Big Apple Parent December 2016

Page 1

BigAppleParent DECEMBER 2016


Staging a Holiday Classic

Behind the scenes at a local Nutcracker production

Weird Behavior Explained Why kids do the strangest things

Staycation Inspiration

Seven fun-filled itineraries for local family fun


SU M M E R GROW T H SPU RT SUMMER CAMP FOR THE ARTS Be part of Summer 2017. Priority enrollment for kids ages 4-18 ends 1/31.


Now g Enrollin r te For Win s Classe

Ask About y Holidap Cam The Little Gym helps children reach their greatest potential. From 4 months through 12 years, classes promote development and build confidence during each stage of childhood. Discover your kid’s happy place with our Introductory Experience.

The Little Gym of Scarsdale

The Little Gym of Upper West Side

The Little Gym of Upper East Side 914-722-0072 212-799-1225 212-787-1124




NYMetroParents Helping Parents Make Better Decisions


December 2016 ››



14 Upholding a Holiday Tradition A behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to put on a performance of The Nutcracker


16 Minding Their Manners It may seem quaint, but etiquette schools for kids are thriving. 18 Make Your Own Hot Cocoa Four recipes that use favorite flavor combinations 20 Kids Do the Weirdest Things Some of your child’s strangest behaviors and habits, explained by experts 40 A Staycation a Day Ideas for seven fun-filled family days around the New York metro area 48 Flu Shot 101 Four frequently asked questions




6 Editor’s Note 8 New Places, New Programs 10 Quotables 11 Voices: Pride and Fear 13 NYMP Q&A: Risa Klein, a certified nurse midwife, talks midwifery

Fun & Activities

12 Media Matters: Virtual Stocking Stuffers 12 DIY Corner: Christmas Crackers 24 Outing: Vanderbilt Museum 27 Family Activities Calendar 38 Where-To Guide: Cut Your Own Christmas Tree


Family Activities CALENDAR ››


42 44 49 49 50

Winter Break Activities #SnapShot2016 Open Houses Party Planner Advertisers’ Index

Original photo by PhotoOp NYC ( Clothing provided by Appaman (


ON THE COVER ›› 14 Staging a Holiday Classic 16 Manners & Etiquette Schools 20 Weird Behavior Explained


38 Cut Your Own Christmas Tree 40 Staycation Inspiration Visit NYMETROPARENTS.COM for family activities updated daily and more than 2,000 parenting articles!

WE KNOW THE MOMENTS… The ones that define us and give meaning to our lives. The moments that make us breathe deeply and then take our breath away… the ones when having our health makes everything possible.

This is what we’re made of. At Fidelis Care, we provide quality, affordable health coverage for children and adults of all ages and at all stages of life.

Compassion. Commitment. Community. And a mission to always care for you and the ones you love – moment by moment.

Quality health coverage. It’s Our Mission.

Estimate Costs:

It only takes a minute to view product choices and estimate costs with the Fidelis Affordable Care Advisor at

Meet with a Representative:

Call 1-888-FIDELIS to meet with a Representative or visit to find a community office close to you

1-888-FIDELIS (1-888-343-3547) TTY: 1-800-421-1220

To learn more about applying for health insurance, including Child Health Plus and Medicaid through NY State of Health: The Official Health Plan Marketplace, visit or call 1-855-355-5777.

Saint Ignatius Loyola School 48 East 84th Street | New York, NY 10028 (212) 861-3820

For Those Who Wish to Accomplish More...

Visit our website for 2016-2017 Prospective Parent Tour Dates for Grade K-7 Applicants. BigAppleParent


DECEMBER 2016 • Vol.31 • No.12

NYMetroParents Publications EDITORIAL



MANAGING EDITOR: Katelin Walling DEPUTY EDITOR: Caitlin Berens

‘No Feet in Soup’


ne of my kids compulsively put her feet on everything, to the point where I had to institute a rule that’s become infamous in our household: “No feet in soup.” Another one can’t go more than a few minutes without her fingers in her belly button. I am sure many of you are nodding knowingly, since my kids are hardly unusual, even if the particulars differ person to person. Let’s face it: Kids do weird stuff, even they can’t explain why they do it. So we turned to the experts and asked them to explain kids’ unusual habits, from putting things up their noses to stripping in public to finding potty humor irresistible (p. 20). Usually, these odd-but-normal behaviors fade as kids get older and move on to the next mysterious habit. But learning to navigate the world can be difficult for many children. Enter manners and etiquette schools. You may have thought these were a thing of the past, but they’re alive and well in our region. And while they still teach kids the basics—sitting and eating properly at the dinner table, making eye contact and conversing with adults, and so on—many also ready their students for a world where so much communication happens via social media, texts, and email. Megan Bailey takes a look at today’s manners and etiquette programs and how participants benefit from them (p. 16). Holidays are, of course, a good time for kids to remember their manners, between the festive dinners and the presents for which they need to say thank you. It’s one of my favorite times of year, as I look forward to Hanukkah lights and my kids’ winter break. I often find, however, that I can’t decide what to do as a family, even when we are all eager for a fun outing. To help out, Bethany Braun-Silva offers seven “staycation” itineraries around the region (p. 40). Even though I don’t celebrate Christmas myself, I’ll admit to loving the lights, decorations, and general vibe the season brings. I’ll also make another admission: I’ve never seen The Nutcracker. Not by design, nor by opposition to it—it’s just never happened. So I was fascinated to read what it takes to mount a local production of this holiday classic in Samantha Neudorf’s behind-the-scenes look (p. 14). Whatever your plans this December, and whatever holiday(s) you celebrate, may the month—and the new year ahead—be filled with joy, peace, and health for all of you. Michael Kress Editorial Director

SENIOR EDITOR: Bethany Braun-Silva ASSISTANT EDITOR: Samantha Neudorf REGIONAL EDITORS: Karen Demeter (Fairfield, Suffolk); Rosalind Muggeridge (Brooklyn); Jamie McGillian (Westchester); Samantha Beranbom (Rockland); Dorette Saunders (Nassau); Emma Steven (Manhattan); Gail Warren (Queens) DIRECTORIES EDITOR: Alice Van Dyke EDITORIAL INTERNS: Jonathan Perry, Kathryn Sheridan

ADVERTISING SALES Big Apple Parent 212-315-0800; Fax: 212-271-2239 Jeunesse Jackson, Linda Pierce Queens Parent 718-878-4860 Annene Guertin, Ellen Klein Westchester Parent 914-397-0200 Nini DeLuca, Manager Randi Shulman, Merrill Sugarman, Mary Wender Brooklyn Parent 718-878-4860 Phyllis Crupi, Ellen Klein, Selene Rodriguez Rockland Parent 845-848-8021 Cara Roteman, Jim Russo Fairfield Parent 914-397-0200 Judy Samuels, Randi Shulman Long Island Parent, Nassau 516-883-4543 Joan Bergman, Manager, Dani Pollack Long Island Parent, Suffolk 631-472-5437 Lisa Herlihy, Karen Shapiro To Advertise: DIR. OF OPERATIONS -- EVENTS: Rebecca Stolcz DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS: Ray Winn OPERATIONS COORDINATORS: Ray C. Guédez, Leonard Porter DIRECTOR OF TRAFFIC: Heather Gambaro TRAFFIC MANAGER: Alexis Brower ADMINISTRATION MANAGER: Erin Jordan




CONTROLLER: David Friedman

The NYMetroParents

Caring Kids AWARDS

So many children and teenagers dedicate time to helping in our communities, and plenty of families do volunteer work together. If this describes your kids or your family, enter The NYMetroParents Caring Kids Awards, and be eligible to win a $500 gift card!

Here’s how it works: • Go to between Nov. 1-Dec. 16. • Follow the directions there to tell us—in 75 words or less—about your child’s or your family’s community service efforts and the impact this volunteer work has on others. If you’d like, you can upload a photo or link to a video of them volunteering. • Eight Caring Kids will each receive a $500 gift card and a letter of commendation, and many more will be featured in our magazine and/or website. 6

December 2016 |


HEAD OF MARKETING: Jacqueline Lachman


CREDIT MANAGER: Elizabeth Teagarden CREDIT ASSISTANTS: Rosa Meinhofer, Diedra Smith EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT: Barbara Byrd

Davler Media Group CEO: David L. Miller General Manager: Thomas K. Hanlon 498 Seventh Ave., 10th Floor, New York, NY 10018 Phone: 212-315-0800; Fax: 212-271-2239

BIG APPLE PARENT, QUEENS PARENT, WESTCHESTER PARENT BROOKLYN PARENT, ROCKLAND PARENT, BERGEN PARENT, FAIRFIELD PARENT and LONG ISLAND PARENT are published monthly by Davler Media Group, LLC Copyright © 2016, Davler Media Group, LLC No part of contents may be reproduced without prior permission from the publisher. Subscription rates per year, per publication: $39

It’s not too late to enroll your child in one of America’s most unique public schools. Harlem Hebrew, an outstanding public charter school in District 3, has a limited number of seats available for Kindergarteners to 2nd Graders. This academically excellent school serves children from all backgrounds. We have two (sometimes 3) teachers in the classroom across all curricular areas. Our program includes two hours of Reading and Writing each day, one hour of Math, one hour of Modern Hebrew* taught by native speakers, along with science, social studies, art, music, daily physical education, chess, and more. To learn more, or to apply: Call: 212-792-6236 or email: enroll@ *We are a public school and as such, do not teach religion. 147 St. Nicholas Ave., NY, NY 10026 BigAppleParent



Courtesy The Varsity Pen

The Varsity Pen Nurtures Strong Writers

Nadine Gorelik, owner of The Varsity Pen

Courtesy Jennifer Hines

Who: The Varsity Pen What’s New: A full-service essay bar in which owner Nadine Gorelik helps students build writing proficiency. Gorelik, who has a master’s in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, founded TVP on the belief that clear, compelling writing and the critical thinking underpinning it are skills that anyone can master. Gorelik’s experience with NYC families also yields unique insight into best practices for admission essays, preschool through college. Want More Info: 646-831-5172;;

Opera Star to Devote More Time to Tutoring Children and Adults Who: Jennifer Hines What’s New: Former Metropolitan Opera star Jennifer Hines is devoting more time to her in-person tutoring business for children and adults. The mezzo-soprano style singer has been teaching on and off for more than 5 years. Hines decided to take time off from traveling so often to teach proper singing practices to children. “I want children to learn and express their abilities by having a good base for performing correctly,” Hines says. Want More Info: 917-324-4550;

Jennifer Hines, former Metropolitan Opera star

Who: Elizabeth Seton Preschool What’s New: A program for 2-year-olds, which allows children to learn and experiment independently. Children explore work alongside their peers while teachers guide and encourage them. Children have the opportunity to take many different classes, such as Little Builders, in which children become familiar with building tools. Children will also experience field trips to zoos and parks. Elizabeth Seton Preschool aims to nurture and provide children with assistance that will enrich and educate them in an environment of mutual trust and respect. Want More Info: 245 E. 92nd St., 212-633-9300;


December 2016 |

Courtesy Elizabeth Seton Preschool

Preschool and Day Care Expands Program to Younger Students

Children are taught with an emphasis on nurturing at Elizabeth Seton Preschool.


Today, the savviest and most ambitious parents (especially the ultra-wealthy) are quietly pulling their children out of even the most prestigious of private schools in Manhattan. Hi, I’m Dan and I design comprehensive and customized educational plans for families who truly want to unlock their kids’ full potential. I implement a hybrid of local classes and actvities, some hands-on parenting, online courses and resources, selfteaching, rich experiences, world travel, and 1-on-1 private tutoring from the very best teachers available. The relative proportions of which vary somewhat from family to family, from sibling to sibling, and over time BUT the results are always PHENOMENAL - acceleration 3, 4, 5, and even 6 grade levels above normal and outrageous success in extra-curricular endeavors. I work directly with children and employ the same strategies that got my son to algebra by age 5, to finish the Harry Potter series at 6, and to calculus by age 7! Still only 11, now he’s also a chess champion, a piano prodigy, a web designer, and has his own podcast on iTunes (“The Johncast”).

*Remember, schools fail the smartest and most talented children...far more than any others.*

For a FREE CONSULTATION on how you can hyper-accelerate your kids’ education,

call 888-639-5512, or email



Now thru January 1 FOR EVERYONE AGES 5+

“Exuberant, high-energy entertainment.” The New York Times


® 646.223.3010 209 W 42ND STREET, just west of Broadway BigAppleParent


UOTABLES Their quirks are the things that are important to me. Not photos of them looking perfect. … When they were ready to go out that door, I was pretty sure that my heart might literally burst. My girls felt completely comfortable with themselves and completely beautiful. What better gift is there to give them? —Westchester mom Jennifer Garry, in a post entitled “School Picture Day Rebellion,” on her blog

in an instagram Writing workshop at school ... I love every minute that I get to spend with my girls. (Posted by @3citygirlsnyc, aka Nilsa K, who blogs at

A SPECIAL MILESTONE “My son has autism and, at age 13, recently saw a movie in a theater for the first time. It is not something I thought would work for him—until now.”

in an instagram It’s so nice here, Mama! Can I take a nap? deitar no chão sujo do parquinho, né?

Tão gostoso

(Posted by @blogmeandthecity, aka NYC mom Fernanda Seelos, who blogs at

“Every mother should know she is not alone in this. It is going to take some getting used to. Everyone struggles at first—everyone—even if they don’t admit it.” —Kate Bingham-Smith, in a post on entitled “What Every Mother Should Know.”


December 2016 |

—Manhattan mom Dana Greenberg in an article entitled “Taking a Child with Autism to the Movies: 5 Tips From a Mom Who’s Been There.” Read the whole thing at

MORE HIGHLIGHTS: SEE THE WINDOWS: Find department-store holiday displays at CHOO CHOO! See where to find holiday train shows at COLD & FLU SEASON: Learn how to avoid common childhood illnesses at HIT THE ICE: Find ice-skating rinks near you at


Pride and Fear


The intense, mixed emotions of being the wife of a police officer. By Bethany Braun-Silva


uring Spirit Week at my son’s school, students were asked to dress up as what they wanted to be when they grew up. My son chose to be a baseball player, and I figured we would see lots of other ballplayers, along with plenty of doctors and superheroes. But that wasn’t the most popular choice among kids at his school—not even close. As we approached the school, I noticed dozens of kids dressed as police officers, which surprised me. Boys and girls, younger as well as older kids, all decked out in navy blue uniforms and badges. I had a sense of pride, and I smiled at the innocence of these kids’ desires to serve and protect. I also got a rush of anxiety because, should these young children still want to be cops when they actually do grow up, they are in for a rough road. It’s a tough life, and police officers and their families need a lot of support—not to mention, it’s scary as all get out. My husband is a New York City police officer, and he is very dedicated to his job. He takes it seriously; he does it with pride and rarely complains. With two young boys at home and a demanding job with even more demanding hours, the fact that my husband doesn’t complain isn’t just worth mentioning, it’s a feat in itself. As a cop’s wife who also works, it has been tricky managing our schedules. He works nights, and so, between work and parenting duties, I sometimes go several days without interacting with my husband face to face. This is the norm, and the boys and I have grown accustomed to missing him and spending weekends without him. We try to capitalize on any time off my husband has by spending quality time together and doing fun things as a family. However, with the recent bombings and ever-present threats in New York City, we’ve had even less time together than usual, since he has been working tons of overtime. As for me? I am more anxious than ever about his career given the current climate and recent police shootings.

At home, we talk about these things in private. Our sons are 4 and 1 and best left out of conversations about the dangers of their father’s job, at least for now. However, one day in the near future we will have to sit them down and explain the realty of being a police officer. We will have to tell them that police officers sometimes make the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect the people of their community. That sometimes officers make bad decisions. That while it is a noble, selfless profession, many officers misunderstand the responsibility they have to protect and serve. In lieu of those talks, right now we have a strict family rule of saying “I love you” and giving hugs and kisses when Daddy leaves for work. It’s a great tradition that I’m sure many families enjoy, but in our home, as in many law-enforcement families, it is not to be missed, even on the busiest days. That’s the strange reality of living with a police officer. He might not come home after his shift. He might not come home ever again. That truth is something I carry with me always, but am sadly reminded of it more frequently of late. We live in scary times and part of me just wants to run away from it all and move to a more serene environment—somewhere with a backyard and a garden, where I can give my kids a more innocent upbringing. But that’s out of the question given my husband’s job. Plus, the reality is there are dangers everywhere. I support my husband in his career, just as he supports me in mine. Whatever happens, we will get through it as a family. With all that being said, life is otherwise great. Our boys are happy and healthy, and I have pretty much adjusted to the demands of being a police officer’s wife. It’s unfortunate that we live with the ever-present knowledge of potential tragedy in our lives, but that just comes with the territory. On the other side of it, we have our own personal hero who protects and serves us daily. My boys and I couldn’t be prouder.

