Wowzers. It’s been a while. What is it about the holidays that makes me want to unplug from anything electronic and just cook and bake and get all fuzzy and nostalgic as I sift through old photos?
The kids were off from school. My first emotion (of course) was fear. What will I do with them for 2 weeks? I considered calling the individual in our school district who’s in charge of determining how long holiday break is and suggesting that I drop my kids off at their house.
I had visions of hair-pulling, tattle-tailing, sugar comas and tantrums (maybe even one of my own) due to plain old boredom. Call it a Christmas miracle, but we managed to settle into a staycation that I wasn’t in a rush to get through: macaroni art, painting, a visit to the NY Botanical Garden to see the Holiday Train Show, playing with new toys from Christmas, two birthday parties. Even a date night in Brooklyn, which was different from our usual trips to the city to tear into a baguette and the fabulous paté at Buvette. (Are you tired of hearing about Buvette? You can tell me.)
I started reading two books that I’m eager to share with you in the next few posts. For now I’ll start with the NY Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show, since there’s still time to see it if you like. It runs through January 12th, 2014.
I won’t tell you that it wasn’t crowded and that my kids were perfectly behaved the whole because I’d be lying. But if your kids love trains as much as my 6-year-old does, it’s worth a trip. We went at 12:30, as you have to reserve tickets ahead of time. Next time I’d go earlier to help avoid the crowds.
The walk-thru takes about an hour or so. The beginning of the display is set amongst tropical plants and trees that tower overhead. Luke thought touching all the different trees and reading about where they grow natively was interesting, while Madeleine loved ripping the leaves off the plants and then grinning devilishly.
Anyone who visits can see that a tremendous amount of pain-staking work went into each part of the display, be it a train or building or bridge. There’s even a small pond that the kids were tossing coins into as they made wishes.
“What did you wish for?” I asked them.
Luke said, “I’m not telling you!”
Madeleine proclaimed, “I wish to be a fairy princess and I wish for a chocolate cake!”
There’s a very large, heated tent set up with cafeteria-style food vendors at the end of the display and I know what you’re thinking…Ick. Cafeteria food? But wait. I too loathe creepy places to eat. I’m a complete snob about food in general. This was done nicely and was kid-friendly. Don’t be afraid.
The Everett Children’s Adventure Garden (not reflected in the above photos), a short walk or tram ride from the Train Show, has art activities for kids and fun sculpture gardens for them to run through. Dress warmly! I didn’t realize how beautiful the outdoor gardens would be even in winter and I would’ve dressed myself and the kids a little warmer.
I’m looking forward to sharing with you a few amazing new bands we recently discovered (well, new to us!), a kid-friendly recipe your whole family will enjoy, and my adventures in bread baking.