Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Stores that Offer More than Shopping

New York is one of the best shopping destinations on earth. Whether you're a tourist or are staycationing, you're bound to hit the stores this holiday season. Even if you have your kids in tow, there are lots places you can shop and have loads of fun without even spending a ton of money. Here is a list of some of our favorites:



H&M Time Square
Sure, almost every mall in America has an H&M but how many of these retailers offer a multi-media runway? When you walk into the mega-store head, you need to the right up the stairs to the second floor. There you will be greeted by a runway lit with multi-colored LEDs, a live DJ and a working camera. I personally like to give the kids a $20 shopping budget and allow them to model their creations. After strutting your stuff, your image will be displayed on a large flat panel screen in the store and emailed to your account to share with friends.

Saks Fifth Avenue's Beauty on Five
Walking around the stores for hours can be tiring. You can easily add a bit of energy and beauty to your day if you head to the fifth floor of Saks. Here you will find several beauty concessions. A brow bar finished by Blink Brow Bar and makeovers offered by Trish McEvoy. Our favorite, however, is the Paint Worskshop by Nails Inc. Ladies (and men) can make an appointment (212-940-4251) or walk up to get an entire assortment of manicures, ranging from gel to ornate nail art. The basic express mani is reasonably priced at $18 and the 'Material Girl' manicure is $30 and comes with a bottle of polish, which would usually cost $14 alone.

Toys R Us Times Square
Shopping at Toys R Us should be enough stimulation for a child but toys in a toy store isn't enough when you're in Times Square. The giant ferris wheel is destination worthy on it's own. The 60-foot centerpiece features 14 custom gondolas, including a Barbie car and an M&Ms boat. The line could be long at this time of year but you are certain to get a nomination for Mother of the Year if you make this an after school playdate. For just $5 a person, you can't go wrong.

The Shops at the Plaza
Great food, good shopping, salons and even a place for the kids to play! The Plaza food hall is a concept of Todd English and is so much more than your average food court. There is an assortment of artisan pizzas, burgers, seafood and, yes, caviar. We must say, the food is very good, and much better than most would expect. The shopping isn't exactly stellar but the Douglas Hannant boutique is worth a browse and the men's boutique, Angelo Galassois, is quite decadent. Beauty buffs can also indulge in the Warren-Tricomi Salon. Regardless of whether you're with a child, you have to go to Eloise at the Plaza. There is a place for children to host their own tea parties, they can play dress up in 'Eloise's closet' and send the NY enigma notes. That girl is always busy, busy, busy.

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