderves and vino were passed around, and Project Playdate presented on behalf of Founder, Amanda Raposo. Project Playdate is an award winning alternative to babysitting that helps women and children in need. There was a silent auction on site where 100% proceeds of the auction went to Project Playdate. It was truly a great event all around!

To learn more about CARDAMOM read the release below.

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CARDAMOM app launches to connect moms with one easy “wave”.

They say it takes a village. But modern motherhood can be an isolating experience, without ready-made friends to lean on, laugh with or talk with. Many women, disconnected from their “pre-mom” lives, struggle to find and make connections that are in sync with their new lifestyles.

Enter Cardamom, a game-changing new app for moms. Launched for iOS last week, Cardamom utilizes profile-matching technology to introduce moms by neighborhood, kids’ ages, availability, interests, and even niche factors such as language and career choices. Users create a customized profile Card, then digitally “wave” hello to each other to explore a friendship. Cardamom makes it easy to connect and chat with other women in real time.

“Before motherhood, we made friends organically through decades of life,” says Cardamom cofounder Sonal Patel, a New York City-based mother of two, “When you have a child, it can feel like starting all over. So, women expend a tremendous amount of time and effort in meeting other moms, through meet-ups, mommy-and-me classes, playgrounds, moms’ groups, events and more. But it can be overwhelming, exhausting and uncertain.”

The Cardamom app is an easy solution for moms to quickly find and connect with each other. “It’s all done from the comfort of your phone, with no planning and no pressure,” offers Patel. “And it’s not just about play dates. We connect women who just want to chat with other moms in their local areas or someone to grab coffee, or even build professional networks.”

Now available in New York City and the surrounding areas, Cardamom will be building out networks in the coming months, with a nationwide expansion planned by early 2017.

The Cardamom app is available for free download at the iTunes store. It is compatible with iPhone, and an Android-compatible version will be released in the coming weeks.

A Radio City Rockette Newbie

I have visited New York City countless times and even lived there for about five months for a summer internship. It’s easy to rack up the visits when you have two sisters that move there by the time you are 10 years old.

Given all of my visits, I’ve done my fair share of activities – the top of the Empire State Building, walks through Central Park, Broadway shows, golf at Chelsea Pier, games at Yankee Stadium – the list goes on and on. However, there was one thing that remained on my NYC bucket list, and that was to see the Radio City Rockettes.

A few weeks ago my dream came true and I found myself inside Radio City Music Hall (thanks Mom)! The entire experience was like no other. It all started with a preshow drink with my mom and big sis, Lindsay, at Del Frisco’s. My sister considers this move a preshow staple each time she sees it. An hour later I found myself stepping into the grand lobby with two story Christmas trees and decorations to my left and right. We soon made our way to our seats and the show started right then. Cue the orchestra, dim the lights, and here comes Santa Clause.

Each act throughout the show was a show stopper. There were shopping scenes, toys that came to life, a tour through NYC, fireworks, snowfall, and the conclusion gave you a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas (tears might have been shed). If you sat near me you would often see my jaw dropped, eyes sparkling, or constantly poking my mom who sat next to me saying, “WOW!” I’ve been to many Broadway shows and musicals, and I can honestly say that nothing has compared to the experience I felt while inside this grand music hall.

We exited out of the gold doors and onto 6th Ave, when I felt as if I should be skipping down the street and singing Christmas carols. It was like I was ten again and believing in all things Santa.

If you haven’t seen the show… go! It’s great entertainment for all ages. Take it from the toddlers to the grandparents that were seen in the audience at the show I went to. If you can’t make it to Radio City, pull up your Netflix app. Believe it or not, you can watch the Christmas Spectacular right at home! You won’t have the live fireworks or snowfall (unless your are seriously invested), but you can appreciate the story just the same.

I’ll leave you with a photo I took of my favorite act in the show. The synchronicity of these girls was INSANE!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Event

A family fun day is right around the corner for all of those around New York City! On Saturday, December 3rd, it’s time to give back and help raise awareness for childhood cancer.

In 2007, the parents of a young boy who was diagnosed with cancer helped to launch Cookies for Kids’s Cancer by baking a total of 96,000 cookies with the help of 250 volunteers. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer now stands tall as a nonprofit committed to raising funds for research to develop new, improved treatments for pediatric cancer (the #1 disease killer of children in the US).

On Saturday, December 3rd, you can help support this wonderful organization at their next event! Meet amazing pastry chefs and munch on delicious treats, or make holiday gifts with food magazine experts for everyone on your shopping list (even Fido!), while mingling with friends. There will be a lot of fun activities for all family members and it’ll be a sweet way to kick off the holiday season!

The location of the event is at The Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 West 18th Street, 2nd floor (Between 6th & 7th Ave)

Additional information and ticket information can be found here.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Mother’s Day: Events, Gifts, and More!

Greetings, all!

The countdown is on to the day where we show moms everywhere just how much we love them. If you are still looking for the right gift for the mom in your life, take a look at some of the creative ideas we have listed below. We’re pretty confident you might be Mom’s favorite this year.

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8th.

Gifts:

Yankee Candle Bouquet (via diy-brico.blogspot.cl) If you smell every candle before checking out.
Cozy Stuffed Slippers (via Pretty Providence) If you want to be cute but your wallet funds are not.
Personalized Jewelry (via LayeredAndLong) If a little bling if her thing.
Homemade Everything (via DIY Ready) If crafty is your middle name.