BigAppleParent 11

Sago Mini Planes ($2.99)

Media Matters: APPS

Recommended Age: 3+ H H HH Dev

ices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPa d, Android, Fire phone, Kind le Fire Take to the sky and discove r fun surprises in this free-pla y voyage. Toca TV (Free trial; $4.99/month sub scription) Recom

Virtual Stocking Stuffers

mended Age: 6+

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch,H H H H iPad A kid-safe, curated video ser vice that allows creation, but cos

How to Make Electricity ($2.99)


Recommended Age: 9+

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch,H H H H iPad Experiment with virtual electric ity, some guidance needed

Mood Meter - building your

Recommended Age: 12+

emotional intelligence ($0.99)


Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android A clever, visually appealing tool that promotes self-aware ness

In Theaters Dec. 21: Sing Parents need to know that Sing is an animated comedy that looks like a mash-up between Zootopia and American Idol. In a world in which animals walk, talk, wear clothes, and— yes—sing, Buster, a koala (voiced by Matthew McConaughey), proposes to host a singing competition in a last-ditch effort to save his theater. Animals from near and far gather to vie for the prize money, including a gorilla trying to get out of his father’s gang (Taron Egerton), a suburban mama pig (Reese Witherspoon), and even a gambling mouse (Seth MacFarlane). Some of the humor might not be appropriate for the littlest kids, but overall Sing looks like a movie that kids and parents will be able to enjoy together.

Our Partner: Common Sense Media An independent nonprof it that helps families make smart media choices. Check out thousands of ratings and reviews at

See more at


Christmas Crackers

Making your own crackers is fun and easy, and it means you can put your own choice of novelties and silly handwritten jokes inside. Make the crackers from colorful wrapping paper and trim them with sequins or glitter finished with pretty bows. Or throw in some confetti to add a fun element to your New Year’s Eve party. You will need: • Cardboard toilet rolls • 8-by-8-inch piece of paper per cracker • Pencil • Ruler • Scissors

• Glue or sticky tape • Snaps for crackers (you can find these on • Gifts, paper hats, and jokes • 8 inches of ribbon (¼-inch wide) per cracker • Sequin trim

Directions: 1. Lay the cardboard roll in the center of the paper and mark the position of each end using a pencil. Set the roll aside. 2. Using the marks made on the paper as a guide, fold the paper, right sides together, and press the folds flat. Using a ruler, mark out lines along the fold approximately ¾ inch apart, stopping approximately 1 inch in from the outside edge of the paper. 3. Use scissors to cut along the marked lines to create slits in the paper. Repeat steps 2 and 3 on the other side.


December 2016 |

4. Now unfold the paper and lay it flat, wrong side facing up. Place the cardboard roll on top. Apply a dab of glue or use a small piece of double-sided tape to hold the paper on the roll. Wrap the paper around the roll as tightly as you can. Apply glue along the whole edge of the paper and press firmly in place. Allow to dry completely. 5. Push the cracker snap through the open end of the roll. This is also the time to insert any small gifts or trinkets, a paper hat, and a joke or other motto. 6. Cut the ribbon in half and tie a length of ribbon around one end of the cracker. Tie in a knot. Repeat at the other end. Trim the ends of the ribbon on the diagonal with scissors to prevent them fraying. 7. Measure the circumference of the cracker and cut three lengths of sequin trim to fit. Glue the sequin trim in rows around the cracker. Allow glue to dry completely. Crackers Safety: Crackers snaps are a low-risk fire hazard and must always be used with adult supervision. Never pull a snap on its own. Visit for step-by-step photos. Excerpted from My First Christmas Craft Book, Cico Kidz, $14.95; Photography by CICO Books 2016.


What a Midwife Does ›› By Bethany Braun-Silva

Risa Klein is a certified nurse midwife with an office on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. She was the “birth consultant” for the feature films Baby Mama and Laze.



Are there any misconceptions about midwives you want to set straight? Midwives are very smart. We go through very rigorous academic accredited midwifery schools. Sometimes people think midwives only do home-births for impoverished, poverty-stricken people around the world, and that’s really not true. Midwives serve women of all socio-economic backgrounds and what we do is we pride ourselves on understanding what is normal for each woman we see. We also do GYN-care, conscious conception planning, and contraceptive planning. Basically, midwives have a holistic view of the process of birth and childbirth is just an organic, natural process. Midwives see it as normal, it’s not a disease; it’s nothing to be afraid of. Can any woman see a midwife during her pregnancy? We take care of healthy, low-risk women. We don’t take care of women with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, liver disease, or other metabolic diseases. We could co-manage women, but for the most part we take care of healthy women, but we are educated and experienced to screen for other risk factors. So many women think, “Oh, I’ll be safer with an OB,” but if there’s a true medical issue, then we will refer, consult, and collaborate with an obstetrician, with a perinatologist, or with a genetic counselor. So what I could share is that a lot of people don’t understand the magnitude of experience midwives have in terms of understanding the medical piece of it, and knowing when to and how to recognize if there is a challenge, and when to consult and co-manage.


Any tips for woman to help make pregnancy an easier, more enjoyable process? Many women are working very hard, and they’re going up and down stairs and going to the gym, but unbeknownst to them, they’re throwing themselves into pre-term labor and their waters are breaking early because they’re doing too much. So I really encourage women to go slow. My phrase is, “be boring.” Modify work, go in late, work from home, do what you can so you can enjoy the last few weeks and not risk a premature labor. In our country we have very high infant morbidity and mortality, and it’s truly something that I believe could be avoided with positive communication about eating well, having protein in the diet, making sure a woman’s blood volume stays high, and getting enough rest. If a woman is dizzy by exercising and running around and forgetting to eat or drink, those all set up for preterm labor contractions.

Sky Rink has been New York’s favorite place to skate since 1969. For our holiday hours and full General Skating schedule, visit BigAppleParent 13

BAP 1-2p SR 12-16.indd 1

11/16/16 10:50 AM

Samantha Neudorf

Julieta Cervantes

The party scene from the Westchester Ballet Company’s 2015 production of The Nutcracker

Logrea Dance Academy students rehearse the finale from The Nutcracker in October.

Upholding a Holiday Tradition


A behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to plan, choreograph, and perform The Nutcracker, a beloved holiday show. By Samantha Neudorf


t 1pm on a recent Saturday, Beth Fritz-Logrea ushers all of her ballet students into the studio to begin rehearsing the snow scene from Act I of The Nutcracker. The girls stand in position and Fritz-Logrea walks up to them to go over placement on the stage at Logrea Dance Academy in Ossining. Each girl is given a number, which corresponds to a marker on the stage designating where she should stand. Twenty minutes after first inviting the students in, they’re all in place and Fritz-Logrea walks to the front of the studio, sits in a director’s chair, and cues her husband, Jean Logrea, to start the music from the top of the snow scene. Rehearsal has begun. The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition that kids and adults look forward to each year. First performed at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1892, the ballet is Alexandre Dumas père’s adaptation of the story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, written by E.T.A. Hoffmann. Despite those roots, it was not until 1964 that The Nutcracker gained popularity. That’s when George Balanchine—considered by many as the “Father of American Ballet”—debuted his rendition of the ballet at New York City Center. In Balanchine’s words, his Nutcracker was to be “full-length and expensive,” according to Vanity Fair. He envisioned a grandiose tree for the background, and somehow managed to get a $40,000 tree commissioned to make the magic of The Nutcracker feel as real as possible. That magic, as well as the tradition of this ballet, are still very much alive and well today—at major venues such as Lincoln Center as well as at regional and local theaters seemingly everywhere. No matter where it is produced, the grace and beauty on display is the result of countless hours of hard work by dedicated dancers, many of them teens at local high schools.

A Ballet Family

Westchester Ballet Company’s version of this classic has been the responsibility of co-directors Jean Logrea and Beth Fritz-Logrea since they became owners of the dance troupe in 1985. A year later,


December 2016 |

they founded the Logrea Dance Academy and named it the official school of the Westchester Ballet Company. Though Fritz-Logrea stopped personally performing in the production 25 years ago, she is both the choreographer and director of the show. Her husband has played the role of Uncle Drosselmeyer for the past 31 years, while their son, Nick, will be performing in his 25th Nutcracker show in several different roles: the butler in the party scene, the Mouse King, the Arabian pas de deux, and a soloist for the company’s Ukranian variation—an added scene that is not usually performed in other Nutcracker productions. Nick says the best part about performing each year is being on stage. “There’s something about being on stage and being in front of a large group of people and performing for them then getting the satisfaction of them applauding you at the end,” Nick says. “It’s a big adrenaline rush, something that I’ve loved from the very beginning.”

Balancing High School with Rehearsal

Back at rehearsal, there are nearly 28 girls who have been cast in the snow scene, divided into two groups, each of which will perform at two of the four shows. Fritz-Logrea runs through the scene with the first cast for the first time this season. All of these dancers are wearing pointe shoes and are between ages 11-18, including the dance studio’s three graduating seniors: Charlotte Chandler, Clare Hammonds, and Molly Powers. These three girls have been dancing for 15 years and have been performing in the Westchester Ballet Company’s Nutcracker for 10-12 years each. Powers and Chandler first started out as mice and Hammonds was a page; this year, they each have three roles— Chandler, a 17-year-old from Cross River, is a snow soloist, Chinese soloist, and the Dew Drop Fairy; Hammonds, a 17-year-old from Ossining, is a snow soloist, in the gigue variation, and is the flower soloist; Powers, a 17-year-old from Hawthorne, is a party scene guest, in the snow scene, and is a flower soloist. The teens dance ballet six days a week, which is how they’ve grown close to one another. “We’re all such good friends and the commu-

nity surrounding us helps to put on the performance,” Hammonds says. “That plays a huge part in performance week for us.” The most challenging part for these seniors is juggling college applications and extracurricular activities with dance rehearsals six days a week. Saturday rehearsals for The Nutcracker are four hours long. “This teaches you time management because you’re here so often, but you need to focus on your studies, too,” says Powers, a member of the National Honor Society at her school. The end of the snow scene transitions into one in which Clara, the main character, travels to the Land of Sweets with the Nutcracker Prince. Clara is played by 14-year-old Rylee Carpenter of Ossining. She has played Clara for the past three years, and aspires to perform on Broadway when she is older. “I love being able to act, especially doing Clara,” Carpenter says. “I love the feeling of acting and dancing because it just lets me express myself more.” She also takes theater and singing lessons in addition to dance. Tim Bohrman, a 14-year-old from Carmel, is Logrea Dance Studio’s oldest boy, and has been dancing for 10 years. He will play Fritz, the lead soldier, and the Chinese soloist in this year’s performance, and this is his first year as a soloist. “A lot of the guy parts are a lot of fun because there’s usually a lot of cool jumps and turns,” he says. Bohrman started taking ballet after his older sister—who is now 20 and a trainee with the Orlando Ballet Company in Florida— started taking lessons. Though Bohrman also takes modern and tap at the dance studio, he says his favorite dance is ballet and intends to join a ballet company, just like his older sister.

Planning the Production

To mount an ambitious production such as The Nutcracker, the Logreas start thinking about the show as early as late July or early August. Right after their spring season is over in May, they sit down and discuss which dancers are returning and start calling guest dancers to see if they will be available. Auditions for this year’s Nutcracker were held in mid-September, and are typically open to whoever would like to be a part of it. Students at Logrea Dance Studio are not required to participate in The Nutcracker, and they are also not guaranteed a role just because they are a part of the company. Rehearsals begin a week after auditions and run until performance week—Dec. 16-18 this year. In order to ensure the production is staged as planned, there are also many logistics to be considered. Westchester Ballet Company board members must consult with the performance venue—the Westchester County Center in White Plains—and the county Parks and Recreation department to take care of contracts. They also have to coordinate with the stage crew at Westchester County Center about technicalities such as lighting and set changes. The Logreas are able to bring in guest dancers from ballet companies around the world because of the connections they have made over the years as ballet dancers themselves. Beth and Jean met when they both danced at the Graz Opera House in Austria. There are usually four to five guest dancers who perform in their show, and the Logreas say it is good experience for their students to see what it is like to dance among a professional. “[To see] how they carry themselves on and off the stage, how they prepare for the production in the warm-up class, how early they arrive to the theater—it’s just good for the kids to witness,” Logrea says.

Keeping the Magic Alive

After the Mouse King is slayed on stage during the performance, a screen comes down, the Nutcracker Prince comes to life, and Dros-

selmeyer introduces him to Clara. The music crescendos, the lights dim, and dry ice blocks are placed to create the illusion of a dreamlike fog—then the snow scene begins. Nick says that is his favorite scene from the show. “I know dancers that have graduated from us and have come back to watch… they still say to this day that they always cry during the beginning of the snow scene,” Nick says. “I still get chills every time that music comes up.” Logrea recalls a time when a college student visited Westchester and watched the show—particularly the transition into the snow scene. “He said, ‘I’ve never seen anything like that before, and I will never forget that in my life,’” Logrea says. It’s what every Nutcracker performer everywhere hopes for, performance after performance of this holiday-season tradition.

WHERE TO SEE PERFORMANCES OF THE NUTCRACKER IN MANHATTAN Nutcracker Winter Suite Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Symphony Space 2537 Broadway, Upper West Side Dec. 3, 7pm $40, $20 children and seniors. The Hip Hop Nutcracker United Palace of Cultural Arts 4140 Broadway, at 175th Street, Washington Heights Dec. 3, 2pm and 7pm $10-$100. The Nutcracker & The Mouse King Manhattan Movement & Arts Center 248 W. 60th St., Upper West Side Dec. 4, 2:30pm; Dec. 5, 2:30pm and 4:30pm $18. Nutcracker Ballet Highlights Rebecca Kelly Ballet Studio 579 Broadway, 4B, Soho Dec. 4, 7pm; Dec. 5, 4pm $40, $45 at door. The Yorkville Nutcracker The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College East 68th Street (between Park and Lexington avenues), Upper East Side Dec. 8-11, times vary $45-$85. Keith Michael’s The Nutcracker Florence Gould Hall 55 E. 59th St., Upper East Side

Dec. 9, 6pm; Dec. 10-11, 11am, 1pm, 3:30pm $34, $24 children ages 12 and younger. NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts 566 LaGuardia Place, Greenwich Village Dec. 9-11, times vary. $25-$50. The Nutcracker: A Contemporary Look Salvatore Capezio Theater at Peridance 126 E. 13th St., East Village Dec. 9-11, times vary. $15-$35. The Nutcracker: Face to Face Series City Center Studios, 5th Floor Studio 130 W. 56th St., Midtown Dec. 16-17, 6:30pm; Dec. 18, 2pm $25. The Knickerbocker Suite Manhattan Movement & Arts Center 248 W. 60th St., Upper West Side Dec. 9-18 $22.50-$32.50. George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker David H. Koch Theater 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, Upper West Side Nov. 25-Dec. 31 $40-$165. BigAppleParent 15

Courtesy Fleur de Lis Academy

Students at Fleur de Lis Academy in Norwalk, CT, prepare for the day’s lesson.

Minding Their Manners


It may seem quaint in today’s world, but etiquette schools for kids are thriving nonetheless. By Megan Bailey


t seemed to be that whenever 5-year-old Belle sat down for dinner, most of it would end up on the floor rather than in her mouth. She overlooked the fork and knife and used the tools she was born with—her fingers. As a result, Belle’s parents got tired of crawling under the table to pick up whatever they’d had for dinner that night. But they couldn’t seem to get Belle to stop, so they turned to some outside help. That’s right: We’re talking etiquette school. Belle’s mom, Anne, decided to enroll her in a dining course at Beaumont Etiquette in Manhattan. Not wanting it to feel like a punishment, Anne set out to make sure Belle saw it as a fun and light-hearted activity. When the day came to start, Anne made it a big deal for Belle, dressing her daughter in a cute party dress, letting her put on some makeup, and getting her excited about using fancy tableware. During class time, Beumont’s founder and director, Myka Meier, taught Belle the basics of mealtime etiquette, including where your napkin goes, when to use a fork and a spoon, and how you shouldn’t put your feet up while eating. Today, Anne is happy to report, Belle’s food now reaches her mouth instead of the floor, she utilizes her silverware, and she even stirs her mother’s tea on a regular basis. “Do you think Myka would be proud that I did this?” Belle will ask Anne from time to time. Or she will turn to her little brother and say, “Good, Jack. You’re eating over the plate!” “She picked up some things from it, and I think it was a great thing, and I know she had fun doing it,” Anne says. “It was more of a fun activity than a class.”


