As a person who likes to explore and eat and drink and travel AND who does enjoy SOMETIMES including my kids in the foregoing, I keep a fairly updated mental list of cool events and places to hit with the kiddies. It’s my job as a mom, no? Here are 5 things I’d like to do this summer with my family.
Domino Park, a New Danny Meyer Taqueria and Mister Dips: Domino Park is a new 11 acre waterfront park in Williamsburg, BK where the old Domino Sugar Factory once sat. It looks gorgeous and modern - I’m dying to take my kids to the playground that pays homage to the sugar refining process of yore and the beautiful fountains that beg to be splashed around in by day and ogled at all lit up by night. And I wouldn’t dare visit without sampling Danny Meyer’s latest venture, a counter-service taqueria called Tacocina. Just 15 minutes away, Mister Dips is an Airstream parked at the William Vale Hotel and serving up Andrew Carmellini’s versions of burgers, fries and killer looking soft serve (I NEED the new chocolate-peanut-butter deluxe). I won’t rest until we get here. We were lax about it last summer, believing that it was a long way to drive for another burger, but I’ve changed my tune. So stay tuned.
The Hudson Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival: Happening July 6-8 in Dutchess County is the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival. I doubt any of us has the guts to actually go up in a hot air balloon, but the tethered rides look our speed. So does sitting out on the lawn with the sun beating down on us, watching all the hot air balloons bounce around.
Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market: I don’t particularly like antiques or vintage all that much but still this place very much intrigues me. Located in New Milford, CT and open only on Sunday mornings from late March until early December, Elephant’s Trunk just feels like a CT Must Do.
Rockaway Beach: For years now I’ve wanted to check out Rockaway Beach with the kiddies. We have beaches in CT and heck, I’m from the same town as Jones Beach, but this mama wants fish tacos with her sand. Previously known as Rockaway Taco before it was decimated by Hurricane Sandy, today, the menu lives on at Tacoway Beach. I’m not sure that anything is more appealing than fish tacos and agua frescas in the sun, followed by some beach time. If there's time, I'd love to also check out the nearby (and free!) MoMA PS1's Rockaway! public art festival. This summer it will include Yayoi Kusama's "Narcissus Garden" installation. This trip NEEDS to happen.
NY Hall of Science + Queens Night Market: More Queens! We somehow still haven’t taken the kids to the NY Hall of Science. Some might think, as a mostly indoor attraction, the Hall of Science is best kept for rain and snow. But the expert way to visit is to come late in the day on a warm weather Saturday, and then, at 6pm hop on over to the Queens Night Market located in the Hall of Science Parking Lot for an all NYC roster of eats, arts and musical entertainment. Plus: the Hall of Science has 60,000 square feet of outdoor space featuring a Science Playground and Rocket Park, so it really is a perfect warm weather family destination
ADDED BONUS: The KidzBop Concert at Jones Beach: As mentioned above, I’m from Wantagh, the town where Jones Beach is located. The Amphitheater at Jones Beach is a nice place to catch a summer show and, given my kids are KidzBop addicts, getting tickets to this show was a no brainer. I’m pushing 40 and still hit live concerts so it’s kind of exciting to start my kids on that same journey, even if it’s via screechy tweens singing Lady Gaga.