Tots on the High Line in NYC

Category: Off the beaten path – NYC
Activity type: Park Venue
Age Appropriate: All Ages

In 2009 a brand new 6.73 acres of public park, mile and a half long, was added to Manhattan, 30 feet above ground. The High Line runs across the West Side neighborhoods of Meatpacking District, West Chelsea and Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen.

The Past and Present of the High Line with Ed Norton

The Friends of the High Line make a concerted effort to keep the park alive all summer long with several entertaining programs and events for people of all ages.

Step Festival @ The Highline (From June 13 – June 18 2011)

The park offers nature-based fun activities, tours, stargazing, dance workshops and other tot related activities in the summer.

To Do’s on the High Line:

– Stroll with your tot: Access the mile and half long park via stairs or elevator access points (as listed below) and enjoy strolling across parks and enjoy views of the city around and below you.
Free Tour: you can enjoy a free guided tour of the High Line at 11:00AM
Programs: Participate in low-cost or free design, garden, family, art or history program developed by the Friends of the High Line
Parties: Friends of the High Line continue to hold fun parties for adults on the High Line to enrich the visitor experience. Check out upcoming parties on the High Line
Volunteer: Volunteer with the High Line Gardeners for the Green-up project or at the Field Station as a Greeter
The Lot: During Summer, enjoy public art, free events and family activities, beer and wine, and concessions from food trucks at the public plaza below the High Line’s northern terminus

Tot related events this month @ the High Line:
Rainbow City
Saturday Tours
Step to High Line Festival

Rainbow City @ The High Line

Elevator as well as stair access to the park is available at the following points:
– 14th Street and east of 10th Avenue
– 16th Street and east of 10th Avenue
– 20th Street and West of 10th Avenue (Coming soon)
– 30th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues (Coming soon)

View The High Line in a larger map

Most activities on the High Line are held during warmer months, make sure you visit while the sun shines.

It’s time for Lila

I came across the book Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art by Stephen Nachmanovitch. The opening of the first chapter: “ There is an old Sanskrit word, Lila (Leela) which means play. Lila may be the simplest thing there is – spontaneous, childish, disarming. But as we grow and experience the complexity of life, it may also be the most difficult and hard won achievements imaginable, and it’s coming to fruition is a kind of homecoming to our true selves”. I am sure we all can relate to this as we live our complex, urban lives.

Summer is here (we did not have Spring this year) and I can think of a million places to visit with Devam – water parks, playgrounds, farms, zoos, botanical gardens etc. If you live in NYC, you are likely to find a fun water park + playground in your neighborhood. There are at least 3 in Battery Park and they are all packed on a beautiful summer day. NYC City Department of Parks and Recreation have built an extensive database of parks in and around your neighborhood.

Also we should appreciate the efforts of organizations like KaBOOM – a national non-profit organization that is striving to develop great places to play within walking distance of every child in America. They partnered with Rockwell Group in New York to create Imagination Playgrounds all over the city. I took Devam to the Imagination Play ground in Downtown New York and it was hard to get him to leave after 2 hours of free play time. While I had to keep my eyes on him at all times, he had a great time.

[vimeo w=400&h=228]

What is Imagination Playground? from Imagination Playground on Vimeo.

Once your tot crosses the major milestone – turning 2 years old, most of us are comfortable letting go, I commend parents that have let their tots enjoy total free play early on, knowingly/unknowingly you have contributed tremendously to your child’s creative growth.

Let yourself and your tot free, make sure you take all the safety precautions and enjoy Lila this summer.

Visiting NYC with kids, don’t miss out on the MET

MET: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Suggested Age: 4 yrs or older

Languages supported: English or Spanish

When you are visiting New York City with kids, there are so many places to go and see. Some of the most famous destinations are:

But when you visit often, you easily exhaust these most obvious options. You start wondering where you will be taking your kids the next time you visit. In a similar quest I took my 2 year old to the MET – Metropolitan Museum of Arts.


I was not sure if he was going to enjoy it. As I entered the museum I inquired if they would recommend any specific exhibits for a young tot. We followed the guidance and we were at MET for about 2 hours and my son had a fabulous time at the Arms & Armor exhibit, The American Wing and Temple of Dendur.

At the MET in NY

I was quiet surprised to know that the MET offers hundreds of family programs each year and most of them are free with Museum admission (unless otherwise mentioned). They provide a few programs for 4 year olds, but most are appropriate for tots 5 years or older. They offer drop-in classes and other guided activities with focus on drawing, film-making, painting in the park, exploration and story-time. There are also several classes for tots with learning or developmental disabilities. Many programs are also offered in Spanish. The American Wing serves fruit, fresh juice, snacks and coffee for the mom. The many choices make MET a great destination for tots 4 years or older.

If visiting with a tot 4 years or younger:

  • I will suggest entering at the 81st street and fifth avenue street level entrance
  • Museum has great changing stations and touch free sinks

Start exploring the MET:

Enjoy the MET and share your thoughts with us.


City Treehouse – 12th June 2010

City Treehouse in ChelseaI am actively looking for fun places to take Devam every weekend. It also gives us a break from the routine. This weekend I am planning to take Devam to the City Treehouse. It is located in the Chelsea neighbourhood. The City Treehouse is a nature themed indoor play center, it has a large indoor water play area and a treehouse hideout.

The City Treehouse (as per what I know) is ideal for 18months – 8year old children, I am going to take my 11 month old son knowing that he loves water and he loves to watch other kids play around him.

Will write more about Devam’s experience next week. If you are free do join us, we will be there this Thursday from 2:30PM to 4:30PM. In case you have an older child, CityTreeHouse is celebrating the movie Toy Story 3 starting 2:00PM, check more details on their website: