Big Apple Fun Family Destinations by Robin Gorman Newman


Enter into the world of spies and the tricks of their trade with the first-ever public exhibition of technology from the CIA, the FBI, the NRO, and espionage expert and historian H. Keith Melton.

At “SPY: The Secret World of Espionage,” visitors receive an unprecedented glimpse at real gadgets and artifacts used by the world’s most prominent intelligence agencies.  You hear stories from the KGB, learn about invisible ink and disguise creation, and find out about things like a “Robotic Catfish” and more.

My husband, son and I visited this exhibit, and found it quite interesting.  My son, age 9, would have liked it to be a bit more interactive, but he was quite enthralled by all the hidden spy tools…..everything from cameras to heels of shoes….etc.   We all learned a lot, and it’s a cool exhibit that, if the subject interests you, is defnitely worth a visit. 

“SPY: The Secret World of Espionage” runs for a limited time at Discovery Times Square (44th St. between Seventh and Eighth Avenues in NYC). For tickets, hours, and other information  visit or call 866.987.9692.



This holiday season, Build-A-Bear Workshop® has cuddly gifts for everyone’s wish list including a new collection of furry creatures with scented accessories, classic Christmas characters, gifts that give back and unique stocking stuffers.

My son adores german shephards, so this one was right up his alley.  It comes dressed in a Red & White Coat, Black Canvas High-Tops, Red Skates, Red Stripes & Dots Leash & Collar and Santa Hat.  Build-A-Bear Workshop donate s$1 from the sale of this Bearemy’s Kennel Pals® friend to the Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation to help real animals.

SPECIAL OFFERS: For a limited time only you can get a free Cookbook & Cookie Cutter Kit with a purchase of $30 or more. While quantities last, you also get three cookie cutters, 10 recipes and customizable recipe pages. Share your favorite holiday stories by visiting

And starting December 26, get a free 2013 calendar with any purchase while quantities last. This calendar features their Huggable Heroes, remarkable kids who are doing their part with heart and making a very big difference in their local and global communities.

In NYC, Build a Bear is located at…….565 Fifth Avenue, between 47-48th Streets.  Your child’s eyes will pop out if you take them!


About Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.
Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. There are more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide. Founded in St. Louis in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop is the leader in interactive retail. Brands include make-your-own Major League Baseball® mascot in-stadium locations, and Build-A-Dino® stores. Visit™. 


SMUSH: “The NY Deli of Desserts”

When I heard about Smush, I knew it was a must visit for my family.  Loved the novelty of the concept.

There are lots of choices….felt a bit overwhelming at first…..but one of the owners explained how it worked…..and we didn’t lose any time in choosing our decadent dessert sandwich.  Since it was a chilly day, we opted for a “melt”….a warmed up sandwich.  My son and I chose two cookies, which looked like and functioned as the bread slices.  We had chocolate chip and brownie.  The filler was milk chocolate and chocolate mint fudge slices.  The condiment was marshmallow. It was rich and gooey and finger licking good!

 Nutella, peanut butter, and caramel are other spread choices.  As fillings, you can also get fruit, ice cream…and there are a multitude of fudge choices. And, other cool cookie options like Red Velvet and French Toast.

It’s a cozy place with limited seating.  Sandwiches are $5.95 plus tax.  Visit  It’s at 28 West 40th Street, between 5 – 6th Avenues.

Smush is across the street from Bryant Park….while you’re there….check out the lovely ice skating rink in the Park and the many boutique booths set up for the holiday season, selling everything from food and beverages to handmade objects, clothing, gift items, and more.




Note: Thanks to the venues for arranging visits and samples.


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