Event: AWNY Mums’ Christmas Dinner

Join us in celebrating Christmas in New York with fellow Aussie Mums over a fabulous dinner at Coarse NYC in the West Village.

New restaurant Coarse will surprise us with a delicious spontaneous chef’s tasting meal with wine pairings, highlighting great seasonal produce for just $49 (plus tax and tip)!

Event Details:
Date: Monday December 11th
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Coarse NYC, 306 West 13 th Street, New York
Cost: $49 plus tax and tip
RSVP: Please RSVP as soon as possible, via the event on the Australian Mums and Dads in New York Facebook group or by emailing AWNY.

Hope to see you all for a fun filled night celebrating Christmas in NYC with great food, wine and Aussie company!

AWNY Mums and Dads Update, October 2017

By Helen McWilliam

This Month

I have two things to tell you about this month. The first is something every parent must get—the IDNYC. And the second is a recap of our October event, the superb Sunday supper at Burke and Wills.


Procrastination is what I do best.  At least 10 people during my time here have told me how brilliant the IDNYC is and how easy it is to apply for.  Finally after two years here, I now have my IDNYC.  It’s actually a very straightforward process:

  1. Fill out an application online http://www1.nyc.gov/site/idnyc/index.page
  2. Make an appointment online. You can choose one of many locations dotted throughout the city.
  3. Collect your ID and proof of residency. There’s an online document calculator, which helps in the process.
  4. Show up on time for your appointment. Mine was done in 25 minutes and your IDNYC generally arrives in the post within two weeks.  Job done.

Additionally my appointment was at a very kid-friendly location, the Grand Central Library.  There’s a comprehensive list of benefits on the website but for example you get a year’s free entry to the Natural History Museum, Central Park Zoo and the Metropolitan Museum of Art which is enough value to make the appointment time worth while.  As I had it pointed out to me, the list of free memberships can also act like a bucket list for your time in NYC.


Burke and Wills Sunday Supper

What a great turnout we had for our Sunday Supper! Burke and Wills is an Australian restaurant on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. In addition to our own party of 20, quite a few of our fellow diners were (unsurprisingly) also Australian. It was a really fun night with familiar and new faces.  Thankfully the bar upstairs, The Manhattan Cricketers Club, wasn’t open, otherwise the school run on Monday would have been a challenge.

Amanda and I are always keen for venue options outside of the UWS so please let us know if you have any ideas for future functions; especially the upcoming Christmas dinner.  Either contact us through the AWNY website https://australianwomeninnewyork.org/awny-mums-bubs/ or Amanda or myself through Facebook.

Future Events

For our next events, we’re working with the producers of Women of Letters for a group booking as well as our annual Christmas party!  So please watch this space.


Maarten van den Heuvel @mvdheuvel Maarten van den Heuvel

Is it okay not to love New York City with kids?

By Helen McWilliam


What makes a person move to New York City? Bright lights, big city? For us, it was love at first sight ten years ago when we visited New York City. My now husband and I visited for 5 days and loved every second. We barely slept because we didn’t want to waste a moment. We were determined to return to live in New York one day. This dream took a back seat as we continued our every day life. We visited again for a few days as part of a longer holiday in the US. Again loving every second.

The opportunity came when I was about 3 months pregnant with our second child. We had made a happy life for ourselves in Sydney; new to us but it felt like home. As settled as we were, we didn’t feel like we could turn down the opportunity to move to New York, a city that we both loved. We negotiated for my husband to transfer 6 weeks after the baby was born. I would move to Queensland to live with my Mum whilst he moved to New York to set us up. I couldn’t wait to get to New York. I hated splitting up our family and my then 2.5 year old missed his father desperately.

I am pretty flexible and I find it easy to make conversations with strangers so I was looking forward to the challenge of forming a new network…but with a 12 week old baby? I didn’t think about how challenging that would be.

