taza’s new york city guide: central park

TAZA-NYC-GUIDE-CP-in-whitetoday i’m excited to share a small guide we made with jenner brown highlighting a few of our family’s favorite spots in central park! these guides have been a lot of fun for our family to put together, as we love living in new york city and sharing our favorite things to do and eat and see with all of you! since questions and advice regarding the city is one of my most asked questions as a nyc resident and blogger, i’m hopeful these guides have been or can be a bit helpful for some of you as you visit the city!

central park has stolen my heart over the last few years. with city living where outdoor decks or patios or back or front yards are very uncommon, it’s basically become our backyard. you can read more about the park here. the history of the park is just fascinating!

you’ll see in the video that we spent a good part of our day doing a few of our favorite things in the park with jenner, but we definitely didn’t cover everything in the park (it’s kind of massive!) a longer list of activities and places is below for your reference!

if you’d like, you can subscribe to the love taza youtube channel here to see more video guides!

things to do and eat in central park:

central park zoo (they feed and put on a cute show with the sea lions at 11:30am, 2pm and 4pm!)
64th street and 5th ave 212-439-6500
the carousel
in the middle of the park, at 64th street 212-439-6900 ext. 12
sheep meadow (such a fun place for a picnic!)
65th street transverse (although you can enter from several other points as well)  212-310-6600
the mall and literary walk
in the middle of the park, from 66th to 72nd street
bethesda fountain
in the middle of the park, at 72nd street. make sure to check out the historic milton tile ceiling at the bethesda terrace!
bow bridge
in the middle of the park at 74th street
loeb boathouse (an iconic restaurant on the water, and row boat rentals, too!)
east side of park between 74th and 75th street 212-517-2233
strawberry fields
between 71st and 74th streets on the west side of park
sail boats on the conservatory water (rent little model sail boats to take for a spin on the pond!)
72nd – 75th street on the east side of the park
alice in wonderland statue
east side of park near 75th street
belvedere castle (turtle pond behind the castle is also a fun spot to picnic)
in the middle of park at 79th street 212-772-0288
marionette theatre at swedish cottage (with some of the sweetest puppeteer shows!)
west side at 79th street 212-988-9093
waffles and dinges truck (check their twitter to be sure of location the day of, but usually parked outside the great lawn on the southwest corner)
great lawn
mid park from 79th – 85th street
the reservoir (a beautiful and popular spot of jog or run around, although we have never done it at that speed. we only walk around it. ;)
from east to west side, 85th to 96th street
conservatory garden (soooo pretty!)
east side from 104th-106th streets
we also highly recommend renting bikes and doing the central park loop! the higher loop always kills me, but we love biking the lower loop together.
and wollman ice rink (for iceskating in the colder months, november through march!)
east side between 62nd and 63rd street 212-439-6900
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and if you’re looking for other areas in manhattan to explore, my guides highlighting just a few of our favorites on the UPPER WEST SIDE here, UNION SQUARE TO MIDTOWN here, SOHO + NOLITA here and THE VILLAGE here. more to come!

did i leave out any of your central park favorite spots? feel free to leave them in the comments below for others… enjoy!

family traditions. and biking and hiking fishing, too!

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while we were at lake tahoe last week, we spent some time hiking and biking and just enjoying the outdoors as much as we could. the area was so beautiful, it was hard to spend time inside. it’s always a funny thing for me, because i grew up in the mountains, but i never appreciated them the way i should have until i moved to new york city. i guess i just took it all for granted. i probably still do more than i should.

josh and i have been talking a lot about family traditions. like, what is it that our family will love to do together over the years to come, and carry on over the decades together. we know a family back in DC who all have learned to unicycle, even their tiny children. and they unicycle now in parades or on sunday afternoons together or in the evenings after school and work. it’s such a fun and unique tradition that really gets everyone involved. right now i feel like biking is a big one for us, but we’re not seasoned bikers by any means. biking around the city is a whole different ballgame. but maybe as the kids grow, if they are into it, that could turn into a bigger family thing for us. maybe each family just falls into some sort of tradition by happy accident, maybe you can’t plan what you’re family will love to do together over the years to come. maybe you can’t say, “we’ll be a tennis family…” because who knows if everyone will be up for that. i don’t know… i just want to be sure we cultivate a spirit of loving to do things together from the early years on, and that we can find maybe one specific activity or sport we all love and are passionate about.

anyway, back to lake tahoe. here are a few last photos from our time there last week if you’d like to see….

