*Brief notes to The New York record, because the city is full of new life now that it's Christmas, and we've been running all over the place trying to soak it up!
Swedish Cottage, Central Park
We took a field trip with Iris's school to the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater in Central Park. We'd had the chance to see one of the company's productions during their mobile Brooklyn shows this summer; but going to the cottage and watching with several dozen other mesmerized kids was the best. Sure, marionettes can be basically creepy; but the cottage is kitchy and whimsical, and the holiday production really was brilliant. Afterward, the puppeteers showed the kids how the puppets work, which was really interesting too.
LaTonya texted me last minute one day and asked if we wanted to go to FAO Schwartz. And I said, "Why not?!" because FAO Schwartz is not the kind of trip you make on your own with two kids; but if you go with your kids and the greatest of friends and her kids, then it's the best day. The best day at FAO Schwartz is basically just Christmas spirit incarnate--posing with the tin soldier guys, playing the giant piano like you're showing Tom Hanks what's up, stopping for treats on the way home. We hit the place during the week in the middle of the day, and I think that was wise. I imagine the crowd during peak hours is too thick to push a stroller through.
5th Avenue Shops
Our Advent calendars have always included car trips to see the lights (the downtown Denver displays were always over the top). We went back and forth this year: Should we drive? Should we walk? One night when we were all too exhausted to do anything else, we pushed up our drive night and hopped in the car with no real plan. The girls are just as excited about a single strand of twinkle lights carelessly draped over a deli awning as they are anything. But we head for the city and found ourselves cruising 5th Avenue with the masses, and it was so amazing. We couldn't have timed it better for the lights show in front of Saks, and I love nothing more than peeping windows like a spy (except not really a spy since looking in these windows is the entire point). I'm hoping we find time to walk by the shop windows for a closer look!
If you know me well enough to know how embarrassingly obsessed I am with Miracle on 34th Street (1994 version, guys! I know!), then you know what a dream this is for me. I've spent the greater chunk of my life imagining an old-fashioned Christmas in the city, and now here I am and I'm dragging my kids through every fantasy I ever had about it. BUT! Macy's Santaland is so, so very worth it. (Early on a weekday is the way to go, if you can swing it.) The setup is breathtaking and fascinating and magical! We all loved it (and especially me)!