Lego Debuts New Store in Rockefeller Center

Amidst a complex of skyscrapers and shopping, Rockefeller Center, a celebrated NYC landmark serves as a backdrop to 30 Rock, home to NBC, some of the most iconic art deco and architecture, the famed namesake Christmas Tree and now, Legos.

Lego Store in Rockefeller Center

 

Lego lovers, specifically the Tri-State contingent,  rejoice: Lego officially opened another retail location, this time in the heart of Midtown Manhattan in Rockefeller Center.  Overlooking the skating rink, taking over the old Brookstone location in Rock Center, the NYC Lego Store location is sure to be a tourist must-see and local resource for stocking up on Lego essentials.

 

This location features the largest Pick-a-Brick Wall, as well a “big apple” Lego set and I Lego-Heart NYC merchandise, which are exclusive to the NYC store.  Overlooking 49th street, the location has a Master Builder Bar, which can double as a space for birthday parties, Lego Club meetings and other events.  The midtown location also features a Shop & Ship option where tourists and locals alike can purchase items in-store and have them shipped instead of schlepping them around town and on to trains, planes and buses.

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The retail location drenched with sunlight and complemented with views of the hustle and bustle of Rock Center, boasts wall to wall shelves full of the latest and greatest Lego sets, paraphernalia and accessories.  Because of the Lego Store’s unique location, Lego commissioned their Lego Masters to recreate architecture, art, mosaics and replicas that mimic Rockefeller Center.  Some of the incredible oversized Lego creations on display include a huge Atlas replica, a cityscape of Rock Center and several mini scenes that portray life in NYC.

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During my sneak peek of the store the day before it opened, I was in complete awe of the attention to detail that the dioramas and custom Lego models showcased.  But it was Atlas overlooking the skating rink and the enormous and intricate Rockefeller Center diorama truly blew me away; I could have stared at the hundreds of different Lego mini people all day.  Lego Master Builders have quite an imagination and sense of humor to boot.

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Lego, a true classic toy and one of, if not the favorite toy in our house, has outdone themselves yet again!  At Toy Fair, with several other bloggers and members of the media, I had the chance to check out their new Lego games (while I’ll talk about later and perhaps give one away.)  I’m truly, truly excited about this Lego store not only because it’s in NYC, but because it may just be a contender for a special birthday party/play date/ tourist outing in the future.  Take note, family.

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Check it

In the NYC area?

Check out Lego’s new store in NYC and help build a giant 16-ft. Big Apple to celebrate the store’s debut. Lego is hosting a free, three-day public build in Rockefeller Center.  The build begins on June 29th with New York Yankee, Nick Swisher laying the first brick and ends with the last brick being added at 3pm July 1st.

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Crayola Touts Creative Outdoor Play with New Sets

Crayola, always a favorite here on NKT, was one of the many fabulous exhibitors at the recent Time to Play Spring and Summer Showcase.

Crafts and the outdoors should go hand in hand, what with the fairly easy clean up and the expansive canvas.  And as always, Crayola is at the forefront of the outdoor artistry when it comes to kids.

 

CrayolaCrayola Chalk MakerCrayola Spira-BlasterCrayolaCrayola

At the showcase, Crayola’s table had a variety of colorful goodies, including the latest additions to their product line: the Sidewalk Chalk Maker, Spira-Chalk Blaster and the 3D Disney Fairies and 3D Disney Toy Story Activity Sets.

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Kindiefest Set to Rock Out in Brooklyn

As Brooklyn sets the stage, get ready to rock out this weekend at the second annual Kindiefest.  The three-day kiddie music conference, described by Time Out New York Kids as “a mini South by Southwest for the preschool set,” will feature a public music festival on Sunday.

After growing out of showcases in 2007 and 2008, last year marked Kindiefest’s innaugural year for the family music conference.  The kid-centric music conference, which takes place April 30 through May 2, 2010 at Littlefield NYC in Brooklyn, includes industry-oriented events including the first-night party, keynote, two days of panels and a public festival on Sunday.