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^^^their first experience in a bike trailer. i think they liked it. besides those ten minutes where they kept banging their helmets against each others thinking it was funny before it turned out not to be funny and both were crying from a big bonk. ;) and there’s me and mister samson and the baby bump hiking around the lake! ^^^

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^^^we bought a second ergo last year for traveling and hiking. we don’t seem to go too often, but when we do, all we talk about is how we need to do it more.^^^

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^^^hiking with a bit of our family. those rocks are no joke.^^^739458700028937482

^^^the pinkest of skies one night on our way back to the hotel… ^^^

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^^^trying to feed the ducks, but really just unintentionally frightening them.^^^

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^^^donuts early in the morning from a local grocery store that i didn’t think would taste that great but still went out at 7-something in morning to pick some up because you don’t mess with a pregnant lady and her cravings. these donuts exceeded all my expectations though and i ate more than i’d like to admit.^^^

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^^^ice cream face! and jumping into the pool has never been so fun. don’t know how many times we did that!^^^

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^^^more ice cream one afternoon near lakeview beach. it was a little stand by the lake called lakeview cafe with several homemade flavors and if you go, i’m still thinking about the pistachio!^^^

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^^^on our last afternoon, we went fishing in hopes to catch some trout for dinner! josh’s older brother caught 3 fish within the first half hour and our poor kids were growing impatient with our terrible skills. i mean, how hard is it to catch something in a pond packed with trout? (if you’re asking me, very hard! impossible, really!) but josh and samson finally caught one and please note samson’s face in these photos below. he couldn’t have been happier! pure joy, bringing that fish in with the net! it was the sweetest.^^^

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^^^do you see what i mean?^^^

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^^^it was like the world stopped for a good minute while he just giggled over his fish! “i did it! i did it!” and eleanor cheered him on like the sweetest big sister, “you did it! you did it, samson!” such a fun moment for all of us.^^^

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^^^back at the hotel, papa and the men cooked the trout for dinner! i was a little bit skeptical at first, but it actually was pretty delicious.^^^

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^^^oh yes, and we kayaked too! thanks kids for paddling! ^^^

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and that pretty much sums up a few of our favorite moments from lake tahoe! thanks for following along.

lake tahoe!

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we’ve been spending time with family this past week at lake tahoe! besides a rocky day of travel getting here (for me- the kids were such troopers! but i was super nauseous and threw up several times on the plane which was as embarrassing and disgusting as it gets. please tell me i’m not the only pregnant lady whose nausea doesn’t hit hard until the 2nd trimester…) anyway! besides all that, it’s been so wonderful to kick back and relax a bit with our family. it’s our first time experiencing lake tahoe too, and it is beautiful here. the water is as blue and clear as it gets and the trees and mountains surrounding it don’t come in better shape.  a few photos from one of our days here below…

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^^^thanks to my friend candice and other readers for telling us about this pretty beach, sand harbor. we went early in the morning before it got too crowded and enjoyed the little alcove that protected us from the wind (it was so windy!) while we played on the beach and in the shallow water. ^^^

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^^^on a hunt to find some crawdads! ;) ^^^

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^^^i can’t get over the trees! i want to take a few back with me to new york city.^^^

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^^^in complete awe at a crawdad another beach boy caught. this was probably the highlight of their trip so far!^^^

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^^^samson wanted to climb every single rock! and was so very pleased with himself when he did. “i did it! i did it!” he’d shout. why is he so adorable?^^^

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^^^eleanor and papa. they make for a great explorer team. the very first thing eleanor wanted to do when we got there was “climb on the big rocks.” so they went off exploring down a trail for maybe a half hour to go climb some and i wasn’t sure where they went. then i spotted them up on these rocks! it was kind of cute to watch them in action from the water with samson.^^^

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^^^thanks to many of you for pointing us here via instagram. we had such a good lunch at t’s mesquite rotisserie!^^^

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^^^seriously with that blue water! i could stare at it all day…. ^^^

evening bike rides in the city.

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the other night we took an evening bike ride to dinner and ended up taking the longer route and spending a good while biking through central park and the upper west side beforehand. (if you’re ever in the city it’s so worth renting a bike and doing the central park loop a few times. we love that loop.)  samson kept saying “faster mama! go faster!” the entire ride, and every time i did manage to pass josh and eleanor (it was rare) he’d throw his hands up in the air with this loud part fake, part real chuckle like we were plotting some sort of crazy world take over and it was working. that, or his competitive streak is coming out.

we biked to dinner, and then to the candy store so the kids could pick out a new pez candy dispenser for a full day of travel and airplanes and layovers we had coming up (we flew out of the city yesterday to see family out west for a bit.) we also attempted to stop into west elm for a hot second to look at a piece of furniture josh and i are debating getting but we were quickly reminded what idiots we were to think we’d be able to be in any sort of furniture store with our kids running free outside the stroller on a sugar high. (no, no one broke anything, but there was a close call when samson picked up two champagne glasses displayed on a coffee table and banged them together to make music.)

