Cozy Up With Walmart’s Hottest Toys This Fall

As summer comes to a close and the first brisk gusts of wind swirl through the towering New York City skyscrapers, we pull out our coziest flannel pajamas from storage and huddle under our fleece throw blankets. We guzzle down warm apple cider and eat oven-baked cookies, delighting in the splendor of the upcoming holiday season. At this time of year, New York City kids start spending more time indoors as the temperatures outside continue to plummet. And as their afternoons at the playground begin to dwindle, parents scramble to find this season’s best toys in desperate attempts to keep their children entertained within the confines of their small NYC apartments. But with a market super saturated with toys and children’s items, it can be overwhelming to sift through all the options. I’m so thrilled to have partnered with Walmart, America’s Best Toy Shop, to share with you this Fall’s newest and most highly coveted toys.

Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Popcorn Party Play Food Set with 6 Non-Toxic Play-Doh Cans

I’ve never seen more excitement in Evan’s eyes than when I presented him with this Play-Doh Popcorn Play Set. He loved twisting the crank, watching the “popcorn” fall into the basket below, and utilizing his imagination to mold Play-Doh Oreos and chocolate candies. Like most Kindergartener’s, he loves the feeling of Play-Doh between his fingers and was so enthusiastic about creating these make-believe tasty morsels.

PLAYMOBIL Park Playground

When frigid temperatures prohibit trips to the playground, why not bring the playground to your kids?! Both Evan and Chloe loved using the figurines in the PLAYMOBIL Park Playground to re-enact their favorite playground activities, even including going down the slide head first. It can be difficult to find toys that interest both a 3-year-old and 5-year-old, but this toy kept them both engaged and encouraged them to play alongside each other.

Some of my other favorites at Walmart are as follows:

VTech Myla the Magical Unicorn Electronic Pet

Because what little girls these days are not fascinated with unicorns? Children can dip Myla’s magic brush into the butterfly palette to choose a color and then use it to paint her eyes, wings and horn a variety of colors. This is perfect for children who are obsessed with Mommy’s makeup and gives them the opportunity to practice mixing colors. I just added this Myla the Magical Unicorn to Chloe’s wish list and you should too!

PLAYMOBIL Noah’s Ark

I love toys that promote learning, which is why I was initially drawn to this toy.  As kids guide the animals up the ramp two by two and onto the floating vessel, it becomes the perfect opportunity to introduce them to the beautiful biblical story behind the toy. And get this – the PLAYMOBIL Noah’s Ark actually floats so it can even be used during bath time! 

LEGO Friends Dolphins Rescue Mission 41378 Building Kit with Submarine

I also love toys that bring awareness to global issues and send positive messages to our youth. When playing with the LEGO Friends Dolphin Rescue Mission Building Kit with Submarine, children will embark on a mission to rescue a trapped dolphin and find the hidden treasure throughout their underwater adventure! I just love how this toy teaches our children about the importance of caring for animals.

Little Tikes 2-in-1 Food Truck Play Kitchen with 20+ Accessories

In a city where food trucks line the avenues, the Little Tikes Food Truck Play Kitchen encourages role-playing and gives children hands-on experience serving up the tastiest treats. I love that it fosters interactive play and encourages children to play together. Even with their relatively short attentions spans, I can easily see this providing hours of entertainment for my kids this Fall.

LINCOLN LOGS Classic Farmhouse

Never has another toy made me feel so nostalgic about my own childhood than the Lincoln Logs Classic Farmhouse. This toy encourages kids to think outside the box to create structures of all shapes and sizes and even introduces the concepts of spatial awareness and problem solving. I’m always amazed at how focused my children suddenly become when they’re building and creating! 

LEGO Architecture Empire State Building 21046 Model Skyscraper Building Kit

My children are endlessly fascinated by the Empire State Building and other iconic landmarks of NYC that they see so frequently while growing up in this heaping metropolis. The prospect of constructing the LEGO Architecture Empire State Building Kit may seem overwhelming at first, but reinforces the importance of patience and working together to finish a task. Children will feel so proud when it’s complete!

 

Here’s the Scoop: Evan’s Fro-yo-licious Birthday Celebration

The hours may be long, but the days are most definitely short. I can hardly believe that my sweet boy is turning FIVE! To celebrate Evan’s milestone birthday, it was only fitting that we throw him a party that would be sweet, sugar-coated and oh-so-sticky, just like him. For as long as I can remember, we’ve been frequenting our favorite neighborhood dessert destination, 16 Handles, where we love watching both Evan and Chloe revel in the most decadent sweet treats. It was a no-brainer that this was the perfect venue to host a birthday party that would be most memorable and personally meaningful for him.

There’s something about frozen yogurt that bridges the gap between childhood and adulthood. It’s a delicious indulgence that neither young nor old can resist. So I knew that both Evan’s friends and their parents would be elated to attend his sweet celebration at 16 Handles, where they boast 16 fro-yo flavors and a toppings bar that knows no bounds. Nothing makes me feel like a kid again quite like visiting my favorite fro-yo destination!

The 16 Handles location on 64th St. And 1st Avenue proved to be the perfect space to accommodate our party. The oversized party rooms facilitated easy transitions from one activity to the next and kept all of our guests feeling comfortable. A long table in their party room comfortably sat 20+ kids with plenty of standing room for adults. And adjacent to that is another area where we set up a shark themed table complete with food, drinks, party favors and other party paraphernalia.

When the entertainer arrived we shuffled the kids into yet another room lined with benches, which is the ideal space for watching any kind of entertainment.

Making birthday parties for my kids has always been a source of anxiety for me, but the staff at 16 Handles succeeded in making Evan’s birthday party a stress-free experience. They were so incredibly helpful to ensure that the party ran smoothly and executed all of the details with ease. It was clear that their staff members are very experienced in hosting special events and private parties. They maintained composure and organization even in the presence of 20+ children with balloon swords on sugar-highs.

It filled us with so much joy to watch Evan and his pals devour more fro-yo flavor and topping combinations than you can ever possibly imagine. Cookie dough pieces, cheesecake bites, and rainbow cookies, oh my! A veritable heaven for those with even the most discerning sweet tooth. 16 Handles even offers sugar-free fro-yo and fresh fruit toppings for those who’d rather not have sugar coursing through their veins.

As the party winded down, I couldn’t help but marvel at how my baby boy has blossomed into the sweetest, most nurturing soul I have ever known. Being Evan’s mommy (and Chloe’s too!) continues to be the greatest privilege in my life. Thank you, 16 Handles for making this birthday a sweet celebration we will all remember.

With locations all over New York City and the New York metropolitan area, 16 Handles is the perfect venue for your child’s next birthday party. Click here to start planning your own!