ART

Juliet is no stranger to art.  Together we spot and admire street art, explore museums as a family, enjoy mommy and me art gallery days and get invited to the coolest pop-ups. Through it all, we’ve really developed a penchant for finding cool art around the world.  But our favorite art experience thus far has been Refinery 29’s 29 rooms.  What is 29 Rooms you ask?  It’s a multi-sensory, “interactive funhouse of style, culture, & technology.”  The masterminds at Refinery 29 have partnered with global artists, corporate brands, and fashion designers to takeover and transform a grungy Brooklyn warehouse into the most magnificent fantasy world where you get to feel, smell, create and sometimes literally, jump into the art segmented and found in 29 spaces.

29 rooms, nyc art

With only a 3 hour interval to explore 29 rooms, I calculated that left us with just 6 minutes per room including the wait time to get into each room.  Knowing that made my heart race because there were just so many amazing surprises to discover within this cavernous space.  And having seen it all last year (click here for the pictures from 2016), I knew there was something fabulous and exciting waiting for us in each space.  So without further adieu, I’m going to let the pictures do all the talking in this post.  Feast your eyes on this and tell me what your favorite room is!

refinery 29, 29 rooms 2017, turn it into art, #turnitintoart

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refinery 29

29 rooms, refinery 29, pillows

The 3 hours flew by and we wanted to stay longer!  If you want to see more, check out my Instagram story NOW while it lasts for more video and sneak peeks.

Here are 8 tips for those of you with kids:

  1. Only bring kids if you know they enjoy and appreciate art enough to follow directions about when they can or cannot touch artwork.  If they’re the type to run through breaking or tearing everything like a bull in a China store, it’s best to leave them home (obvi).  I only bring Juliet to so many artsy events and galleries because I completely trust and know that she will respect the artist’s (and my) wishes.
  2. Yes there are bathrooms on-site so no worries that you will have to hunt one down.
  3. No f&b is allowed inside and none is sold at the venue.  We made do by sneaking in some snacks in my purse and by purchasing a $1 bottle of water from the random guy on the street selling to thirsty fashionistas waiting in line
  4. The Wall Street ferry from Pier 11 in Manhattan takes you to the N. Williamsburg stop in about 20 minutes (3rd stop).  Tickets are $2.75 each way and kids under a certain height (43″ I think) are free. From the terminal stop at N. Williamsburg take a left on Kent Ave, walk 3 blocks and take a right on N 9th st. and Whythe Ave will be 1 block away but before you get to Whythe, you’ll likely see a line wrapped around the corner at 9th st. anyways.
  5. Dress light.  There is limited AC and no windows from which a breeze could relieve you.  We went on a perfect 70degree weather day and still found ourselves thankful we did not show up in pants/jeans.  Some rooms felt like saunas.
  6. If you’re a die-hard Instagrammer, bring a change of clothes/accessories and study the hashtag #29rooms beforehand.  By now, plenty of bloggers like me have posted reveals.  Check out their posts for ideas and inspiration and plan accordingly.  (See this post on how to achieve the highly coveted, Instagram-able shot!)
  7. Free up space on your phone and bring an extra portable charger.  You don’t want to be stuck missing out on recording these amazing scenes and memories because your phone just died or you’re out of memory!
  8. Download the new and free 29Rooms Interactive App which will serve as your personal tour guide for inside and outside the 29 rooms area.

If you’re a follower of my FB page then you’ve likely seen my alert the day Refinery 29’s tickets went on sale.  Tickets have sold out at this point but Refinery 29 was conducting social media giveaways so I’d follow them on IG and check Craig’s list for scalpers if you’re dying to get in but were too late to the game.

Now go ahead, what was your favorite room?

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One of the many reasons I love NY is because of the creative, branded pop-ups that the city surprises us with.  As a former brand marketer, these fascinate me on a professional level and because of my background, I feel like I enjoy all the details even more than the average passerby.  Of course now, the best ones are the ones I can enjoy with my daughter, like the Perrier pop-up which just opened to the public today.  We were one of the first to check it out!  Think sparkling water with a splash of fun!