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^^^E and her tiny teddy bear, who she has named rudolph, joined us on our bikes! after the ride, eleanor announced that rudolph didn’t like the bumps! i think she was projecting. ;)  so he might not come again, she said. we’ll have to see…^^^

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^^^my little bike buddy. ps- i know his helmet is pushed back on his head here which is incorrect. we work to keep samson in a helmet whenever we bike or scoot, since he always pulls it back on his head or wants it off. we ordered him a new helmet over the weekend actually in hopes that a different brand will be harder for him to pull back or off.  any tips?^^^

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^^^this weather has been just so so good lately. i’m not sure where the humidity went, and i surely don’t want to jinx it, but life without it in the summer has been kind of wonderful this past week.  we ate dinner at an outside table and really enjoyed it. ^^^

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^^^and S devoured pretty much this entire bowl of guacamole. can’t wait to see what we spend on food bills for this kiddo come the teenage years. i don’t know where he puts it!^^^

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^^^and then we struggle a bit here with this one when it comes to food.  we’re in a bit of a picky stage, which i’m not sure is entirely eleanor or just her age and showing her independence. we try not to cater to it, but we also try not to force it. kids eating food, it’s what a lot of josh and my conversations revolve around these days. hi to parenthood.^^^

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^^^the churros for dessert however, we all agreed those were mighty fine.^^^

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^^^getting to sample some pez outside the candy store! my kids love pez! and i love how much work it takes for them to eat it. we stocked up for the airplane.  also, please notice samson’s poor battle wounds on the side of his face (he fell down at the park.) how we haven’t ended up in a emergency room with either of these kiddos yet is beyond me. they sure do have an adventurous streak!

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^^^and ps. this picture has nothing to do with our biking night or this post really, but i loved this shot from saturday of S longingly looking out at the ice cream truck parked so conveniently outside the playground fence.  couldn’t pull him away to play, his eyes were glued to that truck. it was kind of the sweetest thing.  oh to be a little kid! i sure do those these babes.^^^

hope your weekend was wonderful, friends! happy monday!

a morning at the beach! and a giveaway with the honest company! (closed)

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we rented a car recently and took off to the beach to meet friends, play in the waves together, build a few dams, and catch hermit crabs! we had such a good time that josh and i even had an intense conversation somewhere in the middle of our time at the beach on our striped towel about moving to florida! we’re not moving, but for maybe five minutes we were ironing out all the details of how we could make it happen in our minds together.

anyway, few photos below! and a giveaway (and discount code!) at the bottom of this post with the honest company!

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^^^the forecast said there might be rain in the afternoon (although it never ended up raining) so the beach was practically empty! ^^^

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^^^monkeys! all the time. ;)  ^^^

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^^^whenever we’re outside, they play this game.  i’m pretty much ignored when papa comes to play. i’m ok with it though… sitting on a towel sippin’ a pina colada smoothie? yeah. that was nice.^^^

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^^^maybe i had two smoothies. :) ^^^

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^^^just a little downward dog in the waves. such a yogi, this one. ^^^

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^^^josh and the kids built a dam (which samson didn’t really understand. he knocked it over too many times before it was finished) but it was a sweet attempt.^^^

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^^^ring around the rosie in the water because both E and S would laugh so hard when we’d make a big splash. they could have played this game all morning and not gotten sick of it, but i on the other hand was kind of done after the third round. pretend falling and getting back up on repeat with my big baby bump is not the funnest thing in the world. even if my kids laugh harder than ever because they like when i struggle. ;) ^^^

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^^^show me your moves, water babies!^^^558907

^^^we aren’t too sure where we got samson from, because that little dude tans like no other. the rest of us, however, we tend to burn. we’ve been trying out the new sunscreen from the honest company this summer and have been really happy with it. especially the sunscreen spray, since it goes on squirmy little boys quickly and without a mess and has a light tint to it so i know exactly where i’ve sprayed and rubbed and don’t miss any spots when i’m applying (a mother’s worst nightmare- sunburns on her babies. i’m unfortunately guilty of missing spots in the past.) it’s also comforting to know the sunscreens are hypoallergenic and good for sensitive skin, since josh has had a few run ins and reactions to other sunscreens in the past and has often voiced he’d rather we just cover our kids up in clothes when we’re swimming and not let that stuff touch their skin. so it’s nice to have finally found one  that our entire family is using…even tan little samson.^^^

and now, for a fun giveaway!

the honest company is offering a $200 gift card to one lucky reader below to shop any products from their site. (they have it all, from diapers to household cleaners to the fun sunglasses the littles are wearing in this post…) to enter to win, please visit the honest company, and leave a comment below. the winner will be selected at random and contacted directly next week.  good luck!

ps– use the code HonestTaza to enjoy $10 off a $40 minimum purchase through august 22nd 2014. code applies to first-time orders only, one per customer. code valid for US and Canadian residents only.

this post is in partnership with the honest company, whose products we use and love in our home each day. thanks for reading and supporting the sponsors who make this blog possible!