High Line Park. NY

Few weeks ago me and my friend decided to take our little ones to the city. I am so glad, we are only 40 minutes away from NY, and it lets us travel there pretty often.

Our plan was to take the girls to High Line Park. Let them run around and play for a little bit.

Before walking into the park, we decided to stop at Chelsea market for lunch. This expansive retail space is home to a couple dozen vendors, most of which do food of some kind. You will find any kind of food there: from regular sandwiches to whole steamed lobsters.

I let Sophia had pizza. When we go to the city, she always needs to have a special treat, and her favorite one is pizza, so this time she had Margarita one from Amy’s Bread.

I was super excited about my lunch because there is a vegan sushi place at Chelsea market: Beyond Sushi. The Green Roll.

This was my first time eating completely vegan green rolls. These rolls look like piece of art. Their choices are unbelievable.

Each fruit and vegetable sushi gem is wrapped in either black forbidden rice or a customized six-grain rice blend. Black Rice is a gluten free grain that contains 18 amino acids and has a natural black hue. Beyond Sushi’s iron-filled six-grain rice is a medley of rye berries, hulless barley, pearl barley, brown, red, and black rice. Both rice options paired with the seasonal fruit and vegetable fillings, create for exhilarating textures as well as flavor profiles.

I picked Combo 2: 2 rolls and 2 individual pieces. ( you pick your own rolls). My choice was Spicy Mang( black rice, avocado, mango, english cucumber, spicy veggies), Green Machine( six grain rice, english cucumber, asparagus, basil marinated veggies).

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They tasted really good and I wish we had this place in our area too.

The prices surprised me too: 13.50$ for 2 rolls and 2 individual pieces.

Now, back to High Line Park.

The family friendly elevated park, the High Line, opened in 2009. Running from the meatpacking district to 20th Street, the park doubled in length in 2011 and extended to 30th Street.
Though not a traditional park–ball playing is not allowed and no walking on the rails is forbidden–the High Line is still fun for kids. At one spot you walk through a building; at other places you can watch the street life unfold below through large glass viewing areas. Plus there are special events for kids, like art projects and movement classes.

A water feature lets kids (and the young at heart) splash, and a small grassy area in the new section tempts emerging walkers.

This is the place where the girls played the most. It was warm enough and they really had fun in the water.

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The High Line is open from 7am-8pm daily, with the last entrance at 7:45pm. In April through summer, the park is open until 10pm. Park workers are serious about getting you out on time.

The area around the northern end of The High Line is possibly the most unattractive in Manhattan, so double back and end your walk at another place.

The park has nine access points: Gansevoort Street, 14th and 16th steets (both with elevator access), 18th Street, 20th Street, 23rd Street (elevator access coming, 26th Street. 28th Street and 30th Street (elevator access).

Tips: If you are bringing a stroller, be sure to use the access points with elevators.

You can bring food to the park and sit at one of the cafe tables or on a bench. The popular lounges are at a premium, so you may have to wait for one.

They sell my favorite Blue Bottle Coffee there now, and although I don’t drink coffee for a few months already, I couldn’t say “no” to this one.

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On our way back home, we let our girls have the local fruit ice pops that taste really good. Strawberry and basil is the perfect combination for ice pops, and Sophia enjoyed hers not even letting me have a lick.

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There is only one bathroom, near the 16th Street entrance and lines can get long; don’t wait until your newly trained toddler HAS to go:)

It was a great trip and if you want to take your kids to NY and explore something else besides Times Square and Central Park, you should definitely try Chelsea Market and High Line Park.

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Spark Box Toys. Review.

Kids have too many toys today. I guess many parents may agree with me. Kids ask for toys, you buy them. They play for 5 minutes, and forget about it immediately. Your house is full of toys and games, and you don’t know what to do with them: donate, give away, sell, keep for younger kids?

Our house isn’t big enough to keep all the toys, and every year there will be more and more. I am trying to get rid of some of them, but still we have a lot.

Around month ago I was searching on line and found SPARK BOX TOYS. This is the saver for parents, kids, your budget, time, and home space!!!!!

What is Spark Box Toys?

This is the monthly subscription for renting toys for your kids.

How It Works

They send you 4 high quality educational toys in every box. Personalized for your child’s development. When you are done. Simply send them back for more. Shipping is always FREE.

1.Educational

Every Spark Box is designed by education experts to promote learning and development in your child

2.Safe & Clean

Every Spark Box toy is rigorously examined, cleaned and sanitized through a 5-Step process

3.Unbeatable Value

Each Spark Box is worth $120 on average. You pay as little as $24 every month.

They have different plans to choose:

1 box every 8 weeks-23.95$

1 box every 6 weeks-28.95$

1 box every 4 weeks- 35.95$

The age group is from 6 months till 4 years old.

The brands of the toys are: Plan Toys, Leap Frog, Brainy Baby, Fat Brain Toys, Alex, Tolo Toys, Geomag, Sevi, Guidecraft, Around Square, InnovativeKids, P’kolino, Mellisa&Doug, Tegu, Manhattan Toy Company etc.

You go on line, fill the information about your kid, pick the plan, and after that you get the option picking the toys. You can see the toys you have already, but you may change it, and pick the other ones.

So when I saw this Box, I decided to try the 6 weeks plan. I ordered 4 toys for my daughter, and got the box in 3 days.

What you get in the box?

4 picked clean toys. Everything was clean and packed in plastic. They looked like new.

Product Card for your Toys. The full description of every toy and ideas for using it during the play.

Mesh bag for toy pieces. This is cool. When you go somewhere, you can pack the toy with you and play with it anywhere.

Return label for returning the toys.

If you picked electronic toys, you get batteries for them.

We had the chance to play with these toys:

Beginner Pattern Blocks. by Melissa & Doug.

My daughter loved it.

Eggspressions. by Hape.

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This is a good toy, but I guess it works better for older kids. Sophia doesn’t get the idea of emotions yet.

Fun Farm. by Hape

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This wooden maze puzzle was one of Sophia’s favorite.

Screw blocks. by Guidecraft.

 Sophia loved this toy. She pretended fixing everything and liked the idea being like her dad.

I didn’t give her all the toys at once. We made some schedule, and every week she got a new one as a surprise, and I put the others away.

As I mentioned before, everything was clean and looked like new.

I really love the idea of renting toys. I can’t wait to get our second box.

I wish I knew about it earlier. I hope in the future  we will be able to order the toys for older kids too.

If you want to try SparkBoxToys, I have a surprise for you. You can save 10$ for your first order. Just use the code “LIDIYA” when checking out.

I will definitely share my experience with the future SparkBox Toys.

Stay tuned!!!!