Last weekend I promised Robby and my niece Tiffany that I would take them to New York City this Friday (today) to see the tree at Rockefeller Center. They were so excited all week, grinning ear to ear and utilizing their very best behavior for fear of having the trip yanked away. We never anticipated that it would be the misbehavior of others that would thwart our Big Apple adventure.
Upon reflection, and after discussing the situation with family and friends, we decided that today is not the appropriate time to schlep some wide-eyed youngsters into the city. The protests, although peaceful at the moment, could change tone without notice. I really don't want to put my son and niece in their path should it become destructive. Although I knew that they would be disappointed, my need to keep them safe superseded their pleas.
I know that they felt deflated because I felt just as disappointed that our great adventure was postponed. I had wonderful visions of peeking into the store windows, running through the revolving doors like Buddy the Elf, and watching the cousins ice skate in a quintessential holiday moment. The fact that my vision had been marred by protests was starting to drain my festive spirit.
I decided to try to salvage the weekend and quickly began to brainstorm other options. A quick internet search led me to the perfect Plan B. Today we're heading to the Baltimore Aquarium where they happen to be kicking off their Christmas season. We'll see the aquatic life (Robby tends to run past the fish in his zeal to get to the turtle tanks) and participate in a few animal encounters. That is certainly enough to satisfy my little animal lover.
But of course I have more surprises up my sleeve. Right before lunch, we will see an IMAX presentation of the Polar Express (I'm assuming a modified version of the movie since it is only 45 minutes) which, according to the internet, will end by elves passing out cookies and hot chocolate to the audience members. We will then be ushered out of the auditorium into Santa's lounge where we will enjoy more cookies and time alone with the Jolly one. I know that the kids will be absolutely over-the-moon with this surprise.
After our allotted 25 minutes with Santa expires, I'm going to treat the pair to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory (Robby's very favorite restaurant). I read that a pop-up holiday market has been set up along the water which I think they will enjoy exploring. According to the website, many of the stores have elaborate window displays for the holidays.
I realize that it is Baltimore and not New York City, but I think that the cousins will have a great time. My goal was to create a wonderfully festive and fun experience. Hopefully this will fit the bill!