Events/Activities (in NYC):

Brunch, Brunch, and More Brunch (via TimeOut) If you can eat eggs all day every day.
Picnic in the Garden (via TimeOut)  If you want a royally good time.
Cooking Class (via TimeOut)  If you want to build up your recipe box.
Choc-o-late (via TimeOut) If the key to her heart is through cocoa goodness.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Get to Know B2 Events – NYC!

Greetings, all!

We’re bringing you a special Q&A blog post today featuring New York City’s own, B2 Events! B2 Events offers cool and unique activities including arts and culture, fitness, neighborhood excursions, and more for parents and their children to participate in together. Parents, you’ll never again have to ask, what are we going to do today, because B2 has planned it for you!

Take a read at the Q&A, and then see below on how to schedule your next event with B2!

Q: What inspired you and Katy Goldman (co-owner), to create B2 events?

A: While picking wild flowers on vacation with my 9-year-old daughter Lucy, I said to myself, “wouldn’t it be cool to learn the true art of flower arranging?” Then my second thought was, “wouldn’t it be fun to learn this with my artistic daughter? She would be better than me!” Then I started to think of the many types of classes that would be even more rewarding to take with my daughter. Once kids are around 8 years old, all of a sudden you marvel at how capable they are and how they can learn at a level more comparable to your own. I knew at that moment that I wanted to make this idea a reality. I approached the one person who I knew together, we could make this happen.  After recently losing her sister to breast cancer, Allison had been planning unique ideas for special dates with her tween nieces. I knew she would understand my idea and want to help other people create the same memories with their kids.

Q: What are some of the unique classes you offer a parent, sitter, or role model and the child to do during an event or activity?

A: Since these are “one-time” classes, we try and vary our programming so there is something of interest for everyone.  Some of our more unique classes are Fresh Pasta Making, Birdwatching, Walking Tour of the Brooklyn Bridge with the Historical Society, Sneaker Graffiti and Self Defense Workshop. Our most popular classes are The Art of Cake Decorating and Photography 101.

Q: Why is it so important for a parent, sitter, or role model and the tween to involve themselves in learning activities together?

A: Research shows that child development experts have long praised the virtues of shared experiences, especially during the most emotionally vulnerable middle and teen years. Sharing a learning experience creates new positive memories together, and it is this time and bonding together that nourishes this complex relationship between parent and tween age children. Also, parents simply love how easy and refreshing it is to join in on a B2 class! Ariana Stolar, who attended Perfecting Brunch!, with her daughter, said B2 classes helped them relate in a new way. “I wasn’t the authority figure, we were both learning from the chef so it was more like we were peers. Usually I am the one orchestrating and planning everything for my kids. But with this I just showed up, I cooked, I ate and I didn’t even have to clean up.” All in all, it’s an exciting and new way to simultaneously learn with your kids and something parents aren’t privy to with school and drop off classes.

Q: What if a parent wants to have one of you host at a private party? Is that something you offer? How would a mom or dad go about organizing that? 

A: Most of our class and event offerings work well as private parties. Or, if parents are looking to host a cool event just for the kids (i.e., slumber party, birthday, Friday night hangout), we are happy to customize this event. Please e-mail us at info@b2events.nyc.

Take a look at the upcoming events and schedule your next fun activity with B2 Events today!
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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Running with Heels

Greetings, all!

We all know that we live in a world of networking. It’s bold, vast, and apart of our everyday lives. Like most things, networking is constantly growing and changing, therefore we wanted to connect our readers with a networking pro, and her name is Jenny Powers.

We connected with Jenny to do a short Q&A, where she talks about her thoughts on networking, and gives us a look inside her networking event, “Running with Heels.”

Q: What sets “Running with Heels” apart from those traditional networking events?

We are a by-invitation community focused on curated connections. We strategically extend exclusive invitations to a diverse group of senior level women executives and established business owners from a variety of backgrounds, skill sets and interests in an effort to encourage the development of mutually beneficial professional and personal relationships. This is no business card exchange or speed networking event, we’re a get-together with friends and business partners you just haven’t met yet.

Q: What do you say to women who dislike or don’t see the benefits of networking events to get them to come join one with “Running with Heels?”

I tell them to give us a try because we produce women’s networking events for women who hate networking! Most people fall in that category so they give us a shot, realize that networking can actually be fun and productive and then they’re hooked!

Q: Not only are you having great success with “Running with Heels,” but you also get your voice out in your monthly column on DailyWorth.com and through your podcast, “BroadCast: Broads Building Business.” Can you tell us what you have found more challenging motherhood or work, and why? 

Without a doubt, motherhood is the most challenging job I’ve ever had however it’s also the most rewarding. Writing my column, producing events and interviewing guests for my show and having them open up to me are all a cinch compared to raising a healthy, happy, well-rounded child.

Q: What is one take away you make sure to do at a networking event when meeting new people?

I always ask people I meet how I can help them. Most people are surprised by this and think it’s a trick question because networking gets a bad rap. When people think of networking, they think of self-serving people relentlessly pitching their product or service in an attempt to close a deal or fill a quota. If you regard networking simply as opening a door rather than closing a sale, you’ll genuinely want to help people move forward with their own goals.

 

Special thanks to Jenny Powers for sitting down with us for this Q&A! To learn more about Running with Heels, take a look at the full site here!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!