December 2016 |

In our fast-paced world, in which families are eating together less often and informality seems to rule the day, it may seem as if manners and etiquette are a thing of the fabled past. But Belle is far from the only area child who’s learned a thing or two from a program like Beaumont’s. Schools, classes, and private teachers dedicated to spreading the gospel of good manners are still thriving in 2016. “I think we’re all seeing a big increase in business because it’s becoming almost trendy again, it’s becoming cool,” Meier says. “I think the millennial generation and onward have a lot of new challenges in everyday life, and we have to cater to the changes that are happening around us.”

Manners vs. Etiquette

To understand what goes on in these programs, it’s helpful to define some terminology, starting with the fact that manners and etiquette are not, in fact, the same thing. “Good manners never change,” says Michelle Sperry, founder and director of Fleur de Lis Academy in Norwalk, CT. “For example, 100 years ago it wasn’t okay to bonk someone over the head and take their food. And, it still isn’t okay to do that.” Etiquette, on the other hand, is culturally specific, dependent on time and place. “Etiquette is a set of rules,” Sperry continues. “It changes with each era, style, demographic, etc. For example, 100 years ago people used to eat with their hands. Now, we eat with forks and knives, although in some cultures they still eat with their hands. But, nonetheless, these things will change.”

Manners, then, are basic social skills, such as holding the door for someone or sharing toys with friends, while etiquette programs cover modern American norms, which can include making eye contact with others or shaking hands. “All parents want their child to be successful. However, success is not only measured in academia, but through the way we teach our children to show courtesy, respect, honesty, and politeness,” says Dianne Marsch, founder and director of the Etiquette School of Manhattan.

Today’s Needs

Most parents who send their children to these programs have modest goals, seeking attainable improvements in their kids’ behavior. “Most of the time the parents just want the kids to listen a little bit more, to chew their food with their mouths closed—it’s mainly that. If these things are not addressed now, later on they will be harder to learn,” says Arely Mendoza-Cantos, founder and director of Always Gracious, a manners and etiquette school for Long Island youth. “I find that young kids are really eager to please their parents and show their manners.” Many programs today include classes on digital etiquette—how to behave online, and how and when to put the device down and be present in the real world. “We have social media, and children especially are on computers all day and that sometimes is their preferred method of communication,” Meier says. “So, I found that they were losing really basic social skills.” Despite the emphasis on technology and digital media, many of the schools find their more traditional classes, especially those covering mealtime behavior, are the most popular. Educating today’s youth on how to communicate clearly—face-to-face and through their screens—how to conduct themselves in professional settings, and how to act at the dinner table are skills that can have an impact on their future and ultimately give them an advantage over those who have not been brushing up. “It’s interesting, a kid in our very modern world who has great social skills and great manners and great etiquette really stands out, because for most kids the bar is so low when it comes to social skills,” says Faye de Muyshondt, founder and director of the Manhattan etiquette school Socialsklz:-). “Parents are always trying to give our kids the competitive edge, but really the competitive edge in the modern world is an awesome set of social skills and a great foundation of manners and etiquette in life, because most kids don’t have it.” With the introduction of social media and the rise of technology, there is a newfound urgency to etiquette education. “Is it okay to text someone who’s more senior than you and use emojis? Is it okay to still be writing old-fashioned thank you letters? Just going over and making it a bit more relevant to today— that’s the whole point of it—for it to be practical etiquette that they use every day,” Meier says. Despite our digital world’s dizzying pace of change, knowing how to chew your food politely or conduct yourself during an interview are skills that are ultimately timeless. On the other hand, maybe putting our pinkies up and carrying a handkerchief are, indeed, a bit outdated. The key is to find the balance, and today’s schools understand the difference. “The more students we can teach all of these social, communication, and leadership skills to, it can change an entire generation,” Marsch says. “And I love every day that I can teach and make a difference in the life of someone.”

A GLIMPSE INSIDE LOCAL MANNERS AND ETIQUETTE PROGRAMS Alice Austen House 2 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island 718-816-4506 The Alice Austen House isn’t primarily focused on etiquette, but there is a reason its programs include this topic: Austen, a prolific photographer in the early years of the medium, lived for many years with Gertrude Tate, who taught etiquette and manners. Family courses are offered at the house or programs can be set up in schools and can focus on social etiquette, communication skills, or table manners. Always Gracious: The Academy of Etiquette 516-593-3817 Long Island’s Always Gracious has no set location, offering its programs—which include social etiquette, table etiquette, and image and style classes—in a family’s home, or for groups of 10 or more participants, on-site at a school or office. Lessons are also offered for the Spanishspeaking community. Beaumont Etiquette 5 Columbus Circle, #1701, Manhattan 212-390-1557 Beaumont Etiquette offers training one-on-one or in small groups and customizes courses based on a survey parents or guardians fill out about their child when they enroll. Beaumont Etiquette also offers online courses for children. In addition to classes on social skills and American dining manners, among others, its roster covers international dining and travel etiquette.

Etiquette School of Manhattan 101 W. 23rd St., Suite 525, Manhattan 877-506-2663 At the Etiquette School of Manhattan, founder and director Dianne Marsch mostly avoids classrooms and teaches her courses at restaurants, in private groups, or in schools. In addition to programs about dining, basic manners, and social skills, the school offers classes that include parents and grandparents as well as a Nanny Educational Etiquette Certification program (also taught in Spanish). Marsch also works with many low-income families and at-risk kids, teaching them the skills they need to transition into adulthood. Fleur de Lis Academy 327 Main Ave., Norwalk, CT 203-210-7155 Fleur de Lis Academy runs several programs, one of which is First Impressions, covering manners and etiquette. It offers classes, private and semi-private lessons, workshops, leadership training, in-school sessions, and other programs. Socialsklz:-) 250 W. 85th St., Suite 1B, Manhattan 212-579-5300 Socialsklz:-) offers many public workshops and caters to our digital age (hence the emoticon and slang in the title). It offers a wide range of courses, from basic workshops to technology courses to CAMPsocialsklz:-).

Megan Bailey is a former NYMetroParents intern.

BigAppleParent 17


Make Your Own Hot Cocoa


Four hot chocolate recipes that use favorite flavor combinations. By Chelsie Jangord Nothing makes us enjoy winter more than coming in from the cold and enjoying a nice, steamy cup of hot cocoa. While these recipes call for specific vegan ingredients, feel free to use what you have in your cupboard.

Orange Hot Chocolate Makes 2-3 cups

Ingredients 3 cups non-dairy milk 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder 2 Tbsp. sugar 1 tsp. vanilla 1/ 3 cup vegan chocolate chips Zest and juice of 1 orange Instructions In a saucepan over low heat, whisk together milk, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, orange juice, and zest. Once thoroughly combined and heated, pour into mugs and top with Dandies Mini Marshmallows. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Hot Cocoa Mix

Yields: Approximately 3 cups of dry mix Ingredients Dandies Pumpkin Marshmallows 1 cup cocoa powder 1 bag of vegan chocolate chips, frozen 3 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice 1 Tbsp. cornstarch ½ cup powdered sugar Instructions Add frozen chocolate chips (it is very important that they’ve been thoroughly frozen) to a food processor and blend until chips have turned into a fine powder. In a mixing bowl whisk together chocolate chip powder, cocoa powder, pumpkin pie spice, powdered sugar, and cornstarch. Fill a Mason jar with cocoa mix and top with Pumpkin Dandies to make a great gift that will stay good for up to a month. To make a cup of a hot cocoa, bring 1½ cups of non-dairy milk to a boil, add 3-4 Tbsp. of mix, and stir. Reduce heat and let simmer, stirring often to remove any clumps. Taste as you go: If you like your cocoa on the sweeter side, add an extra tablespoon of mix. Top with Pumpkin Dandies and enjoy!


December 2016 |

Peppermint Hot Cocoa

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

Ingredients 1 handful of Dandies Peppermint Marshmallows 4 Tbsp. cocoa powder 2 cups non-dairy milk 4 Tbsp. sugar ½ tsp. peppermint extract Crushed peppermint candies, optional garnish Melted chocolate, optional garnish

Ingredients 3 cups non-dairy milk 1/ 3 cup natural peanut butter ¼ cup sugar 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder ¼ cup chopped dark chocolate or vegan chocolate chips 1 tsp. vanilla Handful of Dandies Mini Marshmallows

Instructions In a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, cocoa powder, sugar, and peppermint extract. Whisk until all clumps have dissolved. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Optional: Dip the rim of a mug in melted chocolate, then into the crushed peppermint candies. Fill with hot cocoa, top with Peppermint Dandies Marshmallows, and enjoy!

Instructions In a saucepan over low heat, whisk together all the hot chocolate ingredients. Once thoroughly combined and heated, pour into mugs and top with Dandies. Up your game by drizzling on some additional peanut butter! The longer it sits the thicker it gets. If you prefer a thinner hot chocolate, you can add more non-dairy milk to reach the desired consistency.

Serves 2

Serves 2-3

Chelsie Jangord is the in-house chef at Dandies Marshmallows.

over 20 years experience | 212-419-5416 Upper West Side and Lower East Side locations BigAppleParent 19

Kids Do the Weirdest Things


Some of your child’s strangest behaviors and habits, explained by experts. By Laurie Sue Brockway


hen my son was in kindergarten, the teacher called me in to tell me the staff was taking up a collection so that I could buy him new clothing. He’d been wearing the same clothes every day for two weeks, and the staff assumed it was because I was not able to properly clothe him. It took everything for me not to burst out laughing as I explained that my son decided he would wear only black pants and a favorite black sweatshirt—so I’d bought him five pairs of the same pants and sweatshirts and washed his clothes constantly. But I told him that it was the same outfit every day. When the teacher asked if he had other clothes, he apparently said no. Don’t get me started on the phase in which he insisted on wearing his Superman cape to school. Or the stuffed cat that had to be with us as all times. Kids do weird things. Really weird things. We asked experts to comment on some of the unusual traits we are bound to see as our kids grow.


Touching everything. If you feel like smudgy fingerprints cover every surface in your home, you’re not alone. “Many toddlers learn by touching,” says Mary Ellen Renna, M.D., a pediatrician in practice in Jericho and author of 10 Steps to Almost Perfect Parenting. “They are tactile learners. They need to touch, manipulate, open, tear, and pull items. They need to see what sounds they make, how they feel, what it tastes like.” Eating and licking gross things. Toddlers do not discriminate 20

December 2016 |

when it comes to putting things in their mouths or up to their lips—dirt and snot included. “Children are inherently curious,” says Deena Blanchard, M.D., a Brooklyn- and Manhattan-based pediatric and postpartum depression expert with Premier Pediatrics and a mom of three boys. “As they grow and explore the world they will explore with all their senses. Early exploration is often oral in nature.” That’s why parents have to make sure there are no small pieces of things on the floor or within grasp. “The good news is that as children get older these habits fade,” Dr. Blanchard says. Flushing stuff down the toilet. Remember that time when you couldn’t find a toy or your sunglasses, and then you heard a splash? “Kids are attracted to the toilet more between ages 18 months and 2½ years, when they are developing their bathroom skills—toilet training,” Dr. Renna says. “Once they develop the aversion to their waste products, they don’t play around the toilet as much.” Taking over cellphones. Phones and other mobile devices are very attractive because they are filled with colors and sounds, Dr. Renna says. “They also have games and songs that are entertaining.” That doesn’t mean they should play with them. “I don’t believe kids should have access to a parent’s phone,” she says. “Too much potential danger there.”

Small Children

Sticking things up their noses—and elsewhere. Kids are usually led by the desire to see how things fit into other things.

“It is rare for children to put things in various places to act out or purposely annoy their parents,” Dr. Blanchard says. “It is much more likely that they are curious about what it would feel like to put a pretzel in their nose, or if a bead could fit inside their ear.” She says to talk to children about how their bodily orifices work and explain, We only put food in our mouths and that it’s not healthy or safe for your body to put things in your nose or ear. Most children grow out of these behaviors by age 5 or 6, or after they have to see a doctor to have something removed from an ear or nose. “It’s not actually a fun experience and that works in our favor as parents,” Dr. Blanchard says. Peeing on, or in, stuff. While dogs do it to mark their territory, kids do it to experiment and explore. “I know a 4-year-old who urinated in a backpack because he wanted to see what it felt like,” Dr. Blanchard says. To make sure it doesn’t happen again, focus on the positive and make it a teachable moment. “For example,” she says, “you can say, ‘I sometimes wonder what things may feel like too. It is important to only go pee in the potty or your pull up so we can keep the house clean.’” Also, tell children to check with you if they aren’t sure about whether they should do something. Clinging to an object of affection. Linus isn’t the only one who likes his security blanket. “The object in some way represents the parent who the child does not want to separate from,” says Gail Saltz, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychiatry at The New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornel School of Medicine and host of “The Power of Different” podcast. “The parent can come and go, so the object provides comfort and permanence in staying with the child and being snuggled or held.” Termed a transitional object, it can be a blanket, a stuffed animal, or toy—something that can be carried around. “Parents know if you leave it at home or it gets lost, there is hell to pay in the form of tantrums or refusal to go anywhere without it,” Dr. Saltz says. Making animal noises and sounds. There are a number of things that inspire kids to roar, purr, or make odd or loud noises. “It may be dramatic play, actually pretending to be an animal,” says Jephtha Tausig-Edwards, Ph.D., a New York City-based clinical psychologist. “It would not be unusual for a 3- or 4-year-old to pretend he or she was an animal until they tired of doing so.” It can also be to gain attention, or to make parents or peers laugh, she adds. Inviting imaginary friends to dinner. Imaginary friends can be helpful to kids who have gone through trauma and can serve as allies to any child. “These friends are sometimes only in the child’s head but can sometimes be seen in great detail by the child,” Dr. Saltz says. “It may be one or multiple people, animals, or fantasy beings and is often viewed in a real friend way, with discussion, shared feelings, and inclusion in family activities.” This is all a reflection of this child’s imagination and creativity, and is more likely to occur for a child who has enough unstructured play time to invent a friend, she says. Stripping in public. “Young children can be unselfconscious about their bodies such that they may spontaneously strip off their clothing because they feel hot, or too restricted, or just like the feel of being naked—but obviously not when it’s cold out,” Dr. Tausig-Edwards says. “Sometimes, they may want to show the world their ‘big boy underpants’ or something they are proud of, which could also include genitalia if they feel this is

When your little angel thinks he’s a daredevil...

Better have a good pediatrician. Make sure your kids are covered.

Contact Affinity Health Plan at 866.247.5678 (TTY 711) to obtain more information about Child Health Plus, a free or low-cost health insurance program sponsored by New York State for kids under the age of 19. To learn more about applying for health insurance, including Child Health Plus and Medicaid through NY State of Health, The Official Health Plan Marketplace, visit or call 855.355.5777.

continued on next page ››

BigAppleParent 21

‹‹ continued from previous page

important.” She says this behavior usually stops due to caregiver reprimands and/or pressure from peers in social situations such as birthday parties or playdates. It should clear up completely during the first year of preschool if not before. Drawing a masterpiece on a freshly painted wall. Remember that time when your kids unleashed their inner Michelangelos in unsolicited wall murals—furniture, upholstery, and other items? “This behavior can be an expression of artistic impulses and/or a method of gaining our attention,” Dr. Tausig-Edwards says. Or kids just think it is a good idea at the time. She suggests hanging large sheets of butcher paper with masking or some other nonmarking tape on all four corners and then invite your children to draw only on the paper. “You will know fairly quickly whether the driver of their behavior is more of an artistic impulse or more of an attention-getting one.” Decorating a sibling’s face with magic markers. They’re not trying to ruin their sister or brother’s good looks out of jealousy. “It’s usually part of fun, curiosity, or an imagination game,” Dr. Blanchard says. “It’s rarely manipulative or purposefully intent on upsetting someone. Kids are fun, curious little beings. They aren’t yet fully aware of the consequences of their actions and likely have not thought it through.” While this may lead to some coloring on your baby, it also leads to a time where your child is super fun to play with and talk to, she says. “Their minds are open and the world is their oyster. Try to embrace this period and guide your child in making good choices.”

