Green Time: Play in the Snow

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We’ve been so eager for a snowfall so we could get to our second installment of outdoor play suggestions from Ranger Rick Jr. Last night we got our wish – only about three inches, but because I doubt we’ll have much more snow this winter, we took advantage of it!

The first thing we had to do was test out the sled we bought but haven’t had a chance to use. There’s a tiny hill just off our apartment, and Travis enjoyed a few mini runs down it.

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Whoops, but as you can tell, he was not a fan lying down to try out a snow angel next.

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Making a small snowman was a bigger hit…

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…as was building a snow fort. Based on the magazine’s image, we used a bucket to build the fort, which worked so well! Although we didn’t have enough snow to build our walls up high, this is definitely how we’ll fashion future forts.

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Meanwhile, I loved that these suggestions got us out into crisp morning sunshine to make first tracks in the snow – especially since it had all melted by afternoon!

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Destination: Meow Cat Parlor

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Here’s the latest in my series of day trips for children if you’re in the New York City area. Meow Parlor was the first cat cafe in New York, modeled after similar spaces in Japan. The idea is to go in and spend time with cats, who are all available for adoption.

If you’d like to visit Meow Parlor with kids, plan in advance! There are only special time slots available to children ages 8 and under, including select weekdays at 4 p.m. and every other Sunday at 11 a.m. You have to book online in advance.

With our reservation underway, we headed off to the city.

We arrived a little early, which gave us the opportunity to check out the sister store next door, the food component of the Parlor. Travis was ecstatic to try his first vegan croissant!


Then we headed next door to play with the cats. There are only 10 to 15 cats on site at a time, making it feel manageable and intimate for both humans and felines.

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The cats have ample room to roam around, get up high, and sneak behind custom-designed cabinets with multiple entrances and exits, so none ever seemed bothered by even very loud or assertive children in our group.

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Travis was over the moon. The hour passed surprisingly quickly, between petting cats, dangling toys for those who wanted to play, and simply marveling at their antics.

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For kids who want additional stimulation, the Parlor provides crayons and markers, books about cats, and pictures of successful adoptees.

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We couldn’t take a cat home today, but we loved the experience! We capped off our city afternoon with brunch at the mainly-vegan Dirt Candy before heading home.

Trip Date: February 2018

Ages: 0 to 8 (designated times only), 9+ (any time)

Useful Links:

Giant Medals

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The Olympics are well underway, and we’ve already had fun making our own bobsleds and dining on medal cookies. These medals aren’t for eating, but they make for fantastic pretend play if your little athletes want to climb up onto the podium!

First, find a circular object to trace for the outline of your medals – go for big here, the idea is a giant medal!

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Next, we piped designs onto our medals with puffy paint. Older kids can get very detailed with this – writing out 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, or the year, or making laurel leaf designs. Travis just adores squirting puffy paint, so I knew his would take forever to dry, and put together a few medals with a lighter hand on the puffy paint.

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Set aside to dry.

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Next our medals needed a metallic coat of paint. We only had silver and gold, but you can add a bronze or coppery-colored one if you have it!

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Again, Travis was heavy-handed on the paint, but I loved watching his enjoyment of the project, and set aside a few more useable medals. We left them to dry overnight.

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In the morning, we punched a hole into the top of each medal and threaded red ribbon through.

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And the medal goes to…!

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