Five Date Ideas in NYC (One per Borough!)

UrbanSitter logoTo celebrate the launch of UrbanSitter in NYC, we’ve come up with a list of five date ideas, one per borough. From Manhattan and Brooklyn to The Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island — history, culture, great food, fashion, and all-around amazing-ness abound, so it’s okay to leave the kids with a sitter and treat yourself to a date once in awhile!

Top of the Standard

The Boom Boom Room or Top of the Standard (no one’s quite sure of the true name…the mystery adds to the allure) is a really gorgeous spot to have a sunset cocktail (or two or three). Most people think of this little oasis as an impenetrable hot spot where only celebs dare go. But it opens to the public from 5:30-8:30 each night (barring private events), and offers sprawling views of the Hudson River on one side, city sights on the other, a gold baby grand piano and waitresses who look as though they were plucked from the set of Mad Men. Sip to your heart’s content and nibble on appetizers.

Char No. 4

A semi-new hot spot in Cobble Hill, Char No. 4 is a delectable way to have your whiskey and your southern fare, too. Named for the process of heating the oak to make bourbon barrels (No. 4 is the deepest or most charred), the restaurant is a kind of whiskey oasis where even the pickiest of drinkers is sure to find a bourbon she likes. But don’t despair–if whiskey just isn’t your style, wine is offered, too. Be sure to try the lamb pastrami, crispy cheese curds, and chile-marinated shrimp with hominy grits. You’ll end the night full and happy, and vow to come back for more. Brunch with the kids?

Spa Castle

Queens is THE borough for the diverse and interesting cultural experiences. Take advantage by starting your date with a soak at the Spa Castle in Whitestone Queens. This spa super center includes three outdoor heated pools, Japanese Hinoki bath, and swim up bar that serves cocktails. Afterwards, enjoy a casual bite at the Flushing Food Mall at Xian Famous Foods. Anthony Bourdain swears by the famous lamb burger. It will feel like you have left the country.

The Bronx
The New York Botanical Garden

The Bronx is home to the sprawling New York Botanical Garden, a 120-year old monument to plant conservation and research. The Orchid Show, now through April, opens up Saturday evenings for special events with live music and cocktails — flowers come included with this date! Return in the daylight with the kids for the Children’s Gardening Program offered throughout the year.

Staten Island
Beso Restaurant

For brunch or dinner, Beso Restaurant is an intimate spot with flavor and romance to spare. Traditional Tapas is their specialty and you won’t be disappointed with the Valencian paella, Beso chicken, and sopaipillas — an amazing Spanish dessert made of fried pastry topped with vanilla ice cream and spicy caramel-espresso sauce. The ambiance is lovely (if crowed — reservations are hard to come by) with a fireplace, hand-painted murals on the walls, and a warm vibe that is sure to give you the feeling of being far, far away…if only for the evening.

Now that UrbanSitter is available in NYC, you’ll be able to find babysitter conveniently online! The sooner you log on, the sooner you’ll be out enjoying yourself.

Top Ten Tahoe Date Ideas

lake tahoeWhen you find yourself on a family trip to Tahoe, after a few days, your “vacation mom” self is not quite the laid-back, relaxed, happy self you’d like to be. Sometimes you just need a break.

Book a sitter and try our Top 10 Tahoe Date Ideas for a much-needed hiatus.

10. Hula-Mud Pie at Sunnyside. Who can resist this precipice of deliciousness: cocoa cookie crust, macadamia nut ice cream, fudge topping, with whipped cream on the very peak. Go for dinner or just pop in for dessert — Sunnyside is beautiful, whatever the season. In summer, sit outside and enjoy an amazing sunset. In winter, the cozy dining room makes for a very romantic dinner for two.

9. For something different, book a daytime date. Get sandwiches at PDQ in Homewood (6890 West Lake Blvd.) and take them up to the summit of Eagle Falls. PDQ sandwiches have a sort of cult-like following, so the line can be long, but it’s worth it! And, the Eagle Falls hike is not strenuous, but offers enough incline to get your heart racing before you settle in to enjoy the view and eat lunch. Park at highway 89 across from Emerald Bay.

8. Your date doesn’t have to be complicated. Head to Fanny Bridge at the crux of Hwy. 89 in Tahoe City. How did it get its name? I’ll let you decide as you hang over the side to check out all the big fish and rushing water. Then, get a table at The Bridgetender (65 West Lake Blvd.) and enjoy one of Tahoe’s best burgers while taking in great apres-ski /rafting people watching.

7. Historic Truckee can be the perfect afternoon escape. Go early enough to peruse the quaint shops and old-town sights. Then, stay for dinner and a drink at Pianeta Restaurant, a stellar Italian restaurant that offers delectable food and a great wine list.

