Yesterday was the last day of Curious G’s first year of school. Today was day one of our three- month long summer adventure. We had Chelsea gallery hopping and dinner planned with friends later in the day, so I scheduled our fun activities around that.
During the weekdays, the Children's Museum of the Arts has drop in classes for $25 per family from 10:45 am to noon. After the class, kids can play in the Swirl Studio where they provide Imagination Playground blocks. You can find more information on visiting the museum here.The museum has so much more to explore including a media lab, a clay bar, a gallery, and a sound booth.
The first 45 minutes of the drop in class involves different art stations supervised by teachers. Kids are free to explore each station, and they can also play with flubber, Legos, big blocks, and draw on the chalkboard in the cute paper tree house.
Curious G’s first stop was at the dot marker table where she drew a yellow skateboard under a shower of suns.
Her second stop was the collage station where she worked with popsicle sticks, rhinestones, yarn, sticky vinyl paper, cardboard, and loads of glue.
Before heading to the music and story time portion of the class, Curious G made a few paintings at the paint station. Pans of swirly, iridescent, gluey paint concoctions were provided at the paint station, along with various painting apparatus including brushes, mini toy cars and toy rollers.
Next up, during music and story time, the two teachers had marvelous singing voices and harmonized everything from "The Wheels on the Bus" to "Someone's in the Kitchen with Dinah". The drums that they passed out were a big hit with all the kids.
I was very impressed with some of the art work hanging on the walls, and thought that some of them could rival the art that we would later see hanging on the walls of Chelsea galleries.
The Swirl Studio was equipped with funhouse mirrors and blocks that were perfect for building forts or mini alpine slides. Curious G made her way up the studio via the climbing structure atop the stairs, and played for about ten minutes before lunchtime hunger hit.
Our last two visits to CMA concluded with lunch at Westville so we decided not to break from tradition and walked right across the street to the restaurant. (There are many other food options within a one block radius including Just Salad and Pret A Manger). The weather was perfect for lunch al fresco.
Our original plan to visit The Pint Shop after the museum was thwarted when we arrived to a long line that wound around the corner. Fortunately, our walk from Westville to the Meatpacking District brought about two welcome surprises. The first one was a pristine hidden gem on Hudson and Barrow Sts. The St. Luke's Garden is 2/3 acres of an incredible garden oasis complete with lush greenery, vibrant blooms, walking paths, and plenty of benches.
The second surprise was the Yoya pop up sale, also on Hudson Street. Curious G eschewed my boho embroidered selections and picked out a sweet little frock with a retro feel, for 50% off. She also got a Molo sweatshirt and leggings, both for 60% off.
We would have stopped in the adorable toy store, Teich, which we had never seen, had we not had other plans. And we also would have stopped at the fun Bleecker Playground. However, Curious G was already loaded into her stroller after Yoya, and I was secretly hoping she would ride into snoozeville for a few so that she’d be nice and refreshed for our dinner plans. (She didn’t. Oh well)
As mentioned earlier, we did not want to queue for the Pint Shop so we Plan B'ed it on up to the High Line for some tried and true paletas from La NewYorkina and gelato from L'Arte Del Gelato. Curious G loves the water area by the lounge chairs next to the 15th Street
passage, so we ate our desserts there. After playing in the water, the red velvet ice cream sandwiches were calling our names as we walked past the Melt cart, so we answered their call.
We then continued north on the High Line with a stop at the bleachers overlooking traffic on 18th Street. Curious G danced all the way down on each bleacher step as if she were on stage, tried to talk to everyone, took a bow, and then ran back up so we could move on.
We took the elevator at 23rd Street down to the street level and stopped into Matthew Marks Gallery to check out the two Charles Ray sculptures. We also stopped into the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery to stare at the mesmerizing light installations by Yorgo Alexopoulos. Curious G remarked that it was like watching a sunset. We took a quick spin through Comme Des Garcon to marvel at the sculptural wearable pieces of art that I will not be able to afford any time soon.
We breezed through a few more galleries, including Gagosian Gallery to see Damien Hirst’s color space paintings, Pace Gallery to see Jean Dubuffet’s large psychologically stirring paintings and Michal Rovner's mesmerizing video installations. At Gagosian, Curious G alternated between singing a song about gumballs, M & M's and Sprinkles, and shouting, "Echo!". The guards were quite amused. While studying Rovner's video installations, Curious G pondered aloud if the subjects in her work were dancing hot dogs. Everyone was amused.
We ended our day with a delicious dinner in the stunning garden patio at Bottino.