A staycation in Manhattan


| vschneps@queenscourier.com |

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Blake and Morgan with their square candles.

I had planned on visiting my daughter Elizabeth in Dallas to celebrate her little Jonah turning four and to attend his school’s annual grandparents’ visiting day. But plans change.

Clumsily I had slipped and torn the ligaments in my ankle and the doctor advised me to stay off it and keep it elevated. Very difficult on a plane, therefore no Dallas trip.

My husband Stu had invited his son Harvey to visit from Houston with his girlfriend because I was going to be away in Dallas. I decided, since I couldn’t fly, to do my favorite staycation and spend time in Manhattan, and I did.

I had invited my daughter Samantha, her husband Spencer and my treasures Blake and Morgan to join me for a fun-filled day. My little ones had their heart set on going to a store called Make Meaning. It’s a bright, colorful, joyous space that the children skipped into as we arrived. They had been there before and adored it.

It’s a crafts place for all ages where you can paint, do ceramics, make a bracelet or necklace, or my favorite, create a candle or soap.

A friendly, smiling assistant welcomed us to our table and explained how we could create a candle. First a shape is chosen. I selected a heart shape and the two little ones chose squares. We were then led to baskets full of brightly colored wax squares. I selected my color scheme with the idea of choosing ones that Jonah in Dallas loves, since I want to give it to him as a belated birthday gift.

The last part of the candle making is to select a scent that will be added to the wax. That was the funniest part because sitting on a table are about 15 different scents with creative names. Blake chose “freshly washed man;” there was my favorite, “birthday cake” and even a scent called “dirt.” Morgan’s choice was “bubble gum.” We had such fun just sniffing each one and helping each other make the “big” decision.

Our appetites were building so off we went to another favorite of the little ones, Dylan’s, a super duper candy store and ice cream shop. We made a beeline for the latter. The offerings were 20 different flavors and toppings, even a unique Oreo ice cream cone.

We brought our treats to a glass-covered table with an inlay of hundreds of colorful gum balls. The details of packaging candy in a unique way is what Dylan’s is all about. With three full floors full of candy treats of all kinds, this place opposite Bloomingdale’s is heaven for kids!

To complete our day we took Morgan to the Theater at Madison Square Garden, where we caught the greats of Sesame Street on stage. She was mesmerized by the actors whose performance was a learning opportunity.

I didn’t get to celebrate with my darling Jonah in Dallas, but I did get to enjoy precious Blake and Morgan with their beloved parents Samantha and Spencer. And I was lucky enough to have dinner with the family’s newest addition, Hudson Dean, with parents Josh and Tracey.