Tag Archives: Babies

Halloween Event Guide 2011

There are plenty of great Halloween activities in NJ and NY this spooky season. Here is a guide to some of what the Jersey City area has to offer for you and your family.

State Scare Haunted Attraction: Oct. 20 – 23 and Oct. 26 – 31, 7 p.m. – midnight. This attraction is located adjacent to State Fair Halloween Superstore, which is at 229 Main Street in Belleville. While the nighttime event is suitable for children 14 and up, there is a Sunday Matinée for younger kids from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. Tickets prices: adults $18, children (12 and under) $15, VIP (skip lines) $30 for adults and children and $8 for adults and children for the matinée. Click here for a $2 off coupon (only valid for nighttime event). Click here for directions and a map.

Hoboken Harvest Festival: Saturday, Oct. 22, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Pier A Park, First Street and Frank Sinatra Drive. Highlights include hay and pony rides, pumpkin painting, food, hay maze, face painting and more. Click here for a map.

Halloween Crafts for Kids at Jersey City Public Library: Pavonia Branch: Thursday, Oct. 27, 3:30 p.m. The Pavonia branch is located at 326 8th Street, Jersey City. Main Branch: Thursday, Oct. 27, 3:30 p.m. The main branch is located at 472 Jersey Avenue, Jersey City. Heights Branch: Friday, Oct. 28, 3:30 p.m. The Heights branch is located at 14 Zabriskie Street, Jersey City. Registration is required for these events – contact your local branch for more information.

Halloween Spooktacular at Liberty Science Center: Oct. 28 – 29, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. Enter the “haunted school,” featuring the creepy cafeteria and sinister science lab. Also look for trick-or-treating, a costume contest, games and interactive activities like making slime. The two – five age-set isn’t forgotten about. They can follow their parents/caregivers through the IExplore playground, which features musical activities, a ball machine, a car and test track and more. Ticket prices: Adults $15, Children $13. Liberty Science Center is located in Liberty State Park at 222 Jersey City Boulevard in Jersey City. Click here for directions and parking information and here for a map.

Halloween 4th Street Block Party: Sunday, Oct. 29, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. The second annual Harsimus Cove Association block party will take place on 4th Street between Jersey Avenue and Coles Street. It was a popular event last year (and a lot of fun)! Highlights include a haunted house, music, crafts, games, food and much more. Click here for a map.

Kids Halloween Mask Making: Saturday, Oct. 29, 1 p.m. Gallery 1200 in Hoboken is hosting this event with local artist Ibou Ndoye. Kids, five years and up, will use recycled materials to make interesting and artistic Halloween masks. Sign-up in advance. Donation: $10 per child at the door. Click here for a map.

Ghosts of Uncle Joe’s Halloween Benefit:  Saturday, Oct. 29, 5 p.m. This benefit is for and at the Historic Jersey City & Harsimus Cemetery located at 435 Newark Avenue, Jersey City. Gates open at 5 p.m. First Resurrection at 5:30 p.m. Final Burial at 10 p.m. Zombie Parade to the Lamp Post at 10:30 p.m. After Life Party to follow… Check out the cemetery’s Facebook page for more information. Donation is $10. Click here for a map.

Hamilton Park Annual Halloween Parade: Sunday, Oct. 30, 10 a.m. – noon. Get your costumes on and join in some Halloween activities and a parade through Hamilton Park. Don’t forget to bring a non-perishable item for the Festival Food Bank. Click here for a map.

Halloween Party: Sunday Oct. 30, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. The Wayne Street Watch Block Association is hosting a Halloween event in Angel Ramos Park in Jersey City. Join in the fun with cookie decoration, pumpkin painting and live entertainment by Jersey City Children’s Theater. Click here for a map.

The Annual Hoboken Ragamuffin Parade & Costume Contest: Monday, Oct. 31, 3 p.m. The parade begins on Washington, between 13th and 14th. The costume contest will be held at the Little League Field on 5th and River Terrace. Expect bands, entertainment and more!

Annual Halloween Bash for Kiddos: Monday, Oct. 31, 5 p.m. – 7p.m. HDSID is hosting this free annual event for kids and families at the Grove Street Path Plaza. Get your costumes on and come down for free face painting, pictures and candy. Sassy Sweet Treats will be giving away free favor bags with cookies to the first 20 kids that stop by in costume. Check out the Facebook event page. Click here for a map.