Though I try to cover music as much as I can on Monday here on NKT for “Music Monday,” admittedly, I’m such a novice, and am always trying to learn as much as possible about the family music genre.  The conference segment of Kindiefest, geared to artists, producers, labels, and publicists, includes panels such as Old School Meets New School and Gigs and Venues: From Libraries to Festivals and Everywhere in Between. I’m kind of wishing I could sit in on the conference and panels, to learn more about the behind the scenes of the family music industry, and to see what makes these kid music influencers tick.

 

The Recess Monkeys are among the performers at KindieFest's music festival on Sunday, May 2.

 

Nevertheless, I’ll be on the lookout for tweets and updates from some of my blogger friends who, I’m sure, will be reporting from the frontlines.  However, I’m most excited about Kindiefest’s festival, which is geared to anyone and everyone that loves music.  The festival will showcase the ecclectic sounds of Bill Harley, Recess Monkey, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Clementown, The Royal Order of Chords and Keys and Ralph Covert.  Tickets cost $15 for an entire family, which is quite a bargain considering that many concerts in the area cost more than that for just one ticket!

If you’re in the NYC area this weekend, be sure to help support the family music industry by checking out the Kindiefest public festival.  If you’re heading to the Kindiefest festival on Sunday, let me know!

 

Kindiefest– The family music festival

May 2, 2010

Littlefield NYC

622 Degraw

Brooklyn NY, 11217

Tickets are $15 (free for infants)

Doors will open at 11:30

Showtime 12-4

 

Sesame Street Introduces New Gardening Line

Last year, Michelle Obama visited Sesame Street to tout the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Later in the year, the First Lady cultivated her own organic garden at the White House to further emphasize the value of healthy eating and gardening.

Since then, announcing her Let’s Move campaign, which focuses on combatting childhood obesity, Mrs. Obama has made it her mission to educate families and kids about making healthy choices, including cultivating your own seeds—figuratively and literally.

Mrs. Obama's Garden

So, when Sesame Street, together with Ferry Morse, introduced their new line of gardening products geared to kids, the marketplace area at the Annual Easter Egg Roll was an impeccably-timed venue to help even more kids learn about gardening first hand.  The kid and I had a fun time learning how to plant watermelon seeds, or um, excuse me—wataaaahmelons.

Jack learning how to plant seeds

The Muppets of Sesame Street can be seen on packets of watermelon, pepper, sunflower, pumpkin, garden beans and tomato seeds, for parents and children to plant together.  The new product line also features Sesame Street-themed gardening totes complete with an activity booklet, seeds, tools, labeling stakes and stickers, a mini garden kit and a mini greenhouse with recipe card.

 

Sesame Street’s new gardening line is a perfect way to encourage kids to be green while going green.  As part of Sesame Street’s My World is Green and Growing initiative designed to support children’s innate curiosity about nature, each product includes educational materials that teach children how fruits and vegetables begin with seeds and grow to become food for the table.  Additionally, it compliments Sesame Street’s ongoing Healthy Habits for Life initiative, helping children develop healthy lifestyles they can practice forever through fun and simple every day activities.  Materials include a booklet with activities for children, planting tips for parents and healthy recipes parents and children can make and enjoy together.  The following items are available now:

  • Seed Packets – $1.99
  • My First Mini Greenhouse – $4.99
  • My First Mini Garden – $5.99
  • My First Gardening Kit (tote) – $10.99

“Research shows that introducing young children to the natural world is the first step towards helping them develop a caring attitude towards the environment,” said Maura Regan, Sesame Workshop’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Licensing states.

Be sure to head to Lowe’s to grab a few gardening items for the kids. I found them at the back of the store, close to the garden center.  Though I wasn’t too impressed with the plastic Sesame Street gardening tools (though, they’d be perfect for the littlest gardeners), the kits do look cool.  Even if you don’t pick up the tote or kits, the seed packets are reasonably priced at $1.99. We’ve got some peppers, sunflowers and green beans to plant!  Let’s hope they fare better than our watermelon seeds which didn’t make it back from DC in tact!

 

PBS Kids Launches Photo Factory App

Always a fan of fun, free apps, the kid and I are quite excited about PBS Kids’ recently launched Photo Factory App.