This immersive experience made the brand come alive through its colorful, interactive environment with the highlight being a fruitastic (bubble) ball pit to which Juliet screamed, “I LOVE THIS PLACE!! I never wanna LEAVE!”

perrier flavors, perrier pop up, sparkling water

We were lucky enough to have the whole ball pit to ourselves.  We swam, we dove, we giggled and we posed.

perrier pop up ,perrier nyc, ball pit

After all, the Perrier Flavor Studio was specifically created to encourage social shares.   Just take a look at this place…can you say ‘Instagram-able?”

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Besides the mirror on the ceiling of the ball pit, there was even a hashtag photo printer and Twitter vending machine to attract the socially savvy.  The vibrant studio space featured juicy fruit splattered walls evoking the painted house Perrier’s partner artist, AKACorleone, created for the brand.

A live DJ set the mood, an interactive art wall turned everyone into an artist, and a Perrier “mocktail” bar encouraged mingling.  Another highlight for us was enjoying a complimentary mommy and me mani.  Keeping in fruity theme, we got to choose from several fruit nail art.  Juliet chose the pink strawberry cuz well, PINK!  I chose what I later learned was the most popular – watermelon.

perrier flavors, perrier popup, perrier nyc event

How cute is this??  Plus you have no idea how badly I was dying for a manicure.  Mommy has no time!  Thanks, Vanity Projects!

What a fun way to launch Perrier’s new flavored sparkling water (or bubble water as Juliet calls it)!  We loved the watermelon flavored water the best but there is also strawberry, lime, and lemon flavored water too.

Come one come all!  We recommend getting there as soon as it opens at 10am (now through Friday)..avoid the weekends if at all possible because with all this buzz, we predict it will be jammed.

  • Free, open to the public
  • open 10am-6pm each day
  • the manicurist and mani offering began at 3pm today and is only there one more day (Thursday)
  • Macarons by Dana’s Bakery (Fri & Sat)
  • Sundaes by Big Gay Ice Cream (Sun.)
  • restroom is available on-site

Check out my IG story today for all the video details!

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Capturing that coveted Instagram-able photo has taken on a new level of importance.  It’s no longer enough to just snap a quick shot for your own memory.   Secretly, you want to take a shot worthy of showing off through social media!  Whether it’s that cool new find, place or happening, or heck, simply our outfit of the day nowadays, you snap and share!  Here are my 3 top tips for getting that Instagram-able photo and guess what….it all has to do with the styling!  So don’t worry about this getting too technical with photography tips.  There are plenty of other articles on general photography how – tos.  These are easy-to-apply styling and fashion tips to take your photography to the next viral level.

Find photogenic backdrops that compliment your outfit.  Consider your backdrop ‘cuz your cluttered room isn’t cutting it.   I usually favor a real simple white or plain colored wall to make my OOTD shot really pop. mommy ad me matching outfit, minime, fashionable mom, fab mom But I also really love a stunning graffiti wall,

lovewall, heart wall, hearts, happy valentines

a cityscape,fab moms, cherry blossom photo, sakura, cherry blossom festival

and a beautiful nature scene.
DSC_8510What I also seek out is modern art.  As soon as I saw this stunningly lit artwork pop up in my feed, I was inspired to take J there in her favorite outfit of all time – her Elsa costume.

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As if she read my mind, the minute she saw the art piece, she knew exactly how to pose with it.  Transforming herself into Elsa, and pretending the room was her ice castle, she immediately went to work with her wand.  Preparing the perfect outfit with this shot in mind created the wow factor I was looking for.

Similarly, the below shot was staged with an enormous star (from the FrankStella collection) to echo the sparkly star-like swirls on her dress.