Here are some NYC Halloween events that are worth traveling into the city for:

The Haunted Pumpkin Garden at the New York Botanical Garden: Now through Oct. 30. Visit the Everett Children’s Adventure for some Halloween family fun. Highlights include a Pumpkin House, Pumpkin Puppet Theater and daily costume parades. Tickets (you will get an “all-garden pass”) are $20 for adults, $18 for students/seniors and $8 for children 2 – 12. Children under 2 and members are free. Remember to wear your costumes! Stay Saturdays from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for a Spooky Nighttime Adventure and explore the Adventure Garden by flashlight after dark. There will be trick-or-treating and pumpkin decorating activities. For this event, you will need a “special event ticket,” which will cost you $20 per person or $15, if you’re a member. The New York Botanical Garden is located at 2900 Southern Boulevard in the Bronx. Click here for directions and here for a map. **Check out my Family deals for Halloween on Jersey City Family Examiner post for a great deal on tickets to the Haunted Pumpkin Garden!**

Boo at the ZooWeekends in October. The Bronx Zoo hosts this Halloween event annually. The best part: kids in costume get in for free! (Fine print: ticket for one child ages 3 – 12 years free with purchase of full-priced adult general admission ticket). Highlights include a Halloween hayride (included with Total Experience Tickets), hay maze (at Butterfly Patio), a costume parade, treat stations, animal-themed magic shows and more. Click here to get 10% off Total Experience tickets. General admission is $16 for adults, $12 for children 3 – 12 years (kids under 3 are free) and $14 for seniors 65 and up. Total Experience tickets include zoo admission and unlimited access to eight attractions (excluding camel rides): $29.95 for adults, $19.95 for children 3 – 12 years and $24.95 for seniors. The Hess Zoo Shuttle is $3 for the whole day. Parking is $13 for the day. Strollers and wheelchairs are available for rent. The Bronx Zoo is located at 2300 Southern Boulevard in the Bronx. Click here for directions and here a map.

The Halloween Pirate Party at Hudson Terrace: Sunday, Oct. 30, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. Have a fun-filled day with food, candy, games and excitement for the whole
family. Playgames, including walk the plank, pin the parrot on the pirate, peg leg race, pumpkin coloring with real pumpkins and decorate, then fill your very own trick-or-treat bag! Dress in a costume, or have your faces painted at the event, to join in on the costume parade. (Recommended ages 2 – 6 years old). Tickets: $20 per person. Kids under 2 are free. Use discount code PIRATE20 to get 20% off tickets! Hudson Terrace is located at 621 West 46th Street in NYC. Click here for a map.

Halloween Parade & Pumpkin Sail in Central Park: Sunday, Oct. 23, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Dana Discovery Center (inside Central Park on 110th) Kids wear costumes and bring along a carved jack-o’-lantern to participate in New York City’s largest pumpkin flotilla at twilight. There will be entertainment and festivities. Click here for information on how to participate.

For event submissions, please contact me. Subscribe to my Jersey City Family Examiner for events, activities and stories of interest for JC families!


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Boob Tube for Preggos

A short guide to some popular television series about pregnancy.

It seems that every time you change the channel these days, there is a show on about pregnancy and birth. Some are great and can make you feel less anxious about the birth process, others are annoying and there are some that are downright scary.

I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant, Discovery Health

A frequent flyer on The Soup, this is a whole series chronicling women who didn’t know they were pregnant. I thought this was a completely plausible concept, until I was pregnant. How could someone not know they were preggo? Maybe it was just me, but there was no hiding my belly, especially toward the end. This show recycles the same story and even gives the same symptoms time and again. She never got her period, she didn’t gain any weight and she never had cravings or nausea. The woman inevitably ends up attached to the toilet in shock. The dramatizations are often comical and over-dramatic. But, this show can often be horrifying for a pregnant woman to watch. These women are almost always screaming in pain and usually think they are dying. Let’s just say, it’s not the best thing to watch when you are scared of giving birth already.

A Baby Story, TLC

My husband actually banned this show from our house in my second trimester because it was freaking me out too much. At first, I liked this show. The women seemed real and the situations were very emotional. However, I started to notice that some of these episodes made me very nervous. I understand that not every show can be about the good/easy births because that would be boring. But, more often than not, this show highlights the more frightening birth stories. The emergency C-sections, Preeclampsia, breech babies, detached placentas…the list goes on. It’s a great show after you have given birth, but while you are pregnant, it just reminds you of all that can go wrong and it can be horrifying.

Pregnant in Heels, Bravo

This show is about a pregnancy concierge and the clients that she encounters in Manhattan. I have never watched it pregnant, but I’m sure I would have the same reaction to it. It is downright obnoxious. Who wants to watch a show about spoiled pregnant women? As you struggle to work while pregnant, figure out how much time you can take for maternity leave and budget money; these women are planning out how many people to hire to do everything for them after the baby arrives. One woman thought that she should never have to change a diaper because that’s what the people she hired were there for. Really? Unless you are dedicated to watching every show about pregnancy…I would skip this one.

One Born Every Minute, Lifetime

This show came on after I had Dylan. The ads for it looked intriguing, so I set my DVR. I have to say, my husband and I became addicted to this show. We feel that it is the most realistic out of the other shows. Sometimes there are complications, but the situations aren’t over-dramatic or edited to seem worse. The issues that the women have seem real. This show does a good job of showing how long and boring labor can be, and the humor that can be found in different situations along the way. There are women featured who want natural births, women who want drugs and some women who can’t decide. This show will make you remember how amazing it was to give birth. I wish this was on before I had given birth because I think it would have eased some of my anxiety about the whole process.

