Tag Archives: best kids travel blog

A quickie art exhibit for kids in NYC

CANstruction NYC on carpoolcandy.com

I like to take (or really drag) my kids to Manhattan at least once every six to eight weeks. As I’ve probably said before, I grew up in downtown Chicago and want them to be savvy, unafraid, and as metropolitan as three sports-loving, sweatpants-wearing, TV-watching,videogame-playing suburban boys can be.

It’s a challenge.

Sometimes we go in because we have plans with family or friends, other times because I want them to get some culture. Those trips are a tough sell so I usually need to couple the experience with an enticing meal.

Recently, we had a free Sunday and some cousins in town from South Carolina so it was a great excuse to go into the city. I headed straight for the TimeOutNYKids website, which always has fun and enriching activities. They feature special events, but also have a calendar which tells you exactly what’s happening the day you want to go.

CANstruction NYC on carpoolcandy.com

Apple core was my favorite– symbolizing NYC and healthy food– but the cowboy hat was neat too.

That’s where I discovered the CANstruction exhibit at Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan, near the Freedom Tower. It’s an international charity competition where architects, engineers, contractors and students compete to design and build giant structures made entirely from full cans of food.

CANstruction NYC on carpoolcandy.com

The teams create amazing sculptures out of food cans and at the end of the contest, all the food is donated to City Harvest, which rescues food to feed to the hungry in New York.

CANstruction NYC on carpoolcandy.com

Aden tries to imitate “The Thinker”

NYC was one of 100 cities across North America and other countries such as Australia and New Zealand that held Canstruction competitions and then donated the food. The sculptures are not only impressive aesthetically, they have a theme, and some even teach a lesson about hunger and helping others.

The best part was it was only a few works so we were in and out in about 20 minutes.

Next we headed to Tribeca and put our name in at Bubby’s— home of delicious pancakes and burgers– and then walked the Highline while we waited.

Highline NYC on carpoolcandy.com

Cousins bond walking the Highline

The boys grumbled as we walked to the exhibit– as they do every time I ask them to step outside their comfort/ESPN zone. But they couldn’t deny the sculptures were cool.

Highline NYC on carpoolcandy.com

They always admit in the car home that the experience wasn’t as bad as they expected. That’s as close to a high-five as I’m going to get, but I’ll take it.

Highline NYC on carpoolcandy.com

Highline selfie

A little culture, little social awareness, little fresh air, and then a little nosh. It was all good.

Unfortunately, the exhibit is closing this week but you can check out more about it –and see if it’s in a city near you — on the Canstruction Facebook page here.

I’d love to hear about any of your quickie cultural experiences for kids in NYC. Tell me in the comments.

 

 

Martha’s Vineyard with kids: Vineyard Haven was heaven

Chappaquiddick, Martha's Vineyard on carpoolcandy.com

Just got back from a terrific week in Martha’s Vineyard. As we did last year, we rented a house with another family, but this time we were in Vineyard Haven.

 House on Franklin Street Vineyard Haven,  Martha's Vineyard on carpoolcandy.com

Our house in Vineyard Haven was 2 blocks from town and close to everything so the kids had a lot of independence

There are dozens of gorgeous beaches to discover, some found at the end of a winding dirt road, in the middle of the woods…others, the front lawn of spectacular mansions on the water.

Beach in Chappaquiddick,  Martha's Vineyard on carpoolcandy.com

Great beach walking in Chappaquiddick, Martha’s Vineyard

The food was amazing (another post on that later) and the weather ideal.

Lobster races on Martha's Vineyard on carpoolcandy.com

Lobster races: cruel but fun

We did have some rain, but very little humidity and a breeze cool enough to make a sunny day at the beach bearable, and a house without central air delightful.

I’ll post more about what we did next week, but for now wanted to share some of my favorite sights.

Menemsha, Martha's Vineyard on carpoolcandy.com

Boats docked near Menemsha

Everywhere we drove, I hung out the window snapping photos, trying to capture the island’s unique beauty, but my photos don’t do it justice.

You need to experience it yourself!

On one of our first evenings, we indulged in arguably the best fried clams on the island from a crab shack called The Bite, while watching the sun sink in Menemsha.

Sunset at Menemsha, Martha's Vineyard on carpoolcandy.com

What’s better than friends, seafood, wine and this view in Menemsha?

Sometimes you’ll just be walking along and sandwiched between two houses you happen upon something like this….

East Chop Lighthouse near Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard on carpoolcandy.com

East Chop Lighthouse near Oak Bluffs

I may take too many boat pictures, but who could resist this?

Boats in the harbor near Menemsha, Martha's Vineyard on carpoolcandy.com

Boats in the harbor near Menemsha

We rented paddle boards again this year which was a big hit with the kids, but the wind was so strong they didn’t get very far.

Paddleboarding on Tashmoo Pond, near Vineyard Haven, Martha's Vineyard on carpoolcandy.com

Paddleboarding on Tashmoo Pond, near Vineyard Haven

Look how clear the water is. 10-year-old Aden always finds an interesting animal….

Crab grabbing on Tashmoo Pond, near Vineyard Haven, Martha's Vineyard on carpoolcandy.com

Crab grabbing on Tashmoo Pond, near Vineyard Haven

We took the 2-minute ferry from Edgartown to Chappaquiddick Island. The wait to get on with your car can be 20 times longer than the ride, but well worth it for the magnificent beaches.

View from the ferry line from Chappaquiddick to Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard on carpoolcandy.com

View from the ferry line from Chappaquiddick to Edgartown

Dusk is my favorite time of day at the beach. I couldn’t resist taking dozens of photos during our day trip to Chappaquiddick. The light was incredible.

Kayaks parked at Chappaquiddick beach, Martha's Vineyard on carpoolcandy.com

Kayaks parked at Chappaquiddick beach

Much of the island is still wild and undeveloped like this road to the beach on Chappaquiddick.  It felt good to be surrounded by nature.

Road to Chappaquiddick beach, Martha's Vineyard on carpoolcandy.com

Road to Chappaquiddick beach

This may be my favorite picture. It says beauty, nature, possibility.

New screen saver?

Beach path in Chappaquiddick, Martha's Vineyard on carpoolcandy.com

Beach path in Chappaquiddick

Next summer, two weeks!