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And the Gagosian Gallery called my name with this awww-inspiring bow.  I just had to take J there dressed in her favorite Janie and Jack bow sweater and Amour Bows headband.  I like big bows and I cannot lie….5.16

Sometimes all it takes is a little research, outfit planning and prop preparation.  Before heading to your next cool destination, research it, check out the hashtags.  Perhaps you’ll re-think that outfit which you now know clashes with the background, or maybe you’ll be inspired to create a special outfit customized for the destination or want to bring a prop to pose with.  Check out what others have photographed through location geo -tags and destination hashtags.  And you’re bound to find additional motivation to get the shot right!

I hope some of my photos inspire you to take a moment to reflect on elevating your next shot.  For my personal inspiration, I like to follow the following IG feeds!

  • fomofeed (for the coolest, local NYC backdrops and art)
  • artfullyawear (you think I like to match art? wait til you see THIS!)
  • dressedtomatch (when life imitates art)  Tag them in your matching art photo and you’ll get featured like we did!

Have a great day and happy photographing!  Comment below with your favorite Instagram feeds that you like to follow for inspiration!

 

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Her tee shirt says it all.  She loves candy.  So when Wonderkids asked if we would like to cover their Candyland event, it didn’t take much convincing.  We were THERE!

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Located at the DL, a 3-floor venue in the lower east side of Manhattan, costumed characters paraded in dressed creatively as their favorite candy.  The organizers “strongly encourage” creative costuming.  We saw people simply dressed with candy haphazardly taped to their colorful shirts to a man who took the theme to another level dressing head to toe as Willy Wonka!  Eye candy was everywhere!  Doughnut leggings on one mom, a splash of rainbow swirls all over one child, and then… this pastel-hued lady with the cotton candy hat.  LOVED HER!

wonderkids, dl, kids candy party

Oh my!  I wanted her whole costume for next Halloween!  But alas, it’s one of a kind of course, given she painstakingly hand-made it herself!

The event bills itself as a “creative dance experience where kids and parents celebrate life, self-expression, music, dance, creativity and community.”  I found it to be a place where Burning Man fanatics grow up and party with their kids.  It had sort of a bohemian vibe, the house music rocked, and I got the feeling that all the hippie flower child inspired looks came straight out of these guests’ normal wardrobes.

kids events in nyc, burning man

Whatever the style, the kids had fun!  Juliet enjoyed making a bead necklace with me, posing with a gigantic gingerbread man cookie, testing out her hula hoop skills, and finding sweets along the way.

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What a magical sweet world it was!

candyland, kids event, kids party

My favorite and most inspirational sighting was this giant cake.  The community was encouraged to help decorate it and I just thought what a brilliant crafting activity to have at a future birthday party!  All you would need is cardboard, paper to wrap it with and items to decorate it with (think stickers, play doh, scrapbook paper cutouts, glitter glue, etc).  Juliet happily stationed herself here for quite some time!

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The 3 hour party had a lively tone and we happily explored each and every corner, dancing our way throughout.  You could event paint along to the music!

kids birthday party ideas, candyland theme, diy cake, cake crafting, painting for kids

Thanks to Wonderkids for this wildly imaginative way to spend a Saturday!  This is why I love NY.  There are so many amazing, artsy and fun things for families to discover and make memories from.  I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!  Happy Saturday!

 

Disclaimer – We were given 3 complimentary tickets to review the event but as always the opinions expressed are 100% my own.

 

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brooklyn art, herve tullet author, press play, this isn't trash, invisible dog art

When children’s book author, Herve Tullet’s team invited us to Brooklyn to see his latest art exhibit, we trekked over the Brooklyn Bridge!  These two minifashionistas had to see “This Isn’t Trash,” (the title to this imaginative artist’s graphic installation) and us mommy bloggers obliged!