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Spaced Out

Check out my new post on Born & Bred! It’s called Spaced Out http://www.newyorkfamily.com/newyork/blog-2228-spaced-out.html

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Still No Mama…

Dylan began saying “dada” when he was around six months old. I’ve been trying to convince him to say “mama,” ever since. He is now almost 10 months old and still no “mama”! I know it’s a hard sound for babies to make, so I’ve been patient.

Well, I was patient, until a couple of weeks ago when he started saying “cat.” After that, I started to push mama a lot harder. Mama this, mama that, I love my mama. I tried everything. Dylan would just look up at me, give me a big toothless-grin, laugh and say, “dada!” I thought, OK, mama’s got to be next.

In the past two days he has started saying “hot” and even putting two words together. “Hi cat!” But still…no mama. I think, at this point, he’s just being stubborn about it. He will make a desperate attempt at bedtime one evening and yell out, “mama!” Of course, he knows that I will go running to him joyously and pluck him right out of his crib. It’s all part of his master plan.

I am ecstatic over these new and cute little words that aren’t mama, nonetheless. I mean he will get to mama eventually, right?

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Did I Just Say That?

A lot of parents promise themselves (and others) that they will never  speak in baby-talk to their children. “That will never come out of my mouth!” I understand. I was one of those parents…then I had a baby. It happens fast and without your consent. You look down at your little bundle one day and just blurt out, “widdle toesies!” CRINGE! (I blame sleep deprivation.) How could I have let this happen. Well, I’m beginning to think it just comes with the territory. As much as I was against this, I now know that it’s virtually impossible to not switch your L’s to W’s once in a while.

Another cringe-worthy thing I am totally guilty of is making up songs for my son. Looking back, I have always done this (usually to annoy my husband), but it’s just on a different level now. I will catch myself in the grocery store singing to my son about how stinky his “yiddle feet” are or (cringe) making up my own baby-related lyrics to a popular song. I won’t horrify you with any specifics. I will suddenly look up and see a guy walk by that definitely heard my baby-friendly Usher remix. Sh*t! I just try to evacuate the general area and/or use the nearest produce or cereal box for cover. I’m just thankful that I wasn’t doing one of my baby-mesmerizing dances because that would be really embarrassing. Wow, I’m one of those people. Sigh. It could be worse though, I could be singing him The Wiggles.

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Teething is Not for Babies

At my son Dylan’s three-month doctor visit, we were told that he was “teething.” The doctor told us that symptoms may include drooling, drool rashes, night-waking, diaper rashes, diarrhea, crankiness, bulging gums, biting, coughing and fever. My husband and I looked at each other. Teething? It seemed like a biblical plague. Over the weeks that followed, Dylan began to exhibit some of these signs. The most noticeable was the crankiness and then, without warning, the dreaded night-waking. Now the real question was, “how long before he cuts a tooth.” We suffered through weeks of this behavior and then, as quickly as it had started, it stopped. There was one thing missing though…the tooth. After all that terror, nothing had sprouted out of his bulging little gums.

The symptoms have come and gone for months now. He is now nine months old and guess what…still no teeth. For the last six months, we have blamed every slightly high temperature, every weird poop, every rash and all that crankiness (oh the humanity…the crankiness!) on teething and yet the boy remains toothless.

I know that the strange and mysterious process of teething is different for every child and there is no timeline, but come on! Everyone keeps telling me, “you’ll know when he’s about to cut a tooth. It gets really bad and then it’s fine once the tooth finally comes in.” We have thought he was “about to cut a tooth” for months now. I stick my finger in his mouth all the time, and I feel the same little lump that’s been there for months, but nada.

The other thing about teething, like many other baby-related issues, is that everyone has their own teething remedy and is happy to tell you about it. I’m not talking about people I know that I ask for advice. If you are a new mom or dad, you know what I’m talking about — gratuitous unsolicited advice from strangers. I’ve had multiple people come up to me randomly and give me advice on the subject. Some old lady in the grocery store spotted him chewing on my hand, and informed me that, “that boy is definitely teething.” She went on to suggest that I shouldn’t let him chew on my hand, and the ONLY thing that would work was a wet rag covered in sugar (I’m pretty sure she called it a “sugar teet”). Um, give my son, who is already (quite literally) trying to climb the walls sugar…no thanks. Another old-school remedy is whiskey on the gums. I can’t say I don’t like this idea though. My dad did it to me and I have a healthy love for all that is scotch and whiskey to this day. Well, I guess I could see how maybe that could be a problem…Anyway, my husband is opposed to this method, so we’ve stuck to cold teething rings and our beloved Sophie the Giraffe.

For now, we live in fear that he will start the night-waking again and that the crankiness will amp up even more. I guess we’ll never know exactly when he will cut that first tooth. All we can do is wait (and seriously consider loading him–or ourselves–up on sugar and alcohol). One valuable thing we have learned along the way is that teething ain’t no joke.


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