Older Kids

Refusing to talk about their day at school. Some kids just need downtime when they get home. “As a mom of three boys, I totally understand the frustration of asking your child how was your day at school and getting back, ‘fine.’” Dr. Blanchard says. “After a long day at school kids may not be in the mood to talk or review their day.” Try asking your child more specific questions instead of broad ones, such as: What did you eat for lunch? Or, What made you smile today? Or wait until bedtime to chat, when kids are more relaxed. Giving the pet a makeover. Some kids like to dress up pets like dolls and put barrettes on long-haired dogs, but Rachel Barrack, a veterinarian with Animal Acupuncture, has also seen cases of kids trying to add color. “Kids love to color with markers and crayons, but keep these away from your pets,” says Barrack, who practices in NYC. She says that body glitter and nail polish are also not safe. Holding pets (or siblings) up like Simba. The sweet scene in the Lion King inspires kids to hold their pets up like a baby lion. However, Barrack says, “this is not only scary for them, but you can drop them.” That goes for little sister or brother, too. “We don’t want to encourage children to do any weird things with pets,” Barrack says, suggesting pet-friendly alternative activities such as cuddling, teaching and learning new tricks, exercise, reading, and “pet-friendly” arts and crafts. Playing with prickly things. Some foods need close parental supervision. Naresh C. Rao, D.O., FAOASM, of Sports Medicine at Chelsea, shares a cautionary tale about a 9-year-old sister and


December 2016 |

6-year-old brother who saw a prickly pear in a grocery store. “The sister picked it up, and it felt fuzzy. She then told her brother to pick it up,” he says. “After both of them held it, they felt pain and told mom.” As it turned out, he says, “The slivers from the Prickly Pear had to be removed by a pediatric dermatologist because the spikes were so small that the doctor needed specialized equipment to have it removed from their skin.” Creating obstacle courses. Dr. Rao, who lives in Scarsdale and was on Team USA’s sports medicine team for the 2016 Summer Olympics, has treated injuries relating to kids playing around in cars. One 9-year-old boy decided to buckle all the seat belts in the back of Mom’s minivan and swing through them like an obstacle course. “He then convinced his 11-year-old sister to join him,” Dr. Rao says. “She got through one but then got caught up in the next one. It was so tightly wrapped around her body that the latching mechanism would not release.” The seat belt needed to be cut to free her.


Girls going gaga over male pop idols. It’s a rite of passage that harkens back beyond Elvis and the Beatles and the Backstreet Boys. “Teen idols are often fantasy romantic partners when tweens and teens first start to have crushes,” Dr. Saltz says. “It is a safe way to express and experience romantic and sexual feelings in an exciting way.” Teens and tweens feel close to the idol by going to concerts and playing their music, which explains why parents find themselves shelling out money for tickets, T-shirts, and posters. Because adolescent brains are more primed for risk taking and emotionality, a teen may go to great lengths to be close to and experience their idol, Dr. Saltz says. Boys using potty humor. “Boys love potty humor—farts and poop jokes never get old— and that’s why they will read a series like Captain Underpants over and over again,” says Hillary Tubin, former literacy educator and author of Boys and Books: What You Need to Know. “Boys also love to read in the weirdest positions: standing, squeezed into a tiny space, in a fort, on their backs with their arms raised and the book high in the air, and while moving around to name a few.” She says boys are the happiest when they get to read a book such as Captain Underpants squeezed into a tiny space made into a fort, with a flashlight in hand and their favorite pet close by. Being tied to electronic devices. The romance begins early on and by the time kids have cellphones and iPads they might as well have been born with the device firmly attached to their hand. Texting is how teens communicate. “We live in a world of constant motion and as such they grab anything to keep constantly busy,” says technology expert Donna Conroy, co-founder of House Monkey. Always monitor use, she says, and get kids to take a time-out from devices as much as possible. Laurie Sue Brockway is a journalist and author who has written extensively on love, romance, marriage, parenting, well-being, and emotional health. Her work has appeared in hundreds of print and online publications, including Woman’s Day, Everyday Health, and The Huffington Post.

ACT! PERFORM! CREATE! SPRING & SUMMER CLASSES ON SALE NOW! Performers (Ages 4-5) Creators (Ages 6 – 9) Performance & Playwriting (Ages 8 – 12) Mini-Musical (Ages 7-12) Sketch Showcase (Ages 9 – 15) Improv. (Ages 9 – 14) Film Audition (Ages 11 – 15) Teen Ensemble One-Acts (Ages 14 – 18) and more! 76 Ninth Ave. NYC | | 212-691-5919

Winter programs start the first week of January– don’t get left out in the cold!

Check out everything BPC Parks has to offer from tiny tots to teens. Register now at

Global Vision and Innovation Learn more at


Nursery-Grade 12 Online IB Courses 212.724.6360

BigAppleParent 23

OUTINGS: Vanderbilt Museum

Mansion, Museum, and Planetarium 1



Courtesy Vanderbilt Museum

William K. Vanderbilt II, who was an ocean and natural world enthusiast, posthumously helped to turn his sprawling estate into a museum for marine-life and natural history. ›› By Melissa A. Kay



1 Winter is a festive time at the mansion. 2 The museum is home to numerous pieces of fine art. 3 The Vanderbilt’s Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium offers fun and educational programs for kids and adults. 4 William K. Vanderbilt II collected tools from expeditions around the world, which can be seen in exhibits in the museum. 5 The mansion is a “living museum,” which can be toured regularly.

Vanderbilt Museum is a wonderful educational experience and an interesting and exciting combination of mansion, marine and natural history museum, planetarium, and park.

Year-Round Fun

The mansion offers an intimate glimpse into the life of a renowned family from the Jazz Age through the end of World War II. Set atop 43 breathtaking acres, see the SpanishRevival style mansion and its distinctive architecture. Check out oceanic expeditions, global journeys, islands, marine life, bird and insect life, and more in the many exhibits at the museum. Specimens in the exhibits show the artisanal talents of Asian, Pacific, and African cultures including their artifacts, clothing, and utensils. The Reichert Planetarium is one of the most advanced in the country. Visitors can see seasonal shows and special features created for families and school audiences under the 60-foot dome. The $4 million makeover has revealed new seating, a renovated lobby, and a gift shop. 24

December 2016 |

December Highlights

Come to Vanderbilt to hear live Beatles music in the planetarium. On Dec. 11 from 7-8:30pm, The Liverpool Shuffle, a Long Island Beatles tribute band, will play songs beloved by generations under the dome. Tickets are $20 for adults in advance or $25 at the door. Kids ages 5-15 pay $15 and kids ages 5 and younger may attend for free. While the band plays, a montage will be projected into the planetarium’s dome, featuring 1960’s photos, news clippings, pop-culture iconic moments, and more. On various dates in December, see Laser Holidays, an all-ages program featuring laser lights and digital artwork set to holiday music. The kids will enjoy the music in an exquisite venue with family and friends.

Annual Events

Through Jan. 2, 2017, come to the planetarium to see Long Island Skies. Following the program, and weather permitting, the planetarium staff will open

the Observatory. One World, One Sky depicts Sesame Street’s Elmo and Big Bird who discover that they see the same stars at their friend Hu Hu Zhu who lives in China. Night Sky, Live! features lectures by an astronomy educator who will use the planetarium’s Starball to show viewers what the Long Island night sky will look like on the very day they visit the venue.


Address: 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport Directions: Approximately a 1-hour drive from Midtown Hours: Through April 10, 2017: museum: Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday, 124pm (the last mansion tour is at 4pm); planetarium: Tuesday, Friday-Sunday, see website for show times. Admission: $7; $6 students with ID and seniors ages 62 and older; $3 children 12 and younger. Planetarium show and mansion tours: an additional $5 each per person. For more information: 631-854-5579 or

New Location in the Financial District!


• Ages 2-8 Italian Language Program using song, stories, games and arts & crafts • Ages 2-5 -Morning drop off playgroup • Workshops in Italian • Italian Art Workshop • Tutoring Services 1556 Third Ave @ 87th, Suite 603, NY, NY • 212.427.7770 •


BigAppleParent 25


HOLIDAY TRAIN SHOW® November 19 – January 16 NYC’s Favorite Train Show is New and Bigger Than Ever!

Have a hard time sitting still? Have difficulty paying attention? Have trouble listening and following instructions? Have difficulty focusing? Constantly go, go, go?

Insertion date: DECEMBER 01, 2016 Size: 3.55" x 4.7" 4C MAG


The free treatment research study is evaluating whether a computerized brain training program will improve academic achievement, social skills, family functioning, and symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Parent and child must be fluent in English, the family must have a computer with internet access at home, and the child must be diagnosed with ADHD through the assessment conducted at our lab.

If you are interested, contact the FACES Lab (Families and Children Experiencing Success) Call: 212-992-7699 Email:

Founding Sponsors




LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust

Brooks Brothers


NBG-0044-TrainShow_NyMetroParents_3.55x4.7_Dec01_v1.indd 1

11/9/16 11:13 AM

Described by SKI Magazine as

“A True Family Mountain”

Where Midweek Skiing is



Lift tickets Monday-friday (Excludes All Holiday Periods)

or Join Us for a Weekend! In addition to skiing we also offer:


Enjoy 2 hours of screaming good fun for $20

Learn More at:

22 Trails | 11 Lifts | 100% Snowmaking | Lesson | Rentals | Ski & Stay Pkgs | A FUN Family Mountain An easy drive from the NY Metro area into the Berkshires | 380 State Rd., Great Barrington, MA 01230 | (413) 528.2000


December 2016 |

Ideas When You Need Them:

Sign up for our FREE newsletter & never hear “I’m bored!” again. We email the top kids’ events every Thursday—just in time to make weekend plans!

Turn the page for details on Macy’s Santaland (No. 9 on our list).

y-day day-b : r u o t ou line ar Check alendar on alend c ood, hborh cost. g i e n h by and Searc type, age, t n eve ily! ted da a d p U




ents. ropar


28 Editor’s Hot Tickets

34 Show Time!

30 We Can’t Believe It’s FREE!, Holiday Fun

35 Mini Musicians



33 Dance Party

36 On Screen, Tree & Menorah Lightings 37 Browse & Buy, Animal Lovers

EDITOR’S HOT TICKETS Our calendar is full of great ideas. First, here are the 10 events we consider can’t-miss—the ones we’re taking our own kids to. Consider it your cheat sheet to the best of what’s great this month!


The Laurie Berkner Band

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 3, 11am WHERE: New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th St., Upper West Side AGES: All WHAT: Best-selling, award-winning children’s musician Laurie Berkner returns to the Upper West Side for a one-time holiday concert. Celebrate the season with a mix of traditional songs, Berkner classics, and new songs. WHY WE LOVE IT: A rare chance to see Berkner in person. WANT TO GO? $37.50 and up. 212-799-5000.

‘Hip Hop Nutcracker’


WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 3, 2pm and 7pm WHERE: United Palace Theatre, 4140 Broadway, Washington Heights AGES: 5 and older WHAT: The show features the music from Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet alongside different hip-hop styles of music and dancing, including breaking, popping and locking. It relocates the action to New Year’s Eve in a contemporary Washington Heights community in New York City. WHY WE LOVE IT: A truly modern take on a holiday classic. WANT TO GO? $10 and up. 212-568-1157.


New York City Fire Museum’s Annual Santa Rescue FREE

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 4, 11:30am WHERE: New York City Fire Museum, 278 Spring St., Soho AGES: All WHAT: Every year Santa is rescued from the roof of the NYC Fire Museum by an FDNY ladder company. Once safely inside, Santa will take gift requests and pose for photos. WHY WE LOVE IT: A treat for fire truck-obsessed kids. WANT TO GO? $8; $5 children. 212-691-1303.

Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 10, 11am WHERE: Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, Upper West Side AGES: All 28

December 2016 |


WHAT: Two-time, Grammy award-nominated Roberts and his band are back for one show on the Upper West Side. He’ll be performing classic songs as well as new ones from his new albums. WHY WE LOVE IT: One of the most popular artists on the kids rock circuit today, his shows are loved by audiences of all ages. WANT TO GO? $17. 212-864-5400.


LC Kids Presents ‘Mariko’s Magical Mix’

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 10, 2pm WHERE: The Lincoln Center: Clark Studio Theater, Rose Building, 165 W. 65th St., Upper West Side AGES: 5 and older WHAT: A unique and beautiful show that tells the tale of Mariko who has an adventure after discovering her mother’s vinyl records in the attic. WHY WE LOVE IT: Created by a collaboration between a critically acclaimed dance company and a celebrated shadow puppet ensemble, it promises to captivate both adults and kids. WANT TO GO? $25. 212-546-2656.

Winter Family Fair

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 11, 2-4:30pm WHERE: The Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Ave., Midtown AGES: 3 and older WHAT: Cozy up in the atmospheric setting of the Morgan to see a performance of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Wander around the museum and see a magician, meet Scrooge, make crafts, and dress up. WHY WE LOVE IT: It’s old-fashioned fun. WANT TO GO? $20; $13 children ages 13-16, seniors, and students; free for children younger than 12. 212-685-0008.



Get weekend activities delivered to you!

yrs. of Fun, Frien ds, & Fitness! ››

Fo r K id s 9 mos to 1 2 y rs


The Joffrey Ballet ‘The Nutcracker’

WHEN: Dec. 9-11, Friday, 7pm; Saturday, 2pm and 7pm; Sunday, 1pm and 5pm WHERE: NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place, Greenwich Village AGES: 5 and older WHAT: More than 300 students from the Joffrey Ballet School perform, alongside guest artists, to present the full two-act version of The Nutcracker. This much-loved production features all the fun of dancing mice, sugar plums, and dolls. WHY WE LOVE IT: A great family-friendly production of the classic show featuring the ballet stars of tomorrow having their big moment. WANT TO GO? $50; $25 for children younger than 12 and seniors. 212-992-8484.

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: the Musical’

Grea t Pe rks Fo r Me m be rs V is it O u r To ta Awe s o mll y e Ne w ly Re n ova te Fa c il ity d !

Nothing Else Even Comes Close! Gymnastics • Music • Playtime • Summer Camps


WHEN: Dec. 1-18, Wednesday-Sunday, see website for times WHERE: The Theater at Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, Midtown AGES: All WHAT: A stage production of the classic, animated TV special featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius, and, of course, Rudolph! WHY WE LOVE IT: Happiness is being able to revisit your childhood with your kids! WANT TO GO? $44 and up. 212-465-6741.

School Break Camps • Jodi’s To Go • Best Birthdays Ever 244 E. 84th St. NYC • 212.772.7633 25 Hubbels Dr. Mt. Kisco • 914.244.8811

My IDNYC card helps us easily access city resources, from the library to the city hospital. I can get discounts on groceries, medicine, and movie tickets.

Macy’s Santaland FREE

WHEN: Through Dec. 24: daily, 9am-9pm WHERE: Macy’s Herald Square, 151 W. 34th St., Midtown AGES: All WHAT: Come and meet the man with the white beard and enter the North Pole recreated on 34th Street. There are real-life elves, animatronic displays, and the famous windows to excite your little ones. Photography package purchase is optional. Packages start at $20.99. WHY WE LOVE IT: Santaland is a magical place and is much more than a photo opportunity with Old St. Nick. WANT TO GO? 212-695-4400.


‘Mother Africa: My Home’

WHEN: Dec. 1-Jan. 2, 2017: see website for show times WHERE: New Victory Theater, 229 W. 42nd St., Theater District AGES: 5 and older WHAT: This holiday season visit Cape Town’s largest township for a unique, circus spectacular. The show has secured rave reviews around the world. A diverse cast of 26 acrobats, musicians, and dancers wow audiences with breathtaking feats, exuberant afro-beats and colorful sets. There is also an autism friendly show on Dec. 16. WHY WE LOVE IT: Escape the New York winter for a few hours at this dynamic show. A great antidote to the usual holiday production. WANT TO GO? $20-$55. 646-223-3010. ››



8 million New Yorkers

1 card for all of us

BigAppleParent 29

Holiday Windows FREE

WHEN: Through Dec. 31: window opening dates vary, check store websites for details WHERE: Midtown Manhattan, Between 34th and 61st streets, and Sixth and Third avenues, Midtown AGES: All WHAT: Every year each of the big Manhattan department stores unveil bigger and better holiday windows, designed to draw in the crowds and get you into the holiday spirit. The famous ones are Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Lord & Taylor, Tiffany’s, and Henri Bendel. WANT TO GO?;;;;;


Think a freebie has to be ho-hum? Don’t let the price tag (or lack of one) fool you. Here are the five no-cost events we’re excited about now. You’re welcome. New York Theatre Ballet Performing Keith Michael’s ‘The Nutcracker’ FREE

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 2, 7-8pm WHERE: Winter Garden at Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey St., Battery Park AGES: All WHAT: A chance to see the acclaimed dance company perform its one-hour, kid-friendly The Nutcracker for free. Audience members will be able to take photos with their favorite characters before the show. WANT TO GO? 212-417-2445.

Unsilent Night FREE

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 10, 7pm WHERE: Washington Square Park, 1 Washington Square E., Greenwich Village AGES: 9 and older WHAT: Each participant pre-downloads 1 of 4 tracks that form the original composition “Unsilent Night” by Phil Kline, written specifically to be heard outdoors in the month of December. Together all four tracks are played simultaneously by the crowd who walk from Washington Square to Tompkins Square, bringing their “mobile sound sculpture” with them. WANT TO GO?

