I am not one to bestir myself with a "shopping experience." I don't like overplayed candy stores, I am possibly the only person in the city who hates shopping at the Time Warner Center, and I buy most everything that I need from like three stores. That being said, the "family experience" store, CAMP, has made me reconsider my position. Part toy store, part themed playground, CAMP made its debut just a few months ago and has already caused quite the sensation. Now, CAMP has a new theme: cooking CAMP, and I'm so there.
CAMP is every kid's dream come true. The store itself is 10,000 square feet of space that features interactive activities, clothes and toys from top brands, but also has a disco room and its very own Milk bar. Every season CAMP changes its theme, and this summer, cooking is the name of the game. There will be a heavy emphasis on the journey of the food from the farm to the table, transforming the space into a world that explores how it is that we grow, transport, and cook all of the foods that we eat. It is the perfect place to spend an afternoon with your little ones.
There is a silo that houses a trampoline, an interactive kitchen area, and a truck with a vibrating seat that makes you feel like you're actually riding in a delivery truck. My personal favorite is a grocery store — that in true New York City fashion — has a La Croix section. (I hope they have coconut. My daughter will be highly disappointed if they don't have it.) The cafe will also be selling actual bread from Breads Bakery right here in the city, and I am told that babka will be included. Much like the coconut La Croix, it is an essential item. As everyone who has ever watched Seinfeld knows babka is amazing and makes everyone who serves it immediately a hero.
When people hear that I am raising a family in New York City, I usually get one of two responses: the first is "how do you do it?" with a sort of scared, hushed quality to the question. The second response is usually: "There must be so much cool stuff to do!" And they're absolutely right. Every once in a while I find myself shocked over the bounty of cool places and things my children have access to. But CAMP stands out even in a city completely chock-a-block with museums and parks and Coney Island oddities. It's new and novel, and thank goodness for that.
CAMP now offers a membership that grants exclusive access and other awesome bonuses. For $50 per month per family, you are able to skip the line, even at the busiest times, and your children will get a goody bag whenever a new season rolls over. There are also birthday bonuses, two free activities every day, two guest passes per month, and you'll get to see the new camp two days before the general public. But here's the kicker that's worth the price of membership — one date-night drop-off every month on top of everything else. Do you hear that? That's the sound of freedom and wine glasses clinking together.
Located at 110 Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron, it's conveniently located near all of my favorite date night spots like Eataly and the bar on top of Eataly, and the gelateria at the East entrance of Eataly. Sure, my kids are going to have a ton of fun sliding down the secret laundry chute slide, but once a month I will be sipping my Barolo by the glass and shoving pasta into my face without anyone talking to me about Fortnite.