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featured here are GothamLove and DowntownChicMoms

The Invisible Dog Art Center where this was held was packed that night with art-lovers looking to get up close and personal with the both the author and his work.  Up-close viewings revealed torn paper, shreds, tape and pieces on the floor left to look a little like trash.

herve tullet, brooklyn art exhibit, nyc art, modern art

above photo: Courtesy The Invisible Dog- Simon Courchel

There was even a cardboard box sitting in the middle of the room, there for people to discover, with the label this isn’t trash filled with scrap, torn pieces of his art.  Of course, this was a big hit with the kids!

invisible dog art center, modern art, art for kids, arts n crafts DSC_8004

For more on this exhibit, check out my article on Mommy Nearest!DSC_7990  herve tullet, herve tullet book, herve tullet art

And check out these two playing ring around the rosie right outside the exhibit! (Thanks GothamLove for the video!)

 

 

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Whether or not you’re an art enthusiast, this newly launched art exhibition in partnership with NYC non-profit, Chashama Foundation, will have you doing double-takes.  Situated at the corner of Broadway and Exchange Place in New York City’s Financial District, Carole Feuerman’s hyperrealistic sculptures placed front and center near the entryway beg for a closer look.

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A quick glance around and you realize there is a quirky swim theme.  “For me,” Ms. Fuerman reflects, “swimmers represent peace, serenity, and survival.”

nyc art gallery, swim, swimmer art, statue, sculpture

Ladies fashioned in vintage swim caps and modest suits share a nonchalant “life’s a beach” sort of vibe that brings you back to your last vacation.

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Wouldn’t these sculptures be so fun sitting on top of a resort pond or reflecting pool somewhere?

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The paintings shared a vibrant, happy tone -something that Juliet could relate to. DSC_7549

Apparently though Carole Feuerman’s sculptures had achieved worldwide fame, this was the first time her paintings and prints were on view to the public.  I thought they were glorious and reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s pop art.

Perhaps the most surprising element to this FIDI art exhibit however was the lone man sitting in the corner seemingly watching us observe the female figurines.

statue, swimmers, swim, fidi art gallery, fidi art

He caught Juliet by surprise as she wondered out loud whether he was also a statue.  True to the artist’s form, she detailed out all the imperfections.  Here Juliet is pointing out his scuffed up sneakers saying maybe someone stepped on him.  hah

fidi art, new york city art gallery, hyperealistic sculptures

If you’re in the area and have a few minutes to spare, I highly suggest you check this out.  It’s a fun, break from the ordinary and makes you re-examine what you know to be true.   See the 3 top reasons to take your toddler to an art gallery here.   And follow us on Instagram to see our daily fashionable mommy and me adventures!

 

 

PERCEPTION – In the Eye of the Beholder by Carole Feurerman
is on exhibit  at the Chasama space at One Exchange Plaza, on the corner of Broadway and Exchange (across the street from Fidelity bank)
on view until March 24th
M-Th 12pm-7pm, Fri 12pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-8pm, Sun 4pm-7pm

 

 

 

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above photo by Plamen Petkov

If you’re looking for an off-the-beat, unique art experience in NY, the gallery at the Cadillac House is a must-see!  For Instagram addicts, this is THE fantasy selfie station.  With all sorts of wacky backdrops including fish wallpaper, crocodile statues, and spaghetti floors, it’ll have you posing and preening in all the nooks and crannies of its psychedelic space!  We loved it because not only did it spur a fantastical imagination, it was interactive!  What child doesn’t want to touch and feel?  This pop-up apartment envisioned by Ferrari and Cattelan encourages you to explore and more!  Here is Juliet jumping on the bed and playing Cinderella by vacuuming the floors!!

And just like with any other apartment, this one required a lot of household chores.  We started our day getting ready at the vanity, then found dirty laundry sitting on the bathroom floor, a kitchen with dinner uncooked, and hungry pets to feed.

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With so much to do around the house, you might just need to, lounge and call a friend from the comforts of your colorful bed.

