You hear that sound? Crossing guard whistles have stopped blowing, the sound of zippers on book bags frantically opening and closing have made an abrupt halt, maybe your morning routine has slowed down a bit as you don’t have to pack a lunch and run out the door. School’s out, and if you’re anything like me, you’re thinking yes, it’s summer! But if you’re also like me you're thinking, what am I going to do with these kids for 2 whole months?!
Rich and I are proud parents of Josiah and Hayden who are almost 8 and 4 years old, respectively. They’re outgoing, fun, social butterflies and always up for a good time and some Chick-fil-a. We live in Uptown, NYC in a community called Inwood and love every bit of it. Inwood’s a great place to raise kids, and this summer we yet again get to explore it and milk it for all she’s got to offer. As a stay at home mom who still thinks she can hang with her kids, here’s a list of my top 5 places to take your kids Uptown.
Treads Bike Shop is a common stomping ground whether you’re an experienced biker or novice wanting to take a ride for a while, but why should adults get to have all the fun? Treads is not only a place to buy or repair your bike, but they offer hourly and daily bike rentals on the spot. Rich and I bring Josiah and Hayden here when we want a fun active way to cruise through our community. They have small bikes for children, bikes with seats for toddlers to ride right behind you or tandem carts where Jo and Hayden have ridden and loved every second of it. Just note, be prepared to work those leg muscles as you pull your kids through the hilly parts of Uptown. If you’re looking for a break from the norm and an active spin on your next family outing, this is the spot!
Our city is filled with rich history and Uptown is no different, if you’re in more of a historical mood, head up to 204th & Broadway to the historical Dyckman Farmhouse. All you need is a donation to enter and you walk right in to the historical home of the Dyckman family. All donations go towards funding free programs for children throughout the year.
This location is a fairly new addition to Josiah’s routine and he’s all about it. As a budding skateboarder, he’s found this skatepark to be a hidden gem off of 181st Street. If you’re up for a little walk from the 1 train, you’ll find yourself riding the ramps, coasting on the paths and practicing your latest trick, so he tells me. With the ever growing trend of skateboarding making a comeback Uptown, it’s great to have a place Rich can take Josiah to grow and work on his moves.
You didn't think I would mention cool places to take your kids without talking about the arts did you? Especially not with my kids! Brave Movement has been nothing short of a breath of fresh air in our community. They started as a dance company founded and run by people of Uptown to serve the people of Uptown, and they are not slowing down any time soon! Brave runs every Saturday and they offer ballet for toddlers ages 3-5, hip-hop for kids 6-11 and don’t go anywhere mom or dad! Stick around after your kids are done, because adult classes start right at 12pm too! This has been a place where we have been able to really let loose and enjoy ourselves as a family! We watch our kids dance and then they watch us get down too! The instructors are incredibly caring and patient, and unlike other dance companies, you can sit in your child’s class and watch! Don’t let another Saturday go by without checking out Brave!
Ahhh, Old Faithful. How can you not frequent your community playground? It’s part of the whole growing up experience! New York City loves its parks and there are tons of them all over all and our community is no different. Playgrounds are fun, familiar and free to the community. Most of the ones in our community have sprinklers for those hot summer days of running carefree in your swimsuit. I plan on packing a bag with some water toys, water shoes and a towel and am just going to sit back, relax and let them have some fun. It’s summer time, go enjoy it!