6. It might be obvious, but the Gondola at Heavenly is still one of Tahoe’s gems. Going without the kids can feel like a true escape. Start at the base, where you can shop in Heavenly Village and grab a coffee or lunch before getting on the gondola. Revel in the pure quiet as you climb up and up and take in the view. You can get out half-way up to take photos, and once you get to the very top, enjoy a moment of serenity when you realize just why that long drive to Tahoe is worth it. It’s truly breathtaking.

5. Pretend you’re in college again and head to Chambers Landing Bar and Grill for some punch and people watching. This one definitely works better in Summer, but you can’t beat the throngs of beach bodies, budding romances, and children’s cries of joy when they catch a crab or two with a homemade pole and bait.

4. For some real fun, go someplace where you’re guaranteed not to see anybody under 21 — a casino. The Hyatt Regency in Incline Village  has a great restaurant, the Lone Eagle Grill, where you can dine and enjoy the lake view before heading in to give your luck a try. The casino is actually pretty classy if you can handle the wafts of cigarette smoke and desperation. Craps or slots, you’re guaranteed to leave with at least a good story, if not a windfall.

3. If you’re the active type, rent bicycles at one of the many rental shops dotted along the lake (Olympic, Tahoe Bike & Ski, etc.) and head out for an adventure. You can ride around the whole lake — most likely a 4-6 hour ride for most non-pros. Or, keep it local and ride along West Lake Blvd. or South Shore. Be sure to end with a hearty lunch or picnic in order to connect and bond over your awesome physical achievement.

2. Dinner at Christy Hill is some of Tahoe’s finest. Located in Tahoe City, Christy Hill is a small restaurant (note: make reservations), which makes for a very customized, romantic experience. Recently written up by The New York Times and Bon Appetit, it’s sure to meet (or exceed) your standards. And a traditional date can sometimes be the best kind.

1. How about this for a change-up? Tell your sitter to take the children OUT of the house or hotel room and take advantage of being home alone. A sitter can easily haul everybody down to the beach and grab an early dinner at West Side Pizza or Rosie’s. Don’t forget to give her a specific time to be home. Meanwhile, you and your hubby can have a cocktail, enjoy each other’s company while cooking, or even take a walk or watch a movie. There are real joys in being somewhere familiar without the interruption of the kids’ demands.

Video: Sh*t Urban Moms Say


Okay, we’ve all seen Sh*t Girls Say, the “original.” Then came Sh*t New Yorkers Say, Sh*t Nobody Says, and even Sh*t Silicon Valley Says. Oh, and a few less PC titles that we probably shouldn’t mention here.

We’ve got our own tribute to a very special breed of moms we like to call “Urban Moms.” These city dwellers are just like everybody else — they go through their daily routines, at times facing challenges, victories, and quiet moments to themselves.

They also say some pretty funny sh*t.

– The no-so-serious filmmakers at UrbanSitter

Top 10 Tips: Visiting Sonoma with the Kids

Wine country vacation WITH the kids? Yes, it can be done! Here are UrbanSitter’s top 10 travel tips for visiting California’s beautiful Sonoma Valley with the family.

1. On the way into town, visit Traintown with the kids. Located one mile south of the Plaza in Sonoma, Traintown features a quarter-scale railroad. Each train ride lasts 20 minutes and makes a stop in Lakeview, a miniature town with petting zoo.

2. Check into The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, a luxurious yet kid-friendly hotel with large rooms and mini suites, kid menus, and an outdoor swimming pool. Or, try the moderately priced Best Western Sonoma Valley Inn, which also has a pool and cribs by request.

3. Hire a babysitter for the afternoon and head out to taste fabulous wines at tucked away vineyards: Gundlach Bundschu and Bartholomew Park.

4. Then, indulge in an early dinner at The Girl and the Fig near the Sonoma Square. Taste from an award-winning wine list, seasonal local menu, and relax outdoors on the patio.

5. Pack lots of snacks and equally fun beverages for the kids to enjoy (juice boxes). If you run out, the historic Dry Creek General Store is a fun place to stock up.

6. If bringing the kids along to a winery, choose a kid-friendly location with lots of activities. At Francis Ford Coppola Winery, kids can check out the movie memorabilia, play bocce ball, or even swim at the pool.

7. Sneak in a little education. That’s right, wine country is a wonderful place for kids to learn about farming. Just take them for a ride on the Benziger Family Winery’s vineyard tractor-powered tram to learn about what it means to be green.

8. Grab a set of shatterproof recyclable wine glasses to ward off potential accidents and spills at your picnic.

9. Go on a safari! Believe it or not, wine country is also home to an African safari park called Safari West with roaming cheetahs, zebras, giraffes and more! You and the kids can observe safely from your open-hatch 4×4.

10. Head outdoors for a hike at Shiloh Ranch Park just off of 101. The easy, 3.7-mile loop trail is flat and not very crowded, plus there are picnic areas, restrooms and parking.

Did we mention UrbanSitter is now in Sonoma and Napa?  It’s easier than ever to find & book a sitter you trust — even for a vacation in wine country!