Monday, December 22, 2014

Surviving The City, The Big Escape

With tourists five deep in front of the windows along Fifth Avenue the holidays are a perfect excuse to leave the city behind and venture off the island. I've got four great adventures to share, all just a MetroCard or MetroNorth ride away.

Take the 7 train out to Flushing, Queens for a little science and mini golf amongst the Cold War era missiles at the New York Hall of Science. Located in Flushing Meadow Corona Park (home to the 1964 World's Fair) the Hall of Science is the perfect place for your budding space explorers.

Search for life on Mars with the Mars Rover, climb aboard the Friendship 7 (a replica, of course), or play nine holes in Rocket Park. Sports fans can test their speed, agility, and learn about physics at the Sports Challenge exhibit. Step into the batting cage and throw your best fastball to a waiting Met (they play just a few blocks away) while the speed gun catches your game-winning pitch. Or build the day away in the new Design Lab, a totally hands-on space where the kiddos can make a creative mess all while learning to solve design challenges.    

What kid doesn't dream of adding in their own sound effects to their favorite television shows? Spend an afternoon at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens re-dubbing The Simpsons or doing your best Audrey Hepburn "the rain in Spain" dialog. I wrote about our adventure last spring (read it here) and it's just a M/R or Q/N train ride away. Time things right for cocktails at The Astor Room next door in the world famous Kaufman Studios and you just might see Big Bird on a break from The Street.

A ride on MetroNorth to Yonkers (get off at the Glenwood station) will bring you to the Hudson River Museum where you can explore the local ecosystem, reach for the stars in in the planetarium, or go back in time at the restored 19th century Glenview Mansion. The exhibits are small but the scenery is beautiful and it's just a little over 30 minutes from Grand Central. The planetarium has a good selection of shows throughout the day and it's cheap, just $4 for adults and $2 for kids.

For some swanky suburban strolling take the MetroNorth New Haven line to Greenwich and get a little culture in at the small but impressive (and kid friendly) Bruce Museum and lunch with the ladies at the Belgian chain Le Pain Quotidian. Across the street from the Bruce is a great playground, perfect as a bargaining tool if you want to get a little shopping done on Greenwich Avenue.

Exhibits change frequently at the Bruce Museum but they have an extensive collection of rocks and minerals that the little C&Gs love. If the security guard isn't busy ask him to poke around at the hermit crabs in the touch tank. He took a few slimy snails out so we could all get a closer look. Um, none for me thanks, I'd hate to ruin my appetite for the do-it-yourself hot chocolate and pain perdu up the street at Le Pain Quotidian.

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