For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you may recall my “Thursdays With Noah” series. When he was in pre-school 3 days a week, we spent every Thursday on an adventure. Sometimes it was local. Sometimes it was with a friend. Sometimes it was a total fail. And sometimes it was magical.
Being a “new-old” mom put me in the unique position of having had a small taste of the freedom that comes with kids who are finally big enough to: a) be left alone while you go out and play, or b) accompany you on more “grown-up” excursions.
But now I was firmly back in “little kid” mode, yet not wanting to give up my jaunts in and around the city.
So I decided that I would simply find places to go and things to do that were Noah-friendly, while satisfying my interests too. I did a round-up a while back of all my “go-to” resources for finding the good stuff in and around NYC, and I am thrilled to add Brittney’s blog – Kid On The Town – to the list!
image credit: Brittney Jensen Mothner
“Kid On The Town is a carefully curated resource for curious, active families based on the experiences of our family and friends. It features info on free and low-cost family-friendly cultural events including concerts, museum programs and multi-cultural celebrations throughout NYC, plus select deals and tips for making the most of the city.”
Brittney and I met at Noah’s school, and I quickly found her blog on social media after we became friends. And I have to say, when the weekends and school holidays roll around, Kid On The Town is now the first site I check – and typically the only one. I think it’s because Brittney carefully chooses places and happenings that feel a “step up” from the rest, while being kid-tested. She leans toward cultural and arts-oriented activities too, which is totally my thing. And her listings are extensive without feeling overwhelming.
I interviewed Brittney recently; here’s what she had to say!
How did you get into blogging?
After my son was born 7 years ago, I was somewhat selfishly determined to keep going to places I liked around our Upper West Side neighborhood such as museums, concerts and restaurants, with or without a baby strapped to my chest. I discovered that a lot of seemingly adult-only NYC experiences could be remarkably kid-friendly with the right preparation and info. I kept hearing about and experiencing cool local events (and great deals) that I would email my neighborhood mommy friends. I had worked previously as a web/database programmer and decided to organize the info on a website so I wouldn’t clog inboxes and annoy people. Friends told friends about the site and my readership grew.
What were you doing before you started blogging, and are you still doing it today?
That’s a long answer. Computer programming – along with GMAT tutoring and some other random gigs – supported my work (or attempts to get work) as a dancer, actor, arts educator, director and choreographer. After having my son, who ended up having some minor but ongoing and time-consuming medical issues, the survival jobs weren’t really worth the post-child care/taxes income, and the creative work wasn’t quite feasible. I perform, direct or teach on the rare occasion they don’t interfere too much with our family’s schedule, and hope to do more as my 2 kids get older. I also write magazine articles, plays, screenplays and novels, which has been easier to continue as a mom.
What – if any – changes to your blog have you made since you started?
Originally I only posted about events that were baby-friendly and convenient to where we lived. Now that my kids are older and we’ve moved, I post about events for up to elementary school-age kids all over the city. I hope to start a Westchester section soon. I also like to think my design and photography skills, and hence the look of the site, have slightly improved. The content has also grown as museums, orchestras and other cultural institutions keep expanding the offerings available for little New Yorkers, and my site has focused more on cultural exploration, which I think is key for the development (and sanity) of kids and parents alike.
My favorite thing about blogging is…
When parents tell me what a great resource my site is for them. I love stories about families trying out a museum or event for the first time and loving it. And I like having an excuse to go to museums, shows and new food places with my kids. I might try to deduct some tickets and restaurant bills from my taxes this year…
My least favorite thing about blogging is…
My site is very data driven and I use a lot of WordPress plug-ins that sometimes don’t work the way I want them to. I can get into the code but sometimes I hit an annoying technical bug I can’t figure out. I dream about the day I can hire help.
Instead of asking Brittney for her favorite blog posts, I was eager to hear what her favorite NYC kids’ places were:
I have too many favorites so I asked my 4-year-old daughter to help me narrow it down. Together we came up with:
Whitney Museum & the High Line
Metropolitan Museum of Art & Central Park
American Museum of Natural History & Shake Shack
(Honorable mention to the Bronx Zoo & Arthur Avenue)
As you can see, we like combos of culture, nature and treats. She knows exactly which museums have ice cream or chocolate on premises or nearby.
And check out my Pinterest boards for my fave NYC spots, as well as the rest of my blove posts!
Thank you Brittney! xo