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Faces of AWNY: Katherine Bruce, AWNY Mums & Bubs Coordinator

I moved to New York with my husband Matt and our daughter Emily, who was eight months old at the time, nearly two years ago. It’s been a busy two years, with lots of highs – including the birth of our second daughter, Sophie, last Memorial Day – and some lows – hello, two of the worst NY winters on record!?!! As much as I’m looking forward to being back in Sydney with family, friends and an easier lifestyle for kids, I know there is so much I will miss about New York. In particular, the friends I’ve made through the Australian Women in New York group and the wonderful, supportive mums in our Mums & Bubs group.

So as I farewell this brilliant city, here are my top tips for making the most of NYC as a stay at home Mum with young babies.

Online Shopping

This is something I’m really going to miss as I order pretty much everything online! Groceries: FreshDirect for next day delivery, Instacart for delivery within 1-2hrs; Diapers.com for anything baby related, it usually arrives the next day; Bed Bath & Beyond will deliver anything in store within hours for a small fee; Gap, H&M, Zara for kids clothes, and all the high street department stores. So much easier than battling the busy streets of NYC with a double stroller!

Get out of New York

One of the most memorable trips we’ve done during our time in NY was a holiday in France to celebrate my 40th. We listed our apartment on Home Exchange and were inundated with offers from all over the world to swap homes. We ended up swapping with a family in Paris, who had a beautiful apartment in the 9th arrondissement. So easy with kids, huge saving on accommodation and they gave us lots of local knowledge on where to eat, parks for the kids etc.

Paris apt

View from our apartment in Paris.

We also joined Zipcar and took weekend and day trips out of NYC. There are so many beautiful towns within 1-2hrs drive of the city and Zipcar makes it easy and affordable.

Meet other Australian Mums

Every mother needs her support network and more than ever when living on the other side of the world. I met so many wonderful women through the Australian Women in New York Mums & Bubs group, including some very close friends who I will miss dearly. We have a fantastic Facebook community of Australian/Kiwi Mums in NYC who are always very generous with their advice and support for women in NYC or making the move over here.

Take Time to Chill

Finding a Sunday night restorative yoga class at Upper West Side Yoga has been my sanctuary from the noise of NYC and the intensity of looking after two small children 24/7. I look forward to this class all week!

Leave the Neighborhood

As much as I love the buzz of downtown NYC, there are fewer strollers and elevators, and more people so I usually keep to the Upper West Side during peak hours. I tend to save venturing downtown with the kids for early weekend mornings when most people without kids are still asleep or at the gym. One of our favorite things to do on a weekend morning when the weather warms up, is an early breakfast at The Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District, followed by a walk along the Highline before it gets busy. The restaurant has lots of outdoor seating and it’s always easy to get a table at 8.30/9am.


I’ve been to Women of Letters at Joe’s Pub every month since it started and this is also something I really look forward to. They bring together an eclectic group of writers, actors, musicians, and comedians, and ask them to write a letter on a theme and read it to the audience. Most of the letters are deeply personal and hilarious/heartbreaking. A highlight was seeing 80s icon Molly Ringwald!

Central Park

One of the best things about this city is Central Park. Living on the Upper West Side, it’s a short 10-15min walk from home and we spend most weekends there, outside of January-March. There are 21 playgrounds inside Central Park and I think we’ve been to pretty much all of them! So much fun for kids in the summer when they have the sprinklers on.

Date Night

So many incredible restaurants in New York… some of my favorites include Han Dynasty, Balthazar, Commerce, Gramercy Tavern, Morandi, and Meme.

AWNY Mums & Bubs December Update: holiday fun for families in New York

Coordinated by Katherine Bruce

As 2014 draws to a close, New York really goes all out for the holiday season. All the fun and sparkly lights almost make you forget how cold it’s about to get! Some of our Mums have offered some ideas for what to do over the next few weeks below – a special thanks to Lara Knight for contributing most of these.

Mums & Bubs Dinner

Don’t forget our end of year holiday party on 2 December will be at Spring Kitchen on the Upper West Side. RSVP is essential as we already have 25 Mums coming and want to make sure we have a seat for everyone! Details and RSVP here.

Christmas in New York with KidsEmily Christmas 2013

This is our second Christmas in New York. We have tickets for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and I can’t wait to check out Gingerbread Lane! Let’s hope my daughter Emily warms to Santa this year (this photo was taken at Santa Land Bloomingdales last year)… Continue reading