With the PBS Kids’ Photo Factory App, kids can customize their photos with various PBS characters and then email, save or share so the whole world can check out their creations.  Kids can choose characters from Arthur, Caillou, Clifford, Curious George, Dinosaur Train, Dragon Tales, Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman, Sesame Street, Sid the Science Kid (my favorite!), Super Why! and Wordgirl to accent their photos; the choices are endless, really!

 

What I love about this app, other than it being free, is that it’s so user and kid friendly.  The graphics are fun, the pictures are colorful and it’s yet another way to keep my guy entertained on bus and train rides.  Oh, and we have even more ways to customize pictures to assign to my contacts in my phone!  Who wouldn’t smile at a picture of Grandpa adorned with a little Clifford?

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PBS, you guys think of everything, don’t you?

The PBS Photo Factory App is available absolutely free to download in the app store.  For more info. on all PBS apps, check out their mobile site.

 

Taste of the Rainbow and a Jiggly Pot of Gold

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!  On this day best known for leprechauns, luck of the Irish and green beer, celebrating with kids often includes a lot of creativity.

One of my favorite family magazines, Disney’s FamilyFun, features a great range of ideas for St. Patrick’s Day crafts and goodies, which are perfect for kids of all ages.  In particular, I eyed a couple of ideas that would be great for dessert on the luckiest day of the year!

If you know me, you must know I love cupcakes.  So of course, I have to share about the Taste a Rainbow Cupcakes, just one of the fun St. Patrick’s Day themed recipes that’s featured in FamilyFun.  The Taste a Rainbow Cupcakes make a colorful dessert idea.  All it takes is cake mix, some food coloring, a few bowls to separate the colors and a little patience to pour and layer each color into the cupcake pan, and voila, you have your Taste a Rainbow Cupcakes.


And if cupcakes aren’t your speed, there are many more St. Patrick’s Day-themed recipes to choose from, including St. Patrick’s Pot of Gold, which is lemon-flavored Jello served in limes, or rather, emerald pots.  Again, it just takes a little more effort cutting and preparing, but this pot of gold is a festive way to celebrate with the wee leprechauns!

 

If you guys do any St. Patrick’s Day recipes with the kids, please share them!  I love to hear all the green, gold and Irish ideas.  Also, be sure to check out FamilyFun for recipes and craft ideas that are fun all year long.


Crayola Launches Glow Explosion

In an effort to help launch Crayola’s latest innovation, Glow Explosion, The Crayola Glowtrotters (a.k.a. Harlem Globetrotters) took to the floor at MaST Community Charter School and played the first-ever glow-in-the-dark basketball game.

From glowing basketballs to nets to rims to children’s drawings, the Globetrotter’s game gave kids a front row see to glow-in-the-dark creativity.

Crayola’s new Glow Explosion can create drawings that glow like glow sticks in the dark, as well as create lights.  Kids use the Glow Markers to create their drawings on special paper. Then, use the Glow Activator to supercharge the art. The drawings can then glow in the dark for up to 4 hours.  Glow Explosion is non-toxic and is recommended for ages 6 and up.

I loved the idea behind the glow-in-the-dark basketball game to launch this cool new product; I can only imagine how much laughter filled that gymnasium!  I’m such a fan of Crayola, that I can’t wait to learn more about Glow Explosion.  As always, as soon as I find out more, including release dates, I’ll be sure to share!

 


Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

Born Theodor Seuss Geisel on March 2, 1904, the writer and illustrator better known as Dr. Seuss, produced classic children’s books that have rhymed, reasoned and influenced many generations. (Including the Olympian I had the honor of interviewing! more on that later.)

 

With Dr. Seuss’s birthday in mind, I thought I’d share some of my most recent Dr. Seuss finds:

 

 

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EnviroBLOX: Green and Crafty

When the cold and rainy weather keeps us indoors, finding new activities and games to occupy the kids can sometimes be a chore.  Crafts are always a surefire way to keep everyone entertained, yet the mess leaves much to be desired…if only there was a “cleaner” craft.  Oh, but there is!

Out for a year or two, EnviroBLOX from Cadaco is a construction toy that has the consistency of styrofoam peanuts, but is much more versatile and sustainable.  EnviroBLOX instantly stick together after being moistened with water, so it doesn’t need any glue, staples or tape.  Though the sets come with suggested building designs, there’s a wide assortment of colors, so kids can construct almost anything they can imagine.

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