Tag Archives: New York

Fall Happenings around nyc

Festivals, markets, and all of the pumpkin-themed fun possible. We searched around for some fall events in and around NYC that would be great for a family-fun day! Browse through our list, plan your adventure and tag us in your photos on Facebook, so we can get in on the fun too!

Harvest Homecoming
When: October 20, 2019 (11 a.m.-5 p.m.)
Where: Brooklyn Botanical Garden
About: Discover an old-school fall foliage festival in the heart of Brooklyn—complete with hay rides, carnival games, music, and more! Local cider makers and kombucha brewers offer tastings, a farmers’ market features heritage apples from local orchards, and kids can debut their Halloween costumes in a high-energy drum parade.

Scary Bazaar
When: October 27, 2019 (10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.)
Where: Grand Bazaar NYC
About: Grand Bazaar NYC transforms for Halloween into a “Scary Bazaar”. Expect to be greeted by creepy crawly and ghostly decorations, and explore the 140+ spooky vendors – many in costume – indoors and outdoors. There will be a fantastic selection of scary sweet treats from artisanal food vendors. Get your scare on and come out for a fun day for the whole family and maybe uncover unearthly finds!

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
When: October 3-31, 2019 and every weekend in November
Where: Croton-On-Hudson, NY
About: Witness an army of more than 7,000 glowing pumpkins in the tristate area’s most spirited Halloween happening, It’s also one of the best and easiest day trips from NYC!

Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla
When: October 30, 2019 (4 p.m.-7 p.m.)
Where: Charles A. Dana Discovery Center (inside the Park at 110th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues)
About: Celebrate the Halloween season in Central Park. Listen to ghost stories, check out a costume parade and get creative by carving a pumpkin. After the festivities, the Central Park Conservancy will partake in a traditional Pumpkin Flotilla, where 50 gourds (possibly your creation) will take a sail across the Harlem Meer at twilight.

Written by Taylor Bell, Social Media & Marketing

Introduce your kids to volunteering!

ATTN New Yorkers – It’s time to get out and help others living in that beautiful city of yours! Volunteering comes in all shapes and sizes, and no volunteer activity is too small.

We had the opportunity to learn more about New York Cares and the amazing volunteer opportunities that they offer. We were particularly taken by their kid-friendly volunteer opportunities where children and their parents can learn, give back and grow together, all while doing some good. Read below for our Q&A with Cynthia Chovan-Dalton, Director of Development, Individual Giving & Special Events at New York Cares and learn how your family can give back!

Q: Tell us about New York Cares Family Day on September 22nd. What does the event entail? Who can volunteer?

A: The New York Cares Family Day of Service on September 22nd will be a fun and educational event to introduce children to volunteering and giving back to the community. There will be eight stations that families can travel among to learn about different issues areas and participate in service projects such as packing baby boxes for families with newborns, making cards for seniors to brighten their day, creating seed balls for New York City parks, and learning how a family can collect coats to participate in New York Cares 31st Annual Coat Drive. The activities are designed for children ages 6-12, but younger and older children can attend (space for stroller parking is available). Parents can attend an express orientation for New York Cares volunteers, and then sign up for additional volunteer projects that are family-friendly. There are projects open to children as young as 6.

More information on the event can be found on our website.

Q: What are some other family-friendly volunteer events that you offer?

A: New York Cares Day for Schools on October 19 will have a family-friendly site. The New York Cares Family Council will plan additional volunteer projects over the course of the year that are exclusively for families, including a family-friendly coat sorting for the Coat Drive, a card-making opportunity for seniors or veterans, and a park revitalization project. Families can also search here for additional opportunities that allow children.

Q: How can someone sign up to be a volunteer? Can people of all ages sign up to volunteer?

A: Parents and guardians must create a New York Cares volunteer account and attend an orientation. They can then sign up for volunteer projects; for each project they must complete a Family Friendly Waiver. If a project is not one of the exclusive family projects organized by the Family Council, the parent or guardian must email the Team Leader of the project to let them know they will be bringing their child.

Q: What are some benefits you see families receiving after volunteering together?

A: We’ve heard from many parents that their time is limited and while they want to volunteer, they must prioritize family time. The solution is to volunteer with your kids! This will allow parents to pass on to their children the values of giving back and civic engagement that they feel are important. And research indicates that service-learning activities can reduce stereotypes, facilitate cultural and racial understanding, and increase interpersonal development, leadership, and communication skills. Children who volunteer are more successful in school, are three times more likely to volunteer as adults, and are more apt to vote.

A special thanks to Cynthia Chovan-Dalton for working with us for this Q&A blog post. Happy volunteering, readers!

Young female volunteer marks a cardboard box with a pencil.

Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

Get to Know Bruce Plotkin Photography!

We’re introducing one of our favorite event photographers, Bruce Plotkin, in our latest Q&A blog post.

Get to know the face behind the photographer who is snapping great memories for clients all around the New York and Connecticut Metropolitan area.

Q: You grew up being surrounded by photography with your father being a photographer himself. Is your father the biggest inspiration as to why you chose to be a photographer?
Dad was certainly a big influence in my becoming a photographer. He was a wedding and portrait photographer in Worcester, Mass, where I grew up, for 40 years and photographed generations of families, many of whom still stop me to tell me how his photographs grace their homes. A week ago I actually photographed a wedding in the Adirondacks and the mother of the groom was not only someone I graduated high school with, but my dad photographed her wedding.  A wonderful feeling of continuity.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing you get from being a photographer? Is there a particular event/subject you enjoy capturing the most?
The most rewarding part of being a wedding photographer is in delivering the finished product to the bride and groom and their families, whether on-line or in album form, and hearing from them about thrilled they were with the results, and that I was able to capture all the key moments (including at times ones they never even witnessed), and that I clearly succeeded in creating a document of their wedding day that they’ll be able to share with generations to come.

Initially I wanted nothing to do with wedding photography and spent the first two decades of my career as a NYC based advertising and magazine photographer, with kids as my primary focus. I photographed everything from ads for Huggies diapers to Jello, and had covers of both Time and US News and World Report.  When I decided to shift gears and devote myself to photographing weddings, which has been my principal focus for nearly the last two decades, I discovered the world of contemporary wedding photojournalism, more of a story telling approach to creatively and unobtrusively documenting the wedding day. For me this new life was truly coming full circle, and I never looked back.

Q: It looks like most weddings that you’ve covered are in the New York and Connecticut areas. Are these your primary locations? What other events could people hire you for?
While most of my weddings take place in the New York/Ct. Metropolitan area, they have indeed taken me everywhere from Maine to the Caribbean. This year, in addition to last week’s trip to Lake George’s wedding,  I’ve travelled from Washington, DC to the campus of Penn State U. Always excited by these new adventures.

While I do, on occasion, photograph other types of events, and often photograph the babies of my brides and grooms, my main focus remains photographing beautiful wedding celebrations.

Bruce Plotkin

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell