If you live near enough to NYC there are more than a few things to check out as far as Family Consumer Professional Development is concerned. My favorite is taking a tour of the French Culinary Institute (462 Broadway New York, NY 10013-2618). The French Culinary Institute is where Bobby Flay went to school which is neat in itself. The staff there are really personable and it is a great tour seeing their students in action through glass windows that allow for easy viewing of the kitchens. I happen to go on days when they were making wedding cakes and had chocolate sculptures on display. I have been twice, once to see the school so I could recommend certain students to go there and the second time I brought some of my students for a tour. The school is a culinary school not academic and culinary like Johnson and Wales so it appeals to a different type of student. They also offer one day classes to the public that could be professional development in itself. I think I am going to take one in chocolate or sugar flowers!
My second favorite place to visit is the Copper Hewitt Museum (2 East 91st Street New York, NY 10128) which had a felting exhibit. Its exhibits change frequently but they all seem to be F.A.C.S related: fashioning felt, interior design, children’s wall paper, design and tools for the table, stair case masterpieces, Asian Housing Crisis, etc. The museum costs $15 a person and is actually the old Andrew Carnegie Mansion so you get a two for one- to see the exhibits and the beautiful historical mansion. Check them out at: http://cooperhewitt.org
Of course there is also the fashion district that has a ton of cool fabric and notion stores. Imagine a two story building filled from top to bottom with buttons- breath taking! Along with fashion design you would be remiss to not visit the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) (seventh ave at 27th street). They have an on going free small museum exhibit but if your an educator who wants to recommend the school to students sign up for a tour. You can book a tour through admissions and you actually get to see the classrooms and students working. My favorite part of the tour were the looms where students could design and make their own knit fabrics.