Tiffany’s Flagship Next Door

We often visit Tiffany’s during our holiday window walk in November or December. They have fantastic windows and the store is great to poke around (and they have nice bathrooms). The flagship store is going through a major overhaul, but I still wanted to go in during this holiday season. The renovation isn’t expected to be complete until fall 2022. You can now shop in the Tiffany Flagship Next Door store, which looks polished enough to be a regular jewelry store.

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What to Expect at the Harry Potter Store in NYC

The Harry Potter store opened in NYC in June, and I’m guessing it’s still as busy now as it was when it opened. We went last weekend (mid-December) on a Sunday, which is probably one of the busiest times we could have gone. To find out more about the virtual queue system, scroll to the bottom. Getting INTO the 21,000 foot store is an ordeal. What to Expect at the Harry Potter Store in NYC? Read on.

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Visiting the New FAO Schwarz

What to expect when visiting the new FAO Schwarz? This store, on the ground level of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, does not disappoint.

You might recall that FAO Schwarz left its flagship 5th Avenue location in 2015. We still think of it when we walk by, but it was fun to go back in and see some of the same excitement in a different location.

If it’s crowded, like during the holiday season, you’ll likely have to wait in line when visiting the new FAO Schwarz. That’s not unique to this store. The LEGO store had a snaking line around the block, the Nike store often has a big line, and the Harry Potter store has you scan their QR code to get in a virtual line.

The store has toys in a range of prices, like this Swarovski crystal toy car, originally $25,000 but now discounted to $14,995 (because $15,000 might seem too expensive still).

The Big piano is still there, with a line to wait in to play on it.

The lion below moves its head. It’s a little scary and I’m guessing a lot of kids ignore or don’t see the “don’t touch” sign. Granted, the head is up high enough that the little ones can’t reach

Lots of options for Build-a-Bear, and you can see the stuffing machine in the background.

Also lots of Barbie options. Not quite the Barbie alcove that Toys R Us had, but there is a special section with special dolls.

It was nice to see some diversity in the doll adoption area, with the iconic guards above, named Sara, and the dolls below with various options.

If your child likes dressing up (and which ones don’t?), there’s an adorable costume area including many Nutcracker type costumes.

Even the check-out area is festive when visiting the new FAO Schwarz.

Candy galore – a nice things especially since Dylan’s Candy Bar’s flagship closed during the pandemic.

Customize race cars when visiting the new FAO Schwarz!

Have you been to FAO Schwarz? What do you think about visiting the new FAO Schwarz versus the old one on 5th Avenue?

All photos: copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

This holiday season: NYC CAMP has you covered

If you’re looking for some things to do this holiday season in NYC, Jersey Kids has some ideas, brought to you by CAMP.

CAMP wants to help you have tons of fun at their immersive in-store experiences, help you make unique and clever gifts for your family and friends, and to show you some great toys (ahem, good presents!). Whether you live in NYC or are visiting, you’ll have options for great seasonal outings.

Here are some of the CAMP NYC holiday highlights:

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Review: Shopstoppers NYC

Broadway is back! See our post about what that looks like. Even though Broadway is back, those affected by the theater are still trying to survive. We went for a drink at Beer Culture after the Lion King and the bartender told us that they’re at about 30% of volume. They’re hoping that with Broadway coming back, their business will improve as well.

Showstoppers NYC. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Other industries are hurting as well, including costume designers. The Showstoppers: Spectacular Costumes from Stage and Screen show was created to raise money for those costume makers who were unable to work during the 18 month shutdown. The Costume Industry Coalition formed in May 2020 and started a recovery fund for its members, which includes 55 independent businesses and hundreds of artisans in and around NYC. These are the people who create the costumes for live and recorded shows. The exhibition designer, Thinc Designs, donated their efforts. Designers lost $26.6 million in gross revenue from the pandemic in 2020 (up to $35 million by now in 2021). The show was put together in 3.5 months, where a show like this would normally take two years. Here is our review: Showstoppers NYC.

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What to Expect on Broadway During COVID

I have never received so many emails before a Broadway show as I did in the past few weeks. As the first shows reopened around September 17, I had gotten tickets to the Lion King and Chicago. I wanted to share our experience on what to expect on Broadway during COVID.

The Lion King on Broadway. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

As of this writing, Broadway shows require proof of vaccination to enter, and mask-wearing at all times. This is per an agreement with the Actors’ Equity union and Broadway League and affects Broadway productions and major sit-down engagements, per Playbill. All Equity members and those interacting with them who are eligible for a vaccine, will have received it, other than potential exemptions at the producer’s discretion. Vaccinated actors will be tested weekly. More on how to show proof of vaccination and additional details at the bottom of this post.

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Mercado Little Spain – Hudson Yards

On our way to the Vessel at Hudson Yards, we ran into the Mercado at Hudson Yards. It was morning and not yet crowded, which made it a great time to explore.

Spanish Market. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

Offering “the best of Spanish food, drinks and culture from world-famous Chef José Andrés and the Adría Brothers,” the Mercado has 3 sit-down restaurants and around 18 kiosks and bars offering everything from cheese to churros.

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