Happy 100th Birthday National Park Service

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To celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service on August 25th 2016, the National Park Foundation (NPF) launched their Find Your Park campaign to encourage everyone to get up, get out there and #FindYourPark.

Find your park

In NYC we celebrated the National Park Foundation and National Park Service 100th birthday at Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1, with a fabulous birthday bash. They had Family-friendly activities during the day, a free ice cream social with Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory and the celebration featured music by Ramblin’ Dan and Questlove. My kids picked the chocolate chunk flavor, we will definitely be back for more in the future.

Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory

My son was most excited about meeting a real life Park Ranger at the National Park Service birthday celebration event in Brooklyn.

National Park Service

I grew up traveling to National Parks and want to pass this tradition on to my kids. We try to take the kids to National Parks during our travels, but we have many more on our bucket list.

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park

You can check out all the ways you and your family can volunteer to participate at National Parks, to help preserve and protect them, by clicking here. Also If you are in NYC, here are the places you should make sure to visit

Top five NYC local National Parks, Monuments or sites

  1. Statue Of Liberty National Monument
  2. Governors Island National Monument
  3. Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site
  4. Lower East Side Tenement Museum National Historic Site
  5. Castle Clinton National Monument
Castle Clinton National Monument

Fountain near Castle Clinton National Monument with the Statue of Liberty in the background

Governors Island National Monument

Art on display at Governors Island National Monument

For more info check out FindYourPark.com There’s something for everyone!

This post was sponsored by the National Park Service, all opinions expressed here are my own.

California Dreaming with Enchanted Slumber

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California Dreaming while back in NYC. We spent a few weeks in California this summer and even though we are now back to NYC, we can continue to dream of California in this beautifully made all-in-one organic sleeper from Enchanted Slumber.

California Dreaming Enchanted Slumber

I love everything thing about this kid-friendly roll-and-go portable sleeping bag, made from organic cotton. It is supper soft and snuggly plus has an organic lavender-buckwheat pillow to promote relaxation. The fun loving California Dreaming pattern will have campers (or wannabe campers) and California grizzly bear lovers slumbering soundly. The material is cool for a summer layer, but warm enough for the colder winter months.

Enchanted Slumber

Perfect safe, non-toxic solution for travel or for your little ones having nap time at preschool this fall. If you have your kid “practice” napping in the Enchanted Slumber before going off to preschool, they will be able to transition better to their new school setting, having a sweet comfort from home. Check out their web page to see all the fun products and patterns, including new baby items and lunch totes.

About Enchanted Slumber

Anna Spanton created Enchanted Slumber out of necessity, she could not find something safe for her children to sleep in when they were going off to preschool. Anna wanted portable bedding that was safe for kids health, aesthetically pleasing, and made of sustainable materials. So the Enchanted Slumber sleeper was born. A soft, soothing sleeping bag that would make the child within it feel safe and warm. Enchanted Slumber’s core values include pursuit of wellness, beautiful design, and environmental sustainability.

Thank you Enchanted Slumber for providing My Strange Family with a Signature All-in-One sleeper. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Summer in the city

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You want to know what summer in the city looks like? Well here it is, kids covered in brown who knows what, playing under the play structure for shade, wet hair from the water fountain mixed with humidity, fighting over who gets to play with the rock and stick. And we still have a month more of this before school starts.

Summer in the CityIf you are looking for UPF 50+ sun protective clothing, my kids live in these SwimZip styles whenever we are at the park or in the pool. These sun protective clothes feature a full zipper down the front making them extremely easy to put on and take off. Normal rash guards without zippers are very hard to take off when wet, but not SwimZip. Plus they protect your kids from harmful sun rays saving them from potential skin cancer in the future.

Blue Man Group for the whole family

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If you are looking for a fun show for the whole family, make sure to check out Blue Man Group. Yes, the whole family; from my preschooler, to my elementary school aged son, to my husband and myself, we all had a great time at the Blue Man Group show in NYC. Blue Man Group combines music, technology and comedy to create a form of entertainment that appeals to people of all ages.

Astor Place Theatre

Blue Man Group is a performance art company formed in the early 90’s on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The Blue Man character emerged from small “disturbances” on the streets of the city, growing into small shows at downtown clubs and eventually becoming a full performance at the Astor Place Theatre. It’s no surprise that Blue Man Group is one of the longest running off-Broadway productions in New York City.

5 tips for taking your kids to Blue Man Group

  1. Check out the BlueTube channel with your kids before the show. At first sight 3 blue bald men might freak them out, but if they are familiar with the looks of the characters, and know they do silly sketches and play fun music and games, your kids will feel well prepared before the show.
  2. Bring snacks, or buy some at the theater. The show has a running time of 90 minutes without any intermission, so if your kids get hungry or a bit antsy for having to sit for a long time, keep them happy with snacks.
  3. Don’t sit in the poncho section especially if this is your kids first Blue Man Group show. The poncho section is the first four or five rows closest to the stage. Patrons in this area are given ponchos to wear, because sometimes materials splash the audience. First of all my kids would not be comfortable wearing the ponchos, and second they would totally freak out if something splattered on to them.
  4. Grab some earplugs from the venue or bring your own kid friendly headphones, if your kids are highly sensitive to loud sounds they will feel more comfortable if they can block some of the loud sounds out. My kids did just fine, but you never know and it’s better to be prepared, just in case.
  5. During the toilet paper streamer finale make sure your kid does not get too buried, It’s supper fun, but the paper piles up fast so try to keep them cleared and the paper moving forward. I was pushing handfuls and ripping the paper like super mom so my sons head would stay above the sea of paper.

