I recently got a little sister! No, my parents didn’t gift me with a new bundle of joy, but this is pretty close. I recently got matched with seven-year-old Celeste in the Big Brother Big Sister program, and let me tell you: we are a perfect match! It really is almost dreamy! I get to do all the fun things I kind of always wanted to do when I was a kid but rarely got the chance to.
Having worked in a school for several years, I thought I’d have so many ideas for outings with my little buddy (I actually like using ‘buddy’ vs. ‘sister’), but I couldn’t have been more wrong. And, as I would come to find out for myself, each kid is actually very different. The things that I thought most seven-year-olds would like, were not necessarily accurate. Celeste is one of four kids, and before our first outing, I kept trying to come up with elaborate outings, but I soon found out that spending one-on-one time with me was enough for her. *Cue the collective ‘awwww‘*
On our first outing, I took her on what I like to call “The Grand Tour of the Village (in NYC).” It basically consisted of hopping on the PATH train, getting off at 9th St., walking to my job, a picnic at Washington Square Park, and possibly more than one of my favorite frozen dessert spots. That day, we sat in the grass in Washington Square Park, strategically positioned next to a Jazz band of NYU students; then, we made our way to the fountain and splashed around before we headed to the kids’ playground where we tried to see who could swing the highest (spoiler alert: I lost). We ended the day with some vegan ice cream from Van Leeuwen and what a great day it was.
Two weeks after our outing, I’m combing my brain (and the internet) for more outing ideas in NY and NJ. While we were provided with a list of ideas from BBBS, I wanted more Jersey City and NYC-centric outings and activities, mostly because I love these places; I’m still exploring them myself, and I love the accessibility of NY+NJ! One of my greatest resources for exploring the city as an adult has been Time Out NY, and not surprisingly, they have a kid version! I also get a lot of inspiration from social media influencers that I follow. Interestingly enough, many of them are moms, and my favorite one to follow and draw ideas from is @mommyshorts; mom bloggers seem to know it all… and they have huge followings! For food outing ideas, I get lots of inspo from @foodbabyny and their mom(!) @alexlchau. I find @yelpnewjersey and @yelpnyc are also full of food outing ideas!
Here is a short “resource list” I created. Some places I’ve been to, some are places I want to go to, and others are just ideas. Do you have any Big and Little outing ideas? Let me know so I can add it to my list of ideas!