I started my spring break with a visit to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum (great place, lots of fun, but wish we had a dedicated Bronx Children’s Museum). After a day with Peter Rabbit, drawing face masks and making music with my son I was definitely up for a spa day just for me to kick off my own break (after all spring and new beginnings seem to go hand in hand). So next stop on my staycation was Acqua Beauty Bar on 14th Street with my best friend for massages and manicures. Over all a good start to spring break staycation. Acqua Beauty Bar was a nice spot, friendly professional service, not too pricey, convenient location near public transportation, eateries and with multiple shopping options. After a fun day downtown I headed back to The Bronx to get the Easter basket ready for my son. We celebrated Easter Sunday with my family by going to the Passion Play 2012 at New Life Outreach International Church. This is an event I have experienced and have been part of many times over the years but every time there is something new (and I’m not talking bloopers) at the end I was able to share with my family a beautiful musical dramatization of the Passion of Christ.
After the Easter celebration I surprised my son with tickets to the Phineas & Ferb The Best Tour Ever Live Show at Madison Square Garden (great seats which I obtained on a discount offer from Time Out Kids). All this and it is only Tuesday, so after taking a look at my previous blog on things to do here in The Bronx to continue my staycation experience (Spring Break in The Bronx? Oh Yea!!) I decided to visit the New York Botanical Garden.
I arrived at the garden in the afternoon because I decided to start my morning with a little spring cleaning (and a little boy that shall remain nameless decided to catch up on his cartoons). First stop was the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. As the kids ran off through the trail and followed the prompts to “sniff”, “touch”, “listen”, it was great seeing them run around freely exploring every possible area. We then headed to the Discovery Center where the kids created a field notebook and went on to build their own rainforest terrariums. As a parent I felt a level of satisfaction seeing them engaged with the explainers as they talked about the water cycle and evaporation. They showed off what they had learned in school and learned a few new things as they added rocks, dirt and plants to their mini rainforests.
We went on walking through the garden grounds, visited the rock garden and caught the last tram tour. I’ve taken that tour with my son at least three times, and every time we learn something new. Probably because we’re too busy chatting and pointing at the scenery to pay attention to the entire lesson the announcer shares over the loud speaker but this time when they talked about the thousands of year old rock formations and the 1840 Stone Mill it was as if we’ve heard it for the first time. At the end of the tour we headed home making plans for a return visit, because of course there were more things that we wanted to see and do. This is one membership that has turned out to be a great investment, if you’ve contemplated getting a membership to the New York Botanical Garden, it is definitely worth it.
All that activity and the week is only half way over. So I was glad that I had booked another spa appointment this time in The Bronx, because lets face it, if they have it in Manhattan why not here. I visited Canela, a hair salon and spa in Parkchester. From the friendly greeting when I entered the spa, to the professional treatment and good byes, it was all a pleasant experience. I went for the moor mud wrap body treatment, which I must say was very interesting considering I did not know what to expect, and I am definitely going back. To continue my day of relaxing (even if I did squeeze in food shopping) I had dinner with my lovely aunt at Yucatan, a restaurant on Williamsbridge Road. The food was very good, drinks were excellent (margarita and the guavarita are a must) and of course for dessert flan. The environment was relaxed, even if it was a Wednesday evening, and the service was friendly and attentive. This is one spot I will definitely visit again. In fact they are having a comedy night on April 28 that I’m looking forward to attending.
Continuing on my spring break staycation, today I visited the American Museum of Natural History and Planetarium for a journey to the stars. I must say this is my favorite museum and by far one that is overwhelmingly large. After a few hours we only got through the first floor of the museum but my son enjoyed every bit of it. As the day came to a close I realized my spring break is almost over and on the schedule I have the Hall of Science (on my son’s request) and yet another visit to the Botanical Garden for Orchid Evenings. While my son has taken some awesome pictures of the orchids in the past I don’t want to miss the opportunity to enjoy my favorite flower to some music and drinks in an adults only evening.
I will certainly not able to visit every spot I covered on my previous article about spring break in The Bronx (and clearly I cheated a bit by dabbing into the other boroughs for what they have to offer) but I will have the chance after spring break to continue enjoying all the resources available here in our own backyard. Two upcoming events I’m looking forward to are the Bronx Heroes Comic Con and the Baseball in the Bronx exhibit, both taking place at the Bronx Museum. So whether you’re on spring break, vacation or just looking for things to do near home, New York City has a lot to offer and The Bronx is definitely a diamond in the rough shining little by little as we reveal every facet.