The Gingers Take Manhattan – Playdate In The City
Sometimes, it’s really nice to be able to say “yes” to opportunities. On Saturday the kids and I had our first ever NYC adventure when we attended Tollytot‘s Playdate In The City. I almost backed out a dozen times (we’re about 2 1/2 hours from New York and E wasn’t able to come) but I am SO GLAD I didn’t. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Evan and Caroline so happy.
Playdate in the City was literally that – a room full of toys and kids to play with them. But it wasn’t just a room, it was a gorgeous all-white loft with an outdoor garden and fountain on top of one of the buildings in Rockefeller Center. And there weren’t just toys, there were hundreds of cool new toys from My First Disney Princess, Rubik’s, Baby Genius, Fisher-Price, Safety 1st and Graco. And there weren’t just tons of kids for Evan and Caroline to play with, there were super nice PR reps who sat on the floor with them for HOURS playing blocks and showing them how stuff worked and seriously guys, it was so much fun.
Amazing added feel-good bonus – Tollytots donated a life-changing surgery to a child through Operation Smile just because we showed up. In fact, they donated one for every family that came!
Evan made a beeline for these two toys when we walked in and barely stepped away from them the entire time – the Safety 1st Cubikals Push Along Fire Truck and the Jump ‘N Jive Helicopter. Words cannot express how much he loved these. Words also cannot express how glad I am we got to take them home, although I DO have a word for how I feel about the music the helicopter plays now that I’ve lived with it for 2 straight days. It’s not a very nice word. Thank goodness for off-switches.
Caroline was in HEAVEN, since dollies and strollers are her two favorite things. Both kids loved the Cinderella Sparkling Lights and Magic Wand Doll, who lights up when you touch the wand to the medallion on her dress. To be honest, I loved her too and I’m definitely putting it on the Christmas list. They even had Prince dolls to go with the Princesses – Charming and Flynn (from Tangled!) were my favorites. My friend Kim was so excited to bring them home to her boys.
Caroline tried every single stroller they had, but decided the Graco Jogging Stroller was her favorite. She has literally slept with it IN HER BED since Saturday. We both though the Ride ‘n Drive was adorable – she kept yelling “CAR CART! CAR CART!” – and it’s another thing going on the Christmas list.
I’m pretty sure the first time bow-tied waiters served me food on trays was at my WEDDING, so I hope Caroline and Evan don’t get used to this level of luxury. The menu was all tiny and child-friendly – shots of milk with a cookie on top, tiny crustless sandwiches, chicken nuggets, cake pops, cut up fruit and sippy cups of apple juice! It’s true I am easily impressed, but they really did think of everything to make the day fun and easy.
Did I mention the location and view was fantastic?
We stayed literally the entire time the event was going on and left with a stroller full of toys. Since we were already in the city we made plans to meet up with Sara and do some New Yorky stuff. Kim walked me and the kids to Central Park and stayed until Sara found us, so I never had to wrangle both gingers on my own (my friends rock). We hung out and posed for pictures (true story, foreign tourists REALLY like my kids) and then wandered over to the carousel and the playground for some touristy fun.
We stopped at the Whole Foods in the Time Warner Center to grab snacks (fruit and cookies for the kids, sushi for the grown ups). Evan was so tired he wrapped himself around his helicopter and took a nap. Caroline made it until we were back on the train home:
It was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done with the kids (even if you discount it for the broken car window and stollen GPS I came back to at the train station – thank goodness for awesome full glass coverage insurance!) and I cannot thank the ladies from 624 Public Relations and Tollytots enough for inviting us. There were half a dozen professional photographers at the event too, so I hope I can share some more pictures and video of my kids having the time of their life later.
Disclosure: I was invited to Playdate in the City by Tollytots and (to my surprise) the kids were allowed to take home a few toys and a gift bag as a thanks for attending. No other compensation was provided. They didn’t even ask me to blog about it or share the links – my kids just REALLY loved these toys and after playing with them I totally agree.