We love living in Philadelphia, and feel so fortunate to live only two hours away from New York City. Most of the time we day trip there, and find ourselves at one of our favorite spots in Brooklyn. However this time, we focused on Central Park and it’s surroundings, with the help of ZigZag City Guides! Created for young explorers, the guides have been a favorite of ours ever since Henry and Marie’s first adventure in Paris. With the help of “Zig” and “Zag”, kids learn about a city using colorful cards and a map, featuring local history, fun facts, and short activities. I’m excited to help support their latest Kickstarter campaign, which will help launch three new maps! We found so much inspiration in their NYC guide, and chose to start our day at the Guggenheim, where the kids marveled at the architecture and buzz of the city.
Henry loves to navigate, so we let him choose our first destination in the park – the zoo! They loved watching the monkeys (can you spot him?), and being monkeys. We missed the sea lion feeding, but watched a grizzly bear get playful, felt the humidity of a real rainforest in the Tropic Zone, and saw penguins and puffins galore! After exploring the main zoo, we went next door to the Tisch Children’s Zoo and fed goats, oinked at pigs, and met a Patagonian Cavy. Be sure to check out my Steller story for exclusive photos and video of our day! Up next – carousel rides and a picnic in the Sheep Meadow…
The kids were so excited to ride the vintage carousel, which is beautifully illustrated on the ZigZag map. In addition to making travel fun for kids, it’s educational too of course, and we learned a few things ourselves! Such as…did you know that the carousel was powered by actual horses in the late 1800’s?! After working up quite an appetite, we strolled to the nearby sheep’s meadow for a picnic (we saw Zig + Zag doing it, so we knew it must be awesome). At the top of the meadow is Le Pain Quotidien– the perfect place to pick up picnicking provisions. Say that three times fast.
The Sheep Meadow was by far our favorite part of the day. As soon as we laid our picnic blanket down and took off our shoes, we all felt a huge wave of relaxation come over us. It was the perfect breathing space on a busy summer day, and the relaxed energy of everyone there was palpable. In fact, it reminded me a lot of Place des Vosges on a gorgeous day – same vibe. The images (and video) I captured there speak for themselves…#bliss. We spent over an hour there before packing up and walking to the mall. Would you believe that in all the times I’ve been to NYC in my life, I had never been to this iconic spot?! It is the perfect place to people watch and wander, under the breathtaking canopy of American Elms.
We had an incredible adventure, and can’t wait to get back and visit all the spots we didn’t have time for! Many thanks to ZigZag City Guides for inspiring our day, and adventures to come. I encourage you to check out their site and donate to their campaign – I say that as a fellow hard-working small business owner and mother. Anything that encourages and inspires children to see the world and learn about other cultures as well as their own is a winner in my book.