Bethlehem on Broadway FREE

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 17, 11am-4pm WHERE: Times Square Church, 237 W. 51st St., Times Square AGES: All WHAT: Complete with live animals, shepherds, magi, and a live nativity, the immersive theatrical experience will bring the birth of Christ to life with a cast of more than 100 actors and will include new musical arrangements of traditional Christmas carols as well as original songs. WANT TO GO? 212-541-6300.

A Holiday Reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ FREE WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 18, 3-5pm WHERE: Church of the Intercession, Broadway and West 155th Street, Harlem AGES: All WHAT: An atmospheric reading of the Christmas classic tale by WABCTV’s Sade Baderinwa. After, there is a lantern procession and wreath-laying at Clement Clarke Moore’s actual tomb at Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum. WANT TO GO? 212-283-6200. 30

December 2016 |

Swedish Christmas Children’s Workshop

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 3, 1-3pm WHERE: Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America, 58 Park Ave., Midtown AGES: 5-8 WHAT: Families can experience how Swedes prepare for Christmas in this customary Julpysseldag (Christmas Craft Day). Kids learn the secrets of making traditional holiday crafts, and experience a candlelit Saint Lucia procession. Registration required. WANT TO GO? $15. 212-779-3587.

Holiday Candlelight Tours

WHEN: Dec. 2-3, Saturday-Sunday, 6:15pm and 7:30pm WHERE: Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, 421 E. 61st St., Upper East Side AGES: 5 and older WHAT: Tour the museum by the warm glow of candlelight, step back into the holiday season of 1830 and sample traditional treats and music. Reservations required. WANT TO GO? $20; $5 for children younger than 12. 212-838-6878.

Historical Train Weekend

WHEN: Dec. 10-11, Saturday-Sunday, 12:30-3:30pm WHERE: New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park W., Upper West Side AGES: 5-17 WHAT: Bring the whole family to explore the NYHS’ train show, Holiday Express. Take part in a train scavenger hunt, crafts, and storytime, and Conductor Abe will also be on hand to entertain. WANT TO GO? $20; $15 seniors; $12 students; $6 children ages 5-13; free for children 4 and younger. 212-873-3400.

Breakfast with Santa

WHEN: Dec. 10-17, Sundays, 9am WHERE: Pier 16, South Street Seaport, 89 South St., Lower Manhattan AGES: All WHAT: Families can enjoy a buffet brunch, kid-friendly music, Christmas movies, dancing, games, and Santa and his elves. WANT TO GO? $49; $39 children. 212-742-1969.

Breakfast with Santa and Elfprov

WHEN: Nov. 26-Dec. 17, Saturdays, 9:30am WHERE: Broadway Comedy Club, 318 W. 53rd St., Midtown AGES: All WHAT: Have breakfast with Santa and then enjoy some Christmas improv at this meet-and-greet for families. WANT TO GO? $25. 212-568-6560.

Latkepalooza! Hanukkah Family Day

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 18, 10am-1pm WHERE: Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, Battery Park City AGES: All WHAT: Get ready for the Festival of Lights with food, music, and handson activities for the whole family. WANT TO GO? $10. 646-437-4200.

Chanukah Festival

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 18, 11am WHERE: 92Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., Upper East Side AGES: All WHAT: A Hanukkah family festival with lots of fun activities. From dreidel, menorah, and holiday card making to special activities and games, this festival event is not to be missed. Please bring an unwrapped, unopened gift for a gift drive. WANT TO GO? $12; $18 children. 212-415-5500.

Hanukkah Family Day

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 18, 12-4pm WHERE: Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., Upper East Side AGES: 3 and older WHAT: Kids can construct a sculptural Hanukkah menorah with funky found objects, dance to the music of Shirlala, see the Hanukkah story brought to life through a drawing performance with Jeff Hopkins, and explore the museum’s world-famous collection of Hanukkah lamps. WANT TO GO? $15; $12 seniors; $7.50 students; free for children. 212-423-3200.

Hanukkah Playhouse & Holiday Book Fair

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 18, 11am book fair; 1pm performance WHERE: Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center, 129 W. 67th St., Upper West Side AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Enjoy a book fair, Hanukkah-themed storytelling, music, and treats followed by an hour-long musical revue with songs and scenes celebrating the spirit of the holidays. WANT TO GO? $20 performance. 212-501-3330.

It’s Holiday Time in Paley Land FREE

WHEN: Through Dec. 24: Wednesday and Friday-Sunday, 12-6pm; Thursday, 12-8pm WHERE: Paley Center for Media, 25 W. 52nd St., Midtown AGES: All WHAT: Warm up with some hot cocoa and enjoy holiday activities including screenings of beloved holiday TV programs, family craft activities, and a visit from Santa. WANT TO GO? 212-621-6600.

School Break Program

WHEN: Dec. 27-29, Tuesday-Thursday, 1-4pm WHERE: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., Upper East Side AGES: 3-12 WHAT: Travel the world at the Met in this 1-hour workshop. WANT TO GO? $25; $17 seniors, $12 students; free for children younger than 12. 212-570-3961.

New Year’s Eve Countdown

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 31, 11am-2pm WHERE: Children’s Museum of the Arts, 103 Charlton St., Greenwich Village AGES: All WHAT: Make party hats and take part in a mini countdown at 12pm rather than 12am. WANT TO GO? $12; free for children younger than 1; seniors pay as you wish. 212-274-0986.

Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 31, 2pm and 7:30pm WHERE: Apollo Theater, 253 W. 125th St., Harlem AGES: 5 and older WHAT: A joyful evening of dance and music honoring the principles of Kwanzaa—family, community, and culture. Hosted by radio personality Imhotep Gary Byrd and featuring a renowned New York dance company. WANT TO GO? $20-$35. 212-531-5300.

School Vacation Week

WHEN: Dec. 26-Jan. 2, 2017: Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday, 10am6pm; Friday, 10am-8pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm WHERE: New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park W., Upper West Side AGES: All WHAT: Spend the holiday recess doing activities themed around the Holiday Express exhibit. Families can enjoy daily scavenger hunts, story times, and crafts. WANT TO GO? $20; $15 seniors; $12 students; $6 children ages 5-13; free for children 4 and younger. 212-873-3400.

Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection

WHEN: Through Feb. 26, 2017: Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday, 10am6pm; Friday, 10am-8pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm WHERE: New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park W., Upper West Side AGES: 5-17 WHAT: The moving display will appeal to all age groups, showcasing toys from a bygone era. It may not be the biggest holiday train show, but it will still delight little train lovers thanks to the beautiful detail of the pieces. WANT TO GO? $20; $15 seniors; $12 students; $6 children ages 5-13; free for children 4 and younger. 212-873-3400.

New York Transit Museum Holiday Train Show FREE

WHEN: Through Feb. 28, 2017: Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10am-6pm WHERE: Grand Central Terminal, NY Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store, 89 E. 42nd St., Midtown AGES: All WHAT: Presented by the New York Transit Museum, this model railroad features Metro-North, New York Central, and subway trains departing from a miniature Grand Central Terminal on a 34-foot-long layout. You can also pick up great gifts for train fans at the shop at the same time. WANT TO GO? ››

Kwanzaa 2016: Songs for the Soul

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 30, 12-3pm WHERE: The American Museum of Natural History, 200 Central Park W., Upper West Side AGES: All WHAT: Celebrate Kwanzaa at this popular, annual happening, hosted by Dr. Linda H. Humes and featuring American Idol champion Ruben Studdard, students from the Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music, and a screening of Let Freedom Sing. WANT TO GO? $22; $17 students and seniors; $12.50 children. 212-7695100. BigAppleParent 31

CRAFTY KIDS Family Art Workshop FREE

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 3, 10:30am-12pm WHERE: The Drawing Center, 35 Wooster St., Soho AGES: 9-12, adult WHAT: A drawing workshop in which families will explore work in the exhibit Cecily Brown: Rehearsal. WANT TO GO? 212-219-2166.

MOVERS & SHAKERS National Double Dutch League’s 2016 Double Dutch Holiday Classic

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 4, 1-4pm WHERE: The Apollo Theater, 253 W. 125th St., Harlem AGES: 9 and older WHAT: The Super Bowl of Double Dutch comes to Harlem for this annual event, now in its 25th year. This year’s participants come from Africa, Belgium, Dominican Republic, France, Japan, Trinidad, and the U.S. to compete for the grand prize. WANT TO GO? $20. 800-653-8000.

Learn to Box Like Ali

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 17, 1-3pm WHERE: New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park W., Upper West Side AGES: All WHAT: Celebrity trainer and former professional boxer Hollywood Hino Ehikhamenor will be on hand teach some of the moves that made Muhammad Ali “The Greatest of All Time,” as part of the special exhibition Muhammad Ali, LeRoy Neiman, and the Art of Boxing. WANT TO GO? $20; $15 seniors, educators, and active military; $12 students; $6 children ages 5-13; free for children 4 and younger. 212873-3400.

Watson Adventures: Ho-Ho Holiday Midtown Family Scavenger Hunt

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 10 and Thursday, Dec 29, 11am WHERE: Midtown, Fifth Avenue and 58th Street, Midtown AGES: 10 and older WHAT: Scavenger hunt that explores midtown Manhattan during the holiday season. Search for clues around the famous windows on Fifth Avenue, the Rockefeller Center tree, Grand Central Terminal, and the model train display in the Transit Museum Annex. You’ll also visit locations from famous holiday movies such as Elf and Miracle on 34th Street. WANT TO GO? $22; $18 children ages 7-17. 877-946-4868.

The Rink at Rockefeller Center

WHEN: Through April 1, 2017: 8:30am-10pm, see website for session times WHERE: The Rockefeller Center, 600 Fifth Ave., Midtown AGES: All WHAT: The most famous rink in NYC. Skate around this landmark and get in the seasonal mood. WANT TO GO? $25-$32; $15 seniors and for children 11 and younger; $12 skate rental. 212-938-0005.


December 2016 |

Kids Workshop: Mask Makers

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 10, 1-3pm WHERE: Bard Graduate Center, 18 W. 86th St., Upper West Side AGES: 5-12 WHAT: Kids will make and decorate masks to be used in a performance, as well as learning about mask history and stagecraft. WANT TO GO? $20 per family. 646-398-6944.

Dreamlands Family Day

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 10, 9:30am-3:30pm WHERE: Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort St., Meatpacking District AGES: All WHAT: A day of family activities exploring the exhibition Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905-2016. There is a special early opening just for families, a filmmaking project, gallery tours, and art making activities. WANT TO GO? $22; $17 students and seniors; $12.50 children ages 2-12. 212-570-3600.

Second Sunday Family Tours

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 11, 10:30am-12pm WHERE: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Ave., Upper East Side AGES: 5 and older WHAT: The second Sunday of every month, the Guggenheim runs family-friendly tours that include conversation and creative hands-on gallery activities. WANT TO GO? $20 per family. 212-423-3500.

Special Folding Fun Session with OrigamiUSA

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 11, 10:30am and 2:30pm WHERE: American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West and 79th Street, Upper West Side AGES: 5 and older WHAT: Learn to fold animals, stars, action models, and much more. WANT TO GO? $35; $20 members. 212-769-5635.

Holiday Treats with Creative Kitchen

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 11, 2pm and 3pm WHERE: Children’s Museum of Manhattan, 212 W. 83rd St., Upper West Side AGES: All WHAT: Get your hands messy and make some holiday treats. WANT TO GO? $12; free for children 1 and younger. 212-721-1223.

MOCACREATE: Memorable Meals

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 17, 1-4pm WHERE: Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre St., Chinatown AGES: All WHAT: Create a pot holder that celebrates your favorite foods and memorable meals. WANT TO GO? $10; $5 seniors and students; free for children 12 and younger. 855-955-6622.

Target Family Day FREE

WHEN: Monday, Dec. 26, 11am-3pm WHERE: Cooper Hewitt Museum, 2 E. 91st St., Upper East Side AGES: 5-12 WHAT: Each art program will include a brief gallery tour and a design activity inspired by the museum’s permanent and special exhibitions. WANT TO GO? 212-358-6135.

Personalized Astronaut Action Figures

WHEN: Dec. 29-30, Thursday-Friday, 2:30-5:45pm WHERE: Children’s Museum of the Arts, 103 Charlton St., Greenwich Village AGES: 5 and older WHAT: Using a variety of materials, young artists will make spaceman action figures. WANT TO GO? $12; free for children younger than 1; seniors pay as you wish. 212-274-0986.


The New York Theatre Ballet: Keith Michael’s ‘The Nutcracker’

WHEN: Dec. 10-11, Saturday-Sunday, 11am, 1pm, and 3:30pm WHERE: Florence Gould Hall, 55 E. 59th St., Upper East Side AGES: 3 and older WHAT: From clockwork imps to mice dressed in polka dots and dancers dancing with huge chopsticks, this timeless, re-imagined classic bursts with energy and excitement. WANT TO GO? $34; $24 for children 12 and younger. 800-653-8000.

Dances Patrelle Presents ‘The Yorkville Nutcracker’

WHEN: Dec. 8-11, Thursday-Friday, 7pm; Saturday, 2pm and 7pm; Sunday, 12pm and 5pm WHERE: The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, East 68th Street, Upper East Side AGES: All WHAT: Set in 1895 it takes the audience on a tour of Olde New York, including a holiday party at Gracie Mansion, dancing at the Crystal Palace in the New York Botanical Garden, and skating in Central Park. WANT TO GO? $45 and up. 212-772-4448.

‘Nutcracker Winter Suite’

In Motion Workshop: ‘The Nutcracker’

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 3, 7pm WHERE: Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, Upper West Side AGES: All WHAT: Valentina Kozlova, former principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet and New York City Ballet, presents extracts from The Nutcracker, performed by talented dancers from her dance school along with other young ballet stars. WANT TO GO? $40; $20 children. 212-864-5400.

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 17, 12:45pm WHERE: Samuel B. & David Rose Building, New York City Ballet Rehearsal Studios, 165 W. 65th Street, 7th Floor, Upper West Side AGES: 9-12 WHAT: Each workshop includes a ballet warm-up, a movement combination with choreography inspired by the featured ballet, and a brief interview with two NYCB dancers. WANT TO GO? $14. 212-721-6500.


New York City Children’s Theater Presents ‘Ballerina Swan & The Nutcracker’

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 3, 6-8:30pm WHERE: TADA! Youth Theater, 15 W. 28th St., 3rd Floor, Chelsea AGES: 5-12 WHAT: A fundraiser where kids dance for 150 minutes, party with friends, and have a blast. WANT TO GO? $50. 212-252-1619.

‘Nutcracker Ballet Highlights’

WHEN: Dec. 4-5, Friday, 7pm; Saturday, 4pm WHERE: Rebecca Kelly Ballet Studio, 579 Broadway, 4B, Soho AGES: All WHAT: This show is popular with families because of its intimate studio setting, short show time and Rebecca Kelly soloists. The Saturday performance is a family matinee with an event after the show. WANT TO GO? $45. 212-431-8489.

Come and Dance with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 10, 2pm and 3pm WHERE: Children’s Museum of Manhattan, 212 W. 83rd St., Upper West Side AGES: All WHAT: Dance workshop with teaching artists from the famous ballet company. Tickets required from the front desk in advance on a firstcome, first-served basis. WANT TO GO? $12; free for children 1 and younger. 212-721-1223.

WHEN: Through Dec. 18: see website for show times WHERE: Clurman Theater on Theater Row, 410 W. 42nd St., Midtown AGES: 3-8 WHAT: A new family musical, companion to the hit show and book Ballerina Swan. This world premiere blends ballet and puppetry as Sophie prepares for her first holiday performance of The Nutcracker. WANT TO GO? $25-$45. 212-239-6200.

‘The Nutcracker’: Face to Face Series

WHEN: Dec. 16-18, Friday-Saturday, 6:30pm; Sunday, 2pm WHERE: NY City Center Studios, 130 W. 56th St., Midtown AGES: 9 and older WHAT: Get up close to the dancers in this intimate performance. WANT TO GO? $25. 646-368-9800.

The New York City Ballet Performs George Balanchine’s ‘The Nutcracker’

WHEN: Through Dec. 31: see website for show times WHERE: David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, Upper West Side AGES: 5 and older WHAT: Tchaikovsky’s beloved melodies will transport you to a magical world in which mischievous mice besiege a battalion of soldiers, and an onstage blizzard leads to an enchanted Land of Sweets. WANT TO GO? $40 and up. 212-496-0600. ›› BigAppleParent 33

‘Young Charles Dickens’

WHEN: Dec. 2-18, Thursday-Saturday, 7pm; Wednesday and Sunday, 3pm WHERE: The Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row, 410 W. 42nd St., Theater District AGES: 9 and older WHAT: Based on the book A Boy Called Dickens, this is the true story of how a 12-year-old Charles Dickens found his calling. WANT TO GO? $25. 212-573-8791.

