Chris Kojima, a partner at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., watched his elder son learn how to make a sailor’s knot.
Boaz Weinstein, founder of Saba Capital Management LP, carried his youngest girl to meet a mermaid princess.
And Tim Brien, president at Cliffside Capital, worked on a coral reef made of paper plates with his son Tristan.
Financier dads bonded with their little ones yesterday at the New York Public Library family benefit, which offered ocean adventures on a weekend day that some investment banks have recently urged employees to take off.
“Dads don’t have as many opportunities,” Slava Leykind said of the preponderance of fathers at play during the event. The director at Sawaya Segalas & Co. picked up the stuffed pink mobile phone his daughter Charlotte had dropped. “She makes a lot of calls.”
A similar scene played out Saturday at the New-York Historical Society family benefit, as dads joined their children to stitch up a Union soldier’s leg, mint currency with the help of Alexander Hamilton, and make uniforms for the players in the first baseball game ever.
“It’s unique for kids to be able to come and see, feel and touch history,” said Frank Chiodi of Cornerstone Macro. His younger daughter wore a sash she’d made in an area devoted to the suffragettes. “Did Papa ever boss you around?” she asked her mom, Maria Chiodi, a derivatives lawyer.
Moms were on hand to answer the tough questions. Did learning about history make Tina Fey a better comedian?
“Learning about anything makes you a better comedian,” Fey replied, before playing with blocks with her daughter in the DiMenna Children’s History Museum at the Historical Society. Hedge-fund manager Joseph DiMenna of Zweig-DiMenna Associates LLC and his wife, Diana, gave the naming gift for the museum and were the primary hosts.
Both events drew more than 500 guests each. The New-York Historical Society raised almost $250,000, offering children’s tickets at $75 and adult tickets at $150. The New York Public Library raised $267,000, with children’s tickets priced at $100 and adults at $150.
“Some parties are so boring, so fancy schmancy,” said Emma Nikov, 9, who attended the Historical Society benefit with her dad, Svetoslav Nikov of Cyrus Capital Partners LP. “I like this party because there are lots of activities.”
Perhaps that’s why the men liked these parties too: there was plenty for grownups to do, from discussing the colors in a Van Gogh to making submarines out of plastic bottles to watching a Civil War doctor remove bullets from bloodied legs in the hospital tent.
Dads also served as stylists (“Let me see your teeth, you’re a shark,” said attorney Michael Beys before taking a photo), donned Gilded Age garb to pose for family portraits, and monitored sugar intake.
“We had a deal, only two,” said Jonathan Eilian, formerly of Starwood Capital, warning his daughter not to take a third nautical-themed, graham-cracker-and-Goldfish-encrusted marshmallow pop at the library party.
The next big family benefit is the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Stone by Stone party, which has an architecture theme and will offer a 3D printing demonstration and lessons on the construction of stained glass and castles. Adult tickets are $175, children’s are $85.
“It is more of a mommy scene,” said Julie Macklowe, chief executive officer of Vbeaute and a member of the benefit committee. It’s scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.