Head outdoors this holiday season!
Audubon Society: While it’s true that many birds head south for the winter, plenty are NYC lifers! The Audubon Society, which has been helping to conserve birds and their habitats in NYC for over 40 years, is a great place to get active in the local outdoors and nature conservancy community. The Audubon Society hosts over 200 education programs a year, including bird outings, classes, and volunteer events, among others…even in the winter! REIT has worked with them in many iterations, including designing their new logo and website, which you can check out here.
Little Island: Rain or shine, Little Island is one of my favorite public parks in the city! A quick 10 minute walk from my apartment, this park offers incredible waterfront and city views, textured greenery and seasonal gardens, and a dynamic, architectural layout that sparks my creativity. The park is free between the hours of 6am-9pm (winter hours) and in the summertime hosts music and theater performances.
Gansevoort Peninsula: Although it’s not yet beach season, Manhattan has something to celebrate come the warmer months — Gansevoort Peninsula, Manhattan’s first public beach opened to the public just this fall! With sand, a salt marsh, access to the Hudson River, and more, this park offers an oasis from the hustle and bustle of the city. And for my fellow art fans, the beach features Day’s End, a public art installation by David Hammons donated to Hudson River Park by the Whitney Museum of American Art.
If now's not the time to indulge...
I'm not sure what time will be!
Eat2explore: Treat yourself and your children to the only award-winning experiential cooking kit designed to bring cultural education alive through the exploration of world cuisines! I’ve recently gotten into cooking with my family and I absolutely love it — any way to make this easier is a win in my book. Plus, the founder of eat2explore, Rowena Scher, is a fellow Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) member, a fellow female founder, and previous EONY Mentorship Chair. I love to support my fellow entrepreneurs whenever I can! Learn more about the similarities between Rowena and me here.
Mil Gustos: Do you enjoy Mexican? Greek? Latin fare? Chicken wings? Salads? Look no further than Mil Gustos, the parent company of greatly loved delivery-only kitchens and well-known sit-down restaurants Miti Miti, Medusa Greek Taverna, Bogota Latin Bistro, Dirty Birdy Wings, and Fork n’ Greens. Your taste buds will thank you! Mil Gustos is an LGBTQIA+ and minority-owned business founded by George Constantinou, who also happens to be an EO member and good friend! What’s more, REIT had a hand in redesigning their brand logo and delivery-only kitchen concepts — check out our work here.
Big Gay Ice Cream: If you’re like me, there’s always room for ice cream. And if you haven’t checked out Big Gay Ice Cream yet, it’s about time! Not only do they have delicious ice cream flavors and unique treats, but they also offer catering and ice cream trucks for parties. And they may or may not be launching another sweet treat that REIT had a hand in designing…soon! Check our our conversation with managing partner Jon Chapski to learn more.
What are you waiting for?! Get out there!
Union Square Holiday Market: One of my favorite activities when the weather gets cold is checking out the Union Square Holiday Market. They have one-of-a-kind gifts, art, and killer food! One of my favorite mac-and-cheese spots is a vendor every year. This year the market boasts over 150+ local vendors! Not sure where to start? The market offers a holiday gift guide with an interactive map (scroll to the bottom of the page) to get the wheels turning. I recommend getting there early…it gets busy!
Balloon Museum: The Balloon Museum, founded in Italy in 2020 and winner of the World Best Proprietary Format 2022, is an experience for the senses. Artwork and installations from fourteen international artists create an original concept and interactive experience that is truly memorable for adults and kids alike!
Royal Palms Brooklyn: Royal Palms isn’t your typical bar; it literally brings fun and games into play. With 10 floor shuffleboard courts, 8 group cabana booths, 19 rotating food trucks, and too many delicious drinks to count, this is a spot to take all of your out-of-town friends. And did I mention it’s cute? They pulled out all the stops for this bar!
There's no time like the present to give yourself
the gift of presence.
Other Parents Like Me (OPLM): The holidays are often a time when family is top of mind. If you have a child experiencing mental health challenges, it’s important to take care of yourself, too. Other Parents Like Me (OPLM) is an online platform and virtual community supporting parents around the nation with access and support as they move from crisis to healing. I am one of these parents, which is why I cofounded OPLM with another parent like me, Casie Fariello. Learn more about our journey building this business here.
Sky Ting Yoga Studio: Sky Ting, located in Chinatown, blends Katonah yoga, pranayama practices, Vinyasa and Hatha yoga, and Taoist teachings to create a memorable yoga experience. With many teachers to choose from, and a virtual platform for those who prefer to practice at home, the studio offers many ways to support your physical and mental health this holiday season.
GOOD MOVE: GOOD MOVE is a dance and mindful fitness studio located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Founded by Jules Bakshi, professional dancer and choreographer, GOOD MOVE makes dancing accessible, even for those of us for whom movement doesn’t come easily! From dance and pilates classes, to workshops and trainings, this is a great way to mindfully connect mind and body…or a great gift for someone who may benefit from something like this.
ARTS & CRAFTS
C'mon, try your hand at it!
Muse Paintbar: This paint & sip is located right in my neighborhood, but there are many locations along the east coast! With classes almost every evening and different options to pick and choose from, this is a great gift or experience to flex your creative muscles. Plus, Muse Paintbar is founded by another female entrepreneur, which I am all for!
Knitty City: A little birdy told me that knitting is all the rage…and if it has staying power in New York, I believe it! Knitty City, located on the Upper West Side and founded in 2006 by a female entrepreneur by the name of Pearl, offers knitting and crochet classes, and a wide selection of yarns for any home project. From Men’s Night to Mending Circles, to WiPs Wednesdays, Knitty City has plenty of events and activities to get into the knitting craze.
Mud Matters: Try your hand at throwing on the wheel or create handbuilt pieces with friends and family. The studio offers intro classes, screenprinting workshops, and even longer-form classes for budding ceramicists.