13th Annual Christmas in Italy with Cristina Fontanelli


‘A Season of Miracles’

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 10, 1:30pm WHERE: Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers St., Tribeca AGES: 3 and older WHAT: A fun collection of holiday stories including The Nutcracker, Gift of the Magi, The Kwanzaa Kite, and The Chanukah Miracle. WANT TO GO? $30. 212-220-1460.

‘Peter and the Wolf’ with Isaac Mizrahi

WHEN: Dec. 3-11, Saturday-Sunday, 2:30-3:30pm and 4-5pm WHERE: Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Ave., Upper East Side AGES: 5 and older WHAT: Isaac Mizrahi narrates Sergei Prokofiev’s classic story in this 30-minute story that also teaches children the various instruments in the orchestra. WANT TO GO? $40. 212-423-3587.

‘Hanasaka Jiisan’ (The Old Man Who Made Flowers Bloom)

WHEN: Dec. 10-11, Saturday, 7:30pm; Sunday, 2:30pm WHERE: Japan Society, 333 E. 47th St., Midtown AGES: 5 and older WHAT: One of Japan’s most popular mukashi banashi folktales comes to life with high-octane dance, humor, music, and storytelling. WANT TO GO? $28. 212-832-1155.

‘Puppetkabob: The Snowflake Man’

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 17, 11am and 2pm WHERE: Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, Upper West Side AGES: All WHAT: An award winning marionette puppet show, set in the 1920s. It tells the story of Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley, the self-educated farmer and scientist who attracted world attention when he became the first person to photograph a single snow crystal. WANT TO GO? $17. 212-864-5400.

‘Carnival of the Animals’

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 17, 2pm and 5pm WHERE: Miller Theater at Columbia University, 2960 Broadway, Morningside Heights AGES: 5 and older WHAT: If your kids like Peter and The Wolf or the Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, this is a great holiday show choice. This playful production for families brings to life Saint-Saëns’ musical salute to animals using puppets and music. WANT TO GO? $15-$40; $9-$24 children and students. 212-8541633. 34

December 2016 |

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 18, 3pm WHERE: Washington Irving Campus Auditorium Landmark Theater, 40 Irving Place, Grammercy Park AGES: 5 and older WHAT: Join Award-winning singer and PBS/WNET-TV host Cristina Fontanelli for this annual performance of Italy’s best-loved songs, arias, Neapolitan, and Christmas classics. She performs alongside the children of the Little Language Studio and the Jersey City Ballet. WANT TO GO? $38 and up; $22 children ages 6-14. 212-217-6181.

‘The First Noel’

WHEN: Dec. 10-18, Tuesday-Sunday, 2pm and 7pm WHERE: The Apollo Theater, 253 W. 125th St., Harlem AGES: 9 and older WHAT: A holiday musical, set in Harlem, featuring a mixture of music genres, from disco to rock and gospel. WANT TO GO? $33.50 and up. 212-531-5305.

‘Hanna and the Moonlit Dress’

WHEN: Dec. 2-18, Friday, 4pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10am and 12pm WHERE: The Theater at the 14th Street Y, 344 E. 14th St., East Village AGES: All WHAT: An immersive, family musical about the magic of a good deed based on the beloved Israeli book Hanna’s Sabbath Dress. Children will help by crafting paper masks, costumes, and set pieces with the actors. WANT TO GO? $18; $50 for a family of four. 646-395-4310.

‘A Christmas Carol the Musical’

WHEN: Through Dec. 30: see website for dates and times WHERE: The Players Theatre, 115 Macdougal St., Greenwich Village AGES: 5 and older WHAT: Follow along with Ebenezer Scrooge as he is visited by four ghosts, and see what happens when he gets a glimpse of his own future if he doesn’t change his life. Will Scrooge catch the holiday spirit and save himself in the process? WANT TO GO? $32 and up. 917-863-7113.

‘The Three Bears Holiday Bash’

WHEN: Through Dec. 30: see website for show times WHERE: Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre in Central Park, West 81st Street and Central Park West, Upper West Side AGES: All WHAT: A fun, variety show for little ones who are too small to see the major holiday shows. Drawing from the stories of Hanukkah, the Night Before Christmas, and Kwanzaa, The Three Bears Holiday Bash has something for everyone! WANT TO GO? $10; $7 children.

‘Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas’

WHEN: Through Dec. 31: Saturday-Sunday, 1pm WHERE: Theater at Blessed Sacrament Church, 152 W. 71st St., Upper West Side AGES: Newborn to 5 WHAT: After selling some of her old gowns and accessories, Nancy has enough money to buy a brand-new sparkly tree topper and can’t wait

to decorate the Christmas tree. But when things don’t turn out the way Nancy planned, will Christmas still be splendiferous? WANT TO GO? $25 and up.

‘Radio City Christmas Spectacular’ Featuring The Rockettes

WHEN: Through Jan. 2, 2017: see website for show times WHERE: Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Ave., Midtown AGES: 5 and older WHAT: Celebrate the holiday season in a way that only Radio City can deliver: with this celebrated Christmas spectacle in an iconic venue. Be wowed by favorite numbers including The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers and The Living Nativity. WANT TO GO? $46 and up. 866-858-0007.


MUSICIANS LC Kids Artists at the Atrium: Brown Rice Family FREE

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 3, 11am and 2pm WHERE: David Rubenstein Atrium, 61 W. 62nd St., Upper West Side AGES: 3-5 WHAT: Ride a wave of world roots music with this eight-piece band featuring a mix of reggae, hip-hop, Latin music, dancehall, and more. WANT TO GO? 212-875-5000.

Annual Holiday Sing-A-Long with Dan Zanes & Friends

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 4, 11am WHERE: City Winery, 155 Varick St., Soho AGES: All WHAT: Grammy Award-winner Dan Zanes returns for this annual holiday shindig, mixing sea shanties, English music hall, North American and West Indian folk music, the spirit of early rock ‘n’ roll, and soulful originals. WANT TO GO? $20. 212-608-0555.

Baby Got Bach: Principally Percussion

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 10, 10am WHERE: 92Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., Upper East Side AGES: 3-8 WHAT: This popular series introduces kids to musical instruments, teaching them about a different type at each event. This month get hands on with percussion instruments, take part in a jamming session, and enjoy an interactive concert. WANT TO GO? $20. 212-415-5500.

A City Singing At Christmas FREE

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 17, 2pm and 5:30pm WHERE: St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 460 Madison Ave., Midtown AGES: 5 and older WHAT: Free, annual concert by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City. Arrive early to secure best seats. WANT TO GO? 212-753-2261.

The Little Orchestra Society’s ‘Beethoven’

WHEN: Dec. 17-18, Saturday-Sunday, 10:30am and 11:30am; Sunday, 1pm WHERE: Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, 695 Park Ave., Upper East Side AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Kids meet the composers and learn what makes them and their music unique, complete with inspiring young soloists, video, and great music. WANT TO GO? $15-$48. 212-971-9500.

Third Street Music School Settlement 120th Anniversary Holiday Concert

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 18, 3pm WHERE: Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU, 566 LaGuardia Place, East Village AGES: 5 and older WHAT: Come and see some of New York’s most talented child performers at this annual concert by the music school. The 3-hour performance will feature ensemble performances and solos, orchestras, choirs, dance, a rock band, and more. WANT TO GO? $15. 212-352-3101.

Make Music Winter FREE

WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 21, see website for details WHERE: Various venues citywide, see website for locations, Greenwich Village, Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Meatpacking District, Fort Washington AGES: All WHAT: Celebrate the winter solstice by taking part in a musical parade, inspired by Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night. Choose from early music on the Upper West Side, drumming in Greenwich Village, chimes on The High Line, a Bach Prelude on the Upper East Side, or a call-and-response vocal piece in Fort Washington. WANT TO GO?

Family Concert: Oran Etkin

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 25, 11:30am WHERE: The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., Upper East Side AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Hanukkah concert featuring klezmer, jazz, and the music of Africa. WANT TO GO? $16. 212-423-3200. ››

43rd Annual Merry Tuba Christmas FREE

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 11, 3:30pm WHERE: Rockefeller Center Plaza, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Midtown AGES: All WHAT: Every year since 1974, tuba players have gathered on The Rink at Rockefeller Center to play Christmas carols and other crowd pleasers. Come and sing-along and enjoy the holiday sound of hundreds of low brass! This event is now replicated in 200 other cities worldwide. WANT TO GO?

Ringing in the New: A Festive Winter Concert

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 11, 2pm WHERE: 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., Upper East Side AGES: All WHAT: The exciting annual celebration of holiday music and the multicultural communities of New York City. WANT TO GO? TBA. 212-415-5500.

Pusteblume International Preschool provides children with a fun and community-oriented multicultural environment where instruction in the German and Spanish language serves as a catalyst for the development of each child’s unique cultural identity.

Ask about our NEW afternoon program for 2-3 year olds. Tours are available every Friday between the hours of 9:30AM to 11:30AM, please contact us to book your date and time. Pusteblume International Preschool is directed by Friends of the German International School of New York, Inc., a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation.

BigAppleParent 35

TREE & MENORAH LIGHTINGS 20th Annual Dana Holiday Lighting FREE

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 1, 5:30-6:30pm WHERE: Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, Central Park, 110th Street between Lenox and Fifth avenues, Upper East Side AGES: All WHAT: Meet Santa and friends, watch a live ice carving demonstration, sing carols on the Plaza, and warm up with hot cocoa and cookies. The event concludes with the turning on of the holiday lights of the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center and a flotilla of trees on the Harlem Meer. WANT TO GO? 212-860-1370.

Carl Schurz Park Holiday Tree Lighting FREE

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 4, 5-6pm WHERE: Carl Schurz Park, East 86th Street and East End Avenue, Upper East Side AGES: All WHAT: Enjoy hot chocolate, candy canes, candles, caroling, and lighting up the tree at this annual Upper East Side event. WANT TO GO? 212-459-4455.

ON SCREEN FIAF Family Saturdays Make Believe Day

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 10, 11:30am and 2pm WHERE: French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), 22 E. 60 St., Midtown AGES: All WHAT: Bring your petit to discover the fantastical world of Michel Ocelot, one of France’s most creative animation artists. Screenings will be followed by snacks, storytelling, and a dance workshop at 2pm. WANT TO GO? $10. 646-388-6612.

Family Films: Kids Who Collect FREE

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 10, 12-1pm WHERE: The Museum of Modern Art, 4 W. 54th St., Midtown AGES: 5 and older WHAT: Enjoy classic live-action and animated films and suggestions for follow-up activities in the museum’s galleries. WANT TO GO? 212-708-9805.

‘The Snowman’

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 17, 11am and 1pm WHERE: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., Upper East Side AGES: 5 and older WHAT: Discover the magical story of the snowman who comes to life and flies to the North Pole to meet Santa. WANT TO GO? $50. 800-965-4827.

Film Forum Jr. Screenings

WHEN: Through Dec. 25, Sundays, 11am WHERE: Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St., Soho AGES: 5 and older WHAT: Enjoy classic movies at this family screening event. See website for upcoming films. WANT TO GO? $8. 212-727-8112.


December 2016 |

Park Avenue Tree Lighting FREE

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 4, 6:30pm WHERE: Brick Presbyterian Church, Park Avenue and East 91st Street, Upper East Side AGES: All WHAT: Holiday event which has been taking place for 70 years, originally created to honor men and women who died in WWII. WANT TO GO?

South Cove Holiday Lights FREE

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 8, 6:15pm WHERE: Battery Park City Parks, South Cove, Battery Park City AGES: All WHAT: Celebrate the holidays with this event featuring caroling, warm beverages, cookies, and the Battery Park City community. If you would like to donate a gift to Stockings with Care, please bring a new, unwrapped gift to the event. WANT TO GO? 212-267-9700.

Holiday on the Hudson FREE

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 10, 4:30-6:30pm WHERE: West Harlem Pier Park, 125th Street, Harlem AGES: All WHAT: Celebrate the holidays in West Harlem with this tree lighting event with live music and hot chocolate. Bring your own disposable mug. WANT TO GO?

Lighting of the World’s Largest Hanukkah Menorah FREE

WHEN: Dec. 24-31, Sunday-Thursday, 5:30pm; Friday, 3:30pm; Saturday, 8pm WHERE: Grand Army Plaza, Fifth Avenue between 58th and 59th streets, Midtown AGES: All WHAT: Gather around the 32-foot-high, gold-colored, 4,000-pound steel holiday icon at Grand Army Plaza to kick off the annual Jewish Festival of Lights. The menorah will be lit every night during Hanukkah with earlier and later times on the Sabbath and is not to be confused with the Brooklyn Menorah of the same name. WANT TO GO?

2016 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree FREE

WHEN: Dec. 1-Jan. 7, 2017, daily, 5:30-12am WHERE: Rockefeller Center, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Midtown AGES: All WHAT: The king of Christmas trees in New York City with more than half a million people passing by the tree every day during the holidays. WANT TO GO? 212-632-3975.

Origami Holiday Tree

WHEN: Nov. 21-Jan. 8, 2017, daily, 10am-5:45pm WHERE: The American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West and 79th Street, Upper West Side AGES: All WHAT: For a Christmas tree with a difference, look no further. Nimble fingered volunteers began folding in July to complete around 1,000 creations that will be displayed on the tree. WANT TO GO? $22; $17 students and seniors; $12.50 children ages 2-12; free for children younger than 2. 212-769-5100.

BROWSE & BUY The 2016 Holiday Handmade Cavalcade FREE

WHEN: Dec. 5-11, Monday-Sunday, 10am-7:30pm WHERE: Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Ave., Chelsea AGES: All WHAT: Shop for unusual and unique holiday gifts from the best of Etsy vendors across the tri-state. WANT TO GO? 917-463-3833.

Grand Central Terminal’s Annual Holiday Fair FREE

WHEN: Through Dec. 24: Monday-Friday, 10am-8pm; Saturday, 10am7pm; Sunday, 11am-7pm WHERE: Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Hall, 89 E. 42nd St., Midtown AGES: All WHAT: Stop by the longest running indoor holiday market in New York City and pick up some gifts (including some treats for yourself!). WANT TO GO? 212-340-2583.

Union Square Holiday Market FREE

WHEN: Through Dec. 24: Monday-Friday, 11am-8pm; Saturday, 10am8pm; Sunday, 11am-7pm WHERE: Union Square, 33 E. 17th St., Union Square AGES: All

WHAT: One of the most popular holiday shopping destinations in NYC, packed with unusual vendors, unique gifts, social conscious vendors, and food and drink to enjoy. WANT TO GO? 212-529-9262.

Columbus Circle Holiday Market FREE

WHEN: Through Dec. 24: Monday-Saturday, 10am-9pm; Sunday, 10am-8pm WHERE: Columbus Circle, Southwest entrance of Central Park, Midtown AGES: All WHAT: Shop for gifts, including artisan food and drink and designer jewelry, at this holiday market that pops up on the corner of Central Park for another year. WANT TO GO? 212-529-9262.

ANIMAL LOVERS Kids Wildlife Workshop FREE

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 10, 2:30-4pm WHERE: J. Hood Wright Park, West 173rd Street between Haven and Fort Washington avenues, Washington Heights AGES: All WHAT: Meet an eagle owl, fox, and red-tailed hawk at this wildlife event. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 212-360-2777.

Breakfast with the Penguins

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 13, 8:30-10am WHERE: Central Park Zoo, 830 Fifth Ave., Upper East Side AGES: 3-12 WHAT: Bagels and pastries will be provided before hands-on activities, games, and puppets. After that, you’ll head to the penguin exhibit to see them enjoy their own breakfast. WANT TO GO? $50. 212-439-6500.

What Do Animals Do In Winter? FREE

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 18, 1-2:30pm WHERE: Inwood Hill Park, Payson Center, Payson Avenue and Dyckman Street, Inwood AGES: 3-12 WHAT: Find out about what park animals do to prepare for the winter. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 212-795-1388.

The Butterfly Conservatory

WHEN: Dec. 10-May 28, 2017: daily, 10am-5:45pm WHERE: The American Museum of Natural History, 200 Central Park W., Upper West Side AGES: All WHAT: One of the museum’s most popular, annual events, this exhibit features up to 500 live, iridescent, tropical butterflies from the Americas, Africa, and Asia. WANT TO GO? $27; $22 seniors and students; $16 children ages 2-12; free for children younger than 2. 212-769-5100.