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Needless to say, this was SUCH a fun place for her and I to play pretend.  We went after school pick up (around 1:30pm) on a weekday and were the only ones there!  I highly suggest going during the weekday with your kids to fully enjoy the space.  After you’re done, you can treat yourself to a little something at the beautiful cafe that they have and also browse the latest Cadillac models!   IMG_1097 IMG_1098

What a fun mommy and me outing this was!  Click here for more of our fashionable adventures around the city!

The exhibition was made possible through creative media agency Visionaire and Toiletpaper MagazineFerrari and Cattelan are co-creators of the latter. Toiletpaper Paradise runs through April 12 and is free to the public.

The Gallery at Cadillac House
330 Hudson Street
New York City

 

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If you’ve read my past post about the 3 top reasons to take a toddler to an art gallery, you know we love frequenting them!  Today, after school, we enjoyed another artsy adventure, this time closer to our home, in Tribeca.  R & Company on 82 Franklin (between Church and Broadway) is a 2-floor, narrow unassuming space that you’d miss easily if not looking specifically for it.  Step inside though and you’ll be greeted with playful bursts of color and sculptures that beg you to reach out and touch them.  As soon as Juliet stepped in, she screamed in delight, “Mommy this place looks like so much FUN!”

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And indeed it was!  The tactile surfaces were fun to explore and luckily, this gallery encouraged not only feeling the exhibits but also sitting, climbing and exploring in them!

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Yes, the artist’s name is actually “Porky Hefer…”

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Isn’t this such a wonderous place for a child to enjoy art?

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It inspires such curiosity and imagination!

DSC_6897“Each piece is meant to be inhabited like a hermit inhabits shells.” He encourages visitors to curl their bodies into the playful, human-scaled shells and nests, or to drape themselves languidly over the leopard’s branch.

Downstairs, though was where Juliet’s favorite pieces were.  She got such a kick out of the coin couch because we were just teaching her the value of coins.  “I wonder how the artist made this!” And so we discussed possibilities and she determined, “glue!” haha

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Johnny Swing‘s iconic coin works have been exhibited in museums and institutions around the world. Swing, who is considered a master welder and craftsman, has developed a unique patterning technique that utilizes flat shiny coins to create furniture works. His innovative approach successfully transforms these industrial found coins into biomorphic and natural forms that transcend their material. (excerpt from the exhibit’s website)

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Coins certainly take on a whole new value in the mind of this tiny toddler!

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Juliet’s other favorite find was this fuzzy little beast.  When it was time to go, she said, “but I LOVE him!!”  So I let her stay for a bit and she spent the remaining minutes, cuddling and kissing this crazy fur creature.  “Wait! 3 more hugs!” she exclaimed as motioned for us to go.DSC_6940

If you’re in the NY area, I highly recommend R and Company.  This intimate art gallery will only take you 30minutes of your time depending on how many selfies you take 🙂 and is great to explore with kids!  We went on a Monday afternoon and were the only ones in there!  Woohoo! This exhibit is open until February 23rd.

 

To see more of our mommy and me artsy adventures, click here!

 

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What better way to celebrate Lunar New Year than to take my half Chinese daughter to an edible exhibit all about Chinese food at the Museum of Food and Drink!  I’ve never been to a museum that offered a sniff and taste test so I was excited to trek to Brooklyn and check it out.   .

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Juliet is always game for a mommy and me adventure and is no stranger to museums.  And she liked the sound of getting to eat her way through this one!

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The most spectacular sight there was an interactive curtain of Chinese take out boxes.  Each box symbolized 7 of the 50,000 Chinese restaurants in the US!

chinese food, food and drink museum, food museum It was impossible to resist walking through the curtains.chinese art, chinese food, chow, museum of food and drink

Juliet did this at least 100 times!IMG_0872

At this limited-time-only exhibit, we were reminded of Chinese immigration history, learned about the secrets behind “velveting,” (a cooking technique I’m going to have to incorporate now) and tested our senses.  Apparently Juliet is not a fan of the smell of coffee!

