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Respite for Parents of Young at Fall Festival

New website owners offer tent with peace and quiet, play space.

Parents escorting their eager young children around the Long Island Fall Festival this weekend can take a little break at a tent run by Toni and Rob Dickson.

The tent near the Heckscher Museum circle, offers play space, changing tables, a sectioned-off space to feed children or have a few minutes of quiet but mostly a place for parents of newborns to 5-year-olds to take a little break. It will be open Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Monday from 11 a.m. to the festival's closing.

Children will be able to play with musical instrumented loaned by Eva Regulski, co-owner, with Mara Esposito, of Not Just Art in Oyster Bay.

The Huntington couple are planning to launch HappyLittleDays.com, a website devoted to news and information of value to parents, sometime in November. As parents to 5-year-old Jackson, who is fond of whistles, and 6-month-old Max, Toni said, "Anecdotally, when we were new to the area with babies we missed a lot of things and we know parents don’t always know where to go. We’ve been pleanantly surprised by how much there is for kids," the Commack native said. Her husband is from Syosset.

In preparing the site, "We find so many hidden gems, things off the beaten path. We focus on highlighting things that are a little less commercial, things that are free or special little nooks and crannies.

"It's a chance for us to showcase things that don’t have marketing dollars behind them, maybe an unsung resource that we can give a little bit of a push," she said.

The site will favor information over forums to avoid the kind of disputes that sometimes break out online. "Wer'e trying to make it a place where people are comfortable. Everyone’s trying to do the best they can" as parents, she said.


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