Coming up next month: JAN. 6: 39th Annual Three Kings Day Parade, East Harlem JAN. 11-16: Disney On Ice at the Prudential Center, Newark, NJ JAN: 28-29: Monster Jam at the Prudential Center, Newark, NJ JAN. 28: Elephant and Piggie… at the New Victory Theater, Times Square BigAppleParent 37


Cut Your Own Christmas Tree


Research by Jonathan Perry and Kathryn Sheridan

Bring holiday cheer and family bonding from the farm to your home by cutting your own Christmas tree this winter. Head to your local tree farm and spend a few fun hours seeking out your family’s perfect tree, then cut it yourself. You can also load up on some festive wreaths, garlands, and baked goods to make the holiday merry and bright! As always, call ahead of time to confirm hours and tree availability before planning your adventure. (one free with each tree purchase). Santa and his elf on-site during all December weekends from 11am-4pm. Free candy canes and coloring books for kids. Pine View Farm 575 Jackson Ave., New Windsor 845-564-4111; Dec. 10-18, Saturday-Sunday, 9am-4pm. Five fields from which to choose a tree. Tools, baling, and assistance provided. Homemade wreaths and Christmas decorations for sale starting Dec. 3-4, 9am-4pm. Free candy canes and coloring books for kids.

Southeast New York Westchester County

Stuart’s Farm 62 Granite Springs Road, Granite Springs 914-245-2784; Nov. 25-Dec. 24, Wednesday-Sunday, 9am-5pm. Handsaws and baling available. Wreaths, garland, and roping for sale. Bakery is open with hot and cold cider, fruit pies, fresh apple cider doughnuts, jams, and jellies. Leashed dogs welcome. Wilkens Fruit and Fir Farm 1335 White Hill Road, Yorktown Heights 914-245-5111; Nov. 26 until they run out of trees, 10am4pm daily. Each family member gets a free cup of hot cider while you choose and cut your own tree. There is a farm market, bakery, and gift shop on-site with roping, wreaths, tree stands, and decorations for sale. Putnam County

Hardwick Tree Farm 213 Wood St., Mahopac 38

December 2016 |

845-528-5814 Nov. 25-Dec. 18, Saturdays and Sundays, and Black Friday. 9am-dusk. Saws and baling provided. Free hot cider and cookies. Orange County

Emmerich Tree Farm 101 Sleepy Valley Road, Warwick 845-986-0151; Nov. 25-Dec. 20, weekends, 9am-5pm. Free trimming, drilling, shaking, and baling available. Wagon rides to the fields, hot chocolate and cookies by the bonfire. Hot dogs by Pippy’s Food Truck. Wreaths for sale. Graney Tree Farm 24 Lang Drive, Pine Bush 845-361-3022 Information not available at press time. Manza Family Farm 730 Route 211, Montgomery 845-692-4364; Nov. 25-Dec. 24, daily, 8am-5pm. Roping available. Pre-cut trees and wreaths for sale; gift shop on premises. Sled rides and pony rides on weekends from 11am-3pm

Stone Oak Farm 207 Stony Bar Road, Slate Hill 845-355-4751 or 845-537-9060 (cell) Nov. 26-Dec. 24, weekends, 10am-dusk, other times by appointment. Barn with fireplace and free hot chocolate and candy canes for children. Fresh wreaths for sale. Three types of trees: white spruce, blue spruce, and Canaan fir. All trees are $52. Dogs are welcome.

New Jersey Morris County

Hidden Pond Tree Farm 4 West Field Road, Mendham 973-865-6362; Nov. 25-Dec. 20, Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-5pm. Pre-cut trees also available. All trees grown at the farm are pesticide-free. Refreshments available. Free hay rides (weather permitting). Marshmallow roasting around the bonfire and free hot chocolate on weekends. Christmas shop with wreaths, greenery, centerpieces, and other decorations. After the first weekend, call for updates on availability before visiting. Rolling Green Farm 61 Hacklebarney Road, Long Valley 908-879-7457 Nov. 25-Dec. 24, Black Friday and week-

ends, 10am-5pm. Cut your own trees. Wreaths, tree sprays, and antiques for sale in the shop. Sussex County

Country Heritage Farm 129 Plains Road, Augusta 973-875-5590 Nov. 25-Dec. 18, weekends, 9am-4pm. Saws provided. Christmas shop with decorations, ornaments, wreaths, holly, tree stands, and garland on-site. Hayride to haul tree back from field provided. Giordano’s Tree Farm 350 Route 94 S. (at Hilltop Drive), Newton 908-231-8847 Dec. 3-4, Saturday-Sunday, 8:30am-dark. Saws and tree wrapping provided. Santa visits. Ten-foot trees available. More than 1,000 trees up to 9 feet tall, dozens of trees as tall as 20 feet. All trees are $42. Assistance is available for wrapping and tying to car. Bailing available. Holiday Tree Farm 44 Augusta Hill Road, Augusta 973-948-7488 Nov. 25-Dec. 18, Friday-Sunday, 9am-5pm. Saws provided. Christmas shop on premises with wreaths for sale. Shale Hills Farm 98 Pond School Road, Sussex 973-875-4231 Nov. 25-Dec. 24, weekends only, 10am-dark. Santa appearances throughout the day. Christmas movies in the hayloft and a petting zoo full of animals in the barn. Stonerow Tree Farm 242 Wykertown Road, Branchville 973-875-7968 (farm) 973-948-6463 (office)

Information was not available at press time; please call to confirm.

Sat 12/3 | 11AM Sun 12/4 | 11AM Sat 12/10 | 11AM Sun 12/11 | 11AM Sat 12/17 | 11AM Sun 12/18 | 11AM Sat 12/24 | 11AM Mon 12/26 | 11AM Tue 12/27 | 11AM Wed 12/28 | 11AM Thu 12/29 | 11AM Fri 12/30 | 11AM Sat 12/31 | 11AM

Warren County

Evergreen Valley Christmas Tree Farm 77 Jackson Valley Road, Washington 908-835-0557 Nov. 25-Dec. 24, Friday-Saturday, 10am-sundown; Sunday-Thursday, 12pm-sundown. Tools and assistance provided. Wagon rides and hot chocolate available on weekends. Pets on leashes allowed. Wyckoff’s Christmas Tree Farm, LLC 249 County Road 519, Belvidere 908-475-4508; Nov. 25-Dec. 24, daily, 8am4:30pm. Country gift shop with holiday decorations open 9am-4:30pm weekends only. Hayrides on weekends only, weather permitting. Thousands of trees available. Leashed dogs welcome.

Tilly Mouse lives under an opera house, and she just loves to sing! But whenever anyone sees her, they scream and run away. Tilly wishes she could perform in the big holiday concert at the opera house, even though everybody says that an opera house is no place for a mouse. But when the holidays arrive and the Diva goes missing, it’s up to Tilly to save the day! With arias by Mozart and Puccini, music from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker and Handel’s Messiah, and other holiday favorites.

“Outsanding!” - Three Weeks Edinburgh “A hit in this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, it’s a heart-warming smile-inducing treat for kids and adults alike.” - DC Metro Arts “Bravo to Melanie Gall for creating Opera Mouse, a Fringe show that’s equally satisfying for kids and their accompanying adults!” - “Kids will love Tilly Mouse!” - CBC Winnipeg

15 Vandam Street New York City, NY 10013 For Tickets CALL (212) 691-1555 or visit

Middlesex County

Barclay’s Tree Farm 35 Orchardside Drive, Cranbury 609-799-1855 Nov. 25-Dec. 25, weekends, 9am-5pm. Tools and assistance provided. Fresh plain or decorated wreaths and tree stands for sale. Leashed dogs allowed. Simonson Farms Two locations: 260 Dey Road and 120 Cranbury Neck Road, Cranbury 609-799-0140 Nov. 25-Dec. 23, weekdays, 12-4:30pm (or dark), and weekends, 9am-4:30pm (or dark). Saws provided and free netting is available. Santa visits on the weekends of Nov. 24-Dec. 16. Wreaths available for purchase.


Find the full guide at ›› BigAppleParent 39

Courtesy MSG Entertainment Courtesy Billy Beez

Courtesy Cradle of Aviation Museum

Courtesy Brooklyn Boulders

Celebrate the holidays with the beloved Radio City Rockettes and witness the iconic kickline.

Kids take in the view at Brooklyn Boulders. A Grumman F-11ATiger, one of 75 aircraft at Cradle of Aviation Museum Billy Beez’s play space will keep the kids busy for hours.

A Staycation a Day


Ideas for seven fun-filled family days around our region. By Bethany Braun-Silva


here’s no better way to create lasting memories as a family than taking a trip together, especially around the holidays. As a mom of two young boys, however, I know how hard—and expensive—it can be to take a trip. The good news is you don’t need to get on an airplane or even stay at a hotel to have a memorable and exciting winter break. The New York metro area offers such a wealth of things to do with kids that there are virtually endless possibilities for a “vacation” right here at home. To help, we’ve created a list of seven great local “staycation” itineraries—a week’s worth of kid-focused fun for you and your family to enjoy this holiday season.


Courtesy Stepping Stones Museum for Children

Check out Brooklyn Boulders, at which adults and kids can scale mountain-like fixtures in Boerum Hill. You can also experience a bit of history at the New York Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn. Got an animal-lover on your hands? Head to Coney Island and visit the New York Aquarium to marvel at the sea turtles, sharks, seals, and more.

Fairfield County, CT

The Stepping Stones Museum for Children offers kids educational fun.


Check out the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, which is home to a special “Animals Without Passports” exhibit through Jan. 2, 2017. The Stepping Stones Museum for Children, also in Norwalk, offers a great variety of activities, including Zumba® classes for kids and an Elf Workshop in which children can create their own Christmas tree ornament. Top off the day by catching a performance of The Nutcracker at The Palace in Stamford.

December 2016 |

Long Island

Garden City’s Cradle of Aviation Museum features more than 75 aircraft and spacecraft, a dozen cockpits, and 30 hands-on exhibits. You can keep the learning going with a trip to Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, Theodore Roosevelt’s home, which offers tours and ranger activities for kids. Kids can also enjoy troutfeeding demonstrations and tours at the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium in Cold Spring Harbor and take a trip back in time at Old Bethpage Village Restoration in Old Bethpage, at which they can take part in the junior apprenticeship program, dress in authentic period clothing, and learn historic crafts.


Start at everyone’s favorite, the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side. You can then take a short trip downtown—walk through Central Park if it’s not too cold—to experience the holiday fun

at Rockefeller Center or take in the Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. Finish up with some grub at Ellen’s Stardust Diner in Midtown, since you’re sure to be hungry.


Head to Corona to experience GingerBread Lane at the New York Hall of Science. It won the Guinness World Record—in 2013, 2014, and 2015—for the largest gingerbread village. You can also see a family-friendly show at Flushing Town Hall or check out the annual Holiday Market there. Next, head over to Funtopia USA for some arcade fun in Middle Village.

Twin Parks Montessori Open House Events

Central Park

Park West


Dec 6th 9:30 am

Jan 12th 9:30 am

Jan 18th 9:30 am

1 West 91st Street New York, NY 10024 P (212) 595-2000

435 Central Park West New York, NY 10025 P (212) 678-6072 F (212) 678-1998

202 Riverside Drive New York, NY 10025 P (212) 665-1600 F (212) 665-1775

F (212) 595-0101



Courtesy New York Hall of Science





Twin Parks Montessori Schools are accredited by AMS, MSCES, and are members of ISAAGNY, NYSAIS, the Parents League and are affiliates of Columbia University.

Kids take in the amazing feat that is GingerBread Lane at the New York Hall of Science.

Rockland County

Head to the Palisades Center in West Nyack for some serious family fun all in one place. Kids and adults can take on the ropes course at Palisades Climb Adventure. Afterward, parents can sit back while their kids jump and play at Billy Beez, an indoor play space. Younger kids will enjoy the Ferris wheel and carousel just off the food court, while older ones can catch a movie or IMAX and go ice-skating.

Light Up Your Holidays! LIMITED ENGAGEMENT

Westchester County

Nov. 22 - Jan. 8

Have a museum-filled day at the Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah or the Westchester Children’s Museum in Rye (or both!). Afterward, head over to Ridge Hill in Yonkers for an afternoon at Legoland Discovery Center, to experience the festive creations at Bricktacular. Walk just a block or two within Ridge Hill to find a bite to eat or be truly adventurous and try indoor skydiving at iFly.

Courtesy Legoland Discovery Center



“BEST NEW ACT IN AMERICA! SUPERB, SENSATIONAL!” - America’s Got Talent • 212-239-6200

New World Stages • 340 W 50th St.

Kids can build and learn with Legos at Legoland Discovery Center.


BigAppleParent 41 iLuminate.MetroParent.3.55x4.7.4C.indd 1

10/26/16 3:29 PM

Winter Break Activities 14th Street Y

344 E. 14th St. 646-395-4356 14th Street Y Mid-Winter Holiday Camp! Join us for a weeklong camp Feb. 20-24, 2017, during which we bring summer camp activities into the winter! Our new Country Day Camp themed Holiday Camp includes gaga, swimming, photography, art, and baking challah! For more information and to register, please visit or call 646-395-4356.

Allen Batista International

450 Lexington Ave., #1346 917-371-3753 Allen Batista Travel Inc. presents family-oriented magic show boat rides at the NY Skyport Marina and Broadway Comedy Club. The master magician spins the ultimate web of deception with sleight of hand tricks and mentalism for the young at heart. The magician skillfully weaves audience members into the show. It is great for birthday and holiday parties. The magic show boat ride enables guests to take in spectacular views from the waterway. Lunch is included in the ticket with a cash bar for beverages. Broadway Comedy Club has a food and drink requirement per person. Visit for tickets.

The Inn at East Hill Farm

460 Monadnock St., Troy, NH 800-242-6495 The Inn at East Hill Farm is an award-winning family farm

vacation resort that is open yearround. Guests enjoy hands-on time with farm animals, milking the cow and goat, collecting chicken eggs, horseback riding, patting the bunnies, making butter and cheese, and helping with barn chores. Winter resort amenities include a children’s recreation program, indoor swimming, hot tub, sauna, hiking, cross-country skiing, sleigh rides, snowshoeing, sledding, and ice-skating. Rates include three home-cooked meals daily, and a bottomless cookie jar!

Jodi’s Gym

244 E. 84th St. 212-772-7633 25 Hubbels Drive, Mount Kisco 914-244-8811 Jodi’s Gym December camp is a morning of nonstop, action-packed fun! Your child will run, jump, tumble, balance, stretch, sing, create, move, and groove, all under the supervision and care of our well-trained and certified staff. Come experience the joys of gymnastics, music, and art. It’s a mix your child is sure to love. Join us in our 35th year!

The Little Gym

2121 Broadway, 2nd Floor (between 74th and 75th streets), Upper West Side 212-799-1225 207 E. 94th St. (between Second and Third avenues), Upper East Side 212-787-1124 777 White Plains Road, Scarsdale 914-722-0072



“Celebrating 20 years of dance education for youth and teens.” !

Winter/Spring 2017, Jan. 9th-June 10th

55 Avenue C/ 982 5751


28 Franklin Turnpike, Waldwick, NJ 201-445-4444 This holiday season, busy parents can sign up their spirited little ones for holiday camp days at The Little Gym. Each camp is centered around an interactive and fun theme such as Winter Extravaganza Slumber Party, Ice Cave Pirate Adventure, and Fun with Winter Sports and Speed Skating. Kids have fun playing while building confidence and developing motor skills under the supervision of trained professionals who facilitate in a friendly, non-competitive environment. Each camp day is 3 hours, designed for ages 3-8, and includes obstacle courses, group activities, movement challenges, arts and crafts, and snacks.

SoHo Playhouse

15 Vandam St. 212-691-1555 Holiday Opera Mouse, running from Nov. 27-Dec. 31: Tilly Mouse lives under an opera house, and she just loves to sing! But whenever anyone sees her, they scream and run away. Tilly wishes she could perform in the big holiday concert at the opera house, even though everybody says that an opera house is no place for a mouse. But when the holidays arrive and the Diva goes missing, it’s up to Tilly to save the day! With arias by Mozart and Puccini, music from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker and Handel’s Messiah, and other holiday favorites.

Voilà Chocolat

221 W. 79th St. (near Broadway) 212-920-8799 Love Chocolate? Located on the Upper West Side, Voilà Chocolat is a pioneering concept specializing in hands-on make-your-ownchocolate experiences and activities. Guests of all ages learn and apply traditional chocolatiering techniques using top-quality Guittard chocolate. Guests can drop in for a la carte activities, book one of our educational classes, or reserve our private party room to organize an unforgettable birthday celebration at Voilà Chocolat. For last minute holiday shopping you can also visit our Midtown chocolate pop-up store!