Blue Man Group toliet paper finale Blue Man Group for FamilyMy kids still talk highly of the Blue Man Group show. Anytime my daughter sees billboard or taxi advertisements she shrieks out in excitement “Blue guys, mama it’s them!” My kids also saw some Twinkie’s at the local bodega and insisted on trying them out, lets just say they liked the unhealthy treat.

Also stay around a bit after the show to get a photo with the leading Blue Men.

Meeting Blue Man Group

I am sure we will be back to see the show again and again, it was really great and perfect for the whole family. They even turned blue as we left Astor Place Theater.

Blue Man Group NYCFor ticket and location information check out BlueMan.com, Also if you think the show might be too intense for your kids they do offer an Autism Speaks show a few time each year at each of their multiple US locations.

Thank you Blue Man Group for providing tickets for My Strange Family to check out your fun show, all opinions expressed here are my own.

Hudson Jeans for Kids

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I have been wearing Hudson Jeans since college and my favorite features are the soft stretch, french terry denim used. No matter if I gained or lost a bit of weight, my Hudson Jeans always fit perfectly. I totally want this same comfort for my kids when they are wearing jeans, for everyday use or at school. So when I was offered to review Hudson Jeans for Kids from Five Star Apparel New York, I eagerly said yes. If it’s a brand I am already a fan of, I know I should like it for my kids too.

At a media press day in New York I learned that Hudson makes more than jean pants for kids, they also make the cutest jean dresses, jackets and shorts. All perfect for your back-to-school shopping needs. Hudson even makes itty bitty jeans for the little ones under 12-months old.

Hudson Jeans

Many of the new fall Hudson Jeans for Kids styles, have a modest slightly faded, lived-in finish, decorative details and mix jean color styles. Plus the classic Hudson Jeans trademark triangular back pockets, and a Union Jack logo. These jeans are reasonably priced for a fashionable pant for kids. I picked the Parker’ Straight Leg Jeans for my son this back-to-school season and I love how sharp they make him look.

Hudson Jeans for Kids

Versatility and comfort are the name of the game with these classic five-pocket jeans, featuring a slightly worn look, zip fly with button closure, and an adjustable elastic on the inside for longer wear or a better fit for your growing kid. Lets just say these jeans a perfect for an active boy.

Fly a kite in HudsonMake sure to check out all the great new fall styles from Hudson Jeans for Kids for your back-to-school shopping needs. You can purchase these jeans online or in store at Von Maur, Nordstrom, Amazon, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales.

I was not compensated for this post but was provided Hudson for Kids Jeans to review from Five Star Apparel New York.

San Diego Waterfront Park

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Living in Downtown San Diego has become more popular each and every year since the early 2000’s, when I lived in San Diego for college. With this new migration to San Diego city living, comes families with kids. Where families are, parks need to be, so after 15 years of planning and setbacks the new Waterfront Park opened at the County Administration Center. The newly constructed Waterfront Park is the most significant waterfront open space in downtown San Diego and fulfills a vision decades in the making, positioning it as a quintessential destination for residents and visitors alike.

The existing historic landscape and landmark County building form the park’s center, while an interactive fountain extends from the building and into the park defining a large civic green.

Splash at San Diego Waterfront Park

Splash splash, the perfect way to cool off in Downtown San Diego.Water feature at San Diego Waterfront Park

The park also features a children’s play zone, with some amazing play structures for kids aged 5-12. However, my three year old held her own on the huge climbing web that looks like a huge electron.

San Diego Waterfront Park

My niece is “Queen of the Hill”Climbing at San Diego Waterfront Park

The “Blue Hills” totally felt like something out of the Pacific Ocean, with a super fast wave slide. CAUTION it might make your hair stick straight up in excitement.

Hills at San Diego Waterfront Park

Slide San Diego Waterfront Park

The super swing and seesaw were also a hit by the kids. My son did not want to be pushed very high, but he still loved it.

swing at San Diego Waterfront Park

Seesaw at San Diego Waterfront park

The San Diego Waterfront Park also has three large mosaic sculptures by Niki de Saint Phalle an internationally renowned French artist, long associated with San Diego. “Serpent Tree,” “Cat” and “#19 Baseball Player” are on loan for up to a dozen years from the Niki Charitable Art Foundation. The kids love that they could interact and actually touch the art, the inside of the Cat is also a great shaded spot from the heat.

niki de saint phalle at San Diego Waterfront Park

Being in Embarcadero, the Waterfront Park also has an unforgettable waterfront view that can only be seen in San Diego.

Make sure to check it out next time you are in San Diego.

County Administration Center Waterfront Park
1600 Pacific Highway
San Diego, CA 92101