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The most scent-sational exhibit for us however, was the tantalizing fortune-cookie-making machine which continuously offered treats to all the visiting guests and filled the entire museum with its sweet, baked scent.

Each colorful fortune was thoughtfully created by the public who were invited to invent their own fortunes via social media or through the interactive station found at the museum.  How cool is this??

museum of food and drink

Another tasty treat was found at the cooking demonstration where we watched as a friendly chef replicated Chef Irene Li from Mei Mei Restaurant / Mei Mei Street Kitchen’s Kung Pao chicken.

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Too bad he in full performance mode, flipped the chicken so high in the air that it splattered and fell all over my Chanel purse haha!

I learned so much about the evolution of the Chinese American restaurant’s 170 year history in the form of menu timelines, first dish originations, ingredient and sauce formations and secret cooking techniques i.e. “velveting.”

As “New York City’s first food museum, MOFAD seeks to advance the public understanding of the culture, history, science, production, and commerce of food and drink. Our exhibition allow(s) students to see, smell, touch, and explore while learning about different cuisines. Our multi-sensory approach to learning uses food as a lens to understand our world.”  It was such a fun, educational, and memorable way to celebrate Lunar New Year!

Check it out before the end of February.  (tofu and crab sauce is served at their culinary studio in February).

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

  • review the hours, they are not the usual museum hours and start at 12noon on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays!
  • same-day tickets cannot be bought after 4pm.
  • Use code Groups10 at checkout for groups of 10 or more to receive $1 off each entry.
  • Lyft, Via and Uber can all take Manhattanites there (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
  • If you want to subway it there, MOFAD is still 8blocks away from the nearest (L) train.
  • There is a complimentary (unsecured) coat and stroller storage area
MOFAD Lab
62 Bayard Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 387-2845
mofad.org 

 

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Love theater but afraid your kids won’t sit still long enough to make the ticket purchase worthwhile?  Or have you been there done that and are now looking for something new?  Even the most jaded New Yorker is sure to find Pip’s Island, a new interactive, theatrical production playing in Chelsea for a limited time only, exciting and new.  Forget the traditional stage and seating.  No, think total immersion and exploration!  It’s an hour-long adventure led by  Pip and his pals, Pebble and Finn.  And it’s a NY performance that your kids won’t want to miss!

nyc things to do with kids, kids theater nycIt all starts with the invitation to try on special explorer vests.  Getting costumed up is something all kids seem to enjoy and this helps build anticipation for what awaits.

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I tried to explain to my 3.5 year old that these safari – like jackets were going to help us get in the mood for our little adventure.  But I honestly had very little idea of what to expect.  Their whimsical website was certainly intriguing though and knew I was in for an experience like no other.   “Incorporating the latest curriculum guidelines and play trends, Pip’s Island is guaranteed to empower its audience through sheer wonder.”dsc_4027

We were given a brief overview of our mission which was basically to to help solve a mystery and fight off the villain.  The story line without going into full detail will bring out the inner superhero in kids of all ages.  By walking through a fantastical tree, you enter Pip’s Island, a magical, faraway world.  And with the help of fellow adventurers, you move through 5 rooms all filled with wonderous objects and themes that invite touch, lure childhood play, and excite curiosity.  Children are encouraged to help find, make, build, and carry items.  They practice power moves, tackle puzzles and celebrate with bubbles. We weren’t allowed to take photos or videos once inside but suffice it to say this was Disney – level: set, costume and production!

It was such a treat to be able to enjoy something so special, so unique, so kid-centric, yet fun for adults too!

dsc_4035We sincerely thank Pip’s Island for graciously asking us to partake and review their show.  It made for a fun-filled family memory.  And we thoroughly enjoyed it!

 

Pip’s Island is at Skylight Modern. (537 West 27th Street)
performances through Sunday, January 8, 2017.
Tickets are $50 per person discounted tickets on BroadwayBox.com
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