‘The Yorkville Nutcracker’ Dances Patrelle

212-722-7933 This year marks the 21st anniversary of The Yorkville Nutcracker, set in 1895 turn-of-the-century New York. Dances Patrelle’s classic production takes the audience on a tour through Olde New York’s most beloved landmarks, including a holiday party at Gracie Mansion, dancing at the Crystal Palace in the New York Botanical Gardens, and ice-skating in Central Park. The Yorkville Nutcracker provides an opportunity for young dancers to perform alongside professional artists, which this year includes Abi Stafford, Craig Hall, Maximillien Baud, and Therese Wendler.

Master magician spins the ultimate web of deception during a family oriented magic show at Broadway Comedy Club. Cozy setting is great for birthday, private and holiday celebrations.

Tickets: $30 for adults $20 for children 5–12 years old FREE for kids 1–4 years old Use promo code SHOW25 to save 25% OFF ticket price

Please visit for upcoming show dates. Call: (917) 371-3753 or e-mail for tickets

December 2016 |

TheJewishWeek TheJewishWeek

The Jewish Week I N C O L L A B O R AT I O N W I T H

UJA-Federation of NY AND

Ballet, hip-hop, piano, guitar, rock band, painting cartooning and more!

Central Synagogue


U.S.- Israel Relations In The Trump Era WITH

DAVID MAKOVSKY Mideast expert, award-winning journalist, and former senior advisor to Secretary of State Kerry’s peace team.


Classes are taught by our experienced artist faculty. Generous financial aid and scholarships are available.

Music, Dance, Theater & Visual Arts At the Obie-Award winning Abrons Arts Center For Ages 3 to 18

For information visit or call 212.598.0400



Blended Montessori curricula with emphasis on cultivating a lifelong love for learning.


Co-author of best-seller “StartUp Nation,” former advisor to the U.S. Department of Defense and presidential candidates.

Spanish & Mandarin language classes Kindergarten Prep Program Parent Partner Program


2,000 sq. ft. playground




Author of “Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish,” and the forthcoming book, “My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew.”

To schedule a school tour, visit





HELP WANTED! NYMetroParents is looking for experienced temporary help in our midtown Manhattan office.

Projects Include: • • • •

Data Entry Customer Service Operations/Ad Hoc Projects Magazine/Flyer Distribution

Flexible Schedules & Earn Extra Income! Please email resume or work history to: PRINT






BigAppleParent 43



nymetroparents Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts ›




Ellen Robbins Dance ›

nymetroparents Calling all young thespians! Believe it or not, summer camp enrollment is right around the corner! If you’re considering sending your little one to a summer camp for the arts, look no further than @usdanarts!

nymetroparents People may not be able to fly, but dancers can grand jeté and that’s pretty much the same thing.

Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts 185 Colonial Springs Road, Wheatley Heights | 631-643-7900

Ellen Robbins Dance | Three locations: Soho, Chelsea, and PMT Studio at 14th Street and Sixth Avenue | 212-254-0286

nymetroparents Evolution Enrichment Preschool ›


nymetroparents ÉINY ›


nymetroparents Fact: learning a new language doesn’t just involve speaking, it involves immersing yourself into the country’s culture! École Internationale de New York 111 E. 22nd St. 646-410-2238

nymetroparents Preschool friends are the best friends. Evolution Enrichment Preschool 38 Delancey St., 2nd Floor (enter from Forsyth Street) | 212-375-9500


December 2016 |




The Inn at East Hill Farm ›

Bakshi Law ›


nymetroparents If you’ve ever had a question about special needs law, Lara Bakshi has an answer. Bakshi Law Offices in the Financial District, Long Island, and Westchester 917-244-6133

nymetroparents Gentle as a lamb The Inn at East Hill Farm 460 Monadnock St., Troy, NH | 603-242-6495

nymetroparents 14th Street Y ›




Museum of the City of New York ›

nymetroparents Playtime is the best time! 14th Street Y Preschool & Preludes to Preschool 344 E. 14th St. 646-395-4336

nymetroparents Nature explorers, unite! Museum of the City of New York | 1220 Fifth Ave. | 212-534-1672

nymetroparents The New York Academy of Sciences ›

nymetroparents Who says adults are the only ones that can program video games? The New York Academy of Sciences 7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich St., 40th Floor | 212-298-3744




Natural Bunch Kids ›

nymetroparents Because all hair types are beautiful Natural Bunch Kids | 55 W. 116th St., Suite #412 |

BigAppleParent 45

nymetroparents The Ballet Club ›



Galli Theater ›

nymetroparents Prima ballerinas

nymetroparents Actors in the making!

The Ballet Club | 328 E. 61st St., Second Floor | 917-281-1030

Galli Theater | | 212-731-0668

nymetroparents New-York Historical Society ›


nymetroparents New York City ›

nymetroparents “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

nymetroparents See the Statue of Liberty and the 49 other things your child should experience in New York City!

New-York Historical Society | 170 Central Park West | 212-873-3400

PLANNING A BAR BAT MITZVAH CELEBRATION? Exchange ideas & inspiration with other parents in our Bar Bat Mitzvah Facebook Groups!


December 2016 |




FEBRUARY 12 MANHATTAN | 12-4PM Hilton Midtown 1335 Avenue of the Americas

FREE TICKET With Online Registration & be entered to win a FitBit $10 at the door

BigAppleParent 47

Flu Shot 101

›› Four frequently asked questions. By Aimée Kahn, M.D., MPH

Can I get the flu from the flu shot? This is a common misconception regarding the influenza vaccine, so let’s clear the air. The influenza vaccine that’s given by an injection (shot) does not contain any living virus. To make the vaccine, the virus is heated and inactivated prior to testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This means the virus cannot infect you and cause you to have the flu infection. What can happen, though, is one person may have an illness brewing around the same time as getting the vaccine. Then, that person feels worse after the flu shot and assumes it is the flu. But again, this is not possible because the flu shot does not have a live virus—so you are safe. The protection from the vaccine takes approximately two weeks to start working. If you’re exposed to the flu virus within two weeks of receiving the vaccine, you are not yet fully protected and you could get sick. The most common side effects of getting the vaccine are soreness at the site of injection, headache, and muscle ache—which only last one to two days. Who should get the flu vaccine? The influenza vaccine is recommended for all people ages 6 months and older. The best way to protect newborns younger than 6 months from the flu is for caregivers to get vaccinated. Also, all pregnant mothers are at a higher risk of getting sicker from the flu than others and are recommended to get the influenza vaccine during pregnancy. This not only offers protection from the flu for the mother, but for the newborn as well for several months after birth. If you have a serious anaphylactic allergy to eggs, talk to your doctor before getting the influenza vaccine. I hate needles; is there another way to get the vaccine? The influenza vaccine is available in two forms: an injection and nasal spray. The nasal spray does contain a live vaccine;


December 2016 |

however, the virus is weakened and then tested by the FDA. Unfortunately, during the 2016-2017 flu season, the nasal spray is not recommended as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics. But do I really need to get the flu vaccine? There are many benefits to getting the influenza vaccine. The flu vaccine can prevent you from getting sick from the flu. Vaccination also reduces the chances of flu-related hospitalizations from complications of the infection. As mentioned, vaccination during pregnancy protects the mother and newborn, which is especially important as babies’ immune systems are not as strong as those who are older and can have much worse outcomes with infection. It is impossible for the vaccine to cover every single strain of the influenza virus. If you’re infected but have gotten the flu shot, your symptoms will be milder and not as severe as if you are unvaccinated. Getting the vaccine reduces the chances that you will get the flu. Catching the flu can cause a very serious illness that can result in hospitalization and even death. Every year, nearly 100 children die in the U.S. from complications of the flu. Young children and those older than 65 are more likely to have worse symptoms from the infection. Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, headaches, nasal congestion, and feeling tired. Children are more likely to also have vomiting and diarrhea, compared to older age groups. You’re most likely to spread the infection one day before symptoms start and up to a week or more after. If you’re feeling these symptoms, believe your child is, or need to get the flu shot, see your primary care doctor or pediatrician. Aimée Kahn, M.D., MPH, is board-certified and specializes in pediatrics. Dr. Kahn is seeing patients in Crystal Run Healthcare’s West Nyack office.



Bridge Community Playschool

250 E. 61st St. 646-281-0244; Visit our school to learn about our 3’s and 4’s program. Open house dates are Dec. 1, 6:15-7pm, and Jan 19, 2017, 9:15-10am. Space is limited; RSVP at admin@

East Village Dance Project

55 Avenue C 212-982-5751; Open Studio Winter Celebration! Tuesday, Dec. 20, 5-6:30pm. Join East Village Dance Project students for a demonstration and early winter and spring registration.

La Scuola D’Italia Guglielmo Marconi

12 E. 96th St. 212-369-3290 New location opening in January 2017: 432 W. 58th St. La Scuola cordially invites you to attend the upcoming open houses on Dec. 15, Jan. 18, 2017, Feb. 16, 2017, or March 9, 2017, from 5-7pm.





Pusteblume International Preschool and Afterschool Programs

244 W. 14th St. 212-206-1137; We offer tours every Friday between 9:30-11:30am. Please RSVP with the date and time slot that is convenient for you.

Saint Ignatius Loyola School

48 E. 84th St. 212-861-3820 Come join us for an Open House Tour! Dates are Dec. 1, 5, 8, and 12, and Jan. 5 and 9, 2017. All tours begin at 9:30am. To schedule a tour, contact the admissions office at 212-861-3820 x106.

Need to plan the perfect party? FIND venues, entertainers, suppliers, and other ideas to create the ideal party in our online Parent Resources Directory.

Twin Parks Montessori Schools

Central Park Montessori: 1 W. 91st St. 212-595-2000 Park West: 435 Central Park West 212-678-6072 Riverside Montessori School: 202 Riverside Drive 212-665-1600 Open house events: Central Park: Dec. 6 at 9:30am; RSVP Park West: Jan. 12 at 9:30am; RSVP Riverside: Jan. 18 at 9:30am; RSVP

Want to know the best

activities for families?

Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts

185 Colonial Springs Road, Wheatley Heights 844-824-9790; Young artists flourish at Usdan. Be part of a Usdan visit and information session: Dec. 3, Jan. 8, 2017, Feb. 5, 2017, March 5, 2017, April 2, 2017, and May 7, 2017.

Subscribe to our family activity

email newsletter


AD INDEX features more than 20,000 businesses serving the NY Metropolitan area!



Fidelis Care New York..................................................... 5

Jodi’s Gym..................................................................... 29

Dwight School................................................................ 23

Massage Envy Spa - Midtown West.............................. 23

Little Gym ....................................................................... 3

Ecole Internationale de New York.................................. 44

BIRTHDAY / PARTY SERVICES Big Apple Parent Party Planner..................................... 49 Chelsea Piers.......................................................... 13, 52 Galli Theater.................................................................. 46 Jodi’s Gym .................................................................... 29 Little Gym ....................................................................... 3 CAMPS 14th Street Y.................................................................. 45 Abrons Arts Center........................................................ 43 All My Children Day Care.............................................. 19 Atlantic Acting School.................................................... 23 Dwight School................................................................ 23 Jodi’s Gym .................................................................... 29 Little Gym ....................................................................... 3 New York Academy of Sciences.................................... 45 Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts............................. 2, 44

Einstein Blueprint............................................................. 9 FACES Lab.................................................................... 26

LEGAL SERVICES Bakshi Law.................................................................... 45

Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Charter School...... 7


Morningside Montessori School.................................... 43

Battery Park City Authority ............................................ 23

Pusteblume International School................................... 35

Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts............................. 2, 44

The Nurture Center........................................................ 25 Twin Parks Montessori.................................................. 41



Atlantic Acting School.................................................... 23

All My Children Day Care.............................................. 19 Bakshi Law.................................................................... 45 Collina Italiana............................................................... 25 Dwight School................................................................ 23 Ecole Internationale de New York.................................. 44 Einstein Blueprint............................................................. 9 Evolution Enrichment Center......................................... 44 Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Charter School...... 7

Abrons Arts Center........................................................ 43 East Village Dance Project............................................ 42 Ellen Robbins Dance..................................................... 44 Galli Theater.................................................................. 46 Holiday Opera Mouse.................................................... 39 New 42nd Street.............................................................. 9 Tribeca Performing Arts Center..................................... 25 Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts............................. 2, 44

Morningside Montessori School.................................... 43



New York Academy of Sciences.................................... 45

Saint Ignatius Loyola School........................................... 5

14th Street Y.................................................................. 45

Pusteblume International School................................... 35

All My Children Day Care.............................................. 19

Saint Ignatius Loyola School........................................... 5

Evolution Enrichment Center......................................... 44

The Nurture Center........................................................ 25

The Nurture Center........................................................ 25

Twin Parks Montessori.................................................. 41


Twin Parks Montessori.................................................. 41


Massage Envy Spa - Midtown West.............................. 23



14th Street Y.................................................................. 45

Allen Batista Travel Inc.................................................. 42

Voila Chocolat................................................................ 25

holiday OPERA mouse.................................................. 39


Abrons Arts Center........................................................ 43 Atlantic Acting School.................................................... 23 Ballet Club (The)............................................................ 46 Battery Park City Authority ............................................ 23 Chelsea Piers.......................................................... 13, 52 Collina Italiana............................................................... 25 East Village Dance Project............................................ 42 Ecole Internationale de New York.................................. 44 Ellen Robbins Dance..................................................... 44 Evolution Enrichment Center......................................... 44 Harlem Hebrew Lang Acad Charter School .................... 7 Morningside Montessori School.................................... 43

iLuminate....................................................................... 41 Inn at East Hill Farm (The)............................................ 45

Jewish Week (The)........................................................ 43

New York Historical Society........................................... 46 Ski Butternut.................................................................. 26 Tribeca Performing Arts Center..................................... 25 Voila Chocolat................................................................ 25 Yorkville Nutcracker / Dances Patrelle............................. 7 FAMILY TRAVEL Inn at East Hill Farm (The)............................................ 45

Ballet Club (The)............................................................ 46

East Village Dance Project............................................ 42

NYC Mayor’s Office....................................................... 29 SPECIAL EVENTS

Pusteblume International School................................... 35

Chelsea Piers.......................................................... 13, 52

Natural Bunch Kids........................................................ 45

New York Botanical Garden........................................... 26


Ballet Club (The)............................................................ 46

Voila Chocolat................................................................ 25

Museum of the City of New York................................... 45

New York Academy of Sciences.................................... 45



Chelsea Piers.......................................................... 13, 52

SPECIAL NEEDS Bakshi Law.................................................................... 45 FACES Lab.................................................................... 26 SPORTS Battery Park City Authority ............................................ 23 Inn at East Hill Farm (The)............................................ 45 THEATER Galli Theater.................................................................. 46 Holiday Opera Mouse.................................................... 39

Jodi’s Gym..................................................................... 29

New 42nd Street.............................................................. 9

Little Gym ....................................................................... 3

Tribeca Performing Arts Center..................................... 25


Yorkville Nutcracker / Dances Patrelle............................. 7

Ellen Robbins Dance..................................................... 44

Affinity Health Plan........................................................ 21


Yorkville Nutcracker / Dances Patrelle............................. 7

FACES Lab.................................................................... 26

Einstein Blueprint............................................................. 9


December 2016 |

We've got everything for a…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! is parents' Party Central—one-stop shopping for the best in: H Party Places (for the trendiest, newest, or most classic locale) H Entertainers (clowns, balloon twisting, magicians, spa parties & so much more!) H Gift-Giving (from charitable ideas to the best presents for every age) H At-Home Party Themes (think pirates, princesses, superheroes, Harry Potter…) H Planning Help H Tips & Tricks from the Pros (…and parents who’ve been there!) Bergen•RocklandParent NORTH





LongIslandParent Parent SPETEMBER 2012

Class Is In!

After-School Activities

✓ ❑ ✓ ❑

Resource Guide

✓ ❑ ✓ ❑



Back-to-School Resource Guide Pack a Smarter Lunch Ease the Morning Rush Advocate for Your Twins

How to Manage Kids’ Schedules

What Makes a Good Mentor?

+ 174 Family

+ 130 Family

(see our calendar, p. 26)

(see our calendar, p. 32)



Plus: Learning to Let Go

Vaccines at Every Age Plus: Journaling for Your Child

Where-To Guide: Berry Picking

Dinosaur Fun

Where-To Guide: Apple Picking • Outing: New York Hall of Science


Helping Parents Make Better Decisions

BigAppleParent 51




New York City’s best youth sports programs for all ages + skill levels. Classes fill up quickly, register today! BAP Full Youth 12-16.indd 1 11/16/16 10:28 AM