There’s something inherently exciting about fire engines, we can never resist waving to firefighters as they pass us. Quite often they wave back.
The girls were recently invited to a birthday party at the New York City Fire Museum, in Manhattan’s Hudson Square district, just west of SoHo. It was brilliant. There was cake, there were balloons, and there were firemen. The Museum has a large room perfect to rent out for parties, which includes a trip round the exhibits, a fire safety video, and various themed crafts like colouring in a 3D paper fire engine.
A volunteer female fire fighter gave a talk, and let the kids try on real helmets and (remarkably heavy) jackets. “Drop and roll!” has become a frequent phrase in the girls’ games at home now. Living on the 38th floor of a sky scraper, fire safety is pretty crucial, as there’s no way we could escape out the window (assuming we could even get them open).
We really enjoyed wandering slowly round the museum, which is tiny and therefore perfectly manageable for young kids with short attention spans. Exhibits showed the evolution of firefighting, from buckets from the time when New York was called New Amsterdam, through to modern techniques. As you might expect, there was a lot of space given over to 9/11, including a special memorial to the 343 members of the FDNY who died that day.
The girls were fascinated by the older fire engines, complete with life size model horses. It’s hard for them to get their heads around the concept of horse drawn vehicles – my own grandfather could remember the arrival of motorcars in Wales, which I remember baffling the four year old me.
Tips if you’re planning your own FDNY Museum trip:
- The museum is v small, so it’s perfect for young kids with short attention spans
- It’s at 278 Spring Street, Manhattan, between Hudson and Varick Streets
- Open 7 days a week, 10am-5pm
- Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for kids age 3-12
This week’s Highs & Lows:
- The weather. I know I put this as a high last week too, but really this is New York at its best. The trees on the streets have turned the most glorious bright yellow, which is the exact shade of the iconic New York cabs, school buses and painted street lines. There have been really beautiful sunsets lately too.
- Uttering one of my less intelligent remarks last weekend. On looking at the route map for the NY Marathon, which starts at Staten Island, goes up through Brooklyn, over the bridge and up Manhattan to the Bronx and back down to Central Park, I exclaimed “But that’s miles!” Immediately regretted it, as C gravely looked at me and said “Yes, dear, twenty six miles.”