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5 NYC Insider Parent Treasures

Our favorite secrets to make your NYC parenting experience a little easier.

5 NYC Insider Parent Treasures

Something happens to many of us when we have babies here in NYC. All of a sudden, the city that you fell in love with because of the lights, art and hustle becomes unrecognizable. Which makes it no wonder so many flee NYC the instant they inhale that first baby smell. But for those of us who stay? The rewards are endless. Sure, there are the obvious playgrounds and mommy-and-me classes in almost every neighborhood. But there are also hidden treasures sometimes in the least (and sometimes the most) obvious places around you.

Here are our top 5 insider parent treasures making our NYC parenting experience a little easier. Consider it a gift from us to you, mama.

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1. Waterfalls in Central Park. While you might be thinking that you need to spend an entire weekend in the The Catskills for your family nature fix (and sometimes you just might), the truth is sometimes you might not just have it in you. Lucky for you, you only have to go as far north as the top of Central Park to enjoy some glorious man-made waterfalls and meditative nature hikes.

2. Equinox Sports Club. Wait what? Yep, you read that right. While you may have thought you’d have an excuse to extend that hold on the membership to your favorite sports club after maternity leave, turns out Equinox was thinking ahead even when you weren’t and created kids programming called For Kids Only. Available on the Upper West Side and Upper East side, For Kids Only is filled with classes for your kiddo while you take your favorite workout class. And if that wasn’t enough to get you back on the treadmill, For Kids Only also offers a preschool alternative competitive with some of the top in the city and is available for members and non-members alike.

3. The Subway. Sure, you may be cursing on the platform in the heat, but if you haven’t had your baby yet or have been too scared of germs to hop on with your babe, take a deep breathe and let it go because for the price of a subway fare, your baby will be entertained by some of the best performers in the world: New Yorkers.

4. IDNYC. No we’re not talking about your New York license. We’re talking about all of the special perks you get just for being a New Yorker. Yep, get into the top museums and cultural institutions like the MOMA, American Museum of Natural History and the Bronx Zoo for FREE by registering for your NYC id (also free)!

5. NYC Moms. When you first enter babyland, meeting other parents can be intimidating and can bring back memories of dating in this big old city. But one of our favorite secrets about NYC? It’s being surrounded by awesome moms in plain sight! Whether you’re a tiger mom who’s ready to enroll her baby in Cello lessons at one, a natural parenting mom who’s into the organic life all-day everyday or our favorite mom who always offers a glass of wine at play dates, there’s a mom nearby for you here in the city. In our opinion, the best playdates involve all of these moms in one room together because just sticking to your own kind is boring. We do live in NYC after all.

*We are so grateful when brands support our content and community. This post was sponsored by Equinox. Find out more about For Kids Only at equinox now!

These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

1. Go apple picking.

Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

4. Have a touch-football game.

Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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